Sailors Stuff: More Tales
Nothing like a good Sea Story Now and Then...

This page contains the contributions by and for Sailors - their memories and thoughts about their experiences with Sub Tenders. As this page grows - we'll rearrange it from time to time - If you were (are) a tender sailor - you should have something on this page!!!
Don't assume these are just "dopey" ramblings -
some of these are a kick! (and some GREAT photos!)

The stories are placed here starting with the more recently received, and go back to the beginning of TenderTale - this should make it much easier to find the newest additions - just start reading until you get to a story you've read before... of course nothing wrong with reading them all!

Swim Call - Cruise ship style...

Cruise ships aren't the only place one might find a swimming pool aboard a ship... Here is the story of USS Sperry's "luxury" accommodation...

Our "good will" cruise to Mazattlan, was going to be short - and the captain - E. B. Fluckey - wanted to provide some "recreation" for the duty section (those not actually on watch) that would have to remain on board. So he had the Damage Control guys put together a frame - which was lined with canvas from  the "sail locker", painted with rubber cement by the boatswains  mates, and filled from the fire main. All went well until the last night before we started back, when a sailor made an ill-advised dive off the forward stack into the pool -- which was only about  5 ft deep, and broke his neck. He had to be flown back to San Diego. Other than that - it was a pretty uneventful trip down and back - with the occasional stop for various observations, etc. Capt. Fluckey would have the word passed that we would be dead in the water for 45 minutes or so - you can bet his fishing line was always the first over the side.

(Former) ET1 Don Peat, USS Sperry AS 12 6th Division 1952 - 1955.

A Tender TenderTale...

Almost 25 years ago, on March 17th 1978 my husband -- IC Cody Gwynn and I -- were to be married. He was serving onboard USS HOLLAND AS-32 -- which was stationed in Holy Loch Scotland at the time. This was going to be an exciting day for both of us -- both for the obvious reason; and because of a bit of an unusual twist.

So what is so unusual about two people getting married?

In this case - not the "what" - but the "where"...

The wedding itself was going to take place on board HOLLAND -- yes, on board the Sub Tender. We prayed that a white flag would not be showing, as one never knew when "operations" might take precedence. The "boomers" always came first-- and you know what that would have meant.

The Captain at the time was Lawrence Wigley -- I must add right here that he was and is the best ever Captain of the USN: that gentleman was just that -- a true Gentleman. He was at the wedding which took place in the ship's chapel. Officiating the service was a local minister from my home town of Ayr, as the ship's Chaplain was unsure that this marriage would last a year. The Chaplain was Charles Marvin; a wonderful person, who -- in spite of his miss-givings -- did stand in as my future husband's parent. What a guy huh?

That day it was gently snowing, and I was as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. When I arrived at the shore patrol shack at the end of the pier, some kind (in spite of being so cold) sailor gave me my first ever (and last) black coffee (yuck!)... which did nothing to calm my nerves.

I was taken to the ship and escorted to this tiny metal room, and when I say tiny -- I mean TINY: no room to swing a long haired cat in. My bridesmaid and I had been assigned this wee room to get dressed in, not at all glamorous, that I can tell you.

We were married at 2pm in the chapel -- then that sweet heart Captain Wigley loaned us his boat as our "limo" to get back to shore. The rest of the guests had to take the liberty boat but they didn't care -- they were having a blast.

On June 3rd, 1979 our daughter was christened by Chaplain Marvin -- the one who wouldn't marry us -- on the same spot where we had been married just over a year before: on board the WORLD'S GREATEST TENDER (that's what the welcome mat said). Our marriage is just one example that things "done" on HOLLAND -- were done RIGHT!

Well that's it. Hope that you enjoy this *tender Tendertale*.

God Bless and thank you for this lovely and interesting site.

Evelyn Gwynn.
Roy Utah

"Jack" was every inch a Sailor... (and perhaps an inch too much!)

[Webmaster: You *know* "Jack" - There was a "Jack" in some shop or other - on just about every Tender, at least most of the time...]

I served on the USS Proteus in Guam as a pipe fitter in the pipe shop in the late 80's. We had some really challenging Ship alterations and re-piping that had to be done on all of the 688's that came to Guam and this alteration was one for the memory books.

One of the cockiest, most full of himself HT's that I ever had the privilege to serve with happened to be the leading petty officer on this re-fit. He was the type that never listened to anyone and always had to do the work himself. We were working 12-on-12-off and luckily we had the night shift so we did not have to deal with as many "obstructions" along the way. Well, this Petty Officer (I will call him Jack) checked out all of the certified pipe we required and after securing all of the proper systems and getting all of the permissions needed, we started to cut out the old hydraulic piping so that we could get started. We had to take the plans and create 2 new "T's" in the same area. Well Jack went about barking orders and myself and another HT made all of the proper cuts, had it dry fitted and after it cleared inspection, we were ready to get started. We all were very good at using mirrors to get the backside of pipes welded but Jack decided that he would have a better view if he climbed in behind the pipes. We re-fit everything cleaned the joints, and fluxed it all up and were ready to go. Jack decided that he would do ALL of the torch work by himself so we sat down and watched the "master" at work. We did end up brazing the front of the joints for him as we went.

Well, as we finished the job, my friend and I looked at each other and thought..."how in the heck is Jack going to get out with all of these hot pipes?" Well, after looking at his situation, Jack decided there was no getting out until the pipes cooled. We waited hours (chuckling all the time) for them to cool down. By this time our Chief had come down to check on us and watched as Jack tried in vain to squeeze out of his situation. He turned upside down, sideways, took off his shirt and pants to try to get out. We even tried to use butter to "grease him up" but not a chance. He had welded himself in and was NOT getting out.

By now the night shift acting R-Division officer had been brought down and had gone to get the XO of the Sub. They had watched the last 30 minutes from a short distance and just stood shaking their heads. When we told him that there was no chance of his getting out, The CO of the boat was called and the XO of the Proteus was awakened. Not looking good for us.

There we stood, with all of the brass in our little world, 3:00 in the morning, explaining what we had to do. We were starting to say that we had to cut out the top "T" to get Jack out and the CO of the Sub busted out laughing. He said that this was the funniest thing he had ever seen in his career in the Navy. With Jack standing there all buttered up sweating and looking like he had just tried to scrape off all of the skin on his back, it was just too much. We all let loose after that. All but Jack of course.

We ended up cutting the pipe and helping him out. The next shift had to finish the job. His little screw-up probably cost the Navy eight to ten thousand dollars in time and certified piping but MAN what a way to go down in flames. After that Jake never was quite the same cocky HT as he was before.

Michael Newman
USS Proteus late 80's

HorsePower -

So- you think your "muscle car" has a lot of power -...
Consider what shoving a few thousands of TONS of ship over/through the ocean at 12 - 20 knots takes!!!!
While not a "Sea Story" - this is of enough "general" interest to be posted here... (and it does indeed have a Sea Story ending!)
Sometime back some questions were raised about the propulsion plants in some of the Tenders- what engines, etc. That resulted in some VERY interesting exchanges between folks about what engines were in which ships, etc. While far from complete about all of the tenders - the exchanges set the record straight on several - and if we get more about other tenders- we'll add it. All in all - very fascinating to anyone who was ever involved with engineering / and or driving one of these ships. And there IS a related Sea Story at the end (as well as many more!).
From: The Paxson 4
To: randy guttery
Date: Friday, February 09, 2001 2:23 AM
Subject: Main Propulsion, AS-15 versus AS-19

Yo Randy
You said something about the Proteus`s Power plant, and I want to know if it was different from AS-11/AS-18. All I know is what the Bush had, and being a engineman its driving me nuts not knowing. The Bushnell had, in each engine room, before the FRAM-2, 4 GM model V16-268A, on DC gen. for MAIN PROPULSION. With 4 Allis Chalmer DC Main Motors per shaft.
In the yards for the FRAM-2 they took 1 of the Main Prop. V-16s and put a 1,000 KW, AC gen. in EACH engine room. Each room already had 2 GM model V12-268A, 450 KW, AC ships service gens. Also we had 2, 450 KW, AC, MG sets (motor-generator), DC motors, AC gens. One of these was the cause of the first fire in 1968. Water in a leaking power line in the bilge under the MG set. So I understand.

I was told that they made the Tenders Main Prop. to match what the Subs had, which was about all GM V-16, V-12, straight-8`s, or Fairbanks Morse, 10 cyl. opposed piston engines. Was any of the Tenders Steam? AS-11/AS-19?
Did they change the AS19 from diesel to steam in 1972? 15 to 18 kts. in 1972???? The Bush went from 18.5 kts. to 14 kts. after the FRAM-2. ( 8 engines down to 6 main prop. engines in 1962 ) Do you know just what each Tender 11/19 had for main prop. when first built? Were all before AS11, and all after AS19 steam? I kind of think they were all steam from the way they looked, NOT LIKE AS11/19. Am I right about this? I sure hope you know more than me, and can answer all my questions.
Chief Paxson
From: Randy & Sherry Guttery
To: The Paxson 4
CC: Frank Cantrell
Date: Fri, 09 Feb 2001 03:03:11 -0600
Subject: Re: Main Propulsion, AS-15 versus AS-19
Whoa - I'm not the best one to answer your questions - but - until you get a better answer - I'll tell you what I remember - and that ain't much!!!!

ok - point at a time:
= The Paxson 4 wrote:
= I want to know if it was different from AS-11/AS-18.
Yes - as the various ships of the class were built - they did equip them differently - though it was in the details - not so much in the overall scope.

Keep in mind - I also have no idea how the Proteus was configured before the '68 overhaul - and I don't remember much details about the '72 overhaul - just general "stuff"...

The Proteus had three big honking diesels in each engine room that drove 500V (roughly) 2000 amp DC generators. These were put in series - and 1500 volts - 2000Amps drove four electric motors - which were geared together into a reduction gear that drove each shaft. 1500V @ 2000A was roughly 112 turns on the shaft - which with both shafts - shoved the ship through the water at roughly 12 knots. There were two more "big honking" diesels in each engine room - one drove a ships service generator at 1000KWs -- the other drove a SAS generator at 2000KW (the boomers drew roughly 900Amps per phase three phase 440Volts while tied up next to us). The other engine room of course had the same.

Going into the '72 overhaul - the SASs were worn - but still capable of full output for extremely long periods -- usually the ship itself ran on shore power - while the boats were fed off the SASs. why? I have no idea - just the way it was. I stood many an SAS watch between Sept. '71 and Dec '71 - the voltage was regulated - but the frequency was manually maintained. When we left Guam in Dec. - I was moved from SAS watches - to the Aft Propulsion Board underway. (we were short engineering gang - so several of us ETs were "volunteered" to help out on watch - since we were (supposedly) fairly smart - and could read a meter. All six main propulsion engines would run - but several were "plugged" or something like that - I got the feeling they poured cement into a couple of bad cylinders or something - but then some of the enginemen could have been pulling my leg - I certainly didn't know any better. Point being though - none of the engines were 100% - and the propulsion engines were for all intents and purposes - shot.

During the '72 overhaul- all six of the propulsion engines were replaced - *seems* like 10 cylinder Fairbanks-Morse engines. They may have replaced all 10 engines - I know they cut huge holes through the decks from the boat deck into the engine rooms to get the old ones out and the new ones in. I *heard* that the six new engines (propulsion) were 10,000 horsepower each - and they could generate several million watts. They put huge load resistor "things" on the boat deck when they were testing the things - I mean these things were HUGE!!!!! - and they had huge fans blowing on the "loads" - I remember they put out a tremendous amount of heat when I happened to pass by them one day while they were running tests. A few hours later - that propulsion system claimed the life of a yard worker - who made a brief - but very fatal mistake.

Sorry I don't know any more details -- Frank Cantrell might know more - and he was aboard just a few years ago (vs. my last visit to engineering in mid 1972). I'll give you his email - and maybe he can give you more specifics of brands / models / sizes/ etc.

= Were any of the Tenders Steam?

None of the "modern" tenders (i.e. 11 (FULTON) class).
= (the 19 from) 15 to 18 kts. in 1972????

The Proteus "usually" cruised at 12 Knots. She was rated at 18 Knots "Emergency Battle Flank" - and actually reached 21 knots during one sea trial - (though damaged some parts doing so - and she was still not "provisioned" - so she was light - and running high (we could have "ballasted down" - but they wanted to see what she could do).

= Do you know just what each Tender 11/19 had for main prop. when first
= built?

No - other than the 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18 & 19 were twin screw Diesel Electrics (I have no idea what the 13 & 14 were - other than single screw). [we later learned the 13 & 14 were indeed steam turbine]

= Were all before AS11, and all after AS19 steam?

Whoa - asking the wrong guy that one. No idea. [again, we later learned that the 31 & 32 were also diesel-electric, the 33-41 are / were steam turbine].

From: Frank Cantrell
Date: Friday, February 9, 2001
To: D. Osborne
Subject: Re: FW: Main Propulsion, AS-15 versus AS-19
Roy and Ozzie,
You were probably the last to see the plant in operation.Could you shed any light on Chief Paxson's question?

=============== From: D. Osborne
Sent: Saturday, February 10, 2001 12:34
To: Frank Cantrell
Subject: Re: FW: Main Propulsion, AS-15 versus AS-19
Frank I believe all the AS's built during WW-II and shortly thereafter were built with Cleveland designed General Motors Engines and were model 16-248A to be compatible with the Submarine Engines of that time. I know USS Sperry and USS Nerius were later re-engined with Cleveland designed General Motors 16-278A model engines. As to the General Motors 268A model, I don't believe they were ever configured in a V-Model. I know I worked on several Model 268A engines and they were all in-line engines. I believe all the 12 cylinder engines used for Generators were 12-278A model Cleveland design General Motors. As to the Fairbanks Mores engines i'm not sure.I know the Diesel Boats used them after being re-engined but can't say about the As's. As to the USS Proteus her last engines were General Motors Model 16-645E5 for Main Propulsion. Her Generators were 12-645E5 General Motors. Formerly known as General Motors La Grange engines. I know this to be true for Proteus because I wrote one hell of a repair procedure to repair one of the Main Propulsion Engines when she was in Guam.

Hope this helps...


From the Webmaster: So much for my memories - which is not surprising considering the way sea stories get told, repeated, redone then retold some more... and the fact I was only peripherally involved at all. It is nice to have the record straight - as much of it as we have. Turns out each engine room had roughly 10,000HP (actually about 12,825BHP) - not each engine ... I had it pretty much right in TenderTale I -- I just "goofed" in my email with Chief Paxson. - now how about the rest of the Tenders - surely there are engineering types who can fill in the remaining "stuff" about the other Tenders...

While were talking about engine rooms -- thanks to Scott Freeman we now have a fairly extensive "tour" of the Proteus' after engine room. It's located on the Proteus' Sailor's Page (AS-19 Page Two)... you can click here to get directly there - Proteus' Page Two

Back to "Sea Stories"... and since were talking about engines - and Chief Paxson - he has a "Now This Ain't No Sh!!" for us...
From: Chief Paxson
We had just left for New Orleans and rather than securing from SEA & ANCHOR detail, we went on a 4 hour, full power run. So instead of there being a man for every 2 to 3 engines, it was: 1 man, 1 engine.

Well it didn`t take very long before things started heating up. I took an engine water temperature gage that was laying around, and hung it on the side of the fresh air vent that I was trying to climb up into- it read 139 Deg. "F" before long. I had to put wet rags on the vent braces that you would normally hang onto under your fresh air vent, so I wouldn`t get burned.

One of the first things that happened was all the expansion tanks on each engine started to run over as they got hotter. Then the bearings on the DC generators started to get too hot, so we put wet rags on them, and poured water on the rags as needed to keep cool.

Just about the time that things had leveled off at "HOT AS HELL " it happened. The 2nd engine over from me blew its sump explosion plates or whatever you call those spring loaded plates on the side of the sump. Thank God for that fresh air vent, because for a second there I couldn`t even see the engine next to me. Well it just so happened that the man on that engine at that time was the Kosart EN2, 2nd in charge of that room. It didn`t take too long for the smoke to clear, and not much longer for old Kosart to figure out which cylinder had blown a piston.
Now I had two engines to watch because Kosart pulled the guy on the one next to me, and put him to work, helping him to pull that unit out. Yes, STILL HOT, just shut down, talk about a touchy situation. I forget just how many burns they had together that we just about never heard the end of .

Well anyway old Kosart gets the unit out and every body sees the hole in the top of the piston, so then he takes the wrist pin out and pulls the rod up and out. For a minute he doesn`t see it, but then he spots "the problem" and he starts blowing air down in the bottom of the piston and yelling and cussing at the top of his voice. He gets a rag and grabs that piston and turns it upright on the bench and out falls a bolt & nut. The nut about 1/2 way up the bolt. It was I think a 3/8 X 2 inch bolt, with the nut about 1/2 the way on. The reason Kosart didn`t recognize what it was at first is because it was all worn off from banging up and down under that piston. It had finally beat the oil hole shut on the end of the rod, NO OIL= NO PISTON. He took that thing and drilled a hole through the head of the bolt, and was still wearing it on a dog tag chain when I got out.

As usual for this sort of thing- the Eng. Officer, Div. Officer, the ENCM, the ENC, every body was going to hang "somebody" for sabotage when they found out who had overhauled that unit the last time. You know how it works, every so many hours you PM 2 units, one on each side that the rods go on the same crank throw. Well this engine was one that they only ran either under way, or the mold shop, or to charge a sub`s batts. when alongside. Well anyway, the last time that that unit on that engine had been out was in 1946, 17 years ago, and the odds that the guy that left the bolt in there was still in the Navy was pretty slim!

That`s when it got so funny, Kosart wanted to look him up, call and tell him he found his %&*$#@#$%&*&%$# BOLT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HA! HA! HA!

I had those underway engine room watches down pat. First you take off your shirt, then you take two cigarette filters and use as ear plugs. Then the nice clean rag for around your head, then the long rag for around your neck. Then the dirty one in each back pocket so you could touch anything cause its all "HOT AS HELL"!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One nice thing was just before you got relieved you could turn on the fill water valve on the engine, and take a above the waist shower when it came out the expansion tank over flow.

I did have to buy my own tweezers, after the 2nd time I went to Sick Bay to get a Cig. filter out of my ear. They "EAT MY BUTT OUT" real good. I think they thought I was trying to get out on a section #8!

Like I said - "This Ain't No Sh!!..."

I do have a request...
I was on the USS Bushnell AS-15 from 12-Jan-62 to 28-Aug-64, in Key West, FL. Its been so long ago that I can`t remember all the subs that were in SUBRON 12. Could someone E-mail me a list of the subs in SUBRON-12 as of Jan 1962, the ones decommissioned that remianed active up to Sept 1964? Also the ASR that was in SUBRON-12; and which Sub was the one in the 1959 movie "Operation Pettycoat"-- and the name of anyone you know of that had anything to do with the making of that movie? Any info that you my have will be greatly appreciated.

One more "thing:...
Does anyone have the exact coordinates (and depth at that location) that the USS Bushnell AS-15 was towed to on 31-May-83 by the USS Edenton ATS-1-- and then sunk by the USS Atlanta SSN-712, and the USS Finback SSN-670 as a target with MK-48 torpedoes on 3-June-83?

Thank You Very Much
ENC Bruce W Paxson, Ret.

Emory S. Land gets a New Aircraft Warning System

It was the spring of 1983 and I had on the Land for about six months. It was a very warm day for late March. At this time I was a relatively new Third class Electrician's Mate assigned to the Battery and Lighting shop EEO1. This particular day it was my job to do the weekly aircraft warning light preventive maintenance.

This job initially requires going to the Bridge and doing a series of tests using a telltale panel that indicates bulbs requiring replacement or electrical grounds in the system. More often than not all systems check out but not this day. Four bulbs indicated failed and there also appeared to be a ground. This was going to require immediate follow up and repair.

I went down to the Engineering office and reported my findings to Chief Manuel and Master Chief Biaz. We had other names for Master Chief but I won't repeat them here. They decided it was a good time for me to learn about man aloft procedures and changing bulbs in the aircraft warning light at the very top of the mast. At this time I rounded up Fireman Sherry Mitchell and Fireman Pen'a. His first name escapes me guess it's old age catching up with me.

I began the required paperwork to go aloft. This is probably much the same today as it was then. A visit to the Engineering Duty Officer, Radio Duty Officer, Squadron Duty Officer, Command Duty Officer and last but not least the Officer of the Deck. This of course includes a great deal of catching up on the current scuttlebutt going around the ship from each on of these knowledgeable sources, not that I would have ever been guilty of this. I left Mitchell and Pen'a to get harness's from deck and bulbs from supply.

With these jobs done it was time to go aloft. Myself and Pen'a clamped in and began our climb and Sherry remained below as the Safety observer. We got to the landing just above the cross arms and opened the junction box and found it full of water. Almost forgot we did deenergize and tag out the system before beginning work. We cleaned out the box, resealed it and now it was my turn to climb the last section to the top and replace the bulbs in the lamp. This required using double lanyards since the one way fall protection did not go to the top.

I began my ascent and about the fifth step I heard a sickening rip. My dungarees had caught on a sharp corner and ripped completely from the front to the back having been weakened by battery acid. Much to my chagrin I was lacking in the underwear department that day having decided on going out for a few pops the night before rather than doing my Laundry. At this point I was stuck. I wasn't going back down until I changed those bulbs. Pen'a at his time almost fell off the mast laughing. Sherry of course couldn't get to a 1JX circuit quick enough to inform the entire ship of my situation. Fortunately for me the XO would not allow the picture that was taken to be published in the ships newspaper. Hopefully all copies have been destroyed although I was threatened with them on several occasions. I managed to replace the bulbs and get down to the first landing with Pen'a and took my shirt off and tied it around my waist. At this point I was Informed that I was out of uniform. I figured it was better than the alternative having drawn a small crowd below. They were all there for moral support. That's just the kind of crew that was onboard then.

I finally got down and got clothes on. It was time to do the man aloft procedure in reverse. Needles to say I was the butt of many jokes. When I got to radio I was given a draft of a message that was supposedly sent to Naval Station Norfolk informing pilots that if on approach over the Destroyer and Submarine piers that if Petty Officer Waldo's assets were visible their approach was too low. Later in the day they showed me the quote / unquote reply that the pilots in one of the C5A's had been made aware of this new aircraft warning system and that proper adjustments were being made to their approach.

The moral of this story is do your laundry rather than going drinking with the guys and gals -- otherwise -- you just may end up in an Em bare assing situation.

Channing Waldo
Uss Emory S. Land E-Div 1982-1984

From E-Ti Duncan (aboard L. Y. Spear)
I was advanced to E-6 between commands as I was transferred to the L.Y.SPEAR, and on arriving and being assigned to the R4 division, found another guy in the electronic repair division already going by the name Duncan. When someone was looking for "Duncan", they would be asked if they wanted the ET-Two or the E-Ti (ET1). It stuck, and I was known as E-Ti by crew and officers for 4 years. I arrived while the ship was in Portsmouth Shipyard for overhaul. Sea Trials, with the need to be towed back to the shipyard the first time, and after eventual success, we did Refresher Training at Gitmo, Cuba. It was a hard but successful week. As a reward we were to get liberty in New Orleans. The day before we stopped mid-gulf to paint the ship. The river pilot had us going up the Mississippi at 18 knots, passing and dodging other ships, until a simple mis-statement about whether to turn right or left (the helmsman heard right turn, which was impossible at the time, and instead of doing anything, repeated back to the pilot, the stunned pilot corrected with NO! LEFT TURN) but we went straight too long to avoid swinging our back end into a tanker. Fortunately there were no injuries, but there went the paint job.

Female officers for the Spear, were the first to report for shipboard duty, and they were among the best officers I served with anywhere. E.S.LAND got their female crew members about a week before ours began to arrive, but our world did change with the arrival of 100 plus Waves (or WINs as a few preferred). For me the problems were smaller, and fewer than I had imagined. As a supervisor and watch section leader, the female crew members performed at the same level as the male crew members, and gained a lot of respect when handling stores. We were very busy working subs, often performing "shipyard" tasks. On a short trip to Cape Canaveral, we enjoyed the Kennedy Space Center, and Cocoa Beach, but also lost a crew member to a knife fight down town. The announcement of deployment to the Indian Ocean caught everyone off guard, and it was a busy month that seemed to be mostly loading supplies, that led to our departure.

We hit heavy weather soon after leaving, and the "rubber & plastics" shop got a multi colored floor as their storage lockers broke open and fell over. We transited the Med with lots of Helo ops going to Alexandria Egypt, and spent a couple of days being tourists. About a third of the crew was stranded overnight by a storm, and had to "sleep?" in the "Sailor's Club" overnight. We transited the Suez canal at the head of the line (it's one way traffic, taking turns) and "just happened" to come south out of the Red Sea the day of the Iranian Hostage Rescue Attempt (a large non-combatant, with Helo deck and hospital facilities).

We proceeded on to Diego Garcia which was without pier at that time, and anchored in the lagoon. Liberty boats became the rule as 1/3 of the crew had access to the island at a time. Other than the occasional aircrew member, or resupply ship crew member, this was the first group of women there, since the natives left it to the British. For me it was humorous to see two or three women walking among the coconut palms on base, followed by 20 or more guys, just strolling around. The garbage boats broke down, and after several weeks of collecting garbage (including rotting food) on board, we pulled anchor and went out into the current to dump garbage, everything off port side, then turned around and drove back over it while dumping from the starboard side (even a sink :) went over). We took care of subs and surface ships, including USS Holt FF-1074, USS Baton Rough SSN-689, USS Groton SSN 694, USS Davidson FF-1045 (after a main engineroom fire), somewhere I have a picture of Spear with three surface ships on one side, and two subs on the other, at anchor. We lost a crew member to appendicitis, and an officer to a broken support cable during morning quarters.

On the trip back home we stopped in Athens Greece, and arrived in Norfolk to pick up all the work that had been held waiting for our return. Again, the repair department performed many tasks that were normally only performed in shipyard. Other memories include the stories of running an in-port watch section, the "bent arrow" incident that had people running every possible direction, fires, and the people that I worked with and respected, and have totally lost track of, from all parts of the crew.

A.R.Duncan (E-Ti)
From Wayne Grohn:
I served aboard the Howard W. Gilmore (AS-16) from 1958 to October 1962. I was a Torpedomen 2nd class and later converted to Journalist (JO1). The Howard W., as we referred to her, was moored at the pier near HQ, U.S. Naval Station Key West. We carried the flag, ComSubRon Four. The Bushnell, the other tender assigned to Key West moored at the outer cay wall.

There was an old fleet sub moored in front of the Gilmore that was used for dockside Naval Reserve training. This sub was painted pink in 1959 and used in the making of the movie OPERATION PETTYCOAT with Garry Grant and Tony Curtis. Many town people and naval personnel were used as extras.

I believe the Commander Howard W. Gilmore story was loosely told in the movie OPERATION PACIFIC with John Wayne and Ward Bond. Bond played the part of Commander Gilmore.

While I was assigned to AS-16 we participated in two Operation Springboards, docking in a remote area of St. Thomas, VI. We spent various times in the Norfolk and Charleston shipyards. Our shakedown cruises were to Gitmo (Cuba). We did make one R&R cruise to New York city.

In Key West the sub pens were located to our stern. This was the home of our "Hunter-Killer" subs when they were not tied up along side. There were also 3 or 4 Guppy (2 -4 man?) subs . During a storm they would submerge in the penns.

Often we would head out to sea at the threat of a hurricane. After sailing through one hurricane twice the Howard W. Gilmore became know around town as "Hurricane Hunter."

One amusing incident, I recall, happened when the ship transferred home ports from Key West to Charleston, S.C. An offer was made that a limited number of crewmen's car would be carried on deck between ports. A Chief Petty Officer, who just purchased a new red Buick convertible signed up. On the way to Charleston we participated in 5" gunnery practice. The word was passed for any one that had a car on deck should lay topside to roll down their windows to relieve any pressure that may build up due to the firing percussion. The chief, either didn't get the word, or didn't care. After a few salvos the top of the convertible was bulged out of shape and all the windows were broken. We often wondered what his insurance agent thought when the report read "...damage due to naval gun fire?"

The Gilmore was a fine ship with a great crew. If anyone would like to contact me....
Wayne Grohn Email:

From Dick Kanning CWO4 (Ret):
First came in contact with AS-19 in Guam while serving on Ben Franklin SSBN-640,(66-67) as the first 640 class to come along side. This created a challenge as the 640 was SubSafe and had all the controls for such systems. Remember well the outstanding upgrade that X-38 did to our R-11 a/c units. As an ELT got involved with R-5 for heat-up Primary coolant receipt.

Did cross to the AS-19 as WO in 71 as R-5 Div Off, back to the states at MINSY, from where I had just left. After an aborted liberty call to keelong (or was it Kaushung?) due to the wiped bearings caused by a fractured oil line, we limped to Pearl while the foundry, M-Div and R-2 labored away to fix. Into Pearl only to fix some 'broke-boats' and then off to Mare Island. J.T. Rigsbee had the Conn as we pulled in on a COLD rainy day. {Webmaster's note: I guess it was because we'd been in the tropics (Guam) and our blood was thin - but the wind was relentless and seemed to cut through our clothing no matter what... truly bitterly COLD!!!}

Overhaul over, after complete engine replacement and a bunch of AC being installed in a Ships Force overhaul. Harold Jacobs (CH Bos'n) com-shawing the sandblast and painting and getting to load my Ski boat on for the return to Guam (More on that later).

Thanksgiving in Hawaii only to have Bud Morris and Ken Lowen spoil the visit with their "boiler-bombout". Finally underway for Sydney via the 180th and equator for a Royal Shellback initiation and roasting.There were many more polywogs than shellbacks, BUT we paid for it later. never did see anything while watching as a horizon sweeper. The truth serum still has a not so fond memory.

In Sydney the taronga Zoo was impressive as was the opera house. I am the crazy guy who off-loaded the ski boat and went skiing in company of some other wardroom idiots (John Hennifeld, Randy Randall & Ed Schaeffer were part). It wasn't bad till we went to get some gas at a local marina when the comment by a local, "You guys must be Yanks! You're bloomin CRAZY!" made us aware of the shark infested harbor. {Webmaster's note: I didn't see any sharks - and I bloody well hit the water enough that it should have gotten their attention. I'm not saying the boat driver liked to go fast or anything (yeah, right!) - but as rough as it was - it seemed your ski was just skipping from wave-top to wave-top... and if you caught one of those waves - splash!!!!}

On to Guam with the stowaway, who got offloaded via a small boat into Brisbane. Into Guam with the dropped car. Yes, we DID pass the hat! Lots af Subs and a lot more SSN's doing pit stops, always at an un-announced time.The Gas Crunch, The Pintado in Drydock for collision repairs, The Grayback Divers racing in Apra Harbor on a newly refurbed Squadron small boat. Capt Greer taking over as CO and His WILD Ideas! Stu Sturgell and the motor cycle Accident. My Wife, Marge worked at the Naval Hospital and worked on him.How many remember the Brits coming into Guam and the proteus serving the HMS Dreadnaut S-101, port side to? {Webmaster's note: I wouldn't have brought that up for anything!} At my farewell party(10/74) Capt Greer got 'one-upped' by my wife as she presented a color 18x24 oil painting of the 'Big P' (Wonder what ever happened to it?) Love to hear from those of you during 71-74 timeframe.
Dick Kanning Email:

From John and Wendy Graves:
In 1985 The USS Simon Lake went from Kings Bay Georgia, to Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi just after Hurricane Elena had hit. I was serving as a Missile Technician aboard when the ship went under way to Ingall's shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. I met my, at that time future wife Wendy, while serving in the fire watch division in the shipyards under Chief Bud Selby. Wendy and I were married in Pascagoula, September 20th 1986.

In October of 1986 the Simon Lake went underway with me and my lovely new wife aboard, to GITMO Cuba. While underway to Cuba, a boatload of Hatians were found to be in distress. Lt. Haverhill, from the weapons division along with a crew manning the small boat went to their rescue. After rescuing the stranded Hatians from their boat, Lt. Haverhill's leg was broken. The seas had been fairly rough that day, and the larger Hatian boat had bucked into the smallboat, and subsequently pinned his leg between the two craft. Unfortunately, due to Lt. Haverhill's injury, a goat was left aboard the disabled Hatian vessel. The Hatian's boat was designated as a navigational hazard, and orders were recieved to sink her. Nearly the entire crew watched from the railings as the Simon Lake's three inch fifty caliber guns trained on the Hatian craft and the goat. It took quite a while to sink the wooden craft, but finally the boats engines were hit causing a fire that helped to bring the boat down. It was just starting to get dark, and I must say that the tracers from the ships guns made a very impressive display! Scuttlebut from some gunners mates that my wife and I knew, purported that the goat's demise was quick and painless with a direct hit.

Since We didn't have any time for a honeymoon, Senior Chief Potter of the Fleet Training Group in GITMO lent us a tent and dropped us off for the weekend, With The Captains approval of course, on Windmill beach in GITMO.

I recieved my orders while in GITMO to transfer to the USS Holland AS-32 at the Naval Weapon's station In Charleston, S.C. The Simon Lake arrived in Charleston somewhere in November of 1986. Where my wife and I were re-united.

I was Honorably discharged from the Holland March 7, 1987. My then pregnant wife (possibly from GITMO!) was given orders to SIMA in Norfolk. The Simon Lake dropped anchor from Charleston, S.C. for Holy Loch, Scotland shortly after our transfer in early 1987.

My Wife Wendy and I now have two children, and live in West Palm Beach, Fl.
John Graves former MT-3/SS
Wendy Graves former MM-3
Email John & Wendy Graves

From Greg Phelps
I was forwarded a link to this page by a retired Navy CPO I meet in a Radio Shack store in Santee Ca. I was one of the last people to leave the USS Sperry in Sept 1982 in San Diego Ca, I was on her decomissioning crew! Viewing the information you have on her brought back some really great memories of that time. As a young E4 I celebrated my 21 first birthday standing watch in CIC 400 miles off the coast of San Francisco on our way to the Sea Fairer Celebration in Seattle Wa. I had the pleasure of working with some of the finest Officers and Enlisted personal in the US Navy, people who believed in working hard and playing hard! I have lost touch with most of these people over the years, but still have fond memories of the times and people.

From Greg Phelps:
It was always impressive to watch the old girl get underway, having twin screws and a diesal electric engine room ( just like the old diesal subs had) a good Capt could back her out in the channel without any help from the tugs. Her last skipper Capt Sullivan was really good at that, I would swear he was parallel parking his Mustang.
Greg Phelps EMail Greg Phelps

From James e. Hodges:
I was a TM1 on the Proteus in Holy Loch . I was picked from the crew of Howard W. Gilmore in 59 to go into the Polaris program. After some trainging at Lockheed in Sunnyvale, CA I picked up the AS19 in Charleston during retrofit. Some great memories come flooding back of my tour in Scotland. I remember a sailor getting hurt (killed?) when he got caught under a subs periscope when he was working under it. Don't remember his rate or name .Maybe someone does. Bob Ennis do you remember my wife Pat and I? We visited your apt. once or twice. There was another nice couple. Cant remember there names but I beleve they adopted a Scottish child while they were over there. I'll never forget getting underway during the Cuban missle crises. We must have gotten about 20 min. notice and I had to tie down the missle crane hook as we steamed out of the Loch. Anybody from the W-division remember swapping movies with the sub crews for steaks late at night? how about changing launch valves in the middle of the night, hanging those 1700 lbs. things from any thing on the sub we could find that wouldn't falldown? Like I say great memories and some good times . Share them while we still can.
Ed Hodges EMail: Ed Hodges

From Don Houfek:
My first sea duty tour was on board the USS Simon lake in 1975. I was only 11 years old. My Dad was the Bosn (CW03 Diving Officer) on board the Simon Lake from 1975 - 1977 in Rota Spain. He took my on a tiger cruise for 5 days, I got really sea-sick. His BM's took great care of me. Gave me Saltine crackers and water when I didn't feel to good. Got to watch gun-firing exercises, deep-sea divers going into the water, then puked all over my Dads deck. As a good father and Bosn, he cleaned it up himself. During his tour their, our family ate in the wardroom quite often. Back then the Navy still had Stewards, so I can remember them bringing out the soup first, then the salad, then the entree. To this day, I have no idea why we ate there as much as we did (at least 3 days a week). I guess maybe it had to do with not being able to get American food in Spain. I do remember that the ship had American television programming, one luxury we didn't have because we live in town (Chipiona). All we saw on TV was Spanish television. As I think about it, maybe that is why I chose the Aviation community as a career. I really didn't care for the small-boys (Flat-tops are much smoother). Growing up with a submariner and diver as a father, you would have thought I would have followed the same path? I enjoy loading weapons on aircraft! Without us AO's it's just another unscheduled passenger flight! But with all kidding aside, I really enjoyed going to sea onboard the Simon Lake. That was my first real taste of seamanship, and will never forget it!

Don Houfek
CWO2 (Aviation Gunner) USN
Holly's Son
Email: Don Houfek

From Kris Fetter
One of my tales from the USS Frank Cable (AS-40)is this. I was in Iceland and had a choice between the Shenandoah in Norfolk (yikes, so much brass in Norfolk your arm gets a permanent kink in the elbow from saluting!!) or the Cable in Charleston. Everybody said, "Oh, take the Cable. It NEVER goes anywhere!! Fleet joke is they call it "Building number 40"." So I chose Charleston. I arrived there to find her out making holes in the Atlantic, but she would arrive in a couple of days. (What happened to never going anywhere?) But I was young and stupid, couldn't read a warning sign if it bit me in the butt- I borrowed a friend's car and drove to the building where the sailors that had stayed behind, and the stragglers were. The parking lots were MUDDY from a notorious Charleston downpour and as I zipped (if one can zip in a very old oldmobile the size of a tank) around the corner looking for a parking spot , I sprayed 2 officers in their khakis with mud. I slowly drove the rest of the way to my parking place hunched down and muttering about getting off on such a great start to my new command. I got out of the car, gathered all of my courage as a Ship Serviceman 3rd Class and marched to the officers covered in mud splotches and said "I am such an idiot, and I am so sorry. But you are in luck- I am a Ship's Serviceman and I can wash all of your uniforms as penance!!" Boy did I do penance and then some. Not 2 months later it was announced that the "Building # 40" was going on a 6 month stay to La Maddelena, Sardinia. (What the heck was a Sardinia??) I was deep into the bowels of the ship in charge of the officers uniforms for the duration. ( I once "lost" a Sub Captain's dress uniform over there, but thats another horrible memory.....:)
formerly SH3 Kris Fetter (now chief cook and Mom) EMail:

From Garnet L Murphey (Daughter of Henry "Hank" Henderson):
I am very glad to see the response to [TenderTale II] Another Tender Sailor's Tale: The Story of Henry Clay Henderson - as reported by the visitor counter. The idea of publishing his story had come up after I had responded one day on the Web to the question: "What did your father do during the war?" My answer his war diary in part. I have been approached to publish it as a book, but I am not sure if he would have wanted it that way. He seemed to like the way it has been presented here - and granted permission to continue it here as it is -- before he died almost 2 years ago.
Thank you again,

Webmaster's Note:
It is our continued honor to host your Father's story - as it is a testament to both Man's inhumanity to man - and Other Men's ability to meet that challenge with silent courage and much dignity. Our younger generations need to take note of Chief Henderson's story - for as has been noted before -- "Those who fail to learn from History - are doomed to repeat it." I for one pray that we never see such a war - such "hell on earth" as was the war in the Pacific over a half century ago.

From John
I served aboard the Orion in '68, '69 & '70 as a radiological controls monitor in R-5 Division. On duty days, we had to take background radiation readings at several places on board ship, one of which was the aft shaft alley due to its close proximity to a berthing compartment. It required a long climb down a ladder several decks below the main deck. Often, these readings got "radioed" or made-up due to the stories about the shaft alley being haunted. Several times, there were reports of someone being down there. I went down there shortly after hearing one of these reports and was taking my readings when I sensed someone else being there too. It was! An engineman had been there doing some chore and it scared the .... out of me! I radioed a few after that. All of these stories had credence because a sailor hung himself in the geedunk on Christmas Eve in '68. Another great story: Some guys were making comshaw dolphins in the plastics shop, baking them in the kiln, went to evening chow and a fire started. It was right next to the mixed gas plant on board with potentially serious ramifications. The next day, Capt J.C. Bellah was critiquing the incident over the PA and said "Remember sailors, it takes three thing to have a fire - oxygen, combustible material and...and..", the PA clicked off for a few seconds, came back on with a flustered "and tempature!" The laughter could be heard all over the ship - our fearless leader forgot the fire triangle! I have great memories of the USS Onion, as we called her. It was a special time and I made many friendships on the boats we worked on and on the Orion, too. I wasn't thrilled at being assigned to her but grew to appreciate being in Norfolk.
John Meurer Email John Meurer

From Mike "Digger O'Dell
I rode the USS Trutta (SS) 421 from 64 to 70 & the Bushnell was our Mother. Didn't like being tied outboard her. Too much surface ship b.s. when going on liberty. I do have fond memorys of the old gal. She & her crew took good care of us. The Burning Bush we called her after the fire in the fwd. engine room in 67 or 68. Was in the dive- in movie on Stock Island Fla. when they shut down the flic & turned all the lights on & announced for all personell of submarine squadron 12 to return to base. The Bushnell is on fire. Boos & cheers & horns blowing broke out. The place emptyed & we went to our boats & stood by to assist if needed. What a sight it was. No.1 stack glowing red from the fire. It appeared that she would burn to the water line. The fire was the beginning of the end for her. Gillmore replaced her. Can & will give other storys about the Bushnell. Keep up the good work with your site. Digger O'Dell ex. MM1 (SS) Email: Digger O'Dell

From Bernard C. Metten III, YN3
I wanted to add to the Spear's history as I was a member of the crew from 1989-1993. I was assigned there out of A school. I was assigned to the OPS/NAV Divison for the first two years until they sent me to the Deck Department. The Navigator, LCDR McCarthy gave me the nickname "Iceman", and it just kind of stuck. The CO when I arrived was C.E. Ellis. As I understood it, he loved to play golf, so we went to where the weather was warm. I remember going to Nassau, Bahamas , Puerto Rico, Annapolis, and Ft. Lauderdale. When Capt. Ellis left, Jay Cohen took over. He liked to sail so we went out often. Even if it was just to the Vacapes. When the war broke out, he volunteered us to go to the Gulf. At this time, I was interested in cross-rating to QM and was almost qualifiied to be ANAV. Even though I worked as the Deck Dept. yeoman at this time, I was still standing QMOW watches. Capt. Cohen, who we affectionately called "Captain Kodak" was definately proud of our ship.

When we went to the Persian Gulf in 1991, he took every opportunity to take pictures of the ship. All of these picture were eventually put onto a cruise video. I felt sorry for the two JO's because the captain was always grabbing them to go into boats and on helicopters for better pictures. There's a nice clip on the video of Spear going flank speed (about 22 knots) through the Straits of Gibraltar. I remember being on watch at the time and he was so proud!

Anyway, that deployment was the Spear's first major underway in years. We left in the middle of June and stopped in Gibraltar for pictures and then went on to Haifa, Isreal for a port visit. After this we went through the Suez Canal and into the Red Sea where we nearly ran into an uncharted oil rig. Our first port call was in Jebel Ali, UAE where we wound up spending most of our time. We also went to Bahrain and visited the Admin Support Unit (ASU) which we affectionately called the alcohol supply unit. From there we went to Kuwait city for some PR stuff at the zoo and the American school. I didn't get to go ashore there because we were anchored and had to stand watch. After that, we went on a recovery mission to pull up an F/A-18 that crashed and broke in half. That was interesting. We then returned to Jebel Ali, UAE to do more repair work. On the way home, we stopped in Augusta Bay, Sicily to pick up people to test the ship's Battle 'E' efficiency, which we won. Finally, we made a liberty stop at La Madalena, Spain for four or five days, which was the highlight of the trip. It was our first taste of cold weather in several months and the only fun seekers prepared for it were those that ordered cruise jackets.

When we returned to Norfolk, it was supposed to have been the coldest January day in Norfolk's history. We started the pilotting party several hours early and I was on the starboard bridge wing freezing to death in my dress blues.

We were awarded the Battle E for 1991 for this cruise as well as the Southwest Asia service medal with Bronze star.

After this we didn't travel much and I understood why people called us L.Y. Pier. We went back to Annapolis again and also to Nassau. When I left in Sept. 93, Capt. Cohen was leaving and a new captain was taking over. While there were many days of in port tedium and hard, "busy work" , I must say that these were some of the best years of my life and the people, for the most part, were a real class act.

I must say I was sad to see very little information about this time period because we were the most active tender in Norfolk during this time. I think I remember the Emory S. Land leaving once. Maybe. I hope my thoughts will be added to this page as I feel that the SPEAR played a major role in combat readiness during this time.

I would love to hear from anyone who worked in OPS/NAV, Comm, Deck, or Admin.
Bernard C. Metten III, YN3 Email:Bernard C. Metten III

From William J. McGee:
I have in my possession a copy of your very interesting article on the submarine tender USS Nereus AS-17, which I received from my son-in-law a couple of years ago. My name is William J. McGee, I am 72 years old and am an old tender sailor. In fact I am a plankowner from the birth of the Nereus in Mare Island, Calif. I was assigned to the ship after boot camp in Great Lakes, Ill. And went aboard in September 1945 before she was commissioned on Navy Day, Oct. 27, 1945. I served on her continuously until may, 1948. I was aboard of course at Sasebo when we sank the japanese subs. After our tour in japan, we went to Subic Bay and Manila Bay in the Philippines enroute to our new home port in San Diego.
Enjoyed the cruise to Alaska immensely. We had quite a few oceanographers and marine biologists aboard who conducted many research tasks in Alaskan waters. I remember specifically them taking core samples from the bottom, netting plankton for studies on variety and quantity and catching various fish to study. In fact, I volunteered to fish for them 4 times a day, at 9 am, 3 pm, 9 pm, and 3 am. On one trip out on the 40' motor launch, we were fishing out of sight of the tender and our engine failed. We were stranded several hours and it began to rain and get cold. Eventually we heard search planes above and shot off flares and help was sent out for us. All in all it was a pretty nasty experience, but to tell the truth, I love to tell the story. We went as far north as we could go, the edge of the ice pack. I am not sure, but the subs we had with us may have been some of the very first boats to submerge under the ice pack.
My rating was SAO 2nd class. This stood for (are you ready?) Special Artificer Optical. Fancy title for a guy who repaired periscopes, binoculars, gunsights, telescopes, compasses, sextants, etc., Everything in the optical line. It was very interesting work and I was very lucky to fall into this job. When I joined the Navy at 17, I joined the regular Navy which is why I had to stay in until 1948. This is what they called a minority enlistment. This was a mistake on my part, since I could have signed up in the Navy reserve and would only have had to serve for the duration of the war. When I was discharged, I compounded my mistake and signed up in the US Navy reserves. I was only home about 2 years when the korean war started and I got a letter from Washington. This time I served approx. 2 years and was assigned to a destroyer tender, the Peidmont AD-17. Quite a coincidence both my ships had the same number. The Peidmont was identical to the Nereus as were several other destroyer tenders, Prairie, Dixie and I believe the Sub Tender Fulton. The Peidmont went right to Sasebo, where the Nereus was stationed.
I have rambled enough, but I want to mention that I have a copy of the Nereus newsletter which contains quite an indepth (good choice of word) account of the sinking of the Japanese submarines. You may have this already in you possession, but if you don't and would like to have a copy, I will be glad to send you one. The only problem is my scanner is on the blink, so you would have to send me a mailing address and I would be most happy to send it on.
I was very saddened to see where she is awaiting the cutting torch. I spent a lot of happy times on that ship and loved every minute of it, but I realize there comes a time.
Bill McGee
Email: Bill McGee

From W. Wiacek:
I served on Hunley while she was in Guam ( 72-73), and the comical voyage home, (stopovers at Sydney, an unscheduled mid ocean meeting with a destroyer from New Guinea, and Hawaii) and received my discharge just as Hunley was finishing up her conversion to Poseidon Missiles. I call the voyage from Guam comical because 3 days out of Sydney, on our way to Hawaii, it was discovered that we had 2 teenage girls from New Zealand hiding in our port missile crane. They were trying to get to the States, and 3 machinists mates had smuggled them on board. Thats why we had to meet the New Zealand destroyer, and we lost 3 of 5 days in Hawaii due to lost time. Needless to say, the 3 smugglers were kept in the brig. Not so much fear of escape as fear of us killing them for losing our time in Hawaii.
Those pics of her in the yards at Bremerton were a real time trip for me. I watched those huge cranes gut my ship then fill her back up in a matter of days. ( Of course the finishing touches took longer ) .
I cant fill in much as she left the yards without me, but at that time, she was headed through the canal and over to Holy Loch, Scotland. The entire crew was very excited about this, and to be honest, I was kind of disappointed to not be going along, but I was young and married...
W. Wiacek
Email: W. Wiacek

From Tom Barbour:
I was almost on the [Proteus] commissioning crew in 1960, arriving in Charleston about two weeks after the re-commissioning, and I departed the ship in the Holy Loch, the end of February 1963. I had only recently leanred that Proteus had been decommissioned. I've often wondered what had gone on since my last contact -- sometime in the 60's.
I reported aboard as a GS3, in BM division, which later became W-1 (I think). The Navy changed our rate, but not our symbol, from Guided Missileman to Missile Technician, and I left as an MT2. From there I did four years as an instructor at the Guided Missiles School in Dam Neck, Va, and I got out in Jan 67.
I read "A Tender Tale" this evening, and it seems where were a few more changes in Proteus in ten years than what I imagined. At first, BM division shared the berthing compartment forward of the forward mess deck with First Division. That's the one with the sloping floors, right behind the chain locker or something. After shakedown, we moved to C-0101-L, with the rest of Weapons Repair Department. I think the Nav shop was just aft.
I never heard the term "Burma Passageway," but I recognized your description. That's where Health Physics was located, and, I think, the Water King or the Oil King. But that was not the only passageway. There was one on the port side, between the upper level of the Missile Magazine and the Re-Entry Body shop. Right behind the Mess Deck was a little vestibule, a corner taken out the the REB shop, where the Marines controlled access to REB or down to the Missile Checkout area.
We rarely had women aboard, and never casually. Of course, we were in foreign waters in the Holy Loch. And this was 1960-63.
I'll try to put a few thoughts and memories together of the last days in the yard, shakedown to Cuba, the return (of the ship) to State Pier in New London, and our tour in Scotland. It might make an interesting supplement to the Tender Tales.
I was one of the fortunate ones to bring back a live souvenir of Scotland -- Irene and I are now looking toward our 38th anniversary, and of course, we are grandparents now!
I mentioned I spent four years as a C-School instructor at Dam Neck. Made MT1(P3) there, and then got out.
If you haven't been to Virginia Beach in a while, you'd be amazed! Dam Neck Road, which was a two-laner from 615 to the gate, is now six lanes, and there are housing developments and a high school growing from it. I could go on, but it's just not the place it was in the sixties.
Too many people, too many cars. Ptui!
Tom Barbour
Email: Tom Barbour

From Thomas D. "Tommy" Duncan:
I was in the Submarine Relief on the Proteus in Guam when the bomb was dropped and was fortunate to be able to go to Tokyo Bay and have some pictures and was interested in setting up a personal website. I was in Sub. Div. 201 and was a Submarine Baker waiting to get assigned when the war ended.

I want to spearhead a reunion to be held at the WW2 Sub Vets Convention in Phoenix , AZ in year 2,000. I got a few guys together in Las Vegas in 97. There was only 7 showed up , but we didn't get much publicity. I had one blurb in the Polaris which drew some attention. We had a great time. Tony Curtis came and I was able to give him a picture that he didn't have. It was taken at the Jap Sub Base in Yokasuka . It was a beer bust.

I had a good picture of the Proteus taken in Guam and was trying to get the history of the Proteus after WW2 . I knew that it had become a nuke tender , but thats about all.

I have some pretty good pictures taken at our reunion. Tony Curtis brought his 29 year old girl friend. He has since married her. He was 74 in June. I will be 74 in Nov. I didn't know him on the Proteus , but a good friend of mine that I did know and have stayed in touch with , knew Tony and he lives in Beverly Hills and sees him on occasions. His name is Herb Citron and we stay in touch.

I'm going to send you a picture of the menu on the Proteus on our VJ Day Dinner. I have another listed as "Homeward Bound" when we left Tokyo Bay on our way back to the states.
Email: Thomas D. "Tommy" Duncan

From Don Baer:
I was assigned to tempory duty on the USS Sperry AS-12 while awaiting tranfer to Nuke school, (as were many of the ships company) in 1967 when the USS "Roadrunner" ran aground on the Columbia river. I was the bell recorder in the forward engine room when the ship lost after steering and as such had on a set of sound powered phones and was in contact to the Bridge. Because of this I was privy to all of the gorry details up to, during and after the collision with the highway just outside of Longview, Washington. while the brief account by one of my former shipmates was accurate it did lack a few of the details.
In order to understand the sequence of events that happened that day in June it is necessary to understand the makeup of the Sperry's Propulsion system. The Sperry was a diesel electric drive system and had eight -16 cylinder engines with AC generators in both the forward and after enginrooms. These diesel generators powered two synchrounous AC motors which were a direct drive to the main shafts and in turn drove the screws. When we lost after steering, they ordered to switch to the alternate steering system. It Failed also. The order from the bridge was a back emergency bell. As I recal the throttleman responded so quickly and the inertia of the ship was so great that the main propulsion motors, (25,000 HP synchrounous motors) turned into generators and and the generators turned into motors which cause the diesels to overspeed. We lost all of our engines on overspeed in the forward engine room and the after engine room lost 7 out of 8. The next order was to drop the stern anchor and we also heard the collision alarm that time. I vividly recall hearing the stern watch say that it was not working and when he said that they say red links on the anchor chain I guess everyone who was aft ran for cover. The chain came out of the chain locker locker and the free end slamed into the stern leaving a nice dent in the stern.
The force of the collision threw everyone around in engineroom. Once the engines were restarted and we were able to back off of the shore we were sent to Port Angeles. As was previously reported the divers went over the side and due to the damage we went on to Bremerton for repairs. The collision put a 4 foot whole in the peak tank and buckled 13 or 14 frames.
Although we never made it to Vancover BC we did get liberty in Seatle and we were able to go on to Hawaii for some R&R. The sperry went back to her tenders duties, I left her shortly after that to go to Nuke School and then on to Sub School and finished out my enlistment on board the USS Nathan Hale SSBN 623.
I have an old newspaper clipping of the Sperry running aground and I'll try to Scan it in so you can put it in the archives.
Thanks for the great web site I may bore you with another sea story later about the at sea rescue that the Sperry was reponsible for during that same cruse.
Don Baer EM2(N)SS
Email: Don Baer

From Chuck Vroman:
I served aboard the USS Hunley on two different occasions.
I reported to W-2 Division aboard the Hunley, in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, in June 1973 as FTB3(SU) after completing PE "A", FTB "C" and Basic Submarine School. I worked on refurbishing the Fire Control Repair shop, the Gun Fire Control radar room, the Fire Control radar transmitter rooms, the gun director tubs and the 3" 50 gun mounts. I also spent 6 months assigned to the Fire Watch division and another 5 months assigned to the SOAP team at the Naval Supply Center. While assisting with the overhaul of the W-2 spaces, I also became indoctrinated/trained on the MK 63 Gun Fire Control system. I was assigned to the Mount 31 Gun Director crew for Battle Stations.

We left the shipyard in January 1974. I spent numerous hours assisting FTG1(SW) Stewart in tuning and aligning the Fire Cintrol radars and the gun mounts. We stopped in San Francisco for a 4 day liberty port call. We then stopped in San Diego for two weeks at the Broadway Street pier. The next stop was the transit of the Panama Canal, an unforgettable experience for anyone. We then proceeded to Guantanamo Bay for 2 weeks of refresher training and gunnery certification. Upon leaving Cuba, we tagged out the MK 63 Fire Control system and started pulling cables. When we arrived in Charleston, SC, for PSA, we removed the 3" 50s and associated equipment and installed 4 20MM mounts. I went to various schools at FMBSTC before my Transfer in August 1974.

I returned to the Hunley in Holy Loch, Scotland, in 1985 for my first assignment as a Limited Duty Officer. I was assigned as the Fire Control (W-2) and Gunnery Division officer. I oversaw the complete refurbishment of all magazines and the certification of all 4 20MM mounts. I later served as the Weapons QA (W-6) Division Officer, Ship's Crane Officer, PRP coordinator and Brig Officer. When I left in November 1986, the Hunley was still performing more refits on FBM and occasional fast attack submarines than any other submarine tender, with approximately 1/3 less personnel available to perform the work, which was always top quality.
Email: Chuck Vroman

From Jay D. Gieseke, USNR RET:
I Served on the PROTEUS from Aug of '91 until Sept 92, when she was decommed' in Bremmerton. I also 'moonlighted' on the HOLLAND the next summer when BUPERS forgot to fill a billet.
Trivia: CAPT C.B. Young who brought the HOLLAND from Charleston to Guam in '92 was selected for RADM this year (1997). And the last PROTEUS XO, an LDO, prior Chief ICman, retired on Guam, where his family lives on a sail boat and he runs the Navy Federal Credit Union branch.
And my question for the Web Page: Who got the Going Home Pendant that the PROTEUS flew entering Seattle harbor for SeaFair 92? I never got my share. Being that it went from the main mast to 40-60 feet over the fan tail there should have been plenty for everyone.
Jay D. Gieseke
Lieutenant, Medical Service Corps
PROTEUS Safety Officer Aug 91 - Sep 92
NAVHOSP Guam, Industrial Hygiene Officer Sept 92 - Mar 95
HOLLAND Acting Safety Officer May - Nov 93
now doing ground safety with Marine aviation
Email: Jay Gieseke

From Scott Freeman:
I was an Engineman on the Proteus (79-81; 84-85) and I worked in both the forward and after engine rooms and the M-Division boat shop on the gig's and utility boats. It took quite a bit of work to keep all that old machinery working in the engine rooms but it was a hell of an education in jury rigging. I remember how bad the B&A cranes leaked. We had one right outside the boat shop and there was always some hydraulic fluid on the deck underneath the boat skids which made it a pain to get up in the boat without slipping. Quite a time. Standing watch in the engineroom was an experence too. The ventilation system ducting was so rusted inside, that as a top-watch I'd bang on the duct up on the upper-level and it would spray out chunks of rust on the sleepy oilers standing watch on the engines below. It seemed funny at the time...
Email: Scott Freeman
From Gill Mauriello:
I served aboard HOLLAND when Capt. R.D. Steele was in command. Don't remember much about our XO (R. Goldman?) except that he was in trouble a lot. I have the distinct pleasure of having walked underneath HOLLAND. She was in dry-dock at the Charleston Naval Shipyard during the 4th quarter 1968, resting on blocks. I remember one night going down into the pit and walking from amidships, port to starboard - beneath her. It was unbelievable.

I was assigned to RS (Repair Services) Division and worked in the Consolidated Technical Library and Microfilm Storage Facility. We kept microfiche drawings for all SSBN parts and also maintained a complete controlled set of Reactor Plant Manuals. It was great duty. Our Division Officer was Ensign Stephen Hobbs Paneyko. I believe he was from Fairfield, CT. He made 'jg' by the time I left HOLLAND in December of 1968.

Fond memories. Good food. Lasting friendships. If I had to do it all over again, I'd choose to serve on the HOLLAND. Regards to all.

From a Sailor "wannabee":
Re: USS Bushnell AS-15
I grew up on key west as a child. Watching this boat was my greatest pastime, so I decided to go looking for her years later. When inquiring for info at the Boca Chica Naval Air Station I was surprised to find out most active duty personnel had only heard rumors of a sub base there! It appears that a once proud base has vanished due to government shutdowns and selloffs. Where do history records go when a base closes? How could home to Squadron 12 be completly forgotten? I am interested in the history of this base but have found little mention of it as a home port anywhere. The base is gone but can we bring its memory back?

Trivia question: Growing up on the island, we were always discovering new mysteries.
For instance: On one of the upper islands, which I believe to be Big Pine Key (approximately 30 miles fm K.W.), there are slips carved into the submerged limerock. The channels were dredged very deep, meaning this was not naturally occuring. Thirty years ago this area was extremely remote. And yes I have aged a few years since those days, but...

An Answer?: A kid asking questions some times pays off. An old man living in the area told me the following story: The slips were called the sub pens. During the war boats would be parked submerged. The reasons for this were varied, crews taking shore duty -- or hiding vessel deployment numbers and locations. This has always been a mystery to me and I'm sure some stories could be exagerated, but the fact remains they exist to this day. Are there any surviving salts out there that could shine some light on this?

I have moved since this request was originally posted - if you have any info - PLEASE send it along to me at my new address! EMail:

From Jim Loman:
I served aboard the Bush from January 1944 until the last of October 1944. I was a member of the relief crew for COMSUB DIV 141. Most of the time I worked out of the firecontrol shop. The Bush was in Pearl when I went aboard and I made the trip to Majuro on her. I went back to the States in late October to advanced firecontrol school at Arma Engineering in Brooklyn NY. Arma built the torpedo data computors for the boats.
Other than the more or less routine work on the submarine refits, I remember that we worked on two destroyers. One was patrolling of of Wotje when the Japs manage to get a near miss on her with a 6 inch shell which riddled some of the superstructure with shrapnel. We had to replace the torpedo director cables wich ran through the galley, laundry, and fireroom.
We worked four on and four off, but could only take twenty or thiry minutes at a time without coming up on deck to cool off. We no more than finished the job than her sister ship came alongside for repairs from a fire in the galley. As you might guess, the same cables had to be replaced.

One thing that you don't mention in the history that you present. Bushnell went on to Guam along with Sperry, where I am pretty sure she remained until late 1945. I eventually joined the Sawfish (SS276) late in the war and after the war was over we returned to San Diego. The Bushnell came back from Guam to San Diego in, I believe, November.

Early in 1946, the Bushnell and her entire Squadron of 18 submarines all left San Diego and went out to Pearl. It was quite a trip with the tender in the lead and the submarines holding position on her in three columns of 6. The columns were only 500 yds. apart and the boats in column were 300 yds. apart. All of which made every one pretty nervous at 18 knots. I was stonding radar watch on the SJ and the bridge wanted a range an the ship ahead every 30 seconds and the ship behind every 2 minutes. This went on all the way to Pearl. As far as I know, that may be the only time that a sub tender and that many submarines ever sailed as a unit.
Jim Loman FCS1/c (long retired)

From Stanely Stoner:
One of my most memorable experiences aboard SPERRY was the summer of 1967 when we were invited to attend the Rose Festival in Portland. We sailed proudly into Portland on a Monday afternoon on the Columbia River. We were the pride of the festival, receiving thousands of visitors each day. The following Monday as we were leaving, we lost starboard steering while rounding a bend in the river near Longview, Washington, ripping a 6-foot hole in the hull of the ship and destroying one lane of Highway 830 (If I remember right) clear to the center line of the highway. I was in the disbursing office at the time - sitting on a roller chair - when a voice over the 1MC said, "Prepare for collision." Within seconds, I was rolling across the office. I picked myself off the deck, looked out the hatch to see a lumber truck right at the bow of the ship. What a sight! The current of the river pulled us off shore and I could see that we were heading back to Portland! After steaming back up river where the river pilot could turn us around, we once again headed to the open sea. The next morning we pulled into Port Angeles, Washington, dropped anchor and sent divers over to inspect the damage. It was bad enough that we headed straight to Bremerton and dry dock. Our schedule had us going to Vancouver for R&R but that was now canceled. After a week to ten days in dry dock, we then set said for four days of R&R in Hawaii. Being my first visit to the Islands, this was a great experience for me, also.
Stanley L. Stoner

Webmaster's note: There is a rumor that there is a newspaper picture of a cop writing the Sperry a "ticket" for blocking traffic - anybody have that?????

From Martin Stewart:
There were 7 of us who arrived on board Dixon in San Diego in May of 1973 after boot camp, Basic Electronics and Electricity School at Great Lakes, and Torpedoman's School in Orlando. The Dixon was the first West Coast tender to get the 48 and perhaps the first anywhere. When we arrived however, that was nearly a year away. The ship had been to Bremerton, Washington for alterations
This picture was taken in May of 1975 in the Mark 48 torpedo shop on board the USS Dixon, AS37. The people pictured are all in The Weapons Department - W4 Division. Please note that some have their hats over their hearts. That is because this was the last warshot Mark 48 which Dixon produced while I was on board. From that point on, we handled only exercise weapons while the Hill Land Facility on Point Loma handled the warshot weapons. The people are from left to right - behind the weapon: TMCS Reynolds, TMC Parrott, TM3 Bowler, TM2 Tayman, TMSN Vollmer, TMI O'Kelley (kneeling), TM3 Ullenhake, TM I Smalley, TM I Scarbarry, TM2 Stapleton, TM3 Pylant. Front row (in front of weapon): TM3 Rasmus, TM3 Bishop, TM3 Stewart. Photo courtesy Martin Stewart
including the installation of the 48 shop on deck 4. When we arrived, there were still welding rods laying in the shop and construction dust but nothing else. We were all assigned to W1 Division and worked on the old Mark 14 and Mark 37 torpedos. We also did our 3 month tour of duty on the mess decks (I was in charge of garbage.) I remember being on the mess decks when President Nixon put the fleet on alert in late 1973. Finally, in the spring of 1974, our test equipment began to arrive and we were flooded with civilian contractors (Sand Crabs) who installed and troubleshot the computers. They were our constant companions for the next 3 years. In all, I was on board Dixon for about 39 months. We never went out to sea much - usually twice a year -- just to test the engines. Because of this, every time we went out about 30% of the crew were first timers. This made for an interesting week because every one was learning their jobs. I started out as aft lookout (on the helodeck) and the last couple of times I was helmsman. One time we had a young Warrant Officer who was a first time Officer of the Deck and he was attempting to impress Captain Kauderer in a man overboard drill. They threw the dummy overboard and he ordered right full rudder. When we came completely about, he ordered "meter" which means to stop the swing of the ship. My mind went blank, I did nothing, and all 22,000 tons of Dixon ran right over the dummy, Needless to say, I avoided that Warrent for quite some time. I remember a trip to San Francisco and another to Monterey Bay. In Monterey, we anchored and attempted to run the torpedo test equipment in the bay. Couldn't get a single gyro test to pass with the motion of the water however. All our other "voyages" were out for 3 or 4 days and then back. The only other tender in San Diego was the Sperry AS-12 which was a World War II ship. Some of her decks were wooden. I ate on her once or twice and Dixon was a palace compared to her. I remember that Dixon carried a 5 inch gun turrent forward of the bridge and they fired it the first time I went to sea in 1973. Apparently, it did some damage to the calibration lab because they took it off soon after, You could always see the big round steel plate on the deck where the gun was- After that, the largest guns on board were the M30 light machine guns the Gunners Mates kept. To qualify for Security Detail, you had to handle and fire a 45, a shotgun, and the M30. We did this at sea and if you hit the ocean, you were in! While we were docked in San Diego, most of the watches were fire and security. Petty Officers in Weapons Dept stood the weapons Security watches. Looking back, it was excellent exercise as the 2nd deck was the lowest deck where you had free access to move fore and aft, Any decks below those, only went from one bulkhead to the next. On the weapons watch you reported to the Officer of the Deck each hour. During that hour you visited all of the weapons spaces which meant down to deck 7 in the aft weapons spaces, back up to deck 2, back down to deck 7 forward, then back up to deck 2. In the summer of 1976, the Executive Officer inspected the berthing quarters and was less than pleased. Since I was so short, I volunteered to take over as Berthing Petty Officer. We chipped paint, repainted, cleaned, etc. I even had each sailor carry their mattresses up to deck I and lash them to the rail to air them out (like they did in the Old Navy.) Made quite a difference as I recall and favorably impressed the XO. I thought I could skate out the rest of my time but once we got an "outstanding" on the next inspection, they put me back on the weapons line until I got out in August of 76. That was the last I saw of Dixon until I went back to San Diego in 1980 to visit my nephew. From the Cabrillo Monument, I could see that they had moved the Dixon to another pier but she was still there.

Martin Stewart TM2 USS Dixon AS37 May 1973 - August 1976

Tender Lovin' Care -

and other horror stories -

Recollections of the Proteus, AS-19 - coming out of overhaul 1972 --
by CWO Ken Lowen {then Damage Control Officer and "A" Division Officer}

Ford Island, Pearl Harbour - two dolphins up from the Arizona Memorial...
December, 1972:

   Bud Morris the MPA (Boiler and Engine Officer) and I (DCA, A Div) were coming back to the ship, walking down the pier. We saw the plume of smoke, bricks and our careers (so we thought at the time) go out the stack. It was real late and Bud and I were real tired after a night on the town. (WO's never got drunk they just got tired), we lost the happy fuzzy-headedness of our evening of partying quick.

   On the ship we found the boiler room, at first sight, to look normal. No fires; no one hurt. The boiler was broke big time inside and it wasn't because of the watch. What happened was that there is a flame safety light device (photo cell) who's job is to shut the boiler fuel off if the boiler fire goes out. It so happened that, we think, there was a slug of water in the fuel and the boiler fire went out. The flame safety light malfunctioned and fuel kept going into the boiler after the fire went out. Apparently the fuel finally ignited off the hot boiler brick and because of the fumes that had generated, experienced a big pop - like lighting the backyard grill off with a match. There were two boilers in AS-19 but both shared a common stack. When the boiler blew it crushed the stack of the next door boiler and spewed bricks and smoke out of the ship, also ballooned out the back of the boiler. Electrical power was secured and the fuel pump finally stopped. Proteus was an old and very tired piece of cast iron. The worst thing about the whole affair was that there was a Honolulu traffic helo in the air at the time and I guess it was right over the ship when the boiler went up. They reported on the morning radio that a ship had blown up at Ford Island so the world knew about it, including the SubPac big guys, almost before the captain.
   Bud Morris (who now lives in Ga.retired as a Captain -- was CO of a MSO) and I had a lot of explaining to do...

   How about the crazy guys who went water sking in shark infested Sidney Harbor? One of the guys, the RadCon officer had a boat on board being transported to Guam. They used the boat for skiing all day - not knowing about the sharks. Or the Prime Minister of Australia complaining about "the sailors on that American ship (Proteus) tied up in front of his home spying on his daughters bedroom with the ships high powered binoculars".

*****     From Randy's notebook:     *****
Picture of Proteus in Sydney Harbor with Kirribilli House in background
Trouble floats to PM's doorstep
  A US Navy ship
with a history of an-
tagonising Labor poli-
ticians has been dis-
turbing the Prime Min-
ister and Mrs Whitlam
during their holiday
weekend at Kirribilli

  The 18,000-ton supply
ship Proteus berthed last
Thursday at the dolphins
opposite the Prime
Minister's official Sydney
residence, obscuring the
view down the Harbour.
The Maritime Services
Board, which is control-
led by the Premier, Sir
Robert Askin, allotted
the ship its berth near
Mr Whitlam's residence

  And there it remains,
a rusting, noisy reminder
of American military
  American seamen
with binoculars have
been lining the rails of
the 574ft-long Proteus,
watching the Whitlam
family strolling in the
grounds of Kirribilli

  A shrill, metallic pub-
lic address system has
been disturbing one of
the most idyllic spots on
the Harbour. Occasional
nautical oaths have waf-
ted across the water.
  The Proteus, a
nuclear missile-carrying
supply ship for the
American Polaris sub-
marine fleet, arrived
while Mr Whitlam was
discussing the Vietnam
war and the Labor
Government's attitude to
the United States with
Sir James Plimsoll,
Australia's ambassador
in Washington.
  When asked if the Pro-
teus was carrying nuclear
warheads at present,
senior officers on board
declined to discuss their
  Soon after it arrived
crewmen hung a banner
over the side saying
"American sailors dersire
to date Australian girls
- call 929 4l89." It
was not known whether
it was intended for Mr
Whitlam's 17-year-old
daughter, Cathy.
   On Sunday afternoon
the sign was changed
"A Happy New Year."
  In the early 1960s,
when the Proteus was
based at Holy Loch in
Scotland, members of the
British Labour Party and
the Campaign for Nuc-
lear Disarmament protes-
ted against its presence.
  The ship is on its way
to Guam for a three-year
term as a supply ship for
six Polaris submarines
which operate in the Pac-

  Late yesterday the
Proteus was quietly rid-
ing the tides at its moor-
ing, 100 yards away
from the Prime Minis-
ter's new residence.
  The few crew mem-
bers on board were busy
at deck duties and ap-
prently uninterested in
Kirribilli House or the
policeman patrolling its
  Asked about the
broadcasts over the ship's
public address system, an
officer said: "They were
an oversight and have
been stopped."
  The invasion is nearly
over-the Proteus is
scheduled to leave Syd-
ney on Thursday.
*****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****

Back to Ken's Tales...

The stow a way, as I recall it, was one of the mess cook's girl friend, from Sidney; she lived in a fan room until she was discovered. I think it was one of the ward room stewards who found her. I remember we went into Brisbane at night or real early morning to dump her off.

How about the later CO taking off the urinals???? He had the DC Div remove almost all the urinals because he didn't like them, said they were always nasty???? That was Captain "Nub" Greer. Sadly, I heard a couple of years ago that he had passed away.

The Electrical officer and my friend Stu Sturgill got in a near death motorcycle accident in the back woods area of Guam that I witnessed. He was a vegtable (really) for years and has slowly recovered. Today he is happliy married and lives in San Diego, has all his faculties but still takes medicine for some glands that never recovered from the crash. Stu and I had been shipmates in Simon Lake in Scotland before Proteus.

I remember Proteus with fondness. The all night Oxygen Charges were a special joy !!!!!!! (I was also the LOX Safety Officer and A Division Officer). I do have some memorabilia of Simon Lake and Proteus. There are other submarine support ships that like the tenders get little recognition especially the ASR's. I served in ASR-15, AGDS-2 both submarine support ships.

Ken Lowen USN Ret.
From Mike Maloney:
Being on both SSN's & SSBN's I always appreciated the work done by the tender people. Not because of laziness but there was just so much to be done that our division alone couldn't support it.

Here's a Tender Experience for you..
After receiving a change to the Equipment Cooling System for sonar, the noise level in sonar was raised so high, that when we put in request to have it looked at, the level was 98db, and thus considered a Hazardous Noise Area. While waiting for NAVSEA to come up with a solution, someone came up with the idea of putting some pipe foam over the pipes to try and block some of the noise. Well, this brainstorm came in 2 weeks before deployment and the tender was not accepting any packages for work unless emergency. So me and another ST walk up to the Frank Cable and go to the lagging shop with the work chit in our hand. I handed it to the LPO and told him that we need this job done but if they gave us the supplies, we would do the work ourselves and this chit would disappear. We only requested enough for Sonar, but he gave us enough to do the Sonar Equipment Space as well! We thanked him, and he thanked us for saving him alot of work.
Email: Mike Maloney

From Tom Jeffery:
I was an ENFN on board Hunley from late 73 untill June of 77.
Now you may have heard this story about what happened after the Hunley left Austraila. The CO (Capt. H.S. Clay) got into a bind when a couple of guys smuggled some gals into the missle cranes. I guess they were a couple of days out, headed for Pearl when they discovered the girls. Back to Austraila for the ship and the girls. He was a great CO though. True story? BTW... Did the Proteus realy drop the CO's car with the missle crane??
ENFN Tom "Goon" Jeffery
Note from Webmaster: Regarding the Proteus dropping a car - well - like many a sea story - this one grew a little bit as time went by... The Story -- as best I can recall -- goes like this: When the Proteus returned from overhaul at Mare Island in 1972, cars belonging to E-5's and above were transported by the Navy - but junior personnel weren't eligible. So the Captain put as many cars belonging to junior people (and a couple of boats!) on the weather decks as he could - and took them along with us. He was "rewarded" for his kindness two fold: One incident (I am repeating pure rumor here) was that a fork lift and a VW bug were caught drag racing on the boat deck one night (while we were still in-port). Didn't make him too happy.... the other incident was the dropped car. That, though wasn't anyone's fault. They were using some heavy wood beams as the pick-up bars of a double sling to pick the cars up with. This one particular car was apparently too heavy, one of the beams broke, and the car did a perfect 180 onto it's top - on to the pier. Needless to say - not much left worth anything. The Navy being the Navy - a hat was passed around - and the young sailor got enough money to get himself another car...

Now about the stowaways... When the Proteus left Australia and headed back to Guam in 1973, a young lady decided to "go along". The Navy - being somewhat embarassed by her being able to stow away on a ship noted for it's usual tight security - decided to try and put the best face on the incident - This quote is from the Official Navy press release:
Miss Wilkerson's plan included having her hair cut like a man's, and dressing in mens clothing. She also had held a laundry bag close to her chest to cover up her "twiggy-like" figure. With a boyish face and fair skin, the 5ft. 8 1/2 inch 18 year old was able to board a crowded liberty boat in the 4A.M. rainy darkness without arousing suspicion."
Crowded liberty boat at 4AM???? right. "Twiggy" figure? Hmm... Judge for yourself... We put into Brisbane and dumped her off.
Stowaway being transferred to harbour boat...

So on to Guam we went. The Hunley, once we had relieved her - headed on to Australia - and some liberty - and of course - she wasn't to be "outdone" by her older sibling... The picture below is from the back page of the April 1973 issue of the Proteus Star - and I think it tells the rest of the story... ( note stowaways )
Proteus Star April 1973

From Lee Hein:
I served on the Holland while it was homeported at the Holy Loch from 6/76 until cross-decking to the Hunley 2/82. I served on the Hunley until I seperated from the service 8/83. I was a Missile Tech assigned to W-4 Division for all but 6 months of my time. For that 6 months I was assigned to the Clyde Area Shore Patrol. While in W-4, I worked in all of the shops: missile handling and launcher repair, guidance, missile mag. shop, and the pori/idas shop.

What makes my tale a bit unique is I went back to the Loch as a civilian tech rep. assigned to Squadron 14 and did another 5 1/2 years working on the Hunley and Simon Lake until Site One closed. Additionally, I worked C3 OT/FOTs at the Charleston site on the Holland in 1986 and 1989. I also supported subs from Canopus when it was at Kings Bay and had a limited amount of work on Simon lake when it was in Norfolk after returning from the Loch in 92. I also did a two month TAD tour on the L.Y. Spear at the D & S piers in Norfolk while I was awaiting the start of PE "A" school at Damneck.

I am still envolved with the FBM/SWS program working on a contract that supports the Naval Ordnance Test Unit's (NOTU) work at Cape Canaveral.
Here are several photos to add to the collection Views of Holy Loch), and I'll be sending some "Sea Stories" soon...
Regards from sunny Florida,
Lee Hein (ex-MT1)
Cape Canaveral, FL

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