|Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 01:52:25 -0700
From: Gerry Pollack <email@example.com>
Subject: Sea Stories Page Kick-off
Here is a forum for your tallest tall tales. I'll glean gems from incoming
email and post them here for our mutual amusement. Keep it civil or
great electronic eraser will fall out of the sky and devour your brilliance!
|Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 07:44:33 -0700
From: Gerry Pollack <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: The Lovely Mix Caper
Midway through one patrol, lots of comments were being made in the crews'
mess about the disappearance of all the "lovely mix." "Lovely mix," of
course, was the common name for "Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate." Rumors started
circulating that "the nukes" had stolen the whole ration the ship had drawn
and were hiding it back aft. Sure enough, careful observation revealed
a steady stream of nukes coming into the mess, drawing a cup of hot water
and then carefull opening the front velcro "seal" on their poopy-suit to
quickly withdraw a foil packet and dump it into the cup. They would quickly
crush the packet and discard it, leaving the mess almost immediately. Inspection
of the trash can turned up... lovely mix packets!
Naturally... this could not be tolerated by "the forward pukes!" :-(
A few days later, I entered MCC (Missile Control Center) to find a lively
discussion going on about this problem. It seems that FTB2(SS) Jim Trump
had located the lovely mix stash and felt that a raiding party was in order.
We all agreed and put together a quick, crude plan.
It turned out that the lovely mix was located in AMR#1-LL. It was sitting
right out in plain sight on top of the supply lockers! The only problem
was the AMR#1 watch, who lived in the middle level. The plan we hatched
was that I would go to AMR#1-ML and distract the watch while Jim and two
"raw meat" non-quals would come through on "a tour," looking at systems.
At the appointed time, I went to AMR#1 and found MM2(SS) Andy White
on watch. I told him that, even though I was qualified, I still had some
questions about the O2 Generators. He was very happy to break the dull
routine of his watch to give me a comprehensive explanation about how it
all worked. Soon after the lecture started, foot steps were heard on the
ladder coming down from the upper level. Andy turned to see Jim and his
two non-quals, Piping TABs in hand, descending into the lower level. Curious,
he asked what was going on and Jim explained he was instructing the NQs
on the refrigeration system that lived in the lower level. This seemed
to satisfy Andy and he was quickly back to talking about Nitrogen purging,
A few moments later, I was horrified to look just past Andy and see
Jim and his crew through a "grill" style deck hatch. I could easily see
them raiding the boxes and if Andy had turned around, things could have
gotten ugly. I would have had to tackle him and sound the alarm so that
the raiding party could make it's escape. Andy was a wiry guy, at least
a half-head taller than me. Fortunately, luck prevailed and soon the "boys"
had moved to another location that couldn't be seen through the hatch.
I went back to listening to Andy and was apparently absorbed enough to
be slightly surprised by the sound of steps on the ladder coming up from
lower level. What I saw, almost made me lose it! Jim's plan was for all
three guys to tighten their belts so that packets of mix could be stuffed
into the upper section of their poopy-suits without slipping through and
falling out of their pant legs. What I saw coming up the ladder looked
like a mix between Arnold Schwartzenegger and a polar bear. From his feet
to his waist, Jim was slender, but his upper body was incredibly massive.
I couldn't believe that no mix packets were falling out of his sleeves
or collar! The other two guys looked pretty much the same.
Andy turned quickly to see what the noise was and, seeing it was Jim,
turned back without even noticing Jim's sudden weight gain. I couldn't
believe it. Soon the three raiders were gone up the ladder to upper level
and I thanked Andy for a most informative lesson on "the bombs."
Back in MCC, the scene was nuts. Guys were laughing their butts off
as the three stipped down to their waists and dug out the forbidden packets.
We placed them in a big box and, unlike our audacious nuke friends, decided
to hide them out of sight inside of one of the computer island doors.
Retribution didn't take long though. A couple of days later, I entered
MCC to find long faces. It seems that the nukes used our very own trick
on us. A qualified nuke brought through a non-qual on a tour, grabbed the
box and ran before he could be stopped. I don't remember who was on watch
in MCC when this happened, but we never let him live it down.
No, we never saw another packet of lovely mix for the rest of that entire
patrol.... sob. :-(
NOTE: For the exciting conclusion to this story, click HERE.
|Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 12:14:43 -0500
From: "Denomy, David MTCS" <SP205221@SPHQ.SSP.NAVY.MIL>
Subject: Sea Story
Here is a sea story that a lot of Clay sailors would have liked to forget.
We were finishing up refit in Holy Loch and were getting
underway for sea trials and subsequent patrol. We were on the
surface transiting out through the Irish Sea with Ltjg (I forget his name
he had a scar on his face) anyway we fondly called him "patches."
So patches is on the bridge and is doing his OOD thing. It is getting
and he orders the mast head light energized. Well to much surprise
the light would not come on.
The OOD ordered the AEF to investigate the problem. The AEF was
IC1 Hay and we had a nick name for him too. "HOOTA HAY." This was
Indian name. I forgot how he got it, but I think it had to do
with him missing the upper half of his index finger of his right hand.
Well back to the
story. The AEF was busy trouble shooting the mast head light
and is having no luck in finding or fixing the problem. The OOD keeps
on the bridge for an extended period of time. While all of this
is going on there is a Russian AGI doing some "fishing trips" about a mile
or so behind us.
Since the AEF was on the bridge there was no one doing his rounds, so
no one was winding the BEAST Buoy. No problem you say, when it winds
down it has an alarm that tells you "hey dumb ass wind me up or I will
launch." Unfortunately, there was some maintenance done on the system
by our friends on the tender and they forgot to connect the alarm cable.
Well you guessed it, as the timer ran down there was no alarm.
All of a sudden there was an explosion heard as the explosive bolts let
launched both of the BEAST buoys. Well we were moving along at
a pretty good clip and as the buoys were floating by they were banging
hull as we passed. One of the buoys was eaten by the screw and
caused the screw to get damaged. The buoys did what they were supposed
do and sent off the radio message that the USS Henry Clay was sunk.
Fortunately, there was a British mine sweeper in the area and it picked
both buoys. We sent out a message and cancelled the sub sunk
signal, but we had to go back to port and investigate the screw and get
We ended up doing an emergency, in the water, screw replacement next
to the tender. We couldn't do it in the dry-dock because the Hamilton
taking up residence there. Well we took her screw and headed
out two days later. The MT division had two days to have fun and
from the refit. The OOD got a letter of reprimand and so did
Hoota Hay. It was quite the sound as the buoys banged off the hull.
them rolling down the sides of the Missile compartment.
|Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 19:59:40 -0700
From: "Ronald Shaw" <email@example.com>
Subject: What's in a name?
This is a no sh*tter. There was a fire control technician on my crew
Officer Klutz. If that doesn't give you a warm fuzzy feeling,
I don't know what
ET2/SS Ron Shaw (my email name will be changing soon.)
NOTE: For Vince Klutz's response to this story, click HERE.
|Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 22:15:30 -0700
From: Gerry Pollack <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Dry Dock Story
Ok, here is a dry dock story in honor of the new dry dock page...
One of the regular bits of preventative maintenance in the Missile Control
Center was to check the humidity indicators on any number
of sealed electronic units. If the indicator had turned pink,
it was time to purge the unit with dry nitrogen to expel the humidity.
All of these units were designed with two gas ports, inlet and outlet,
so that you could allow the nitrogen to blow through the
unit and dry it out. All except one.
A large inductosyn we used was designed with only ONE gas port.
It's the kind of thing that sailors scratch their heads over.
But not to worry. We had a very expensive vacuum pump to suck
out the old, humid gas. The pump had a nitrogen tank attached
to it, so you could then let dry nitrogen into the inductosyn.
It took several cycles of sucking out gas and blowing in gas
before the indicator turned blue, showing no humidity.
To get a tight seal between the pump and the inductosyn, we had to pack
the area where the hose screwed into the gas port with
a sealant. It was ugly stuff. Maybe even smelly.
It was a mottled brown/gray affair and someone had long since dubbed the
stuff, pardon my French, "monkey shit." An apt Navy term.
While we were in one of our dry dock periods, I was the lucky guy to
draw the PM card for the inductosyn. When I prepared to
do the job, I found we were almost out of the sealant, which came in
cans much like large paint cans. No problem, thought I.
We had a liaison CPO who came over from the tender every morning and
who could bring some more sealant with him. It was after
normal working hours at this point, but I had his home phone number
and decided to call him and ask him to bring a can of
sealant with him the next day.
I went up to the control room to use the phone in the quartermaster's
area. Unfortunately, for me, his wife answered the phone. I
for the Chief and she told me he wasn't home. Could she take
a message? Well, yes. "Please ask the Chief to......"
My mind froze.
I didn't know the proper name for the sealant and didn't know what
to say. She prodded me. "Ask the Chief to what?" Er,
"This may sound a little strange," I told her, "but ask the Chief to
bring me a bucket of monkey shit when he comes to the dry dock tomorrow."
"Bring you a bucket of WHAT?" "Monkey shit, he'll know what I
mean." I was really embarrassed. Especially when she started laughing
hysterically. She promised to relay my message and hung up.
God only knows what she thought.
The next morning, the Chief appeared in MCC, can of monkey shit in hand,
and smiling from ear to ear. As he handed it to me,
he said, "I have to bring home a can of this stuff for my wife to see.
She couldn't believe that I knew what you wanted and
that the Navy actually uses something called monkey shit."
I did eventually learn to remember the proper name for the stuff, something
like "High Vacuum Sealing Grease," since I
never wanted to find myself in a situation like that again. ;-)
|Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 20:25:48 EDT
From: Stephen Kerstetter <Sker@aol.com>
Subject: Sea Story
We were disignated to have a burial at sea for some Scottish Person.
creamated and his ashes were to be scattered into the ocean. Unfortunately
when the ashes were scattered, the wind picked-up and blew the poor
into the Captain's and the Ship's Photographer's faces.
NOTE: For more on this story, click HERE.
|From: "Bill Maness" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 03:49:43 -0500
Subject: Re: Blowing Sanitarys
I was mess cook on the USS HENRY CLAY SSBN 625. We had an extra full
load of people. Doing Sea Trials and had yard birds as well as parts
two crews. A young Gentleman -so he thought- was on board with his
Father who was some big wig with NNSB&DD Co. He made the fatal
of getting s**** faced the Submarine way. Not so bad except he tried
avoid cleaning it up. The noise followed by his quick trip to the
showers was a dead give away. It was after evening meal so there were
plenty of people to point at him. He had made up his mind(small
mind)that somebody else was going to clean up the mess. WRONG! The
set him right and the DOC provided the alky and made a complete and
continued inspection with mirror -for those hard to see spots/hands
knees time- and flashlight. That was one of the cleanest stalls in
quarters! Never saw him the rest of the trip. He stayed forward in
country. Be nice if he reads this. Just to show how famous he is.
|From: "Fredric R. Durrette" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 19:01:35 -0400
Subject: Sea Stories
Looking at your site has brought back many memories. Like the time we
pulled into Portsmouth, England for a port visit. There were many things
that happened that time. First, we had an officer on board that had
scar. Now our trip to England was no big secret, but the sensationalist
English newspapers made it a memorable occasion. One paper tried to
it seem as though we had had a nuclear accident and this was why we
pulled in. They printed a photo of this officer with his scar as proof
that there had been injuries and even found a convoy of military trucks
somewhere in Germany that were bringing us more reactor material.
Next, we had used our entire supply of belts for the blower on one
our Co2 scrubbers and were faced with having to operate on only one
scrubber for the duration of the patrol. Being the innovative A-gang
that I was, I figured that a belt was a belt whether it was a scrubber
belt or a car's fan belt. So I gave one of my men a few dollars
told him to find an auto supply store somewhere in Portsmouth and to
purchase a couple of car fan belts if he could find the right size.
did. However, when we pulled back into Holy Loch at the end of the
patrol, Squadron sent over a few newspapers that had come out. One
headline said: "American Sub Saved by Cortina Fan Belt". Some papers
photos of the store owner proudly displaying a Ford Cortina fan belt
describing the secretive transactions that took place and how his two
pound (about $3.60) fan belt had saved a multi-million dollar nuclear
The third and last chapter to our Portsmouth trip involved a certain
Senior Chief MT by the name of Dutton. Dutton was as old as dirt and
looked it. We were headed back to the Clay via liberty boat after
spending a few hours at the local pubs and downing a few ales. Someone
near Dutton remarked that he looked ill. Looking very closely, none
us could detect a breath or heartbeat and knowing Dutton's age, we
feared the worst. We were also reluctant to administer mouth to mouth
(this was before the days of CPR masks) and we were very, very drunk.
The boat captain radioed his base, made a turn back to Portsmouth,
made arrangements for an ambulance to meet us. All this time, we just
knew the Senior Chief had departed this world and we were sharing the
boat with a corpse. Upon arrival at the hospital however, we found
Dutton had only passed out from too much liquor and was very much alive.
|From: "Wayne Dennis" <Shiauyen@mindspring.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 00:46:49 -0400
Subject: Re: "Lovely Mix Sea Story"
NOTE: For those folks that didn't read the first part of the story,
you can click
to go read it!
I have to tell you the rest of the story
on the "Lovely Mix Sea Story. The part where the "Lovely Mix"
back from MCC was perpetrated by myself, John Duarte (steward) and
messcook from Texas -- I can't remember his name. Anyway, I was
Aux.aft watch -- under a cool vent in front of the Lithium Bromide
Duarte came back for a sign off on his qual card. During the
signing off one section of his qual card, he casually mentioned to
MCC had stolen the Lovely Mix from AMR1 A-Division. I was quite
in that, since I'm one of them. John knew exactly where the "Lovely
was, since he had made a few trips to MCC feeding the watch there with
cookies and other food goodies. So he, myself and the Texican
(as we called
him) paid a visit to MCC with cookies. Rick Tyner and someone
else was on
watch -- so under the pretense of showing the Texican the oolies of
qualifications, we just happened to open the door of the mcc side equipment
door (port side) where the mix was stashed. We simply got the
moved aft around the equipment tower (perfect shield) and out the MCC
while Rick was being fed the cookies by John. And as you know,
MIx" stayed back aft for the rest of the patrol -- consumed by the
watches. I had to laugh when I saw that story -- because the
first part was
exactly right. The "Lovely Mix" was originally confiscated by
"stores" loading prior to going on patrol. The irony of the story
it went all the way back aft and I stored the "Mix" in a bucket in
overhead by the chillwater expansion tank -- engineroom
upperlevel -- just as you go into the engineroom. (Above manuevering
|From: "Bill Maness" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 14:32:41 -0500
Subject: Saga of the Capsule Loading Hatch
I doubt many even knew about this since it happened on a second shift
the ship yard and it was kept very quite.
This was during new construction and I would guess a lot of careers
on the line.
Saga of the Capsule Loading Hatch.
Death Wish and the Capsule Loading Hatch
Submarine Name withheld to protect the Guilty.
It must have been destiny that brought the two of us together.
Me and the capsule loading hatch had a real exciting time
together that fateful day and night. Not to mention my best Buddy
Al R. Tubbs aka ART and most of the Shipyard workers at Newport
As all fools and non-quals do, we volunteered to assist the
Shipyard in a pressure test of the Missile Compartment. We Art &
I did not know it was against all the rules. That was why the
Yard Birds did not go in with us. We were on board doing Quals
and figured we could help the schedule by finding small leaks
during the pressure test.
After 8 hours and a couple of small problems - one of which was
we did not have any food or drink so we liberated a Yard Bird's
lunch who had gone home anyway - and closed two valves and a
packing gland tighter- the food did not affect the test but the
loss of pressure would have.
We were anxious to get out and the thought - incomplete thought -
was to use the Capsule Loading Hatch as an Escape Trunk. AHHA the
ignorance of youth and young sailors. We had both gone to Sub
School and to Sea on Diesel Boats. It seemed logical at the time
to use it as an After Battery Type Hatch.
Sorta didn't work! For those unfamiliar with a Boomer the lower
hatch had folding dogs and the upper hatch had the wedge ring
system. The first hurdle was easy we slowly opened the lower
hatch and equalized pressure, OK so far. I went up and was going
to lockout for some fresh air. Surprise! The Missile Compartment
was being depressurized and the sliding ring would not move due
to pressure from inside the boat. Yes I was smart enough to close
the lower hatch so I would not be launched out like one of our
yet to be loaded missiles when I opened the upper hatch. After
trying for several minutes to open the upper hatch I decided to
return to AMR1 and wait for the pressure to bleed off. No way
Charlie I now had more pressure inside the small trunk that
either side of the hull.
Even though I could operate the folding dogs it didn't help.
Pressure keep the upward hinged hatch tight against the seal.
Tubbs/ART was aware of my problem since we had worked out a
tapping code before we started. He made phone contact with the
test team and told them of our problem. All Hell broke loose
topside. major valves were opened and people poured in to assist.
A crane was attached top side and tried to lift the upper hatch,
4x4s were rigged below to try and POP the lower hatch. I was in a
sorry state by then, I was sucking air as low as possible and
hoping for the best. Viola'! Some body opened the drain valve
from the trunk to the funnel and all I had to breath for a second
was water vapor! I was out of it and near collapse, I thought
they had flooded the trunk for some reason. The hatches came open
and I dropped - well slithered - to upper level AMR1. In total
reflex the first thing I did was comb my hair. I was rushed to
the Shipyard Clinic and checked out. Except for being very stupid
I was pronounced fit.
It did not end there. The next morning I got to see the Captain!
I explained my actions and how the event unfolded. He made me
little math -pie are square cake are round- and explain my
thoughts on the whole deal and how I expected to move the hatch ring
tons of pressure on the hatch pushing up. I don't remember much else
'kinda believe all were just happy that I was alive. I know I was.
I don't even remember anybody Pinging on me so I'm pretty sure it had
I seemed to spend forever on mess cooking. I wonder if somebody
was trying to tell me something?
Oh well later I became battle station planes man and did the FIRST ever
Speed dive to test depth at all head ******er using only the stern
brought that big black baby in right on the money and did not over
ONE foot, but that's another story.
I hope the CO finally forgave me. Captain J.C. Lewis was his name
Shipyard? Well they didn't use sailors for testing after that and
I hope no one lost their job.
And as you know by now the Submarine was the USS HENRY CLAY SSBN
Part 2 of this saga will soon be on the USS SIMON BOLIVAR SSBN
641 web Page. The Capsule Loading Hatch was not out of my life yet.
|From: "Bill Allen" <Bill_Allen@email.fpl.com>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 10:26:44 -0400
Subject: A reactor named "Ralph"
Another story about an interesting happening on the USS Henry Clay.
you enjoy this one too. William (Bill) Allen
ETC(SS)(Ret).....Bill_Allen@email.fpl.com or Nukeman27@aol.com.
We were into "initial criticality" on the Clay. I was the RC LPO
the refueling shipyard period on the Clay from 1975 to 1978.
One of my
guys, Arlo Gatchel, was assigned as one of the Reactor Operators to
the reactor critical for the first time after the reactor was refueled.
For anyone that hasn't been through this process, it's (to say the least)
VERY STRESSFUL TIME. As the RO you are the center of attention
Bettis physicist, the CO, the Engineer, the shipyard's CTE and the
sometimes (but not this time) Admiral Rickover.
Arlo, to put it nicely, liked to indulge in drink sometimes. And
what he had done in excess the night before this evolution. He
was also a
very nervous individual. So here he sits with all of these heavy
crammed into the 3 foot by 9 foot area of Maneuvering watching him
this 12-hour-plus evolution. The reactor is getting closer and
being "critical". The tension in Maneuvering is getting
thicker the closer we get. As the reactor's startup rate approaches
magic point, Arlo starts to say what he's supposed to say that "The
is CRITICAL" only what comes out of his mouth is "The reactor
is.................RALPH!!!!! Yes, the morning-after-the-night-before
the pressure of the procedure got to him and he puked! That's
reactor on the Clay was named "RALPH".
|From: "Bill Allen" <Nukeman27@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 15:21:58 EDT
Subject: Shipyard Bomb Scare
This is the second of three stories that are embedded in my memories
the Clay's time in the Portsmouth, N.H. shipyard. I hope you
enjoy this one
too......William (Bill) Allen ETC(SS)(Ret)......Bill_Allen@email.fpl.com
It was one of the many duty days we all enjoyed on the Clay. It
2300 when the word was passed to have the entire (forward and aft)
section muster in the wardroom on the Clay. When we walked in
we found the
Captain sitting on the wardroom table (that was about all that was
wardroom at that point in the shipyard). He told us that the
received a phone call saying "that the submarine in the water with
sail at PNSY was going to be blown up at midnight." [At that
time there was
a group going around blowing up government buildings so this threat
We were all briefed to go topside and look for anything "suspicious."
were issued flashlights and at about 2330 (30 minutes before the Clay
supposed to blow up) finally headed topside to look for any bombs.
looked like a jungle with all of the hoses, cables, boxes and buildings.
did the best we could do.
At about 2355, we all looked up from our best immitation of a bomb search
WHO DO WE SEE WALKING OFF OF THE CLAY AND ONTO THE
SAFETY OF THE PIER ==>> THE CO!!!!!!! So much for going
Nothing happened at 2400 except for stationing some extra watches topside
look for possible divers in the water. We did have a little excitement
a couple of drunks sitting in a bar on the river in Portsmouth, on
of the commotion at the shipyard, decided to jump in a speedboat and
over and investigate. We had the small shipyard tugs with armed
deck going 'round and 'round the island all night long. When
they saw this
speedboat heading toward (YOU GUESSED IT) the Clay, their boat was
rammed and cut in two by a couple of the tugs. They turned around
back to the pier at the bar in Portsmouth. By the time these
two drunks got
back there, there must have been 15 cop cars waiting for them.
they spent the rest of the night in jail explaining to the FBI why
what they did.
|From: "Bill Allen" <Nukeman27@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 15:49:49 EDT
Subject: The topside "cowboy" watch
It was winter time in Portsmouth, N.H. and because of the danger of
into the cold river water we had two topside watches stationed at all
One of the topside watches got a little bored one night so he decided
cowboy with his 45-caliber sidearm. He took the pistol out of
took it off of the lanyard that was around his neck and commenced to
on his finger like the cowboys do with their guns. As Murphy's
have it, the 45 slipped off of the topside watch's finger, bounced
deck and splashed into the water. That was the first splash the
topside watch heard. The next splash the second topside watch
heard was the
first topside watch throwing himself into the river too. He was
in the water
about 45 seconds but that was long enough for him to loose all mobility.
was taken over to the hospital literally stiff-as-a-board and treated
The first topside watch's story was this: "He had slipped on the
making his rounds and had fallen into the water. In order to
keep from being
pulled under and drowned by the heavy 45-caliber pistol and the now
water-logged belt/holster he had unbuckled the heavy 45-caliber
holster and had taken the lanyard off of his neck (because it was attached
the gun too) and let all of this sink to the bottom of the river."
He didn't know how seriously the Navy takes loosing a weapon.
sent down into the near freezing water to search the river bed under
Clay. The holster (now empty) and the lanyard (with no gun attached)
found in a short time. The gun was never found in the deep mud
at the bottom
of the river.
The real story eventually came out at the subsequent investigation and
NOTE: For the rest of this story, click HERE.
|From: Vincent Klutz <Sub_Dude@webtv.net>
Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 00:10:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Sea Stories - What's in a name - Response
NOTE: For those folks that didn't read Ron Shaw's story, you can click
to go read it!
This in response to Ron Shaw "What Is In A Name"
Yes there was an FTB2 KLUTZ on board the Clay. If memory serves me
riight he served from 4/85 to 6/89.
I rememer the trip to England involving the old man Dutton and
fan belts. The loss of the bouys by Hunta Hay is vivid, there
AGI in the area also.
I guess the funniest thing I can remember onboard was the day
MM3/ss Hoppe was the aux foward and had to blow sanataries. Well Hoppe
had every thing lined up correct even had the signs hanging on all
doors. Well he had to go relieve himself and couldn't
wait to finihes the task in progress first. Well you can imagine the
ribbing he caught after he tried to flush with the tanks still
pressurized. Of all the people in the 700 pound club he was the only
to do the whole task from beginning to end with no help.
Yes I am the Klutz. Qual board at the airport. Dolphins on the plane
Now FT(G) 1/ss
|From: "mike scheppke" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 14:11:34 -0700
Subject: henry clay crewmember -What's in a name - Part 3
Great home page for the crew. Happy to see some familiar names
I was a member of the Clay from 1982 to 1986. Made seven patrols
Holy Loch and lived through the ERP in the floating dry dock and the
steam generator cleaning in NWS Charleston. Left the boat as
when I was tranferred to DSRV-1 Mystic in San Diego.
A few comments on the Sea Stories:
What's in a Name failed to mention that we also had FT2(SS) Dingwitz,
TMC(SS) Bullwinkle and ICFN Gumilar (pronounced goo-ma-lar) which became
synonomis with any semi-solid, sticky, or indistinguishable substance.
I made the port call to Portsmouth England when "patches" became the
front page news as the poster child for radiation exposure. Although
missed the commotion about Senior Chief (older than dirt, farting dust)
Keep up the good work, hope to hear from some shipmates.
Mike Scheppke email@example.com
|From: "David Eberhardt" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: lost at sea
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 20:53:34 -0500
The Gold crew took the ship from the Blue for their first patrol.
was almost finished and we went on sea trials. Soon after we
the maneuvering watch, it was discovered that a line locker was not
Bill Simones (sp) TM1 volunteered to go topside and close the locker.
put on foul weather gear, life jacket, and deck trailer, went up the
and then down the outside. Before he could clip in the
deck trailer, a
wave hit and he was washed overboard. The ship's swimmer was
put in the
water and went after him. When the swimmer got to Bill he was
it was assumed he was knocked out by the wave and sail. The swimmer
line on Bill's life preserver and they started to pull him to the ship.
Unfortunately, the life preserver's crotch straps were not secured
and it came off. With the weight of a soaked foul weather jacket
trailer, Bill disappeared and was never seen again. A few days
later as we
left on patrol we stopped for a short service and to put a wreath in
"A Brother of the 'phin"
|From: "Bill Maness" <email@example.com>
Subject: Remembering Bill Simones
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 19:07:52 -0500
I am glad Dave Eberhardt wrote about Bill.
I had tried over the years to remember his name and I always believed
could not do so because of the loss I felt for a shipmate.
I had been on the USS HENRY CLAY since February of 1963 and we had all
gone through the yards and trials periods and had become a CREW of
of the best Boats to hit the water.
I was in the control room during the recovery attempt and will never
forget the fear and tension in the boat.
Bill was hit by a wave as he made his exit to the deck and never had
chance to hook up his monkey's tail.
Man overboard was sounded and the swimmers reported to the Control Room
to start their recovery of Bill. The seas were typical for that time
year, continuos large swells with the irregular appearance of much
larger waves throwing foam from their tips.
I was Battle Station & Maneuvering helmsman/planesman and still
helm when we made our first dive and then surfaced to secure the hatch
I remember the Plotting Party tracking all 3 people that were in the
water. Sometimes they lost sight of one or more even with the height
the scope. The swimmers had on their wet suits and they were having
tough time due to the cold.
Due to the seas we were in danger of loosing our two swimmers topside
I guess one reason this is so vivid is that I was almost one of the
swimmers. I was scheduled to go to the SCUBA Training and due to a
up, not of my making, missed the cutoff date by one day.
I can still see Bill as he suited up to go topside to take care of our
Boat. Smiling and laughing about his chance to do his job he loved
Sailors rest your oars.
|Date: Sat, 10 Jul 1999 20:46:52 EDT
From: James W Weaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There was an incident involving an MSSN Jim
Logan(?) I think was his
name. Anyway he was sweating to death behind the grill after
hours. He had a couple of moments between tasks so he stepped
chill box to cool off. About 45 minutes later I heard a 1MC anouncement,
"Corpsman, lay to the mess decks!" A quick cool down turned into
and a mild case of hypothermia.
|Date: Sat, 10 Jul 1999 21:03:26 -0400
From: "Kelly Firebaugh" <email@example.com>
Subject: Tribute to Ron Shaw
To ET2(SS) Ron Shaw (aka the Chainshaw - if you were ever in berthing
him, you would know why he had that name.)
It is very nice to point out Mr, Klutz, but who called off a distant
while we on the surface and he was on the ESM stacks, only to have
trawler buzz over us a few minutes later dropping sonobuoys?
If I remember
correctly, we went the rest of the patrol without even coming to PD
smokers were stuck with limited hours in the torpedo room because we
couldn't handle all the smoke in the air system.
|Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 14:59:19 -0500
From: "GREGORY M WEST" <GMWEST@prodigy.net>
Subject: The Sleeping MS ( the real story)
A short nap in the freezer. The real story!
His real name was MSSN Logsten, He was a junior MS mess helping out
pizza night. I was the night Baker that night. I
remember asking him
to break out some pepperoni for pizza. (Logsten had a habit of
in the most odd places you can imagine, one time he fell asleep in
captains head another time in the a wardroom stateroom. I think
narcolepsy or something of that nature).
Anyway back to the story I was called away for something and left the
galley for a few moments when I came back I got busy making Pizza pie
dough's and completely forgot about old Logsten in the freezer. about
minutes later another MS came in looking for him, I turned and saw
little red light on in Blood Alley (where we used to thaw our frozen
meats) and said OH SHIT. We opened the hatch only to see him
asleep on top of the cardboard boxes. I can remember lifting
him out of
the freezer and he was already kind of stiff, Ricky Ruffin (our Doc)
called away and everyone came rushing down to take a look at
MS Popsicle, thank good after a few cups of coffee he was Ok.
if I remember right our supply officer or our chief had to give us
training on chill box safety and any time logsten was in the freezer
OOD had to be notified and it had to be entered in the ship's log.
think Logsten spent the rest of the patrol in the wardroom.
Greg West MS1/SS 85-89
|Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 09:18:31 EDT
From: "Stephen Kerstetter" <Sker@aol.com>
Subject: Re: What's in a name
If memory serves me correctly, Petty Officer Klutz's hobby, while on
was to color...Yes! as with crayons and coloring book. Our missiles
|Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 18:44:26 EDT
From: "Kevin S. Walker" <KESWA@aol.com>
Subject: TOPSIDE COWBOY (the rest of the story)
NOTE: If you missed the first part of the story, you can click
to go read it!
Four years after I left the clay I was back in Charleston,
told me that he had to talk to NIS again, you see he was the outher
watch the one that jumped in the water to save his shipmate . NIS never
up on this case and after a number of years the STS3 that went for
a swim as
the topside cowboy slipped up and NIS again got involed. They searched
home and guess what they found? The missing .45 cal. pistol. After
spent some time with bubba and his friends, again thanks to good old
|Date: Fri, 6 Aug 1999 13:59:32 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Coloring Book.
Yes I did have a coloring book on the Clay. And yes that very coloring
book is still making patrols. The crayons have changed but the book
the same. This so called hobby is just a way to tune out patrol life
a few minutes. The book is called BIG TIME COLORING BOOK. It was given
to me by a girlfriend my second patrol on the Clay. It made seven
patrols there we, the book and I, transferred to the USS Henry
Jackson SSBN 730 where we made four more patrols. After shore duty
went to new construction onboard the USS Wyoming SSBN 742. On
Wyoming there was Bravo and Charlie trials, work up sea periods
three patrols. We are on the USS Henry M Jackson SSBN 730 again
completing one patrol. All in all I have 17 patrols the book has 15.
forgot it when I went TAD to the USS Ohio SSBN 726. I only color around
three to four pictures a patrol. I guess I will get the Neptune
around the same time I finish the book. I am on my sixth car/truck
second wife but still only one book. Thank y'all for the memories
the mentions on this site. Capt. Slayton is in this area and I will
mention this site to him if I get the chance.
FT1(ss) Vince Klutz
Still poking holes.
|Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 20:47:48 -0500
From: "Robert A. Kutzenberger" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Another Topside Cowboy
We had a quartermaster who loved to play quick draw with the 45 while
watch topside. Early one morning, Freddy was playing fast draw
spinning the 45 around his index finger when our Captain came back
liberty around 0300.... Unaware of the Captains' arrival, Fred did
see him until our commanding officer brushed past him next to the sail.
Before Freddie could do anything, the Captain said: "You know Freddie,
one of these days someone is going to catch you doing that!"
saying another word, the captain continued on his way below deck...
I don't know if this was the origination of something Freddy used to
about the captain, but it certainly could have been. Freddy always
to say:"Me and the Captain are on a first name basis..... I call him
Captain, and he calls me Freddy!"
Robert A. Kutzenberger
|Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 10:16:36 EDT
Subject: Holy Loch Spy
Recalled a sailor named Ledbetter who had stolen some Nuke manuals and
it to the Russians. He was on the tender during one of our crew changes
recall him under Marine guard scrubbing a passageway with a tooth brush.
Believe this happened in '67 or '68 in Holy Loch. It may have been
patrol out of Holy Loch after coming from Rota. Incidently, I
Gen. Franco's LaGuadia trooppers and the Kit Kat Club in Rota. Spain
scary place compared to Holy Loch but the wine was better.
Jim Horne ET1(SS) Gold Crew' '65 - '70
|Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 21:58:49 -0700
From: "All Wedding Sites & Services" <email@example.com>
Subject: USS Henry Clay Stories
Larry Jones here, Torpedoman 2nd Class. I hesitate to
add my two cents, because I've got about a quarter.
I was Gold Crew 625, between '85 and '89 and the
unofficial Crew Clown. I felt it was part of my military
duty to keep everyone else amused, and I suppose
myself too . I've got journals of our patrols, drydock, and
goings-on. The count-downs, the half-way nite festivities,
and the beginnings of a book I never got to write. Its title
was to be "Keeping Our Heads Below Water". Its focus
was to cover the crazy things Submariners did/do to
keep from going nuts. Most people would say "too late
Anyway, where to start?....well, I guess a correction/
revision of Kerstetter's Story about the Ashes of the
dear departed. The dead guy was actually a submariner
who had requested a burial at sea. He had committed
suicide, and for some odd reason he wanted his ashes
cast into a certain portion of the ocean. The other ships
photographer Donnie Tevault (we shared that duty) was
the unlucky picture guy who happened to be awake when
the officers said it was time.One young Lt. put a coat on
to make the photo look "official". The picture was to be
given to the dead sailors family. The Lt. and Tevault went
topside to the sail to sprinkle the ashes. The sprinkling
became a real mess with the swirling wind in the sail.
Donnie and the Lt. were dowsed in ash, and not too happy
about it. Later Donnie, who was an MT used the vacuum
cleaner they kept in the Computer area to remove the
remains (Yuck!) . The big joke that patrol with the MT's
was that the ghost of "whoever he was" was in the vacuum
bag. They had lots of computer problems that patrol, and
blamed the vacuum ghost for them all. more stories later.
Larry Jones, TM2 USS Henry Clay
NOTE: For the previous part of this story, click HERE.
|Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2001 22:41:40 -0700
From: "Doug_and_Pat" <Doug_and_Pat@email.msn.com>
Subject: ON THE STERN PLANES
I remember being on the helm on my only deterrent
patrol in 1974 and
being scared to death. The reactor had been scrammed for a drill and
were snorkling. To make matters worse, the sea was very rough and we
were on emergency hydraulics. To all you nukes who never stood a watch
on the planes this is like going from power steering to manual steering
on a Lincoln Continental. Nothing I did helped. I was either broaching
the sail or submerging the induction mast thus causing that suction
the ears that I always hated. I believed I was relieved by a more
experienced crewmate and that experience has stayed in my mind for
twenty-seven years. I can even laugh about it.
|Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 12:06:26 -0500
From: "Mike Lubawski" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Uss Henry Clay (SSBN 625)(Gold) BD Root and the rookie Commo
We were always laughing in the Radio Shack. It was either something
Moss said or did or some prank played on someone else. The one
sticks in my memory was the time during upkeep next to the Proteus.
the radio shack was a corner containing Crypto equipment and teletype
machines. The corner was situated in such a way that you could
door slide open yet those coming in had to crane their necks to see
was there. This was due to the work bench you had to walk around
get to the crypto center (corner). Usually there was a chair
you sat on
while on watch or doing pm's to the teletypes. When viewing the
center from the begining of the receiver console you could only catch
the shoulders and head of the person sitting in the chair. Okay,
cleaning one of the teletype machines. I was at the forward most
position on the receiver console. I could see what BD was doing.
guys remember the Lanolin hand cleaner we had to use? You know,
white creamy stuff in the tin? BD is wiping his hands which are
smothered with this stuff. We hear the new commo enter the shack
to his safe. BD starts grinning that grin. He calls the
commo to the
corner, still sitting down. As the communicaitons officer walks
BD starts groaning and shaking. As the commo gets closer BD tells
to wait a second till he gets done. BD starts shaking harder,
louder, and making motions of upright self gratification. With
heave and sigh BD says "Oh, shit. What am I going to do with
stuff:?" Immediately after that statement he goes "Oh, I know."
handfull of the lanolin he raises his hand above the workbench, slams
down splattering lanolin all over the uniform of the commo. With
agape the commo staggers back. BD stands up out of the chair
that his pants were unzipped. Tne commo, wiping the lotion off
his shirt sees
BD zipping up his pants. Screaming "GOD DAMN CHIEF, DAMN IT.
THAT WHAT I THINK IT IS? YOU ARE PERVERTED.. HE mmediately
runs down to his bunkie to change shirts. BD and I are hurting so much
|Date: Sat, 17 May 2003 16:43:20 -0700
From: "Gerry Pollack" <email@example.com>
Subject: Repel Boarders
One of my fonder memories from the Clay was being assigned as a bridge
gunner for "Repel Boarders" on the ship's Watch Station and Quarter
Bill. The best
part was getting to spend an afternoon over at the firing range at
Guam and qualify with the infamous "Tommygun." I'd heard all
kinds of horror
stories about how hard it was to control this beast in full automatic
Marine "Gunney" showed us the ropes and away we went. As with
of this sort, it turned out to be a myth. The Tommygun was very
easy to shoot in
short bursts and was lots of fun. It was surprisingly accurate
in single shot mode, too.
The problems started when we had our first "Repel Boarders" drill alongside
USS Proteus. For starters, the word wasn't passed to the Proteus
crew that we
would be conducting this drill. There were lots of surprised
and frightened looks
when Clay crew members came up on deck fully armed. My personal
that, after mustering at the small arms locker to get my Tommygun and
two 30 shot
magazines, I was supposed to climb the bridge trunk ladder along with
machine gunner and cover the deck from the bridge, blowing away any
As I recall, it was about 30 feet from the control room deck to the
bridge. As I stood
at the foot of the ladder with an eleven pound Tommygun in my left
hand and two
one pound magazines in my right hand, it dawned on me that there was
no way I was
going to be able to maintain my grip on the slippery stainless steel
ladder. Visions of
falling back to the control room deck and knocking myself senseless
with the Tommygun
came into my mind. Since we were told NOT to put a magazine into
the weapon until
we reached the bridge, I tried putting one magazine in each of my pants
soon as I lifted my leg to step onto the ladder, one magazine slid
out of the pocket on
that leg and crashed to the deck. Now what?
An officer standing there as an observer interceded and "appointed"
a third guy as an
"ammo carrier." (Officers are very good at finding new tasks
for enlisted personnel. ;-)
Each of us machine gunners could then carry our Tommygun and one magazine
ladder, followed by the ammo carrier with our second magazines.
This worked out pretty
well and we managed to get to the bridge and scare the hell out of
the tender pukes
without further problems.
I suppose the Watch Station and Quarter Bill was updated to include
an ammo carrier after
the drill critique, but I came away from the drill wondering whether
I'd run out of ammo in a
pitched battle only to find the ammo carrier had retired to the crew's
mess to drink coffee
after delivering the one extra magazine a piece to the machine gunners!
I figured that a
Tommygun could "eat" two clips worth of ammo pretty fast in the hands
of a nervous machine
gunner. Of course there is the possibility that the boarders
would be so intimidated just by
the sight of two Tommygun wielding submariners on the bridge they would
break off the
attack and/or surrender. But I have my doubts. I think
I would have ended up with an empty
Tommygun in my hands. Given the fact that we were originally
being sent up to the bridge
with just two magazines a piece and no ammo carrier, clearly no one
had given any thought
to providing each us with more than sixty rounds of ammunition for
the duration of the battle.
Some times, planning in the Navy left a bit to be desired. :-)
|Date: 08 Jul 2003 09:18:08 -0700
From: SECL David L <David.L.Secl@state.or.us>
Subject: Commissioning testing
This is one of many stories that took place during our construction
and testing. We had a
major grounding in Norfolk harbor one Saturday afternoon, thanks to
Under Secretary of
Defense C. Vance and our skipper Bryce. If you'd like more let
"Flooding in the Missile Compartment"
We were just coming back from test firing our dummy missiles and heading
Newport News submerged and all missile tubes full of water. We had
maneuvering watch, which automatically put me as operator on the reactor
got the order to increase speed, so as per procedure, I began shifting
my main coolant
pumps from slow speed to high speed operation. As I switched the second
pump to high
speed, the lights dimmed, which was normal, but this time as I reached
for pump number
three, an announcement came over the 1-MC System.
"Flooding in the missile compartment!... Flooding in the missile
compartment!... This is
not a drill!... This is not a drill!... Starting the main
My immediate reaction was... "What did I do wrong?," as I looked
down at my panel.
As it turned out it was my switching of the pump to high speed that
had started the problem,
but it went back to construction testing and Joe Brackney 1st Class
IC then. When they had
originally tested the ABT which supplied the power for the missile
tube drain valves it had
transferred too slow. Joe had noted the problem and warned it
could cause some problem if
it wasn't rectified, which of course it hadn't. The result was dumping
water from the water
filled missile tubes out into the missile compartment from the upper
levels causing... as
Robert Mc Anulty, 1st Class Electrical Tech., put it having just stepped
into the missile
compartment as it began... "It looked like a giant shower room.
Water was pouring down
It shook a couple of yard-birds that had been riding us during the testing
and had been
asleep in temporary racks in the missile compartment lower level. With
the Thresher still
fresh in their minds, they begged Mc Anulty to reopen the hatch going
forward out of the
missile compartment but Mac held fast.
|Date: 15 Jul 2003 16:01:58 -0700
From: SECL David L <David.L.Secl@state.or.us>
Subject: Resusi-Annie H. Clay
We were about four weeks
into our second patrol and as usual
some of us were getting burned out reading, watching movies, playing
cards and studying courses. This resulted in myself and Gary Gaster
wandering from compartment to compartment in quest of some new
adventure. We had a new Doctor on board who boasted credentials
being a top surgeon at Bethesda Naval Hospital and had actually
performed a heart operation on President Eisenhower. He was very much
MASH's "Winchester" type. He was a full Commander and about to make
full Captain. He was a complete opposite from his predecessor, a
guitar playing pediatrician, who by that patrol had delivered 30
babies and wondered what he was doing on a nuclear submarine with
127 other men, of which none were pregnant. The new medical officer
got very upset when anyone referred to him as "Doc", which we did
because we knew it upset him. Word had it, he had wanted to tack a
set of Gold Dolphins on his chest, so using his political influence,
wangled his way on to our boat for one patrol.
He had a schedule of medical
procedures he intended to train
the crew in, such as; how to stop bleeding, performing emergency
tracheotomies, repair of broken bones and CPR. To teach the CPR class
he had borrowed a practice doll commonly referred to as "Resusi-Annie"
in the CPR world. Unbeknownst to anyone, Annie was stored in
level of the missile compartment in a blue trunk, which Gary and I
accidently ran across in our visit to ride stationary bikes in the
same area. With no thought as to our illustrious doctor, we freed
Annie from her blue box and provided her with a bed partner in the
rack of a new junior officer.
As the drama unfolded our
Division Officer, Lt. Bruce Felt,
would unfortunately become the Doc's number one suspected kidnapper
of Resusi-Annie, due to the fact he observed some of the action
first hand.. As Bruce sat in the wardroom figuring out daily
reactor fuel depletion the young junior officer came in the
wardroom after his watch. Not knowing he had found Resusi-Annie
snuggled down deep in his rack in her blue jumpsuit he had mistaken
it for a real human being. During the junior officers brief stay in
the wardroom he asked Bruce if he knew if all the officers were
where they should be. According to Mr Felt, he replied "As far
I know they are. Why?" He than informed Mr Felt that there was
someone sleeping in his rack. Bruce suggested that he wake the
person up. The junior officer responded he had to go qualify and
would later, after he got through working on his qualifications
then left Bruce sitting there.
Two hours later the junior
officer reappeared. Mr Felt was
just finishing up his report when the young officer entered with a
worried look on his face. Inquiring what the junior officers problem
was, brought Bruce this reply. "You know that person is still
rack... and I think it is an enlisted man."
"What makes you think that?
"His jump suit is a lighter
color and it has zippers in the
legs. Officers don't wear them like that."
To help the younger man,
Mr Felt went with him to wake up
the intruder only to discover Resusi-Anne. They then started the
cycle of events that would bring the anger of Doc Rice to a head, by
throwing Annie into the rack above, where it still lay when the Doc
came out of his stateroom the next morning.
Again Mr. Felt was in the
wrong place at the wrong time when
Doc Rice burst into the wardroom for breakfast wanting to know who
had violated his Resusi-Annie by taking her out of her storage
container. According to Bruce, the Doc wanted the Captain to have
the culprits keel hauled or even worse when they caught them. At
this point our Division Officer became the prime suspect, when he
was caught by the Doctor smiling as if he knew all about it but in
fact was reflecting on his encounter with Annie the night before.
The Doc demanded he be allowed
to question the crew, with
the Skipper present of course, so off they went throughout the boat
questioning as they went. Unable to identify any culprits the search
was dropped with Mr Felt feeling the heat from the Doctor until...
Right... we couldn't leave
well enough alone. A few weeks
later Gary and I once again released Annie from her prison. This
time we took her back into the main engine room and hid her above
the turbine lube oil tank. Then we fashioned a ransom note stating:
"We have Annie. If you ever expect to see her again, leave two
bottles of J.D. whiskey in the Lower Auxiliary Room. To prove
have her we've attached her panties." We took the note, attached it
to a red colored rag made to look like a set of panties. Knowing
the Doc was giving a lecture on bleeding the next watch and he
would be using the movie screen, we rolled the rag and note up in
I was back on the reactor
panel and Gary was up in the upper
Auxiliary Room on watch when Doc Rice rolled down the screen and
found our note. Those attending the lecture at that time relayed the
scene. They said he had given a portion of the lecture and was about
to show a film. He reached up, pulled down the screen. The rag and
note fell out. He looked down, than bent over and picked it up. They
said he read the note, looked at the rag, than turned instant red
from his neck to the top of his balding head. Without a word he
stormed out of the mess hall leaving his audience bewildered..
Suddenly, my sound powered
phone began to "reep, reep,
reep...!" in an excited manner. Picking it up I answered giving my
name. The COB's voice, with a slight chuckle in it, gave a quick
"I don't know who stole that
dummy but they had better eat
it, because the Doc., the skipper and Mr Hopper are on their way back
aft looking for it."
They all showed up... headed
by the Doctor, who was about
to bust a vessel. They never found Annie, which the culprits
returned to her resting place in the lower level missile compartment
a few days later. The Doc stayed convinced Mr Felt was the ring
A few weeks later both
Gary and I went to sick bay to share a
birthday ration of booze. At this meeting with Doc Rice we made the
attempt to confess. Fessing up we hoped would clear the air and take
the heat off our Division Officer, Bruce Felt. He had eventually
learned the names of the real perpetrators but never divulged them
even to save himself. Even after our confession the Doc refused to
believe us, based on his belief we were only doing it to save Mr Felt.
To this day I'm sure he still
blames Bruce Felt for the double
kidnaping of Resusi-Annie.