I served as ships oil king and CDR Mike Mathis was the C.O. We took on fuel in South America The CHENG and MPA and I pulled a funny on the Skipper. I filled a 8oz. sample bottle with ice tea from the mess decks. We all went to the wardroom where the C.O. was and I proceeded to show him the "fuel sample". I took the cap off the bottle and told him that the color was good, the smell was good and then I drank the contents and told him that it tasted good as well. You should have seen the look on his face. He cracked a half way grin and said thanks.
This story is from Phil Atwood Plankowner - May 1977
This is a true story: "No Sherbet" as they say…But, I'm sure you have ways of verifying this story…
During GunFire trials in the Caribbean, we were due to shoot at a sleeve towed behind an S2-F towplane.
However, the day before the scheduled shoot, the GunFire Control SPG-53A Radar suffered a failure in that it could not produce the Radar Pulse necessary to operate. Our W-2 Division troubleshot the problem and narrowed it down to the High Voltage section of the unit. The High Voltage cable was damaged with signs of arcing, and Voltage leaks.
After some testing, it was found that this would not work, as the problem lay in the Pulse Forming Network, a device that provides the High Voltage Pulse through the Cable into the Magnetron. When we discovered that the high voltage cable in the radar unit had arc damage, we were allowed to remove the high voltage cable from the TV in the Officer's Wardroom. When that didn't fix the radar, we used the optical rangefinder to do the shoot at the towed sleeve. The Radar was down, but the shoot was still scheduled. So, again we had to improvise. The Gun Director, besides a Radar Unit, also has an Optical Rangefinder. Our best Rangefinder Operator was FTG3 Sherman. With FTG3 Maciel as the Tracker and Ens. Voros asthe Director Officer, the Tow Plane made a few runs towards the ship. With the rest of the Fire Control crew in the GunFire Plot room, and with FTG3 Maciel keeping the Director aimed at the Sleeve, FTG3 Sherman was able to send Target Range Update information to the MK-47 GunFire Control Computer. In more than one instance, we were successful in hitting the Towed Sleeve. This was no doubt helped by the use of Proximity Fuses on the Shells, but we were able to get the shells close enough to the sleeve to count as hits. As was demonstrated more than once, this just shows the kind of teamwork we had aboard JLB in overcoming unusual obstacles.
Sad to Say, the TV in the Officer's Mess had to be replaced with a new one, as we had modified the High Voltage cable beyond re-use.
I was on the JLB when it was decommissioned in 94'. I will look through my pictures and see what I have that might be of interest to you.
I do have some pictures of some racks that were destroyed by a concussion grenade. One of the gunners mates was keeping it in his rack and it somehow went off. I don't think they ever figured out what happened exactly, but the gunners mate claimed that he was receiving death threats.
I also have some pictures of when the anchor chain broke. The whole thing shot out of the pipe and landed on the deck with a crash! That made us all a little nervous around the anchor chain after that.
From John Johnston ET2 1977-80
When I first arrived on the Brown, it was ready to head into the yards. Obviously, stores were at a minimum.
For the first two weeks, it seemed whatever the menu for the day was, I got in line after that was gone, and the easiest thing for the mess cooks to make quick enough to serve everyone else was fried shrimp.
Fried shrimp for lunch and dinner for more than a couple of days can drive anyone nuts.
Until recently, I would eat any other kind of shrimp (make Forest Gump jokes here), but could not stand even the smell of fried shrimp.