Ship Types and Missions

Ship Types and Missions

By Jim Barton, Captain, USN(Ret)

I thought I would post one about ship types these days to provide some background about the differences between Arleigh Burke which is more traditionally manned, Zumwalt and LCS. When we are talking Bridge watch teams it is important to understand the differences.

Let us not mix metaphors, roles and missions of ships. There are in the CRUDES force, at least for this discussion, three distinctly different ships, each designed by the Navy, not defense contractors, for distinctly different tasks.

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And what we are looking at today sadly gets down to money, or affordability as they refer to it these days. Most of us commenting on this page grew up in a world of plenty. When I was commissioned we had 900 ships. Today the number is around 265 and we are hard pressed to man even those due to costs. Today it is about trade-offs, even though in these two instances recently tradeoffs likely did not play a role. So, let us look at ships.

The Zumwalt, by any definition a cruiser (and probably will be redesignated), had its genesis in the immediate post-Cold War era. The Navy was faced with shrinking budgets and reductions in ship hulls. The reality was (and is) that maintenance and manning costs were piling up. Ships were deteriorating and could not be adequately maintained by ship crews. We went to contracted maintenance for the complicated tasks. Not new but self-sufficiency was a disappearing concept and had been since the 1990s.

OPTEMPO and PERSTEMPO, however, was increasing as the U.S. was facing threats in what was called the littoral. The old maritime strategy which was based on countering the USSR, defending the Sea Lines of Communication, had become obsolete and the Navy could no longer defend its budget and proposed fleet size. Hulls that should have lasted longer were falling apart and some had outlived service life. We are talking ships many of us probably served on reaching the end of service life much earlier than anticipated. So, in short order, away went the ships of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

Rightly or wrongly, the Navy and DARPA looked at a single mission strike platform equipped with high technology systems. That platform was called Arsenal ship. It was designed for a land attack in the littoral, armed with 512 VLS cells and equipped with every technology available and minimally manned. The original Navy manning goal given to the contractors? ZERO crew ultimately changed to 50 for an up to 800-foot platform. In the design of that platform and the ones which followed every billet had to be justified before adding to crew size. Does that sound Buck Rogers? Yes, it was. Its role was survival until launch. After that, it could hopefully avoid detection until it could be rearmed. Crazy, huh?

All of the technology that was innovatively designed into that platform, from hull shape, masking, combat systems design, propulsion, etc. went into what became CG(X), then DD(X), then DD-21 which ultimately became Zumwalt, a smaller version of Arsenal ship (never built) with a few changes learned from the functional design process. All of the things that the traditionalists hate such as crew size, hull shape and so forth were built into this reduced manning platform. While it may have multi-task capabilities, this ship is a missile thrower. Because of its costs, there will not be many of these.

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) was developed from the same mindset, to operate in the littoral. But with the dilapidated condition of the Oliver Hazard Perry Class, and departure of the two previous frigate classes and guided missile destroyers, the Navy recognized it needed something more capable than a class of patrol frigates.

The Navy went to a modular design concept. These ships were to be forward deployed and with interchangeable modules to equip them for ASUW, ASW and other missions. That concept has pretty much gone by the board. The ships in the original concept, forward deployed, were to be manned with Blue/Gold crews as we see in the FBM community.

All of this was planned to cap costs. Right or wrong, that is the driver today. That is the reality. And to keep two shipyards and combat systems integrators viable, awards were made for two distinctly different hull forms each with the same combat systems capabilities. That program has been fraught with problems from the outset because of Navy changing requirements.

But at the center of all this is manning. At the center of everything is manning. That represents over 50% of the defense budget. And so technology is developed to compensate for reductions in crew size. Rates were consolidated for the same reason. And so we have what we have. Two officers man the watch on the Bridge operating systems and using screens and tasks hitherto manned by a 12 man watch team but with the support from inside of CIC by other techs. For special detail, the watch is augmented.

But see these two examples of ships, for all the criticism they may engender from you guys, are not the ones that were involved in recent collisions. No, those were Arleigh Burke (DDG-51 Class) destroyers. That is a platform which came into service in 1991 while I was still on active duty and I have been retired for 20 years. The lead of the class will soon be pushing 30 years service.

I don’t know how many of you “old navy” types have been aboard a Burke-class ship, walked through its propulsion spaces, it’s decks, it’s CIC or Bridge. Those who have been amazed by the technology. It has the look and feel of a warship. It is an unbelievably capable ship which has been upgraded with successive builds. You go on its Bridge and while the systems may be different to some of you used to steamships, it is more akin to the FFG than an Adams-Class DDG. All of you would definitely feel more at home than you would on the Zumwalt or an LCS.

While minimally manned to a degree, they were not designed that way. They have much larger crews than the other two. They have watch teams more on the order to what you are used to. So, how did these ships get in collisions? Does it have a Bridge wing? Yes. Does it have a watch team similar to what you guys remember? Yes. Does it have a manned CIC? Yes.

So what happened in my opinion on a ship class with these capabilities? Lack of training perhaps and certainly lack of tactical awareness and untimely action to prevent collision at sea. That is usually the common denominator. For as good as we think we were, we had bone-headed mistakes in our Navy too back in the days fellows. And while there may well be training deficiencies navy wide, the failure here was on watch.

Collisions at sea are not new. What it comes down to in the end is that they result from failure to take early action caused by errors in judgment, confusion and lack of experience.

These collisions did not occur because there was no lookout. It was most likely the result of a CO in bed (at least in case of Fitzgerald) and a watch team which failed.

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Blonde Innocence

Blonde Innocence

By: Garland Davis

Driving from a school in Millington, somewhere in Western North Carolina.

It was a rustic Carolina Roadhouse down the road from the motel I decided to overnight in. The desk clerk told me I could get some pretty good barbecue there as well as a couple of cold longnecks.

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I walked over from my lodgings and entered. It was a large room with a small stage and dance floor directly opposite the door and a bar to the right. There were about fifteen or twenty tables surrounding the dance floor.

I walked to the bar and took the stool in the corner where I could watch the whole room. I asked for a long neck Bud and a menu. I asked the bartender who did their barbecue. He told me the place was owned by two brothers who had inherited it from their dad. One of the brother’s wives ran the kitchen and oversaw the smoking and making of the food. He said it was considered by many to be among the best they had eaten. He pointed her out to me and said, “There she is. Her, the brothers, and her daughter play music later in the evening.”

I ordered a sandwich and it was as good as any I had ever eaten. I decided to hang around, sip a few cold ones and see what the evening brought. I could always sleep late before continuing my trip. No one was expecting me anywhere.

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As I was tasting my second Bud, a sweet looking young girl came from the back, blonde with her hair in a French braid and saying hello to me and the bartender with the sweetest western Carolina accent. She walked behind the bar and started washing and drying glasses. She sweetly asked if I wanted another. Now there was no way I could say no to her. I guessed her at about fifteen or sixteen and was wondering about someone that young being permitted to work in a bar. Later when I got the chance, I asked the bartender. He told me she was nineteen, but had been working in the kitchen and later in the bar since she was about twelve. Her dad and uncle own the place and her mother is the kitchen manager. He told me she also played guitar and sang with the family band.

About seven-thirty, they started setting up and tuning instruments, getting ready for the eight o’clock show. They did one show at eight and another at ten.

She played guitar and sang, her dad played the fiddle and sang, the uncle was on the steel guitar and mom had the bass guitar. They were a fair Roadhouse band, but shouldn’t waste any money on bus tickets to Nashville. I am pretty sure they knew that.

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The girl was an enthusiastic singer. She did a couple of Patsy Cline numbers along with a Tammy Wynette piece. She killed with Dolly Parton’s Jolene. Her dad sang a couple of Bluegrass pieces and she came back with Tanya Tucker’s Delta Dawn. By this time, they had a good crowd who were having a good time and applauding enthusiastically. Then she did a Sylvia pop number and almost lost the crowd. She finished with Yellow Rose and they left the stage with the audience in an uproar.

By this time, I was curious about the ten o’clock show and ordered another longneck. Figured I’d hang around. The girl came to work behind the bar. Her mother told her in a strong, no-nonsense tone, “You work here, I don’t want you on the floor waiting tables. I’ll be closing down the kitchen.”

“Yes, Momma.”

Her dad and uncle skimmed the cash registers and went into the office. The girl worked the bar serving beer and washing glasses while the bartender mixed drinks. She was smiling, vivacious, a picture of apparent sixteen-year-old innocence. Male customers came to the bar trying to talk to her, but she just smiled and told the guys that she was working. The bartender moved them along as if he was protecting an untouchable treasure.

The family went on for the ten o’clock set and did a different set of songs. She did Jolene again. She was proud of the job she did with that number. After the applause, the crowd began to thin out. The only people hanging on were the hard corps. The last call was at eleven-thirty and closing at twelve.

About eleven her mom and dad came in and told her they were going home. Her mother told her, “Help clean up and verify the cash registers with your uncle. He will drop you off at home.”

She said, “Yes Momma, I’ll see you at home.”

About five minutes later her uncle came into the bar. She asked, “Have Momma and Daddy left.”

He nodded and said, “Yes.”

She reached for a shot glass, filled it with Patron and said, Damn, it’s about fucking time.” And shot the Tequila.

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Vision of Diamonds

Vision of Diamonds

By John Petersen

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For now things are quiet, aboard this warship I call home,

taps have been called, can’t sleep, need to walk, her empty passageways I’ll roam.

I’ll pass the occasional watchstander, tired eyes looking back at mine,

I’ll stay to the right of the tape on the deck, as the other side is waxed to a shine.

I’ll swing by the mess decks, it’s time for midrats, you know,

have some of whatever was left from dinner, some bug juice, or a cup o’ joe.

Doors and hatches normally open, bleeding fluorescent light,

are all closed now, their occupants functions wrapped up and done for the night.

The word was passed over the 1MC, at taps it’s Darken Ship, lights out,

The smoking lamp is out you’ve been told, yet the desire shows its clout.

The seas are calm, hardly any roll or pitch to be felt, not one swell,

as this mighty vessel steams along at a stately two-thirds bell.

As quietly as I can, I make my way to the fantail, knowing the chance I take,

any noise made at this time of night resounds to others who may awake.

I’ll finally get my smoke, yet as my eyes adjust, I’m taken aback, I fear,

‘Tis a moonless night, no clouds, with the sea as smooth as a mirror.

It’s truly breathtaking, enveloping, gives one a feeling of peace and inner glow,

no glare of city lights to block out the beauty of this eternal show.

An innumerable number of diamonds dotting the pitch black sky,

Absolutely no end to them no matter how hard you look and try.

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There is no horizon, the sea as calm as she is, like glass,

millions of diamonds reflected, truly doubled en mass.

As I gaze upon this sight, a work of art only one can bring to light,

I bow my head in short prayer, to give thanks for this beautiful night.

Forgetting the smoke, I quietly sneak back inside,

passing that tired watchstander, he knows yet doesn’t care, the secret he’ll hide.

I’ll crawl into my rack, pull the curtain and drift off to sleep,

with the vision of diamonds, each one priceless and forever I’ll keep.

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Thoughts on Texas

Thoughts on Texas

By Garland Davis

I have a friend and shipmate who lives near Dallas. He thinks it is about the best place to live. I can’t really argue the point. I once spent a weekend there. There is a lot to like about Texas. In Dallas, they sell barbeque just about everywhere. Right downtown. I spent some time in San Francisco. The closest they come to pork pig barbecue is when a truckload of hogs gets caught in a traffic jam on the Bay Bridge. Barbecue is always good. Pulled pork Barbecue, Carolina chopped barbecue or sliced pig barbecue. They do a pretty good job with pork barbecue in Texas. It has been said that the state bird of Texas is the smoked beef brisket. Whether pork or beef Texans have perfected the art.

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Regardless of whether pork or beef barbecue is eaten, it’s flavor and enjoyment are always enhanced by something cold to drink – preferably beer. There was a time when you couldn’t get Coors beer east of the Mississippi. Coors, also known as Colorado Kool-Aid was available in Texas and paired well with barbecue. Of course, there was always Budweiser and Lone Star.

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I was caught in Dallas for a weekend a long time ago. Texas had suddenly become popular with the up-north crowd. New York was even admitting that Texas existed. I went to a hot spot in town and spent an evening imbibing long-necked Lone Star Beer and talking with the local patrons. You could tell the non-locals. They were the ones wearing the fancy cowboy boots and big hats while trying to learn the correct pronunciation of “sumbitch.”

Texas is considered West and South. Their list of cultural gifts to the country is staggering. Texas gave us Chicken Fried Steak and Smoked Brisket. Dan Jenkins, the marvelous author of the book Semi-Tough. Don Meredith is a Texas Boy. Buddy Holly was a Texan. Probably most of the heart-stopping Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders are Texans. I try to watch them each week but they are interrupted by a bunch of sweaty dudes playing football. These days there is a one-hour show on CMT that shows the selection process for the cheerleaders if you are craving a glimpse of pretty women. Almost as good as watching Michelle Wie reading a green. But then I do prefer oriental women.

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And you know Willie and Waylon are from Texas. Waylon once said, “Everyone in Austin thinks when they die, they go to Willie’s house.”

Other than driving across the panhandle a few times, Dallas is the only place where I ever spent time in Texas. A Dallas native told me that it is populated by people who left the farm and learned to count. But the people are friendly. A shipmate whom I consider a close friend and one of the best people I have known lives in Dallas. But please don’t tell him I said so. It might make his head larger than the Texas-size it already is.

Texans simply know themselves, what they like and what they expect from others. One fellow in the bar put it something like this: “If you don’t like Willie Nelson, longneck beer, long-legged women, rodeos, football, the Texas State Fair, and a fist fight every now then you ain’t no Texan. You just live here.”

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Religion, Sex, the Navy, Sex, and Me

Religion, Sex, the Navy, Sex, and Me

By: Garland Davis

My father wasn’t a religious man. He didn’t attend church although he would listen to the radio preachers while repacking a wheel bearing or patching a tire tube. My mother didn’t attend church either. She always felt that the other parishioners looked down on her because she was a “Damned Davis” a family of drunks renowned for bootlegging and distilling moonshine whiskey. She would go to the summer “tent meetings” when a traveling evangelist would pitch his tent in a field though.

Consequently, none of my siblings or I have ever had a religious bent. Shortly after my father’s death, an aunt insisted that my brothers and I attend church. For a while that fall, I looked forward to Sunday mornings at the Oak Knoll Methodist Church. No, I wasn’t getting religion. The pastor had a pair of twin daughters. Brenda and Linda would kiss you, show you their titties, and sometimes let you touch and play with them and “dry hump” you under the stairs that led from the basement classrooms up to the church. I never knew which one I was with. Couldn’t tell them apart and it really didn’t make a lot of difference.

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I spent so many Sunday morning under the stairs with one, or the other, of the twins while the choir was practicing that I still sometimes get a boner when I hear Amazing Grace.

My mother asked me once why I went to the bathroom so much on Sunday afternoons.

I soon went to work in a local drive in restaurant and had to work on Sundays. That ended my Sunday mornings seeking religion. I missed Brenda and Linda but I needed the money. Many years later after I enlisted in the Navy, I learned that with money I could easily replace Brenda or Linda with Maria, Junko, or Han.

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Between the twins and enlisting, I had a few incidents with girls. There was a girl named, believe it or not, Peggy Sue who was about three or four years older than me. She went to the vocational school where I was studying bakery science. One of the other students dared me to stick a wad of bread dough down the front of her blouse. I just couldn’t do it. The blouse was so full there just wasn’t room for anything else. The girl had a crush on me but I was too inexperienced, naïve, and just downright dumb to know what to do about the situation.

There was a girl named Sandy who came into the restaurant where I worked. She was so beautiful that I would get tongue tied just taking her order. I didn’t know at the time that there are certain girls whose beauty just naturally affects your tongue.

Oh, if I could relive my teens and still retain the knowledge I have of women today, there wouldn’t be a need for those numerous and prolonged trips to the bathroom.

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It wasn’t until Westpac that I was introduced to commercial sex. You know, the Olongapo Wedding Night with the meter running. The concept of paying for sexual gratification, along with drinking beer and other beverages assured me that my decision to go to the Navy was the right one.

As far as religion in the Navy, it was there if you wanted it. It seems the Chaplains understood sailors and their ways and if not approving accepted the inevitable.

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Baseball, the Navy, and Me

Baseball, the Navy, and Me

By: Garland Davis

Baseball was a part of my boyhood. I played in elementary school. I played in games with the neighborhood boys where we chose sides and used part of a cow pasture for our ball field. Yes, we used dried cow flops for bases. The cows didn’t bother us but you had to keep an eye out for the bull. He wasn’t a baseball fan.

I played for the two years I was in High School. The coach was pissed and threatened to kick my ass when I took the GED tests between my sophomore and junior years and was sent on to a vocational school until I turned sixteen. I was his best pitcher. That isn’t saying a lot. I had control of my fast ball one day out of seven. The coach prayed that the day would be Friday. I had a curve that worked sometime. And I could throw a knuckleball. The catcher hated my guts when all I had working was the knuckler. They are hard to catch. Catcher Bob Uecker, when asked what was the best way to catch a knuckleball replied, “Wait ‘til it stops rolling and go pick it up.”

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A couple of the highlights of my youth revolved around baseball. I watched the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in seven games on a seventeen-inch black and white TV. Finally, the Dodgers had defeated the Yankees behind Duke Snyder’s bat and four home runs during the series.

A friend and I helped a drunk stranger pull his car out of a ditch before the Highway Patrol or Sheriff’s Deputies discovered him. In appreciation, he gave us two tickets to a World Series game. I was in the left field bleachers when Bill Mazeroski hit the ninth inning home run in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series and stole the game and series from the Yankees.

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Shortly afterward, I was off to San Diego for recruit training and then on to NAS Lemoore for duty. I played on the Supply Department team and was chosen for the station team. I still had problems with the fastball and curve, but my knuckle ball kept me on the mound. I was chosen as an alternate for the Fourteenth Naval District All Star team but wasn’t needed.

Leaving Lemoore, I was off to the fleet. There was little time for baseball. Also about this time, the Navy stopped playing baseball. I think someone was injured by a pitched ball. Softball became the game that was played. I was actually a better softball pitcher than I had been in baseball. I managed to play a few games. During a yard period in San Francisco, I attended many Giants games at Candlestick. The motivations were a chance to watch baseball, fifty cents admission in uniform, and the beer vendors didn’t check ID. A highlight of my time in San Francisco, I watched the great Willie Mays play some spectacular baseball.

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A couple of years at sea, I was back in San Diego for a school and then on to Japan. I got to play baseball in a few games with the Housing Activity Japanese employees in Yokohama. The Japanese girl I married is an avid Yomiuri Giants fan. (The only woman I ever met who understands and can explain the suicide squeeze.) Almost every evening we would go up the tracks to Tokyo to watch the Giants play baseball. I watched the Japanese greats Oh and Nagashima hit many home runs.

After leaving Japan, I went to shore duty in San Diego. The mess hall I was working in was selected to test the feasibility of serving carbonated beverages at the noon and evening meal and draft beer at the Friday evening meals. The Pepsi Cola and Budweiser companies had a stake in a successful test. The sales representatives were in the galley almost daily. They handed out free tickets to Padre’s games. It was like having season tickets to every Padres home game. I don’t recall playing any softball or baseball while in San Diego.

After that I was off to a Forrest-Sherman can out of Pearl and then on to Vietnam and the gunline. Not much time or inclination for playing ball. When in Subic, I was more interested in some young lady playing with my balls.

Shortly after return to Pearl, I transferred to a tanker going to Westpac. After the cruise, we were into a yard overhaul. I played quite a bit of soft ball while the ship was in the yards and afterward. It was the Carter years. There was no money for fuel or paint. We sat in port and rusted. There was not a lot to do but drink or play ball. The CPO mess lost to the officers and most of the division teams often.

During this period, major league games were televised on a delay in Hawaii. TV had improved in the twenty some years since the ’55 World Series. With color, larger screens and better cameras and equipment, the viewer really got a close look at the players and their actions.

Now spitting is looked down upon in our society. It just isn’t done. In the New York City Subways, a person can be fined for spitting. Getting drunk and puking is free. However, after watching Thurman Munson spit at least a gallon every game would leave one to believe that societal mores did not apply on the baseball diamond.

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Baseball players are cautioned about the television audience and scratching their ass and adjusting their cup. Thurman and some of his teammates scratched and adjusted, along with spitting, as if no one was watching.

In the old days, cameras weren’t permitted in the dugout. The players could do crossword puzzles, work on their stock portfolios, read Hustler magazines and scratch and adjust to their heart’s content. Now they have to pretend that they are mesmerized by the game on the field.

Back in the day, baseball players were clean cut, moral young men. They wore suits, had decent haircuts, didn’t grow beards and said please, thank you, Mamm, and Sir. That pipe dream was blown away by Jim Bouton’s book Ball Four which described a side of baseball that was previously unseen. He wrote about the obscene jokes and the drunken tomcatting of the players and about the routine drug use, including by Bouton himself. Bouton wrote with candor about the anxiety he felt over his pitching and his role on the team. Bouton detailed his unsatisfactory relationships with teammates and management alike as well as the lies and minor cheating that has gone on in sports seemingly from time immemorial.

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I don’t really watch baseball games these days. I check from time to time to see how the Angels are doing during a game. My ADHD just won’t permit me to watch. Games go something like this: the pitcher rubs down the ball down and unsatisfied with it returns it for another ball, getting a new ball, he rubs it down, picks up the rosin bag, manicures the mound, leans forward for the sign, shakes it off, nods for the next one, goes into the stretch and throws to first base. Then he starts all over again. Meanwhile the batter, after a half dozen practice swings, knocks his cleats with the bat, adjusts his batting gloves and steps into the batter’s box, about the time the pitcher is ready he raises his hand and steps out of the box, hits his shoes and adjusts his gloves again and steps into the box. The pitcher throws to first and the routine starts all over.

I have concluded that the Little Leaguers in Williamsport, PA play ball the way it should be played. I enjoy the hell out of watching those kids play.

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The sport I can get behind these days is Ladies Professional Golf. I’m especially behind Michelle Wi when she bends to mark a ball or squats to read a green.

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Sea Stories

Sea Stories

By Garland Davis

Now this ain’t no shit…

Story Number One:

We had been on the Gunline off the coast of Vietnam or chasing the carriers in the Tonkin Gulf for a ninety-day period that seemed like a year. Spirits rose and we began to believe we would once again taste a cold beer and feel a warm woman as the ship proceeded to the Naval Station at Subic Bay in the Republic of the Philippines.

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The first night in port. I was a PO1 at the time. Many of the First Class PO’s were in Jolo’s drinking San Miguel at a pace that would make you believe we were trying to catch up for the ninety dry days. Well, they weren’t exactly dry, but that is a story for another time.

The BM1 came in, sat down and chugged a San Miguel and then started looking at the talent. He gestured to a girl to sit with him. He ordered her a lady’s drink.

He pulled her close and asked, “Sweetheart, do you do manicures? You know, trim fingernails and toe nails.”

“Of course,” the girl replied.

Boats said, “Good, we been at sea for over three months. I been jacking off in an old sock so much that my dick grew a toenail. Can you trim that mother fucker for me?”

Story Number Two:

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The same Boatswain’s mate takes the young lady to a hotel across the street. A couple of hours later… or maybe it was the next day, he comes into the bar, chugs a San Miguel and says, “I took that girl up to the room. I paid a thirty P bar fine, I paid her thirty P’s for an all nighter and I put a stack of twenty P notes on the nightstand and told her that every time I got a nut she could take one.”

“What happened. How many P’s did the girl make?”

“Fuck if I know, but I finally gave the bitch fifty pesos to leave my dick the fuck alone.”

Story Number Three:

Many of my shipmates know Jack Coates. Jack was a retiree living in Olongapo. If I ever knew what his rate and rating were, I have forgotten them. I knew jack for many years before I ever saw him sober.   That’s also a story for another time.

I was sitting at an outdoor bar at Baloy Beach about nine o’clock on a Saturday morning nursing a hangover and drinking ice cold Pepsi Cola when Jack and another reprobate rode up in a tricycle taxi. Jack ordered three San Miguel beers from the young lady. He and his companion took one and he slid the third one in front of me.

I said, “Hey Jack, I’m drinking Pepsi here.”

Jack grabbed my Pepsi bottle and flung it across the street onto the beach and said, “Stewburner, when I’m drinking beer every body’s drinking beer.”

You can’t argue with logic like that.

After that beer was finished another was ordered and Jack told his friend to pay for it. He later ordered the third one and pointed to me and said. “Stewburner, you pay for this one. When I’m paying for the beer every body’s paying for beer.”

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Story Number Four:

Jack Coates again. I walked into a bar in the Barrio and found Jack standing bare assed with his shorts down around his ankles.

I asked, “Jack, what the hell are you doing?”

“Hey Stewburner, I’m just familiarizing this young lady with the gear she is going to be working with.” Get yourself a beer, I’ll bet she has a cousin, sister, or Mama for you.”

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