Page 13 started Jan 31, 2003

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

Another RE!!!

Hey Ram,

Aaron Brooks sent me the link for your website. Really cool. I just missed you during my 'visit' to the Big E, though I have heard your name more than once. I had forgotten about the dopey books and some of the hilarious tales. I never really went to sea during my time there, only did the '91 refueling overhaul. I can't say I miss going onboard the 'big gray pig' but like you, I do miss many of the guys. I guess people build special camaraderie when share miserable times together, LOL.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you my info for the list. Though we never met (I don't think), I'm sure we knew many of the same people. Hope life is treating you well. Take care and thanks for taking the time to put this site together.

info: I am not 100% on the dates but close enough. I got to E in 1991 (as EM1 from the Ike) right after they completed a WestPac / World Cruise (lucky me) and came to Newport News for the Refueling. After RT, I went to RE04. After a couple years of refueling fun, I went to Supply (I forget what it was called - for the RX spare parts stuff). Did that for a year and made EMC and came back to the ship for PPWS. Had fun with that for a year and transferred to shore duty (SIMA Portsmouth) where I finished three years and decided to call it quits after 12 1/5 years.  Sometimes I wonder if it was the right decision, but I figure things happen for a reason. I am now living in Manassas, VA.

Seamus McGowan

Seamus, I remember HME mentioning you.  Glad to have another RE04 "brother" aboard.


Advice to The Nuke Prospect From "Fendnub"

I really don't think that it matters what anybody tells this person. In the long run, they are going to have to make their own decision, right or wrong. My brother went into the Navy and became a nuc after I got out (he was an Electrician on the Bainbridge). I never did try to talk him out of it. If you think about it, just about any job can suck (and suck hard) if it's not something that you really want to do.

To Anonymous...don't let any of the stories included on this site sway you one way or the other. From the sound of the guys there now, things are completely different from the way they were 10+ years ago. Keep us updated on your decision.

R. Fend

Another Youngin' Looking for Advice:

I just got another email from a navy nuke prospect.  I guess the word is out that the KP site is the place to be if you want the inside scoop on being a nuke.  Here's the letter:

Hi, my name is Jeremy [M.]. I'm a high school senior that is interested in entering the navy nuclear program. From all I've heard, it a great experience. I would really like to hear about your time in the navy, so that I can get a point of view other than the recruiter's.  Though I'm going to enlist, I'm interested in possibly becoming an officer in the future, and have heard that the navy is very good about commissioning enlistees who finish college. Thank you in advance for your help.

Jeremy [M.] 

Well, I gave this guy my phone number and if he calls I'll tell him pretty much the same thing I told the other guy, which is being echoed by most of you: If you're going to do it, do it.  But it's not going to be easy or pleasant.  You'll work harder than you ever thought you were capable of working and then, if you're lucky, you'll survive the ordeal only to realize that being a fleet sailor sucks even more than nuke school.  But at the end of your 6-year term you'll know more about engineering than most people in the world, including most college professors. 

I will say one thing: being an officer is better than being an enlisted man.  It sucks being treated like a "second class" citizen for an entire enlistment.  Hell, they even got better toilet paper than we did!  And don't think for a minute that it's easy to go officer once you're already enlisted.  How many guys did we know that tried to get into a commissioning program, only to find out the hard way that it wasn't something that was guaranteed?  

In retrospect, I should probably have finished college before enlisting (I had 2.5 years).  But I was just too anxious to wait.  I was bored and wanted adventure in my life--which I got!  To be honest I think I'm 1,000 times better off today because of my decision.  I even wrote an essay about it in one of my Mooj newsletters (see July 20, 2000 story called Dwight Krossa, Wherever You Are, I'd Like to Shake Your Hand).  [As far as the fraternity described in the story goes, you can probably guess which one it is due to my many subtle barbs towards it throughout my early Mooj works.]

The important thing I guess this guy should consider is that when he comes to the end of his life, he shouldn't regret the things he didn't do more than the things he did.


Guess What I did Last Night?

Awesome show!  As I was watching my favorite band of all time play last night, a distant memory popped into my head and I once again thanked the patron saint of idiots for watching over me on a certain night back when I was stationed in Orlando.  It was the night that my classmate Steve Hamil and I drank one-too-many beers and decided to get that Rolling Stones logo (tongue and lips) tattooed on our asses.  It seemed like such a good idea at the time!  We found ourselves in a tattoo parlor (probably on OBT somewhere) and were turned away.  Seems there was a Florida law on the books that tattoo artists couldn't tattoo drunks.  The next day when we were sober the idea didn't seem to have as much appeal as it did the night before.  


Paul Smith Remembered

Hey Ram, 

I hope this isn't a sore subject. I was just looking at the '84 cruise book. I noticed you said Paul Smith passed. I remember him. He was a nub during the '84 cruise, and I remember standing watches when I was a 2 plant RM with him. How long ago did he pass? Kinda shook me up now that I have a face to go with the name. May he rest...

By the way, you are exactly right about the guys who quit. There were a few I knew of and they pissed me off. You didn't have to like it, but you sure had to do your time. 


Over the last few months people have been sharing their private thoughts with me about Paul.  Most served with him in the mid 80's and did not know of his passing since they had left the ship before he died.  

Paul Smith was one of the greatest guys I knew on the Enterprise.  When I was destined for RE Div, he was assigned as my sea dad and we developed an instant friendship.  When I finally qualified BNEQ I showed up in the RE office the same day as "MTW," who had already been assigned to 4-plant.  I asked and was also allowed to go to 4-plant (this was not easily done since each plant was thirsty for nubs and RE01 was very shorthanded).  The reason I wanted to go to 4-plant was that Paul Smith was the LPO and he "pulled some strings" to get me assigned there.

Paul left the navy right before the '88 cruise.  He enrolled at ASU and seemed pretty exited about going to college.  About half-way through the '88 cruise we got word that Paul had been found dead in his apartment.  He had been shot in the head.  The police ruled that it was a suicide.  I know all of you who knew Paul would agree with me that never once was an unkind word said by him or about him by anybody.  


Why Nuke?

I've always wondered why I decided to join the navy.  It was defiantly a spur of the moment thing (although I did come from a sea fearin' family, both my uncle and grandpa were in the navy).  I remember I was working at Knott's Berry Farm at the time and the idea first entered my head when I saw two sailors walk by in their dress whites.  Girls were all over them and they looked like they were on top of the world. (They were probably a couple of jackasses fresh out of San Diego boot camp.)  At that moment I realized that I desperately needed some adventure in my life.  I enjoyed my job at Knott's but I was only making about $4.25 an hour.  I was also in my third semester at CSULB, and still hadn't decided on a major.  I was bored, no doubt about it. 

A few days later my best friend's older brother returned home for his first leave (following ET-A school).  He was on his way to Navy Nuclear Power School.  He was a "Navy Nuke" and man, did he look sharp.  I called him a few days later and asked him if he thought I should join the navy and become a nuke, too.  He told me to go for it if I felt like that's what I wanted to do with my life.  He was very positive about his experiences to that point so the next day I was at the recruiters, signing up.  

About a year later I called this guy again to see how he was doing.  He was on his boat (a submarine) by then and I was at Prototype.  I was horrified to hear that he hated the navy and that life at sea totally sucked.  "You got me into this, and now you're saying it was a mistake?" I remember thinking.  

Our paths crossed again years later when I was studying plasma physics at the Institute of Fusion and Plasma Research (UCLA) and he was working at Cal Berkeley (Livermore Labs) doing pioneering fusion work.  He tried to talk me into staying in fusion but I wisely migrated back to the reliable and "real" world of fission.  (I wasn't gonna let him give me bum advice twice in my life!)  We still keep in touch.  I know he reads this site from time-to-time, but he has yet to send in a submarine story.  (Hint hint.)

But the truth is he could have told me anything and I would still have joined the navy.  I wanted to do something spectacular with my life and being a navy nuke seemed like a logical way to start.  Besides, the way I saw it was I could learn something useful while seeing the world!  And I did.

One last thought and then I promise to shut up.  When I was at UCLA I remember seeing a naval nuclear power pamphlet on the desk of one of my fellow grad students.  (We were sharing that office space mentioned in my Mooj story, The Insane Korean Grad Student.)  I laughed and told the guy not to even think about going into the navy nuclear power program.  I then described the horrors of nuke school and prototype, stressing that the officer program was much worse than the enlisted program, which I was describing.  He thanked me for my advice and shit-canned the pamphlet.  Maybe I gave the guy poor advice, maybe I didn't.  The truth was the guy was "soft in the head" and I probably saved him some needless grief.  Who knows?  He may have been the next Rickover.

So tell me, why'd you guys join the navy?  


Going Nuke in the '60s .....

This story is also in memoriam of Rick Reeve, who passed away last summer. Class of 67/4, Machinist's Mate, Silent Service.

Rick and I were best friends in HS. We both attended college for three semesters and were at a loss for where we were going. The Navy seemed like the thing to do at the time, and off we went to see the recruiter.  We took the little test they give everyone, and the recruiter told us the Navy wanted us for its Nuclear Power Program (first we ever heard of it). Upside, a college education, serving with the "cream of the crop", etc., downside an additional 2 years.  Sounded okay to us country boys, off to San Diego, EM"A" school for me, MM"A" for Rick, then Mare Island and Idaho. We split up here, me to the "E" (glasses), Rick to Subs.  I never regretted the decision afterwards, as I was hired by my present employer the 2nd day after I was discharged and am concluding a 30 year career this month. There were plenty of times during school and the 4+ years on the "E" it seemed that life sucked, but in retrospect I got everything I could have asked for or expected. Life is what you make of it.  

Pet peeve: People who say "Nukular". Including Presidents Carter and Bush. Especially Carter.  Rickover should have kicked his ass.

Dale Keys

Why Navy Nuke?

Hi RAM, 

I've been reading the postings but haven't had time to write. Subject of the story is "Why I became a Navy Nuke." 

It starts in the early 70s when I joined the high school NJROTC. Dad was a Dog face medic in WWII. I had 1 brother who was in the Marines in the 60s. And had 2 other brothers that were Navy pilots (1 flew P3 Sub Killers and the other flew helos off the back of FFGs). 

Well, my senior year in HS I enlisted in the Marines. Silly me. Open contract means you be a grunt carrying a 60 LB ALICE pack and a 30 LB M60 machine gun. After a couple years humping the hills in CA I went into the reserves moved in with Mom and dad, then started school at Texas A&M. Yeehaw, no Sergeants, no parents, and a too much young TANG to leave untouched. All this leads up to a whopping GPA of 1.0 after 1 year of school. How does a Marine get a 'D' in PE? Easy, don't show up. A&M wrote me a nasty gram that said please go away to bring up your grades. 

Home was not an option. I went back on active duty at the Marine recruiting station and started talking about going active full time. The Marines said I could go active and submit a transfer chit to get into communications. Hmmmm, sounds like open contract all over again. The Army said I could be a cook, mechanic, or grunt but I'd have to drop to an E-2. I was already an E-4 in the Marines. The Air Force had electronics but again another reduction to E-2. 

The Navy guys looked at my ASVAB scores and wanted me to take the nuke physics test. I did and they started ranting about how I had scored the highest they had ever seen. Yeh, yeh, yeh, blah, blah, blah stroke me real hard. I could go in as an E-3 and move up to E-4 after 'A' school. I wanted 1 guarantee though. I had to get ET school. It was a deal. There was still one catch though. 

Since I was entering the Navy as an E-3, I had to go back to Navy boot camp. Let's see if we can understand this rationale. Send a former Marine (with decorations) to Navy boot camp. What could I possibly learn? OK, fun in the sun in Orlando with the lady boots. Oh the trouble I could see in my future. Too much TANG and not enough time. (Refer to earlier stories of hanging out at the E Club on Fridays waiting for the horny new recruit grads. Yes, I was one of the vultures). 

Well, Orlando was great. Then I headed off to Great Lakes in the dead of winter. That place sucked. Don't ever send a warm blooded Southern boy to the Arctic freezer. It makes for a poor attitude. To make matters worse just before I graduated ET School there were 7 billets open for ETs in Key West. I didn't qualify because I was a nuke. But I got through it. I had a goal. Just pass the course and get back to Orlando. That's when the real work started. 

Two months on grounds duty was great. Then class started for 8207. I forget the section I was in. I think 7. It was in the middle of the pack. This made me think back to the recruiters and all the stroking they did to brag about how smart I am. 

Pre school was easy. I was scoring pretty good on the tests then all of a sudden reality hit hard with the regular classes. I found myself getting put on study hours right at the start. Recommended 10s, mandatory 10s, recommended 20s, mandatory 20s and by the last half of nuke school I was on mandatory 40s. Boy this sure cut into my TANG time. I still remember finals night where it seems like you have a couple hundred nukes trying to check out the score sheets hung on the outside of the building. It took me a good half hour to get through to see that I had passed with a 2.9 grade. 

Next was Idaho (A1W). The bus ride sucked, but I qual'd as quick as possible to get off those damn 12 - 14 hour days. After quall I had about 6 weeks of easy duty just standing watch on the panels. I was a sub vol until my helo pilot brother told me some of the horror sea stories he knew about. I pulled my vol status and lo and behold I become a Big E nuke. 

Does all this sound familiar. Do I regret the experience? HELL NO. Great times. Good people, some were whacked out, some still are. But the whole ordeal has gotten me a good job, good family and good memories. 

Would I recommend the Navy nuke program? HELL YES. But it is not for everyone, though. You have to be a little whacked to put up with some of the BS. But have a good time and keep thinking that it will all get better in the end. 

Oh, I did finish college. I got my Nuclear Engineering Tech. degree from Thomas Edison with a 3.7 GPA. 40+ credit hours for nuke school sure saved a lot of cash. Not bad for someone who started college with a 1.0 GPA 


James Voorhies 
ET1, RC Division, USS Enterprise CVN-65 
1983 - 1987 

Nukin' It in the Late 60s ....

Lucked out me thinks.  I had just finished two years of college in '67 and then lost my deferment. That's right ... the Draft was on and I ain't talking San Miguel.  So ... I could have gotten a draft deferred job but by then I was a bit bored and besides ... I wanted to serve my country just as my Dad had. I grew up listening to those stories ... at age 18 he was a nose gunner in a B-24 over Germany. And my best buddy was trying to get me to go in with him ... as an Army Paratrooper and I was actually thinking about doin' it. But ... I had gotten a taste of school and found I had an aptitude for physics and such and I had dreamed of being in subs since I was a little kid. I think I read every book or story written about the Silent Service and I was gung-ho to do it. Well ... the recruiter couldn't promise anything ... at least he was honest about that but he said that once I was in and if I tested well ... I should have no problem picking what I wanted.  That turned out to be the case. I did well on the testing, although to this day I don't know how as everyone in my company was sicker than dogs during all of it. Great Lakes boot camp in winter is NOT conducive to good health. I could hardly breathe or see the questions through watering eyes and sneezes and hacking but ... somehow I placed well and pretty much had my pick. Two other guys in my company also placed high and they both were going nuc. First I had thought about it. Hey ... Nuc subs for me. One of them was Ed Thoele ... some of you got to know Ed on the E ... 3 plant RO as I recall ... early 70's as well. Most intelligent being I have yet to meet and my main mentor. Ed made learning fun and interesting and helped me all through E school and Nuc School. He had a way of bringing it all down to real world terms. Heavy dude. And I was one squared away sailor my friends !!! 4.0 and by the book. Having had some school, I was in as E3 and always the class leader ... the guy in charge of the troops and I liked it. But ... I always treated everyone well ... even the troublemakers. They came around once they figured out I wasn't screwing them over and was a regular guy. That was the case all the way through the schools ... all the way to the Big E.  Oh yeah ... got a letter one day at prototype ... saying I had lost my sub designation !!! Seems I had written down somewhere that I once had a job physical where sugar showed up in my urine.  This was when I was 17 after a breakfast of about a gallon of for real Maple syrup and pancakes. No wonder !!! BUT ... rules are rules don't you know and I had been disqualified !!!  Their worry was diabetes. I put in for a waver and had them do a glucose tolerance test on me every month for 6 months to determine if there was a chance of that and it was always negative. BUT ... can you believe this ... they would never give me subs back !!!  And this after having completed sub school. (Best duty I ever had, BTW ... Sub School at Groton in the summer of '69). So ... my attitude suffered a bit over that. But ... in retrospect ... I would never have gone to Rio or Potown or have met all of those guys on the E or never had all of those great adventures. As a result ... I spent three years and 42 daze on the greatest ship in the fleet. I loved it. Being an RO was a trip and I still think to this day that the E is one of the most awesome machines ever built. What an amazing thing to go to sea on. I never lost that appreciation for the boat and the places it took me. Across the equator 4 times, around the HORN!!!!! ... how many sailors get that opportunity, eh?  I loved it ... even being at sea. The view of the stars and heavens from out at sea even outclasses those from the desert. And the hours spent sittin' on the catwalks, laying in the nets watching the phosphorescence light up the entire hull when in the Southern Oceans was too much to be believed. Timing and betting on how far the flying fish could sail. I still dream about that at times ... and wandering around on the E ... thru passageways and hatches.  It's part of me ... a big part. Always will be.  The only downside ... the ego and power trips that the military seems to foster and nurture. Some E9 with a hair up his *&$ .... insisting you drop and kiss his azz every time he snaps his fingers.  That didn't cut it with me. That ruined it. That's "the game" I was unwilling to play. I tell you, without that crap ... I may very well have stayed ... 'cause I loved everything else about the life. All I wanted was to be allowed to do my job and be respected as a human being. Just judge me by the job I did ... which was 4.0.  But no .... fascists!!!! So that tore it.  Now ... I just recall all the great times and great folks I came to know and love ... still got buds from that time ... 33 years down the road and I still hang with 'em. Brothers. The only ones who have a chance of understanding how it was.  I so thankful for the friends I do receive.  And for KP's site and all the other "fooles" like yours truly. ;)

So ... for all thinking about goin' Nuc ...  there wasn't anything I can imagine doing that would have been as interesting or rewarding. Well ... that Sub thing perhaps ;) 


Who is CPO Sparkey?


While goofing around I found the reference to some of my handy work [on your site].

If you do know who I am, I'd appreciate you keeping it under your hat. As you know, I work for a defense contractor, so I feel it best to use a "nom de web" since I write to to a military related blog. This is for my protection as well as my employers. 

And honestly, it's not as if my employer tried to sue yahoo and some employees for posting to a yahoo club a couple of years back. Discretion is good.

BTW, I do love your site. When I stop blogging on Stryker's site, I'll send all my sea stories posted there to your site for eternal archiving!

Thanks for understanding,


Not to worry .... your secrets safe with me!  Keep up the good work!  I read most of your blogs.  


EMC B Checking In!

Great site. Brought back a lot of old memories. I enjoyed my time on the Big 'E' and would have stayed longer but did not want to go to the yards on the East coast. I remember getting along with almost everyone except MMCM Deaville. I think he thought I should be in Reactor Dept. instead of Engineering. When I checked on board I found out that EMC David Head was soon leaving and saw a chance to work outside Reactor Dept. So I introduced myself to the Engineer CDR. Murray and told him I would like to work for him.  I became EMC Head's replacement for Flight Deck Lighting and the Aviation and Ordinance shops (E-4 Division). MMCM thought I went around him (I guess I did), he said all nukes were supposed to check in with Reactor Dept. first. Somehow I managed to keep my new found freedom and would wear my green jersey to Reactor Dept. training just to irritate MMCM.

Anyway just wanted to check in. Keep up the terrific job your doing on this site. Please add my name to your list of contacts.

Greg Benefiel
E-4 Chief Jan '88 - Sept '89 

I remember ya chief B!  What I remember most about you was you looked too young to be a chief!  I also remember EMC Head.  He was often the 4-plant PPWS when I was standing my UI RE watches with Paul Smith.  I was still fresh to the fleet then and never heard a chief called by his first name (which Paul did).  I guess there was an unwritten rule about being allowed to call a chief by his first name if you were friends with him when he was still a PO1.


70s Pictures .....

Here are some pictures of some old navy nuc's from the early 1970's:

Enjoyed visiting the website.


My Navy Story .....


Interesting question. "Why the Navy?" Here’s my story.

I didn’t think college was an option because my dad was already co-signing my brother’s student loans from the University of Rhode Island. No one talked to me about financial aid or anything, and family issues kept me from going to local NYC colleges. My dad served in WW II in Patton’s Army so the Marines and the Army were out. My older brother was a Gunner’s Mate (ended up a lifer) and he seemed to be having a great time. It seemed like a fast and smart way out of the projects. I decided the Navy was the way. But here’s where it gets bizarre.

I was all set to become an Airedale (if you can imagine that!)

I went Aviation High School in New York City. At my school we learned aircraft maintenance. I was all set to get my FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) airframe mechanic license. I took the exam as a senior, and my objective was to go work on F-14 hydraulic systems. So I take the ASVAB, and then go down to the classifier in the summer of ’78 to get AMH School. He says to me, "Do me a favor. Take this test." I had nothing to do, so I said sure. I always liked a challenge. Nothing on this test but math and physics. WTF? I close the book, and there it is says in bold letters: NUCLEAR FIELD QUALIFICATION TEST. Whatever, dude.

So the guy comes back and says how do you think you did? I said, "All right, I guess." He says to me, "Let me tell you. Out of every 100 guys that take the ASVAB, only 10 get to take this test. Out of every 10 that take it, only 4 pass it. Out of the 4 that pass, only 2 get a score over 60. You got a 64." I’m thinking, "Damn! Not bad for a black kid from Queensbridge." My head’s swelling. He says, "I want you to consider the Nuclear Power Program." I said, "Look man, all I want to do is be a mechanic." He says, "No problem, 75% of the field is mechanics." I thought about it and three weeks later I decided to be a nuke.

In June of 1980, I get to pre-school, (my 64 got me 3 weeks). I failed 3 out of the 4 exams during pre-school. I called my mom back in NYC and said, "They’re kicking me out of the Navy, Ma." After many "M" hours and a bunch of "S" hours I finished class 8006 with a 2. 97 average. I felt really proud because there were not many African-Americans in the program. As a matter of fact, when I got to the Pig in August of ’81, there were only three on board. One was an M-div guy named McHenry another M-div guy name Gillespie and the other was an RM, Will Moss. Being a nuclear power plant operator was the smartest thing I ever did professionally. I met some of the greatest people as a Nuke and all the sweat (155 degrees on the booster pump flats!) and long hours were worth it.

PS: Speaking of in memoriam, my best friend in the Navy up until then was Richard D. Knight. Ricky was a fellow nuke (another African American). We went to boot, MM "A" and Nuke School together. The weekend after Nuke school started, Ricky took me to the airport in Orlando so I could be in my brother’s wedding in San Francisco. Returning to the base that night, Ricky picked up a fellow sailor who he did not know, but needed a ride back to the base after a night out. (That’s the kind of guy he was). About 1 AM Saturday July 12, 1980, a guy high on speed went through a stop sign and crushed Ricky’s car. Ricky died Wednesday July 16, 1980. He was a great guy and would have been a great nuke. I wanted to quit, but I owed it to him to finish. I did everything as a Nuke in large part, for him. Thanks for letting me share that.


Another Hammer Mechanic!

MM2 Don Rodgers
EM-22 1992 to 1994

College Before The Navy?

Most of the guys I met in the nuclear navy had had some college before enlisting.  Actually, those that came in straight from high school were rare.

Once I remember shooting the shit with Captn' Spane (It was actually my senior-in-rate LD board, where he let me drive the ship--I think I wrote about it on this website somewhere).  He asked me how many years I had gone to college before joining the navy.  I guess it was something he asked every nuke at his senior-in-rate board.  When I told him, "...Uh, about 3 years..." He laughed and said that I was typical.  He then went on to say that most enlisted nukes went to college, some even had degrees.  He then said other stuff, like guys that become nukes are the type that get bored in college because they need something more challenging.  He understood where most of us were coming from I guess.  He was actually a really nice guy.  He seemed to appreciate the snipes and tweakers more than the previous or next CO did.


Another EM!

Please add my name to the list :

Randy Wilson

EE30, 1994-1999


Re: 70's Pics ....

Great pics David ...

Some dudes here I haven't thought about for quite some time. C.L. Turner kept us all sane ... never saw anyone better able to mess with people's minds ... the tighter wound they were, the more he would tweek 'em and spin 'em up ... I once overheard him explaining to a group of visiting air wing types that LOGA stood for "a loss of gravity accident" ... and he had them all mesmerized with his explanation that the main coolant lines were pipes which delivered jp5 to the jet engines (steam generators) to lift the rx vessel up around the rods (seeing as they would no longer scram due to the loss of gravity) and shutdown the reactor. I think he had them convinced !!! He ... had me beginning to wonder myself.   Dude was hypnotic.

Mike Miller !!!! God ... that guy cracked me up. What a sense of humor. And he had those giant redwood legs. I recall him being in awe one night in Potown in some Country Western type bar ... he just could not believe that he was sitting here halfway around the world watching people actually dancing to "Night Riders in the Sky". He just kept laughing and laughing and laughing. Last I knew he went back to Michigan and became a farmer.  

Olsen. God ... what can I say? If you knew him you know what he was capable of doing ... if you didn't ... ain't no way to tell you. ;))) I think Animal Parker apprenticed under Bob. Some wild and crazy guyz. That's what made it interesting and kept me going.


Rueful EM:

I have mixed emotions about seeing this website. As much fun as I had, there are memories that I would rather not recall or share with any other. But I will supply my info to be added to the site:

Jim Raymond
EE30 1996-1998 

Those 70's Pictures ....

My God! I had almost completely forgotten about Olsen and Parker. How could anyone forget Parker? I think we got him past the gangway watch drunk more often than sober.

I think the scariest part of the entire tour for me was my first qualifying exam facing a board that included the XO, whom I had forced to crawl through the bilges under the main engine at prototype in New York just three months before tracing a line to the dirty drain tank. His first question: "Do you know where the drain lines from the main steam isolation valves end up?" He remembered me and the cleaning bill for that uniform.

I wish I had the dopey books from 3 Plant -- I had forgotten all about them.

Ed Thoele
RPO, 3 Plant, 1971-1973

Another Load Dispatcher ....

C. Ayala told me of this site. Never knew such a thing was out there. Some of us old load dispatchers have kept in touch. Thanks for the medium for all to comm.

Bobby Shelton, EE30 1993-1997

I tried to explain to someone once that the Load Dispatcher was the most powerful guy on the whole ship.  They didn't seem to buy it.  But I honestly believe that the LD was the most powerful guy on watch at anyone time since everyone had to check with him before doing just about anything.  I was a terrible LD, I admit that whole-heartedly.  I only stood LD once a month (to maintain proficiency) and I usually had one of my EE30 buds sitting beside me the whole time so when the shit hit the fan, which always seemed to happen on my watch, I could ask for friendly advice.  The EE30 guys were brutal, though, and loved to mess with me anytime I was sitting at the LD desk.  They would often call and ask things like, "Request permission to light off anchor windless....." after already receiving permission to light off a few elevators, jet deflectors, viscous pumps, pressurizer s/u heater banks and just about every other big load on the ship.  I would usually just stare up at the board and wonder, "Hmmm, which bus is the damn anchor windlass on, anyway?" not fully realizing that it was a joke since we were underway. 


Ed Thoele!

hey!!! i see my old mentor Ed Thoele showed up !!!!! EXCELLENT !!!!!

he/we had some adventures too ... one of us will have to spin some of those yarns.


Another 80s ELT!


Just found your site posted in a forum on, there are a couple of other ex-Pig nuc farkers, along with a few nucs from other ships. The site is kind of like an online dopey book.

You can post the following on your site if you wish:

I was an aft-ELT in RL div, on the Enterprison from about 80-83, spending the last six months aboard, banished to the Eng.Tech.Lib. {with MM1 Mel Ugaki}, for light duty. I was sent on Med Hold to TI, got assigned to Navy Band San Francisco as a french horn player, and got a medical discharge only nine months past my separation date; fighting for, and getting a service connected disability. It was pretty cool being the only Navy Nuc in the Navy Band for 18 months.

I haven't finished reading all of the stories yet, but so far it's bringing back all sorts of well buried memories, good and bad.

Do any current nuc's know if the wizard sign that I painted for the door of Health Physics is still there? I think that I have a photo of it somewhere...painted it for Joe Seman, along with a few other things, like the mysterious missing HP compartment.

Bob Losin
RL div 80-83 

Misc. LD Ramblings .....

Bobby Shelton's post brought to mind many LD watches I stood in the late 60's to the early 70's. I stood many a watch with LCMDR Paul Reason, Electrical Officer at the time, utmost respect for this man. Tried to bribe me into re-upping with a Mercedes. About 98% of all the Officers I came in contact with were totally forgettable, usually knew less than the enlisted men they directed. (Anybody remember CDR Zalkan? We called him Screaming Yellow Zonkers).  Mr. Reason was neither.  I recall one incident in which we were on watch and got a call from the Bridge requesting aid to a ship in distress with a burned-out motor. DC!?!? We looked at each other for a few moments and he said, "Send it over, we'll figure it out." They did and we did.  I think the most memorable moment as LD was selecting the first sea watch after being in dry dock for 1.5 years after the refuel in 1970. I believe Steve Mager had first watch and I had the second. Talk about concentration.  Sea trials were a real trip.  Did all you young guys have continuous drills on the midwatch? They only had about a dozen scenarios, just kept repeating them, after a while the Bridge asked who was on watch and often cancelled the drills.


Animal P ......

jus' want to say one thing about the Animal ... he was a wild and crazy guy but also one of the best ROs/RTs ever.  He was well respected by all and that included the Powers That Be. He was cut some slack by them on an an occasion or two because they realized how valuable he was. Anyone who knew him will attest to that.  Just so folks don't get the wrong idea ... as I have said before and heard KP say too ... we played hard and we worked even harder.  I don't know of many folks in this world who have had the opportunity to be part of a team who were able to pull together when the whole world was coming down around our ears.  Cool under pressure man. You knew the other guy had your back when it counted ... when it came down to the nut cut, they were there.  It was an honor to serve with such folks.  An opportunity of a lifetime.

still in recruiter mode ;) hehehe 

A Random Thought .....

I was just thumbing through my '89-90 cruise book.  On pages 286 and 287 is an awesome picture of central control.  Sitting at the LD is the infamous Scotty F., one of the best LDs at the time.  Sitting at the EWS desk is MMC Triggs.  [I won't say anything more about him other than I hope he is still rotting away in Leavenworth.]  I can't remember who the EOOW was.  He looks familiar.  Anyway, looking at that picture I was reminded of one of a million things I did to amuse myself while being otherwise utterly bored during a long at sea period.  It was one of those things that no one else knew about and resulted in a few moments of personal chuckling.  It began innocently while I was thumbing through a 3- or 4-week old Time or Newsweek magazine--it was newly arrived in the mail for someone in the division.  I saw in that magazine an ad for a Righteous Brothers album.  The picture showed the Righteous brothers dancing.  One of the brothers looked exactly like Mr. Br__n, the Electrical Officer and was posed much like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever (with an arm on his hip and the other one pointing upwards).  I cut the picture out and pasted it in the corner of a blank sheet of paper.  On that paper (at the top) I typed: "From the Desk of LtCmdr Br__n."  I then Xeroxed it, reduced it in size and Xeroxed it again (so it looked like legitimate personal stationary).  Later that afternoon I was down in central for a LD watch so I placed this fictitious stationary on the EOOW's desk.  A few minutes after the "watch team" took their seats someone spotted the stationary and mumbled something like, "Hey, would ya look at this? .... Man that guy is weird!"  It was passed around so everyone in central could look at it.  Everyone thought it was legitimate and I felt kind of bad.  Mr. Br__n was actually pretty cool.  I remember seeing him wander around HK with an umbrella open one day.  It wasn't raining so he looked kind of odd. 


Re: DK's Spiel ......

DK asked ... Anybody remember CDR Zalkan? We called him Screaming Yellow Zonkers.  Oh yeah ...  We also called him "Back-on-the-Boats Bob" (b.o.b.b.) as that seemed to be a phrase that he used every other sentence.  And we used to leave an empty "Screamin' Yellow Zonker" bag out anytime he had an inspection to hold or somewhere where he would find it while touring.  I do believe he was featured in a Foot-Of-The-Week Award or two ... I will peruse them and see. The lad didn't have much of a sense of humor. Hmmmm... sense of hummer perhaps ;) But I kid b.o.b.b. ;) 

DK also asked: Did all you young guys have continuous drills on the midwatch? They only had about a dozen scenarios, just kept repeating them, after a while the Bridge asked who was on watch and often canceled the drills.

It's strange but ... in the entire time I spent on the Panels ... I never once had drills!!!  I helped implement them or witnessed them from Control Equipment but never, ever, had one while RO. Actually, I never even received an unanticipated alarm while on panel. I find that strange to this day. Lucked out I guess.



On page one or two of this website is mentioned Lt. R, the WO who was driven crazy because he kept hearing "rings" in his head.  It sucked being on Lt. R's watch team because you were gaurenteed to have drills run on you every time.  No kidding.  The Drill Team pretty much set their schedule by seeing when R. was on watch.  It was usually the same drills, too.  I can't remember why the Drill Team picked on R.; perhaps he was broke dick or they just hated him.  

Do you guys remember those quarterly RX fill tests?  Man, those used to suck because something always went wrong.  I used to hate them.  I can't remember how many red tags had  to be hung; but it would take hours to write them all, get them second-checked and then approved.  Only once did we forget about a valve that opened when it shouldn't have.  A charging valve I think.  We caught some shit for that.  


Yellow-Bellied Cruiser (For a While)

In re-reading some postings, I came across the posting of using the dry-dock hull scraping as skate duty.  I had the same wish, but got screwed.  Gather around and hear this sad tale.

The CGN was just into dry-dock (4 am muster for line handlers, including me). The boat was over the blocks and water was pumping out.  As soon as the ship beds on the blocks, the ship's water line will decrease as the dock is pumped.  A shipyard radcon guy and one of our ELTs gets in a small boat and does hull surveys (canvas swipes) downstream of the hull discharge fittings.  Any areas showing count were highlighted with yellow spray paint. 

Well, they always find a few spots, and these were well marked.  Some nukes (me included) were assigned to muster a few days later to help clean off the crapped up areas. [Hold on to your beers, you are not going to believe this] The shipyard had beat us to it! It seems that a tent city needed to be built in the dry-dock to support a resin change.  So, grit-blasting the hull was critical path and scheduled early. That whole area of the hull was grit-blasted before shipyard radcon and ship's force could clean it up. Our skate duty was ruined, and I suppose someone in the shipyard got shit on by NR. 

That was at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, sometime in late 80s. Quality work one came to expect from shipyards.

Best from the desert,
"Cruiser Ghost"

Big E Memoirs ....

Hey Tuli!

Here’s a few for you I finally got around to scanning. Man I gotta catch up, I’m like four pages behind on your site. Good project for a graveyard.

Happy Holidays To YA!

Tim Van Blaricom  


Advice to All Would-Be Nukes From Arrgh!

I'm checking in kinda late on this one, but here's what happened to me and my advice for a would-be Nuc:

I went to a 2 year college and graduated, then was working in a jelly factory dumping 55 gallon drums of fruit into huge mixing bowls. Since that had nothing to do with electronics, my passion from youth, and major for my AAS degree, I had to make a jump. Being young and foolish I thought that going into the service was the only answer, the only way out of that horrid little town where I grew up (and now wished I could live in again, by the way). I tried to enlist in the Air Force, and they wouldn't take me, period. They weren't taking anyone at all right then. Even though I scored in the 90s on the ASVAB. So, off to the Navy recruiter. I was all penciled in for the advanced electronics training to become a DS (no, Dirtbag, it stands for "data Systems technician," I know what you were thinking)! On probably the last trip there to talk things over, I noticed a pamphlet on his desk. It was a Nuc ad, you know, with the sub, the Enterprise, and the Long Beach on it. I asked him what that was about, and suddenly his eyes lit up. I actually ASKED for it! Oh, what a sucker! After having 2 years of tech college, I scored disgustingly high on the Nuc test (all math & physics), and it was a done deal. Off I went to boot camp, the rest is

My advice: go for it! There are few that try and fewer that make it, but if you set your heart there, you can do it. I know guys who nearly flunked out of nuc school, but made some of the best operators by far! Others who were book smart, couldn't find their ... butt... with both hands! It's an awesome thing to twist that funky shaped shim switch, and realize what's happening a few yards away, as the meters begin to stir and heat comes forth, giving life to the engines of the greatest warship in the world!  Doesn't that sound impressive? It really is! Where else can you get to play with a thing like that, eh? Short of flying a jet aircraft, I can't imagine anything cooler than jacking rods around inside a nuclear reactor. And being able to respond to casualties as a result of training you receive is the maximum rush! When it's over, and you are sweating and possibly needing to change your drawers, but the plant is safe, you can truly count yourself among a very select brotherhood of men.

I loved it, in spite of hating it. I can't explain it, but it's there. I wouldn't change a thing, if I got to do it over. Well, maybe that chick that gave me the crabs... that's another story, though. Or the trip to the psycho ward, or... well, you know what I mean!

RC-14 1980-83


A Distant Memory Pops to Mind .....

Seeing Arrgh!'s reference to "DS" above reminded me of something that happened long ago.  It's a nuke school memory so I guess it's appropriate for this site.  Do any of you 8502 guys remember a kid named Blankenship?  His dad was a master chief I recall.  Anyway, this guy always wore a big belt buckle with a confederate flag on it and the letters "CSA."  One day he asked someone, "You know what CSA stands for?" and the guy said, "Uhhh, .... Cock Suckers of America?"  The whole class broke out in laughter.  The look on Blankenship's face was priceless.

This isn't really related but it just came to mind as I was thinking of Blankenship (because he fell victim to the prank I'm about to describe).  It's a pretty clever gag that we pulled in nuke school all the time.  It would leave the victim feeling like shit.  When I fell for it I felt about as low as a man could feel.  I wanted to crawl under a rock and die.  

Fellow 8502 B classmate Jeff Easter was the straight man and one of us would go up to the unsuspecting "patsy" and say, "Hey, did you know Jeff Easter's dad used to pitch for the cubs?"  That person would then wander over to Jeff and say, "Hey Jeff, I heard your old man used to pitch for the cubs!" Jeff would then get this really serious look on his face and say, "Hey that ain't funny, man.  Everyone knows my old man didn't have any hands!"  The guy would feel like shit and turn around to blame us (but we were gone).  The bystanders would always make the joke better by telling the guy how uncool he was and stuff.  People really had no idea how to react when they were set up like that.  

Easter was a great guy.  I have no idea what happened to him.  He was at MARF with me but I think he failed his final board and lost his NEC.  Anyone remember Jeff Easter or know where he wound up after prototype?  




I finally managed to finish reading the whole site, and have a few things to add about YardPac 79-82. I've gotten in touch with Joe Seadaddy, so a few ELiTe stories should be forthcoming for you eager, young ELT's out there.

We almost never got to leave PSNS for the sea trials on time. Seems there was a little problem with Geiger-Mueller tubes used with the counter/scalers.  Every tube that we had aboard were from the same batch, and were exploding! I got sent over to the Long Bitch, and managed to snag one old style tube, but the powers that be said that we couldn't leave port with only one working tube.  Can't pull the poles from the holes, without being able to do a CDFPA.

Well, it turns out that there were no tubes to be had anywhere. NavSea08 finally found some in a wartime reserve stockpile out in the Utah desert, the problem being that they couldn't be touched in peacetime.  Had to contact ComNavAirPac, then ComPacFlt to get a waiver, and order these stinking little tubes with a wartime priority. They flew these things in special, by Air Force cargo plane to McCord AFB.  I wonder how many thousands of dollars it cost, to get those babies there that fast. Way too much info, right?

Other supply goofs at this time were the infamous tank, previously mentioned, allegedly an M-60, though I never personally saw it.  It was supposed to be a SS cleaning tank, or something.

Leaving for sea trials with no toilet paper aboard the pig: I managed to find a small stash in O country.  They had to helicopter some out to the ship from NAS Whidbey Island.

Finally, the MM who ordered some red tags for Engineering, sounds simple, only a few boxes of red tags...RIGHT...Well, red tags started arriving at the pier by the truckload...They unloaded the first semi, managed to fill a few voids up with the things, but the next day another semi arrived...This proved to be even too much for the khakis, so the rest of the order was cancelled. The void under E div office was still filled to the brim with red tags when I left the pig in '83.

Can anyone guess the name of this MM, who made more than one tour on the E? Bonus points to anyone who can remember how many pallets were ordered, as I can't remember anymore.

I always tried to sneak an order through for a Torpedo Retriever, but they always caught it in time. A TR is a 50+ mph speedboat; sure would have been nice to have a Rx Dept Ferry over to Port Orchard.

MFNP - )

Bob Losin, RL


A Couple of  EE04 Guys!

The name is Eric Gray....I was on the pig from Nov. 1995-Oct. 2000....and my work center was EE-04. My email is

Thanks in advance!

Eric Gray

Great website!

Luis Lau EE04, 1995-2000,


Another EM!

Hey thanks for making this site.

Please enter me as

Robert Hill


Chipping Paint?????

Okay, I noticed that some of you guys are complaining about chipping paint all the time. I don’t know much about chipping paint because in four plant we didn’t chip paint. We never chipped paint ONCE. The reason why we never chipped paint was kept quiet for many years. None of the Khakis knew. Even most of the RC’s and RE’s in four plant never knew. The RMs were doing it when I got to four plant in “78” and they were doing it after I left in “82.” The RMs that were transferred to other plants from four plant must have kept it “in the bag,” 'cause we never got caught during my tour of duty, and I never heard of the other plants having a “covert paint program.” We didn’t do much “field day” cleaning either; it was much easier to paint over the dust and dirt. We kept a milk jug full of paint that was cut out at the top to leave the handle intact. The jugs were filled from our private paint locker. During our steaming watches we would paint anything that looked like it needed it, and anything that looked a little dirty. No one asked where the paint came from and the plant always looked good, and like it had just been painted. You know: don’t ask, don’t tell, …great policy!! Now this paint locker was a piece of work. It had all the colors you could want and a shit load of white and gray. It was located on the CTG flats under one of the deck plates by the aft reactor shielding. The screws for the deck plate had been cut off to look like it was still screwed down. It was about four or five feet deep and it could and did hold a lot of five gallon paint buckets. When it got low we would replenish it by procuring more paint from the hanger bay. This occurred in-port when the knuckle-draggers on the hanger deck would load paint from the dock. When we came back from liberty at night, snot slingin’ drunk, we would check the pallets on the hanger bay for the color paint we needed. If we found one, we cut open the packing, grab the paint, one for each hand, and bolt for the plant. This was always very entertaining: picture two or three drunk RMs in civilian cloths, no TLD’s, trying to carry two five gallon paint buckets each down all the ladders to four plant without getting busted, dropping the paint or falling down the ladders. The CTG flats operator would quickly open the deck plate of the paint locker and stash the new buckets of paint. Then we would go back to berthing laughing the whole way 'cause we knew we would be not be chipping paint for another three or four months. We would not chip paint ever. Before I left some of the paint was getting pretty thick. In some places the screws and bolts just looked like lumps in the paint. I guess an apology is in order, because at some point, someone is going to have to chip off some really thick paint. Well, Sorry… “SUCKERS!!!!” Remember you volunteered for that tour of duty!!!! Heheheheheheh!!! Besides, I’m not the only guilty one, there were a lot of RMs in four plant that participated in the “Covert Painting Scheme.” The way I see it if you weren’t conniving enough to steal the paint, and stash it in the plant for future use then you deserved to chip!!!!!

Oh, and one more detail: This is to Ensign Coulomb (4 plant WO) or Carlos Meredith (LPO 4 plant) 1978. Jerry and I never cleaned shit all those times you guys made us do field day in lower level RAR. We did get a shitload of rack time though. We only made "work noises" when you would check on us. And we had to wake up to do that. Hell, I slept so much at work I couldn't sleep when I was at home. Suckers!!!!!!! 

The “DB”

The Gaffey Remembered

Hey KP,

The site is going along nicely. I'm disappointed that no one commented on the picture of the RPFW SECURED sign. Well, here is another picture which may spark a comment, or not.
I just remembered something else about the '79-'81 YardPac. The Gaffey. Uggh! The food on this berthing ship was terrible. I hated it so bad that I vowed to never eat on it again after the first week or so. Even if I had to hike to the McDonalds by the front gate in the pouring rain to get something to eat, that is what I did. I never set foot on the Gaffey mess decks again. It was a solemn promise to myself. The good thing about this was that it forced me and a few of my friends to go to the award winning Navy base dining facility. I loved those 65 cent breakfasts with eggs to order and loads of fresh fruit.


Anonymous Joke .....

hey KP - if you use this, leave it anonymous! Someone would surly think it was a first hand tale (which it isn't.  I never had sex with anything but female humans and rosey)

An old sailor was sitting on a bench at the mall. A young man walked up to the bench and sat down.  He had spiked hair in all different colors: green, red, orange, blue, and yellow.  The old sailor just stared. Every time the young man looked, the old man was staring. Finally, the young man said sarcastically, "What's the matter old timer? Never done anything wild in your life?"

Without batting an eye, the old sailor replied, "Once, when I got drunk in the PI, I had sex with a parrot. I was just wondering if you were my son."

The Gaffey Remembered Again .....

KP - the old Gaffey, home to many an unfortunate, tortured soul during the 78-81 yard period (including yours truly) was an old grunt transport, converted to a floating berthing compartment to provide a home to displaced squids while their ship was being overhauled. I had the "pleasure" of living on it for about 4 months before I moved to Port Orchard.

Amazingly, in 1997, I visited Port Orchard and the "Goofy" was swinging around by it's anchor chain in the middle of the inlet near Gorst! It got tied up alongside some old Frigates in the bone yard for a while, then disappeared.  It could have been brought over to Everett, but I suspect it was finally dismantled. If anyone knows of the final fate of this old treasure, we'd be interested in hearing of it.


Hammer Mechanic, Arriving .....

Please add me to the list.


Jackson, Bryan 
EM22, 1983 - 1987,

A Memory Comes Forth ....

Whenever someone from the mid-to-late 80s makes contact and I recognize the name (but can't place the face) I whip out my old trusty cruise book.  I tried to find Bryan Jackson (listed above) but couldn't.  His name sounds familiar but I couldn't remember what he looked like.  Anyway, I digress.  Usually while I'm scanning the book I see dozens of pictures of guys I haven't thought about in years.  This time I came across the photo of RC14's Pete Desmond.  Pete, if I recall correctly, passed away in the late 80s.  (I could be totally wrong about this so if you know differently, please let me know ASAP.)  Pete was a great guy, who I believe contracted a rare blood disease while in port Karachi (he ate something?).  Again, if I'm incorrect, please let me know.  Seeing Pete's picture again just made me think of him.  Pete was often the butt of many a Winters/Tuli gag.  One awful rumor we started, that seemed to really catch on, was that Pete was the lone child born at Woodstock.  For some reason most of Rx dept. (including many watch officers) found that easy to believe.  Finally someone did the math and realized that if Pete really had been born at Woodstock he would only have been 16 years old (in 1986).  


The Chicken Hawk Makes 1st Class????

.....  I just made first class (EM1) in the Reserves.  Do I outrank you now? I really want to get back at you for all those times.....

C. Hawk

Holy Cow!  The Chicken Hawk now outranks me!  (Unless he's just frocked, then we're still even ).  Good Job C. Hawk, I knew you could do it.  What's a PO1 make these days, anyway?


Ahoy!  Another 4-Plant Steam Sider!

I was on the BIG E from 96-2000, EM-14 or 4MMR

 Adam "Dirty" Downs

A Heads Up ....

Just a quick reminder to all you using a 1988 cruise book to ID me.  For some reason the pictures and names in the RE section (pps. 294 and 295) are FUBAR.  I have no idea why the names under the pictures are wrong but they are.  I was actually blamed for this but I had nothing to do with it.  I just think the cruise book people messed up.  (Wasn't this the same gang of idiots that ruined all our pictures and had to fly back out to retake them later in the westpac because they passed the negatives through an X-Ray machine?) Anyway, my picture is actually over the name "EM1 Schaaf" and Terry Hickey's photo is above my name.   Looking at these once-familiar faces I see most of us REs thought it would be novel to pose wearing BCs with tape on the bridge.  Not a very original idea I admit.  Gil Miltenberger's (over the name Lyman) was my favorite pose of them all.  Schaaf (over McIntire) didn't look too shabby either.

Those of you who rue not buying a cruise book should know that I often see Enterprise cruise books for sale on eBay.  Most sell for about $50.  The early 60s ones, however, can go for a few hundred bucks.  Someday I'd like to compile a library of cruise books so that I can look you all up.  


'78 Cruise Book On Sale Now!

KP- there's a 1978 cruise book on eBay right now, Item # 3206778067.  It's going for $26 with about 6 hours left to go. 2/13/03, noon (west coast time).


Quick Note

Several "interested parties" have asked me to reconsider some of my postings on this site--specifically, references to early 1980s drug use.  I have gone back and deleted or "softened" what I could but I'm sure there are many overlooked items (since this site has over 13 pages now).  Please review what you can and get back to me with anything you find that might be considered objectionable.   I was reminded that this site is seen by anyone, everyone, everywhere, anywhere, ....not just previous Eng/Rx Dept. crewmembers...... and anything that can be damaging to the Big E if taken out of context is not helpful.  In the future I will amend stories as appropriate.  Thanks for your help and understanding.  Drunken whoremongering stories are still gladly accepted.


Arrgh!'s Favorite Ship .....

(ex-MC 679, ADMIRAL W. L. CAPPS (AP 121))

Date: 06/16/2000
Location: 023° 35' 01.0" North, 159° 50' 00.2" West
Depth: 2730 fathoms
Tonnage: 20120

If anyone wants information on any of their old ships, check out the following website:

Words From M. B.

KP -

With regard to your recent quick note about 'editing' the previous pages .... a little late now ... MMCM Deaville has already seen them. We may all be sent to 'the COOP' for awhile !!!

Enterprise will always be the 'Carrier with Class' no matter what. She may be known by various names (as noted in prior tomes), but for the most part (Sorry Mike) she brought us all home safe and sound.

I wish her crew good luck as she gets ready to pull out of Norfolk Naval Shipyard after a EDSRA and resin change performed by Newport News Shipbuilding personnel ... how to explain that quandary?

Your work-up period will no doubt be severely shortened by world events. Work hard. Work safe and make all us 'old timers' proud.------------------------------


SSN "Steamer"

Hey KP ...

Found this pamphlet sent to me by the Navy recruiter back in 64 or so. This is when I was still thinking Missile Tech.  Guess that would have been interesting too, although I don't recall seeing many of them dewds on liberty in Potown so ... guess I lucked out. ;) Did get me to sub school tho and that is still the best duty I ever pulled. Summer of '69 and some more great shipmates. I think the instruction I received there set the tone for what I would experience at Nuc School and Prototype ... excellent teachers and a esprit de corps that was contagious. I STILL would have loved being a part of SS.


I wanted to be on a sub until the day I filled out my "dream sheet" at NPS.  I was sitting next to Kevin Kidder (a fellow So. Cal dude like myself) and he said, "Hey, let's put in for a cruiser out of San Diego!"  I thought, "Sure, why not?"  and threw away all my sub dreams on the spot.  Thank God I didn't get my wish.  Part of me, though, still wishes I did the sub thing.  


Input From Rob S. about Joining the Navy and a photo of the "Infamous EE30 The Belt Buckle" .....

Hey Ram,

Wow, there are a few more pages to read...spent a while last night catching up.

Advice for the young can be tough, my nephew quizzed me about military life and I just tried to be honest. I had some great times and don't regret a bit. It was tough being married, then having a kid during the '88 WestPac. With the thought of his college coming soon, man we're getting old, I occasionally tell him what a great thing military life would be for him. (grin)

I was bored after my first semester in college, so I visited the local recruiter thinking the navy could help me with a direction. I took some pre-ASVAB and did well I guess, because they handed me pamphlets for nuke, advanced electronics and some other 6-year gig. I never heard about anything else. I later found out recruiters got credit for 2 recruits for every 1 brought in on an advanced program. Feel used?

Hope you like and can post the belt buckle picture (see below). Several of us in EE-30 had them made in 88 or on the world cruise in the PI. Craig, Glen Brendel, maybe Ross Marquis, and we got 'em for about $5. Took forever to explain to the PI artisan what the hell we wanted. Glen finally drew it for him. He couldn't figure out why we would want our buckles to have our ship sinking. Everyone in blue liked them, but we were pretty careful going into Central; as you know, there were a few khaki types that would have frowned on our attitude. It was all in good fun.


ps: On a personal note, I'm still in Texas, but have taken over as regional manager for the West. It should allow me to swing through the Phoenix area (not in the summer!) and we can have a beer.

I totally remember those belt buckles!  Someone (I can't remember who) caught some shit from a topsider chief for wearing one.  I also remember one 2 plant RM (Was it Gary Rice?  One of you 2plantlosers will have to get back to me...) catching some major shit for having a license plate that said: "Sink 65."  


Alas, The Good Ship Goofey ....

So, the great ship Goofy rests for eternity in the watery grave she so rightly deserves! May she rot in Davey Jones' locker! I wish I could have pulled the trigger!

To our friends and brethren aboard the greatest fighting ship ever built, the Big "E", may God bless and protect you all. My heart goes with you. I'll always be on your side, men, whatever politicians and tyrants do or say. I really mean that, too. All kidding aside. I'd be proud to have my own son aboard, or in a trench, or wherever. He's a little young yet, but time passes quicker every time I look at a clock. Looks as though he'll get an "opportunity" to serve.

Freedom ain't free, and the day will come when you'll be proud to have served as well, if you aren't proud already. And you should be!


Through The Fog of Time .....


I stumbled onto your web site and started to read. It's like a car wreck, I couldn't look away!

I thought I had forgotten everything related to my tour of duty on the "Big-E".  I was there from '79 to '81. I was a "Load Toad" in Central Control from EE-30. Hell, I barely remembered that much until I started reading. T. Lindmark's name rung a bell somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind.  I was last class out of Mare Island (7701), S5G qual'd in Idaho Falls, on to CGN 36 USS California, brief stint on a Yard Tug in Concord Ca. and then on to the Big E.

BNEQ in the void then on to EE-30. Load Dispatcher was a tough qual and we did control everything! The coffee pot behind the distribution panel had coffee that would dissolve spoons. I remember the constant hum from the 400 cycle set next to the EE-30 shop... The "Water God" in Central Control. The Load Toad also kept a running log of Nuc Humor and Insight and the desk...reading it was one of the few ways to stay awake on Mids.

Some poor Nub making the mistake of saying, "You can't get to me"...putting him over the edge became to sole purpose in life for the entire division. I remember ordering new label plates in the Yards for the spare switchgear outside the EE-30 shop... SWEAT PUMP and SWEAT BOOSTER PUMP. 

I remember playing in a racquet ball tournament against Capt. Kelly.. he was not a good sport.  My Navy Nuc career, as much as it sucked, has paid me back a thousand times over in my civilian career. 

Thanks for stirring memories that had nearly faded away in the haze.

Don Becker
Load Dispatcher
1979 -1981

Service ....


To our brothers and sisters currently serving on the GREATEST warship in the US Navy, we wish you fair winds and following seas. I am honored to have served on the Big E, as of October 2001, I completed 20 years of service and am continuing to serve my country as a member of the Indiana Army National Guard, I have not been called up yet but if I am I will serve with the same pride I have for all these years. We all had different reasons for joining but we served our country in doing so. For those of you who may have forgotten your oath:

I, ____________________________, do solemnly swear ( or affirm ) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Keep our brothers and sisters in arms in your prayers and thoughts every day.

SGT Mike Noland
RC-14, 81-85

MMC Triggs ....


I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed your site. It brings back some great memories for me and I have been able to contact many of my old friends thanks to you. I have served on the big E a number of times: 89-92, 96-99 and have orders in hand to go back one more time and will retire on the ship I love so much. Reading page 13 I saw you mentioned MMC Triggs. I so fondly remember the day they hauled his sorry ass off in handcuffs. He is not in Leavenworth he is in VA state prison in Jarratt. Just thought you would want to know. Follow this link for an updated shot of his sorry ass mug. Hope he stays in for life. Feel free to use this link on your site but please don't mention my name, for obvious reasons.



Big John ....

Where is my old pal John Fir__tone these days? I have not seen or heard from him since the day he miraculously escaped from nuke school.  John and I met in BEE school and were good friends there and elsewhere until he was discharged in Orlando, late May 1985.  John and I were really quite a team: he was this huge, muscular giant and I was this scrawny wiseass. I would start trouble and John would finish it.

Years ago I wrote a story about John’s miraculous escape from nuke school (entitled Congo, The Giant Motorcycle Riding Ape.) I thought I had put it into one of my Mooj newsletters; but, a search of The Mooj archives didn’t prove fruitful.  I must have pulled it at the last minute.  If I find it I’ll post it on the KP site.

Anyway, I was thinking about John today. For no reason in particular. 

Years ago I wrote a book entitled Letters to My Children, which was a collection of letters and short stories.  Most of those stories were borrowed for Mooj newsletters or (if navular) placed on this site. There was one story I wrote for my children that was later deleted because I didn’t want them to see it; it was about John and I and one of our many naughty adventures.

John and I were actually quite famous in EM-A school. Fellow squids loved to hear about our non-duty weekend adventures so every Monday morning after muster they'd gather to hear our latest tale. We never disappointed anyone eager for a sordid tale of misadventure as far as I could tell. 

John and I actually had a pretty good thing going on in those days and could spend an entire weekend drinking and carousing without spending a dime. The ‘secret’ utopia was none other than the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. On Friday nights we’d take the bus there and then blend in like we belonged. There were plenty of parties to crash and girls to go around.  After dinner in the dorm cafeteria we made the rounds, and then found a convenient couch to crash on when the partying was done.  No one had a clue who we were; they just assumed we were students.

Now for the shameful tale I couldn’t bear to have my children read:

One weekend John and I were in Milwaukee looking for another wild adventure. We were using a 'chick-pick up ploy' that always proved effective. Basically, the motis operandi was to go up to some good-looking girls and ask them how to get to Rush Street. They would look at us like we were idiots or something (lowering their defenses, of course) and then tell us that Rush Street was in Chicago and that we were in Milwaukee. We would look genuinely confused and tell them that we had parked our car on Rush Street earlier and had been walking around for quite a while. Most girls felt sorry enough for us to help us try and figure out the situation, or at least do what they could to convince us that we really were in Milwaukee not Chicago. 

Then we met "her"—the girl who claimed that she never met two bigger fools in her life! Boy did she let us have it! How could anyone park in Chicago and then walk to Milwaukee? She never heard of anything so asinine in her life! Finally, we couldn’t keep a straight face anymore and started laughing. Since she had already wasted 20 minutes yelling at us she let us buy her a drink in a nearby bar. In truth, I was sure that I was the one who she was interested in. John pretty much sat this one out while I made all the small talk. When last call was sounded John and I realized that we had missed the last bus back to NTC Glakes. No problem, we’d just go back to the college and sleep on a couch in one of the dorm lounges. When the girl heard that we had no where to stay and no money (which was true) she agreed to let us sleep at her house! Ka-ching! (or so I thought.)

This girl was actually with her sister that night, and the sister made it painfully clear that she was not amused by us or happy to be sharing the ride home with us. When we arrived at this girl’s house she told us to be quiet because her parents were upstairs asleep. John and I tip-toed into the living room and sat down. The older (or younger?) sister gave us a "look" and then went upstairs.

Now it was just the three of us and I was waiting for John to "beat it." I was still doing most of the talking and the girl really seemed to like me. "C’mon John," I thought, "now’s the time to amscra…." My thoughts soon turned to how my bladder was about to burst so I asked about and was directed to the nearest bathroom. When I returned I found, to my horror, John and the girl were engaged in a copulating act on the living room couch! I remember thinking, "Boy, that girl is being awfully loud for someone who was earlier concerned about her parents being upstairs." And John, giant John, well, he was just grunting and groaning there like a pig, causing the whole house to shake! "Well, now what do I do?" I wondered. I was pretty drunk and sleepy so I did what seemed most logical: I lay down and went to sleep.

The next thing I know I wake up and I have no idea where I am. It’s bright outside so it must be late in the morning. I can also hear birds chirping and an ice cream truck jingling around somewhere. And the sound of children playing outside. Children? Hmmmm, where could I be? I sit up and rub my eyes. I then notice the mammoth unconscious body of John lying next to me on the floor. He’s naked, too, except for cowboy boots, which he decided to leave on for some reason. Hmmm, still not sure where I am yet.

And then I look over at the couch. There’s a naked girl there, asleep ….. It’s the girl from the bar! Now it hits me and I remember where I am! But my introspection is short-lived because the stairs begin to creak. Oh My God ..... someone’s coming down the stairs!!!! I shake John awake and he stumbles to his feet—the poor boy has no idea where he is or what’s going on. 

Then the inevitable happens: the girl’s mom walks into the living room and sees her daughter lying naked on the couch. The mom looks confused. Then she sees me standing next to the couch. The mom’s still not sure what’s going on. Then she sees big naked John standing there (with his cowboy boots on). Now she’s really confused. The look on the mom’s face is indescribable. I can still see it since it is burned into my memory.

John and I are no fools so we say a quick "good morning" and get the hell out of there as fast as we can (John getting dressed as we scramble down the street). All I can think is that poor girl is gonna have some explaining to do!

We had no idea where we were. All we remembered was that the girl seemed to drive for quite a while after leaving the bar.  Since we didn’t have a dime to our names all we could do was walk until we hit Lake Michigan and then turn south. It took us a full day to reach Milwaukee, where we used our pre-bought return bus ticket to ride back to base. Just another weekend …..


Mr. A!!!!!!!

Hi Tuli,

I wonder if you remember me? I'm the one who Chief Whitsett said was never around: Lt. Paul Amala ???

I was RE division officer from spring 86 (westpac 86) until spring 88 (westpac 88).

And yes, I'm now a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Where have the years gone?

Paul Amala

P.S. When I get over my wave of nostalgia (I guarantee it isn't nausea) I'll try to come up with some good stories for your web site, too....

Mr. A!!!  Of course I remember you.  You were always good to me and I have many fond memories of you.  Great to hear from you again!!  


Another EM!

Hey, King Paul, I love the website. I will be passing the site on to some friends. Please add me to the contacts list.

Jason Sterlace
EE04 1995-1997, RT staff 1997-1999

That list of names is really bringing back some memories - the good, the bad, and the ugly!


Et Tu Brute?

Time to Move on to Page 14!  Click Here  


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Hubba!! Hubba!!

Help Support this site by buying an Official Mooj Minion T-Shirt!  I got about 20 of 'em left and they're yours for the asking.  No reasonable offer refused and I'll even give one to you for free if you promise to wear it once in a while.  I just want them out of here so I can use the cardboard box they're in for something else. 

Ram Tuli
8350 S. Kyrene Rd, Suite 102
Tempe, AZ 85284

To those of you who have bought a T-shirt already, thanks!