This page has been set up to share some of the comments received from former employees of Southeastern Shipyard who have contacted me after reading On The Swing Shift.


“When a friend told me about [On The Swing Shift] I had no idea that it would be such an entertaining, well-documented book – an excellent work!”


How we travelled to work: We got a ride with a neighbor. He drove an old Ford convertible with a top that leaked on my sister and I. One morning it was leaking so bad we opened our umbrella, then giggled all the way to work, and were hoping Mr _ wouldn’t see the open umbrella!”

“Joining a union: as your book states, we had no choice. It did not sit well with me.. my memory of the strike was that it was for a pay raise, which upset me no end knowing that the Troops needed their supplies.”

– Jane Tucker, former welder, SEC. (Rome, GA.)


“Reading your book (which my son gave me as a gift) was almost like reading an autobiography. I was 18 years old when working as an acetyline burner in the ‘Fab’ shop, probably in 1944. I ran a ‘burning machine’ on top of a large metal sheet which was laid out & marked by someone in Layout. Thank God I did not have to use the burning ‘torch’ for very long – when I was being trained for this job I had suffered many very painful burns from molten metal (called ‘slag’.)

Both my mother and father worked there too. Daddy was a foreman on the wetdock, and Mama was in Layout, also in the ‘Fab’ shop. I had an aunt and uncle working there too, and they lived in Deptford Homes. Another aunt & uncle lived across town near Garden City.

Me, my parents, & little sister lived in Tatnall Homes. We later moved to ‘Pine Gardens’ on Liberty St. (Tatnall Homes was on Pennsylvania Ave., and I recall so was a big store – maybe a drug store.)

I enjoyed your book very much, and I was laughing and crying all the way through as it brought back many memories to me, both happy and sad. Your book was the best, and most loving gift I ever received.. ever, ever!  Very truly yours, Audrey Osterbrink.”

– Audrey Osterbrink, “Sparky”, former employee, Southeastern Shipbuilding Corporation


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