And then there are Shipmates from another hull

February 3rd, 2014 by xformed

Table of contents for A Cruise Book Comes Home

  1. And then there are Shipmates from another hull

I haven’t been popping in here much the last few years. My apologies.

I do have a very new twist on the things that this blog has done for me, and others. It’s been a connecting point and in December, and email arrived in my mailbox to the email address for this blog:

Subj: Cruise Book

I have a USS Milwaukee cruise book from the ’78-’79 cruise. There are some coffee (I’m assuming it’s coffee) stains on some of the pages covering the Ops department, but aside from that it’s in pretty good shape. If you would like to have it, send me your address and I can send it to you. Regards, Mark.

Mark hasn’t a clue mine was left behind in one of those unfortunate relationship breakups several years back, so he thinks it’s a nice gesture, but it’s far more than that, it’s a piece of personal history I never thought I’d see again. I’m exceptionally grateful for this simple gesture that means so much on this end.

I send the address and an offer to pay the postage. He turns me down and sends it compliments of another MSLF “fat ship” guy the same day.

Just short of a week later, it’s here. My time capsule, opened after 34 years. Ah, the memories, but I know most people landing here will fully comprehend what letters on a screen can’t convey.

There will be more on this, but some background:

I was the CDIO (Collateral Duty Intel Officer), which included the Intelligence Photography course. We had a developing lab and the chemicals on the ship, way back aft, starboard side below the main deck somewhere. Some of my OSs allowed me to come and learn how to develop film, and I spent some time there, and I seem to recall, we did our own pictures of the crew for the layout to save costs in production. I probably developed and printed a number of those in the book.

Another collateral duty assigned was as Public Affairs Officer. Yes, you guessed, the publication fell under my responsbilities. It didn’t hurt that I had been on the staff of my Senior Year’s yearbook, doing layout with the then girl friend, Palua, who roped me into such work. I did go willingly, if you have to ask.

I detached from MILWAUKEE very shortly after returning to Norfolk for my training for Pre-Comm LEFTWICH at FCTCL Dam Neck, but had a few weeks off before training began. I checked back aboard AOR-2 to finish the layout of the Cruise Book in that time.

As you see, this was much more than a memento of a cruise, it is evidence of my professional assigned duties as well.

Mark wasn’t a shipmate, but he served aboard USS SYLVANNIA (AFS-2) a few years ealier. I haven’t gotten the details of his procurement of “my” Cruise Book, but it matters not. The cruise of Oct 78-Apr 79 was with the USS SARATOGA (CV-60) BG, and USS SYLVANNIA was one of the units that supported us. While not directly assigned to the BG, the AFS units were on an altered deployment pattern, yet she sailed with us to resupply the BG units on numerous occasions and there are shots of her in the book.

The final background note for today’s post: The coffee stains (not bad ones, but noticeable) were on OC Division: I was COMMO for the cruise.

Category: Blogging, History, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | Comments Off on And then there are Shipmates from another hull

“Home” @ Work: USS MILWAUKEE (AOR-2) Out Replenishing

May 1st, 2010 by xformed

As in “Always Out Replenishing” (AOR). This video was taken in Apr 93, but….it was my life for 2 years…just 16 years before that.

In any case, excellent close ups of the actual stations where “Diesel Fuel, Marine” (DFM), NATO Code F-76, was transferred, as well as the antics crews sometimes went to for a fun while alongside.



Category: History, Military, Military History, Navy | 10 Comments »

33 Years Ago: First Day at Work

April 4th, 2010 by xformed

…in my chosen profession. It was a Monday and I had checked in the prior Saturday night while the USS MILWAUKEE (AOR-2) was moored on the southside of Pier 2 at Norfolk Naval Station. LTJG George Parrish, the Ship’s Navigator was the CDO that Saturday night. He ended up being the first one I carpooled with from the Virginia Beach area to our normal location at NOB.

But on Monday morning, I began real work, after many years of study and almost a year of directly related schooling.

My assignment was to be the Combat Information Center/Electronic Material Officer (CIC/EMO). I met CDR Dave Martin, the XO, LCDR Frank Mueller, the Operations Officer, LT Randy Rice, the Communications Officer, CAPT Richard Wright, the Commanding Officer, and, shortly after lunch, ET2s Mike Krutsch and Craig Johnson, when they needed a set of initials on a CASREP Update. The officer I was relieving was on leave, so I didn’t meet him for a few more days.

But the highlight of the day, was OSC Michael P. McCaffrey. USN, inviting me to the Chief’s Mess for a cup of coffee.

It was a day full of good sea stories, another one was about the schooling of mine being put to work.

It was not my choice to end up on MILWAUKEE, which, was the oldest ship I served abaord at 8 years when I stepped aboard, I got there by failing to make it through the Salvage Diving Course, but it was a blessing in disguise at about the 14 year point in my career.

Sometimes it takes that long to see what’s the right path in a career path, beyond what you thought was good at 22 years old.

My other shipmates I can recall off the top of my head at the moment were LCDR “Doc” Seibart, CDR Karl Kline, and Engineering Duty Officer who was pushing for EDOs to serve aboard ships as Engineers, ENS Harry Watkins, LTJG Cliff Barnes (DCA), LT Pat Wahl (2nd Div), LCDR Leo Pivonka (1st LT), OS3 Tom Mazzula,and many, many more in a crew of about 450 on a 653′ ship that carried 6M gallons of F76/DFM, 2.5M Gallons of AV GAS and later F44/JP-5, 600 tons of cargo ordnance, and then chow and spare parts.

That part of the Navy is now all in the hands of the Military Sealift Command (MSC), but I was lucky to have begun a career as a Naval Professional on a ship where the main mission was seamanship based.

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Category: "Sea Stories", History, Leadership, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | 3 Comments »

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