Letters, Random Memories
and Assorted Sea Stories (Cont.)
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
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
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
Much dunking, splashing and proclamations of success. PP said we
did a great job.
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
Stan Bodenstein - 1 Plant OSA* (nearly a plank
*Olongapo Steamers Association
Mark Peugh Comes Aboard
1989-1990 EM14; 1990-1993 EM11; 2002-2003 EM11;
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.
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 www.submarineshop.com
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
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 ....
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).
Interesting to see Jules's posting about John H___y's
"success." Wasn't he the numbnuts that ruptured 2 plants
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.
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
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
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...
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
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.
KP Note: Welcome back Steve! Yours was the very first
memory of the Cuban blockade on this site. Thanks for sharing
2001 Deployment Stops ....
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.
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
EMCM ROLLIE BARTLEY HAS PASSED AWAY
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
LT Brian Heasley
QAO NSSF Groton
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, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or my other email address, email@example.com.
Thank you for adding me to your list.
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!!
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
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
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
"Page 13!" "Hey, did you know a guy
named Steve Higgins?"
HIGGINS! The name snaps me to. SO, I rush to Page
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.
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
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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 email@example.com
Wm H. Powell, Jr.
Owner - WebForLearning.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
You have my permission to add me to your list.
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
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
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
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
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 email@example.com
Thanks, Rob Bagley
Carol Heald is Actually Pete
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
Mark Groseclose Gets New E-Mail Addy ...
.... Please update your address book using the firstname.lastname@example.org
address if you want to reach me. Thanks!
|Larry Coster Comes
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 email@example.com
I'll pass the web site onto a few other 4 planters
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
Bill Dowdy, MM1 ELT 1990 - 1993 RL Div Crew A PPWS.
Ronnie Freeman Comes Aboard ...
Ronnie Freeman EM2, Nuclear, on board from
July,1972 until May 1975
Pentecostal Layleader firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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 ...
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.
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
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
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 BWP20@hotmail.com
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
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
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
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 email@example.com.
KP Note: Ivin, if you live in
NORCAL, be sure to attend our snipe/twidget reunion!!!
|Charlie Gray Comes
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 me...as 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
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
(Click on photos to enlarge)
GONE ON VACATION ...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Willie Bremer Gets New Email:
Hello Ram – an new email update. RM-23, RM-3
1987 to 1991. Thanks
KP Note: It was great seeing you at the
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 email@example.com
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 &
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
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' Jcova001@odu.edu
Randy Birnschein Gets New Email Addy:
I'm already on the list in the 1990's section but
could you please change my email address to firstname.lastname@example.org
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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