16 December 61 USS Kennebec Recommissioning
We weren't commissioned at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Rather we were outfitted
at a private shipyard-which we called a "bicycle shop". Officials and
technicians from the Naval Shipyard did monitor the conversion from a point
to point tanker to a replenishment tanker. This entire process was an ordeal
for the original crew. Most of the enlisted crew under the watchful eye of
the XO, John Kron, attended various schools in Norfolk while Dept. Hds, CPO's
and other senior rates observed and monitored the re-fitting at the "bicycle
shop" in the Red Hook District of Brooklyn. This was a less than desireable
area of Brooklyn and men going on liberty would go at least 3 or 4 in
"company" for mutual protection.
LCDR Kron brought the rest of the crew up from Norfolk a couple of weeks
before commissioning just about the time the ship became "habitable".
After commissioning we were all glad to get out of cold, snowy Brooklyn and
head South through the Panama Canal and on to our home port at Hunter's Point
in San Francisco.
Captain Frank DeLorenzo