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DMS-17 Pearl Harbor Attack Decembet 7, 1941

USS Perry 7th Reunion
Newport, RI - July 2008
Captain Spencer Johnson, USN Ret.

“I have become deeply impressed during the course of this reunion that we all share a deep and enduring bond as a result of our service aboard the Perry. We served aboard the Perry at differing times and places, in the formative years of our lives. We all, individually and collectively, made the ship what she was. The Perry, in turn, made us who we are. The Perry is gone now but sails on. We are the ship. I have no greater honor in life than to know and have each of you as a shipmate.”

Capt Spencer Johnson

Felix Kreskey, MM1 68-69

Commander Watson was Captain and LCDR Simpson was Executive Officer when we sailed the USS Perry to Vietnam and back in 69.

I was, at that time, an MM1 in "R" Division standing the Acting Engineering Officer of the Watch Underway position in Vietnam. One night I was called to the bridge by a senior watch officer who failed to follow Standard Navy Operating Proceedures and I had refused to follow his direct orders which would have placed my fellow crew members and the entrie engineering plant in jeapordy during refueling operations. I had been called to the bridge at around midnight and was being verbally assaulted by this officer when Captain Watson appeared from his quarters in his night cloths. He told the officer to stop immediately, he then proceeded to read the logs as we stood in silence. If it were possible up there the term "You could have hear a pin drop" would have fit perfectly! Upon completion he turned to me, thanked me, said job well done and I was dismissed. I saluted and immediately left and the crew on duty in the Conn later told me they could hear Captain Watson, who was always the coolest person you ever met, just reading this officer the riot act. Needless to say, from that time on, he always treated me great, even coming down to main control from time to time just to say hello.
I always had and will have tremendous respect for this great officer and captain of our great ship.

The USS Perry and its crew were honored guest in attendance at the Black Ship Festival in Japan on this cruise taking a group of dignitary's (SP?) up the coast to attend the festival. We anchored out in the harbor and several of us had to wear traditional uniforms of the time and attend some of the festival events. It was a great time for all of us and it will be remembered for the rest of my life.
Will look forward to future updates on the next reunion.
Hope all your family is safe and god bless.

Old Chiefs
George O'Connell
57-59 LTJG - Weston, MA


One thing we weren't aware of at the time but became evident as life wore on was that we learned true leadership from the finest examples any lad was ever given, Chief Petty Officers.

They were crusty bastards who had done it all and had been forged into men who had been time tested over more years than a lot of us had time on the planet.

The ones I remember wore hydraulic oil stained hats with scratched and dinged-up insignia, faded shirts, some with a Bull Durham tag dangling out of their right-hand pocket or a pipe and tobacco reloads in a worn leather pouch in their hip pockets, and a Zippo that had been everywhere.

Some of them came with tattoos on their forearms that would force them to keep their cuffs buttoned at a Methodist picnic. Most of them were as tough as a boarding house steak. A quality required surviving the life they lived. They were and always will be, a breed apart from all other residents of Mother Earth.

They took eighteen year-old idiots and hammered the stupid bastards into sailors. You knew instinctively it had to be hell on earth to have been born a Chief's kid. God should have given all sons born to Chiefs a return option.

A Chief didn't have to command respect. He got it because there was nothing else you could give them. They were God's designated hitters on earth.

We had Chiefs with fully loaded Submarine Combat Patrol Pins in my day... Hard-core bastards, who found nothing out of place with the use of the word 'Japs' to refer to the little sons of Nippon they had littered the floor of the Pacific with, as payback for a little December 7th tea party they gave us in 1941. As late as 1970 you could still hear a Chief Petty Officer screaming at you in boot camp to listen to him, because if you didn't, the damn gooks would kill us. They taught me in those days, 'insensitivity' was not a word in a sailor's lexicon. They remembered lost mates and still cursed the cause of their loss... And they were expert at choosing descriptive adjectives and nouns, none of which their mothers would have endorsed.

At the rare times you saw Chief topside in dress canvas, you saw rows of hard-earned worn and faded ribbons over his pocket. "Hey Chief, what's that one and that one?" "Oh Hell kid, I think it was the time I fell out of a hookers bed, I can't remember. There was a war on. They gave them to us to keep track of the campaigns we had in country. We got our news from AFVN and Stars and Strips. To be honest, we just took their word for it. Hell son, you couldn't pronounce most of the names of the villages we went. They're all gee-dunk. Listen kid, ribbons don't make you a sailor. The Purple one on top? Ok, I do remember earning that one. We knew who the heroes were and in the final analysis that's all that matters."

Many nights we sat in the after mess deck wrapping ourselves around cups of coffee and listening to their stories. They were lighthearted stories about warm beer shared with their running mates in corrugated metal hooches at rear base landing zones, where the only furniture was a few packing crates and a couple of Coleman lamps. Standing in line at a Philippine cathouse or spending three hours soaking in a tub in Bangkok, smoking cigars and getting loaded. It was our history. And we dreamed of being just like them because they were our heroes.

When they accepted you as their shipmate, it was the highest honor you would ever receive in your life. At least it was clearly that for me. They were not men given to the prerogatives of their position. You would find them with their sleeves rolled up, shoulder-to-shoulder with you in a stores loading party.

"Hey Chief, no need for you to be out here tossin' crates in the rain, we can get all this crap aboard." "Son, the term 'All hands' means all hands." "Yeah Chief, but you're no damn kid anymore, you old fart." "Shipmate, when I'm eighty-five, parked in the old Sailors' home in Gulfport, I'll still be able to kick your worthless butt from here to fifty feet past the screw guards along with six of your closest friends." And he probably wasn't bullshitting. They trained us. Not only us, but hundreds more just like us. If it wasn't for Chief Petty Officers, there wouldn't be any U.S. Naval Force.

There wasn't any fairy godmother who lived in a hollow tree in the enchanted forest who could wave her magic wand and create a Chief Petty Officer. They were born as hotsacking seamen and matured like good whiskey in steel hulls and steaming jungles over many years. Nothing a nineteen year-old jaybird could cook up was original to these old saltwater owls. They had seen E-3 jerks come and go for so many years, they could read you like a book.

"Son, I know what you are thinking. Just one word of advice. DON'T. It won't be worth it." "Aye, Chief." Chiefs aren't the kind of guys you thank. Monkeys at the zoo don't spend a lot of time thanking the guy who makes them do tricks for peanuts. Appreciation of what they did and who they were comes with long distance retrospect. No young lad takes time to recognize the worth of his leadership. That comes later when you have experienced poor leadership or lets say, when you have the maturity to recognize what leaders should be, you find that Chiefs are the standard by which you measure all others. They had no Academy rings to get scratched up. They butchered the King's English. They had become educated at the other end of an anchor chain from Copenhagen to Singapore. They had given their entire lives to the United States Navy. In the progression of the nobility of employment, CPO heads the list.

So, when we ultimately get our final duty station assignments and we get to wherever the big CNO in the sky assigns us. If we are lucky, Marines will be guarding the streets. I don't know about that Marine propaganda bullshit, but there will be an old Chief in an oil-stained hat, a cigar stub clenched in his teeth and a coffee cup that looks like it contains oil, standing at the brow to assign us our bunks and tell us where to stow our gear... And we will all be young again and the damn coffee will float a rock.

Life fixes it so that by the time a stupid kid grows old enough and smart enough to recognize who he should have thanked along the way, he no longer can. If I could, I would thank my old Chief. If you only knew what you succeeded in pounding in this thick skull, you would be amazed. So thanks you old case-hardened unsalvageable son-of-a-bitches. Save me a rack in the berthing compartment.

The Races
Steve Newbauer
formerly SFM2
Repair (R) -div.
served aboard Perry 5/66 to 4/68

The Races

The first ship I was assigned to, the USS Perry (DD-844), was a fast ship. It had oversize screws (propellers) on it which helped in the speed it was able to reach. The nautical measurement for speed is the "knot". A knot is 1.151 miles per hour so, for example, 35 knots is 40.285 miles per hour. The captain of this ship (Commander Clarke) liked to race when the opportunity availed itself. Once on our way back across the Atlantic Ocean to the U.S. from a 7 month long Meditterranean Sea cruise we were operating with several other ships "steaming" along in formation. We received notification of a rain storm up ahead of us and so the challenge came to any ships interested to have a race to get to the storm where we would receive a free fresh water washdown ... compliments of nature. When a ship has been "at sea" for any length of time is gets lots of buildup of salt crystals all over it from the sea water. Salt is corrosive and nasty to have on the surface of everything so the ship has to be washed down with fresh water which requires a lot of manpower with brooms and swabs (mops) and elbow grease ... not to mention valuable fresh water which all too often was in short supply when out to sea. So a free fresh water washdown was most welcome and needed. And so off we went racing several other ships. We had one diesel engine powered destroyer escort (DE) type ship with us which was one of the participants. Now diesel powered propulsion systems are known to be fast in acceleration compared to a steam powered system like the rest of us had. Talk was flying around our ship about this DE being able to out accelerate us but then questioning if she could stay ahead of us. It did not take long to find out as she did take off slightly faster than us but we very quickly overtook her and left her behind and out of sight. And she was far ahead of all the others at that time. Anyway, we arrived at the rain storm and went thru it and turned around to come back thru it again the opposite direction. We then turned back around and went thru it again and upon arriving on the other side of it we waited for about 30 minutes for the 2nd place ship to arrive and it was not the DE. We were most certainly way ahead of them to have had all this time to accomplish this. That was a lot of fun!

The Icecream Caper

Steve Newbauer
formerly SFM2
Repair (R) -div.
served aboard Perry 5/66 to 4/68

The Ice Cream Caper

This same skipper was a pretty decent joe as officers go. One time while inport we were taking stores (supplies) aboard from the pier. It was a hot summer day and we were quite hot from this activity. Someone snatched one of the large (6 gallon I think they were) containers of ice cream and snuck it down into the after steering gear room. The word was passed around to several of us in engineering to "come and get it". Several of us were doing just that ... digging into the container with our hands as that's all we had available and we were trying to "scoff it down quickly before we were missed from the working party. About that time our captain walked out onto the fantail and was standing right above the manhole leading down into after steering. Someone among us looked up and saw him looking down at us. The word was passed around that we were had ... the skipper was watching us. We all looked up at him and he said to us something like ... "Is it good?" We all answered "yes sir". He just said something like "enjoy it and carry on". That was the end of it. He didn't do anything to us. We quickly finished and rejoined the work party ... thankful, of course, that we didn't get into trouble for it.

Leland Phillips
2nd Class Boilerman USS Perry 1951- 1952

I will give you a few quick memories of my days aboard the Perry. I came aboard as a 3rd Class Boilerman and was promoted to 2nd and took over the duties of the "OIL KING" and Log Room Yeoman.

I remember an incident caused by me while we were at sea when I switched fuel tanks and wound up pumping sea water into the boilers burners and of course put out all the fires. Capt. Archer was quite irritated with me as well he should have been but was very lenient and took it easy on me. It is enough to say it never happened again.

I was one of the sailors aboard the 50 foot liberty launch that swamped in Narragansett Bay on May 24th 1951. My recollection is that we lost 23 men in that boat accident that morning.

I would be interested in any contact I might be able to have with any of our other shipmates that were also on that launch that morning. The PERRY, GLENNON, POWER and BAILEY were nested next to the YELLOWSTONE out in the bay at that time. The BAILEY had boat duty that morning and their launch was bringing us back from liberty. In particular I would really like to find the sailor who I strongly feel saved my life that morning. After being in the water for nearly an hour without a life jacket I managed to join this sailor who had a life jacket on and floated along with him on his life jacket until we were picked up. I believe we were in the water for about an hour and forty minutes from the time the boat swamped. After being picked up by a small boat we were taken to a tug boat that was in the area and then taken to the Naval Hospital landing. I spent the next three days in the Naval Hospital.


WWII Plane Rescue
Hi Perry

From: Bob Willig
Hometown: Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17-55 ... Sent: 22:32 - 15/1
During WW2 I was a Flight Engineer and Gunner in VPB 22 we were flying a PBM Martin Mariner.
Sat. Feb. 24, 1945 we went down off the Island of Yap, still a Jap held Island, in fact our squadron had been bombing Yap and Nagulu. It was 2:30 PM and were concerned we would drift on to the Island. At 12:01 AM (Midnight) being pitch dark we noticed a large blacker image several feet ahead, there were no lights as we were in enemy territory. It was the Alvin C Cockrel (DE366) and at day light we also saw the Manlove (DE36) taking part. We were taken on board the Cockrel by climbing large nets. During the operation a Shipmate fell overboard but fortunately was rescued.

I keep thinking some day I will hear from one of the crew but time is getting short.

Any one out there????

Bob Willig
Mechanicsburg Pa. 17055
Gunnery Exercise
Joe Ress, LTJG 48-51
It was a clear blue-sky day with little wind on a day in summer of 1949, in the Virginia Capes Operating area (about 150 miles or so eastward of Cape Henry). The PERRY was then in the eighth squadron (Hunter-Killer), and the entire squadron was operating with the carrier USS PALAU CV 120. The exercise called was a secondary battery (40 mm) anti-aircraft drill using a radio-controlled drone operating from the carrier as the target. The squadron took formation off the carrier's port quarter in line ahead (column) with interval was 500 yards (or so). The PERRY was seventh ship in a column of eight. The drill was simple, the drone was to make two passes at each ship, one to starboard and one to port, and if it were still flying, was to pass on to the next ship in column. I hope you have the picture. So off to battle stations we went. I was in the main battery director, and got a a clear picture of the debacle. That little red drone came at the squadron flagship from starboard - lots of shooting, but no hits, then it returned from the port side. Again the flagship ( I think it was the USS NEW, but I'm not sure) let go with her forties - same result. So the drone passed on to the next ship in line, and guess what. Same thing. Third ship - same again. Well, we had a FC1 down in Plot, who called up to main battery director and asked me to describe exactly what I observed, including the direction in which the other ships were missing. I described it as well as I could, and he said in those famous words, "Aha ! - I'll bet I can hit it! So we got permission to break condition Able, and he went aft to the Mk 51 director, and got into the tub along with the director operator. Each ship in turn produced zero results, the drone passed over the ship ahead of us, and turned to make her approach on the PERRY. On she came, but not for long! The drone started her pass at us, but never finished it. In the very first few rounds, it burst into a ball of orange flame, and the crew burst into a spontaneous cheer! (If we had been a British ship, the captain would surely "splice the main brace"). It was a wonderful sight, worthy of that wonderful ship. Well, after all the self-congaratulations (and GQ) were over, I asked the FC1 (Ski was his name), how he did it. (Any gunnery or fire-control types would appreciate this.) He said that all the other ships were missing to the "outside" of the drone's turn, and that the director was set to compute a turn radius of about 800 yards, the drone was turning in about 200 yards. All he did was to tell the director operator NOT to track the drone (keep the director "caged") until it had completed its turn, then "uncage" the director, and commence firing. Voila! So ends a sea story intended only for that small gang of gunners and fire controllers intimately involved with the intricacies of naval gunnery.
I hope that it hasn't been too long, and I hope you enjoyed it.
Best regards,
Joseph Ress

GQ Exercise
William C. Janulin
Sussex, New Jersey
Sent: 1:39 - 12/2

This is so cool!!! I scanned the log and recognized some names of those I served aboard PERRY with. I served from June 1963 to August 1965. A sea story I like to tell is about a check sight observor who could not tell a clear check-sight from a foul one.
It was in January 1964 while we were on "refresher" training off the coast of CUBA. We were on a gunfire support exercise. For realism, they had targets set up on the shore line. We went to GQ and got set up to fire. The check sight observer reported a foul check sight when we had the mounts on stand-by. The gun control officer requested details and the check ight observer reported a white truck (the targets were painted white). "You idiot, that is the target! I was pointer in the gun director and the gun control officer slapped my shoulder like it was my fault or something. Anyway, we commenced firing and completed the exercise.
The next day, we had aanti-aircraft exercise (a plane towing a sleeve). Again we order the mounts to standby. Mount 51 check-sight observer reported a clear check-sight. Mount 52 reported a foul-check sight (same guy who reported the foul check sight). The gun-control officer and I looked at each other. "What again??" he asked. Never mind, commence firing. After the first round was fired, I geard a voice on the radio yell "YOU GUYS ARE NUTS!!" I looked through my scope and, sure enough, we were locked on the plane instead of the sleeve, OOPS!!
Well, needless to say, our captain held an impromptu de-briefing after the exercise. De-briefing, hell, he just had us together so he could yell at us for an hour.
Hope to see some of you guys at the Tinton Falls Bull session next month!
Bill Janulin, FTG3
Glen Houton
Wasn't my fault honest, I was asleep in my rack when it happened. :-)
We were playing war games. As the "Blue forces" we were escorting some other ships. We were in black out conditions at night, meaning no lights and no radar. We were allowed to operate the radar two or three sweeps every 15 or 20 minutes.
"Orange forces" submarine fired a flare that indicated they simulated firing a torpedo at the convoy. We, as a combatant with anti sub capability turned toward the sub. The York County, I was told, turned away to present the smallest target. We met in the middle. We did little damage to the York County as she was carrying a pontoon bridge on her side. We knocked it off the ship and crushed a couple of pontoons but did very little damage to the ship it's self. The Perry had about ten feet of the bow pushed in. In the picture I attached you can see where the pontoon bridge stopped above the water line. There was some underwater damage too. One of the Chiefs awoke to cold salt water running over his feet. The damage was in the Chief's Berthing space.
I heard that the Captain was ether called just before the impact or felt the ship backing down, when he came on to the bridge he could see the York County's bow light to starboard and her starboard running light to port. Standing there in his underware he had enough time to say "Oh sh**" before the impact. The York County had turned on their running lights moments
before the impact.
First I knew of it was when the collision alarm and GQ alarm went off. I went to my GQ station on the MK 5 TDT in CIC. Later we all went back aft to the fantail to help raise the bow, we were then drafted to remove all the stuff from the bosun's locker to lighten the bow some more.
Another incident we had, We were doing shore bombardment at Calibra Island in the Caribbean. We were anchored off shore during the exercise. Someone left the hatch to the anchor windlass room open. Some of the cork from the powder cases fell in the anchor windlass room and started a fire. We got it out in short order but the power to the anchor windlass was out. We
were anchored with no way to weigh anchor. A salvage tug soon came to cut our chain and hoist the anchor to their deck. I think we pulled into Roosevelt Roads for repairs that time.
We were witness to another collision. I belive it was the Noa, but it could be the Power too. The Perry was in lifeguard position ready to go along side to refuel from the oiler. I was on the flight deck (for the DASH helo) when the Weapons Officer called us over to look at the ships refueling. The Noa was along side starboard side to when she lost steering control with a small amount of right rudder on. I belive the bridge tried to steer with the screws until they could break away, but that only caused
them to slow down. The ship hit the oiler and slid down the length of the ship tearing the oil hoses out. The hoses were whipping around spraying oil every where. The side of the Noa was black with oil. I heard later they were using the port steering gear which had a shear pin in it and the pin sheared off. The starboard steering gear had no shear pin and was the required steering gear while alongside. The Perry learned from that mistake, we always used the steering gear without the shear pin after that.
About a year after these incidents Esquire magazine had an expos'e of all the unreported collisions the Navy had. Nether of these collisions were on Esquire's list. So I guess they missed a few.
Glen Houton
A Wife's Tale
I really appreciate the email you sent me on the Perry. My husband served from approx. 1962 to 1965 when he went to Bainbridge, Md for teletype school. I went on two dependent cruises and I must say they were something else. The first one almost got canceled because of choppy seas, but we went anyway. I did fine with no seasickness until I saw a sailor looking like he was walking on the side of a building. That ship suddenly became so small. The guys were great putting up with all of us dependents invading what space they did have. The second cruise was great. The sea was smooth and the whales that were between the Perry and Power gave us a good show. Only regret I had was that I couldn't go into the radio shack, but that was OK. Couldn't even peek in. I even did a navy seaman trick of grabbing the rail of the ladder and sliding down to the deck without touching the steps. I did it entirely by mistake and after i took my feet out of my armpits, the guys all heered me. Hurt my feet like the devil, but I grinned anyway. Anyway, thanks for a wonderful site. Bill and I have a lot of photos we will send you and newspaper articles, if you would like copies of. As a new Navy wife, I cut every article out of the paper that had Perry in it. Again, thanks for sending me the Email.

Emergency Radio Message
Robert J. Schneider
I remember a time, I believe in the summer of 1961 The ship received an emergency radio message that our help was needed getting a badly injured sailor off from a Submarine, I can't remember the Sub's name, but I was called upon to launch and man the motor whale boat to go to the sub and get the injured sailor and bring him back to the Perry so that we could highline him to a waiting Air Craft Carrier, another name I can't remember.

I went to the motor whale boat as fast as I could. As others were getting ready for the transport I tried to start the engine in the whale boat, but it wouldn't start. I tried every trick I knew of to start it. Everyone was on the Port side watching and waiting and the Captain was on the bridge watching and wondering. I looked down to the main deck and saw the Chief Corpman who we all called Doc. I yelled down to him and asked for a can of either. He went and got me a can. I took the top off the air intake and tied a rag over it and put a few drops on it and tried the engine. It started, but quit. I tried many times, but the engine wouldn't stay running. I yelled back down to Doc if he could get me a case of either and without waiting got it. We were going to get this sailor one way or another. Doc got back with the case of either and I started the engine and kept it running with either and had them lower the whale boat to the main deck for all hands going to get aboard. I noticed that a bosuns mate that I did not know that well, was going to go. I asked for one that I knew was a damned good coxswain, I don't remember his name , but he was black and well known. He was sent for and I explained the situation to him and that we could not use the bell's for navigation and to bear with me and the engine. The officer that went with us was A-Gangs Division Officer, Lt. JG. Smith. A fine Officer. I told him the situation and then had the boat lowered into the water and we proceeded toward the Submarine off our port side. The seas were very choppy and the engine ran just as long as I kept pouring the either to it. We arrived at the Sub and I jockyed the whale boat back and forth waiting. The whale boat took a lurch forward under a water discharge from the sub at the right moment. It poured all over Lt. JG. Smith who was sitting on the port side. He swears I did it on purpose and we joked about it later. We finially got the injured sailor on board and proceeded back to the Perry as she gracefully waited. I had allready used several cans of either and on the way back to the ship the motor whale boat engine started hammering and making all kinds of loud noises. It was starting to burn up and fall apart from using the straight either. You can't feed an engine long with either and expect it to hold together. We arrived at the ship and the motor whale boat was hauled back aboard. I quit pouring the either and the engine froze solid. We then highlined the injured sailor to the waiting Air Craft Carrier. Later back in port I had to completely rebuild the engine. It was completley shot after that rescue mission.That's also when I found out that the fuel injection pump was the reason for the engine not starting.

I have told my kids and Grandkids, that in my book, that there is no such word as can't. Some might say that what we did to get the injured sailor off the Sub couldn't be done the way we did it, But we did it. I remember this story as if were just yesterday.

Again the Mighty Honorable Ship, The USS PERRY DD-844 came through and got the job done.

She Will Be Greatly Missed By All that Served Aboard Her.

By Robert J. Schneider EN3 (Granny)
Speed Record
Garland V. Harper
63-64 SOG2
Powder Springs, GA

When we made the med cruise in 1964, we did not leave with the rest of the ships being deployed. Our evaporators were having trouble if I remember correctly, so we left a few days later. Because of our large fuel capacity , it was decided that we would make a speed run. The weather was unusually calm almost all the way. We had very little vibration and sailed smoothly day and night. I remember the nights as thephosporous burned in the wake and it seemed as though we were leaving a trail of fire. I sat on the fantail on those nights looking at the wake and the stars and pondered God and my place in the universe. By the time we reached the Straits of Gibraltar we were in bad need of a gas station and sure enough one was there to meet us. We were close to having to flood some fuel tanks if we hadn't refueled. The Capt. said we had set a speed record for the Gearing class with our crossing. I can close my eyes and still feel that magnificant trip.
Great ships are not forgotten!

Phil Cribbs
BT 2nd Class
1972 - 1973
I was the "Oil King" aboard the Perry as we were preparing for the Vietnam cruise of 1972 - 1973. I was called to the bridge on morning to talk to the Captain. The Captain requested that I pump or sluice all of the oil onboard to to the one side of the ship, the crane barge was alongside and we were getting ready to remove the gun mount barrels and replace them with new ones for the cruise. I went about my business and sluiced all of the oil from the tanks to the one side and lo and behold the ship starting listing as was desired to get the proper angle for removal and replacement of the gun mount barrels.
I remember many things about the trip to get the ship to VietNam, us snipes had most of the fun, with the generator breakdowns and all. I think we spent more time in the yards than anywhere else for our "cruise". One more memorable thing was the night on the way back when we were riding out a storm. I was in the engineering log room and the ship rolled taking a 38 degree roll by the old ship's inclinometer. Does anybody remember that on?

Vietnam Bound
James B. Garrett.
serial number 773 66 33
From October 1966 until June of 1968

I served aboard the U.S.S. Perry as a Sonar Technician 3rd Class, or STG3. Chief Ed Marchand was the Chief Sonarman, ST1 Marvin L.. Hollis was the leading sonarman. Some of my fellow sonarman were Peter Martino, Michael Sass, Thomas Bessa, Jim Phillips. I boarded the Perry shortly after she returned from a Mediterranean Cruise in October of 1966. The Perry participated in LandFlex 66. She went into the at Charleston, South Caroline during the summer of 1967 for class bravo 'tram' where among other things her sonar was modified. After being in drydock for the summer, she spent December of 1967 in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, for extensive ORI[operational readiness inspeciton] trial. When I joined the crew of the Perry in Oct 1966 she was homeported in Mayport, Florida. I left the Perry June 11 1968 in Norfolk, Virginia. I found out about 12 years ago that on January 11, 1969 she received orders for WestPact. She was Vietnam bound.
Yours truly James B. Garrett

more Garrett stories
While the Perry was in GITMO, undergoing her ORI's, one of the exercises involved stimulated strafing attacks up our fantail. One big problem was, that due an early class bravo fram, the Perry's after dual five inch 38 gun mount had been removed. In it's place a practice ammo loader had been installed. In a desperate attempt to compensate for this, several 30 caliber machine guns and several people armed with BAR's and Thompson submachine guns, went up to the DASH deck [the 01 level} and stimulated returning fire]
Another problem involved our ASROC computer, despite the best efforts of our Chief Sonarman Ed Marachand, and a retired navy sonorman, who came aboard the Perry while she was in GITMO, the computer was never fixed.

another Garrett story
Right after leaving the yards in Charleston, we said for Gitmo, a round of ORI's. The Perry pulled into Gitmo in early December of 1967. Our commanding officer at the time was CMDR William Widman [not positive how he spelled his last name]. By the way when I looked at the list of the Perry's CO's his name was conspicuous by its absence.
Rumor had it, that he put in for retirement, after he had been passed over for Captain for the third time. While down in Gitmo, to interesting things happened: An ammo ship ran aground close to midnight on either a Friday or Saturday night. Two oceans going tugs had no luck help her. Most of the tincans in port only were manned by skeleton crew, every else was ashore for liberty. What happened next was like a scene right out of the movies, with only the crew aboard and without the help of tugs, the crews used fire axes and severed all lines, and with the officers present got under way and with their added presence, the ammo ship was rescued.
Another episode that comes to mind, the marines stationed at Gitmo, were having target practice, using howitzers to try and sink empty 55 gallon drums,floating in the bay. The Marines were having no luck hitting the empty drums, and there was concern of an international incident if the drums drifted into Cuban waters. The Perry boarding party, saved the day, with M1's, BAR's, and Thompson Submachine guns, the empty drums were sunk.

I was a member of the Sonar gang, from October 1966 to June of 1968, I held the rank of STG3. It was the summer of 1967 and the Perry went in the Charleston, South Carolina ship yards, for Class Bravo Tram, which included upgrading the SQS-23 Sonar onboard at the time.
I remember that because we were going into dry-dock, there was an all hands, [E-6 and below] working party. We off loaded all 1500 rounds of five inch ammo. Only to learn after this was done, that is was not necessary.
We lived off ship, and enjoyed going to the Naval Base Hospital Theater, to see flicks as the Navy calls movies. While there I had the opportunity to meat many convalescing young marines, fresh back from combat in Vietnam.
Two in particular have always stood out in my mind, one young marine had scares on his forearms, and when asked about them, he said they were the result of bayonet wounds, received in hand to hand combat with the Viet Cong.
other was in a wheel chair, he was 19 at the time I meet him. Only a few years previous, he had been the captain of his high school football team. A snipers round had logged in his back, to close to his spinal cord to operate. So for the rest of his natural life he would be paralyzed from waist down.
I left the Perry June 11, 1968 while she was in Norfolk, Virginia. Shortly after I came back from Desert Storm, I found out from a friend, that on January 11, 1969 the Perry got orders to WESTPAC Vietnam in short.

 Submarine Sighting
Ed Crocker
RM3 1947-1949

I was there WHEN!

I transferred from the Submarine service to the Perry in the Oct.1947, and was discharged from the Perry in Oct.1949. I came aboard the Perry as head radioman when most of the Plank owner's were getting discharged. At the time there was a big Eight Ball painted on the smokestack. Memories fade, mostly dates, but between when I came aboard and until I left the Perry, I was there during these exciting moments.

I was on the bridge watching the 5'' guns firing on a target, when the forward gun mount blew up, the hatch flew open and smoke came out and then some of the men fell out. They were injured. I don't know anything about the guns but I heard that the recoil spring broke into pieces.

I was on the fantail with some of the guys, when the Battleship Missouri ran aground. They were in our channel for smaller ships.

I was there when the Perry and the USS Warrington were on patrol off Long Island, NY and we found a foreign submarine within the 12-mile area limit. We requested them to identify themselves via radio and voice (underwater) and they would not respond. This went on for 3 days. We requested permission from Atlantic Fleet Command, to drop depth charges. Intern they contacted President Truman, and the message back was "do not fire until fired upon !". We didn't like that answer, because when the submarine ran out of air, they would come up firing torpedoes and blow both our ships out of the water. We decided to lose that submarine before that could happen. We lost them and I won't say how.

In my mind the Perry is still on patrol out there somewhere!!!!!

Ed Crocker RM3

1966 Collision
Wayne E. Smith-SN, USN 2/64-1/68
USS York County-LST 1175, 5/65-1/68

This is a sea story, told from the perspective of a SN, on bridge watch aboard USS YORK COUNTY-LST 1175 on the morning of Dec 6, 1966. (A very dark, moonless night!) The York was steaming off FL on a northerly course, in a convoy of approximately 30 ships. The convoy was at ENCOM conditions. (No running lights, radio or, radar.) We were steaming in a position on the starboard, outboard line of ships in convoy. At approximately 03:00 hrs, our aft lookout reported running lights crossing from starboard to port aft of the convoy. The running lights then turned and, steamed thru the convoy from the rear to a position, about Two miles ahead of the York. These lights then turned to starboard and, steamed out of the convoy. Then disappeared. I was manning the 1-J.V. as bridge phone talker on the midwatch. The JOOD had the conn and, the OOD had stepped into CIC. A few minutes later, the starboard lookout reported that he had a contact: Bearing 010, Range 100yards! As I relayed the message to the JOOD, the OOD stepped onto the bridge. The JOOD, ordered "left full rudder, all back emergency". The OOD (Lt. Biedenbach) assumed the conn and ordered "belay that! Left full rudder, all ahead flank". Then all hell broke loose! The POW (Anougher SN.), sounded G.Q. Collision N.B.C. alarms all at once. Sleepy sailors wondered if we were under attack or, had been nuked as they stumbled out of their racks. A "T" turns quick, especially under those conditions, but not quick enough. I remember hearing a loud "crunch" and, seeing very large sparks floating up from our starboard side forward. I also, remember thinking, what would I taste like (Roasted.) to a shark? The York carried approximately 250,000 gals of various fuels for the embarked Marines. The fuel risers were located very close to where we were hit! As I ran down from the bridge and forward along the main deck, something was askew that I could not identify. When I reached my G.Q. station on gun mount 31 and, placed the phones on. I realized what was askew. The York was missing two causeways, our gangway and garbage chute off our starboard side. As we sat DIW at a relaxed G.Q., we wondered who had hit us? We thought it was a destroyer from her actions prior to the collision. Reports came in that the damage to our York was minimal. A small hole, above the waterline and, no injuries. Then after sunrise, we beheld the USS PERRY-DD844, laying a few hundred yards off our starboard side, with her "new accordion bow". She did not look good! Had we not heard earlier, we would have thought she now carried causalities. Luckily, the Perry had seen us in time to start turning to port and we had started turning to port. Also, that we were carrying the causeways. We later learned, she was steaming at 12 knot's when she struck. Had she struck us straight on (Bow to side) without our causeways in place, her bow would have probably stopped in our tank deck. Our fuel tanks would have ruptured and, both ships could have been involved in a massive fire.
The last time I saw the Perry. She was attempting to make steerage in reverse. I understand a fleet tug towed her into Roosevelt Roads for repairs? We spent the rest of the day sinking the damaged causeways. We then proceeded to Key West for reasons unbeknownst to a lowly SN and then on to Little Creek for Christmas leaves.

To the crew of the Perry: I am forever glad you were luckily sustained no causalities from our unintentional meeting.
Thank you Poseidon!

Wayne E. Smith-SN, USN 2/64-1/68
USS York County-LST 1175, 5/65-1/68

Gerald A. Schnoblen
USS Perry DD-844 1962 - 1964
Sterling Heights, MI

August 3, 2003

Dear Steve,

Greetings shipmate. A while ago I came across these prayers and they had a nautical theme to them. I thought I would share them with you, and maybe you could use them at the next reunion for any one of the invocations.

They really reflect many times we have been out to sea, and the wonders of the vast oceans we have sailed and experienced. The morning watches, and evening watches out at sea were especially note worthy of these times. I think many a shipmate can relate to the moments in their daily shipboard life, the prayers of encouragement, and how these words bring home that thought.

Take care, and as always to a fellow shipmate, may your journeys, and quest be enjoyable. May you have "fair winds and following seas".



A Prayer at Sea

0 God,

Give me the strength of the mighty ocean,
sweep me clean as the rolling sands,
give me grace of waves, white capped, mold my being in Thy hands.

Make me faithful as the tides, eternal,
humble as the storm-bent tree.
Let me listen and hear Thee speak in the rage and hush of the sea.

Rachel C Surchard

O Lord of light,
who make the stars,
O Dawn, by whom
we see the day
Christ Redeemer of us all
make haste to listen
as we pray.

John Brownile

Three Anchors

When sailing through the storms of doubt,
discouragement, or pain,
hail not fear the lashing wind nor fury of the rain.

Three anchors hold my little craft
I tested them with care;
there's one of faith and one of hope
and one of daily prayer.

With these to hold my ship secure
what danger can betide,

I know that I shall reach at last
a harbor safe and wide.

Bill Janulin
FTG3 63-65

One of my many duties was to stand helmsman watch on the bridge and when at sea, we normally rotated 4hrs on and 8 hours off.

We were in the Med. In either 1964 or 1965, can't remember the exact year. What I do remember was this one night I had the mid-watch on the helm. We were in one of the worst windstorms I have ever seen. We were doing 35-degree rolls as the norm. One time we did a 44-degree roll and I was not sure if we were going to capsize or what.

Now, for those of you that have tried to steer a destroyer and keep it on course in this situation will appreciate this story. When steering during a storm like this, what one tries to do is to take an average of the gyrocompass readings. In this case, I was ordered to steer course 150 so I tries to control the oscillation of the gyro compass readings to read between, say 100 and 200 so they would average out to the course I was supposed to steer.

Now, during this watch, we had the LT(JG) on the con and every time he looked at the gyro compass, we were off course. He just did not understand what it took to keep us on course. He just kept on me about staying on course with remarks like "Hey, Helm, where are you going home!!?, Get this ship back on course!! What's the matter with you?. Now this guy kept it up for the better part of two hours. Naturally, I could not say anything without sounding insubordinate. The OOD on this watch was a full LT who was also our signal officer. He was one of the better officers I served under during my time aboard PERRY. Periodically, I glanced at him with a visual plea for help and all we could do was chuckle at the whole situation. At one point I turned to the lee-helmsman and whispered "Somehow, I am going to get this guy!". Well, about 20 minutes later, this JG decides to go out on the starboard wing of the bridge to get a breath of air. The sky was clear that night, we were just in one hell of a windstorm. At that moment, a giant wave was approaching us. The lee-helmsman nudged my shoulder. I nodded to him and gave the ship little bit of right rudder so that the bow would hit the wave head on. The bow then completely submerged under that wave, the water came over Mount 52 and hit the bridge. At that point, the JG disappeared from the wing. I thought that maybe we washed him over the side but he soon re-appeared, soaked to the skin, laughing to beat the band. The OOD looked at me, with a twinkle in his eye, and asked, "Did you do that on purpose?" At that precise moment, we were right on course. I looked at him and stated "STEADY ON COURSE 150 SIR!"

Bill Janulin, FTG3

Garland Harper, 63-64 SO2

I had the pleasure of serving under Cdr. Pond shortly before he was relieved by Cdr. Sheppard. We had a seaman aboard whose name was also Pond. Seaman Pond was an accident looking for a place to happen. We were at GQ for a NBC exercise off the Fla, coast and had sealed off the ship for nuclear wash-down after all hands had been ordered to clear the weather decks and seal all doors and hatches. I was the skipper's poverboardhone talker. After the wash-down commenced, a lookout reported a sailor running around in circles behind mount 51. Cdr. Pond wanted to know if anyone could identify the man. Someone responded that they believed it was seaman Pond. Cdr. Pond wasn't pleased, to say the least, and wondered why they had to have the same last name. If i'm ly'in I'm dy'in. Vic Harper.

Febuary 14, 1971
Conrad William McGoldrick
13154 N200W - N Manchester, IN 46962

Many thanks to the the 2 brave Perry Sailors that fished me out of the drink, the OOD and Skipper of the USS Perry.

After the Perry and Saratoga were refueled the Caloosahatchee began bouncing around the choppy seas like a cork. While securing some lines, something I had done a 1000 times before, I suddenly found myself overboard. At first I thought it was a bad dream but soon realized it was no dream and I would be meeting my maker sooner than planned. Being sucked into the ship's screws was certainly not how I had planned to leave this planet. For a moment it was a great relief when I surfaced and realized this tragic ending would not be my faith. However, when I saw the Caloosahatchee steaming away I realized they didn't know I was missing. Here I was in the middle of the sea with only the white caps for companions. It doesn't take long to get religion in this situation and to start praying rather quickly. My prayers were answered when I saw the Perry coming toward me and realized the Perry had come to a stop and would not steam roll over me. What seamed like an eternity had probably taken only a few minutes until I saw the Perry lifeguards swimming towards me.

This lucky sailor is looking to say thanks again for my long lease on life.

Bill Scherkenbach LTJG 68-71

I was the OOD when the Caloosahatchee sailor fell overboard. I saw him fall and kept my eye on him while our team on the bridge went into action. Our lifeguard watch was posted and ready. CIC shut down the sonar, Main Control took the initiative to drop superheat for maneuvering. I took the con to get close to the sailor. Because I couldn't get Perry closer, (I didn't want him sucked into our intakes) our sailors had to jump in to the sea to complete the rescue. I will look up the names of the two on our lifeguard detail who jumped in. It was a great team effort.

Message from Thomas Kalbacher
USS Caloosahatchee AO98
Petty Officer 2nd Class

I remember the incident but not the sailores involved I will go thru my records and see what I can find. There may be something in my cruise book from that deployment

Man Overboard
JOE RESS, LTJG ('48-'50)

Arctic Swim
In November, 1949, the PERRY, together with the eighth destroyer squadron, was joined by the USS Mindoro as flagship, to make up task group 81.1. You will recall that this was the beginning of the "Cold War" and the navy wanted us to get a little cold water experience, if we were going to have to deal with the Soviet Union.
Accordingly, the Atlantic Fleet was sent to the Arctic for exercises. Our task group was a hunter-killer group, and we spent 12 hours each day at GQ, hunting submarines.
As I recall, it was just after daybreak on another cold, bleak, dreary, rough day) when we formed up for refueling at sea. Each ship in the squadron in turn, took station on the oiler, which was either the USS ELEKOMIN or the CALOOSAHATCHIE (memory is unclear on this point).
We went to fueling-at-sea stations, and passed the forward and after hoses to starboard, and a replenishment line amidships, and started the operation. My station was on the main deck, supervising the receiving stations. We had just started taking fuel, when I happened to look up and saw a monster wave coming from ahead of the ship. To me, it looked like it was 60 feet high, but at the moment, I surmised that wave heights looked different when viewed from the main deck - I was accustomed to seeing them from the bridge. In any event, it turned out to be a rogue wave. When it hit us, it parted both hoses and the replenishment line, and it knocked the fireman at the forward fueling station overboard. It slammed both Chief Boatswain's Mate Sanchez and Boatswain's Mate Second Class Cooksey into the bulkhead. Fortunately for the fireman who was washed overboard, the LLOYD THOMAS, which was astern and waiting to go alongside, picked him up before hypothermia set in. Unfortunately, both Chief Sanchez and Cooksey were not so lucky. Chief Sanchez broke his back and was later medically discharged from the navy, and Cooksey got sewn up on the wardroom table, after he had lost many many teeth. I was the luckiest of all - I got washed through the open bulkhead door and ended up on my rear end way down the main deck, past the midships passageway.
The wave did some superficial damage to the superstructure, but it was powerful enough to actually twist the ship's hull a bit. We discovered later that roller paths for the forward 5" 38 mounts had been distorted a degree or so.
It was hardly the best cruise we ever made in the PERRY, but later that winter we went on Operation Portrex (I believe that was what it was called), and spent few weeks in the Caribbean, chasing submarines and landing marines on Vieques Island. What a life !
Joseph Ress, LTJG ('48-'50)
Keep up the good work Steve. One of these days . . . . . . .
Best Regards,
Joe Ress

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The intellectual content of this web site is the sole property of Stephen J Silk.




 A Fairy Tale starts with
"Once upon a time"
and a Sea story starts with
"This aint no shit"

 back to top of page

Human Interest

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach , but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it. Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the time. My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the he stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver the parlor and held it to my ear. "Information, please" I said into the mouth piece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voicespokeinto my ear. "Information." "I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience. "Isn't your mother home?" came the question. "Nobody's home but me," I blubbered. "Are you bleeding?" the voice asked. "No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts." "Can you open the icebox?" she asked. I said I could. "Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," saidthevoice. After that, I called "Information Please" for everything. I asked her her help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts. Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called,Information Please," and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of the cage?" She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, "Paulalwaysremember that there are other worlds to sing in." Somehow I felt better. Another day I was on the telephone, "Information Please.""Information,"said in the now familiar voice. "How do I spell fix?" I asked. All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine year years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back homel and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient,understanding,and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy. A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in seattle. I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please." Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. "Information." I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?" There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now." I laughed, "So it's really you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea much you meant to me during that time?" I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your call meant to me. In ever had any children and I used to look forward to your calls." I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister. "Please do," she said. "Just ask for Sally." Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered, "Information." I asked for Sally. "Are you a friend?" she said. "Yes, a very old friend," I answered. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said. "Sally had be enworking part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago." Before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute, did you say your name was Paul?" "Yes," I answered. "Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you. Let me read it to you." The note read, "Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean." I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant. Never underestimate the impression you may make on others. Whose life have you touched today?

If I were Ole' Santa, you know what I'd do;I'd dump silly gifts that are given to you, And deliver some things just inside your front door, Things you have lost, but treasured before.I'd give you back all your maidenly vigor, And to go along with it, a neat tiny figure.Then restore the old color that once graced your hairBefore rinses and bleaches took residence there.I'd bring back the shape with which you were gifted, So things now suspended need not be uplifted.I'd draw in your tummy and smooth down your back Till you'd be a dream in those tight fitting slacks.I'd remove all your wrinkles and leave only one chin, So you wouldn't spend hours rubbing grease on your skin, You'd never have flashes or queer dizzy spells, And you wouldn't hear noises like ringing of bells.No sore aching feet and no corns on your toes, No searching for spectacles when they're right on your nose, Not a shot would you take in your arm, hip or fanny, from a doctor who thinks you're a nervous and old.You'd never have a headache, so no pills would you take, And no heating pad needed since your muscles won't ache, Yes, if I were Santa you'd never look stupid, you'd be a cute little chick with the romance of a cupid. I'd give a lift to your heart when those wolves start to whistleAnd the joys of your heart would be light as a thistle. But alas! I'm not Santa, I'm simply just me


¸...¸ __/ /\____
,·´º o`·,/__/ _/\_ //____/\
```)¨(´´´ | | [1] | | [1]| | |[1] || |l±±±±
¸,.-·²°´ ¸,.-·~·~·-.,¸ `°²·-. :º°

One day someone's husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in The
warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning
that sometimes there isn't any more. No more hugs, no more special moments to
celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more "just one
minute." Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and
goes away . never to return before we can say good-bye, say "I love you."

¸...¸ __/ /\____
,·´º o`·,/__/ _/\_ //____/\
```)¨(´´´ | | [1] | | [1]| | |[1] || |l±±±±
¸,.-·²°´ ¸,..-·~·~·-.,¸ `°²·-. :º°

So while we have it . . . it's best we love it . . . and care for it .
and fix it when it's broken . . and heal it when it's sick. This is true for
marriage . . and old cars . . and children with bad report cards and
dogs with bad hips and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because
they are worth it, because we are worth it.

¸...¸ __/ /\____
,·´º o`·,/__/ _/\_ //____/\
```)¨(´´´ | | [1] | | [1]| | |[1] || |l±±±±
¸,.-·²°´ ¸,.-·~·~·-.,¸ `°²·-. :º°

Some things we keep -- like a best friend who moved away or a classmate
we grew up with. There are just some things that make us happy, no matter

¸...¸ __/ /\____
,·´º o`·,/__/ _/\_ //____/\
```)¨(´´´ | | [1] | | [1]| | |[1] || |l±±±±
¸,.-·²°´ ¸,.-·~·~·-.,¸ `°²·-. :º°

Life is important, like people we know who are special . . . and so, We
keep them close!

¸...¸ __/ /\_____
,·´º o`·,/__/ _/\_ //____/\
```)¨(´´´ | | [1] | | [1]| | |[1] || |l±±±±
¸,.-·²°´ ¸,.-·~·~·-.,¸ `°²·-. :º°

Thank you for being a special part of my life!

This was written by an 83 year old..
Dear Bertha,
I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them. I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries.. I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank. "Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary; if it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now. I'm not sure what others would've done had they known they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was. I'm guessing; I'll never know. It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God. If you're too busy to take the few minutes that it takes right now to forward this, would it be the first time you didn't do the little thing that would make a difference in your relationships? I can tell you it certainly won't be the last. Take a few minutes to send this to a few people you care about, just to let them know that you're thinking of them. "People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don't need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there." I don't believe in miracles. I rely on them. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance

     Whether a man winds up with a nest egg, or a goose egg, depends a lot on the kind of chick he marries. Trouble in marriage often starts when a man gets so busy earning' his salt, that he forgets his sugar.
      Too many couples marry for better, or for worse, but not for good. When a man marries a woman, they become one; but the trouble starts when they try to decide which one.
      If a man has enough horse sense to treat his wife like a horoughbred, she will never turn into an old nag. On anniversaries, the wise husband always forgets the past - but never the present.
      A foolish husband says to his wife, "Honey, you stick to the washin', ironin', cookin', and scrubbin'. No wife of mine is gonna work." The bonds of matrimony are a good investment, only when the interest is kept up. Many girls like to marry a military man - he can cook, sew, and make beds, and is in good health, and he's already used to taking orders.
      Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age, and start bragging about it. The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.
Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know why" I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, remember about Algebra. You know you are getting old, when everything either dries up, or leaks. I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.
One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.
     Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald, they don't recognize you. If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.
       First you forget names, then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull up your zipper, but it's really worse when you forget to pull it down.
Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft ......Today, it's called Golf.

Too Busy for a Friend...?

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" she heard whispered. "I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!" and, "I didn't know others liked me so much." were most of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.

The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. "Were you Mark's mathteacher?" he asked. She nodded: "yes." Then he said: "Mark talked about you a lot."

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.

"We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it."

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him.

"Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it."

All of Mark's former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home."

Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album."

"I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary."

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: "I think we all saved our lists."

That's when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be.

So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

And One Way To Accomplish This Is: Forward this message on. If you do not send it, you will have, once again passed up the wonderful opportunity to do something nice and beautiful.

If you've received this, it is because someone cares for you and it means there is probably at least someone for whom you care.

If you're "too busy" to take those few minutes right now to forward this message on, would this be the VERY first time you didn't do that little thing that would make a difference in your relationships?

Remember, you reap what you sow. What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own.



In the Blue Ridge Mountains, there was a retired sailor who was reputed to have the best hunting dog ever, by the name of "Chief". Three Admirals went-up into the mountains and wanted to rent him.

The old sailor said good hunting dog, gonna cost ya $50.00 a day." They agreed and three days later came back with the limit. The next year they came back. "Chief got better, gonna cost you $75.00 a day," again they agreed, and 2 days later they came back with the limit.

The third year they came back and told the old sailor they had to have "Chief" even if it cost $100.00 a day. "You can have the worthless mutt for $5.00 a day, and I'm overcharging you by $4.00."

"But we don't understand, what happen to him?" "Well, a crew from the Norfolk Naval Base base came up and rented him. One of the idiots called him Master Chief, and he's just been sitting on his ass barkin' ever since."

Yossel Zelkovitz worked in a pickle factory.

For many years he had a powerful desire to put his penis in the pickle slicer. Unable to stand it any longer, he sought professional help.

After six months, his therapist gave up. He advised Yossel to go ahead and do it or he would probably never have any peace of mind.

The next day he came home from work very early. His wife, Sarah, became alarmed and wanted to know what happened.

Yossel tearfully confessed his tormenting desire to put his penis in the pickle slicer.! He went on to explain that today he finally went ahead and did it and was immediately fired from his job.

Sarah gasped and ran over to her husband. She quickly yanked down his pants and boxer shorts only to find a normal, completely intact penis.

She looked up and said, "I don't understand. What about the pickle slicer?"
Yossel replied, "I think she got fired, too."

Three Navy retirees, each with a hearing loss, were having a chat one
fine March day. One remarked to the other, "Windy, isn't it?" "No," the
second man replied, "it's Thursday." And the third man chimed in, "So am I. Let's have a beer."


One day in the future, Jesse Jackson has a heart-attack and dies. He immediately goes to hell, where the devil is waiting for him. "I don't know what to do here," says the devil. "You are on my list, but I have no room for you.

You definitely have to stay here, so I'll tell you what I'm going to do.
I've got a couple of folks here who weren't quite as bad as you. I'll let
one of them go, but you have to take their place. I'll even let YOU decide
who leaves."

Jesse thought that sounded pretty good, so the devil opened the door to the
first room. In it, was Ted Kennedy and a large pool of water. He kept
diving in, and surfacing, empty handed. Over, and over, and over he dove in
and surfaced with nothing. Such was his fate in hell.

"No," Jesse said. "I don't think so. I'm not a good swimmer, and I don't
think I could do that all day long."

The devil led him to the door of the next room. In it was Al Gore with a
sledgehammer and a room full of rocks. All he did was swing that hammer,
time after time after time.

"No, I've got this problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony
if all I could do was break rocks all day," commented Jesse.

The devil opened a third door. Through it, Jesse saw Bill Clinton, lying on
the floor with his arms tied over his head, and his legs restrained in a
spread-eagle pose. Bent over him was Monica Lewinsky, doing what she does

Jesse looked at this in shocked disbelief, and finally said, "Yeah, I can
handle this."

The devil smiled and said . . . .This is priceless ...."OK, Monica, you're free to go."

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, 'Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am.' The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, 'You're in a hot air balloon approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.'

She rolled her eyes and said, 'You must be a Republican.'
'I am,' replied the man. 'How did you know?'
'Well,' answered the balloonist, 'everything you have told
me is technically ! correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me.'

The man smiled and said, 'You must be a Democrat.'
'I am,' replied the balloonist. 'How did you know?'

'Well,' said the man, 'you don't know where you are or where you are going. You've risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met but, somehow, it's my fault.'"

Ain't it the truth

working people frequently ask retired people what they do to
Make their days interesting. I went to the store the other day. I was only in there for about 5 Minutes when I came out there was a city cop writing out a parking ticket.

I went up to him and said, "come on, buddy, how about giving a senior a
Break?" he ignored me and continued writing the ticket. I called him a name. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires. So I called him a worse name. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more I abused him the more tickets he wrote.

I didn't care. My car was parked around the corner and this one had an "elect john kerry" bumper sticker on it. I try to have a little fun each day now that i'm retired. It's important at our age.


1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always
catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's lap.


1) Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber,
not the toy.


1) Growing up is mandatory; growing old is optional.
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while
you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a
rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody
bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.


1) You believe in Santa Claus.
2) You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3) You are Santa Claus.
4) You look like Santa Claus.


At age 4 success is . not peeing in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . . having friends.
At age 16 success is . . . having a drivers license.
At age 35 success is ... . . having money.
At age 50 success is . . . having money.
At age 70 success is . . . having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . . . having friends.
At age 80 success is . ..... not peeing in your pants.

Always remember to forget the troubles that pass your way; BUT
NEVER forget the blessings that come each day.

Take the time to live!!! Life is too short

Dear Civilians, We know that the current state of affairs in our great nation have many civilians up in arms and excited to join the military. For
those of you who can't join, you can still lend a hand. Here are a few of the areas we would like your assistance:
1) The next time you see an adult talking (or wearing a hat) during the playing of the National Anthem ... kick their ass.
2) When you witness firsthand someone burning the American Flag in protest
... kick their ass.
3) Regardless of the rank they held while they served, pay the highest amount of respect to all veterans. If you see anyone doing otherwise, quietly
pullthem aside and explain how these Veterans fought for the very freedom they bask in every second. Enlighten them on the many sacrifices these Veterans
made to make this nation great. Then hold them down while a Disabled Veteran kicks their ass.
4) If you were never in the military, DO NOT pretend that you were. Wearing camouflage, telling others that you used to be "Special Forces," andcollecting GI Joe memorabilia, might have been okay if you were still seven.Now, it will only make you look stupid and get your ass kicked.
5) Next time you come across an Air Force member, do not ask them, "Do youfly a jet?" Not everyone in the Air Force is a pilot. Such ignorance deservesan ass kicking (children are exempt).6) If you witness someone calling the US Coast Guard non-military, informthem of their mistake ... then kick their ass.
7) Roseanne Barr's singing of the National Anthem is not a blooper .. itwas a disgrace and disrespectful. Laugh, and sooner or later your ass will bekicked.
8) Next time Old Glory goes by during a parade, get on your damn feet andpay homage to her by placing your hand over your heart. Quietly thank themilitary member or veteran lucky enough to be carrying her ... of course,failureto do either of those could earn you a severe ass kicking
.9) What Jane Fonda did during the Vietnam War makes her the enemy. Justmention her nomination for "Woman of the Year" and get your ass kicked. SeanPenn's interpretation of helping, plays right along with Jane Fonda.10) Don't try to discuss politics with a military member or a veteran. Weare Americans and we all bleed the same regardless of our party affiliation.The President is our Commander in Chief regardless of political party. We haveno inside track on what happens inside those big important buildings whereall those representatives meet. All we know is that when those civilianrepresentatives screw up the situation, they call upon the military to gostraighten it out. The military member might direct you to Oliver North. (I canseehim kicking your ass already.)
11) "Your mama wears combat boots" never made sense to me. If she did, shewould most likely be a vet and, therefore, could kick your ass!
12) Bin Laden and the Taliban are not communists, so stop saying "Let's gokill those Commie's!!!" And stop asking us where he is!!!! Crystal balls arenot standard issue in the military. That reminds me ... if you see anyonecalling those damn psychic phone numbers; let me know, so I can go kick theirass.
13) Flyboy (Air Force), Jar Head (Marines), Grunt (Army), Squid (Navy),etc., are terms of endearment we use describing each other. Unless you are aservice member or vet, you have not earned the right to use them. Doing so willget your ass kicked.
14) Last but not least, whether or not you become a member of the military,support our troops and their families. Every Thanksgiving and religiousholiday that you enjoy with family and friends, please remember that there areliterally thousands of sailors and troops far from home wishing they could bewith their families. Thank God for our military and the sacrifices they makeevery day. Without them, our country would get its ass kicked."It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of thepress.It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom todemonstrate.It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, andwhose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."(Authored by:) Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, Sergeant, USMC(Please pass this on so I won't have to kick your ass!)

There were 3 good arguments that Jesus could have been Black:

1. He called everyone "brother"
2. He liked Gospel
3. He couldn't get a fair trial.

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was Jewish:

1. He went into His Fathers business.
2. He lived at home until he was 30.
3. He was sure his Mother was a virgin and his mother was sure he was God.

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus could have been Italian:

1. He talked with his hands.
2. He had wine with every meal.
3. He used olive oil.

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus could have been a Californian:

1. He never cut his hair.
2. He walked around barefoot all the time.
3. He started a new religion.

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus could have been Irish:

1. He never got married.
2. He was always telling stories.
3. He loved green pastures.

But the most compelling evidence of all - 3 proofs that Jesus could have been a woman:

1. He fed a crowd at a moment's notice when there was no food.
2. He kept trying to get a message across to a bunch of men who just didn't get it.
3. And even when he was dead, He had to get up because there was more work to do.

Growing older is mandatory...growing up is optional! Live life to the fullest each day!


A few days ago, we received one of those infinitely forwarded emails that struck our fancy because it was so clever and, as you'll soon read, has a certain quirky logic. Kudos to the anonymous writer:

"No nursing home for me! I'm checking into the Holiday Inn.

With the average cost for a nursing home per day reaching $188.00, there is a better way when we get old and feeble. I have already checked on reservations at the Holiday Inn. For a combined long-term stay discount and senior discount, it's $49.23 per night.

That leaves $138.77 a day for:
1. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner in any restaurant I want, or room service.
2. Laundry, gratuities, and special TV movies.

Plus, they provide a swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge, washer, dryer, etc. Most have free toothpaste and razors, and all have free shampoo and soap. They treat you like a customer, not a patient. $5.00 worth of tips a day will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.

There is a city bus stop out front, and seniors ride free. The handicap bus will also pick you up (if you fake a decent limp). To meet other nice people, call a church bus on Sundays. For a change of scenery, take the airport shuttle bus and eat at one of the nice restaurants there. While you're at the airport, fly somewhere. Otherwise, the cash keeps building up.

It takes months to get into decent nursing homes. Holiday Inn will take your reservation today. And you are not stuck in one place forever, you can move from Inn to Inn, or even from city to city. Want to see Hawaii? They have a Holiday Inn there, too. TV broken? Light bulbs need changing? Need a mattress replaced? No problem. They fix everything and apologize for the inconvenience.

The Inn has a night security person and daily room service. The maid checks if you are OK. If not, they will call the undertaker or an ambulance. If you fall and break a hip, Medicare will pay for the hip, and Holiday Inn will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

And no worries about visits from family. They will always be glad to find you, and probably check in for a few days mini-vacation. The grandkids can use the pool. What more can you ask for? So, when I reach the golden age I'll face it with a grin. Just forward all my emails to the Holiday Inn!"

Most standard rooms have coffeemakers, reclining chairs, and satellite TV-all you need to enjoy a cozy afternoon. After a movie and a good nap, you can check on your children (free local phone calls), then take a stroll to the lounge or restaurant where you meet new and exotic people every day. Many Holiday Inns even feature live entertainment on the weekends.

Often they have special offers, too, like the Kids Eat Free Program. You can invite your grandkids over after school to have a free dinner with you. Just tell them not to bring more than three friends. Pick a Holiday Inn where they allow pets, and your best friend can keep you company as well.

If you want to travel, but are a bit skittish about unfamiliar surroundings, in a Holiday Inn you'll always feel at home because wherever you go, the rooms all look the same. And if you're getting a little absent-minded in your old days, you never have to worry about not finding your room--your electronic key fits only one door and the helpful bellman or desk clerk is on duty 24/7.

Being perma-skeptics, we called a Holiday Inn to check this story out--and are happy to report that they were positively giddy at the idea of us checking in for a year or more. They even offered to negotiate the rate (we could have easily knocked them down to $40 a night!). See you at the Inn!

A Polish man married a Canadian girl after he had been in Canada a year or so and, although his English was far from perfect, they got on very well. Until one day he rushed into a lawyer's office and asked him if he could arrange a divorce for him-"very quick." The lawyer said that the speed for getting a divorce would depend on the circumstances and asked him the following questions:

LAWYER: Have you any grounds?
POLE: JA, JA, an acre and half and a nice little home with 3 bedrooms.
LAWYER "No," I mean what is the foundation of this case?"
POLE: "It is made of concrete, brick and mortar," he responded.
LAWYER: "Does either of you have a real grudge?"
POLE: "No," he replied, "We have a two-car carport and have never really needed one."
LAWYER: "I mean, What are your relations like?"
Pole: All my relations are in Poland.
LAWYER: "Is there any infidelity in your marriage?"
POLE: "Yes, we have hi fidelity stereo set &DVD player with 6.1 sound. We don't necessarily like the music, but the answer to your questions is yes."
LAWYER: No, I mean Does your wife beat you up?
POLE: NO, I'm always up before her.
LAWYER: Is your wife a nagger?
POLE: NO, she white.
LAWYER: WHY do you want this divorce?
POLE: SHE going to kill me.
LAWYER: What makes you think that?
POLE: I got proof.
LAWYER: What kind of proof?
POLE: She going to poison me. She buy a bottle at the drug store and put on shelf in bathroom. I can read --
it says, "Polish Remover."

The Best of Rodney!

A girl phoned me the other day and said ...."Come on over, there's nobody home".I went over. Nobody was home."

If it weren't for pick-pocketers I'd have no sex life at all. And we were poor too. Why if I wasn't born a boy.... I'd have nothing to playwith.

During sex my girlfriend always wants to talk to me. Just the other night she called me from a hotel.

One day as I came home early from work ..... I saw a guy jogging naked.I said to the guy .... Hey buddy .... Why are you doing that? He said ....Because you came home early.

Its been a rough day. I got up this morning .... put on a shirt and a button fell off. I picked up my briefcase and the handle came off. Now I'm afraid to go to the bathroom.

When I played in the sandbox the cat kept covering me up.

I could tell that my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.

My mother never breast fed me. She told me that she only liked me as a friend.

My father carries around the picture of the kid who came with his wallet.

When I was born .... the doctor came out to the waiting room and said to my father .... I'm very sorry. We did everything we could..... But he pulled through.

My mother had morning sickness -- after I was born.

I remember the time I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.

Once when I was lost..... I saw a policeman and asked him to help me find my parents. I said to him .... do you think we'll ever find them? He said ... I don't know kid .... there are so many places they can hide.

My wife made me join a bridge club. I jump off next Tuesday.

I worked in a pet shop and people kept asking how big I'd get.

I went to see my doctor. Doctor, every morning when I get up and look in the mirror... I feel like throwing up; What's wrong with me? He said...I don't know but your eyesight is perfect.

My psychiatrist told me I'm going crazy. I told him ... If you don't mind I'd like a second opinion. He said .... All're ugly too!

When I was born the doctor took one look at my face ...turned me over and said. Look ... twins!

I went to the doctor because I'd swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills. My doctor told me to have a few drinks and get some rest.

Subject: Military Words of Wisdom

"AIM TOWARDS THE ENEMY." -Instruction printed on US Rocket Launcher






Infantry Journal

U.S. Army Ordnance

Infantry Journal

David Hackworth

-Infantry Journal

Joe Gay


Unknown Marine Recruit

Infantry Journal

-U.S.A.F. Ammo Troop


"Once I Was A Navyman"
E.A. Hughes, FTCM (SS), USN (Retired)

I like the Navy. I like standing on deck during a long voyage with sea spray in my face and ocean winds whipping in from everywhere - The feel of the giant steel ship beneath me, it's engines driving against the sea

is almost beyond understanding - It’s immense power makes the Navyman feel so insignificant but yet proud to be a small part of this ship - A small part of Her mission.

I like the Navy. I like the sound of taps over the ships announcing system, the ringing of the ships bell, the foghorns and strong laughter of Navy men at work. I like the ships of the Navy - nervous darting destroyers, sleek proud cruisers, majestic battle ships, steady solid carriers and silent hidden submarines. I like the workhorse tugboats with their proud Indian names: Iroquois, Apache, Kiawah and Sioux - each stealthy powerful tug safely guiding the warships to safe deep waters from all harbors.

I like the historic names of other proud Navy Ships: Midway, Hornet, Princeton, Sea Wolf and Saratoga. The Ozark, Hunley, William R. Rush and Turner, the, Missouri, Wichita, Iowa, Arizona and Manchester, as well as The Sullivan’s, Enterprise, Tecumseh, Cole and Nautilus too- all majestic ships of the line - Each ship commanding the respect of all Navymen that have known Her - or were privileged to be a part of Her crew.

I like the bounce of Navy music and the tempo of a Navy Band, "Liberty Whites", “13 Button Blues”, the rare 72 hour liberty and the spice scent of a foreign port - I like shipmates I've sailed with, worked with, served with or have known: The Gunners Mate from the Iowa cornfields; a Sonarman from the Colorado mountain country; a pal from Cairo, Alabama; an Italian from near Boston; some boogie boarders of California; and of course, a drawling friendly Oklahoma lad that hailed from Muskogee; and a very congenial Engineman from the Tennessee hills.

From all parts of the land they came - farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England - the red clay area and small towns of the South - the mountain and high prairie towns of the West - the beachfront towns of the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Gulf - All are American; all are comrades in arms - All are men of the sea and all are men of honor.

I like the adventure in my heart when the ship puts out to sea, and I like the electric thrill of sailing home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends, waiting on shore - The extended time at sea drags; the going is rough on occasion. But there's the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the devil-may-care philosophy of the sea. This helps the Navyman - The remembrances of past shipmates fill the mind and restore the memory with images of other ships, other ports, and other cruises long past. Some memories are good, some are not so good, but all are etched in the mind of the Navyman - and most will be there forever.

After a day of work, there is the serenity of the sea at dusk. As white caps dance on the ocean waves, the sunset creates flaming clouds that float in folds over the horizon - as if painted there by a master. The darkness follows soon and is mysterious. The ship’s wake in darkness has a hypnotic effect, with foamy white froth and luminescence that forms never ending patterns in the turbulent waters - I like the lights of the ship in darkness - the masthead lights, the red and green sidelights and stern lights. They cut through the night and appear as a mirror of stars in darkness - There are rough stormy nights, and calm, quiet, still nights where the quiet of the mid-watch allows the ghosts of all the Sailors of the world to stand with you. They are abundant and unreachable, but ever apparent - And there is always the aroma of fresh coffee from the galley.

I like the legends of the Navy and the Navymen that created those legends. I like the proud names of Navy Heroes: Halsey, Nimitz, Beach, Farragut, John McCain, Rickover and John Paul Jones. A man can find much in the Navy - comrades in arms, pride in his country - A man can find himself and can revel in this experience.

In years to come, when the Sailor is home from the sea, he will still recall with fondness the ocean spray on his face when the sea is angry - There will come a faint aroma of fresh paint in his nostrils, the echo of hearty laughter of the seafaring men who once were close companions - Now landlocked, he will grow wistful of his Navy days, when the seas were the largest part of him and a new port of call was always just over the horizon.

Recalling those days and times, he will stand taller and say: "ONCE I WAS A NAVYMAN !”

E.A. Hughes, FTCM (SS), USN (Retired)

Decommissioning Crew
Rick Naylor EM1 USN 1972 to 1978.

I was on the decommissioning crew of the Perry from March of 1973 to August 1973 while she was in Jacksonville, Fla. It was a temporary duty station for me, I enjoyed my time there. I was assigned as an EM3 at the time and worked on the shore power system. At that time one of the major switchboards had a failure and we ran cables down to the main generator room. I was assigned by the electrical LPO and EDO to bring on shore power, when I meggered the line it was shorted. Both of them didn't think I knew how to properly test the panel, so they told me to close the breaker. I refused, and told them the panel was shorted. So the LPO threw the breaker and blew the panel competley off the side of the ship. So we ran the cable down to the main panel and bypassed the normal route. That was my first day on the ship.
Rick Naylor EM1 USN 1972 to 1978.
Midwest Trains
1114A State Street,Bettendorf, IA 52722

'Written By a World War Two Sailor.'

Come gather round me lads and I'll tell you a thing or two,about the way we ran the Navy in nineteen forty two. When wooden ships and iron men were barely out of sight,I am going to give you some facts just to set the record right. We wore the ole bell bottoms, with a flat hat on our head,and we always hit the sack at night. We never 'went to bed.'Our uniforms were worn ashore, and we were mighty proud.Never thought of wearing civvies, in fact they were not allowed.Now when a ship puts out to sea. I'll tell you son-it hurts!When suddenly you notice that half the crews wearing skirts.And it's hard for me to imagine, a female boatswains mate,stopping on the Quarter deck to make sure her stockings are straight.

What happened to the KiYi brush, and the old salt-water bath?Holy stoning decks at night- cause you stirred old Bosn's wrath!We always had our gedunk stand and lots of pogey bait.And it always took a hitch or two ,just to make a rate.In your seabag all your skivvies, were neatly stopped and rolled.And the blankets on your sack had better have a three-inch fold.Your little ditty bag . . it is hard to believe just how much it held,and you wouldn't go ashore with pants that hadn't been spiked and belled.

We had scullery maids and succotash and good old S.O.S.And when you felt like topping off -you headed for the mess.Oh we had our belly robbers- but there weren't too many gripes.For the deck apes were never hungry and there were no starving snipes.Now you never hear of Davey Jones, Shellbacks Or Polliwogs,and you never splice the mainbrace to receive your daily grog.Now you never have to dog a watch or stand the main event.You even tie your lines today- - back in my time they were bent.

We were all two-fisted drinkers and no one thought you sinned,if you staggered back aboard your ship, three sheets to the wind.And with just a couple hours of sleep you regained your usual luster.Bright eyed and bushy tailed- you still made morning muster.Rocks and shoals have long since gone, and now it's U.C.M.J.THEN the old man handled everything if you should go astray.

Now they steer the ships with dials, and I wouldn't be surprised,if some day they sailed the damned things- from the beach computerized.So when my earthly hitch is over, and the good Lord picks the best, I'LL walk right up to HIM and say, 'Sir, I have but one request-Let me sail the seas of Heaven in a coat of Navy blue.Like I did so long ago on earth - way back in nineteen-forty two.

'Lt. J.G Don Ballard joined the U.S. Navy in 1935 when he received $21.00 per Month. What theauthor says in his words is true. In 1935 only 13 men joined the Navy (from Tennessee) and Don wasone of them.Proudly copied from Lt .Ballard USN Retired, April 13, 2002 , who loved the Navy and all the menhe served with in all of World War Two

Longest Perry Tour
Don Turner

Sorry Doris and I missed the reunion but she fell and broke her foot in two places and it wasn't advisable to travel that soon. I always look forward to seeing everone especially my OI Division troopers.
A recent newsletter had a note that I served aboard Perry for 6 and1/2 years, actually it was 7 & 1/2 yrs. I reported aboard in Feb 1960 (Capt Kane) as an RD3, progressed to RDC then shortly thereafter was commissioned a Chief Warrant Officer by Capt Wideman and departed July 4,1967.
It was a long but very enjoyable tour, and even got to drive the ship under Capt's Clark and Wideman. I served under five skippers and five XO's.


Duty & Responsibility
A lesson learned as told at our Mystic reunion
Bob Hales

When my Communication Officer entered the Radio Shack and asked me to join him on the Asrock Missile deck I soon learned my liberty plans to attend my girls high school homecoming dance the following day was not etched in stone. At our meeting, I was informed of the disciplinary action to be taken against the Radio Shack messenger for failure to deliver a very important message. Furthermore, as leading Radioman I would be restricted to the ship for my responsibility regarding the incident.

After explaining my plans, I was told the decision was final. My reply that I would be taking my liberty as planned brought the response that I would loose my stripes for disobeying orders. I then reached over to my left arm and ripped off my stripes and threw them into the water, stating ... "There you have my stripes, I'm going". Our conversation ended without another word as the Officer turned and walked toward the Bridge.
I stayed aboard as ordered and today I'm pleased to say, the incident thought me a valuable lesson that I carried throughout my career. 'Duty and Responsibility' are never to be challenged.

I believe Bo enjoyed the story as much as Bob did telling the story. 'Bo' is also known as Ltjg Carroll L Bolick. Bo was the nick name bestowed upon him by the Capt. when he came aboard the Perry and has stuck ever since.

Your Navy Seabag
Thoughts from an old fellow Destroyer Sailor
Author Unknown - submitted by James Doc Holladay

There was a time when everything you owned had to fit in your seabag. Remember those nasty rascals? Fully packed, one of the suckers weighed more than the poor devil hauling it. The damn things weighed a ton and some idiot with an off-center sense of humor sewed a carry handle on it to help you haul it. Hell, you could bolt a handle on a Greyhound bus but it wouldn't make the damn thing portable. The Army, Marines, and Air Force got footlockers and WE got a big ole' canvas bag.

After you warped your spine jackassing the goofy thing through a bus or train station, sat on it waiting for connecting transportation and made folks mad because it was too damn big to fit in any overhead rack on any bus, train, and airplane ever made, the contents looked like hell. All your gear appeared to have come from bums who slept on park benches. Traveling with a seabag was something left over from the "Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum" sailing ship days. Sailors used to sleep in hammocks, so you stowed your issue in a big canvas bag and lashed your hammock to it, hoisted it on your shoulder and, in effect, moved your entire home from ship to ship. I wouldn't say you traveled light because with ONE strap it was a one shoulder load that could torque your skeletal frame and bust your ankles. It was like hauling a dead Greenbay linebacker.

They wasted a lot of time in boot camp telling you how to pack one of the suckers. There was an officially sanctioned method of organization that you forgot after ten minutes on the other side of the gate at Great Lakes' or San Diego's boot camp.

You got rid of a lot of the 'issue' gear when you went to a SHIP. Did you EVER know a tin-can sailor who had a raincoat? A flat hat? One of those nut-hugger knit swimsuits? How bout those 'roll-your-own' neckerchiefs... The ones girls in a good Naval tailor shop would cut down & sew into a 'greasy snake' for two bucks?

Within six months, EVERY fleet sailor was down to ONE set of dress blues, port & starboard, undress blues, and whites, a couple of white hats, boots, shoes, a watch cap, assorted skivvies, a pea coat, and three sets of bleached-out dungarees. The rest of your original issue was either in the pea coat locker, lucky bag, or had been reduced to wipe-down rags in the paint locker. Underway ships were NOT ships that allowed vast accumulation of private gear. Hobos who lived in discarded refrigerator crates could amass greater loads of pack-rat crap than fleet sailors. The confines of a canvas-back rack, side locker, and a couple of bunk bags did NOT allow one to live a Donald Trump existence. Space and the going pay scale combined to make us envy the lifestyle of a mud-hut Ethiopian. We were global equivalents of nomadic Mongols without ponies to haul our stuff. And after the rigid routine of boot camp, we learned the skill of random compression, known by mothers world-wide as 'cramming'. It is amazing what you can jam into a space no bigger than a bread-box if you pull a watch cap over a boot and push it with your foot. Of course, it looks kinda weird when you pull it out, but they NEVER hold fashion shows at sea and wrinkles added character to a 'salty' appearance. There was a four-hundred mile gap between the images on recruiting posters and the ACTUAL appearance of sailors at sea.

It was NOT without justifiable reason that we were called the tin-can Navy. We operated on the premise that if 'Cleanliness was next to Godliness' we must be next to the other end of that spectrum... We looked like our clothing had been pressed with a waffle iron and packed by a bulldozer. But what in hell did they expect from a bunch of swabs that lived in a crew's hole of a 2100 Fletcher Class tin-can? After awhile you got used to it... You got used to everything you owned picking up and retaining that distinctive aroma... You got used to old ladies on busses taking a couple of wrinkled nose sniffs of your pea coat, then getting and finding another seat. Do they still issue seabags? Can you still make five bucks sitting up half the night drawing a ship's picture on the side of one of the damn things with black and white marking pens that drive the old master-at-arms into a 'rig for heart attack' frenzy? Make their faces red... The veins on their neck bulge out.... And yell, 'What in God's name is that all over your seabag???' 'Artwork, Chief... It's like the work of Michelangelo... MY ship... GREAT, huh?" "Looks like some damn comic book..."

Here was a man with cobras tattooed on his arms... A skull with a dagger through one eye and a ribbon reading 'DEATH BEFORE SHORE DUTY' on his shoulder... Crossed anchors with 'Subic Bay-1945' on the other shoulder... An eagle on his chest and a full blown Chinese dragon peeking out between the cheeks of his butt... If ANYONE was an authority on stuff that looked like a comic book, it HAD to be the MAA... Sometimes, I look at all the crap stacked in my garage and home, close my eyes and smile, remembering a time when EVERYTHING I owned could be crammed into a canvas bag.


USS Revenge
Shipwreck From 1811 Discovered Off Rhode Island Coast
MICHELLE R. SMITH 01/ 7/11 09:00 PM ET AP

PROVIDENCE, R.I. A team of divers say they've discovered the remains of the USS Revenge, a ship commanded by U.S. Navy hero Oliver Hazard Perry and wrecked off Rhode Island in 1811.

Perry is known for defeating the British in the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie off the shores of Ohio, Michigan and Ontario in the War of 1812 and for the line "We have met the enemy and they are ours." His battle flag bore the phrase "Don't give up the ship," and to this day is a symbol of the Navy.

The divers, Charles Buffum, a brewery owner from Stonington, Conn., and Craig Harger, a carbon dioxide salesman from Colchester, Conn., say the wreck changed the course of history because Perry likely would not have been sent to Lake Erie otherwise. Sunday is the 200th anniversary of the wreck.

Buffum said he's been interested in finding the remains of the Revenge ever since his mother several years ago gave him the book "Shipwrecks on the Shores of Westerly." The book includes Perry's account of the wreck, which happened when it hit a reef in a storm in heavy fog off Watch Hill in Westerly as Perry was bringing the ship from Newport to New London, Conn.

"I always thought to myself we ought to go out and have a look and just see if there's anything left," Buffum said.

The two, along with a third man, Mike Fournier, set out to find it with the aid of a metal detector. After several dives, they came across a cannon, then another.

"It was just thrilling," Harger said.

They made their first discovery in August 2005, and kept it secret as they continued to explore the area and make additional discoveries. Since then, they have found four more 42-inch-long cannons, an anchor, canister shot, and other metal objects that they say they're 99 percent sure were from the Revenge.

Buffum and Harger say the items fit into the time period that the Revenge sank, the anchor appears to be the main one that is known to have been cut loose from the ship, and that no other military ships with cannons have been recorded as sinking in the area.

They have not discovered a ship's bell or anything else that identifies it as the Revenge, and all the wood has disappeared, which is not unusual for a wreck that old, they said.

The Navy has a right to salvage its shipwrecks, and the two say they've contacted the Naval History & Heritage Command, which oversees such operations, in hopes the Navy will salvage the remains. A spokesman for the command did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

If the Navy does not, they said they hope to raise the money for a salvage operation so the artifacts can be displayed at a historical society.

They say they are concerned now that they are going public that other divers might try to remove objects from the site, which is a violation of the law. Many of the objects they found are in only 15 feet of water, although the area is difficult to dive because of currents, they said.

As for whether the wreck of the Revenge changed the course of history, David Skaggs, a professor emeritus of history at Bowling Green State University, said Perry might not put it that way. Skaggs has written two books on Perry, "A Signal Victory," about the Lake Erie campaign, which he co-authored, and a biography, "Oliver Hazard Perry: Honor, Courage, and Patriotism in the Early U.S Navy."

While Harger and Buffum say Perry was effectively demoted by being sent to the Great Lakes rather than getting another high seas command, Skaggs said the Great Lakes commission still gave Perry great prestige. Perry, a Rhode Island native, became known as the "Hero of Lake Erie" after he defeated a British squadron, becoming the first U.S. commander to do so.

"Whether or not there is another officer that could have done as well as Perry did is one of those 'might-have-beens' that historians are not prone to ask," Skaggs said.

Still, Skaggs said he was intrigued by the discovery.

"It is certainly an interesting new find on the eve of the bicentennial of the War of 1812," he said.

'Long after the ships are gone their crews remember'

The Perry Memorial
Put In Bay, OH
on South Bass Island in Lake Erie

Put-in-Bay is located on South Bass Island, three miles north of the Ohio mainland.
The island may be reached by boat or small aircraft.
A book by Jeff Kissell

Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry and the American Navy fought the British in Lake Erie 188 years ago and won. A century later, workman constructed a monument to his victory on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, which is located west of Toledo and southeast of Detroit.

Perry commanded the Lake Erie naval force during the War of 1812. He was headquartered in the island’s village of Put-in-Bay and sailed from there on Sept. 19, 1813, to battle the British. After his victory, Perry sent the famous message, “We have met the enemy and they are ours” to Gen. William Henry Harrison, the commander of the war. Work on the Perry memorial began on the island in 1912. It took three years to complete the 352-foot memorial, the world’s largest Doric column.

During the three years of its construction, G. Otto Herbster took photographs of the building process.  While Kissell was working on the island, he discovered these photographic records along with the technical explanations of the construction of the column. “I came up with the idea, with their permission, to compile the book utilizing the pictures they had,” said Kissell. He has worked for the Park Service as a seasonal ranger on South Bass Island, from April through October, each year since. “I’d put in my eight hours with the park and then work on the book on my own time,” he said. The result is a 128 page book with 240 photographs and a brief text about the construction of the monument. The monument is the third tallest such monument in our national parks, according to Kissell. “It is taller than the Statue of Liberty,” he said. “The tallest is the arch at St. Louis. Washington’s Monument is second, then Perry Victory and International Peace Memorial.” Perry’s monument is 45 feet in diameter at the base and has an elevator to take visitors to the top. When Perry battled the British, the sailors who were killed were buried at sea. Three American and three British officers are buried under the rotunda of the memorial.

Arcadia Publishing, published a book by Jeff Kissell chronicling the construction of the Perry memorial. Kissell grew up in Benton Harbor, where his parents, Fred and Jessie Kissell live, and graduated from Lake Michigan Catholic High School in 1981. Although Jeff always loved history, he earned a degree in automotive management from Ferry& State University in 1985. After working for a few years, he decided to go back to school and earned a master’s degree in early American history in 1994 from Western Michigan University. After a short stint as a park ranger at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky in 1997, Kissell took a position as a seasonal park ranger on South Bass Island, where he found Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial.

Arcadia Publishing is a firm known for local and regional history books. The book costs $19.99 and is available from Arcadia by calling (888) 313-2665 or on its Web site at If you’d like to meet Kissell, he will be at Majerek’s Readers World at the Orchards Mall in Beriton Township for a book signing from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec.

San Dee Wallace is the Assistant Focus Editor of The Herald Palladium. Arts Notes is published each Thursday. You can e-mail her at

Perry's Cave, registered as on Ohio Natural Landmark, is a NATURAL limestone cave steeped in historical tradition. The cave lies 52 feet below the surface of South Bass Island in Lake Erie. The discovery of the cave, in 1813, is credited to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, hero of the battle of Lake Erie. The cave is 208 feet long by 165 feet wide; the walls, ceiling and floor are heavily encrusted with calcium carbonate deposited by centuries of water dripping from the ceiling. The temperature remains in the vicinity of 50°

Perry's Monument
A 352 foot Doric column built in 1915 called Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. It was built to commemorate Perry's defeat of the British navy on 10 September 10, 1813 during the War of 1812. It was also a reminder of the lasting friendship between the United States and Canada along the longest peaceful border in the world.


Smoke Screen

I was assigned to the Perry DD844 IN 7/71 after returning from a carrier MED CRUISE. I had many experiences aboard this tin can. I was educated by an old WW II VET prior to my transfer to the destroyer. Well one very special day the ship was on duty off the coast of Cuba about 10 miles south of Havanna,We must have gotten too close to the international waters limit which was 6 miles off the island. We went too GQ stations a gunners\' mate yelled down to me in the after fire room and said there are two patrol gun boats coming fast on our stern. We had two boilers on line with two engines we took out to sea as fast as we could at 20 knots. I told me shipmate in the forward fireroom to smoke heavy black out of our smoke stacks. It worked as we did zig zags moving away from the two Cuban gunboats. All we knew to do was lay that smoke screen behind the ship while our gunners\' mates went to the fantail to give us protection. I know my friend BT3 Gary Brayton did not know why I said to do that. I also believe Cmdr. John V. Hall gave us a \"WELL DONE\" for laying down that smoke screen. It was so heavy that our gunners\' mates were choking on the fantail. Someone asked me where I learned to do that trick with a boiler burning black oil. Remember the old WW II Navy movies Robert Mitchum \" ENEMY BELOW\"Mitchum was a captain on a destroyer chasing a \"U-B0AT\" on patrol in the movie.He told the BT\'S to keep their smokestacks clear. SO WE NEVER GOT TAKEN BY THE CUBAN GUN BOATS.I will not say why the Perry was their that day in the spring of 1972. It was 39 day days on station in those waters off Cuba just doing our duty.