Frank Loechert

tedc
18th November 2007, 16:39
In 1955 Frank Loechert (hope I spelt it right) was 2nd R/O on the Franconia.
E Purdom Bishop was 1st R/O, and I was 3rd R/O.

Frank was already in his 60s (or looked it to an impressionable young lad like myself) and rapidly proved to be a legend in his own lifetime. Always in Cunard, he (and Bishop) had spent their lives in the big Cunarders.

He showed me how to take down the Ocean News (Amagansett?) using a typewriter as it was pretty hard to get your hand to slide across the desk fast enough to write down in long hand.

Then he showed me how to sort the "bookies" when you found loads of errors in the download (just take a guess at the racing results!).

But his most memorable skill was his ability to copy the Iceberg reports from Belle Island as these were transmitted in Medium Wave. I could hear no morse - just static - he was writing it down by "hearing" the gaps in the static - very impressive.

He had spent most of his life in Cunard (& White Star) and had been old enough to remember the Titanic incident.

Hence his deep interest in icebergs, perhaps.

The big Lifeboat on the Franconia had Spark Transmitters which I had to check out during boat drills. Frank reckoned these were the only Txs that were any good!

Ah! Happy Days.