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 > Reminiscing...harrowing Experiences in the Military

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Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 01/04/21 06:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While running Plane Guard for the Enterprise we were really pushing the old boilers/turbines to stay on station.....Enterprise is FAST

1200# 1000*F Steam feeding the turbines when we heard a high pitched whistle....and suddenly the engine room got very warm/muggy ---- Main Steam LEAK!

So we used a straw broom to ID Where it was coming from. At that pressure/temperature it cut the straw into and caused it to smoke when it came across the path of the leak.

It was coming from the packing gland on our Main Steam Shutoff Valve and being on station doing plane guard we could NOT shutdown ---- had to tighten the packing gland nuts while standing on a barrel (no ladders) and the steam leak was just inches away from my hands/face.
I was sweating profusely ....guy helping thought is was due to the heat. It was hot but the sweat was from me being scared that the packing would blow and I would be scalded or dead.

Got it tightened up/stopped the leak and it was 3 months later when we pulled into Subic Bay before that valve could be rebuilt.
When torn down down for repairs there was very little packing intact. It should have blown and filled the engine room with high pressure/HOT steam

Just one time I knew I was being watched over and kept safe.
Not the first time nor the last time!!


Is it time for your medication or mine?


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NamMedevac 70

Reno

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Posted: 01/04/21 08:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another near deadly close call flying an Army medevac rescue hoist mission in Nam in 1970. Flew 526 medevac Dustoff missions and evacuated over 1500 from the combat LZs including civilians, allied and U.S. soldiers.

official reports, photos, PH Award, news and narratives at this website.

https://www.facebook.com/william.perkins.79274

These combat incident experiences also appear in the book "Dustoff And Medevac Vietnam" written by Phil Marshall who was also wounded on a medevac mission in 1969 plus the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots news Magazine in 2003. Cheers for the New Year

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMePV6dZKkgFt8kKgpM8yQaymIGqwTKp13rxtYq

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipPRwdczS3s-jIvl3s1YRT_H1rKXdF9NLhJK128H

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipOCWmb1j-2TnPnn1Xj1PdG_5IlDCNEHnOEWfGyE

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipNXx7CsmYqfU5aFcuCJsndJBmw3vheML4GeK1A-

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipPrWLBUc7aTPo9ztL_ClfXw3M4hDHY7am5nSRSi

https://www.facebook.com/498thDustoffUnarmedandAlone/photos/a.819748711437231/3366108060134604/

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipN_zVlLDSrVUNpCvLD1hA__8kcvdnjcDMc3NtfL

* This post was last edited 01/06/21 12:38pm by NamMedevac 70 *   View edit history

Grey Mountain

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Posted: 01/05/21 06:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AMS -- Airborne Mission Supervisor. Individual in charge of the recon folks in the back end of the aircraft.
COMFY ECHO -- Reconnaissance platform.
Wirebender -- Airborne Maintenance Technicians who kept our equipment up and running.

***

BATTLE STARS, BATTLE SCARS AND A RETURN TO THE LITTLE BIG HORN.

...actually, it was not night, nor was it stormy. It was a normal hot, hot, hot dry day in the garden spot of Southeast Asia, Cam Rahn Bayh, Republic of Vietnam.
Pete Ogaard, AMS of record, and his COMFY ECHO crew had crawled out of bed at oh-dark thirty, checked out their survival gear, attended the pre-mission briefing, and jumped into the skies on board an E-model C-130 trash hauler. These birds had been specially configured for reconnaissance missions by taking two Little John mobile communications huts and chaining them to the floor of the aircraft, wheels, axles and all. There were four operator positions in each hut. The analyst position, if you want to call it that, was a folding chair with a piece of plywood between the AMS position and the position opposite the AMS. I was on that position and Pete was in the AMS seat. The wirebenders hung out somewhere outside the huts. Needless to say, with a parachute, helmet, oxygen mask, walk-around bottle and survival kit, there was not much room inside. I always said if we had to bail out, we would probably increase our survival chances if they unbuckled the huts, pushed them out the aft cargo hatch, and let us bail out of the huts. Later on, the wheels and axles were removed, and that helped a bit, but it did not increase the inside space.
It was a normal, routine mission in the continuing battle against NVA and Viet Cong commie aggression. We all had a few missions under our belts and we expected nothing unusual, just another chance to cheat death and rack up another Air Medal point.
Somewhere on orbit over Northern Laos (it had to be Laos, remember, we didn't fly over Cambodia, North VietNam or Thailand) I felt a slight tingling in my fingers. It turned to the analyst in his folding chair and almost simultaneously we both realized what was happening. Yes, just as it was in the altitude chamber - we were losing oxygen and losing consciousness. We were, I think, at 28,000 feet, so our TUC (time of useful consciousness) wasn't too bad. Since the huts were so crowded, the analyst left his parachute, helmet, oxygen mask and walk-around bottle outside the hut. Upon realizing what was happening, he headed out the door to retrieve his survival gear. He didn't make it.
I grabbed my mask, took a couple of gulps of oxygen, then pulled on my helmet. I then looked around and noticed the AMS, Pete Ogaard, turning a certain shade of blue.

He was staring straight ahead, apparently frozen in position. He had his oxygen mask in his hand, about four inches from his mouth, and was making no move toward donning the mask. I grabbed Pete's wrist and forced the mask forward. After a few deep breaths, Pete returned to normal. Apparently, Pete had tried to don his helmet first, then the mask, and ran out of time. I didn't realize it until after landing, but I had put so much force on Pete's wrist that I broke the leather watchband he was wearing.
Outside the huts, the analyst and the co-pilot, who was on his way to the back when the de-compression hit, both collapsed from lack of oxygen and were revived by the maintenance technician. All other crewmembers, both frontenders and backenders, made it on oxygen with no problems.
Seems we had had a slow decompression caused by a faulty seal of the aft cargo hatch. We aborted the mission and returned to Cam Rahn Bay.
Fast forward to about three hours into the second, and most important, part of every debriefing - the NCO Club. Several of us were sitting around the table and had consumed the ubiquitous copious amounts of beer. In other words, we were pretty much snockered. Tales of the incident had been told and retold for several hours, with Pete getting more than his share of ribbing. After all, he was the Airborne Mission Supervisor, he was the honcho what was in charge, he shoulda been the one to help others on oxygen, yada yada yada.
And the Chief said, "C'mon Pete, you know I saved your life!"
Well, you've all heard about the proverbial straw that broke the water buffalo's back - this was the jibe that brought Pete to action.
Pete jumped up, took a swing at the Chief, hit him square in the jaw, knocked him over a couple of chairs. The fight was quickly broken up, I was kicked out of the club (never could figure out how's come I was kicked out, being a totally innocent victim of aggravated assault). The last the group heard as the Chief was being escorted out the door sounded something like: "Paleface, you gonna die just like Custer!"
Somewhere between the club and the barracks there was about a three-block area that was totally dark. The Chief was staggering along, mumbling imprecations and vile threats to Pete and vowing vengeance against the entire Mean White Guy race. I had my vengeance all planned. I was gonna wait at the top of the stairs, then when Pete came up them, I was gonna knock him back down them.
Suddenly, a voice out of the darkness asked,
"Hey, you got a cigarette?"

I checked my flight suit pocket, had nothing but an empty pack and a cigarette lighter in it. I was about to say I didn't have any when !BAM, !WHAP, !SOCKO, somebody hit me in the jaw just above where Pete hit me. I then noticed three dark shapes beginning to encircle me. My first thoughts were, "Oh, I'm dead!"
About that time, a jeep came around the corner and when lights hit the scenario, I saw that the three shapes were three Black guys (remember, this was 1969, racial tensions were a bit high). They had intended to inflict grievous bodily harm on the Chief, but when the lights hit them, they headed in one direction and I headed the other. I didn't stop until I got back to our barracks.
As I came to a screeching halt in front of the bar, the bartender at the moment, Jack Riedel, didn't say a word, poured a drink, then said, "You're the whitest Indian I've ever seen!"
I finally went to bed that night, having forgotten totally my plans for revenge against Pete. I saw Battle Stars that night, I have the Battle Scars to prove it, and I never did return to the Little Big Horn.
Pete still owes me a beer.
This is a true war story.
I was there.
Honest Injun

*******

* This post was edited 01/05/21 07:35am by an administrator/moderator *


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mr. ed

Amarillo, Texas

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Posted: 01/06/21 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've also noted that when the Navy was in charge of the mess hall, the food seemed to be better.


Mr. Ed (fulltiming since 1987)
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Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 01/06/21 10:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mr. ed wrote:

I've also noted that when the Navy was in charge of the mess hall, the food seemed to be better.


If NAVY food was better then your chow hall must have been really bad

During one 'replenishment' the Helo would drop cargo nets onto fantail and then supplies would be line handed up the starboard side to forward food storage or Officers Galley (those supplies always came aboard first)

One of those supplies for the crew was a 'waxed' cardboard box...stamped hamburger patties packaged in 1948
Yummmmmmmmmmmmm
Course there was the powdered eggs/milk and 'bug juice' ---standard fair

Our engine room 'emergency shaft' opened out onto the starboard side.
During 'REP' one of our guys would be stationed there.
As Officers goodies would be coming up the line if it was GOOD (steaks/lobster tails/shrimp/water melon ---fresh fruit) it would mysteriously disappear down the Emergency Shaft

1000*F steam flowing thru drain trap was our 'cook top'....1/2" steel plate laid on top with a little turbine oil (kinda buttery flavor) and the steaks would cook in just minutes

Lobster tails/shrimp...those were slid into an medical autoclave we had 'repurposed' for steaming. 600*F aux steam and they were perfect in under a minute

Fruit/melons....devoured immediately

Now that was some good chow.......Officers were ticked off and typically there was an investigation but never did find the stash
We hid it inside an empty oil containment tank ---sightglass showed it was 3/4 full.

mr. ed

Amarillo, Texas

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Posted: 01/07/21 09:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

mr. ed wrote:

I've also noted that when the Navy was in charge of the mess hall, the food seemed to be better.


If NAVY food was better then your chow hall must have been really bad

During one 'replenishment' the Helo would drop cargo nets onto fantail and then supplies would be line handed up the starboard side to forward food storage or Officers Galley (those supplies always came aboard first)

One of those supplies for the crew was a 'waxed' cardboard box...stamped hamburger patties packaged in 1948
Yummmmmmmmmmmmm
Course there was the powdered eggs/milk and 'bug juice' ---standard fair

Our engine room 'emergency shaft' opened out onto the starboard side.
During 'REP' one of our guys would be stationed there.
As Officers goodies would be coming up the line if it was GOOD (steaks/lobster tails/shrimp/water melon ---fresh fruit) it would mysteriously disappear down the Emergency Shaft

1000*F steam flowing thru drain trap was our 'cook top'....1/2" steel plate laid on top with a little turbine oil (kinda buttery flavor) and the steaks would cook in just minutes

Lobster tails/shrimp...those were slid into an medical autoclave we had 'repurposed' for steaming. 600*F aux steam and they were perfect in under a minute

Fruit/melons....devoured immediately

Now that was some good chow.......Officers were ticked off and typically there was an investigation but never did find the stash
We hid it inside an empty oil containment tank ---sightglass showed it was 3/4 full.


LOL, Old-Biscuit. I do recall the powdered eggs/milk while aboard ship heading to Nam; total yuck! While on land, though, I think the navy chow was better, but then, when you're practically starving, anything that is vaguely edible tastes good. [emoticon]

PawPaw_n_Gram

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Posted: 01/07/21 09:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

or Officers Galley (those supplies always came aboard first)

As Officers goodies would be coming up the line if it was GOOD (steaks/lobster tails/shrimp/water melon ---fresh fruit) it would mysteriously disappear down the Emergency Shaft


You of course know that the Officers have to pay for their food aboard ship. And can choose to pay more than standard mess rates for higher cost items. Most officers during my time working closely with ships were paying about $150 per month in mess dues, while their BAS rate was $112.65 (1987 BAS Rate).

My BAS as a CPO was $201 for a 30 day month.

The 2020 pay rate was enlisted BAS monthly rate of $372.71 and $256.68 for Officers


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Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 01/07/21 11:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PawPaw_n_Gram wrote:

Old-Biscuit wrote:

or Officers Galley (those supplies always came aboard first)

As Officers goodies would be coming up the line if it was GOOD (steaks/lobster tails/shrimp/water melon ---fresh fruit) it would mysteriously disappear down the Emergency Shaft


You of course know that the Officers have to pay for their food aboard ship. And can choose to pay more than standard mess rates for higher cost items. Most officers during my time working closely with ships were paying about $150 per month in mess dues, while their BAS rate was $112.65 (1987 BAS Rate).

My BAS as a CPO was $201 for a 30 day month.

The 2020 pay rate was enlisted BAS monthly rate of $372.71 and $256.68 for Officers


Yes I know that...but not a real concern when I was servicing onboard
We didn't have waiters, china/silverware/cloth napkins, table cloths or state rooms either

Historically enlisted people work harder and need to eat more

1972
As an enlisted I was getting roughly $350/$380 a month (rank/years)
An Officer was getting roughly $780/$830 a month...Personal Money Allowance was roughly $42/month

* This post was edited 01/07/21 11:14pm by Old-Biscuit *

PawPaw_n_Gram

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Posted: 01/08/21 10:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

Historically enlisted people work harder and need to eat more


Amen.

We had a 1st Class running the galley at NAVFAC Antigua for a while when I was there. He was constantly worried about going over the budget, and skimping on food costs.

The 1st Class who replaced him knew this was the only time in his career when he would be in-charge of a galley. He talked the Supply Department Head, a SCPO, and the base CO agreed to not focus too closely on the galley expenditures for a quarter.

He turned the galley around. Where before the largest meal of the day was 35-40 meals served, the new PO1 was serving 85-95 meals.

The base was isolated, and several folks ate there who would not on a normal base. The barracks held 24 E-4 and below who did not receive separate rats. Total military end strength - 125.

The Dod school was K-6, and located on the nearby USAF KSP Tracking Station. The 20 or so kids rode the bus back to the NavFac for lunch. They ate at the galley if they wanted under the DOD Schools Lunch program.

Before the new PO1, the kids wanted to eat lunch at home. Within two months, they were all eating at the galley.

Attidude of the cooks, especially the head cook, means so much between a good galley and a poor one.

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