VXN 8 West Pac Detachment
My navy career started out at a recruiter office in 1963 at Ellsworth Kansas. At eighteen they gave me a bus ticket to Great Lakes Naval Training Center.
I had spent my last five to seven years at St. Francis Boys home in Kansas. If I remember right we had about twenty boys living there. The ages ranged from six or seven years old up to eighteen. We considered each of us as a brother.
We attended county schools, played all sports, attended all events just like all of the kids did.
Father Peter Francis made sure we had everything any kid could want and gave us more.
My twenty years in the Navy took me from being an eighteen year old to a thirty seven year old adult. The Navy taught me a lot about life in general, let me go to many places and meet a lot of people. I enjoyed most of my duty stations. My career started out as an Fireman Apprentice (FA), Fireman (FN), Engineman (EN3), (EN2), (EN1), Gas Turbine Tech Mechanical, (GSMC) and (GSCS). In 1982 I was number three on the Master Chiefs list, no open E9 slots were available in Norfolk Virginia, only Mayport Florida, so I chose to retire. As a Senior Chief I was appointed to sit on the Chief board to select new E7. Earned My Air Crew wings as a black shoe while flying in Vietnam. Became a navy diver self contained (no mixed gas) to support the SES 100-A experimental surface effect ship 100 ton craft (40' wide X 80' long) on which I was assigned to the position as the ships test craft engineer.
Chesapeake Bay Deadrise Workboats
June 1963 to September 1963
Fireman Apprentice to Senior Chief
September 1963 to June 1967
March 1971 to January 1976 June 1967 to September 1967
September 1967 to March 1971
September 1977 to January 1980
January 1976 to September 1977
I bought a big boat, got a 100 ton Coast Guard license and made myself a full Captain.