"HALF-HITCH" - THE USS GREENE'S MASCOT

Whatever his appearance to the contrary, "Half-Hitch", USS Greene's mascot, was a dog of considerable breeding ... and a sea-dog from birth at that. (Photo)

So begins the recorded history of "Hitch". He was born aboard a sub-casher at Ft. Pierce, Florida about the last week of 1945. His mother was a blue beagle and his father, odds are, was a red-bone hound. USS Greene picked him up at the age of three weeks.

In theory, "Hitch" belonged to the Ordnance Gang, as they originally brought him aboard. However, it took him only a short time to find out which way the food lay, and he attached himself to the Commissary Department. Aboard ship "Hitch" divided his time between his post just outside the galley door and his station at the gangway... watching for commissary stores trucks to arrive.

In Pensacola he soon got the reputation of being a jailbird. He was put in the brig at least three times, and the ship's Welfare Fund was out some six dollars getting him bailed out. Later; however, the Yard Police gave him a wide berth and would not pick him up. They said: "That dog eats so much that he is driving the Naval Air Station Dog Pound out of business.

Among other things, "Hitch" was a publicity hound, and on a number of occasions got his name and face plastered in the local newspapers. Among his achievements were these:

1. Chewed out by a Commander for digging in the New York Navy Yard sand pile.

2. Was spoken to by the Governor of Connecticut.

3. In New York he made liberty, drank four beers, and embittered three taxi drivers by thoroughly wetting down their cabs.

""Hitch" also had his personal possessions. One was a navy blue peacoat with Seaman First Stripes, a Gunner's Mate Striker's Badge, and Atlantic Fleet and Victory Ribbons. Another piece of property was his "man tag" complete with name, rate and service number.

A few people thought that "Hitch" might someday make a hunting dog, but most of USS Greene's crewmen knew that would never happen. He was always classified as a typical seaman. "Hitch" would eat, sleep, and make liberty call , and if you could have asked him he would have said, "The work can wait".