All I can remember about the training cruise from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor was that we worked the Midshipmen hard. I remember in particular a tall, young midshipman who was ready to do anything he was told to do; running here, there and everywhere.
After a while I realized how difficult it was to be a midshipman, because many sailors took advantage of their status and position and in a sense introduced them into what it took to be a regular sailor. I know it was hard on this particular individual because he had no choice but to follow orders. However, everything he did was not considered as being 100 percent of what was expected of him as a midshipman. I know he was happy and glad when the USS Saint Paul arrived in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where all the midshipmen on the Midshipman Cruise got off the ship.
Four years later I was aboard the USS Menifee (APA-202), and once a week I would be scheduled to stand the Boatswain watch, or the Quarterdeck watch. It seemed that this particular officer and I were always on the same watch. One evening while on watch he told me he thought he knew me from somewhere. That I looked familiar to him, but he could not place me. I told him the same. He looked familiar to me, but I could not place him either.
We went over the same query every time we were standing watch together. Finally, one evening, after talking about all the places he had been to, and all the places I had been to, it dawned on him to ask me if I had ever had duty aboard the USS Saint Paul. He wanted to know if I was aboard during a Midshipman Cruise from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor. I answered him and remembered and he looked at me and remembered also.
We continued to stand watch together, but never talked about the Midshipman Cruise anymore.
I will say this: He is an Officer and a Gentleman and if he ever reads this short memoir; sir, I would like to talk to you. Only you know who I am.
Tony Esquivel 7th Division, USS Saint Paul CA-73.