My Navy Path from Aug 1960 to Aug 1969 and Aug 1974 to Oct 1987
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
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
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
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 -
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
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
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
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
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!!
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.
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 Blue Ridge
USS Mount Hood
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)
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
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.
here for some photos
Still gathering pictures and data. Update in progress.....
Making Chief. A proud day in my Navy life!