Great story James ^^^ You should post that in the Sea story thread..
Popeye's Sea Stories
I was a Marine with the 31st MEU aboard the USS New Orleans in early 1997. We did the Shellback thing, but the command specifically told us that the Navy were doing their thing, and we were doing ours. I think they didn't want a bunch of Marines and sailors to get into a fight. I mooned the shellbacks and got shot right in the ass by a fire hose as we rode the elevator to the flight deck. It knocked me over, but I recovered (un-penetrated) and was cheered by my company.
I was an infantry fire team leader at the time. Unless something was scheduled from higher, we'd eat breakfast in the morning and go have a smoke afterwards (all smoking was from, IIRC, the fantail, which was below the flight deck). Everything was secured for flight ops, when the heloes were doing their thing. Same routine for lunch and supper. There was a timeline for chow (chow is amazingly important for Marines everywhere) just so you wouldn't spend too long in line. So, India has chow at 1745, Hotel has chow at 1800, and Lima has chow at 1815. HQ and Weapons can suck it.
The Navy crew dumped trash off the fantail when the smoking lamp was out. It was all food and paper trash, so not bad for the ocean. When the smoking lamp was back on, you could frequently see hammerhead sharks cruising along in our wake. Dolphins liked to ride the bow waves.
We did some pretty crazy physical exercise at the time. IIRC, 13 laps around the flight deck made a mile. Instead, we'd to calisthenics amongst the helicopters in the hangar bay, but instead of doing 100 sit ups, I'd tell my guys something stupid like 300 or 500, but no time limit. Same with push ups.
I went to the ship's library and pretty much read a book a day. Novels, non fiction, whatever. We had frequent man overboard and general quarters drills, both of which required the embarked Marines to go to their berthing area, respond to a head call, and sit tight.
One day, it turned out to be the real thing. A Marine in my company who had been having a hard time for a while finally had enough. Whilst on the hanger deck, he ran flat out and dove into the ocean, I guess hoping to be drowned and left behind. After being rescued, he was charged only with interfering with the operation of a US Navy vessel while underway. He was reduced from Corporal to Lance Corporal, and was one of my last charges before I was discharged in 1997.
When we got close to Australia the ship would send a CH53 to the mainland ever day for fresh fruit and vegetables. We'd get pallets full of Kiwis, Papayas, and Mangoes. Glory. That and a pint of oatmeal for breakfast and your colon is a cannon.
Later we went to Australia (Townsville), which kicked some amazing ass. Their ladies have found American Marines heroes since 1942. It never ended.
I don't really think the life of an embarked Marine has changed much since 1942 or so. More Amtracks, less helos, but not a lot else.
Last edited by James; 05-04-2012 at 03:09 AM.
James, why was you discharged?
Sorry I didn't reply to this, but you are a knowledgable cookie ! Correct !
French F-8's off the FOCHE iirc. They stayed for a visit, then they got shot off the pointy end the next morning.
The reason I think it was cool, was that they brought out these Chief PO's with clean pressed khaki's and new helmets for the launch. I was wondering what they were doing??
The younger catapult operators never used the cable harness launch system....they were taught the newer launch bar system.
These CPO's never forgot their stuff. They hooked 'em up and gave them a wave.
Single stage afterburners were a shock to me....literally
In 93 we "sunk" USS San Jacinto , USS Deyo and USS Doyle , you don't come into the baltic with big ships and expect to win against the fast boats
Same year we were the first western naval units to enter Lithuania since WW2 , epic drunkeness ensued.
My bunk was in the petty officers quarters at the time and the next morning started with me steping onto the artillery chiefs face (he was sleeping
on the floor) and the cook coming down the ladder to proclaim he was so hammered he could smell colours .
He was wearing half of his and half of some russian officers uniform.
We had a long weekend in Dublin , again much damage to liver.
Went on shore at high tide , but came back at low tide , now the deck was 9ft down a wooden tradesmanladder and we all had close to a dozen pints of guinnes in us each.Not fun at all.
We played "The town I loved so well" over the speakers when we left and the Liffey was lined with people waving.
I was stone drunk for 3 days and only paid for one beer , love the irish.
Spend 3 months in the med in 94 , teamed up with a french sqn of corvettes , had lots of wine and good food.
Cruised past the USS Saratoga off Majorca the day Nixon died.
Had a US Navy destroyer fire a 5inch round over our boats out at sea by accident , the ship shall remain nameless but I think the captain didn't go on shoreleave in Toulon because our sqn commander offered to tear him a new one over UHF , funny stuff.
Had to fish out the remains of a Tornado and it's crew once , not fun that.
With small boats you don't get to be a shellback but we did something similar in the Kiel Kanal , except there when you run around nacked covered in noodles and garlic powder there are people on land that can see you.....
Once we were travelling through the Flensburg Fjord and a system error made both turrets face 90 port , just as we passed a cruise ship somewhat close, the captain got on the coms in colourful language to tell them to fix it , except he got the deck speaker button.....
Not nearly as impressive as Popeye , James and Toads stuff but there it is.
Great and most interesting stories, thanks gentlemen! There should be an official "military anecdotes/stories" thread for all branches and nations. I am sure there are tons of interesting, funny, sad, stunning and mind-blowing stories the mp.net members could contribute
I watced the movie The Final Countdown and apparently you could have beards and wear blue jeans... and go back in time.
Sure do!!..plenty of photos and anecdotes about the ...Popeye has a thread about American Naval traditions
The United States Navy
Transiting to Homeport, San Diego, California - Radarman 3rd Class Raymond H. Filak, USN. aboard the U.S.S. John S. McCain DDG 36..circa 1970+