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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
if you served aboard ship, what kind of ship was it? What were your experience's like? I've visited the USS North Carolina, USS York Town, USS Clamagore, and the USS Laffey. For those unfamaliar with the Laffey. Check it out. She is known as "the ship that would not die". I would love to visit a Nimitz class carrier and a modern guided missle cruiser/destroyer. Sure that will never happen though. Maybe one day I will be able to visit Pearl Harbor to pay my respect's and visit "the Mighty Mo".
 

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Missile, guided destroyer. Tin can. Boat was old, small, hot, and got tossed in the smallest waves. Smelled like old laundry and garbage most of the time except when we were underway on cruise. Then it smelled like cinnamon rolls. For weeks at a time. Everything was cramped and there was no privacy or personal space. About like a surface going submarine.
I honestly hated it but I wasn't normal. Being a non social individual with little use for people made it a hard life so I'm not a good example to quote stories from. My experiences left me feeling amazed that our military can perform as good as it does. But like my chief used to say, "we work like hell until the work is done, then we play like hell until the play is done."
 

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I served aboard the Tuscaloosa LST-1187 about 20 years ago. It was a slow moving, flat bottom boat, so it was thrown around a bit even in calm seas. It could get right up on the beach though, so we usually got liberty a little quicker than the other boats in the MEU.
 

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I am active duty navy, spent three years on board the Big E. Not a Nimitz class carrier but a fine ship! I have been aboard about every east coast carrier in the fleet (not stationed or gone under way on) but Nimitz class and Enterprise class ships are laid out pretty different. I have been on a couple LHDs also (never stationed or went under way). Spent a lot of time sitting next to DDGs and CGs among other ships in the fleet while stationed on Enterprise in Norfolk, VA.

Here is a link to a thread I posted after the 2011 cruise, I missed the 2012 cruise by about three weeks.(thank god). I love being at sea, life is very complex but very very simple at the same time. It makes you value personal space, very minor things like decent coffee, short shipping times, good food walking around bare foot and not worrying about your feet rotting off, carpet, quietness is a huge luxury. Imaging a jet launching off the roof of your house, and most important your family. Your learn to live with very limited storage space, makes you appreciate "prepping" (storing up minor stuff like toiletries) The first month sucks but is very fun cause it's all "new" (not really but you get the point) 2 months newness wears off and routine starts setting in, After 3 months the monotony really sets in and looking at the sea day after day is very taxing lol, after 4 months it's normal and you want to kill your best friend but don't cause you will prolly need him to save your ass some day, 5 months you could give a shit about anybody and anything cause you are on your way home 6 months you are pulling in and that is the best feeling in the world you are on top of the world. Then in a couple months the training cycle starts over again to prep for your next deployment.

Most cruises now days on a carrier run 7-9 months due to budget issues.

http://www.theakforum.net/forums/14...rise-cvn-65-2011-deployment-picture-post.html
 

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I think she was a little hot to let hundreds of civilians tour her on a daily bases lol. Last word we got from the skipper was she goes to NNSY to have the reactors removed then she will be towed to Washington state and from there she will be chopped up and buried in the desert some place. Her tower is supposed to be removed and placed in the smithsonian in Washington DC. Granted this probably won't be for another 50 years though. She will be 52 in November, (really 53). Amazing they got that many years from her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Heartbreak, was the Enterprise retro-fitted with Phalanx? That seem's like a bad ass close in weapon's system. I realize her Hornet's would be her primary defense.
 

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Well her primary defense was all the torpedo sponges around her and the CG, air defense coupled with the CG and what ever else we couldn't see is primary/secondary the CWIS, RAM and NATO launchers are pretty much last ditch defense on a carrier. If it can get past a cruiser, destroyer or frigate we pray that the actual weapons systems get it cause if not it's going to hurt!

A CG will always be pretty much with in eye shot of a carrier operating outside US waters, and a CG is armed to the teeth. Those are some bad ass ships.
 

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Was a Submariner: Served on the USS Trepang, Tiru. Menhaden, Trout, Trumpetfish.
 

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I did 4 years, 3 on an old missile cruiser built in the 60's - got out 20 years ago (July was the anniversary). Like anything being on a ship is what you make of it. Growing up I got a good introduction to keeping my mouth shut and doing exactly what I was told, so that translated well in to shipboard life. I never really had any problems, and early on got some good advice on how to get promoted on time, the first time (work your ass off and impress the right people - a simple formula), so that part of it was straightforward.

Work wise, life on a Navy ship (and probably all ships in general) is a lot of work, and it doesn't really matter what rank you are. As an E2, E3, and E4 I would put in average 14 to 16 hour days, probably 10 of that in constant motion and the remainder standing a watch where I would stare at something for 4 hours, eating, washing up, exercising, and maybe an hour to read a book or play cards or watch a movie, then sleep. As an E5 during my last year that was cut to about 12 hours a day, with a lot less painting and cleaning. The painting and cleaning was replaced with having to listen to people complain about painting and cleaning, and telling them to stop complaining and get back to work.

It was pretty much a day in and day out constant routine underway, like working at a floating burger king or something. Rarely was one day distinguishable from the next. People have mentioned how it is noisy, smelly, and dozens of other contantly annoying things - all true. I'd add that personalities are difficult to deal with, especially the folks who have chips on their shoulders and a bit of rank to throw around. Those guys were really hard to put up with at times. Good practice for later in life though. Dickheads are encountered in all walks of life.

Getting to go to a bunch of different places was pretty cool. I got to visit places I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise, both good and bad. I have no desire to go back to most of them, except maybe Phuket Thailand someday, but being able to sit down with somebody and point at a map and say "I was there, it sucked ass, don't ever go there" is kind of cool too.

I like the Ocean, so seeing things like Hurricanes and other really bad storms while underway was amazingly cool. One of our Captains was an astronomy buff, and so I got to see a solar eclipse in the path of totality because he took the ship out and put us in it. Amazing, I doubt I'll see anything that impressive ever again unless I get to watch another one from the open ocean on another perfectly clear day. Playing chaser for a Nimitz class carrier during combat flight ops was pretty badassed too, especially at night. Saw lots of sea life, got to do drug ops with the Coast Guard, got to play wargames a bunch of times with Japanese, Canadian, Russian, and Australian naval forces. I got to shoot a lot of ammo through a lot of different bad assed full auto guns at junk floating in the water...and every once in a while we would dust off the main armaments and shoot down drones and stuff. Stuff like that make it kind of worth it and kind of fun. Just kind of though.

Overall, I didn't like it enough to make a career out of it but it wasn't all that bad. I've had worse jobs since.
 

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Was blown over board from the flight deck of the old USS Franklin D Roosevelt. WW2 Midway Class carrier in the jet age. Even with all the improvements it was WAY overcrowded. She deserved to be scrapped as one of her propeller shafts was warped and when we turned into the wind to launch the whole ship shook!
 

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Was blown over board from the flight deck of the old USS Franklin D Roosevelt. WW2 Midway Class carrier in the jet age. Even with all the improvements it was WAY overcrowded. She deserved to be scrapped as one of her propeller shafts was warped and when we turned into the wind to launch the whole ship shook!
Glad you are safe! I bet that was a ride on the way down! Did it hurt when you hit the water.
 

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Glad you are safe! I bet that was a ride on the way down! Did it hurt when you hit the water.
Knee was dislocated as I was being blown overboard. 100 feet 6 inches from flight deck to water. Was like hitting concrete. Flight deck helmet broke into four pieces. Dislocated my right shoulder, broke my jaw on the right side, 4 ribs, dislocated all my fingers on the right hand, little finger on the left dislocated, and broke my nose.

Young high yellow shirt directed a Phantom too near the catwalks and the young JG went into afterburner on deck without the blast shields up. I was bouncing along on the flight deck until my right knee took the hit on an A-7 tow bar. I balled up to grab my knee and it just picked me up and sailed me overboard. I was right in front of the bridge and they were calling man overboard before I actually went over. Their turning the ship sharply kept me from being sucked under thru the props.

After a couple of weeks in NAS Jacksonville Hospital I received 30 days convalescent leave for me to 'cool off' at the Yellow shirt. Was made to go see a shrink because of what I yelled. He told me 'normal' people tend to call on God or their mother when they think they were going to die. As man overboard was called so quick it was silent as I went over. They said I yelled "OH FUUUUUUUCK" all the way to the water. Told the shrink it was because I knew why I got blown overboard and was pissed about it.

It was also my ticket OFF the damm boat as I told him if anybody handed me orders to another ship, they were going to die. That got me the 'safe' assignment with the Hurricane Hunters as a flight engineer. LOL

I was lucky and unlucky in that there was two helo's in the air at the same time. One picked me up while the second circled and shooting sharks as my bloody nose got them sort of excited. They 'think' one of the breaks in my flight deck helmet was from one of the thrown flashlights! I hope now they are using chemlights for that now.
 

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Damn! So most of the damage was from tumbling across the flight deck and not hitting the water?

We had a guy get blown over board in a similar fashion on the 2011 cruise except he was just blown straight off the side in front of the tower, he did not sustain any injuries though. I had just got in the shower and was soaping up when they called it away, I made my way back to the Jet shop and watched the helo pluck him out of the water.

Did you fly P-3 Orions? I am stationed at NAS Jax now working at the FRC we rebuild the T56-A-14s for the Orions (among being one of the largest depot facilites in the South)
 

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Knee was dislocated as I was being blown overboard. 100 feet 6 inches from flight deck to water.
...
I hope now they are using chemlights for that now.

That is an amazing story Hawk45! Glad you survived to tell the tale.

I first visited this site to learn about AK's, and I still do every time I click over here. But what keeps me coming back almost every day is the chance to read the wisdom and experience of people like you who have served our country in extraordinary (and too often harrowing!) ways. Thanks.

-otus
 

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Damn! So most of the damage was from tumbling across the flight deck and not hitting the water?

We had a guy get blown over board in a similar fashion on the 2011 cruise except he was just blown straight off the side in front of the tower, he did not sustain any injuries though. I had just got in the shower and was soaping up when they called it away, I made my way back to the Jet shop and watched the helo pluck him out of the water.

Did you fly P-3 Orions? I am stationed at NAS Jax now working at the FRC we rebuild the T56-A-14s for the Orions (among being one of the largest depot facilites in the South)
When I got to VW-4 they were still using the old Super Constellations. Had ADR's and I was the first ADJ in the squadron. T-56 is a VERY good and reliable power plant. Flew on them for three months until we got our WP-3's. Looks like a pregnant guppy with the bulging radar dome in the bomb bay. Went from 22 man crews to 10 man crews. I flew as the flight engineer and sat between the pilots and controlled the switches and watched the gauges. Got be the one who launched the sonar buoys both during regular ops and especially when we caught Russian subs running on the surface around Cuba. P-3 school then was at Pax River Maryland. Little town consisting of a grocery store and three topless bars and ONE lousy eating place!

Nearest Col Saunders chicken place was 50 miles away!

And they wondered why I wanted out to go to college.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hawk, that is a high ratio of topless bar's to other business's. Hell of a story to, I'm glad you made out OK. SD, I realized my spelling error about 5 second's before I read your post.Thank's for your service guy's and keep your storie's coming.
 
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