13 Jan 89
160453, 2M4, 1.9, 450/110, Hammer
Shower. Brief at 0800 for abandon ship drill. Flying today, waiting to brief, then guess what? Abandon ship drill! Fun, we must do these more often. Get a float coat, up to the flight deck (the shaded, windy side of course) and muster by your boat that probably doesn't work. They kept updating us on "nearest land" which was 060 degrees for 70 miles, water temp 54 degrees. Wouldn't last too long out there. Finally they asked everyone to point to the nearest land, over 1500 people mind you. "All hands, point to the nearest land." What is this, SImon Sez? So we pointed. I, as an Officer of Marines, felt it necessary to correct a poor misguided Corporal who was pointing with his right hand only. "He said ALL hands Corporal." Yuk yuk. Then finally the announcement came "Good enough for government work." These guys crack me up.
We finally brief and fly. Hammer and myself make the first takeoff for the ACE of the 13th MEU. Our photo frag was cancelled, but we got to bounce on "Commune Bravo" aka Frederick (LST). First, an inverter failure. Second, 15-20 knot crosswind landing was called by the ship, but it was nearer 25-30 actual. The landings were challenging, due to wind and deck configuration. "Builds character" Hammer says. 5 is enough, so we head back to Devil Dog for CCAs and land. More laundry business, chow, TV, lower V storage tour with BK, coverall issue for maintenance folks, movie was Action Jackson, what, no Academy Awards? And letters outbound. 179 left.
USS Frederick plowing through the Pacific on the transpac.
CCA - Carrier Controlled Approach
Lower V - Lower vehicle storage, where my embark boxes for the skid detachment were stowed. Other boxes full of NBC gear stored on the front of the LST in the back of a truck, those should be easy to keep track of!