Part 13 – We survived the “ditch” and have joined the pacific fleet. As we near the equator, much of the crew is getting nervous thinking about the shellback ceremonies. A few of us are not so worried though. Having recently experienced the blue nose ceremony, we know there is nothing they can do to us that is anywhere near as bad as that. Plus, the skipper was a wog, so they couldn’t get too carried away.
Tag-Archive for ◊ Navy ◊
Part 12 – Our little clan continues to make progress on their trek towards the pacific. As we learned in the last story, our boys are traveling without the aid of the towed array. In this adventure they traverse the Panama Canal. I was fortunate enough to be the lead handler for line #2 in those days. It was cool to see such a great work of engineering. The awe of engineering was pretty quickly overshadowed by the fact that along either side of the boat were riverboat gunships, we thought we’d been transported to a Vietnam era war movie. We were told that there had been “sniper activity” in the area…but not to worry about it. Yeah, right.
The article below was written by Dr. Joyce Brothers in 1963 after the loss of the USS Thresher and the 129 men aboard her. It attempts to explain the reasons that Submarine sailors are who and what they are.
My days in the Submarine Service are among the finest in my memories. As Dr. Brothers explains below, all of us learned that we could count and be counted on by our shipmates – at sea and in port. I considered many of them my family, my brothers.
Risk is an Inspiration in Submarine Service
The tragic loss of the submarine Thresher and 129 men had a special kind of impact on the nation … a special kind of sadness, mixed with universal admiration for the men who choose this type of work.
One could not mention the Thresher without observing, in the same breath how utterly final and alone the end is when a ship dies at the bottom of the sea … and what a remarkable specimen of man it must be to accept such a risk. more…
Part 11 – We have no idea how, but we manage to have a major piece of our sonar gear fall off the ship. We joke that it was somebody from the Russian ship. It does make for an exciting few minutes as water rushes in the hole where the equipment used to be – but we survive to fight another day.
Part Ten – We are still in Curacao, a Russian freighter was docked on the same pier as us – who thought that would work? A couple brave soles mustered the courage to visit the Russian ship and swap some gear. Too bad for them that the top-side watch on our boat that night was a bit over-zealous and turned them in when they returned. more…