It Wasn't Easy
John Mansfield
Posted 2007-12-31 6:49 PM (#10908)
New on board

Posts: 1

Subject: It Wasn't Easy

I joined the Submarine Reserves while a junior in H.S., attended weekend drills, took a few weekend boat rides. Went to 2-week sub school at Hunter's Point. Flunked it because me and a buddy were having way too much fun. Got back home told I was no longer "welcome" in sub reserves. They said "You'll never get into submarines again." I took that as a challenge. Went to boot camp in San Diego after graduation, put in for sub duty, they said No. Went to RM A School for six months. Graduated, put in for sub duty. They said No. Went to NavCommsta Guam for 18 months. Put in for sub duty once a month. Kept saying no, Uncle Sam spent plenty of money sending you here, you're staying. Just before my tour was up, they approved my request for the sub physical, and said if I would extend my hitch so that I'd have 2 years left on my hitch, I could go to sub school. Got back there in April of '63 just as they were having the posthumous funerals for the Thresher crew. Finished sub school, asked for my brother's boat (USS Menhaden SS377) and they gave it to me. We made one Westpac trip together; only problem was he was already qualified; I was a non-qual puke. It wasn't easy. Took a lot of ribbing from the crew about having younger brother qualified and me not. But, it was a great adventure and I proudly had my dolphins pinned on me in 1964. Never let it be said that a person can't accomplish their goals if they're up to the challenge.