Sea Stories
images/ss_crewsmess/crewsmess_01.jpg

I left Sub QM school in Groton for San Diego the last week of October of 1981. The QMCS at the school had said that the Billy Bates was a very Special Boat. I was one very excited QMSN.

My orders said to report to COMSUBRON on-board the USS Dixon or Sperry (I can't remember which one had our Squadron), for the William H. Bates at SUBBASE San Diego. So like a newbie, I walked down the pier and went right by the Bates, as my orders said report to COMSUBRON.

The minute that I requested permission to come aboard the tender, they had a Security Drill. I was stuck on board for about 2 hours!

When the OOD finally looked my orders he said, "you passed the Bates, it's right there", pointing down the pier.

I was like Whisky Tango Foxtrot!!!

Anyway, back down the long tender gangway I went, with all my stuff.

So I got signed aboard and met QM-2 Mike Morehead. He brought me to the QMC, (can't remember his name, he was before QMC Al Varela). It was dinner time by now, and my long day of travel was finally over.

After all the sign ins with Capt. & the COB, I was assigned to the deck gang to help complete painting and nonskid topside. They handed me a new pair of Sperry Topsiders and I went to work.

It was a motley crew. Somehow the LPO sent me up to the Tender to go get some two part epoxy paint, the green primer stuff. I guess that he figured that I could talk my way into coming back with the supplies we needed. Well, finding the BM2 on the tender with the paint locker key was a big deal! But somehow it was a success and the LPO back on our boat was pleased. We got the topside all primed. So the next day I went again up there to get some non-skid and Black topside paint. With in the week we about had the job completed.

While I was trying to pay close attention to detail along the starboard bow waterline, I slipped right down into the bay! I was totally surprised!

Immediately the sharp Topside watch, (maybe the STSN Ward) saw I slipped overboard, he sounded the alarm and passed the word over the 1MC, "Man overboard starboard side - away the rescue detail." Oh my gosh, everyone was quickly topside. I think someone rolled out a small Jacobs ladder down the hull and I was quickly climbing back aboard.

Was one of the Oliver brothers the rescue swimmer? By the time he got topside, he had a big smile on his face as I had climbed back on board. I was really embarrassed but everyone was very happy no one was hurt, and there was much fun made of the whole situation.

After that many of my fears of this new assignment aboard the mighty Billy B were gone, thanks to the great crew.


"Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep........They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men."

Psalm 107:23-31
Please login to comment

REGROUPEX 17 Countdown

Current Watchsection

Watch, Quarter, and Station Bill

© 2017 Brad Williamson
and/or the
U.S.S William H. Bates Association
or respective image owners
 
All Rights Reserved
 
Permission is granted for not-for-profit reproduction of text and images under the condition that all attribution as to owner and source is included,
and additionally, when republished electronically, a link to is provided.

U.S. Naval Institute News

  • Panel to Senate: Cyber Operations Influence Political Processes Worldwide
    Russia used “useful idiots” to meddle in the U.S. presidential election and “fellow travelers” opposed to European Union and NATO to influence elections in France and Germany, while Islamic terrorists used “agent provocateurs” to topple Spain’s government in 2004 and cast another pall over French voting, a cyber security expert told a congressional subcommittee Thursday. […]
  • John Garner Selected as Marines’ New Program Executive Officer For Land Systems
    The Marine Corps selected John Garner to serve as the new Program Executive Officer for Land Systems, a Senior Executive Service position that oversees the acquisition and sustainment of ground vehicles, radars and communications gear. Garner, a retired Marine colonel with 31 years of experience as an artillery officer, most recently served as the program manager […]
  • Document: The Budget Control Act and the Defense Budget
    The following is the April 21, 2017 Congressional Research Service report, The Budget Control Act and the Defense Budget: Frequently Asked Questions. via Federation of American Scientists (fas.org)

Login/Logout

REGISTRATION