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Mar 06, 2009, 03:27 AM
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more electrical tales

On my last cruise we had and electronics tech chief warrant officer named Mr. VanLeuveny (no idea how to spell it of course we all called him Mr Van) he was on his last cruise after 27 years active duty and due to retire four days after we got back stateside. Mr Van probably knew more about the electronics and systems of Spruance class cans than anyone else in the Navy.
Now our ship had a problem trying to get and keep ET (Electronics Techs) and so anyone who any experience in basic trouble shooting could be counted on to end in repair 8 (the electronics repair shop) for general Quarters at least once, even knuckle dragging boatswains mate like me!
Our SPS-40 air search radar console was junk it died three days out of San Diego and no one but Mr. Van could get it to run again, when called he would enter the CIC (combat information center) examine the exterior of the console for a couple of minutes play with switches and trackball then give the side of the console a resounding whack with his size 12 steel toed boot and the console would work for about another week before it would crap out again.
Everyone else in the shop tried to work on it (except me I was only in there during general quarters), they replaced everything on the console except the chassis and the CRT (display), blew the entire ET budget for parts on one console. Best part was that we spent 121 days on radar picket without a working air search radar (military logic)!
Finally about four days from San Diego (home) Mr. Van calls everyone into the electronics shack. He glares at everyone in there and says "there's not a one of you I trust for anything electronic at all! Everyone except Perry (me) and the first class (he had come aboard in Pearl Harbor, and thus hadn't spent time working on the sir search console) are fired the only thing you guys are allowed to do until I leave is change light bulbs! Now follow me!"
We all trooped after him to combat (CIC) and he led us over the 40 console, he took a screwdriver from his pocket and removed the access cover from the side of the console, he removed a small crescent wrench from another pocket and reached into the interior of the console and removed a small flat nut holding it high he explained that it was the nut that held the groundstrap on the console (no groundstrap no complete circuit and it doesn't work!). What he was doing by kicking the side of the console was restoring the circuit by settling to groundstrap into contact with the chassis which would make the console work until it vibrated loose again.
The rules at the time required all removed electronic circuit boards to be returned to the supply center so they could determine if there was a design flaw in certain parts in the fleet, Mr Van had kept the used boards in his cabin (thank goodness he had a single cabin) since in fact none of the boards were bad. We totaled the cost of the boards to navy supply and it was over a $100,000! for something a 90 cent tube of loctite could have fixed if someone had been paying attention!
We loved Mr Van and when he left the ship after we got back the entire crew manned the rail while he left the pier he and his wife were both in tears.
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Mar 15, 2009, 03:17 PM
Registered User

More Mr. Van (thank goodness)

You thought I was out of sea stories nah!
Earlier in the cruise, we had our ongoing freshwater problems (basically we were on water rationing/shower hours from two weeks into the cruise).
Since we needed fuel anyway the skipper cadged about 6000 gallons of water from the U.S.S. Killuea (an AE or ammo ship).
With his usual cruddy ship handling, the captain on the con, crept up alongside the ammo ship (fully loaded out of Guam) portside to while our sister ship (the Hewitt) was on the other(starboard) side getting fuel and few pallets of groceries.
After about ten minutes of getting fuel, and just starting to get water, Hewitt decided to execute an 'emergency breakaway' (simulating a casualty in the engineering plant or steering that would compromise the ability of the ship to maneuver and avoid collision while in close to the refueler), we do it all the problems right? Hewitt throw the rig(s) in the water, pins the throttles and drops half the electrical load throughout the ship! Since she is not far enough ahead of the AE to circle away from the AE (Port) they decide to cut in front of the AE and us! Now is where is gets really fun! Our captain (apparently forgetting he is not running a PBR in the Delta) decides instead of breaking away to starboard (away from Killeua and Hewitt) decide to cut port (in between Killeua and Hewitt(now without her radios)).
Mr Van (normally the conning officer (although qualified to stand Officer Of the Deck) for refueling is standing as 'safety officer') he watches as the helmsman does as ordered and heads us in between the AE and Hewitt. he stands there for about half a second, then barks!"This is Mr. Van I have the con! Lee Helmsman all engines ahead to war emergency power 105% pitch on both shafts! I was after lookout and heard his yell through the sound powered phones without anyone keying a mike. I heard the engineering plant let out a banshee howl (thank god for gas turbines) and we took off as fast they could feed power to the engines. Killeua for her part, tried to crash back (full reverse) but she was steam driven and over 30,000 tons and that wasn't going to happen anywhere near fast enough to do us any good. When the forward half of our ship passed Killeua's bow Mr. Van told the helmsman to come another 45 degrees left (ships steer around their sterns) and reverse the Starboard shaft (to walk her stern off to Starboard)to clear our fantail from the AE's bow. By now I am looking up at the bottom of a 12,000 pound anchor, belonging to the AE! The guys in the steering flats heard some odd sounds they later figured was the bulbous bow the Killeua going through the water. When we finally got clear of her she had gotten close enough that her Portside anchor had hooked and snapped off the last ten feet of our 40 foot fiberglass whip antenna mounted on the stern, when everybody finally got calmed down for a second we were facing almost exactly 180 degrees from our original base course for UNREPPING.
Thank God for Mr. Van, if he hadn't been there, there would have been a huge hole in the water as Killeua was literally two days out of Guam with a full load of ammo for the carrier.
Mar 15, 2009, 03:47 PM
Registered User
SilentHunter's Avatar
Great story's Foo!

I have several escipades we did in Mexico with our Miki tug. I'll have to do some "mental woolgathering" and think were to start, the whole 3 years of it were something, let me tell you
Mar 15, 2009, 04:17 PM
Registered User
SilentHunter's Avatar
I'll just post little incidents as they come to me.

Our boat, the Justine, is a 127' 300+ ton, 1944 monster of a wooden ship. It was repowered in the late 70's, with all top line engine, 1350hp turbo v-12 Maybach/Mercedes {company became MTU later}, gensets 1-cat 30KW, 1 Detroit 100KW, and a Detroit 2/71 to power windlass and crane hydraulics. So it had nothing left stock really

We bough it in 1998, and converted it to a mini cruise ship, you can see picts on the Miki tug thread in the scale boats section.

We were originally from San Francisco, and our plan was to go down to baja and use the boat as a "floating hotel" or do short cruises or whatever to make some money{LoL}

When we first arrived in la Paz, we docked at their 'main pier" a government owned setup, small, but good for boats our size that are visiting for a few days.

First thing right after tying up, i went to the engine room to transfer more fuel into the "day tank", a 450 gallon tank that all the motors draw off of. At this point I really couldent wait to get off the boat and into town, having been the captain, engineer and the guy who basically did everything to keep the boat going, I needed a break from the 1600 mile trip to say the least.

What I forgot in my haste to get off back on land was I left the pump on.

So 4 hours later when I came back, it was raining diesel fuel EVERYWHERE in the engine room! OH man it was awful! in theory, it should have just overflowed and returned to the main tanks, but somewhere along the line, this feature was obviously disabled!

Needless to say after that, I installed a red flashing strobe light that lit whenever the pump was turned on...because you could not hear the pump at all with a generator or anything else running.

How it dident burst into flames, I'll never know how lucky...

I got more for later
Mar 15, 2009, 04:39 PM
Registered User
SilentHunter's Avatar
Another one, this funny.

on our trip, we stopped one absolutley beautiful morning, off the coast of San Diego. We were near a set of islands, i forget what they're called. It was dead calm, water beautiful blue and clear. Perfect time to stop and drift, take a break etc. I had been having some trouble with our depth sounding transducer. So I decided this was the perfect time to mount a new one externally on the bow on a Bracket I had previously fabricated specifically for this, in case the through hull and old one failed, I definately dident want to be going into strange ports without a sounder.

So we load up our cook for the trip in a small inflatable, the kind they sell at wallmart, just basically a raft. He is a really small and skinny guy, perfect for the job. We pulled him up to the bow to bolt on the transducer. 10 minutes into the job a medium sized shark decides to see what all the commotion is about.

We were all standing on the bow looking down, and this shark cruises up, stops dead next to the raft, and turns it's head sideways to take a look. The eye looking up at everyone is something I'll never forget! it was not very big, probably like 6 feet, but nevertheless a shark with teeth...

At that point, everyone looking down over the rail at the poor tiny guy in the raft just busts up laughing. Nobody dares tell him, we just say "Jay, get in the center of the raft for a second"

The shark took off and that was that. Of course Jay wondered what we were laughing about when he got back onboard. We just told him he looked funny down there
Mar 16, 2009, 12:50 AM
Registered User

Nice fishies

We had to stand picket duty in the Indian Ocean for 122 glorious days. Now this is not particularly strenuous ship handling just stay in your 50 X 50 mile box. So what we would do is drift for most of a watch (four hours) and just before change of watch would determine where the wind and tide were and would move us to windward end of he box and we would drift for another four hours. Since we were about three degrees north of the equator (yes I am a noble shellback you ignorant wogs!) we decided that since the water temp was 85 degrees it would be a good time to touch up the waterline of the ship. The best way to do while the ship is just drifting just put a bucket of paint in an old life ring and float along the hull painting, if the guy painting is any good you don't even need tape. Now the IO is know for having clear waters and the ship drew 27 at the bottom of the rudders, the screws never completely stop, they are jacked over at about 3 rpm to keep the bearing from having problems and the shaft from going out of true. Anyway you could watch the screws slowly turning! And see the huge sharks coming under the far side of the ship! Tarzan had nothing on me I could get on that deck in a half a second hand over hand when motivated (and that was motivating!). When we asked the Chief Boatswains Mate (out boss) to post a shark watch he was informed by the gunners that we had not qualified with the M-14's on board (yeah right we were all dockside watchstanders and on boarding crews). When we appealed this to the operations department boss he went to the skipper and the captain informed him that "the gunners had better things to do than stand shark watches"! Well being good Boatswains mates we though for a few and someone 'found' a 'spare' 20 pound can of coffee which we donated to the gunners (they hadn't been able to get any last in port period and the MS's wouldn't give them any). Now it turns out that if your chief gives a can of coffe to a gunner he will find ways to get things done that need to.
So whenever we would put guys over the side one of the gunners would grab an M-14 (with a full magazine in their pocket coincidentally) and an oily rag and would spend hours 'cleaning' that M-14. Every fours hours or so, (about the time we would pull everyone up so we could move back to the windward end of our box) the rifle would be 'clean' and when we again put someone over the side another gunner would show up with a rifle..... Needless to say after almost four months in the IO we had some seriously clean M-14's!
Mar 16, 2009, 08:41 AM
Retired for now
Holy Cow Foo. I'm glad I didn't go into the Navy. Hard to believe that a sailors life is barly worth a can of coffee. I'm thinking a lot of officers should have been em's and vicy versa. Pete
Mar 17, 2009, 12:53 AM
Registered User

Here Brucie Brucie

After that glorious time in the IO we got paroled, we a main gas turbine swallow a blade (you know that only real armor on a Sprucan is around the engines to protect people from flying turbine blades?) then self destruct. Was kind of neat looking to see the inside of the engine cell afterwards.
So being down to three main engines it was determined that we would pull into Diego Garcia (a Royal Air Force base leased to the USAF and Navy) to get new engine. Someone called FedEx and the new engine was on the way so we crawled towards Diego Garcia, and a shipmates are prone to do those that have been to a port will give guys who haven't the 'scoop.'
In the case of Diego it was a local hammerhead shark that had learned about the base garbage and somewhere along the line been named Bruce (after the model shark from the movie Jaws), he was described as being over 15 feet long and having lived in the lagoon of the atoll for at least a generation. When people finally decided that, even though the lagoon was several hundred feet deep, it wasn't the best place to dump garbage, the Navy leased a garbage barge and small tug to haul the garbage several times a month.
Now taking all this with a large grain of salt (after all these were sea stories right) I did not believe much of what they said. When we finally got inot the atoll there comes the tug with the garbage barge on a long slack tow, as I am watching something attracts my attention and swung the glasses onto it. Focusing sharper I realize that it is a slowly scything tail moving through the water in between the tug and tow! I quietly asked the BMOW (Boatswains Mate Of the Watch) exactly how big Bruce was and he told me that he didn't believe in Bruce and that is was a sea story, I pointed it out to him and his eyes got huge when he saw the five foot fin lazily following the tug at about five knots. I realized that as in most stories this one had a grain of truth and that damned shark was huge!
Being young stupid and intoxicated the next day I swam (with fins and snorkel) to the edge of the fence in the swimming area (about five feet high and with about a foot of water over the top of the fence), when the cold trickle of fear went through me. I realized that I wasn't Mark Spitz (or Michael Phelps now) and that Bruce could have had an appetizer had he so wanted, it may have only have been only 6 feet of water but it was over a hundred yards back to shoreline. I got the hell out of there!
We spotted Bruce again on the way out he had apparently filled up on garbage for a few days before returning to his lagoon. Good thing for me
Mar 18, 2009, 04:59 AM
Registered User

God loves drunks, fools, and little children

You recall me saying that there was always someone on the ship that had been into almost every liberty port and would give anyone the 'scoop'? In the case of Diego Garcia it was the BM1 (our divisions Leading Petty Officer) named Chuck Poweless who had been to Diego once before a lot of years before (he had 16 in at that point).
He had been there as a young seamen deuce (seaman apprentice E-2), now DG is a small coral and volcanic atoll in the middle of the IO (Indian Ocean) and seeing that is is essentially an large non-moving airbase (where the B-52's fly to Afghanistan now) there is nothing to do for a nice 19-20 year old sailor to do but drink, and because of this there about 14 bars on this little bitty base. Now Chuck gets very intoxicated and just misses the hourly bus back to the pier and the ship. Now if he had used his (rather pickled in alcohol) brain, he would have realized that he could almost see the ship through the trees less than 500 yards away. There is a perimeter road that runs around the entire base thus no matter how drunk you are can always find your way back to the ship. Instead of turning right, young Poweless turns left and begins the five mile walk back to the ship, after four or five hundred yards he realizes that being drunk he is in no shape to make this trek so he tries to find a cab (none on DG). He then spies the local fire station, now remember there is a large amount of alcohol involved here, and decides that he has found his way back to the ship! Fortunately for all involved the knucklehead made it back to boat without killing anyone, or damaging the truck or causing an international incident.
Now we come back to my ship ten years later.....Poweless is now a first class petty officer (with a confirmed alcohol problem). He goes to the Acey-Deucey club (for first and second class PO's) he literally can see the ship through the palm trees! He gets intoxicated, misses the hourly bus goes outside looks right (where the ship is) and left and moves down the road to the left, again! Somewhere down the road he finds a large green land-rover pickup truck and decides that he's walked far enough and drives it around the island (some five miles) back to the ship. Now though he can 'function' under that load of booze his reflexes are just a little bit slower than he thinks and he slides the truck off the end of the pier just (only the front tires dropped off). Now the tide is high, the pier low, so he crawls (the brow (ladder to the ship) is about some 35 or 40 degrees) and I (standing the drunk watch to get the morons back aboard) pour him into his bunk. The next morning I am again standing watch waiting to go to breakfast when a U.S. Navy staff car approaches. It moves slowly past the ship to the truck at the end of the pier and several people get out. I recognize one as the Provost Marshall (essentially Chief of Police) and the other as a Wing Commander (USAF equivalent to a Brigadier General). They climb the brow (now less slanted at low tide) and request permission to come aboard. They approach the officer of the deck (a CPO in this case) and inquire if anyone knows who was driving the pickup. Now the Chief had not been on watch the night before (drunk watch wasn't official it just something we did to get people back aboard into their racks and out of trouble) so he did not know. It was pretty obvious that the Wing Commander was pissed so finally I piped up that I did indeed know who had arrived rather spectacularly in the pickup. I was ordered to find Chucky and escort him the quarterdeck. It took me just a couple of minutes to locate Poweless (he was about half way through his fourth cup of good wake up coffee), and bring him up. By then both the Provost and the Wing Commander had officially worked themselves into a rather good snit. When Poweless arrived he was formally informed that the Royal Air Force forbade him from ever setting foot on Her Majesty's Base of Diego Garcia due to repeated drunken offenses. The latest of which was to steal the Wing Commanders Personal work vehicle from the car port of his house!
God Loves Fools, Drunks, and Little children (some of us qualify on more than one count sometimes) Poweless used to say that all the time!
Mar 18, 2009, 09:25 AM
Retired for now
Poor old Poweless just couldn't get it right. Great story Foo and hope you don't run out of material anytime soon. Ever think ablout writing a book? Pete
Mar 18, 2009, 06:51 PM
Registered User
indeed I have but people would read one chapter and run screaming. part of why I write these is to see if anyone else has done/seen/or heard of stuff like this. besides which with my three fingers and one thumb typing techniques it would take a year to type! it took me something like half an hour just to write chuckies story. but having said that I will continue.
Mar 18, 2009, 10:36 PM
Retired for now
Nawwwww! That's not how ya do it. What ya do is get into a room at home like maybe a den or something with all the old books and pictures and anything else you have from your Navy days and a tape recorder. You sit with a few of your favorite beverages and start at the beginning like the day you went and signed up.
You just start talking and remembering all the things that happened that you can remember. You may laugh or cry or get mad and stand up and walk around the room and swear,yell, holler or scream at any injustice done to you or anyone else and you will be absolutly surprised at what you remember. Of course you have the tape recorder going and you talk loud so it can hear ya. You save all the tapes and number them in sequence and when your done you turn all the tapes over to a ghost writer to write the book.
It will take about two or three months to go through your entire Navy experience because you will keep thinking of things you forgot to say.Thats where you put a reference with the story as to when it happened so the writer can get it in sequence and another year for the guy to write and edit the book and then you submit it to a publisher and keep on submitting it till ya get somebody to publish it.
Everybody gets a piece of the pie and by that I mean that the writer gets a percentage of the sales as does the publisher and you of course.
I have a very good friend who does ghost writing for a living and he was also in the Navy but back in the sixties. I'm gonna tell him to read your stories on this forum and see what he says. He will like them I'm sure and nobody will run screaming after the first chapter. They may have trouble getting up off the floor from laughing though. I find your stories very entertaining myself. Pete
Last edited by norgale; Mar 18, 2009 at 10:43 PM.
Mar 19, 2009, 12:38 AM
Registered User
thanks again Pete I got an email from my father in law and I'll post it here because I cannot verify it but it is a cool story none the less.

The Sack Lunches
I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned
seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to
read Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.
Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all
the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a
conversation. 'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to
'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're
being deployed to Afghanistan
After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches
were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we
reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time..
As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned
to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch..
Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to base '
His friend agreed.
I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I
walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty
dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and
squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a
soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'
Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were
seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or
'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the
front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first
class. 'This is your thanks.'
After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for
the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part
of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.
Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the
aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking
for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the
plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, an said,
'I want to shake your hand.'
Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a
booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once,
someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I
was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.
Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man
who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting
to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.
When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just
inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt
pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five
Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to
the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It
will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a
sandwich. God Bless You.'
Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow
travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their
safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could
only give them a couple of meals.
It seemed so little...
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made
payable to ' America for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'

Thought this was pretty cool, neat (at least) story be nice if it was really true!Not sure if it is though.
Mar 19, 2009, 02:11 AM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
Foo, it sounds pretty real, I can imagine it happening. Even if it did not, it gives me (and everyone else who reads it) a great idea - buy lunch for a soldier or sailor you see on the plane. Thanks.
Mar 19, 2009, 02:27 AM
Registered User

Liberty (the real thing) in the Pillipines

hey all,
Before we left for the entertainment part of our cruise in the Indian Ocean (and escorting reflagged Iraqi tankers, but that is another story) we spent 22 wonderful days in PI (Phillipine Islands), getting a few things taken care of in the shipyard, and making sure we were ready for the real part of the cruise.
Now there are four types of liberty (time off not charged as leave) unrestricted (self explanatory), Cinderella (back on the ship by midnight), sundowner (usually back by 1800 (6pm)), and another that adds the phrase escort to those. Now we all know that Chuck Poweless had a problem with demon rum (drank like a fish) (if you've read any of the last few posts). In the three weeks were in PI he had gone from unrestricted to Cinderella in a week. He left the ship on Christmas Eve, and staggered back aboard at just before midnight seriously hammered (drunk). Since I had family friends in Subic Bay, I had the drunk watch that night so that I could have all of Christmas and Christmas night off. I poured Chuck in his bunk and returned topside for a smoke, there had been no one else in the compartment awake except for us.
Half an hour later I was again assisting a shipmate into his bunk when we got the bottom of the compartment ladder we were greeted by a horrid (even for Subic Bay) smell. Investigating further we found out that Poweless had staggered from his bunk and either urinated or defecated in every boot or shoe in the berthing compartment! I had mine on and the rest of the duty section had their but Poweless had pretty much ruined over thrity pairs of shoes!
The next morning we all got together after muster and the ALPO (Assistant Leading Petty Officer) a huge guy named Herman Troth (we called him Chewie), lead the meeting and told us he would solve Chucks problems after we left Subic on the 3rd of January. He (Troth) also went to the department head and had Poweless's liberty changed to escorted sundowner (he was not allowed off the pier without an escort (the laundry mat, Post Exchange, and bowling alley all have beer machines).
Come time for the night before we get to leave Subic I draw the crappy detail of escorting Poweless for his last night on the town (they let him out until 8pm)(so he could buy 20 pairs of shoes and boots also). What was better was that the 3rd was my 21st birthday and we getting underway! So I squired Chuck around while he tried to get drunk before 2000, than got changed (I had to wear a uniform while on escort and couldn't have more than one beer) before meeting the family friends for a birthday bar crawl. Hey I was turning 21, in a far off distant land!
At too damned early the next morning (I thought I was going to die from the howl of the ship's gas turbine main engines) we got underway.
The first day after we get underway Poweless is approached by Chewie and informed that he is going on attabuse. Attabuse is a drug that reacts with even the smell of alcohol to deter those desiring to refrain from alcohol abuse from even being tempted to take a drink. For some people it is even poisonous to be around alcohol. It takes a few days to begin working and remains in your system for about three weeks so if we got him started on it he would probably be OK for the rest of the cruise (we hoped). Attabuse is entirely voluntary so after the first day, (Chewie had the pill with him the first day) Chuck would have to down the to Corpsman for his pill before muster (referred as quarters). The second morning we are all in ranks for Quarters and here comes Big Doc (two corpsman on board of course big and little doc) he approaches Poweless and loudly says, "Hey Chuck you forgot to get your pill this morning," and hold it out to him.
Poweless equally clearly responds with, "I am not taking them I do not have a problem."
Before doc can clear the foc'sle (where we stand quarter in the mornings) Chewie stops him for a second and clears out.
Now before we go any further I should describe Chewie, I am 6foot5 and he made me look short. As he put it, "my daddy is an orange farmer and he had a choice between trying to have a boy (he's got four sisters) and having a new tractor, so they had me and treated me like a tractor". Better than 250 pound of all muscle smart, tough,a natural born leader, knew when to step in for people and when not to.
When Poweless returned to the berthing compartment to change into working uniform (you stand quarter in good uniforms and change into your cruddies for painting and working topside), as he entered the berthing compartment Chewie grabbed him by the Adams apple and slammed him backwards over one of our solid mounted tables and four of us sat on him. Someone produced a shoehorn and Poweless was 'convinced' to take his pill!
The next morning we are again at quarter and here comes big doc again. Poweless starts to again inform us that he does not have a problem when he spots out of the corner of his eye Chewie standing there gently tapping the shoehorn in the palm of his hand! Chuck very carefully stopped doc and with great showmanship swallowed the pill in front of us. For about half of the IO period doc would come to quarters and Poweless would take his pill.
Me and Chewie got assigned to paint inside the ship at nights and we were not at quarters and somewhere along the line the attabuse slipped away from everybody's mind until the RAF Wing Command reminded us.