I did a lot of things during my years in the military. One of them was collecting Intelligence. The US Navy Office of Naval Intelligence had a standardized program for having ships submit items that might have some intelligence value. During one tour of duty with the US Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean I ran … More Amateur Spy
Today is going to be the shortest day of the year in terms of hours of daylight in the Northern Hemisphere. With only 10 hours (approximately) I’ve got a lot to do. That means this post needs to be succinct. So let’s start with a quick question. Do you know where to locate planets in … More Seeing the Light From Far Away
My father was the youngest of 8 children. Both his parents died before I was born. I don’t remember him talking a lot about his siblings. That may be one reason why I got into genealogical research. This week I found something interesting about my fathers’ brother, Raymond. Raymond was about 12 years older. I … More My Uncle Raymond
There are several Merchant Marine Academies in the US. Graduates of these institutions can accept a naval reserve officers commission if they so choose. When I was on active duty around 1970 my ship played host to a pair of midshipmen from the Maine Maritime Academy. The idea was to have them serve aboard a … More The Maine Midshipmen Caper
I did not get along well with the Captain of the Nantahala. There were probably a few others who also suffered as I did. But I thought that he reserved his worst for me because I was Jewish. This is an example from when we were assigned to the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. The … More Because I Say So.
In a previous post I told about being aground because of the captain/ This time there was some damage, but no one was hurt. It was also purely the fault of the captain, and no one else. The story started with our ship being one of two oilers supporting combined exercises between the US Navy … More A Collission!
Having your ship sunk is probably the worst thing that can happen at sea. The next worst things are being in a collision and running aground. I’ve experienced both of those. Here is how one of the incidents occurred. USS Nantahala was in here home port of Newport, Rhode Island. She had been undergoing some … More A Strange Way to Run Aground
cked the rendezvous locationThe US Navy used to have a stadard career pattern plan for officers. Aviation officers needed a shipboard tour of duty between flight squadron assignments in order to understand how the surface navy worked and qualify as a ship driver. When they reached higher rank and were considered still available for advancement … More Driving under the Influence
ships are organized around functional duties of the crew. Some are seamen and handle mooring lines and anchors. Others deal with propulsion, food, navigation, and so on. The Navy groups these functions into departments. The senior officer in each is the department head. When I was administrative assistant to the executive officer I … More Acting Department Head
I am an observant Jew. I never concealed it. We always kept a Kosher home. But it is not possible to follow all the rules of keeping Kosher on board an American warship. Even so, I did always avoid eating items that are specifically forbidden in the Old Testament. That’s how the following story came … More Keeping Kosher at sea (well, sort of)