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

William Noll Comes Aboard ....

Please sign me up:

William Noll (ET2) RC-11 Division 1986-1989

Tonopah, Arizona

Employed at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station since leaving the 'E' Radiation Protection Technician (an ELT without dealing with chemistry)

Dozens of other ex-'E' Navy Nukes work here also….


KP Note:  Hey Bill!  I remember you!  Another Arizonan!  As soon as I get back off vacation (next week) I'm gonna set up a date for a get-together at my house in Phoenix.  I'll shoot for the first or second weekend in November. All will be invited, even those living outside Arizona. I have no idea what's going on with the "Big" Reunion (so don't ask).

James Puckhaber Comes Aboard ...

Hey King Paul,

I'm not certain we crossed paths on the Big E, but we have a short overlap of time when we were both on there. Thanks for starting and keeping this website going. Please add my name and info to the Big E roster:

James Puckhaber RM3, RM23 1983-1987


Mikey Bowman Gets a New e-Mail addy ....

Last note to all my Loving friends........E-Mail address has changed...this one will disappear very soon...New one is...

........See you there...MikeyB


Rich Brady Has Passed Away


Just heard from an Ex-Big E buddy that Rich Brady, RE Division & RX Admin. 1965-1967, passed December, 2003. He's listed on the roster. 





Okay you landlubbers..... It's time to start celebrating our adventures.  A syndicate is being formed and all contributors to this website are officially included in that great association.  We are now, most likely using a nom de plum, about to begin writing a fictional (ha!) narrative about a bunch of nukes and engineers sailing on the Big E.  This book has the working title of Catch 65.  Either (or both) Steamer or myself will act as principal editor and begin compiling ideas.  A forum website is about to be initiated (much like Critical Thinking) to organize our many thoughts and plotlines.  I will link to the URL from the Critical Thinking site ONLY.

More to follow .....



Well, I'll Be Damned .....

Finally!  I finally got back into this website.  I ain't even gonna try to tell you about how my hard drive crashed, my new hard drive got wiped out by every known virus, .... etal .... plus I took a vacation ....

On top of all that this website now exceeds what is considered stable for Microsoft Front Page (my HTML editor) to edit.  Sometimes it takes me hours to access the damn thing.  Oh well.  But I'm back.  I was able to retrieve some lost emails and such but hopefully most of what you guys sent in after 10/4 was stored in the Earthlink Ethernet and I finally downloaded it.  If something you sent within the last few weeks doesn't follow this message, re send it.  PP, please resend your "Mike and the Magic Glasses" story, as I know for a fact I lost it in my hard drive crash. 



Bruce Prehal Comes Aboard ...

Please sign me up. I think my Nuke class was 7408 and I went to AIW prototype. I was a 3-plant RPE from 75 to 79. I got out while we were still in the yards in Bremerton.

My name is Bruce S. Prehal

My E-mails are:


Remembering CC Smith


A bunch of us '70s guys believe we served under the finest man to ever wear Khakis. CC Smith was a very unique officer. I think most who served under him would agree. We've put together a tribute and would appreciate your posting it on the site. Would you also add his list to those shipmates that have passed away.


Rick Ellenberger


Carol C. Smith



Commanding Officer

April 9, 1974 - December 10, 1976

Over the last year, a bunch of us Big E nukes from the mid 70s have been getting back in contact via E mail. You just gotta love the internet!

After all these years, one of the things we still have in common is our respect for our first "Big E" C.O. Capt. Carol C. Smith. Though it's been over 25 years since we served under him, we still speak highly of him and his leadership. Capt Smith believed in working hard and playing hard. But he also believed you had to do the former to earn the latter. He was very big on accountability. He was both respected and liked by the crew. We affectionately referred to him as "Country Chuck" due to his strong Alabama drawl. Everybody had their favorite CC story. He was one of those rare individuals lucky enough to become a legend in his own time.

Unfortunately, Vice Admiral Smith is no longer with us. He passed away on October 14 1983 in front of his home on Admirals Row in Norfolk Va. He was always an avid jogger and died doing what he loved. We felt compelled to share a few of our favorite stories of the finest C.O. any of us can remember. (I can't think of anybody else we'd do this for.)

"Cap'n CC Smith to me was an inspirational CO; despite countless foul-ups setting condition Zebra during GQ, he always encouraged us to do better without yelling at us. He would also steam like a true sailor, sometimes having to be poured out of a Guerrero taxi on Leyte pier and have to dragged up the officer's brow. When he inspected 4MMR after we painted it baby blue, he calmly said to paint it over, no ass chewing, which was a relief as l was there to see him inspect (which took about a minute). But my fondest memory of Cap'n Smith was the speech he gave over the 1MC before we commenced launching air strikes against the NVA for the Saigon evac; he basically told us we were all professionals and that all the practice we had undergone was now to be put to use, so let's get busy.  May he rest in peace.”

“During his party on Grande Island, I was pretty well on my way to being 10 sheets to the wind.  I told C.C. that even though I was only a second class petty officer I would like to shake his hand, congratulate him on becoming an admiral, and tell him how much I appreciated serving under him.  He shook my hand and proceeded to explain to me that I was not "just" a second class petty officer.  He treated everyone as an important person.  CC didn't demand or command respect as most C.O.s did, he earned it from everyone I know that served under him.  The Navy would be a far better place with more leaders like him. “

“I seem to recall reading somewhere on this site that Capt. Smith’s incoming change of command ceremony was streaked. Whoever wrote that will be happy to learned that his outgoing ceremony where he handed over the keys to Capt. Austin was streaked as well. CC got it coming and going!”

“One evening in the South China Sea, flight ops were over for the day and I was one of about 15 people watching the sunset at the bow of the flight deck. It was a beautiful evening, a beautiful sunset and people were speaking in hushed tones. I traded several comments back and forth with a chief who was standing slightly behind me. After a while I turned around and saw that I had been talking to Capt. Smith. I must have just called him "Chief" at least 5 times. I then said something stupid like "I'm sorry sir, I didn't mean to call you "Chief"". He looked at me and said," That's OK son. I take it as a compliment. I know who really runs this ship." One heck of a C.O.”

"Remember Cap'n Smith and his early exploits in Hong Kong? He hit it hard for a couple of days before his wife flew in for the remainder of our inport period... I remember once the Captains Launch docked at a pier near where several of us happened to be and all of the "Babes" that were with the Skippers steaming buddies....."

"CC was a great Captain who knew how to be just like all of us without all the officer airs about him. You knew he was the captain and he was respected but you could talk to him. There was always a story of him turning up somewhere with other sailors at a party or some other activity. He was a hit and popular no matter where he was. He was a sailor’s sailor kind of like a people’s mayor! We all knew what we had lost when Captain Austin took over for him. Kind of like Senator Benson's line to Senator Quayle during their debate "I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. But I can tell you one thing, Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy". 

"There aren't too many people that we served under that are remembered in the same light as Captain Smith. I still have my Shellback certificate hanging on the wall in the room I do my leather work in. It has Captain Smith’s signature on the bottom. Glad it was him and not Austin that signed it."

“An RM friend went AWOL for two weeks in Olongapo in ’74. When he came back to the ship, he had to go to Captains Mast with CC. The Captain instantly recognized him from the previous month when he had presented him with his Good Conduct ribbon. He was ready to cut my buddy some slack until he found out he had come back to the ship while AWOL and picked up his paycheck. The Captain told him basically, “I admire your tenacity Son, but now I’ve gotta do what I’ve gotta do.” Nevertheless, he stopped short of throwing the book at my friend.”

"I know a story of a PPWS (EM) load dispatcher (that remains nameless because of too much mojo I suspect) that reportedly pulled CC from a ditch in Singapore (after a few too many) after which they bonded and spent many together bending elbows / tipping glasses in PI. My hero! Always had the best tan on the ship too! "

"When we pulled into Hobart in '76, one of the main hangouts was a place called Hadley's in the downtown area. One night Capt Smith was there steaming with a bunch of the fly boys. Their table got a lot of attention from the local groupies. One particularly stunning gal was going around the table asking each officer what it was he did on the Enterprise. When she got to Capt Smith and she asked what he did on the Enterprise, he looked up at her, and with his Alabama drawl said," Lady, I AM the Enterprise!" I bet they don't make C.O.s like that any more."

 Looking at what we have written, we have to admit : Nobody in the 70s would have ever believed that we would one day write kind words about an officer.  None of us were exactly “Joe Navy” and we don’t recall any of us ever being up for “Man of the Month.” Nevertheless, we just had to share our respect for this individual. Life aboard a carrier (especially for a nuke) will never be a piece of cake, but the chain of command can go a long way to make it better or worse. CC, we thank you for your inspired leadership.

CC’s “Company”

Phillip Berkness Comes Aboard ....

Phillip, Berkness RC-Div, 1978-1980


An Anonymous Story .... 

Great site !! I laughed until I thought I might blow a seal ! Reading all these wildass stories brought back many memories of my time on the PIG...Like the time we were all sittin around before muster on the signal bridge...oh yeah I forgot to say that I was a lowly signalman and not a nuke but here goes...There we sit, waiting for the chief to make it up to the shack, to a man hung over to the max because this is the PI... Well one of the fellas (who shall remain nameless) was lamenting his dripping dick and at the same time ripping the chief a brand new a-hole for any and all sins the lifer had perpetrated against him...well it was suggested that if he really wanted to do the chief in why didn't he just "leave a deposit" on the chief's cup...After all, the chief never dined on beaver so to speak and wouldn't it be fine to see him with clap of the throat...well of course we all fell out over that one being the degenerates we were and all agreed that we would never tell ...SQUID'S HONOR !! Well sure enough dood goes ahead and snatches the cup, whips out charley, and gives her a good old swabdown, and replaces the cup... Not 5 seconds later here comes old chiefy sauntering in CPO style, one hand reaching for his beloved cup , the other tugging at his ass crack... It was a one handed fill up and he sucks it half down in one slurp! I mean there was not one guy who could actually stand up we were laughing so hard... Chiefy looks at us rolling on the floor and gets this stupid look on his face like he told a good joke or something and says "What?? Whasso funny? What the f--- is wrong with you guys?" Well what was so funny showed up 2 days later when the chief could not read the order of the day because he had "laryngitis"...

Next time I'll tell my homo-onboardus story , that one's a hoot ! SKATE RATE



Mike Anglada Comes Aboard ....


I'm another ex-nuke from 2 and 4 plants. I was an RM from 1978 to 1982. Please add me to the list. I liked the Navy so much I went to school after my Enterprise days and came back to PSNS as an engineer for the last 16 years. email me at 

Thanks, Mike Anglada


Bill Guyton Comes Aboard ....


I was on the West Pac cruise in 1974/1975. I worked in the number 3 plant. Do you know if anybody has the plants patch. The mouse holding a wrench which was on the DFT.


Bill Guyton


D B???????

Ok, so I do live in Vegas.

Item 1; Don't worry about the heat. It doesn't usually show up until after May. Besides, you go from the air-conditioned plane to the air-conditioned taxi to the air-conditioned hotel the air-conditioned casino..."It's Dry Heat man!".. Get the picture... besides who's awake in the daytime in Vegas???

Item 2; Unless you want to take a taxi everywhere you want to go, and spend big bucks on everything from food to gambling then stay away from the new strip with the mega casinos. Those places are designed to keep you in the building. It sucks to walk somewhere else. Their machines are much tighter too! You want to look at the old strip, Fremont Street. Try calling the Fitzgerald, The Golden Nugget, Binion's Horseshoe (on TV), Californian, Main Street Station, or Four Queens. All of those places are next to each other at the Fremont Street Experience (The covered light canopy). They have two pavilions that have free live bands on Thursday through Saturday nights. It's kind of a zoo like atmosphere with street vendors and tourist drunks roaming around with drinks in their hands. They also have the "Meal Deals" (cheap beer, cheap nik naks, 99 cent shrimp cocktails, steak & lobster, etc), paint can artist, and a gentleman's club. Everything is less than a 2 minute walk, depending on how fast your walker rolls. It's about a $20 taxi ride from the airport. It's also very close to the other finer establishments like "Cheetah's", and "Litl Darling's". You know the sayin', "What happens in Vegas, happens at Cheetahs". You can carry your drink anywhere you want to go, and there's no last call.

Item 3; The hotel should reserve a block of rooms, negotiate a fixed cost, and arrange for a meeting room. Everyone can call in and make their own monetary arrangements. Some hotels even have a bus service from the airport. Most club's also have a bus service from the hotels.

Item 4, Normal Las Vegas travel days for incoming is Friday, and outgoing is Sunday or Monday on three day holidays. Avoid those days if you can. Avoid them like the plague if your driving. I've seen the traffic stopped in the middle of the desert. I've actually seen people BBQin' on the median of I-15 150 miles from nowhere, and the cars 3 wide, bumper to bumper 60 miles long not moving. No shit! Save your penny's and "Fly on a Bird", even if your only going 400 miles. The drive home from Vegas is murder!!! The shit nightmares are wrote about. Picture this "Party your ass off, become a total night owl, then in the middle of the party drive home with the worst hangover you ever had in your life. With 300,000 people who just did the same thing" Nuff said!

Here's a few websites to check out.

Dan G. Davis


"Skip" Donham Comes Aboard ....

Hey Ram,

I just discovered your Enterprise tribute site. Very nice! It brings back memories. I remember you and many of the guys in your pics. Who could forget The Stohlman! I think I'm gonna cry. Anyhow, you can add me to your list. 

Chris "Skip" Donham, EE30, 1986-1990. 


Good job on the web site, 


PS. I always wondered what happened to my bro John "Troll" Lemaster. Any info? I don't see him on your list.


KP Note: Hey Chris ... I remember you.  Were's your buddy McGinty these days? No word from Lemaster yet.  We'll find him soon enough I hope. 

Mike and The Magic Glasses ....

Sometime in '76 1 MMR got a new non-nuke MM. His name was Mike C and he came equipped birth control glasses and a great sense of humor. (Remember those Navy issue glasses with the ugly black plastic frames? They were called "birth control glasses" because no one except Buddy Holly, and later Elvis Costello, ever got laid while wearing them.)

Sometime on the 76 cruise, Mike decides he wants to get laid some place other that the P.I. He figures that a stylish pair of glass would greatly aid this effort. It was a well known fact that the China Fleet Club in Hong Kong was a place to get good glasses at an affordable price. You would get your eyes examined, pick your frames and then your glasses would be mailed to you about a week later. When we pulled into Hong Kong Mike went with Al Crew to the China Fleet Club. While waiting for his eye exam, they went to get a bite to eat. Seems that they each had a few too many beers. Mike then got his eye exam, picked his frames, and paid his money.

A week or so later, Mike gets his glasses while we're in the South China Sea. He puts them on and to his dismay they're a little blurry. Mike figures he's wasted his money as we're not going back to Hong Kong that cruise. Back in Subic, Mike takes his new glasses with him one evening when he goes steaming. For some unknown reason, he puts them on after steaming for a while. BINGO! Now they're perfect.

From then till I left the ship in '78 Mike would constantly repeat this routine. You could always tell whether Mike had been steaming by which glasses he was wearing. We referred to them as his " steaming glasses".

I know what you're thinking : Is this medically possible? We frequently asked this question ourselves. I'm not an expert on alcohol's effect on the human eye. (Well, except for the fact that the more alcohol one consumes, the better the women in the bar look.) All I can attest to is this was Mike's routine, and we observed it more times than we care to remember.

(By the way, I think "Catch-65" is an awesome title for a book about our exploits. Mega-kudos to whoever came up with that one!)



Mark B Does some garage Cleaning ...

Found these in the garage when cleaning. Anyone interested??


KP Note: Hey Mark, don't throw them away!  Let's keep them for our soon to be organized Big E Rx/Eng Dept. archive.  As many of you know several of us have been toying with the idea of organizing such an archive for old cruise books, dopeybooks and patches.  T-shirts should also be included. As of yet no one has volunteered to organize this archive (hint hint) but it would be nice to get started.  

Old Cruise patches (198?) From Mark B.


To Tack:

Hey, MMFN Pontnack (Tack) is still a nub, don't let him fool you. GET QUALIFIED NUB!!!!

MM1 (SS) Brubaker (Formerly)


Coy Reynolds Comes Aboard .... 

RM-22 1995-2002


KP's First Annual BBQ and Semi-Sober Beer Fest!!!!!

Okay you Arizona old Timers  (and those living near enough not to be frightened by a half-day drive) I'm having my first ever house party!  

Where: My House in Phoenix

When: Saturday, November 13, 6PM til ?

Who: anyone looking to share in an evening of BBQ and beer (limited inventory to dissuade drunkin hijinks:) 

Please Email me if you are coming and need directions.  Wives welcome!!!!

I only have one guest room so first out-of-towner to respond gets dibs on it.  Lots of local motels in hotels within stumbling distance of my house (if your willing to walk 6 miles;)


MMCM "Devil" gets new Email addy:

It's another wonderful day in California and wanted you to know that after all these many years of using dial-up modem, we have jumped in the the age of Broadband Internet. For us "Country Folk" way out here in Dunnigan, CA our only option way the "Southern Sky" and DIRECWAY broadcast..........

Have had Direct Satellite TV for almost 7 years so just makes since for us.

Connection speed is pretty good for a regular customer ( business accounts get faster speeds for more $$$ ) like ourselves.........~600 to 700 kbps down. The up speed is much slower but hasn't been a problem for us yet.

Anyway, new email address's are:



Brandon Johnson Comes Aboard ....

Brandon Johnson, EE22& EE11, 1984-1989,


KP Note: Hey, I totally remember you!

Trick or Treat!

October 31 1977. I was at a party on Versailles Ave. on the eastern side of Alameda. There were about 10 or 12 Enterprise nukes standing around the kitchen smoking and joking. The door bell rang and someone went to answer the door. It was a bunch of kids trick or treating. We hadn't realized it was Halloween and didn't have any candy. It was kind of embarrassing.

Now, normal people would have sent someone out to get some candy. That's not what happened here. If it was, there'd be no reason to write this story. We searched around the apartment for something to hand out. John discovered a shit load of ice cubes in the freezer. Someone else discovered a bunch of brown paper lunch bags. What we did was fill each of the lunch bags with a handful of ice cubes, tie the bag shut and put it back in the freezer so the ice wouldn't start melting.

We spent the rest of the evening taking turns answering the door and handing out the bags. About mid way through the evening, it was my turn to answer the door. Standing in front of me was a cherubic, rosy cheeked lad of about 4. He was dressed as a pumpkin and his (rather attractive) mother was standing right behind him. As I put the brown bag in his trick or treat bag he looked at me in wide eyed awe. He must have thought he'd struck the mother lode. His Mom said, "Now thank the nice man Jeffery." I patted the kid on the head, told him he was welcome and sent him on his way. (I'm not really proud of that.)

Sometime well after 10 PM we got our last trick or treaters. It was two kids in their mid teens. Their "costumes" were shitty, they were out too late, and they were too old for trick or treating. We had 4 bags of ice cubes left and I gave each of them 2 bags. As they watched me put what seemed like a half pound of candy in their bags, they didn't even have the common courtesy to thank me. When they left, several of us sensed what was going to happen and went into Burt's bedroom and opened the window. This was right above the stairs. Sure enough the kids couldn't wait to open up their loot. I still remember hearing their reaction. "It's ice! It's ICE!! Those assholes gave us ICE!!!!" I collapsed in a fit of laughter. I didn't feel (nor have I ever felt) the least bit guilty about that shit.

Shortly after that I left the party to go steaming on Webster Street. When the guys who lived in the apartment woke up the next morning, their place had been seriously TP'd and egged. There was never any doubt that those 2 adolescent dick heads were major players in that.

HFH (Happy Halloween) PP


Help From a Shipmate ....

Hey you fellow nuke types,

If any of you guys who are getting out would like to be able to directly email Operations or Maintenance Departments about getting jobs in the Industry just drop me an email.

I have the emails to all the Operations Managers, Plant Managers, VPs et al. Note you'll never be able to find these on your own. (In fact my offering them is quasi unethical but I'm a nuke LOL)

What I won't send is a master list, because I don't have one. I do have a search engine that will get me the addresses.

What I would need is the plant or company you're interested in.

I work rotating shifts so you'd have to give me a few days to answer, but I will help out my nuclear brethren (and sistren too!).

The offer is always open to anyone on this site.

When I was getting out of the Navy we went to a school that taught us how to get jobs. One thing they advised is never go through Human Resources. Send your inquiries to the Top Dogs, EVEN if they don't read them they do pass them down to the appropriate departments (again usually bypassing Human Resources). When the department gets the email or resume it's stamped from the Higher Managers office. They figure he's recommending you so when they hire a new class they usually will interview you. I got 17 job interviews this way when I was getting off, and 17 offers. The methodology still works because I was looking to change plants and all 5 companies I sent resumes to at least contacted me.

You can email me at


Adam Hutchins Comes Aboard ....

Hello, I saw your big E Rx and Eng page and I'd like my name added to the list. My name is Adam Hutchins, and I've worked for RC-11 (1 plant ET) and RX-40 (reactor DC division) from 2001 until I get out in 2006. You can list my email as



Wesley Nick Comes Aboard ....

Hey, Wesley Nick checking in. I was with RM-22 from 96-2000. Please list my email under,  Thanks!



The Champs ...

I am not sure if I sent this to you or not, but after the world series, I recalled when we won the softball championship in the PI against all airdale teams. It was so great to beat nothing but airdales that year. A few of us then went over to play the basketball championship against Supply division. We ran out of gas after playing the softball championship earlier in the day and ended up losing the championship game. Not bad for a bunch of guys who rarely saw the sun. They underestimated us nukes. Here's the photo of the 1984 Big E Captain's cup softball champs.  



Remembering Another Shipmate ....


My Dad was a nuke machinist mate and did two tours on the Big E when I was a kid. He passed away 12/04/2001 at 8:00 pm after a long bout with the consequences of smoking.

His name was Jim Williamson, Jr., MMCM (SPCM) Ret. I would appreciate a mention IN MEMORIUM on your site because he was a nuke, an engineer, a shellback, and lived the Navy way for the entire time I knew him. He could fix anything, grow anything, and build anything.

I've attached a link to his obit and the card I sent to the ceremonial detachment thanking them for the honors at his funeral. Your site is as fitting a tribute to a true Navy man like dad as I have found. I miss him terribly.

He's in a bunch of the cruise books and has a lot of plaques and certificates from the Enterprise.


Dave Williamson


Arizona Bash '04

Hey all you salty dogs living near Phoenix, don't forget about KP's First annual BBQ on 11/13/04.  Looks like we're gonna have a great turn out.  I haven't heard from all my Arizona brethren so I'll email as many guys as I can that haven't responded yet.  (Hopefully I won't inadvertently forget someone in the Phoenix area).   Call me on my Cell Phone for directions to my house.  The San Miguel goes on ice about 5PM!!! 



Hong Kong '74


It was 30 years ago this month that us 7401 guys hit Hong Kong for the first time. We had already been in Subic twice and we wondered what Hong Kong held in store for us. Since we were still in RT, on the morning we pulled in we had nothing better to do than go to the flight deck and watch as we entered the harbor. Pulling in, anchoring, and the ferry ride in to the pier were all memorable. We had been hearing of Hong Kong all our lives and now we were there.

During one of our first days, Willy and I took a Special Services tour of Hong Kong Island. They put about 40 of us sailors aboard a (then) modern tour bus and we set off to see the sights. Victoria Peak was cool. Great pictures and view of the entire harbor. We visited Tiger Balm Garden, another great place for picture taking. As we were leaving Tiger Balm Garden I remember remarking at how unique our surroundings were. (Ancient Chinese intimately mixed with modern skyscrapers.) Willy suddenly spies two dogs boffing on our side of the bus. Willy points and yells, "Hey look! Two dogs f**king!" Here we are surrounded by all this exotic scenery, yet everyone rushes to our side of the bus to see the dogs. Literally thousands of dollars of newly purchased Canon and Nikon photographic equipment went into action taking pictures that could only be titled "Two dogs f**king in Hong Kong". (Typical squids.)

For lunch, we stopped in Aberdeen and went to Tai Pak floating restaurant. (It's been in a bunch of movies over the years.) I had never had Chinese food before. The first thing they brought out were fried prawn appetizers. They were GREAT! I stuffed myself not knowing that seven courses were to follow. Each course was better than the last. I could only sample a little bit of each since I had gorged myself with the prawns. All in all, a meal I will never forget.

In the afternoon we stopped briefly at a place called Repulse Bay and we all got off the bus for about half an hour and had a chance to get a quick beer and a snack. Over a beer, Willy and I had one of those "defining moments" that friendships sometimes have. We reflected on our shared experiences at NPS and prototype. We somehow ended up confessing things that ticked us off about each other. We both had a good laugh over the petty little shit that would drive the other one crazy. We came to Repulse Bay as mere "buddies" and left less than an hour later as best of friends. (Funny how that shit happens.)

The tour ended about 5 PM. We were dropped off by Fenwick pier. We decided to try our hand at Hong Kong steaming. It was good. In fact, it would have been considered great if we hadn't been recently spoiled by Subic. Willy and I ended up in a tattoo shop called Pinky Lo's. I had two tattoos since "A" school. Willy had none. In a drunken conversation in Saratoga Springs, Willy and I had pledged to get tattooed together if we ever met up in H.K. This seemed unlikely since I was destined for subs and he wanted a carrier. (Well at least one of us was right.) We decided to each get a dragon on our left deltoid. To this day, when I look in the mirror while shaving I see the results of that evening. It was November 22 1974. We remember it since it was the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, a date that our generation will never forget.

That first Hong Kong visit is one that will be with us always.

PP (P.S. Veterans Day greetings to all. A special note of thanks and support goes out to those still serving.)


Cruise DVD ....


I happened to be surfing for Big E stuff on the internet and came across on Ebay a DVD of the 2001 Big E Med/Arabian Gulf combat cruise. As you're no doubt aware, the Big E was held back from returning from the Med and was the first combat ship to be deployed in response to the 9/11 attack. If anyone is interested, the seller can be reached at; I have no idea how many he may have available. It's about 2 hours in length and arranged just like a cruise book although no names or pictures of each of the crew. Not the best quality but a very nice recording of what takes place on not just any supercarrier but the Big E, at sea/combat and on some pretty nice port calls. By the way, the Reactor Officer at that time was a Captain. No other department head had higher rank than Commander. When I was aboard in mid-60's, our Reactor Officer was a Commander. Has the Navy upgraded the importance of the position? Just curious.

Bob Keller


Los Dudes ....

As Most Know... The KP family made a pilgrimage back to the homeland last month to visit the In Laws and Out Laws ....  Below is the latest Photo of Nitro and I.  I'm the one with the less than respectable hair;)



A Peek Back in Time

My boyhood pal recently sent me some old photos that he scanned.  Some were photos that I had sent him while I was in the navy.  Below are vintage pics of the notorious "EMFN KP" (most likely taken at GLakes).  The second photo was taken right after I arrived on The E in the winter of '86.  No doubt I was gundecking instead of doing my RT quals;).  The last photo was taken on my wedding day in 1993.  Many of my groomsmen were ex Big E mates. (Far left is Nitro; 3rd from left is "Q"; 2nd from right is Dicko).



From Pat Hoban:

Saw this today and thought it fitting to add to the site.


Pat Hoban

PS - any word on the reunion?


From "These Good Men" by Michael Norman:

I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite. Not to tell stories or look at old pictures. Not to laugh or weep. Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once acted their best, men who suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped raw, right down to their humanity. I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate and the Military. But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have never given anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than my life. They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another. I cannot say where we are headed. Ours are not perfect friendships; those are the province of legend and myth. A few of my comrades drift far from me now, sending back only occasional word. I know that one day even these could fall to silence. Some of the men will stay close, a couple, perhaps, always at hand. As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day. I am sure that when I leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades.....such good men. 


KP Note: Happy Veterans day to All!  I am proud of many things; but most of all of being a Big E sailor.  Only about 70,000 men on this earth can lay claim to that.  

As far as the reunion goes, I don't know.  If this Las Vegas thing doesn't materialize soon I'll just have our first official reunion in my warehouse around Spring Training time.  We can drink to our heart's content and then wander aimless into Diablo Stadium (which is up the street a bit).  Don't forget about KP's 1st Annual BBQ on November 13!  If you're in the Phoenix area, stop in.  Things will get hopping about 6PM.

Photos From Scott French! 


Sorry I have been pathetically lazy about trying to send these photos. I will try one at a time. I think it will work. I hope that all will enjoy. I think that Dan Raya was the photographer.

snf aka : midwest mongrul/wet rat/stomach that ate San Francisco


KP Note: Thanks for sending the pics Scott.  Man, I forgot how most of us were wogs on the '86 cruise.  Thank God Big Dave Conklin was a wog or he'd a put a hurt on most of us smart ass nubs;)

KP's BBQ-O-Rama!!!

Below is a photo of those attending the first ever KP BBQ.  

Left to Right: Mark Groseclose, "KP," Terry Gardner, Kevin Doyle and Jay "Bongo Bill" Robinson.

The aftermath ..... (This was all the beer that was consumed.  I guess we are getting old!)


Mark's Patches

It's just a guess, but the patches displayed by Mark B represent consecutive port calls on the '82-'83 Westpac. Do I win a cookie?

Thomas Kreischer

10/26/04 (I found this in one of my mailboxes, sorry for delay in posting)

Robert Issa and Rick Niemeyer Come Aboard ....

Robert Issa 1 plant M-Div 1988-1990

Rick Niemeyer RM-23 1988-1991


KP Note: Hey I remember both you guys!  Since you're on the Vinson, you must be real close to retiring.



Good to see the pictures of your barbecue. The picture of the empty San Miguel bottles tells a story. I'm sure you can remember back when that many bottles only signified a "warm up" on base before heading across the river to do some real steaming. Those of us in our forties and fifties just can't do that kind of steaming anymore. Time passes and damn few things stay the same.

I don't watch a lot of drama series on TV, but one show I do like is JAG. Maybe I like the nostalgia of destroyers, aircraft carriers and such, but it probably has a lot to do with my hots for Catherine Bell. When I watch this program with friends, they frequently ask how real some of the situations are. Usually when I answer, I have to qualify it with "In my time". I understand things tend to change in 25 years. Here's a few things that always give me pause when I watch the show :

* The pilots wear all sorts of personalized helmets. In our day all pilots wore the helmets of their squadron. If you were in VF1, you wore a VF1 helmet, and that was that. Has this changed?

* On the show all planes take off with afterburners lit. In our day the only plane to do this was the RA5-C Vigilante. F-14s only took off with afterburners for the rare air show. Has this changed?

* Here's the one that really gets me going. On the show, all doors on the ships are marked WTD or NWTD. In our day watertight doors MAY have been marked WTD. I can't clearly remember, but I don't think so. I know they were marked with material condition (X-ray, Yoke or Zebra). I also know that non watertight doors were NOT marked as such. Has the "dumbing down' of the Navy reached this level? If it doesn't have 6 "dogs" around the edge, if it looks like the closet door on a mobile home : IT PROBABLY AIN'T A WATERTIGHT DOOR! What's up with this?



Shawn Steele Comes Aboard ....


My name is Shawn Steele. I was on the Enterprise from 89 to 93 in RC23

please add my name to your web page.


shawn steele


Odds and Ends ...


Enjoying the site.

You remember the “5” valves, of course. They were the large air-motor operated main steam cutout valves for each reactor. You weren’t supposed to open them at any faster then ¼ turn per second (?), or so, I think, when bringing the reactor on line Or maybe it was ½ turn/sec, who knows.

Anyway, I have the -no kidding- label plate from 1MS-V5B which I “acquired” when they decided to install large plates over the handwheels of these valves to cover up the spokes of the valve handwheels. (Something to do with keeping us poor ignorant squids from sticking our limbs/fingers/heads through the spokes of the “5” valves just in time for it to go shut automatically.)

Also, I’ve sent along a pic of the nuclear lightbulb patch, not sure where/when/who I got it from, but I thought it was cool. The other patch, most of us will recognize. 


RM-11, RM-22, RT, ‘79-85

EM Div 95-97


Michael Thomas has New Email Addy:

Please update my e-mail

Michael Thomas, RC11, RC14 1991-1996

Did y’all have a reunion? I haven’t looked at the site in over a year.



KP Note: Nope, no reunion yet.  If this Vegas thing doesn't materialize in a few weeks I'll set up something in Phoenix in the early spring. I'll also include a better Reunion board that will be linked to from the index page (before, it was linked to a discussion, which didn't go anywhere.)

Link to Reunion Page Here

Jim McNamara Comes Aboard ....

Stumbled on your Big-E site very accidentally. Please add me to the ' 70s listing. Thanks much. 

Jim McNamara, M-23, ' 71-' 75.


EBay Has Some Cruisebooks For Sale!

Arrgh! has spotted a few cruisebooks on eBay.  There's a 74-75 (item 2287847650) and an '86 (but I won't give out item number so my pal blue Lou can win it).  At any time, there is usually one or two cruisebooks for sale.  Keep a look out for the ones your missing (if you were one of those anti-navy slugs, who didn't buy one and now regrets it!)


Ron Mitchell Comes Aboard ...

Just stumbled on your site, it's great. Please add me to your e-mail list. I'm Ron Mitchell, I was in M-Div. 4MMR from Feb.69 to Aug. 72. My e-mail Your site brings back a lot of memories and I see a few shipmates are listed. Carl Deaville was a MM2 in 4 plant, Jim(Triple J) Jeisel a MM1. Frank (Roco) Capano was also in 4 plant for a while. I was CMO on sea trials in 4MMR after the 71 refueling and can tell you the old girl did 50+ knots with Rickover at the helm. It was said in the old days "God brought the sun critical and Rickover signed his qual. card."


Power and Light was Right ....

Was thinking about that light bulb patch, and I seem to remember that we ran ass-backwards shore power to Tacoma or one of the Washington cities after some disaster or other in the early 70's. Maybe somebody remembers the particulars,.... or maybe not, and you'll have to believe me, which you should......



A Shout Out To Ron Mitchell ....

RE: Ron Mitchell

Hi Ron, I was a RO in 4 plant when you served. Don't remember a lot of you steam side guys cause you were always hot and sweaty, even though I spent a lot of time tweaking on Boiler level and the feed flow sensors. I remember you got a new chief that made you shine the brass controls right behind SGWLCP. Do you remember Billy Malm (Thor)? You got to contribute to the site. We are reactor side top heavy and we need more AMR stories.....



Home Computing, Circa 2004?

This looks eerily familiar...........hippo


rx-120304-HomeComputer.jpg (28236 bytes)

(Click to Enlarge)

Reunion Info!

ram, I have been checking into conference centers in the Vegas area, and with out a firm date, they cannot give an accurate quote on room rates or availability. most how ever are very interested in the thought of entertaining a couple hundred x-squids for the week end. the cost of the conference rooms at most places are included with a sit down or a buffet dinner, as long as there are at least ten. personally spring 2005 sounds great, prior to march 10, after I have a refuel outage (about 7 weeks). so lets set a firm date and do some planning. I am more than happy to organize the thing, I just don't want to pick the date. can you conduct a poll on what works the best for the most guys...........let me know...........

joe carl  


Nicole Guess Comes Aboard ....

Guess, Nicole

Engineering One Plant, 2000-2001


KP Note: Is it possible?  Are you our second official Big E female snipe?  Send us some stories!

Tyler Montgomery Comes Aboard ....

Just read the stories on your web site regarding the Big "E". Please add me to the list of those who served on the "E". First served in 67 & 68 in #1 RxAux and then 71 through 74 in RM div and then as Group Sup of 4 MMR. Was a ENC and converted to MMC in 73.

MM1 Lindermann, MM2 Docherty , Linthicum, and McGuire. What a crew they were. Then there was a MM named Leak. The first day he reported to 4 plant I received a call that there was a big leak on ERUL. You can imagine my surprise when the leak turned out to be a very large MM.

The Aux steam reducer in #4 plant went on the blink. After several rebuilds of the regulator it still did not want to regulate properly. As we closed the Xconnect with #1 plant the pressure gage showed the pressure drifting low then high. About that time the pressure spiked high then low and high again. Upon asking the ER what was going on the reply was "Lindy" tweeked the regulator. What this meant was he smacked the valve with a 10 pound sledge. You guessed it the darn valve began to regulate pressure correctly and worked fine the rest of the cruise.

During a lite-off I noticed the wardroom messmen apparently cleaning WR2 carpet. In actuality the feed water dump tank was overflowing through the vents. Apparently #1 plant had the makeup feed valve bypassed and kept taking on makeup feed and the feed water dump valve kept dumping excess feed water into the dump tank. The WR2 messmen were really trying to dry out the carpet that had been floating on a couple inches of water.

Does anyone remember the "pink" buttkits in #1 MMR. Seems the MPA kept telling MMCM Adams to have the buttkits painted. After several coats of paint a second CPO was requested to witness the painting. As said CPO entered #1 ERUL the problem became apparent. the MMCM was colorblind and the #1 plant MMs kept painting the buttkits every time they were told but rather than light gray they kept painting them pink. The MPA and MMCM had many unhappy discussions until the problem was found.

I remember how hard it was to protect the painting on the moisture separator. Also the two forward guide pins for the LP turbine were just the right size to hold a SNCC (standard navy coffee cup) and keep the coffee at a good drinking temperature.

Anyone remember the standing orders that gave CPO's head of trash dumping line (Early years when almost all nukes on the "E" were CPOs)

Did a tour of NPS Bainbridge 75 and Orlando 76-78. Then a tour on a SSBN. Retired in 83 after 21 year 3 month 15 day.

Tyler P. "Monty" Montgomery MMCS (SS)


Smokin' Joe Comes To Town!

One of the greatest things about this website is that it puts me in touch with all my old pals!  Last night I met and had dinner with the legendary Smokin' Joe Miskell.  Joe was in town for a business trip.  Joe hasn't changed a bit!  Below is a current picture of us.  Joe is now a tax consultant.  



Mark McHugh Comes Aboard ....

McHugh, Mark RL Div. 1989-1994


Mark McHugh, C


Back at ya Hippo:

Hi hippo, like you I don't remember a lot of Rx side guys, but at our age we are lucky to remember our own name. Hearing Billy Malm's name reminds me of the time I was CMO, Billy was feed pumper, Quiet night, Billy bets me 5 bucks he can put a dent in the file cabinet with his head. Billy backs off about 10 ft. lowers his head and runs into the side of the file with the top of his head. He bounces off the cabinet, has a cut on the top of his head, but sure enough a big dent in the file. Billy gives me that little dry laugh of his as he takes my five dollars. The chief you remember was BTCM Falor (yes kiddies they use to let BT's be nuke's) He made us chip the paint from all the copper and brass lines on the main air ejectors and polish them. When we was in the yards during the refueling in 71 he had all the removable deck plates galvanized. When we went back to sea he found out when they got wet they would turn dark. As you remember we had a plant inspection every Friday by the Capt. one week and the XO the next. So every Friday morning we were on our hands and knees with wire brushes and citric acid shining the deck plates. This was just the start of his madness.

Ron Mitchell


Greetings From Someone We Should Know ...

Just thinking (normally a time consuming and dangerous thing)

To all: I just got off the phone with a buddy that served onboard at the same time. I told him to look up this site and read the various inputs from so many people who look at things with a different outlook on life now than ever before. Bottom line is I would like to wish a Happy Holiday to all, yes ARRRRGH, you too, and send along a personal photo (check out the eyes) with best wishes for the New Year. 

Someone you know.



Bill Hilow Comes Aboard!

Hey Ramrod! I stood watch in 1 plant mostly. I was an E-div'r that ran the switch gear. I currently work with Lenny Meyer @ Genentech here in SSF.

Check out the Iranian Navy website.

I personally think the sacrifice that we made was huge and for the most part overlooked. Here is a shot of me in e-div berthing 88 cruise I think. Jeezuz, we made enough of them. Every year seems like. 

William Hilow


KP Note: Bill!  I totally remember you.  I can't remember how many watches we spent together (I recall it being in 4 SWGR though) but it was many.  I forget what we talked about but we spent nearly the whole watch doing it.  Weren't you the guy that got flown off to fix one of the motor generators on a British frigate (that was stuck dead in the water)?  (If I'm wrong ignore me.)  Great to hear from you again after all these years! 

Polar Explorer

Before I end this page I'd like to share a photo someone sent me.  Us Big E nukes never saw anything like this but I'm sure all you tubers did.  I get cold just looking at it!  




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