Page 28 started March 29, 2004

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

Smoking Joe Returns .....


First of all, let me apologize for not writing and sending any stories sooner.

I have new email address.

The reunion idea sounds great. Anytime. Anywhere. With a couple weeks notice, I can usually take some time off.  Here's a story:

Smoking Joe Meets Andy Astleford and the Chicken Hawk:

The first time I met Andy and Mark Stohl was at Nuke School (they probably don't remember it though).  I was standing one of those roving security watches at one of the BEQ's. It was about three in the morning and I heard someone screaming, "C'mon you gotta get up! I can't carry you anymore." It was so loud, it had to be waking people up. I was on the third floor and was able to look out over the courtyard and me being the "studious and 4.0 by the book" watchstander I looked over the side.

I see Andy pick Mark up off the grass and throw him over his shoulder. He staggers two steps and falls flat on his face. He yells at Mark again, "Get Up" and then something unintelligible. Andy gets up and tries to carry Mark again. . . With the same results of course. Our standing orders were to turn anyone intoxicated into the MAA's. I run down the stairs to find Andy and Mark sprawled on the grass again.

Mark was completely passed out and Andy, well you know Andy. He says, "Man you gotta help me." What else could I do? Here I am at three in the morning trying to keep Andy quiet (and he was not usually very quiet when he was S**t Faced) while I carry Mark and try to keep Andy on his feet while he directs me to his room.

I was lucky that none of the other security watches came to see what all of the commotion was about (or all three of us would have been handed our backsides for breakfast).

I am also grateful that neither of them felt the need to lose their cookies. I would have been unable to explain the state my uniform would have been in.

Well, Mark, Andy and I became friends after that incident.


So that makes Andy, you and I who have had to carry the Chicken hawk back to his bed.  I wonder how many others out there have had to do the same?  I'm betting everyone in RE had to do this at least once;)


More Smoking Joe Stories .....


Chicken Hawk (even though he did not have that nick name yet) and I were both assigned to NNPTU, Idaho Falls. I believe that Mark was assigned to SIW (I went to A1W). Mark and I were pretty good friends by then.

It was toward the end of prototype and we were both on shift work (different shifts) and nearing qualification.

One morning (I was off for two days but Mark was supposed to go to the site) Mark came over and told me he needed my help. For those who do not know what the setup at Idaho Falls was: All students were required to take bus ride to the site. If you were going to go to sick call you were required to call the site before the busses left - No potential Navy Nuke would ever over sleep and go to sick call to avoid getting into trouble for missing the bus. But I digress.

Apparently the night before, Mark had "Borrowed" one of his roommates' cars (I am not sure if any alcohol was involved or not) and had an accident.

Anyway, he told me that the car was on its side and needed my help to put it back on all fours. I said sure. I am always happy to help a friend out. And how hard could it be to push a car that's on its side over? Yea Right!!! Nukes being very intelligent, common sense (which many of us had not acquired yet) should have told us that a 100 pound (dripping wet) Chicken Hawk and an out of shape 180 pound (believe it or not I was not heavy at that time) me could not possibly push this car over.

Well, we get to the car (I don't remember how because I did not have one then). Mark and I spend at least two hours trying to push this two-thousand pound car over. Finally, I told Mark that we couldn't do it and he would need to get a tow truck.

Well, when I went back to the site a couple of days later, my sea dad (a pretty cool bubble head EM1) asked me what happened while I was off. I told him I tried to help a friend who had a minor car accident. I did not go into details. He told me I had to report to Lcdr so and so at S1W. I thought I was going to be in trouble and told him everything that happened. I didn't do anything wrong and from what I remember (some eighteen years later), I did not know that Mark had borrowed the car without permission.

I go over there and am grilled for what seemed like forever from 4 or 5 different people. They all asked the same questions over and over. Was I with Mark when the accident occurred? Did I know that Mark called in for sick call? Why did I try to help him? Why didn't I call the site and let them know what happened? The people I met at S1W were all (to put it in terms that could be displayed on this website) JERKS!

I was sent back to A1W. Later that day I was told that the S1W people were writing me up and I might get busted. My sea dad told me that he would go to bat for me.

A week or so later I found out that his roommate's insurance paid for the damage saying that living in the same house together gave Mark (according to their rules) implicit permission to use the car.

When my report chit got to the XO, he laughed at that Lcdr and said it was not my responsibility to tell the Navy that Mark was in an accident.

From what I remember, Mark was supposed to be de-nuked. But when he qualified, they let him stay a nuke. I don't remember if he was reduced in rank or not.

As we all know though, everything turned out okay and the E welcomed the one and only Chicken Hawk on board.


The RE Division of the late 80s would have been such a boring place without the Chicken Hawk!  Thank God he somehow survived keeping his NEC.  


More From Joe ......

On one of your Mooj Pages I found a story about you seeing me in Hong Kong called "Hong Kong Joe."

You and a couple of other guys came into a bar and I was there alone. You tried to set me up buy sending me a drink (from supposedly one of a couple of older women - at least what seemed older to us way back then). I think you wanted to watch me go over and make a fool out of myself. But it didn't work.  The waitress who you told to bring me the drink didn't understand you and said the drink was from the three of you. I came over and stayed with you guys for the rest of the night.

In the story, you asked if I remembered that day and apologized. There was no need to apologize. I really don't remember that night (it may have been from consuming too many beverages).

What I remember most from Hong Kong was trying to lug 10 cases of china to the ship and up that steep ladder in the back.


I'm glad you're not pissed at us.  But you gotta admit it would have been funny to watch you saunter up to those two old ladies thinking you were gonna get lucky.  It was all Lance Winters idea...I swear! 


Response to Bill P.

Hey Bill !!!!!! It was great to hear from you again. I read something you previously posted on the site and was reminded of the great number of card games we used to pass the time away with. The floor by our racks was normally occupied with at least two of us and sometimes we had more than that. It was true hardship when they split us up and exiled you to two plant, but things worked out OK as they somehow seem to do. I still remember how you gave me your copy of Grand Funk so that I could listen to Closer To Home out in the middle of nowhere that first WestPac. For those who remember those great Quonset Huts you will recall that it was not that bad waiting for the pig. There wasn't that much we had to do besides stay out of trouble and muster on time. Some of my favorite memories was trying to beat the nickel slot machines so we could get more money to drink with. I do recall walking those ditches a couple of times, I don't know if I was there when you were speaking of in your story, but I do recall how Adam would mimic you and how much fun it was to start a night of debauchery with "LETSCH GO !! "If I am not mistaken, Mark Best joined us on many such an occasion. We had many a great time. If I am not mistaken, we outnumbered the Shellbacks on that cruise by a great number and we all had a much easier time of it for that reason. You were a great wog, even if you were not the biggest person to go through the ceremony , didn't you try to be the Queen or something????, maybe my memory is faded. The proper attitude was what made it a fun time had by all, (at least by all of us Wog Nukes that took over Rx Dept berthing that morning) but I can personally attest that those damn fire hose schelleighlies (however you spell that word) could really leave a mark. I still can't figure out how they made that water coming out of those fire hoses while we were on the plane elevators so cold, it really was something special when you got up to the flight deck and dared to take a look around and saw all the commotion that was going on. I believe that we had actually tried a wog revolt or two before we finished that day. As far as being section 1 rocks, I had forgotten about all that stuff until you mentioned it. Both Adam and you were way beyond that when it came to what really mattered in operating a plant for real. Thanks for some more good memories, I will probably E-Mail you soon to get that Info about Adam and Di. I do appreciate the anomity for now, who knows, I just might venture out to Vegas this fall for shits and giggles. Take care for now. 

Someone you might KNOW.  



As of 3/30/04, we are up to 44 attendees with 22 who can't make it. That includes 4 declared spouses. The responses have slowed down but still seem to be coming in. I even have a response from someone not on the contact list! A couple guys said they would forward to friends.

We'll see how it looks next week and start thinking about finalizing the location.


ps: Hopefully our website host (KP) will respond soon! :)

See how busy I am!  Ha, not to worry fellahs, Wherever and whenever, .... I won't miss this for the World.  So Rob, put me down for a Yes.


Mechanics ......


I usually read crit think in the wee hours of the morning. Knowing a few airdales both in and out of the navy, that post had me laughing so hard I woke up my whole household, plus all the wildlife in the area and it reminded me of a certain MPA. [This is referencing a post made by Ike Mike. #3233]

Coming out of Pearl on our way west, we lost 3 main due to vacuum leak, which we couldn't find.  A certain MPA [LCDR Worm] was down in the engine room every 15 minutes bugging us and just basically making us miserable and pissed off. The noise was so loud with this screaming noise from the leak you couldn't hear yourself think, which made it pretty easy to ignore the ranting and raving of the MPA. This went on for 2 days and then we finally found the leak.

I told the crew when the MPA comes down lead him by the hand to find the leak, which they did. He immediately ran to the ENG. [CDR Hekman] to be our hero and we were dirt-bag mech's. However, he never bothered us the rest of the cruise, just the division officer Mr. Blanton.



Leverett Hadlow Comes aboard .....

MM1 Leverett Hadlow RM23 '80 - '83

Oct 15 & 16 in Vegas is fine for me - I'll be there!


RM23 Memories ....

I had forgotten about a particular trip to the barrio. After an evening of debauchery, a whole bunch of us from RM-23 started walking back to Olongapo --- hoping to find a jeepney enroute. All of a sudden, I am up to my ass in canal water. The damn dock or whatever was rotten and gravity sucked me into that nasty water. I had a friggin’ gash in my leg that just ripped open. I think it was Slip Kid who gave me a flour sack shirt to stem the bleeding wound. I could only hope that my blood alcohol level was what kept the thing from getting infected.

As for the wog revolt in berthing … thankfully I slept with a Buck knife. There had to be two full inches of duct tape over the opening. How I slept through that, I will never know. It was sure nice of you guys to leave me some airholes … at least I didn’t suffocate. I still think the shellbacks got you guys back several time over …

Glad to see some more folks from the olden days of RM-23. AJ Hadlow …. Wasn’t that Slip Kid’s favorite steaming buddy?!!



Chernobyl Ghostown ....

Ram, Attached is a link from a motorcycle ride through Chernobyl. If you ever wondered what it would be like after a meltdown, now you know. Interesting to say the least. 

Pat Hoban


(this link is on again/ off again if it does not work, wait a few days)

Great site Pat.  I spent some time looking through it.  I was actually at one time a Chernobyl "accident" expert.  I studied the latent and not so latent failures for a human reliability project I was working on.  I still have reams of reports about that event stashed away somewhere.  [Along with a bunch of Challenger accident reports, TMI LERs and stuff about Idaho's pulled rod disaster (still classified).]  Ah, Human Factors .... 


Underway on Nuclear Power .....

KP, By 06:00 on the morning of Sept.17 1974 the noise and activity levels in Rx berthing made it impossible to even pretend to sleep. I climbed out of my rack, fished through my sea bag and pulled out a wrinkled set of dungarees. I shit, showered and shaved then headed to the aft mess decks with a bunch of the 7401 crowd. This was our first experience with Enterprise chow. Fortunately it was breakfast, usually the only recognizable meal of the day. After slurping down some runny eggs we headed up to the flight deck with our cheap little cameras. We hadn't been to Subic or Hong Kong yet, so we didn't have the complicated semi professional gear that would soon be commonplace.

This was our first time on the flight deck and by chance we ended up right near the RT Void. Soon, the after brow was lifted and we heard C note. Just then we spotted a lone figure in dungarees sprinting down the pier. This guy was SOL, but he was still making an attempt. We cheered him on and yelled for him to run faster. The pier had these "utility trenches" running here and there and they were covered by steel grating. This dude evidently hit a loose grate and fell into the pit at full speed! This poor clown was missing movement and was no doubt now seriously injured, but we laughed like bastards, and yelled for him to "Watch your step!" About this time we felt the ship vibrate a little and we noticed that we were underway.

On our way out of the Bay, we passed Alcatraz. At the time AIM (American Indian Movement) was occupying the island. Some squids waved at them as we passed and they waved back. The less politically correct among us just mooned them.

Soon we were at the Golden Gate. There were a shit load of banners on the bridge. About half were obviously from families of guys on board, saying things like: "Good Luck" or We'll Miss You." The other half were from the anti war people referring to us as "Baby Killers" and such. Here it is almost 30 years later and I'm STILL pissed off at that shit!

We sailed under the bridge, passed the Farallons and soon we out of sight of land. We were officially on "Westpac," whatever the hell that was. We all headed below to start exploring the ship and see if it really did have a bowling alley, movie theater and pool hall. I was really skeptical about these things, but we had it on good authority that these things really did exist.



Various Thoughts .....

I was reminded today of the poker games in the aft lounge and the numerous times the MAA would drop by and pretend to care about the "Gambling" that was going on. Occasionally one of them would be a prick and mix up the chips and things, but, for the most part we were allowed to win or lose our paychecks in peace. There were a few other games on board that were just as big. A bunch of RE guys were infamous for trying to convince people (suckers) to join their game in a void or other locations. They even had a craps game that people would try their luck at. And learning to count 6 decks of cards to play in Reno or Vegas was always an adventure.

Didn't some ELT's own a bar or something off the base in Alameda? I think that playing liars dice in the cups for drinks was a great time. Many guys had to be escorted back for muster and things. Those ELT's were a tight group, especially in the Fwd shack. I recall one of their newbies being taped to the shaft down in 4 RAR by his brethren. He sure looked like a pig on a stick slowly turning. I am not sure what he did, but we left him alone confident that after he paid for his apparent mistake he would be released. I don't know how long he was there though.

Wasn't their a cheap movie theater close to the base too? A small benefit of being out to sea so long was getting to watch decent movies for next to nothing.

I don't remember the name of the restaurant, but there was a place that several of us used to go to try to deliberately eat them out of shrimp when they offered an all you can eat special. I think that we once stayed there over 6 hours on one occasion. Not the greatest place, but it was something to do.

I recall getting the chance to pitch occasionally for the Rx Dept softball team. I still have an old shirt somewhere in the closet from that time. We used to do pretty well, I think that Tony Boone used to put some fear into guys the way he played with no regard to anybody that got in his way. I enjoyed the beer and things during and after the games. It was always great to be able to put those airdale squads in their place. They had no respect for anybody else in general.

"Chester" Thinks that I should give more specific clues as to my identity. I think that I have spoon fed people enough as it is. After all, you guys are a group of brainiacs. Maybe another time, more memories await, time to go to the store and get some food for the dog.

Someone you know


Light Bulb Repair Club ...

I'm surprised that no one has posted any stories about light bulb repair kits. I wonder how many unsuspecting nubs had this pulled on them.

I remember one morning (in port) this kid comes into Switchgear asking where the light bulb repair kit was. This must have been one of his first stops on his quest.

Of course, we sent him on his way (to the RT void I think). Anyway, several hours later this kid comes back. He says that he has been all over the ship and still can't find it. Can we please help him?

I then told him I thought that there was a locker on the observation deck on the island (the one with the mounted binoculars) where the airdales kept theirs. I am not sure what level that was on now but I remember that it was a climb.

Even though they never found the kit, these kids always got a good workout.

Joe M.


Or how about sending them to the boson locker to get a "Boson punch"? 


As The Pig Floats .....

My weekly edition of "As the Pig Floats":

Picking up where I left off, which is that I'd just flew on, handed off the barf bag and met Rocky.

Well the first thing they do is put us into berthing and at this point there are no spaces in RX berthing so we get put into "the ghetto." This was also known as M-Div berthing. This is about the time you want to cue the music (Elvis singing "In the Ghetto"). Life was hard in the ghetto, you had to crawl down into it from the aft mess deck. It was loud and it smelled REAL bad and there was the constant slapping of dominoes on card tables. We lived in fear for our lives because we were "nubs" and worse than that, we were not M-Div nubs…..In the ghettoooo…..We couldn't have been any more worthless to these folks. I remember I had a top bunk and for the first week would wake up and hit my head on pipes running overhead. I was afraid to leave my bunk, the ghetto was dangerous, but I managed to find my way to the RT void everyday. Remember when you first got to the ship and all of a sudden you realized that you were supposed to be learning something when you were fighting to stay awake in those boot camp classes? WTF does “dog zero” mean??????

I remember the first day I went up to the RT void, I walked in and there to my great surprise were two of my best buddies from 8502: Mark Fritz and Joe "mama" Carl. I was so happy, these were long lost buddies who had gone on to New York and left me to wander off to Idaho. RT void was a place I didn't want to remain in for long, too many lifers expecting you to know everything and get qualified, and being in that close proximity you were totally exposed for stabbery. The coolest part was hanging out on the sponson and watching the planes land or spitting off the side and watching the loogies splash down. I remember sitting on pallets out there just enjoying the day with no real cares other than the fact that I was in the middle of the friggin ocean with no land in sight. I'd sit there with Kelvin "Crete" Christensen and we'd think about going down into the plant and getting qualified BNEQ. We'd always end up there thinking about it for a while and would end up saying "yeah, I'm gonna have to get around to doing that……tomorrow…."

I used to love watching the poor bastards who stood sponson watch. Especially the guy working the garbage chute. What a great job……They always looked miserable with their sound powered headphones slowly growing the nastiest of ear fungus, which would be cordially shared with the guy relieving him. You had to wonder what it would be like if you fell overboard. In the right conditions that loser was the only way anyone would know you went over. Can you imagine popping back up in the foam aft of the Enterprise and watching that big ass ship just sail away??? And nobody is coming to get you. Now that would suck!! As vivid as that image was for me I remember when we first arrived there was a story going around of a guy who was being brought up to captain's mast. He was going because he wanted out and was refusing to work. So along the way he breaks free from the MAA's and runs for the fan tail, in dress blues and handcuffs, the guy dives over and is swimming away from the ship. The remarkable thing about this is that they televise the rescue and as they try to rescue the guy he’s swimming away. He’d rather die than stay in the Navy. They eventually fished him out and brought him up to the old man dripping wet.

This is also about the time I was introduced to King Paul and Lance Winters. Now my faithful pal and co-sufferer through all this was Randy Jestice, and Randy is one of the most naturally funny people I’ve ever met, and a super sharp wit, but KP and Lance were like the ultimate challenge/complement. I learned immediately that I was way out of my league and ran for cover. Previously in this site it’s been mentioned about the “sign wars” and I can corroborate these. I spent that whole Westpac in fear that I was going to become the universal target (you know, like the weak zebra that all the lions end up feasting on). Thankfully they kept it all amongst themselves and never dragged me in. I remember KP always asking me if I’d store a ceramic elephant he’d bought in Pakistan just until we got back to Alameda….Can’t imagine why…. KP you probably have no idea but I’ve told the stories to several fraternity brothers and friends since the navy days, I’ve still yet to find someone with the natural comedic abilities of you, Randy, and Lance. Evil comic genius is one of the few things that keep you sane on a Westpac.

Well before long we all escaped the ghetto and even the RT void. Wasn’t too much longer we were cruising through the Suez Canal and heading to the Med. Of course we were all still nubs and that loosely translated means: whippingboybitchjanitorworthlessfuck. But we made the best of it. Our actions as nubs would become legendary when the story was written by Randy Jestice: “Top Sponge”. Of course the Navy and Hollywood types would later translate this into “Top Gun”. I’ll let Randy recreate the story of Top Sponge though. Randy if you need help just let me know.

Louie Wingo


Ha ha!  I remember the whole "ceramic elephant" gag.   I didn't realize we pulled that one on you.  Lance and I used to ask a newly arrived "nub" to store a ceramic elephant for us that we supposedly picked up in Pakistan.  We'd act real suspicious and make it painfully obvious that there was something of value inside.     


I Give Up .....

As Of Now .... I am  using advanced spam filtering.  I just can't take anymore porn, viagra, penis enlargement, etc. ads filling my email inbox.  So If you are not in my address book you will be asked to be allowed in (with an auto responder).  Please use "KP Site" in email header and hopefully I will catch it when scanning "rejected" email.  Those that are recent contributors should already be in my address book.  It was either this or go insane.

KP (or, otherwise known as the original William Hung;)


First Daze At Sea!

KP, Our first few days aboard were filled with confusion. They gave us these little pink check in cards and we and to go check in with all sorts of different people and places. Medical, dental and the post office I understood, but why the hell did a nuke have to check in with the chief boson? We had a hard time finding a lot of the places so we finally resorted to signing off most of each other's cards, then turning them in to the Rx office. Mainly we just ran around the ship like a bunch of unruly kids, discovering neat places like the O-11 level. So far we had not conducted fixed wing flight ops and we couldn't wait for that to happen.

Rx berthing was filled to overflowing and the overflow was told just to find racks anywhere on the ship. On about the third day I ran into Ron Ogan at lunch and he was bragging about the great berthing area he and some others had found. It was just below the flight deck at the bow of the ship. It was so far forward that the bulkheads were curved. This berthing area was for the Signalmen and only held about 20 racks. The A/C was not overloaded and the small lounge area was just right for the number of people the cozy compartment held. It was clean, quiet and the TV worked. A far cry form the shitty circumstances I found myself in back in Rx berthing.

Later that afternoon I was up in that compartment playing Spades. All of a sudden there was a LOUD impact just on the other side of the bulkhead! It damn near threw everyone out of their chairs. "What the f**k was THAT!? Did the ship blow up or something?" Turns out that the water brake of One Cat was just on the other side of the bulkhead. I'm sure everyone remembers that the water brakes could be felt pretty much everywhere on the ship, but when a couple tons of hot screaming steel traveling at 120 mph crashes to a stop just a couple of yards away, it's an experience you won't soon forget. I was no longer jealous of Ron and his buddies.

With the sudden influx of so many of us new knubs, Health Physics claimed to be overloaded and it was something like 4 of 5 days before most of us got our TLDs. We were like halfway to Hawaii when Ron and I finally got our TLDs and we went to check out the plants. We went to 4MMR and stood for about 5 minutes at the boiler level control panel. We just could not believe the heat. (And that wasn't shit compared to the I.O.) All the old salts on watch were checking us out to see how we'd fare in the heat and noise. A couple of the saltier dudes appeared to be checking out our asses. I know what a new guy in prison feels like. About a year later when I was becoming salty myself, I treated new knubs the same way or worse. Ed Kennicott and I used to wait for a bunch of newbies to come down to the plant and then put our arms around each other and pretend we were kissing. Sometimes we'd even grab each other's asses. Really freaked some guys out.

I started out several weeks ago writing an entry about our class getting orders to the E and somehow it turned into a 5 part mini-series. This is the final installment. When I first started relating this I just felt the need to keep going and I wondered why. Then I realized that it was because these were actually happy times for this gang of ours. We had survived NPS and prototype. Disillusionment with the Nuke program had not set in yet. We were embarking on an adventure and our lives were still ahead of us. We were just a bunch of wide eyed, fun-loving, naive young kids. (That's right, KIDS!) Ahhh, the innocence and ignorance of youth!



Lou Wingo's Bonanza of 1988 Westpac Photos!!!!

Okay, sit back ... this will take a while to download but well worth it!  


Louie's Notes to Me:

Hey here's one that I barely got you in. [See last group of photos.]  You're the one on the right. This was us outside the hotel we all stayed in in Manila. I do remember you walking around telling everyone that Galbraith was your son. I think all they really cared about was how green your money was.

Notice the picture of Andrews and Bob Pellegrino in one of the other pictures [first photo below]. That reminds me that on another page there was some confusion about a story where Rod was causing trouble in Mombassa. Here's the missing detail:

Rod, Bob, Rich Marsh and myself were all on the same tour. We did the Tsavo East Safari which cost a whopping $75. I often brag about how I've gone on a safari that most people pay over $10k for a mere $75, problem is I had to hitchhike across the world on an aircraft carrier. But anyway, the night before the safari we put up in the same hotel that all the smart people found out about. Well, we go down to the restaurant for dinner and order some hooch to get started. We get plowed and it takes forever for the food to arrive and even then the order is screwed. Bob and I don't really care cause we're drunk and after being at sea for so long we'll eat anything. But Rod takes it as a personal offense, something about discrimination against Americans and how he should get proper service for the money. Well, actually, I think he saw an opportunity to eat for free and we had a huge tab built up so why not give it a shot? Anyway, Rod got very belligerent and Bob and I started to think we were all going to the big house. So Rod catches on that we don't share his enthusiasm and basically cuts us loose. He was pretty well lit by then too. We're not stupid, not loyal either, so we bail out. I think Rod stayed there another hour and eventually won out. I think the staff just got tired.  I remember slinking out and catching you and Hordyke and some others hanging out by the pool. That was a great liberty port. Taking leave there was once again a very smart move. Lesson learned early, if you have any interest in the port, take leave!!

Louie Wingo



Great Photos Lou!  I like the one of your pit.  What is that on your bed, hand lotion? Ha.  I was surprised to see a photo of me on beer day as I didn't consume alcohol back in those days;)  Actually, I'm not sure what is more strange, the fact that I'm so thin or that I was drinking low quality Budweiser.  Seeing that photo of Shit River (above) ignites my senses and I can almost smell them fumes that are visible.  Thanks again for sending the photos!  



KP, BEER DAY?!?!?! Did I read wrong? Did my eyes deceive me when I looked at those pictures? BEER DAY!? Are you shitting me? Man, it sure is a different Navy then the one I left 25 years ago! What the hell's up with Beer Day? 50 year old inquiring minds want to know.



C'mon PP, you ain't that salty are ya?  Beer Days have been a naval tradition since the Vikings first sailed the North Atlantic.  Even my grandpa in WWII had a beer day.  The truth was you didn't want to have a beer day.  Because having a beer day meant you hadn't seen land in 45 days.  In our time, the 7th Fleet awarded every sailor on the ship two beers if the ship had not, nor was soon scheduled to, hit a port in 45 days.  The poor saps on the '84 Wespac got 2 beer days if I remember correctly.  

Beer Day 1988 was quite an event.  It was odd, I recall, seeing so many messmates drunk out of their gourds.  How does one get drunk on only 2 beers?  Ah, these guys had the key to the beer locker!  In Rx Dept there were more than a few guys willing to trade their beers for anything.  Guys that didn't drink were more than happy to surrender a beer or two to someone willing to take a watch.  And, then there was plenty of money changing hands that day as well.  One RE04 dude paid $20 for a beer I recall.  



I'm willing to bet that someone out there remembers what B.O.C.O.D was. It stands for "beat off cut-off date" and was a very important date for any sailors who had wives or close girl-friends waiting for them when they returned from a cruise. The official definition, according to EM2 Mark Williams, is as follows:

"B.O.C.O.D. is the last day that a sailor should pleasure himself prior to returning from a cruise so that he could produce the necessary volume of ejaculate for his wife or significant other in the bedroom upon returning. This ensures that the women do not suspect their man was pleasuring himself at sea or cheating on them in port, and prevents any such problems thus relating."

The B.O.C.O.D. was typically set as 2-3 days before entering port (depending on the length/location of the cruise) and was posted on berthing bulletin boards. It was considered a "favor" if you reminded sailors of B.O.C.O.D. while in the showers, so that thorough bodily cleaning did not escalate into something more...

-Johnny Caustic RC Div '95-'99


Hey, I thought you late 90s guys had a brothel on board..... 

Beer Daze ....

Ah yes, the beloved tradition of Beer Day. All it meant was too much time at sea and nothing else to look forward to. Those of us saps on the ’84 WESTPAC did in fact enjoy luke warm Red, White and Blue beer. We did not enjoy the luxury of Budweiser. Both of these days were enjoyed off the little Yemeni island of Massirah. Usually involved partially raw hamburgers and definitely raw steaks. One thing never changed though. It may have been holiday routine for the top side slugs, but as usual it was routine watchstanding in the plants. How rare was it that we EVER shut a plant down when overseas?

Now, what few people knew: The supply department kept the beer in an obscure void behind a weapons department space, which stowed bomb tail assemblies (the whole complex is now part RT Div and QA office). What supply department did not realize was that ‘beer room’ was the upper portion of the 3 plant CD void. Most every week, some poor RM-23 CRAO would have to do the overboard discharge tag audit. Rarely, would a supply weenie join us doing the audit, so we had unobserved access to pallets of a beverage made from hops and barley (still nasty Red/White/ Blue though).

Some became rather skilled at removing a portion of each case and thus making the pallets look undisturbed. No one ever seemed to be the wiser or even suspicious.

I was one of those who sold their beer for $20 a can. Heck, I did not really want the beer …. We had been drinking all cruise long.



SL-1 ....

Hey KP, was just perusing the site after a long absence, and found your mention of SL-1 in Idaho. I am very familiar with that. I have a couple reports (booklets) that I acquired. I didn't realize it is classified. The reports certainly aren't. I worked at GE with an Army "ELT?" who was on an off shift at the reactor. He told me the "real story." It involved a triangle with one woman (of course) and retribution. Made me think of a Greek tragedy. Reactor was neat and supposed to be set up in the Arctic for power and anywhere else the army needed a source. Just think of the ramifications of that if it had come to fruition. This man also monitored underground tests near Las Vegas and his revelations are best left unwritten. Just let it be said, if we feel the ground move later on this year, pray it's me lumbering about and in any case, don't take a deep breath........



You may be right Hippo, the SL-1 event may now be declassified.  Reports I saw were not stamped (may have been FOUO).  I learned about the "inside story" from someone very familiar with the investigation.  He, too, claimed it was a love triangle gone bad.  I recall seeing a photo of the bodies.  The actual bodies were blacked out but it was obvious what they were. (I may have seen this at NPS. Does anyone else remember seeing this photo?).  I remember a body hanging from the ceiling with a rod stuck through it.  (But this could be a false memory.)

Also, as you mentioned, the army did have a nuclear power program.  I recall meeting a guy at SAIC who went to the army's nuclear power school (which I think was in Bainbridge, MD ... might have even been part of navy nuclear power school)  The army scrapped their program many years ago.


What It Was All About:

Message From Rich Lorenz to Lou Wingo:

I believe these two pictures capture what it was all about. These would be a nice addition to Tuli's site. I can't remember all the names, but if you look closely, all rates are represented. Ever, 


Hey Ram I think Rich says it all with the title. Let me give you the names going left to Right. This is outside the "El Gringo" Mexican restaurant in Olongopo, Westpac 88.

John Dirck, Don Weitzel, Rick "Booger" Robbins, Mike "Bing Bang" Benz, Mike "George" Carlin, Billy Ed "Buttmouth" Noll, Mike "Galloob" Galbraith, Al "the Senator" Raymond, Jim(?) Wienbecker, Randy Jestice, Joe "the wild Juahito" Curcio, Craig "Iggy" Primer, Greg "Poopy" Weiland, Mike Vieth, Rick "Rack" Ruff, John Van Muckey, and Joe "Mama" Carl.

I think I actually took the picture, which is why I'm not in it. At least that's my excuse. We all had dinner there that night and Randy entertained us with some standup comedy, they had a stage and I forced Randy to do it. As I recall it was a lot of jokes in which Andy Sevald (RCA) and the rest of the khakis were the butts. From there we went on to another bar and bull riding and of course ended up in our old favorite, the "Sharks Cove". And that's what it's all about!!


It's funny to look at this photo.  It was like it was just taken.  I can't believe 16 years now separates us from this time.  I knew all these guys and they all knew me.  I can still remember vividly conversations I had with each guy, whether during the wee hours of some midwatch or in some honky tonk overseas.  Those were great friends and great times!  

Also, in the [above] photo taken in front of The Sharks Cove, I forgot the little bar downstairs was called the Red River.  I'd often migrate down from the Cove to that little place and watch and listen to the country band that was playing.  They were fantastic!  I would sit for hours sometimes and watch the guitar player.  That's how I learned most of the country songs I play now.  The best thing I learned from that guy was how to use a volume pedal to make your guitar sound like a pedal steel.  They also had this girl singer who sounded just like Patsy Cline.  I sure miss those hot, hazy, Olongapo nights.  A million bucks couldn't buy happy times like that.  


As The Pig Turns ....

I've already posted a lot this week so this week's edition of "As the Pig Floats" should be slightly abbreviated.

Taking a break from my historical journey or at least a digression. Remember when you first got to the pig and went to sea for real? For me it all happened at the same time. Between prototype and the pig I had about a month off and was in a fragile mental condition. I found the only way to regain my senses was to party my ass off so I did. Unfortunately I didn't spend much time thinking about what lay ahead for me. So when the day came that I had to go back I had not prepared in any way for life at sea. I didn't know what I was allowed to bring on the ship, what life would be like, hadn't even thought about it. I knew I needed all my uniforms and my orders and I certainly wouldn't show up without some of my civvies. So I basically left home with a sea bag full of uniforms and a couple changes of clothes and that's it. Didn't take long before I realized how under-equipped I was for life at sea. Let's make a quick list of the necessities for life at sea (hopefully some poor kid out there going through this may read and heed):

Some kind of personal stereo device - I got to the ship with nothing of the sort. Back then it was a Sony Walkman tape player that everyone had. I left mine at home. These days I'm sure it's MP3 players and no need for tapes, or even CD's. Just a laptop with hard drive space and a wireless internet card or wi-fi. I spent the first two months on the ship without tunes, my God that sucked!! 

Camera/camcorder - When I got to the ship I had no camera. Biggest mistake of my life, I had no way to record memories of PI, Diego Garcia, The Suez Canal, Italy, France, my wog day, Australia, PI again, and coming home to Alameda. I regret this so much it hurts. Right now I'm in the position of begging anyone who reads this to send me pictures especially if I'm in them from that 86 cruise. Please help a buddy out!!! 

Pit Fan - Anyone who's been on a Westpac and cruised the Persian Gulf knows you cannot survive without a pit fan. You can only get so naked in your pit and those hurricane fans are always subject to re-direction. Fights break out over those things. I'm at the point in my life now where because of this I can't sleep without the ceiling fan on, even in the dead of winter. 

Piss bottle - Don't even think of standing a 6 hour watch without a trusty piss bottle present. 

Reading material - Man I was desperate for anything to read my first cruise. Most of the time you couldn't get a seat in the lounge if the movie was decent. You gotta have something to entertain and pass the time. 

Shower shoes - within 2 weeks of being at sea the drains are clogged with used up porn. What are you stepping on??? 

Pictures or memories of home - Gotta have something to remind you of what's going on back in the world. I couldn't stand not knowing what was going on or finding out weeks later. I suppose now it's different. I know you can even email from sea. In our day it took a red cross situation to send a western union. 

Knee pads - not for the FFF types but for wog day. Not sure they still do things the way they used to but if you didn't have knee pads, you suffered! 

A good attitude - Took me until after I left unfortunately to realize that no matter how much you don't like the surroundings you need to appreciate every day God gives you and the good things going on around you. Spent too much time being bitter about the Navy and sometimes forgot to appreciate all the good and remarkable things going on around me. 

Good Friends - Most important thing in the world. The good thing about the Enterprise is that I was going to it with people I knew like Randy Jestice, Mark Groseclose, Chuck Muller, Q Gyolai, these guys made it so much more bearable. Felt sorry for those guys going to submarines by themselves. And it didn't stop there, think of all the great friends you made on the pig. Misery loves company but we always made the best of it and had great times. My friends on the pig were the best friends of my life. I miss all you guys.

So there it is. Hopefully others can add on I know this list isn't the end of the story.

Louie Wingo


Got me to thinking about how when I arrived on The E, I brought only my sea bag, garment bag and gal--i.e., my trusty '77 telecaster.  I was told by everyone that I couldn't bring her.  Every plane, chopper, etc. on the way out made it clear I was only to have one sea bag and one garment bag.  But I ignored them and arrived with my tele.  I just couldn't be separated from her.  I think I had to sleep with her for a night or two and then found a void  in RT to keep her the rest of the cruise.  No matter how bad it sucked I always had my telecaster to cheer me up.  To this day that guitar never leaves my side.  As we speak (or as I type I should say) it sits beside me, leaning against the side of my desk.  

But the best thing I brought along with me that day was my friends.  We 8502 & 8503 guys were lucky to be so "stabbed" as to be assigned the same ship.  I can't imagine how awful it would have been to go to sea without long-time friends.  And the 86 cruise was pretty much a pleasure cruise since none of us were qualified anything and the RT Lords had no way of keeping track of anything we did.  And it seemed like we hit another port every few weeks!  Duty?  What was that! 

As far as tunes went, I bought a walkman and as many $1 knock off tapes as I could in Singapore.  I also got a camera.  Many guys bought their first CD player there, as they were still too expensive in the States.  I recall the CDs being extremely expensive, though (since they couldn't be counterfeited yet.)


All Hail The True King of 4-Plant: Tom Cluney!

Hey Ram, I spent a few hours reading through the stories. Saw my name mentioned a couple of times (Tom Cluney). I am alive and well, even though it may upset some people. Finished up with the Nav in Oct. ' 02 and am now working for Progress Energy in Hartsville, SC. George Bagwell used to work here, but he transferred to a coal plant in Asheville, NC a few years before I got here. Now the policy here is pretty much like in the Nav, once a nuke, always a nuke. The other option is to quit. 

Saw a few people I recognized in some of the pictures and several names from your contributors. For Patty O Hall, Hefty Hen was Larry Cormican. Len Ravan was Bull Toad. Don't know if you remember Kempka (Kid), but a bunch of us had T-shirts made in the PI that said KSD in 86 (Kid sucks d___s in ' 86). 

Also don't know if you remember an officer named Donithan. He was one of the Chemistry Assistants we had in the late ' 80s. He also works here. I'll let him know about the website. 

As for Skeletor, he was de-nuked after taking his own command when he left the Prise due to developing glaucoma. Pete Desmond was the one who fell asleep halfway through the hatch in 4 RAR access while doing field day. Andy Raymond went on to become NRRO. 

One of my favorite memories is the day we left Singapore on the 89-90 world cruise. Pat Hobans mom sent a special care package for Christmas that didn't get inspected. When I came down to the RC shop to relieve him that evening as RT, he asked me if I liked White Zinfadel. When I opened the fridge, he had 2 bottles chilling courtesy of his mom. It made the evening pass quite pleasantly. My home email is I'll try to dredge up some of the old stories for you. Also, somewhere at home I've got a picture at home from the ' 88 Pac from Lirios 2 in Olongapo with Jimmy (Fatboy) Brownfield, Craig (Little Buddy) Myers, George Bagwell, Ray DeGuelle and myself in it. Do you remember when Greg Brazier cut the illegal 50' cord on MMC Bush's coffee pot in 4 RAR? I thought he was going to have his stroke right then and there. I'll close for now. Talk to you later.

Tom Cluney


Holy crap Tom!  You mean to say you just got out of the navy two years ago?  I think without a doubt you have racked up the most Enterprise Man Years on this site since I know you were on at least 5 years before I arrived, stayed another five, then returned for a least two or three additional 5-year tours.  Send back your exact dates and I'll post them side by side with MMCM Deaville's and we'll see who was the saltiest dog of 'em all!  Great to hear from you Tom; no doubt you and I stood many watches together.  Send in all them stories I know you have in your scurvy memories;)  


Hippo Notes and SL-1 Photos ....

A few pictures of SL-1 if your interested. Also found my "Dopey Book." Jeez, remember when we knew what this stuff was? If you read this report, the man was on the ceiling. I'd be willing to send this to anyone interested, but I want it back.....



Michael Ketchum Comes Aboard ....

Hey, just discovered your site! I was onboard the Big Pig from 86-92. I was 2MMR LPO, until the refit then ended up supervising the TIC Shack up topside. As I look through the pages, I don't really see a mechanism for adding one's stories. How is that done? Is there a page I'm missing or do you just add them via email? Let me know.


Just email 'em in Mike.  I remember you!  King of the hammer mechanics, weren't you? 


To Tom:

Tom Cluney,

Hey man I got pictures of you from Africa and on beer day too. Gotta get them on this computer but I'll send them to Ram very soon.

Louie Wingo


Christmas Cheer .....

Tom Cluney! Man, it's been a while. OK, the story that Tom is referring to was when the PIG was in Singapore for Christmas in 1989. A few weeks after departure for the World Cruise, I received a package from my mom, who happened to be a region manager for an east coast wine distributor. Don Reese was with me when I got the package from the RC office after a midwatch. It was a large box that had a familiar wine company log on it. Don was jumping up and down saying that my mom had sent a bottle of wine. I just dismissed it explaining that she probably brought a box home from work to pack some things in. I took it back to my rack, with Reese in tow and began to open the package. Something fell out and hit the floor, Don picked it up. A corkscrew. We were both giggling like schoolgirls.

Right around Christmas I was standing watch (if that's what you call sitting in the RC shop listening to music on the illegal tape deck) when Reese rushed into the shop and said that I received another package from my mom. He swears it must be wine because it is bigger that the last package. We get someone with a key to the RC office to let us in and swipe the package before it gets "inspected." Sure enough, not one but TWO bottles of wine, carefully packed in Styrofoam shipping containers. We smuggle 'em down into the plant because the RC shop had a fridge. Put a sign on the door 'KEEP OUT FIELD DAY IN PROGRESS' A few hours later Tom Cluney shows up to relieve the watch and join in on the Christmas Toast.

I'll have to tell you about Cluney's idea to put Bacardi 151 Rum in a shampoo bottle. But that's another day.


Pat Hoban - Working hard to get to Vegas, first beer is on me


The Purple Avenger!

KP Somewhere in late 75 or early 76, 1MMR got a new addition. A seasoned guy transferred in from one of the other MMRs. (Don't remember why.) He was a guy named Ed Kennicott, and he was a great addition to the engineroom. Ed had been raised in Alaska and Oregon. Evidently he and his childhood friends had decided at some point to become super heroes and Ed chose to become the Purple Avenger. While on the Enterprise, Ed's knub book name and alter ego was "The Purple Avenger". (P.A. to his friends.)

Ed was not only a great fellow watch stander, but he became one of my favorite steaming companions. Ed wasn't exactly a creative steamer, but if you were his steaming buddy for the evening, Ed would agree to ANY stupid idea that you came up with. You'd just say, "Ed lets……." and Ed would get this goofy grin, nod his head and give you a nonchalant, "Okay."

In Alameda, the last couple of nights before we would pull out for carrier quals or whatever, Reactor and Engineering Depts would close the bars on Webster Street. Then we'd go to this big vacant field with an assorted variety of alcoholic beverages, party till the booze was gone and head to the ship. On one occasion, I had the 08:00 CMO watch later that morning so I just had a couple of beers to be sociable and headed back to the ship early. Ed and company were still going strong when I left the party. When I woke up the next morning, I went by Ed's rack. One of his feet was sticking out from behind the curtain. It was totally BLUE! I feared Ed was dead. I nervously reached into his rack and felt his neck. He was warm and had a pulse. (Always a good sign.) I shook him awake and asked if he was okay. He just gave me that big goofy grin. Seems that Burt Page had suggested that he and Ed travel from Atlantic Ave all the way to Central Ave using only back yards. (A typical Burt Page idea.) No doubt Burt received the typical goofy grin, head nod and "Okay" from Ed. It took the two of those clowns till 6 AM to complete their trek. Over fences, over storage sheds, though garages, fending off dogs etc. along the way. Their clothes were a mess. Ed (in Purple Avenger mode) was wearing brand new blue sneakers (now ruined) and in the early morning dew, they got soaked and bled blue dye onto Ed's feet.

Ed was a great steaming companion in the P.I. We had our favorite haunts but we loved to go bar hopping as well. We'd take off and see how many bars we could hit having two beers apiece at each. When we were in a bar we had never visited before, the first one that had to piss was required to do a "Lewis and Clark". This entailed 1) finding the head without asking for directions 2) taking care of business 3) finding your way back to the table in a dark, smoky, strange place and 4) giving a detailed description of the facilities and their location.

Once Ed's BAL reached a certain zone, however, you had to watch out for the Purple Avenger. It was like Superman. One minute he was mild mannered Ed, then it was like he leapt into a nearby phone booth and out comes the Purple Avenger. You just knew this was going to be a night that stories would be told about. One night a bunch of us were sitting around the Astro Club listening to Our Daily Bread band. Some guys were describing a new craze back in the States called "break dancing". Soon afterward the band goes into end (fast) part of "Free Bird". Just then, the Purple Avenger makes his appearance. P.A. gets out on the dance floor and starts the craziest gyrations I've ever seen. Everyone clears off the dance floor and cheers him on. The band was even getting into it and extended the song. P.A.'s most popular move was to spin around faster and faster to the music, then kick his legs out straight behind him and land on his elbows. Finally the song ended and everyone cheered the performance. Several of us went out on the dance floor. The Purple Avenger was gone and in his place was an exhausted, sweat soaked Ed. We helped him back to the table and gave him a beer.

In the early 80s I went up to Ed's small town in Oregon for a 3 day weekend. Ed had Larry Steuben come down from Hanford Washington at the same time. Bad Idea! I used to be borderline crazy in those days and Larry was much worse. Ed gave a lot of goofy grins, head nods and "Okay's" that weekend. Ed's poor fiancé had never experienced the Purple Avenger, and she got a crash course. Some serious ( yet good natured and non-violent) mayhem resulted in Ed's town the next couple of days. Buddies like Ed don't come along very often and I've often thought about looking him up but I don't want to jeopardize his marriage or my sanity.

A brief note to the citizens and Sheriffs Department of Albany Oregon : That shit was all Larry's idea. Me and Ed were just along for the ride.

"That Fuss Was Us" 



As The Pig Turns ....

Naples Italy:

So the time now is late spring '86 and the Enterprise has been redirected out of the Persian Gulf and into the Mediterranean. Mostly because Quadaffy Duck was stirring up some shit. I remember the night before we went through the Suez, the sunset was red and the whole place had an eerie red shade to it, it was like a huge harbor and so many ships waiting to go through the canal. I didn't spend much time on deck, but I thought it was interesting how close the canal was (not much room when you squeeze a carrier in their), kept thinking how easy it would be for some terrorist asshole to show up with an RPG or something and nail us. Got a cool little Suez safari certificate for going through though.

We get into the Med, and the first thing we do is head for a port, Naples, Italy to be exact. I'm thinking this is cool beyond measure, never expected to get this being a west coast sailor. This was what was going to be cool about being in the Navy, seeing the world! Well, we pulled into Naples while I was still a RT nub, which meant that I had no duty or job to account for, just had to muster every morning and then make myself scarce. This is my first experience with a liberty boat too. Remember the lines and the fear that you would spend hours only to be turned down by some dickhead because your beard had grown long while you were in line, or because he thought your jeans were inappropriate? I always pushed the limits on SAT hair. Not that it ever made a difference with the ladies.

Naples was so old and so new at the same time. I remember thinking I gotta get some authentic Italian pizza so when lunchtime hit that was the first mission. How disappointing to discover the "Italian" version of pizza was crust with stewed tomatoes spread over it with maybe some meat and vegetables. Not even any mozzarella!! Okay lesson learned the best pizza in the world was in New York or Chicago (depending on style), and the best Italian food is the Americanized version (specifically my mother's). That was the first disappointment.

Second disappointment: where were the hot chicks?? I don't remember any local girls in Italy. I take that back.  I do remember some but I never saw their faces because they were always on the back of a scooter hanging on to some Fabio type dude. Where was that chick that was a dead ringer for Sophia Loren? Where was that hot-blooded Italian girl that could only be satisfied by an American sailor (namely me)? I remember just walking around Naples and this hooker is accosting us and "she" had at least two days of dark beard on "her" and arms like a gorilla. That was how you could tell the difference, if a chick was interested in you it was more than likely a transvestite hooker. If she cursed at you and got on the back of the scooter with Fabio, she was everything you wanted.

Third and worst disappointment: I do not speak Italian. Finally got it through my head that I had to get to Rome. So like the other squids I made my way to the train station. Now the only Italian I speak is "Rome." So when I said this to the ticket salesman, he got me a ticket to "Roma." About 6 hours later I learned that there are two trains to Rome, one is the express that everyone else was fortunate enough to get and the other was the one that stops at every small town in between (the one I got on). I got to see a lot of the people of Italy and the many, many train stops between Rome and Naples and in the process I learned the only other Italian word I know, "Ciao." I finally got to Rome with about 1 hour to see the entire city before I had to catch the express train back to Naples so I wouldn't miss the liberty boats. We ran frantically to the coliseum, looked at it for about 30 seconds and ran our asses back to the train station. I remember seeing all my other buddies lounging in sidewalk cafes relaxing after a full day of sightseeing and taking in Rome. I was so jealous. So this remains another of many unfinished businesses in my life. I now have the "need" to go and see what I missed. Kind of like seeing the trailer for a movie, wanting to see it, hearing everyone talk about it, and still never seeing it. As I've said before, if you're interested in the port, take leave. Mark Groseclose did this in Italy and didn't see the ship again until we pulled into France. He was smart!

Fourth disappointment: one I'm ashamed to admit. Well the decent girls aren't to be found and I'm not one for transvestite hookers with more hair on their arms than I had on my entire head ( I hadn't gone bald yet), so Randy Jestice and I decide to check out the fine arts of Naples. We meander on into a porno theater and to my surprise find half of the Enterprise crew in the audience. The amazing thing about this and the lasting impression is that we were watching an American porno flick in Italy with Italian subtitles. Our porn is universal….Of course, the Italian printed porn was everywhere. As previously mentioned on this site it was like a weird venereal disease that seemed to be contracted by everyone. The rest of the cruise that stuff was showing up. I don't know for certain but I'm thinking it even came back around for the 88 cruise. I know every time we went to sea for the next 4 years when porn would rear it's ugly head in the showers and toilets you were almost afraid to look and see if it was the dread Italian strain. The scourge of humanity!!! Of course you'd check it out though just to be sure. You felt unclean just looking at it, but yet you couldn't help but look at it. They even had comic book porn, and it was gross too!!

Among these disappointments though there was greatness. I remember on the last night Randy and I found a really good Italian restaurant and polished off a couple bottles of local wine and then chased it with very strong cappuccino. Talk about one extreme to another. The coast line of Naples was actually very beautiful, especially at sunset. I also remember the Italian beer (Peroni) and Heineken which were plentifully available along the dock where the liberty boats pulled in. We would come to realize that Heineken is really just the Budweiser of Europe. It had such a cool reputation in the states back then too. Remember those sandwiches you could get at the dockside? Not sure what all was in them but I seem to recall sausage, peppers, onions and mozzarella. These were so incredibly good when you were shitfaced and waiting for the liberty boats.

Naples was very very old but it was all new to me…My first true liberty port, and even though there were disappointments, man it was fun!!

Here's some pics that Rich Lorenz sent me, since I don't have any from Italy….If anyone knows where Mark Fritz is please tell him to contact me.

[Galbraith with Italian Chicks; Mark Serna, Galbraith, Rob and Me in Rome; Galbraith at the Coliseum]

Of course Galbraith was able to find Italian girls…..

Louie Wingo



Hi KP,

Here's a pic from the 86 Westpac SG inspection job. Also, the Ken Yamamoto email address doesn't seem to work. You might want to test it.


Super Dave


Ed Bowles Comes Aboard .....


I'd like to list my email address, I was in M Division in 3 Main from 1966 until 1968. Ed Bowles email address

Thank for you for your time and effort on this



Big E in Subic

KP, Here's a picture that Ron Ogan recently sent me. This picture was obviously taken in the 80s. I always thought that the old gal looked her best when tied up at Subic. 



And if you look real close that's probably me on that cherry picker, doing that dreaded RC vent fan soap test maintenance;)


Paint Queue ....

Also KP, if you look close at the picture of the old gal in Subic, you can see the paint gantry near the fantail. I remember the lines of Filipino workers who would queue up for the chance to make a few extra dollars painting the ship. Going west, we would paint the starboard side and going east, we would paint the port side. No wonder she always looked good for our homecoming!!!




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