Midway Fire

Midway Fire

MS3 David McCoy

June 20, 1990

Three dead, Sixteen injured

June 20, 1990, just another boring day out at sea, as the U.S.S. Midway cut through the ocean breeze. Sailors going about their daily tasks, drinking coffee and having a few laughs. Talking about ports and the women they loved. These, tip of the swordmen, were a cut above. When all the sudden the ship shook with a roaring and thunderous blast. Sailors looked at each other, and wondered, what was that?

The mighty ship shook beneath their feet, then the familiar sound of the 1MC. Flying squad report to the area, EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY, FIRE, FIRE! cried the voice. You could hear the sailors yelling, MAKE A HOLE, was the noise. The P-ways opened up like Moses parting the Red Sea, as the flying squad made their way to the scene.

Vierra, Johnson, and Kilgore were part of that team that fateful team, called the flying squad. The first sailors to be on the scene. Bravely they fought as well as many others, with sailors’ side by side, they called their brothers. Not by blood, by race or creed, but by the oath, of loyalty. A camaraderie, known by few, these three brave young men, the fire would subdue.

The smell of fire on metal loomed in the air, after the fire settled, and water everywhere. With soot on their faces, hands, and feet. Some sailors noticed that a few were missing, they called out to their shipmates, but no one was listening. Their fears were confirmed as the search continued. The fire on the U.S.S Midway had taken the two. Another died later succumbs to his wounds, as the flying squad fought for many, and the rest of the crew.

Memories can heal and haunt the soul, the loss of a brother, we will never let go. For the memory of the fallen three, we salute you and speak about your legacy, one of courage and bravery.

As my head drops in reverence, the sounds of taps playing in the distance and a tear falls from an eye. We will never forget June 20th and the men that died.

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What’s in a name? : USS Clamagore SS 343

theleansubmariner

What’s in a name? : USS Clamagore SS 343

It’s been hard the last few years seeing the struggle of the Clamagore. There are so few submarines from her era still afloat and even the thought of losing one is hard for those of us who know their place in history.

These articles are from 1963 and 1971 issues from ALL HANDS Magazine.

The first was about the spelling of the boat’s name. I have to admit, I am guilty of having committed the sin of misspelling Clamagore. As I am looking at my computer right now, I don’t feel so bad though. Even Microsoft has a hard time recognizing the word. Everywhere it is listed on my screen, all the Clamagores are underlined in red. By with a last name like mine (MacPherson) I am fully aware of what its like to have it incorrectly spelled and pronounced.  (For…

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The Dungaree Uniform

The Dungaree Uniform

When Sailors Looked Like Sailors

Why did Sailors wear blue denim aka dungaree uniform?

ANSWER: The blue denim uniform, dungarees, was the Sailor’s working uniform.

In 1901 regulations authorized the first use of denim jumpers and trousers, and the 1913 regulations permitted the dungaree uniform to be used by both officers and enlisted with the prescribed hat of the day.

Officer’s engaged in aviation introduced the khaki uniform and eventually it was the accepted working uniform for officers.

Chief Petty Officers were, in time, allowed to don the khaki work uniform.

As a junior enlisted….dungarees were my favorite uniform….it was a sad day for me when they replaced the dungaree uniforms.

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San Miguel Lied To Me Again

San Miguel Lied To Me Again

Garland Davis

You began to call me as I left the brow

Telling me the way to love

Saying I was good looking n rich

The sailor most bar girls were dreaming of

Then after I had drunk for an hour

You began to point out all the girls

And counting out their Barfine

Sure enough, I fell in love

As you cheered “Go, Man, Go!”

 

But, San Miguel, you lied to me again

(Yes, you did)

You told me she was worth the cost

That I was a lucky, lucky man

You told me she was the one

That I’d still love her tomorrow morn

But, San Miguel, you lied to me again

 

I once counted on PBR, Coors too

But they always let me down

They’d line me up with the bar hog queen

Next day she looked like the hog sty queen

Miller couldn’t find me a beauty

And old Lucky Lager failed when he said he could

 

Yeah. Y’all are all smooth talkers. But

Your eyesight ain’t real good

 

I’m forgetting about you, but not the girls and song

And the next time I go over, you ain’t gonna be along

 

But, San Miguel, you lied to me again

(Yes, you did)

You told me she was worth the cost

That I was a lucky, lucky man

You told me she was the one

That I’d still love her tomorrow morn

But, San Miguel, you lied to me again

(Yes, you did)

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Attack on Estevan Point

Attack on Estevan Point.

Artwork by Dale Byhre

In the waning light of June 20, 1942, the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-26, surfaced off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Chugging along on her diesel engines, the I-26 proceeded to open fire on the Point Estevan light and radio direction finding RDF station. Realizing the facility was under attack, the lighthouse quickly keeper turned off the light. The sub fired up to thirty rounds without scoring a single hit before departing and returning to Yokosuka on July 7, 1942.

The I-26 had been dispatched to seek targets in conjunction with the Japanese Navy’s larger operation at Midway Islands. While operating off the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the I-26 sank two US merchant ships before attacking the light station.

Later in the war, the I-26 would manage to cripple the carrier Saratoga and sink the light cruiser Juneau. She would eventually be sunk herself by US Naval forced off Leyte on November 21, 1944.

While not causing any damage at Estevan Point, the I-26’s attack had far-ranging effects. All west coast lighthouses were ordered to extinguish their lights. Coastal shipping was more greatly endangered by that decision than by any enemy submarines.

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Flag Day Speech

Flag Day Speech

Lt. Collins’ Flag Day Speech (from “The Sand Pebbles”)

As I’m sure most of you know, today is Flag Day, a day meant to honor the United States flag and to commemorate the Flag’s adoption.

Unfortunately, it is apparently more popular now to stomp on or burn the Flag, or not to fly it, because it may offend some fringe group or other…

The following speech from a movie is appropriate for today’s Blog post. There are many Americans who respect and honor the flag, who get a tightness in the chest, and watery eyes when they see the Stars and Stripes proudly flying from the yardarm of a Ship of War, or raised on the flagpole in some foreign land.

This post is for those of you who are currently serving, have served, or who just respect and honor the Flag and what it stands for…

“Today we begin cruising to show the flag on Tungting Lake and the Hunan Rivers. I want all honors rendered smartly.

At home in America, when today reaches them it will be Flag Day. For us who

wear the uniform every day is Flag Day.

It is said that there will be no more wars. We must pretend to believe that.

But when war comes, it is we who will take the first shock, and buy time with

our lives. It is we who keep the Faith…

We serve the Flag. The trade we all follow is the give and take of death.

It is for that purpose that the people of America maintain us. And anyone of

us who believes he has a job like any other, for which he draws a money wage, is a thief of the food he eats, and a trespasser in the bunk in which he lies down to sleep.”—Lt. Collins

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Army Birthday

Army Birthday

14 June 1775

Army Birthdays. The U.S. Army was founded on 14 June 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized the enlistment of expert riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year.

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