An earnest ceremony was held on Monday to officially christen a new Harbor Patrol vessel, donated to the City of Glen Cove by the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The 26-foot Boston Whaler Justice Patrol boat is named after the late Private First Class Louis J. Noon, a Glen Cove native and World War II veteran who was held by German forces for a year as a prisoner of war at the Luckenwalde POW camp near Brandenburg before being liberated at the end of the war.
Noon raised his six children in Glen Cove. His daughter, Christina — herself a member of the Air National Guard, slated to deploy to the Middle East in the coming months, her second deployment to the region — performed the actual christening.
Noon thanked the city and said that it was appropriate that her father’s memory live on in the form of a harbor patrol boat, “so that his spirit can watch over the men and women . . . as they protect the waters that he and I both enjoyed when I was a little girl.”
P.F.C. Noon enlisted in the Army in 1943 when he was 19 years old, and after a year and a half of training, was deployed to Normandy shortly after D-Day in June, 1944. After six months in the European theatre, his entire 12-man squad was captured by German forces.
While he was interred in Luckenwalde, Noon came down with an ear ailment that threatened to deafen him. His captors allowed a fellow prisoner to operate on him, and his hearing was saved.
After returning home, Noon lived in Bellmore, where he worked as a milkman and volunteered for the Bellmore Fire Department, where he ultimately worked his way up to chief. He died in Aug. 2017 of complications from a fall and is remembered by his family as carefree and happy-go-lucky, always with a nice thing to say about everyone.
For the christening ceremony, Mayor Tim Tenke threw a bough of green leaves onto the bow of the vessel, and Christina Noon poured a bottle of sparkling water over it.
Glen Cove Director of Veterans Affairs Tony Jiminez said that the christening of a ship is a time honored tradition, rooted in superstitions about the sea. In ancient Mesopotamia, he said, animals were sacrificed on the hull of new ships. Vikings sacrificed human enemies, he said, and then urinated on the vessel. Ancient Greeks and Romans solidified the tradition of pouring wine over the bow as an offering to the god of the sea — Poseidon or Neptune, respectively.
According to legends, the sea-gods kept a ledger of ships that had been christened. If they saw a boat that wasn’t in their ledger, the gods would conjure a storm to sink the ship, sending it and its crew into the depths of Davy Jones’ locker.