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Page 21 started August 26, 2003

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

A View From the Dirt Navy .....

Hi all,

After leaving the nuke navy in 1995 I eventually ended up in the reserves in of all places the seabees. It could not be any more different then the nuke field. The officers are competent (Disclaimer: I am talking about the reserves, I have little experience with the active duty seabees and will not comment on them), everyone knows and calls you by your first name (there are a few exceptions of course). It is a very relaxed and casual atmosphere. Don't get me wrong, when there is work going on it is a very professional environment. Many of us are journeymen or contractors in the real world. Maybe it's because you can't BS your way up the ranks. Out in the field it's very obvious who knows his sh*t and who doesn't. Rank doesn't mean squat either. One of my fire team leaders is a master plumber with 20 years experience. I outrank him, but who do you think gives orders on projects ? Every year we have a party called the seabee ball. Wives wear formal gowns and the bees wear their dress uniforms (about the only time). It is a very nice affair. When we drill as a battalion or on our two weeks, the chiefs run the beehive (beer blast). They and the officers frequently buy the beer.  I always wonder why the nuke navy was so damn rigid and uptight. You can get just as dead just as fast in the bees. I always thought respect was a two way street and that most people knew there is a time for work and a time to have fun and that life should be a balance of duty, family, and God. We teach this in the bees, work hard and play hard. I feel sorry for those guys sweating away at 0200 getting ready for the 39th zone inspection of the year , counting down his dtg while the shiny shoed topsiders are out partying............................My hats off to the guys out there today. Those of us who have been there and done that know who the heroes are.

BTW, the guys from my battalion who were mobilized returned from Iraq last week. You should have seen the party. I also learned I am going to spend my next "Two weeks" in PI!

...............................

Take care.......Joe Drees
4mmr 82-86
Just got my 1st class crow back, sure sucked being a 46 year old E-5 !

Extra, Extra .....

The latest Mooj Weekly Standard has just been posted.  But don't get excited; it's nothing but a feeble attempt on my part to get away with not having to write a newsletter this month while undergoing writer's block.  

KP    

Nuclear Navy vs. Real Navy ....

I would like to add a little to what Joe has said. I grew up around the Navy -- my father is a retired CT chief. Before I went in, I imagined the Navy would be the way it was when my father was in. We lived overseas a lot; my dad was always having his section over for dinner, barbecues, and always on holidays. They were a tight bunch of guys. I remember in our neighborhood, the families were always doing stuff together. About once a month, there would be a huge "block" party. Everyone in the neighborhood would bring food, beer, booze...guys would get out guitars...kids running everywhere. This was my impression of the Navy until I experienced the nuclear Navy. 

Anyhow, I have rambled long enough. Joe, it sounds like your Seabees are a lot like my dad's section -- they took care of each other and looked out for one another. They worked hard, but when it was time to relax they knew how to have fun. It was good to hear that there are still people around in the Navy that are like that.

Mike 

Togetherness, Big E Style

During my time on the Big E our division was pretty tight.  We did lots of stuff together.  It seemed like every few weeks someone had a party (and it was an RE tradition that the party would get really wild and something awful or short of tragic would happen).  Most of the senior guys in the division rented places out in Concord.  It was far enough away to forget the navy for a while (but close enough that you could get to work in less than an hour).  When we were nubs our daily wanderings usually took us out to Concord so we could "make the rounds" and freeload wherever possible.  We were welcome most places and wives didn't seem to mind us dropping in for dinner every so often as long as it wasn't a habit.  The 2plantlosers (RM22) were perhaps the tightest bunch of all and to this day they still hangout.  But then again, who else would hang out with them?

KP     

Different Navy ....

My step Dad (whom I lived with from age 7 on) spent 20 years in the Navy and retired as an AMH1. He used to say he didn't care about making chief 'cause it was lot more responsibility for a little more pay'. He spent some time in Guam and Japan before I knew him. By the time I met him he was stationed at VRC-40 at NAS Norfolk. They maintain the COD planes that bring mail and such to the carriers. I remember him having this shore duty job with that squadron for quite a few years where the routine seemed to be Monday through Friday 3 or 4 hour workdays and hardly ever a duty day. My point about him not being worried about making chief was to say that I think he just wanted to hang out with his Navy buds and have fun. I think he really enjoyed the camaraderie. Toward the end of his career he was assigned to several Spruance-class destroyers with the LAMPS helicopter crew. These were anti-submarine warfare-equipped helo's. When I was about 14 he took us on a dependant's day cruise on the Briscoe (DD-978 I think?).  This is what hooked me on the Navy. I thought it was really cool. I loved the ship. The seed was planted. By the time I got to my senior year in high school I applied and was accepted for a Navy ROTC scholarship. Why I didn't end up taking the officer route has to do with my Dad, but that's another story. I had a friend who told me that the enlisted nuke thing was the next-best thing to college for those like me who had trouble putting the money together or getting support from mom and dad or whatever. For me it was solely an issue of money. I had the grades and a 1290 SAT score. Anyway, needless to say the Navy I experienced was way more uptight than the impression I got from seeing my Dad's career. I knew in the nuclear world I would never get an extended period of shore duty like he did. I'm glad I did the Navy nuke thing, but to this day my Dad and I hardly ever talk about the Navy because we don't seem to have anything in common. I think he had more fun than I had, but I did what I had to do. I know that he knows I made a smarter choice as far as having something in the Navy that would translate to a good-paying job on the outside.

Joe B

Moons Over Olongapo ...

K.P. 

Here's the famous "Moons Over Olongapo" picture taken at a short timers party at Mom's Club on Rizal Ave around June 30 1978. Since a sh*t load of us all got on the Enterprise at the same time, stands to reason that a sh*t load of us got off at the same time too. Must have been 30 or so nukes from 7401 and the 2 classes on either side of it honored at this party. It was a great party! We rented both floors of Mom's Supper Club. There was plenty of good food including a couple of whole roasted pigs, and , of course, plenty to drink. We had some family type entertainment including acrobats and a group that performed the traditional Philippine folk dance, the tinikling, done between two sticks that keep banging together. Of course, some of us drunken squids had to try this and got some seriously banged up ankles. Later we had more adult entertainment including Peso snatchers and banana cutters. The rule in Olongapo at the time was that if you held a private party in one of the clubs, you had to provide your own Shore Patrol at the door. We chose a Hells Angels' prospect named Clyde from the AMRs. Clyde was already on restriction for some previous mayhem, but he was our doorman that night. At one point some chowdale tried to crash the party. Clyde picked him over his head, and threw him down the entire stairs. Armed Forces Police were summoned. They just laughed that anybody would be so stupid as to have Clyde as a Shore Patrol!

This picture was taken just before or just after a beer chugging contest. Since a number of clowns from 1MMR were in the contest, it was no doubt called something pretentious like "World Championship San Miguel Beer Chugging Contest." After this picture was taken and the photographer came back with the print everybody wanted a copy. I think we ordered something like 50 copies. I bet there are still a lot of copies left, stuffed in storage boxes in garages across the nation.

The Players : 
Front row, sitting on the floor : Gerry Vogt. 1Plant RM. He organized the whole party. Bet he never organized one like that again!

Moons in the background (From left to right) 
1) Benton. Non nuke from 1MMR. Evidently he went on to make some proctologist a very rich man. 
2) Unknown. Anybody out there recognize this butt? 
3) PP. Typical PP. Has to mug for the camera. Can't just pull his pants down and bend over like the rest of us. (Note patented ear to ear shit-eating grin)
4) Lou Sweeny. (AKA Loose Weenie) LPO for 1MMR. 
5) Me, Willy; Nicest butt in the line-up. 

Steve "Willy" Wilson 4MMR and Pat "PP" O'Neill 1MMR as advisor .

Quiz Time!

We haven't had a quiz in a while.  This one is easy so the first correct answer gets a beer (I'll send you the $1.50 to get a draft at your local watering hole).  What was in Mojo?  Since most of you at one time owned one of those Olongapo made-from-a-sack pullover shirts with the recipe on it, this should be easy.  Or maybe not.  

KP 

Quiz Winnah!

"MOJO"

How about this combination?

I remember sitting on many a bar stool and drinking this concoction. Suddenly, my legs fell off. Thankfully there was Mama-San to put me back on the stool.

Ingredients:
1 qt Light rum
1 qt Dark rum 
1 pt Cherry brandy 
6 cans San Miguel beer 
5 cans 7-Up 
4 qt Pineapple juice 
2+ bags Ice 

Mixing instructions: Mix all ingredients in large container. Keep stirred. Failure to stir will cause pineapple juice to solidify and settle, turning brown in the process.

Mark B.

There might be slight variations from bar to bar but most of this sounds familiar.  I think I'll make some Mojo tonight and have a drink.  Will anyone join me?  (Although, where the hell can one get San Miguel beer in Phoenix?)

KP

Powerful Stuff, Indeed!

Man, that Mojo sounds like potent stuff! How did you guys survive liberty in the Philippines? What does that stuff taste like? 

They sell San Miguel here in Los Angeles -- expensive, though. When I was a kid growing up on Guam there was a San Miguel brewery right down the road from us. I'll send you some if you have to have it for your Mojo. 

Mike 

Thanks Mike!  I'll let ya know.  Sadly, you Ike guys never got to pull into Subic.  One night in Olongapo would be all you would have needed to know how powerful that Mojo was.  It was so deceiving since it didn't taste like it had hardly any alcohol in it.  But, boy, would it kick yer azz!  It would just hit you like a ton of bricks--Bam--then you were down for the count. 

KP

San Miguel!

Found a place where you can order San Miguel beer and have it imported...

 http://shop.store.yahoo.com/beergeek/oteube.html

... thought anybody out there may want to see it. 

The only thing I can remember from Olongapo is getting that lovely, fantastic cruise jacket for 89-90 for 12 bucks, with the zipper on the wrong side. Also the guys playing Frogger out in the middle of Magsaysay and the Peso shows (I think I may still have those pesos I got back from that girl, I hope I washed them).......and of course the Sierra Club, with those guys on stage trying to scream out those classic rock tunes at the top of their lungs. And don't forget about those great brown-outs, especially when something good was going to happen, and you missed it 'cause it was too dark and you were too drunk to remember.

2-wire

Okay fellahs, I'll have no problem getting San Miguel.  This can mean only one thing ..... The First Annual KP Mojo Fest/BBQ!  It might be too late in the summer this year so I guess I'll have to schedule it for next summer.  Make your plans now!  We can have it here in Phoenix or up in Vegas.  Let me know where and when.  

KP

From The Memory Files ......

I was going through my navy pile and ran across these antique items. The book, of course, is from my boot camp. Looking through it brings back a flood of memories. Our company commander was the biggest asshole ever to wear a uniform. He was drunk most of the time. He did not want to be there and we all paid for it! That was the first time I had ever really been away from home and it scared me half to death. The second picture is 2 very squared away sailors from 3 plant in Hong Kong, circa 1967, or so.

That’s Jim Hanson on the left and Ray Henderson on the right.---Ray Henderson

San Magoo ....

Ram, 

I'm not sure you have Trader Joe's in Phoenix, but that's where I can always find an affordable supply in the Bay Area. Of course it's not in the painted bottles, and when consumed by its self it ain't quite like most of us remember from the P.I. but as a mojo ingredient : no problemo.

Pat

Thanks Pat.  You know the funny thing about San Miguel?  I haven't had it in over 15 yrs and now I'm thirsting for it.  Back in the old days one would never consume San Miguel while back in the States.  It didn't taste right.  Plus, compared to all the other beers out there, why drink a San Miguel when you didn't have to?  I recall in PI you could drink two different bottles of SM and they would taste different.  Plus, one bottle could be zero proof and the next could be 100 proof.  There didn't seem to be any consistency.  Plus, since they used formaldehyde as a preservative, each bottle you drank would make you thirstier.  After six or seven beers you'd either have to satisfy your thirst with some ice-cold mojo or walk back to the base and drink water from the bubbler at the bowling alley near the main gate.  (Or down a few American beers at the bowling alley bar.)  I'll let you guys know how good the SM I drink is.  A million memories will probably come to mind upon my first sip. 

KP 

Operation Sea Orbit/First Nuclear Task Force in Combat Medallions ....

These medallions were offered to the Officers and Enlisted Men of the Enterprise CVA(N)65. I do not know if such medallions were offered to Long Beach and Bainbridge for both and Barry and Roberts for the 1st Nuclear Task Group in Combat.  

Rich Allen

Enterprise Standards

May - June 1963

As anyone who would read this knows, Enterprise started its at sea life with a short "Maiden Voyage" to the Garden Capital of the world, the Mediterranean. I was not aboard so I am not sure what ports she hit other than Cannes and Naples. I reported aboard in May of "63", where I quickly became enamored of Cannes, France. Those were the days when the French were screwing us but either we liked it or we just needed friends. The cruiser Little Rock was just up the road as station ship with the Flag onboard. I guess we didn't want to make waves and neither did the French.

So the "Big E" had made that short cruise and then another that lasted for six months. When I got there she was about halfway through her third cruise. In those days one reported aboard, was assigned to his division, and sent to "X" div. for a week's worth of indoctrination. During that wonderful week we all were restricted from liberty, which as I learned later was more a Godsend than a punishment. The port was the island of Corfu, Greece. This was not the garden spot of Greece and entirely too small for the thousands that assailed her shores and town.

In those days sailors were a bit more guttural in nature. There were those who played as hard as they worked.  Some of their play resulting in wild forays into the land of booze, debauching, and the ever present fisticuffs. As you well know this is much frowned on in today's Navy. Believe it or not, it was frowned on in my Navy of over forty years ago. I enlisted in "60" and Ran away in "80".

Well, here's a crew with the Air Wing that numbered somewhere in the range of 5600 plus. That put two-thirds of the crew on liberty each day when in port. Three section and Cinderella liberty. After Corfu came Cannes, if my memory is holding up, and for about 7 - 8 days two-thirds of the crew hit the beach to fun and frolic on the French Riviera. When the ship pulled out it was customary for the C.O. to come on the bitch box and remind the crew of there indiscretions while they were in port. So many sailors brought back drunk, so many UA, so many brought back for fighting, and any other infractions you can think of.

Well, this getting underway was no different. The Capt. came across the 1 MC and related to the Officers and Crew that there had been no incidents during the in port stay at Cannes and how deeply appreciative he felt toward the crew. But it was his last statement that seemed to throw confusion to most of the crew:

"Although we have gotten through this import period with no incidents or trouble, we must continue to bring the crew up to Enterprise standards," or words to that effect (for legal purposes).

It is forty years since that trip into Cannes and I, and others of that time, are still trying to figure out just how much better we could have been and would we have ever reached "Enterprise Standards." At least the Captain had a plan.

Richard Allen
May 63 - Oct. 67

Ben Nundy Comes Aboard .....

King Paul you have an excellent site. My name is Ben Nundy and I worked in 1mmr (em11 I think) from 1996 to 2000.  My email is 

bnundy@tampabay.rr.com

Leonardo Rodriguez Comes Aboard ....

RODRIGUEZ, LEONARDO, EM14 "HOT ROD," 1999-2003

LEONARDO_78@MSN.COM

Seth Fogie Comes Aboard ....

Hey there...

Got one more for ya...ME!

1MMR 1994-1998. Served from 1992-1998. MM2 Fogie.

enterpriseguy@fogieonline.com

Thanks!

Quality Control in the PI ....

KP ,

You hit the mark on the issue of 2 consecutive San Miguels being totally different in both taste and alcohol content. We used to think this was the cause of steaming hard all night one day and hardly getting a buzz, yet the next night you were blasted by 9 PM for no apparent reason.

The quality control issue I most remember in the P.I. was the matches. In the 70's everyone I knew lost their lighter within an hour of crossing the river. I heard stories of guys loosing their lighter and the next day finding it in some little shop and buying it back. Most guys resorted to buying the little stick matches from cigarette stands along the street. It was funny to watch a guy try about 5 matches all of which would fizzle out before they could get their cigarette lit. On the sixth match they would get real close to get a quick light, and Wham! All the stuff that should have been in the previous 5 matches was concentrated in this one match and went off all at once, right in the guy's face. Those of us who didn't smoke had loads of fun with this.

Catsup was good for a laugh too. If you went to one of the local restaurants there was always a bottle of catsup on the table. Even had a Del Monte label on it, though it had nothing to do with the real company. You soon learned pour carefully. This catsup was made from bananas and red dye. It had a viscosity only slightly higher than water. It was always fun to watch the new guys pour a half a bottle on their omelets before they noticed!

PP

And what about those knock-off cigarettes they used to sell in PI?  They were in Marboro boxes but they sure as hell weren't real Marboros.  A pack of genuine US cigarettes was worth quite a lot in PI--as well as most places we hit.  I recall guys lining up at the aft tobacco shop to buy $10 cartons of cigarettes for trading before most overseas port calls. The Big E Zippo lighter was also worth quite a bit.  I'm ashamed to say this but I think I traded my Big E lighter for something, well, you know, illicit once.  Or maybe it was some other guy who looked like me.  I can't remember much anymore.

KP

Zippos ...

I think ship's Zippos are accepted currency wherever Navy ships go. I used to stock up on them before heading out on liberty. I think some kid in Turkey tried to trade his sister for one. 

Speaking of quality control (this has nothing to do with the Philippines)...some friends of mine were down in Mexico partying. They had a case of Coronas and were hanging out on the beach. My friend finished his beer and there was a lime at the bottom of the bottle. That wouldn't have been so strange except that they didn't have any limes. 

Mike 

Beer and Rhodes, Greece .....

Although one would think that a Med Deployment would put a sailor in a port where you could get good beer, sadly this was not the case. I pray to God that I never see the word Peroni on a bottle again. This is an Italian beer found throughout the Mediterranean that was the equivalent of rat's piss.  Yes, you could get imports (Bud, Michelob, etc.) but they came at the hefty price of a pounding formaldehyde headache that cost you years of life. There were others that were not so bad. I used to comb the streets looking for a Kronenburg. Not because it was a great beer but because it was tolerable at best.

We used to also make it a hobby to steal mugs from the different street bars we drank at. I still have my collection. I believe this was the beginning of my running as a hobby. We used to finish our beers and then haul ass down the street with the mugs. In particular was the port of Rhodes, Greece.  In what was known as "Old Town" (a town inside castle walls) they served beer in large glasses the shape of boots. They were huge and could hold about a six pack. Unfortunately, they were hard to steal because the locals guarded them well. Seems like I was told that they were handmade at some local factory and were expensive to purchase.

Rhodes was also a great place for trading. The Big E lighter was like walking around with a $50 bill in your pocket. Also, Timex watches were very popular. I had an old Timex Ironman watch that was around 12 years old. I had never changed the battery so when you pressed the light button the numbers on the LCD would disappear. I had also broken the band so I had stapled it back together and wrapped it with masking tape. One evening we were going out to eat and the cook at a pizzeria came out and offered me $25 for the watch. Since I could buy a new one in the ship's store for less I sold it to him. He was so happy and I was more than a little confused. As we sat down for dinner we placed an order for a pizza. When it came out the same cook brought it to us and said that it was no charge. He was still so damn happy to have that piece of shit watch.

Unfortunately, for all Rhodes beautiful scenery the people were absolute asses. A lot of sailors got jumped in the streets and every drunken adventure into town ended in fighting your way back to the ship. I remember standing at a pay phone in the middle of a public plaza talking to my wife.  You had to purchase a local calling card but once you connected to AT&T the time on the card stop counting down. The lady behind me could not understand why this was and she started screaming at me. She kept saying, "This is a public phone, not for private use!" I was baffled and just ignored here until she started hitting me with her handbag. She also started yelling at the guy beside me but since his wife just told him she was sleeping with his best friend he was far less "understanding" than I was and pushed her to the ground. This was on the first night and the experiences just went down from there. Maybe this was the catalyst that resulted in the highest number of arrests I had seen in two deployments. 

Jason Moody

PI memories ... revisited (isn't that sorta redundant??)

KP- I still have my matches AND Big "E" zippo, and partook of every "illicit" thing there was to be had (almost, anyways...) I guess some folks are better traders than others ;)

I have an old friend and shipmate that I haven't seen in 20 years coming to visit this weekend... this old friend has plenty of old pictures and memories with him. He is even going to let me borrow his Cruise Book from the 82-83 cruise!! I'm shopping for a scanner right now to burn a copy of the "good" parts...

I'll probably get reminded of plenty of incidents which I'll write up for the site. Get ready for a another round of tales...

Arrgh! 

Beer In France ....

I do recall one thing about the beer in Toulon: it was awful!  It was always warm and tasted like crap.  We finally had to pony up and buy familiar but expensive brands like Carlsburg or Heineken.  Of course that ate into your Franks rather quickly so you had to switch back to the local crap once you had a good buzz going.  

I have one awful memory that lingers yet in my taste buds.   One afternoon Dicko, Guido, Lance Winters and I were wandering about the streets of Toulon in search of food.  We saw a sweet shop and bought some large pieces of chocolate cake there.  We were hungry and this was the only "food" place that was open.  (Remember how all the restaurants didn't open until 9:00 p.m.?)  Since we needed something to wash down the cake with (milk would have been nice) we bought some beer.  It was all they had.  It was warm and, well, you can imagine .... warm beer and thick chocolate cake.  I still have that awful taste in my mouth till this day!  

Now as far as beer goes, the best place of all, without a doubt, was Australia!  Man, those liter-sized Fosters and Emus tasted better than anything.  I still drink Fosters now and then just to relieve that wonderful memory.  I have yet to find Emu beer anywhere, though.  But forget about all them wimpy beers--I JUST WANT MY YUENGLING!!!!!!  WHY THE F**K CAN'T I FIND YUENGLING ANYWHERE OUTSIDE PENNSYLVANIA AND MARYLAND!!!!!!!  

KP

Got Zippo ?

I have no idea where my old Big E Zippo is.  I'll trade a genuine Mooj T-shirt to any current Big E snipe or tweeker that swings by the ship's store and picks me up one.  I'll use it proudly to light my fine Cuban cigars ;)

KP  

And While You're At the Ship's Store .....

Does the Navy still issue the utility caps they had with the Seafarer and utility working uniforms? I always liked those hats, actually. If they still have them, and some sailor happens to want to send me one, I'll definitely make it worth your while! As long as they are the single size type, not those cheezy "one size fits all" things with the plastic snap thingy in the back! I  hate those things, and won't wear a hat with them in it. I wear size 7 1/2, just in case.

Arrgh!

Actually Arrgh! I don't think they make those type anymore.  When I reported aboard in 1986 they gave me one of those one-size-fits-all ball caps.  I recall Gerry Wheeler being enraged one morning when his "fitted" ball cap was swiped off his rack.  He ranted and raved for what seemed like forever that he had one of the last "good" caps and now some SOB snatched it.  Whoever swiped it didn't have the balls to wear it at muster.  Believe me, Wheeler was checking everyone's cap that day!  I forget who took it but it wasn't me.  Honest!

KP

Bartering ....

Reading all these posts about "bartering" overseas brought back a couple more memories. The pig known as "Ike" had pulled into Antalya, Turkey. A few of us nucs had been on an all day sight seeing tour, and when we got back we were looking for a place to have a few beers and some food. We end up at this place that is pretty happening -- music, lots of people, etc. Anyhow, I had a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses with me and I had set them on the table. The waiter sees them and says, "Hey -- Tom Cruise sunglasses!" He wants me to give them to him and I tell him no. Then he asks if he can wear them, so I said "ok." So this waiter has my sunglasses and for the next half hour or so he is happy as can be. He is showing all of his friends, and having a blast.  After awhile I notice that I had not seen this waiter for quite some time. I happened to look towards the door just as our friend is putting on his back pack and heading out into the street. I go after him and I say, "Hey, Tom Cruise! Where are you going?" He looks at me and says "Oh, yeah...I forgot to give these back to you!!" And reaches into his back pack and pulls out my glasses. 

I don't know if you guys ever got to pull into Haifa, Israel...but we met a lot of cool people there. There was this one little bar that we used to hang out at that served these huge draft beers. A couple of us RM types had been to the beach all day and were at this bar having a couple of cold ones. The bartender has some American rock and roll music he is playing and we start talking to him about it. Since we had been at the beach, we had our walkmans and our back packs were stuffed with cassette tapes. When the bartender saw this, his eyes lit up! He offered to trade us two big beers for every cassette tape we let him have. Shit, this was a pretty good deal. We lined our tapes up on the bar, the bartender would look through them and pick one he wanted and then 2 huge mugs of beer would be brought to us. Needless to say, we were pretty drunk when we left. We ended up returning a couple more times and getting the same deal. 

Mike 

Bartering, Mombassa Style And Bringing it All Back Home ...

The old salts knew better so we first timers did what they did prior to our in port visit to Mombassa: we hid our boondockers.  On the beach genuine navy boondockers were worth their weight in just about anything.  On the liberty boat ride over, there were more than a few suspicious looking squids holding a bagful of boondockers.  I remember trading my cheap Timex watch for some hand carved animals.  My pal "Q" traded his Levis for a carved chess set.

I may or may not have mentioned this before.  I was once told that back when the Big E pulled into Mombassa in the early 80s (83 westpac?) some squid came back to the ship with a baby Giraffe.  He was drunk as all can be and actually thought he was going to be able to take his "pal" home with him.  He supposedly traded something valuable for it.  Do any of you early 80s guys recall hearing this tale?  I heard it from more than one person so I suspect that it is true.

Also, on a related topic, back in the old days I remember hearing that they used to let you take back large or exotic stuff on the way home, like cars or furniture.  I remember guys saying the aft part of the hangar bay was filled with these large items.  Is that true?  I also remember gun collectors getting chits to bring aboard rare rifles and knives.  I think the MAA would keep them for them until we got back to Alameda.  People that collected rifles could find nice old WWII carbines and M1 Garands for next to nothing in the PI.  

What was the largest (or strangest) thing you brought back from a cruise?

KP  

Another Question to the "OLD TIMERS"

Hey, did you guys ever have a "swim call," you know, where they actually anchored some place and let you jump off the ship into the ocean?  All the old salts used to say that they had swim calls all the time.  They also said that there was a marine stationed in a boat near where everyone was swimming.  He had a rifle that was used for sharks.  The old salts said that the marine wouldn't shoot the shark, he'd shoot one of the swimmers so the shark (attracted by blood) would go after him, giving the others time to get out of the water.  I have to know .... was this true?  

KP 

Larry Skidmore Comes Aboard ....

Just another RM22 ex-convict checking in...

Larry Skidmore
1995-1999
skid4@direcway.com

Mel Craig Checks in ....

Please add me to the list, Mel Craig, RM-14, 1981-1983

MCraig2441@aol.com

Italian Memories ....

KP,

A couple of things I remember from Italy:

One was Craig N. getting lectured by a waiter at a cafe in Rome. Here we are strolling down the street and pass an outdoor cafe with a cop sitting out there talking to the waiter. He points at Craig and starts jabbering in Italian, of course. Craig and I are confused as hell so the waiter, in broken English, tells Craig that the shirt he's wearing, actually a soccer jersey he bought in Naples or Sorrento, was from a rival team to Rome and that people will be very upset and "hurt you." Assuming it was true, Craig donned his sweatshirt, just in case.

The other was "Doc," who was a ex-tuber EM that transferred to the pig after a kidney stone or something. He was determined to bring some Italian wine home. Of course, this meant smuggling the goods on board. As you may recall the MAA searched about 1 in 10 guys coming back on board. After sufficient liquid courage, Doc and I hit the liberty boat and he stuck the bottle down the front of his pants. We got back on board and since the boat ride was long, we went to the head. I'm relieving myself when I hear Doc, "zzziiiippp, CRASH!" and suddenly my foot is wet. He somehow forgot about the wine and it busted on the floor. I think he made another, successful, run the next day.

By the way, set the date for the mojo party and I'll make plans to be there!

Rob

Swim Call ....

In my time from '67 to '73, I never saw anyone hit the water, anytime anywhere out of sight of shore. Old sea story. But I can relate a story from my dad who was in the Navy twice, the first time from 1916- 1918 on the USS Cleveland, and from 1919-1923 on the USS Bushnell. He related to me that upon crossing the Equator, there were SERIOUS consequences for (polliwogs) true assholes. If there is anyone out there who does not understand the term "Keelhaul" it was real and true. There is no man alive who survived keelhauling and did not radically change his outlook on life and his shipmates. This practice related to O's and E's alike.  Ships were like independent countries and Ship Captains were like kings. While this might not sit well with the Liberals out there, it certainly took care of the day-to-day discipline problems. Sometimes I think we've lost sight of what our Military is there for (sorry for ending a sentence in a preposition, but just closing the loop on those pesky Liberals). Not that I'm partisan or anything...

Dale Keys

Ouch!  And I thought getting whacked with a fire hose was bad. 

KP 

The Hippo Went Swimming ....

I was sent out on the USS Estes (LCC) before NPS at Mare Island. Old liberty ship,15 knots top speed, no watertight doors. We had movies shown on the gun turret and swim calls. Threw the rope nets over the side, marine in boat and two cans of Bud after. The one that sticks in my mind is we stopped over the Marianas (sp?) Trench. At that time the deepest known in the ocean. It was claustrophobic to surface dive there. You were reduced to a "mote in Gods eye".....even the hippo couldn't touch bottom.....

Hippo

Yuengling .....

forgot where you lived but noticed that you wanted Yuengling beer.  I know we can get it here in So Cal but at great expense since it is not actually distributed out here. Seems the guy drives out to PA every now and then and brings back huge amounts of it. Anyway, Philly's Best in so cal has it.  I found the black and tan at the one in Fountain Valley, man that stuff is good.

Paul K.

Road trip time! I swear to God I will drive out there and fill up the back of my mini van.  But, alas, I know it will go bad before I can drink it all.  When we drove west from Maryland I brought a few cases to tide me over.  Since I was being frugal most of the second case wasn't any good by the time I got to it.  The stuff has a very short shelf life (thus, why they won't sell it more than 100 miles from the brewery in Pottstown, PA).  When I first got to Phoenix I spent the better part of a month trying to locate the stuff.  I called every beer distributor in the state and got the same answer, "You wouldn't believe how often we are asked about Yuengling!  But sorry, we ain't got it...."  Then I thought I hit pay dirt.  A fancy, big dollar, specialty store said they could get it.  I ordered a case and waited in eager anticipation for them to call me to tell me that it was in.  I was going to give it to my wife for a birthday present (ain't I nice guy?).  The call came on the day before her birthday and I drove out to the place (far I should add) and the guy brings out this case of Yinjing--the National beer of China!  I almost crapped and cried at the same time.  It has now been 20 months and I still haven't found Yuengling anywhere in Arizona.  I am paying a hefty "smuggling via the mail" price to have it sent to me every few months from a "contact" in Philly.  The sad truth is, my brothers, I don't think I can live without my Yuengling Lager much longer.  Oh the humanity of it all!

KP  

A Source For Old Utility Hats ....

This place has TONS of old uniform stuff. Within the last year they have had the old ute hats.

http://www.colbubbie.com/

Fun place to visit, my first time there they had a mercury space capsule for sale. 

CG

Our House ....

Seeing ol' Mel's name added to the great KP site has done my heart good, and reminded me of some of the finer moments from our house in Hayward...

In '83 after the Big "E" returned from Westpac, some of us squidly types with a great desire to live as normal men, rented a house in Hayward. It was a 4 bedroom house, which was needed because it took all 4 of us to be able to afford it. Let me tell you, it was a nasty, roach infested dump! And that was BEFORE we moved in!

Mel will have to reply and remind me of the 4th guy's name, because I can't recall. There was me, Mel, Paul O'Shaughnessy and somebody else. The house was on Meekland Avenue. When we moved in, there were MANY roaches living there, too.  We bombed the house about once a week to keep their numbers in check, but to no avail. The first time we used like 6 bombs, including 2 under the house. When I swept them up after we got home from the ship they wouldn't all fit in 1 dust pan load! And some live ones were dragging the dead ones off for supper! Before we moved out I developed an effective way of killing them. If you sprayed them with Raid or any other otc stuff, they just laughed at you. So one night, I toasted one with a can of Lysol and my cigarette lighter. He rolled over and bit the big one immediately! By the time we moved out, there were strange black swirl marks all over the walls. I'm sure the owners were scratching their heads over that one!

The front yard was about 30 feet by 6 feet, and there was nothing but weeds. The owner promised to get it tilled up and plant grass if we would take care of it. We started watering the yard every day to soften up the ground in expectation of that grass.  He never came with the roto-tiller, but I can tell you man, we had some ENORMOUS weeds! There were some so tall that they were bigger than shrubs, and actually got flowers on them! I think the weeds were 2 feet high when we left. Call it doing our part for "land reclamation."

We had quite a few long intoxicated evenings, and one of our favorite activities involved Mel's stereo that he bought with his Star Baby money... Here comes a confession, Mel...

Mel bought a great Aiwa stereo, and it was one of the first that we had ever seen with a remote control and all of those cool LED volume and level indicators. Mel didn't want us to mess with his stuff, and we really didn't (much). We did like to stand over in the hallway by his room, 5 or 6 of us, after a long evening of partying, and turn Mel's stereo on with the remote. All of those cool lights coming on at once, man... that was really livin, eh Mel? I'm sure that was Paul's favorite activity when you weren't home. Simple things for simple minds, eh? Well, we spent a lot of time getting "simple," if you know what I mean! But we only turned it on for a few seconds to see the lights, then we left it alone.

Mel, I wish you could have seen the place after everyone left. I got to clean up the house after everybody else went to sea, but hey, I was a FREE ARRGH!!!! The floor felt like someone had spilled glue everywhere, and for some reason, the house smelled sorta like beer. Our entire countertop was covered with empty liquor bottles from the 3 day "Arrgh! Gets out of the Navy Halloween Costume Ball and Extravaganza." C'mon, Mel, I know you must remember some of that, anyway!

Mel, if you have any pictures, please scan 'em in for me, and if you don't want to post them, I'd really like to get a copy for myself, if you don't mind. I'll share what I have, too.

Arrgh!

Stan Bodenstein Comes Aboard ...

Yo!

Bodenstein, Stan - RM, 1 Plant, 1967 - 1971,

sbodenstein@hubwest.com

Where is Wilber?

Stan

A Job in Your Future?

Good afternoon! I was exploring the internet and came across your website today. I think it's a wonderful idea to have Ex-Navy Nukes stay in contact with each other via a website. I also like the idea because I am a recruiter for Entergy Corporation, headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana and currently looking for Nuclear Plant Operators. It is no secret that Ex Navy Nukes are perfect for these positions and are very much desired by our hiring managers. If you would be interested, I would love to consider you. Please submit your resume to me via email (slambe1@entergy.com) as well as sending my name, phone number and email address to anyone you know that has Navy Nuke experience.

Entergy is the 3rd largest power generator in the country with over 15k employees, 11 billion in revenue and over 22 billion in assets. Entergy is a fantastic company to work for, with excellent benefits. We want the best. Can you help me out with this? Any suggestions would be appreciated (prospective candidates, contacts, links, schools, etc...)?

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Thanks, 
Sandy Lambert 
System Staffing - Recruiter 
slambe1@entergy.com 
www.entergy.com

504-576-6408

Obviously this lady didn't read any of the stories ;) 

KP

Mike Bowman Gets Short!!!!

I get out in 147 days....cant wait.....I am at SIMA Norfolk right now. Been here for a year....Stohl and Astelford came out for a while last month....Had a blast. Still looking for Larson and Madajewski....If you here from them Please let me know....Later Ram....

Mikey Bowman

Wow, what will the navy do without you? I guess that most of the guys from "our generation" are now getting ready to retire or have already retired.  Are you gonna come West for the first annual KP Mojo fest/BBQ next summer?   

KP

More on Beer ....

K.P.

Since we seem to have stumbled upon the subject of beer, here's a few items : 

In Saratoga Springs, my roommates and I drank a lot of Genesse Ale. Even though this wasn't anything close to a premium beer, I remember this brew fondly. May have to attempt the purchase of a six pack or so for nostalgia's sake. (Hope this doesn't blow up in my face like your quest for Yuengling.) We also had some really powerful stuff called Maximus Super. We were first attracted to it because of their ads featuring scantily clad women with cleavage you could have gotten lost in. This stuff tasted like a boilermaker. It had the same kick too. And don't ever attempt to drink this stuff at anything above 35 degrees! It was similar to swallowing molten glass.

In Mombassa, just about all they had was Tusker Lager. One of the worst beers I've tried in my life! First of all, it was served at or near room temperature. (Which if you remember was about 110 degrees in Kenya) And 2 bottles would give me a raging headache for about 2 days! My group dealt with this by getting multiple headaches. (Can't keep a bunch of good steamers down.) We finally found a place with ice cold beer on our LAST F**KING DAY!!

In Hobart we drank a lot of Cascade. Good beer. Good people to drink it with. It was pretty powerful beer, and we had just been at sea for 45 days, so it knocked most of us on our butts. We did impress a lot of Aussies with our tenacity however. The Cascade brewery even made a special label commemorating the visit of the Enterprise.

In Singapore it was Anchor beer. Not really memorable as either good or bad. 

In Tijuana, I bought food from every roadside stand in sight. Massive consumption of Dos Equis kept me from ever getting sick from this.

In Hong Kong we steamed mostly at some Aussie bars in Kowloon. Drank a lot of Fosters and "Watney's Red Barrel" there. Still have the occasional "oil can" of Fosters.

My fondness for San McGoo will always be there. It's not so much that it was a superior beer, but the surroundings and camaraderie in which we drank it will always be in the memories of all of us old "Olongapo Commandos." Oh, great. Now I'm thirsty! 

PP

Big E As A Cargo Ship ....

KP,

It used to be the practice to allow the crew to bring back large items from overseas when the ship left for home. On the '74-75 and '76-77 cruises we always had tons of stuff being brought back. I don't recall any cars, though. The practice was that you could buy whatever you wanted to bring back, such as furniture, stereos, etc., and have it on the pier on a specific day before departure for the States. We would unload one of the magazines, and the stuff would be stored in there. You got a receipt for your stuff, but that was no guarantee it would be there when we docked in Alameda.  You put it there at your own risk. I remember one or two really nice stereos that disappeared, much to the consternation of the owners. By and large, though, it worked.

You could also purchase motorcycles through the Navy Exchange System and bring them back crated. A gallon of booze could be purchased tax free, and you picked it up on arrival at Alameda. A lively exchange rate would take place between the non-drinkers (amazingly there were some) and the boozers over how many duty days a gallon of booze was worth. I think one duty day in the States per gallon was the going rate. I recall owing some three or four such days (paid on demand) due to my fondness for Mr. Jack Daniel's elixir of life and nectar of the gods.

I seem to remember one swim call in the Indian Ocean on one or the other of those cruises, but I wouldn't swear to it. I could check my cruise books next time I get to my Mom's.

We did have some avid fishermen that would fish from #3 aircraft elevator when we anchored out, like at Mombasa. The elevator would be lowered, and these guys would sit out there in office chairs, kicked back and waiting for something to come along. If you were friendly with the cooks, whatever you caught could be fixed up for you. Seems one guy caught a really nice snapper in the 30-40 pound range once. The story was that one of the ship's boats had to come round and land it for him as there was no way he was going to haul it up to the elevator with his pole.

Simpler times, and a Navy that hadn't yet forgotten how to have fun.

Gene K

Swim Call ..... ?

From May of 1963 to October 1967 I don't recall any "Swim Call" piped from the Great Ship. When we made the transit from East to West Coast there was many an hour spent at "Beer Beach" in Subic Bay. And yes, at "Grande Island" also, soaking up the rays, waves, and the suds. Water waves, that is.

Richard Allen

Dan Branch Comes Aboard ....

Dan Branch

I was Aft RM Divo from '99 to '01.

dan_branch@hotmail.com

Thanks,
Dan

Missing ?

I'm not sure why (actually I know); but my earthlink mailbox was filled up last week and stuff being sent to me was returned.  If you sent in something last week and it isn't here, please resend it.  Don't think I'm ignoring you ;)

KP

Bumpin' Into Bongo Bill ....

well there i waz ...
hunched over my rig setting up to run a leak rate on the feedwater penetrations when i hear someone hollering ...
my partner Lightnin' Len taps me on the shoulder and  points to a guy standing up on the grating who is trying to get my attention.  so i cups me ear and can just hear him above the noise ...
"hey ...", says he, "where'd you get that t-shirt?"
hmmmm .... seems he had been drifting by and spotted the back of my Mooj Minion T-shirt ....
and now he is wantin' to know something about it. looks like he is with ops ... geez ... maybe he saw that Mooj pic and minion thang on the back and has called security to come snag me and throw me off site. or worse. live ammo AR-15 totin' dudes these daze.

so i climbs on down and eases on over to where we can sorta, semi-hear each other and he repeats the question ...
"where'd ya get that shirt?"
"from Da Mooj, a friend to all mankind." sayz i.
about then ... now that i'm a bit closer, he sees my hard hat and my name on the front and asks,
"holy crap! are you steamer?!?!?!?!"
"the one and only", i reply.
he just looks at me for a minute and then informs me that he's a member of King Paul's decadent group as well ...
goes by the handle of Bongo Bill ...
hey ... we're all smiles now ... shake hands and talk a bit ...
well ... more like scream at each other over the two foot space between us to be heard.

i love this kind of thing. 
way cool.
makin' real world connections.

so i know his handle ...
found a great story he wrote on page four of the RX site ...

"Hong Kong-Subic Express"

go read 'er lads ...
a mighty fine tale.

so i gots me a new friend ...
even tho i don't yet know for sure who he is here.
but you can bet i'll track him down when i get a chance and swap a few more lies. 
or a pitcher of Mojo or two for olde time's sake.

hehehe ... 
ain't life a trip? ;)

-steamer-

And Bongo Bill Bumps into Steamer!

So there I was taking a break from the control room during a refueling outage today when I come across a guy wearing a Mooj.com Tshirt. "Hey!" I yelled. "Where'd you get that t shirt from? I got one just like it." This guy turns around and his hardhat says Steinsma on it. Huh? I know that name. "Are you Steamer?" Sure enough it was. We talked for a few minutes before I had to get back. Hope to run into him again soon .... hopefully where it's quieter.

Bongo Bill

John Martin Changes E-Mail Addresses ... 

Ram, Please update the e-mail address for me.

newimages@cableone.net

Thanks,
John

Testing 1-2-3-4, Testing 1-2-3-4?

Hey, where is everybody?  Is my email working anymore?  I haven't heard diddly-squat from anyone in days.  Hope you're all still out there.

Oh, by the way, a new Mooj Newsletter was just uploaded.  I wasn't going to write anymore by my credit card got inadvertently charged for another year of web hosting so I guess I'll continue along, doing what I do best.  Sadly, The Mooj is dead--but, that doesn't mean you won't read "fresh" material.  I may be lazy but I'm not so lazy that I won't include previously unseen material and disguise it as something original.  This month we jump in the "way back" machine and re-read an old pre-mooj.com newsletter.  This is where it all began.  If I ever get off my ass I'll publish these older newsletters in book form. 

KP

Duck Tales ....

KP

OK, I'll help out. I've hesitated sending this in because: 1) Guys who have never been to Olongapo won't believe it and 2) Even seasoned Po Town veterans may be skeptical. During my time in the Nav, when someone told a story that strained credibility they would always preface it by saying, "This is a no shitter." Hell, I might have trouble with this one myself if I hadn't been there see it. This is a no shitter :

In the center of the ground floor of Mom's Club on Rizal Ave was a small fenced in pool with an alligator in it. At certain times you could buy a small, live duckling to feed to the alligator. One night an RM whom I'll just call "O" bought a duckling and then didn't have the heart to feed him to the gator. Instead, he smuggled him out of the club and took him steaming. When the time came to return to the ship the next morning, "O" pretty much knew what fate the duck would meet if he left him in town, so he smuggled him onto the ship for the day. 

That night "O" took the duck steaming again. The duck turned out to be a pretty good steaming companion. And the duck really liked San Miguel too! "O" named the duck "Lasing Doupon"( I know that "lasing" means drunk in Tagolog but the fog of time prevents me from remembering the meaning of the second word.) Somehow, "O" taught the little duckling to hide in his mouth. For the better part of a week, "O" could be seen making the rounds up and down Magsaysay. "O" would walk up to somebody he knew, open his mouth a little bit and the little duckling would stick his little head out and go, "Cheep." This was a real crowd pleaser with the sick f**ks I hung around with at the time. We all wondered what happened when the duck took a dump.

Alas, little "Lasing" met his fate one night in the New Florida Club. (Pronounced "new flo REE da") "O" and a bunch of his buddies were on the second floor balcony with a table overlooking the dance floor. The guys took their attention off the little duck for a moment and he wandered over to the edge of the table, fell ten feet to the crowded dance floor below and met a gruesome death.  Reportedly "O" and his gang gave the little guy a funeral with full military honors. 

FAQs :
Q : Olongapo actually had a club that featured a live duck eating alligator? Really? No shit?
A : Really. No shit.
Q : What the hell possessed "O" to put the duck in his mouth in the first place?
A : Don't know. "O" was really a pretty nice guy, but he was given to certain bizarre behaviors.
Q : So what about the gag reflex?
A : Don't know. I myself almost puke every time a doctor puts a tongue depressor in my mouth. With his suppressed gag reflex, I imagine "O" had a pretty promising future in gay porn.
Q : Must have been a pretty small duck just the same.
A : Lasing WAS a very small duckling. I only saw him once, in front of the "After Six Club." He was probably only a couple of days old, and perhaps his parents were malnourished which may have stunted his growth. Anyways, "O" told me he was about 75% feathers.
Q : A funeral with full military honors?
A : Hey, that's what "O" told me. I secretly suspect it was more like a burial at sea, ( i.e. They threw his tiny carcass in Shit River after a brief and tearful eulogy.)

TYFG,
PP 

Bruce Lambin Comes Aboard ....

Hi, I was onboard from 1972-76. from 1972 until 1974 I was a CMO in 1MMR, and from 75-76 worked in oil& water. Name is Bruce Lambin

blambin@fnal.gov

Olongapo In the 60s .....

I know what it feels like to have no input for days. I've been married for 30 years. Sometimes no input is better, though. Anyway, I remember the duck and the alligator well from my first Olongapo visit in '68. That was the first bar on the right as you left the bridge as I remember.  My other vivid memories (some of these revive as fellow posters jar something from the muck) are the Top Three and the club in Subic City on the right hand side that had that BIG freezing cold public bathing facility in the back of the club. Also wasn't the Paraiso (in Subic City) the big two-story place on the right that had the balcony overlooking the water where they had great lumpia? I remember getting physically removed from there when I got unexpected liberty and found one of my buds grabbed my steady thinking I was on duty. Another good one was waking up after being locked in my overnight room by my "date" after I "snoozed off" for just a minute, and there was this huge rat between my legs. I always wonder if he smelled her or me.  On another note, for any of you on the ship when we had the Big Fire, as you know, there's a reunion in Hawaii in January. The RO at the time, CDR. Kellogg, will be giving the opening eulogy. He's an Episcopal priest now. If anyone's interested, I can post a link to the attendee's list. 

Dale Keys 

Lance Winters Comes Back .... 

Hola Sr. Ramdas-
Just checking to see if this is still the right address. Are you still in Arizona? Let me know.

Lance

Hey, we're all them stories I know you have hidden in the deep recesses of your memory?  How's the brew bizgoing?  I have yet to stop by your place.  I need another trip to the Bay Area.  As always great to hear from you!  

KP

Shore Leave!

VEGAS, VEGAS, VEGAS...................ahhhh, the smell of crab legs @ the Fremont Buffet...or is that the odor of the afternoon crew at GlitterGulch??? Pat great stories keep it up.. Willy get busy and write a no shitter for posterity.. KP, we all need a little shore leave in Vegas. After reading tonight, I was standing on Shit River Bridge tossing pesos and deciding whether to get a massage first or just cruise on over to the Sierra Supper Club for some cold "San McGoo" and listen to the delightful sounds of D'Reaction Band... Man I miss that place...... Hey Joe you sell watch? sell ring? something for your head? 

R.O.

3 RAR's Ducks ....

KP –

The recent duck story from Olongapo reminded me of the white domesticated ducks we had in the bilge in 3 RAR for quite a long time. Those were the days that 12 to 18 inches of water was the norm in those areas (now, I guess they have a dry bilge concept … especially in 3 RAR after the ‘accident’).

Anyway, we had 3 of these ducks that stayed with us for about 6 months. They were well fed from the messdecks and summarily ignored by the powers that be (despite the occasional ‘duck noises’). They stayed in lower level and never really bothered anyone (except for the duck dung on the diamond deck … try saying that under the influence of San Miguel).

It was great having pets. They were eventually taken to Chabot Lake for release, despite the rumors that they were sucked out to sea using the e-duck-tor.

Mark

Big E Ghost Stories ....

Does anyone have any ghost stories from the Big E? I could swear that some nights in 3 plant while standing shutdown rover, that I could hear someone distinctly in the PVO locker and lifting the deck plates in lower level.

There was absolutely no one else in the plant ‘cept those sleeping in EOS (sorry Arrgh!!)

Never saw a flowing image and I never felt scared either. Maybe just an old sailor who felt his work was not yet done.

Anyone else??

Mark

I'd love to hear some ghost stories, too.  I know you guys got 'em since we all talked about them late at night, when Cold Iron was set and no one was around.  I personally was convinced that 2&3 SWGR was haunted.  (Story mentioned on page 1 or 2 of this website).  I hated being in there for any reason.  I also recall many times being SRE late at night and walking through some empty space.  I'd hear someone come up behind me and turn around and there would be no one there. 3 RAR and 2 MMR were the worst. 

KP 

Ghosts in 2&3 SWGR and 3 RAR ....

KP,

This took place on the '76-77 cruise. I was a CRAO, and we were watchbill fat at the time, standing 4 and 16, while the rest of the RMs were on 6 and 12. It made for a rather idyllic existence. Most of us put in 6 or so hours in the plant in addition to our watch, and we got a lot of maintenance backlog cleared out. Even with that we found ourselves with quite a bit of spare time on our hands. I had finished the 20-24 one night, and knew a friend of mine, Charlie Ferrell, EM2 extraordinaire, was on watch in 2&3 Swgr, so I decided to go down and pass some time shooting the shit.

We had spent an hour or so drinking coffee and solving Rx/Eng Dept. problems. The foolproof solution always seemed to involve placing one of us in charge. 

Now, if you've ever been in 2&3, you know that the watchstander's control panel is one aisle over from where the unfortunate electrician met his doom. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a light flicker against the bulkhead, but couldn't tell where it came from. 

"What in the hell was that?" I asked Charlie.

"What was what?"

"That light."

"Light?"

"Yeah. There it is again." Both of us clearly saw a light flicker several times and then stop. It resembled the light you might see from an electrical arc, though not quite as bright.

Charlie got real quiet. "That's where that guy got fried years ago."

We eased around the corner of the load center; nothing. No light, no glow, no ghost. Shrugging our shoulders, we returned to the control panel and resumed our shoot the shit, casting wary eyes toward the bulkhead every now and then. Sure enough, in a few minutes, the light was back. We charged around the load center; nothing. We even stood there for several minutes watching, but no visitation from the beyond. So, back to blowing smoke. We had no more sat down than the light was back.  Now, we were both pretty even headed, but this was starting to spook us both. We started checking the lights in the space, nothing. We weren't about to call anyone, but we decided I would sit so I could see down the aisle, and keep Charlie in view.   So, I took up the "spook" watch. After half an hour nothing had happened. Charlie would get relieved shortly and we were debating the moral and ethical fine points of watch relief as to whether to tell his relief. I had come back to the control panel, when Charlie suddenly yells, "Shit! That sonovabitch!"

There was the light. We gathered up all the balls we could muster and rounded the corner, there right in front of us was.......... a bulkhead mounted battle lantern with a relay shorting out.

We laughed so hard we were crying. Neither of us had ever thought to check the lantern. After we could stop laughing long enough to breathe, Charlie called the E-Div shop, and had a new relay brought down. He had it replaced before his relief came down. Thus ended our ""ghost" experience in 2&3 Swgr.

About 3 RAR, I think every RM who spent any time down there felt there was something else with him on the watchstation. Although no one ever directly observed anything, everybody had "seen" in the corner of their eye, a shadow flow around the backside of the air compressors, or duck behind the panel where the RPFW pump controls were mounted. Occasionally, you were sure someone was going down or coming up the ladder from lower level, and go over to see who was there. Of course, there was no one, and you stood there feeling stupid. As the RMO or CRAO, it was not unusual to get a call asking you to come down for one reason or another. Invariably, the watchstander asked your opinion on the bilge level, or did you think the RPFW pump was sounding funny. You knew from the way he was acting he had gotten spooked one time too many that watch. I stood watches in every RAR at one time or another, but never had the feeling I got in 3 RAR. After awhile you got used to it, and if you hadn't felt or seen the shadow for a while wondered of you had pissed it off.

Seadog

Ghosts!!!!!

Sure glad that Seadog has ‘seen’ a few things in 3 RAR. Glad that I am not the only one. How about some of the other 3 planters that read these pages. Now is the chance for you to ‘spew some wah’ … what about Cliff Ward or Waste or Michael Ray or Donn Davis?? You guys have got to have some stories.

I ain’t ready for the LOONEY BIN yet??

Mark  

Keep On Truckin'

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