View Full Version : Ships

12-16-02, 09:34 PM
How many of you people have been aboard ship ?

Have sailed in two old World War II APA , was on I believe , a LSD, carrying AMTRACS.Two meals a day in long chow lines but the grub was good .

Never had the experience of any of those LPH . Looked like it would have more room than an APA.

12-16-02, 10:07 PM
Spent 3 days aboard an APA(USS Henrico)45, never forget that one a bucket of bolts.......LOL
Got to Spend 2 days on the Battleship New Jersey........Plenty of room on her.........Good food too.......LOL
Spent about 10 weeks on LST Sumpter County, Staff quarter roomy, 1st Class Mess nice and had great food.......In fact we got along real well with the crew...........



12-16-02, 10:57 PM
The Jersey .Marine Detachment Aboard ?

When I was boiling my brains out on the big grinder at San Diego I watched Sea School down at the end . Dang them are sharp Marines.

I was on the Bexar and the old George B. Clymer. Kinda crowded on a troop ship .Unless ya got the top bunk then you could hang some of the gear in the pipes. Damned near killed me climbing up six bunks with that load.

12-16-02, 11:01 PM
More than I want to remember...from submarines to LPH.
Several APA's, a couple LST's .
Missed LSD's, Destroyers and Battleships.
I bet I was on more ships than some sailors in the fleet.
Now a question;
How many remember being tie-in on a post aboard ship in a storm?
That's another sea-story...

Semper Fidelis
Ricardo water-logged

12-17-02, 12:43 AM
Was on a cargo ship during a Carib Cruise. Picked up a drone ( small remote controlled plane used for target practice ) that had went down . Had it up on deck and we Marines had to guard this thing....

12-17-02, 02:35 AM
Took the USNS Upshur to the Nam; found out later that my uncle had taken the same ship from the East coast when he was stationed in Germany (only bout 6 years difference in our ages, Granpa was a spry old goat). Managed to remember my father's advice and grabbed the top bunk ( you want to be above the Marine who gets seasick!), but he forgot to tell me to stand near the bow when on deck and keep that guy downwind. Had to learn that the hard way.

Earle Comstock
12-17-02, 05:12 AM
I was on the Bristol County , Duluth , Cleveland ,Tripoli and the New Orleans. That was on two West Pac's. One in 78 and the other in 79-80. Thats why I did more than 4 years in the Corp. I hated ship life, they wanted me to do a 3rd West Pac , because I had enough time left. I said what do I have to do to get out of this 3rd float. They told me I had to extend so I would have a year at another duty station. So I did , and they sent me from Hawaii to 29 Palms. I had to extend 10 months and 16 days. To me it was worth it. Thats how much I hated ship life. Be careful for what you wish for , you just may get it. Semper Fi Brothers , Cpl Commie , Kill A Commie For Mommy !:rambo:

Art Petersn
12-17-02, 06:42 AM
To many days in cramped quarters and hated thoes salt water showers. I spent at least 5 months aboard ship out of the 3 years I was in the marines. One deployment was for 88 days aboard USS Telefair with a reinforced battaltion to the middle east.

Art Petersn
12-17-02, 06:45 AM
From National Review, forwarded by several members (and rightly so):

Our Islands in the Storm

Carriers as the new phalanxes

December 13, 2002 8:45 a.m.

Victor Davis Hanson

Our aircraft carriers are this nation's phalanxes, at once frightening weapons and symbols of American freedom. Few countries can build such behemoths; fewer still operate them with any degree of efficiency. Germany in its darkest hours never launched a single one. Japan's were long ago sent to the bottom of the Pacific. Russia's attempts resulted in abysmal failure. England has a couple, France one - in the aggregate all lack the power of a single American carrier. And we have twelve of these colossuses - $5 billion, 80,000-90,000-ton monsters, each home to a crew of 5,000. Their flight decks cover 4.5 acres, and the 70 (and more) planes on each wield more destructive power than do most countries.

Carriers are as much small cities - 15,000 meals served each day - as they are ships. Visually their arrival produces a psychological effect not unlike the approach of B-52s or C-5s, their size, speed, and wake seemingly defying the laws of nautical physics. Critics cite their costs and vulnerability, suggesting that robots, drones, and more sophisticated missiles on the horizon are a better investment. But I am not so sure of their purported obsolescence.

First, like the phalanx, the American carrier is more than a weapon of destruction or even a tool of deterrence. It is a microcosm of America itself at its best. I spent two days recently on the John F. Kennedy and watched from out in the Atlantic as it unceasingly received and launched F-14s and F-18s. The average age of its crew seemed about 19 or 20. Most Americans don't trust their children to take out the family van on Saturday night; our navy entrusts $50 million jets to teenagers, whose courage and maturity trump those of most adults.

At Stanford University, where our wealthier and supposedly more educated reside, silly theme houses exist with names like Casa Zapata and Ujama, as upscale students are segregated by race in a balkanized and separatist landscape. My own university in California has auxiliary but separate graduation ceremonies for Mexican Americans.

By contrast, in the far less comfortable but much more real world of the Kennedy, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and whites are indistinguishable in the manner in which they eat, sleep, and work, united as they are as Americans in a common cause, not separated by race, class, and tribe. African-American officers supervise whites, and vice-versa in a meritocracy where equality is a natural, not an induced, phenomenon. Women fly planes that men service or the other way around or both. And recently graduated Naval Academy ensigns learn from tough men with tattoos and calluses who inhabit primordial places of fire and oil in the ship's bowels or who work on the flight deck where a momentary lapse in concentration can get one disemboweled or vaporized in seconds. Our universities might do better to mothball Ethnic Studies and send the entire freshman class to the Kennedy for a semester.

Yet these men and women are hardly janissaries. Like Greeks, they are citizen-soldiers, and so do strange things that a Socrates or Aeschylus, who fought in the phalanx, might have approved of. Apart from its bombs and missiles, the Kennedy, like its eleven deadly siblings, has a chapel, library, and hospital. Its media experts produce state-of-the-art videos; its ward room still displays the paintings of its first skipper, Admiral Yates, who also designed the ship's seal, Latin motto and all.

The Kennedy's present captain, Ronald Henderson Jr., like the ship's revered namesake, is a Harvard graduate who prepared for college by reading another warrior-scholar - Xenophon - in the original Greek. His job description is deterrence and so mandates that he keep ready at a moment's notice deadly weapons to convince evil regimes not to dare try attack the United States. He does that hourly without flaw, seemingly without sleep; but he is also a skilled university provost of sorts whose vast floating campus accepts 18-year-olds - who often enter reckless, but who graduate as mature and experienced citizens for the service and security they give us. Accountants remind us of the Kennedy's cost, but how can we measure its real worth over 34 years, when some 150,000 Americans have graduated as far better people from its rigorous curriculum?

During the Cold War there was much talk that such floating airfields were anachronistic and too vulnerable in a battle of guided missiles and submarines. But they survived that conflict and evolved in ways that have made them more, not less critical in the current age of asymmetrical warfare. Indeed, no carrier has been sunk by hostile fire since World War II. In uncertain times we pay no foreign rent for their flight decks nor haggle with autocrats for permission to use their runways. GPS bombs from the Kennedy's planes can streak into the windows of terrorists, who would have trouble even finding such a rapidly moving ship - it runs faster than most ski-boats - blacked out by deep night on a wide ocean. I would prefer to entrust our jets to our sailors on our own floating runways than to Egyptian or Saudi or Kuwaiti military police. And so in the hours after September 11, our president didn't need to ask whether that week the Turks were friendly or whether Mr. Schroeder might give permission to use German air space. Instead, he no doubt demanded, "Where are the carriers right now?"

Presently the open seas are ours; and such 23-storey enforcers go where they wish and do what they please - not only ensuring America's freedom, but guaranteeing that the Japanese can buy oil, the Chinese can ship Wal-Mart their sundry goods, and our food reaches hungry Africa. Ships that helped obliterate the Taliban and may do the same to the fascist Republican Guard in Iraq also save sailors of foreign navies on the high seas who are on the brink of death and need life-saving operations, or stop to pick up the anonymous dead who float routinely in the Arabian Sea - careful to notify surrounding nations of their losses and to provide a dignified Islamic funeral as if the drowned were our own.

The skill and courage of pilots have transformed the nightmarish - and, frankly, terrifying to watch - ordeal of receiving and launching planes on a rolling deck into a routine, albeit a deadly one. A half-century history of training and the tragic lessons learned from hundreds of deaths in peace and war have all honed pilots' skills to a fine art. These men risk destruction daily - to make less money than a middling college professor. They call "sporty" what we call terrifying. An empty ocean, jet fuel, sparks, heavy metal, and speed, after all, do not exactly combine to make a safe environment.

The carrier's efficiency and lethality, however, are not a consequence of mere technological superiority, but of the dividends of a peculiarly American set of values. If we gave the Truman to Egypt it would sink on its maiden voyage. The French Charles de Gaulle I imagine has better food than the Roosevelt, but far fewer planes and even fewer launches. Israel has astonishing pilots, but few if any could land on the Vinson. Even the Swiss or Dutch could not build a Ronald Reagan. China claims they can soon launch a simulacrum to our carriers; but though they can steal the technology of an Enterprise, they still cannot emulate the ethic and creed at the heart of its success - unless China too first creates a culture of freedom. Carriers, in other words, are an American thing, and I am glad we at least will never have to meet such things in battle.

As we ponder the cost of building and manning them - the newest and last of its class is to be the George H. W. Bush - we should consider how the value of such icons transcends the mere tonnage of their weapons. Tonight we sleep reasonably well in part because the Kennedy and her sisters do not - and can turn up anywhere to convey just that message to our enemies. If we must go to war, and if we must send a half-dozen or so of these giant and uniquely American ships and our nation's best with them into harm's way, then let us at least give them the support and assurance to finish the job and bring them home with victory and resolution rather than with another decade of no-fly zones and an endless and hazardous stalemate. Anything less will be beneath the courage of their crews and the deadly risks they must take.
================================================== =========

12-17-02, 06:55 AM
I was on the USNS Gen Walker, USS Talladega, USS Bexar, USNS Thomas Jefferson. Took a Tiger cruase with my son on the USS San Diego and had a ride on the USS Wisconsin on her last day at sea under her own power. We should have kept some of the BBs going.

12-17-02, 08:30 AM
Ohhhhhh.... where to start with Ship life :D

USS Cleveland, LPD, just a few days
USS Van Couver, LPD, about 2 weeks
USS Okinawa, LPH, about 2 weeks
USS Iwo Jima, LPH, WestPac, '76-'77
USS Portland, LSD, Med, '78-'79
USS Nassau, LHA 4, Plank Owner, to and from GitMo in '79

All but the Nassau are de-commissioned now. Makes me feel OLD.

Riding the Storm out ???

Didn't ride one out in dock, but at sea on the Portland, on the way back from Rota, Spain. Dropped sea anchor, flodded the well deck, nose into the wind, about 18 hours of "ROCK -N-ROLL" :D

I enjoyed ship life, more than most in my Platoons. Wrote a paper on it in College.... got an "A".

12-17-02, 10:24 AM
I left San Diego on the USS Barrett heading to Oki.
After arriveing in Oki we boarded the USS Van Couver along with everything the Battery Had and headed for Nam.
Did mess duty on the Barrett and was sick as hell.
We were treated good on the Van Couver. Chow was not too bad. Left this ship 8 March 1965 when we landed in Nam.

12-17-02, 10:32 AM
I was on the USS Juneau (LPD) in 1976 and the USS Tarawa (LHA) during her trials in 1980.

12-17-02, 12:00 PM
Spent 2 years on the USS Taconic AGC 17 as a radio telegraph operator. Used to be seasick for the first couple of days out of port. The nice thing about the Taconic is that we had an admiral aboard and we always tied up in port and didn't have to take those small boats in for liberty. Got to go on a med cruise and 2 or 3 Caribbean cruises. Spent a month on the French Riviera, being enlisted meant we had to go back to the ship at night.

12-17-02, 12:09 PM

12-17-02, 02:15 PM
I was on the USS Constellation for 28 days for carrier quals with VMFAT-101. There is nothing like being on the deck of a carrier, standing in between two F/A-18's as they are launched off the deck, especially at night.

12-17-02, 03:03 PM
I remember during the monsoon rains of November 1966 we sent 1 man per squad out to one of the ships off the coast of Vietnam. They really treated those youngsters well . Laundered their clothes , fed them good Navy chow until they were ready to bust . Really bucked them up .

12-17-02, 05:23 PM
Several LST's ( Little Shi**y Tubs )
A couple LHA's
Jumped between 4 MPS Military Cargo Ships from Diego Garcia to Singapore to Thailand. Damn things are larger than Oil Tankers.

MillRatUSMC, I know about storms all too well. Fall of '89 we left from Okinowa as part of a Carrier Group on the first war game simulation to be held on Iwo Jima. We were stuck on an LST. On the was back we ran into a monsoon and the storm surge it created. That damn flat bottomed LST hit 28 degree rolls and pitched almost verticle on down slopes. Couldn't get to the chow hall without strapping into support lines. Took a hell of a beating before we cleared to storms edge. We beat the rest of the storm back to Oki by about 12 hours, spent the next 3 days in the barracks while the storm tore the island apart. One wild ride.

12-17-02, 07:22 PM

ALL them LANDING ships.... brings back the memories....

Next to playing "ARMY", I thought playing "NAVY" was as good as it got :banana: :marine: :banana:


12-17-02, 08:14 PM
4 years pehaps 5 or 6 navy tubs. APA, LST's, LSD and one very large USNS ship. General Mann I think, along with what seemed like thousands of barfing Marines. 21 days from San Diego, Pearl, Yakuska and ended up in Naha Okinawa. Spend three days with one Marine who was so sick they posted a two man babysitting team to follow him around topside just make sure he did not jump or fall as he spent so much time hung out over the rail blowing chow. OIC was convinced he was going to do a dixie into the Pacific just stop being sick. That was fun !! UCK

Brings back memories for sure

Semper Fi !!

12-17-02, 08:22 PM

Vancouver LPD-2
Commissioned 10 May 1963
Decommissioned 31 Mar 1992

History of LPD-2 Vancouver

March of 1965 we spend a couple of days or close to a week on the LPD-2 .
It took us close to Hue, South Vietnam.
We were taken up the Perfume River to a police headquarters.
From there we were trucked to the Phu Bai airstrip to provide security for an Army Communication Center.
I was then in India Co 3rd Bn 4th Marines, the subject of my story;"Our First Night Vietnam" which is located on my homepage.
It's sad to note that other veteran has been laid to rest.
She was old before her time, much like a many of us.

Semper Fidelis

12-17-02, 10:00 PM
Dont remind me, 27 days from Stateside to Nam, with a 24 hour stopover in Oki, damm lucky i didnt git Hemmoroids from sitting on that damm steel deck.

12-18-02, 02:17 AM

You don't sit on the steel deck. You stand in line for breakfast, gedunk, lunch, gedunk, dinner, gedunk, and learn how to play "liars poker".l

12-18-02, 09:01 AM
On the MSTS Gen. Hugh M. Gaffey: The troop head crapper's were steel troffs with 2x4's across them to sit on. There was a steady stream of sea water flowing. There was room for 3 or 4 people to sit on them, gravity would remove the waste as the ship lists right or left. This was mar 1959.

12-18-02, 11:37 AM
As my username implies, I was aboard USS Enterprise CVAN-65 with the Marine Detachment during two west-pac cruises to Vietnam 1965-1967. At times we went through some heavy seas ( a couple of typhoons) and at least once when waves were washing over the flightdeck. Remember, at the time Enterprise was our largest and newest carrier so we're talking about some tremendous wave action. I also spent about a week or so aboard USS Sandoval enroute to Gitmo with 2/8 in December of '67. That was the only time I ever experienced any slight feeling of sea sickness. That APA really bounced around even in fairly calm seas.

12-18-02, 11:40 AM

I was on the Gaffey, arrived in Okinawa May 1960. Troops were in the holds, army & af dependents in the cabins. We hit the tail end of a typhoon, almost everyone was seasick.

Puke barrels in the hold were filled every morning. Put your boots on before getting out of your bunk, then slip and slide to the head.

Chow was eaten from steel trays while standing up at a long table. Scrambled powdered eggs, fill your fork, watch the tray slide away and return with the listing of the ship. Get the rhythm and you had no problem.

I was 'enjoying' breakfast until my tray slid away and returned with someone's barf all over it.

I came close. Second time was when I was going up a ladderway to the top deck. Someone on his way down shouted "gangway". I couldn't move fast enough and he barfed all over me.

It's interesting how a word like Gaffey can bring back a flood of memories.

Thank you.

12-19-02, 06:01 AM
Did 2 West-pacs 1 on the tarawa one on the okinawa did alot of mini trip from place to place on others can't remember the names of them all. went thru a typhoon of the coast of korea on the tripoli while on a training ex. from Oki found that the middle of the hangar bay was verrrry comforting for me. Did my share of sea bat watch morgue duty and all the fun stuff including gettin wogged on the tripoli in 87' the bad thing about duty aboard an LPH was that the helicopter crews had a thing for stealing our Jungle Boots very irritating.
sea life can be very boring but wouldn't trade a minute of it for an hour in NYC
hooooyaa WOG DOG!!!!