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At random: The USS Schley / AA-1 / T-1 (SF-1) (SS-52) originally named for Winfield Scott Schley, Rear Admiral, United States Navy, renamed AA-1 on 23 August 1917 before being Launched on 25 July 1918; Commissioned, USS AA-1, 30 January 1920; Designated (SF-1), 20 July 1920; Renamed USS T-1 (SF-1), 20 September 1920
Why I joined Boats
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NuttyRN
Posted 2007-11-27 4:31 AM (#9590)


Crew

Posts: 67

Location: Murcia, Espana
Subject: Why I joined Boats

Back in the 60's nobody came into Submarines (Boats) until they had done at least two or three years on a surface ship. As SSN and SSBN's were coming on stream an insufficient amount of volunteers were available so people were being drafted.

Me I volunteered and here is why. After basic training I joined an old WW11 A/S frigate in Singapore for 18 months. Good life for a 16/17 year old. On my return to UK I was drafted to another rather more modern A/S Frigate attached to the Officers Training Establishment where we took them to sea for three months initial sea experience. About 40 at a time. My third trip was to Canada and the Good old US of A up the Great Lakes to Detroit then back to NY and home.

As we approached the coast of Newfoundland we hit fog and lots of little icebergs. It was very damp and very cold. Being a show boat in many foreign ports a shiny ship was paramount to the Captain. So the scene is a 18 year old sailor washing paint work as I froze to near death and watched great chunks of ice float by. Retire to the mess for lunch, thinks, why am I doing this when I could do the same thing inside a nice warm submarine and get paid a lot more money. I filled in my request form to volunteer, which management accepted with bad grace. The day we arrived back in Plymouth 24th July 1965 my draft chit was waiting on the Jetty for Submarine School, do no pass Go just Go.

Of our trip to the Great Lakes, St Johns Newfoundland a strange place, Montreal great except for the Canuck Frogs, Kinston Ontario Fabulous, Toronto can it get any better, Detroit it just has, Quebec awfull, Halifax Novia Scotia OK, New York good but nothing like as good as Detroit.

Nutty
Hairball
Posted 2007-11-27 11:29 AM (#9608 - in reply to #9590)
Senior Crew

Posts: 168

Location: St. John's, Newfoundland.
Subject: RE: Why I joined Boats

You say St. John's, Newfoundland is strange place? Of course it is! I live here - but I know that when a British Boat came in - they tended to have a ball and boost the economy quite a bit! Did you go down to George Street? Were you one of the guys that half-wrecked the place?? Dunno if I was on Watch that day but I heard all about it later, it seems a good time was had by all.

Cheers mate,

Hairball.
NuttyRN
Posted 2007-11-28 1:15 AM (#9630 - in reply to #9608)


Crew

Posts: 67

Location: Murcia, Espana
Subject: RE: Why I joined Boats

Hairball

We swamped the place Four A/S friagtes 200 odd souls on each, May 1965, you sure knew we were there. Like most remote fishing, sea trade ports it lacked females and made up for it in drinking holes so like the natives we drank.

Also cold and damp like Scotland.

Nutty
NuttyRN
Posted 2007-11-28 1:16 AM (#9631 - in reply to #9608)


Crew

Posts: 67

Location: Murcia, Espana
Subject: RE: Why I joined Boats

Hairball

We swamped the place Four A/S friagtes 200 odd souls on each, May 1965, you sure knew we were there. Like most remote fishing, sea trade ports it lacked females and made up for it in drinking holes so like the natives we drank.

Also cold and damp like Scotland.

Nutty
Doc Gardner
Posted 2007-12-08 3:49 AM (#10016 - in reply to #9590)


Master and Commander

Posts: 2150

Location: Foothills of the Ozarks
Subject: RE: Why I joined Boats

Nutty:
You and I may be the only two people on the planet that have good things to say about Detroit. When you were here did you get to hoist a few cold ones at the old "Anchor Bar"?. There was a Reserve Boat in Detroit at that time USS Cero SS 225 and that's where the permanent crew used to hang out.
Cold beer and good stories abounded in that place.
Long gone now.
NuttyRN
Posted 2007-12-12 8:45 AM (#10144 - in reply to #10016)


Crew

Posts: 67

Location: Murcia, Espana
Subject: RE: Why I joined Boats

Doc

We arrived early July 65. I think we may have been there for 4th July. Remember it was the time of the Beatles etc and all thinks British were No1. Well that was us and the locals poured love and affection upon and we tried to keep up the pace and return the same. Best if it was 18 years old blond and female but if it was Auntie Ruth and Uncle Gerry asking us for dinner we played the Ambassador bit. Us 19 year olds who had been drinking alcohol since we were 16 did find the 21 years old limit strange but many places did not question our age.

Very strange that you seem to treat alcohol as a deadly weapon but anyone can have an assault rifle. In the UK we work the other way around.

The US and its occupants have to be one of the most friendly welcoming places in the world. I have yet to meet a RN sailor who did not enjoy his visit/s to your fair shores. I never made it but I am told the West Coast was even better.

Nutty
Doc Gardner
Posted 2007-12-14 5:46 PM (#10253 - in reply to #9590)


Master and Commander

Posts: 2150

Location: Foothills of the Ozarks
Subject: RE: Why I joined Boats

July of 1965 I was still in Corps School learning to be a "medic". Did you have pharmacists mates on your boats? I imagine you must have had some type of medical trained personnel; did the RN use enlisted like the U.S.N did or did you have medical doctors aboard. Somehow I get the feeling that your medical personnel was of the Billy Budd ilk.
NuttyRN
Posted 2007-12-15 5:57 AM (#10275 - in reply to #10253)


Crew

Posts: 67

Location: Murcia, Espana
Subject: RE: Why I joined Boats

Doc Gardner - 2007-12-14 5:46 PM

July of 1965 I was still in Corps School learning to be a "medic". Did you have pharmacists mates on your boats? I imagine you must have had some type of medical trained personnel; did the RN use enlisted like the U.S.N did or did you have medical doctors aboard. Somehow I get the feeling that your medical personnel was of the Billy Budd ilk.


When our first SSN arrived on the scene in 1963 they had a enlisted Sick Bay Attendant (Nurse) but SS boats continued to run for another 10 to 15 years with no medical facilities or staff. The Chief of the Boat was sent on a 3 day first aid course and taught how to sew people back together. In fact there was a box of surgical instruments, all numbered, and a book of instruction for simple operations. Rarely used as extended range choppers were coming on line.

In fact SS boats only carried 1 Officers Steward and 2 cooks in the way of logistic support. No stores, secretarial, medical types. Seaman Warfare, Engineers, Electricians and Communicators only.

Nutty
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