Home     

                                                                                                                                                                                                           
 
My Navy Path from Aug 1960 to Aug 1969  and Aug 1974 to Oct 1987 and retirement.


I joined the Navy in Aug 1960. Went to boot camp at NTC  San Diego, CA. Aug 17, 1960 - Oct 31, 1960  
   

  
              
                                                                                                                                      Welcome to the Navy  

Click here for more photos


           
      

After "graduation", I went to Radioman "A" school at Naval Base, Norfolk, VA. Feb 1960 - Jun 1961


              
                                                                                                              Wish I had a photo of the school.




Then it was off to Naval Station Long Beach, Ca. to be stationed on the USS Samuel N. Moore (DD-747)  Jul 1961 - Apr 1963.
And made my first WestPac cruise. Quite the adventure for someone that  grew up in the desert.

       

Click here for a few photos

     
Due to many encounters with piers, subs, and other things that got in her way, she was and still is, lovenly called "Rammin Sammy"

             
A few photos of Japan, Hong Kong and a few other ports we hit on this cruise. (Still getting them found and scanned in)



USS Haverfield (DER-393)

       

From May 1963 to Jul 1964 I was on  the USS Haverfield (DER-393) out of Guam.
Seems like I was on board longer than that!
We did a lot of island surveillance trying to keep the Japanese fishing boats away from the natives. We had to track them for a certain period of time and record their movements. If they approached too close to the islands, we would have proof to take them to some kind of court for fines. Guess we did not want them going ashore  "exploiting" the natives.....that was our job!

I never did get to go ashore on any of the patrols but click HERE some photos of an island visit taken by one of the Radiomen.
  .                                                                                                                                        


                
We would donate clothes, shoes, food and other items given by the people of Guam and our family and friends. As you can see, they did not seem to wear the clothes much.

  
In 1963 we crossed the "Line". It was on my birthday. Quite a present!

           


Click here for a few photos  of WOG day.


From the Haverfield, I went to NAAS Kingsville, TX. It is now  NAS Kingsville. Sep 1964 - Mar 1966
It was an aux.air station along with NAAS Brownsville, Tx. The only NAS in the area at the time was in Corpus Christy, Tx
.

           

While stationed here, I volunteered for a tour in Viet Nam. So it was off to SERE training at the Marine Base in San Diego,  Mar 1966 - Apr 1966,
with the guarantee of coast and ship afterwords. What a deal! I wanted a ship out of Norfolk with the hopes of going to the Med.
I felt I had enough of the Pacific for awhile.            




So after a few hard weeks going through SERE training, it was off to Vung Tau, Vietnam for a year. May 1966 - Apr 1967
I was at the Coastal Survalance Center  (Naval Advisory Group) as a 2nd class operating ASR 28's communicating with Siagon and Cat Lo.
Cat Lo was where our river patrol boats and PACV's (Patrol Air Cushion Vehicles) were.
I picked up 1st class while stationed there.

After Viet Nam, I went to Crypto repair school at Vallejo, Ca.  May 67 - Jul 67.
Did a real poor job, finished second from last in the class.

Then I was on my way to Norfolk, Va. for duty on the USS Steinaker (DD-863). Jul 67 - Dec 68.
Went TAD to TTY repair school at Naval Station Norfolk.  Jan 68 - Mar 68.
Did good at that school. I finished second.



Well, after my tour in Nam, I did indeed get my ship out of Norfolk. But the Med was never to be seen. We went back to Viet Nam.

There were a lot of the crew that was ready for orders elsewhere and quite a few that put in for a transfer because of the upcoming deployment.
In order to encourage more of the crew to stay onboard, the Steinaker's CO authorized First Class to wear civies on and off  the ship.
This was WAY before it was common practice on ships.
We  made a cruise down to Cape Canaveral (known then as Cape Kennedy) Florida for a Poseidon missile shoot and then headed for CoCo Beach for about a week. The welfare and rec fund paid for a motel room for the officers, chiefs and first class with the understanding that if they were not used they would be lost. I think the first class were the only ones that did not loose the room. Of the three different motels, ours had the best night club.  
After CoCo Beach, we headed down to Fort Lauderdale for few days. Not as much fun as CoCo Beach!  Then it was off to
the US Vergin Islands and St Thomas.
All in all, it was quite the "recruting" cruise!

On 26 March 1968, she stood out of Norfolk headed for her first tour in the western Pacific. She transited the Panama Canal on 31 March and—after calling briefly at San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Midway, Guam, and the Philippine Islands arrived off Vietnam.


       
                                               I loved being at sea!! 

Steinaker was assigned to the 7th Fleet from 20 May through 1 October 1968 and participated in naval gunfire support operations off Binh Thuan and Phu Yen Provinces; "Sea Dragon" operations off the coast of North Vietnam to interdict seaborne infiltration of Communist forces into South Vietnam; and antiaircraft picket duty off the demilitarized zone. She also operated with aircraft carriers conducting strikes against North Vietnam.

Steinaker returned to the east coast of the United States, via Subic Bay, Singapore, Yokosuka, and Okinawa. She arrived at Norfolk on 5 November 1968





Pacific Ocean, June 21 2005, the Mexican Navy destroyer ARM Netzahualcoyotl (D-102), ex-USS Steinaker (DD-863).






I went TAD to the USS Fox  (DLG-33) for awhile to do some teletype work for them

  
                                                       





USS Barney (DDG-6) Jan 69 - Mar 69

       
                                                                                                                                                                                         ROCK AND ROLL!!
More photos

                                                                                                                                                                                       


USS Josephus Daniels (DLG-27) Mar 69 - Aug 69

          

She was in the yards at Portsmouth, VA.  when I came on board. My time was up in 1969 and decided to get out and take a "break".
Never did go to sea on her. I got out as an RM1.


1974-1987 

I worked for Radio Shack in Norfolk, Va and moved up to manage a store in Falls Church, Va. Then worked for an outfit that was contracted to the CIA to do teletype maintance and repair.
I came to the conclusion after 5 years that I liked the adventure and travel in the Navy better than the static civilian life and decided to go back in if they would take me. The Navy let me back in but wanted to only  give me the rank of seaman. I requested that I should at least be able to retain my radioman designation. They agreed and I came back as an RMSN ready to start all over again.

Well it was back to NTC San Diego in 1974 for orentation, uniforms and orders. No boot camp this time.



NTC San Diego
USS Higbee
USS Blue Ridge
USS Mars
USS Mount Hood
NAVCAMS EASTPAC
USS Ranger
COMSUBGRU 9
Retirement

USS Higbee (DD-806)

     

             
   



USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19)

   
                        This is what she looked like when I was on board                                                                                     This is after refit





USS Mars (AFS-1)

                        


USS Mount Hood (AE-29)


     

NavCams EastPac



My time on the USS Ranger (CV-61)

I came onboard shortly after she returned from Westpac.
It was not the best cruise she ever had. They had a prisoner from the brig die from the heat while doing exersises on the flight deck in the Philippines.
The Navy always had the "at sea" brig onboard the carriers and they were run by the Marines. Nobody wanted to go to the brig when deployed! But due to the death of this one guy, the Marines were taken out of brig duty. The job of supervising the prisoners fell to the department that they belonged to. In addition to our regular watch standing, we also had to pull a shift in the brig if we had anyone there. Not fun. Not sure if the brig is in the hands of the Marines again or not.

They had a fire in the compartment right next to Radio Central before I came onboard. The smoke from the fire and the chemicals and water used to fight the fire made a mess of most of the teletype equipment and radio gear. My first job was to repair the teletypes that could be repaired and replace those that could not be fixed. I, along with my TTY repair crew, made several trips to many ships in San Diego both active and inactive to "procure" needed equipment.
We also had to replace two BIG Xerox machines due to the damage. That was a chore. They had to cut holes in our roof, which was the flight deck, to lift out the old and lower in the new.

We had a royal visit on the Ranger.
Queen Elizabeth came to visit us while we were in San Diego.
There are some pictures in the photo area of when she was onboard to have lunch with the CO and other high rankers. Quite a day. They had bleachers set up on the flight deck and quite a few of the crew had guests on board to see her. I had my mom, sister and brother-in-law down for the visit.
Not something you see every day!

While on the 83-84 Westpac, we had quite a few VIP's on board. To name a few, Vice President George Bush, Senator Pete Wilson, the Panamain President, Defense Ministers of Central America, Hondurn VIP's, President of El Salvador and for Christmas, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.  They put on a real nice show for the crew and quite a few men from our escorts were brought abord.



Click here for some photos



       
    
     
 


ComSubGru 9
Still gathering pictures and data. Update in progress.....

Making Chief. A proud day in my Navy life!