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  1. #601
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    Yard Birds Save Buns!

    While not mine, dose relate to SLATER where I volunteer though; I think some of you may like story -

    During a phone conversation with Ed Simpson EM1, who was a SLATER crew member during 1944 and 1945, he related an interesting sea story (or was it a port story?) concerning the SLATER.

    It seems that there is a small controversy (at least in one man's mind) about whether the Destroyer Escort returned to the Hudson River by DESA is indeed the USS SLATER! It is true that several DEs were transferred to the Greek Navy along with the SLATER. An ex-crewmember of one of the other DEs has asserted the ship now docked in Albany is his old ship and not the SLATER. Now, to the casual observer, one DE might look just like another and after 55 years memories can be forgiven for fading just a little, but Simpson's memory is sharp and clear and he claims incontrovertible proof of the SLATER's identity!

    Simpson recalls that while SLATER was in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1944, a pair of yard birds with flashlights awakened him in his bunk at 2 am. "Are you Simpson?" "Yes" said Simpson. "Is your space the IC and Gyro room?" "Yes" said Simpson. "Well you better roll out and come with us then, because the yard fire watch has spotted smoke and we think it's coming from the IC room and we don't have a key."

    Simpson was afraid he knew what it was right away. It seems that on a DE a place to press your uniform is not that easy to find. Simpson had a nice wooden bench in the IC room kind of tucked in between the ship's gyroscope and the 1MC amplifier that was just the right size. He also had two good buddies, Balkin and Blackwood, who used to press their uniforms there with him. Down through the hatch in the mess deck to the IC room with the two yard birds close behind, Simpson unlocked the door and, sure enough, there was the red-hot iron burning right through the wooden work bench! No big deal, no fire, and the compartment was soon cleared of smoke, but there still remained the hole burned in the bench.

    "Oh dear" said Simpson (well, maybe not his exact words). "My division officer will find out about this tomorrow, he'll tell the Captain, I'll get a mast, get busted and won't get a liberty until 1950!"

    The two yard birds put their heads together and after a short conversation one of them said to Simpson, "Well, nobody but the three of us needs to know about this, meet us on the pier at 0800".

    So Simpson was on the pier at 0800 and there were the two yard birds with a neat steel plate that they had fabricated to fit over the hole in the bench. The plate was discreetly installed, covering the evidence, and nobody has been the wiser for the over 55 years. And there the story would end except for the allegation that the ship now in the Hudson River at Albany is one of the other DEs and not the SLATER!

    In April 1999, the former SLATER crew held its annual ship's reunion onboard and the first thing Simpson did was make it down to the IC room to check out the workbench. Sure enough, undisturbed and just as it was 55 years and untold thousands of miles ago, there was the wooden workbench with the steel patch still hiding the evidence.

    And now you know the rest of the story. Except that Simpson isn't telling whether it was Balkin, Blackwood or himself who left the iron on the bench. . .

    Jerry Jones ET, SLATER Volunteers 1/1/2000

    Yard Birds Save Buns

    There is also oral history of his that tells the story just slightly differently if you would like to listen - http://www.ussslater.org/collections/oralhistories/OralHistory_55.mp3 - Ed Simpson

    Attachment 34992

  2. #602
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    A) Looking at the picture, I don't see any metal plate covering a part of a wooden bench. I see what I assume is a part of the bulkhead

    B) Was this Simpson fellow on the Slater, or was he on one of the other ships? The story is told in a very complicated way, making it hard to tell. If he wasn't on the Slater, why is the ship he DID serve on unnamed? He doesn't remember what ships he served on?

    C) If he was on the Slater, then if the plate is there, what's the problem? If he wasn't on the Slater, that would explain the absence of the metal plate, but that doesn't do anything to prove that this ship is or isn't the Slater.

    D) If he was on the Slater, it makes sense he was present at a crew reunion. If he found the plate, it proves the ship IS the Slater. If he wasn't on the Slater, why is he on the Slater in a reunion with the Slater crew?

    There are some fairly large gaps and holes in that story.....
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  3. #603
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    A) Looking at the picture, I don't see any metal plate covering a part of a wooden bench. I see what I assume is a part of the bulkhead
    Reminds me of a Craigslist car photo and you can't tell what it is.

    B) Was this Simpson fellow on the Slater, or was he on one of the other ships? The story is told in a very complicated way, making it hard to tell. If he wasn't on the Slater, why is the ship he DID serve on unnamed? He doesn't remember what ships he served on?
    Simpson was on the Slater as per being woken up at 2am.

    C) If he was on the Slater, then if the plate is there, what's the problem? If he wasn't on the Slater, that would explain the absence of the metal plate, but that doesn't do anything to prove that this ship is or isn't the Slater.
    No problem except someone, off another DE, questioned whether the ship was actually the Salter so after 55 years Simpson went down to check.

    D) If he was on the Slater, it makes sense he was present at a crew reunion. If he found the plate, it proves the ship IS the Slater. If he wasn't on the Slater, why is he on the Slater in a reunion with the Slater crew?
    He used the reunion for the chance to go check


    There are some fairly large gaps and holes in that story.....
    I followed it fine...

  4. #604
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    Okay, see, I read it as this Simpson fella being the one who wasn't sure it was the Slater, which is why it made no sense to me
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

  5. #605
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    A) When I'm aboard next time I'll get a better picture or two that shows it better. (From what I remember the plate is on the top, not the bottom of the bench.)

    B) As Tbm said Simpson was a SLATER Crew member. (As it says "Ed Simpson EM1, who was a SLATER crew member during 1944 and 1945" )

    C) As Tbm said; There was a crew member from one of the other DE's that where transferred to the Greeks, that after all those years asserted the DE that was brought back to Albany was in fact that person's ship and not SLATER.

    D) Exactly what Tbm said!

  6. #606
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    Hopefully this helps! The picture is a little out of shape and needs just a "little splainin Lucy"! (now that sure identifies a generation!)
    Attachment 35013

  7. #607
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    a collection of stories from boot camp...pretty funny $hit!

    Funniest Military Punishments - Business Insider
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  8. #608
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    Mainland Chinese aren't the only ones peeing on streets of Hong Kong | South China Morning Post

    When the Stump visited Freetown Sierra Leone in 1985 we had just completed a circumnavigation of South America and made a number of visits at numerous Caribbean nations and other West African nations. We were all 19, 20, 21 or so and of course sure we had seen it all. In many of the African nations we had noticed that people just stopped at the side of the road to relieve themselves. Well, we had been invited to the Star-Guiness Brewery for a cookout and free beer by the owner, a British expat. We tanked up on free beer and when the burgers and dogs ran out boarded a mini-bus to light out for the only other place of interest in town, a large chain hotel. Of course half way thru the ride people start crabbing about "are we there yet?" on account of having to relieve ourselves after drinking all that fine beer. The driver, a local kept saying not here, not here, and almost there, but finally had to stop due to all the bitching. We had passed thru some dicey looking areas but this place seemed quiet- it was a large concrete building that had a ramp that wound around it, and it seemed closed. We assumed he had stopped so we could get out and piss around the side of the building so we did. A fine sight, 20 or so sailors peeing on the side of this building- soon there was a yellow river running down the ramp reeking faintly of Guinness and stupidity. As we made our way back to the bus we noticed a crowd starting to gather and also heading towards our bus. Most of us made it back first, a couple got cut off and took off finding their own way back, one got stuck up against the door with the crowd holding it shut. We reached out a window and grabbed him in. Meantime the bus is now surrounded by an angry mob and the driver is arguing out his window with some of the people. He suddenly gets grabbed out the window and disappears.
    Now we are in a fine pickle- the mob is around the bus yelling and rocking it back and forth, our drunk is starting to wear off, another bus with the ships officers passed by us so now we know we will be in trouble as well. Finally a group of motorcycle riding cops show up and push the crowd back a bit from the bus- my friend Huck (not his real name but he answered to it) gets in the drivers seat, puts it in neutral and lets the bus roll backwards until he's able to start it by putting it in gear. We drive a few blocks away and the bus stops with the motor running. Huck gets out, looks under the bus comes back in and asks us for our belts. After a bit he gets back in and we drive another mile or so before it dies for good. By now we are well enough away from the crowd and we have found a place that sells beer. After talking for a bit with the people there we find out that the building was a newly built post office and some matter of civic pride to the folks that lived in that part of town which was a pretty run down area.
    Eventually a new bus came by and got us and we continued our journey to the hotel a wiser and drunker bunch of sailors, at least a little more aware of the image we portrayed when we relieved ourselves on items of national pride. (I believe Ozzie Osborne had a similar experience in Austin, Texas) We finally made it back to the ship that evening/morning in time for a pirate raid on the West German freighter tied up next to us, but that is a story for another time.
    Has anyone else ever had a cultural misunderstanding when it comes to relieving yourselves?

  9. #609
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    OK, I haven't told a story in a while, and since reading something the other day about ex-USS Constellation (CV 64) being towed down to Texas to be cut up for scrap, I feel moved to relate one of those "Ah shits" that might ruin a career if one is not among the chosen few who have been predetermined for four stars.

    Anyway, the second of the three COs I worked for in Constellation was this gentleman, then Captain Leon A. "Bud" Edney.



    You can read the bio at the link. For me, he was one of the finest men I ever knew or worked for. Not necessarily the easiest guy to work for, but usually for a reason. I will tell you one thing. I am a retired Captain because he took an interest in my career as an Ensign, and never failed to have his Flag Aid or Chief of Staff contact me whenever a promotion or administrative board was coming due, in case I wanted him to write a letter for me. I did that once, when in the midst of the post-Desert Storm draw down and administrative boards for selection to XO and CO were getting really dicey. He took care of me.

    So anyway, back in the deployment from hell during the Iran Hostage Crisis, we were cutting donuts in the Northern Arabian Sea. I was standing watch on the bridge as the OOD, as an Ensign (the only one on board who had scored that achievement), and we were doing our regular launching and recovering of aircraft all bleeding day long. It was the afternoon watch and we'd been underway for like 70 days straight by then and the flight deck and hangar deck were getting really slick, making it very important that the aircraft handlers hold their moves while we were in a turn, lest an F-14 start sliding.

    One of the tricks I learned from a cagey SWO Commander who was the Communications Officer, was that if we had a bit of a list on, and we had to make a turn to bring the ship into the wind to launch or recover, to always turn into the list, even if it was the long way around the gyrocompass. Why? Because you could use more rudder and speed. Why? Because a ship heels away from the direction of turn. So, if, as in this situation, we had a two degree list to port, and we had to go from 000 to 140, I would kick the ship in the ass, and turn to port, because that would not only cancel the list to port, but allow me to use more rudder and speed. One of the really cool things about ship driving is that it's all very mathematical. For instance, in a supercarrier, whether nuclear or conventionally powered, we were admonished never to create a heel of more than three degrees in a turn. More than that, and the aircraft handlers start having problems moving airplanes. The nifty little secret though is that any additive combination of nautical miles per hour, and rudder angle, that is equal or less than the number 35, will not exceed three degrees of heel. It just won't, no matter how hard you try. E.g. 20 degrees of rudder and turns for 15 knots, I'm good to go. Get it?

    So, if I've already got a two degree list to port, but I turn to port, I can actually exceed that number 35, cancel the two degrees of list, and still have three degrees of heel to play with, and get around quicker, even if it is the longer way around.

    And this is what I did that fateful afternoon. We had to bring her into the wind, and there was plenty of wind to go around, so we only needed to make five knots while launching and recovering, but to get on that course, I ordered a turn to port, and went from all ahead slow, turns for five knots, to all ahead full, turns for 20, and used 15 degrees of rudder. All is working as planned, until Captain Edney, who had been discussing something or other with the Air Boss, and was distracted, suddenly looked up as I was about 1/3 of the way through the maneuver, and said, "What's going on?" Then, thinking I was dicked up, he yells, "This is the Captain and I have the conn, shift your rudder!" as is his prerogative. Then he finally clicked to what I had been doing, and ordered the rudder shifted back again to my original orders. The thing he hadn't figured on though was the speed we were doing, and the heel that his shifting of the rudder the first time had created. So just after he ordered the second shift, the 10JG telephone by his chair rings and he answers it, and after 20 seconds, I hear, "Ah fuck!" from his lips. I looked at him quizzically as only a lowly Ensign too smart for his own good sometimes can, and he looks back at me with this sheepish grin and says, "I just put a six ton forklift over the side!"

    It seems that guys moving supplies on pallets on the hangar deck had parked the forklift positioned athwartships, and didn't chock and chain it, and when we heeled to port on his orders, the combination of heel, no chocks, and slick deck sent it right out the door for number four elevator.

    I know they did a Jag Manual Investigation and all that, but I have no clue what it said. Obviously nothing that important because he still got his fourth star. It's just that sometimes, lessons learned cab be real expensive.

  10. #610

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    Captain,

    Superior story, sir.

    He seems a tremendous man. His reaction on dumping the fork-lift is a winner. I don't know enough about carriers to evaluate the impact it might have had on hanger ops but, yeah, things happen when you train hard for a long time in harsh places. We watched a CH-47 dump a sling-loaded M 102 105mm HOW onto a lava pan out at Twenty-nine Palms in July, 1988. Crew-chief evidently was OJTing some young crew-member and they managed to jettison this gun from maybe 1000 ft up.

    Guess the pilot was wondering why they just gained 300 ft. on the altimeter.
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  11. #611
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    An infantry company had gone through and the officers wher eht eonly ones left. I was sent to fetch them as they sit around grab assing. Not being noticed right away and having a devious mind i jsut stood there radiating fumes from my MOPP suit. As expected the wind shifted and suddenly I was the center of attnetion as they all started gagging and choking.

  12. #612
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    Many years ago, I was a senior 1stLt (I know, a contradiction in terms) just checking into Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego as an assistant Series Officer. As the newest and most junior officer in the Company, the Drill Instructors loved to mess with me. For instance, a group of about eight or nine DIs were standing in a group along the Company street, as I approached them they broke up and began walking towards me. Of course, they spaced themselves out with about 6 feet between each of them. As each approached, he’d salute and render the proper greeting, forcing me to salute each in turn. By the end of the line, I stopped returning their salutes and took to shaking each of their hands. Not strictly professional, but mess with me….

    Another story…. I had joined the Company half way through its training cycle and they had just started swim quals. It was always a tough time for a certain percentage of recruits who could not swim. One of the biggest obstacles for these recruits was the high jump which is a 10-12 foot platform they have to jump off of into the pool while performing the correct water entry position. It was not unusual to have one or more recruits refuse to jump, at which point one of the Drill Instructors would have to talk the recruit into jumping. If they refused, they’d get recycled and that would hurt our graduation percentage (yeah, we had to worry about that, didn’t like losing recruits to the swim pool.) So one day, the platoon in the pool had finished and cleared out, but there was one remaining recruit standing on top of the platform. One of the Drill Instructors came up to me and said that the kid was refusing to jump and asked if I could go up and try to convince him to jump. I reluctantly agreed as I’m not terribly fond of heights. So I climbed up the platform to where the recruit waited with another DI. He had a utility top on and I could see the blue badge pinned to his chest. As I walked up, the DI stepped back. “Hey recruit, I’m Lieuuuuuu….” was about as far as I got before the Drill Instructor gave me a great push, launching me into the pool. Pretty funny all around, at least after I climbed out of the pool. I found out later that the Senior DI had put on the recruit blouse, playing the part of the recruit and I was too new to recognize him.

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