Here's where you'll find the start of the seafaring tales! Simply scroll down the page
to see the stories.
Gerald Stine (QMSN 68-68 Gold) Sea Story
I was on the fairwater planes and having normal
conversation with everyone else on duty. For some reason the talk turned to my beard. I've never had a heavy beard, and in
boot camp I could go 2 or three days without shaving. Well, the Officer of the deck made the comment that my beard was sorry
looking. Watching my gauges and not turning to look at him I commented, "It's not any worse than the Captain's."
Just then the Captain walked past heading forward. About 15 minutes later he returned, clean shaven, stopped put his hand
on my shoulder and said, "Stine, if I were you, right after watch, I would go shave."
Jerry Tierney (ST 64-67 Blue) Sea Story:
Bill Hylers e-mail
containing The Thanksgiving Menu of the blue crew in 1966 brougt back to me ,another memory of that 4th blue crew patrol.
How many that made that patrol recall listening to what is now referred to as the imfamous tie between The Universty of
Notre Dame and Michigan State University Football Teams in November of 1966.We stayed at periscope depth and received it on
The Armed Forces Network. It was great practice for the diving team! Capt. Connally was a big college sports fan.
following Saturday it was Army VS Navy.We arrived in Charleston a couple of days before Christmas and turned the boat over
to the Gold crew on Christmas Eve. I have many fun memories ofmy days aboard The Calhoun, many happy, a couple sad. Hope to
hear some sea stories from my shipmates.
Jim Magin (MM 65-70 Gold) Sea Story:
One Mid Watch on a
cold Arctic Patrol I was making a steady 33 turns at the SPCP when Capt. Frank wandered aft to visit his favorite space -
Seizing the opportunity, after he had been hanging around for
awhile, I asked if he would relieve me so I could make a trip to the head. Accepting the EOOW's permission to be relieved,
I journeyed to the ULAMR2 head. Relieved, I took my time to return. It was a slow night. After a visit with Chief Sherman
hanging out at the ULAMR2 workbench I returned to the back side of the SPCP. Earlier, we had stowed a coil of 1/4" tygon
tubing (for use by the ELT's, of course)with one of its ends strategically placed under one of the gauges on the vertical
section of the board. The gauge was directly in view of the Throttles operator.
one last puff of a Lucky Strike, I wafted my exhale into the other end of the tube, slowly releasing the smoke under the gauge
and billowing out and upward over the front of the gauges.
Being the ever alert
and excellent watch relief that he was, the Skipper loudly announced "Fire in the Steam Plant Gaugeboard!" The EOOW
dutifully repeated the alert over the 2MC and summoned me to return immediately to my station. The smoke dissipated, the drill
was announced over, and, as he clamped my right hand to the forward throttle wheel with his huge fist, with pressure I'll
always remember, the Skipper announced, "Magin has the throttles - PERMANENTLY".
During my final SS quals, conducting his review, he asked me to list all the sources of potential fire in the vertical
section of the SPCP.
What a Leader and friend to all his Gold Crew Capt. Frank Thurtell
Gary Christensen (ETCM 71-73 Blue) Sea Story:
into the Firth on our way to the Loch on one of those days you pray the RADAR doesn't die--fog so thick you can't see more
than a few feet--and it does. I had worked on this RADAR for many years and within minutes I knew one or both of the 4PR-60's
had gone bad, they were the electron tubes that made the thing work or not work. I told the captain that the problem was found,
but we couldn't fix it as we had no more spares aboard. He said, "Chief, I order you to fix the RADAR." I told him,
"It won't work without those tubes." He said, "Well do something, anything, make it work." I went over
to the scope console and laid my hands on it and said, "Heal, Heal." The captain was not impressed and told me to
go to the Chief's Quarters. He did not have much of a sense of humor that day--can't say that I blamed him, I wasn't having
such a good day myself.
Joe Shook (Lil' Joe) (MT2 64-67 Gold)
Here's one from Pre-Comm in Newport News while we
were tied up alongside three other boomers and USS America CV-66:
I was walking off the pier headed for one of
the shops there in the shipyard when a little red sportscar came flying through the gate and pulled into the rather limited
parking area there at the head of our pier. Between myself and the parking lot, LCDR Bush, our Gold crew XO, and another
officer were also walking, and I recall overhearing him say "I just know this is one of mine!" Well, unfolding
out of the car to greet the startled gate guards who were in hot pursuit, was our new doctor, one LT (MC) Jonathon Weisbuch!
Mr. Bush got to him about the same time as the gate guards, accepting responsibility for him, his actions,
and possibly adding to Doc Weisbuch's nonchalant air that everything was A-OK. I could sorta make out the different
insignia the doctor had adorned his brand new khaki uniform with and they were not standard for a Medical Corps Lieutenant
(more ammo for the XO). So, the XO (and I can vouch for this from personal experience) began disassembling this new
Lieutenant's pride, sense of self-worth, and just about everything else he could, right there in that parking lot. What
a way to report and be welcomed aboard!!
I, sad to say, continued on my way to the shops, so I can not factually
attest to anything else that might have transpired there, however, I do know that the LCDR Bush and Doc Weisbuch had an ongoing
Love-Hate relationship from that time forward...in a friendly manner of course.
They were both tremendous shipmates,
as well as keystone members in our highly efficient and fantastic crew, and I sincerely enjoyed serving with both of them.
I have some more tales from when I was training Doc Weisbuch as Chief of the Watch and Diving Officer. But, I'll save
those for the next reunion! Hopefully, Mr. Bush and the Doc will both be there to enjoy and "substantiate"
them as well.
Steve Christenson, (STS3 70-72 Blue) Sea Story:
It was a Saturday morning, maybe the 2nd Blue
crew patrol after the Poseidon conversion. We were in field day mode and steaming back to the Loch. David Becker (Johnny Eagle),
Doc Wheeler and I were on watch in Sonar. We were south of The Gap, running at less than 200' on a sunny, relatively calm
day. We had received an intelligence report that one of the bad guy's flat-topped helicopter transports was coming south thru
The Gap. Sonar was kind of like magic, cause you classified contacts by nature of sound and had no way for sure to know if
you were correct unless you took a peek. Suddenly I heard something, it was getting louder and sounded just like a helicopter.
Becker and Doc both agreed it sounded like a helicopter so we reported it to the Conn. "You hear a what?" was kind
of the attitude. After a few minutes the sound faded away, only to come back a little later. The helicopter seemed to hover
near us for several minutes and then fade away. This happened several more times in the next couple of hours.
Finally as the helicopter sound was fading away for the last time, we went to periscope depth
to take a look. Nothing was seen thru the scope and another questionable report from Sonar probably was chuckled about during
lunch in the Wardroom. We sent a tape we made of the helicopter to the Sonar Technical Information Center in DC and several
weeks later received word back that it was indeed one of the bad guy's helicopters. Years later at a USSVI event I told this
story to an old salt and he wondered if they had seen the floating wire.