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Vernon Fix - LTJG - 1955-1958

Smile, you're on candid camera

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Born in Jamestown Ohio, joined the navy Sept. 1947 and went to Great Lakes for boot camp as a SA. Went through Aviation Technician School in Memphis, TN in 1948. I served on the Berlin Airlift the spring and summer of 1949, then when the Russians relented we went back to an air base in Springfield, MA for 3 years. I went to the missile school in Port Hueneme, CA and then served two years in Chincoteague, VA as an Aviation Guided Missile Technician. From there I took the fleet wide exams for OCS, the "Holloway" plan and went to their second class for OCS in Newport, RI. I made Chief and got my orders to OCS the same day, and decided to go to OCS anyway. I was promoted to Ensign Sept. '55 and reported to the Cecil. Three years on the Cecil, one year on the USS Soley DD-707 as Ops officer and then three years at Dam Neck with the training command. I then went to the USS Leahy DLG-16. I stayed on the Leahy for over three years as Missile Officer and then Weapons Officer. We tested over 100 Terrier missiles while I was Weps. Officer. Then I went to shore duty at Great Lakes as Officer-in-Charge of the Gunnery School and retired in Sept. 1968. I attended and graduated from Ohio State Univ. after leaving the navy, 1968-1972. I have worked as an Engineer for years and am now retired.

Email to the Site publisher

Hi Ed,

I liked your web site, what a great job you did on it. I have a few comments and then I'll give you some pictures that you can use or not ??? up to you. The two pictures above are me, when I went to the Cecil as a brand new Ensign as ASW Officer in 1955 and then my retirement at the Great Lakes Training Station Sept. 1968. At Great Lakes I was Officer in Charge of the Gunnery School. I will search my files of 35 mm slides and see if I can get some more of the Cecil. I was on the Cecil about 3 years, a long time for an officer.

I started on the Cecil as ASW, and then FireControl and later Gunnery Officer. It was a great tour and I have many fond memories of the Cecil.

By the way, a good friend of mine FTC(ret) John Smith, Cecil 1959-- lives nearby and he put me on to the site. We have lunch together a lot. We are both Amateur Radio operators, Hams, as well.

I enjoyed your picture gallery. In the 57 Med cruise which I was on, Photo one is CDR Ben Stough and Photo 3 is Ens Hap Castner. I think I shot that picture too. I remember "Pappy" Roush very well. At his retirement in NorVa, the navy forced him to go, everyone had tears in their eyes. He was in the navy for a loong time. His son was a second class at the time as I recall. I also remember well Chief Gwinn and Thompson.

The picture of the Cecil in the river "ICE" Feb 58 was up by Philadelphia, PA. We had to go to Philly from NorVa in Jan. on one engine when we had some serious problems with the "bull" gear on one engine and shaft. Ens. Pugliesi the was one of the engineers then. We didn't have ice going up but with a hard freeze the river froze over. When we were finished with the repairs and left we had to back out in the ice. I was on the bridge, some of the fishing boats decided to follow that big navy ship out(they were on the radio). They had been stuck in the ice. The ice was 4-8 inches thick. We broke ice for several miles and then had to secure one engine because the build up of ice in the intakes cause it to overheat. After we got out to sea the ice melted the engine was restarted. We collected a lot of topside ice on the way back to NorVa and before we reloaded the ammo we had to use ball bats, sticks, clubs and whatever to deice the rigging etc. What a trip south. The ship would roll real slow due to the topside weight.

My bio is--- Born in Jamestown Ohio, joined the navy Sept. 1947 and went to Great Lakes for boot camp as a SA. Went through Aviation Technician School in Memphis, TN in 1948. I served on the Berlin Airlift the spring and summer of 1949, then when the Russians relented we went back to an air base in Springfield, MA for 3 years. I went to the missile school in Port Hueneme, CA and then served two years in Chincoteague, VA as an Aviation Guided Missile Technician. From there I took the fleet wide exams for OCS, the "Holloway" plan and went to their second class for OCS in Newport, RI. I made Chief and got my orders to OCS the same day, and decided to go to OCS anyway. I was promoted to Ensign Sept. '55 and reported to the Cecil. Three years on the Cecil, one year on the USS Soley DD-707 as Ops officer and then three years at Dam Neck with the training command. I then went to the USS Leahy DLG-16. I stayed on the Leahy for over three years as Missile Officer and then Weapons Officer. We tested over 100 Terrier missiles while I was Weps. Officer. Then I went to shore duty at Great Lakes as Officer-in-Charge of the Gunnery School and retired in Sept. 1968. I attended and graduated from Ohio State Univ. after leaving the navy, 1968-1972. I have worked as an Engineer for years and am now retired. I am currently organizing a ham radio cruise for 2006, see the web site below.

Ed, you have to have a ship reunion in NorVa, that's where the Cecil was while I was on it. Do you have one planned for here? 73's,

Vernon Fix, w4thn

www.hamradiocruise2006.com
Email= w4thn@arrl.net
757-495-1541


Photos

As a young newly commissioned officer in September 1955 Here I am retiring in September 1968

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