Smile, you're on candid camera Sea Stories & Photos

Ray Raposo - FT2 - 1953-1955

Smile, you're on candid camera

Home History Rosters Reunions Photos


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 Control Gang.

Ray Raposo

Hi Ed,

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. 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.

Ray Raposo


"I bought this belt buckle on a Med Cruise in 1954."

"Christmas week in Venice Italy in 1954. Note the Mark 25 Director foreward of Mt. 53"

"The Charlie P. catching a big Russian fish during the Cuban missile crisis!"

These next four ought to make you yearn to return to sea duty

"Anyone seen O'Rourke?"

"Clean sweepdown fore and aft. Dump all trash off the fantail!"

"The calm before the storm!"

"Anyone for a swim call ?"

These next six show Ray with his buddies

"Bill Elliot, Charles Swanekamp and Ray waiting for liberty call. Hey Bill get a cover on sailor."

"Leonard Kosinski and Ray enjoying a panoramic few of the local countryside. Square those hats sailors."

"Ray, Charles Swanekamp, and Bill Elliot heading for the beach in the liberty launch."

"Ray and Bill Elliot all decked out in their dress whites."

"Ray and Charles Swanekamp relaxing while in port."

"Bill Elliot and Ray taking a break on the starboard side amidships. Hey Ray, how about taking up a hem on those dungarees."

Six more candid-camera jobs from Ray's scrap book.

"Anyone out there on the Internet know the names of these three blokes and where and when this photo was taken?"

"Batten down the hatches, secure the whaleboat ther's a bit of a storm brewing."

"Ray and his 3-man band at Fire Control "A" School in Bainbridge, MD (1952-53)"

"Unknown sailor enjoying a bit of leisure time at sea. Anyone know this young man."

"Ray posing with the Charlie P.'s life ring."

"Zitney, Ray, and Spisok at the controls in the MK25 Control Room aboard the Charlie P.."

Two more. Is this it Ray?

"Bill Elliot posing in front of the Cecil's Mother ship."

"Ray, a mystery shipmate, and Bill Elliot out on liberty in a one-horse town? Hey Bill, is that a fishing pole or a horse whip?"

Remember the 1994 Reunion in Charleston, S.C.?

"What a crew. Are we getting old or what? Cmdr Kenniff (front row, second from left) was our Skipper (1953-1955)."

"That'll teach you swabbies on the left to stand in the shade."

"Picture of the Joseph P. Kennedy taken during filming of the movie "13 Days".

Home History Rosters Reunions Photos

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