From CTM2 Paul W. Hartnagel
USS Groton SSN-694 I.O. Cruise Summer
of '80, remember the hostages in Iran? Anyway we were playing five card draw Poker and TM1(SS) J.D. Flemming taught me that
a FULL HOUSE (Aces over Kings) CAN BE BEAT BY TWO PAIR!
A pair of red sevens and a pair of black sevens, ... and he drew
From FT1(SS) Bob Rogers
I was a crewman in the SONAR Division. I remember when you rode the USS GROTON
on the first I/O run in 1980 and I walked into the Radio Room. I was in training as "Radio Operator of the Watch". You were
sitting there listening to "something" using some headphones. I asked what you were listening to. Your "EXACT" answer was...
"I can't tell you.... But the score is 4 to 3!!"
I never asked again after that!!
From EN2(SS) Myron Howard
I only made one run on BREAM (SS-243) in 1959 out of Yoko that had some guys that "weren't there". Made other runs but
that was the only one that had a SN that could tell the XO to leave the radio shack. Kinda impressed this snipe.
TN(SS) Ric Hedman
I was a plankowner on USS Flasher SSN-613. Rode her until June of 68 when I got out. We use to carry
any number of the invisible people with us. One trip was after the USS Pueblo AGER-2 was captured and everyone wore shirts
that said, "If Captured, I'm a Cook!"
From ETCS(SS\SW) Gene Brockington
As a Forward ET on three submarines, (Flasher,
LaJolla and Salt Lake City), I spent a lot of time with the CT matmen before the SpecOps and with the Direct Support Operators
during the SpecOps. Learned a hell of a lot from those guys, including some Russian and Mandarin Chinese. Gained more knowledge
in a couple of hours on the "stack" with those guys than in all of the ESM schools I'd attended. We even had a couple of matmen
with us long enough on two of my boats to earn their submarine dolphins.
Those were the days....
STS2(SS) 63/73 Redfin, Triton, Haddock
I was on the Haddock when Deep Sea 21 went down. We flanked down from up north
when we got the word and had some of you guys on board. As you can imagine, it was not fun. With 10 years on 3 subs it was
the only time I "Manned Battle Stations, Torpedo" and it wasn't a drill. Don't know if the spooks did, but we got an AFEM
out of it. Of course, that never made the papers. The only spook name I remember from the Triton was Empey. He was an insane
First Class who got off on messing with o' scopes and false recordings of us sinking. He also qualified in subs in 50 days
Played poker with a few on Haddock and they spent a lot of time in Sonar because we had the cherries.
From CTMC Paul Copeland
...like the time we had to hock a guy''s watch to get back to Ballast Point (San
Diego) from TiaJuana, OR the time my new CO found out about how submarines empty their "holding tanks" the HARD WAY - thus
forever earning him the nickname of "freckles".
From LCDR(Ret) John Arnold
On Halibut, after our 2nd back-to-back
Bells mission, my 4 Chiefs were bored and up to mischief on our return to CONUS.
They stole the CO's stateroom door. The CO had the XO's door transfered to his stateroom & told the XO he didn't care
if they ever found the door. Needless to say the XO was ticked. Each watch section had a search/recovery team looking in vain
for the elusive door. To add insult to injury, the spook Chiefs re installed the (missing for 10 days) door on the XO's stateroom.
All of this accomplished without discovery or even a clue as to who pulled off this great TF. It wasn't until our mission
debrief at NSA that we revealed the Mystery to the skipper-Chuck Larsen. I've heard that other ships have tried this but the
door has always been found and many times the culprit is caught in the act of removing the door. These guys were a cleaver
team aside from providing NSA with hundreds of the finest broadband tapes that they had ever received!
From CTM1 George
In 1966 our shop (Groton) was tasked to outfit the Scorpion SSN-589 with the usual package. As was the practice,
three of us would do the installation. Two of us would drive the truck with the equipment to Norfolk, and the rider (Matman)
from our shop, who was to make the trip, would fly down an meet us there. The installation went pretty much as usual, except
for the fact the boats op schedule had been moved up and we were hard pressed for time. We use to install an open microphone
in the control room, which we called the "white rat". As I was taping this thing into the overhead, one of the ship's company,
an ST2 wanted to know if I had an extra microphone, which I did, and gave it to him. He wanted to know how he could return
the favor. I said a can of coffee for the shop would be great. End of story. We packed up the mess we always had, and headed
back to Groton. We got back on a Saturday, I left the truck in the parking area, and went home. Early Sunday morning I get
a call from the AOIC (John Arnold) wanting to know what went wrong on the installation. We had received a "prioity one shipment
of classifed material" from Scorpion. I met LTjg. Arnold at the shop and we proceeded to Shiping and Receiveing to retreive
our package. A large wooden crate that was almost too big for the pick-up we had. Back at the shop, we opened our mysterious
gift, to find two cans of government issue coffee. No note...nothing, just two cans of coffee.
*** Note From Stache ***
Reminds me of a co-operative effort offloading the USS Sea Dragon. The Spook Matmen were taking off radio gear etc. and
the ship's company was loading food stores. Everyone carried something off the ship accross the brow to the CT's Truck and
then everyone carried something from the supply pallets back accross the brow to the Weapons loading hatch. Somehow when the
Truck got back to Blg 327 there were a couple cases of STEAKS mixed in with the Radio Gear. Hey, stuff happens.
CTM1 Bo Baker
"Cant say, I signed a disclosure agreement."
From CTICS Sam Garrison
As an elder stateman I
remember my first trip on a nuke, after several missions on diesels. A running sea story was to introduce the newer spooks
to the "screw count." They were told that each shaft only had a certain number of revolutions available and IF it "ran out"
while on patrol...terrible things would occur! It amazed me how many young ops were sucked into that obvious hyperbole!
A tribute to CTR1 Tom "RED Dog" Naylor
I was in the IO (early 78), Red was working as the SEATICC supervisor
in Guam. I had this kid out of Clark running this case .. This guy "Rolled up", my guy lost him, I called back to
the SEATICC in Guam for the RED Dog to ferret this out. Red was on 80, they called him, he came in. told this kid (Red had
not been in the IO doing these caes in a while) to the penny where this yahoo had rolled up to. He is also the first guy (not
the last, but this was in Key West)((both Cuban and Russian)) in the very early '60's) who I ever met who could
do two freqs, different cases, off "split cans" at the same time. I have been on many missions, with many sailors, but anybody
who ever rode with the "Red Dog" got a treat.
If any of you guys still have the occasional drink, please toast
one for the RED DOG .. He woud have done the same for you guys.
I did not know we lost Red Naylor. Curious as to what happened to
him? Last time I saw him was at Clark in late 70s. He was in the Skirts Inn having a beer and he was talking to a Zoomie AP
who was also having a beer. The zoomie said something about his pendleton shirt. Think the AP asked where he was from and
I think he said Oregon. Then the zoomie said there were only queers and lumberjacks from Oregon, and he didn't think Red was
a lumberjack. Then Red was silent for a long time. A few minutes later the AP left and Red followed him. Next thing I heard
was the AP screeming and wheezing. They were up against the door so I couldn't open it. The AP was on top of Red who was on
his back squeezing the shit out of the AP. I had to do a "statement". I said I had heard the AP verbally insult people from
Oregon, the Naylor quit talking to him. Then I said Red left just less than 5 minutes after the AP. And immediately after
the door closed and they were out of sight, I heard the ruckus and what I could see thru the glass top half of the door was
the AP on top of Naylor with his arms flailing. Red got off. He was there at Clark waiting for a trip somewhere, I don't
remember where. He was a colorful character.
From Capt John Wallace
Sea Story 1:
My first deployment was out of Groton on USS SHARK.
When I first went aboard, I asked CTR1 Bob Kenyon what the NMOK sign on the radio shack door meant. Kenyon convinced
me that this (ship's callsign) was an abbreviation for No Smoking; but subs were so small they had to leave out some of the
It was standard practice to slip large numbers of GDU
weights in the seabags of the first-trippers, the night before pulling in from deployment and watch them struggle across the
brow and down the pier with the load.
A CTI Chief, who shall remain nameless, not only caused
a mission abort because of a hemorrhoid attack, but caused the boat to make the headlines of the local paper as "the mystery
submarine" who refused assistance from shore.
From Anonymous (read it and you will know why)
The fall of '77 while on a SpecOp on the USS Flasher (SSN 613),
a fellow "Rider", R-brancher named Gerald Kenyon, shows up for the ride with a brand new belt buckle with dolphins affixed.
A young seaman who was going through quals saw the shiny badge of achievement on CTR3 Kenyons belt and asked him if he was
qualified and said if he wasnt he should remove the belt buckle at once. Kenyon, being the smart ass that he was, told him
to f*** off and die, and further stated, if I spent my f***ing money on it, Ill damn well wear it if-and-when the f*** I want
Well, obviously this didn't sit well with the boats crew. So a devious plan was put in place to teach Numbnuts Kenyon a lesson.
A couple of days after we were underway from Ballast Point, the boat began to blow sanitaries from various heads. Kenyon,
who was sitting on the mess deck playing cards, announced that he had to go take a leak. He asked one of the messmen
which head was open. The guy stalled a moment while someone went back and removed the BLOWING SANITARIES - HEAD
SECURED sign, and then told Kenyon that the aft head near the galley was open. So, Numbnuts Kenyon swaggered back to the head.
As soon as he entered they put the HEAD SECURED sign back up on the hatch. (For you pukes who have never been on a boat before,
Submarines have two, three, sometimes four, tanks that hold waste matter. To use the toilet or urinal, for example, after
you do your business, you open a valve between the bowl and the sanitary tanks and then open a different valve to flush
the waste into the holding tank. When the holding tanks fills up, One remains open for business.the others are emptied. The
evolution is called "Blowing Sanitaries". To blow sanitaries, the valves between the tanks and the drains are closed
and an external valve is then opened to allow high pressure air into the tank, the pressure forces the waste matter out
into the sea. Kinda like the sub is taking a dump.)
Okay, back to the sea story: Picture this, Numbnuts is standing
at the urinal, finishes his business, and opens the valve to flush. There was a three second high-pitched whistle sound followed
by a very loud shriek from Numbnuts. Everybody on the messdecks was rolling on the floor howling when the XO strolls
in and asks what everyone is laughing about. Right about then, Kenyon comes out of the head with neat line of piss and shit
splattered from the top of his head down to the bottom of his shirt pocket. He is also holding his belt buckle in hand, which
he ceremoniously lays on a table and states I wont be wearing these anymore Not only did Numbnuts have to sanitize and scrub
clean the head, but the XO put him on report for failure to abide by the "HEAD SECURED" sign.
When Tommy Cox and I went into the Fleet, we both were involved, immediately, with the Cuban Missile Crisis,
along with the others in our class. In my case as a green, just graduated RT type in the first NSA precursor to CTI "A" School
training, I was assigned to the USS Wahoo. For those unfamiliar with those days...WWIII was a reality, and just around the
corner! The first deployment is the hardest; and in my case, it hooked me for twenty years. The Spooky part?
Wahoo was stationed, to stop all units of the enemy, in the exact same spot where its namesake, the WWII Wahoo had been lost
to the Japanese! I learned all about Submarine superstition from the greatest Diesel boat crew in the Pac; and learned the
value of my training from the best DirSup crew at Kami Seya. Both are worthy of sharing.
From CTI Pete Craig
Who knows why a 9216 was there ? I didn't
care, cause it got me away from the 'politics'. About a day after the transit of the Dardenelles we got an airborne visit.
When the voices got so loud you could work with the 'phones on the desk I went out on deck to see what I could see, when I
looked about a 100 yds to starboard, I stopped dead in my tracks and raced back to the spaces for my Polaroid. A pair of KA-27's
were buzzing around us like 'carrier jockies' doing fly-bys!! I got a couple of shots and took them to the Naples IS riders.
Ended up trading one for a couple of free beers once we got back to Italy.
From Jerry Lee:
In the beginning was the word and the word was
God and all else was darkness and void without form. So God created the heavens and the earth. He created the sun and the
moon and the stars so that the light might pierce the darkness. And the earth God divided between the land and the sea and
these He filled with many assorted creatures. And the dark smelly creatures that inhabited the land, God called ARMY and dressed
them accordingly like trees and bushes. And the flighty creatures of the air, He called AIR FORCE and these he clothed in
uniforms of light blue to match the sky, and the creatures who sailed on the surface of the sea, God called SKIMMERS.
Then, with a twinkle in His eye and a sense of humor that only He could have, God gave them big gray targets to sail
on. He gave them many splendid uniforms to wear. He gave them many wonderful and exotic places to visit. He gave them
pen and paper so they could write home every week. He gave them afternoons off, movies and ice cream makers and he gave them
a laundry to keep their splendid uniforms clean. When you are God, you tend to get carried away. And on the 7th day, God rested.
On the 8th day at 0700, God looked down on the earth and He was not happy. So He thought about His labors and in His infinite
wisdom, God created a "divine creature" which he called a SUBMARINER. And the SUBMARINERS that he created in His own
Image were to be of the deep, and to them He gave the Dolphin insignia. He gave them black messengers of death to roam
the depths of the seas, waging war against the forces of Satan and evil! He gave them submarine pay so they might entertain
the ladies on Saturday nights, and impress the Hell out of the SKIMMERS. And at the end of the 8th day, God looked down
on the earth and saw that all was good, but still God was not happy. In the course of His labors He had forgotten one
thing. He himself did not have a submariner's dolphin. He thought about it and He thought about it and Finally satisfied Himself,
knowing that not just anybody could be a SUBMARINER!
Served under Bonnie Dick Holloway
in Subic (73-74), with the like of Denny Foster (DAF), John R Miller (Red), Evil Roy White, Juice Lewis (Toads brother), was
Roger Heurich's seadaddy in Naples where I was LPO under Pepe Varone, even took Bennie "the beak" Henderson to sea. Worked
with Charlie Noble, Red Hathcock, Boats Guthrie, Muff Fondren and a few others. However, I refuse to submit to a polygraph
about sea stories and "no shitters."
John Doug Kelly
I'm not a CT,
but rode many trips on SSN575 in the "North Atlantic" w/CT's during '60-62 & then I was CinC (Chief that is) of FSIC. Jim
McKinney, Bill Ashe, Kaye Patton were the other guys there. Then I was at SSEP from '67-'74 where I retired. While on
SpecOp on Seawolf, we had a close call. I don't remember the CT's name, but he came into the SONAR shack wiping his
forehead. He said, "Okay, where does he keep it?" I asked him who & what.He wanted to know where the skipper
kept his wheel barrow. I asked him why he thought Capt. Tom needed a wheel barrow. He said that he must need one
to carry around his balls because he had never seen anyone with such a big pair. Another good laugh to break the tedium
of the "North Atlantic."
Ken Caye, STCM(SS)
Scariest stories are when I was on USS Cobbler, you can read
about them at USS Cobbler Harold Garland and Lee Hutchens tells it all. I was aboard for all the
accidents and one more scary part that wasn't mentioned was when we were operating as a target for Task Group Alfa (ASW hunter
killer group) I was on the helm at battle stations and the CO was on the scope and all of a sudden he goes balistic screaming
down scope down emergency and just as we got down the Carriers screws could be heard going over us. The Skipper said all he
could see was solid grey in the scope. I had brown skivvies after that one. I have rec'd some good news from my old boss on
Cobbler that the Skipper Frank Clifford has retired from the navy as a Capt and living out his retirement in Melbourne Fla.
I also notice that DEX Armstrong has gotten into this site. We served together on Requin and have been to 2 reunions so far,
and hope to have many more. DEX has quite a few stories to tell.
Vic 'Sparks' Casciola
'We were in the GOT in April 1975, aboard the Big "E". It
was my first DIRSUP ride. I was taking a "break" on the portside catwalk just outside the SUPRAD spaces. It was way
cool watching them brand new F-14 Tomcats taking off!! I could feel the heat of the afterburners as they left the deck. All
of a sudden, somebody on the flightdeck grabbed me by the back of my dungaree shirt and lifted my stupid ass up onto the deck
and yelled, "YOU!!! Follow ME!!!!". We double timed to the air bosses chair, where I was told to stand at attention.
I did so for about an hour, until the air boss, who was calling the shots on the flight deck, and without finishing one sentence
before starting the next, lit right into me and chewed on my ass for another hour. Finally he asked me where was I from.
I told him, "OZ Division,SIR!!". He said, kinda to himself, "What the hell is OZ division?". Another officer standing
nearby leaned over and whispered to him, "He's a CT, sir". The air boss looked at me for a minute and said, "Aaaaaah,
ok. You're dismissed." As I was being escorted by the officer who had done the whispering as to what I was, I
tried to encourage the point made by the air boss that I was a damned CT, by God. The officer looked at me and told
me that it wasn't that the air boss thought what an important person I was - rather, he knew I didn't know jackshit about
being aboard a ship - much less an aircraft carrier! So much for impressing the boss!!'
We were on the Snook with as sorry a bunch of Spooks as you would
ever want go to sea. There was a cook named Smith that had a bad habit of making little tidbits for the ward room and not
for the crew. He did his baking on the mid watch. Naturally we thought that this situation needed some CT engineering and
on many occasions designed plans to distract him while one of us removed his sticky buns or cake or whatever. Needless to
say he didn't appreciate our talents. One night Joey Dulin and I were putting the card table back in the rack on the mess
deck when we noticed a pan of chocolate cake in the galley. Joey blocked the cooks view with the table and I lifted the
cake. We had it cut up and delivered in short order and everyone in the Con was eating chocolate cake, including the Ole Man
who had the watch. Well the cook goes crazy seeing as how this was the third night in a row his little goodies had wondered
off. Next thing we know he's up on the second deck beating on our door in radio. He wants our asses. Naturally we don't know
nothin bout no cake. He goes screaming into the Con yelling at the skipper about the "Damn Spooks" and his missing cake. The
Skipper talks him down assuring him it couldn't be the Spooks...
All the while holding a four inch slice of chocolate cake behind
Donald 'Huk' Mayberry
Two MM snipes having lunch in the crews mess on a 637 boat with
a newbie across from them. One Snipe reaches over to the other's tray and grabs a handfull of mashed potatoes and shoves them
into his mouth. The other snipe grabs the him, puts a liplock on him and sucks out the potatoes. He then chews the potatoes,
swallows and says "Next time F####R , ask first" The newbie takes off for the head at a dead run.'
Roger 'Snag' Monaghan
We were on watch. Someone got the idea to turn a bucket over
and claim they caught a sea bat. Jone got down on all fours to look under the bucket and the supv hit him in the rear
with a broom. This happened 3 or 4 times. Each time joe said damn it Mike would you leave me alone so I can see the
dang thing. He would get busted again with the broom. The sea bat would get him again.
Ask Evil Roy White if he is still eating granola on his "Iron Man"
diet regimen and if Nick Burneff has ever gotten a nose job.
Gooch V 'Rusty' DeWitt
RAMBLINGS BY CHUCK 'MABEL' STARNES
Funniest Sea Stories?
Two, some what funny, Sea Stories come to mind right off. Two of my PAC runs with Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical)
Eugene T. 'Juice' Lewis.
The first was the USS New York City (SSN-696). The Pearl ELINTers
along for the ride were: The Juice, Mark Sawicki, Buck Baraza, a guy whose name will remain anonymous, and me...five Pos 4/5ers
Our "cruise" was interrupted. For reasons that will forever
and forever remain known to but just a few, the NYC had to dry dock in Guam. And, for obvious reasons, the boat had to billet
the Spooks and the one ACINT rider, STSC(SS) Gavin, (we called him "Too Tall" at the Dai-Ichi Hotel. (ACINT, for the non learned,
is the acronym for Acoustic Intelligence.) Prior to departing the boat, the standing order from the XO to the Spooks
was "You riders be onboard by X time the morning we are to get underway (obviously he had previous experience with liberty
bound DIRSUPers). Upon arrival at the hotel, the last thing the OIC DSE did before releasing the Team was to "lay down
the law" as to what time we would muster for our ride back to the boat the morning we were to report onboard. (OIC DSE
for those non-DIRSUPers is the term that is affectionately used for the Officer "what thought he was In Charge" Direct
Support Element) And he also made sure all understood our requirement to phone muster with 'The Juice' every morning.
As he put it, "This is an LPI (Liberty Pending Item, he too had previous experience with liberty bound DIRSUPers). Well,
everyone rogered up and then departed for their luxurious accommodations. This, as it turns out, was not the first time that
ole 'Too Tall' had been laid over in Guam. So he disappeared and did not return until the night before we were to report
back aboard (so much for the LPI). When he did show his face some of the guys wanted to know where he'd been hiding,
so he agreed to show them. He takes 98% of the Spooks downtown to the Ichiban where they commence putting suction on
anything closely resembling an alcoholic beverage (and probably a few things that didn't resemble an alcoholic beverage).
Well, muster time (O-dark-thirty) roles around, comes and goes, no Spooks at the muster site. Just me, The Juice,
and the OIC DSE (as I remember it). After what seemed to be forever, up they all stagger. The OIC DSE reads them
the riot act and orders them to go get their gear in hopes of making the boat before it sets sail.Upon their return, OIC DSE
just pointed to the van. In we all jumped (well some fell and some tumbled in) and away we dashed for the boat. On the
mad dash there, not a sound was heard inside the van except for an occasional choking sound coming from the direction of the
POS 1ers as they tried desperately not to blow chow all over the van. OIC DSE was not a happy man. Upon
our "timely" arrival at the boat, neither was the XO. But we figured what the hey, once we got underway, it quickly would
be forgotten amongst all those other "normal" things that an XO had to deal with when a ship puts to sea (you know, those
things outside the norm). Ahh yes, those other things surely would find their way into the XO's mind to clutter it,
providing him with something else to worry over, and providing him something else to reflect upon (in other words make
him forget about us). Well, we were partly right. After getting underway "other things out side of the norm" did get
reported to the XO, and he had time to reflect all right. He began to think, not only had the Spooks set a fine example
for the crew to follow by showing up late for their morning cruise (and don't forget the part about being in a highly intoxicated
state), not only were they invading his territory to breathe his air, eat his food, watch his flicks, use his mattresses,
and waste his water, oh no, now, NOW he had Spooks setting the example by "racking out" during the maneuvering watch (and
I'll not even go into the part about bilge barfing). Needless to say, after we finished the mission and were preparing
to depart the boat, the crew were still talking about the Spooks Guam escapade.
One other comical thing happened during the NYC run.
As is almost always the case, the Spooks received the exclusive
bunking assignments. That's right. The penthouse suites down in the bomb room. (When you're on an LA class
and you had those luxurious bomb room accommodations, didn't you just love it when you're up in Radio merrily doing your thing
and Conn comes across and lets everyone know that we'll soon be pulling out to conduct noisy evolutions. That's right sports
fans, call in the moving van cause your shit is gonna be moved). This always happened to me about three hours into a twelve-hour
watch and on a day when Mark S. and "Clurk" (I Brancher) had bet each other that one could spank the monkey more times than
the other. So, the stage has been set, the Spooks are gonna be moving racks. And for some reason, it always seemed
that along about relief time we learn we are approaching our "house cleaning/noisy evolutions station". So, I'd always(!)
get relieved just in time to hurry down to the bomb room so that I could wake up all those sleeping Spooks so that no one
would miss out on the fun of unbolting the racks from the bomb trays (for the unlearned, Spooks racks were bolted to the bomb
trays so that during "angles and dangles" they would not slide around and crash down and crush the Spook sleeping below you
(angles and dangles is what happens when the boat sharply changes depth causing great angles or when making tight left or
right-hand turns or a combination of both). Now the unlearned may ask, "Then why the hell would you want to unbolt your
racks from the bomb trays?" Good question. And the answer is so that during noisy evolutions we can move the Spooks
"houses", in order to make room on the bomb trays for the war shots that the Torpedomen will be removing from their firing
tubes so they can be back hauled (what are war shots? Torpedoes and other nasty things that go boom). Ever been
that guy who laid down on the lower set of racks and used his legs and feet to exert upward pressure on the upward racks so
the securing bolts that held the racks to the bomb trays could be removed? If ever you find yourself in this situation
BE SURE to be watchful for hanging socks! A word of caution, a hanging sock could be VERY wet and gooey! When
the rack moves, you do not want one of those falling down straddling your face. Suffice it enough for me to tell you
to trust me on this one. ENOUGH SAID. Ok, so it has now been many, many, MANY hours, and the weps have all been
serviced, the tubes have all been dove, the war shots have all been reloaded, and the Spooks racks are finally secured back
in place. Oh man. I hear that rack calling me. But wait, what's that you say? No sack time for you
my man, it is time to go back on watch. Oh how I loved it when we pulled out to conduct those evolutions.
That, by the way, is not the fun NYC story.
We had been underway for a while now and it came time for us to
have our Thermoluminescence Detectors (what us Forward Pukes know as TLDs or "Tiny Little Dildoes") read. So like good little
CTs we all traded out our TLDs for new ones (all making sure we put them on the left side of our belt buckle, don't want to
dive a sanitary tank for one of those puppies) while our old ones were being processed and read. So, all total, I guess
about an hour had passed without any change in the ambiance of our sewer pipe world. Then the Nucs and the Doc showed
up and the environment drastically changed, seems they were very concerned about Mark Sawicki. They wanted to know where
in the hell he was spending his off watch time. Why all the concern for Sawicki? Well, as it turns out, all the other
Spooks TLDs had normal readings, but not Sawicki's. It's been so long ago that I can't remember exactly what rems dosage
his TLD registered, but suffice it to say that it was way high! High enough for the Nucs to want to know where in the
boat he had been so they could retrace his steps in an effort to locate the "hot spot." Well, every place ole Sawicki mentioned
having been, some other Spook would say, "No, that can't be it. I've been there too, and my readings were ok." It was theorized
that since he was berthed in the bomb room that might be why he was so "hot." Then reason ruled that out as his rack
was inboard on the center line away from any of the "heat" besides, other Spooks racks were closer to the "heat" and their
TLDs all read within normal ranges. The mystery continued, and we all began to think that maybe Sawicki had somehow
really picked up an unhealthy dose of radiation. We were joking about not being able to sleep cause he was glowing in
the dark (if you can find dark in a bomb room); and telling him to stay away from our magnetic recordings so as not to
nuc them; and for him to look at it from the bright side (pun intended), his vasectomy problems were solved! To say
the least, this mystery had Mark concerned as well. He was not his usual jovial self.Well, thanks to a very observant
Second Class Torpedoman by the name of Moon, the Sawicki radiation mystery was solved and the "hot boat" issued laid to rest.
It seems that when dear old Sawicki would take off his poopie suit to climb into his "never before been touched by anyone
else" rack, instead of putting the suit in or laying it on his rack, he chose instead to hang it up. And guess what he used
as a hanger? The lead shielding plate that was installed to deflect/redirect the "heat" outboard and away from those
working or (in our case) living in the bomb room. That's right ladies and gentlemen. (although I can neither confirm
nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons onboard U.S. Navy ships) He was hanging his suit next to the UM-44A Submarine Rocket
(SUBROC). More precisely, a Mark 55 thermonuclear warhead . Seems that when he hung his suit, the TLD was hanging down
between the shield and the warhead. Mark. You'll never live that one down!
The second PAC run was onboard the USS Haddo (SSN-604).
Juice, me, and CTTSN Clint "Axe Murderer" Benson (his second visit to the Haddo in very short order) were the Pos 4/5'ers
for this run. We were to catch the boat at Subic Bay. Had a couple of days before we would go onboard and were billeted
out in the Barrio Baretto. While waiting, Juice must have loaded up on baluts, among other things. We get onboard
and discover that the crew is none too happy that Axe Murderer is with us. Appeared as if during his last cruise on
this Cadillac his "glowing" personality wore on everyone after only a couple of weeks. Well the Haddo was not a bomb
room install. Pos 4 and Pos 3's gear was in up in the E&E Spaces just aft of Control. For those Pos 4'ers who have
never experienced an E&E installation on the Haddo it is, well, lets just say, unique. For starters, unlike most
boats where you freeze your ass off (like a Q-4 boat for instance) on the Haddo you sweat your balls off (Pos 4 has their
back against the BRD-7 rcvrs). And if you happen to be seated in between Pos 4 and Pos 3 and need to make a hasty exit,
forget it, it is an extremely tight squeeze to get out of the space. When a Pos 4 Op is busy sitting Asthma (or ESMA,
its real acronym) there must be every bit of a six-inch space for someone to crawl through to exit out into the passageway.
Well, we have been under way for a while and when you combine the heat factor coming from the Bird 7, the boat chow, and what
ever in the name of god he consumed in Olongapo City, well, to put it mildly, The Juice was starting to emit some really powerful
and nasty flatulence. (The bacterium that boy must've had in his large intestine was something else. I don't think Doc
had anything in his bag that could touch it.) Well suffice it to say that no amount of Beano or GastroSoothe or anything
else known to man could quell the methane those baluts and boat chow created! God help that POS 3 Op, or anyone who
just happened to be sitting between them, they were trapped in E&E (HUH, what'd I say? Never thought I'd ever
feel sorry for a POS 3 Puke but Juice did it). Some in the Wardroom were voicing concern for the safety of the crew
as it was feared that this serious Spook Gas might in some way cause CAMS to start giving erroneous readings. OIC DSE got
involved and put our Matman on the problem. He, a duty ICman, and a Nuc Machinist Mate all got together and created
a GasBGon flatulence filter seat cushion (don't laugh, there is such a thing (click here), which they wanted to install in the E&E Space, but there was no room. And as for that box
of 24 inch wideband mag tapes Juice had been using as a seat while "spinnin and grinnin," no longer useable, methane ate the
ferromagnetic materials (the Iron, cobalt, and nickel) right off the tape. A good thing we didn' run low on available
tape and have to use them. Well, maybe we should have used them, that way NSA and NISC would not have had anything to
fight over. I think Spook Gas took the crew's mind off the Ax Murderer's glowing personality as they both seemed to
mesh quite well during this cruise. It was either that, or the Spook Gas had such a dramatic effect on him that he never fully
recovered to his usual self and that is why he was so easy to get along with. On that run Capt. R.D. Razz was the CO,
but that is a story all into itself and will have to wait til later to be told.....
RAMBLINGS BY CHUCK 'MABEL' STARNES
This Memory by Dean Thornton M-Branch
Watching some guys moon the XO at a Friday afternoon drug abuse
after someone had pulled the coil wire off his moped at Hospital Point. Pretty sure Sarosi was there.
In March of 2001 I was assisting a gal who ran cooking tours to
the south of France. She rented a chateau near Aix en Provence and we drove 15 guests to various sites for cooking lessons
(quite a nice little gig for a retired old marine like myself who spent 1958-1971 in the Corps). One class was held in a hotel
in Avignon. When the class was finished, we sat down to eat the meal the guests had just participated in preparing. The dining
room was in the basement of this old French palace, a place with low vaulted ceilings. I was remarking to the guy across from
me at table and his wife that the low ceilings reminded me of when I was on board submarines. He immediately asked "which
boats were you on". I replied "the Wahoo, the Diodon and the Barbel". He sat bolt upright and asked, "What year were you on
the Barbel?". I said, "1966". He then asked, "Were you on board during 'THE INCIDENT'?" I said, "Are you talking about our
little accident?". He said, "I was the ET on board, were you one of the spooks?" I just replied, "You never saw me, I wasn't
there, and I'm not here now". How's that for coincidence 35 years and half a world away for two guys out of a total complement
of 93 people to run into each other like that?
From John Wallace
Name that boat.
At one time, she was the longest submarine in
the world (402 feet).
She was the only boat the US ever built with two reactors.
She scrammed both reactors in the
middle of a SpecOp.
Her motto was "Nulli Secundus"
her circumnavigation of the globe, she arrived in Spain; and in a ceremony commemorating Magellen's voyage, presented the
Spanish with a plaque which was supposed to say: "Ave nobilis dux, iterum factum est" (Hail noble warriors, it has been done
again). Unfortunately, there was a "typo" on the plaque; and instead of "factum" it came out "sactum." So, loosely
translated, the Spanish received a plaquee that said "Hail noble warriors, we've been had again."
From CTMCS(SS) 'Jerry' Mannix
Here's a sea story and this is definitely no shit!
This is the
most embarrassing thing I ever managed to do on board a boat. I was leading an install aboard USS Ray in Charleston. A couple
of my men and I were running cables between the conn, sonar and ESM (white rat, OIC's mic & headset, secure phones, etc.).
Well, we've got cables draped just about everywhere in the upper level passageway. Simultaneously, the doors to both the CO's
stateroom and the sonar shack open and I find myself bracketed by the skipper and the sonar chief. Says the CO, "Well, Chief
Mannix are you gonna have this all cleaned up before tonight"? Jauntily making a loop with some of the cable I hold it up
and reply, "Sure captain, we wouldn't want your sonar chief to accidentally hang himself would we"? Instantaneously several
things happen. First, the skipper just shakes his head and say something the effect of "Jesus H. f&^*%ing.... Chief Mannix"
and he turns around and shuts his stateroom door. Second, the sonar chief begins fulminating and turning several shades of
scarlet all while his men are behind him laughing themselves to death. I notice that two of my men who were helping me are
also laughing and headed for ESM. I look at the sonar chief and ask what the hell's everybody's problem. He just continues
to shake and eventually goes back into sonar shutting the door behind him. I join my men in ESM where they are still convulsed
with laughter. Again, I ask what the hell is the problem with everyone. Finally, one of them regains enough composure to tell
me that the sonar chief just returned to the boat from a lengthy hiatus. Seems that some months previous, he'd attempted suicide
by hanging. Now how can you say you're sorry for something like that?
several years. I'm relating this story to Tim Seipp at the SCIF end of the Beeman's CPO club bar. Unbeknownst to me, our conversation
is being overheard by a senior chief stick rider. All of a sudden he slams his beer down on the bar, blows beer out his nostrils,
and shouts, "You're the one"! Seems they were still telling the story at stick rider school of the ignorant spook who said
probably one of the rudest things anyone had ever heard on a boat. And I never did apologize - didn't think I'd have been
From CTMC(ss) Ron Petyan
WITH ALL THE THINGS THAT WENT ON AT NSGD GROTON, ONE OF THE EPISODES OF THE NEVER ENDING SAGA
OF THE CHIEF HILL SERIES WAS..
THERE WAS A BUNCH OF US WHO USED TO GO RUNNING AT LUNCH...YOU REMEMBER THE AROEBICS LUNCH CROWD...WE
ALL USED TO TAKE A SHOWER IN THE HEAD BY THE RECREATION ROOM..ONE OF THE PARTICIPANTS A THIRD CLASS MATMAN WHOSE NAME I CANNOT
REMEMBER MYSTERIOUSLY HAD HIS CLOTHES, TOWELS, AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT COULD COVER HIS BODY REMOVED FROM THE SHOWER AREA..
WHEN HE FINALLY DID COME OUT OF THE SHOWER AND INTO THE REC AREA , WE TOLD HIM THAT CHIEF HILL HAD HIS CLOTHES..WHEN HE WENT
INTO HILL'S OFFICE THE CHIEF STARTED YELLING ..WHY IS THERE A NAKED MAN IN MY OFFICE, AND THE THIRD CLASS KEPT YELLING BACK
, WHERE ARE MY CLOTHES,AND WHY DID YOU TAKE THEM..THE YELLING MATCH LASTED ABOUT FIVE MINUTES BEFORE SOMEONE BROUGHT
THE GUYS CLOTHES BACK TO HIM..CHIEF HILL THEN RAN AROUND FOR ANOTHER TWENTY MINUTES TRYING TO FIND OUT WHO HAD PUT THE GUY
UP TO IT. WHICH WE WERE SUCH A TIGHT LIPPED BUNCH NOBODY WOULD FESS UP....
DOES ANYBODY REMEMBER THE BLACK SOCK INSPECTIONS THAT CHIEF HILL WOULD HAVE AT QUARTERS, AND
THE TIME THAT HE PUT IT IN THE PLAN OF THE DAY, THAT THERE WAS GOING TO BE A "BLACK SOCK" INSPECTION ON FRIDAY AT QUARTERS.
THAT FRIDAY EVERYONE WAS STANDING AT ATTENTION WEARING BLACK SOCKS, AND ONLY BLACK SOCKS.....
I JUST THOUGHT OF THE NAME OF THAT THIRD CLASS..I THINK IT WAS REED...
DO ANY OF YOU REMEMBER THE LECTURE THAT ONE OF THE NEW GUYS GAVE ON "ADJUSTABLE FUSES"...
WELL THATS ENOUGH FOR NOW I GOTTA GET BACK TO WORK....RON
From Eugene "Juice" Lewis
As they say "This
is a No Shitter"! During one of my memorable USS Haddo runs, once we had started our journey and were doing the normal Receiver
Stack checks in the E&E spaces, ESMA up and running hot as ever, I was working with CTT2 Joe (PEPE) Serna or "LIPS" for
short. The opening to the space was covered by a sheet, and as I yelled out to Serna "LIPS get your ass in here!", nothing
happened. I yelled out a little louder "LIPS get your ass in here!" At which time the sheet curtain was thrown aside by a
short individual wearing a black jacket, displaying no outward signs of rank or insignia except "Black Panther of the Pacific
embroidered on the back." This person was standing there, all 5Ft 6-7Inches of him, glaring at me, with one unlit cigar in
the left side of his mouth, and a smoldering half cigar in the right. In his left hand he held two steel balls and he was
moving them around with little clicking sounds, when he growls, "You talking to me!" I replied "Not unless your name is LIPS."
He stands there staring down at me and I couldn't resist it any longer and say "What happened someone steal your Strawberries!"
He turns a couple shades of wonderful reddish colors and storms away. I figured that all was going well, headed for the Officers
Mess for the ships PRE-Mission briefing prior to calling it a night. OIC, the rest of the Officers, and Myself were awaiting
the entrance from the CO. To my chagrin, here steps in the short individual wearing the black jacket and commences to sit
at the head of the table. Staring at me he says, "Just who in the hell are You!" I responded with "your CPOIC of the spooks
sir, and this is our OIC LT ............" This started a very interesting and fun trip. By the way the CO and I got along
quite well after that.... Welllll, at least I think so anyway!
heard so many stories about “grabbing” another rate, I have a story to relate.
I personally remembered the details of this story, should I ever have the opportunity to use it myself. If ever I had to grab a “rate”, it would be an Electricians Mate.
This story comes to the
“group” from Larry Strickland, a guy I met on the Tang and later in life met again at Solar Turbines in San Diego. I struck up a friendship with Larry as he stood watch in the engine room. Tang used to experience a “fire ball” nearly every night when switching “off the charge”. Being a “Mat Man” and volunteer Sonar watch stander, I could somewhat
choose my sleeping hours. I chose to sleep during the day, primarily because
it was easier on the ears, not having to equalize during snorkeling all night long, while unconscious. (It didn’t help; my sinus membranes ended up shot anyway.)
it a habit of shooting the shit with Larry (and others) at the engine console in the engine room before going to bed. I would wait for the fire ball activity to subside and then I could get some sleep
relatively undisturbed in the aft torpedo room.
as some of you might know was a crewman of the USS Pueblo and spent a good deal of time on an “extended deployment”,
which by the way was (and maybe still is) the status of the Pearl equipment that was installed on AGER-2 (a fact that drove
our job home every year when we held equipment inventory). Larry was an electrician
and here is the story he relayed to me.
after the un-scheduled mandatory invitation, Larry found himself in a small area and awaiting a question and answer session. He had the chance to observe some of the goings on in the common hallway of the suites
where he and his shipmates were being accommodated. He noticed on a fairly regular
basis a guy that would come down the hallway with a ladder that would go up and unscrew the burned out light bulbs. He watched this activity very closely, as it was a curious procedure.
out that the light bulbs were constructed slightly different from ours. The two
electrodes were not loops as ours are, they were hooks. Additionally the filament
was not a short thin wire between the two electrodes, their filament was much longer and actually a very loose coil of wire. This guy would unscrew the light bulb from the socket and come down the ladder and
then the “magic” would happen.
very carefully twist and turn the light bulb, bumping it occasionally with the palm of his hand until he got a section of
the extra long filament coil to re-cross the gap between the two electrodes and resting in the “hooks” of the
electrodes. He would then very carefully go back up the ladder and with great
care screw the light bulb back into the socket. When the light again lit up,
he would move on to the next burnt out light and repeat the process.
whole procedure while being an effective repair; was a frequent maintenance practice because obviously the hooked electrodes
and long filament technique didn’t last long. Obviously the long filament
coil reached a point where there wasn’t a piece long enough to affect a “repair” and the “electrician”
would replace the entire bulb, but never-the-less the filament re-crossing did work.
it came time for Larry to participate in the question and answer session and his hosts wanted to know what he did. He told them he was a “filament re-crosser” which he demonstrated for them and his session
ended abruptly. He was obviously not an important person to talk to. Larry escaped his unexpected stay relatively unscathed.
to Larry and this story – if ever I was an unexpected guest, I was going to be an Electricians Mate – responsible
for filament re-crossing.
My very first ride was out of Norfolk and one of the first 5-man POS
4/5 teams. This was USS Ray, and the team was JR Miller, Vern Ellis, Nick Burneff, Juice Lewis and me. I was a boot 3rd T-bird
and I am here to tell you that there had never been a slug more fragged with than me. Oh yea, the OIC was none other than
Lt. Tom Crowley, one of the best. The Ray was quite a boat - although it lacked unique features such as the "double door beat-off
locker" on the Narwhal, the crew was a superb bunch AND they knew how to handle "riders." To complete the wild bunch
characters were CTI1 Dwight Anderson and a couple of STIC riders whose names escape me at the moment. This was the break
in run for Outlaw Carp - remember that state-of-the-art piece of technology? The first incident takes place when I am sleeping
quite soundly about an hour and a half after getting off my 12 hour (p & s) watch, snoring away down in the bomb room
- I awaken to my foot being shaken by "Nasty Nick" saying, "Kelsie get up, c'mon get up, they need you up in ESM." So I scramble
to get up and get dressed in record time, boon dockers still not time, moving forward into the 18 man, ready to fly up the
ladder when Nick stops me dead in my tracks. Nick says, "Hey come here and look at this." and grabs me by my poopie suit collar
and pulls me over toward his rack, flips back the curtain and takes a quarter out of his pocket and flips it onto the mattress.
It bounces. He says, "What do you think? GO ahead, you try it." [all this just to show me how meticulously he had made
his rack -- he and Mad Dog Mudd the Maggot made perfect roomies].
Same patrol, a couple of days later, having a good dream while sleeping
down in the bomb room, I wake up choking. I pull out this piece of sponge, soaked with my own saliva (I hoped) to half eraser
size. Apparently the TMOW (torpedoeman of the watch) did not appreciate my snoring, Mostly after that I slept on the deck
in the SES (sonar equipment space, near the Shark terminal). One other time (all this within the first 2 weeks) I was awakened
by the TMOW and told to get up to ESM ASAP, and again he apparently had to practice his sewing skills, my shoes were laced
backwards, the belt loops on my dungarees were sewn closed, the eye of the zipper was sewn to the bottom, so the zipper was
wide open, the neck of my t-shirt was sewn closed and my socks were knotted tighter than a mouse's ear. Did I mention that there was about a 1/4 pound of molycoat in each of my boondockers!? I had to sit in
the shower and scrub my feet with a brush for about an hour before the itching would stop, not too mention that everything
was very slippery underneath my feat. I think the TM was also the crews seamstress (prick)!!).
Same patrol, about 45 days out - after playing many games of "knucks"
with JR, Nick and Dwight, it's chow time - mid scraps - and then time for the late show. Everyone is sitting in the crews
mess BS'ing, waiting for the "flick du jour" and a couple of boot "zeroes" come in to the crews mess because the "weirdroom"
was full. All of a sudden, Dwight's hands go up around his throat, squeezing his neck, and he speaks in this demonic voice,
half screaming, "Let go of me!!" and proceeds to wrestle with his neck for about 3 seconds, then drops his hands and acts
as if nothing ever happened. I am not sure, but me thinks it might not have been an act.
And finally (only because my Alzheimer's is setting in) Nick shaved half
his face (only one side) and we're sitting at back table(usually the lone table reserved for playing "knucks" and ready for
our inbound debrief from the XO - Nick is sitting with his back to the wall, bench closest to the isle, left side of face
with beard in tact, when the XO begins his spiel. Half way through the talk Nick turns around to face the galley, right side
with no beard exposed to the XO. He proceeds to do this face-off routine about 2 more times and finally the Exec. stops his
task at hand and says, "what the hell is going on?" 'cause a few folks were giggling. He looks at our table (of course)
and looks at Burneff and just mutters, "F*&%ing Spooks!" And in case I forget, Nick also won the bushiest beard
contest - (declared full growth over 1/4 inch after just 3 days). Didn't nick remind you of a bulimic Franco Harris?!
And once final short story - does anyone remember how "Juice" got his
nickname? Remember that Toad was his brother. Back in '74/'75 when Eugene T. Lewis took his "power wheel" along to do his
roll out's and in's in the tunnel to "tighten up" - he'd go work out in the "tunnel" during downtime. Well, story has it that
he would come back in suck record time (as in not very long) sweating and making like he had just done a marathon that, I
think it was JR, who said that he worked out so fast, like OJ Simpson, AKA The Juice. And that is my recollection of
how he got that nickname. I won't go into how I got my first nickname of "Baby Huey" - but I do remember who gave me the nickname
of "Girth" based on my transfer eval.... Uncle Bill....
From Jim England MM2(SS)
I work with a guy by the name of Wayne Sarosi CTM1(SS). He saw my boat
pics on my wall and we got to shootin the shit about old times. He turned me on to your site. You got some great stories in
there!! I tried to remember some spook stories - but I couldn't - since you guys weren't really there. (Must
have put something in the coffee.)
Do you know anyone that rode Haddo (604) out of Charleston from 64 to 69? I seem
to remember a red headed Lt. with a scopecam. Something to think about.
Keep up the good work.