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You Could Have Heard A Pin Drop
Once upon a time, our politicians did not tend to apologize for our country's greatness. Here's a refresher on how some of our former patriots handled negative comments about our great country.
JFK'S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when DeGaulle decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaulle said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible.
Rusk responded, "Does that include those who are buried here?"
DeGaulle did not respond.
When in England , at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of "empire building" by George Bush.
He answered by saying, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."
There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, "Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?"
A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: "Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck.
We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?"
A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.
Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks, but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?"
Without hesitating the American Admiral replied, "Maybe it's because the Brit's, Canadians, Aussie's and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German."
Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.
"You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically.
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."
The American said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."
"Impossible.. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !"
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then, he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach, on D-Day in 1944, to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchman to show a passport to."
Click this link, or go to the Reunion Page.
Please check back often in case of corrections, additions or updates!
Steve Hampton GMC USNR Ret, reports the passing of SN Tom Hoschek to the website. Tom was a member of 3rd Division from 1971-73. He died June 14, 2017 in Burlington, IA. I have enclosed a photo of Tom on the fantail of the OK City with Blackbeard One in the background (circa 1972). Tom was a phone talker during flight quarters. Tom and I enlisted together and were fortunate to serve aboard the OK City together. We remained lifelong friends.
I WAS A SAILOR ONCE
a shot of whisky
In the old west a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents and so did a glass of whiskey. If a cowhand was low on cash he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a "shot" of whiskey.
the whole nine yards
American fighter planes in WW2 had machine guns that were fed by a belt of cartridges. The average plane held belts that were 27 feet (9 yards) long. If the pilot used up all his ammo he was said to have given it the whole nine yards.
buying the farm
This is synonymous with dying. During WW1 soldiers were given life insurance policies worth $5,000. This was about the price of an average farm so if you died you "bought the farm" for your survivors.
iron clad contract
This came about from the iron-clad ships of the Civil War. It meant something so strong it could not be broken.
passing the buck / the buck stops here
Most men in the early west carried a jackknife made by the Buck Knife company. When playing poker it was common to place one of these Buck knives in front of the dealer so that everyone knew who he was. When it was time for a new dealer the deck of cards and the knife were given to the new dealer. If this person didn't want to deal he would "pass the buck" to the next player. If that player accepted then "the buck stopped there".
The Mississippi River was the main way of traveling from north to south. Riverboats carried passengers and freight but they were expensive so most people used rafts. Everything had the right of way over rafts which were considered cheap. The steering oar on the rafts was called a riff and this transposed into riff-raft, or riff-raff, meaning low class.
The Old English word for "spider" was "cob".
ship's state roomsTraveling by steamboat was considered the height of comfort. Passenger cabins on the boats were not numbered. Instead they were named after states. To this day cabins on ships are called staterooms.
Early beds were made with a wooden frame. Ropes were tied across the frame in a criss-cross pattern. A straw mattress was then put on top of the ropes. Over time the ropes stretched, causing the bed to sag. The owner would then tighten the ropes to get a better night's sleep.
These were floating theaters built on a barge that was pushed by a steamboat. These played the small towns along the Mississippi River. Unlike the boat shown in the movie "Showboat” these did not have an engine. They were gaudy and attention- grabbing which is why we say someone who is being the life of the party is "showboating".
over a barrel
In the days before CPR a drowning victim would be placed face down over a barrel and the barrel would be rolled back and forth in a effort to empty the lungs of water. It was rarely effective. If you are over a barrel you are in deep trouble.
Heavy freight was moved along the Mississippi in large barges pushed by steamboats. These were hard to control and would sometimes swing into piers or other boats. People would say they "barged in".
Steamboats carried both people and animals. Since pigs smelled so bad they would be washed before being put on board. The mud and other filth that was washed off was considered useless hog wash.
The word "curfew" comes from the French phrase couvre-feu, which means "cover the fire". It was used to describe the time of blowing out all lamps and candles before sleeping for the night. It was later adopted into Middle English as curfeu, which later became the modern "curfew". In the early American colonies homes had no real fireplaces so a fire was built in the center of the room. In order to make sure a fire did not get out of control during the night it was required that, by an agreed upon time, all fires would be covered with a clay pot called-a curfew.
barrels of oil
When the first oil wells were drilled they had made no provision for storing the liquid, so they used water barrels. That is why, to this day, we speak of barrels of oil, rather than gallons.
hot off the press
As the paper goes through the rotary printing press, friction causes it to heat up; therefore, if you grab the paper right off the press, it is hot. The expression means to get immediate information.
There, don't you feel smarter now?
More Mesothelioma Help
Veterans and Mesothelioma is offering a free Veteran's Support Guide to explain how to apply for Mesothelioma related benefits.
New To The Crew
LITE, Robert, #1394 mail
TUTTELL, John, Tacoma, WA 73-75 #1393 mail
^^^ Recently retired (2022)
Shingleton, Lloyd, Goose Creek, SC 75-79 #1392 mail
*** OS2 - worked in CIC, part of OI division, operated radars for shipping and navigation. Made two Australian cruises during my time on the ship one in 1976 and the other in 1978. My closest friend was OS2 Lodi Schlegel.
^^^ I am now retired, an artist, painter and a member of the Charleston Artist Guild.
Darling,William, E.Freetown, MA 70-73 #1391 mail
*** GMG 3 - 6" powder mag -gun captain center gun 6" turret
^^^ I have been a self employed machinist for over 30 years, ,raised a family, paid off a mortgage and am now semi retired. Hoping to connect with former shipmates Chuck Knolton John Kirby Bruce Barton, and others.
Kline, Aaron, Houston, TX 01-03 #1390 mail
*** Ens to Lt while on board. RC Div, CRA, AWEPS.
Bullington,Kenneth Ray , Gatesville, TX, 68-70 #1389 mail
*** FTN2 -Weapons – missile systems
Morrison, Hal, Colorado, 78-78 #1388 mail
*** FTM2 - Talos Missle Fire Control Technician assigned to Radar 6
^^^ Second Shift Radar 6 Maintenance Lead Petty Officer Ship's tour guide, Ship's soccer team (left fullback), Line Number 1 Phone Talker (getting under way and pulling into port) Bridge Phone Talker (getting under way and pulling into port) .Forward Underway Replenishment Phone Talker Small Boat Sailor (Tokyo Bay, Hong Kong, Subic Bay, and Perth/Fremantle Australia)
^^^ Retired after a number of varied careers in High Tech (Engineering Tech, Test Engineer, CAD Systems Analyst, IT Systems Administrator - Solaris/Linux/Windows, IT Systems Support Manager, PCB Test Development Manager, DevOps Engineering Support, etc.) Married (late in life) with two kids - one is a junior in college and the other is a freshman in high school
Burkhart Grey, Falls Church, VA 77-79 #1387 mail
*** LT - I was assigned as Missile Fire Control Officer upon arrival, then was moved to be the Gunnery Officer. Missile Officer and (briefly) Acting Weapons Officer durin decom. Now an Intelligence liaison director for this country's oldest and one of the world's largest banks.
HALL Donald M . Sterling Heights, MI 1970 #1386 mail
*** PC3 - I arrived on board in 1970 and was assigned as a Look out. After about 3 months was assigned to the Post Office. In November 1973, I received a new duty station, RTC, NTC Great Lakes Illinois. I was discharged in March 1974 with an Honorable Discharge. The next day I started my new career as a Postal Employee in Warren Michigan. After 43 1/2 years I retired.
More than 22k Claims granted to Blue Water Navy Veterans in 2020
The National Archives is digitizing more than 1,800 deck logs to determine ship locations, which helps VA confirm service VA estimates there are between 420-560k Vietnam-era Veterans who may be considered Blue Water Navy Veterans.
Meet the Navy's Most Adorable Boat: The Boomin' Beaver
The "Boomin' Beaver security tug boat rests on the finger pier next to USS Constitution.
The Navy's 19-foot mini tugboats play an important role in protecting their larger siblings. They deploy, operate, and maintain underwater barriers surrounding ships such as the USS Constitution, the 223-year old wooden frigate berthed in Boston..
A closer look.
Read the complete article at Military.com
Sailors Aboard USS Oklahoma City Receive Battle "E"
Specific Information about Asbestos on the Oklahoma City
USS Oklahoma City alongside the USS Kawishiwi (AO-146)
It seems like only yesterday, but it was during Kawishiwi's 1971 WestPac deployment in the Tonkin Gulf. We had been unreping carrier task forces in the area when we received news that we would be receiving the cruiser USS Oklahoma City, which was then flying the pennant of ComSeventhFleet. Captain Wyand told all hands that this was a fine occasion to show them our stuff, and then directed all hands to make the ship "ready for inspection". Among other things, all our fuel rigs were dropped to the deck & a combination crew of deck & R-gang meticulously cleaned hoses and fittings inside & out.
The following day, under beautiful clear blue skies, USS Oklahoma City made a smart approach to our port side. What a sight! All their officers & crew in whites, brass polished, beautiful gray hull, holy stoned wood decks, everything in its place.
Shot lines were fired, and soon we were sending fueling rigs amidships and aft. Their forward receiving station was immediately below their bridge, and when our nozzle assembly hit their Robb receiver, it locked in place. They secured the riding line & gave us permission to pump NSFO (Navy Special Fuel Oil or black oil).
We fired up the pumps in our midship pumping station, opened our gate valve, and then it happened. The line pressure surged way over operating range, and our probe kicked out of their receiver! Worse yet, the automatic valve in the nozzle (which only permits flow when the rig is seated) failed to close! Held in place by its riding line, the nozzle assumed an up-angle of about 60°, so now we were shooting 3000 GPM of high pressure black oil right into their bridge! Huge clouds of oil vapor were wafting over the entire ship, officers and men in their pilothouse were either knocked down by the stream or slipping & falling on deck.
At their end, their men grabbed axes & tried to cut the riding line, to drop the rig into the water. But they couldn't cut it, so after about a minute of continuous douche-down, they just executed a hard turn to port. All our rigs just screamed with tension, then parted & fell into the drink. They didn't bother to hold station, they just left us there.
Everyone on board was stunned and speechless. Soon, we had flash traffic in the Comm Shack from Oklahoma City & ComSeventhFlt, which after deleting the expletives, amounted to "What are you guys doing?"
We retrieved our rigs, and investigated why the nozzle valve failed to close. The culprit - a pair of old dungarees (from the rags used earlier to wipe down the hoses inside & out) lodged in the discharge, holding it open and restricting flow (which built up the over-pressure). In our quest for quality control, we had, ahem,a few impurities in deliverable product. What was to be a sharp evolution, ended in disgrace.
Fortunately, no one was hurt. And ships, as well as reputations, can be cleaned up. Embarrassed though we were then, with the passage of enough time, well....there really was something hilarious seeing those guys getting sprayed down!
Respectfully, An Officer of the 70-71 Cruise.
Missing At Sea
At approximately 0300, 18 October, at latitude 16° 57.6' N, and longitude 107° 14.6' E, approximately three miles from the coast line of the Northern section of the Republic of South Vietnam GMG3 Peter Emmanuel GUTLOFF, USN, 118 63 55, accidentally fell overboard.
In spite of excellent search conditions with unlimited visibility and calm seas, GUTLOFF's body could not be found. A helicopter, two PCF's (swift boats); three LCM's, USS LOYALTY and USCGC PT GAMMON rendered search assistance. All hopes were abandoned and the search terminated at 1800, on 18 October. GMG3 GUTLOFF was assumed dead by drowning.
[Extracted from the COMMAND HISTORY of the USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5)
1 JULY 1969 - 31 DECEMBER 1969 (REPORT SYMBOL - OPNAV REPORT 5750-1)]
Editor's Note: His name appears on Panel 17W, Line 88, of the Vietnam Memorial Wall.
Okinawa 15 February 1962
* 5.2 million veterans served in peacetime.
* 2 million veterans are women.
* 5.5 million veterans served during the Persian Gulf War.
* Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 558,000 are still alive.
* 2 million veterans served during the Korean War.
* As of 2014, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
* As of 2014, 3 states have more than 1 million veterans among their population: California (1.8 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.7 million).
* The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.
Informative batch of photos of the USS Oklahoma City (SSN-723) HERE
2019 Reunion Group Photo
Thanks to Gary Cousin for the heads up. Names?/center>
Did History Repeat Itself?
How French Colonialism led to the Vietnam Conflict
Charles Lee Palmer, EMSN 64-66
1946 - 2020
Vice Admiral Robert B. Baldwin 1923-2017
Vice Admiral Robert B. Baldwin, Gig Harbor, Washington Robert Bemus Baldwin, Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (retired), passed away on April 7, 2017 at St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington. Bob had an esteemed career and was a very kind and gentle man, much loved by all. His story follows.
Vice Admiral Baldwin was born on April 24, 1923 in Minneapolis MN. He was the last of five children born to Dr. and Mrs. William P. Baldwin.
He was orphaned at age seven and raised, in Fargo North Dakota, by his appointed guardians Dr. and Mrs. William H. Long close friends of his parents. He graduated from Fargo Central High School in June of 1941. Shortly thereafter Bob was sworn in as a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy as a member of the Class of 1945 with the ambition to become a naval aviator. (The Class of 1945 actually graduated in June, 1944 due to a wartime acceleration.)
At the Academy Bob wrote sports news for The Log, the student publication and played on the varsity soccer team. His first assignment after graduation was to the cruiser USS Birmingham in the Western Pacific combat zone. In May 1945 the ship was hit by a kamikaze attack off Okinawa. For his actions in fighting the resulting fire and flooding, then Ensign Baldwin was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
After the war Bob entered flight training, receiving his wings at Pensacola FL. in 1947. There he began what became a classic career in naval aviation. He served several squadrons including the first carrier-based unit capable of delivering an atomic weapon. He commanded Carrier Air Wing SIXTEEN and made deployments to the western Pacific on three different aircraft carriers.
As a Captain, he took command of the fleet oilier USS Chipola during the Vietnam war, operating in the Pacific fleet in the Tonkin Gulf. He also was privileged to serve a tour as Commanding Officer of the great Carrier USS Forrestal. In shore duty assignments Bob was a graduate of the Navy's Test Pilot School at Pawtuxent River and served in the Tactical Test Division and on the Test Pilot School staff as an instructor. He also did four tours of duty in the Bureau of Naval Personnel.
As a Vice Admiral his assignments were Commander Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet, Commander SEVENTH Fleet, and Chief of Naval Personnel, from which he retired in August 1980. His service awards include two Navy Distinguished Service Medals, two Legions of Merit and numerous letter citations.
After leaving active duty, Bob lived in Rancho Santa Fe, CA for several years and was involved in management of real estate partnerships as well as consulting assignments. He also was active in the Naval Academy Alumni Association, serving as it's President from 1989 to 1992. In 1950 Bob married Stanford University graduate June Wilson. They had three children and subsequently moved numerous times coast to coast, Hawaii, Japan and the Mediterranean when Bob was assigned alternating sea and shore-based positions. That marriage ended in the mid-nineties.
At then end of 1999 Bob married Sally Fleck, who preceded him in death. In 2002 he married Corinne Helgeson, a native of the Seattle area. They were married fourteen years residing in Gig Harbor, Washington. He maintained an avid interest in golf.
He is survived by his wife, Corinne, sons Scott and Jared, and daughter Sylvia, grandchildren Denton, Lindsay and Caitlin, great grandchildren Brooks, Bailey and Tyler and Corinne's son Tim and wife Corrine, grandchildren Riley and Trey, daughter Teri and husband Jack. The funeral service and interment will take place at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, May 11, 2017 at 10 A.M.
See also Admiral Baldwin on the Oklahoma City Here
Veterans Statistics from the Vietnam Memorial Wall
There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.
The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 63 years since the first casualty.
The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps LCpl Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.
There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.
39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger, 8,283 were just 19 years old. The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old. 12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old. 5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old. One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.
997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam . 1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam .
31 sets of brothers are on the Wall. Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.
54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia . 8 women are on the Wall, nursing the wounded.
244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall
Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons. West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.
The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths. The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.
For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that
the Vietnam War created. To those who survived the war, and to
the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain
that these numbers created We are, until we too pass away, haunted
with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands,
wives, sons and daughters There are no noble wars, just noble
For information on Mesothelioma, go to the Veterans page.
What You Need to Know About the
U.S.S. Missouri Commemorative Stamp available in June
Read more about this OK City Hero
|The USS Oklahoma City website is published daily for the benefit of the crew members of all ships named Oklahoma City. Editor and Publisher: Joe Caruso; Graphics Editors: Phil Gerini, Glenn Stone; Editorial Contributors: Jack Kemejuk, John Baker, Paul Dillon, Frank Zacarro, T.C. Lamson, Jim Blackburn, Robert Britton, Richard Harvey, & John Cruso. All rights reserved. Copyright 1997 to 2022.|