USS Gurke

USS Gurke

Painting by Dale Byhre

The latest painting in a series depicting naval operations during the war years in Southeast Asia. The destroyer USS Gurke off Haiphong during the Linebacker operations in April of 1972. Here the ship performed duties ranging from gunline fire suppression to search and rescue, which lead to frequent encounters with NVA shore batteries.

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Find Dale’s page on Facebook at Artwork by Dale Byhre

You can find more of Dale’s art at https://marineartbydale.com/

 

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Ok, my True Story

Ok, my True Story.

By Hambone

We were deployed as CTF – 75, FROM 01-82 to 06-82, embarked on Sterett Homeported in Subic. I was the CMC for CTF-75.

For some reason, I skipped lunch and about 1800 hit the CPO Club Restaurant. I drank a full bottle of rough RED. Now, normally this was no big deal. I would go home with my sweet thing who worked there. She was off and at her Moms someplace or other.

So I borrowed a l legal pad and pen from The club. I hit the bridge and found me an establishment I had never been in.

Now to let you know why I needed the pad and pen. There had been a discussion in the Sterett CPO Mess about Filipino women wouldn’t give head. So I decided to do a scientific survey. This place had more than 50 females and about 10 servers.

So I got me a Magoo and a cool place to sit. All the bar girls had numbers. I started with #1.

Do you give head, yes or no? I got to #41 before I got a yes. Plus to my amazement, one of the servers said yes.

So I asked 41 if she ate pussy. Got another yes. The server didn’t dine at the Y but liked having it performed on her.

So by then, Hambone had consumed somewhere over ten Magoos.

I decided that this was my chance to certify my survey. So I asked both a direct question. Both said yes to a full-blown demonstration of head and dining at the Y.

Soo Hambone pays the Bar Fine and I and 41 and the Cute server went upstairs.

Well, it took about 30 seconds for the Server to renege on her YES. She was gonna leave. I said Bull shit. I picked up a chair and put against the door and sat down. I said you will perform or give me your barfine back. To my amazement, #41 was pissed at her too. She was looking forward to dining at her nice Y. So she cried, threatened and a few other things.

Some Tagalog was passed between the two ladies.

So #41 Convinced cutie pie server girl to let her have her dining on her nice Y and then she could go back below.

I agreed.

So for the next half hour or so my #41 turned her ass out. Upon finishing #41 smiled at me and thanked me. She then pointed out the Bar Server was in a prime position for the finishing what I had paid for. So Hambone being Sans Clothes jumped in the breech with lots of enthusiasm. The server took it and liked it.

So from a goddamn fiasco, I spent the night with both.

The next morning both said that I could come back for round two.

I thought damn, putting your ass in a chair worked wonders. Plus old #41 liked dining at the Y.

I went back for round two before returning to the land of the big round eye.

Plus #41 had got server girl fully trained in dining at the Y. She was good at it and I reaped the benefits.

True Story !!

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A Sailor Walks into a Bar

A Sailor Walks into a Bar

By Garland Davis

I grew up in a farming community north of Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the Piedmont foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Nothing much changed as my childhood passed. The seasons were marked by preparing the fields and setting out tobacco plants, looking up a mule’s ass plowing, then hoeing the growing plants, topping the plants and picking off the worms that could devastate a crop, priming the leaves and tying them onto sticks and hanging them in the barns where they were cured by burning wood in the furnaces, then stripping cured leaves from the sticks, preparing them for market, taking them to the market, hoping for a good price from the auctioneer and then collecting sticks and cutting wood for the next year. These actions proceeded from cold and wet, to warm and humid, to the days of hot summer in the fields, to the coming chill of fall, and collecting wood and moving it to the barns in the freeze of winter.

I determined early in my young life that I would never be a tobacco farmer. It was monotonous, hot, wet, back-breaking, never-ending work and a few hours of handling green tobacco leaves a black gummy tar built up on your hands that was almost impossible to wash off unless you pre-washed your hands with gasoline or kerosene.

Everyone knew everyone in the neighborhood. By neighborhood, I am not talking about a few square blocks but square miles. Our closest neighbor was almost a half mile away. The elementary school I attended was a little less than a mile from the house. We walked, rain, snow, or shine. My mother had walked to the same school as a girl. You could leave your doors unlocked without a worry. It was a predictable farmer’s boring life.

The key word here – was.

I learned to read early and read above my grade level from the time I started school. In Third Grade, I read a biography of John Paul Jones. This one book whetted my appetite for all things Navy. I read anything and everything about the Navy I could get my hands on. After my family finally got a TV set in the mid-fifties, I watched all the Navy shows and every WWII Navy movie that was televised. Somewhere along the way the decision to make the Navy my life coalesced. I was sworn in on my seventeenth birthday and reported to RTC San Diego the following day.

My earlier statement was erroneous. I began growing up in boot camp and came to manhood at nineteen in the bars and fleshpots of the Western Pacific. Did you ever find an old photo in a drawer or shoebox? How over the years vivid colors fade and turn ghostly hues, yet you know how it all looked, you were there. Looking at all the pictures of that world posted on social media, that’s how I remember WestPac.

I remember a time in sixty-three. Along with my shipmates, I walked into a bar, having been told that no one cared if I wasn’t old enough, and ordered a San Miguel. She was young, pretty, and wanted to sit with me. After the second beer, she asked if I wanted to go “short time.” I was willing and she led me to a room above the bar. She asked me for money, the four Pesos she asked for as her cost. I paid her and she passed the money to a lady outside the door and took her clothes off. It wasn’t my first time with a girl, but it was my first time with a woman, albeit her age. I had groped and rolled around with a couple of different girls in the back seat of my mom’s De Soto, but had never seen one naked and so willing. Needless to say, it was a very short time, but I learned for another four Pesos I could do it again. And again.

Over the next twenty-six years, I walked into a myriad of bars in the ports of Sasebo, Yokosuka, Olongapo, Hong Kong, Keelung, Kaohsiung, Singapore, Sattahip Port, Pattaya Beach, and Phuket. The women were always there, some not so young and not so pretty, but all were willing and comforting,

Yeah, I walked into many bars there and that world still exists in my memories and dreams. Would that I was young again and the Asia fleet still called at those ports and girls still waited for a Sailor to Walk into a Bar.

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Sailed Upon the Sea

Sailed Upon the Sea

By David Paul

Something from a few years back. No automatic alt text available.

With me Mates did we sail in the days of yore upon the high seas. We searched the sea for those who would do us harm. We laughed, we drank, sang some songs and along the way did we find some treasure. Our Mates became our family their backs we did have in times of good and even more when times turned bad. The lasses we did favor in the ports ‘o call we made, to rest from the sea and fill our hull with supplies. Davy Jones, we did cheat and left his locker a little more bare. Neptune, he did throw us his best hurricanes, storms and other calamities but we withstood and today we stand sailors that now live off the land. Our hearts and minds they do wander out past the breakwater and across the mighty seas. For the sailor they say may leave the sea but the salt of the sea embeds itself within their bodies and souls, never to escape the minds, hearts, and souls of those who at one time sailed upon the sea.

-David J. Paul 1-30-15

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Homecoming… its a harder journey than you think without brothers

theleansubmariner

When you get to a certain point in your life you start taking stock of what mattered.

The first seventeen or eighteen years of most people’s lives are the foundations for much of who they become. If you grew up in Middle America, your understanding of relationships, education, and spirituality are all forged from those basic foundations. I will admit that I truly struggled with all three of these in those early years. By the time I was seventeen, I had shown remarkably little interest or aptitude in any of the categories.

Perhaps because I was so much like him, my relationship with my Dad was tortured if nothing else. As I got older he got less well informed and my defiance ended at least once in a physical altercation (which I lost). As a middle kid, I never really fit into any of my brothers or sisters circles so…

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Old Sailor

Old Sailor

(Song sung to the tune of the Bellamy Bros. Old Hippy)

By David McAllister

“I’ve taken a little artistic license with the Bellamy Bros “Old Hippy”. Mac-OUT”

He turned sixty-five last Sunday

Now his hair has turned to gray

He sailed with the US Navy

Away back in the old days

Now he tends a little garden in the back yard by the fence

Consuming beer and whiskey nowadays in self defense

He gets out there in that twilight zone

When the bullshit makes no sense

He hangs out with his old Shipmates

Cause the new Navy leaves him cold

Nothin looks the same to him

I guess he’s just too fuckn’ old

So he dreams at night of Westpac, and all the things he tried

How the liberty made him happy while sea time got him dry

Yeah he thinks about it allot these days

And he’s not afraid to cry

He’s an old Sailor and he don’t know what to do

He hangs onto the old

Cause he just can’t hack the new

He’s an old Sailor…still living by his wit

He don’t wanna offend nobody

But if he does, he don’t give a shit

He remembers in the sixties, while everyone else was hip

He was shootin up Vietnam, from some ol’ rusty ship

Learning to become a man while he was still a boy

In spite of all of the tragedies he still can find some joy

While others cut and ran to hide

He chose to serve with pride

He’s an old Sailor and he don’t know what to do

He hangs onto the old

Cause he just can’t hack the new

He’s an old Sailor…still living by his wit

He don’t wanna offend nobody

But if he does, he don’t give a shit

You can find him at the VFW, or the American Legion halls

he’ll be thinkin while he’s drinkin

of the days when sailors had some balls

now its breathalyzers, PC, diversity and gays

it ain’t no friggin wonder that he’s stuck in his old ways

All he can do is just sit and watch

As his species fades away

He’s an old Sailor and he don’t know what to do

He hangs onto the old

Cause he just can’t hack the new

He’s an old Sailor…still living by his wit

He don’t wanna offend nobody

But if he does, he don’t give a shit

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Drinkin’ Up a Windfall

Drinkin’ Up a Windfall

By Garland Davis

A crazy shipmate of mine and I reenlisted for the bonus in sixty-eight.

A grateful Uncle Sugar laid eight K on him and six on me.

So we decided to convert it into Mojo and San Miguel

The better our esophagi to fill.

So we started in Po City, and had a drink in every shitty

Little dive which is really quite a few

And a Jeepney Driver on Rizal took us over the hill

Toward the Barrio where he joined us in a brew

We was weavin’ just a trifle as we pulled into Nasty Mac’s

But it was nothing to the weavin’ we did as we was leavin’

And from time to time it got a little worse

 

Well there’s nothin’ like drinkin’ up a windfall

We was two assholes so goddamn drunk it was almost sinful

And I think I ain’t sobered up yet

 

We was feeling mighty fine as we crossed the Barrio line

Suckin San Magoo and wavin’ pesos at the girls

Halfway toward Subic City we picked up our second wind

In a lowdown joint where the ugly girls pull their Twilight Tours

So I had another pitcher and my shipmate had another brown bottle

And the jeepney driver killed a picture of Mojo

When we got to Subic City that Jeepney was in overdrive

The bamboo telegraph had spread the word that we were comin’

And crowds began to form

We drank our way from Blow Heaven to Dogpatch and back again

A-boozin’ and a-singin’ up a tropical storm

I lost my buddy and the Jeepney driver at Marilyn’s playin’ smiles

About the time I fell in love

We was drunker than it is possible to be

But there finally came a time when we just didn’t have a dime

We sat on Grande Island and wept into the sea

 

Well there’s nothin’ like drinkin’ up a windfall

We was two assholes so goddamn drunk it was almost sinful

And I think I ain’t sobered up yet

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