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My Naval Career Page
(1958 - 1978)

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1958 - 1959
 

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1958 and suffered through Boot Camp training at NTC, San Diego, California.

My first duty station was at the Naval Air Station, Alameda, CA, from June 1958 to May 1959.  Was assigned to the Special Services division.

1959 - 1962
 
Assigned to the USS Samuel N. Moore (DD-747)  from June 1959 to May 1962, a destroyer home-ported in Long Beach, CA.
 
  • Made two WestPac tours, visiting Hawaii and the countries of Japan, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Philippines.  Also tours to Seattle and Everett, WA; and the coast of Mexico.
  • Conducted cold weather operations off the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.
  • I first started out in the Deck Division for awhile, then got into Medical division as a corpsman striker, working under HMC "Doc" Ben Mayotte until his retirement in 1960.
  • A few months later, I joined the communications division as a radioman striker.  Since my main interest was electronics, this was as close as I was going to get into the electronics field. 
  • After re-enlisting for Radioman "A" School, I finished out my tour on the Moore as a radioman striker.

While attached to the Moore, we participated in a couple of 1962 nuclear tests, designated  "Operation Dominic I"  in the Pacific. One of the tests was conducted near Christmas Island & the second was off the coast of southern California.

(Note: After this ship was decommissioned in 1969, it was sold to Taiwan on December 9, 1969 and renamed Heng Yang. Later was stricken in 1993.)

 

Attended Radioman "A" School, SSC, San Diego, CA., from Jun. 1962 to Dec. 1962.  Intensive training in radio procedures, equipment operations, Morse Code and typing. Gradulated in the top 10% of class.  Promoted to RM3.  Received my orders to transfer to the east coast for sea duty.

USS Samuel N. Moore DD-747 Patch
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1963 - 1964
 

Assigned to the USS Miller, DD-535, a reserve training destroyer home-ported in Boston, MA., from Jan. 1963 to Jun. 1964. 

  • Made tours to the Caribbean; visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico;  Bahamas; and various other islands.
  • Tours to Florida; New York City; Cornerbrook, Newfoundland (great port-of-call); Quebec City, Canada; and various other eastern seaboard cities.
  • Promoted to RM2.
  • During this assignment, I met my wife and several months later we were married in Boston.
  • Decommissioned this ship in Portsmouth, VA on June 30, 1964.
  • Received my orders to transfer to the west coast for shore duty.
  • Additional Pictures at this website: DD535 Photo Archive.

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1964 - 1966
 

Served at the U.S. Naval Facility, Pacific Beach, WA., in the communications division from Aug. 1964 to Feb. 1966.  This was "prime" duty in the Pacific Northwest.  Pacific Beach was a small resort town located on the Pacific coast a few miles north of Aberdeen and Hoquiam, WA.  

  • This was our first duty as newlyweds.
  • The facility was a SOSUS station, part of a network of underwater sound surveillence systems.  Now designated as IUSS (Integrated Undersea Surveillance System).
  • A web site for the IUSS CAESAR Alumni Association Home Page has been developed for all personnel that either have been or are now active with IUSS duties.
  • Received a "Letter of Commendation" for outstanding professional performance during the floods of December 22 to 26, 1964 in portions of the Northwest.  Was instrumental in establishing and maintaining emergency communications with the Naval Facility located in Humboldt County of northern California, and for relaying of essential messages pertaining to disasters in the stricken areas to the appropriate Civil Defense and Military agencies.

On October 1 - 3, 2004, NAVFAC Pacific Beach had their 2nd reunion at Pacific Beach, WA.  It was a great turnout and lots of fun.  For the reunion, my wife, first daughter, and I were able to rent the cabin (3-Bdrm house) that we originally lived in during my 1964-1966 tour.  Brought back many memories.

We also attended the reunion the last of September 2007 and the one in Oct. 1 & 2, 2010. This last reunion was one of the best and probably had around 75 attendees.  Several that came this time were stationed at the facility the same time as I was, and came from the east coast.

(Note:   Naval Facility Pacific Beach, Washington was commissioned as a shore activity on 14 May 1958. The Commanding Officer’s house was built on the site of the once-famous Pacific Beach Hotel, the Northwest’s most romantic “Honeymoon” Hotel in the early 1900s. With outbreak of World War II, the Navy and the Air Force moved in and used the site on and off as a regional headquarters, gunners school, radar station and, finally as a Naval Facility. Naval Facility Pacific Beach had an allowance of 12 officers, 115 enlisted and 15 civilians. After twenty-nine years in a fully operational status, NAVFAC Pacific Beach was remoted to NOPF Whidbey Island and decommissioned 1 September 1987.  In October of 1987, the U.S. Naval Facility at Pacific Beach was disestablished and transferred to Naval Station Puget Sound and then to Naval Station Everett. Under Commander Naval Base guidance, the unoccupied facilities developed into a Morale, Welfare, Recreation (MWR) and Education Support Center, and now is Resort and Conference Center, Pacific Beach.)
 
 
Attended Radioman "B" School, SSC, San Diego, CA., from Apr. 1966 to Dec. 1966.  This was a tough 36 weeks of advance communications and electronics training.  Burnt a lot of midnight oil in this school, but it paid off, since I graduated as Class Honor Man.  Upon completion of school, received orders to serve with the staff of Commander Carrier Division-5 (CTF-77) overseas in the Western Pacific during the Vietnam Conflict.

1967 - 1968

Assigned to the staff of Commander Attack Carrier Striking Force, U.S. Seventh Fleet (CTF-77), on board the aircraft carriers USS Kitty Hawk, CVA-63 and USS Constellation, CVA-64, serving as rotating flag ships in the Gulf of Tonkin off the North Vietnam Coast, from Jan. 1967 through Jan. 1968.

  • CTF-77 was also Commander Carrier Division 5.
  • Some tough and demanding duty on some mighty big ships.
  • Most of time was spent on Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf during a very heated and controversial period of the Vietnam Conflict.
  • Observed many bombs flown off these carriers designated for enemy targets and enemy forces inland of North Vietnam.
  • R&R in the ports of Subic Bay, Philippines; Hong Kong; Yokosuka, Japan.
  • Relived the USS Forrestal after her horrific fire July 29, 1967 while in the Tonkin Gulf that killed 134 men and destoryed 21 aircraft. It also caused severe damage to her flight deck from many of the live bombs that exploded that were loaded on most of her aircraft.  She looked like a death ship when we relieved her.

Several VIP's, Dignitaries, and Entertainers came aboard for visits:

  • 1/19/1967 - Sen. Barry Goldwater visit on board USS Kitty Hawk.
  • 2/12/1967 - Nancy Sinatra show on board USS Kitty Hawk.
  • 3/23/1967 - NBC News Crew arrived on board for filming of pre-strike brief by one of our Flag Officers (Capt. Gorsline).
  • 4/12/1967 - Actor Henry Fonda visit & overnight stay on board USS Kitty Hawk.
  • 4/17/1967 - Maj. Gen. Moniyer, USAF on board for visit.  USO show featuring the 3-D's.
  • 4/19/1967 - VADM Hyland, ComSeventhFlt and ADM Johnson, CinCPacFlt came aboard to observe large Alfa Strike of Haiphong and Hon Gai TPP's.
  • 5/25/1967 - Shifted CTF-77 Staff from USS Kitty Hawk to USS Constellation.
  • 6/20/1967 - Honorable Mr. Baird, Undersecretary of the Navy arrived on board USS Constellation with VADM Hyland, ComSeventhFlt.
  • 6/23/1967 - Gen. Ryan, Commander in Chief Pacific Air Force (4-Star Gen.) made visit on board USS Constellation.
  • 6/29/1967 - ADM Thomas Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations (Designate) arrived on board USS Constellation for visit.
  • 7/21/1967 - USO show featuring Sammy Spear & Frankie Fontain.
  • 8/3/1967 - Actor Robert Stack arrived on board USS Constellation for visit.
  • 8/20/1967 - Famous WWII 5-Star General of the Army, Gen. Omar Bradley and his wife arrived on board for visit. His wife was a photographer with Life Magazine at the time.
  • 8/22/1967 - Miss America, Jane Jayroe (Oklahoma) and her 5 runner-ups arrived on board USS Constellation for visit and show.
  • 11/22/1967 - Shifted CTF-77 off USS Constellation to ashore in Yokosuka, Japan.
  • 12/10/1967 - Shifted CTF-77 from shore in Yokosuka to USS Kitty Hawk.

While on board the USS Kitty Hawk on Jan. 23, 1968, the USS Pueblo was captured by the North Koreans.  ADM Sharp, Commander in Chief of Pacific Fleet was on board at this time for visit.

Click the below links for photos taken while with the staff of CTF-77:

CTF-77 PHOTO PAGE 1

CTF-77 PHOTO PAGE 2

Notes:

The USS Constellation was decommissioned on Aug. 7, 2003 after 41 years of honorable service and is now docked in Bremerton, WA.

The USS Kitty Hawk is the oldest active ship in the U.S. Navy, commissioned April 29, 1961 and named for the site of the first successful powered flight by the Wright brothers in 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Commander Task Force 77
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1968 - 1970
 
Assigned to the USS Spiegel Grove, LSD-32 as Leading Radioman, home-ported in Little Creek, VA., from Mar. 1968 to Aug. 1970.
  • Made several tours to the Caribbean area, visiting the islands and countries of Puerto Rico; Aruba; the Virgin Islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix (great places); and Bermuda (another great place).
  • Also made a tour across the northern Atlantic to the Azores Islands; Lisbon, Portugal; Portsmouth, England during the time we transported the deep diving sub "Alvin" and her catamaran for underwater (seamount) exploration around the Azores Islands during August & September 1968. She made 11 dives (Dives #288 to #299) with depths over 900 feet.
  • Also tours up and down many eastern seaboard cities of the U.S., including a trip up the Mississippi river to New Orleans. 

Attended various technical schools, including KY-8 voice cipher repair/maintenance school.

(Note: The ship was eventually decommissioned, then intentionally sunk off of Key Largo, Florida on 17 May 2002 as an artificial reef. During the sinking, it ended up on it's side which was not intended by the sinking crew.  Recently in July 2005, it was up-righted on its hull by Hurricane Dennis.  Mother-Nature corrected what humans could not accomplish.)

USS Spiegel Grove Patch
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1971 - 1974
 
Attended a crash course of Instructor Training School, Norfolk, VA.
 
Assigned Instructor Duty at Service School Command, San Diego, CA., for Radioman "B" School from Jan. 1971 to May 1974. 
  • Instructed courses of radio communications equipment.
  • Instructed the  Communications Systems Lab. 
  • Also instructed Communications Quality Monitoring techniques and procedures.
  • Instructed system troubleshooting techniques and procedures.
  • Was promoted to Chief Radioman (RMC) during this tour.
  • Assisted civil service engineers from Naval Electronics Systems Command, Southwest Division in the development of Standard Measurement Techniques (SMT) for testing all Navy communications systems.

1974 - 1977
 
Assigned Instructor Duty at Fleet Training Group, Pearl Harbor, HI., from June 1974 to June 1977.
  • Set up and established a course of instruction in Communications Quality Monitoring Systems (CQMS) and off-line cryptographic systems.
  • Instructed several classes of fleet personnel in these systems.
  • Rode various U.S. Naval and Coast Guard ships in the Hawaiian area, including Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand naval ships, conducting observations and critiques of simulated battle exercises for communications divisions.
  • As I went to work each day by boat to Ford Island,  I would pass the USS Arizona Memorial. A very sombering experience, no matter how many times you go by it.

(Note: Fleet Training Group, Pearl Harbor was later renamed by the Navy as Afloat Training Group, Middle Pacific (ATG MidPac).)

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USS Arizona Memorial

1977 - 1978
 
Assigned as Communications Chief on the USS Anchorage, LSD-36, home-ported San Diego, CA., from Jul. 1977 to Aug. 1978. 
  • During this period, finished one more tour to the Westen Pacific.
  • Also served as Communications Officer, after the retirement of the normal communications officer.
  • In August 1978, I retired from active duty and joined the Fleet Reserve until full retirement from the navy in 1988.

(Note: The USS Anchorage was decommissioned October 1, 2003.)

Medals, Ribbons, & Awards

My Medals
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L - R: Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service Metal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

My Ribbons
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Top, L-R: PUC, NUC. Mid, L-R: CGMUC, GCM, NDSM. Bottom L-R: VSM, RVGCUC, RVCM.

Awards & Ribbons
(Listed in order of precedence - Top to Bottom, Left to Right)
 
PUC - Presidential Unit Citation for service on the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) during combat operations in 1967 to 1968.
NUC - Navy Unit Commendation for service on the USS Constellation (CVA-64) during combat operations in 1967.
CGMUC - Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation for service with Fleet Training Group, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii during 1974 to 1976.
GCM - Good Conduct Medal (with 4 stars). Total of five awards, each for every 4 years.
NDSM - National Defense Service Medal.
VSM - Vietnam Service Medal.
RVGCUC - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation.
RVCM - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Metal.
 

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Overall, it was a good experience, and well worth it.  Lots of good technical training. Experienced lots of good times and some bad times.