It is an old custom. I presume it still obtains today, that the officer who complains of food or service in the wardroom mess gets elected mess treasurer in the next rotation of that office. My criticism of the Ranger’s shortcomings reached the ears of those in the Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer). That, combined with the length fitting out period of the Yorktown (CV-5) and my work on arresting gear, catapults and flight deck appurtenances, kept me in touch with BuAer. On the eve of my detachment from the Yorktown, we received a visit from a congressional party escorted by an officer from BuAer. The congressmen’s prime questions were: Why does this carrier have to be so big? Why not just have two little ones instead of this great big one? And the Yorktown was a small carrier by today’s standards. My explanation that the performance of an aircraft in the air was directly related to the size of the field from which it operates was not entirely accepted by those congressmen, but my argument apparently impressed the officer from BuAer.
Mess Treasurer of the Essex Class
By Admiral James S. Russell, U.S. Navy (Retired)