Page 24 started November 18, 2003

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

Michael-Ray Boyden Checks Back In .....

hi ram,
i have a new email address.

hope all is well.

Michael-Ray Boyden

Shawn Kirkpatrick Comes Aboard!!!!!


You may or may not remember me; I was fairly low profile, known mostly for my ability to bitch and moan about almost anything, but I was in RE Div (RE03) 87-91, the same period as Lenny M, Fisher and many others who's names I've seen on this site. This age is probably best described as the sunset of RE Div's "Gilded Era" prior to the darkness of the Newport News shipyard overhaul or whatever. The first RE's I met on the Pig were Marsh (my esteemed LPO) and Dicko H. That should tell you all you need to know!

I was refereed here by another former Enterprise RE that I keep in touch with named Gazaway (I'm not sure if you ever met him), who is now an EMC. In all honesty, I initially thought I would have had little interest in the contents of this site. I thought I had left my Navy days far behind in the fading past; but, my actual reaction was remarkably strong (probably a vestige of some "getting to know the person in the mirror" self-improvement seminar or similar crap I've been to). I sat in front of the monitor for some time and read through a lot of the contents. I was surprised that all the bad memories and bitterness that I was full of when I left the Navy seem to have been washed away by the passing of time. I remember, with a lot of nostalgia, mainly the good stuff now - the fun times, the humor, the places, and, of course, the great people I got to know during my time. Sure, there are some Enterprise memories that can still get me whipped into an irrational anger frenzy; but I wont go there !

Seeing the pictures you have posted brought back some memories; getting updates on the likes of Mark Stohl (Ishtar! Heheheh!!!), Mike Bowman, Andy A, Lenny and the rest was really great. I was also surprised to see myself in your picture section with you, Q, and Fisher in that bar in Korea (on Texas street?); I had completely forgotten about the Oscar wine! That's hysterical. I'm a big wine drinker now (maybe too much), and no doubt it must have started with that swill.

As for myself, I'm now an information systems manager for a manufacturing company in Tennessee; I stumbled into the I.T. world after the "Nav" and finally found something I'm reasonably good at, very different than my days of being a "skater" and arguably the most incompetent Nuke ever !!.

Anyway, it was definitely a positive checking out the King Paul, big nasty unofficial website.

Shawn Kirkpatrick

How could I not remember you?  We had some wild times together.  I remember that Oscar wine alright.  I'm not sure what was in that stuff but, boy, did it knock me out.  I had the worst hangover of my life after that one.  Great to hear from you again after all these years!  



Okay Gents, I've gotten the message (from those of you complaining about not being able to see all my westpac photos or dopeybook pages).  These are currently parked on a free-bee Tripod site, which I was using to avoid wasting my server space.  Well, for some reason Tripod now wants me to pay for anything exceeding 20 MB and so they basically truncated my site to comply.  No big deal.  I'll post my westpac photos here and hopefully freeup some space to show the dopeybook cartoons.

Dopeybook Leftovers ....

I was able to upload all but 5 pages from the '88 westpac RE04 dopeybook.  I would have just blown it off except the missing pages are pretty insightful and since we have so many New RE04 alumni here, I'll put them here.   

Page 6: Blister Dick learns (the hard way) that Leo Miller (Mr. NIS) meant business ....

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Page 20:  RE04's family photo album following the first Olongapo visit .....

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Page 24:  Kid Pillow goes back to college ....

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Page 30:  MMCM turns Heavy Metal Elvis into 4.0 sailor (while HME is bucking for command advancement) ...

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Page 49:  Some King Paul (or I guess I was Kid Punjab then) observations about the navy ...

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P. H. Burke Comes Aboard ....

I've read all 24 pages and can't believe a lot of old friends are still alive, let alone can still write. My tours on the big "E" covered quite a few generations:

9/74 - 2/79, RM23, RM3
12/81 - 12/85, LCPO RM22 & RM23, Reac. Admin 
(Whitsett I was the round one, but then again most people got Kevin and I confused.)
6/89 - 9/92, Mdiv QA Officer (See Van Blaricon's qual card), m div LCPO, I later found out MMCM Otto needed a scapegoat so he could become the Command Master Chief of a conventional cruiser.

Right now I'm working at Oyster Creek Power Plant with several ex "Tunaprise" sailors, Ed I----y, S G------a, and Al Decker. I didn't know they were here when I took the job.

I've run into Scott Goode and Ross Harlan Welch, everyone's hero as traveling rad techs., but that's it. Now that I know you're here I hope to contribute. Maybe I'll tell the one about being PP's Wing Man (from the Bud Light (I think) beer commercial).

PS. KP you appear to have carried on the tradition of the Enterprise Sailor, admirably, I hope there are those onboard today that have established themselves as the Enterprise Sailor that the World has come to know.

Hey Paul I remember you.  I think you were a senior chief when you came back in '89.  Great to have you aboard!  


Fudge Packer?

Exposed at last! Now we know what REALLY goes on in that warehouse in Phoenix!

And you thought we wouldn't find out... I'm shocked that you didn't think we'd understand, KP! After all, it looks like a Naval tradition to me... hehehehehe..


Change of Email Address ......


First of all, I'd like like to welcome Paul Burke to the website, aka "Burkeski," who l used to give cribbage lessons to whilst aboard Big E, or was it the other way around? Secondly, while watching Nova a few nights back on PBS (WGBH), l saw one on my NPS instructors doing a segment of the show-the former Ltjg Glatzmeier was talking about the earth's core and the earth's magnetic field; whereas before he taught us RP thirty years ago. The world gets smaller by the minute! Trying to get in touch with Mr. G now via WGBH productions.

 New email:

Steve Wilson

I saw that Nova.  Great show.  I've always been interested in mag field reversals.  Were due for another one real soon ...


Rocky Spane Info ....

I have fairly recent information as to the whereabouts of Rocky (dah dahdahdah dahdahdaaahhh dahdahdah) Spane.

In 1995 or 1996, My wife went to work for a company in Boston called Faneuil Inc. It was one of those companies that I'd scratch my head and wonder what the hell they did. I'd stop by her office occasionally and it was much more like a college than a business. Everyone seemed busy...just not at doing any work. They were owned by Canadians and the CEO of the Boston office seemed like a real shyster, albeit a nice one. The best way to describe this company is that in the limited contact I had with them, I saw an incredible amount of wasteful spending. I'd point it out to my wife and she agreed, but also stated that a lot of businesses operated that way. The CEO had a few parties that we attended which were very nice - great food, entertainment, the works. He spent like there was no end to the funding.

One day (1999ish time frame) my wife tells me that a guy that was the captain of the Enterprise back in the 80's has shown up at her office. Seems the CEO had a fondness of surrounding himself with interesting people, who of course were put on the payroll. I asked her to find out who it was, and she told me it was Rocky Spane! She also told me that everyone disliked the fact that he was on the company payroll, basically only to chum around with the CEO, and was pretty standoffish to the rest of the employees. At a company Christmas party, the CEO grabbed me (after my wife had told him that I had been a nuke on the Enterprise when Rocky was the XO) and introduced me to him. I laughed as I said "Hi! We met at an XO's inquiry that I was 'invited' to attend." I think he shook my hand, never making eye contact, maybe gave me a good-natured pat on the arm, and then pretty much walked away without so much as another word.

I still get a smile when I think of the nickname the people in the company gave him. Those who know him know that he certainly isn't the handsomest of men. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that he has some unique facial features. The nickname they gave him?  "The Grouper"


Happy Thanksgiving!

Well guys I'm off for about a week.  Keep your email coming and I'll get to it when I can.  Hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving!  God Bless You all! 


More About Rocky .... 

Never had a problem with Rocky. My PPWS board with him was nothing more than a 10 minute talk on his philosophy regard the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program and then a stint as helmsman for about a half-hour. He did not realize that I stood lee helm for GQ (or he forgot). 

That board with Rocky was much better than the butt reaming I received during a 4-hour board with Captain Naughton. That was a real azzhole who had no qualms about telling the nukes how much he hated them. What a prick … though I hate using that term because it represents the better part of a man.

Anyway, relatively current news on ROCKY is:

August 2, 2001

Vanguard Airlines appoints its CEO/president as chairman Vanguard Airlines Inc. said that CEO and President Scott Dickson has been named as Chairman of the Board. 

Dickson replaces Robert "Rocky" Spane, who will continue as a member of the board and as a consultant for the airline. 

Dickson joined Vanguard in the spring, replacing Jeff Potter. Dickson came to Vanguard from Grupo TACA, where he had been vice president of planning and  revenue management since 1998. TACA is an airline with its headquarters in San Salvador. 


24 October 2002 Source: the business journal

Vanguard Airlines has run out of suitors and soon will begin liquidating its remaining assets, a lawyer for the Kansas City carrier said. 


Sea Trials .....

M. B.

You ask about during the trials speed run tests. I never saw the rooster tails but heard from others they were big. I can't remember the cruiser that went to run with us but it could not run with the big girl as they were left way behind. After the sea trials were over they put restrictions on the shaft revolutions. Been too long ago for me to remember how many turns we got up to I just should have put to paper some of the things from the past. I remember we in the engine room tried to compute the speed or at least some of the nukes with more schooling and knowledge than us only mms out of a school.  I think it was 60-64 knots.  This is of course not to be written in stone. Yes fast she was in trials and she did everything they wanted and more. To be truthful I was unhappy to be aboard.   I had wanted a destroyer or a repair ship but now after looking back I served with the cream of the crop met and spent time with some of the best men I have ever known.  It's really hard for me to realize that the enterprise is about to expire and I have got this old.

w.j.(tex) stevenson

David Sherburne Comes Aboard .....

My time spent on the pig was filled with great sorrow and much suffering, and equal amount of time blazing logs, bombed from the night before. RM-22, '96-00.

I'm currently working in nuclear power as an operator at a research reactor for the university of Missouri. We have enough guys here from the enterprise to just about fill out a watchbill. 3 ELT's, a CMO, an RE and 2 CRAO's, so naturally, the rm's can augment the augments. Someone may remember this very special ELT, I'll call him Bobby, for the stark resemblance to the son on King of the Hill. I don't remember exactly when this incident occurred, I'll have to ask him, but it involved urination, the aft mess decks, and a phone card machine. What a great place. I've worked here for just under a year, and everyday it reminds me more and more of the navy. Working holidays, and a dickhead boss. The best part is that I don't have to put up with it for too much longer so when I do quit, I can get a job at McDonald's, which is nice.

Welcome aboard David.  Seems to me "that" ELT has copped to that particular tale of misdeed somewhere on this site.  Unless, of course, there were two ELTs who urinated on a phone card machine :)  


NPS Orlando 8004 ...

I never told anyone this story but I think I will now. At NPS Orlando, the base had a golf course. There was a road that ran right through it and led to the back gate of the base. My roommate, Larry Debalack, and I decided to take a walk and check out the course. We were actually going to try to figure out how to get out on the little peninsula that divided the water hole from the lake. We figured that there must be a million golf balls out there and a chance for some extra cash. As we approached the green with the water we noticed a large gator sunning himself right in the middle of the green. There was not a person playing golf so Larry decides to try to see how close he can get to the gator. Since both of us were born and raised in Pennsylvania we had no idea what a gator was all about. I decided to plop my butt on the bridge railing next to the road and forgo any attempt at trying to sneak up on the gator. Larry slowly crossed the green and that big old dumb gator just lay there without a care in the world. Larry looked a little nervous but he would never admit to that. Larry was about ten feet from the gator when I heard a loud hissing sound. Larry froze in his tracks. I yelled to Larry to give it up and leave him alone as the gator now appeared to have his eyes open and was standing up on all fours. Larry turned to me and said he was not close enough yet. As Larry turned back toward the gator, it took off running down the green and dove into the water. Larry didn’t move one muscle. When Larry got back to the road we both agreed that the gator was a hell of a lot faster than we both could have imagined. We continued on our journey. I know Larry was not to happy about what happened, hell, I was on the road and I was not very happy, scared the crap out of me for sure. We saw Mr. gator several times after that and we always just kept walking, laughing about the time Larry tried to sneak up on him. The funny part was that the water that was used for the golf course was part of the lake that was the swimming area for the base. Larry and I never went in the water after that. We never told anyone either, we just always laughed about the whole thing. I have not seen or heard from Larry since he went to new construction, subs, 704 I believe.  Little did I know that this was just the beginning of a very interesting journey.

Al Decker
USS Enterprise 1982-1985  

Wally Campbell, Dear Friend to Many, Has Passed Away

KP ...

would you please add Wally Campbell to your memorial page.  He was killed in an automobile accident last wed morning ... Nov 26th.

wally was on the E from around 71 or so to 74 or 75 ... working out of the RC Div Office.
we also spent many years since traveling the Adventure Trail ...
30 years. he was a brother to me, the hippo, mike rhodes,
bob strickland, alex feldman, vida abarr, friz ... and many others.
most of them have been contacted but not all.
perhaps some will see it here.

the world is a little less today for his passing ...
but greatly enhanced for his having been here.

i feel privileged to have known him as a friend and brother ...
and i know of no one who knew him who feels any differently.

missin' ya bud.

at some point ... i plan on telling some "walleye" stories at Crit Think.
and i invite anyone who wants to share their experiences to also do so. 

Although I didn't know Wally, I feel that I did since so much was written about him on Critical Thinking.  I also invite those wishing to share Wally stories to send them here as well.  


Speed Records Busted .....

I'm going to stick my neck out and make some largely unsubstantiated statements. Feel free to flame me.  The original reactors were 80 MW. In the '71 overhaul, they were upgraded to 135's. I was on the Load Dispatcher watch with LCDR Reason in Central for the sea trials (at least one watch's worth). We ran the shafts to 105% max rated torque on all engines, no reactor was even "at" 50% power. The raw power was there to push the big girl, but the other limiting factors could not be overcome, namely 1) twisting a shaft off, 2) cavitation to the point that only steam and bubbles were being generated, and 3) hull design. You could put a warp drive on the fantail, but a non-planing hull will only go so fast. Since we were just out of an 18-month overhaul, I just can't see substantial differences in these trials and the original ones. The ship did all it was designed to do, primarily launch big heavy planes with no wind to assist. Do any of you LD's remember that big blue book in the lower right drawer at the LD desk? It contained lots of original specs and performances. Since I last saw it in 1972, I can't remember much, but one fact remains in my mind - the distance covered from ahead flank to emergency back until dead stop - 3 miles.  If I had to put a number on top speed, I'd guess 40 knots.

Dale Keys

Ivan Finney Comes Aboard ......

Please add Ivan Finney to the list. I served on the big E from 1996 to 2000 in E-Div and RT divisions. My preferred email address is:

Thank You,
Ivan Finney

Rooster Tales Or Cock and Bull ....

The only thing in Dale’s post that I remember differently is that I believe that the reactors were rated at 138MW not 135MW (real close though). I don’t recall ever seeing a shaft turn over 176 revolutions (#2 I think) and that the #1 shaft maxed at 450 degrees of twist (from reduction gear to prop) before power hit 90%. I was onboard for the sea trials out of PSNS in the Spring of ‘82 and I recall that we only went to 90% in six and 75% in two (core barrel vibration in the 3A and 3B induced uneven flux distribution and that limited the flow and hence the power in #3 plant).

Although I was just a nub switchboard operator at the time (provisional qual at that), I spent a good deal on time in Central during the trials studying and trying to get sigs for my load toad quals and I remember the high-power run as a four hour evolution at the above mentioned specs. We also did a 30 minute backing bell where the turns were limited by main condenser vacuum levels (with both sets of AEs running). Talk about cavitation; in #4 diesel Art the Hamster said it felt like one of the 25 cent vibrating motel beds.

I also recall that during the ’84 (?) Westpac the one of the Sacramento’s CH-46 helos ditched and we were got “Ahead Flank – C.O. authorizes 100% reactor power and flow in #1, #2 and #4 or max shaft torque” over the 21MC from Capt. Loser. Once again (although fully loaded down with aircraft, airdales and their stuff) nobody reported rooster tails.

As Dale noted, pushing 96,000 tons of water out of the way takes a whole lot of newtons or foot-pounds or whatever. The hydrodynamic drag quickly becomes the limiting factor as it increases at a much faster rate than main engine power does. The falloff in the efficiency of the props was a good point too, they only produce useful work to the extent that they’re pushing water not vapor.

Thanks to Dale for the post.

Eric L. Mann

Scott French Returns .....


I am going to attempt to send you these. Not that smart with computers (just enough to be dangerous). I think that if I send one file at a time, I'll be O.K.? If not I will just mail you the CD. I am trying to come up with a tale or two. God Bless.

Scott French
aka-Grumpy Bear

p.s. Some nicknames
Hair Bear
Big Red
Chicken Legs (I think this one was preciously mentioned)

Thanks for crashing my mailbox ;)  Sadly, none of the photos could be opened.  If you could send them to me on a disc or save them as JPEGs then send them, that might work.  Yep, I remember Snivels, Hair Bear, Big Red, Chicken Legs and Ewellsless.  They were among the RE Div elite!  


Rooster Tails (From Steamer)

i always heard 38 knots right out of the yards ... clean hull. sea trials. and i recall being amazed that one could barefoot ski behind a 90,000 ton boat!!! i used to sit on the fantail thinking about that. ;)
yes ... shaft torque being the limiting factor along with hull design. and it's no secret to anyone ... and naval engineer can finger it out.

now after a few months in the south pacific and tonken gulf ...
after picking up a few barnacles ... as i recall we had a tough time gettin' 30 for flight deck ops. that's why on a clam day we had to do that elevated Tave thing to get enough steam pressure to fill the catapults for launch. and of course when we were outside of the normal temperature band ... we were also outside of any of the reactor safety analysis !!! so it was always a big deal and we had plenty of kakai and 'observers' present to 'look and see'. i don't know how many of those watches i had to stand ... and it was tough maintaining the very restricted temperature ... with a tiny tolerance of +3/-0 degrees. justified of course ... because "we weren't going to spend much time there" and the odds of having a major accident or loss of coolant during that time was considered unlikely. jeez !!!
wasn't that the purpose of the reactor safety analysis in the first place!!!!
of well ... it was kinda fun ... at least the first few times.

and Dale ...
you spoke of the reactors being only at 50% ... i don't know how many you had online but i do recall many times on the 4B panel when i had that meter at 99.99%!!!!! most likely during those barnacle encrusted hull times with no wind trying to launch and recover. when we were in that mode you can bet that throttleman didn't open those throttles to increase turns without me bumping in rods as he did so ... working together to keep that rx power from easin' up over 100%. those are the times i remember ... coming together as a team and doing what you needed to do to get the job done. most of the time all went well and it was rather boring but ... every now and then that calm was punctuated by the entire would falling down around your ears and then all the personal problems and hassles were forgotten and we all pulled as one. i will always be grateful for having had the experience of being part of that. being part of that team. and then we'd go back to bitchin' and moanin'. SOP. ;) hehehe

here's a pic someone sent me. ;)

The Old Gal Gettin' It On ....

Mark B. sent in a nice photo of the Big E moving her 90,000+ ton hull through the water as fast as we all know she can (not sure when or who took picture):

Now I may be mistaken, but during Inserv '89, didn't we kick up a rooster tail?  I remember going back there during high speed runs to see it for myself.  We also did those "tight turns" which were cool and we also did that "Ahead Flank" to "Back Emergency" drill.  It took us 3 or 4 miles to stop if I recall correctly.  Does anyone else remember that Inserv? The old gal held up well. 

On a related topic, do you remember what a pain in the ass that INSERV was?  We had one piece of equipment that we hoped and prayed they wouldn't want to 'look at too carefully.'  It was an aft group thing because I remember "crank calling" the office pretending to be an INSERV dude asking about that particular piece of equipment.  I had Dicko and John Hanson sweating bullets for a few minutes until I arrived on the scene to reveal it was only me.


60+ Knots?

I, too, have trouble believing that any carrier ever did 60+ knots. I was on Ike from '86 to '90. First of all, we may recall from our centrifugal pump theory in Nuke School that the power requirement for the props will go up as a cube function of the ship's speed. This is notwithstanding severe cavitation at which point further increases in power would do little to increase ship's speed. I recall from Ike that we could do about 25 knots on one reactor at 100% power. To go to about 32 knots it would take both reactors at close to 100% power. So that kind of puts that cube relationship in perspective. With elevated Tave I always figured we could do about 43 knots, but I just can't see anything close to 60. After the Navy I worked at a coal-burning power plant. We had some ex-Navy diver there whom I don't believe had any experience with the nuclear world who had a penchant for telling tall tales. I recall he would tell of this aircraft carrier that could do 75 knots. I could only laugh.

Joe B

USS Cole Recovery ....

Steve Wilson sent in this link.  It's pretty amazing.  

Flank Bells and Rooster Tails!


January 1975. First or second day in the Indian Ocean. The E was doing a flank bell in some VERY smooth water. They had just started flight ops. A gang of us RT types were goofing off and shooting the shit on the hanger bay near the port side (#4?) aircraft elevator. Suddenly we noticed the rear fuselage and tail of an EA-6B sticking out of some very turbulent water about a hundred yards off the port side. (It had evidently lost power while being launched off #3 cat.) At our speed, we were past it in a flash. We all made a bee line for the fantail, which I believe was a no-no during flight ops.

Suddenly the entire ship starts shuddering. The turbulence happening in our wake was totally unbelievable! Seemed like we were 2 or 3 miles from the down aircraft before we slowed down enough to do a U-turn and head back to the scene. Naturally, a helo was over the plane immediately. From out of nowhere a bunch of Gunners Mates show up on the fantail with rifles . (We were told this was because of sharks. Made sense to us.) As I recall, two of the crew ejected, and only one of the two remaining aviators got out alive. We did a few emergency stops during my time on the E, but I think this was the only one from a flank bell done for a reason other than training or evaluation. This one was "for real" and they pulled out all the stops. "Main Engine Limitations be damned!"

During this emergency stop, 4MMR lost gland seal on the LP turbine and almost parboiled an engine room full of MMs. I went down there later that evening and the lagging in the area of the LP turbine was still soft and damp. Must have been real exciting to have been down there during that event.

I usually wasn't all that happy when I went down to the MMR to relieve the watch. There were 2 exceptions that I can recall. One was when we were on our way to the P.I. (of course!) The other time was when we were doing a flank bell. I really loved to hear everything in the E.R. running balls out. And the powerful whine of the reduction gear told you it was in it's "sweet spot." Just seemed like what it was made to do.


P.S. Was really good to see my old my old steaming bud Paul Burke has found the site. Welcome aboard, Burkeski!

Larry Bryan (aka CTG MAN) comes Aboard!!!

Whoa! Discovered this web site just before Thanksgiving. What a trip! I was a 4 Plant Reactor Plant Electrician aboard the Big E from late ’70 to late ’72. Terry Stiemsma, how ya doing! Your posting back on page 3 had me sitting down in the ‘ol “Way Back” machine. What memories.  Rommelmann, Hippo, C.L. Turner, Bob Olsen, Jarzebek, Lou Huta, Bennie Chun, David R. (Dirty Rotten) Smith, there’s so many more and I wish I could remember everyone’s name. That was a time wasn’t it?

Remember that ‘storm evasion’ evolution in Subic Bay? The wind was blowing us broadside away from the pier at Cubi Point and I think we had 6 or 8 tugs pushing us back, but we still ripped one of those huge cleats off the pier with our storm lines. Talk about having only a skeleton crew. Everyone on board that wasn’t on watch was bagging it before they closed the brow. I forgot which Chief it was. Chief Cowden comes to mind, but I might be wrong. Anyway, 4 Plant was shut down and a bunch of us were in 4 EOS when Cdr. Davis came over the MC from Central Control with the order “4 EOS… Latch and pull rods to criticality, go to the point of adding heat, warm up the main engine and make preparations to get underway” (or something like that…). We barely had watch standers, let alone an Officer in the plant to latch rods and the Chief replied something to the effect, “I’d love to Commander, but we haven’t done a Pre-Crit and we don’t have an Officer here to latch rods and go critical.” Davis responded, “Make steam chief, and that’s an order.” The Chief replied with the good ‘ol “Aye Sir,” turned around to all of us and said, you heard the man, lets make steam. And so we did.

I’ve got bunches of memories. For example, as I remember, we used to answer the phone in the BNEQ Training Void “Rumor Central… do you want to initiate a rumor or confirm one?” Anyone else remember “Setting Condition Kilo” over in Control Equipment? How about the Reactor Controls Assistant insisting on keeping the Acrylic Floor wax in his stateroom because he was sure we’d waste it and he wanted to make sure we wouldn’t run out of it. So we’d always wake him up in the middle of the night for another bottle when we needed another. Did he really think we cared about the cost of bottle of wax and was going to waste it? That stuff worked great and made our life a bit easier. Damn, we’re trusted with safe operation of a multi-million dollar reactor plant complex and all he could think of was we were going to waste a $2 bottle of floor wax. Go figure.

Anyone remember Ed Fielger (a.k.a. Fast Ed)? He was also in RE Division and we still keep in touch.

From the Enterprise I went to the pre-commissioning crew of the Nimitz and got out two years later just before her first plant went critical and missed becoming a plank owner. It was all fun while it lasted, but after 6 years of active service, it was OK by me to have a draft card that had the classification “women and children go first.”

Oh yeah Terry, back on page 3 you mentioned the “Foot Awards.” I have to spark your memory. They were the “Foot Of The Week Awards” named (and I quote) “…in the spirit of the Great Electronics Technician Redfoot, whose motto was (and I quote), “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy foot.” Anyhow, I’ve got a set of them. Couldn’t let those gems disappear. Besides, as the ‘Copy Boy’ I had to keep a set for posterity.  Gotta love the phrase “…What is opportunity to a man that does not use it but an unfecundated egg which the waves of time washed away to nonentity.” The copies have faded a bit over the last 30 years, but I’ve scanned them and I’m emailing you a set. Merry Christmas.

I’ll submit some more sea stories as I get the time and hello to all those who remember me.

Larry Bryan (LJ)
EM2 1970 - 1972
RE Division, 4 Plant

Big E Speed .....


Better keep me anonymous on this post in case the government secret checkers are lurking...

I never recall hearing about 60 knots, but 50 seemed to be the rumor. I sat through many Load Toad watches and frequently recall seeing 37 knots. I'm sure as an RE sitting throttles, you can neither confirm nor deny that as well. That was during the time 3 plant reactors were limited to 75% too. Given that: new ship, no JP5, minimal H2O in the tanks, no airdales, no planes, different screws, and the old round island (instead of the highly aerodynamic brick install in the late 70s), maybe she did 50.

During the 89 INSERV, they tried to break everything and succeeded in damaging one of the rudders. I think they cracked the rudder shaft or something like that. It remained locked for the entire World Cruise in 89-90.

My other recollection from INSERV was going up to the hangar bay to get some air and see why the Pig was riding so rough. We were hauling ass backwards. Went to Central Control to see us moving about 17-18 knots astern! I think that was when they slammed the rudder and broke it.

Bite your tongue ... an RE standing throttles?  Not during my time :)  I had no idea that one of the rudders was SOL during that '90 cruise.  Since I stood Load Toad I guess I should have know that (was that listed as OOC gear in the LD desk memo book?).  One of the rudders was right below RE berthing.  I recall hearing the "moaning" sound it made during turns.  That is, unless they were jet testing, and then you couldn't hear anything.  


Gary Gayle Comes Aboard .....

Are you the guy running the website at I tried to get on your list of fellow crewmembers but was unable to. Anyways thanks for the website, great stories. I was an engineman on board from 76-79 in charge of EDG#4 and small boats. Any way got to go take care.

Gary Gayle

Edwin "Izzy" Irizarry Comes Abaord .....

Please include my name in your roster for the semi- psychedelic (1970’s).  Served on the CVAN-65 FROM 1974 THRU 1978. M-DIVISION 2-PLANT AND 4-PLANT. EDWIN IRIZARRY (IZZY) . E-MAIL ADDRESS:

Paging Chief Cook .....


Do you know the whereabouts of one Chief Lyle Cook who worked as Work Center Supervisor for RC-23 in the 1981-1985 timeframe? I locked horns with him on a number of occasions, but I'd like to bury the axe. I'm older and wiser now...

The former ET2 Jonathan Morris
AKA "Squid Vicious"

I don't know where Chief Cook is but someone out there might.  Can anyone help Jonathan Morris?  


The Waterline ....


Since the general subject of ship' s specs seems to have been a hot topic lately, I got to thinking about a question we used to kick around while at sea. I can't think that this info would be classified, but if you think it is, please don't post this.

While standing watch in 1MMR we would often discuss where the waterline would be in the engine room. We actually had some lengthy discussions on this subject. Everyone had their own theory. All we would have had to do is make a quick visit to the tech library to find the answer, but I think we were afraid someone would call us "lifer" if we did. To make matters worse, I spent 3 years with my GQ station in Central Control. All I would have had to do, I'm sure, is get off my dead ass and look at the board behind the D.C. desk to find the answer. Of coarse I never did.

My guess was always that the waterline was deck level on CTG flats. Anyone know the real answer?


Ummm, Let me know if anyone is interested ....

Got the following email this afternoon:

"Hi, my name is Kelly.  I just got out of prison.  I am 29 year old female looking for navy pen pals.  I would travel and meet you if you are interested in long or short term relationship."

Okay, never say KP won't help his fellow buds out.  If Kelly sounds like your type of gal then I'll give you her email.  I strongly recommend that you not ask for it though.  Something just tells me that no good can come from this.  


Another Guy Looking for Lyle Cook ....

Lyle Cook, eh?
yeah ... i'd like to talk to him as well.
if he's the same Cook i knew in '72 or so ... he owes me big time.
see ... i agreed to take his duty when we were at Hunter's
Point ... in exchange for him standing ... not one ... not two ...
but THREE duty daze for me when we got to the PI !!!
he really wanted that night off and i held out.
and of course ... i pulled SP duty at the Hunter's Pt. EM Club.
that sucked big time!!! the doors weren't open for 3 minutes
before a bunch of marines and boatswains mates began breaking
chairs over each other's heads!!! jeez louize!!! what kinda
chit is this?!?! can't we all just get along?
damnit jim ... i'm an reactor operator not a friggin' cop!!!!

so it sucked big time but that was ok ...
i'd recall it and smile when i was over in Potown steamin'
next cruise ... yes sir ... laugh right out loud.
that's right. thanks to my buddy lyle.
then ... that sumbitch ships over and gets transferred just
before we head over to another westpac!!!
i've been lookin' for his azz ever since!!!!!
i finger 3 nights of Potown steamin' plus 30 years of interest
gets well into six figures.


Chester Remembers Cook and the waterline ....

I remember Chief Cook (ETCS?) as my PPWS at one time. I think we tolerated each other well.

How sure are you that Kelly is a female or does someone have to find out for themselves?

As far as the waterline question, I believe it was approximately 1/2 to 2/3 up upper level bulkhead, because I remember someone saying that if one engine room had flooded completely that there would be approximately 4" of water on CTG deck. So I'm assuming that we would sink down to about that point.


Waterline Mark .....

There used to be a welded marker on the aft bulkhead of 3 plant CTG Flats at the centerline. About 3 feet above the deck plates and it said ‘Full Load Waterline’

Mark Best

Chief Cook .....

Hey, wasn't' Chief Cook a short guy with glasses and a mustache? I think I remember him. Didn't have much contact with him, though. I was a forward puke, and he was after scum. My old buddy was Chief Frank D_avies. He was the big guy with a scar on his face (he got it as a fire-fighter before enlisting, as I recall). He didn't like me much, I remember... of course, I didn't give him much reason to like me. But I swear.... I never turned off the power to his computer, and I had nothing to do with the stuff getting glued to his desk during the 82 cruise. Honest!! I know I gave the man some gray hair, but you'll have to look elsewhere for the blame on that other stuff. Knowing what he had on me, I wasn't about to try to deliberately antagonize the man.


ETCS Cooke Memories 

Hello KP,

Just caught up on some reading. "Chief Cook." Now there's a name from my past. The later part of my time on the Big E was spent in the RC Div office. ETCS Lyle Cook was the RC Div. CPO I had a hard time trying to figure him out. On the ship he could be a real prick. But on shore he was pretty cool. He even invited me to go bowling when we were either in HI or PI back in 86. Lots of guys usually regarded him with lots of caution because they couldn't figure him out either. Short balding guy with glasses. My last regards about him is that he was a NAVY MAN all the way. Ain't nothing wrong with that though. I hope he didn't carry some of that stuff with him into the civvie world. He'd have a tough time.

Other RC Div personnel I haven't heard about in a while are ETCS Phillips from NM, Lt. Cupp, and Ens. Tenorio. Any known where abouts would be cool to find out.

Attached is a cool framed pic that I got for Christmas last year. Just wanted to pass it along.

Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all my fellow Navy Nukes, past, present, and future.

James Voorhies
ET1 (frocked), 81 -87 USN
Former RC Div Admin / RC23
Central City, CO 80427

  (KP Note:  I cropped framed photo for more detail)


More From James ......  And Some Awesome Photos!!!

Hey KP, 

How dare you put a picture of a flattop numbered 68 on this great "BIG E" web site. Looks like she's about to keel over if you ask my opinion. Tell Steamer to get some better pics of our famous old lady for posting. Here's a couple more for posting. All of these were from the 86 world cruise. I'll post more later.

Thank You,
James Voorhies


Evan More From James ......

Morning KP,

Andy Pullam's email address is not good. I keep getting a return. Just wanted to say hello to him and direct him to the pictures I hope you post. His email address you have posted is as follows:


Nice collection of "Geetars." There was a guy in 83 -87 that used to play his guitar in the aft berthing all the time. I think his name was Young. Not listed in your contacts. But I remember him aspiring to be another Mark Knopfler of the Dire Straits.

Thank You,
James Voorhies

I haven't heard from Andy in about a year.  Does anyone out there know his latest email?  (Chris Carnright might.) 

I do remember that guitar playing dude in the back of Rx berthing.  He was always back there jamming into a 4-track recorder and usually wearing a towel, shower shoes and no shirt.  He taught me how to 4-track record.  I forget his name.  I'll hunt through the '86 cruise book to see what his name was.  He was a great guy and very nice to me even though I was a lowly nub.  

GREAT PHOTOS!  I loved looking at them and can't wait to see more.  Boy, seeing Terry "Mack the knife" Mackey again made my heart skip a beat.  He was the RE Coop chief when I was new and he worked our azzes off.  When we needed to find him, if he wasn't on watch in 3 plant he was parked at the poker table. 

Oh, by the way, did anyone recognize me standing at the top of the "25" in the E=MC2 shot?


And even more about Chief Cook:

The Hippo remembers Lyle well. He, as Steamer has alluded to, was a contemporary of ours. I recall a party in Orinda (or was it Walnut Creek) .. Alex, Hulk,.. Hell-all of us were there- and Lyle's wife suddenly stood up and left in a huff.. my wife went to find out what was wrong. She said that Alex and I were looking up her dress while we were sitting on the ground next to the picnic table. Try to get out of that one, gang. It wasn't true, but animosity was born and we never connected again. Must take one's wife's word over his shipmate's, mustn't he?.............


All this talk about ETCS Cook had me curious.  Did I know this guy?  Sure enough.  He was one "heavy" dude in the mid 80s.   (Knowledge wise, not weight wise).  Didn't he stand PPWO?  Only enlisted guy I knew of that did that.  


Women Nukes ....

Hey KP,

Here's one for the new nukes on the Big E. Now that we have women on combat ships (ie. USS Enterprise), has the navy opened up the nuke program for the ladies? If so, how many lady nukes are serving aboard the Big E? I don't have a problem with lady nukes as long as everything is even up for all. But I get the bad suspicion that things may not be so even.

My biggest problem when I got out was how to work alongside a woman after spending nearly all my military life in an all male environment. Since being out, I've worked with female supervisors and managers. Some of the lady techs I work with can survey circles around some those elite Navy trained ELTs. It is hard to relate stories with them about the Navy days, though.

Here's a question for all my generation to ponder. When we were on Westpac, everyone looked forward to seeing Olongapo, PI and Pateo Beach, Thailand for the obvious reasons (you know, young male Disneyland in a foreign country). What do the lady squids have to look forward to when they hit the beach? Just one of those things that makes you go hmmm.

Thank You,
James Voorhies

J.V., the topic of female nukes is addressed on this site (but I couldn't tell you which page).  Seems we had a pretty good discussion about it on Critical Thinking, too. The bottom line answer is yes, females do stand steaming watches in the plant.  

As far as your second question goes, I have no idea.  I did have a funny flashback to something, though.  One day I was walking from the ship to the Exchange in Subic.  As I was walking enjoying the warm tropical sunshine I overheard two WAVES talking.  They were about three or four steps ahead of me so I could hear clearly what they were talking about.  One WAVE was telling the other about this wild night she had with some marine.  She went into graphic detail.  I was shocked (since I was such a wholesome guy) and then I came to the realization that us guys pretty much talked about the same thing.


Where Be The Mooj?


Noticed you've been slacking off in the Mooj department lately.  What's gives?  I need my Mooj fix and can't get no satisfaction.

A Loyal Minion

Ah, you are an observant and loyal minion.  I haven't uploaded anything Mooj related for a few months now.  The secret is I am writing The Mooj Book.  I am basically going to take on line stuff, clean it up, tighten it up, and then try to pass it off as fresh material in book form.  But since I don't want to be sued I have to reproduce all "visual" stuff and cite material better (which is nearly impossible in some cases).  Plus, I need a real Mooj.  I'd do it but I don't look old enough.  My dad said he would then my step mom told him it might ruin his chances of winning the Nobel Prize (a no shitter).  Maybe I'll just get a fake Santa beard and try that.  Right now I have over 1,000 pages or raw text (basically Mooj Weekly Standard crap) and it needs a good edit.

Here's some homework for those of you out there who want to get their photo in the book.  Send me something funny that you're doing wearing a Mooj minion T-shirt.  I'll put the photo with some of the better "minion essays" or use it in phony ads (like what is at the bottom of this page).  I'll credit all photos. 



Cold War Certificates .....

Hey Ram,

Thought you might want to post this on the website. Anyone that was in the military between 1945 and 1991 can apply for one of these certificates.


I joined the Army Reserves about 4 months ago, and found this on one of their message boards. Oh -- I'm a trumpet player in the 338th Army Band. Laid back is not the word for it...

Hope things are going well for you and yours.

Dave Lambermont

Dave L in an army band?  Wow.  I remember you were quite talented back in our Big E days.  You were often on bass during aft lounge jam sessions.  Hopefully you won't have any future gigs in Baghdad.   


More Westpac '86 Photos From JV :


The Wog Queen

Thanks for the great '86 Wespac photos James!  The above photo showing wog queen Ralph Rivera made me laugh so hard I almost [well, you know].  Man, what a sight!  It was also great to see my old sea dad Paul "Rice Man" Smith standing there.  And am I seeing things?  Does Gerry "Wheels" really have a smile on his face?  And is that Joe Loverock in a suit?  He must have been the wog queen escort.

Those of you who read my long ago Mooj story about RE Div, Circa 1986, will surely remember the story about how Ralph Rivera became our wog queen.  

Here's how I remember it:  Ralph, as most recall, could really piss off people if he wanted to.  For some reason he was in the habit of doing this to whomever his ORSE team SWGR panel co-watchstander was.  I can't remember specifics (Bill Vick will surely remember this I hope) but anyway, one day Ralph so angered this SWGR operator [Galligher?] that the guy wanted to kill him.  

Back up for a moment.  Right before this watch RE div had selected Ralph to be the Wog Queen.  Ralph said, "NO WAY!"  He wasn't gonna have nothing to do with that!  

Now back to 1 SWGR.  They're on watch and  Ralph has done something to make Galligher so mad that Galligher wants to beat the living crap out of him.  Ralph knows Galligher can't touch him, lest he lose his crow (among other things).  So Ralph kept it up as Galligher became more and more enraged.  

Then Galligher got this look on his face.  He smiled and that worried Ralph some.  Ralph could tell that something was not right.  Galligher's smile was almost demonic.  After a brief silence Galligher turned to the PPWS (who relayed the story to all others) and said, "That's okay Rivera, you're a slimy wog and I'm a shell back.  I'll just take care of you on Wog Day!!!!"  Wog Day was only a few days away!  Rivera's heart skipped a beat--He knew Galligher wasn't fooling and would dole out some major league pain--and no one would do a thing about it!  

As soon as watch was over Ralph was in RE Berthing begging the Div LPOs to make him the Wog Queen, which they did.  He escaped the beating of his life.


Hayden Baker Comes Aboard .....

Hayden Baker EM-32(2AMR) 1998-2003

Karachi Sucked ...

Face it guys, Karachi sucked.  Or, at least it wasn't exactly a place I looked forward to returning.  In 1986 we pulled in for 3 days and I was still in RT.  Those were great days to be in RT because it was mobbed with nubs and duty days usually only consisted of mustering a few times.  So when we pulled into Karachi I finagled a few good deals for myself to maximize my time ashore.  We had yet to arrive and so I didn't know that being on the ship was actually better than being on the beach.  

I had first day liberty so I signed up for shore patrol duty on the second day (my duty day). And, because only one day of liberty was allowed to minimize the number of guys ashore, on the third day I volunteered to help paint some mission or school or something (they gave guys doing that "liberty").  Well, on my first day of liberty I realized I had made a big mistake.  The liberty boat ride (half under water for 2 or 3 hrs as we moved along through rough, sea snake infested waters) was so bad that the thought of doing it 5 more times made me sick.  Plus, once ashore there wasn't much to do except wander around trying to find something to eat.  And, forget about finding anything with alcohol in it.  

On the second day I had no choice.  I had to go ashore for my shore patrol duty.  And what misery that was! I had to walk around all day with some chowdale while it poured down rain.

So on day three I hid.  I did the unthinkable and blew off mustering for the Chaplain's working party.  I hope God forgave me.  I just couldn't stand another one of those liberty boat rides ashore.  


Patrick Sherwin, Dear Friend to Many, Has Passed Away

Patrick died on December 11, 2003 in Norfolk General Hospital after a battle with cancer. Would you add a listing for him in the "In Memorium" section of the site? Patrick was only 34 and will be missed. A memorial service is being held at the Norfolk Radisson Friday, December 19 from 7pm - 10pm.

Thank you!

George Perry
Hampton, VA 23669 USA

Yep, Karachi Sucked ....

Hey Ram,

I agree Karachi did suck. That's why we called it the Krotch. It reminded me of a Mexican border town without the tequila, the bad Mexican food, or the boys town. Imagine 6000+ horny squids looking for a beer and a woman in a Muslim country that's on the verge of war with India. The only positive thing I did in the Krotch was go to the open market and haggle for some cheap gemstones. and a leather coat. The food was bland. The only beer to be had was at the hotel where the Enterprise arranged to have it brought ashore from the ship. And if you got caught looking at a woman you could get thrown in jail. Not my kind of liberty port.

And worse yet, the only time I got seasick in the Navy was riding the liberty boat for 2+ hours each way.

James R. Voorhies

More About Karachi

I guess it is unfair to say everything about Pakistan sucked.  To be honest the people we met were very friendly and we did have some fun.  It was mainly the rough ride in that made you wish you never left the ship.  

When I hit the beach on the first day I was with Kevin Kidder, Joe Carl, Kyle Kosmatka, and a few other slacker RTisans whose names I can't recall.  We were pretty much at a loss as to what to do until we found a taxi cab driver named Ali who drove us around all day for a reasonable amount of money.  He took us to all the "hot spots," which mainly included places you could buy stuff.  His cab was filled with onyx, brassware, sandalwood, and rugs by the end of the day.  He even took us to the beach and we watched in amusement as Joe Carl took a camel ride.  (The guy charged him $1 to get on and about $5 to get off.)  The fact that there were no hooks or booze didn't really bother me and I guess I did have some "happy feelings" being near my beloved homeland (or my father's I should say).

Now that boat ride back to the ship was something else!  Most of us could barely stand the rocking back and forth as the rust bucket they used for a liberty craft motored along through the rough seas.  But the line to pull up to the floating dock was incredible.  They had dozens of boats waiting to tie up.  You then had to bob up and down and wait over an hour (barely 100 yrds from the Big E) and pray that your boat driver was aggressive enough to get up to the dock before the others.  Most of the squids on the boat were heaving over the side after a few minutes.  I heard that a guy in one of those boats could stand it no more and jumped from his boat and began swimming to the floating dock.  He didn't care that the water was infested with deadly sea snakes.  After he did that others began to follow suit and the water was filled with squids trying to swim back to the E.  

Speaking of Persian rugs, do you guys remember when Randy "Tweety Bird" Snook bought that huge rug in Pakistan?  It cost him a small fortune ($2,000 or $3,000 sounds right) and then he had to sleep with it in his rack the whole rest of the cruise.  We all laughed and told him he was a fool (especially when you peeked in and saw him laying in his tiny rack with that big Persian rug folded around him).  Then we got back to Alameda and he took the rug in to have it appraised.  It turned out to be worth a fortune and the dealer bought it from him for a huge sum ($10,000 sounds right).  We laughed no more.  


More Karachi Memories .....

Karachi did suck some. I remember people didn't much abide by the lines in the road when they drove, and every cop had a rifle. There was a Hilton or some American hotel that everyone went to. But, the ultimate suckass part of it was the full body cavity search in the jet engine shop when you got back on board. Bend over and spread 'em.


Yep, that was probably another reason I didn't want to go ashore that third day.  I forgot about those full body searches.  So after braving the ordeal of nearly drowning, puking your brains out, you still had that last treat to welcome you home.  From what I recall more than one guy was caught trying to smuggle hashish aboard.  


A Real No Sh*tter .....

KP and fellow "E-men,"

If this offends anyone, l apologize now, but this really happened many times. During the 74-75 Westpac, my GQ station was initially in the engine room. Every time we pulled out of Subic, it was back to practice again; we'd have a GQ in the afternoon.  Almost every time, once l got down in the engine room, l had to take a sh*t as good ol Sam Magoo was still working his way out of my system. The first time it happened , l told my LPO of my dilemma and he told me to get a bucket, a plastic bac and some rags and have at it. OK, great, now where to handle said business? In 4 plant, the main eductor suction valve was on the port side at the bottom of a stairwell, and one could squat there and handle business with some privacy. Once completing the sh*t, add more rags to camouflage the stuff, then ball the bag up and wrap it up with this light green tape we had, the same width as duct tape, but more of a paper base to it. Then, after GQ, merely take the sh*tball out of the engine room and deposit in the nearest garbage receptacle in the main passageway, a present for whoever dumped that garbage. 

The sh*tball began to emanate noxious fumes within a few minutes, so it wasn't too pleasant for the garbage guy. On one occasion, my fellow MMs decided they weren't going to give me any privacy, so l went from place to place but to no avail. By this time, it was all l could do to hold off a messy situation, so l jumped into the aft escape trunk and had to hold the hatch handle down so l could sh*t in peace. The escape trunk was full of hot, stagnant air and l was sweating profusely as l let go with the Sam Magoo sh*ts. Meanwhile, these assholes are still f*cking with me, so l figured what the hell, you guys want in, come on in, because it stunk just like Sh*t River. So the hatch opens and l hear a chorus of "Ohh No"s! So naturally , they wouldn't let me out, the bastards!! When l did finally get out l was drenched with sweat. 

Yet another instance whilst standing a cold iron watch in Alameda, l was handling business in my usual spot at the eductor suction valve when down the ladder comes the Officer of the watch. Needless to say, l nearly sh*t! Fortunately for me , he neither smelled anything nor saw me, so l hastily wrapped things up and acted normal, whatever that was at the time. 

Steve "Willy" Wilson 4MMR

John Adams Comes Aboard!

Adams, John M. MM2, 1964 to 67, RM div #2 plant

Plant Bathroom .....

On Ike when we had to take a dump, we used the plastic bag in the bucket method. We always used the escape hatch -- it was hot in there, but private.

One time I was standing Chief Reactor Watch and I'm cruising around the plant. I go past the CGLL watch and he has this weird look on his face. I smell something a little funny but figured it was something in the bilge. An hour later, I walk through CGLL again and I get another whiff. I stop and look at the watchstander and he looks like he is going to cry. I ask him if everything is ok and he says "no." I asked him what the problem was and did he need a watch relief? He told me, "I shit my pants." I asked him why he didn't use the escape hatch and he said that "he was heading that way, but didn't make it."

Poor guy...

from Ike

All This Potty Talk .....

Hey guys, why crap in a bag?  Why not just take a Diesel/AMR tour like all us REs did ;) As far as I know, no Rx electrician ever had to "hold it."  Our watch tour regularly took us out of the plant to "check things out" in the EDGs or AMRs.  I guess no RE ever missed chow either ;)

But, they had to be able to find you in a hurry.  I think we had to call EOS and tell them we were doing a diesel/AMR tour.  I remember hearing them page the RE over the 1MC once.  No doubt the idiot was probably sitting up on the Fwd mess decks chowing down ....


Dean Barchacky Comes Aboard .....

Dean Barchacky, 1981 to 1985, #1 MMR

Merr "E" Christmas Stories ....


Well, here it is Christmas season again. Thought I'd share a couple of related stories. Of the 6 Christmas holidays I spent in the Navy, 4 of those were at home on leave in Richmond, Va. Two Christmas holidays were different. Funny thing about holidays is that as the years pass, it's the exceptions rather than the rules that stand out when you stop to look back.

Christmas 1974. We spent two whole weeks in Subic! What a fun but unusual Christmas. Got my first Christmas piece of ass on that one. Those of us in RT Div did absolutely NOTHING on our BNEQ quals for the entire in port period. When we pulled out to sea again the RT instructors went through our qual books and, since only a couple of the married guys had done a damn thing, they couldn't single any of us out for discipline. They just had to "freeze the curve" and pretend that those two weeks had never happened. An RM buddy of mine went UA for that entire in port period. One night we saw him cruising down Magsaysay wearing a Santa hat and with 3 hookers in tow. He claimed they were his Christmas present to himself. A song by John Lennon called "Happy Christmas (War is Over)" was a big hit at that time and place. On a single walk down Magsaysay you'd probably hear it coming out of 15 different bars. It's still one of my favorites. Brings back some really great memories.

Christmas 1976 : We were in the South China Sea, having just pulled out of Subic. (Had to leave our loved ones for the holidays). Several of us M Div. types who were Catholic went to Midnight Mass up on the fo'csle. Afterwards, Paul Stock (AKA : The Stork) let us into the M Div office for a little Christmas feast. We all brought a little something from our care packages from home. We shared our food and drink and swapped stories of Christmas past. One guy brought a homemade fruit cake heavily laced with brandy. We pretended to get drunk off of this. Everyone talks about the importance of being with family during the holidays. Strange as it may sound to some : Those guys in the M Div office that night pretty much were my family at that moment in time.

Here's a snippet from a song I first heard on a crowded Navy bus headed from Cubi Point to the Main Gate on the 1976 cruise. It's sung to the tune of "O Christmas Tree" :

O-longapo, O-longapo,
Oh, how I love O-longapo.
A little town,
Outside the gate.
Drink San Miguel,
And stay up late.
O-longapo, O-longapo,
Oh, how I love O-longapo.

Merry Christmas,

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