Page 9 started Nov 1, 2002

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

From Mike Noland's Attic:

King Paul,

I have scanned a few items for you to add to this fantastic site. 

#1: A nice memory from PI during the last visit I had there. Jeff Strong, Willie Wright, and myself threw a getting off the PIG party with the help of Kevin Parker. We invited all 4Plt watch standers (officers and Chiefs included), the RO, and Dept Master Chief. The RO was CMDR Gorman and he is
in the picture.

2,3 &4: The others are just some patches we had made.

(see below for photos)

rx-110102-PI-1985.jpg (138638 bytes)

(click to enlarge)


The Far East Trader

Does anyone remember the Far East Trader?  I wasn't much of a stereo buff but I remember just about everyone went over there to buy top of the line stereo equipment (for almost half what you'd pay in the States).  The sea bag locker was usually filled with stereo equipment after pulling out of Olongapo.



House of Schmeg!!


I can't believe it! An actual Schmegman memory! I was going to get to that eventually. The house in Alameda I mentioned previously was actually referred to as "Schmeg South" because some of the original Schmegman lived there.  There was the infamous Frank Lipinski (a 3 plt RO), and also Gerry "Waste" Waitinas an RM. The bar I used to hang out in was across the street from the original schmegma house, but I think it's been turned into a mall or something. I didn't hang out at Schmegma house too much, but I do remember the names you mentioned! Denver D ended up moving out to a house in town. I remember helping some of the guys move out when we packed up for Alameda. John Flowers was there, too. Many of that bunch ended up at Palo Verde, where some sad news eventually came.

When the short timers who got out just before the cruise of 82 had their greatest blast, it occurred at schmeg south. I vaguely recall old uniforms being stuffed and burned in effigy in the street beside the bar, before someone tried to put the fires out by pissing on them. Then, there was the balls contest, to see who would jump from the 2nd story window to the telephone pole by the street, which a few did make. I was far too wasted to attempt it, and thank God I realized it before I tried. Even "Vitamin Arrgh!" couldn't impair my judgment that much!

Who was the biker guy that lived there with the old shovelhead? Not Craig Snyder, but there was another guy. I think he was an RO, but he was genuinely unstable! He also lived at schmeg south.  Insanity, pure insanity is all that can describe those days. How the hell did the Enterprise ever sail with such a crew!

Some tales were never meant to be told. I'll get to those before too long ;>

By the way, who are you, Bongo Bill? Did we ever meet?




July 16, 1987:  One of our better days at sea…………r/ MMCM

Email from MMCM Deaville? My Gawd!  MMCM I'm glad you found this site.  We were pretty rough on ya in the early goings of this site but hindsight helped us see that you really had our best interests in mind.  

All nukes serving on the Big E during the late 80s will never forget 7/16/87.  It was the only day in our era that the Enterprise was underway with all 8 RXs critical at the same time.  Most of you '60s and '70s salts are probably thinking, "So what ..... we did that all the time..."  But in the latter 80s, getting all 8 up at the same time was quite a feat.  We had quite a celebration that day and most of us were damn proud.  

MMCM, please send us your thoughts!  We're now 15 years older and can probably understand better what you were trying to get at.  We'd also love to hear some sea tales from your younger days in the fleet.  I'm sure the statue of limitations has run out by now if you're worried about your reputation!  

Thanks again!  



A 90's Fwd Group MM

Just wanted to add my name and e-mail to your listing. I served on the Enterprise from 1990-1996. I was in RM22, RM14, and EM14. My e-mail address is


Richard D. Wallen


Mystery Man

Who is this guy, anyway??!!??!!! And what is that written on his shirt? Does that say.. YES! It says "Vitamin Arrgh!"
whatever that means.... And what's up with those glasses? Look like Navy birth control specs to me. ;>


A Quick Word to All You Modern Big E Types: 

Just because your snipe and twidget ancestors partied hard and lead lives of debauchery doesn't mean you should, too.  We came from a different era, where political correctness was not part of the required reading program.  All that was asked of us was that we think and perform above and beyond what was expected of our non-nuclear shipmates.  And we did!  I can count only a handful of guys that were "broke dick"--and they didn't hang around too long.  Almost everyone I knew performed his job exceptionally and could perform miracles if need be.  The only reason I'm writing this is because I'm afraid some of you modern types might think that all we 1960, 1970 & 1980s fellows did was raise hell.  Well, we did but we also did our jobs (while doing whatever we could to make our lives somewhat more bearable).  I'd love to get some modern perspectives on how the department runs today.  Is morale high or low?  Is it even worth making a cruise when you don't get to pull into PI?  And, last but not least, how is the nuke program these days?  Is it still as tough as it was during the Rickover and McKee years or did it "wimp" out in the sensitive new age Clinton decade?  

Anyway, best of luck fellahs.  Those of you who are currently on the line are always in our thoughts and prayers.  Stay safe!     



More From MMCM:

Understanding and patience are two of many things necessary to get through life’s little tests…….wouldn’t you agree…..?

Feel free to list me on to the Big E Alumni Page’s……in the 60’s; 70’s; and of course the 80’s………..Thanks….r/ MCMM

I did a total of four tours. Most of them in the Engineering Department. Last one was in Reactor Department.

If you want to Publish the dates, they are as follows:

1) 12 Aug 67 >> 29 Jan 71
2) 03 Jan 74 >> 16 Jan 76
3) 26 Sep 79 >> 26 Apr 82
4) 08 Sep 86 >> 31 Jan 89

The above dates total 10 Years, 5 months, and 23 days of my 23 Years and 20 days total active time served in USN.

I'm not even sure if MMCM even remembers me.  But I know he remembers Lance Winters.  And maybe through that connection he'll remember that I was usually hanging around with Lance.  But I was good :)  

MMCM, some of the stuff on this site about you may be incorrect (like the thing about the CO taking you aside during a FOD walkdown and asking you to reopen berthing).  If it is please let me know and I will delete it.  Actually, I'll delete anything you want. 



Test Your Skills

.... from a fellow Nuke (toober) here at work. How good an operator are you? Do you have a future in the civilian nuke field? Test yourself at .

On another note, the new plant manager here is a recently retired Senior Chief Fire Control Tech (FT); if this is what the New Navy is like, I'm glad I was there in the good old days...

Missing Link


Some Thoughts ..... 

Thanks for adding me to the list. I just finished reading some of your updated stuff and really like the site. As far as perspectives go, I can only speak from my time on the boat and what has come thereafter. I reported aboard and went to work for Dennis Wieber and Mike Ellingsworth.  There was also another guy named Harvey Olson that was an "old timer" to me. Two guys from the Alameda days. It was a time when the chief rarely came to the plant and I was assigned to the division for some time before I even knew who my division officer was! Dennis and Mike both would say things are going to change and they sure did. Dennis' time was up and he left and things starting changing. His replacement was an "East Coast" 1st class who immediately expected the Chief and Div O to be involved in every little thing that was going on. We still had enough of the west coast influence in the plant but they were all short. I had heard there was a difference in the mentalities of east coast and west coast sailors but really thought it was an old wives tale. But it was true, I lived it. It was not a level of knowledge difference just a difference in the way of life. I really feel that I learned more from the west coast guys. As far as today's nuclear power goes I know that it is different than even when I went through in 89. A friend of mine is an instructor at Power school. He tells me that power school is not a filter but just a positive displacement pump! He says you will still lose a few but most are because of things beyond an instructor's control (ie jail, DUI, etc). This is quite different from when I went through when I believe class 8905 started with about 380 and graduated 245. We had three guys in my section that were told the day of the final to not even bother as they would not have enough points to pass the class. Also, I remember quite vividly, of a guy that was kicked out for receiving an open container violation at Daytona Beach. He was 26 years old! A $20 fine and have a nice day. Anyway just some info from a sailor that was there for the entire yard period. Take it easy.

R. D. W.

When I first showed up on the E I remember all the old timers telling us nubs that nuke school was much tougher in their day.  That may have been true since Rickover was no longer in charge but nuke school and prototype were still pretty tough!  Nearly 60-percent of the electricians originally designated for 8501, 8502 & 8503 (from bootcamp onward) never made it to the fleet as a nuke.  I remember it was hard to make friends in Orlando because every month another guy you knew was gone.  My section lost about fifteen EMs in total.  And then another five or six rocked out in prototype.  There were no second chances.  If you failed the comp or your 2nd board you were gone.  And even if you busted your ass and passed all your exams, if any staff member thought you unsafe for any reason, you were gone.  It was brutal.  Mando 45, +4s, 16hr days .....  for almost a whole year! It was physically and mentally draining.  Those who couldn't hack that surely couldn't hack what awaited them in the fleet.  Looking back I now realize why it was so tough and why those that toiled alongside me in the plants were able to achieve such great things both as operators and civilians.   



Nitro Awakens.....


Did a lot of catching up on the site in the last few days and saw the Pic at the top of page nine. Willie Wright, AKA: JJ (from Good Times) was a part of EM-23 LPO on a later tour, Maybe 1988. I remember him in 3MMR as an MM1 just prior to the time I got transfered to EM-00 (M-Div Tech). He was a hell of a nice guy. He came on about the same time as Ted "Buford" Burford and Rick VanNatta. All were MM1's who were assigned to 3MMR and in the beginning it looked like we were gonna be very top heavy. All worked out and quickly assimilated into the EM-23 way of doing things.....


EM-23 '86-'89
EM-00 '89-'90


JJ Remembered


Just took another look at the site. Man! Willie Wright was called JJ from Good Times back when he first got to the E. We were on WestPac '82-'83. We had stops in PI, Singapore, and Japan, and in all three places somebody out in town said, "Look! JJ from Good Times!" Ol' Willie never got a break. 

Hey, did they stand the "Silt" watch in the late 80's? Guys hadda get outta bed just to vent and drain heat exchangers on the CTGs, RPFW and after we ran aground in '83. Keep up the good work on the site.

Tony Boone
RM-22 '81-'84
RT LPO "84-'85


What REALLY grounded the "E" on the last day of the '82 Westpac...

This isn't much of a "sea story," it's more of a "land story," sort of...

On the very last day of the only Westpac I went on, the USS Enterprise was run aground in the SF harbor, about 10,000 yards from the pier. If any 2 planters from that era would, please fill us in on the true story. I heard second hand, but let's have it "from the horse's mouth" if possible! I know that the public never realized how close they came to having 8 melted nuclear reactor cores right in the middle of the Bay!

There were some bonafide heroes that day, let me tell ya! I wasn't one of them though... The last night of the cruise, steaming comp turns, trying to get home a few minutes early. Everyone telling what they plan to do within the first minutes of hitting the beach. I was pretty excited, like everyone, to be getting home. I was originally scheduled to be on watch in 4 plt on one of the panels, but at the last minute someone changed the RC watchbill, so I was off. Some lifer probably wanted to be able to say that he was on watch when "C" note sounded, or something :)  I tried playing my bass, reading, but finally, I just figured I'd go to bed and catch some zzzz's. Everyone figured that there'd be an unholy nightmare on the hanger deck, trying to get off the pig. I figured I'd sleep, wake up after the worst of it, and then get to some suds with some buddies. So I went to sleep, it was about 4:30 AM. 

I woke up later, and there was silence in Rx berthing. I figured "What a great plan! Everyone's gone, I'll grab a shower and hit the beach". I had a top pit, and was sitting up stretching when old ET1 Garcia saw me and said, "What are you doing down here? Why aren't you on the flight deck?" I said something intelligent like, "HuH??!!?!! What are you talking about? I'm gonna hit the beach." Now old Garcia was a real kidder, known for yanking more than one leg clean out of the socket. He started laughing and said, "The only way you're gonna hit the beach is if you swim there! We've run aground in the Bay, about 1/2 mile from the pier!" I said, "Yeah right! I'm gonna get me a beer, man!" He said, "I'm not kidding, man! Didn't you notice the ship is listing?" At that moment, a sickening feeling started coming over me, as I realized that the ship WAS listing, and that I didn't want to think about his being right. Then the screws starting grinding away under me, trying to move the mud on the bottom of the Bay. For some reason, they work much better in the water. Garcia started telling me that everyone was supposed to be on the flight deck, standing on the side that was sticking up in the air to act as "human ballast" or some unbelievable nonsense. I rolled over and went back to sleep, cursing the day I ever signed up for the Navy in the first place. I know that it was all for my own betterment now, but it sure didn't feel like it then! 

Later, I went down in the plant to see if there was anything I could do, but by then they had gotten the ship free. When it backed out of the mud in one side of the channel, the stern went into the mud on the other side, and bent up one of the screws, and I think we busted a rudder, but I can't remember for sure what all the damage was. We finally got to go ashore, but can you imagine what must have been going through the minds of the wives, and kids, and politicians and bands, etc??

"Hey, here they come! Isn't that a beautiful ship? Wait... why are they turning? Have they... yeah, it looks like... like they've stopped! What's going on?" The reports in the newspapers blamed the Army Corps of Engineers, some reports even blamed "el-nino" (yeah, he was around back then too). But the truth is, one man did it! One very vain, proud, ignorant, etc, etc. I'll let the 2 planters tell ya about that. He was their boy, and I think he was the RE Division officer.  Correct me if I'm wrong on that one, fellahs!


Whenever I see email from Arrgh I get happy because I know a good story is on the way.  As usual Arrgh didn't let me down.  Thanks Arrgh!  Most of us late '80s guys know "something" about the incident but we never got details.  All I remember hearing about it was that there were a lot of pissed off liberty hounds that day.  

Believe it or not a few years ago I was working as a contractor for the army and was sent to do some work on Johnston Atoll in the South Pacific.  One person I met there was Captain Kelley's daughter.  When she found out that I had been on the Enterprise she was very nice to me and we talked about her father a little bit.  He was Captn a few years before my time but I recall hearing from many that he was a nice guy and all were proud to serve with him.  His daughter told me the sand bar incident pretty much ended his career.  



Captain Kelley's Unfortunate Fate

King Paul-

Sad to see a distinguished career end like that. Especially since there was nothing in the world the man could have done to prevent the incident. I had a few boards with Capt. Kelley, and he was pretty cool.  Let me set the table a little better for the willing 2 planter who will reveal the details of this sordid tale of woe..

The "E" was coming in with #1 shaft trailing, because they were not able to maintain vacuum in their condenser; apparently there was a leak or something. Of course every old salt knows that the sister shaft (#2 in this case) had to make "compensating turns" to keep the E going straight ahead. If something were to happen to that #2 shaft, #3 & 4 would push her hard to starboard (I think.. maybe it's to port; oh well, you get the idea).

In the cluster F.... that came while she was grounded, there were some awesome feats of record proportions performed in the RARs especially, swapping RPFW coolers and blowing down the idled one as fast as possible, then swapping out another one and doing it again; and again; and again... what a day! I still feel bad for those poor MMs down there busting tail to save all of ours! (And I was sleeping through this; what a slug!) I know that the Temp Alarm panels looked like Christmas trees, and there was talk of "Battleshort" mode, but that didn't happen. 

Is there not a brave 2 plant soul who will fill us in from first hand knowledge what transpired in the 2 EOS that morning? If no one volunteers, I'll spill it to the best of my telling in a couple of weeks. One thing for sure, there was no sand bar in the channel that day, men! We weren't IN the channel...



Another Tale from Arrgh!

This site or my wife is gonna kill me... I swear, these stories are coming back way faster than I could ever type! Remember standing those midwatches in the IO? They always ran drills during the midwatch to qualify nubs, in the engine rooms and on the bridge, too.

One night on mids, here come some nub, can't remember his name. He signs on a training watch on the 4A, and I'm on the 4B RPCP.  I said, "Gee, where do you suppose the drills will be tonight?" Well, having been awake for a long time for some long forgotten reason, I was getting pretty sleepy.  After 3 years of the Nav, watches get pretty boring; can you relate? There was a LtCdr that was the Principal Assistant during those days named Dale E. Baugh (yeah, THAT Dale E. Baugh, now known as Admiral Baugh). He was always cool, and I used to stop in his office and talk with him a lot while we were at sea. I really liked the guy, he gave me some great advice, and he really had charisma.  Somehow, the Navy must have mistakenly figured that out and made him an Admiral.  Well, Mr. Baugh and the drill team come into the plant, and he comes into EOS and makes a remark about my sad condition of alertness, as I was nodding out and barely holding my own. I'm pretty sure John Warchol was on the 4A. As you probably have guessed, I lost it and fell asleep.

They Scrammed me, and I think I actually shit myself!  I stood up, did all of the required duties, and was standing there shaking, while everyone in the EOS was laughing their collective selves to death!  I looked over at John, and said, "Did I do everything right? Did I make all the right reports? Help me here, dude!" He said, "Man, you were textbook! I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself!"  Then he looked at the nub, who was staring wide-eyed in disbelief at what he had just seen, and told the nub, "See? In a couple of years you'll be able to do it in YOUR sleep, too!"

Somewhere, an Admiral laughs himself to sleep thinking of that day, I'm sure. I never fell asleep on watch again.



Eight Under the Gate!

Had to chuckle, we would shutdown ~ 4 Rx's after Hawaii and do P.M's so the early Lib guys that would meet us in Alameda wouldn't get overwhelmed. Invariably, the "Powers Above" would require us to light them all off outside the Gate so the retired Admirals sitting at the "O" club on Treasure Island could say,"Eight Under The Gate" (as if they knew). This would screw up the steam generator chemistry and require multiple extra feed and bleeds, etc. and probably led to the problems you guys had in the 70's and 80's.....and one wonders why the HIPPO sweats blood............



Auzzie Slang

KP ...

I'm posting this at Crit Think but you are welcome to do the same at Rx if you wish. Not certain my "style" is what folks there want to read but hey ... that's what comes out of the keyboard when I sit down ... I am not in control. ;) However ... I can assure you that it is not fiction. I've been blown away all my life by the experiences I have had ... I love it and also love writing them down. I write for my own amazement ... (same reason I play music) and if anyone else likes my stuff ... that's just a plus.


Steamer, I love your stories so I'll gladly post this!  I also encourage all you KP regulars out there who have yet to join Critical Thinking to do so.  There are many great memories there, too.  


"Home's OddEssay"
part 1?: A.D.S. (Aussie Digger Slang)

I awake early in the morning. Where the hell am I? Not in a pig sty next to the Animal and the Hippo so I guess that's like ... a way big a plus. :-) Sure is hot though. And what's all this rockin' and rollin' crap about? ... are we doing some emergency stop from a flank bell and #4 shaft is what's bouncin' me out of my rack? I haven't heard any collision alarms or a call to general quarters ... so this isn't a flashback to the daze of the Vogelgesang. The Magic Doggie Head !!!!! FEAR makes a grab for me an I bolt to a sitting position ... wait a minute ... keep breathing ... oh ... that's right ... it's OK ... I'm not on a boat ... I'm on a train. A steam train in the middle of the jungles of Malaysia, north bound from Singapore on my way to Thailand.

The Big E has sailed ... she left S'pore the morning before as I waved farewell to my steamin' buds. I've got 30 daze leave and a definite need for R&R. Gots to have a break from the Big E and the military ... they're driving me nuts and I simply must find some space and get my mind right. (Ever see "CoolHand Luke? "shakin' it here, boss" ;). I was at the end of my tether. And readin' a lot of Conrad, London and Maugham. Read Conrad's "End of the Tether" if you need to finger out where my head was at. ;) One of the greatest all time tellers of sea stories, IMO.  As a matter of fact, this whole thang started to come together back in Singapore in the Raffle's Hotel. This was right out of a scene in one of Somerset Maugham's novels. In his opening paragraph, he describes sitting in the lounge at the Raffle's having a drink ... overhead palm bladed fans, ... the smell of fine British cuisine (sic) and the whole bit. He often referred to the Raffles Hotel the legendary symbol for "all the fables of the Exotic East". This haute bourgeois atmosphere attracted and catered to many Brit travelers in those good ole daze. Well .. there I was, perhaps sitting in the same chair he had occupied 50 years before, and for certain in the very room where Conrad and Kipling dined. I'm havin' a drink and contemplating what my next move will be. I had also just read Conrad's "Lord Jim" so I was way primed to "go native" as they say. I caught a train.

I'm not alone. I have my travel guide/interpreter with me. She is 1/4 Thai, 1/4 Indian, 1/2 Malay, speaks five or six languages and is truly multicultural. This is of great advantage and opens many doors for us as we walk arm in arm on our journey of discovery down the Adventure Trail. That's why I have her with me. Hmmm ... that and the fact that she is also a very beautiful 18 year old sweet darling girl who loves me with all of her heart and is willing to follow me to the ends of the earth. Salahma. My gal Sal. I'm in Heaven and feeling much better already. ;-) 

We decide to visit and hang out for a bit on the island of Penang off the West coast of Malaysia. This is Paradise. Or it was then. Now, (2002) it's geared totally for the tourist trade with monster seaside hotels and all the trappings. You know ... the kind of place the producers and film crew of Survivor hang out at between takes. But in 1973 it was still just miles of  Indian Ocean sand and surf and small fishing villages. We spent a lot of time in the sun and surf and sitting around beach camps with the locals eating what they ate and watching the most amazing sunsets. Here and Now in the Garden of Eden. 

The only foreigners I encountered were a bunch of Aussie diggers who were also doing R&R. "Diggers" are what the Aussie grunts call themselves and these guys were just in from the front lines in 'Nam. Very wild and crazy dudes. We were in a little bar, just having a beer and dancing when they showed up. They joined us ... although I suspect they were more interested in meeting Sal than me. ;-) They turned out to be fun guys though and I was relieved that I wouldn't be forced to kill them all. They were nuts ... my kind of people, and we got on well and laughed so hard my sides still hurt nearly 30 yrs later.

We somehow got onto slang. It began when one of them puked on the table. I hate puking but they didn't seem to mind all that much and I got the impression that they, like our good mate Twi7g, considered it to be somewhat therapeutic.  (These suckers drank 12 beers each in the hour they were there and they weren't any more screwed up when they left than they were when they arrived !!! I suppose a certain level of saturation or equilibrium of decay had been achieved. Perhaps vomiting is the body's way of quickly reducing the biological halflife/body burden of alcohol. It's just not something I enjoy.) But ... back to the slang. Puking is called "chundering" in the land of Oz. Apparently it's a national pastime. Now ... while my "blowin' chunks" tore them up and "tossin' yer cookies" had them rolling on the floor, they knocked me out with "playin' the whale" and "having a Technicolor yawn". We continued to trade phrases (and toast each) and split our sides laughing at each other. And while my lame "taking a leak" for ... well ... takin' a leak, cracked them up ... and their equivalent "shaking hands with the wife's best friend", "drainin' the dragon", and "straining the potatoes" were pretty good ... the one that got me was " 'cuse me mate, got to splash me boots". I still use it to this day and it still tears up folks here in the US when I use it ... complete with Aussie accent. But ... I knew I had been bested when it came to slang for gettin' laid. My examples and the other phrases they had have been long forgotten because they were totally eclipsed (and my memory overwritten) by this one colloquialism: "Exercising the ferret through the furry hoop." I bought them a round for that one. Seemed like they needed it. And then they headed on ... back to the trenches I guess.  Hope some of 'em lived to tell the story to someone down under.  Never got to go to Australia ... even though they promised we would do so every "next cruise" (so ship over!!!). The Lyin' bastards. Would love to hear a few tales from those of you who did see The Land of Oz.

Will continue with tales of the odd-essay as time permits. And see if I can locate a pic or two of my gal Sal. Left part of my heart over there.



Speaking of S/G Chemistry...

Hippo's remarks about the steam generator chemistry reminded me of another time when...

We were in the shipyard in 1981, commencing to fire off the Rxs for the first time since they brought the E to Bremerton. Someone was trying to figure out how to load a Rx to 100% power so's they could do a calorimatric, but to no avail without turning a screw.  But wait!! Someone had a bright idea!! (Oh, no!)

Now I don't know who's brainchild (or brainfart, rather) it was to try this, but one day in the trailers in the hanger bay where we had our turnover meetings, they hatched this one on us. They had taken a condenser from some old submarine, and put it on a barge. Add in some pumps, temporary steam lines, and viola!! a "dump condenser"! Oh, how we laughed!!  I remember saying "You've got to be kidding me! They ARE kidding, right??!!?" Well, they weren't kidding, and the monstrous contraption was attached to the side of the ship via steam lines, somehow. After they started up a 1 plant reactor, they commenced dumping some steam into this thing, and it seemed to be working fine. Then they cranked up the steam flow, and we were "cruising" toward 100% steam flow when the inevitable occurred. Apparently, when the calculations were made concerning how much steam flow this condenser could handle, they came right to the hairy edge of what would be required. Unfortunately, someone forgot that they plugged something like 10% of the tubes in the thing to get it up for the test.

Somewhere in the middle of a "high power run," a diffuser plate in the condenser gave out, and the thing ripped open a mess of the cooling water tubes.  Immediately, some nice, fresh seawater from Puget Sound began coursing through the feedwater system, and into the 1 plant S/Gs.

I'll bet they still wonder where the heck all of those chlorides keep coming from every time they shut 1 plant down.

And hey, didn't that tri-sodium phosphate work great for washing clothes? We used to get the RCER midwatch so a guy could do his laundry without losing any sleep. I remember more than one WO yelling at us about "that damn Chinese laundry in the lower level RAR!!"

I laugh so hard remembering and recounting these stories that it's worth it, even if nobody else likes them. I think I know why Steamer is such a frequent contributor!

The infamous...
RC-14 (1980-83)


E=MC2 x 40

I just found this picture on the web.  I remember when they shot the "E=MC2 25" in 1986 I was the man at the top of the "2" on 25.  I ruined a good set of dress whites that day because they were covered with grease when I came off the flight deck.  I forget why I was up there--I must have been ordered to be there since I can't imagine I would have gone up there voluntarily.  Years later I saw that famous photo hanging up on my college's ROTC bulletin board.  I told some passerby, "Hey, that's me...!" as I pointed to where my "white spot" was.  The passerby didn't seem to care.  Some of you older salts may have actually been in the original E=MC2 photo.  If you were let us know.  




New 90's MM Alums

Edwin Taylor
RM-22 1995-2002

MM1 (SW) Edwin E. Taylor Jr.

Frank Orego

EM11 EM22 EM23 RT-Div Frank Orego Big “O” 1992 - 1998 

Add me to the list:

Dan Kurth 
EM22, 1993-1996


Flight Deck Salute

Nice pic KP ... E=MC2.  I've seen a few of these but I know there is one which I would love to see but to the best of my knowledge, never made it to print. But then I wouldn't really expect it to.  Here's the story:

We were returning from a Westpac tour ... you know ... one of those 6 month ones that invariably stretched out to become 9. I didn't mind that ... I was bummed 'cause we were coming back to the States. But that's me. Most of the troops wanted it real bad.  They were burned out and only wished it to be over and to be back with their families and loved ones. I was leaving mine. 

Time for the big pic ... I forget what the hell we were supposed to be spelling out ... I had a few suggestions but apparently none of those were passed on up to the Powers That Be. So we dress up ... and stand up there on the flight deck for hours while they make flyby after flyby snapping pics. And this went on and on. The letters weren't square or aligned perfectly or ... who the hell knows ... but it was getting real old real fast. We had guys standing there for so long that they were beginning to keel over and do headers onto the nonskid.  I suspect they were probably EM types who weren't used to standing up for long ;) hehe.  The troops were growing restless and there was an audible rumbling beginning to rise from the crowd. Finally ... the XO or someone comes on the comm and says they are making their last run and to hunker down and stand in formation for one last time. We comply and they do their thing. Ecstatic that our ordeal has finally come to an end, we begin to break ranks and disperse.  Just then ... back comes the XO saying they want just one more shot. We all stop in our tracks ... and en masse, with no prompting, simultaneously thrust our arms towards the sky with middle finger raised and yelled, "picture THIS !!!" Everybody ... acting as a single entity voicing what was in all of our minds at the very same instant.  It was beautiful !!! I think they got the message. 

And then we all began to fall over again ... but this time in laughter and in amazement at what had taken place. Man ... I wonder if they got that shot.  That's one I would have paid to have that pic blown way up ... (think of the T=shirt sales !! ;) I wonder if it still exists somewhere in some CIA archive. Perhaps the Freedom Of Information Act could have been used to extract it. I don't believe it exists anymore. (the pic or the Act ;)


.....................('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
.......................''...\.......... _.·´
...........................\.............\ !  


The day "Poker Face" got a throbbing vein for his temple ...

Back during the '78 YardPac, about 1981, I had just qualified as an RO. All quals were "provisional" then, because there were some required drills and evolutions that just weren't going to happen until we went to sea. I was standing one of my first 5 watches or so, a brand new, shiny, freshly qualified, semi-nub operator! Of course, they didn't trust me to operate a critical plant (wisely so at that time), but I was standing 3B, and good old Steve Ball was on the 3A, which was way behind schedule getting testing completed. I'm sure the heat was coming all the way from DC, because we were already a year behind schedule getting back operational.

I took the watch, and noticed after reviewing the logs that there were numerous red-circled readings, definitely an "Unsat" condition. My blood pressure went up, and the sweat pumps hit the high speed limiters. How could I have missed that on my pre-watch review of the logs!

Turns out that they had been transferring the RCPs to variable speed and back to 15Hz for testing, adding steam loads for 3A during some previous shifts. Every time they did, the range between two of the gauges on the PMP would be so great that you could not avoid an alarm. Being the "Board Certified trained professional" that I was, I knew that no good operator would ever perform an evolution which was certain to result in an alarm condition. 

I could hear the Watch Officer and all of the test engineers planning to have me transfer those pumps again during my shift, and I was beginning to panic!  I informed the WO of the problem, and the NRO observer seemed particularly interested in this turn of events.  The WO blew me off, telling me he was too busy for that twidget stuff, and if I had a problem to call the LPO. I did, and everyone was busy running tests in other plants, too. I called the Division Office, and anyone I could think of, to no avail. I was going to die alone, and no one seemed to care if I hung or not.

Suddenly, the EOS door opened, and we heard, "Entering the EOS." Not many folks are permitted that entry status, and I looked over to see none other than the Reactor Officer himself! Full scrambled eggs Commander "Coho," or "Fish Lips" as he was affectionately referred to. He was really a good guy, and normally left us blue shirt scum alone, participating in important high level meetings, etc.  You know, officer stuff. This man had never been seen to show any emotion at all, and we all knew that he could out bluff all of us master BSers with that incredible, emotionless poker face. If it were possible, I became even more stressed out, and the sweat pumps nearly tripped on overspeed! He said to the WO, "What's the hold up? Get this testing underway right now!" The WO ordered me to transfer the pumps to the CTG, and I knew my career was over.  But I had been trained well, and I said in my most professional and firm voice, "Watch Officer, are you aware that performing that evolution will place the plant in an alarmed condition?" It was silent, and only the sound of my sweat hitting the floor could be heard. I did notice that Steve Ball was trembling under the pain he was causing himself, as he was practically biting his lip in half trying not to laugh out loud.  The silence was broken by quick paced, determined steps on the deck plates behind me as the RO himself walked up and said, "What are you talking about?" I fumbled around trying to explain, as the testing engineers and NRO inspectors and the WO and everyone else in the EOS pressed around to peer at this young upstart who had just for all practical purposes refused an order from his own Division Officer.  He snatched the logs from my hand, and looked them over. I noticed his face was all red, and there was a distinct, throbbing vein popping out on his left temple, and his breathing was sort of like that of a prizefighter between rounds. Steve was actually trembling with suppressed laughter now, trying to avoid the wrath we all felt was coming. The RO said, "Just control by the RPCP meters, and ignore the PMP indications and alarms." I made a log entry, and transferred the pumps without further incident. I definitely needed a shower after that episode! This story didn't really end there, though. About 6 months later, I was sent to the RO by the XO of the ship for having unsat hair (imagine that!) and he immediately recognized me and said, "Son, the next time you are standing a watch on one of my reactors and you see a problem, you'd better address it, and not wait until given an order to bring it to everyone's attention!!" I didn't bother to try and tell him that I had called everyone but my mother, I just said, "Yes Sir!" and left. Those back stabbing LPOs and Division Officers and WOs all left me holding the bag on that one! What an initiation to the world of Reactor Plant operations, eh? And they say that the "blue shirt scum" can't be trusted! 



THE Startup ....

yo KP ..., here's me spiel about the most remarkable startup I ever witnessed. What a rush.  I don't think there's anything here that would cause a problem but then who knows.  I've obfuscated a bit with talking about what 5 DPM is ... of course 7 is still 100 times faster than that.  To tell the truth, I can't recall exactly what the SUR shutdown setpoint was as I never saw it exceeded. Whew !!!!  Perhaps you could run it by Arrgh and get his thoughts. Am open to all feedback and will edit as needed. I don't know how to make this a good story without including what I have but ... it may be possible.  (What am I sayin' ? all things are possible ;)  Anyway ... here it be.  I'm still jazzed about having had this experience.

I loves them stories Arrugh!  Keep 'em comin'.


Pullin' for 5 or 6 DPM

I'm at the 4B panel ... just checkin' over the ECP (estimated critical position ... i.e. rod height for crit) calculations in prep for startup.  I've got a trainee ... brand new nub with wetness still drippin' off from behind his ears. Little did I know at that time that he would turn out to be a "sweater" and remain one even long after he qualified. Perhaps this first experience at the panel contributed somewhat to that but I believe it was in his nature to be semi freaked out most of the time. He's just an observer on this day ... but little does he know his cherry is about to be busted.  I will have need of the lad B4 this watch is over and he performed admirably on this occasion.  Mr. A. slides into EOS to assume EOW. He was one of the good ones ... experienced, competent and a pretty good guy. We had our run in's and pissin' contests but there was a respect for one another as people and that certainly was mutual when it came to the performance of our jobs.  There was trust there.

So ... when we were ready to commence he gave the order, "Begin startup of 4B reactor" and added, "Not a hair on your ass to hit 7 DPM !!!" To which I replied, "Pulling rods for 7, sir!" and commenced yankin' 'em out.  Now normally, we rarely exceeded 1 DPM on S/U ... or even practiced fast recoveries from scrams ... no need to ... we had other Rxs on line and unlike subs, we didn't need to get to the surface. For tubers,  fast scram recoveries were SOP and in the plan of  the day. No big deal. But for us ... new territory ... and this was not a recovery but a startup. But then, I'm nothing if not an explorer.  And ... the directives do not "prohibit" us from going above 1 DPM ... they don't say we can't ... so we do.  Now ... stuff happens a little more quickly even at 5 decades per minute than at 1 DPM ... 10,000 times faster, eh?  (sorta like going to warp 8 on that other Enterprise;) So I have ZERO time to record readings or make log entries or even move my eyes from the panel.  This is where my new nub comes in. His duty is scribble furiously on a note pad everything I tell him and to take my other readings.   We will fill out the logs after the launch once we have established orbit.  My attention is on two things ... 1st ... one eye is looking up at the source and intermediate range meters ... 'cause at some point we will be leaving the source range far behind and zooming into view on the next. And, here's the rub ... there is a pulse checker on the intermediate indication. This is to ensure the instrumentation is working BEFORE we get to that level of reaction. Once in that range, it would be nice to see where we are at, eh?  Howsomeever ... should the pulse checker add a pulse as I enter that range, it will add that to our actual DPM (from the instrumentation's pov) and possibly push us up over the high startup rate setpoint. This would be ungood as ... our little startup would be abruptly ended.  And perhaps a career or two as well. ;) My other eye is looking down at the rod height indication and watching how close we are getting to our ECP. Ever wonder how things look to a chameleon when each eye is aimed off in opposite directions ? Well ... that was me ... multitasking with split brain.   (I knew that lobotomy performed on me with a broken beer mug one night in Potown would come in handy at some point ... but I digress. ;)

We're getting close now. And in the next instant, much closer!!! The trick now becomes stopping this thang. I apply the brakes and begin driving rods in. Normally you drive a bit, wait ... drive a little more, wait ... etc. Shimming. Not so this time ... I just keep driving in and driving in all the while cross-eyed as hell and instructing me nub on what to record.  Mr. A. says, "You're going too far." I keep driving.  "You're gonna end up below criticality," says he.  I continue all the while watching that rod position indication. I'm the one who did the calculation and I know it's dead on. I finally release the shim switch.  Mr. A. observes the start-up-rate meter, notes that it is way negative and once again remarks that I've gone too far and will have to shim rods out to reach criticality. I remind him that the manuals instruct us to wait for at least 5 minutes for the instrumentation to catch up ... I've introduced a great deal of negative reactivity with that big drive and it takes time for the Rx to reach an equilibrium. Ever so slowly, the SUR meter creeps up and then settles just a hair above zero. And ... rod height is within 1/10 of an inch of the calculated position.  I proclaim, "4 Bravo reactor critical, sir." "Understand ... 4B critical," he replies. And then adds, "That was the most amazing thing I've ever seen !!!!"  Me too. Made my day.  And what a way to break in our new puddytat nub.  Poor guy ... don't believe he ever fully recovered.  I've always been grateful to Mr. A. for presenting that opportunity ... what a rush that was.  Damn ... I LOVED being an RO !!!! And the E.  And the Far East. And esp Potown, where we all played as hard as we worked. I finger we earned the right to do so. 



Fly Over Photo 

Someone sent me this photo of the Lincoln.  I have no idea if it is real or not.  I can't imagine it is (or if it is how the photo ever got out).  I remember last December sailors on the Big "E" got into trouble for writing a "non politically correct" message on a bomb they were about to drop on the Taliban.  I have a photo of it from the Drudge Report (see below).  So I guess these days you can kill 'em--you just can't hurt their feelings.


 (Bottom Photo downloaded from


How Can I Apply One of These?

Someone that doesn't really know my background e-mailed this to me. I was elated to see that our present day Big "E" brethren are continuing the age-old custom of "rectal insertion" for our enemies!

I doubt the photo is legit, but hey, it's the thought that counts! Besides, those bomb handlers probably don't know what a suppository is!



Late 90's Tweaker

Please add my name to the list

Patrick Carroll
RC-14. RC-23 1996-2001


RX Dept South

Those of you who read my old Mooj newsletters may have read some of my Jules Vermilion (one of my many pen names) navy stories.  These were written before I had the King Paul site.  In one story (or series) I mentioned that I, along with dozens of others from Rx Dept., attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo immediately upon my end of service.  That was a great time since many of my former shipmates were fellow classmates.  A few of the guys at Poly that I can think of off the top of my head were RC11's John Van Mucky, RM22's Sean Pyle and Gary Rice, RE's Gil Miltenberger, Mike the Wad, Q and Gerry Wheeler, and RM11's Kevin Keany.  Keany was actually the first guy I ran into when I showed my fuzzy face on campus.  Later we were in a few bands together (he played bass).  Most of us were in the engineering schools but a few wimps (like Q and MTW) went into business.  (And now they're probably making tons of money.)  As we grew older and smarter we mellowed out some but would always go out for beers when the occasion presented itself.  No, SLO wasn't Olongapo but it was a nice place to mellow out after a 6-or 8-year hitch.  I remember often seeing Sean Pyle walking around campus in his navy dungaree shirt (with his 1st class crow still visible).  Man, I'd give him shit about that!  Wheeler and I were in many EE classes together and we blew away all the competition since our electrical operator backgrounds gave us quite an advantage.  The 18-and 19-year old engineering students at Poly hated us veterans since we were always pushing the curve up.  I guess it was hard to compete with ex-navy nukes.  If you also went to Cal Poly SLO, let me know.  



Late 90's RM

Hello! You have a great website! I was hoping that you could please add me to you list. My info is as follows:

Andrew Sutandar
RM-14 & RM03 1995-2000

Thank you!


Yankin' Rods

I can't say that I've ever seen such a SUR! What a story (I believe it). The most radical operating I've ever done myself was, well, read on! 

NOTE: Current Rx Operators aboard the Big "E", DON'T
try this!!!!!

Everyone knows that to secure the steaming watches and go to shutdown mode when you get into port, you have to be within certain parameters. The faster you can get there, the better for all concerned, as long as safety is maintained. More than once I've had the Rx Low Pressure alarm locked in with the spray valve open trying to get to those magic numbers. Never dumped a Rx, but I don't expect this would be heralded as the way to get things done, eh? I guess the way to classify such behavior would be to say, "More balls than brains." Made more than one WO a little bit nervous.

Come on, 2 planters! Where's the story about the grounding we're all waiting to hear?



Letter to Arrgh!!!

Arrrgh my son, good to hear your still alive, I would have thought you would have crashed your Harley and died by now. I remember when you were just a little squirt, before you became "infamous." I transferred to crew "beefbone" after I was escorted out of "Crew A" for stopping shipyard testing for the "nth" time, god I was so good at doing that. That's when I met the future "Arrgh." I remember when I moved in the house on Long Lake with my trusty "1948 Panhead." It only took a few beers to glaze up your eyeballs. This was before "Vitamin Arrgh" was born. I remember the mornings on Long Lake. Every day work or not , get up, piss, eat some aspirin, get a beer from the fridge, drink the beer for breakfast, stick a beer in the pocket for the drive to work, and another on the floor of the car for after work. That was the house where "Arrgh" was born. Work was no different, after "training" on the flight deck, we would [.....] from the "Blue Hose Pipe" with the off going watch team in "Control Equipment" above 4 RAR.  After 4 hours we would have a lunch "[...]," then another "[...]" with the oncoming watch at the end of our shift. After shift, to the "bars" to drink all night. No wonder you ended up in jail wearing a straight jacket on suicide watch after the big party in "82". Whoops, I'll let you tell that story. So have you figured out who this letter is from yet? A hint: I know what made the regular "Arrgh" into "Vitamin Arrrghh" and it wasn't beer.

"CRAO, RM-14, 1978-1982"


More Thoughts on the SF Grounding

KP -

Maybe if I drop a couple of names, the remembrances of the Great Grounding of Enterprise on April 28, 1983 will emerge.

Do the names LTJG K. P. Wo__ey (RE DIVO), who was the PPWO at the time and MM2 Michael Yontz (RM22), who was the throttleman ring any bells to the 1979 - 1985 Enterprise folks? I am sure that the SF Chronicle has a front page picture of this fine warship bent over in the bay.

Those were the days when RM Div stood ALL the throttles watches. The minor highlights of the watch were messing with the heads of the poor sponson watches. They were so gullible to rumor. Once a rumor started on the 1JV circuit, you could be assured that the deck apes would commence spreading the stories to the messdecks. 

Mark Best

I remember lots of stories about Wo__ey, he was still talked about in RE Div when I showed up two years later.  

I think it was about 1988 when RC Div took over throttles.  Some department wizard thought that since RX power follows steam demand, an ET should be manning the throttles (pullin' rods, opening the throttle--same thing).  RC Div tried (in vain) to get RE div to take over throttles but that never happened.  At the same time RM Div was trying to get RE Div to take over the CTG watch.  That never happened either.  Thus, RE Div continued to languish on 4 and 20s while everyone else stood 4 and 12s.



Dirtbag, You Suck!!!

How in the world anyone could not catch on to who you are would be incredible! Of course, we all know you for what you are, the very nickname reveals the truth. Dan G. Davis, alias "Dirtbag." Well named, I assure you! Yes, nearly everything you have written is true, however, your version of the straight-jacket story is wrong. That happened in October of 1983, 2 days before my long awaited release from Naval captivity. I don't even know how you heard about that, since you were long gone by then. Certainly, you can attest to the partying in Alameda at "Schmeg South" that resulted in the manager nearly evicting the squids from upstairs for running off his business. And how about that "ceiling art"? I think we invented a new art form there. 

How about the Bay Street Bowery, man? Does this sound familiar? "Louder, faster, HARDER!!!" I remember literally jumping up and down on the tables in that place. If it wasn't for the fact that we spent enough money in there to finance the place for a few years, they certainly would have thrown us out!

Where are you now? Still in college, or did you finally graduate?


And oh, yeah. 
"DB Sux!"


A day in the life of Arrgh

Confessions from four plant:

Against my better judgment, I have to admit, that "Arrgh" was one of my drinking partners. Make no mistake about it, BEFORE we left Bremerton we were completely out of control. We were so far over the top that we didn't even know it. In Bremerton it was the "Arrgh," Steve "Worthless," and I, the bums from the Long Lake House. You have to remember that Bremerton had cheap beer (5 schooners for a buck), free hallucinogenic mushrooms (the "Liberty Caps" grew in the grass on the side of the freeways), very cheap smoke (almost everyone grew it in their backyards), and anything else you wanted including "vitamins!" Aaahhh "Vitamins," turned us into "Drinking Gods" it did!! Of course if you were doing "vitamins" you needed a few days off to recover, sometimes a week. We drank EVERY day, played pool for beer when we were broke, and entertained every good/bad idea for "fun," no matter how stupid it might seem. Believe you me; we were really good at executing "Bad Ideas."  Stupid was our middle name, trouble was our game and drinking was our full time occupation.  

We had just come back from another at sea period in the spring of 82, when Arrgh and I had to go to Federal Magistrate Court in downtown Oakland for an "open container" ticket we had received for trying to get in the Alameda main gate at midnight while casually drinking beer (this was SOP, never operate a car without a beer).  We got the tickets a month earlier when we had just come back from "Schegma South" after a night of total drunkenness. The marine guard at the gate took my beer out of my hand while I was trying to drive by. The other marine guard grabbed Arrgh's beer. That was easy as Arrgh was passed out cold (happened to Arrgh all the time). After a 20-minute argument, we lost. They kept the beers, we kept the tickets. To punish the marines we did a burn out u-turn around the guardhouse in my piece of shit red pickup and drove about 25 yards to the side of the gate. We sat there and drank the rest of the 12 pack of beer while verbally harassing the marines for taking the "live ones" from us. Looking back on it later it wasn't our finest moment, but hey, we had a lot of those moments. An we did lose two perfectly good beers, something we really weren't proud of. 

The day of our appointment we entered the federal building to pay our respects to the justice system, and found a seat. We sat there with serious hangovers (something we always suffered from) and watched as over 50 to 60 guys walked up the judge, got their sentence, got handcuffed, and the bailiff took them out the back door to jail. This was very disconcerting. Spending a few days in jail with Arrgh SOBER didn't seem like it was going to be a highlight of my "tour of duty." We were the very last ones in the room to go before the Magistrate. They called me to the front of the courtroom, and the Judge asked if I had any alcohol problems, tickets, or vehicle violations. I figured what the hell do they know!! I lied, and told them "No." They suspended my violation, put me on probation, and sent me out the front door to wait for Arrgh. Now Arrgh, being the sharp individual he was, heard my lies, and figured they wouldn't know about him either. It didn't matter to "the Arrgh" that he had serious alcohol problems, previous DUI violations, tickets, and he didn't even have a driver's license. Arrgh lied his "Ass Off" and they let him go too!! Some justice system, they couldn't even catch two stupid ass drunken idiots off the "Tunaprise." 

To punish them and celebrate, we decided to do some "vitamins" that I had saved from Bremerton, get some beer, and drive the old red pickup around the bay area all "fucked up." A full "contact sport" we really enjoyed doing while in port. We figured that we had enough time to stop for beer, fill up the tank and get to the beach before the "Vitamins" kicked in. Big Mistake!!! We got lost in downtown Oakland, and didn't get to the San Rafael Bridge until we both needed a pilot's license to operate the pickup. The stop for beer, and gas didn't go well. It took us about 45 minutes just to figure out what kind of beer to get, how much to get, how to keep it cold, and where the door was that we used to get in the building. By the time we got back on the freeway, our "vitamin" enhanced senses could detect every noise the old pickup was making as we speeded toward the beach. I swore to god that we would never make it, "ole red" sounded like it was coming apart. We were finally stranded somewhere near the pass to Simpson Beach by the North Bay.  The truck was okay, it's just that the "Vitamins" had kicked in "Big Time" and I couldn't focus enough to drive. To make things worse, "Vitamin Arrgh!!" had reared his ugly face. In the past, at Long Lake in Bremerton "Vitamin Arrgh" had to be beaten up for his own good several times. This was always followed the next morning by cleaning up the blood, and throwing out the broken furniture. Later, Arrgh would always deny everything, SOP. This time, "Vitamin Arrgh" remained calm, something that only happened on rare occasions. We spent a few relaxing hours wondering around the forest until I could drive again. We later made it to the beach and then back to the "Pelican" in Alameda. We closed out the bar, and went home to the Big "E".  The next morning, back to four plant, another hangover, more puking in the garbage cans of upper level 4RAR , [...], and again, just another day in the life of the infamous "Arrgh." 

A true story, from the "Infamous DB" RM-14, 78-82
PS: Arrgh, you retched bum, e-mail me at:


More About the SF Bay Debacle

Something about a circ water pump that failed (yeah right) to start comes to my mind. 

Arrgh, you asked for that watch off so you could get some sleep, something about only 4 hours off.

Mike Noland


Oh, NO!! It IS the "Dirtbag"...


I'm afraid that your site will never be the same now that you have the DB writing in. Yes, I'm sure he can tell some very embarrassing tales of our misadventures, as I was very often the first to be overcome, intoxicated, wasted, and otherwise incapacitated.  However, make no mistake, this was not because I was a lightweight, but because I didn't have sense enough to know when to quit. Of the hard cores, I was likely the "lightest" of the crew. Of course, what do you expect from a guy that weighed 120 lb soaking wet? My old uniforms are pants size 28!!  Before these tales get too out of control, and these gentle readers begin to fear that I may someday visit their home towns, let me say that I don't drink, smoke, party, or live anything even remotely like the way I lived in the early 80's. I would never have lived this long.  In Seattle, they have a festival each summer called SeaFair, and they have hydro races in Lake Washington.  You know, the Miss Budweiser and that crowd. In 1980, I went with a buddy who was from Seattle and knew the ropes. That was the last year they allowed unencumbered rafters, tubers, etc to be in the lake.   We kept drifting onto the course, and the next year (81) was the first year with the buoy line marking off the course.

Dirtbag and I decided to go to Seafair and we devised a most excellent scheme: we would rent a canoe from special services, load it with beer and party at the races in style! We rented the canoe, and took it back to our party cave at Long Lake in Port Orchard. For some reason, we decided to take the canoe and all of our "gear" for a shakedown cruise in a lake somewhere away from our house. Why? you ask, when our backyard ended in water? Who knows, it was probably Dirtbag's bright idea (hehehehehe).  Our shakedown cruise went well, as we loaded our vessel with 2 coolers for beer (one would certainly not be enough) and the necessary paddles, etc. The icing on the cake was the battery powered stereo with some tunes, like AC/DC and Motorhead. You know, the mellow stuff. Everything was going fine until the DB decided to try to stand up in the canoe. I shouted for him to sit down, but to no avail! Alas, the derelict caused us to capsize! Fortunately, he saved the beer, and I saved the stereo. I tried to save the beer, but DB was beating me back with an oar, so I settled for the stereo. We dragged our sorry, wet asses out of the lake and went home. The next day was the big day, and we needed our rest! I dried the stereo out with a hair dryer, and amazingly, the thing began to work again, with the same batteries, even!  We drove to Seattle the next morning, and forded the Lake with our beautiful luxury cruiser. We were fully equipped! We had 2 coolers full of ice aboard, 2 1/2 cases of beer, stereo, and the "medicine kit" filled with assorted goodies, and the always present burnable herbal materials. We were in sailor heaven! We cruised the buoy line looking for pretty girls, and tied up alongside. It was the hottest July in history, at least 100 degrees that year, so our offer of cold beers to these ladies was never refused. We were the envy of all the guys! For once, one of our deviated schemes of debauchery seemed to be paying off.

We even tried for a humanitarian service award, rescuing a poor, tired, overheated young cutie from the water. DB grabbed a handful of . . . well, posterior, and hoisted her aboard. What a day!

As we loaded up for home, we tied the canoe to the top of the car and loaded the empty coolers, etc aboard.  Unfortunately, I left the stereo on the curb (still playing) as we drove off. We were a couple of blocks away before we realized that the music had stopped, but by the time we returned, alas, the tune box was history. After a pretty uneventful trip home (only one fender bender) we brought the canoe back to Special Services. Unfortunately, we had covered the US Navy markings with duct tape, and when we removed the tape, the numbers and identifications came off too! The SS guys were not pleased, but hey, at least the canoe survived the adventure, not so the stereo! 



This Just In...

Special NIS Investigation Update 11-15-2002

.......The "Infamous DB" has been sighted in the East Pacific Area of Operations on Sept 15, 2002. He has been secretly assigned to ComNavBlondSnakPak and has been training a new crew member in the fine art of ship operations with a hangover, and drinking on liberty. It's alleged that this new shipmate, Semen Kelly, a curvaceous blond with a good attitude, doesn't bitch as much as his old buddies from the Big "E", she doesn't snore, and her dirty laundry smells a whole lot better. This picture was taken just 8 weeks ago around Latitude 30 about 200 miles off the west coast of Baja, Mexico. That is near the old "Carrier Qual" area for the Big "E" when it was stationed on the west coast at Alameda. As usual he is on a boat, at sea, hung over, and in the process of getting drunk again.  Some things never change. During an exclusive interview, "DB" stated "Hey Buddy, hand me another F-cken beer will ya!!" He also told the photographer to "lose" the top part of her bikini. He went on to make derogatory remarks about, Lifers, Officers, Chiefs, "The Pig", The Government, and Law Enforcement Personnel. It has been determined that his Naval Incarceration and Rehabilitation Tour of Duty did not affect his attitude, or lifestyle.  He continues to be the same beer drinking, bar hounding, motorcycle riding, woman chasing menace to society he has always been. 12 hours after this photo was taken he was found passed out cold face down in his rack. End Of Transmission. 


Partying Early 80s Style

Man, I'm not sure about you early 80's guys.  It was no secret that there were many "herbalists" among the lot and by the time us 8502 operators showed up, a great purge had taken place (in fact, we were probably filling the empty billet spaces from that purge).  In comparison, the late 80s guys were pretty much drug free since urinalysis was very accurate and us Reactor and Engineering types were exposed to it more often than our non nuclear counterparts.  

One funny "pot" story I recall though is about a long ago morning when we were in dry dock (Fall, 1986) and my Hunter's Point BEQ roommate (none other than Goldylocks Fuller) came home in a rather jolly mood, claiming to have smoked some "really good shit."  Since it was about 3:00 a.m. my five other roommates and I ignored him and went back to sleep.  The next morning Dicko (one of the roommates) and I awoke to make the cold and rainy trek to the dry dock to commence our duty day.  Goldylocks was also in our section and we tried to wake him up but he just pulled the covers over his head and told us to leave him alone.  When we arrived at the ship (it was a Saturday) we were told by the duty chief that our section had been randomly selected for a urinalysis test.  When Goldylocks was noticed missing Dicko and I fought over who would be the lucky one that got to go back to the BEQ and wake him up to tell him the good news.  I think we both went back since I remember the look on Goldylock's face was priceless and Dicko and I would joke about it for years afterwards.  I can't remember what happened to Goldylocks after that.  As far as I recall he dodged a bullet.

There's another funny/sad story about one of RE03's finest.  Dicko promised me he would send this story in but he never did.  I'll write what I remember and hopefully Dicko will fill in the gaps. The story is about a guy named Jud R__son.  "Jud" was a true southern hick (but I think he was from New Mexico?).  Anyway, Jud went home on leave and then got snowed in on some Indian reservation so he couldn't get back to the ship before his leave expired.  He was listed as UA, but with mitigating circumstances since he couldn't travel until the snow was removed from wherever it was that he was.  When he returned to the ship a few days later he was given an urinalysis test (SOP for anyone returning late from a leave).  Those of you who remember Jud will remember that he was as straight as an arrow and pure as the driven snow, etc. etc.  So it was a real shocker to us in the division office when his piss test came back positive.  I remember Dicko (his then group supervisor) and Chief Shackett calling the lab over and over again to make sure they hadn't made a mistake.  No one could believe Jud was guilty and so a great effort was launched on his behalf to save him from what had to be an awful mistake.  While all this was going on Jud came down to the office and Dicko asked him if he did anything on leave that may have made it appear as if he had smoked pot (you know, eaten a poppy seed bagel or something).  Poor Jud just stood there (with that stupid "Jud" look on his face) and said, "No I ain't done nothin' like that."  And then added, "But while I was on that reservation I smoked a whole bunch of peyote, ate mushrooms and puffed on the medicine pipe...." Poor Jud's goose was cooked.  He got de-nuked and we all felt bad for the guy.  As far as we could tell he really didn't know that he had done anything wrong.  Hopefully, Dicko can write in what Jud's exact words were.  I had to guess and my version is not even close to being as funny as what Jud really said.  I just remember all of us sitting there with our mouths open.  



Another reason Capt Kelley grew to despise nucs...

I'm sure that in his dreams, Ol' Captain Kelley is there in the situation room; the CNO, advising the President on the current state of affairs... until he awakens and recalls that dreaded day off the rock, near San Diego...

I don't remember what they called that stupid rock any more, but I guess it was pretty common for ships to qualify QM types by maneuvering around that thing.  It was near San Diego.  Must have been in 1981. The E has recently left the shipyards, and every imaginable requalification and certification nightmare is coming true. These were the days of 3 or 4 hours a day of sleep, if you were lucky. We were at GQ every time I got off watch, it seemed.  In 1 Plant, there was a rectal 1st class who thought it was his mission to further torment the troops, and had all of the RM types from 1 plant PAINTING when they weren't on watch or at GQ!! He was certifiable, man! He reportedly made them scrape it off and repaint, too.  It was like some wicked test from some secret government agency or something to see how much people could take.  He was scared to go back to berthing, so he actually lived in the 1st class lounge near the mess decks. 

One day, between drills and refra, etc, the ship was performing precision maneuvering drills around "the rock." Things had reached the breaking point.

DISCLAIMER - I have no personal knowledge of any wrongdoings or information that could reveal the identities of individuals who MAY have done the deeds in the following story. This is hearsay from an old buddy in RM-11, and I can't even remember his name now.

As the ship was alternately answering ahead flank, and crash astern, etc, during the drill, one of the Aux Exhaust unloader valves "failed" open, and caused the condenser to lose vacuum, scramming the Rxs in 1plant.  Much of the critical navigation and indicating circuits were powered from the #1 SSTG, which of course went down with the plant.  I can imagine all hell breaking loose on the bridge as the lights and alarms cycled,, transferring to another bus in the middle of a critical evolution like that.  Can you just hear the call down to DCC? "What the *@!?&&$# is going on down there? Are you *$#@@!% nucs trying to kill us all or something???"

Well, those nasty old unloader valves had a "history" of failing open, so no one thought much about it.  Cross connect steam from 4 plant and cruise on during the recovery, eh?  So, after re-aligning all of the electrical loads (another round of cycling on the bridge) everything was back to normal, right? Well, then some wise guy manually tripped the #1 SSTG output breaker, and actually left the switch in "trip" to make his point. Another round of pretty lights on the bridge, and another call to DCC full of, shall we call them, "colorful metaphores"? Now, someone is starting to catch on that there's problems brewing in the bowels of 1 Plant, and people are scrambling to resolve the issue. A guard is posted at the SSTG output breaker, and normal configuration is restored (again). Wouldn't you know it, some smart aleck went and tripped the second deck emergency isolation valve for the steam cross connect valve between 1 Plant and 4 Plant?

NIS couldn't believe that all of those mechanics down there conspired to make their precious and beloved LPO look so bad! Amazingly, he was transferred and was never heard from again. Go figure! 

It really is a shame that the career of some very good men hinges on the performance of every man in a crew of 3,500.  All it takes is one idiot to make the CO look bad.  If I ever meet Captain Kelley, I'll never admit to him that I was a nuc on the E while he was there. He just might give in to the urge to hurt me!  Can you blame him? Between this incident and the grounding in SF Bay, Nucs probably cost him his career!



Finally, another EM!

Hey, great site. Glad someone is doing it. My information below.

Carlos V. Ayala
E-Div, 1995-2000

Hey, any relation the the infamous "Flash" Ayala, whom served in RE04 back in the mid-80s? 



Ensign Senior Grade Wo__ey

Yeah, I remember that guy. 4.0 and raring to go, he was one of those real hardcore idiots that made you wonder what possessed you to go into the Navy.  He was a real career officer type, until the grounding incident in S.F. bay.  I was standing watch in #1 plant, CTG operator, talking with my buddy Iggy, who was the Shaft Alley Patrol.  The ship started listing, and about the same time the 1MC screamed out, "Back Emergency, Back Emergency!!"  I thought we were about to hit Alcatraz or something, but we just shuddered to halt and stayed tilted over.  Iggy went up to the Hanger Bay, and came back to report the nearness of the pier.  Yes, #1 plant had a hole in the Main Condenser you could put your fist into, so we weren't answering bells, (I had wanted to stand throttles for the trip in, having just qualified, but Al Decker got the spot, lucky for me.  Al had to put his dress uniform on and show up for the inquiry every day for about 6 or 8 weeks just in case they wanted to ask him something.)  Ltjg Wo__ey was the W.O. in #2 plant, and was following an outdated Daily Order sheet, which said due to a bad steam leak, #2 Main Circ Pump was not to be operated until 5 knots.  S.O.P. for maneuvering called for the pump to be lit off at 10 knots, and that was what Wo__ey should have been using. When the ship's speed dropped far enough that the scoop couldn't keep up, loss of vacuum caused The Yontzter to shut down #2 shaft, and #'s 3 & 4 put us into the side of the channel.  As I recall, The Powers That Be determined that the harbor pilot had us too far to the right of the dredged channel, and the time of day was a major factor also, as someone decided instead of coming in at high tide, we'd come in sooner, to suit the media circus that was planned for our arrival.  (Rumor has it that either George Takai or Walter Keonig was on the pier to greet us.) Wo__ey got a punitive letter of reprimand, the captain got one, and I think even Yontz got one. I remember all of a sudden, with no Navy career to look forward to, Lt Wo__ey became a changed man. As I recall, he just wasn't such a gung-ho hardass anymore. Of course, Mike Yontz was responsible for providing me with one of the rules I try to live my life by.  He told me.." No one likes being called shithead." How true.

Billy Wayne Deaton RM11 -'82-'86
I like the way the site has come along.

Those of you serving during the latter 80s will undoubtedly remember Billy Wayne Deaton--he was a legend.  I know BWD doesn't remember me since I was but a nub during his final cruise but his signature graced my BNEQ card in multiple places.  



Big E Reunion

For your info, pass along on the sea stories page if you feel it's a proper place for it. Can you imagine what that party could turn into with the bunch of sickos that read these pages attending?!?!?

Missing Link

From: "Stephan Arleaux" <>

Dear Enterprise Shipmates:

Well it has been far too long, but I am back as promised with news. Thanks to Dr. Mark we now have a promotion company on board who will put on the reunion. Military reunions is all they do so it should be a good one

Time: The time will be the weekend of July 31, 2004, Thursday afternoon arrivals - Monday morning departures.

Place: Norfolk Virginia. The exact venue has not been set up yet. Let me be very clear about this point, as far as we know the Enterprise will be in town (not deployed) at that time. We have no clue as to having any access, but closer to that time we will be requesting some sort of visit. Security is a big deal nowadays but they had a concert on board for dependants, so it’s a coin toss. We do have contacts who are in a position to be influential (let us pray). The venue will be a local hotel with a big meeting room and perhaps most of us will be staying there.

I need two things from you, neither of which involve money or commitment. #1 PLEASE acknowledge this letter so, I may know your current E-mail address (especially in the case of forwarding). And alas we will find out who has moved and not left us a forwarding. The hunt continues, #2 Please, on your return E-mail send me your current regular mailing address. This is for the promotional company who will, over time, be sending you updates and brochures regarding hotels, motels, travel deals etc. Dr. Mark has used these people before on his other reunion and assures me they wont be a nuisance and are very professional.

Best Wishes
Gary M. Arlaud ADR3/C


The Grounding!

All right, here's the real deal of what went down on 28 April 1983.

It was 7:00 am, (0700 for those of y'all still in) and we were about to go under the Golden Gate Bridge. I was the 4-8 Throttleman in 2 plant. We were happier than shit this Westpac was finally over. We were BSin about what we were gonna do when we got off the pig. Pizza and beer was the order of the day for most of us.

As everyone knows, the speed limit in the Bay is 5 knots. #2 Main Engine had a problem holding vacuum so we had an order from Central to light off the Main Circ pump at 10 knots. I passed that order on to my relief, Mike Yonts and the watch officer, Lt. Wo__ey.  I changed and went up on the flight deck to watch us pass under the bridge and the San Francisco waterfront. ( You had to be in dress uniform so I put on my $25.00 uniform I had made in the P.I.)

It was a very cloudy day and as we passed the Port of San Francisco there was a cloudburst. It started coming down in buckets. Squids ran everywhere for cover. The Marine Detachment had to MARCH out of the rain! IN FORMATION!!!! Gung Ho sons o' bitches. Anyway, I went back down to berthing just to wait for my chance to get off the ship.

Meanwhile, down in #2 Plant, guys in EOS were talkin' shit and having a good time on the last watch of the WestPac. All of a sudden (it's about 9:30) the # 2 Main engine low vacuum alarm goes off. Of course that means trailing the shaft. Vacuum got down to about 17 inches or so before it steadied. It was #2 shaft that was the limp one. Mikey missed it, Wo__ey missed it, and it cost' em. So we started drifting. Trailing wouldn't have been a problem except there was a helluva lot of rain that winter. The channel was supposed to be 42 feet deep. Because of all the silt deposited in the channel because of the rains, the channel was only 36 feet deep. We drifted and #1 propeller got stuck. I heard the noise in berthing. This guy who was one of our berthing cleaners says, "Something's wrong." I says to him, no, we're just turning around, thinking it was the astern engines. Then it got real quiet. We heard the rumble again. Then quiet. This RE comes in the berthing from the starboard side walking to port DOWNHILL. He says we just ran aground. I said bullshit. We run up topside and the starboard bow end of the ship is 25-30 feet out of the water. Sonofabitch we ARE aground! I went back down to berthing. All you here is, "Reactor Mechanical troubleshooting and assistance team lay to 4 plant and 1 plant." I said I'm going to bed. Wake me when it's over.

Three and a half hours later we were still there and we had silt coming out of the heat exchanger vents instead of water. If I remember right we scrammed the forward reactors, and they supposedly called a decay heat removal team in Washington. It was getting scary. Arrgh! was right. How those guys up front didn't completely lose those reactors was some hero-type shit.

About 5:30 or so, high tide comes in and lifts us off the barge, and we get into the beach about 6:00. I got off the pig just in time to say hello to my brother, his wife and her parents, give'em a hug and turn right back around and shut down two plant. I never made it off the pier the first day.

Mikey and the Wo__ey were part of the investigation. The Wo__ey and the Captain got a letter of reprimand in their files. For Kelley it just delayed his star. For Lt. it pretty much ended his navy nuke career. He got out at the end of his commission. That's the story of how we ran aground.

P.S. They ignored Central when they said, "ship's speed less than ten knots."  I remember Wo__ey as being sort of a space cadet officer.  I don't think they ever lit the pump off.



More About Captain Kelley


I was told by Admiral Spane that the CO had been exonerated in the grounding incident. There were several contributing factors:

1) The channel was not as wide as shown
2) not as deep as shown
3) current faster than informed of by the pilot

Admiral Spane told me the CO had been promoted to Admiral?????

Mike Noland
RC-14, 81-85

To be honest I can't remember what Kelley's daughter and I talked about that day on JI; but I know we brought up the grounding.  As far as Rocky Spane goes I can't believe he made admiral.  I thought (or remember hearing ) that he was potentially career limited due to some of the circumstances associated with the tragic death of Mike Bowden.  (This is a topic I don't wish to discuss on this website.)  A few years ago I remember reading that Spane was the CEO of Vangaurd Airlines.  They recently went bankrupt so I don't know where old Rocky is these days.  (Do you think they played the theme song to Rocky whenever he walked into a board meeting?)



More For Your Reading Pleasure:

Those of you who are loyal "Mooj Heads" and read The Mooj Weekly Standard know that it is littered with my personal adventure tales. Before I had the King Paul Site many of my sea stories were selectively posted in Mooj newsletters under various pen names or disguised as letters. Most of these tales are true (with some artistic embellishment thrown in for good measure on rare occasions). So that you don’t have to search endlessly through my 100 or so Mooj newsletters for these "pre KP site" sea stories I will provide links (and additional notes). In truth, my navy stories really didn’t catch on with my Mooj minions since most could never understand them in a way you fellow squids can.  Hope you enjoy them!


October 31, 1999: In this newsletter a letter from "King Paul" was published. This letter is a fake [like just every other letter in the early newsletters]. It was placed pretty much for the amusement of my brother-in-law and former Big E shipmate, MM1 John Hutchings, a.k.a., "Nitro" (EM23 from 1986 – 1990). This "fake" letter pretty much mirrors an entry I made years before in the EM23 dopeybook slamming a fellow RTsian (whose name I no longer remember). "Nitro" had just qualified Lower Level and showed me the EM23 dopeybook. I broke all taboos and made the "King Paul" entry while still a nub—I don’t think I was even qualified LRPT. I placed a few other "King Paul" entries in the EM23 dopeybook over the next few days to make matters even more confusing to the EM23 gang, who had no idea who King Paul was (or why he was so mean and vulgar).

November 5, 1999: "The Ballad of Subic Sam" was a poem I wrote as a personal salute to Olongapo. It used to appear on the index page of this site in the early days. Only a few people seemed to like the poem—as most of my non navy readers had no idea what it was about.

January 4, 2000: "Gospel Chords" is a true story about a memorable night in the Hunter’s Point BEQ. The "hillybilly" was an M-div’r, who’s name I no longer remember. But, man, was he strange! The last time Dicko, Q, Guido and I were all together (at Dicko’s wedding in 1997) we sang that song (or what we could remember of it).

March 10, 2000: "Hong Kong Joe" is a story about the infamous "Smoking Joe" Miskell. Lance Winters was the "friend from the other ship," who was by then on an oiler or supply ship in the battlegroup. I heard from Smoking Joe a few months ago but I don’t know if he ever read that story. If you’re still out there Joe, sorry. (Do you even remember that night?)

April 1, 2000: "The Capri Car Theft" is about RE02’s Greg B. Greg was the greatest! This story may have a few exaggerations in it but is true for the most part. We were all sitting around drinking beers in the HP BEQ when Greg admitted this awful deed and we just about lost it.

April 29, 2000: "The Ballad of Randy Snook" is another true story with maybe one or two embellishments. C’mon, you guys all have to remember Randy Snook! I took liberties with the ending because I can’t remember exactly who saw him and where, but it was in PI. Maybe someone out there remembers. Dave Conklin was the guy that stopped in to see Randy in Iowa and returned with the news that he never went home after leaving the navy.

June 15, 2000: "Squatting Bull" is mostly true with maybe one or two exaggerations thrown in for good effect. This episode is one of the funniest things I remember about life in the RE office during my short timer days. We had just gotten a new DO and were always messing with his head. This was an example of the kind of stupid things we put the poor guy through. Mr. Lee was actually very cool and deserved better.

June 30, 2000: This newsletter is filled with Big E memories! I must have been in a navy mood when I wrote it. There are two fake letters (one from a "Dennis Dominguez" and the other from a "senior chief Rickoven." There is also a story supposedly sent in by Dominguez called, "Captain Lucifer." I have no idea if this story is true. It was told to me by David Bohencamp (RE04) and if he was telling the truth then it’s true. Some of you served with Leuschner so you may be able to back up the story. [On a side note the story about "Go-Go Gonzales" in this newsletter is also true. It was adapted from a real story my brother-in-law told me about his SWAT days.] The letter from "Rickoven" contains lots of RE Division memories. It’s funny; these navy gags just didn’t play well with my newsletter readers. I guess you had to have lived that life to understand it.

September 16, 2000: "Dog Brown" is absolutely true. I rewrote this story about 100 times trying to make it more understandable for my non navy readers but I was never able to pull it off. To this day I bet guys are still using that expression in the fleet. 

September 26, 2000: The letter from "Cliff Wilson" is based on secondhand information. Again, I have no idea if it’s true. This tale was told to me by Mike Engel (RE04) but I doubt he had first-hand knowledge of what actually happened on the bridge that night. But I do know that the Big E struck Bishop’s Rock and that Lueschner was relieved of command (two months before my arrival). Maybe some of you mid-80s guys can shed some light on what really happened. Was a nuke responsible for that, too?

October 10, 2000: "Pandemonium on the High Seas" is a true story. To be honest I have no idea where that frying pan is anymore. I was going to wrap it up and send it to "Q" for Christmas to see if he remembers it.

February 1, 2001: Thus began my Jules Vermilion sea adventures. Originally I was going to publish my entire memoirs of the 1986 cruise but that proved to be too bothersome.

February 28, 2001: This newsletter had the second installment of my 1986 westpac story. "RE Division, Circa 1986" was originally published word for word from my personal writings. Many nasty things were said about people that I later went back and deleted (especially after the KP site was up). I regret if any of you read something unfavorable about yourself. I certainly didn’t mean anything by it. (Unless you were a dirtbag—than I did.)

March 22, 2001: "Aim High Olongapo" was my third installment of the 1986 westpac story. It’s about my first night in Olongapo.

April 22, 2001: "Stuck at Cubi Point" was my last installment of the 1986 westpac story. By then the KP site was up and I decided to put all my future navy stories there.


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