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'YOUR' SEA STORIES & Tales of Courage and Brilliance and Grace and how you put one over on that dumb black-shoe s.o.b.. Almost all tales are acceptable here, but a word of caution, please use pseudonym's if needed to protect shipmates whose sense of humor and/or marital situation may require tact and decorum. Possible name choices could be Clyde Cooley, Dave Doofus, and Frankie Funch. I've used these names in my stories on occasion and have not had any repercussions or concussions, for that matter. One more rule "No Sea Story will be questioned for overall veracity or How Good-Looking that Second-Rate, Jar-Head Pilots, Girl-Friend was. I believe you.

(Newest additions to Sea Stories appear first)

"A Slippery Plane Captain"

During the detachment to New Zealand, the Skippers belly camera window was being fouled by Hydralube (AJ-2P), ruining his photo's and making him a very unpleasant fellow. Airframes spent many a night looking for the source of the leak with no results. I made a device that looked like a plow share and mounted it just forward of the camera window. This worked and the heat was off airframes. Months later in the E.M. Club on Agana, after consuming several rounds, the Skippers Plane Captain confessed to pouring a cup of Hydralube in the bombay.The airstream would do the rest and he would be assured a nights liberty while we worked all night looking for a leak that wasn't there. I don't know if he is still alive or not, but he damn near died that night.

Ed. note: The Plane Captain rated a Hydralube Enema, at least.

(Contributed by Don Carney, AMS2, VAP-61, 1958-1960)
(posted on: 10/14/04)

"The Worlds Only A3D-2P Model"

Probably in 1961 Lt. Noel Ned Pederson was the First Lieutenant Division Officer. The Douglas Aircraft Company had just presented the Commanding Officer, Cdr. Jack Cousins, with a much prized factory made model of the A-3.

In the course of their duties, the stalwarts of the 1st Lt. Div. just happened to knock that model off of the CO's desk. The model was not as good as the airplane and couldn't take the Gs so it broke into a couple of pieces. At this point the strawberries or the palm trees Mr. Roberts had to deal with were trivial. Noel Ned was put in hack for the weekend.

Not to worry an AMH-2 volunteered to make it look better than new. Some weeks later when the CO was in Norfolk showing off the A3D-2P (the real aircraft) to SECNAV. Lcdr. Robert Roemer started ringing the fire bell on the second deck of the hanger. Finally this aroused the attention of the Duty Officer, Lt. Bob Skillen. Lcdr. Roemer in a small state of frenzy was using the bell to proclaim the return of the beautifully repaired, factory made, one and only A3D model. With a lot of pomp and ceremony the model was put in the middle of the CO's desk, the CO's door was locked.

About 42 minutes later Lt. Skillen heard a very loud crash that had to have come from the CO's office. The ever alert Lcdr. Roemer heard the noise also, since the OPS Office was on the other side of the CO's office. As the Duty Officer, Lt. Skillen, looked into the CO's office through the glass of the locked office door; there was the just delivered model in pieces all over the top of the desk and floor, in far worse shape than the previous crash. In his usually dry and prosaic mode Lcdr. Roemer said "Skillum, you are in trouble". Being a resourceful Duty Officer the parts were all swept up and put back in the box for the return trip to the AMH-2's workbench.

Several months later the model showed up and it looked brand new. A beautiful restoration job. Everybody was happy except Noel Ned, he was still hiding from the CO. Oh! You want to know how the model got "busted" up so badly? Public Works was on the roof and one of the workmen stepped on a rotten board that fell and hit the CO's desk. Fate works in wondrous ways. The CO
could have been sitting there.

(Contributor: Bob Skillen, VAP-62 & VAP-61)
(posted on: 9/17/04)

" 'Ol Tom Lily's Coconut Crab "

Coconut CrabOne night me and old Tom Lily were having a few at the "old watering hole and debating society clubhouse" (Guam's infamous Tradewinds Bar) and Tom started talking about a coconut crab. He said it had one big claw and could peel and bust open a coconut. You know a boy from the south (Alabama) would say bull$%*# to a tale like that. 'Ol Tom had already had about a dozen more beers than me and I had my limit so I staggered back to the barracks.

To my surprise I was awakened from a deep sleep with a flash light in my eyes and something dangling from a shoe string that looked like the biggest, most God-awful, scariest spider that I have ever seen, and there was a drunk on the other end of the string saying, "I guess you will believe me now, take a good look." 

I was about scared to death with that horrible claw snapping at anything and everything and I was thinking 'ol Lily might just fall on my rack in his condition, and that thing might get my "Alabama Cultivator" or something important. You got to see that claw to believe it. So I jumped out of my rack and took off, to be on the safe side, with coffee stains in my shorts.

The next day I told Lily he could tell me anything from now on and I would believe him. I, for sure, never challenged him about anything at the "Tradewinds" again.

Here's one to Tom and the Tradewinds, the line crew, my "bird", detachments, Guam, flying, motorcycling to Talafofo Falls, my buddies and most of all, all the Vappers who made that 2 1/2 years the most memorable of my life.

(Contributor: Phillip "Dobie" Jimmerson, Birmingham, Alabama)
(posted on: 8/30/04)

"Calendar Belz"

To any who know Frank Belz ADJ2, VAP-61 Line Crew, Plane Captain "907", nothing would be beyond the pale. In April 1965 at NAS Agana, Guam, Frank had a lot of laundry to do. This he did on most days, evenings, and nights. Though there was a hitch. Frank didn't have his dirty clothes with him, or any detergent, or did he go to a laundromat. Frank usually went to "The Long Barn", an outside the gate watering hole. Because of these errors in planning and a few "Triple Tequila Sours", it could be quite late before Frank returned to the barracks, without clean clothes. This caused his appearance to be NOT squared-away, as a good Vapper always was, on his arrival the next morning at the line shack, and LATE.

Enter the "Line Chief", CPO Purvis (not exactly a 4.0 sailor himself ), he owned a part-interest in a downtown Agana bar. These two would meet, head on, in the shack. The Chief would exercise his authority and threaten Frank for being late. Frank would stand his ground as a VAP Plane Captain, whose plane was always ready to go, had every right to do. The situation had come to a head. "NEXT time would be Frank's LAST time, GOT that sailor".

A few days pass, Frank seems to have his laundry in order. CPO Purvis is disheveled, wrinkled, hat sideways, but feeling in charge, all was well with the crew.

Oh-Oh, Belz has a laundry mission, LATE AGAIN !!! Chief Purvis is hung-over and appears somewhat rumpled (in need of some fresh laundry himself). The inflamed CPO has GOT to act. The crew is silent as the confrontation is to take place.

Frank, blearily eyeballs Purvis's equally bloodshot eyes, and says "Chief, some son of a bitch tore a bunch of sheets off my calendar, when I woke up I thought it was Christmas and I had the day off!" Lily, Blevins, Harrison, Story, Mormance and the rest exploded with laughter. Purvis slumped and wandered off, whipped, knowing he could never win with that damn Belz, who couldn't even drink in the right bar. Frank Belz dozed off, thinking he had to do a load later, at "The Long Barn", after they got "907" washed and gussied-up. Tomorrow some pilot was going to take a, visiting "COMEFARPACK" or something, VIP for a ride.

We shouldn't get into the Seabee at the "Star Bar" story, it would hurt Belz way too much.

(Contributed by: Larry Harrison AMH3, VAP-61 Plane Captain, 1964-1965, now of Gresham, OR)
(posted on: 8/19/04)

"Beached Studebaker"

Those of you who were on the line crew in Vap-61 prior to mid 1964 will remember the wood dividers in the barracks. Not quite individual rooms, but better than most of the rest of the Navy. Well, after a shift change in the front office (new CO and XO) the new XO decided that we all had to be the same and ordered the dividers torn out. No amount of protesting would change his mind. Well, they didn't just tear them out, they took it apart carefully. We all figured that the wood was going to someone's pet project somewhere. The wood was stacked behind the barracks. That weekend we decided (with the help of a few beers) that if we couldn't have the wood no one could, so we planned a beach party, loaded up the wood (can't remember what we loaded it on), bought an ample amount of spirits and headed to the southern part of Guam to a beach. At that time I had a old 50/51 Studebaker I bought from a Vapper that was leaving as I arrived. We built a bonfire out of the barracks wood. As the party progressed and I became a little less coherent I decided to take a short nap on the sand ( or passed out..take your choice ). Some time later I woke up and felt something tugging on my feet. There was Frank Belz (he always seems to be in the picture) tying a rope around my feet. Looking farther down the rope I saw the other end of the rope tied to the back bumper of my car. I hollered at Frank and said "what the hell are you doing". He said I was missing the party and wanted to wake me up. I've often wondered how it would have played out if I hadn't woke up. Now I bet you think that's the end of the story.....nope!

I got up and grabbed another beer and was walking around. I walked by the front of my car and noticed the normal bullet nose of my Studebaker was almost flat and dented, and the roof had a slight dent in it. I grabbed Frank and said "what happened to my car". He said they thought they were going to run out of fire wood and he, Lenny Mormance and Jim Wilhelm used my car to ram dead palm trees and knock them down, then they threw the tree trunk on top of the car to carry it back to the fire. Looking back it was funny, however I haven't been able to take an afternoon nap in 40 years.

(Contributed by: Larry Harrison, AMH3, 1964-1965, VAP-61, Plane Captain, now of Gresham, OR)
(posted on: 8/19/04)

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