Herein lies a bevy of Considerable Cootishness of the Disgruntled variety.
Too many topics to mention so feel free to roam.
And… it’s FREE!!!
No cover charge.
What a deal, not easily surpassed even if the well-guarded gates and entry barriers to the USA gold repository at Fort Knox, KY were thrown open and the guards wandered off to do whatever guards do when wandering.
Perhaps plundering nearby donut shops?
The typhoon was astern and our little destroyer escort was steaming as fast as it could to avoid the heart of the storm. Reports of 175mph winds and mountainous seas urged us to get the hell out of the way.
North of the Philippine island of Luzon the radio on the bridge crackled, “American ship you come help us.” We didn’t hear too many broadcasts on the international distress frequency, of which one radio was always tuned to.
Our home was tied to the dock in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 414 feet long, 44 feet wide at its widest point and weighing 3,426 tons fully loaded, our destroyer escort was among the Navy’s smallest ships-of-the-line.
Fitted with experimental boilers operating at 1,200 psi that were supposed to increase operating efficiency and ship’s speed, the recalcitrant contraptions had a tendency to break down at best and break out in a raging fire at worst.
Life is tough for a ship with an experimental propulsion system. It is even tougher on the crew that has to put up with its idiosyncrasies. The normal non-nuclear propelled warship used 600 psi boilers. Our tiny destroyer escort used a 1200 psi system in an attempt to give us more speed to better fight modern nuclear submarines. Also, whereas normal 600 psi boilers used standard fuel we used JP-5, the same stuff used to power jet aircraft and helicopters. The fuel’s volatility proved itself when the all-too-often fuel leaks turned the boiler room into a modern-day Dante’s Inferno.
Vietnam had a strong impact on all aspects of American society and the military in particular. One of the observable effects was the attitude towards saluting. The majority of us junior enlisted men despised saluting. We actually made attempts to avoid situations where saluting was required. For example….
In a message board thread a gent agreed with what I wrote then added his opinion and I agreed with his opinion, on the whole, with only a small non-vital difference in viewpoints that would never prevent us from banding together to fight the tyranny enveloping the USA.
When the necessary cohort of new Founders arrives to settle in and do their tasks the many freedom fighters will rally around and commence performing what is needed to oust tyrants and begin re-sculpting the numerous systems currently used by tyrants to make serfs of the common folks and generally enslave We, the People.
How accurate are memories from decades ago. Details omitted since their accuracy is not verifiable. The heart of the story is well-remembered. Part of the details are fuzzy, though. That ship was present and cried for help. Of that I am sure.
The Libyan-flagged tramp freighter cried out for help as the USA warship hied northward to veer away from the path of the oncoming typhoon. The rusty freighter lay anchored to the leeward of the small island in the South China Sea that offered no protection from the oncoming tempest that would assuredly toss the tiny ship about until the water flooded in sinking the hapless vessel and survival for the men in the sea during a typhoon was very doubtful.
“American vessel, please assist. Engines broke down. American vessel, please assist. Engines broke down” the voice in heavily-accented English droned on as the warship’s screws thrashed the sea sending 4,200 tons of steel away from the forlorn ship.The captain reached up and turned down the volume of the radio tuned to the international shipping distress channel. Steadily the disabled ship astern grew smaller then disappeared from view leaving the vessel to an unknown fate. No replies had been heard to the plea before the voice disappeared from the radio. Even if another ship heard the plea could they arrive in time to assist in repairs or take the ship in tow or, most likely, evacuate the crew?
No one but the captain spoke during the event. While viewing the stricken ship with his binoculars he said to no one in particular “Libya. Fuck ’em.”
The worst of the typhoon was evaded but the memories of that day linger for decades.