NOTES AND E-MAILS FROM CREWMATES
Larry Dolieslager Remembers: It make more sense if you read bottom to top.
We were also the recipients of a bombing run by TU-95s in the Eastern Med according to the BBC. Unfortunately, the announcement was 24 hours after the fact. I was topside when they supposedly did it. Somehow I knew exactly where to look in the sky for the three little dots doing there thing! They were TU-95Cs if I remember right. The wives in Norfolk where having a fit because this was a month after the Pueblo Incident, and we were the Liberty's replacement!
We were dead in the water a few times. Most memorable was off Cuba. We had to have our DE come in and get between us and some gunboats. We were not down for long though. We were usually six miles out. On one of the Cuban deployments Castro announced over radio Havana he was going to capture the CIA ship Georgetown. That was fun.
When I was aboard, TRSCOMM was on the 02 Level AFT and we were responsible for the entire level. Things must have changed after I departed. Did you ever end up dead in the water because the one and only bearing in shaft alley burned up? We were half way across the Atlantic heading for a Med Cruise in Jan 1968 when she went and the "Snipes" had to manufacture one to get us underway. Came within hours of being towed by the Belmont on her return from an Indian Ocean cruise. Then during the Med cruise we ran into a wicked storm; went full speed ahead for two days and lost 50 Nautical Miles. Ended up with 1 inch of salt, red sand, and driftwood as high as the 02 level. When the bow was going down a gigantic wave the horizon was 45 degrees above us. Talk about a wild ride! I snuck out, took a couple of quick pictures; timing was critical because, in retrospect, I could have put her on the bottom of the ocean.
I had forgot about 02 level. We had our own level. Not to mention the swimming pool in aft research. :)
Did you ever get her up to 18 Knots? We did it with a new skipper prior to going; into the yards. Of course we had the Gulf Stream pushing just a little bit! To say we were skipping along the water top would be an exaggeration, but I've never been on anything that shook as much as she did then! Never did make it down to check out the big crack in her hull; I preferred to ignore it seeing as how they were only guaranteed one crossing of the Atlantic when they were built. I know I was on at least the third round tripper and I just didn't want to push our luck. Sure was nice sun bathing on the O2 level aft though -- provided TRSCOMM wasn't up!
I was on for 18 months. I was the long timer when we were decommissioned.
We just missed each other than; I got off May 20, 1968. It was a nice experience and a piece of cake compared to the 36-month tour I did onboard CGN-40 and CGN-37 with OUTBOARD. As a CT, back in those days, I spent more time at sea than I ever envisioned in A-school. You must have also been onboard her when they decommissioned her.
I was on June 68 to Dec 69. I saw the Merrill you were talking about in the cruise book. I was a T-bird.
At any rate, pretty sure I remember you, CTR3 Merrill, wore glasses, probably about 5' 8'', worked in FWD Research (Whereas would they put a CTR?)). Anyway, will check you web out later.
Don Sprenkle Remembers:
Just signed in the guest book. Glockner made me aware of this site. I was on the pre-commissioning detail and plank owner from 63-65. I have some things from the cruise, including a cruise book. Just wondering what kind of information you might be looking for to include on your website. If your interested in pictures, I could scan some and try to send them. On our first cruise and second cruise (we got stuck for 2 years on it instead of only the pre-commissioning duties) I was in the OI division. (T and A). We were part of Admin because they had the chief. I was senior first at the time in charge of the OI division. Let me know what you might be looking for and I'll see if I can come up with something.
Don "Dutch" Sprenkle CTRC (Ret)
Phil Cary Remembers
The cruise that I was on was an eventful one. We had just been refitted at Norfolk when I joined the crew. The first day out to sea on the two day sea trial before deployment to Gitmo we broached off of Hatteras with a new XO at the helm.
We deployed in April 1967, I think, for refresher training at Gitmo. As a crew of CT's we were not real Navy, so the trainers thought. That was until we had an engine room fire on a Sunday will on patrol. That fire got us a satisfactory and release from refresher training and off to the Panama Channel.
We passed through the channel twice in twenty four hours, because of an order change. We where ordered to the Med to replace the Liberty after her run in with the Israeli air force, but I didn't say that.
In our crossing of the Atlantic we burnt a bearing and where dead in the water in the north Atlantic for three days while the snipes made repairs. That was not bad in perspective to the storm in the Med where CT1 Pratt and myself where out on deck
clearing guy wires on the O3 level. Also during that storm as a ship we where all heroes by picking up a man over board from our destroyer escort. One other incident that happened that Med deployment was a Russian destroyer running up on our stern at night with no running lights. Then to top it all off the next morning it was maybe 50 yards away with all of the gun pointing at us. At quarters that morning the RE division was looking down all those guns, they looked very large at the time. We all after quarters took pictures of each other that day
There was one other thing that no one has said anything about. That is after research spaces was called the IMF force. This was we repaired very thing that no one else could repair. Like navigational radar, rebuilt EMC tuning cavities, and other. The after spaces like the nick name so much that I engraved it on many of the cups that cruise.
Jack Good Luck
From: Lkniw@aol.com [mailto:Lkniw@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2000 4:49 PM
Subject: U.S.S. GEORGETOWN
JACK, WAS PLEASED TO FIND THE GEORGE TOWN PAGE. I CAME ABOARD THE GEORGETOWN SEPT 66 AS A SEAMAN APPRENTICE. SEPARATED AUGUST 1, 1968, KEY WEST FLORIDA. BM3 LIKE SO MANY OF THE GUYS ABOARD THIS WAS A LONG WAY FROM HOME. I AM FROM WICHITA KANSAS, SO IT WAS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE. I HAVE MANY GOOD MEMORIES OF THE TWO YEARS SPENT ABOARD THE "G"I SOMETIMES WISH I HAD EXTENDED FOR THE CRUISE. IN LOOKING AT THE CREW LIST I FIND SO MANY NAMES THAT I HAVEN'T THOUGHT ABOUT IN YEARS. ALTHOUGH I WAS DECK DEPT. I KNEW QUITE A FEW OF THE CTS. IN READING THE REMARKS I SEE NO ONE HAS HIT UPON THE TIME WE WERE TO RELIEVE THE BELMONT IN VIET NAM. WE TRANSITED THE CANAL & DOCKED AT MARICAIBO VENEZUELA. THAT'S WHERE THE BOILER EXPLODED. HAD TO GO BACK TO COCO SOLO PANAMA. STAYED THERE FOR I THINK 3 MONTHS. WILL HAVE TO GET MY CRUISE BOOKS OUT TO REFRESH MY MEMORY. ALSO NO ONE MENTIONED SICILY. THAT WAS AN ADVENTURE.
LONNIE BM3 SEPT66-AUGUST68
E-Mail from David Lemmon. Served October 1968 to November 1969. David was lucky enough to get order to Edzell, Scotland.
Once in Scotland, they give you three forms, one to buy a VW, one to ship over, and one to get married. I got on Feb. 6, 1971. In Oct. that year, our first daughter was born, so I had to extend until my wife and daughter could travel. I was discharged before Christmas, 1971. I went back to Newton Falls, Ohio and my job in the steel mill, actually it was titanium, making wing plates for F14's.
In 1974, David Jr. was born. He was be 26 on the 16th of Feb, 2000, is 6'5" and in the range of 260+lbs. I worked and took a part time job carrying mail, and in Feb. 1975, we decided to return to Montrose. After just two weeks in the country, my brother-in-law got me a job on a construction site at Glaxo in Montrose. When the North Sea Oil base went full bore, I applied for a warehouse job with what turned out to be an American company from Houston. I worked for them for almost two years, and got the opportunity to change carriers and study Computer Programming in Edinburgh. I got a job with the Fife regional Council, in Cupar, as a trainee programmer, then moved to Harrogate, England and worked a year and a half as a Programmer for the Central Electricity generating board.
In the middle of 1980 - the economy in England got so bad, we decided to return to the U.S.A. (At the end of 1975 we had twins a girl and a boy). I answered an ad from a guy from Chicago who was recruiting programmers to go to the United States. Since I didnít need a visa or work permit to return home, he paid our travel expenses into Chicago, and I was to go to work there. When we landed, the guy from Chicago said the job was in L.A., if I wanted it, I had to go to L.A., To make a long story short, we went for 1 year, then moved back to my hometown in Newton Falls, Ohio.
I have remained in data processing and after some nine years or so of being a contractor, in Pittsburgh, Pa, Cleveland Ohio, and Charleston S.C., I just last Sept took a full time Job with the State of Virginia, Dept of Taxation as a Sr. Programmer/Analyst. My two oldest kids tried the Navy, my daughter spent three years, she was in Adak and on the USS Nimitz in the south China Sea. David, my oldest son, has a trick elbow, and didnít make it out of boot camp, although he did go all the way thru and graduated, they wouldnít pass him on his exercises...pushups etc..
In December, 1998, my wife made me go to the doctor for an annual checkup. My dad had triple bypass when he was 55, and at 70 had colon cancer surgery and is doing fine. My doctor knew the family history, so she scheduled me for a stress test. When she got the results, she phoned and said it showed some abnormalities, and I should talk with the cardiologist. He sent me for a cath. And the cath showed two arteries 90% blocked and two 50%, and said "we canít do the surgery tomorrow, we will do it the next day".......On Jan13, 1999 I had quad bypass. I Recovered for five weeks, and went back to work, all the better for it....
Back to the Kids. While on the USS Nimitz my daughter met the guy she eventually married and they were stationed at Monterey Ca. We went out for the wedding, and again about a year later, but was happy when they got orders to Norfolk. That was in June last year, so when I got the offer of this job here in Richmond, Va., we were happy to take it. The two boys (the oldest one is a tape librarian at Blue Cross and is finishing up studies for Computer Animation) and the youngest one (Derek is a chef after studying at the culinary institute for two years) live together in an apartment in Pittsburgh. David is engaged to be married in June 2001, so they have some plans to make....
My son-in-law has two boys from his first marriage, but we claim them as our grandsons, and I guess we spoil them a bit. Heaven knows, my daughter doesnít.
In May last year we (all except the oldest daughter) returned to Montrose for the first time since 1971. It was my in-laws 60th anniversary. We took a day and went to Edzell, both the town and the base. We werenít allowed in the base, donít know if that was good or bad. It certainly is depressing to see...We went to Donnotter Castle and other places. One day we took the nieces and nephews and went to Sterling. And of all things, we bought them Kentucky fried chicken. Hope this hasnít bored you too much, I am anxious to hear what has happened to all of you since 1970. I better cut this off so I have something to tell you the next time... Did you retire from the Navy ?
Where did you go after the Georgetown ? Where are you living?
I really gotta get busy, write back and let me know all thatís fit to print....
I take a lot of pictures but not too many of people, and none of myself. I am completely gray and even though I lost 25 lbs when I had my surgery, I am back up over 260 and I am only 5'11. Gotta lose some weight.
I was so new, I only remember traveling to Trinidad with a second class cook named sawyer. It was late at night and they put me in the corner bottom bunk. when the 3rd classes came in at 1AM, someone got sick on the floor in our row, and I think Mike Coppick told me not to roll over or I would get my blankets in IT....
Some Memories... I have more, if I could only think of them....
What ever happened to the Georgetown ? Did it get cut up for scrap, was it mothballed, or is it sitting somewhere in Portsmouth rusting away to nothing ???
I am in Richmond Va. and go to Norfolk almost every weekend, CincLantFlt is still there, but I don't want to just bust in and say what did you do with our boat....
My brother-in-law was on the USS Georgetown, the cruise before me. His name is CTR3 M. Morton, Marvin Dale Morton, but went by Pete Morton. Don't blame him..... He left the navy and went to the Army and has since retired. Lives in Memphis Tenn. Has a computer but is not online.
Where do you live ? Not that I am coming to find you, just city and state. It would be of interest to know what city and state others live in too.
Hello Again. Have gone through the Extended History Page and thought I would add some of my memories. I don't know of anyone attached to the Georgetown longer then I was. Plank Owner assigned in June (or July) 1963 until April (or May) 1966. 1.---On our second cruise, April 1st to May 31st, 1964, I well remember picking up the 14 Cubans. It was a Sunday, (3 May 64) and we had just picked up mail, fresh fruit, food, etc. and dropped off our outgoing mail to the service tug at Key West. We were on our way back on station off Havana when we picked up the 14. They were in two small boats tied together. The one with an outboard motor towed the sailboat until it ran out of fuel, then the sailboat towed the other. They were very happy until we told them that they had to stay on board for a week, until we returned to Key West on the 10th of May. They were given a very liberal run of the ship but whenever the Cubans would over fly us, or send out a boat to look us over, all "Our Cubans" had to hide below deck until "Fidel's Cubans" went away. 2.----- On our trip to Valparaiso Chili, (Great Liberty Port), when the Chilean Chief of Navel Operations inspected us, I was one of those in the pass in Review on the forecastle. Now this Chilean Admiral looked at the guy two away from me, then the guy next to me, then to me, then the guy on the other side of me.
He came back to me and asked me "What is your name"? I was so surprised, I was speechless. Capt. Mullahy had to answer for me. "His name is Trovato". I guess my Sicilian heritage made me look like a Chilean to him. 3.--- Now everyone knows that the Georgetown that CT Marines were on board but at times we also had an Army Spec4 (promoted to Spec5) while on a South Atlantic trip. Tom Callahan was a great guy and took everything the navy guys took when we crossed the equator. He worked with the I Branchers. We also took a trip with a few Air Force personnel on board. This was the December 14, 1965 to March 7, 1966 cruise. They were NOT CT Types. They were on board for the "Equatorial Pacific Waters" portion of the cruise. They worked in the new structure that sat directly under the TRESSCOM Antenna. We were never told exactly what they were doing, (as they did not know what we were doing), but the word was that they were testing for Nuclear Radiation Fallout as the French were doing Nuclear testing in the Pacific at the time. Hey, we were CT's. We could deduce things right? That's all for now. As I remember more, I will fill you in.
BOB TROVATO, Plank Owner.
I just found the USS Georgetown page, and can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. My dad served aboard the Georgetown from about 1965-1968 - he was LCMDR RO Allen, Jr. He passed away 3 years ago and because the Navy was the part of his life he loved the most, I decided to find out more about his career with the Navy. And a lot of the stories that are being recounted by the crew members, I can remember my dad telling me and my sister as we were growing up...going through the eye of the hurricane, Castro's threat to sink the ship, the 43 degree roll. He used to laugh about the ship rolling - he had problems with his inner ears from the time he was a small child and was frequently the only one on board who wasn't sick!
Just as an aside, when we were stationed in Norfolk - I was only 3 - I can remember having dinner aboard the Georgetown. Because I was so small, the steps going up to the ship had LARGE spaces in between, and Commander Betts came down and carried me up. I can STILL remember looking down at the deep dark water between those steps...and I still don't like being in water above my head.
Thank you for your site - I will "stay tuned".
Cynthia Allen Dickson
This is an e-mail I received from Tina Akridge Campbell. Her father is Eddie Akridge. He served on Georgetown December 66 - March 67 as QM3. If anyone remembers her father, her and her sister, Tami e-mail address are on the e-mail list.
"Thank you so much for your website you made my Dad's day, week, year! Thanks for adding us to your email list! I hope I can print out the pictures from you website and take them to him he will be so thrilled as I was. It is so nice to see my dad on your site like he was when he was young. Even before my parents were married and before I was even thought of. I'm sure Tami (my sister) told you that he (Eddie)had a head injury about 8 years ago. He doesn't remember many of the past 20 years of our life but he has memories like yesterday for his 10 years in the service. Our Mother died in 1982 so it was hard for us to have pictures and memories from their life.I was talking to him on the phone when my husband and I were looking at your site and mispronounced some of the crews names and he corrected me hehehe"
Thank you so much,
The Following is an e-mail from Jimmy Alexander to Gerald Gebler, Jr., son of Captain Gerald P. Gebler. Captain Gebler was my Captain and I don't remember meeting a finer officer.
I am Jimmy "Alex" Alexander. I
served as RD3 from Feb-67 to July-69. I was on the ship when your dad first came
on board and when he departed.
I stood radarman of the watch in CIC which was right next door to the Captain's cabin. It was his habit to drop by CIC and get the 'scoop' on any navigation aids and shipping activity before he went on the bridge. He wanted
to see if the Officer on Deck was on his toes.
We got very close with him because our watches and work were next to him. We saw him constantly. He always called me "Alex", not Alexander as is tradition. Everyone on the ship saluted him and greeted him as "Captain".
When we greeted him we sorta tipped our hand toward our head(almost a wave) and greeted him, "Morning, Cap". Many times, officers or other enlisted guys on our ship would cringe a little, thinking we would get in trouble calling
Captain Gebler "Cap" and him calling me "Alex". But, I don't think anybody could think twice about the sincere and respectful way we said it. They found out real quick that the entire Operations group had a special relationship
with your dad that can only come due to respect with us working so close in keeping us safe with navigation and plotting how close other ships were coming to us.
I don't think I ever met an officer so well liked and respected. Even the guys in the Engineering department liked him and they never liked any officers expect a few exception Engineering officers.
We were a pretty wild bunch...a little like McHales Navy. Sometimes, your dad would just shake his head and roll his eyes as if he were saying "I don't want to know what's going on - just take care of business."
Like the time we had a new Quartermaster who wanted to change combinations on all the safes with our Top Secret code books. We were responsible for your dads Code book in our safe - so me and Bobby Cutsforth followed the directions in the safe's manual; but, after we closed the safe we couldn't
get the safe open again. We tried and tried could not open.
We talked to some of our buddies in engineering and worked out a deal. I think we traded them some sponges and maybe some maps; they would help us open the safe. So, your dad drops by and we are cutting the safe off the
wall. He just shook his head and kept going. Later in the day, he is walking by the shipfitter's shop and sees us drilling holes in the back of the safe. With the holes in the back, we cut a 6" X 6" square out of the back. We were
able to reach in and open the door from the inside. We took all the Top Secret stuff out and put it in the Quartermaster safe. We then reset the combination and repopened it up probably a half-dozen times to make sure the combination worked. We then welded the square back in. Your dad dropped back by, I think to check on us this time, and I was ginding the welds flat on the outside and inside. We the sanded the entire safe and repainted it. We then mounted the safe back on the wall and put all the Top Secret stff back in....all during a normal work day. Looked like nothing every happened. We then had to give your dad the new combination and have him try it out before he could sign off on the change book. He checked the safe out pretty close before he signed it...I think he said something to the effect that it took us a while to change the combination and gave us that sly grin that you know very well....never mentioned all the other stuff.....
I don't think many of us met an officer that was as professional as he was but cool at the same time. We would run into him when we "hit the beach" (went ashore) a few times. He always treated us great...other officers did
not hang out at all with enslisted men...not your dad...we had a few drinks or a cup of coffee with him a few times....
He was one hell of a good guy....a lot of us will never forget him......
God bless "Cap" and his family.
In all sincerity,
Jimmy Alexander, "Alex"
I just "stumbled" onto your website. I was on the Big G from Aug 67 - Apr 68. Mixed memories. Had the dubious honor of being forward compartment MAA when we went to the Med to relieve the Liberty after the Israelis tried to sink her. What a trip that was! Rota patrol followed us in and dumped garbage across our bow; Lt Finotti (Eng Div Off) ordered the snipes to blow the tubes when a Russian cruise ship came into Naples (Hilarious! but the skipper got reamed by the Admiral); Soviet DDG 200 yards away while we were 12 miles from the Egyption coast ("The closest shore is 12 miles away and the inhabitants are hostile"); our tin can escort on our second trip out lobbing a 5-incher across the bow of a tramp steamer and later tracking a Bison that was eying us up. Retired from the Reserves as CTRC (Command CPO and the Ops Chief of the San Antonio RNSG unit). Still a member of the community working for the Air Force (raised the educational level of the Navy and the Air Force by 10 points) as a COMSECer managing key and writing procedures. Hey Warren Perry, how's your forehead? Guess you will duck the next time you dive through a low doorway. Reunion at Key West not a bad idea. I remember the outraged wives whose white sheets turned dity gray after we did a burn. Oh Well, they were warned! Terry Britton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are a few memories that I recall from a great time in my life.
I served on the Georgetown for about two (2) years during 66 and 68. We caught many dolphin off the coast of Cuba as well as a few gun boats and polaroids of various other that domestic vessels. My time aboard was a blast as well as a great learning experience. I recall many more as I look about the photos and names listed within your pages. Good work.
I was assigned to 'R'Division primarly associated with air conditioning and refrigeration, steering controls, laundry and the like. There were three of us to keep the place cool, clean and collected.
Best recall is reworking the cooler for the tress-com( spelling) unit to allow for operations to continue. As I recall I assisted Jack Foley, DC3 in sealing the leaks. The repairs ran on for about four or five days. Many solder joints were done till the leaks finally stopped.
Second best--attaching a 1/2 HP electric drill motor to the dryer in the laundry so we could dry cloths. Needless to say there was not a spare in Supply. Rewinding was done via Babcock EM1 in the electric shop on the starboard side aft just fwd of the filter shop (my home). Eventually we got a dryer that worked thanks to the electricians.
Third--Our bosin 1st class caught a 6' ( give or take) sail fish of Cuba. If memory does not fail Welfare and Recreation mounted the monster and it was hung in the mess deck for all to enjoy. After this event fishing became a good passtime for all. The bosin's catch was never exceeded.
My e-mail address for the file is HYSTBIDDER@AOL.COM.
I was transfered to the USS Enterprise following my duty aboard the Georgetown and proudly served in the Vietnam era as well as the Liberty Ship incidents with Korea. I was discharged in 1971.
Chief Mullins ran the engine room and a nick name for the bunch of us was 'MULLINS MULES'. We had a large sheet metal plate attached to the main throttle control valve in the engine room proclaiming our presence.
Thank you for bringing back many memories that had faded but not disolved.
Wayne Ross Sr.(MM3)
From: Michael Hughes [mailto:AMHughes@centuryinter.net]
Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2001 4:31 PM
Subject: Reunion in Key West
Hi Jack: I was a second class A brancher when I got to the Georgetown in Dec 64. Made first just before I got off in May of 66. Made my first cruise down the West side of S.America to Valparaiso,Chile; Lima, Peru, and of course Panama both ways through the canal. Couple of other stops in the Carribean. Second cruise down East side of S. America. Think we hit Buenos Aires, Argentina and Salvador, Brazil in South America. Third cruise was more or less across the top of South America: worked both sides but not down very far. Through the canal all three cruises. Stopped at Naval Station, Rodman each time of course. One time at Cartajena, Columbia. Did the 12 mile strip off of Havana for a couple of months. Some other places we hit were San Juan, PR; Virgin Islands, Curcao; Trinidad/Tobago, Gitmo. We rode out a typhoon for three days on my third cruise in the Bermuda triangle. It wiped out a lot of our antennas. We limped into Key West and they came and cut the mess away, then we went on up to Portsmouth, Va for tender availability. Tied along the Amphion. That was where I got off and went to Taipei, Taiwan for couple of years.I eventually made E-8 after a tour with COMSECONDFLT (afloat) on the MOUNT WHITNEY and retired at Northwest, Va in 1983. My picture is in there, not on the plankowner crew but the next list. My chief (actually senior chief) was Paul Craig Mellinger; had three other A branchers working for me: Norm Landino, Terry Wolf - a spaced out two year reserve, and a little guy named Boyles (we called "Bubbles".
My mail address
is: 1404 Ripley Street, Cornell, WI 54732.