Petty Officer Warren Carara left the quarterdeck to help the 80-pound, elderly woman board his ship. Across the tiny woman's shoulders was a long pole with all her worldly possessions suspended at each end. At first she resisted his attempts at helping because the communists had told her that the Americans would take her possessions from her before they raped her and threw her to the sharks. Despite the language barrier, something in the Sailor's eyes convinced her that he meant no harm, so the woman relinquished her burden to the American. To the great delight of his shipmates watching from the rails of the ship, Carara—though physically fit at 185 pounds—struggled with the woman's load as he returned to the quarterdeck.
Passage to Freedom
By Lieutenant Commander Thomas J. Cutler, U.S. Navy (Retired)