Popeye's Sea Stories


bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
The Midway..I have one short story from CVA-41. Back in '73 & '74 Porn was outlawed in Japan. But not on base. Well actually all we had was Playboy and Penthouse. Those magazines were like gold baby! You could sell them on base to Japanese men for about $40. They loved naked white women.

One day on the Midway a Yokosuka shipyard worked purchased a Playboy mag on the ship from some fine shipmate. He was a welder. He was welding some partitions on the aft mess decks. Well he could not wait to his break or until he got home to scan the pages of his prize.. So he was on a ladder on the mess decks welding whatever he was to be welding.(for you fellow squids..yes there was a fire watch).all the time checking out his porn. Seems his torch got to close to a heat sensor for the sprinkler system of the mess decks. He set that bad boy off. Ruined his Playboy and created quite a mess. Our work center was just off the aft mess decks and fortunately our sprinklers in our shop were clogged up with salt and they only fizzled. But the rest of the mess decks ..was a mess.

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

The heaviest seas I ever encounter were on the JFK while crossing the North Atlantic heading back to Norfolk in early October 1972. Waves were splashing over the bow of the flight deck. the hangar deck doors were closed and you could hear and feel waves crashing off the Hangar bay doors. Shipmates were pukin' all over the place. Not popeye..I gotta an iron gut..As the ship rocked and rolled through the Atlantic the weight of the ship epically in the forward part of the ship really effect walking and going up and down ladders. Sometimes you could not move because of the physics of the ships rocking and rolling. Plus at times the ship would toss you around like a rag doll. This lasted for two days. Seemed much longer..

On the America we encounter some really rough seas in the Bermuda Triangle in March 1981. But not as bad as on the JFK.
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
The heaviest seas I ever encounter were on the JFK while crossing the North Atlantic heading back to Norfolk in early October 1972. Waves were splashing over the bow of the flight deck. the hangar deck doors were closed and you could hear and feel waves crashing off the Hangar bay doors. Shipmates were pukin' all over the place. Not popeye..I gotta an iron gut..As the ship rocked and rolled through the Atlantic the weight of the ship epically in the forward part of the ship really effect walking and going up and down ladders. Sometimes you could not move because of the physics of the ships rocking and rolling. Plus at times the ship would toss you around like a rag doll. This lasted for two days. Seemed much longer..

On the America we encounter some really rough seas in the Bermuda Triangle in March 1981. But not as bad as on the JFK.
Lovin' your sea dog stories popeye. Great, great stuff. Gives people a whole new sense and appreciation for the service.

Some pretty funny stuff too!

Here's some of that heavy sea action. People need to remember how high up off the water that flight deck is in calm seas.

[video=youtube;mWpQ_0fqJOM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWpQ_0fqJOM[/video]​

As bad as that is, just be thankful you were not on a tin can...here's how hey have to ridee that type of weather out:

[video=youtube;N7ASvFEmMuk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7ASvFEmMuk[/video]​
 
Last edited:

Norfolk

Junior Member
VIP Professional
There were times when I regretted my eventual choice of joining the Army instead of the Navy. But eventually I settled on the fact that the Infantry (usually) didn't confine you to a sardine can for extended periods; after work you could (usually) get out and do more or less what you wanted; and the mess provided cheap subsidized drinks. Not much over a buck, and anything was yours, and as long as your money lasted.

Then a friend of mine who went into the Navy told me about the food - and the fifty cent drinks.:mad: May Neptune have risen from the depths and taken his miserable floating piece of scrap iron down to Davey Jones' Locker!:p

Love these old sailor stories!:cool: ('Cept for the "R"-rated stuff...):eek:
 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
Thanks guys. Sorry if that sordid tale from the Midway offended anyone...I'll by pass any more post like that.

PBJ(Peanut Butter & Jelly) sandwiches? Yummy..Trouble is that USN peanut butter is like cement mortar. When I worked on the roof on the Midway I lived off PBJ and coleslaw sandwiches..The chow line was to long for an third class. I loved being a PO1 on ship..Ya' did not have to stand in line on the mess decks.

In another thread at mp.net another member stated

The "Air Boss" is God. And he's merciless.
He had an eagle eye on everything and anybody on deck.
Heaven help you if the Air Boss summoned you up in "Vultures Row" with your Chief.
Going to see the Air Boss could be like seeing Col Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. Except when the below happened that movie was 5 years away from being released.

I got called up to see the Air Boss..once. But I was not in the wrong. The man just wanted to ask me a question..in person.

Here's what happened.

On the Hanna in Jan '75 we were recovering aircraft in the daytime. I had to stand next to the air gunner and keep track of any ordnance that was expended, hung or returned to the deck. This F-8 Crusader came in and made a hard landing. So hard in fact it's nose gear collapsed. The force of the crash caused the F-8 to skid and come to an abrupt halt and caused the starboard(right) missile rack to come loose and fly through the air then smash into the port catwalk. There was a dummy Sidewinder attached to the missile rack. The Air Gunner told me told me to get the serial number off the G & C(Guidance & Control) section and toss the mess overboard. I did so. After this the crane was used to move the crashed F-8. There was no fire or injuries. The Air Gunner then told me the Air Boss wanted to talk to me. Gulp I sez..All the way up there I'm thinkin' what did I do?? All he wanted was to know who told me to do what I did and was any FOD left in the cat walk? He coulda asked the Air Gunner that or a Yellow shirt..I think he was checking up on the Air Gunner.
 
Last edited:

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
My son was stationed on board the USS Paul F. Foster DD-964 form April 2000 til April 2003 ..check this out.


Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


At sea with USS Paul F. Foster (DD 964) Oct. 29, 2002 -- The destroyer USS Paul F. Foster turns away after an attempt to replenish fuel from the Military Sealift Command ship (MSC) USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204). The seas were too high and conditions too rough to safely execute a scheduled replenishment at sea (RAS). Later in the day, calmer seas allowed the two ships to connect and complete their mission. U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class William H. Ramsey. (RELEASED)
My son also served on board the USS Valley Forge CG-50 stationed in San Diego. In November 2003 he invited me to go to sea with him on a "Friends and Family day cruise" Basically friends and dependent go to sea for a day about 6 hours to experience life aboard a ship. this was the only time I ever went to sea on an ship other than a carrier.

The first thing I noticed about CG-50 was that the ship was very clean. Immaculate in fact. The crew was well trained and mannered. they were not putting on a show for the public. Even in the times I took my son food when he had duty(because he did not want what was served) That ship was squared away. My ex-wife also made several trips to the ship and had the same opinion.

As for the material condition of the ship. Honestly that was the cleanest ship I was ever on or visited. Period. It was immaculate. According to my son the ship suffered no engineering problems at all. Those ships "hulls" are outstanding. Some of the old Spruance class sailors in some yahoo.com USN groups and other forums be moan the fact that the Spruance's are gone. They all feel that those ships had 15 years of life or more left.

Well we went out to sea and that ship rode very well. I was expecting a lot more rocking and rolling. Of course I don't think we were ever more than 20 miles off the coast of San Diego.

They had a cookout a.k.a. steel beach picnic on the flight deck. The chow was pretty good. No steaks however..
Just pork ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers salad , baked beans..the usual chow for those affairs.

The Gunners mate got to fire the 5 inch gun. All they fired at was the water.

It was an interesting experience even for an old salt like me.

But alas..the Valley Forge was sunk as a target after being decommissioned. The ship was decommissioned 31 August 2004 and sunk as a target during a SINKEX on 2 November 2006.

Yes she was sunk. My son told me that the year he was on board they never has any missiles. They just did drug interdiction missions. Most of the vital equipment was removed prior to sinking. The ship had no VLS cells.

My son son served 11 years with the US Navy. He went to San Diego State and gained a degree in Nutrition and is now a nutritionist with a larger facilicty for the elederly in San Diego.
 
Last edited:

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
Gents.. I'm redeemed.. I no longer drink booze..going on 10 years. Amen..

Then a friend of mine who went into the Navy told me about the food - and the fifty cent drinks.
May Neptune have risen from the depths and taken his miserable floating piece of scrap iron down to Davey Jones' Locker!
.50 cents? How about one thin dime ..back in '73 & '74 in Yokosuka Japan??

Drinkin' story..

I was stationed in Japan aboard the USS Midway CVA-41. Shortly after we arrived in Yokosuka in October 1973 I went to the Navy exchange ,building a-33, and bought a school buss yellow Panasonic 10 speed bike. I was riding that bike all over the area.

I discovered a park not far from the base where the WWI Japanese battleship Miskasa is encased in cement and served as a museum. It's stiil there!

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


I also discovered very friendly citizens-) aarrvv.

One day I decided to go to the Club Alliance which although a USN enlisted mens club was off base.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


The Club Alliance was massive. It had everything. Navy Exchange, movie theater, bar, dance floor, slot machines, restaurants.etc...etc..

If memory serves me correctly they had "happy hour" from 4pm until 7pm. I could be wrong on those times..But not on the price. Mixed drinks were only one thin dime .10 cents. during this time. Mind you I did not know how to order mixed drinks..So I just ordered what ever looked good. And Singapore slings looked real good. So I knocked a lot of them down. I was sitting with some guys from the USS Gurke DD-783. And they were telling sea stories about the PI(Philippines) Well as of this time I'd never been there. The more they talked the more I drank & listened!
. I got taksan stinko(very drunk). Even though it was early I decided to go back to the ship and sleep my buzz off. I was going to walk..eerr stagger but in poor judgment I decided to ride my bike. I got on and was toolin' down Thieves Alley or the Honcho(sailors bar district) as we called it and I saw this miniature Japanese fire truck headed right at me. The Street was very narrow. Only about 10 or 12 feet. So in my stupor I tried to avoid an head on collision with this Tonka Truck of a fire engine but crashed into a big plastic bar window and cracked it.

The bars named was "Bar Baron". The owner went by the name of "Johnnie" what else would it be?? . We became sorta friends....later on that. I'm glad this happened in Japan because if this had happened in the Philippines the owner would have trumped up a whole bunch of extra crap and I would been on legal hold and it would have been very expensive..

Well of course the Shore patrol came along gathered me up ,took a statement an deposited me back on the Midway. I was not placed on report or "liberty risk"..that was the real Navy!.. I stored my bike. Changed my clothes and went back on liberty.


Naturally I went to the Bar Baron and talked to Johnnie. He said these signs were quite expensive..but he'd might be inclined to not demand so much money if I got him a couple of bottles of scotch and ..get this toilet paper. Yep toilet paper. The Japanese loved US TP because Japanese TP was like sand paper. Bottom line is that I got him some scotch and some TP. He was happy. We made a deal at the Provost Marshall to pay him only 2,500 Yen..Which he gave back to me. Any time that old drunk got low on scotch or whiskey I'd hook him up..and he paid well for it. American booze was expensive in japan. On base Johnnie Walker Black was $5.75 a quart. Seagrams Seven?? buck .35 cents a quart. Off base price was about 10 times that amount plus a tariff. Needless to say drinkin' was a big problem for the USN in Japan. Still is.:(

Johnnie in turn hooked me up with a free bottle check. In Japan at that time you could check a bottle of booze in a bar for a price . Usually about 500 to 1000 yen depending on the bar. Plus you hadda buy their mix even water. But Popeye didn't.


In case you were wondering while stationed in Japan I got in no more trouble.. I drank more there in Japan than I'd ever had or have. I really toned down when I left there. Way down.. Glad I was there only a year minus the time spent at sea. I have not had a drink since January 2003 Super Bowl Sunday.

I wuz in da' real US Navy!

I'm done for today.. we are going to a family Christmas party.:D
 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17
Sailor's Christmas... author unknown.

Twas the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.
They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In a 80-man berthing, cramped one and all.

I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.
I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.
They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.

For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, once I saw clearly.
A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.

The face was so gentle, the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor today.
This was the hero I saw on TV,
Defending our country so we could be free.

I realized the families that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors lay willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.

They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice."

"Defending the seas all days of the year,
So others may live and be free with no fear."
I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,
To live a life guided by honor and code.

After all it's Christmas Eve and the ship's underway!
But freedom isn't free and it's sailors who pay.
The Sailor say's to our country "be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch and not on this night.

The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night's cold chill.

I didn't want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, "Carry on Santa, It's Christmas, and All is Secure!"
 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
In a yahoo group some years ago we decided to compare the ships we served on..According to crew, chow, liberty and personnel policies & ships services..you know chow, stores barber shops, laundry gyms etc..Last but not least cleanliness..

Here's my list;

1)Kennedy, very clean, great liberty, great services, great chow. Best big deck flight deck ever. Pretty good crew overall for that time>>early 70's..Always on time.

2)Nimitz, clean, good crew overall, good liberty, great services & Fine chow. Always on time.

3)Midway..Not dirty, ok chow, great liberty, troubled crew because of racial problems. Mediocre stores. Great flight deck crew!!

4)Hancock. GREAT LIBERTY policy when deployed!!!! Can you say Alava pier Subic Bay was our home??!!.Great crew that love that ship. Very clean. Average services. Worse chow. Great flight crew. The smoothest flight deck I ever worked on. Lots of MAJOR engineering problems. We were always on water hours & breaking down. Hanna had a hard time getting underway many, many times.

5)America..Dirtiest ship I ever saw. Millions cockroaches died when they sunk that ship!! The ship was never clean the 10 months I served on her.

Mediocre chow. Good stores and services except for the laundry. It was the worst!. Goofed up crew. Ship was east coast, air wing was west coast, It never really meshed...limited liberty. In 10 months on board we had 40 days liberty. That includes our POM (prepare for Overseas Movement) period of two weeks.

As for shore duty..if I discount Cubi Pt I'd say when I was at HSL-31 at NAS North Island from October '77 until November '80 that was the best shore duty. Why? Because until the last 4-5 months I was there we only worked 4 days a week.

I remember the first day I checked in there it was a Friday. The only shipmates around were the weekend crew. I got my orders signed and was told to comeback on Monday..Sweet!

We were supposed to work 10 hours a day but hardly anyone did. We had to spread ourselves thin but it worked out. It was a great squadron. The hangar is still there but empty. Just an excellent squadron. We never lost an aircraft while I was there. Considering we were an Fleet replacement Squadron..that was outstanding!

The last few months I was there we got a new skipper..he was a Canadian by birth and a asshole by choice. No one liked the man. He was a bachelor..married to the USN! He decided he did not like the 4 day work week. So he changed it..This caused many aircrew that had been rotating from sea to the shore side of the squadron for years to leave the squadron for greener pastures when their tours were up.

HSL-31 was dis-established on 31 July 1992

 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
From the Republic of the Philipines..

In May '75 after Operations Eagle Pull and Frequent Wind the USS Hancock CVA-19 arrived in Subic for some inport time..Our first of many Subic port visits in '75.

After the first night of liberty it was time to get to work..We of G Div flight deck ORD hadda paint three ajoining passageways on the 0-2 level. Such fun in that heat!..Well myself and AO3 MH were taping the spaces in
preperation for painting.. Some yard workers from Subic were trolling through the ship. Lookin' for odd painting jobs. Three stopped and asked us if were were going to paint those spaces. Yep we were. The head guy said we will spray paint it for you today. Oh yea? Today? we said..What's the price? They wanted cigarettes. How many I forget. About 10 cartons I think.

I said hold on. I went to tell my LPO AO2 HD..he hemmed and hawed a little..but in the end we got the smokes for those boys. They sprayed painted those spaces in perfect fashion during our lunch break!!!...We now had max liberty the rest of the import period.

We showed our Div officer, Ltjg RS,(he was a mustang) the
spaces and he had one word..Outstanding!...How did those Filipinos get those smokes off the ship??? They put them in paint cans...Cigarettes in the ships store in 1975 cost $1.25 a carton. That's right....They could sell them off base for much more than that. Almost anything extra you need done those fellas from the Subic Ship yard would do it for a very small price and much better and faster that we could. Just a little barter and swap!.

***************************************************************************************************
Hook ups get you out of all sorts of jams.

When I was stationed in the Philippines I had all sorts of hook ups..all sorts
back in da' day..

I was the transportation PO for my division...I was an ordie mind you. we had about 7 or 8 trucks. And we needed a new Semi to haul loads from our magazines at NAS Cubi Pt to Red Label(weapons loading) or from NAVMAG(Naval Magazine) real bad. I knew that PWC had a shipment in of about 12 new Semi's ..I knew the guy that ran PWC real will. A Filipino civilian named Mr Gloria. He told me to put in my requisition for a new semi and he could back date that request. He just wanted some smokes. Cigarettes were rationed at Subic. I've never smoked so I hooked him up and he hooked me up...many times over.


***************************************************************************************************

Booze was also very big item in da' PI & Japan..It was so cheap on base. But if the booze somehow
got off base it could be sold for a huge profit.

Certain American items will always sell in the Philippines. Cigarettes, spit tabacco, booze. Any sort of name brand US produced cosmetics/hygine items..including soap or toothpaste. Soft porn mags such as Playboy, Penthouse etc are still big in Japan.
 

siegecrossbow

Brigadier
Staff member
Super Moderator
Fascinating stories! Looks like the bawdy sailor stereotypes have some ground in reality. One good thing about joining the navy is that you get to travel around the world and interact with all sorts of different cultures.

One quick question. What is the primary mode of pest control aboard naval ships? During the age of sails sailors actually brought cats aboard for rat/mice control. What is the animal policy aboard USN ships?
 

Top