Sunday, November 21, 2010

Follow up Comment on CDR Salamander:
You WISH this were your homeport

CDR Salamander: You WISH this were your homeport

I have Hap Perry stories. He was about 5' 6" tall and about 4' 6" wide and you normally saw his tonsils first because he was yelling at you. He ran that ship, not the crazy no good Captain. In today's Navy where you can get court martialed for tossing a wad of paper at someone I can't imagine him. The Chief wasn't even mine, the XO just grabbed us and put us to work on the door between his stateroom and the weather deck. I had Deck, so come to think of it the door may have been mine, and the Chief was from Engineering.

Here are my favorite 2 memories of him;

1. Once during GQ I had the sound powered headphones on the Bridge to communicate with some weapons stations. The XO saw the cord was twisted and made me dance around counter clockwise before everyone to unspin the twisted cord without taking off the headset.

2. My troops got tired of shiming the brass on an alarm bell behind the ASROC and asked if they could paint it red. Not being quite as dumb as I looked I stalled and went to the XO. He told me a story about Lord Louis Mountbatten. He explained that Lord Louis was a real sailor and naval hero who invented the Manuevering Board. He told me that if Lord Louis was coming aboard you would make everything look as good as you could while being combat ready, you would polish the brass and scrape the rust but if his lordship saw the normal wear and tear or a spot of rust, well that was OK because you were a warship and he would understand. But the XO said if Lady Mountbatten came on your ship then you would pour some gray wash over the rust stains and slap red over any green brass. After telling me that the XO asked me what I intended to do and I said "Polish the brass XO."

I know that I was in the Navy, the real US Navy, Oliver Hazard Perry's Navy. Maybe Army JOs who looked around 40 to 45 years ago and saw they were serving with men named Patton and others whose families have served for generations felt that way. My family have been here for a little over a hundred years. It is part of America's strength that we do not have a decaying feudal caste. It is also part of our strength that we have those who care for what this nation means and have passed down that sense of duty through the generations.

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