Ten years ago…11 September 2007…

I know it’s a day early but I have to work tonight starting at midnight.

I turned 53 on my ballast train on the BNSF KO Subdivision in North Dakota. I had tied up the previous night in Jamestown ND. It was a spot dump and went very well and I was done before noon….

I know it was a significant day in the history of Our Republic…..but I was kind of busy.

Tomorrow is the completion of another trip around the Sun……..

After the events 8 years ago with my left kidney, I have been more or less objective concerning the attacks that September day 16 years ago…. I’m still here. If symptoms had manifested, I would have had to get my affairs in order.

To those who may get upset over my viewpoints please remember this one thing, I was facing a major surgery to remove said kidney with the “large mass.”

I will put on my kippa tomorrow and say a prayer for the memory of those lost that day and those who were lost going in harm’s way to kill the perpetrators.

Old Retired Petty Officer Sends.

May Hashem guide you in your day……………………………

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Memories of a Time When I was a young man.

This past Saturday, the ship that was my first duty station began it’s final journey. The Good Ship Independence was towed from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard enroute to the breaker’s yard in Brownsville, Texas.

I reported aboard her in January of 1974 as a fresh faced 19 year old kid from the Montana Prairies. So began my adventure in the United States Navy.

I participated in the ammunition offload along with several other guys that I went through boot camp with. Then I was assigned to V-1 Division in the Air Department.

After a short period in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, we began working up for the upcoming deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.

I freely admit that I was absolutely terrified the first time I was on the flight deck for operations.

In the latter part of July 1974 we embarked the Air Wing and departed.

We covered the evacuation of US diplomatic personnel and their families from Nicosia, Cyprus. All available aircraft were armed. We then coordinated the Search and Recovery of TWA flight 847 which had crashed near the Greek coast. It was an eye opening experience to say the least and certain images remain in my mind to this day.

Finally, we were able to get some Liberty in Naples, Italy. Cold beer and playing tourist. Other ports of call included Cannes, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona and a few more visits to Naples.

In early January we were relieved by USS America and headed for home. The North Atlantic in January is a rough place, I should add.

20 January saw us go pier side at Naval Station Norfolk. It was a bitter cold day and along with families, friends and a band was a troop of baton twirlers who in those costumes must have been freezing.

It has been a bit over 40 years since I departed The Good Ship Independence as a Petty Officer Second Class now. I know that things change over time and a lot of places that I was stationed have gone into the “dustbin” of history.

The media outlets in the Pacific Northwest gave coverage of Indy’s departure from Bremerton this past weekend.

The following photo is from a Facebook group I belong to………

To those who have been there, you understand.

 

In Memoriam of Apollo 1

I believe it was yesterday that marked the 50th anniversary of the tragedy of Apollo 1 that took the lives of Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. It is still vivid in my mind.

An old shipmate of mine from days in the Argonauts of Attack Squadron 147 now works at NASA at Cape Canaveral. He was kind enough to send me some pictures of the launch pad from that day that is now abandoned in place.

Without further ado, here they are.

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24 December 1968 16:40:07 UTC, T plus 75:49:07 – This Day in Aviation

Does anyone remember this? I know I do. I saw it on CBC when we lived in Alberta, Canada out on the lonesome prairies.

William Anders: “For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you.” In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved … Continue reading 24 December 1968 16:40:07 UTC, T plus 75:49:07 →

Source: 24 December 1968 16:40:07 UTC, T plus 75:49:07 – This Day in Aviation

Attack Squadron One Two Two Reunion 2015

A gathering at the Fleet Reserve Branch 261, 788 E. D Street, Lemoore, CA and The Naval Air Station Lemoore CA………..

Lemoore was home to Missus ORPO and I from June of 1985 to March of 1989. We still treasire that time in our lives.

It was good to meet a few old shipmates……………..Errecart, Taylor and Edgren…………………………..

Errecart and Taylor and I did the World Cruise together on The Good Ship Kitty Hawk………………………..in 1987. Edgrenn was my Indoc PO and Ejection Seat/Cockpit Safety Instructor at VA-122 FRAMP.

Damn………..I ain’t a kid anymore…………………..

The first picture below………………..yes.

Lex
I finally made it……………….yes, tears were shed.

122 Group and Jet 4 122 Reunion Flying Eagles Lin 122 Reunion Group 1 Argonauts CVW 2 Flying Eagles

DSC_0078 DSC_0079 DSC_0080 DSC_0081 DSC_0082 DSC_0084 DSC_0085 DSC_0088 DSC_0089 DSC_0090 DSC_0092 DSC_0096 DSC_0108 DSC_0110 DSC_0119 DSC_0120

Late Addition.

The Picture of Me with John Edgren, Richard Taylor and Mark Errecart……………………………………..

4 musketeers
Shipmates

Back on The Verandah…………………………….For Buck

It has been too long since I did a Beer Blogging Post from The Verandah at Casa de Glenn y Sharon………………..

Too Long

It wasn’t the same without The Exile In Portales…………………………………………….

Yes, the eyes are a bit misty now……………………..as I think of my dear friend who is no longer with us……………..and I do think of him regularly

The first Verandah Post this year is for the memory of our friend and one of my blogging mentors……………………..Master Sergeant Buck Pennington……………………………May His Memory Be A Blessing

Red Hook ESB and a Cuesta Rey Captiva
Red Hook ESB and a Cuesta Rey Captiva
SeeGar 2
Back on The Verandah at Casa de Sharon y Glenn

Happy New Year!

It was a pretty good year……………….

The day at sea on USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 with OldAFSarge and The WSO was a major hi lite! I managed to complete another revolution of the Sun……………………..

I watched my niece get married to a really good man………………………………………..

The disruptions……………………………………….

My friends………………………………..I miss them

Lionel Gendron

Buck Pennington

Here’s to a splendid New Year and a Toast to those no longer with Us.

Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout

 

 

The Navy’s EA-6B Prowler Completes Its Final Carrier Cruise

From Jalopnik today.

They are pretty much gone now. I remember when the Prowlers came to The Good Ship Independence in the Spring of 1974. The squadron was VAQ-132, The Scorpions. My good buddy Darryl Hinkle was in that outfit. It was the first of four cruises that we made together over our careers.

The Garudas were the last.

At the end of my career, I was in VAQ-140, The Patriots who still have the distinction of having the most beautiful Prowler CAG Jet that ever served…………………….

Patriot CAG-1

Here is the link to the article………………………….

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the-navys-ea-6b-prowler-completes-its-final-carrier-cru-1659101419

There was only one catch and that was Catch -22

I first read this book 46 years ago when I was 13 and in the 8th grade. We were in West Germany. Dad was a DOD contract employee working on the installation of the Autovon system.
Amazing that this novel could have such an affect on a youngster like me.
The one sentence is still seared into my brain…..
And Snowden lay dying in back.

image