In 1945 April or May am unclear on exact month in 1946. While waiting out my four year enlistment I was stationed at the Philadelphia Naval Base serving in the control tower at the airfield on that base which was pretty good duty considering that I am a native Philadelphian and was living at home on what our Navy called "Subsistence and Quarters." extra pay for living off base and having meals off base. What with my rating pay and the above I was making about $75. a week when the average civilian working in the naval base or any factory anywhere was doing about $45. per week. I was asked to take a 6 month extension on my 4 year enlistment which I joyfully agreed to.
While stationed there the Prinz Eugen with a prize German crew arrived at the base which is on the confluence of the Delaware and Schuykyll (dutch word) rivers. She was on their way to Bikini for atom tests heard and one day after getting off duty about 1600 I went down to the pier where this enchantingly beautiful pocket battleship was moored. I asked permission to board and did so saluting the officer of the deck (American) and a German naval officer and then the huge American ensign flying where the swastika once adorned.
It was quite an experience walking down the starboard side of that wonderful vessel and looking at men who looked like me but in a different uniform. One noticed my rating on my left sleeve, came up to me, smiled and said "Funken!" I never heard the word before and it being very close to our own Anglo Saxon word that substitutes a "c" for the "n" in Funken, looked askance at the man. He pointed to his left sleeve at a similar emblem and I understood and ...said "Jawohl, ich bin ein funken," all I could manage in German but a German officer overheard us and came over and said in the King's English, "would you like to see our Radio Room?" I surely did and the officer and the young "Funken" the spit of myself took me forward and up into the bride area housing the "Funken" room. After my tour there was a tense farewell in German to me and in English to them. The Officer translated for me.
I can still see that young face, the spit of myself, and was saddened as only a lover of ships could be knowing where the Eugen was going. Salutes being over I shook hands with both my fellow warriors and left for the trolley car that would take me home, looking back as long as I could at that beautiful ship.