Getting Trained and Respect:
By Jim ‘Hambone’ Hampton
I reported to the MacKenzie DD-836 in Yokosuka in Oct 1961. I was told I would be a BT. Didn’t know what it was. Then the CHENG pointed to this little short Mexican and said, he is your boss. He was 5′ 3″ tall. Until I was transferred for Separation in May 65 he was my boss and the meanest SOB I ever met.
I caught him at BT2. Joe (by God) Bibanco was his name. By god, I told you, many things.
Time passes and I am transferred to Sterett in June 1968.
We go back to Yoko, I make BT1 and I walk into the PO Club for a liquid lunch.
There sits old Joe. Now a BT1 back on the MacKenzie from the Blue DD-744.
Joe wanted to take leave. He had a BT2 that was dedicated but not too sharp.
So Joe asked me to meet the guy in the club every day and go over his work list and answer his questions. So I did.
But of course he had a Leslie regulator all torn apart by a BT3 and no one knew how to reassemble it.
So I carry my sorry ass over to the After Fireroom on the Mac after liberty call.
I gave a lesson on how to put new parts in it as I put it back together. I handed it to the BT2 who had twice the amount of time in the Navy as I did. Can you supervise putting it back on the pump I asked? Yes, sir, he responded.
I laughed my ass off. I was 25 then.
But old Joe thanked me and got me drunk.
But the point I am trying to make is.
A former FA had grown up and caught him as First Class.
He was the first person I called when I made Master Chief.
He passed in 2000 from Prostate Cancer. He was buried at sea off the Carrier Stennis.
We remained friends until he died. I think of him often.
Rest Easy Joe