07 November 2015

WestPac 17 Feb 89

17 Feb 89

160452, 1A!, 3.1, 241/362, Chester

Called my parents. Forgot they were 2 hours ahead of California time , so I woke them up. They were happy to hear from me, everyone sounds all right. Mom likes her new car and the work will begin on their house soon.

Flew 3.1 hours of form, TERF, NVG form, NVG nav, NVG CALs. FLew green route TERF, did some CALs and returned for gas Went out for NVG NAv and I did a good job not getting us lost. We went a little higher on the route and it worked out fine. I had several good nav calls. We were offshore at one point and someone shot a pop up flare our direction from the NGF range, so we checked out of there and I navved us to a dirt airstrip without the map, just using known landmarks.

Another interesting thing were the fruit bats. We hit a couple of smaller ones and luckily missed the chihuahua sized ones. Maintenance says they will paint some bats on the birds, one Huey got 2 and the other got one. A few more and we'll be Aces.

Caught up on some sleep, ate a pizza at the Club, came home. Changed our Pocket Checklist to reflect our secondary mission of Cobra TRAP (Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel). 145 days to go.

WestPac 16 Feb 89

16 Feb 89

160438, 2M4, 3.1, 271, Mr E

Flew 3.1 with Mr E, same as day before. Injun flew with Jabba. 131 had high oil temp, so rest of day was scrubbed. Mooch shot 4 rockets. Ate at the club. There's a great band there that has the bext looking singer anyone has seen yet. She is a little taller and slimmer than the other women here.

Took Injun into Olongapo, I guess there's cheap beer there, anyway. We spent about three hours out in town. Not too many people out, they're probably shacked up since it's the day after payday. 146 to go.

Ship's Huey hanging out with one of ours.


Can't remember people names, wasn't there, can't prove it, but I do remember that the drinks were called "Cubi Specials." Pineapple Orange Mango Cranberry Grenadine RUM, they were way too good and went down fast.


16 parts orange juice,
14 parts pineapple juice,
1 part mango juice,
1 part cranberry juice,
1/2 part grenadine.
Lots of Rum; (between 10 and 15 parts)

To make the "Cubi Nuke" add vodka

WestPac 15 Feb 89

15 Feb 89
160438, 2M4, 6.5, 271/430, Mooch

Flew all over the place, Wild Horse Creek, OP range sweep, NGF range, Training areas 1-2, Red Beach for Arty shoot, Green Beach fro tracs, Company maneuvers, etc...Saw the tracs swimming, training areas out here are fantastic, scenery is great. Asked Mooch if the locals ever get mad when we fly over low and call in noise complaints, he responded "How are they going to call?"

WestPac 14 Feb 89

14 Feb 89

160438, 1A!, 1.5, 140, Jabba

Flew late afternoon with Jabba. Slept all day. Went down to Corregidor to see the island defenses, awesome! A lot of the guns are still in place, looked at bomb damage,layout of the defenses.

Injun came in at 1830, no one was even there to meet him, but they were thoughtful enough to put him on as ODO tomorrow. It's great to have him here. Maybe flight time will even out now. He is my stateroom, got the upper rack because he got here last, Semper Fi. 148 days.

1stLt James "Injun" Thorp


Corregidor (or Caballo?)


WestPac 13 Feb 89

13 Feb 89

160453, 1A!, 2.5, 313, Jabba

Flew 2.5 with Jabba, Hammer and Mr E on NVGs. Had SDO. Wive's network already reporting back to the ship about the wetting down, which happened a day or so ago. So don't do anything to get in trouble, I say, and don't lecture me about scuttlebut if you don't have any morals. Boring day, long boring day. Got letters though, yeah!!! 149 days left.

Random Huey lainching off the Dog picture.

04 November 2015

WestPac 12 Feb 89

12 Feb 89 Sunday

Called home. Brunch at the O club. Went over to Grande Island for a squadron picnic. It used to be real nice, Mooch said, but now the beach is trashed. Waded around, toured some old gun sites with Mr E, BK, 2 Beers and Mooch. Came back and we'll call it a night after dinner and drinks at the Club. 150 days left to go.

Checking out the guns.

WestPac 11 Feb 89

11 Feb 89 Saturday

Hey, we got a day off?! Got up and ran 3 miles, just to work up a sweat. Decided I like staying in the MEF Camp away from the senior guys. We have a house boy named Harry. For $20 over 2 weeks he will make racks, do laundry, shine boots, etc...If he gets our 15-20 squadbay people to sign up he'll make some decent money. My flight boots have never been so shiny and never will be again once I leave here. Walked around Subic main exchange, saw some nice items. Went to the ship for a couple of minutes. Found out Injun should be on his way, I hope his wife is doing all right. Anyway, the scenery here is lush, green, tropical, almost makes it fun to run, and the MEF Camp is on the highest point of the base, so we have a great view of the Bay. Ate chow, napped, then went into town with Mooch and Mr E. Found out is easier to let one girl sit by you and by her a drink rather than shooing each one away. 151 to go.

WestPac 10 Feb 89

10 Feb 89 Friday

160438, 2M4, 2.7, 140, Mr. E

Flew to Poro Pt with Mr E, Mooch and Chester in the other bird, on a Whiskey engine change parts run. Mr E made most of the radio calls on the way up and me on the way back because 132 had a crappy UHF radio. Poro Pt is a remote Air Force comm site (Voice of AMerica?) but it is like its own small tropical paradise. Good place to break down. Flew over Lingayen Gulf, headed back to Cubi. Ate at the club, had a few San Miguel. Came home early, day off for PT. 152 to go.

AH-1W needs a new motor.

03 November 2015

WestPac 09 Feb 89

WestPac 09 Feb 89 Thursday

160624, 1A4, 2.5, 271, Mankid

Flew 2.5 hour on an assault escort with Mankid, on Hammer and Mooch's wing. Escorted 46s into the zone, then hung around Red Beach, Subic Bay for SimCIFS. Chester called in some missions for us, so we got to do some low level 50' TacForm over the bay and over the small huts on the beach. Landed 1030 at Cubi. Ate chow and hung out at the club, the San Miguel is cold and tasty. Found out we're staying in the upper MEF camp, air conditioned quonsets, open squad bay. Or I should say at least some of us, the Lts. It's about 1.5 miles to the O club, and there's only one all ranks club up here to eat at. Ran 25 minutes with Mooch, saw a flattened monkey and Mooch let me know to not mess with the live ones :) 50 pushups, 45 pullups, 100 situps. Went into Olongapo with Mr E and Mooch for a couple of hours. Magsaysay St. Walked over the infamous Shit River and saw kids diving for coins. Only had 3 hooks who wanted to be my friend, so that's probably not too bad. Who's to say if it would be better or worse if we weren't here to support the economy. The people living out in the grass huts inland probably don't think they have it too bad. I don't think they do, a simple existence. So I've been to Olongapo and had some San Miguel, time to go home. 153 to go.

Invading NAS Cubi.

WestPac 08 Feb 89

08 Feb 89 Wednesday

160453, 2M4, 1.7, 271/340/450, Mooch

Not too bad today. Flew 1.7 hours with Mooch on a Simulated Close In Fire Support mission and LCAC escort. We flew wing on Talon and BK. The LCAC escort was good and the SimCIFS was great. We really got to turn and burn. We had plenty of banca boat targets and flew around Subic Bay at 100-150 feet for 1 1/2 hours. It looks like something out of South Pacific, lots of grass huts and palm trees, lush greenery, etc...I's going to be interesting to meet the locals. And the last thing was the break coming back to the boat. Lots of fun, two Cobras and a Huey. Harndog got some film. 30 pullups, 100 situps, 50 pushups. 154 days to go.



WestPac 07 Feb 89

07 Feb 89 Tuesday

160453, 2K2, 0.2, 450, Jabba

Boring day. Whiskey almost burnt up, residual fire on shutdown. Flew 0.2 on a test hop. After our flight two days ago they found that the main driveshaft on 132 was rubbing on the input quill and all the safet wire was busted. PT today, 2 days in a row? 155 days to go.

Devil Dog flight ops with the UH-1N.

WestPac 06 Feb 89

06 Feb 89 Monday

Perfect Monday. Boring. Had a good workout though. 26 minutes on the bike, 100 situps, 50 pushups, 3 set of leg lifts, 30 pullups. About 45 minutes 158 lbs. Surprised I'm losing weight. Got a compliment on the laundry. No fly tomorrow. Dug out some Whiskey IMRL so they can do an engine change on 153, which had an engine chip light over Poro Pt. There's only 156 days left.

WestPac 05 Feb 89

05 Feb 89 Sunday

160453, 1A2, 2.7, 271, 450, 320, Mooch

Great day, flew 2.7 hours mostly on a M-60 gun shoot, launched from USS Duluth. Navy provided some trimaran targets and we shot the hell out of them. SSgt Crawfored, LCpl Ramirez, LCpl Seidel. Expended 600 rounds, good shooting by the Crew Chiefs. Found some items on preflight, pin out on a cowling and broken super shaft safety wire. I signed for 132 and we ended up with rotor brake, inverter, ICS, UHF and oil cooler problems. Still flying strong though. Flew to Poro Point, my first helo landing on foreign soil. Saw some Jeepneys. Watched gun shoot off the Duluth. Got lots of mail. Put newspapers in the ready room, held on to the magazines for now. Ate some animal crackers. Great day, beautiful weather. 157 to go.

Getting ready to shoot




WestPac 04 Feb 89

04 Feb 89 Saturday

Boring day. Flew over to LST in the back of a Frog to check on our detachment's 782 and NBC gear. One of my NBC boxes is stored in the bed of a 5 ton up on the bow and is probably soaked.* It has 20 NBC suits in it. I'll dry them out and turn them back in. Spent 4 hours over there, and it would suck being on that ship for the entire cruise. Too small. No store.

Today was a beautiful day, high 80s and 10-12 knots for wind. Flying off Friday to PI? We'll see. 158 to go.

* At the end of the deployment we opened the boxes and the suits were perfectly dry, the NBC guys did a great job of sealing up the box!

02 November 2015

WestPac 03 Feb 89

03 Feb 89 Friday

160624, 2K2, 0.3, FCF, Mankid

Flew today for a .3 on a test hop with Mankid. First we ground turned 131 for a generator and a fuel problem. 133 was a gearbox swap. Weather was overcast, seas weren't too bad.

Worked out, best yet.50 dips, 90 situps, 40 crunches, 50 pushups, 29 pullups. Why 29? Birthday soon. And Happy Birthday Davis!

No flying tomorrow, not onn the schedule. More mail. 159 to go, we'll be in PI in less than a week and I'm going to Naval Gunfire School!

WestPac 02 Feb 89

02 Feb 89 Thursday

Pulled in to White Beach, Okinawa today, about 5-10 miles from Futenma. The ship was at the pier around 0630, Mooch and I finally jumped ship around 0900 off the forward brow. I went directly to the phones. Passed a payphone first, but there was about 25 people in line and no time limit on calls. So I went to the USO phone center and got on the list to call. Boils down to me sitting there for 6 1/2 hours and never getting out. Around noon I was nowhere close so I went to get a soda and watch a softball game. There was beer for everyone and 6 hours of liberty. The line for the small PX was 2 hours, too long. Went back to the phone center around 1315, finally got a phone at 1500 but couldn't get connected off the base. A Chaplain took us to another phone, but a young Marine had 20 minutes of problems to work through and it was time to return to the boat. I did get to read most of The Umpire Strikes Back while I waited. I also missed the CO, Buzz, Tom, V-8 and Flash, from our HMLA-369 deployment to Futenma. They flew over to say hi, the rest of the squadron is coming in from the PI tomorrow. Anyway 6 hours of the ship is 6 hours. Best news we got is that Injun may rejoin us soon, which means that the family is doing better. We've been praying for them.

Okinawa, my first steps on real foreign soil, was unremarkable. White Beach is isolated, saw less than 20 Navy personnel and about 15 Japanese workers. The land was hilly and rugged, and looks inviting for about 4-5 days. "The Rock" is a very appropriate nickname from what I could discern. The best news was mail call, I got several letters. I expected more, and they said that there is still a shitload of mail to be sorted. 160 days.

Sunset on the Duluth.

WestPac 01 Feb 89

01 Feb 89 Wednesday

160453, 1A2/1A4, 1.4, 450/120, Hammer

Flew 1.4 with Hammer, 2 landings on Germantown, one CCA. After bouncing on Germantown twice we hit rain squalls and were stuck for 45 minutes while the front blew past. Then it was a one time shot to Devil Dog and shut down. I got both landings on Iron Giant.

Time for a few laundry stories. All the problems have been with delivery, which we aren't in charg of. One Captain came by to complain that they had pressed his jeans. He asked that they be hung up but not pressed. Really?! They're running laundry for 100 jarheads down there, and you send civvies down at your own risk. I couldn't believe how much time he had to complain about it. My roommates just laughed when he left and said they were sorry that I had to deal with such assholes. Other guys have complained that there stuff didn't get wsahed. I suggest that they follow their laundry down and watch it. Most of them don't think that this is funny...no sense of humor. The best story was when a BLT Captain was going bonkers looking for his roommate's cammie blouse. They were sure that it never came back and that the Laundry must have it, or maybe me. His said his roomie was "the senior Company Commander" and we must find it. When the LCpl in the laundry asked him where the blouse would be marked, the first Captain turned up the flap of the blouse he was wearing and said "It will be marked right here." Guess whose blouse he had on? Not his own.

Oh well. 161 days to go, Oki tomorrow.

WestPac 31 Jan 89

31 Jan 89 Tuesday

160453, 1A4, 4.0, 450/451, Mr E

Flew 4 hours with Mr E. Did 28 day landings on the Duluth and he did the same. We also each had 8 night landings. It was a beautiful day, about 65F, no wind, calm seas. Amazing difference from 2 days ago. Even saw another ship today, only the second ship we've seen outside the ARG in 2 1/2 weeks. Amazing how something different is now exciting. We will hit Okinawa on Thursday.

UH-1N Deck Landing Quals on USS Duluth.

WestPac 30 Jan 89

30 Jan 89

No fly. Found out today I get to go to Naval Gunfire School in the PI. Also found out that I may get to fly from Okinawa to Korea, via mainland Japan with Hammer, Mooch and Mr E. Hope it goes off as planned*, it will be great to see Japan from the air and get two extra days of liberty in Korea. Keep my fingers crossed. Had IWO this morning from 0400 to 0645. Slept a lot, ran 15 minutes, 40 situps, pullups. And may get to start the Functional Check Pilot (FCP) syllabus. At least there's a few things to look forward to in the next few months. 163 days to go, and just over 3 months to liberty in Australia.

* It didn't :(

WestPac 29 Jan 89

29 Jan 89

160624, 2K2, 0.5, 450, Mankid

Devil Dog tried to Vertrep and Unrep, got 200 pallets onboard, but no fuel? USNS Ponchatoula and Niagara Falls came out. I see lines in the pictures but don't know if they ever got the fuel flowing. Wind and waves were too bad to Unrep and almost washed a sailor overboard on Ponchatoula. Could see the bottom of the bow and top of the props on the Niagara. Waves over the bow of everyone. Flew half an hour with Mankid on a test hop. We were waiting to takeoff winds were gusting to 50 knots in rain showers. We were on Spot 2 and the Huey shifted, with chains, 20 degrees to the right. Fun fun fun. We got airborne and came back. Mankid flew a great approach, timed the landing about 15 seconds after a wave broke over the bow. Chester was watching from Pri-Fly and said it was perfect. % minutes after we landed and were slashed a 20 foot wave came over the bow.

I got to see the bottom of Devil Dog's bow today. 164 to go.

CH-46E vertrep (vertical replenishment).


Green water over the bow of LHA-3.


USNS Ponchatoula plowing through the waves.



Germatown and Frederick enjoying the party.

01 November 2015

WestPac 28 Jan 89

28 Jan 89

Flight ops cancelled due to bad weather. Boring day.

WestPac 27 Jan 89

27 Jan 89

160176, 2M4, 0.4, 450, Mankid

Interesting day, scheduled to fly 5.5 hours of Command and Control, TacForm and night form. A few changes along the way. 1st, one bird goes down, so the form hops are canx. 2nd, we are late being spotted because they scramble Harriers. 3rd, our #2 generator won't come on. 4th, the Cobra in front of us is sliding around because the deck is rolling so much (and it's chained down) that it ends up sliding over one of its chains, and they have to work it off. 5th, the Boss asks us to shut down or lift off. We ask where our pax are, he says they can't be found. So we say we'll shut down, Boss says lift off and go into the Starboard Delta. We say ok, so the Harriers can land. 6th, in the Starboard D the other generator surges a few times. 7th, we are cleared to land and shut down. 8th, we're ready to shut down, Harriers have to launch, Boss says for us to launch along with the ship's Huey Triple Nuts and come back. Our Crew Chief gives us the once over and spots a fuel leak by the intake, so we declare and emergency and shut down. Flight Deck Control can't decide what to say to us, and screams at 000 to get off of the deck. We are pulled off the spot and slashed in about 3 minutes. The number 1 side of the bird was pretty soaked in fuel, going down the intake, not sure where it was coming from. A lot of work for a 0.4 of flight time.

Anyway, the rush was because we were going to be overflown by 2 Russian Bear reconnaissance aircraft. They flew over about 15 minutes later, made a wide turn and flew back by us on their return home. The Harriers intercepted them about 25 miles out and escorted them out to about 100 miles. Makes us feel important that the Russians send two Bears 1600 miles one way, to take a look at us. Perhaps because today was the day we "chopped" (CHanged OP control) to the 7th Fleet. We are the cutting edge now. ANd we were sure to wave at Ivan as he flew by at 500 feet. Pretty motivating.

AV-8B launches with AIM-9 Sidewinders. Our Huey awaits by the bow.

WestPac 26 Jan 89

26 Jan 89 Thursday

I have figures out that this journal is on of the only ways I have to keep track of what day it is. I also try to poke my head out every now and then to see what is going on vs staying holed up in the stateroom. I'm so glad we get off the ship every few days, over to one of the other ships or at least off the Devil Dog.

Boring day, weather too bad to fly. Nice waves over the bow though. 167 days to go.

WestPac 25 Jan 89

25 Jan 89

160453, 1A2, 2.0, 125/450, Mooch

The Lts get to fly. Early brief, scheduled as a PMC (Pax Mail Cargo) backup, behind a Frog. My first time to sign for an aircraft this WestPac, Mooch is my copilot. First delay due to saltwater washdown, After all the spray we took over the last couple of days, we have to rinse the aircraft before the salt builds up and corrodes the whole aircraft. Then we waited to get some fuel in our aux bag. Then they spilled the fuel and we ended up flying the whole flight doors open. Good thing the weather wasn't too bad. We were second off the deck behind the "Dog" (ship's Huey) and waited in the Starboard Delta for the 46 to lift. Once the Frog was airborne we moved over to Bold Explorer (Duluth) to try and DLQ. No joy because the pitch and roll were out of limits (4 & 12). We managed to work in 2 CCAs and 2 TACAN approaches, then we were put 6 miles out in holding while the Harriers ran attack profiles on Devil Dog. Finally we were cleared in "Charlie, Spot 4." It was a shortened approach from the abeam and winds were 30 knots down the nose. Hit a calm cycle of pitch and roll and did a nice landing, my best so far. SHut down and got off the deck before we got pitched or rolled off.

Worked out, weight was down to 160 from 164, I think mainly because most of the sweets have been cut out. Hope I can continue this trend. I'm starting to physically feel better and feel better mentally also. ANd besides, we have a PFT in Feb when we get to the PI. 168 days to go.

WestPac 24 Jan 89

24 Jan 89

Seas today are 18-20 feet, winds across the deck of 50 knots. Not hard to figure out that flight ops are cancelled today. We went up to Pri-Fly and watched the LST Frederick take some blue water over her bow. The bow will come completely out of the water then bury itself in the next wave, completely under. I'm glad I'm not over there. I'm told that not only does the thing pitch and roll more with its flat bottom, but as it slams into the wave and shudders, it sends noise all through the ship. Not much else going on. Since we lost Monday, this will screw up my short timer's calendar. I'll figure it out though. 169 days to go.

LST-1184 USS Frederick "Commune Bravo"

WestPac 22 Jan 89 International Dateline

22 Jan 89

Super Bowl Sunday. Heard San Francisco won 20-16. Also light workout. Pilot training today, and IWO from 2000-0000. Weather was winds at 47-50 knots across the deck, and seas of 15-18 feet. That's almost hurricane force winds. All the helos held up pretty good so far, we only had a few blades come loose from their tiedowns. At 2200 we went through a front and it began to rain, but the winds died down. Pretty scary to me, out on the flight deck at night, in rain and winds with the ship pitching and rolling. We only let people go out in pairs with float coats, so they don't sail overboard. Also helicopters have 12 point tiedowns to keep them secure.

At midnight we crossed the international dateline so we rolled our watches ahead to 0001 Tuesday morning. While I was standing IWO the SgtMaj came by and told a story about skipping a day for the international dateline. A young Marine came up to him and said "SgtMaj, when I joined the Corps they told me that the only thing they couldn't take away was my birthday, and my birthday was supposed to be tomorrow." The SgtMaj told him he could have 2 birthdays on the way back. Guess if you have to lose a day, Monday is the day to lose. 170 days to go.

WestPac 21 Jan 89

21 Jan 89

160453, 1A1/1A2, 2.3, 210/450, Jabba

Did some night flying and had a goggle hop scheduled. The formation portion wasn't too bad, but it's easy to see how you can lose some proficiency after not doing it for a while. Had to cancel the goggle portion because the clouds were too bad. Got a few more CCAs and a TACAN approach. After 2 landings the Boss shut us down due to weather. 171 days to go.

WestPac 20 Jan 89

20 Jan 89

160438, 1A!, 2.2, 210/450, Jabba

Slow day. 2.5 hours of Tactical Form Flying. Fun for us, but not for MR E and Mooch. Their FM radio was out so we had the tactical lead the whole time and made all the radio calls. Came back to the ship and made a left seat landing to spot 2. They don't normally want us doing this, but cleared us for it anyway. Afterwards I can see why, it is hard to see the LSE and I wouldn't want to have to stand where he does (portside, forward deck edge). Beautiful day though. Saw Mike Gomez, he was the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor from UT, he came by my room and we talked for an hour or so. He wants me to talk to some of his Marines about the MECEP program. This, and giving them briefs on the Huey, are the kind of things I want to do out here.

Worked out today, not too bad, twice this week. 161 pounds before workout. Still have good chow though. 172 days to go.

HMM-161(C) UH-1N and AH-1W refuel aboard USS Duluth "Bold Explorer."

WestPac 19 Jan 89

19 Jan 89

160176, 1A4, 3.6, 450/451/120, Hammer

1 week underway, probably 1600-1700 miles off of the coast, 1000 miles North of Hawaii. Did a pilot monthly inspection of aircraft 132, hope SSgt Crawford gets to put our names on there. He is a good crew chief. Maintenance turn then 3.6 in 132. Bounced 6 times on Iron Giant then got sent to do a box hunt, which is radar vectors to look for an object in the water. Did some CCas and ASRs, we can use the instrument work. I'm safe, but I want to be right on the numbers. SPent a lot of time holding, then Starboard Delta pattern. Got 5 bounces on Devil Dog then had to land after both generators crapped out. An interesting few minutes getting back to the deck on battery power. Then more laundry!

ASR - Approach Surveillance Radar
CCA - Carrier Controlled Approach

WestPac 18 Jan 89

18 Jan 89

What's all this international dateline stuff? Evidently we lose a day going over and gain a day coming back. Boy is that going to screw up my calendar.

Flights today were cancelled today due to high winds and high seas, maybe for tomorrow also. Most of the laundry kinks were worked out today, now the fun starts. I need to start looking at in port periods, for when the laundry will be shut down. Had fun finding laundry today, but we're still missing some items. Boring day, in other words. 174 to go.

High seas.

WestPac 17 Jan 89

17 Jan 89

Busy day. Early IWO watch ended with 4 sailor and 1 Marine sucumbing to oxygen deprivation while working in a compartment. Someone inadvertently set off the AFFF system and it knocked everyone out. There are enough hazards aboard the ship without getting injured by the systems that are supposed to protect you. Thank God everyone got pulled out and they are okay. Took myself off the schedule because I was tired. Tried to unscrew the laundry, turns out it wasn't worth it. The laundry will be fine and if I can't deal with it in my non-flying time then someone else needs to do it. I have a good NCO down there and he'll get it lined out, as long as I stay out of his way. Anyway, I was tired today, from the morning watch and the end of a cold. Long 16 hour day, wish there was something better to say about it. 175 days to go.

Av-8B coming aboard Devil Dog.


WestPac 16 Jan 89

16 Jan 89

160176, 1A4, 0.6, 450, Chester

Slow, slow, slow day. Picked up poopy suit (anti exposure) and had chow, burgers and E-Club stew. No aramid tops for my AE suit, so I guess its cotton long johns. First laundry day, should be interesting to see how it comes out. It's going to be hard for those Navy and Marine guys to work down there all day in the heat. Tonight is night fly time, went over to Iron Leader (Germantown) and did 3 bounces. Pitch and roll weren't too bad but wind caused some burbles around the trucks on the deck. Ate chow in the wardroom, not too bad. Mr E. met a Warrant Officer from 5 years back. Their first meeting started off with the WO telling Midshipman Adams to get a haircut. After chow, put on the poopy suit for the first time, and then we were called to return to the helo deck. Weather was closing in so we came back to Devil Dog and shut down. No sense pushing it, it is only training. Chester said my landings were good, thanks!

Roommates are Mr Bill Martin and Chris O'Connor, frog guys. One empty rack but that is reserved for Injun, who will join us in a few weeks. They are good guys, Chris is full of energy, probably because he is a bachelor :) Mr Bill is pretty quiet, so I guess Chris has to pick up the slack for us. Got Integrity Watch Officer (IWO) duty tomorrow and time to pay my mess dues.

USS Duluth LPD-6 "Bold Explorer" with AH-1W Super Cobra and UH-1N Super Huey aboard. DLQs in progress.

WestPac 15 Jan 89

15 Jan 89

Sunday. Changed time zones last night, picked up an hour. Today was a no fly day and a safety standdown. We had briefs from the Helicopter Direction Center, Legal Officer and a brief on standing Integrity Watch. Then we broke down into groups and talked about helicopter specific requirements, concerning safety. Today was the 38th birthday of HMM-161, established shortly after HMX-1. HMX was an experimental squadron and HMM-161 was the Marine Corps' first tactical helicopter squadron.

This morning was my first workout, 15 minutes running on the deck. The weather was overcast, with drizzle and 8-10 foot seas. The deck was pitching about 20-30 feet, which made great interval training, along with the 10-12 knot winds. Afterwards, crunches and leg lifts, 7 minutes on the wind racer and a few pullups. 162 pounds. Relaxed the rest of the afternoon and had prime rib for dinner. Tried our hand at pistol darts in the stateroom. Only 177 days left.

Clark checking out the HDC on Devil Dog.

WestPac 14 Jan 89

14 Jan 89

160453, 1A4, 1.4, 450, Jabba

Another day on the WestPac transit. Briefed this morning for a 2 hour hop with Jabba. We're scheduled for Carrier Controlled Approaches and Deck Landing Quals (DLQs) on the Duluth. I briefed the hop and we ended up spending 45 minutes waiting to be spotted. Harriers and refueling caused the delay. Devil Dog is pitching and rolling pretty good. We are heading North on the Great Circle route and the seas are getting pretty rough for the smaller ships. It's fun to watch the birds landing. Our day was limited to DLQs on the Duluth. Pitch and roll were very interesting, but not extremely difficult. $ landings apiece and return to the D Dog, with me doing a right seat landing to spot 1, my first. Very limited visual cues, but we got it down.

Ran to chow, veal and potatoes, and back to the room for reorganization. Curtains were rehung so they slide, and I switched lockers with Chris. Finally issued MALS-39 their 782 gear, some more coveralls are gone and moved 782 gear to Palcons in lower V. Got more shit from maintenance who are confused as to where their crap is. Oh well, I probably come across the same. Half of it wouldn't even be here if not for Gus and Dutch's hard work, they did a great job of getting our gear aboard, arguing with the MEU on who got to bring what. I am signed for 50 48 cube embark boxes of gear that are sitting in a warehouse in Camp Pendleton, part of our field gear, it will be embarked to us if we go ashore somewhere for an extended period.

Enough bitching. We got our sink fixed, listened to Stanley Jordan and watched The Great Snatini. What a day. Tomorrow starts p.t. and a weigh in. We'll see how it goes. 178 left.

AH-1W Super Cobra being spotted on the Devil Dog.


WestPac 13 Jan 89

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!