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Letters, Random Memories and Assorted Sea Stories (Cont.)

Greg Huether Comes Aboard ...

King Paul,

Like most I've spent countless hours reading and remembering the good ole days on Big E. I was a proud member of RE from 89 - 92, so reading stories from you, MTW, HME, Lon key Wog, Maddog, Chicken Hawk, Q, and so on and on..... brings back some memories.

My most memorable story involves HME, Crew D on mid shift, the 4-225 dungeon, about 11 9V batteries, and some other bored EM's trying to see how big an arc we can draw with the batteries and a scissors. Anyway, as long as HME or anyone else who was present that night doesn't object I'll finish that story another day.

By now you're probably wondering (as if the e-mail address didn't give it away) who this is. Greg Huether here. Was in RE-11 from 89-91 then went to RT in 92 before departing. I'm still on active duty having served in USS VIRGINIA, USS JOHN C. STENNIS, a tour as detailer, USS NIMITZ, and now I'm at NRD Minneapolis trying to convince college students that there's nothing better in life than being a Naval Officer.

When I'm not doing the Navy thing I'm busy trying to establish my Real Estate career or brewing beer. At this point the beer brewing has been far more rewarding. I'll keep an eye out on the reunion news, I'd love to attend and see how everyone's doing. Besides, I have 27 use/lose leave days so I'd better start taking some vacations.

Please post as much or as little of this as you desire.

Greg Huether

gjhuether@aol.com

huetherg@cnrc.navy.mil

2/11/06

KP Note: Hey Greg, welcome aboard! You arrived just as I was going.  We need to get HME back to the site.  I haven't heard from him in about three years.

George Vazquez Comes Aboard ....

Sign me up!

I served in RM Div during the summer of ’72 while awaiting a billet at Nuclear Power School Mare Island. After completing prototype and ELT school at S3G at NPTU Ballston Spa, NY, I served in RL Div from January ’74 (picked up the E in Bremerton at the end of Tomcat refit) through November ’77. I sailed on Westpacs seven and eight.

All totaled, four years and one day assigned to the Big E. I didn’t understand it back then, but many of the best years of my life. (Wish I had understood it!!)

Great site – thanks for putting it up!

Best regards,

George Vazquez

gwvaz@verizon.net

gwvaz@yahoo.com

PS,

Hello Jerry!

2/12/06

Hygiene, MM Style ....

Willy I am glad you told the story about Pete pulling the garbage bag over his head so as not to puke in the taxi cab. I thought I had hallucinated that story, but there's the proof. I could not for the life of me remember Pete's last name, only that it was Polish. Since you can see how he used the bag, you can insert your own Polish joke here.

Gary Gr_ff, the Golden Bear, a three plant MM also had "hygiene" problems in a Honolulu taxi cab. Seems the Bear crapped his pants and was too drunk to notice; but the cabby sure did. It may have taken him 2 or 3 cabs to make it back to the ship and all the time he could not figure out why he kept getting tossed out of the cabs. When he got back to the E, he went to his rack, and while undressing, bent over while pulling his pants off and plopped a nice turd out into his own bunk. So, if ever asked "Does a bear shit in the woods?", well, you know what to say. By the way, Gary is a reactor operator at the Palisades Nuclear Plant in southwest Michigan and evidently avoids taxicabs to this day.

Not the worst "hygiene malfunction" I know of though. The all time champ is Ross "Trooper" W__ch, naturally another 3 plant MM. Ross caught the worst case of clap every recorded. Lots and lots of flow; you get the idea. So Trooper trots off to sick bay on a Friday, only to be told to come back Monday! Not being the type to ruin lots of clothes, he did not change skivvies all week end. He dutifully presented himself for inspection on Monday morning. The corpsman's reaction that morning went unrecorded but you can imagine the scene. Seems the smell was worse than the site, which was bad enough. That Ross was one sick, tough, though obedient dude. And they say Iraq is dangerous!!

Douglas

2/13/06

Robby Robertson Comes Aboard ....

A friend of mine told me about the site and my oh my - the memories. My name is John Robertson III but pretty much everyone knew me as Robby Robertson. ET2 / RC-22 from 1989 - 1991. World Cruise then yard then home. AWESOME FREAKIN' SITE.

Please put me on the contact and keep up the good work !

-Robby

RobRobertsonIII@comcast.net

2/17/06

Main Condenser Evac...

KP, A few weeks ago at work we had some major issues with one of our larger heat exchangers. Seeing the exchanger tore apart somehow reminded me of a long forgotten event.

Sometime between the 76 and 78 cruises my good NPS bud Gary Steinke gets assigned to RT Div as an instructor. (Suckass!) One day while we're inport in Alameda Gary brings down 5 new knubs and asks if I would show them around the main engine. Now normally I'd have told Gary to kiss my ass and do it himself, but I was in a good mood and it was a slow workday so I agreed. I finished the tour on ERLL showing them the condenser, lube oil system, and related equipment. We had isolated, drained and hydroblasted the main condenser a few days earlier and it was still open. Since none of the trainees were slated for M-Div, I figured this was their one chance to climb into the main condenser.

We went back up to ERUL and I climbed down through the manway and one by one the 5 knubs followed me. The channel head of the main condenser is somewhat claustrophobic for two people but now there were 6 of us inside. I showed the trainees the 2 flapper valves, the two banks of tubes and the sacrificial zincs we installed on the inside walls of the condenser. (Nothing demonstrates the effects of galvanic corrosion better than seeing a half consumed zinc.) I described what a lousy job it was to go in the condenser and hydroblast dead and dying sea life out of the tubes. One of the trainees commented how much the place stank and I told him that this wasn't shit compared to when the condenser was first opened. As if to make my point, I cocked one leg and let fly with a loud and gnarly beer fart! Instantly my charges were gagging and holding their noses. Simultaneously the five of them tried to flee through the single manway. Reminded me of something out of the Three Stooges!

After I finished laughing and climbed out of the condenser myself, the five of them were standing on ERUL by the main air ejector waiting for me. I was bigger than any single one of them but there were 5 of them contemplating whether to join forces and kick my ass. I quickly grabbed their BNEQ qual books and sleazed off a few sigs. This seemed to defuse the situation.

PP

2/21/06

9-10 Business Days .... and Counting ...

Hey all you True Mooj Heads!!!! Start Marking Your Calendars.  The new Psychedelic Mooj album is recorded, mixed and now being replicated. They will be ready to ship in approx. 10 days.  Keep your eyes glued to

  http://www.psychedelicmooj.com/

for all the details! Don't be the last one on the block with your very own P'Mooj album!!!! I already got mine.

2/21/06

Doug Johnson Comes Aboard ...

Ram, My name is Doug Johnson. I was in RL div from 84-87. I just found this web site and would like to be included in your contact list. Great site, sure brings back some repressed memories. 

Doug Johnson

dr_john33@yahoo.com

3/4/06

Kirk Gartside Comes Aboard ...

Hey,

I stumbled across this web page today and would like to be added. Here is my info:

Gartside, Kirk, 

RC14, 1991-1995 

kirkgartside@hotmail.com

Thanks,

Kirk

3/4/06 

John Burnor Comes Aboard ...

John Burnor, 1991-1994 RC11 “D” Shift (For most of the RCOE) then RC14 for Sea Trials. jburnor@verizon.net

 or john.i.burnor@ngc.com

3/4/06

Jason Pandolfo Comes Aboard ...

Hello!

I served in RM-14 from February 1993 to June 1997. I saw a lot of familiar names on the list; you’ve done a great job! Thank you very much!

Very respectfully,

Jason Pandolfo (former MM2)

jdpando@verizon.net

3/7/06

Greetings from ex-Boomer Sailor ...

KP,

This is the best friggin' navy nuke site I've ever seen.  I served on USS George Washington Carver (SSBN 656) from '83 to '86. It is sad to think so many of the nuke ships from that era are decommissioned.  It makes me feel so old. I read all the stories on the Big E site and realized nukes are pretty much the same for both surface and subs. It must fill all ex-big E sailors with pride to see your ship still in the water and fulfilling it's duties so magnificently. My best wishes to all. Keep up the good work on this site.

ET2 (SS) E. D.

3/8/06    

Larry Broussard Comes Aboard ...

hey King Paul. larry broussard, i was in the crud burst years of 1991-1995. started in RC-22(shift A) and then went to RC-11 for the final years. have been reading the site for a couple of years. oh the horror it has brought up. the problem is, i can hardly remember anyone's name. lots of faces usually with a beer near it (we went home when we were done at the end of the shift). there were almost a 1000 nukes back during the overhaul, and the mind is like a steel trap. really hard to open once it is closed.

hopefully i will recount some very sad "shipyard' stories soon. keep up the good work.

ntrino@mindspring.com

3/8/06

Ken Price Comes Aboard ...

Served in RC-11 proudly with the likes of Lou Wingo and others. Was in RC-11 from 1988-1990

Ken Price 

Ken.Price@Constellation.com

3/9/06

KP Note: Hey Ken, I remember you!!

For a Shippy ....

Does anyone have one of those USS Enterprise arm patches? One of our lot is attempting to restore his navy blues and needs one.  If you have one, email me and I'll forward the info to the shipmate in question.

Thanks, 

KP

3/10/06   

Dewey Blevins Comes Aboard ...

Please add my father's [Dewey Blevins] name to the list. He served in 1960-1963 in R div. DC3. email adress is dchurch6993@charter.net

He is a plank owner and is looking for any old ship mates.

3/10/06

Tom Cats

KP -- Many of us spent many hours watching flight ops and were grateful that these Birds were on our side. Kudos to all those who contributed to the flight of these craft that helped keep our skies safe.

CTG Man - RM-22 -- 78-80

PS -- I seen the movie a time or two as well.

F-14 fighter jets return from final combat deployment 

(Virginia Beach, Virgina-AP) March 10, 2006 - The US Navy's last "Top Gun" planes have made their last trip home to Virginia. The Cold War-era F-14 fighter jets ended their final combat deployment on Friday. They flew over Virginia Beach in a giant wedge formation before landing at Oceana Naval Air Station.

The 22 Tomcats of Fighter Squadrons VF-213 and VF-31 were welcomed home by hundreds of cheering family, friends and sailors.

Some in the crowd wore T-shirts reading "Tomcats Forever." One banner proclaimed, "Last Fly-In, Baby!"

In the words of one pilot, "We're putting the premier fighter to sleep."

The Tomcats had been aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is set to return tomorrow to nearby Norfolk Naval Station after a six-month deployment.

3/11/06

Joe Lackey Comes Aboard ...

I came across your site last night. I then spent the next several hours reading it. So many memories, so little time to relive them. Thought I'd drop you a quick note before I logged off and actually got some work done. I'll have to think up some sea stories to submit but for now I'll be content just reading. Besides it's 0400 right now and I'm not thinking very straight. Looking forward to reading more. 

Joe Lackey 

Please use the following email address josephll@ywave.com

3/11/06

KP Note: I knew a Joe Lackey (RM14).  Is this you? I hope so, as you were a great pal.  I'll await your vitals before placing you on the roster in case you're another Joe Lackey.

Larry Auman Comes Aboard ...

Add me to your list:

Larry Auman

RL Div

1975-1978

lauman@cableone.net

3/11/06

My Protégé Returns !!!

Hey KP, long time no see. Do you ever get back to the Boston area?

Misc. notes: Elena's Chernobyl article has moved from angelfire hosting to http://www.kiddofspeed.com/

My new email address is now (and forever) cburian@burian.net

Story: One day I got called into the R.O.'s office with a whole bunch of seriously grim faces surrounding me. Seems that a local San Fran gay newspaper received three violently threatening letters from Chris Burian, Jim Hultman, and T.J. Lang (spelled wrong). I had nothing to do with this, but was somewhat freaked out that the Nav might sell me up the river anyway for good P.R. The letter from me obviously wasn't in my handwriting, nor was the one supposedly from Buttercup written in his poofy, girly script. But I couldn't be sure about the Ratman's letter. Maybe he was in on this? Was he going to go down, and was I going to get sucked in from guilt by association? I was feeling panicky (mostly because I thought Ratman was guilty) but trying to be cool. The R.O. glanced at handwriting samples and told the newspaper editor, his lawyer, and whatever topside officer who was escorting them that it was clearly a prank perpetrated by persons unknown, that the three of us were innocent, and that was the end of that, good day. Whew.

It wasn't until a year later that my A-gang bud from the O2N2 shop happened to mention that he and his pals had written nasty letters to a gay newspaper which one of them had found a copy of in the Rx berthing head. It was all the more amusing to him when he found out that something actually came of it!

Chris

3/11/06

KP Note: Yo HME! Where have you been all these years? I haven't heard hide-nor-hair of you since about 2002.  This incident you describe must have happened after I left, as otherwise I would have been proud to stand up for you boys and attest to your good character.  I would have told the RO, "Yeah, they may look like three scumbags, but these boys would never do anything so bad! Honest!!!" I can almost picture Buttercup making his 'I'm too sensitive to do such a thing' face.  

Reactor vs. Engineering

KP,

Shortly after the 7401 gang reported aboard the E, us MMs were given the option of being assigned to Reactor or Engineering Departments. (I believe the EMs were given the same option.) Having just endured NPS and prototype, I didn't want to be what for all intents and purposes was a conventional Machinist's Mate. I believe it was Ron Ogan who accompanied me the Rx office where we signed on the dotted line that said, "Reactor Dept".

A short time later I ran into Gary Steinke back in Rx berthing and he asked if I had made my choice. I nonchalantly told him that I was going to be an RM.

From Gary's reaction you'd have thought I had just slapped him in the face! Veins stood out in Gary's neck as he started screaming at me. He called me a stupid motherf**ker, questioned my parentage and sexual orientation, asked what the f**k was wrong with me and then he got insulting. (I hadn't expected this reaction.) Once Gary's tirade had petered out, I timidly asked why I would possibly want to go to M Division. Gary gave me a patronizing look like I was an ignorant child then slowly said, "Two words, Pat : NO….RADCON."

Hmmmm…. Gary was making some sense here. I had decided in prototype that radcon was one glorious pain in the ass. (All that f**king around with shit that nobody could see while an instructor looked over your shoulder and criticized your every move.) I privately mulled this over for a couple of hours and then came to my final decision. I was gonna be a Hammer Mechanic after all. I returned to the Rx office to correct my mistake.

The Head-Yeoman-In-Charge was not impressed with my epiphany. The clerical implications of my change in heart were going to f**k up his orderly routine and he asked what was in it for him. If I remember correctly I offered him a blow job AND five dollars. (The $5 was paid in full, but that blow job is still on the books. Hope I never run into the guy.)

That decision I made back in Sept. '74 was one of those proverbial forks in the road. I wonder if (and how) my life would have differed if I had stayed with my original decision.

PP

3/13/06

REUNION!!!!

Gentlemen:

As of right now, the reunion that was tentatively scheduled for the weekend after Easter has been postponed to the June / July time frame.

What I am looking for is a rough count of people who would be interested in a get-together in the Alameda area.

I have found a couple of nice restaurants with private dining rooms that could serve us. We are hopefully going to be able to have an informal get together at Hanger One.

I am going to try to take care of much of this long distance. I am not going to make any arrangements for lodging, but I can make some recommendations for you guys to look at:

CHEAP: DAYS INN ALAMEDA 1925 Webster St Alameda, CA 94501

MEDIUM: Marina Village Inn 1151 Pacific Marina Alameda, CA 94501

Expensive: Hawthorn Inns and Suites 1628 Webster St Alameda, CA 94501

What are you guys looking for? Snacks and drinks? Full-fledged dinner? Tours of the Hornet? Let me know what you want to do. PESO SHOWS are NOT planned at this time !!!

This is going to be fairly informal, but sometime, we are going to need a commitment from people with some type of deposit for reservations etc.

PLEASE RESPOND TO: oldnavynuke@yahoo.com

Thanks guys. Let's try to have the responses this week so the ball can start rolling

Mark

3/14/06

Mexican Memory ?

Just a quick one for ya.....Larson, MadDog and Lackey...Starting to remind me of a bad Mexico experience....

MBowman

3/14/06

It Is OUR Joe Lackey!!!

Yes, I'm the Joe Lackey that so proudly served aboard the USS "PIG" from 1987 to 1992, mostly in RM-14. The last year or so was on the valve barge. As I was reading all of these great stories over the past couple of nights a story kept creeping into my mind. I can't recall all of the details, but the words lima bean, PI, hooker, and rear entrance keep coming to mind. Maybe you could help me out with the details on this one, Ram. 

Have you come up with firm dates for the reunion yet? I live up here in Washington, and I frequently make trips to northern California. It would be easy enough to keep cruising down to Alameda. 

Joe

KP Note: Now, Joe.  I have no idea what adventure you're thinking of.  Perhaps you have me mixed up with one of those other dozen or so RM14 derelicts you so proudly served with.  Even though it's been nearly 20 years I can still picture you with that dirty T-shirt and pack of smokes rolled up in the sleeve. 

See above note from Mark Best about reunion.  It will be in June or July in Alameda area.

Submarine Attitude

Hi Ram -- just ran across this Bubblehead (nuc EM?) site with this humor and other stuff. Looks like the guy is located in Phoenix. You may want to check it out.

CTG Man, RM-22, 1978-80 http://georgetoft.com/sublife/sub600.html

3/16/06

Remembering a Shipmate

Hey Ram, been busy for the last year and thought I would check in with you again. I am not sure if I overlooked any stories concerning the death of an ELT shortly after returning from the 86 WestPac. I think his last name was Sauerborn? If I recall he was with an SK going into a void to get more ammonia and when they didn't return someone went and found them dead at the hatch. Can anyone elaborate and if this is true can we place his name on the home page tribute to fallen shipmates? I don't think I can make the Reunion but do look forward to the pics. 

Take care, 

Mark Serna

KP Note: I don't remember if this was mentioned here.  If someone can provide details, please do so. Thanks.

3/17/06

A Nuke's Son Goes To War

I submit this now for two reasons. I had not read some of the old pages and was catching up (I should be on "mandatory hours" until I catch up). I just got through the timeframe early 2003 with several references to the beginnings of the Iraq conflict. Today is also the 3 year anniversary of the invasion. I wrote down a few contemporaneous notes during that time. It's not Thoreau but just the same. I'm sure a few of the other guys have gone through this. I consider myself so fortunate in that I get to hang with a hero (my son) and that he returned home safe (and sound) from the battlefield.

CTG Man


My Son Goes To War

As my son Jason goes to war as a 20 year old Marine there are many things that go through a parents mind. None of them are good other than belief in the mission and the pride in my son and his fellow troops. I am writing down some of my thoughts, as I know that I won't be able to recall them after the high emotional state of the moment is past. The initial apprehension of what was to come hit real hard and fast on the morning of 11 September 2001 when terrorists brought down the World Trade Center towers. I ran the numbers and knew that my son had 2 years and 9 months left of his enlistment. I felt almost certain that he would be called to battle in that time frame. I didn't expect him to go to Afghanistan, but I knew that was only round one of a many round fight. With time, the focus was put on Iraq and it became more apparent each week that there would be a military solution to the Saddam Hussein reign of terror. Jason is home for Christmas leave. He talks about training and Anthrax shots etc. in preparation for deployment. Jason's Christmas leave was interrupted with orders to pack up for Kuwait and prepare for invasion of Iraq. Seeing him off at the airport was torturous. I can still mentally feel his farewell hug and pray that it won't be the last one ever. After a few weeks we get a letter. Jason is in Diego Garcia on a ship to take supplies and equipment to Kuwait in preparation for invasion. On the trip to Diego Garcia they stopped in Ireland and drank Guinness. I'm a bit jealous. After a month we get another letter. He is at the North-most camp in Kuwait. I know that they position the troops in the order that they will attack. Jason's group will be the tip of the spear entering Iraq if it happens. All indications are that it will happen, and soon. Also in the letter is a wish list of items he wants. "Baby wipes" top the list along with snack items, film, batteries etc. For me this was good. It gave me a distraction with a purpose. I had a "mission" to get this stuff to him. We went shopping. I knew that if he needed this stuff, then so did others. We would buy extra of everything to send so he could share. We would get other items as well. Heavy, overflowing packages were soon on their way overseas. Two weeks later on 17 March 2003, President Bush gives Saddam Hussein a 48 hour ultimatum to leave Iraq or face our military. I had contemplated whether I would watch the television with it's "real time" news feeds of the war should it happen. I was pretty sure that I would not be able to not watch it. I was right. Two days later the attacks began and our troops were on the move and the cameras were there. All of the reports of clashes and fighting were so painful. I was paralyzed by the images and reports of casualties. I prayed hard and cried often.

When reports of KIA start, I do the math. I figure there are about 100,000 troops in Iraq. I know that my son is one of these. One in one hundred thousand. The first reported KIA is a Marine. Soon the number is 10 dead. Now the odds are 1 in 10,000. Soon the number is 50 dead. That's 1 in 2000. The number gets worse even with all the success we have in battle. I'm not enjoying math. Arab television shows some of our troops dead. The images are on the Internet. I cringe to look outside when I hear a car approach or the doorbell rings. I fear that a uniformed person will bring terrible news to my door. The days went on. We sent more care packages not knowing if or when they would get there. The many shopping experiences over the next weeks were very bittersweet. It felt like a way of connecting with Jason. I would wander the stores for things that would hold up to heat and rough handling. I would find myself staring at the shelves trying to decide what he would want. I looked for things that would give a moment of pleasant distraction or an item to help endure the situation. I try to keep Jason's Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins updated but I don't have many specifics to pass on. They feel bad for me, My Wife, his Sister, as well as Jason. They write him and send packages. But most of all they keep Jason and us in their prayers. We have a "Support the troops and families" rally at church. It is very heart warming. The troops push toward a showdown with Iraq's toughest Battalions. When might we expect chemical weapons to be used against us? Maybe at the imaginary 50 mile boundary around Baghdad. It never comes but the battles are furious. I write more letters. I stress to keep up each others morale. I wonder when and where they sleep. I wonder many things. A father of a fallen soldier being interviewed on TV has only one wish..... that his son got some of the mail that they sent him before he died. Is Jason getting his mail? At times I wish my Son would get shot. Not bad. Just winged enough that he could get out of Iraq and not have to return to combat. Jason's 21st birthday is in few weeks. I shop again and come up with a "ready to assemble" cake with candles for his Golden birthday. He will never forget where he spent this birthday. After a few weeks our troops are in Baghdad and the television images are amazing. Some are very brutal and some are very celebratory. In a central square they pull down a statue of Saddam. I wonder if Jason is there for a birds eye view of this event. I'm anxious to find out. I think of the innocence that has been taken from my son in a few short weeks. The horrors of war can have a cruel effect on those who are part of it. I pray that my Jason will be relatively unaffected. Watching the feedback of the embedded reporters I am so proud of the troops. Our treatment of captured enemies and Iraqi civilians is a tribute to the moral fortitude they have. After less than 2 months the heavy fighting is over. I am surprised and thrilled that our Marines will be among the first to leave. They get a slow ship ride to the states with a few port stops along the way. I am very pleased at this scenario. They will get a chance to unwind and decompress from the battlefield action. I suspect there will be a few stories of the port visits and of being in foreign lands. I have a couple cold, (or warm) Guinnesses here to talk over as much, or as little, as my son wants to. I can't wait.

Written - Summer 2003

Joe Saric Comes Aboard ...

King Paul:

This website and its 40+ pages have brought back many memories as well as nightmares. I came on board in November 1989 and left the ship in February 1994.

I spend some time in 1 plant with Smoking' Joe Miskell and I have to admit he has not changed a bit. Most of my time was spend during the refueling overhaul on Crew C. There are so many people and so many memories, which ones do I try to capture in a few paragraphs? Walt Hucks, where are you? John "Billy Jack" Harger I bumped into a few years later on the Abraham Lincoln. Still the same Billy Jack, except what now wearing khaki colored clothing. Rick Stephens, my LPO from Crew C during the shipyard. Big Al Burstein, Jesse Adams, I still remember those all nighters watching you all playing D&D.

They say you only remember the good times.... it is not true.

Joe Saric

bennie1701@mchsi.com

 Nov 1989 to Feb 1994 RE01, Crew C

3/21/06

KP Note: Hey Joe, you must have come down the shop after I left (er, down the office I should say..) Good to hear Billy Jack made chief.  He was a great guy and I bagged (... I mean turned over) the FGS job to him.  I've mentioned this on this site before but one of my greatest accomplishments on the Big E was giving Billy Jack that nickname. I saw him doing karate on the fwd mess decks and it stuck in my head. I think he secretly liked it.  Does anyone know if Billy Jack kept the nickname on the AL? 

Eric Sauerborn Remembered ....

Ram, Mark Serna's recollection of Eric Sauerborn's death after the 86 Westpac is correct. He was RL div supply po and entered a void to get some chemistry supplies without an OBA, was overcome by ammonia fumes. Eric's picture is on page 300 of the 86 cruise book. He was a good friend. Also another ELT, John Zdankus, aka Suds, aka Chip passed on after leaving the nav, while working to put himself through college. That was sometime in the early to mid 90's. Chip was a good dude and was liked by all who new him. 

Doug Johnson

3/22/06

Our shipmate is now Deputy CNO and Chief of Naval Personnel!!

from Jules J. LaMontagne, ET1, 74 West Pac, 3 Plant and RT Div.

Hi guys,

Keeping you up to date on our shipmate Vice Admiral John C. Harvey, Jr. He was our shipmate on the ''74 West Pac. He attended Vallejo and Idaho with me - I think class #7304.

I actually suited up with him and we entered the S/G plenum doing Eddy Current Testing on a re-tube job. I recall that Paul Burke was with us.

John has done well. Bravo Zulu!

See web site: Link

His presentation to the Senate: Link

Your shipmate, Jules

3/22/06

A MESSAGE FROM KP:

Los Dudes,

I've been hit pretty hard with a computer virus, thus the absence from CT and other venues.  I can get into email remotely so I wanted to at least keep this site somewhat up to date (using my sister's computer).  Don't be alarmed if you don't hear much from me until I get this problem resolved.  Please limit email to me until I post that I'm back on line.  

Oh, and to soothe your wayward minds .... THE PSYCHEDELIC MOOJ album is now available!!!! I have no idea if you're local music store has it but I know you can get it here: 

http://www.psychedelicmooj.com/

If ever there was a way to show me that you care about my beer drinking habit, buying my album is it!!!

3/23/06

Another Nuke in The Pipeline ...

Hey, how's everything going. I am SR Binnion...and I was just wondering how you like the nuke program. I go in in october, and I just wanted to know what to expect, and how everything fares.

Have a nice day, Eric Binnion

3/23/06

KP Note: My best advice to you is read the stories here and at Ike Bites ... and then factor in that today's nuke program is a bit more forgiving but just as demanding. (If that makes any sense.) As you can sense I enjoyed my time in the navy--though would readily admit not one day was easy.  Best of luck to you.

Hanford Graveyard ...

King Paul,

You might recall my e-mailing you before about my experiences as a Reactor Operator on the USS Truxtun. I also sent you some photos of it being cut up. I recall you asked about the Reactor Compartments and their disposal.

I thought you might find this image interesting. It shows the layout of Submarine Reactor Compartments disposed of in burial trench #94 (not yet filled in obviously) at Hanford. As you can see, the RCs are numbered and a legend is provided that shows which boat they came from. You can see that the RCs from the SSNs are noticeably smaller than from the SSBN (boomers).

Some day this will be the fate of the eight RCs from the Big E as well. I am hoping to get a more up to date copy of this burial trench showing the Truxtun and other cruiser RCs.

I hope all is going well for you.

I still love your site. Keep it up.

Bill Carter

3/30/06

rx-033006-hanford.jpg (94154 bytes)

(click to enlarge)

Kevin Sweaingin Changes Email Addy:

My name is Kevin Sweaingin

My email address changed to KevinSwear@adelphia.net

Thank you for this service,

Kevin

3/30/06

Rudder That!

Just a note. I was reading some of the older stories and came across something about the #1 rudder being locked during the 89-90 World Cruise (page 24). I was able to go under the ship in Newport News right after the drydock was drained. What we saw was rather interesting. There was the center section (replaceable part) of an arresting cable wrapped around the rudder!! I wouldn't have believed it if i hadn't seen it myself.

Eric McCauley

3/30/06

KP Note: I remember seeing airdales toss AG wires off the back of the flight deck often.  (I think they were allowed only so many traps per wire then they had to be tossed.) How a wire got wrapped around the rudder I'll never know. Unless, the Big E was answering a back emergency bell when one got thrown off.  

My Olongapo Honeyko...

Look what I found in an old storage box. This is from my gangs hangout - a place called "The Palladium".

Her name was "Baby". She was only 18 and fresh from the river [Do you remember what that means? LOL].

Jules J. LaMontagne, USS Enterprise, ET1, 3 Plant and RT, 74 West Pac

[photo credits to a local professional photographer going joint to joint]

3/31/06

Face to Face with Rickover!

Reading more of the stories on the website and thought I would add a few more of mine.

The first is about running into Adm. Rickover. I was in Orlando in early 1986 and was assign TAD before starting NPS in Orlando. The admiral was due in one day to dedicate the new Nuc field 'A' School in Orlando. I was out doing rounds and came blasting around a corner not paying attention to anything. I ran (literally) into the admiral. He was a small guy and I had everyone in his entourage was giving me that "hey stupid" look. I said "excuse me, sir" and made a quick getaway!!! My section leader could only laugh when he found out. It wasn't too long after this that Adm. Rickover died.

The second story is one of my first week on the ship. I checked in near the end of August in 1987. Chris Albanese and I were in RT together. We were told on Monday that we were going to San Diego later in the week for a change of command ceremony for the COMCINPACFLT. We arrived the 1st day and did a practice run for the ceremony. the next morning RT mustered and we were all told to leave the ship if we weren't involved in the ceremony. Chris and I left looking for something to do. Chris had a friend who lived in San Diego, his wife was an airdale at North Island. We found her and got a in touch with Al. Al picked Chris and I up on base and we were off to TJ!!! We had a great day of partying. Al took us to Bambi's for one beer only, he let us know before hand what the deal was. (Unfortunately Stinger didn't get that brief !!!!!!!!) We went to Cinco de Mayo and had a great time spilling cold brew on coeds from SDSU!! Al had great aim and could get cleavage every time!! We mad it back to Al's place and had dinner and just hung out and partied more. About 3am Chris and I decided to get back to the ship and avoid the last minute rush. We showed up to the ship and crossed the after brow. As soon as we showed our ID's and asked permission to come aboard our ID's were promptly confiscated!!! The LPO in RT told us we were leaving at 0800 but he failed to tell us that we has "Cinderella Liberty"!!! Chris and I went to morning muster and told the LPO what had happened. We also talked with the LT in RT and he asked the LPO what was said. He realized that Chris and I were the only "new" nubs who didn't know of the "Cinderella Liberty" rule. We went with the LT, Chief and LPO to see Skelitor. He said he would see what he could do and that the CO had our ID's and would be the only person who could get them to us. Officially we were UA. Chris and I were sweating bullets for the week and a half we were at sea. The morning we were pulling in to Alameda we were called in to the RT office and given back our ID's with a very stern warning about being on time!!! This made for a very interesting introduction to the real Navy life, at sea and having the CO know our names all in the first week!!!!!

4/3/06

Billy Jack ...

King Paul:

Billy Jack was only on AL for a short while after I got there. I am not sure if the name stuck. Although, I knew that you gave him the nickname I can not remember you either.

Circumstances beyond my control required me to get a new email address:

jpsaric@mchsi.com

Joe Saric Nov 1989 - Feb 1994 RE01, Crew C

4/3/06

Ensign C.C. Smith ....

I was having a fit of nostalgics this morning, and I Googled "C. C. Smith". I found your fine tribute to him when he was CO of Enterprise. It was an accurate description of a man I knew as an Ensign right out of the Academy. I was aboard USS CORRY DD 817 (1951-53), RD3, and spent many a watch in CIC with Ensign Smith. His nickname with the officers was "Coca-Cola", as I learned at a Corry Association Reunion several years ago. He had an episode that gained our Captain's attention. He came up to Combat for the midwatch with a piece of chocolate cake, sat in a corner next to a horizontal plot table, poured himself a cup of coffee, and began his snack. We had just entered a rolling sea that was producing a slow but pronounced movement of the ship fore to aft and back again. Mr. Smith just finished his cake when his complexion began to change, his stomach rumbled, and up came the cake and coffee-- all over the horizontal plot table. The overlays on the table were, shall we say, ruined, and we had a real mess on our hands. Mr. Smith retired for a shower and a change of clothes, returned to complete his watch, offered his apologies to a very-upset Watch Officer, and sheepishly carried put his duties until we were relieved. The next morning we heard he had a session with the Captain in which the Old Man gave the young Ensign some "fatherly" advice. There were, of course, no more snacks in CIC. He was a good man, and I and other enlisted men who served with him believed then that he would go far in the Navy. He certainly did!

4/3/06

F-14 "Tomcats" on the "74 Westpac....

Shipmates,

With the recent chit-chat about the magnificent "Tomcat" I remind us all that the very first two "Tomcat" squadrons, VF-1 "Wolfpack" and VF-2 "Bounty Hunters", took their maiden voyage on the Big E during our ''74 Westpac.

We spent hours watching these birds thunder and rumble. It was spectacular. But, there were troubles as well. The "Tomcat" had undersized engines causing them to fall out of the sky - far too often and we lost several.

I recall one extraordinary display of F-14 "Tomcat" prowess when Capt. CC Smith, Jr. had an air show for the military and political brass of Kenya. This was an air show like no other - with thundering 20mm cannons blasting on steep dives and very very low and close fly-bys that shook your intestines.

Jules J. LaMontagne, USS Enterprise, ET1, 3 Plant and RT, 74 West Pac

4/3/06

MMCM Carl Deaville Gets new Email Addy ...

is now going to be deaville@hughes.net Please make note of it...........

4/3/06

Fond Memories!

Awesome site! I served in navy many years ago.  You guys have done a great job keeping your old memories alive. I almost busted a gut laughing so hard reading many of these tales. Best of luck to you all.

Steve Caine 

4/3/06

USS ENTERPRISE REACTOR / ENGINEERING REUNION

 

When:  Weekend of June 23, 24 and 25, 2006

 

Where: St. George Spirits, 2601 Monarch St. at Alameda Point (the old Naval Air Station.)  http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/



Not many functions officially scheduled yet, but the USS Hornet is at Alameda , you can golf, and it’s the Bay Area ….

 

Details will be forthcoming as we firm up the numbers

   

If interested, contact Mark with number coming as soon as possible so we can get a head count  à   Yes, I want to go

 

 Wives are welcome, as most of us are beyond the age of drunken debauchery.

We may be asking for a small deposit so we can get food and beverage.

 

This will be the only general announcement unless you click on the link above

 4/3/06  

On the Beach

One day on the 74/75 cruise we were in Subic and Gary Steinke and I got off work at noon for some reason. We decided to spend the afternoon at a small beach near the end of the Cubi Point runway. This was either Dungaree Beach or All Hands Beach (whichever is further form Leyte Pier ; that's the one).

Gary and I each loaded up a gym bag with snorkeling gear, beach towels, a boom box, some cassette tapes, suntan lotion and various other shit, then took off for the beach which was three or four miles away. Gary wanted to take one of the taxis that were on the pier, but I said it was such a wonderful day that we should just walk it. With the early afternoon sun on our faces we started out as two energetic young military men. We made it as far as the perimeter road below the runway when the tropical heat and humidity finally overtook us. Now we were practically dragging our bags behind us. Gary began cursing me for not letting us take a taxi. I silently prayed for a cab to come by and take me from Gary's misery, but no such luck.

At one point, when it just got too f**king hot, we went down a little slope, climbed over some huge rocks and jumped into the water to cool off a little. As Gary and I picked up our bags to resume our trek, one of the lenses in his glasses cracked! No shit, it just got a big, diagonal crack in it for no apparent reason. For the rest of our time on the E, Gary would say the lens just shattered from the heat. It was the only explanation the two of us could nuke out.

We finally got to the beach, staked out a couple of whitewashed wooden lounge chairs, put our gear down and made a bee-line for the water. There was a small wooden raft about 200 yards from shore and it was great to swim out there and dive off. Unfortunately the snack bar at the beach was about the only place it the P.I. that didn't serve San Miguel so we had to wash our cheeseburgers down with shitty cans of stateside Schlitz.

As evening fell, we were blessed with another of those awesome tropical sunsets. Gary and I sat on our lounge chairs and watched the sky turn all sorts of interesting shades. (Of course with Gary's new "monicle" he could only take it in with one eye and he blamed me.) Gary put on a new cassette he had just bought the previous day. It was Neil Young's "On the Beach". (How appropriate) It was really great sipping beer in the warm evening breeze and watching the sunset to the (then) new Neil Young tunes. Finally tracked a copy down a while back. It was ~ 30 years since I had last heard the song, but one listen to "Ambulance Blues" brought me back to that time and place like it was yesterday. (Funny how that shit happens.)

Attached is a photo of where our journey took us. The trip started at Leyte Pier where you can see the destroyer or cruiser tied up. We went around the end of the runway at the bottom of the picture and the beach was, I believe, near that large tan colored area on the other side of the runway.

PP

4/3/06

RIP Shipmate...

Someone was asking about David Hasselbring. I don't know if this is the same person. A google search turned up your site, but "Navy Veteran" was all the newspaper article said. It's a pretty sad story.

Roy H. Drinkwater a Photographers Mate on the Nimitz 25 years ago.

4/5/06

REUNION UPDATE!

I'll pass this along.  I just got it from Mark:

... I have had a few people checking their PDAs and Blackberrys and they tell me that is the Father’s Day weekend.

Since the nukes always operated under the terms of SEMPER GUMBY (Always Flexible), I think we are going to push the reunion to the following weekend.

The only thing we will lose is the “Flashlight Tour of the Hornet”

I apologize for the inconvenience and I certainly hope that no one has purchased airplane tickets.

************

As it stands right now, we will have an informal get together at the Distillery (www.stgeorgespirits.com) on Friday evening (June 23rd) – this will be a BYOB (buy your own bottle) from St. George or St. Lance, whoever is at the cash register.

Saturday evening (June 24th) we will again meet at the distillery for camaraderie and sea stories. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided ....

4/5/06

Nuke Does Good!

Hey Ram,

It has been a long while since I have written, but I have been keeping up with the site. I just wanted to pass along a couple of pics of a Nuke making good. These are Air Force pictures of John Sackett in Iraq. He was deployed early in the war with a group out of Edwards AFB. I heard rumor he is a chaplain in Japan now, but don't know for sure. If anyone has any info on his whereabouts I would love to know.

 

OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM -- Chaplain (Capt.) John Sackett shows Iraqi pupils how to write their names in English during a recent trip to Baghdad. Sackett is assigned to the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing at a forward-deployed location (bottom photo)

Capt. John Sackett, a protestant chaplain with the 380th Expeditionary Wing, looks over an Iraqi student's work in Baghdad, Iraq. U.S. Army photos by Cpl. Todd Pruden (top photo)

 

BTW - will you please change my email to this one. It is kskucifer@verizon.net

Thanks alot

Kevin Kucifer RM14 & RM03 87 -91

P.S. I picture Joe Lackey exactly the same way as you do!

4/7/06

KP Note: Hey Kevin, great to hear from you again.  I knew John very well (both on the ship and in our professional lives long after the navy).  I'm pretty sure I wrote about this on this site so forgive me if I'm repeating myself.  But one day in the late 90s I was standing in line at a deli in Abingdon, MD and saw this guy in line who I knew I knew.  He was staring at me so I knew he knew me, too. So, naturally, one of us asked the other, "Hey, don't I know you?"  We began to iterate our personal histories and finally converged on RX Dept, USS Enterprise!! It was then that I realized it was my old pal John Sackett from RM14! John was then a pastor at a local church.  We met often for lunch after that and I often 'stopped' in at John's church to visit and talk about old times.  It was in 1999 or 2000 or so that John told me, "You may think this is crazy, ...  but I joined the airforce!" I knew he was stationed at Edwards AFB but didn't know he went to Iraq. If anyone has John Sackett's address please share it with us!

Lance Henderson Gets New Email Addy:

I have changed my email address. Please update for me. My new email address is lanceisgreat2@yahoo.com

Thank You,

Lance K. Henderson RC-22 and RC 23 1998-2002

4/11/06

Frank Trapp Comes Aboard ....

Its great to look back at he good times and friends of long ago. Please add me to your e-mail list: ftrapp@ebmail.gdeb.com. Thanks.

Frank Trapp RM-11 1990-1997

4/13/06

A Word From KP:

The response to my CD ad has been great.  I can't thank you guys enough for 'giving it a chance' and giving me your positive feedback on it.  I am very proud of the CD and glad I was able to share it with so many of you. We're now attracting a following and hopefully we can land a weekly 'gig' at one of the local college crowd bars. And to think, I almost cut my hair ....

On a side note I have decided to convert all my "Mooj Book" mutterings to PDF files and just post them on my Mooj.com site.  Check the site out in the near future to see what shows up. Some of you might have noticed that The Mooj has resurfaced, so to speak. I figure he's worth more to me alive than dead.... now that I got a bunch of CDs to sell!!!!!

Happy Easter to all!

KP

4/14/06       

Much Ado About Nothing ....

HARK! The rumors you heard are true--the first Mooj Book is now available ...  FOR FREE!  I wrote, re-wrote, re-wrote, and re-wrote it again and again and have decided to just publish it as is.  The old newsletters are gone and a new 'improved' style of newsletter is there.  I basically took all my crap and passed it through a sieve. Now its a refined-enriched pile of crap. I had big dreams of making a mint off this book but decided I'd rather just have people read it.  

GET IT HERE

So please make as many copies as you can, staple them, and pass them along to your friends and family. The first Volume is about 100 pages (around a dozen newsletters) and was designed to be printed 2-page, front and back. I hope you have high speed Internet, as the total document is about 7MB. (You can download it in smaller packets, as individual newsletters.) I'm now putting together Volume II.

KP

4/18/06      

Wayne Hendrickson Comes Aboard ...

Hendrickson, Wayne 4MMR & 2MMR 1966-1969 leath@adelphia.net

4/18/06

Russ Jackson Comes Aboard ...

Please add me to your Enterprise list. I served 1983-1985 RM2 Russell Jackson gghh81@hotmail.com

Happy sailing, Russ

4/19/06

John Wood Comes Aboard ...

Please add me to the roster

John Wood RM2 division 1966-1970

jwwood5@yahoo.com

4/21/06

Michael Yonts Comes Aboard ... And Tells The Tale of The Grounding!

Gosh! After all these years, I can't believe the names I see in here. My name is Michael Yonts (with an 's'). I will here tell the story of the running aground incident as my aging memory recalls it. Boone has it fairly close...for whatever reason, we have never got along and it still shows. For whatever I did that has kept your anger at me 20 years later, buddy, please forgive me? 

Regarding the formal board of inquiry, there were 9-10 officers and an enlisted being investigated. I was the enlisted. The watch standers of importance were the WO (last I heard he was managing a chicken manure farm, that was just a rumor though), mm3 M__re was my Log Taker (anyone heard from him, he was a real religious guy as I recall), and myself (the reactor operators where not involved). Because we were pulling into port we had a WO adviser, I do not recall his name, but he was a Lt. Cmdr. and was in charge of the ETs. We also had about twenty people in the EOS to witness the sounding of the bell for the pulling into port pool. 

The series of events occurred like this... I relieved Boone from the watch. As was typical, as soon as I got in the chair Boone left. Two things went wrong here. First, because of Boone's animosity to me, he did not inform me the standing order to not turn on the Main Condensate Pump until 5 knots had been rescinded (in fact, he literally did not say a single word). Second, I failed to read the updates to the standing orders binder as I ought to have. Furthermore, the WO and the Lt. Cmdr. adviser had not read it either. The Watch Supervisor and the engineering puke (sorry, I do not remember the engineerings counterpart to the CRAO's title) had not read the newest standing orders. I don't even know if Boone knew, although I recall him saying he knew about it. In truth, this had no effect on the circumstances of running aground, but the record needs to be set straight. The action begins with two items occurring simultaneously, the first thing I notice is that shaft torque spikes to over maximum, the dial actually went into the red. In fact, I could feel my ass muscles pucker. I remember pointing to the dial and reaching for the ahead throttle to take steam off and saying to the WO, "Sir, our torque has maxed out, request permission to close the throttles!" Before he could answer, we got the low vacuum alarm. We got an immediate request for information from central control about the situation. Within seconds engineering had the Main Condensate Pump up, and vacuum was immediately restored. It was amazing how fast they got the damn thing going. Frankly, they saved my ass. All this was confirmed by the Lt. Cmdr. who was the observer. I think Boone mentioned something about me closing the throttles and that contributed to the grounding. I did NOT close the ahead throttle at that time because the main condenser vacuum was not low enough to warrant it. This was also confirmed by the Lt. Cmdr advisor. In fact, the reason I was on the board of inquiry was to determine if I had shut the ahead throttle, thus pulling the Pig into the side of the bay. Immediately after the vacuum was restored the order for Emergency Astern Flank came. That was the first time I shut the ahead throttle. Actually, that was kind of fun. The rate at which you can maneuver the throttles during Emergency bells is "as fast as necessary, not to exceed 10% reactor power per second". This I did. The reactor operators where not happy. The WO was not happy. He told me to slow down, I repeated the proper throttle rate, and the Lt. Cmdr. told him to 'leave him alone and let him go' or something like that. When we hit 110% reactor power, per the reactor operators calling out the numbers, I leveled off the throttle to keep it at 110%. And we were stuck. A number of other items occurred. First, all the bystanders had long since vacated the EOS. And M__re had not put the bells in the log sheet in the proper order and was very busy erasing the throttleman logs. I couldn't fuckin' believe it. I asked him, "what the fuck are you doing"? He told me he messed them up and figured he ought to fix them.... Just as he was putting in the last bell, some O came in to collect the logs. He was about to take them from M__re's hands when I grabbed them first. He started to complain, and nearly shit himself when I squirted oil from the oil can we kept in the throttleman's box. "Why did you do that," he asked me. I explained to him that it would be very hard to erase pencil with 2190 TEP (Tetra Ethylene Phosphate, turbine and valve oil) rubbed on the logs. I thought the guy was going to have a seizure. I still find myself laughing at the constipated look he had on his face. In fact, this question came up in the board of inquiry later. To make a long story short, two-weeks into the inquiry, I was completely exonerated of any malfeasance, and was even given a backhanded ataboy from the Commodore overseeing the inquiry. The day I was released from the inquiry, Gun Boat Joe (a man I greatly respect, mainly because he was the second guy to save my ass in this), gave me permission to go and have a bender. But only after I wrote my testimony. I wrote my testimony down, gave it to the admin assistant guy, he typed it, made copies and sent them out to all concerned. Then Gun Boat Joe reviewed it. He gave it back to me and asked me what I thought of it. I reviewed the paper and realized I had made some disparaging remarks about the WO's ineptness. I rewrote the document, omitting my denigration of the WO. Then I obliged Gun Boat Joe's recommendation and that very night got totally wasted on Rusty Nails (Drambuie and scotch, I prefer Oban). I don't recall stumbling back to the ship, but somehow I did. The next thing I remember is some asshole waking me up for a cold-nose drill. I slip on my overalls, sans socks, underwear, a shave, and with the taste of McClain's grandma's underwear in my mouth, and stand at muster. I remember swaying gently in a semi-inebriated state, when an MMC (I can see the guys face, can't remember his name...he was about 5'9" tall, probably 150, blond, glasses...I think he was 3 plants chief) came up to me. I remember his jaw was dropped open. I figured I was in for a good ass-chewing for the sad state I was in, but he asked me where the fuck I had been. I told him I was in my rack. He called me a liar. I breathed on him. He said, "oh". Turned out they had been paging me. Seemed Captain Kelly wanted some personal time with me before my inquiry. I started to walk back to my rack, but the chief told me to forget it, that Kelly wanted me NOW. Boy was the Warrant Officer who was Kelly's secretary surprised to see me. (Remember, I still looked like a San Francisco homeless wretch...sorry wretch's). In fact, he had to take a couple tries to get out of his mouth something along the lines of what the hell am I doing here looking like that, something like that... I told him who I was and that my Chief wouldn't give me time to clean up. I remember very clearly saying, "No, No, you can't be Yonts". I shrugged my shoulders and asked him if he wanted me to go get cleaned up. He told me to wait, went into the Captain's Quarters, ran back out and said the Captain would see me now. The Captain was very nice. He asked me if I wanted something to drink, I told him a rusty nail would be good. Ok, I didn't say that. But over the years I have wished many a time I had. Anyway, he interviewed me. Asked me a bunch of questions. Then the next day was my interview at the board of inquiry. The first thing I did was make a statement explaining to everyone the copy of my testimony they had was not the official one, and that I had changed it slightly to take some of the disparaging comments out of it because, I explained, in review it was not my place to determine the correctness of a commissioned officers competence. Kelly's first question was to ask me if anyone had 'helped' me or influenced me in anyway in the preparation of the testimony. Truthfully, no one did influence me, and the words were mine. I still have my testimony somewhere....I think.

The way the board of inquiry worked was each attorney got to ask a question (I remember my idiot lawyer asked the Navigator what "Three Balls Up" meant. The commodore laughed his ass off). The questions would go around the room over and over again until no one had anymore questions. About the 4th or 5th go cycle around, the navigator's attorney asked me a question. I don't remember the question nor do I remember my answer. I do remember Captain Kelly standing up and complaining very loudly that that was not what I had said in his stateroom the day before. Gosh, the shit sure did hit the fan. Seems the Captain was expressly forbidden from talking to me prior to my testimony. They adjourned the inquiry for a few minutes, and then I was asked back in. The first two hours were spent reviewing verbatim what was discussed with Kelly. Anyway, that was my part in the inquiry. As a member of the board of inquiry, I attended the decision of the board. They explained the running aground in this way: There were two contributing factors to the Big E running aground. First, the quartermaster on the bridge was unsupervised. One of the jobs of the quartermaster is to plot the EXACT location of the ship as it enters the harbor. One of the tools they use to do this is a compass. They use the compass to chart distances on the map. However, the part of the representational fraction showing the scale of the map to the real world was only about 8" long. The map was very big. So, the practice of the quartermaster was to make a straightedge, and then using a compass, tick of the scales. Unfortunately, the Nub (nautically unqualified body), was not quite exact. Sure, it was only a tiny little bit less than the true representational fraction, but by the 8th stroke of his ever-so-little-off compass, that little bit amounted to between 50 and 100 feet off course. In effect, the quartermaster was not very accurate in his portrayal of where the Pig was relative to the tiny little channel. The other part of the story is all about Kelly. As the throttleman can confirm, we always went into the Bay at 10 knots (2/3 bell). The reason for this is because the Sacramento River flows at 6-8 knots. For whatever reason, Kelly decided to go into the bay at a 5 knot bell (since we were approaching Alameda Island, the effective trajectory was ahead, in spite of a faster current). The harbor pilot testified that he recommended Kelly approach the channel at a 10 knot bell. Kelly, said 'aye, leave it at 5 knots". And the Sacramento River pushed us into the side of the channel. As Boone pointed out, there was a more than usual amount of silt in the river, but not so much that it would interfere with the ship if it was in the channel. So, the Navigator was given a formal letter of reprimand because he allowed a poorly qualified individual to function as quartermaster. That was a real shame. He was a very stand-up guy. Very personable. Very competent. When I think of an the ideal officer, I think of him, or Gun Boat Joe. Kelly received a reprimand (along with a promotion to Commodore and a stint at the war college), for not listening to his harbor pilot. My WO got a reprimand, well, for just being a putz. I remember standing watch with him after that. He became a much more polite, civil, and responsive team member. Full disclosure time. The only anomaly that came out of my testimony was there was no damage to my screw as would be expected for the torque generated by the dragging. That has always been a puzzle to me. Any body have any questions...fire away.

Personal time...anybody heard from MM2 Kevin McClain, or Dave Peach, or Dave Bowser, how's about Goose (bastard painted my toe nails one night, another story), Fish, Hasselbring, Lt. Condom (oooops, Condon), WO Stanson (snort, smirk), Lt. Sir-Anus (oops, did it again, Sirranno), Jim Dean (the boxer), Hey Marsilles! Wuss up, how's the eye...., Chief Cissel (great chief, bad human remember how we used to pick the lock to his file cabinet and hid his porn?), how about action Jackson, has anyone heard from Ron Black, or Russ Stoneking (what a great guy), any one heard from Drip, or Danny (the short squat incredibly strong IT guy who was disqualified), or John Faircloth, or Kevin McClain's grandma?

yonts2000@yahoo.com

4/22/06

A Vinson Visitor tells of a LOLO!

KP- Well I just stumbled onto your site this evening and I have a great sea story for you to post. I am an ex-Nuke, who was stationed onboard the CVN-70 from 99-03. I was one of those nukes who was fortunate enough to be assigned to M-Div and not the other side of the nuke world. This occurred while I was a short timer...I was standing MMRULP in one plant and we were steaming around in the middle of nowhere doing some stupid airdale shit. It was great because my whole watch team was great friends, we all hung out everywhere we went. Anyways, the poor bastard who was standing MMRLLP was always prone to be at fault when something "bad" happened in the plant. Well this day was no different. So there I am standing at 2SSTG taking the hourly logs when the most unexpected thing occurred. A drop of 2190 landed square in the middle of my logs. This perplexed me greatly seeing as how there are no lube oil pipes above the TG. I looked around briefly and nothing seemed out of the ordinary so I continued with my slavery. About one reading later, more 2190 landed on my logs, and my legs were getting wet. I looked down in a tiny crack between the deckplate and the TG to see the MELO strainer SPEWING 2190 all over the place. Scared out my my mind I flew down the centerline ladder to see LL literally covered in LO, with the MMRLLP watch nowhere to be found. Around this time we were implementing WIFCOM (high-tech walkie talkies), and I had called the CMO down to lower level to witness the Old Faithful style LO spray. We stood there in awe for what seems like a few minutes, but could not have been more that a couple of seconds. The CMO looks at me and asks if we need to call away a LO rupture, or if we should just fix it. Well a quick inspection of the ME sump level said that we had already lost close to 1000 gallons of 2190. Figuring that we could not explain where 1000 gallons of LO went from the holding tanks we called away a LO rupture. Not really realizing the reaction that was going to occur. Obviously we have all done drills and we all know the response to a drill is less than enthusiastic, well we sure did stir up one hell of a shit storm that morning (mid watch). So the call goes out over the 1MC and sure enough M-Div was in the engine room in a matter of seconds, still pulling on the coveralls and boots. We got the ME secured and and figured out the problem (MMRLLP forgot to switch the strainer before he popped the top on it). By this time everybody from the ADM on down was in the engine room doing things only Khaki's can do (mainly get in the way). Once all of the commotion died down I realized that the watch was nowhere to be found still. About this time here he comes around the condenser, looking like a big yellow turd, still dripping 2190 off every square inch of his body, and a huge shit eating grin on his face. Needless to say, he spent the next few hours cleaning up an ungodly amount of 2190 and the next few weeks requalifing all of his watches.

B.M.

4/23/06

Another Vinson Story from B.M.

KP- One last quick story. I was reading a post that was talking about a first CMO watch. Well I have the MOAF when it came to my first CMO U/I. We were pier side in San Diego, starting up. Well to start things off, we had a new RO take over RX Dept that very day. The old RO (Nicknamed the Devil, any of you Vinson guys out there know who I am talking about, or maybe Pondscum rings a bell), was the biggest asshole that I have ever met in my life, we got masted for almost anything. We were so scared to operate because of him screwups were a normal occurrence in those days. I had not gotten the chance to meet the new RO, so I had no idea what he was like. Anyways we were bringing up one plant and somebody over in the RAR screwed something up enough to cause a loss of feed (x-conn) in both plants, causing a dual plant scram pier side. For the first time I witnessed what a dark engine room looked like (ironically enough, none of the battle lanterns worked...damn EM's). It took awhile for the EDG's to kick on and light a few dingy lights in the engine room. Well, once we all got off watch we were sure that we were all going to be denuked and keelhauled by the old RO. So as expected we went to the "critique" with our tails between our legs. When we walked in the new RO was sitting at the head of the table and the old one was sitting next to him. As expected the old RO started screaming the second he saw us coming down the ladder demanding that we all get masted and god knows what else. It was about this time the new RO asked him to leave the room (huh, this is going to be worse than we thought). So we all go into the room, and the new RO tells us to sit (another novel idea). He calmly asks what happened, we tell him, he asks if anybody got hurt...no..."well then get the plants ready to steam." That was the end of that. He was quite possibly the best man I have ever worked for, and he almost got me to reenlist the day I flew off the Vinson....almost...then I remembered Pondscum.

P.S. - on a side note, when MTT is onboard, they tend to frown upon the ULW screaming at the top of his lungs "Hey Bob (CMO), can we light this Motherf***er off yet?" While circling his arm around his head (the universal light off signal).

4/24/06

Venture Forth, Brothers in Steam ...

To Page 46, Click Here 

My portion of the proceeds will be used to support this site.  I have no idea what the other band members will do with their share.  

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