Alumni Sandstorm ~ 08/10/17
2 Bombers sent stuff: 
Pete BEAULIEU ('62)
David RIVERS ('65)

BOMBER CALENDAR: Richland Bombers Calendar
    Click the event you want to know more about.
>>From: Pete BEAULIEU ('62)

For: Dick ROBERTS ('49), Dick WIGHT ('52), Ted CADD ('66)

Re: Coast Guard and other ships

The sage advice is to never get a guy going on his Navy

My closest involvement with the Coast Guard came in 1967. 
As a fifth-year graduate in Architecture at the University 
of Washington I was faced with four choices: the draft (my
student deferral was now ripe), the Peace Corps, Navy OCS, and
Coast Guard OCS. Coast Guard OCS was ten times as hard to get
into as the Navy-same criteria, but only one tenth as many
openings. So, I went Navy OCS. 

As in the Coast Guard there are those on-the-spot learning
experiences. During my very first five minutes as a stand-in-
the-corner observer on the bridge of my new ship, the aircraft
carrier USS Hornet, I actually experienced a real live
collision at sea. Nothing hypothetical about that. The
captain's fault, plus the failure-in not more than a second 
or two-of the Officer of the Deck (OOD) to contradict and 
nullify a mistaken rudder command.

We had been refueling at 20 knots alongside a tanker,
separated by maybe 25 yards (not metric!) and now all the
bells and whistles were going off, the suspension cables were
dropping and the several refueling pipelines were being broken
loose and dragging in the water. The oiler (some 600 feet
long) did a 90 turn to starboard with the fantail aflame and
totally obscured by black smoke rising to high heaven. In an
instant, the four-striper captain was no longer in line to
make admiral.

Watch and learn... The wall poster at OOD training school
reads "Attention to detail, gentlemen; a Collision at sea can
ruin your whole day!" Even as an ensign (sometimes pronounced
en-swine) yours truly became a very detail-attentive bridge
watch officer, and eventually the most Senior OOD on this
carrier, at the young age of 25, possibly the youngest ever 
to make that designation in the carrier fleet. (I later found
that behind my back I was known as "one tough son-of-a-b****!"
High praise, indeed!) My final ship handling duty, in 1970,
was to steer the Hornet into Puget Sound and around Bainbridge
Island into Sinclair Inlet and into the Bremerton Naval
Shipyard for decommissioning (with some help, admittedly, 
from a harbor pilot and, at the end, two tugs).

Details? I did learn that ship like the palm of my hand. 
These details stick (regardless of my recent Sandstorm
inaccuracies!). Displacement 40,000 tons; flight deck 872 feet
long and 103 feet wide (not metric!), distance to the horizon
from bridge at eye level: 10.3 miles (metric!!!); refueling
rate 340,000 gallons/hr.; four screws each fifteen tons and
totaling 150,000 horsepower; ship's varied turning diameter
was, at 25 knots and a rudder angle of 7 = 2,000 yards
(not metric!); flank speed 33 knots such as to run the fuel
tanks (1.8 million gallons) dry in eight days. Aviation fuel
capacity another 795,000 gallons. A torch waiting to happen.
etc. etc. through the ship's operating manuals.

Still on the record book after nearly 50 years at the
California tracking station is my/our 180 turnaround 
(a so-called Williamson Turn involving only four rudder 
commands at exactly the right times) which put us in a 
reversed direction with the keel centered within less than 
three feet from the original track (a useful skill for man
overboard!). Today I can barely parallel park a car with that
precision. So, I went Navy for three years, and also got some
on the job training.

-Pete BEAULIEU ('62) ~ Shoreline, WA and God help my captive
   audience if I ever end up in a retirement home.
>>From: David RIVERS ('65)

Re: ha cha cha

As I recall, last year on this Bomber-babe's b-day I introed
with John B. Sebastian song... now every now and then,
particularly when I see something written by her on face book
I think of that song... there are friends that are so dear 
to you and often you are uncertain how that closeness came
about... I mean the kid you went everywhere with... that you
understand... but the ones that you saw now and then but
remain in your heart day after day and year after year...
those connections are the mysteries... I am sure glad 
this mystery has been in my life since 6th grade... HAPPY 
BIRTHDAY, Jo Marie ROBERTS ('65) on your special day, August
10, 2017!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-David RIVERS ('65)
That's it for today. Please send more.