Two prayers....

God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

About Me

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another sea story (I'm on a roll now!)

In my previous post I inadvertently used some terms most people might not be familiar with. One poster (Ignorant Redneck) brought my attention to this. Sorry about that folks, when you speak a different language than most for years the chance of slipping back into it is always there.

In order to minimize any confusion over terms I'll begin with a brief glossary for this next tale of submariner derring-do. Here it is:

XO-Executive Officer. The second most senior man aboard a naval craft. He's the man who enforces all policies of the Commanding Officer (CO).

A-ganger-Member of the auxiliary division aboard naval vessels. They're mechanics who are responsible for the operation and maintenance of all non-propulsion machinery. Aboard submarines this is a real grab bag of items, all the hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems, potable water, atmosphere control equipment and plumbing/sanitary systems, and whatever else can be foisted off on them. A-gangers (along with Torpedomen) are also the most rude, crude, socially unacceptable reprobates of the crew. They don't get invited to too many formal dinner parties. John Belushi's character in "Animal House" would have been a great A-ganger if he'd just loosened up a bit.

Chief-A shortened way of saying Chief Petty Officer. These are the backbone of the Navy's enlisted ranks. They run the day to day operation of the various work centers. The top three enlisted paygrades in the Navy are Chief, Senior Chief, Master Chief. They train the crew and junior officers, enforce discipline, give personal guidance, counsel those with problems, bend steel in their bare hands and jump over tall buildings in a single bound.

Amine-A shortened version of monoethanolamine which is a chelating agent used in the CO2 removal systems (aka "scrubbers") to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and emit it when heated in a boiler to be compressed and put overboard. Chemically it's a base that will eat rubber in a heartbeat. It also leaves a beautiful stain in leather upholstery and on custom paint jobs. Amine is loaded aboard submarines via an air driven pump placed in a 55 gallon drum of the stuff. These drums are NEVER to be directly pressurized with air.

EDOM-Engineering Department Operating Manual. A general guideline for all Engineering Department evolutions conducted aboard a submarine.

Sea Story-A personal recollection of things past. Said by many to resemble a fairy tale, the greatest difference being that a fairy tale begins with, "Once upon a time....." while a sea story begins with, "This is no shit....".

La Madd-La Maddalegna, Sardinia. The former location of a submarine repair facility in the Mediterranean.

Here's another sea story. It's a "no-shitter".

God must love the stupid, He's made so many of them.

Whilst aboard the USS OMAHA I met one of the dumbest A-gangers that could walk. "Bruce" was the sort that always knew he was right, no matter what the facts. In the course of his short time aboard he managed to make one man in particular his nemesis; the XO (if you're gonna go, go big).

One fine day the chief put "Bruce" in charge of loading amine. As anyone with more than two days assigned to A-gang knows you NEVER, NEVER directly pressurize a drum of amine with air. Not one to let common sense, the teachings of every auxiliaryman in the fleet and the boat's EDOM stand in his way; our hero ran a 100 psi air line topside through the weapons shipping hatch and proceeded to glory.

After cutting in the air he sprang an amine leak downstream of the drum. "Bruce" was anything but coolheaded under fire so he immediately shut the discharge line while still pressurizing the drum. Reliable sources claimed before it exploded the amine canister resembled a dark green balloon.

As Murphy's Law would have it, the XO's pride and joy; his cherry red MG convertible, was parked on the pier directly parallel to the shipping hatch. With the top down. After all was said and done the genuine leather upholstery had more stains than Granny Clampett's teeth. The paint job was no cause for joy either.

Years later I met the XO when he became the Commodore of the Squadron in La Madd while I was stationed there. It was on the tip of my tongue to ask how "Bruce" was doing, however I kept quiet. I don't mind being called crazy but I draw the line at "stupid".


Anonymous said...

That's hysterical. I love stories like that. So typical of how life useta be on "Usetafish".

I have my own story about sanitary tank mishaps. Check it out.

Cookie..... said...

Man...look what I've started...I've created a...a...creative Sea-Story monster...


I love listenin to, readin and tellin old Sea Stories....

Thanks fer postin em men....

Vigilis said...

Great story, glad I was not on that boat!

Quoted one of yours and Sonarman's comments recently, because they could not have been more perfect.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Kevin Whiteman said...

Hey Shipmate,
Thought you would enjoy this War Story from a beat-up, old, retired Gyreen Master Sergeant. It's concerning my father, a retired Navy Chief.

PS, you're now on the Catholic Cavemen blogroll.

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