Letters, Random Memories
and Assorted Sea Stories (Cont.)
TIME FOR ANOTHER QUIZ!
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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:
Dr. Jon Anders
Dr. Graig Norquist
(L to R): Norquist, Stohl, Miskell, Tuli, Hadlow, Boorn,
Wingo, Serna and Doyle.
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
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
The website is cool to browse. Thanks for doing it.
KP Note: Hey Paul, I remember ya!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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.
Know what it is to live.......tomorrow is already
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 ...
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
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 www.carldeaville.com but me????...........
Anyway long story short version...........MY new
WEB address is www.carldeaville65.com
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
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
April.....so I am doing OK............
Check out my Web site and check out my new
KP Note: hey, one of you late 80s guys
didn't scoop up carldeaville.com 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.
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 Bmulliga@bellsouth.net
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
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
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.
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
Steve "Willy" Wilson
Ike Bitten Female Nuke Stops in to Say
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
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
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
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
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 Ikebites.com
-- 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!
|Greg Boyle Gets new
Would you please update my e-mail address in the
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!)
7/80 – 3/84
Taking The Plunge (or Floating with the
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.
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.
Special Message From CC Smith's Son
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
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
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
Eric Hinton (“Fu”)
RM-14 Jan 20th 1995 to May 2nd 1999
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
Lou Frank ET-1 RC1/RT Division LPO/PPWS 1976-1980 email@example.com
Thanks, Lou Frank
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kev Otwell Comes Aboard ....
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 email@example.com
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.
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
Hunter's Point, and
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
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!!!
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….
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
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
Upward and Onward ....
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