Blog: My Unusual Road of Life....
by kerminator

My Navy years

** Spent over 175,000 nautical miles at sea visiting every major ocean in the world! Learned a whole lot in a short time! **

Date:   6/28/2019 2:56:51 AM   ( 18 mon ) ... viewed 318 times

Have been to Europe, Africa, Asia and been on all the oceans of the world!

Well, I was on 3 Destroyers, The USS Greenwood was the first, spent almost a year on board, this was the ship where I had the encounter with a Navy Seal attempting to board our ship!

More on my Navy career: One night as we were moored at a pier at the Key West Naval Base. Which is where the Military underwater swimming school is for all services. I was part of the crew on board a DE - One night as part of a security watch, 20:00 to 24:00 {as an armed Roving patrol}. The OD Lt {who was a Mustang - former enlisted}) got word that there could be an attempt for an unwanted onboard on board scenario from a Seal - we were to be extra alert! The underwater visitor only had to get on board and then just go into the Wardroom and sit with a cup of coffee. Which meant that he could have set of explosive in any area of the ship!

We were moored Port-side to the pier, I was given security watch on the forward section port side just before the breakwater. Well, it was quite as we patrolled the ship.- the O.D. came around and informed us that there was not going to be any intruders on his watch that nite. The bay was quite and there was minimal wind and just a few wavelets!
Around 22:00 hours as I was going forward, I heard what sounded like a gulping sound down by one of the fenders (floating cushioned to keep the chafing of the ship on the Pier).
Making a quick sweep of the water line near the fenders with my Flashlight, I saw a swimmer caught next to the pier, who had his lost his face mask - his mouthpiece.

He was trapped against the Fender and the pier as the waves lapped his face. I called out "intruder alert " and did not need to put my weapon on him as he surrendered! The OD came and had a 20 man work party formed on the pier so we could push ever so studly against the Port side (moving the ship) just enough to free the Seal!

The OD was ecstatic as the Captain and XO were both ashore! I was stationed there for almost a year and often saw the Underwater swimmers training out off an LSVP in the bay. Besides the Navy Seals also saw many Army, Marines and a few USAF special forces.

We operated with the Fleet Sonar School Training people on how to detect Subs {worked with a couple subs form the Key West base!}
Went to Gitmo for training! Was the first time I spent Christmas overseas the second time would be on the USS Manley a couple years later!

Then I spent a short time on USS Everglades AD 25 in Charleston SC did not go to sea on this Destroyer repair Tender Ship.

Next was on the USS Furse spent several cruises into the North Atlantic as part of the NASA prime recovery for several of the Mercury Space launches recovery!

Then Saw action during the Cuban Blockade, where the Furse had been sent over down to Cay Sal - just off Havana and took up station as monitoring Total Arial Surveillance over Cuba tracking all aircraft - reporting same to USAF base Homestead FL.

We did run down and board a Russian Merchant Ship and founding (3) ICBM's on board!

The next year The Furse went into the Philadelphia Shipyard - where I was able to go aboard the USS New Jersey BB62 - boy that is a large ship compared to the Destroyers!

Then transferred to the USS Manley which was a modern Gunfire support ship with 1200 Lb main line HP steam boilers capable of moving the ship at 40+ Knots! We spent much time steaming under way and then deployed to the Mediterranean.
I was assigned as a French Interpreter for the Shore Patrol in Tunisia. drove the Commando in both Italy and Greece on official missions! Visited several Europe countries! We made a later deployment - transecting the Suez Canal to the US Mideast Fleet in the Persian Gulf and then Indian Ocean!

Where we tracked Russian Ships and scanned communications! While in the Indian Ocean - responded to a rescue mission from a Islamic Riot. Made an armed Rescue Evacuation of 96 people (many of the people were part of the NASA Tracking station there) from an Islamic rebellion and Riot on Zanzibar.

Worked with the British and French Navy's Aircraft Carriers helping support for some of the small riots and wars in Africa - Asia! Spent some time in Aden and encountering a Smuggler. Then spent some time in the south of the Equator! - another hot spot! Saw a lot of mainly Islamic conflicts and their political arena!

Have been to 10 different infested Islamic Countries and did not like any one of them! Islam sux!!

Both the last 2 ships I was on;
USS Furse DDR882 and
USS Manley DD940 both saw action off Vietnam!
The Furse received a shell hit aft in the ASW Helo - Storage area off Vietnam, in the aft superstructure.

Manley had some close fire support off North Viet Nam.
An interesting event Silence Enemy Battery emplacements ashore! Also Covered some USCG coastal intrusions.

Then on a later deployment
(I was not on board) had the Forward 5 Inch 54 mount had a powder shell explosion injuring several men - who were emergency evacuated!
BTW: ** There was a Congressman on board during that occurrence - he was happy to leave quickly!

Spent over 175,000 nautical miles at sea having visited every major ocean in the world! Learned a whole lot in a short time! Have been to over 25 countries - some several times!

It was a great experience and great learning curve. I saw much and many things that I would not have seen or known!

One key word I learned was how to " improvise!" Learned to be dependable and pay attention to what is going on around me! Plus the world does not operate like you may think!

I thank God for seeing me through! More later!

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