Popeye's Sea Stories

Discussion in 'Members' Club Room' started by bd popeye, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. bd popeye
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    bd popeye The Last Jedi
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    I posted a similar thread at mp.net about three years ago.. I'm cleaning up the stories a bit..spelling wise and punctuation. I don't use bad language so you won't find any.

    Gather around mates! I'm here to astound you with sea stories from yesteryear. I wus in da' real Navy. From AUG 1971- AUG 1991. No women on board ships. No NWU(BDUs)..We had white hats,dungrees, crap games, smokers(boxing), beards, SOS for breakfast..aarrvvv you hadda be a real man to eat that nasty crap. And we gottta a square needle in our left nut in boot camp. Just kiddin'..We worked, fought and played hard.

    The first 11 years of my service I was an Avaition Ordananceman(AO). I was then forced to change my rate to Aircrew Survival Equipmentman(PR) because my eyesight was no longer acceptable to be an AO.

    I'm going to be posting some sea stories from my on itty bitty brain. The stories are as accurate as I can remember them. Some are somewhat.. shall I say embellished.:eek:

    All members feel free to make comments....

    I posted this sea story below a few years back in a yahoo group.

    I was in "Big Lots" looking at this cheap scanner they have. When I saw that they had Pabst Blue Ribbon beer(PBR) on sale that brought me back to 1972-73 when I was on the JFK CVA-67. I worked with a guy named John Steven Kojowski.Yes he was Polish. He looked EXACTLY
    like Rob Riener on "All in the family". You know"Meat head". He was affectionately know as "Skyboy".

    Skyboy liked beer. Actually he loved beer. Skyboy loved PBR. Not because of the taste but the price.It was only .76¢ a friggin' six pack in the Navy exchange.

    Well old Skyboy loved beer so much that he would sneak
    PBR on the ship when we were in Norfolk in preparation for at sea periods. This was no small task because you could not bring any food or drink on the JFK in those days. All packages were usually checked. He probably used the side cleaners or mess cooks to get the brew on the
    ship.

    Anyway every morning Skyboy would enjoy a beer in his rack.When he was finished he would go up to #1 elevator well and throw the empty over board. No I don't know all of the details ..I just know he did it and never got caught in his short two year stint on the JFK..

    One more Skyboy story. The cruise the JFK made in '71 & '72 started on 1 December 1971 It ended 6 October 1972. That's right. 10 months and six days. I made 6½ months of the cruise. Anyway when we got back to Norfolk Skyboy
    went to the long term parking got his car out. Drank some PBR, got the munchies, started to rummage through his car for leftover snacks..lo and behold he found some year old Twinkies. Yep..he ate 'em!
     
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    bd popeye The Last Jedi
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    Back in '72 when I wuz on the JFK I was a mess cook (KP) aka mess cranks for the first 3+ months I was on board. We mess cranks were an assortment of sailors. I worked cargo or breakout crew. We gathered all the food for the entire crew and delivered it to the various messes on board. Enywho I worked with this kid I'll call "Parmalou" He was a big tall goofy lookin' sailor. And man-o-man was he ugly. He was so ugly you could take his face and smash it in cookie dough and make "Monster cookies". The man was seriously ugly. In fact the back of his head was a ugly as his face..it too was full of nasty zits. If ya' connected the dots eerr zits you could draw a map of the US. No sh*t.

    One day before pulling into port, Palma Spain, we had a whites inspection. We were in the berthing getting a spiffed up then headed to the forward mess decks for inspection. The inspecting officer was inspecting. Everyone seemed to be passing the inspection fine..until he got to Parmalou. He looked Parmalou up and down around and back. Then told the sailor recording the proceeding something. That means Parmalou got "hit". After the inspection it seems everyone got an outstanding..except one man. Parmalou. We asked Parmalou what the inspecting officer "hit" him for. He said he got a "sat" on the inspection but he was hit because..he was ugly.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    If I remember correctly back in '72 an E-1 & E-2 got the same pay. Dunno why. I remember that once I got out of boot camp in November 1971 I made a cool $124 bucks a payday. It went along way. When I finally got to the JFK in March of '72 one payday I got $124 and the other payday I got $127. The extra $3 bucks was seapay for an E-2 back in '72.
     
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    bd popeye The Last Jedi
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    Back in '81 I was with VS-33, We were assigned to CVW-11 aboard the USS America CV-66. We had a west coast airwing and an east coast ship. Back then the east coast and west coast navy did not operate the same. Very similar but not the same.

    VS-33 was home ported at NAS North Island in San Diego. Our cruise(deployment) actually lasted from January the 14th..I think..until November the 11th. Actually the first part of our cruise was about 6 weeks of carrier quals ref-tra (refersher training) and ORE(Operational readiness inspection). We did get to go home to San Diego for two weeks after this pain.

    We left NASNI to fly to Norfolk Via USN C-9 on a nice January day. When we arrived at Norfolk we were promptly placed on buses and driven to CV-66. My first impression of CV-66 was that it was very dirty. Filthy in fact. We found out how much a little later. So we wound or way to the berthing and then proceeded to the mess decks for a "special meal" for the air wing..Those fine, fine cooks on the America had prepared in their haste some chili mac, soup hot dogs and such.

    Enywho myself and two other shipmates from VS-33 sat down to eat all the while discussing if we had liberty that evening. As we were eating a cockroach fell out of the overhead on to AO2 JC tray of food. He was hungry mind you..he just flicked the cockroach out of the way and continued to grub down..yikes and gadzooks!

    Turned out the ship had cockroaches everywhere. Why? Because those lazy messcranks use to store garbage in an empty berthing compartment instead of depositing the garbage in the dumpsters on the pier when the ship was in the Portsmouth shipyard. Disgusting. Needless to state ..The America was not my favorite ship.
     
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    bd popeye The Last Jedi
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    ...Back to the America. During our deployment on CV-66 in '81 we had only 40 days liberty in those 10 months. At least two weeks before the 7 month real deployment we (VS-33) got to stay at home in San Diego with our families.

    The cruise was a real drag simply because of a lack of liberty. Oh we got to go to Palma Spain..twice and Singapore also Perth Australia. During our initial work ups we got to go to St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. But between those times we spent many, many a day at sea. Out longest at sea period was about 70 days. I could be wrong. I know we had three beer days. Back then in '81 the USN experiment with having beer on ship after you went 45 consecutive days at sea. Everyone was allotted two beers. Some of us got more than two. I know the last beer day before we arrived in Palma the second time I had 7 beers.

    Bottom line is that drudgery of being at sea day after day in the Indian Ocean leads to boredom. And boredom leaves to mischief.

    I worked in VS-33 WC 230 as night check supervisor. One night I was in the G Division Bomb Elevator shop and one of the airmen in that shop told me that the aft lower stage bomb elevators were in bad shape and only one was working. And the ship had sent out a request to Subic Bay to send out some shipyard workers to repair those elevators. Really? I says. I'm thinking too bad we just don't go to Subic to get those elevators fixed. I got back to my shop and was shooting the breeze about this and we then came up with the idea to change the story around and start a rumor that the ship had to go to Subic Bay to get "some" elevators fixed. Just above our shop which was on the 02 level was a workcenter full of grapes. Aviation Boatswain mates fuel. They fuel aircraft and smelled like fuel. Them fellas bust ass..We kinda sorta told them in a casual way. Next our airmen were on the mess decks spreading rumors through casual conversation about going to Subic. The Mess Decks is a great place to start a rumor on any ship. MDI (Mess Deck Intelligence) will spread any rumor good or bad. In a few short hours the rumor was all over the ship. Some how or another bomb elevators had changed to aircraft elevators..Anyway that evening in the 8 o'clock reports the word was past that the ship was not going to Subic for any sort of repairs. Trust me rumors good or bad travel fast at sea..
     
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    bd popeye The Last Jedi
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    All members feel free to comment! Thanks!

    Back on the America we had a kid in VS-33 we called "buffer face" because of his Nordic blond beard. He had a very attractive wife. He was always showing pics of her telling everyone how great she was. One day he got a dear John letter from her. Dude went berserk. I got a phone call in my shop to go over to the avionics shop on the port side of the 03 level. I trotted over there this guy had run out of the shop and was out on the gallery deck right under the flight deck and was threatening to jump off the ship in the dead of night. He then jumped upon the life rafts which hang off the gallery deck railing... and was screaming his guts out. Another first class grabbed his leg and wrestled him down as wee distracted him.. By then medical was up there with a Stokes litter. Then stuffed him in that thing. Took his nutty butt down to sick bay. We saw him again about a week later down in the berthing compartment(coup). He was no longer permitted to go on the flight deck or work on aircraft. So he was stuck with coup cleaning. The Chaplin sent out a message and his wife was contacted. And his wife really dumped him. He calmed down after that..

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I was also stationed on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Dodge as we called it was a very close knit group of folks when I was there from July '85 til July '86. Great sailors.

    I got so tired of ridin' those stikin' buses to work every day..yikes...I actually looked forward to having duty so I could have a truck to drive around. I think I was ACOD..Assistant Command Duty Officer. Our main job as ACOD was to joy ride in the truck..oopppss.. Eerr I mean assist the CDO and pick up newbies at the air terminal. A job, that if a person was so inclined, (I was not) had certian advantages.

    All those C-5s and C-141s commin' and going everyday reminded me of the beginning of the movie "Casablanca". When you see that old DC-3 taking off. You knew that sooner or later to get off that rock you had to rely on those zoomies of the USAF to go home.
     
  6. Equation
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    Equation Lieutenant General

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    Quick question Popeye, were there any females serving onboard a CV during your time?
     
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    bd popeye The Last Jedi
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    Nope...zero.. In fact when I joined the USN in August 1971 enlisted females were restricted to the following ratings and served only on shore duty and selected overseas bases..

    Commissary Man(cook)
    Radioman
    Data Processor
    Personnel man
    Yeoman
    Aviation Administration
    Hospital Corpsman
    Dental Tech
    Storekeeper
    Aviation Storekeeper

    By the mid to late 70s most ratings were open to females.

    Once the ratings were open the only ships females could serve on were Sub Tenders, Destroyer Tenders and Repair ships. Why? they seldom went to sea...1978 started sea service for females. Officer nurses had deployed on hospital ships.

    [​IMG]
     
    #7 bd popeye, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  8. Equation
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    Equation Lieutenant General

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    Wow..thanks for your answer.
     
    #8 Equation, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2012
  9. bd popeye
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    bd popeye The Last Jedi
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    You are welcome.. You guys reading this can believe this or not..many,many times when people ask me things about my USN days..I remember them right away.

    More stories...

    I use to work with this Aviation Ordanceman Chief named believe it or not named Saylor. No foolin'! When ever he saw me step in flight deck ordnance control he'd say.."Petty Officer HXXX. Why don't you just sit right down here and tell us some lies!"..

    As far as guys jumpin' off the ship on purpose..it happens. On the JFK two boneheads jumped off the fantail as we were leaving Athens in August 1972. Turns out their plan was to swim to shore and catch a plane back to the US..Stupid.

    On the Hancock a kid had must of had some sort of mental problems because with his seabag over his shoulders and his dress blues on he walked up to the hangar deck during an unrep(refueling) and jumped off one of the refueling sponsons. That poor kid was sucked under the Hanna and turned into mincemeat.

    Don't know what an UNREP is? An UNREP is an Underway replenishment. Now a days they call it RAS. Replenishment at SEA. Go to this page below for info;

    Navy News Service - Eye on the Fleet Current Collection

    And type in RAS in the search box on the upper right side of the page.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Hook ups are very useful on the ship. they help eleavate waiting and red tape.

    I made my last deployment of my USN career on the Nimitz in '91. One of the first things I did was go down to the galley and see if I knew anyone. Chow hook ups are great. Low and behold as I walked past the bakery I saw this long tall cook in there. I did know him. He was a sailor that reported to the JFK the same day I did some 19 years before. We started shooting the breeze about where we have been etc and he found out I was a parachute rigger (Aircrew survival equipment tech = PR). Trust me when anyone know you are a PR they want something. Usually a flight bag etc. He wanted me to make him a bag. In turn he would provide out shop with cinnamon rolls deserts and such. Those cinnamon rolls are great fresh out of the oven. But sucked when left standing for a few hours... So I made him a bag and he got us fresh goodies from the bake shop. Nice.
     
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    bd popeye The Last Jedi
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    I have a rather rancid story about one of the Marine orderlies on the Midway..What's an orderly? They go where ever the CO and XO go and take notes and run errands. Back in my time the orderlies where Marines. Marines (Marine Detachment aka MARDET) served on CVs to guard the nuclear weapons until the nukes were all removed from CVs between 1987 and 1992. Orderlies were chosen out of this Detachment.

    This story is rated PG-13..maybe R.. You have been warned.

    On the Midway the Orderlies were young Marines. Whereas we had a 50+ manned USMC detachment on board for the security of nuclear weapons. One evening the word was passed on the 1MC(loudspeaker) "Would the XOs orderly please report to the XOs stateroom". That order was repeated several times over the next few minutes. Seemed the young man could not be found. As it turned out he was found. .Here's what happened. After calling him away several times the XO called the MARDET berthing to ask for this Marine. Someone said he went to the Captains stateroom for something. They were referring to the USMC captain whom was the Officer In Charge of CVA-41 MARDET. Enywho they sent a couple of Marines to the Captains stateroom. They knocked on the door and the door was not properly secured. The door swung open. The XO orderly was there all right..he was having sex with the Marine Captain. They were removed from CVA-41 in short order...It took a while for MARDET on CVA-41 to live that down dontcha know..
     
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