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

Maneuverability ...


Reading the account of the grounding and learning that a slow ship's speed had something to do with it reminded me of the collision of Ike with the Spanish oil tanker in 1988. I don't recall if this has been covered on this site or not. I was on the Ike when this collision took place as we were within several hundred yards of the pier @ Norfolk upon returning from a Med cruise. Yep, we were so close that the wives and girlfriends watched it happen. The culprit here was a slow ship's speed and, hence, reduced maneuverability. I seem to recall the reason for the slow ship's speed had to do with performing passing honors with some sub going the other way, which had a flag officer on it and/or the Navigator was a stickler for pulling in exactly on time and not three minutes early. It seems like the Navy needs to include in the required training for CO's and OOD's a review of the fact that if the ship's maneuverability is to rely solely on the rudders then the ship must maintain good forward speed or else it shall be at the mercy of the wind and/or current. One would not think this would be necessary, but apparently it is. Then again, perhaps nowadays they're outfitting the carriers with thrusters?

Joe B


Remembering a Shipmate:

For the "In Memorium" section. In my 03-04 cruisebook there was an ICFN Jakia Sharee Cannon of Engineering Dept that passed away during the cruise. I don't have a date ready, I recall she died in her sleep of a rare blood condition that was perhaps complicated by vaccinations. 2003 as I recall it was fairly early in the cruise.


Some Great 70s Stories From R-Infinit:

Hi KP- I've been following your site for a few months now and really enjoy it. I was in 3MMR from 76 to 80 and yep, booster flats is the hottest place, MOSUX and all the pens you drop in the bilge eventually migrate to a square foot area by the lube oil pumps.

I wasn't going to write you until I found my nuke school picture and scanned it in with names. I found it, got the damn scanner to work (blame it on the kids!) and now I can't remember half the names, so I'll hold off sending the picture for a while. 7602-7, the last class of any kind at NTC Bainbridge, can wait a little longer.

I didn't have any phone numbers for PP, Burt, Willie, Paulie, TLB etc. when Ahnold became governor of CA, but I sure wanted to call them and say what do you think of that! I thought the whole body building thing was just to attract women...


The Great Reenactment of Driving Burt's New Truck into Ballena Bay

Many of us weren't present for the Original Driving of Burt's New Truck Into Ballena Bay, but it was such a bizarre story that a bunch of us repeated it, without Burt or the new truck. PP, who was there, both in the truck and at the reenactment, sat in the imaginary driver's seat and we went through the script several times until everyone had their parts memorized. Someone replaced Burt in the imaginary driver's seat and the rest of us were in the imaginary truck bed or maybe we made up an imaginary crew cab which didn't exist in the real truck, I forget. It went something like this:

Scene: Nighttime, The boat launching ramp at Ballena Bay. Some sailors have been partying heavily in accordance with the Navy's substance abuse program in place at that time. Burt and Pat are sitting in Burt's new truck. Neither sailor is afraid of anything, and both like to do things just for the shock value. A lot of other sailors are in the truck bed or maybe the crew cab, I forget.

Burt: I'm gonna drive into the bay.

PP: Hey, it's a brand new truck, don't do it.

Burt: Here we go...

Other sailors: Bruuuuuum, Bruuuuum, Bruuuuum (motor noises)

The entire group begins to move in formation down the boat ramp, picking up speed and eventually entering the water without exiting the vehicle.

Much dunking, splashing and proclamations of success. PP said we did a great job.

The End

Markie Le Boeuf was present that night but I don't think he was in the imaginary truck. I remember him standing on top of that desert rat pickup truck of his, whizzing into the night. I've spent a fair amount of time in the desert over the last 20 years or so, checking out ghost towns and other stuff and once in a while I would think of him and wonder if I might run into him. Now that I found out he's dead - thanks for the service KP, even though it's not fun it's good info - I can hear him saying, "Of course you won't run into me because I'm fuckin' dead!"

Lineman for the county

You know, this was so dangerous I'm not going to write about it in case it gives someone ideas.

Bugis Street Merchant

In Singapore there is (was, maybe) a street called Bugis Street (pronounced Boogie Street) which was closed off at night and filled with tables and chairs supplied by the restaurants, etc. on each side of the street. There was plenty of beer and food and merchants stopping by your table trying to sell you stuff. One merchant stopped at the next table and displayed his wares, which were tapestries and dildoes. The tapestries were the same stuff you saw anywhere else in town and so were the dildoes, but I got a sudden flashback to a horse race game I had owned as a kid, which had horses that scooted along on a vibrating table (maybe you've seen the football version.) I just had time to say to my buds "everybody grab a dildo" when the merchant came over. We all asked to examine a dildo, and , when everybody had one, we turned them on and placed them upright on the table. They all buzzed around in little circles and the merchant was freaking out and waving his tapestries and shouting "No! No!" in some foreign accent and the whole thing was just excellent.

As a side note, Bugis Street at night had a lot of gorgeous women, dressed to the nines and very available. Trouble is, they had not started life as women, which was a problem for many of us uptight American males. All in all an unusual place.

New Boss, New Jolo's

We got a new supervisor who had come from the submarine service and could out-party any skimmer puke any day of the week. In Olongapo, he went to the New Jolo Club third floor (!) with some of the guys and ended up engaged in a performance that would get you arrested damn near anywhere. His new name was "Ramrod" and he was a really good guy so we didn't give him a hard time about it.


There were some indicating lights in EOS and by the CMO desk that indicated the status of the jet airplane steam catapult associated with our plant, they were like "pressurize," "standby," things like that, and one of them was "fire," for when they fired the catapult. One day the new PPWO saw this light up and announced over the PA, in a frantic voice, that there was a fire in the catapult. Welcome aboard, sir.


Hey, you know, I wondered where some of these guys on the website found the time to write all the things they do and all of a sudden I am writing and feel like I could go on for days. Cool.

In the 3MMR nub book a lot of people would sign their name with an initial and the number of days they had left in the nav, since it was against the rules to have a nub book or write in it we had to remain anonymous. I was "R infinity" (can't get this email to make an infinity sign) since I had over a thousand days left when I came onboard.

So that's me. R infinity. Thanks for a great site.


Stan Bodenstein Gets New Email ...


In the '61 to '69 group, please change my e-mail address to:


Stan Bodenstein - 1 Plant OSA* (nearly a plank owner)

*Olongapo Steamers Association


Mark Peugh Comes Aboard

Mark Peugh

1989-1990 EM14; 1990-1993 EM11; 2002-2003 EM11; 2003-2004 EM07



KP Just got back from visiting my parents in Richmond Va. While I was there I went to a well stocked beer/wine store. As I was looking around, I spotted some Yuengling which you spoke highly of on this site. I decided to buy a six-pack and see for myself. Dad and I split the sixer that night. Dad was born and raised not far from Pottstown Pa. where Yuengling is brewed and he remembered the beer well. Pretty good stuff. Too bad the shit isn't available in my area, I'd like to have more.

Due to a possible labor dispute on my regular airline, I took United which pretty much means going through Chicago O'Hare. I hadn't been through O'Hare in over 25 years. It was interesting to see all the fresh faced and starry eyed young E-1s and E-2s wandering about in their new Cracker Jack uniforms. Hard to believe that I was once one of those naive young kids.



Chris Hamilton Comes Aboard ...

Chris Hamilton

EM14 2002-2006


Bubblehead Site:

KP, l recently had a bunch of old patches from my Big E days sewn on my VFW jacket. While searching for new patches (VF-1 and VF-2), l stumbled upon a bubblehead site ran by two ex-nucs that has submarine patches and rating pins as well as other sub memorbilia, and got their permission to give them a heads-up on our site for any visiting bubbleheads. Anyway, their website is for anyone interested. l'd also like to welcome the newest member to the site from our old 70's engineering steamers, one R-infinity, a fine lrish lad, and a fine addition to the alumni list.

Ta Ta for now,

Steve "Willy" Wilson


Tom Bigley Comes Aboard ...

Here’s another nuc for your Rx and Engineering Dept. list.

Tom Bigley

RM, 2 Plant, 1966 – 1970


Supply Dept. Visitor:

Wow. Did I have a lot of explaining to do when my son found your site and read all these sea tales. I served on CVAN 65 from 1973 - 1975 in Supply Dept. I told my son that only nukes behaved like that. Ha Ha! KP, this site is fantastic. I tried to forget about my time in the navy but your stories made me remember many great times and great people. Thanks for putting a smile on my face. I have some patches I'll scan and send in. 

God Bless you all and best of luck!

Gary Hunter, S-2 Div


From a Tuber ....

Fantastic site!

Alas, I was a tuber MM/ELT of 8 years ('87-'95). I also had the distinction of participating in end-of-life testing and shutdowns on both A1W and S5G plants out in NPTU Idaho. Having originally qualified at S5G, gone to sea on a sub, and returning to A1W, I nearly shit myself when I went in-hull for the first time (what the hell is a Hagan cabinet?!) Let's just say I gained an immense amount of respect for surface MM's and the job they do. Booster pump flats (damn hot) , hand-cranking TG's and feed pumps to start them up. Used to line up students and watch them drop on down and ups back in the day. Anyway, keep it going and great job.

Which plant was A1W supposed to be the mockup of?

Take care all!



Jeff Larson Comes Aboard ....

Hey Ram, great site! Add me to the email list if you would. The stories everyone has bring back a lot of memories even after all these years.

Jeff Larson REO1 1986-1992


KP Note: But Jeff, I already have you in the email roster.  I thought you already checked in.  My memory is rusty.  I recall many adventures with you and Bowman (usually involving a few pitchers of Mojo and multiple bottles of San Miguel).

Admiral Material?

Interesting to see Jules's posting about John H___y's "success." Wasn't he the numbnuts that ruptured 2 plants condenser?

Here's what i recall. PP please correct what I get wrong. I seem to recall 2 plant's circ water pump being tagged out on a day we "cold catted" an airplane, which went into the water directly in front of the ship. The bridge rang up a back emergency; which 2 plant could not answer of course with no circ water pump available. Ha___y asks central control on the squawk box for permission not to answer the bell. Being a little excited in central, the PPWO told him no. So H___y tells the throttleman to answer the bell, and he complies (Who was THAT guy?) As expected, the condenser let go and filled the engine room with steam. I think Rick Timmons from 1 plant was standing watch in 2 plant that day and went into the bilge with everybody else. So Ha___y collapses on the deck, in EOS, VERY upset because his career is ruined. EWS opens EOS door, orders throttles closed and reactors scrammed. End of event.

I guess that's admiral material? Nothing personal Jules, but a good guy he ain't.

Douglas Ortego


P'Mooj Feedback

My band mates have no idea that I lead a secret life as "KP," the ex-nuke, who is world famous for things other than music.  One of you (I have no idea who) left this message on our band's feedback thingy:

"Man I gotta hear this music. The LA CityBeat really slammed your stuff. Chris Morris wrote in a pre-release review of the album back in December that your long-haired guitarist was a phony. In fact, he said that guy ain't even a full-time musician dude - rather a nuclear Engineer or something dumb like that. In BF Chandler, AZ? Come on. The CityBeat is so bogus!! Another article in February's Rolling Stone said the guy used to be a middle-Eastern cult leader. Whoa... That's why I had to have your CD man. Can't wait to check it.."

The other guitar player, who does our sales (and bookings--so I guess he's like the manager or something) was very confused and worried that it was true, i.e., that we were really slammed in Rolling Stone and LA City Beat.  I told him I had no idea what the message meant but that any publicity is good publicity.  Mrs. KP suspects it's her bro Nitro but I'm not sure.  A free beer goes out to whoever lays claim to the tid-bit, as it brought many hours of laughter to me.  

To be honest fans of my many websites (like this one and the Mooj) are a bit let-down by the band's site, as it's a bit too formal for their tastes.  It is true that I have nothing to do with it (er, lazy is best way to explain that) so I think I'll start an "Unofficial Psychedelic Mooj" site and help propagate rumors that we are a cult band, and we hypnotize our audience into becoming Mooj minions.  At our last show I tried to hypnotize the audience during our "Lost in the Desert" song (cause I couldn't remember the words) and told them their wallets were getting very heavy and the only way to relieve that stress was to fork over $10 and buy a CD.  Didn't work. 

Happy Cinco de Mayo to all.  

To those on the Big E, who are deploying this week: God Bless!!!



Eric Estes Comes Aboard ...

KP, Another 80's vet to check aboard. Eric (once was Peterman, changed to Estes). I was RM23/RM03 from 1987 to 1990; 'Bones' in the RM23 dopeybooks of the time. After Enterprise, I actually stayed in, did a couple of prototypes (S1C/626), New Con on the Stennis, and must have lost my memory, because I ended up back on 'Das Pig' in 2002, retiring from there in 2004. Haven't had time to read the entire site yet, I'm sure I can add to some of the stories posted, and what some of those stories turned into - legend wise, from my final tour...

Eric Estes


Plank Owner Steve Stevenson Returns!

K P, I was a plank owner long time ago and my story proves that history repeats itself. We were moving the Enterprise from Newport News to Norfolk and to a pier on the base for the first time. I think we had already had the sea trials (where we kicked ass/ no escort could keep up with us after we went to flank speed.) Anyway we got tied up at the pier. I know we were on line in #1 main and I think the other engine rooms were on line also . Either they were not ready to hook up shore power or could not at this time. Well everything started to go to hell. The slip was not deep enough for us so we must have been just off the bottom or our main condenser intake was right there. Well as a FN and non nuke in #1 MMR Two of us got to clean the inlet header of the main of all the wonderful surprises we found clogging the tubes. For some reason they were trying to keep steam in all plants mainly to keep generators on line because I don't think they had any power or the hookups ready. We would stay on line as long as we could then shut down, clean the condenser, and go back on line. I can't remember the number of times we went into that condenser but when we got shut down to cold iron I for one was very happy. I hope I'm telling this tale correctly; it was a long time ago.

I have one more tale; hope its ok to throw it out there now. When we returned from the short deployment to the med. This was the first time Enterprise returned from the med , lots of people left the ship for leave; leaving very few aboard for the time we were scheduled to be in port. That first night in port I went to the EM Club on base. Well late in the evening Shore Patrol walked thru and if you were on a ship they escorted us out to buses that took us back to the ship . On arrival we were told to report to your work station (mine #1MMR). After there, Chief told us to light off the plant because we would be getting under way. Our thoughts were that there was a storm coming and they wanted to ride it out at sea; they never told us anything till next morning and after we had been running flank speed all night with a very skeleton crew and no air group or planes on board. We were off the coast of CUBA getting ready for Blockade later that morning. We started getting personnel and planes aboard. I thought this might be of interest.

Steve Stevenson


KP Note: Welcome back Steve! Yours was the very first memory of the Cuban blockade on this site.  Thanks for sharing that memory. 

2001 Deployment Stops ....

King Paul,

I was looking and noticed that your April 2001 deployment, Port Calls list is short a few stops. Naples Italy, Jabel Ali UAE, and Sauda Bay, Crete should also be on that list.

Yours truly,

Belgarath Bryan Florence, RM23


Albert Wolff Comes Aboard ...

I was in RL Division 1985-1987, Thanks.

Albert W. Wolff


KP Note: Hey Albert, I can see by your email address you're an "Oak Ridge Boy."  Back in the old days all nuclear engineers somehow passed through there.  What's going on at Oak Ridge these days?

Ryan Graves Comes Aboard ....

Please add me,,,

Graves, Ryan EM-11 92-97, 2000-2001 EM14 2001-2005




I would like to share some bad news with all. A few days ago EMCM Rollie Bartley, Retired, was killed in an industrial accident in a steel mill in Texas. He was about 1.5 years into his wonderful non nuke life, and doing well. He was, without a doubt, one of the best shipmates I can readily name and he will be missed.


LT Brian Heasley 


Adam Hutchins Comes Aboard ...

Hello, My name is Adam Hutchins. I served aboard the Enterprise from 2001 to 2006. I was in RC-11 for most of my time, but spent the last year and a half in RX-40 (Reactor Damage Control division). You can list this email address,, or my other email address, Thank you for adding me to your list.

Adam Hutchins


Black Fingerprints!


Every time I read your site, I find another great memory. Especially when I see a post from Jonny Caustic, one of my Three stooges from the RIM room in the late 90s. Jonny was the most bitter, sarcastic and disgruntled guy in the department. And he included an issue of the Stab, too. The best issue of the Stab included black fingerprints all over the paper. The Reactor Dept. Master Chief (the Angel of Death) had the habit of turning on all the lights in berthing early in the AM on the day we pulled into port. So someone got cranky, poured black ink all over the light switches and the result was the MCs fingerprints permanently recorded all over berthing. Talk about pissed!!

Brian Heasley


John O'Rourke Comes Aboard!

Blown-away, stunned ... alive, thrilled, reconnected. But wait, there's more!

How I got here:

A few weeks ago, I ran around the house looking for something (I can't remember what), screaming ("Where's that...") "Motherfuckinmotherfucka," like a chant or something.

I had no idea why I say this particular phrase and why I say it so often. But the phrase reverberates and some primordial instincts are awakened by the words. It's as fundamental as my name.

More recently, my 19 year old makes a remark about "'Po Town." When I asked him precisely what Po Town he meant, he then said "Shit River." He smiled.

Not like ***I*** was smiling -- inside, mind you -- but he was smiling far too much for my liking. I admit my inside smile looked like a grimace of horror - Could he possibly know about the Peso Show? The Banana Dance?

D'Cherry Club? D'Wagon Wheel? D'Oro? D'

Proud Mary? "Rollleeeen on deh reeee-verrr???

Were those experiences genetically seared into my sperm by all the San Migoo, monkey meat, and short times?

A week or so passes...

An evening in Singapore flashed back into my head last night. A cute blond. Sally. A few days later, a scuffle in a swank hotel bar involving some Brits or Aussies. A month later, going back through the Strait of Malacca and heading to India/Pakistan Standoff #1, with the Russky Bears flying overhead. Of course, we picked Pakistan, as we found out later. The Russkys weren't there for our moral support, but we knew that. One long-assed deployment as I recall. I started wondering ...

I force myself to change my thoughts, or else I won't get to sleep.

Then, for sheer shits and grins tonight, I Google the name of Satan. My great nemesis. The nutcase who thought Zumwalt was a shiftless slacker -- you know "BTCM F***r."

Lo, Official Big E Rx Site popped up with his name.

There's a dual story behind my lingering annoyance for this man.

It begins as "How I pissed off, but escaped the wrath of, Chief F****r on the Big E, but ...."

So, as I'm doing some light reminiscing and getting ready for bed, my son screams out "DAD, I FOUND YOUR PICTURE!!!"


"Page 13!" "Hey, did you know a guy named Steve Higgins?"

HIGGINS! The name snaps me to. SO, I rush to Page 13.

Pogue, Higgins, Gauvin, and ME. 1971. I think it was when we were stuck in a Quonsett hut back in the jungles of Cubi Point after "they" lost our records enroute to the Enterprise. So, that pic is about October 1971, I think. Maybe November. I miss these guys. Each one was a top-shelf soul & I hope they are healthy and laughing.

The damned Quonsett hut had lizards as big as cattle cars and freakin' monkeys, too. That was almost too much excitement for a city boy from Philly (by way of Great Lakes, Bainbridge, West Milton, and Alameda).

Anyway, I was in RM3, from 1971 to 1973, when I went to the Nimitz Pre-Com Unit (after passing my MM2 exam).

Ahh, the Nimitz. Ahh Part II of the story .... it ends as "how I became F****r's bitch anyway." Yeah, that's where they sent him. Then me. Only I didn't know that when I got orders for the Nimitz. Otherwise, I'd have opened up Ye Olde Shit River SCUBA Shoppe.

Now, I'm seriously digging around for the good stuff. I hope it didn't get lost over the past 35 years.

For now, I add 4 basic "Day in the Life" pics that you can use or not as you wish.

The first is an F4, fully-loaded, on the angle-deck catapult just before 1100 psi of superheated steam kick their butts off the deck at 158 knots (or something like that). Note the afterburner, the missiles, and the position of the air crew. I wonder if these flyboys will see this pic? Time frame is around Dec. 1972

The second is from an UNREP. The AOR-4 is the USS Savannah, as I understand it. Another from Dec. 1972

The third is of a palette of bombs coming up from the second deck. I was always tickled how about 50 tons of HE was just on the other side of the galley bulkhead. Or about 10 gazillion tons of the crap was just on the other side of the RM3 bulkhead. Another of the Christmas '72 Bombing Specials.

Finally, one look up at the crow's nest from just below the meatball (may it rest in pieces). Once again Dec. 1972.

I've got pictures with faces somewhere.

I've been in Orange County, CA since '99 because it sure beats the crapola weather in Philly.

Thanks for this site, and thanks to everyone who contributed. Tonight, I was reunited with a big part of my life. Plus, my 19 year old now sees me as I was when I was his age. You can't pay for something that good.

My very best to all. Me love you, no shit.


John O'Rourke MM RM3 '71-'73

P.S. I swear the 2Plant Loser site has my boot camp pic displayed, too. I'm holding back tears here, fellas.


"The First Annual Reenactment of Burt Page Driving His Truck into Ballena Bay"

KP, When I read R-Infinity's account of the Ballena Bay incident (4/29) I laughed myself to tears. Thanks Tom. These days I don't laugh that hard often enough. It really was a funny event and demonstrates the kind of warped mentality our condition created. I figured, since I'm the only living person to have been at both events, I'd write down what I remember to save it for posterity. At the time of the event it was officially known as "The First Annual Reenactment of Burt Page Driving His Truck into Ballena Bay". This was of course a misnomer since both "First" and "Annual" imply that we would repeat the performance. (Which of course we never did, but probably meant to.) Tom's story title is probably more historically correct.

Here's what I remember of the event. Sorry it's so damn long :

Back in '76 or '77 Burt traded in his old Ford F-150 and bought a newer model. On like about his first week with the truck (Hell, maybe even his first f**king DAY with the truck) he took Paulie and I for a ride in it. After nightfall we somehow found ourselves drinking beer in Burt's truck at the boat ramp at Ballina Bay. Not sure how it happened, but the subject of Burt driving his truck into the bay came up. I think that it must have been Burt himself who hatched the idea because Paulie and I knew better than to bring up a subject like this to Burt. We knew NEVER to dare Burt. If you said, "No balls." or "Not a hair on your ass…." Burt was pretty sure to do whatever the idea was. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed (which pretty much narrows it down to Paulie) and the truck was not actually driven into the bay. (Sorry if I ruined the memory for any of you 70s guys.) When the 3 of us got back to the ship, somehow the story started circulating that Burt had actually driven his new truck into the bay. I'm not exactly sure how the rumor started, but the 3 of us played along. It was a totally bullshit story, but given the participants, most of M Div had no problem buying it. One or two days later the ship pulled out to sea for carrier quals or whatever.

On the last night of our next in port period we performed our usual "last night ashore" ritual. After the D.P. closed at 2 AM, a bunch of drunken nukes decided to continue steaming in some remote location. The Sacred Tree and Washington Park were our favorite after hours steaming locations, but this night we found ourselves at Ballena Bay. This was a pretty big crowd, probably about 30 of us nukes and about ten vehicles. I didn't see Markie LeBeouf whizzing off the top of his truck as Tom described, but at one point several of us saw another bizarre sight. Two guys were standing atop one of the vehicles. From our vantage point on the ground we could see the full moon in the background between them. Both guys were puking and the puke streams seemed to cross in front of the moon. The scene was almost artistic in its symmetry. I heard people later referring to it as "puking in stereo".

The subject of Burt driving his truck into the bay eventually came up, and since I was the only one present who had been at the alleged event, I was asked to describe it in detail. As Tom previously wrote, we created a virtual truck at the top of the boat ramp. I played myself and unfortunately I can't remember who played Paulie and Burt. A number of other squids wanted to take part in the reenactment and piled into the back of the make believe truck. I think we must have had something like 15 people in all. After "Burt" and I went through our routine, which Tom explained so well, the "truck" was put in gear and the formation started down the ramp as a single tightly packed unit. Due to the number of us packed in, the steepness of the ramp and our general state of inebriation, the truck gained momentum at an alarming rate! Several feet from the waters edge I suddenly sobered up and realized what the f**k I had gotten myself into. I sensed that the momentum of the truck had taken us past the point of no return and I could visualize what was about to happen. At the last moment I decided to bail. I took a couple of steps to my right and I was out of the truck. (Didn't even bother to open the door!) I stared in wide eyed disbelief as the rest of the truck hurled past me and into the bay with a loud splash followed by a wave of profanity. All but a couple of guys in the very rear ended up floundering around in the bay and screaming how f**king cold the water was. The guys who had been intelligent enough not to get involved in this shenanigan laughed themselves silly.

Now here's something I don't often tell people about myself. A lot of the stupid and/or crazy shit I pulled in the Navy was done for the sole purpose of being able to tell a story about it later. No way was I not joining my shipmates frolicking in the bay. In a rare moment of clarity, I handed someone my wallet before diving into the bay myself. Man that water was cold! Myself and another guy swam out about fifty yards from shore. Some of the dickheads on shore pointed in our general direction and started yelling, "Shark!" My swimming companion panicked and completely forgot how to swim, damn near drowning in the process. We all eventually made it back onto dry land, but with half the crowd soaked to the bone and freezing our asses off, we decided to secure the steaming watch and head back to the ship. ( Now wait just a minute here! That can't be right! We must have just run out of beer.)

As Al Crew, Ed Kennicott and I walked up the after brow we noticed that we weren't the first of our gang to arrive. The after brow had fresh trails of water from the guys who beat us back to the ship. When the 3 of us dripping wet squids (in BOHICA T-shirts that we had made in the P.I.) got to the top of the after brow, the chief just sadly shook his head and waved us aboard without so much as looking at our ID cards. As we passed him, he muttered something under his breath. (Sounded something like, "Fuckin nukes!") Bet this shit wouldn't fly in today's PC Navy.



Michael Moro Comes Aboard ...

Great site. You can add my email address ( and the rest of the info... 1996-2002, RM-23. Thanks.

Michael J. Moro


William Powell Comes Aboard ...

I served as a Reactor Mechanic on Enterprise from 1978 until 1981. I served in RM23, RM20 (after reactor group support), and RM22. My last task on board was to serve as startup CRAO for 1B reactor at the end of complex overhaul in Bremerton.

Please post my email as

Thanks, Bill

Wm H. Powell, Jr. 
Owner -


Jeff Witcher Comes Aboard ...

Info about me and my past can be viewed at:




James Bowe Comes Aboard ...


I found your Enterprise nuke list today. I think it is great what you are doing!

Anyway, my name is James Bowe. I served in RL-Div from 1988 to 1994. My email address is You have my permission to add me to your list.

Thank you,

James Bowe


Carol Heald Comes Aboard ...

Please add me to your list as I have enjoyed blasting through the past with all of you (well most of you). I was a rpo in 1 plant during the 74-75 west pac


Thoughts From Schmidty ...


Some musings and thoughts.

Women and engineering world. Perhaps not the best mix especially for a machinist mate.

Haven't seen many postings from current Big E nukes. Wondering if your site is now blocked by the system on the 'prise. IT (old RMs combined with computers) world is so untrusting. I can't even access my yahoo account anymore much less installing upgrades to legacy programs still used on board for daily work.

Old liberty days where the only requirement was to be back for your duty day. Now I have to have at least two buddies and be back on board NLT 0300 in the morning (I don't mind having at least one buddy along for the debauchery as this is just common sense). Oh and this is for a CONUS port visit.

If you can ever get to Amsterdam, I highly recommend it. Those who still have to provide for whiz quizzes, don't eat in town after 8:00 p.m. 95% of the food is laced with cannabis. Good mass transit as well. The public toilets are troughs right in public view. Laughed my ass off til had to use one.

Seen a name or two on the recent E-8 and E-9 results. Nice to see some friends from my instructor days at Orlando getting promoted.

For those of you who went to boot camp in Orlando and NFAS/NPS, you wouldn't recognize the place. It called Baldwin Park these days. Million dollar homes, shops and crap. I think six buildings remain from old NTC. Rosie O' Grady's is long gone. No more nickel beer night. Where else could one go and get buzzed for three bucks.

My last few days on board the second oldest frigate in the Navy. Bittersweet! Liked being in charge but its time to go to shore and retirement thereafter. The op temp is busting my balls.

Take care out there

Schmidty (RL 90-94)


Rob Bagley Comes Aboard ...

Hi, I would like to be added to the list.

Robert Bagley RM-11 1993-1997

Thanks, Rob Bagley


Carol Heald is Actually Pete Piersons ....?

K.P. What is the most famous nuclear equation? Give a nuc a 50/50 chance and 9 times out of 10 he'll blow it. Carol Heald wasn't aboard for the 74-75 cruise, I was. (I used my wife's email to contact your site.) I could operate a naval nuclear reactor (more or less) but this computer thing is sometimes hit or miss. Anyone know where I can get some megabytes? I'm trying to catch a computer mouse and I don't know what to use as bait. 

Pete K. Piersons (1 plant RPO) AKA Lightwater in the snide-comments-log


Mark Groseclose Gets New E-Mail Addy ...

Hello All:

.... Please update your address book using the address if you want to reach me. Thanks!



Larry Coster Comes Aboard ...

It's amazing the stuff you dredge up when you google old names. I wasted many a night reading this. Its good to see that Mike Merg is doing well. My email is

I'll pass the web site onto a few other 4 planters I've seen. 

Larry Coster, RC-14, 83 - 87


KP Note: Hey Larry, your sig graced my BNEQ card in many places.  Somewhere on this site you are the answer to a trivia question.

Bill Dowdy Comes Aboard ...

Hi, I just found your website and would like my name added. 

Bill Dowdy, MM1 ELT 1990 - 1993 RL Div Crew A PPWS. 

Thanks, Bill


Ronnie Freeman Comes Aboard ...

Ronnie Freeman EM2, Nuclear, on board from July,1972 until May 1975 

Pentecostal Layleader


Unofficial P'Mooj!

I finally started my "unofficial" Psychedelic Mooj website.  Included here are my "album notes" for those musically inclined and wanting to know the hows and whys of the album.  I put this site together since I have no way to edit the official P'Mooj site and it just wasn't my speed (those that know me will know what I'm talking about). 

Cheers to all!



Scott Konowal Comes Aboard ...

Please add my address to the alumni list. I was in RE Div on the Enterprise from 1991 to 1995 during the overhaul.



More From JohnO ...

King Paul,

You *are* the King. I appreciate your efforts. I just got an e-mail from Dave Gauvin of the '71-'73 vintage. It's been 35 years. He remembers enough about my pecadillos that my chances for the White House are really shot in the ass. With any luck, though, Slick Willie will run again and my past is immaculate by comparison. Or maybe not.

Here are three shots from the '71-73 time. It is probably in '72, either just towards the end of the '71-72 cruise or sometime in late '72.

The first is labeled "Our Gang." I took this back in the berthing area.

Ed Winchester is standing, far right. David Gauvin is to his left (that guy is t-r-o-u-b-l-e). Memory fades ... then the hirsute fellow at the end is Richard Gewax*.

Just beneath Richard, on the left is slightly less hirsute Richard Caldwell, I believe. I wish I could remember the names of the others. More a failing of my memory than of their personalities. Perhaps I sacrificed a few more neurons than I imagined back then.

(*Richard Gewax had a cool MG, back in late 1970. But, I still have nightmares of about six of us big galoots being crammed into his MG, tonneau cover up, and were hurtling zig-zagging down that crazy winding road from Mount Tamalpais on our way back to Alameda, seemingly at 80 MPH. I recall laughter but, in retrospect, raw hysteria was more likely.)

The next pic is Ed Winchester. Ed was a mellow guy. Always decent, always a fun guy to hang with. Perhaps he is reacting to the news that ship's TV was limiting that day's run of the movie The Dirty Dozen to only twelve showings. I didn't mind. Always the reality show buff, I preferred to watch the returning air wing landing movies. Those off-axis, yawed and dipping Phantoms, causing airedales to scatter, were my favorites.

Finally, for this episode, is my last view of the Big E. As I stepped off the ship for the last time, in Cubi Point, I turned around and looked up. I may have saluted. I actually got misty eyed. Either that, or I was late for my short-time at D'Wagon Wheel and I hated to waste pre-paid quality time with Gloria.

That's all for now, KP.

Please, feel good about being a catalyst for getting David G. and I back in touch. I have to keep tabs on folks with *that* kind of information.

Pax vobiscum,




I told John Francis O'..... that he should have laid off those San Magooo's. His latest pix on page 46 are great, but his memory has failed. The man he calls "Gewax" is actually Ken D. Higgins; and the guy he called Bob Caldwell is actually Robert E. Calder. Easy is in fact Easy (Ed Winchester that is). Bill Krevitz (Pierre) is sitting with the brodacious mustache. I am certainly the guy in the middle with the thick black hair and side burns - but these, like John's memory, are long gone. I'm hoping that Mike Gunn gets his classic John O.. pic out of moth balls and posts it on this website. It was the shot of a lifetime.

The gang pictured in John's selection was a small part of a 80 or so man nuke crew that reported aboard the Enterprise in the fall of 1971. At the time Rx department was poorly manned due to attrition and the 80 or so of us new nukes came from DIG and A1W prototypes from the 70-3 class in Nuke School. We were a tight group of trainees. Most of us remained friends over the next four years on the E. John left us early to go to the Nimitz. It was the 70's. We played pinochle (double deck) until we were blue in the face, and watched Sonny and Cher on AFRTS (Armed Forces Radio Television System) replays. Ken Hutchins from E division was the voice of E entertainment on the television system on board. There was such a hurry to get us qualified that many were put on 16 hours a day training to get them down in the plant.....many RM's were qualified CTG flats without finishing the qualifying exams in RT. The RT void was up on the 03 level and there was only one entry/exit that you had to climb down into from the flight deck area. Only 1974 brought the Rx Officer's special escape hatch into the storage facilities in the hanger bay that made the void less claustrophobic.

John would work the CTG or Steam Generator flats soaking wet from sweat, with his bandanna around his head, glasses slipping off his face and cursing the Navy with every breath. His life-line was the inport periods. John partied harder than any one I knew and who still survived.

Great to hear from you John !!!! Thanks KP for opening the communication line - we would have never found each other !!!

drugman7175 - aka, David Gauvin, aka B-R-U-C-E, aka animal


Oriskany Remembered ....

KP/ Lads, This old boat used to dock at Pier 3 North in Alameda, across from the USS Hancock, circa 1968, when my dad was stationed on the Hancock. On the officer's brow there was a banner that said "Oakland's Own". Sorry to see the old girl go down. 

Steve "Willy" Wilson



Mark Oliver Comes Aboard ...

KP, Boy it sure is amazing what you can find when you do a search on old shipmates. I am Mark Oliver aka "Fish". RM14 & RM22 from 80-83. It's good to see some familiar faces as well as stories. Aargh I amazed at how much you have changed, I could have walked past you and not recognized you. Some missing names I haven't seen yet are Mike brockmeyer, Dean Quackenbush, Pat Robertson, Rory Hunzelman, "bear" Clark and of coarse Jeff "frodo" Froud. DB long time no see. Too bad I didn't know you were in Vegas as I was there last August for an APA tournament, unfortunately it doesn't look like we will get there this year (didn't qualify}. Still got the 48' Panhead. Hey Jerry (Waste) have you still qot the 38' knuck. It's been a very long time and finding this site dredges up a lot of good memories. DB, I thought that Tark ran into the ex-man in Redwood City. Aargh, it great to see the invite to the schmeg south spaghetti party. By the way none of us permanent residents had a harley, Frank had Flame (BSA) (anybody remember how it got that nickname), I had my riceburner and don't think the other two had motorcycles, (I can't remember was it Doug Cole and Rory or was it two others.) Regards, Fish. PS. the John Bilinski that checked in here, are you the Florida pig farmer who I used to call my Brain damaged stepson when I was on mudsucker CGN-40. Also Cruiser ghost I think I was also there while you were there.


Dennis German Gets New E-Mail Addy:


No wonder I hadn’t gotten any updates or anything from the Mooj and company.

I ditched AOL about 2 years ago.

As you can see, I have a new email address.

So, was that my guitar I heard on the little waltz?



KP Note: Hey Denny ... Glad to see you back on board.  No, the other guitar player did all the acoustic stuff on the album.  I did, however, use your guitar to compose all the songs I wrote.  

Barry Perkins Comes Aboard ...

I served in RM Div from 1965 in Newport News till 1969 in Bremeton. Barry Perkins MM1 please contact me at


The Fish Surfaces ...

Welcome, Fish!! Remember the time we drove to visit DirtBag after he got out of the Navy, and your truck blew up on the way back to Alameda? Good to hear you survived the Navy and returned to civilian life. I know we busted on you mercilessly for shipping over (I think that's where the nickname "Fish" came from, right)? As in... "starfish". hehehehehe!!!!!

DB still has the Pan, but Waste sold the knuckle back in the early 90s, about the time I sold my Sportster (what a mistake.. on both of us). I'm still waiting to hear from those names you named as missing myself. I know them all. Remember when Pat got busted down to an E-3, and they wouldn't let him stand RO watches any more? They made him stand RCER and LRPT watches forever... too bad, because he was a good operator (other than that damned heater switch thing).

As far as who the residents of schmegma house were, that was always a question in my mind. There were some actual residents, bums that never seemed to leave, and those who couldn't get up after being there for a few hours. I'm sure you remember playing "puck" in the trailers on the hanger bay during the overhaul. The origination and development of that manly sport has been lost in oblivion, but we sure had fun tearing it up in there. They finally made us quit when someone stepped through the door and got nailed, as they walked right into the middle of a play, if I recall right.

As for not recognizing me, you may be right. I weigh about 175 now, and have contacts instead of glasses. Actually, if you mentioned something Naval I would have replied, and you probably would catch on to the identity. Some things never change, eh?



Down She Goes

KP, The recently posted (5/30) link to pictures showing the sinking of the Oriskany made me wonder what fate our old ship is going to meet some day. I hope it's something a little more dignified.

Thinking back on it, the Big E was (is) a sort of engineering marvel. I remember standing long, boring midwatches as ERLL or Feed Pumper and wondering just where they started building it. They obviously had to start with one piece of metal, lay it down someplace then weld another plate of metal to it. I always wondered where that first plate of metal was.

During my 4 years on the E. I, like most, had a love/hate relationship with the thing. I was impressed with it's size and speed. I was impressed with the way we could launch and recover aircraft. I was NOT impressed with the heads, berthing areas or the food. I was a curious shit and in my off time I explored the ship just looking around. Been to the steering gears, elevator machinery rooms, O2/N2 Plant and even CIC (which was WAY cool!) Never made it to the bridge. My hair was usually pushing or exceeding Navy regs and the bridge was known to be "Squared-Away Central".

What really made the ship tick, however, were the people, without whom the E would have just been so much floating steel. Probably the best thing about the E were the people. Probably the worst thing about the E were the people. (The gung-ho lifer pukes, the incompetent idiots, the petty little tyrants who thought that three stripes or khaki clothing gave them the right to throw their weight around, the slackers and goldbricks who f**ked off requiring others to pick up the slack.) Fortunately, all in all, the good people were good enough that the ship accomplished it's mission in spite of the bad. Unfortunately, the bad people were bad enough to dissuade me and my buds from making the Navy a career.

My guess is that more nukes have served on the Big E than any other ship in the fleet. The E is what you might call a "Nuke intensive" design. Think about it : 8 individual reactors with four complete and independent engine rooms. And my guess is that it's been in service longer than any other nuke ship. (45 years I'm thinking.) If and when the old gal meets the same fate as the Oriskany, a shitload of old nuke memories (good and bad) go down with her.



KP Note: I would guess the keel was the first piece of metal (there's a picture in one of my cruisebooks of the keel being laid.) Whenever Discovery channel or Hist channel show "Engineering Marvels" or things like that, I am truly amazed. What amazes me most is that structures like the Big E and Golden Gate Bridge were made without computers. I guess the only "mega structures" on par with them being built these days are in Dubai. 

RM-23 Memories (and a few Newport News Shipyard) by Ivin Rhyne

I was cordially invited (ordered) aboard the ol' Big E in 92 along with about 50% of my prototype class because there had been a few "hiccups" with the refueling overhaul following the around the world cruise. I remember going thorough RT on the barge and having to do my BNEQ quals by walking onto the ship and down into the big empty void where there used to be a plant. I spent most of my time in 2 plant during BNEQ because all of three plant required entry through a control point. This may (or may not) have been due to some dumbass shipyard bubba pressing up the charging system with nitrogen, then realizing he had an isolation shut, opening said isolation valve, and blowing an FME cover along with 40 years of CRUD into 3RARLL.

I ended up in RM23 and stood heise gage watch forever. Then went through initial crit for all 8 and then workups to ORSE. I did the 1996 med/persian gulf cruise. Me, Mark Wilson, and Eric Pool all went out and got hammered in Palma. Eric decided to go back to the ship, leaving me and Mark literally on the beach. When we went back to the hotel room we had paid for earlier (yes, smart drunks think ahead) we realized that Eric was now aboard ship, in his rack with our room key. The sorry shithead!

I made first class right before we pulled back in and it still didn't matter for getting off that beast. Every airedale and nobrain bos'n mate seaman recruit was off before we were. Did my last six months or so in RT working for EMC Bartley (great guy, terrible loss) and ETCS Zoll (known as typhoid mary in the 02 void office for spreading every computer virus known to man). We wasted that time playing video games, harassing nubs, and bitching about life aboard the pig.

Left the pig for NFAS instructor duty, moved the whole damn school to Charleston, made chief, got my degree, got commissioned, got a brain, and got out. Now I live in northern CA as a shift manager for a tomato cannery (yep, that's right, tomatoes). Would love to hear from anyone who remembers me from those days at


KP Note: Ivin, if you live in NORCAL, be sure to attend our snipe/twidget reunion!!!

Charlie Gray Comes Aboard ...

Charlie Gray RM-02 1972 - 1976


Brian Wright Comes Aboard ...

Man it's been a long time and a lot of dead brain cells....I don't know how you remember all the details.....anyway..I remember you and most of the guys you talk about (fuzzy memories but still somewhat there!) I was in RL div from 86-90...Brian Wright MM2 except for that little incident in Sandiego involving Jose Quervo ,a small fight and captains mast..I guess I kept my second class so it wasn't all bad...except being on restriction for fleet week in Seattle! I spent most of my time in the chem shack on midwatch as they really wanted to hide me and the other guy I stood watch with (whose name escapes usual) I did some time in RT...signing off qual cards...damn I never drank so many free sodas as that time....remember signing parties??? nub would show up and get a whole page signed off ....then have to study a little to pass the test! I guess I'll come down I80 to Alameda next week and see how many faces I really remember...I live in Benicia Ca now...working in Oakland doing maintenance for the post office....from one crappy government job to another! Thanks for the website and great memories!

Brian Wright


KP Note: Hey Brian, I remember you very well. I can't wait to see you at the reunion!

NTC Orlando Before and After ...

I haven't contributed to your site for a while. You might recall my earlier contributions as a Truxtun sailor.

I was browsing the Internet and found this PDF brochure with images of NTC Orlando Nuclear Power School before and after the demolition in 2001. Have you seen these images? If not, perhaps you might want to capture them and add them to your fantastic site. These images, along with the fact that the Truxtun is now "Toyota Parts and Razor Blades," really kind of make me feel old.

Good luck to you.



KP Note: Thanks for the photos, Bill.  Due to space limitations I'll only post the before and after shots of NPS and our BEQs. Those interested in seeing the whole PDF should google "Smetheram.pdf" and "Baldwin Park Project."

(Click on photos to enlarge)

rx-061606-o1.jpg (31410 bytes)

rx-061606-o2.jpg (32503 bytes)


Well shipmates, I'm off to California for a few weeks. Continue to send me stuff for the site but don't expect to see anything posted for awhile. I'll do my best to get things squared in early July. I'll see some of you Friday and Saturday next week in Alameda!! If you haven't made up your mind about coming to the reunion ... then JUST DO IT! 



Jim Squire Comes Aboard ...

Please add me to contacts:

Jim Squire RE14 & RE22, 1993-1995



Willie Bremer Gets New Email:

Hello Ram – an new email update. RM-23, RM-3 1987 to 1991. Thanks

Willie Bremer


KP Note: It was great seeing you at the reunion, Willie!

John Jackson Comes Aboard ...

Hey King Paul, This is John Jackson here. I was on the Big E in RL-Div from 84-89. My e-mail is


KP Note: ACTION JACKSON!!!! Boy do I remember you! You were a mainstay in that aft, non-smoking, lounge. Weren't you the guy who woke me up when Lance winter's hung up that phony sign about me looking for a certain level wizard for Dungeons & Dragons?  

Missed the Boat?

Hi KP: Unless I really missed something, I was under the impression the recent reunion was to be held on June 23, 24 & 25. I showed up at St George's at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, the 24th, and was told the reunion was "yesterday" and that it was "over." The guy at St. George's made a cell phone call to someone but could only get a voice message. Fortunately, I drove to Alameda from Sacramento; it could have been worse. At any rate, I'm disappointed I missed the event. Second, I posted $50.00 way back when the idea was in progress. Please let me know where I missed the boat (no pun intended!) and what about my $$? Thanks, 

Bob Keller


KP Note: Sorry to miss you, Bob. I'll have to send you a refund as soon as I can, as I know all money sent in was put to good use for catering Friday's feast. 

Jack Covarrubias Comes Aboard ...

would like to be added to your list.

Jack Covarrubias EM-22 93-98'

Best, Jack


Randy Birnschein Gets New Email Addy:

Hey there,

I'm already on the list in the 1990's section but could you please change my email address to


Randy Birnschein


Phil Axelrod Comes Aboard ...

I found your website. I was a nuke on the Enterprise from 62 to 66. I saw something about nukes in Arizona. Since I now live in Arizona can you provide me with info on the Arizona group. I was in the RM division in plant 4.



KP Note: Us Arizona nukes get together now and again.  As soon as my house is finished I'll have another get-together. Keep watching the site for info.

Ahoy, Vast Mateys ....

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