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

The Big Egg!

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What the hell does "SAVE THE PACKARD" mean? Have you seen this slogan? If you have seen it, write in and say when where and how you came across this exhortation. Who's responsible and why? Some radical East Bay splinter group of the Black Panthers? Anti-authoritarian Vietnam Navy Nukes? Some rogue Todd Shipyard lower level painter acid freak?

Let's here it.

Doug Ortego RE3 74-78


Mombassa Pics

Mombasa 75 Pic’s from Jules…..

Hi KP and gang,

Please see my converted 35mm slides from Mombassa Feb, 1975. Find your bud's.



Yosemite ....

Yosemite pic’s… from Jules, 1974 # Plant Pukes!

Hi KP and gang,

Several of we Nuc’s took a weekend trip to Yosemite from Alameda.

On this subject, I have had email our friend and shipmate Paul Burke… we racked side by side. Paul couldn't recall going to Yosemite with me and others 3 planters. So Paul, let the truth prevail and enjoy the following Yosemite pic’s.




CAF ...

The "Campbells a fag" from the early 80's was none other than one Ge__ge Campbell ET2; had a pinky nail that was popular in those days.

Mike N


Woody Gets New Email Addy:

This is my new e-mail address,

Take care, Greg Woodruff


Brian Helms Comes Aboard ....

Hi. I would like my added to your contact list.

Brian Helms, ET1,1986 – 1992, RC -14,



KP Note: Damn Brian, you sound like you don't recall me or the million watches we stood together!  Heck, if memory serves me right, you were a charter member of the "Cool Club!" I think we got most of RC14 from the late 80s (except Spuds).

Another Nuke in the Making ...

Dear Sir,

My name is James L. K__. I am 18 years old and very interested in becoming a Navy Nuke. I am taking the advice of my girl friends father and contacting people that have been in the Navy and gone through the same process that I am looking at. He, as well as my own father and others I have spoken with are very distrusting of military recruiters.

I found your web site for former Navy Nukes and Engineers on the Enterprise and decided to go ahead and ask you about your experiences in the Navy as a Nuke on the Enterprise. I would like to know, how you went about joining the navy, how much difficulty you had in becoming a Nuke, and what you thought of the job? From what I saw on your site, it seems that you rather enjoyed your time.

If you would please e-mail me back at this e-mail address,, and help me out. It would help me a great deal. Regular correspondence would be much appreciated and also if you could see if any other members of your site would be willing to share their experiences in the navy.

Thank You Very Much, James Leon K__


KP Note: It's been a while since a "nubblet" asked us for advice.  I'm a tad bit overwhelmed with work so can a few of you old salts help James out?  My advice to him would be to just read the 40 pages of memories and see how things really are in the fleet.  Best of luck James.  If you become a nuke I know you'll be a good one since you care enough to learn as much as you can before beginning.


"Save the Packard" - what does it mean, you say?

It is clear from your history (3 plant) what it means and who wrote it. The infamous Mike Gunn (RM3 1971 to 1975) was the writer and chief promoter of "Save the Packard". Mike owned the biggest, beatifullest, blackest 1941 Packard that you've ever seen. He would store it during the cruise and restore it while we were in the states.

It was the greatest car to go to the Alameda Drive-In theater in. Larger luxurious seats, huge front window and it sat up so high there was never any obstruction of the view. Mike has been a frequent commenter here, so I'm sure you'll hear from him. Of course, Mike was about 3 foot 2 inches tall, so he could hardly see out the front window, but I won't go there!!!



A New Mystery Man

Hey Tuli - Kudos and Curses for your KP site. It sure has brought a lot of memories back, some good, some better left forgotten. Glad to see the stories, though, and see some of the names again. Since you seem to like quizzes, I will see if you can guess who I am.

I was an ET in class 8502 and went to the Enterprise. In fact, we may have been on the same plane; I remember the snafu with the orders, and McGinty sat next to me. There were other EM's on that plane, one of which may have been VW. I can't remember if you were on that one or not. I did quite a few odd things in those days, and carried a "lifer calendar" everywhere I went - at the end of my career (1989) I was often quoted as saying "Bob, I have a dropped rod. Really, I do!!"

I have tried to be vague enough in the hopes of giving you a challenge; if you want more clues let me know.

If you guess, don't post my real name as yet; I have applied for a job in the nuclear power field and am expecting a call back.


KP Note: I know who you are.  I think you and I spent 10 minutes in hell together ... inside a 2-pant S/G during the '86 Pac!  You were my tool man when I climbed inside the s/g to "roll" blind nipples.  Am I correct? 

PP Kisses a Little Ass

KP Just wanted to express a word of thanks for starting and maintaining the site.

Ron Ogan and "Willy" Wilson tracked me down in early 2003. Since then, a number of us 70's guys have been getting back in touch. (Thank you, Al Gore for inventing the internet.) Big John Carlson has been putting together an ever-growing mailing list of the old '70s guys. While a number of people on Big John's list haven't listed themselves on the site Alumni List yet, your site was still somewhere in the equation of how they got in contact with the rest of us. Exchanged some E-Mails with Doug Ortego recently. While we weren't close buds, we partied with all the same people, steamed in the same places and remember the same events! If the rumblings are true, soon we'll be hearing from the likes of Bob Kopecky and Rick Timmons. In getting reacquainted, it's amazing to see how many of the old gang stayed in the energy business. Funny to see the number of our old steaming companions with words like Supervisor, Superintendent or Manager in their job titles. (Who'd have thunk it?)

I guess I must like writing. I took a look back the other day and surprised myself with the number of entries I've posted over the last couple of years. What I enjoy even more that writing, however, is reading what other Enterprise nukes write about their own experiences. Some of the contributors really know how to turn a phrase. It may have been the dopey books/nub books/knub books aboard the E that started the creative writing process. The funny thing is that even with all the changes that have taken place over the history of the Big E the stories from E nukes of different eras have a lot in common. (I guess the old saying is true," The more things change, the more they stay the same".) I think that the late teens/early twenties of a mans life are very memorable and important to who he becomes down the road. And when that era is spent around unique settings, unique events and unique people (like we all did) those memories are all the more powerful.

Last week I saw an entry from a new civilian named Mike Brockman. (Congratulations guy.) Even though he came aboard the E more than 20 years after we got off, there was something eerily familiar in his writing. I figured WTF and wrote a quick E-mail asking for a little more info on the current state of the nuke Navy in general and the Big E in particular. I fired off the E Mail and figured that was that. I figured I'd never hear back from him. To my amazement, 2 hours later I got a very comprehensive response from the guy. It was great and funny reading. His response to my question regarding today's liberty ports began with, "Dude, east coast blows!" Spoken like my old steaming buds. We traded a couple of E Mails and I think the exchange was mutually beneficial.

So, listen K. (If I may be so bold as to address you by your first name.) I'm not sure if you get enough positive feedback ON the site but trust me, it's there OFF the site. Us 70s guys who are getting back in touch after too many years of separation owe you a debt of gratitude. Many thanks. (This is the point where you're supposed to lean back and smoke a cigarette.)

Oops! I rambled. (Again!) Sorry. My bad!

Thanks again, PP

Humble KP Responds: No, thank you guys.  It's because of people like you that this site ever took off.  I just planted a seed and this thing grew into a giant beanstalk because generations of Big E nukes and engineers gave it nourishment.  

BTW .... You guys will get plenty of chances to show your appreciation when I start hocking my Mooj Book (which will be real soon. It's in final editing).  

Greg O'Keefe Comes Aboard ...

Hey, I just saw your website and wanted to send you my info. I was onboard from July 1993 to July 1995, in a few different jobs but mostly M-Div.

Thanks, Greg O'Keefe


Packards Forever ....

Yes, the Packard Perpetrator was M.R. Gunn indeed. They don't makem like that anymore; the car I mean. Now that we know who and when, how about where? Where have you found a "SAVE THE PACKARD" sign? If nobody ever found one then not much serious work must have gone on once old M.R. left. Surely someone who went though a shipyard period?

Also, I'm not surprised Burke can't remember Yosemite. Heineken memory loss if I recall Paul's favorite. What's up Burkski ?! 



KP Note: I'm not sure if it was here (on KP Site) or on the Crit Thinking site that I mentioned that my neighbor has a fully restored mint condition jet-black '49 Packard.  It is the sleekest looking "ride" in town.  He currently has it for sale but the asking price is mucho (over $60K).  He also has a beautiful restored '39 Cadillac (~$300K).  I break the 10th commandment every time his garage door is open and I see his roadworthy relics in there. (Or is it the 9th commandment ... I mean the 'covet thy neighbor's stuff' one, not the commit adultery with his wife one.)


Hey 8502 Mystery Man,

What plant were you in?

Louie Wingo


KP Note: Lou, if it's who I think it is, he was a 3-planter and his last name rhymes with "Layman."

Response to 4MMR Willy:


You nailed it guy. Yes, I is who you say I is. Its been too many years since rooming with Bruce but I don't remember his glasses being round, just thick. The last time I saw him was in Spring 78. He woke me up in the wee hours to tell me he was headed back to Nebraska. Now mind you I heard years later that he almost froze to death riding his Honda 750 across the Rockies. Still cold as a Polar bears nose at that time of year. Sorry I have been off line for the last four months but I have been doing some serious research on material failure of the inside of Wild Turkey bottles. So far the glass seems to remain intact but short term memory loss appears to be rampant with the research team. Everyone keeps losing stuff. stuff stuff stuff. Me Mates talk of how there aren't many pics of the Aux Steamers in the Cruise books. Usually we got word that the pics were taking place now or we were too tired to care. I remember having to carry a lot of rope back in those day. You know, just in case we had to secure someone, err something and some knot tying might be involved. The last cruise I asked Chief Al "Bad Back" Burr when the pics would be taken and he replied, "you fuckin dumb ass! That was four weeks ago!" Oh, well. I can always look in a mud puddle and see what I look like. I saw another story about the fudge packers caught in the Island. I remember that Uncle Sam wouldn't fly in mail but they could fly the fudge packers off. I always thought they could throw the fudge packers off the fan tail and leave them as markers where to fly the mail in. One time we were in San Diego. I think it was 75 or 76. I remember getting carded at every bar. We are hopping around drinking early with no food and it must have been spring or fall cause it wasn't that warm. I remember we ran into Page and some other mates and we steamed on. Some intelligent soul decided we needed to refuel or we weren't going to make it through the night. We went to some hotel restaurant and ordered a big steak dinner. I was so wasted I barely remember the meal. At some point I had to hit the head. I remember getting lost on the dam elevator. I finally make it back to the table and someone asks me where I had been. Didn't know at the time and didn't care. I was just glad to be off that stupid lift. My head finally makes it back through the whiskey river fog and Page asks me if I paid for my steak, as we are leaving of course. I checks me pocket and still have plenty of dough. Should have been about busted by then but still had some jingle. The fog returns to the river and the next thing I know I am beached in my rack. Safe in the arms of my stinking home of iron. I still to this day do not remember if I paid for that steak or not. 

Doober Nuke 2AMR, 1AMR, OIL & WATER 74-79


Chucky Baby!!

Yes, the 8502 mystery man is indeed Charles E. Bayman, ET3 USN (ret.) of 3 plant, the ugly steam generator job, the exterior hull decon team and the Master at Arms.


KP Note: I knew it! 

Kevin Otwell Gets new Email Addy:

Hello again. Can you update/fix my email address to


Kevin Otwell, RC-14, 98-02


Hey Doober Nuke:

Hey Doobs! Welcome back! Thought we'd lost you there for a minute. Took the liberty of going back and re-reading your entries, and re-laughed as well. Your reference to LCDR Kalyn as Abe's brother still has me chuckling as well as the STFO incident where you call yourself P.O. Doober. Recalling being on LLER and manning the water ckt. during normal stming ops, l often thought how in the hell could we hear that little whirring noise of the water ckt. enunciator over the main reduction gear noise!! Then there were the cold iron watches when l could barely hear in on ULER over the exhaust fan noise-it sounded like a little bird. Probably could have heard it better if l wasn't on top of #3 SSTG catching some Z's!! l'll never forget the first time l experienced a geyser on LLER-l f**king freaked! l ran to the Feed Pumper practically jumping up and down, pointing at the tower of gushing water as he calmly walked over to the water manifold and opened up another tank despite getting drenched with warm water-it only took a few minutes to dry off, though. After a while, l became an expert at handling those pesky geysers! Fortunately, there wasn't anything electrical in the area and when it came time for zone inspection, that area was already clean and dust free! What Nucscol class were you in? l decided against Mare Island as it was too close to home and my partying pals-though by the time l got to Nucscol l had found plenty of new partying pals. Also, did you do your boot at San Diego and when were you there? l went there in Aug. 72, and met Andy Andrus there-he was in the same company as the guy l joined the buddy program with (we got screwed on the "Buddy Program"), and was in Co. 306, the sh*tiest company in the battalion. And in conclusion, l never knew you were kicked out of Nucscol or l forgot, but you and Andy always seemed to be more on the ball than most of the guys you worked with (and l'm not putting those guys down), as you guys did bust ass down there. Oh yeah, thanks for all the fresh water back then, you guys did a helluva job!!!! And please don't let the Wild Turkey get the best of you, you're better than that, pal!

4MMR Willy


Andy Pullam Gets new E-mail Addy:

Please update my email address to the following




KP Note: Hey Andy, I can't help but notice that someone with as much Big E time as you had (what'd you do, like 5 tours?) has so few tales to tell on this website.  How about sharing your nautical memories!!!!

Advice to A Soon-to-be Nuke:

KP Note: It seems that the email address James gave us won't take his email.  Anyway, here's some advice I was asked to pass along to James but since it won't go through I'll post it here, hoping James is reading these pages.  This advice actually goes out to all you want-to-be nukes reading this site.


Hi! My name's Pat and I served in the Navy Nuclear Power Program from 1972 to 1978. I've seen both the good and the bad. First let me state that if I hadn't been tricked and out and out LIED TO by my recruiter, I'd have never been a nuke. On the other hand, I met a lot of really neat people whom I'd have never met otherwise, and I got really excellent training that helped me land a good civilian job and progress rapidly through the ranks.

So here's the way I see it : There's basically several categories to think over.

1) Are you thinking of doing one hitch then getting out and using your Navy training to land a good paying job? If so, Nuke is for you.

2) Planning to stay in for 20? Screw the Nuke field! There are a lot of better and far more interesting things to do like Quartermaster, Aerographers Mate, or any of the Airdale rates. Nuke really ain't much of an adventure. Plus, in port you're "first on, last off." You're usually on 3 section duty, etc. That wears on you, especially when you see the other rates getting much more time off.

3) Just want to do one hitch for an adventure? Once again, Nuke ain't as adventurous as a number of the other rates.

4) If you want to go on subs : ABSOLUTELY DO NOT GO NUKE. I have yet to talk to a submariner nuke who liked the experience. Other submariner rates have a somewhat different viewpoint. Try to be one of the guys who gets to know where the boat is going and why it's going there.

Looking back on it, I'm kind of glad I was a nuke. But it's certainly not the choice I would have made. You've been told correctly not to trust recruiters. I know from first hand knowledge how deceitful some of them can be. You're making a good first step here by asking this question of people who have first hand knowledge of the subject and also have nothing to gain by their answers.

Bottom line : Study up on what you're about to do. When time comes to make your decision, YOU and only YOU make the decision. Do not trust fate or anyone else to make the decision for you. (Wish someone would have told me that.)

Let me know if I can answer any more questions for you. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you end up doing.

Best of Luck, Pat (PP)


To James, the Nubbie:

Since my email didn't go through, I'll post my response here as well.  

James, I've done a million things in my life and without a doubt the thing I'm proudest of is that I was a navy nuke. If you read through these stories, you'll see that each man (and now woman) had a responsibility unlike anything any other 20-something-year-old kid will ever have in his life.  There is really nothing in the world like bringing a RX critical and bringing steam into an engine room to drive a 90,000 + ton piece of steel over [still classified I guess] knots.  Did it suck at times to be away from home, away from land for days on end? Yes.  But after 20 years I, like the rest of the KP readers and writers, remember mostly good times, good people and a job well done. I wouldn't trade my years on the Big E for nothing. I bet 90% of the guys on this site will agree with me. Let us know what you do. Good luck!



David Raithel Comes Aboard ...

My name is David Raithel and I served on the "Tunaprise" from 88 to 97. I started out in RM11 with the likes of Brian Baliko, Sean Griffin, Tony Garcia, Graziano, Sam Perez, Matt Cuthbert, that shithead Pete "the Weasel" Schuyler, Mark Leternaux, Mike Lane and we all worked for the Iguana..MMC Cleary. Then after the world cruise Todd Miller and I tag teamed forward group sup for one and four plant during initial fill, initial crit and all the frikin testing. then it was off toRM23 with the likes of Roy Caffo, Scott Christina, Lou Smith (aka Lou-Sir...after he put in an officer package that was quickly denied) Mike Ratchford and a slew of others I forgot their names. I have a million stories about my time on the Big "E". The pig roast that brought the fire department at Good Chief Joe Martinez house, Waldarski gets bored on watch and sets himself on fire, Graziano sets one RAR on fire and the Iguana catches him and Sam Perez holding empty fore extinguishers, Jamie Gardner naked on top of 1A Rx doing the deed to the 0-1 rod and many many more.

Dave Raithel Currently at NNPTC Charleston, SC


KP Note: Hey Dave! I remember ya! Hey, since you're skating away there in NNPTC, how about giving us old times a perspective of what NPS is like these days. Surely it can't be as "cake-walk" as they make it seem. 

Roy Tooley Gets New Email Addy:

Hi, Please update my email address. Roy Tooley, 1967 to 1969. my new address is



Larry Lakeotes Comes Aboard ....

Wow, I don't even know where to start. I have heard of this website, but it puts the dopey books to shame! This site dredged up many memories that therapy has tried to suppress. I am still on active duty (although past 20) just to get my 10 years required as an officer before punching out. UNLV has given me a sweet deal to pay me to finish my M.S. and PhD in Engineering with a stipend, and then work here for 6 figures a year. And to think it all started as a FN wondering if I could make it though A school without seeing the two MMCMs Yarburough and Deville on their pedestals in GLakes for being drunk again in school!

Larry Lakeotes

p.s. Otto suxs!

EM22, 1988 - 2000


A Nimitz Nuke Checks In ....


Greetings from a Numbnutz alumni. I was onboard from 84-90 mostly in 1-plant.

I loved your site. Only about halfway through reading the sea stories. My God! I thought I'd hurt myself laughing so hard. You guys were insane! Our div was never half as crazy as yours.

One of your pages asked about superstitions. We had two that I can remember right off bat. One; it is bad luck to wish for good luck. If some nub on the mess deck said something like "I hope we get a good liberty call soon" every one would pelt him with napkins or food or whatever was handy and yell at him "SHUT UP!!! YA STOOPID NUB! YOU'LL JINX IT"

The other was the "Load Toad". The Load Toad was a silly little ceramic toad figurine that some one put on top of the load board in DCC. Oncoming load board operators were expected to greet the toad as if he were another crew men and terrible bad luck would befall anyone foolish enough to remove him. Most of the officers ignored it. But you know orficers. Eventually some one did remove it and several disasters, some major, some minor quickly followed. The RE DO had a quiet chat with the offender and the Load Toad was quietly returned. He was still there when I left.

We never had any dopey books that I knew of. But there was this thing we called the time capsule. A plastic zip lock bag half filled with pictures, cartoons, copies of weird logs and other stuff the officers would have gone ballistic over if they ever saw it. And it was hidden right in EOS!

We also went through a period with a hard ass who secured berthing for several hours a day. Forcing the tired pucks coming off watch to seek alternative racks. I found mine on top of the reserve feed day tank. Warm, clean, and not very quiet, but beggars can't be choosers. We almost always referred to our beds as racks. I don't think I ever heard anyone talk about his 'pit'.

I had the good luck to be in 1-plant. 2-plant was plagued with some real jerks and a lot troublesome equipment. We often referred to 2-pland as the "death" plant. One day one the ETs in the RIM room made up a very realistic looking two-position switch labeled "Death Plant" with positions "1" and "2" and mounted it somewhere. One day some one from 2-plant noticed it and switched it from 2 to 1. But it didn't work. 2-plant still had the same problems.

Quick sea story about galley rumors. One of our more original thinkers (Rob Abraczinskas) bet someone that he could start a rumor about our next port call that was obviously false and still get half the ship believing it. The bet was taken and after a few choice remarks in chow line the rumor was off and running. After a few days the captian came on the 1MC to kill it once and for all. The Nimitz would not and in fact could not ever make a port call in Nepal. Rob won his bet.

Have you heard from any other Numbnutz alumni?


Neil Mara


KP Note: Glad to hear from ya, Neil. As of this date you Nimitz lads are far and few between on this site.  I worked with a Numbnutz alum named Dave Williams (RC Div) from your era. Did you know him? Like the Ike boys and Carl Vinson lads are doing now, I think you should start a Nimitz RX Dept recollection website.  Hope to hear more stories! P.S., when you get a bit farther in your reading you'll discover something of significance. 

Don Pearson Comes Aboard ...

Just looking at my old cruise book covering the fire in 69. I was in training in 2 plant at the time, but I remember it well. Also, are the same people on your list members of the "official" Big E Association, or are those guys mostly transient airdales? I was thinking about going to the Sept reunion, but not if the old Nucs aren't going to be there.

Don Pearson RE, 2, 3, 4 Plants, 1968 - 1971

Thanks for listing me

Don Pearson ex EM2


KP Note: Don, glad to have an RE "elder" aboard.  I'm not sure how many nukes go to the association reunions.  We are hoping to make the Rx & Eng reunion an annual thing, with more people coming out each time.  Our next reunion will take place in late April 2006 in, most-likely, the SF Bay Area.

Coral Sea Kudos ...


Just a quick email to tell you your navy site kicks ass.  I went to boot camp at Great Lakes and then MM "A" School in 1975.  I then spent four years on USS Coral Sea in M-Div.  This site gave me much needed laughter in my life. Thank you for your efforts.

Tom Jackson


5 Hash Marks!

Just dropping a line to let my old friends know I'm putting in my papers this weekend to retire from the reserves. Figure five hash marks are enough. Spent the last six plus years as a seabee. Just a tad different from the nuke field. Anyway take care and drop a line if you wish...

.Joe Drees

Enterprise, 4mmr 82-86; Nimitz, 1mmr 87-90; Carl Vinson, 1mmr 90-93; NMCB-25 Bravo Co 99-05


KP Note: Congrats on a job well done, Joe.  Now what will you do with yourself? You're too young to retire for good.

Marsh Comes to Town

Had a great dinner with Rich Marsh and Mark Groseclose last night.  Sadly, I forgot my camera so I have no photo to share.  We had a great time recalling our many adventures together and I didn't realize Rich was in so many of my navy mishaps. I forgot that he was running alongside me in TJ that night the locals tried to beat the hell out of us when he, Conkin, Jeff Rich, Goldylocks and I were drinking in the wrong part of town.  (That story is somewhere on the site.)  Rich lives in approximately the same area as he did back in our Big E days, so when we have our 2006 reunion in SF, I think as many of us as possible should crash at his place for 'old times sake.'  



The Packard!

Dear K.P., Attached please find Packard. It took the trip from Alameda to Bremerton in 1973 lashed down to the flight deck. The picture was taken in July of 1973 the Big E is in the background. You can scale the photo and see that I am clearly 3 feet 8 inches. More, lots more to follow. I have a copy of the bogus POD that caused an up roar back in the 70"s. 

Best Regards, M.R. Gunn

... [KP Note: I attached all photos together]

Dear K.P., Attached please find photo of Packard at NUC School in front of our combustible barracks In July of 1970 California was a haven for old cars. I attached the ad. from the paper that lead to me and a friend, another Mike, to buying the car. However, blow up the ad. up and you will see the almost unbelievable types of vehicles for sale on one day in the paper, and look at the prices!!! At NUC school we had a 1947 Chrysler New Yorker, that was bigger than my Packard, and a 1940 Buick Road Master convertible coup. Off the base the car lots were full of them. If anyone remembers, in town a very friendly waitress, who was every ones friend for 20 minutes, had a Pink 1959 Cadillac Coup DeVille convertible. 

Best Regards, M.R. Gunn


rx-082305-cars.jpg (41743 bytes)

(click to enlarge)

Factual Datatorial Piratism?

seems this pirate stuff is relevant as we are all sailors ...


see also:



You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.

In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to hear our views and beliefs. I hope I was able to convey the importance of teaching this theory to your students. We will of course be able to train the teachers in this alternate theory. I am eagerly awaiting your response, and hope dearly that no legal action will need to be taken. I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.

Sincerely Yours,

Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen

KP Note: I'm ashamed to say that I used to do this type of analysis for a living. Sometimes it was just as 'outlandish.'

Steve Hall Comes Aboard ....

Hall, Steve, RM14 1989-1992 RM Div Office 1992-1993

Great list...saw a bunch of names I haven't thought of in years.




I was just reading page 37 of your website. Some of the names in the boot camp stories started ringing bells, then the date and boot company rang some really loud bells.

I'm pretty damn sure that was my boot company too! Do you remember a smart ass, brown haired kid in birth control glasses who was the boot company XO? I remember Stratton and Griffen. Every time we screwed up Stratton would yell "You look tired! Get on yer bellies! Shark!" Once when we were in the middle of this Griffen came in and shouted over all the grunts and panting "Its sounds like a goddamn porno movie in here!" I totally collapsed laughing. I couldn't move for about five minutes no matter how much they yelled at me.

God we had the biggest collection of rocks ever assembled. All great guys but some of dumbest posts I'd ever met. The passing score on the academic tests was 20 out of 40. I think our company average was around 22. I know the boot company CO's average was a solid 20.

There weren't but a handful of guys in that company slated to go nuke. The only one I can remember was Glen Weingartner, just because his name was unusual.

Neil Mara

KP Note: Yep, Neil, you were, in fact in my boot camp company!  I knew it was you the minute I saw your name and that you were a nuke that arrived in the fleet the same time I did. I gave you a "hint" in my response (above) that you would be in for a surprise when you read further along on the site [and came to my boot camp stories].  I remember you very well. 

Do remember our company RCPOC (or whatever the senior Rick was called)? He was this guy from the south who was as sharp as a bowling ball.  I have no idea how he got put in charge, except that he might have been the first guy done stenciling his dungarees without too many f--ckups.  On Graduation night I recall he was so drunk that he pissed himself nearly to death while asleep.  They basically had to "toss" his mattress and cover up the whole thing (as wetting one's bed was a navy-no-no).   

I remember every man in our company and I've written many things about the most memorable ones on this site or in my personal memoirs.  Do you remember that guy we all called "Kentuck"?  I still laugh myself sick when I think about him, and our night in Milwaukee following graduation.  We were warned-warned-warned----and warned about not talking to the hookers that would undoubtedly follow us around while we strolled the city in our freshly minted dress whites.  As we were headed back to the bus near midnight he met one of these hookers and disappeared.  Us 077 mates did our best to stop him and then find him but it was no good and we had a bus to catch so we left the poor lad to his own doings.  Just as the bus was closing it's doors we saw him running down the street wrapped in a sheet.  The hooker (or the guy hiding in the closest) stole everything from him, including his dress whites! 

And then there was that whole Chief Janicks thing... with the test.  Do you remember how the rocks in the company almost killed the Education PO for "spilling the beans"? I think I wrote about that adventure on this site.

One of my best pals in the company was seaman-striker named Pat Whalen.  His dream was to be a SEAL.  I kept in touch with following boot camp and he sent me a card in the late 80s, saying he finally made it to BUDS.  Then I got another card telling me he never made it through the school but was going to try again the following year.  I hope he made it.

There were about a half-dozen nukes in our company and I kept in touch with many.  Steve Hamil, another EM like me, was one of my best buds through nuke school, where, unfortunately, he failed the Comp.  We kept in touch after that (he was on the Ranger) and we saw each other many times when the Big E pulled into San Diego.  I've mentioned Chris Galbreath, another 077 nuke, on this site.  He made contact with me about a year ago; he's still in the navy stationed in Spain (or was).  Barry Mahler and I stayed close through Prototype and he wound up on, I think, the Ike or another East coast carrier. Of the ETs, Weingartner and I saw plenty of each other on the Big E.  There was another ET, but I forget where he went.  There was also an MM named Ronny Serber or something like that.  I recall he was from Sopchoppy, FL.  I loved that name so much that I used it as the scene of some-such thing in my Mooj writings. 

Now here's something I remember about you. You were this wise-ass guy who never took any shit from no one.  If I'm remembering correctly, you were also an atheist, and refused to say evening prayers with the company.  The CCs got so pissed off about this that they would make you do sharks or pushups during our evening prayer.  Am I remembering this right? 

Keep in touch!!!

Kurt Pena Comes Aboard ...

Hey! Add me to you listing.

I served in EM14 from 1986 to 1991.

Use the email address:


Kurt Pena


An Inquiry about Agent Orange


My name is Dave Tyson, former Navy amphib, and asking about any info on a possible agent orange spill on the Enterprise between 1969 to 1972. My brother-in-law, MM3 Bobby Jacobs recently died of cancer directly attributed to being exposed to Agent Orange according to the doctors. The Navy department indicates no such accidents ever happened, but my brother-in-law insisted that such an occurrence took place. Unfortunately, we do not have an exact date or specific area on the ship. We are looking for anyone who may have such knowledge. Thanks for any assistance that you may provide.


Richard Beard Gets New Email Addy:

Please update my email Richard Beard rm-11 1991 - 1995

Thanks for having this site it has been valuable in getting hold of lost friends. 


More From Kurt Pena:

Ram: Hello again! I tried some of the contacts that you have posted. These are out of date:

Todd "Wog" Anderson 

Keith "Spobber" Bryan

Both these guys are formerly of EM-14 in the '80's. Oh well, maybe they'll find us again some time soon!

I saw your post about David Salzberg. We have been in touch now and again. When last we met up a few years back he had just married or was about to marry his college girlfriend. They met at UC Irvine where he was studying biology, I think. He has been working in biotech doing process validation.

I was a water treatment plant operator, but that was killing me. The shift work and the low brain power factors were getting to me. I have been a self-employed electronics tech for about eight years. During this time, I finished my degree in electrical engineering at UC Davis. Since I just finished college, I am looking for a new job. Here's my latest resume: [put elsewhere]


KP Note: I'll post y'r resume on the resume site. Sadly, many of our Big E brothers find new email addys without telling me.  I try to stay as current as possible but that ain't easy.  If anyone keeps in touch with those slackers Anderson and Bryan, let them know we need new email addresses;) 

Nimitz & Boot Camp ....


Here's few pictures from the Nimitz.

One of the charming traditions in Reactor berthing was to grab some innocent squid and perform a hydrostatic test. Usually the RM div's were the ones to execute this complex and exacting test, but the testee could be anyone. In this case it was Tom McDevitt (Gizmo) receiving the test. Glen Spivey and Rob Goark were second and third on the pile. I love Spivey's expression in the fifth shot. I was always amazed that those couches could stand up to that much weight.

The picture of the heavy seas as we crossed the Cape Horn (South America) does not do them justice. Those waves are 20-30 feet high. Somewhere I have a shot of spray coming over the bow. Later in the day we lost a piece of yellow gear and the captain closed all the weather decks. Since we crossed the Arctic Circle during Operation Northern Wedding some of us were hoping we'd cross the Antarctic Circle too, but we didn't.

In Hong Kong we got into a darts match with some Brits. We were playing a game called cricket which usually lasts a half hour or so and scores around 100 to 200 points. In cricket the strategy is to get ahead of the other team and finish the game by "closing out". If you are behind you need to score points and avoid "closing out". We turned out to be such a close match that they couldn't stay ahead. We kept scoring enough points to catch up and pass, so they had to score points. It took over an hour but they finally beat us 1002 to 1001.

I think the idea of a Nimitz Sea Stories website is an excellent idea. My ISP gives me all this free space and I haven't done anything with it yet. As soon as I get it going I'll let you know. I'd love it if I could get half as many Nimitz nukes as you have done with the Big E.

Boot Camp:

As for not taking any sh*t, I took plenty of it, I just didn't let it bother me. I distinctly remember some chief screaming his head off at me for slamming a door. I just let him get it out of his system and said "Yes, chief" whenever he stopped for breath. I knew it was all theater (or most of it was). I think I did give them grief about being an atheist, but I was just being a smart ass. Did I mention I was a smart ass? Mostly, I didn't feel my religion was any of their business. They never made me do any push ups over it.

Some of the guys I remember.

Crosby. Could not keep in step worth a damn. Even with his eyes glued to the shoes of the man in front of him. In the long run it was no big deal. I never marched anywhere in formation after bootcamp.

Cadena. I think Cadena got ASMO'd into our company after a couple of weeks. After they took out his wisdom teeth his mouth got infected and his lips swelled up something awful. I thought he looked a lot like Mick Jagger.

Pringle. A tall black guy with a smile a mile wide. You could not help but like a guy with that big a smile.

Hammond. I met him once on the Nimitz. He was a deck hand. I saw him carrying a double armload of filthy rope and cable through a passageway on the 03 level. All the chowdales were leaping and scurrying to get out of his way least he mess up their nice clean uniforms.

The education PO. Did he really turn us in? I thought he needed help as badly as the rest. If I remember his average score was 27 or 28. I figured they caught us by looking at the tests. We did so well on that one even though we rocked out so badly on the others.

I do vaguely remember the name Hamil but can't put a face on it.

Neil Mara


KP Note: Glad to hear from you again Neil.  In all my years as a Big E snipe I never saw the "Hydro." Our RMs were mostly known for taping fellows to the shaft and employing a grease gun to do something I won't mention here, lest I offend the modern navy readers on this site. 

Both Crosby and Cadena flew with me from the Boston MEPS and my first official navy assignment was to be senior man in the travel party since I was already an E3.  I also had a guy named Jewett in the group.  I liked him but he didn't survive the first test. Cadena failed the reading test, so he was gone in a matter of days, too.  Crosby was my only Boston travel companion to make it all the way in 077. Oh wait, it wasn't Cadena I traveled with, it was some other guy named Detroia or something.  Cadena was that little guy who designed our company flag, right?

Getting Short ....

Recently Ron, Willy and I swapped E mails and reminisced about getting short. Some scabs got picked off of some dried up old memories.

As 1978 dawned, a significant number of the Big E nuke community finally saw our EAOS within sight. We were short and we knew it. Our behavior, while always questionable, became downright abnormal.

As Willy mentioned many pages ago, we would close down our usual watering hole on Webster street then head to the Sacred Tree for some "after hours" revelry. Shortly before closing time we would take up a collection and send a couple of guys to the local liquor store to pick up a variety of adult beverages. They would meet us under the Sacred Tree in this big vacant lot where we would continue to party, shoot the shit and sing ribald songs. One of the items that would always be purchased in the liquor store was a bottle of Akadama Red Japanese wine. I always wondered why someone would bring a bottle of imported wine to a drunken affair such as this. One night I took a closer look at the label on the bottle. No wonder this "fine wine" was so cheap. The shit was made in FRESNO! (Looking back on it, the two liter bottle with the twist-off cap should have been some sort of a clue.) Anyhow, in keeping with our tradition of naming damn near everything, someone soon named any gathering of 10 or more nukes where a bottle of Akadama Red was present an "Akadama Wine Drinking Festival"

One night at one of these festivals, one of the AMR guys (probably JD) went over to the fence that we used as a urinal. For some unknown reason he pulled his pants down to his ankles just to take a hands free leak. When he was done he left his pants at his ankles and come back over and casually rejoined the conversation. Somebody thought this was funny and joined suit. One by one the whole gang joins in. It still brings a chuckle to think of 20 or so of the Big E's "finest and brightest" standing around nonchalantly shooting the shit and drinking beer all with their pants at their ankles and acting as if nothing was wrong with this picture. UFB! And thus the NUDE Akadama Wine Drinking Festival was born.

We continued this tradition till the 78 cruise started. Then our behavior deteriorated.



USS Reagan


I just passed through Santa Barbara this past weekend on the way to take the baby to see his relations.

As far as I know, this is the first time any type of aircraft carrier has been anchored off SB, CA for a port visit: CVN-76. I also noticed an escort, but there may have been others hiding behind the Fig Tree.

Now, I've never been a Reagan (flesh or metal) fan, but it was certainly an interesting site...

And the baby didn’t puke ONCE on his favorite auntie…

Tom Gonzales


KP Note: Hey Tom, did you ever get hold of Van Monkey?

VM Hides?

No additional feedback from Van Minkey since the last inquiry with him.

He must still be lost in the substrate over at Maxim.

TG RE 1975-79


KP Note: Hmmm, I wonder in Van Muck is hiding from his nautical past?

Steve Lavinder Comes Aboard ....

Steve Lavinder, RC11 & RC23, 2001 - 2005


Lea Hendrickson Comes Aboard ....

Hi there King Paul,

My name is Lea Hendrickson. I was an ELT in RL, and I also worked TPL. I was on the pig from 1995 to 1998.

My email address to add to the roster is 




Hurricane Prayers


Let's keep some good thoughts and prayers for folks in the South.

Not a pretty sight, and I know of some nuke buddies being affected by all this turmoil.

TG RE 1975-79


Hide Your Wives and Daughters ....

In July a small gathering of enterprise nukes spanning 8 years happened in Fredonia, NY. Your job is to name them.


Ken Gholston Comes Aboard ...

Ken Gholston, RL Division 1976-1979


ORSE F/Us ....

In 74 arriving off the PI, we underwent ORSE. Mike Gendreau and & I did 6 out 8 of rod control system mods during the yard period. He was the first one in and naturally described the control controls to the gnat's ass. They said You R Wrong.  Mike then got up and pulled the manual off the shelf and showed them They were wrong. So that became the QUESTION! Of all RTs and ROs, Steve Maxwell and I Dan Loudermilk were the only three that got it right. Naturally, I was the last one in, and they said the word evidently had gotten out. I showed the my initials on the ACN. I got out on arrival back in Alameda on 20 May 75. 

Dan Loudermilk 



Some history about USS Gaffey. Anyone unfortunate enough to have lived aboard this ship during her days in Bremerton will love how this ship ended up:

~ 01 November 1978: Placed in service as a barracks hulk, redesignated Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-507).

~ 25 October 1993: Struck from the Naval Register.

~ 16 June 2000: Final Disposition: Sunk during RIMPAC 2000 EXERCISE as a missile target, location: 023° 35' 01.0" North, 159° 50' 00.2" West, depth: 2,730 fathoms.



Ahoy Lads ....

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