|Here's the first of a series of sea stories and humorous
anecdotes that Ray has promised to send me in the weeks to come.
Anyway, I had a guitar aboard and a couple of my friends had instruments
also. We had our own little band. When we pulled into this foreign port, I'll
never forget it, I had the mid watch and Captain Kenniff had an invitation to
dinner with some Royalties. It was some place in Northern Europe, I don't
exactly remember where, maybe Cdr. Kenniff does. Anyway, about 8:30 or 9:00PM
he sent word back to the ship that he wanted me and the other 2 guys in the
band to go and entertain for these people.
Well, we went to the banquet & had a great time. I don't know who got stuck
with my mid watch but I'm sure he wanted to kill me. I probably knew at the
time but I don't remember now. This was on our European-Med cruise from Sept.
1954 to February, 1955. By the way, I almost got married in Londonderry,
Ireland. This was my 3rd cruise to Londonderry and I knew this girl from the
2 previous cruises.
Well, I never married her, but she did marry another sailor. They came to
this country with her sister. Would you believe that her sister worked at my
office in Bridgeport Conn? Well, I got to see her again. My wife & I that is.
Ahhh, to do it all over again.
I read from the TCS dedication article where the Charlie P. earned her
two "E's" in the 50's. I don't know if you're aware of it but we (Fire Control)
were responsible for one of them. Our senior FT's name was Hoffman. He, I and
the other FT crew would "Boresight" every chance we got. To Boresight means
to align the gun barrel with it's associated director. We had to do this at
night, and only when the moon was out. We would look thru the gun barrel at
the moon and the person on the director would make adjustment's until the director
was in the same spot as the gun barrel was.
We were so proud when we got the "E," (E meaning Efficiency). From then on we
hit every thing we aimed at. And every time I looked at that big "E" on the
bridge superstructure, I said to myself, "we earned that" Us, the Fire
I haven't talked to you in a while. Just to keep you up on the latest,
some Movie company leased the USS J.P. Kennedy DD850, a museum ship in Fall River, Mass.
to make a movie of the Cuban Missle Crisis. I was fortunate to have been involved in
it as I am a volunteer on that ship. It was great. No one ever thought that the Kennedy
would be out at sea again, especially since the engines don't work. Everything was
done with tug boats. They towed it off of Newport, R.I. into open water to make the
movie. We were out for 2 weeks. On the 2nd. day out, we took a 26 degree roll.
(I loved it). The Movie crew didn't though. I took 6 rolls of film. From beginning
to end. They will be on the Kennedy Web Site soon. here's the link for the site.
www.geocities.com/jpk850. They also changed the
number 850 to 753. Because the Pierce was also involved in the crisis. So they made
two destroyers out of one for the movie. Those movie people are unbelievable.
We had to make sure that the 1MC, the General Alarm and the signal lights were working.
Also the 2 Radar Antennas. I had most of this stuff working a long time ago. So
everything worked out fine. The name of the movie is
"13 Days". or "The 13th. Day".
It will be out on October 22nd. I can't wait to see it. Click on the preceeding link
(13 Days) where you can find a couple of pictures
I took while aboard. We had about 15 of us volunteers running the ship. We used the after
Generator which worked great. Also the Anchor windless worked great too, because we
anchored out a few nights. I'll tell you, it was a great experience. Something that
I'll never forget. We also had 3 retired Captain's aboard. I felt like I was in again.
What is ironic is that my wife was telling us volunteers that we are fixing this ship
so good that it will be ready for sea. I told her that it will never see tha ocean again.
It's been tied up since 1973 and it will never move again. Well, guess what? I had to eat
crow. Well, I have to get going, talk later.