Letters, Random Memories
and Assorted Sea Stories (Cont.)
Greg Huether Comes Aboard ...
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
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
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
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
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!
|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
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!!
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
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
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.
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
for all the details! Don't be the last one on the
block with your very own P'Mooj album!!!! I already got mine.
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
Kirk Gartside Comes Aboard ...
I stumbled across this web page today and would like to be added.
Here is my info:
Jason Pandolfo Comes Aboard ...
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!
Jason Pandolfo (former MM2)
Greetings from ex-Boomer Sailor ...
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.
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.
Ken Price Comes Aboard ...
Served in RC-11 proudly with the likes of Lou
Wingo and others. Was in RC-11 from 1988-1990
KP Note: Hey Ken, I
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
He is a plank owner and is looking for any old ship mates.
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
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.
Please use the following email address email@example.com
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:
My Protégé Returns !!!
Hey KP, long time no see. Do you ever get back to the Boston
Misc. notes: Elena's Chernobyl article has moved from angelfire
hosting to http://www.kiddofspeed.com/
My new email address is now (and forever) firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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'
Reactor vs. Engineering
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.
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,
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: email@example.com
Thanks guys. Let's try to have the responses this
week so the ball can start rolling
Mexican Memory ?
Just a quick one for ya.....Larson, MadDog and
Lackey...Starting to remind me of a bad Mexico experience....
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
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.
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
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.
KP Note: I don't remember if this was mentioned
here. If someone can provide details, please do so. Thanks.
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.
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 ...
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.
Nov 1989 to Feb 1994 RE01, Crew C
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.
Our shipmate is now Deputy
CNO and Chief of Naval Personnel!!
from Jules J. LaMontagne, ET1, 74 West Pac, 3
Plant and RT Div.
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
A MESSAGE FROM KP:
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
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:
If ever there was a way to show me that you care
about my beer drinking habit, buying my album is it!!!
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
Have a nice day, Eric Binnion
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 ...
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.
(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,
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.
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]
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!!!!!
Billy Jack ...
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:
Joe Saric Nov 1989 - Feb 1994 RE01, Crew C
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!
F-14 "Tomcats" on
the "74 Westpac....
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
|MMCM Carl Deaville
Gets new Email Addy ...
is now going to be firstname.lastname@example.org
Please make note of it...........
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.
ENTERPRISE REACTOR / ENGINEERING
Weekend of June 23, 24 and 25, 2006
at Alameda Point (the old Naval Air Station.) http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/
many functions officially scheduled yet, but the USS Hornet is at
, you can golf, and it’s the Bay Area ….
will be forthcoming as we firm up the numbers
interested, contact Mark with number coming as soon as possible so
we can get a head count à
I want to go
are welcome, as most of us are beyond the age of drunken debauchery.
may be asking for a small deposit so we can get food and beverage.
will be the only general announcement unless you click on the link
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.
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.
I'll pass this along. I just got it from
... 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 ....
Nuke Does Good!
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 email@example.com
Kevin Kucifer RM14 & RM03 87 -91
P.S. I picture Joe Lackey exactly the same way as you do!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lance K. Henderson RC-22 and RC 23 1998-2002
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: email@example.com.
Frank Trapp RM-11 1990-1997
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
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!
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
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.
Wayne Hendrickson Comes Aboard ...
Hendrickson, Wayne 4MMR & 2MMR 1966-1969 firstname.lastname@example.org
Russ Jackson Comes Aboard ...
Please add me to your Enterprise list. I served
1983-1985 RM2 Russell Jackson email@example.com
Happy sailing, Russ
John Wood Comes Aboard ...
Please add me to the roster
John Wood RM2 division 1966-1970
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
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
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?
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.
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
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).
Venture Forth, Brothers in Steam ...
To Page 46, Click
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.