Have a read through this:
Some gems in there.
Hi everyone. I'm fairly new here, but was hoping some of you could help me out. I'd like to hear some stories...and see some photographs....from men and women who were in the US Navy during the above mentioned years. This period of time has always been fascinating to me and would especially love to hear first hand experiences about what life was like during the late seventies and eighties. The post-Vietnam malaise and the subsequent Reagan build-up and operations. The 80s were an especially busy time for the US Navy and I'd appreciate anything you folks can contribute.
What do you wanna know?
Anything really. What ships were you on, any interesting cruise experiences? Etc.
The majority of CPO and PO's were Vietnam and Zumwalt era sailors. They were more loose than regimented conditioned by the experiences of a post-Vietnam era. They witnessed the era of 'salt-pepper' uniforms, beards, loose drug enforcement, and race riots on-board ships. It was still male dominated.
By the time I enlisted Reagan / Sec. Lehman went full tilt with a 600 ship Navy. They restored the cracker jack uniforms, mandated clean cut grooming standards, zero tolerance on drugs, and encouraged more women in non-combat roles. At the time, they were not very selective in the recruiting. We had some real 'rocks' in boot camp and unfit people. We even had a boot camp shipmate who was anorexic and another who was set back for the thrid time.
We even had Filipino enlistees directly from the Philippines flown in from Subic Bay. It was the US Navy's version of the foreign legion as part of its basing agreement with the PI. Many were highly educated people with master degrees competing for Mess Specialist or other lowly rates.
Needless to say, in its quest for a 600 ship navy, the brass inherited a discipline problem. Every week on the Carl Vinson there were at least 8-10 sailors up for XOI or Captian's Mast. At a P-3 squadron we had a 'penal division' with sailor's under restriction including Petty Officers.
Looking back, I think there was a leadership gap within the lower ranks. We had ring-knockers who expected Naval Academy standards, and burnt out Vietnam / Zumwalt era Petty Officers and CPO's who were counting the days towards retirement. So for recuits such as myself, we had to fend for ourselves. I myself faced both XOI and Capt. Mast over a minor issue. Partly because we had an idiot officer who did not allow mistakes. If it wasn't for a stranger of a CPO that defended me like a lawyer, my career would've been gone. Afterward's I found out he made a mistake and arrived on the wrong day to defend someone else. But he was good enough not to retract it. The running joke at the time was that a Good Conduct Medal was the Never Got Caught Medal.
In a nutshell, there were alot of people who shouldn't have been there. If you saw the movie "Jarhead" that's the kind of people in my Navy.
TheKiwi pointed out my sea story thread..thanks kiwi!!
Popeye's Sea Stories
Read through it...
I served in the real Navy...like ordie.. 1971 'til 1991. I served on three carriers my first enlistment, Kennedy, Midway & Hanco*k.. Next I was stationed in the Philippines. After that at NAS North Island in San Diego. I was with three commands over 7 years. HSL-31, VS-33 & HC-11. While with VS-33 we deployed on the USS America. I was then at Diego Garcia..after that I spent the remainder of my career at NAS Miramar AIMD.. I spent the last year at Miramar with SEAOPDET and deployed on board the Nimitz.
Apparently I did not serve with as many boneheads as Ordie but there were a fair share. Verily, verily I say unto you.. If you want to know what the real USN was like during the Cold War read ...
Popeye's Sea Stories
PS.. the Cold War started long before 1975.. read this thread also..
29 April 1975 Operation Frequent Wind
Ditto on that thread.
Obviously the great pudding bomb of Naples immediately comes to mind.....
Mostly med cruises, North Atlantic. Workups in the Carribean.
Saw the last deployement iirc, of the F-4 on cv59. A/C was amazing.
Saw f-8 Crusaders recovered and launched in 83' ? trivia....whose were they?
Always followed by a soviet trawler as soon as we crossed the straits of Gibralter
Took part in Multinational Forces Beruit. Saw BB New Jersey bombard the hills behind the city. From a distance of course. Unrep'd with her also.
A-6 bingo'd to the beach. Shops sent a team off carrier. Got pics of French Peacekeepers who had been mortared. In the background of pic, waaay down the runway was a large building. It held many marines. Air Strikes that followed were probably the last of the outdated Navy strike packages of the era. A real teaching moment for US NAVY. Taught by Israelis. The Vietnam era was gone in 83.
When we deployed on that cruise, JFK. We took 2 A6 squadrons. No A-7. Was told that was a first. Was meant to carry more ordnance.
Took part Grenada, 2nd carrier. Interesting because a Soviet force was directed our way. We loaded a totally different strike package. Heavy anti ship load out. I did systems checks with ordies many times to load the big things that make the really really big booom. But that trip there were officers and civilians on deck elevator that I had never seen before. In brand new Mae-Wests right out of the plastic. May be the only time that the boomer we put up was a true boomer. It was parked aft and never moved. One piece of ordnance.
Navy surface no longer has big boomers. iirc
Have story of F-4 that lost almost all systems and was on backups, alone. Decided to light her up and head back to ship alone with MA-1 only. No IFF.
Low and fast headed towards the ship with no radio. It's the only time I ever saw those big square boxes in the sponsons move. And the Phalanx.
I ran for the island. Pilot got a talking to. Flight deck people just changed their underwear.
John Lehman Sec Nav flew with us. Reagan build up was started. re-enlistment bonus for an e-5 in my rating was $16,500 ???
a6e that felt a thump and BN looked out and the flap had exited the vehicle
Attacked by flamingos
RA-3 whale scares
practice bomb stikes Destroyer
Lost a mk82 at Dare County range, lost the bombing derby. Lost. Like never hit the range...
my trip to the bridge
Carrier runs out of gas
Mini Boss gets angry about straying over foul lines ....Pffft?
Bob Hope USO, was one of his last
13 countries, many more cities.
Wish I could do it again......
Could elaborate on pudding bomb, tactics of strike package, flamingos...
Sounds interesting toad , I'm just after cold war german navy so I can't contribute
Great post toad..
Here I go.
Hanco*k..Handj*b or Fightin' Hanna
NAS Cubi Pt.. da' PI
NAF Diego Garcia
NAS Miramar AIMD (Nimitz)
7 deployments..I count the Midway as two..
First time I was ever on vultures row I saw an SH-2 Sea Sprite crash
Some ship mate jumped off the f'scle on the JFK while in Palma Spain
Two more boneheads jumped off the ship while leaving Athens GR.
Midway was the first CV homeported overseas since the Antietam after WWII
On October 23rd 1973 4 aircraft crashed at sea and 7 aircrew men were lost from the Midway.
Operation Eagle Pull & Frequent Wind on CVA-19An SH-3G helicopter assigned to HC-1 crashes off MIDWAY's bow on take-off for an SAR mission. All three crew on board are killed. The helicopter was supposed to get underway to the crash site of two other MIDWAY aircraft that had a mid-air collision. Involved in the mid-air collision were an A-7A (VA-56) and an EA-6A (VMCJ-1). This collision killed all three crew of the aircraft involved.
Got to meet the Air Boss on the Hanna up close and personal.
Saw an A-7 crash at NAS Cubi PT
Saw the CO of Cubi relieve the CO of an USMC Harrier squadron on right at Red Label at Cubi PT . ask me why.
Typhoon Olga Philippine 1976
HSL-31 was too cool.. we had a 4 day work week.
VS-33 deployed on the America in 1981
1981 USS America CV-66 transited the Suez. the first CV to do so since 1966
Three beer days on CV-66..only 17 days liberty in 7 months.
On Diego Garcia two or three boneheads from the Super(Sinkin') Sara stole an ambulance..they never did get caught.
On the Nimitz an A-6 Crashed just as were were pulling in Subic
I made three trips around the World and visited 22 countries plus Guam, Okinawa, Hawaii, Alaska, US Virgin Island ,Puerto Rico..etc..etc..
Yes Ordie, I'm a Shellback... since August 1981 on the USS America on our way to Perth AUS..
I'm also a bluenose ..on the JFK as we crossed the Arctic Circle during Strong Express (NATO) in September 1972
I was in the real Navy. Period.
VP-31 (NAS Moffett) Shore duty at a base with over 150 P-3's
NSF Diego Garcia overseas duty with R&R in Singapore and Australia. I loaded Stinger Missiles bound for Afghanistan and drove 18-wheelers loaded with bombs crunching every landcrab on the road.
USS Carl Vinson (Chuckie "V") Pacex 89 up in the Bearing Sea, a rougue wave hit our bow and dented the carrier. Sailed down to the Sea of Japan for wargames and dodging Soviet Trawlers and Far Eastern Fleet. Liberty call in Pusan's infamous Texas Street (Tijuana X20). Loma Prieta Earthquake hit our homeport while at sea. Everyone was on edge. Returned to port and the Berlin Wall fell on the same day.
Out to sea on Westpac '90. Liberty call in Pearl Harbor, Sasebo, Subic, Singapore, Diego Garcia, Perth, Subic (again), Hong Kong, Pearl Harbor (again), San Diego. Returned to port and Iraq invaded Kuwait on the same day. (it was also my last day in active service)
This was our Battle Group for Westpac '90:
USS Carl Vinson CVN-70- Still in commission
USS Texas (CGN-35) Decommissioned 1993 (Being scrapped in Bremerton)
USS Vincennes (CG-49) Decommissioned 2005 (Mothballed in Bremerton)
USS Robison (DDG-12) Decommissioned 1991 (Scrapped)
USS Elliott (DD-967) Decommissioned 2003 (Sunk as Target)
USS Knox (FF-1052) Decommissioned 1992 (Sunk as Target)
USS Wabash (AOR-5) Decommissioned 1994 (Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet)
USS Mars (AFS-1) Decommissioned 1998 (Sunk as Target)
USNS Spica (T-AFS 9) Decommissioned 2008 (Laid-up in Philadelphia)
RTC/NTC San Diego (Decommissioned 1997)
NATTC Millington-NAS Memphis (Decommissioned - relocated to Jacksonville)
NAS Moffett Field (Decommissioned 1993)
NAS Alameda (Decommissioned 1994)
NAS Barbers Point (Decommissioned)
Treasure Island Naval Base (Decommissioned 1997)