Surviving The Most Chaotic & Dangerous Job 1
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The Most Chaotic And Dangerous Job;
It’s Quite Fun;
It makes no difference if it’s the Most Chaotic And Dangerous Job in the world and you need different tools, and it’s quite fun as a matter of fact.
I hadn’t had that much fun up until then and I really can’t remember having that much fun since, as a matter a fact if it hadn’t been for my loving wife of 39 years.
My life off of the flight deck would have been unbearable, take it from experience once you’ve got the sea in you, it’s just right hard to get out of you.
So if you don’t want a nagging desire to, way Anker, and get underway to start receiving aircraft, man I miss that one but you would need some eye protection.
The Pleasures Of Coming Home;
Throughout my article, you’ll find items that would help a person on deployment they come in handy in other places also especially if you like to or have to work with rope.
We have arrived back in the states, as much fun as it was there’s no place like home but, It’s rather a pain in the butt to get off this floating Island.
You see for Rank privileges, The Higher the ranks the first, so you usually have about maybe 1 1/2 hours to be able to salute off.
I go to the first most American Restaurant after getting off that big beast which we all have grown a strange kinda love for.
McDonald’s The First Meal Home;
There cabbie that McDonald’s please sire, I paid him because Ocean View Beach was just a short walk from there.
And once I was there, after Mc Donalds and a full belly yeah buddy, so I went in and ordered the very first meal.
From the very first restaurant to get my favorite Micky D’s meal after my very first International cruise had ended, which was, 2 time’s a BIG MAC, 2 LARGE FRIES!!!, and a LARGE COCKACOLA!!!, please.
Took it outside because it was middle spring before we got back to the USA, nice shade tree, set down at the bench opened everything up.
Watch Out It’s A Beautiful Day;
A bird shit on my shoulder, welcome home swabbie, and there those signs, believe me.
If you’ve been stationed out of Norfolk Virginia and had to walk back to you’re ship or apartment, you’ve seen these signs.
Home Sweet Home;
It’s why sailers feel so much at home after being out of the country for 7 months Home Sweet Home.
Any way all thing wasn’t that bad, while we were back Don Gilbert a good friend, and one of my petty officers over me, and the crazy one back in Italy on the train.
Said he and his wife was going to the drive inn and had a single girl, that was his wife’s new friend, whom she had met while we were in Rio.
Take, The Good WithThe Bad;
They wanted to know if I’d like to meet her and go enjoy a movie, he said she was shy and was afraid I wouldn’t like her, he assured her I would.
And told me she was hot as hell between me and him with his wife not to hear LOL, so after duty, Don waited for me to take a shower and then we loaded up in Don’s car.
And went to his apartment, Dones wife was the only one there, she said we would pick Jamie up on the way to the Movies, so we did, and WOW what a beautiful woman.
Beauty Is Deeper Than Skin;
She said she had a minute scar on her forehead, that she seemed to be worried about, but she damn sure didn’t need to be, you couldn’t even see it, it was a very fine zigzag line.
In the center of her forehead, in fact, we got ourselves an apartment.
It was great we were back going out 2 weeks and returning for 2 weeks to plier 12, and she was always there and very loving we had a blast while we were back.
We would do things like miniature golf, swim, and just be an item if you know what I mean, I was falling in love but then the word came down.
We, had order’s that we were departing for the Mediterranean, and they said it was a lengthened Med cruise 7 months long instead of 6 months, man I didn’t want to leave Jamie.
But she said not to be worried that we would write, each other daily, so the day we were getting underway for our Med Cruise Jammie took me to the ship,
I invited her on board I showed her my life onboard, the USS America we went down to the fantail and had that romantic Farwell, and then.
The ship 1 MC gave the word, All VISITORS MUST DISEMBARK THE SHIP FOR GETTING UNDERWAY. So I escorted her back to the Gang Plank.
And gave her a great big kiss and a hug goodbye until I return, I won’t lie I found myself a TOILET or HEAD on board a Navy ship and balled.
But we won’t tell any of my shipmates OK
LOL during getting underway Is so busy you forget all about the sadness, but believe me, man I liked No girlfriend better it wasn’t so sad leaving, in other words, I didn’t have to hyd and cry LOL
There’s Them Tugs;
Jamie waited with all the other dependents while they dropped lines and tugged us out from the pier and there was that deep ship whistle again.
We waived one more time threw that kiss and went to work yeah buddy, it’s like this when you get underway.
It’s the excitement the busyness, unknown what’s ahead, makes a seafaring man not exactly forget but put on the back burner what he’s leaving behind.
==>A Must See Check It Out<==
Ahhhh the sea, the air, the hustle,e and bustle, the ship’s duties, and those 14 hour days, it sounds bad but you have to think just what in the hell will you do if you’re not performing ship’s duty.
Distractions Are A Good Thing;
You’ve got to have a distraction the main helper of homesickness and seasickness, and it damn sure help’s the days go by quicker.
After we got underway my fly PO said I was sending me to tractors if I wanted the advancement.
Trackers you asked? well, tractors are tractors we towed aircraft all over the flight deck for respots.
Different Tractors For Different Operations;
Some tractors were set up with fire fighting, and others were set up with a jet start, we called them huffers because they blew jet exhaust into the engine.
And gets it started turning, where it will take over running, then you had the, me I think the Captain likes to spread his wings himself because.
He likes before the airwing starts arriving to kick it in the Ass and do some high-speed maneuvers, like man it’s hard to get used to the high-speed turns.
They are great fun to be a part of, it’s the only time you can really feel 100,000 tons of boat, move in the Ocean.
Just like always, it takes time to do a crossing due to having to turn into the wind for launching and recovering aircraft, so very large circles across the Atlantic Ocean, like 3 weeks man for an old Texas boy all that saltwater WOW.
The Excitement Builds;
2 weeks into our trip they called a muster that’s when the Po’s call everyone under them to come together for a meeting the meeting was to inform the crew know, about relevant events onboard.
like we were heading for a Hurricane, amongst other things, like the other smaller ships of the airwing of the 7th fleet would be directed around the storm.
Oh, but the USS America would be crossing right through The damn thing so, for the next 2 days, we put triple the tie-downs on each of the 90 aircraft on board.
Now look at this on a norm, 2 Chalks, 8 chain tie-downs, so now we have the 2 Chalks, but now we’ll end up with 18 chain tie-downs, the intakes, and exhausts are plugged.
Everything was either put away or tied down all the weather hatches locked tight, and all personnel was to stay off of the weather decks, “self-explanatory”.
Now for the next 3 days wasn’t for the faint-hearted or the ones that have a motion sickness issue, guess what the 100,000-ton boat does rock.
And you have old-timers which are called the old salts, GOT SICK!!, you get dizzy, and I Imean real dizzy bad like supper drunk, you’ll get like 10 times heavier than all of a sudden you’re so lite.
You almost leave the deck and if you were to jump at that time you would hit the overhead, and it’s hardly ever straight up and down the ship will be rocking back and forth also other you have the recipe for seasickness.
Just Had To See;
Like I said we were told to stay clear of the weather decks, yeah Ok we’re 18 to 20 years old, do you think for 1 second we were going to really do that,
So remember our workstation off of the flight deck was at the base of the bow on the 03 levels, starboard, side, and ower birth.
Were all the way aft, laking 2 frames here is the 03 level, if you’ll look, it’s like looking in a mirror with another mirror behind you?
And this goes for 300 yards straight from the port and starboard sides of the bow, so as adventurous young men as we were we went to our work center.
Adventure Can Get You Killed;
Told the PO we were going to clean up our workstation, we don’t take that time while flight ops are in swing, we went up there opened the hatch it wasn’t in full swing yet but it was hairy.
But we got brave you see it’s only about 100 feet to the end of the catwalk, we got down and crawled, you see the catwalk from deck to the top of the handrail was around 4′ tall.
We were pretty safe like this to the bed of the catwalk which was right at the corner of the flight deck, there is one of those nautical compasses big brass mounted on the deck of the catwalk.
We were only there to see the power and we did, the flight deck at this point is 90′ off the water I’d just stood up took a look and at that time the ship was on her way up a very large swell.
Breaking Over THe Bow;
Remember we’re in the middle of the ocean, large has a very different meaning because when she, the boat gets to the top of the swell she drops.
And we watched that waive break over the bow over and the aircraft, and guess who was lower than both of them thank God we were in the catwalk.
Meat The Air Boss;
Because we were washed back towards the hatch we came out off, now the adventurer left us almost too late and the sea has no remorse.
We went oh man badass!! and we split, we had to get, back to our berth, where we found out we got in just a touch of trouble for that stunt.
A Visit To The Supper Structure;
Which we met as we were heading aft on the 03 Level, they took us right up to the supper structure.
To meat the AirBoss, after chewing on us he said it was very funny, and dangerous that we pulled that stunt of.
But, what saved our baco,n was he had remimberd him self doing something of the same nature, when he was younger and he was going to let us off, with just a warning.
If we didn’t mind spending a day or 2 of ouer next portacall pulling a little exstra duty, like KP or In port fire stations,and to go get clean and dry.
Spectaculer Seans From The Air Bosses Desk;
While we were up talking to the air boss we got to see the waves breaking over our Bow wow, and we coild see the concern on the Airboss face.
From the time it took us to get up to the Airbosses seat the waves got worst. he said hear check this out.
Well we found out our air boss wasn’t so bad at all, in fact we were talking and decided he was pretty badass he could have had our asses.
The Work Performances Was So Much Better;
did our performances intently and, I think the Air Boss had that in the plan because, after that, there wasn’t much we wouldn’t do for that, man.
During, certain time’s a good old flashlight just comes in handy, but when do you have room for a good strong flashlight like, the birth in you’re locker, or you’re work staton.
Not on you’re person becouse, it’s called FOD Forign Object Damege, my self has watched an A7 attack aircraft suck funnels from the ground during a rain storm,
Like I said after about 3 days of rocking and rolling we all got a newfound appreciation for the see, and the aircraft carrier, she will take anything.
All fears left us, that was probably the best thing they could have done, we were all more active in everything going down at least as long as we had this vessal and that Air Boss LOL
Arriving at Rota Spain;
Have you forgot Jaimy well two times a week I wrote to this girl, with no return letter for the 3 weeks crossing, the 2 weeks at Rota, and the 2 weeks till we hit the next port Palma
Things are different overhear in another country, there are even extra announcements like, Now Hear This To All Ships Crew please stay clear of the questionable areas.
Like the gut, of the name of whatever city, you might need some extra tool’s this is only one of a few, so what exactly happens just as soon as you get to the fleet landing.
you’re a sailer watch out ass holes some times pray on you knowing that you have been out literally risking your life to Lunch Navy aircraft.
Now, Rota, is the port for all ships, they all must make port hear, it’s the law, it’s where a ship might get checked and held if need be.
to pull right up to a pier except pier 12 and Portsmith Naval Shipyards.
We were in Rota for 3 days then we maid the entrance to the Mditerainian sea, through the great divide between Spain and the rock of Gibraltar was on our starboard side and it was so close that they could have thrown a rock and hit us it took a minute they had to slow way down after we were through.
It was just like the shakedown cruises two weeks out than two weeks at Palma Spain were the first day we were sitting there enjoying some cappuccino when one of her friends was lighting a cigarette, she had a bunch of hair spray well she caught her hair on fire. all Sailers go through extensive fire training in fact instead of the rifle range we went to the fire training, and as an ABH crash crew training, well all I did was slap the top of her head and put the fire out thank God because we had a great time that day we went to an auto race downtown Palma.
We went to this coffee shop while we were there, there were these 3 girls came in each and everyone beautiful.
and I fell in love, her name was Marie Carmen Matola Varguss WOW, shje had me good probobly a bounce back thing but it’s really funny every day she was there waiting.
With her other friends, was As we crossed we were having flight ops, the seas are still a bit turbulence, it was later a bit after the sunset we were recovering our final recovery when this F-14 was coming in the ship was still rising and falling it does that all the time you just don’t notice it until you can hear the jets engine while he makes his approach, the jet engines throttling up and down trying to keep up with the Rocking of the ship even all those Beracaid drills didn’t help.
This F-14 was on approach right when he was over the back of the flight deck it was called the round out, the ship to an upwards thrust making the F-14 crash his port side landing gear, into the round out steering the port side landing strut off, he slid up the deck the piolet ejected halfway up the flight deck into the drink the aircraft slid all the way up the angle deck till he kinda hung up right at the end and as soon as it started tilting off it blew up as it rolled off into the sea.
The piolets were retrieved out of the water and in OK and unhurt.
It was like that every port Palma Spain, Brandiesie Italy, Palma again who do you think was there, well I felt that Jamie must have found another Sailer after a dozen or more letters and nothing I got to thinking that this might come in handy oh well, after Palma, it was Dubrovnik Ugaslavia which was communistic we weren’t allowed to whisper create a seen, and we had to be in our dress whites.
Beautiful, Clean, and Controlled, hell we were afraid to even enjoy any of the sights, thank God we were only there 2 days, then we were up Anker and back to ship’s work.
Our Little Trip To Naples Italy;
I just couldn’t help it we went to Palma 3 times on this med cruise and on each and every time Mery Carmen and I would meet at fleet landing so after not hearing from Jamie for the last 7 months, I was young and would fall in love very easily, lol.
This med cruise didn’t have Greece in the works Debravnik Ugaslavia took its place but we went to 2 places in Italy only Triest, and Brandisie which sticks in my head because from there Don Gilbert, Shilenger, And My Self wanted to go to Naples and enjoy some Lasagna because it was no chance in our cruise we were going to Naples, and Done built that Lasagna up big time.
So there we went for like 2 hours, Don was a stand-up comedian in his civilian life before the Nav, He stood up put he’s, foot in the red velvet seat of the train opened the window, there was a bunch of men farming Olives, and he started singing I Am A Linemen For The Countyyyyyyyy, well the farmers just looked up but we were having a great time.
But Damn it was taking forever and all of a sudden we saw a sign that said Napoli, so the very next stop we pilled off, walked over to the booth just as we found out we weren’t in Napoles, the Train pulled of now we were stuck in a very small Italian village, which had closed done like at 21:00 hrs. so there we were just wondering around wondering what we were going to do.
The next train wasn’t until the next morning like at 08:00, to top that off one of Shilenger had duty the next morning we were only meant to be out till midnight, so the next morning we caught the train back and just gave up on le lasagna, Silencer got extra KP duty for the next port.
One More Christmas Away From Home;
Well, our 7-month deployment is getting close to the end, we just left Palma for our last visit, Mary Carmen was sad, we played with the idea of either her moving to the USA but she was afraid of leaving her life, or me moving there the same thing didn’t want to give up my American life there after all we were only like 19 or 20 years of age.
2 weeks after that we arrived back at Rota, but about 3 weeks early because of the changes in our deployment, Christmas was just 3 days away I didn’t want to try and fly home although a bunch did I took a ferry which was very plush with polished wood decks I had my own stateroom for all of 2 hours it took to get to Palma from Rota to Palma called Mary Carmen, she was ecstatic, I got to stay there in Palma with her and her parent’s for 2 weeks man I learned some Spanish.
Mary Carmen’s brother was married to a Scottish girl which could speak very good English, can not remember their names I’m sorry, but they came to spend Christmas with the family, it was just a couple of days but they wanted to show me the Island, Palma is like Spains Huawei.
While we were out the Flight deck PO, called me into the flight deck control and informed me that he was giving me an advance he wanted me to try directing aircraft well that didn’t go very well the PO where he sent me didn’t see eye to eye so he sent me back to the flight deck PO after about 36 hours, it pretty much pissed the flight deck PO of so he gave me the best I went to the Crash Crew for the rest of my time, you see that little move around with that ass hole Lightner pissed me off also and me getting Crash Crew pissed Lightner off also.
Crash crew means more bussy more training, new collars I get to wear red just like the weapons department except, we also get the silver suit to thank God, I didn’t get that asbestosis you know the cancer thing. and did I mention more training, “FIRE” training sir!!!!.
We drove all the way around Palma the first thing Mary Carmen’s brother pointed out was this structure that looked like a castle from England he said it was a functioning Leoper Colony, it was about an hour out of the city of Palma, a couple of beautiful hours later, her brother, found this beach really wide bleached white sand forever the seaweed had rolled up on to the beach and maid these little seaweed balls in which we maid weapons out of for a couple of hours we threw seaweed balls at each other and playing around.
It took us all day to make this trip and had a great time one that I will never forget the water was crystal clear aquamarine blue surf.
Prowed To Say It Didn’t Happen;
The night before Christmas Mary Carmen and I went Dancing at her favorite Club where I heard the coolest Christmas song I had ever heard but you’ll know it I think it went to the top of the charts It’s still plaid today Felice Navidad, have you heard it I freaked when the next Christmas they were playing everywhere in Denison Texas COOL!!!! later that night we went to her house was setting outside we started making out and I started to get aroused started to try and to the second base she stoped me said she was still a virgin, so, me being the honorable one left her with her Virginity.
I really didn’t want to invade their Christmas and the ship was done and resting at Rota, waiting for everyone.
The next day everyone from the flight deck pitched in and took the Christmas lights down and started preparations to get underway the next day at daybreak, and so it did happen, at 07:00 we dropped lines and tugged out and got underway westbound. as we got underway the USS Forestal relived us as we passed her we sounded our ship’s whistle and rendered hand salutes for giving the Mediterranean to the USS Forestal to control and have a great time hmmm I wonder if Mary Carmen met another Sailer?
The Return Back To The USA;
It was a quiet crossing no Hurricanes in fact perfect seas all the way across other than still being cold, we would stand behind one of the aircraft turning waiting to move if you know when this is going to happen and only them we could stand behind a jet exhaust and it’s like 90 degrees in the envelope of jet exhaust until they go to move said aircraft if you don’t know about it you’re going down there a lot of wind power behind a fighter jet fust to get it to taxi.
As we got closer well for the day before we arrive in Norfolk we always have to wash the deck, you bet after just a few launches the flight deck starts getting coated with jet fuel, Its slick, and dirty looking we would line up the first will wet the deck down some will come in behind them with soap just splashing all over the flight deck another line of men with brushes, and after them, another crew with more fire hoses rinsing all the crap into the Ocean behind us all I’ve got to say is yuk.
As we get ready to pull along pier 12 everyone has to put their dress uniforms on and the weather is warm enough to wear our dress whites, it would about 3 hours before we get to the pier, this one fella, I can’t remember his name but he wasn’t all there his whole duty was to keep our birth clean and the trash is taken out.
While we were having night flight ops, one of the PO’s sent him up on deck to get someone which wasn’t supposed to happen he wasn’t even trained to go up there, he waked behind an F-14 right in time for the yellow shirt to move the damn thing it blew him up against another aircraft it hurt his shoulder pretty good, good enough to have light duty well every on gave him a hard time because of that, this happened after the first day leaving Rota to come back.
Entering The Chesapeake Bay;
As we entered the bay he decides he wants out of the Navy, so he wants to prove his self insane now remember this is mid-spring now it’s early foggy and the water is still too cold to swim in, he takes off out of the hatch, clears the handhold and 75 foot to the water, it would be a miracle if he even lived through the fall well never know, they didn’t find him until 3 days later floating up on Oceanview beach it looked like the fish was happy with his choice they were full and happy.
Anyway, when we get back in I’m not signing the papers I’m getting out of the Nav. which I regret to this day, I had bought a Kawasaki 900, and it was waiting for me in the parking lot I hope, It takes the better part of the day on a normal return but with Mr, I want out, it pretty late remembers we have to stand at attention in our dress whites, all around the flight deck with all the visitors Damn I was wandering if Jammie was going to be there, probably not, it was going to be late but I got off this time when I went and got the Mc Donalds I eat inside lol.
Well, of course, I went by that apartment we had, sure didn’t know them both the size of the ship I just got off of they said they had lived there for almost 5 months. and didn’t know who lived there before them, so I went to the bar we would go to and spotted a civilian friend I had, pretty much the whole time I was stationed on America during shakedown cruises when we were in me and John would get together, now don’t look down on me but we’d get together and smoke bunches of, pot and he introduced me to the connect I had before the Med cruise.
I asked if he had seen her he looked kinda disturbed, and said you didn’t know? of course not, I asked to know what just a touch disturbed, he told that our pot dealer hooked up with her and are living together she didn’t tell you she said she told you, nope not me I just wrote till I figured she had given up, but I hadn’t expected that.
This Is Dragging On A Little;
But I would really enjoy telling you about what happened with Jamie and what happened after that, he looked at me and asked, or you ok? yea sure she was just a fling, anyway, I had a couple in the med, we laughed, he said well are you needing? I said yes so we drove over to their apartment, he looked at me and said this is awkward because There she was looking a bit frightened, she immediately got up and motioned me to the kitchen and started all sorts of apologies the next thing out of her mouth was 7 months was so long.
I looked at her and said no worries sweetie is this with you and him stable and are you happy? she said yes to both so I said you’re right 7 months is a long time, and if it was it’s a good thing I didn’t go ahead and ask you to marry me, but one question if I had and we did get married would you have waited that 7 months? Don’s wife did because I was right on the verge.
Jamie’s head just dropped and she apologized, and once again I said no worries can I still use you guys? Jamie says, of course, we got some really good Columbian so they hooked me up I’m sorry I’m not that forgiving I went a long time without going out with my shipmates picking up women until I made up my mind Jamie wasn’t going to contact me. I let this go on for about 1 month until they figured I was staying around, then I got Jamie by herself and asked if she would front me a quarter pound I was out of work and running out of money. She thought for a minute or 2 and agreed, so t took the quarter pond waited 2 days came by told her I had only sold 1 oz and I gave her the money which was mine, and jumped on my bike and headed south and that’s what happened to Jamie I hope you don’t think bad of me but it was the end to a bad part of a good thing like I said I hate that I didn’t Retire
My last 2 articles were for you’re reading entertainment and enjoyment, part 1 and part 2 of Surviving the most Chaotic and dangerous Job, is where I’m trying to show you that there’s a need for survival anywhere, and in fact, you can have a good time surviving.
This was 2 years where you couldn’t take your attention off, of what you’re doing for a second or you will die I witnessed it more than once I care not to think or talk about them remember I was in for 4 years you just read about the last 2.
Please leave me a comment and let me know what you thought. and if you would like to read about the first 2 years they weren’t nearly as chaotic.