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


Okay all you 'would be' qualified watchstanders, pictured below is a panel and breaker that was very important to our steaming capability.  Who had the keys that unlocked the plastic covers?  Who was authorized to unlock these covers? What would happen when these breakers were tripped or fuses pulled? And, for bonus credit, who was often found sleeping behind or near this panel?





Okay.  We're nearly there.  Two weeks and counting.  The Official Reunion will take place at Rock Bottom Brewery on Saturday Night at 6:00 PM (I have reserved a portion of the brew pub for 20- 30 guys).   Those arriving Friday night (and hopefully staying in the Chandler area) can meet at my house, which is located in the foothills (west of Chandler).  E-mail me for directions.  Saturday we'll just golf, hang out, and enjoy our time together.



Troublecall ....

We have this nuisance alarm on our control panel... Thought some of you nukes might be able to help us troubleshoot.




Quiz Answer 1


Those wouldn't be the SCRAM breakers would they. PPWO had the keys. PPWO/PPWS could unlock them and the poles went into the holes when opened or tripped or some fuses pulled.

Mike Noland


Quiz Answer 2


Looks like the scram breakers to me. Am I right? What do I win! They were in the control equipment room. When a breaker was tripped a control rod would drop. The breakers were in the circuit that provided power to the control rod latching mechanism I think. Also, if one of the fuses blew on the panel above, a rod would drop. That happened to me one time when Joe Carl and I were sitting the panels one mid-watch. Great fun! I think the Watch Sup was the keeper of the keys for these breakers. I think he would always have to come to control equipment during a precrit to unlock the covers so we could close the breakers. I think that one breaker may have provided power to several control rods, but I could be wrong. Hell, I can’t even remember how may rods there were. I think there were 12 or 16.

Oh yeah, in 2 plant Jerry Petro or John Fay could often be found sleeping behind the panels. I think Greg Volts may have been the all-time champ. I think he got out soon after the ’86 cruise but taught Petro and Fay well. There was a guy named Corbin that slept a lot also. I only slept in the plants while sitting the panel during in-port SRO watches. Cliff Teeter and Mike Stonebreaker taught me that one. I still use that skill today. I look like I’m staring at my computer screen but in reality……….ZZZZZZZ!

Concerning the reunion, I plan on showing up either Friday night or Saturday sometime. I haven’t worked it out yet. I’ll let you know. Look forward to seeing everyone!


Mark Groseclose


Quiz Answer 3

Okay, I'm pretty sure I know who submitted the rod rolldown story, too nice a guy to have suffered the subsequent ass chewing. The assessment of Ulmer's reaction is classic though, I could totally visualize Ron in that whole story. What a character!! I could also see Booger sitting on the panel when that happened too. He would have likely been a new RO when that occurred. Stood a lot of watchs with the Boogey man, I wish he'd find this site so I could catch up with him. Greg Weiland too! 

To answer the quiz those breakers are the rod control breakers the ones that open when you scram the reactor. In particular that was the cabinet for the 1A reactor, and if you pulled the fuses, the same as popping the breakers only you'd see a lot more sparks fly if you just popped the fuses. The person charged to unlock the plastic was the PPWS, he'd unlock them and the RCEO would then close the breakers and we'd latch the rods. The deeper question of who was often found sleeping behind that cabinet, well that would be me. Of course I wasn't the only one, basically anyone from RC11 would have been catching Z's back there, while one or more sacrificial lambs were engaged in conversation with the Mumbleyak. Underneath the wireways was rather comfy.

Louie Wingo


Winners All!

You guys know you're stuff!  As far as who slept behind the panel, well that was an open ended question as everyone did and it was one of the better known 'sleeping' spots in the plant.  You'd often find the bottom of someone's boondoockers under there when scouting it out for yourself during one of those meaningless 'work days' we all had to endure during the SRAs.



Mini Reunion Photos ....

Finally got my pictures developed, here's a couple of pics from when I got together with Bill Isom shortly before Christmas last winter. Bill just recently moved to beautiful Eastern Kansas. Great to see Bill again and I'm glad he's in the neighborhood so to speak. Gotta get him out on the "Little E" this summer. 

Second is me and good old Mike Galbraith. Mike celebrated his 40th birthday this year. That's right, the original baby face has hit 40. Time is indeed marching on guys. Anyway drove up to Mike's place for the party. As with Bill it was great to see him again and I hope he can make it down to KC to get out on the boat this summer.  Just to put the fear of God in you, Mike is the law in his county. That's right he's your worst nightmare, a redneck with a gun and a badge. Do not speed in Maryville, MO. 

Louie Wingo 


Mr. Nice Guy


Recently at work the subject came up of best/worse bosses we've ever had. Over the years, I've had some standouts in both categories.

S3G class 7401 "C" crew had 5 guys going through EOOW quals. 3 were from the Academy, one was a long haired civilian, and one was an Ens Herbert from Rice University. One of the smartest guys I've ever had the pleasure to work with. Ens Herbert was not only book smart, but had practical smarts as well. Due to the difference of difficulty in quals, usually the MMs started qualifying first, followed by the EMs, the ETs and finally the EOOWs. Ens Herbert qualified ahead of most of the MMs and I think all of the ETs. (Rumor at the time was that he set a new record for EOOW quals.) The Academy guys didn't like Ens Herbert because he qualified so quickly and effortlessly and because he got along with (and was popular with) all of us enlisted types.

One night toward the end of prototype we had a qualification kegger at The Neutral Corner. We even had a stripper. The stripper quickly got down to her G string. Naturally the room full of us squids begged her to take it off. She said she would trade her G string for a tie. The only one wearing a tie was Ens Herbert. He had on the skinniest tie I think I ever saw. He took it off and gave it to the stripper. She tied it over her G string which she then removed and gave to Ens Herbert. Next morning at muster, there's Ens Herbert wearing the G string around his neck instead of his tie. Lt Consaul instantly made him the "Morale Officer" for our crew.

Several nights later we had another qualification kegger. Ens Herbert had changed into civvies for this one. He had his car parked at the Holiday Inn on the main drag coming into Saratoga Springs. When the party was over no one was feeling any pain and several of us gave him a ride to his car. When he opened the door to his car he spied his officers hat. He immediately put this on, called us to attention then had us doing a drunken close order drill right there in the parking lot. A crowd of civilians soon gathered and looked on in amusement.

When we filled out our dream sheets towards the end, I recall that several guys specifically requested to be sent to the same boat as Ens Herbert. He was just one of those people that you would be happy to work for and with.

Over the years I've met several graduates from Rice U. All of them were outstanding individuals. They were not just highly proficient in their given profession, but understood the "real world" as well. You don't usually find that in the same package.



Scram Breakers ...

these were among the first locks i learned to pick ... and when the PPWO/PPWS showed up with the keys so we could go ahead and close the breakers to latch rods ... he would find us already doing so. we would just tell him we found them unlocked and assumed he had already opened them.



Randy Potgiesser Comes Aboard ...

Potgiesser Randy, EE-30 1991-1994


John Flynn Comes Aboard ....


Just stumbled across the site, and spent too many hours reading and laughing about old times on the Pig.

I was on the Trepang (SSN-674 – yes I am a bubble head) and I had an 8mm kidney stone (yes it hurt!) that sent me to the surface fleet. I got to the Big E in Nov 90. I did the overhaul and left in Nov 95. I was in RM-22 & RM-14. After the Pig, I did an instructor tour at S8G, then I got out.

God does have a very good sense of humor. After I got out the Navy I got my Master of Divinity degree. Know how it is abbreviated……M-Div!

Keep up the good work. I will post some of my experiences on the Pig, there were some major adjustments I had to make after coming from a fast boat.

John J. Flynn


Then and Now ....

Steamer mentions the scram breakers were among the first locks he learned to pick ... and when the PPWO/PPWS showed up with the keys, he would find us already doing the rod latch procedure. My, how times have changed. [These days ] finding the scram breakers unlocked would stop the start-up and lead to an incident report to Naval Reactors. The poor RO who completed the final step of the pre-crit would also be taken to task. It has been a while, but the PPWS (besides the keys) brings a box of damper winding fuses to the Control Equipment Operator to preclude even energizing the system prior to proper permission being granted. 




To those of you who missed this one .... We Missed You!  The 2nd Annual Reunion will be held about the same time of year in either the SF Bay Area or KC.  Make your plans now.

Plank holders for our first ever Big E Rx/Eng Dept Reunion:

 Bill Noll

Leverett Hadlow

Louis Villafuerte

Dr. Jon Anders

Louie Wingo

Ram Tuli

Dave Boorn

Joe Miskell

Kevin Doyle

Mark Serna

Mark Stohl

Dr. Graig Norquist

Thurgood Bell

Mark Groseclose


Friday Night

(L to R): Norquist, Stohl,  Miskell, Tuli, Hadlow, Boorn, Wingo, Serna and Doyle.

Saturday Night

Top Photo: Groseclose, Serna and Villafuerte catch up.  That's T. Bell in the foreground showing he could still fit in his uniform.  Middle Photo: Smokin' Joe in foreground.  That's Leverett's nephew behind him (he's just about to enter the navy as a nuke);  Leverett and Jon Anders in the background.  Bottom Photo:  Blue Lou, Bill Noll and Dave Boorn.

More Saturday Night


Top Photo: Wingo, KP, Noll and Boorn; Middle Photo: More of the gang; Bottom Photo: All of the gang!

I can't tell you how nice it was seeing you guys again.  It was like we stepped into a time machine, as the years since our last meeting had vanished.  See you guys next year!



Charles Bridge Comes Aboard ....

Charles Bridge, RM14 1998-2002


Paul Allard Comes Aboard ....

Hi, My name is Paul Allard. I was an ET2 in RC14 (4 plant) from 1987-1991.

The website is cool to browse. Thanks for doing it.



KP Note: Hey Paul, I remember ya!  

Reunion Feedback


It was great to see everyone even for a short period. I'm already looking forward to the next one. Keep up the good work on the site. I'll give you a call so we can get together in the near future.



Scott Crew Comes Aboard ....

Great web site!

I served in RC22 and RC23 from Nov 1991 through July 1995. Please add my name and e-mail to you alumni list.

My e-mail:


Scott Crew


Greetings from Another Cruiser Nuke ....


Although I was a Nuclear Cruiser Sailor (USS California), I do enjoy your site. I see that all Nukes are the same just about on every ship. Keep up with the great site.

Thanks to Layne Pontnack and Mike Brubaker for the link.

Shayne Bryant


Layne Pontnack Catches Up ....

Left the Navy in '88 and got a job as an I&C tech at my hometown Goodyear plant. In the meantime, I got elected to the city council as part of a grassroots effort to stave off ill-conceived ordinances aimed at my fellow landlords and I. Finally took a position as a Powerhouse Operator at Goodyear in '99. After listening to rumors of corporate takeovers and mergers for ten years, I took the advice of my buddy Mike Brubaker (who I served with @ NPTU Idaho Falls) and got back into the nuclear field. Quit Goodyear at the ripe old age of 43 and packed my bags for Fermi II. I'm now an operator and recently got assigned to prepare the next outage. Over the years I have picked up two hobbies. Radio controlled monster trucks and dragging my knees around racetracks on my faithful Kawasakis at insane speeds. I highly recommend both endeavors for fun and relaxation.

Layne Pontnack, Class 8007, RM14


Mike Bowling Comes Aboard ....

Can you please add me to your Enterprise site mailing list?

RE23 and RE11 1995 -1998




KP Note: Hey, from your email address I can tell you're my kind of guy!

Chris McVey Comes Aboard ....

Hey, Love the site! I am a fellow nuke and I would love to be added to the alumni roster.

I was a 4 plant Reactor Mechanical Guy from Sept 1991 to Nov 1995

Yup I was in through the ugly part of the overhaul refueling. Not fun, but surely memorable.

Chris McVey

Know what it is to live.......tomorrow is already here.


Guitar Stuff


I wanted to let you know that I just finished reading your life story as told through your guitars. I really enjoyed it. I'm not guitar player myself, but it was still fascinating reading about your collection. I have been a wanna-be, hammer-fisted bass player since I was 18, but never really got any good with it. I never even learned to read music, just played by ear. Mostly Led Zepplin, Alice Cooper and Rush. When I was 18 I asked for, and received, for Christmas a wood grain finished Peavey T-40 ("Pete"). I have it to this day, and it still ranks right up there with among the coolest things I own, even if it does weigh about 500 pounds. When I'm feeling stressed I'll get it out and go through all the old songs I used to know, and the stress just fades away. I have always wanted to learn to play the electric guitar but just never "got around to it". Now I fear those days are behind me as 20 minutes with Pete and my poor old arthritic hand is telling me to act my age. Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed that section of your site, and that's quite a collection to be proud of. Thanks.



KP Note: Thanks J-  It's funny, I don't remember ya playing bass back on the ship.  I recall we had many a jam session in the aft lounge.  Bass players were hard to find and, had I known, I'da pulled you out of your rack.

Gearing Up For Next Year!

Ram, Looked like a good time and good friends. I am sorry I could not attend, I'd like to see Phoenix again. I still want to try and make the next one. I'm in Tulsa so the Kansas City idea is great as well as the Bay Area, I could visit my friend Pat..................... Hope everyone got home safe.



Old Memories ....


It was wonderful to see some faces from the glory days. I'm already looking forward to the next gathering. I came across these items when I pulled them out of storage when Jon was here. Give me a call so we can get together ...

Louis Villafuerte


KP Note: along with these T-shirts, Louis sent a copy of the Shuttle from Operation Praying Mantis.  I have this posted somewhere on this site so I will not include it here. 

30 Years Later ....


This weekend was the 30 year anniversary of the fall of Saigon. Where the hell does the time go? April '75 we had just come back from the I.O. Captain CC Smith arranged for a port call in Manila. Me and one of my buds decided to try and be among the first off the boat. We were not allowed to be in civvies on the hanger deck until C note sounded. Once we dropped anchor in Manila Bay and C note had sounded we headed for the hanger bay to try and be first in line for the liberty boats. We had just reached the hanger bay when we heard C note sound for a second time. WTF? We left the hanger bay and returned to the berthing compartment. "Maybe they are repositioning the ship or something." About then we felt the ship starting to answer a very fast bell. We hear the boson's whistle over the 1MC followed by, "Now stand by for a message from the Captain." Captain Smith then informs the crew that we are heading for Viet Nam to help with the evacuation.

For the next several nights you could actually see the shelling from the sponsons and catwalks. Looked like lightning in the distance, but we all knew what it really was. After Saigon fell we had a quick in port period in Subic, then headed back to the States. Seemed weird how quickly it was all over.



KP Note: By the late 80s (when I was on the E) there were still many on the ship who had been on that '75 cruise (making, perhaps, their last tour of duty).  I recall E-Div's Chief Anderson sharing a memory of that '75 cruise, when he and several other Big E crew members went ashore to assist with the evacuation.  He shared this memory most likely during a mid-watch, when stories like that were often told.  When we were lowly 3rd classes almost all the 'old salts' wore Vietnam service and campaign ribbons.  I bet now days you hardly see those ribbons anymore.  

Paul Isham Comes Aboard ....

Hey. This is Paul Isham. I was on the prize from 2000 - 2003 in EE04 div. Could you add me to your roster? Thanx.



A Fellow 7903 Nuke in Need ....

I'm looking for anyone who might have a class picture of 7903 Nuclear Power School, NTC Orlando. I was a rock MM, I think section 2 or 3. Unfortunately, mine was lost to a vindictive ex-spouse. It would be great to have a copy of that picture again.

Douglas J. Moon


Brace Yourself Boys, MMCM Returns:

Never, Never, Never let your Domain name ownership timeframe run out by accident or other wise unless you just want to let it go............One min. after your time of ownership expires it goes into a kind of limbo for 30 days and than just when you think you are going to be able to get it back some "IT" from who knows where buys your domain name..............who could possibly want but me????...........

Anyway long story short version...........MY new WEB address is and it is easy to get to with most any search engine.

All is well on the Home front here in California..........My new job is working out great....( 3rd. time selling at this Dealership....Cadillac's, GMC trucks, and KIA's ) Susan is sill plugging away with her job on line from her home office........Angela is now a IT Department Assistant Manager for a small bank chain in the Sonoma County area..... Tony is Deploying on the USS Nimitz at the end of this week for a 6 to 7 month west pacific area cruise......and his wife and our grand kids are moving back to RI in July to their new home in the Providence area..............

Life goes on...........every now and than I run into someone I served with in the US Navy. We talk old times and than part feeling better than before..................

Auto sales are up and down and up and down and up..................I finished #2 out of 10 at my new job in I am doing OK............

Check out my Web site and check out my new truck......................later.....



KP Note: hey, one of you late 80s guys didn't scoop up for some illicit purpose dis ya?

Eric McCauley Comes Aboard ...

Hey Ram, you probably don't remember me but I remember you. I was on the Big E from August 1987-August 1991. I ended up in Rm-11 with the likes of Todd Moody, Tim Ottesen and Eric Duden. I mainly ran around with Chris Albanese and Joe Lackey (both of Rm-14 fame) as well as Chris Carnright (who just retired a few years ago). I was in the plant for part of my stay on the "pig". I ended up in Rm-03 doing QA work (and other things). There I worked with MMC Al Coffey, Mike Haase, MMC Bil Ogle, John Ramirez, Mark Smith, Dave Jwina, Lt. Hudson and Chris Albanese. (I can't remember some others). I found your website by accident, I was looking for some info about prototype. I live in Idaho and work at "the site" as a reactor operator. There are several other Big-E folks here. They include Brad Davis and John Martin (Ex ELTs) who both now work for DOE. Steve Johnson is here and I heard from John the other day that Dan Coyne has just moved up here from Colorado, where he worked at Rocky Flats. I also work with Mike (Daisy Digit) Davenport (Rm-14). There are some guys from way back also (like the late 60's early 70's). I have been laughing so hard tonight reading only a few of the stories. I will have to read all 38 pages and maybe add some of my own stories later. Thanks for the website. Add me to your contact list.

Eric McCauley


KP Note: The name was fuzzy but a quick look at the 'ol cruisebook reminded me of who you were.  Where is Duden these days?  He and I were pretty tight.  I was also great friends with Lackey, Moody and Carnright.

Brendan Mulligan gets New Email Addy ....

Could you update my email address , My name is Brendan Mulligan, I was in RM-11 1979-1984 my address it is now


Reunions and Such ...

KP, It was great to see the pictures of the recent reunion. One thing, however, was curiously lacking. Whenever 15 old Big E nukes get together I'm sure some serious "no shitters" have got to be told. Come on guys, share. Lots of us could use a good belly laugh.

A few of us 70s era nukes have started a habit of "virtual toasts." We usually toast birthdays, the passing of old shipmates or just the "good old days." This week our small but growing band of brothers has a special reason to toast. Our old shipmate, Kim "Willie" May is back safe and sound from Iraq. As an easy way to coordinate timing we do the toast right after the National Anthem at the weeks NASCAR Nextel Cup race. This week it is a Saturday night race from Richmond Va. All are welcome to join us in a toast to Willie and to those still serving "over there..



KP Note: with apologies to all, I didn't get this note posted until 5/16.  Let's do our virtual toast this Friday (5/20) at 5PM PST.  

Sierra Club

KP, l recently found this photo after more than 2 years of searching. After moving 5 times since arriving in RI in 2000, it finally surfaced in a box of of miscellaneous, non-essential stuff. Anyway, assembled here are some famous party animals from our era on what l believe is our first day "home" on the '76-77' cruise; reason being that l am wearing my favorite party shirt and that was only worn on special occasions. The picture was taken in the Sierra Club as we loved our hard rock after the long trip from Alameda to Olongapo. From left to right: Ron Ogan (with cigarette in mouth, aka R20), a surprised Jack Wells (friend of Benji Degusgos), Jim Rusch, standing is Mark Johnson, next to Jim R. is Jerry Cook, and on the end is Hagameyer (first name not known); and on the right are Pat O'Neill (aka PP) holding a San Miguel beer for all to see with his patented sh*t-eating grin, and standing is yours truly holding my favorite beverage, Mojo! There is nothing l like better than seeing US 7th fleet sailors enjoying themselves!

Steve "Willy" Wilson


Ike Bitten Female Nuke Stops in to Say Hi ....

No surprise, the incredible ("infamous", shall we say?) Tuli turns out to be an EM...

In Dec. '03, in the depths of depravity the navy calls Nuclear Power School, someone mentioned this very website--I wanna say it was a well-meaning instructor, but I really don't remember anymore. But it did help me see the light at the end of the tunnel... (was green and glowing...) A little later on, I brought it up to my cousin, Bill Isom, a former Big E inmate, and he went nuts. Needless to say, I've heard many a beautiful sea story--gone horribly bad--and he's shared one or two with you guys now. I suppose I'm the next gen nuke for our family--I'm on the Eisenhower, and have been for about six months now. But it does me proud to find that none other than "Tuli this, Tuli that..." turns out to be a wirebiter like me... (funny, Bill never mentioned that...) Keep it up! I love this place!

Tiffany Vaughan, EM2 

 Ike Bites!


KP Note: Hey Tiffany, welcome aboard!  Please share some of your sea stories with us (after giving your Ike Bites shippies first dibs on their website).  Yes, maybe you're right, being an EM was partly to blame for my insanity upon the wandering sea. Good luck in the fleet and remember to always keep a positive attitude.  The one thing I hope all active duty nukes get from this site is that your hard work in the fleet will always be rewarded.  A slacker no-load reputation will follow you forever in the civilian world, as we ex-nukes run the world;) 


My wife and I had a great trip to the Bay Area last week. Just did not have enough time to see everyone that we wanted. Duke, we will get together next time. Plus, we flew in on a competitor's airline and did not want to offend by not flying the Friendly Skies (which did not sound so friendly after the pension debacle).

Anyway, we did get a chance to stop by St. George Spirits and see Lance. Lance seems to be doing the right stuff. Great spirits (both mentally and the drinkable kind) and what does he drive up in? A Mercedes-Benz Kompressor - talk about driving excitement !!!

Anyway, our gracious host shows us around the operation. Everything is done right there in the hanger. Beautiful copper stills and gleaming stainless steel tanks. I did not see a Primary Valve Tool Box anywhere though.

If you have not tried his Hanger 1 vodkas, then you are missing a treat. Lance is also working a tremendous single malt whiskey that is so smooth. I am waiting for the Port to come out.

Lance and his partner Jurg have 60-thousand square feet under roof. An ideal place to hold a reunion next year. With enough advance notice and maybe some cash deposits we can get a block of rooms and have the 2nd Annual Engineers Reunion in an old hanger at NAS Alameda.

For those of you who remember, Tillie's on Webster is still there serving their trademark breakfast in a copper skillet. The drive-in theater is now a housing and shopping area. Very disappointing was the fact that Casa Carlita's Mexican restaurant on Winton (where many RM-23 guys hung out) had been turned into an Appleby's. Our other hangout at Pier 39, Pepe's, had closed many years ago. We had a standing tab at Pepe's. It was the 'Baskin-Robbins' of margaritas. 31 flavors everyday. It was not unusual for us to drive up a $400 - 500 tab in an evening. But those were the days that we were young and dumb.

Memories may last a long time, but the places always change.



KP Note: It's always great to see my old pal Lance.  Wow, he's got quite a set up there in the ol' hangar.  Makes my place look like a two-bit operation:) Lance, let's start organizing our 2006 reunion now!

Ike Mike to Ike Tiffany:

Just a quick welcome for Tiffany from an ex-IB'er...


Welcome to KP's humble, little website. There are a couple of ex-Ike nucs hanging around here who know what the IB is all about. Check out the website -- some great sea stories there, also.

As James Funk used to say, "Talkin' the mother fuckin' IB!!".

Hang in there,

Mike Matthys ex MM2 nuc


Greetings from An Airdale ...

I was on the Big E for the '88 cruise, my first. Great looking website, keep it up!

AE1 R---------


Greg Boyle Gets new EMail Addy:

Hi Ram,

Would you please update my e-mail address in the ‘80s section?


Greg Boyle


Matt Zeigler Comes Aboard ....


My name is Matt Ziegler, if anyone remembers me. I worked in RC22 and was one of 4 RT qualified ET’s during the 82-83 Westpac (Jeff Dupl**sis, “Cheese Chamness, me and one other whose name I cannot recall). I was standing RO watch on the 2B RCPC during the infamous grounding in San Francisco Bay when #2 shaft was trailed, resulting in a 12° list to port!. My memory is not that accurate (23 years) but if I recall correctly, the EOOW was Lt Jg. Tolbert, who may have been in RE div by that time. He started out in RC div as the division officer. I will never forget the first day he “met the troops”. We (RC22) were doing our weekly training on the hanger bay. I was going over the scram/PI functions of the Rod Control System when he introduced himself and stated “ You guys are a bunch of MotherF*&(in Idiots. You don’t know S*&t! I will straighten this department out.” You can imagine how well this went over with the ET’s that had been there for three years already. We had some really sharp ET’s at that time.

If I recall, after the grounding incident, he was told that he would never make LT. and to find another job.

Capt. Kelly was promoted to Commodore about 6 weeks later after the investigation was completed.

LCDR Baugh was one of the coolest person I ever met… period. As an RT we used to report to him directly, pissing of the LPO’s and Chiefs!

I also have a few hazy memories regarding the Shmegma establishment! The ET with the Harley was I believe Chuck Neverdosky. He was my roommate at a house in Port Orchard for 2 years. (needless to say that also was a house of ill repute!)

Matt Ziegler

7/80 – 3/84


Taking The Plunge (or Floating with the Floaters)

Been a while since anyone's posted a good "no shitter" on the site so I'll give it a whirl. Here's another one of those stories that I didn't personally observe. I did, however, get it straight from the source and the guy was pretty reliable.

We were in Subic sometime on the '76 cruise. It was the rainy season. An RM bud of mine whom I'll just refer to as "V" was steaming in Olongapo one night and gets picked up by Shore Patrol for some long forgotten transgression. Evidently it wasn't a serious offense, because they just took him back to base and held him till the main gate closed to outbound traffic at 23:30. They then gave him back his ID card and cut him loose. "V" is now stuck on base for the night and he REALLY wants to wants to be in town with his honeyko.

Somehow he works his way to the area behind the Main Gate Peso changing windows. In the rain, he squats on the bank of the river and looks longingly at the town less than 100 yards away. So near, yet so far. It's now after midnight curfew and lights are starting to go out. As he's wondering if he has the balls to brave a swim, fate makes the decision for him. The rain-soaked bank collapses under him and suddenly he's in that fabled river! Oh well, the worst is over. No turning back now. "V" tries to stand up and finds that the river is only about chest deep in that spot. He slowly starts wading across.

I guess if you have to fall in Shit River it's best to do so in the rainy season. "V" told me he even detected a slight current. He said the river remained chest deep all the way across. He also said that the bottom was extremely "gooey" and he was trying in vain not to imagine what was down there.

He gets to the far side and climbs out. It's raining pretty hard and he just stands there for a while letting the rain wash the river filth off of him. Since it's after curfew he knows he has to proceed with caution. He sees one dim light up ahead and decides to head in that direction. Turns out it was a private house and a number of people were attending an all night wake for a recently deceased boy of about 10. (The body was in an open casket in the middle of the room.) The Philipinos invited him in and asked him why he was out after curfew. After he told them his story they allowed him to take a shower and rinse out his clothes. The Phipipinos refused to let him leave till curfew was over, so he spent the rest of the night drinking San Miguel, making small talk with the locals and staring at the dead body.

When curfew was over he thanked the people for their hospitality and gave them whatever money he had. He then made a beeline to his honeyko's. When he told her his story, she made him stay in the shower so long he turned into a prune.

A couple of days later we pull out to sea and the possibility of exotic diseases is weighing heavily on "V"s mind. He visits sick bay and tells them where he's been. The way "V" told the story : they didn't even look at his shot record before turning him into a human pin cushion.



Psychedelic Mooj

Here's a recent photo of me at one of our gigs.  Yep, I still refuse to cut my hair.  If you're in Phoenix Friday night, we'll be playing at Fat Cats (915 W. Grand) at 10:00.   


Stohlman With The Low-down 

Ram, this website has a good history of past and present Enterprise ships. It states that in 1994, during sea trials after the refuel/overhaul in Norfolk, VA: The Big E remains the fastest combatant in the world.



A Special Message From CC Smith's Son

Hello there,

My name is Paul Smith and C.C. Smith was my father. I found your website yesterday when searching his name and Rick, your email about him popped up.

I want to thank you for what you said about him. I didn't know him that well so whenever I hear things about him it makes a big impact.

I'd like to invite anyone who served with my father or who knew him at all to contact me via email at any time. This stuff is an interesting window into a life of a father I still don't know very much about. He died long before he was finished living and he really never got the chance to share his life with his kids. He was still too busy being the naval officer he was.

"King Paul", thank you for putting your website together so these sort of stories can be shared.

All the best to you both. Thanks again,

Paul R. Smith


KP Note: Thank you for your letter Paul.  I never knew your dad, as I arrived aboard the Big E 10 years after he left.  From all that I've heard he was one hell of a skipper. 

CVN/CVAN 65 Association Cruise Info

Mark Best has some info about an upcoming CVN/CVAN 65 Association cruise.  Check critical thinking or email Mark for details.


Matt Talbott Comes Aboard ....

Talbott, Matt EM-14 1997-2000


Randy Kidd Comes Aboard ....

Graveyard, Palo Verde. I know Bill Noll out here. I was in RL Div. Jan 77 to Oct 80. MOSUX. I'll pass this on to quite a few ex-E-men with whom I keep in touch. Matt Roethel is still, to his probable embarrassment, my best friend and currently resides in (Las) Vegas.

I have stories….

Randy Kidd, Aft Shack.


Eric Hinton Comes Aboard ...

Hey! Just wanted to get on the contact list. I’ve burned about half a day going through old stories and spitting out e-mails to old friends I hadn’t thought about in years. Thanks for keeping this site together!

Eric Hinton (“Fu”)

RM-14 Jan 20th 1995 to May 2nd 1999 or


Get Ye'r Mooj Fix This Friday

The Psychedelic Mooj (my band) will be playing this Friday (6/10) at Fat Cats in Phoenix from approx 10 to 11 p.m.  We're opening for the Rhythm Dragons.  We opened for them a few weeks ago and they asked us back, despite our singer neglecting to show up and our excessive volume (told twice to "turn it down.") We made a whopping $25 (split 4 ways)!!!  I guess I'll keep my day job;)

FYI: I'm not sure why we're calling ourselves The Psychedelic Mooj.  We thought about using the name The Better than Sex Blues Band but that seems to have petered out.  A soon as we crack the ASU/Tempe scene I'm going to actually dress like the Mooj for our shows.    



Casey, "Nutz," "Jewican" and Dodd Come aboard:

You can add the following names to the list: Dave Casey EM11 99-03; Adam "Nutz" Laminack EM22 99-03; Randy "Jewican" Birnschein RL 99-03; Gavin Dodd RM14 99-03

the email addresses.. Dave Adam Randy Gavin


Swim Test

In 1972, one of the first things that you went through in bootcamp (after the haircut) was a swim test. All of us newly shorn recruits were escorted to the pool and told to put on our swim trunks. (Thank God this wasn't a co-ed affair, as these were the ugliest swim trunks I have ever seen.)

We had to sit by the side of the pool in these bleachers while the instructors demonstrated what we were going to to do. (Rumor had already spread that the swimming instructors were UDT/SEALs and were not to be f**ked with.) Then, one at a time, we were to undergo the swim test ourselves. We had already been given "Billet Numbers" in alphabetical order. Billet # 1 was a black kid (name of Abernathy or something) from Detroit. The instructors called for Billet # 1 to come front and center. Billet # 1 nervously did so and said to the instructor, "We don't need to do this. I'm telling you right now, I can't swim!" I knew this was going to be a bad day for Billet #1 when the instructor said, "We'll be the judge of that."

The instructors directed Billet #1 to climb up on the diving platform. Poor Billet # 1 reluctantly started doing so, and with each rung of the ladder his voice went up another octave, "I'm telling you, I can't swim. PLEASE don't make me do this!" Finally, Billet # 1 made it to the top of the platform and the sense of urgency in his voice increased, "PLEASE! I'm telling you motherf**kers I can't swim!" The instructor on the platform motioned Billet # 1 to the edge of the platform and now I thought the poor recruit was going to pass out. (This platform was no more than 15' in height, but you remember how much higher it looks from the top than from the bottom. The first time I ever did this, the pool looked so small I was afraid I couldn't even hit the water.) The guy is now pleading for his life. The instructor almost casually pushed him off. As training for abandoning ship, we had been instructed to cross our ankles and fold our arms across our chest prior to hitting the water. Billet # 1 did none of this. He hit the water at rigid attention and STOOD ON THE BOTTOM OF THE POOL! No shit. Poor guy didn't float at all! I know this can't be true, but it looked to us like his lips were still moving, "I'm telling you motherf**kers I can't swim!"

After what seemed like an eternity, an instructor put a pole down in front of the poor drowning recruit. Billet # 1 grabbed it and they pulled him up to the the surface, fished him out, and laid him poolside. Water was oozing out of every visible orifice. Finally he coughed out a bunch of gooey stuff and we saw that he was still alive. One of the instructors said loud enough for us all to hear, "Hey! You can't swim!" It's probably a good thing that Billet # 1 couldn't answer him back.



KP Note: For us the swim test came about two weeks into training.  By then each recruit had solidified some sort of reputation and it was amusing to see how many of the "big tough guy city slicker" Ricks in the company couldn't swim.  Not only couldn't swim, but that actually screamed like little girls when they were in the water. Our CCs called it the "great equalizer day." From what I recall that swim test was probably one of the most grueling things I did in bootcamp because I was the first guy in my group to "jump" and then tread water.  I was treading water for almost 10 minutes before they blew that whistle for us to begin the swim test and I barely made it around the pool.  It took every last bit of strength to pull myself out of that pool when it was over.

Lou Frank Comes Aboard ...

I viewed your website and it brought back a lot of memories. I was a 'NUC' un the Big E and would like to have my info added to your database.

Lou Frank ET-1 RC1/RT Division LPO/PPWS 1976-1980

Thanks, Lou Frank


A Correction:

I was looking over the contact list for the 90s. The e-mail address you have listed for me is actually for Edwin Taylor (listed above me on the list). As a side note, I did go through Power school, prototype and some Big E time with "Cuz". My correct address is .

Rob Taylor

Kev Otwell Comes Aboard ....

Kevin Otwell





Mike Schoellman Comes Aboard ....

KP, I have read much and had many laughs, thanks for putting this site together.

I was sad to hear about Mark LeBoeuf. While a brand new nub (’78 cruise), I went down to one plant to get a checkout or prac-fac and who was there on the CG area – Mark. He was bringing in steam after and the steam headers started jumping violently (more than I saw them jump in the entire 5 years I was there) as water hammered the pipes. The hammer got so bad that Mark ran up the access and waited with the 2nd deck door cracked open so that he could escape if there was a steam rupture. I didn’t know much about the plant except that if the watchstander (Mark) was running away – so was I! Mark was a little shaken at the time and I can say that I had an adrenaline fueled “energy” that took a while to subside – long after the main piping stopped its jumping. Years later, Mark bought me a beer at the Stables tavern in Silverdale. I am glad to have known him and I (as many others do) carry a strong memory of a brief time together.

-Mike Schoellman


Arrgh! Goes Yahoo ....


Change my e-mail address in the database to…

Please and thanks!


Jules LaMontagne Comes Aboard ...

Jules J. LaMontagne, ET1 USN

USS Enterprise, Reactor Dept, Plant #3




Mark Baker Comes Aboard ...


My name is Mark Baker. I was aboard the "Big E" from March 27th, 1982 until January 2nd, 1991 and loved almost every minute of it. I was in RC-22 and Chief Crenshaw and Senior Chief Finney were my work center supervisors.

I remember several of the shipmates listed on your website and thought I would say hello and say thanks for putting up the website. I have thought many times of doing the same thing. I got your website from Rich Marsh. I was searching the internet for anything related to the Big E and got a hit from him.

Do you have Andy Asheford's email address? I would like to write to him and see how he is doing.

Here are several of my friends and shipmates I remember. Brad Vevera (ELT), Robert "Was" Wasmund (ET), Bob Neish (ET), Don Reese (ET), Pat Hoban (ET), Ray Degal (ET), Greg Davis (ET), Joe "asshole" Carl (ET), Paul McCulley (ET), Todd Kickline (ET), Hon Sik Kim (ET).............just to name a few that readily come to mind.

Mark Baker


KP Note: Great to hear from you again Mark.  Our paths crossed a few times in the late 80s.

Wingo Returns To His Memoirs ....

Been a while since the last episode. Time to bring it back to life.

Last post is several pages back but when we left the Pig we had just come back to Alameda after the 86 cruise. I was a nub, all of my buddies were nubs, we were all afraid of the senior guys who were all either counting days to EAOS or days to transfer off the Pig, and we were all of us glad to be back in the good old USA.

Hunter's Point, and Top Sponge!!

First thing we established was that we couldn't live on the ship, the very thought of the ship heading over to Hunter's Point led us all to search for roommates and a place off base to live. For me it was a foregone conclusion, so me, Joe Carl, and Mark Fritz, went hunting. We found out pretty quickly that you couldn't live anywhere near the ship on what we made, and the general consensus was to go to Concord or Walnut Creek. The fine folks in those towns didn’t much want anything to do with us, and the rent was always too much. We finally got lucky and moved in to a place in Vallejo. This would soon become a home for wayward squids who simply couldn't take life on the pig anymore. I don't think a night went by that someone from the pig wasn't trying to crash in our place, even though it was an hour away from the ship. I also think our neighbors upstairs complained to the management daily about us. They were right to do so, as we were loud drunken derelicts, but it still annoyed us. Chief among the crashers as I recall was John Fay. I think John actually had a circuit of squid houses that he frequented. He was like this homeless squid that never slept in the same bed two nights in a row. Never paid any rent either….Alameda wasn't a bad place though. 

Quick trip back home to get the car and then back to California. All three of us were now car owners and the first thing we did was pimp our rides with bad ass Alpine stereos. I loved that Alpine stereo!! I remember racing Joe every morning to the ship stereo blaring with Billy Idol's "Got to be a lover" otherwise known as "the bridge song" because it always seemed to come on the same time everyday as we went across the bridge. We had it perfectly timed as to when we needed to be at the toll for the bay bridge, otherwise we'd be late for muster. Muster was really the only important thing we did in Hunter's point. For us nubs it was all about training, qualifying, and field day

Training was a joke. I remember us all being forced after muster to leave the ship (in Hunter's Point), and walk to a building on site for training. No one paid attention, and no one gave a rat's ass about what was being preached. Especially the khaki's who were more interested in finding something to rag on us about rather than whether we actually knew how to run the reactors or control equipment (you will learn or die!!!!). The whole objective of running the plant was lost in the battle of us avoiding training and quietly ridiculing them while desperately holding in the laughter, and them finding useless mundane ways to make us miserable because we wanted to avoid training…..The only thing I ever learned in those training sessions is how slowly time can pass, how you can find humor in the most simple human expressions and no words even said, and how a well timed fart can side track anything and put you in deep shit with the powers that be.

Qualifying was a joke. So we finally relented and got our BNEQ done at sea, but really very few of us were qualified anything more than phone talker by the time we pulled in and started shutting down the plants. With all the senior guys getting ready to bail out there was a lot of pressure to hurry up on qualifying. This pressure was relieved in the usual way; path of least resistance. This means sleazing off the qual sheets and throwing the lambs to the oral board slaughter. Before I knew it I was qualified RO, had no clue really what I was doing, but hey what the hell, it beat phone talker.

Along the way though I had to qualify CPAW. This was the burden of every nub during the Hunter's Point days. With all the contractors and work being done in the RC's, we were a natural for this. So I qualified CPAW and damned if I'm also probably the only one in history to be disqualified for this the most simple of watchstations. I like to think I was the sacrificial lamb for a visit from NRRO. As f'd up as we were it turns out that on a tour of the plant the only thing the NRRO guy could gig us on was that I did not read back verbatim to him what his pocket dosimeter read when he exited the RC. Skeletor was only too happy to offer my head in compensation. You can imagine how much shit I took for that.

Finally there was field day. When we weren't in training, or in a board to qualify a watchstation or actually standing watch, we were all expected to be cleaning something. I don't know how you can clean so often and the place still be such a "shithole". But such was the case with the #1 reactor control equipment room. When we got back off the cruise the hottest movie of the summer was Top Gun. As you can guess we were all disgusted with the movie. A paid promotion for the airedales, like they needed more love and affection, not to mention it was so pro-navy, only a lifer could find any redeeming quality to this flick. Well not just the lifers, chicks REALLY liked that movie!! So in that light we had to use it whenever we could to our advantage. Having said that, there was nothing more lame than to see a bunch of squids singing "you've lost that loving feeling" to girls that were really not impressed. Although I have to admit on one and only one occasion, and only because I was getting proxied affection intended for Joe Piotrowski (the prettiest squid that ever lived), did a group of girls actually sing that to me. That was a beautiful experience. Randy Jestice being the creative genius he was came up with an epic dopey book rendition of this movie "Top Sponge". He was able to parody the entire flick using RC11 nubs as the new characters. This was something that would make Mel Brooks proud, if he weren't so disgusted by the subject matter. It was everything Hot Shots should have been but unfortunately nobody other than other nukes could appreciate it. To summarize; Rich Lorenz was in the lead role (Maverick) as Rich "Cadillac" Lorenz. Randy Jestice (Ice Man) as "Greeny Scratch Pad", I remember I had a supporting role (something like Goose or Slider) as Louie "Foxtail" Wingo. The parody was how we were the best of the best at cleaning "shitholes" the "Top Sponges". Hopefully Randy will join the fun someday and resurrect the story. I wouldn't give it justice (pun intended).

Hunter's Point was a little slice of hell. It's been reported here about how miserable it was (reference KP's story about "the skate"), and everyone looked for ways to get off the ship as early as possible. The most common method was to take bags of "trash" off the ship. Of course the bags had your clothes in it, and you'd change quickly and head for the barracks or the ferry to get out. It got so bad you had to be designated by your work center as authorized to take trash out at one point. I also remember it was common to go on exploration to the airedale berthing and sleep out instead of working. There were always new reports of mysterious berthing spaces found that no khaki's had found out about yet. You didn't want to spread that info too widely though, like a good fishing spot you would only let your best trusted buddies in on it. These were havens for squids who rolled in the night before so drunk they couldn't answer the bell the next morning.

We all suffered together in Hunter's Point. It sucked and it couldn't end soon enough. Unfortunately the only reward for leaving HP was to move over to Alameda and begin workups. Shit!! Back at sea again, worse yet, back at sea and on the watch rotation, that sucks!!!! Worse yet there was a dark cloud that none of us could predict and had we known we would have fled. The dark prince was coming to screw with all of us. The Devil!!!

Louie Wingo


10-Foot Gumby

I've been reminiscing further on that last half of 86 and recalled another good one.

This is the tale of the Ten Foot Gumby. If you remember in the eighties, Eddie Murphy had a running character on SNL where he played the "real Gumby". The popular phrase coined was "I am Gumby damn it!!" So Gumby was cool again.

Well Halloween 86 came around and one of the RC guys (quiz point here to see who can name who it was), was determined to make a splash by dressing as Gumby for the party scene in San Francisco. At the time we had contractors crawling all over the ship and for some reason there was an abundance of foam padding around. I can't for the life of me remember why this was, but this guy immediately saw it all as an opportunity to build the perfect Gumby. With some green spray paint he constructed out of the foam a costume that ended up being about 10 feet tall, he painted is face and body green and proceeded into town.

The party lasted well into the night and it happened that the next day was a work day, so Gumby did need to get back to the ship for morning muster. He must have missed his ride and couldn't fit in a taxi, or had no more money for the ride, but all the same he was forced to walk back to HP. You can imagine my shock and that of several thousand others who were driving south on 101 towards Hunter's point that morning who noticed walking along the side of the road, the "ten foot Gumby".

This is one of those that only happens in San Francisco, and only happens to an Enterprise nuke….

Louie Wingo


KP Note: Lou, I remember this guy! He was this tall blond baby-faced RTsian I think.  He may have gone to 3plant; I can't remember for sure.  Does anyone else remember this guy?

The Dive!

Blue Lou's story about Hunter's Point got me to thinking of early times when the Chuck was there in 1987. I kind of liked it, actually, cause I didn't have to live on the ship. I was good friends with Dave Scott, who was a legendary guitarist in his own right, and one day we went for a run. We ran a couple miles, and found ourselves on one of those piers that go several hundred yards out into that nasty water that is in that part of the bay. So, we ran down to the end of it, and were starting back, and had come maybe half way back, when one or the other of us suggested we dive off the pier into the water, and add a swim to our run. Well, the idea took hold, and sounded kind off good to both of us, and it was summer, and we were hot.... So, we stopped, took off our shoes and socks and shirts, put our ID's and keys in our shoes, and then started back towards the end of the pier. We hesitated... What if the other guy backed out? So, feeling a little nutty, we decided to hold hands and run to the end, and there bail off. I don't know... We probably both were waiting for the other guy to back out, but suddenly it was too late, and with a yell, we both launched ourselves off the end of that pier into that nasty, oily, cold, water. It really tasted bad. One thing we hadn't thought of was how the hell we were going to get back on land. We swam back up to shore, parallel to the pier, and there were these nasty, slimy rocks, with many a broken bottle on/in them, and we had to carefully pick our way through and over them in our bare feet. Finally, we were back on the pier, and went and got our stuff off it, and walked back to those barracks. (Didn't those barracks at the Point have a name? I can't remember.) That was a one time deal, and we didn't get sick or cut... Pretty lucky, I guess. It's amazing what happens when a dumb idea is proposed, and you're afraid to be the one to back out. I lost track of Dave. Whenever we pulled into San Diego, we'd go up to my house in Long Beach, and from there to my Uncles garage, where we'd drink and play music late into the wee hours with my brother and cousins. The last I heard from him, he was working in a plant in the upper mid-west. He got out around 1989, I think. If anyone knows a contact, it would be appreciated. Another guy I'd love to talk to was the RCLCPO from the 2001 med-run, Ward Larson. That deployment went over long, due to Sept 11th, and for a change we did something besides spin circles in the water. Ward was a great boss, and a good friend.. My only problem with him was he was so damn funny, whenever he'd try to talk with me, serious or not, I continually bust up. Again, if anyone has an e-mail, let me know. 

Bill Isom


Upward and Onward ....

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