Badge #7; Where have you been? Within the last year Gene Massey our historian, received an old Master at Arms badge from someone named Charles Frank Milton, F.A. who is unknown to us.
At Myrtle Beach it was displayed on the table with all our other memorabilia. It was an old frame and had a handwritten note attached to it. Since these are a real collectors item to those who collect badges, it was suggested that it be better displayed. Ted Parker took it home and has made a small shadow frame and mounted it properly with a small engraved plate showing the donation. The frame was made from wood planking from the ship.
But Ted being an old cop investigated further. It was found out that, this badge was worn by none other than, M.A.A., Charles Johnson, a boatswains mate. Charles was instrumental in setting up the Jacksonville reunion back in 1998. Charles spent the best part of two enlistments on The Macon. He was there when it was decommissioned in 1961. He asked if he could keep the badge he wore for so many years but was told "no" and had to turn it in. Now, we fast forward to the present and here the badge has surfaced after 40 plus years of who knows what. Being an old cop, Ted knew how men who have worn a badge for so many years value the same. While it may have some monetary value to a collector, it can't approach the sentimental meaning it has to the man who wore and carried out the sworn duty connected to it. The Board of Directors have decided, as the result of a request made by Ted, to let Charles Johnson be the permanent custodian of this piece of Macon property. At some time as the future dictates the badge will be returned to the association. Charles is and has been an active member of this association and of all his duties, he values his time on the Macon as the best. He retired as a Senior Chief Boatswains mate after a long career in the Navy.