I Remember the Monticello

 

 

This page is reserved for stories about the USS Monticello LSD 35

and her crew.

 

 

         Hi Beamer,

          Here is a bit of history you might like to add. In the winter of 59, we
           were conducting operations at Kodiak Island Alaska which is a very
           pristine and beautiful island on the Gulf of Alaska. One day, we
           received word that one of the infamous Gulf of Alaska winter storms was
           brewing and the very next day, Captain Kellogg had us underway to ride
           the storm out in the gulf as a precaution against being caught in port
           by the storm. Well, I'm not quite sure that he or anyone else in the
           crew knew what we were in for. Talk about a rough ride... we had 65
           ft waves and 100 mph winds for several days, can't remember how many
           after so long but I do remember standing a helm watch and having a hell
           of a time keeping her on course. Also remember that many in the crew
           were seasick! Eventually the storm blew over and we headed home to San
           Diego with our tail between our legs.

           Regards, Bill Robertson QM3 58-60
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          Korea Sterngate fiasco

          1979 Boy what a mess! The seas in Korea always got rough around sunset and we were

          still conducting ops     in those conditions. The stern gate was down and only took the

          pounding for so long.   After several shuddering slams into the water, it rammed holes into

          bulkheads, broke off, and sunk into the harbor. We spent the rest of the cruise in port having

          it reattached after they recovered and repaired it.

          Kangaroo II 1976

         During my first WESTPAC, we took part in this operation near New South Wales, Australia.

         We took liberty  call   in Wolongon. I had a blast there. We "pollywogs" also joined the ancient

         order of the deep and became "Shellbacks" on this cruise.

         Robert Berry
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Close Quarters 1974-1977.
 

My shipmates and I always found a way to break the rat race to have a good time.

We always enjoyed letting the stern gate down and going for a cool swim and even going for a

swim when we were supposed to be working. Anyone aboard at that time can e-mail me at t

allguy56@charternet.com Be talking to ya

Steve Patridge

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Bikini Island
 

The year was 1958 .The year of the A-bomb tests. The Monticello was used to transport shot barges and

to recover data from the blasts. It was very interesting and eye awakening cruise. After the tests were

over the ship was used to roll up weather stations on some of the out laying islands in the South Pacific.

We were sent to Clipperton Island and had some great fishing. I hope that some of the ship's crew that were there remembers.


         LeRoy Bursch
 

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I can remember the first year I was on board when we pulled in to port for liberty, that coming back on board after a

night of drinking was a hazard in itself. If Justice & Barnes caught the duty they would take great joy in turning out

the red lights after taps and stretch full laundry bags across the aisle every 4 or 5 feet and wait for the drunks to come back.

I can remember being the recipient of this more than once. You'd hit the floor and then here the two of them in the

dark laughing their ass off. The only time it was really funny is when you turned the tables on them. Justice would

hit the floor and lie there and swear a blue streak. After the second or third fall he'd start inventing new words and we'd laugh all the more.
 

John Huard Sr BM3 1968-1972

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Reading the log book for 69-70 brought back a memory I wish I could forget.  The log entry for 5 Feb. 1970. 

The collision with the USS Kawishiwi (AO 146).  I was at the Helm for the refueling attempt that day. 

We were coming along side her starboard side, just fine, when all of a sudden we felt the collision and

the sound of metal being ripped apart. I turned the helm a few degrees [to our] starboard so we could

move away from the Kawishiwi.  The all stop order was given, so we could assess the damage.
There was an inquiry on why the collision happened.  After all said and done, the initial approach was deemed to close. 

It should have been further away from the Kawishiwi.
Other than that "little" incident, I had a great experience on board the Monticello.

Richard Clementson QM3 69-71


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Boy does this bring back many memories. My first memory is dry dock in Long Beach Ca and being introduced to

Joe Biff's Screwdrivers. Watching Black Sunday be filmed in front of us. Waking up one morning and seeing

Howard Hughes Global Explorer across from us, mustering on the forecastle with good ol' Bos'n Ot (terror) going

at it with BM3 Yak, BMSN Bruster the Rooster, Swenson, BM3 Barrington, BM3 Peadon. First WestPac and

having to load all American onboard from Taiwan, My first mission over "shit river" and then receiving my silver bullet

award (and still having the patch to this day) Loosing the stern gate in Korea.  All of the women I met in Australia

 

Scott Cruse BMSN 75-79
 

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Good Mooring Bob,
Very rarely do I ever run into someone that I knew from the Monticello, so it is a good feeling to receive an email from a shipmate.

I met the Monticello in the Philippines in June of 1984, and I would have to say that the crew that was onboard was the best crew

I have ever sailed with. It was just a great group of guys. I made that Westpac in 84, and then we did lots of Ops afterwards, and

then we were supposed to decommission, so we requisitioned almost everything of value. However, the Marines complained,

and said they still needed us, so we had to go back to all of the ships and re-requisition all of our stuff back, then we made a

Mini-Westpac of three months (April 85 -Jul 85) which was some of the best fun I have ever had on a Westpac. Then we came back to San Dog,

and l was transferred shortly after that to the USS Pigeon. The ships/shore stations I was stationed/TAD on were as follows: USS Cochrane

DDG-21/NAVSECGRU Adak Alaska (TSC)/NAVCOMMSTA Harold E. Holt Australia/NTCC Miramar/USS Monticello/USS Pigeon

ASR-21/USS Ranger CV-61(TAD)/USS Buchanan DDG-14(TAD)/ NTCC Mare Island (Vallejo CA./and the USS Fort Fisher LSD-40.

All of the above mentioned ships have been decommissioned.
Yes, the Monticello's Radio Call sign is November-Golf-Delta-Victor (NGDV).


Thanks,
Joe

 

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 I was on the Monticello just a short time in 1970, I had just spent 4 years on the Caroline County, and the Snohomish County,

most of that time was in Vietnam after I made Chief my order were for the Monticello and I caught her and went back to

Vietnam for 6 more months.  When we returned to San Diego I was transferred to Seattle to put the USS Shreveport into commission. 

The Monticello was a clean ship when I was aboard her. 

Eli Adkisson      QMC Retired

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I remember we were doing Op's off the coast of Korea, the sea's were about 2-3 foot swells, then the sea's went to

5-8 foot swells at least, and the force of the seas lifted the stern gate and over came the hydraulics and actually

busted the hydraulic rams that raised and lowered the gate. I remember that Petty Officer York was in the stern

gate room at the time the rams busted. As the seas continued to rock and roll the stern gate hinges, one by one broke off.

With each swell the gate raised with the seas and came crashing down, each time the the whole ship shuttered until the

gate finally came loose. Thanks to the SEAL team who bravely found and tagged the gate in the rough weather.

 

EN2 Lewis

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I was on the Monticello from 1960-1964. I remember a few things that happen to us. Going over the Equator down by Christmas Island.

Being part of the Atomic Bomb Blast and wearing the dose of meters, so they can see if you got any radiation on you. On the way to Subic

and pulling along side the Paul Revere to take on so fuel. I was on the Quater Deck and the two ships started to get close and then it

happen we ran into each other. It put a big hole in our side and damaged a few LCVPs on their ship along with some other things.

Going down to Zamboanga in the Philippines that was something also. Watching the Russian ship in the South China sea.

Yes that old girl took 4 years of my life. I came on board in June of '60 and left her in Subic in May of '64. "Oh" and how can I forget.

The ship coming in too fast at the kelo piers in Pearl and taking some of the pier out. Just some of the things.

Bill Tannhauser  BMSN

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I boarded the Monticello in Jan. 1968 and left her in Oct. 1970.  The 70 cruise was the last of my career, I was transferred to shore

duty and after two years ashore I transferred to the Fleet Reserve.  I well remember the collision and the outstanding work performed by CFCM 

Yeager and the R division crew making temporary repairs.  In 1990 I was visiting in Bremerton, Wash. and there tied up to a pier in the

mothball fleet was old 35 how the memories flooded back.  I must have just stood there for the better part of an hour reliving the

two full deployments and one mini that I had while aboard and also the months spent in Bremerton Naval Shipyard for upgrading. 

Looking forward to the reunion and swapping some more stories

Dean Oxford

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Just a little more information on the A-bomb tests. The tests were at Bikini, Enewetok, and Johnston Islands. We were there from

April thru August 1958. We watched a total of 35 blasts during that time. We were stationed different distances from the blasts.

We wore badges and when they reached a certain reading we had to go below and shower. Most the the blasts were just before sun rise.

Actually, it was a fun time. Then we went to an island called Kapingamerangi where we rolled up the weather station.

Gary McLaughlin FT3 57-60 "
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I remember when Bob Berry, Bill Kirby, and myself decided to take a walking tour of Busan, Korea during the 1978 cruise. 

We had a blast, taking pictures of the surrounding city, posing with schoolkids as they were walking home from school. 

And, I even remember the three of us being escorted off of a hillside by ROK regulars for meandering into a controlled area.

And how could I forget Tankred, getting the entire ship kicked off of Kwajelein Island, destroying the base's enlisted club in

a fight with the Aussies stationed on the island -- a disagreement over the island's only hooker?

Or, how I learned my lesson while on shore patrol in Yokuska, Japan?  QM2 Al Zeyouma told me to keep my big, fat mouth

shut when we went into a racial confrontation.  But did I listen?  Oh no...not me!  I had to wade into the middle of an argument

in the Club Alliance, and ask, "Okay, what's going on here?"  Needless to say, my question started more crap with no less

than a hundred drunken sailors, on one side of the club, and no less than one hundred drunken sailors on the other side of the club,

shouting epithets at one another.  I'd started a stinker that was more flatulent than an elephant with diarrhea, prompting

Al to get the instigator of the fight out of the Club, take him back to the base, and secure his liberty.  What was worse, was

logging on as Shore Patrol at 6:00 p.m., and logging off as Shore Patrol at 5:00 a.m. that day, only to have Jim Wolfe kicking

my rack at 6:00 a.m. that same morning, telling me to get up for work.  I seem to remember lashing out with my baton that day,

knocking him down, and really pissing him off.

I also remember when Jim Wolfe and Mr. McMann decided to get sloshed on liberty while inport San Fernando, Phillippines,

and start chcking empty San Miguel beer bottles on my weatherdeck.  Since I got stuck cleaning the mess up, I kept cursing the

"trees" on the ship, thinking that a bunch of marines had decided to litter my nice clean weatherdeck with their trash, when they got back to the ship.

And, who could forget our "fallen Angel", Greg Angel, when he came back to the ship, drunk off his butt, and high as a kite to boot...

falling backward across a railing and down FIVE decks, only to dust himself off, and make his way back to his rack.

Lastly, I remember Chuck Forshey (a.k.a. "Dutch"), who single-handedly dragged my arrogant butt out of a biker bar in Portland, Oregon,

when we were going through our yard period.  I was so naive, not paying attention to my surroundings in those days, dressed in a

 blue pinstripe suit on our first night of liberty, ready to take on a Gypsy Joker biker until he walked in and dragged myself, and the

group I was with out of there before we really got into trouble.

And what always has permeated the memories, are my closing thoughts.  The tightness of the crew, those "teachable moments",

and the stern gate falling off, and the 3-day trip back to Yokuska...now how could I forget that?

Other memories that stand out:

Looking back at the ship during the Enewitok Atoll cleanup, as the LCVP that I boarded headed into shore. 

(I still have that picture of the Mo-boat to this day.)  Michael Gulbranson, working on his fantastic drawings on the

bulkhead entrances to the galley and mess...his memorable and original work that was featured in the 1978-79  Monticello cruisebook. 

Arte Jappe, struggling with a piece of aluminum that we was trying to weld -- had to do with a job that needed to be done for the engineers...

he'd never tried to weld aluminum before.  Paul Cherry, when he and his wife had their baby.  OSC Dalrymple ("Daddy Dal")...

don't get in the way of his temper, when he couldn't find something in CIC.  You were likely to get the back of your head stabbed with a

flying pair of dividers, during one of his tantrums.  The BM3 that almost shot Commander D'Orsi, because he was showing off with his .45

to the seamen on the quartedeck.  I never in my career, saw an officer kick a POOW off of the quarterdeck, so fast in my career that followed. 

Philosophical discussions with Mr. Schweitzer, as we would debate into the wee hours of the morning...killing time on an otherwise boring watch. 

And lastly, the picture of Mt. St. Helens blowing her top on August 23rd, 1980, five days before I left the navy for a while. 

It was like an atomic cloud, helping me understand the frailty of us as human beings, and the very short time that we have to enjoy life on this earth.

Thank you, shipmates for my memories of the Monticello, during 1977 - 1980.  During those times that I grew from boyhood into

manhood, you taught me a lot about comradeship, loyalty, and honor.  As I grew older, and decided to stay in the Navy, the experiences

you taught me, and shared with me, served me well on so many other ships, so many other commands.  I am proud to say how much I

earned from you all, and what I was able to take with me and share, when I ran my own division.  You were my starting point, and helped

to shape my ethics, professionalism, and backbone.  Your lessons were sometimes hard, sometimes painful, and sometimes amusing as hell,

but I learned a lot from you.  There are times that I miss those antics, those memories, good and bad.  You made my life an adventure.

Godspeed to you all,

Robert Schlittler
OSC USN (Ret.)
 

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gday guys,

I served in Monticello, very briefly, during Kangaroo II, 1976, seconded from the RAN's fledgling Amphibious Squadron. We've grown a bit since those days!!!

Spent most my naval career, well 2/3 of it in Amphibs. Best time of my life. Though an engineer, I also got to keep navigation watches at sea, and was a ships diver.

My brief time in Monticello was an eye-opener. Billeted in the Chief's Mess (I was an Acting CPO = to your E7). The tucker was curl a moe, big juicy steaks, pasta,

much ice cream as you wanted - what a blast! Didn't wanna go back home!!!

When it was time to go back, I took my hosts, your Sheriff (a Chief MM ??) and the Chief MM back to my little LCH and we got pretty pissed, along with our RAN

Diving Team and some of your Seals. We were legless, then came back to Monticello for my last night on board.

There we are in 35's main passageway, me showing your guys how to play Crown & Anchor, and your guys teaching me how to shoot crap (only ever done that out me

backside, before) !!!

All highly illegal of course! And along comes the Skipper, and springs us. The Sheriff is really "in the crap" now !!! he abuses me, "Goddam Aussie, get off my ship -

19 years in this man's Navy, without ever a charge, it's all your fault!"

Ah well, you gotta live, eh? We were still good mates after that(I think!). Wished I could remember his name, love to hear from him again.

Also the Master Chief - ten foot tall, bullet proff, ebony black, adn 2 pick-handles across the shoulders - great bloke - you have to say that about someone that big, eh?

Seriously though, he was THE MOST magnificent looking man I've ever seen !!!! (C'mon guys, not that, you know what I mean?)

Think he may have been called Earl James Holloway III, or something like that. Maybe you guys can  help me out here

Best wishes fellas, congrats on a great website - really well done - BZ !!!!

Kind Rgds

Charles "Flash" Flesfader
Writer and Teacher
Ret'd Senior Chief (E8)
Marine Tech, Ships Diver and Naval Trainer
Ret'd Marine Engineer, (Aust. Merchant Marine)
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I was aboard the MOBOAT from 1965 to 1968. My only duty during my 4 year career was on the USS MONTICELLO LSD 35. My home sweet home for 4 tours in Vietnam.

I was told "join the Navy and see the world" but they never said thru a port hole. (Ha! Ha!)
I spend most of it of the coast of Vietnam. The one incident that I recall vividly and to today still hear the cries.
One night, while refueling, off the coast of Vietnam, in the dark (ALL LIGHTS OUT). We had a man overboard from the refueling tanker. He was hollering so as to give his

location. Lights were ordered on to launch a search for him. To this day I hear his cries, and yet I never knew if he was found or not. Never will forget the intensity felt that night.
Still another time never to be forgotten, was enroute to Vietnam we hit some pretty bad weather. We were carrying Missiles on board. Anxious moments trying to shore the

missiles for added support and safety. In the anxiety, I managed to cut my right hand finger with the bandsaw. You could say a mark for life.
 

Ruben Rodriguez DC2(ROD)
 ryrlight@sbcglobal.net
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Hello everyone,
I remember when I first came aboard the MO Boat. There were two of us that came aboard my self and Fireman Apprentice Billings. We were told that there were two

openings one was for an electrician and one was for a mechanic. Billings beat me to the electrician so I became a mechanic in the boat shop. It was a very good experience

for me for I have earned a good living from being a mechanic. Billings has not spoken to me to this day  for I was a two year wonder and he had to stay on board for the

full four years. If he reads this I hope he will contact me and let me know how he is doing.

EN3 Jim Harbin 1968-1970
harbin77@nts-online.net

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I was on the "Mighty Mo" from 76'-80, The Enewitok clean up, R Division worked there Asses off round the clock, 1st shift brought the boats on and broke out the tools,

3rd shift kicked the boats out & picked up the tools 2nd shift got screwed!!!! it was the best time of my life!!! All the people... Pete Ford, Dave Marlowe, Rich Salluce,

Tackett, Yingling, Havard Kampa and  everyone. Wow what a great time in our lives!!!

 

Greg Land HT3
 cagerg@bigvalley.net
 

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My best to all who were onboard the MoBoat, I remember when I was at the helm and the MoBoat was in maneuvers with other ships including the USS TRIPOLI

that was in front of the MoBoat. In the maneuver every ship was to make a turn and reduce speed. Well, the MoBoat officer-of-the-deck didn't slow down, so we

rammed the TRIPOLI tearing up a gun mount and screwing up the bow of the MoBoat. I loved seeing the USS MISSOURI in ops with us in Nam. I had a lot of good

times and made a lot of great friends. THANKS And BEST TO ALL
 

GLEN BAKER  SN
gbaker@ers2way.com

 

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I WAS ON THE "MIGHTY-MO" FROM OCT.1964 TO EARLY JAN.1965.  I WAS WITH THE 3RD MARINE DIVISION OUT OF OKINAWA (CHARLIE

COMPANY) I WAS WITH A DETACHMENT OF MARINES ASSIGNED TO REINFORCE RECON FORCES AND INTELLIGENCE OPERATIVES THAT

WERE UNDER (CLASSIFIED: TOP SECRET ORDERS FROM WASHINGTON, D.C.).  WE WERE SENT INTO THE (GULF OF TONKIN) SHORTLY AFTER

THE TURNER JOY AND THE USS MADDOX CAME UNDER HOSTILE FIRE FROM NORTH VIETNAMESE AND RUSSIAN SHIPS.  PRESIDENT JOHNSON

ORDERED THE MONTICELLO INTO THE GULF OF TONKIN WITH THESE SPECIAL FORCES (EQUIPPED WITH SPECIAL SURVEILLANCE EQUIPMENT)

TO SET THE GROUNDWORK FOR POSSIBLE FUTURE LANDINGS OFF THE COAST OF NORTH VIETNAM--WHICH EVENTUALLY TOOK PLACE IN EARLY 1965.
THE MONTICELLO WAS ORDERED TO DETACH FROM THE 7TH FLEET-WHICH WAS A MASSIVE ASSEMBLY OF SHIPS-AND TO GO ALONE INTO THE

GULF OF TONKIN AND BECOME PART OF MISSIONS KNOWN AS "SOG" SPECIAL OPS GROUP.  I REMEMBER BEING HARASSED AT NIGHT BY

RUSSIAN PT BOATS, GENERAL QUARTERED AT TIMES BECAUSE OF RUSSIAN MIGS OVERHEAD, CHASED BY RUSSIAN NUCLEAR SUBS ON ONE 

OCCASION AND (ZIG-ZAGGING) OUR WAY INTO A TYPHOON STORM WHILE BEING PURSUED WITH PERISCOPE UP READINESS AT OUR TAIL. 

I REMEMBER MAKING AN EARLY MORNING LANDING ON (RED BEACH) JUST OFF THE DANANG AIRFIELD THAT WAS BEING BOMBARDED

BY MORTAR  ATTACKS FROM RUSSIAN AND NORTH VIETNAMESE TROOPS.  I REMEMBER BE PHYSIOLOGICALLY HARASSED AT NIGHT BY

MESSAGES FROM (HANOI HANNA) THAT CAME OVER THE RADIO WAVES.  SHE NAMED OUR SHIP AND THREATENED TO CRUSH US AT ANY

MOMENT IF WE CONTINUED TO PURSUE AN AGGRESSIVE STANCE OFF THE COAST OF NORTH VIETNAM.  I RECALL THROWING THE RADIO

OVERBOARD ONE NIGHT.  THERE IS MORE THAT TOOK PLACE DURING THOSE FEW MONTHS.  I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM SOMEONE

WHO WAS ON THE SHIP AT THIS TIME.

 

LCPL-JOHN GASPARRO-USMC
 


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I just came across this site. I think I was aware of the reunion, but missed it.

 

I was the A & R Division Officer during the 65 to 67 era. I was assigned the duty of Special Services Officer for 18 months. During that time I organized a boxing

tournament in 1965 as we passed from the Pacific into the South China Sea. We had some great matches, all within 5 lbs. of each other. The Deck Force built the

matts on the helo deck and set the ring with poles and ropes. I bought a VW bus to carry sailors from the gate in Subic back to the MoBoat.

 

I received from Captain George Folta, my "Blue Vase", an impossible task to acquire a female Mannequin at minimal cost in Yokosuka. Thanks to LT. Don Kuepker's

help I bought one in a dress shop. Thus we have Phillis Phid pg. 75 of the 65-67 Cruise Book. After I brought her back to the ship and we repaired her in the carpenter

shop by DC2 Mitchell I placed her in the Captains bunk under the covers facing the bulkhead and dressed in a gown. He was shocked. He thought this was his lucky

day, or so I was told she looked real. So, who ended up with Phyllis after the Quartermaster used to store her in the chart House? How long was she used?

 

Then there was Navigator Anchor Man Lt. Dick Holt the winner of our anchor pool. The Captain would not let him keep the anchor pool winnings. Mr. Holt and I

challenged any 6 man team to volley ball in the well deck. I don't think we lost. Mr. Holt and I drew straws to see who would be the Easter Bunny on Easter Sunday unrep.

He won, he became the rabbit, in long jons, log jon shirt, white pillow case, ears made of coat hangers, white tennis shoes and a basket of real Easter eggs. The basket of

 eggs was hi-lined to the unrep ship. Captain Folta turned to address the bunny coming on deck "Who in the hell are you"? We never admitted who.

 

I was aware of the demise of Captain Folta. Around Dec. 7 of 2003 I was in Seattle for a wedding. I had found George via the internet via the History channel 120 on TV.

He made some appearances on the history of his Captain from WWII I made arrangements to meet him for coffee at Starbucks. We talked for a couple of hours about

before and after Navy experiences. His Blue Vase was to acquire a Navy Jeep on base, I believe in Perth, Australia as an Ensign in WWII.

 

I tried to call George Folta in Feb. 2004 after I failed to receive anymore e-mails. His wife informed me he had passed away about 2 weeks after I had coffee with him.

Was it what I had said or was it bad coffee? I had not see Captain Folta since 1966.

 

I also met with LtJG Lacy Pike a couple of years ago east of San Francisco. He was aware of the Monticello mooring location close by. We drove down to the location

and tried to get a picture. I liked our pictures of her better when we sailed her to the Western Pacific AND back.

 

Smooth sailing to all of the Men who served aboard the Monticello.  

James Swatek

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I spent an afternoon this weekend with an old shipmate of ours,  SM3 Charlie Kampa.  I believe he served the 
old girl from 1976-1980.  Brought back many memories....too many to discuss in 5 short hours.  One very distinct 
memory I have involves most of the ship and a few islanders.  We were going to Enewetok to repair small boats so 
the islands could be cleaned up and turned over to the natives.  Enroute, we stopped on a small island called 
Kwajalein to refuel.  Since most of the ship had nothing to do with this excursion, 
we partook of the native festivities.  I spent some time swimming in the lagoon along with Ens. Nevers and a few others.  
When I saw fins in the water, I decided to go have an adult social appropriate beverage.  There was a small bar on the 
beach and I noticed a few Mo-Boat sailors there.  At the bar were a couple of Aussie pilots and everyone seemed to be 
having a good time.  SN Lewis was going around the island collecting bikes to ride into the ocean!  I'm not sure how 
many he submerged but I'm sure there were many sad children the next morning.  
EN3 Roy came in the bar looking like a native with his scepter and garb on.  One of the natives took offense and it was on.  
At the same time this was going on FN Tankred made the fatal mistake of calling BM3 soon to be SN Swerzek a SOB.  
Now Ed loved his mama and no one was going to call her a B**ch!  Shortly the police showed up and we were left to use 
any gorilla warfare tactic we could think of to get back to the ship.  Did I mention that before this was going on, 
R-division was doing it's humanitarian act.  
We were letting a bunch of sea turtle loose that the natives had in a small aquarium, tank.  And the palm trees planted 
around it didn't fair too well either!  Well by the time we got back to the ship, we had a welcoming committee and they 
looked pretty irritated.  At the top of the ladder was BMC McMeans and he was pissed!  Our division officer at the time 
was Lt. Peter Smith and since he was with us and told everyone concerned that he had 
Pete Ford
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Beamer,  
I was TAD on the Mo Boat in 1958 Operation Hardtack 7.3 Boat Pool during the atomic bomb blasts at Eniwetok & Bikini. 
Once Top Secrete Document AD-A136819 is now declassified. Some of the later crew members may be interested in the following:
  All 1958 (bomb shots by name then date, time, & nautical miles from ground zero)  YUCCA 28 April 1440 78nmi  CACTUS 6 May
 0615 10nmi  BUTTERNUT 12May 0615 10nmi  KOA 13 May 0630  18 nmi WAHOO 16 May 1330 6nmi  UMBRELLA 9 June 1115 4nmi Yes, 
four nautical miles from ground zero. It was 11 miles from the 
mezzanine deck to the horizon, so less than half the distance. All in all the Mo Boat was present at the EPG for 34 of 
the 35 shots, these are just a few.                           
Atomic Veteran 
W.E. Mclagan   
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Hi All,
I hope you don't mind my writing, but I was in San Francisco this past week 
and saw your old ship. My husband was on the Kawishiwi, 1969-71 
and told me that it seemed a funny coincidence that both ships are in the 
same row of the "mothball" fleet.  (When you had been so "close", previously.) 
We sailed the SS Jeremiah on 8/27/05 to pay a tribute to all the retired ships. 
Good luck to all and many happy reunions!
Nancy
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It was February 1971 Sydney, Australia, when the USS Monticello sailed in to Sydney Harbour. What an experience that was. 
She returned later that year, with all the crew standing proudly on deck in summer whites spelling out "Glad to be back"I 
had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful group of signalmen.(Jack, Dale and Doc. I was able to travel to Freemantle,West.Aust 
to meet the ship when it docked, after leaving Sydney. I would like to think that the message flashed to me that morning from
 the signal deck was not standard procedure. Thank you to the Captain and QM for allowing my friend to leave the ship first
before all the formalities.
When I traveled to San Diego in March 72,I missed catching up with some of my friends as they had been discharged.
I have been checking this website for some time, hoping a friend from the past had logged on.

I hope I have not offended anyone by writing today.
Wendy
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I remember some great times on the USS Monticello.  I arrived on-board in
early in 1965 and left in mid 1968.  Some of the guys I have often wondered
about are Roger Staab, Gary Davis, Red Williams, Ken Duke, Thomas Walton and
other M-Division screw-ups.

I remember the coast of Viet Nam more than anything else, but we also had
some great times in Subic, Hong Kong, Okinawa, Yokosuka and Hawaii. We all
soaked up a tremendous amount of San Miguel beer.  Great stuff if you were
constipated.

It is interesting to get some perspective now on what we were doing then.
Most of the time we were kept in the dark.

After getting out of the Navy as an MM3, I went to school in Colorado and
got a Bachelor's Degree.  Worked as a systems analyst for Eastman Kodak
until moving to Idaho in 1978.  Finished an MBA in 1982.  Went into the
theater business owning theaters in Idaho, Washington, Nevada and Canada.  I
sold out of that business in 1998.  Went into property development and moved
to Olympia, Washington in 1997.

After 911, I joined the Washington State Guard to do my part for the war
effort.  Since then I have been advanced to Sergeant and have passed all my
coursework for advancement to Warrant Officer.  Just waiting for an opening.
I'm working with a great bunch of guys.

Thanks for the great web site.  I know they take a lot of work.  I would
love to hear from anybody on-board from 65-67 so we can swap lies.

I heard that Dick Barth is living in Canon City, Colorado.  That is where
the prison is so I hope he is on the outside rather than the inside.

Best Regards,

SGT Jack D. Clark Jr
WSG Headquarters
Camp Murray
Tacoma, WA 
*************************************************************
I WAS ABOARD THE MO WHEN SHE WAS COMMISSIONED UNTIL 1959. I AM A PLANK OWNER. 
I CROSSED THE EQUATOR ABOARD HER, AND AM SHELLBACK.  
OPERATION HARDTACK AND THROUGH THE SOUTH PACIFIC. 
IT WOULD BE GREAT TO TALK TO SOME OF THE OLD SHIP MATES. 
PLEASE CONTACT MIKE DALESSANDRO 
        
 
In case a shipmate would like to talk about the MO. and old times from commission, 
until 0ct. 1959. you can contact me  the address above is wrong 
its comcast.net   and not .com. sorry for the error.
*************************************************************
 
I Roy Lyles remember back in 1969-1970 the Mo-Boat had a very good Softball team. I just wish that 
the sailors played on that team would please contact me, because some of those
guys could have made it in major league baseball.
Roy Lyles-SN-2Div

*************************************************************

I remember my first WESTPAC. 
After leaving Hawaii heading to Australia. 
There was talk of "pollywogs" but I didn't have a clue of what that was. 
I soon learned. I am now able to say, I am a Shellback. 
On to Australia where we were a part of Kangaroo II. 
When we had liberty call I went to Sydney. The ship had a party at the beach. 
That is where I met an Aussie sailor. 
We took off in his car, right side drive, that was different. 
I got to see some sights that most people         
don't see unless you live there. I saw some great country. 
I'll never forget the time I had there. 
The people were so warm and friendly. They made me feel like I was home. 
I have never forgotten my time on the MoBoat. I sometimes miss it. I
sometimes look at my WESTPAC cruise book and I wonder how the lives of those I knew back then have turned out. 
Me, I am very blessed to have a loving wife and 7 children.  
Thank you for this web site. 

Jon Aplin
 
************************************************************
 
I have many memories of the USS Monticello. Too numerous to elaborate them all here. 
I was commissioned an Ensign in July of 1980. Prior to my commissioning, I requested an amphibs as my first choice for ships I wished to serve on. 
This really was no coincidence because some ten years earlier I was a Marine with 3rd batallion 12th Marines, and had served on amphibs. 
Well, you can probably see where all of this is going. In 1970 I went aboard the USS Monticello as a Marine. And now some ten years later 
I was going back as an  Ensign. You can imagine the memories I relived. Naturally being a Marine I was treated much like a mushroom and 
kept below decks. You know out of sight, out of mind. And of course the first place I went to after boarding her, was below decks. 
I have forgotten a lot, but I think our space number must have been 3- something. So its easy to see why USS Monticello holds a special 
place in my heart. All the great crew members, picking up boat people, losing an anchor at Numazu, Japan, the Rose festival in Portland, 
port call at Catalina, Island. It goes on an on. So to all you faithful sailors of the USS Monticello, "fair winds and following seas". 
And for those who were fortunate enough to serve with Captain Hough- "Why not the best?" 
Bruce Kennedy
************************************************************
 
I am a plank owner.  I was assigned to the commissioning crew for the Monticello in Dec 1956.  We stayed in Pascagula, MS 
until March 1957 and then sailed to Norfolk, VA to load stores and ammunition.  We went to Boston, MA and then back to Norfolk, 
VA and headed to the Panama Canal.  After a stay in Panama we went to our home port in San Diego.  After performing shakedown cruise, 
we stopped at Acapulco, Mexico.  For entertainment, often several of us crewmen would gather in the chow hall, well deck or the boatswain 
locker and play music.  My specialty was Johnny Cash and Ernest Tubb.  Sometimes the sessions were taped and played over the PA system.  
My nickname became "Ernest Tubb".  Incidentally, I have a picture of me and "Polecat" and "Sugar Booger" taken at the EM Club.  
I also have a picture of 10 of the commissioning crew taken at the EM Club in Norfolk.  While we were on liberty in Acapulco, Mexico, 
I was electrocuted; taken back to the Monticello on the Captains gig; remained in sick bay until we returned to San Diego.  Is there 
anyone who remembers this incident?  I am trying to locate Buck Berryman (from Little Rock), "Spencer",
"Corpsman Beck" & Eugene Witt from Arkansas.  I was transferred to Balboa Naval Hospital and after my recovery, I was reassigned to Boat 
Unit 1 in Coronado, California.  Looking forward to corresponding with any of the original commissioning crew.
  
Jack Dover
 
************************************************************

Just typed in U.S.S. Monticello on my computer and found this site. 
I served on her 1977 to 1979 R division, HT3.
I will never forget some of those crazy sometimes
 fun a lot of times very hard working long hours and days. Great shipmates, 
Pete Ford, and his Mom's Christmas candy  yummy, Donnie Moore (Dinty) Went on to 
become his life's dream a Navy diver,  Yingling, (hey hey  now now)  was his 
favorite expression, HT1 Dovers, stinky feet, P.U.  Arc welding while standing 
in 3 feet of water. Stern gate falling off. Reading the Same Easy Rider's 
magazines in DC central  a million times over. Mid watch  every night or so it seemed.
R division had a bunch of good people. We had some good times. I am still a 
turd-chaser been employed in the Plumbing trade since my discharge.
I am a master plumber now with my own business for the past 15 years. 
Hope all my shipmates are well. Am a grandpa now too, Time does fly. except on mid watch.
Doug Reed

************************************************************
 
I was on the MoBoat (as you guys call her) & also the Thomaston. 
With BLT 2/7 in 68. I'm not sure if it was the Mo or 
the Thomaston that collided with the carrier in the middle of the night, 
but I was sleeping on the Helo Pad where we 
slept unless it was raining. Just wondering which boat it was. By the way, 
both crews on both ships treated us Marines 
great when we came back aboard from the bush, Thanks!!!!!
As bad as the wreck was, It was good for some time at Subic bay & Liberty!!!!
Cpl Doug Scrivner USMC 67-71 
docascriv@fuse.net
***********************************************************

I bet that I am one of only three guys on ship that was ever asked to identify his penis.  
I was a JO3 at the time and my buddies and I were using the official ships intel camera to take pictures topside.  
RMSN Danny Gathercole decided he wanted a picture of his schwanz so I obliged.  Then SMSN Brent Anderson, Danny and 
I photographed ourselves mooning the camera.  Well, that film got mixed with with intel film sent to the photolab in Subic (Thanks Jessie!)  
The Capt, XO, OE Div Officer MA ET2 Bates, ETC Chipman  and my gang were all ordered into the capt's cabin to identify the photos. 
"Petty Officer Cantrell, is this your penis?" said Cmdr Hough pointing to the photos.  Words I will never forget as they cost me a stripe, 
lots of money and I spent the next 45 days scrubbing bilges and steam superheaters.  Time of your life, eh kid? 
 
Don Cantrell
***********************************************************
 
RDC Sharp - what a great Chief!  I learned more about leadership from him than any school or course the Navy could throw at me in the 30 years following.  
I remember one time, the XO was planning a man-overboard drill, and he nabbed an RDSN for the victim.  He told him to sit in his stateroom until the 
XO came and got him.  Then they passed the Man Overboard call.  
It turns out, on his way to CIC, Chief Sharp happened to see the RDSN in the XO's cabin, and asked him what he was doing there.  RDSN said he was 
to stay there till the XO came back.  Sharp told him to do exactly that, and proceeded to CIC.  Once there, he turned in a muster which accounted for all his people.
This meant that everyone on the ship was apparently accounted for, so they had to keep doing musters until they found the 'victim'.  Finally, 
 
the XO came into CIC and asked Sharp to account for his men.  I will never forget the look on the XOs face when Sharp said "Well, I've got 4 on watch, 4 at quarters, 2 are messcooking, and, oh yeh, there's RDSN down in your cabin, doing who knows what?  I believe that accounts for them all, Sir."
XO was so pissed, he just glared at Sharp for about 10 seconds, then said "Chief, I don't think your are playing the game, do you?", and Sharp replied "XO, man overboard is not a game with me, Sir."  The XO just spun around and left without a word.  RDC Sharp was indeed, Sharp!
If anyone knows his whereabouts, please let me know.  Thanks.

Jack Spratt
 
***********************************************************

1962, Christmas island, running out of food.  Running for Hawaii and bugs in the bread. Ah Subic, Olongapo and the PI love call. 
VN '64 gulf of Tonkin yacht club. (I still have that patch on my wall)  Medals for combat and the money taken away on the way 
home after the 64 Olympics in Japan.  I hated every minute, but have fond memories.

David Minion
minion@computermail.net
***********************************************************
 
I REMEMBER BEING IN HONG KONG ON LIBERTY AT THE LITTLE BAR WITH BM3 BARRISTER AND BM1 JOWERS ALSO 
BM3 PEDEN AND PEDEN GOT WASTED AND WE SENT BACK TO THE FERRY DOCK IN A RICKSHAW
AND PEDEN WASN'T GONE TOO LONG AND HE WAS BACK AT , THE BAR WITH US CAUSE HE SAID HE BEAT UP
THE RICKSHAW DRIVER CAUSE HE THOUGHT HE WAS KIDNAPPING HIM.

I ALSO REMEMBER THE AWESOME BAR-B-QS ON THE MEZZANINE DECK WHAT A FEAST.

DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE BOS'N THAT WAS ON BOARD 73-75 I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH LONGER HE WAS 
ON BOARD HE WAS VERY HEAVY SET!!!!!!!!!!

IF YOU WANT TO E-MAIL ME 
LEON QUALLS
 
***********************************************************
 
When I was aboard this ship it was the best time I had while in the Marines. 
Huntington was a friend and I was 
allowed to help on the gig with him. If he is still around... HI JIM!
 
LCpl Bill Herbert, 1970

								
 
***********************************************************

I was on the babe when she got in the fleet. I'm hoping to find Larry Keirney or 
Frank Connor Jock Mchoney. 
Just a few of the mates that hung around. I can't remember the ex officer name. 
I remember being on watch when he informed 
us on the bridge that we were going by Cuba on our way to Norfork. Also, remember 
going to Boston for the captains r&r before 
we left for San Diego.........oh,well long time ago now wasn't it..........
take care respond if will and I'll get back.
 
SN Robert Markuson(markie),1957-1958
 
***********************************************************

June of 1972 I was called to active duty from the in-active reserves.  I couldn't have caught a better ship or crew than the "Mo Boat." 

During my brief tenure aboard we had more fun than  God every issued in your seabag. 

 

The ships machine shop was pretty well stripped of tools and material.  MRC Bob Inns was doing his best with very little. 

Remember the 1970's were the era of Admiral Elmo Zumwalt.  I had come from a different era / different Navy. 

My last active duty had been January of 1965.  My hardnosed attitude about conduct and drugs rapidly tagged me as being an NIS plant. 

 

Drugs were a problem.  To get better control over the problem, Capt. Tager had requested assistance from the squadron commander. 

I know this because Capt. Tager told me.  During my first three months onboard, I had been to Captain's Mast nineteen times just

because I was doing what I felt a squared away Petty Officer should do.  Drugs?  Not on my ship!

 

We had deployed for WEST PAC and a few nights out from San Diego, Capt. Tager stopped by the machine shop.  He invited me

to his in-port cabin.  Upon entering his cabin, I was greeted by a table that was set with cookies and coffee. 

The Capt. invited me to have a seat.  My mind was racing a million miles an hour trying to figure this one out. 

The following fifteen minutes were usual conversation about hometown, family, naval career.  Finally the Skipper said,

"I know you cannot tell me if you are.  But I've got to ask anyway.  Are you NIS?" 

 

There it was out in the open.  Now understand, I was not NIS or anything else.  I quickly realized the opportunity that was open before me. 

I couldn't lie.  I replied, "Like you said Captain.  I couldn't tell you if I were; now could I?

 

"No.  You couldn't, but I just had to ask," he replied.  Before all this life was good and life was fun on the Monticello, but it really got better now. 

I hadn't lied, but my answer  wasn’t crystal clear either.

 

All of you listed on the Decklog that served 72 - 73 will surely remember the Chinese mongoose I had.  More of that story later at a different posting. 

Late 1973, the "Mo Boat" went to Anchorage, Alaska.  Capt. Tager had me show my mongoose to the mayor and his wife. 

Capt. Tager's wife was introduced too.  The mongoose story has to be the best kept secret ever held on any ship, in any Navy.

 

I was the tale bearer that carried the news back to the ship when the CMAA and his group of chiefs visited P.J.'s strip club in Anchorage. 

One of the strip acts was really a female impersonator named Gerry Alexander.  She (he) was working the crowd, between acts,

when the Chiefs walked in.  I quickly pulled Gerry aside and informed him of the CMAA.  Gerry was ex-USAF and understood all

about the CMAA role.  During Gerry's act, she (he) coaxed the CMAA onto the stage.  Not to be out done, the CMAA started

undressing as Gerry stripped.

 

When Gerry was down to his bra and g-string, the CMAA dropped his skivvies, grabbed his unit, and pushed into Gerry's "packaage." 

Not to be out witted, Gerry pulled his out and there in front of King Neptune, his court, and any crew members present; they had a "sword fight." 

The shock on the CMAA's face was priceless.  He screamed, "What the ----?" and jumped back.  The crowd went wild. 

I immediately broke away and got out of there.  I grabbed a cab and beat feet back to the ship.  The news was all over the “Mo Boat”

by the time the Chiefs got back to their mess later that night.

 

Now to the credit of the US Navy Chief Petty Officer (got to say this because later I became one), the Chiefs acted with dignity and style. 

The entire review of strippers was invited for lunch in the Chief's Quarters the next day.  When they arrived, they were dressed in their

evening wear, Gerry too.  The Chiefs gave them the guided tour of the ship and it looked as if everyone had a good time. 

My hat is off to the CMAA and the chiefs.  The CMAA enjoyed the humor of the situation and took things quite well.

 

Two years later, I ran across Gerry Alexander doing her (his) act at the Sand Box in Honolulu.  My money wasn't any good that evening. 

Gerry and all the strippers ponied up for all the drinks.  I was introduced on stage and later on that evening, my good friend AO 1 Dodge walked in. 

Gerry and I repeated the Anchorage Act that evening; but this time kissing was involved.  However, that is another story, for another ship, and another reunion.

 

Bill Crowell, CWO, USN Retired

 
***********************************************************

EXCUSE ME, SORRY TO BOTHER, DOES ANYONE KNOW OF CHIEF ROBERT INS? OR (LASTNAME: INNES, MAYBE SPELLED INNS). 
HE WAS IN THE PHILIPPINES FOR SURE IN 1972.  PLEASE KINDLY EMAIL ME AT ALUGBATI@MSN.COM
 
THANK YOU.
JOCELYN SCHUSTER
 
***********************************************************
 

I served on the Monticello from late 1959 until 1963. I also remember the A-Bomb tests around the Johnston Islands in the spring and summer of 1962.

"Operation Dominir"

Still have my certificates from Joint Task Force Eight. Remember watching the initial blast on closed circuit tv below decks and waiting for the shock wave, going

out on deck and seeing the mushroom cloud and completely forgetting about the second shock wave until it knocked me on my butt. Remember going to

Kapingamerangi

also even though this was in 1959. Made all the usual stops in the Philippines including Zamboanga on Mindanao when there were only palms there.

My regards also to Bill Robertson QM3 when I think of my first cruise which was the Kodiak Island, Alaska trip in 1959. I was assigned cleaning the head being

SMSN and boy do I remember the storm.

We hit almost all the Aleutian Islands during that cruise and some of us were lucky enough to tour some by helicopter.

Bill Dunnam SM2 59-63

thedunnams@Earthlink.net
***********************************************************

I was onboard the mighty MO from 1981 to 1983. I can't believe how
time goes by.  I was a crazy kid back then. I remember a lot of good times 
overseas with the likes of Cantrell, Freeman, Ewald, Carr, Hughes, even 
Mock. Wouldn't mind hearing from anyone again. I can still remember
the look on ETC Chipman's face when he came into the ET shop, with the
samurai sword.  He looked right at me and asked "Whose sword could this be"?
This was right after I had been up to see the old man for possessing a 12" 
butterfly knife when we were in the phillipines.  Chipman was a good
guy. 
Always looked out for us. I don't know how many times he carried me
back to the ship over his shoulder.  There were other great characters too, 
like Teer, Sharp, Lipot, Gilbert.

I had a great time! Thanks everybody!!! :) 
 
Chit-James F. Cayton, ETSN 
chitswood@AOL.com
http://www.chitswood.com
 
***********************************************************
 
Hi All,
I was just looking through the photos and boy did a lot of good times come back to me. I was in charge of the machine Shop from 75-76.
Got off the ship just before you left on West Pac. I've been trying to hook-up with some old "A" gang friends; Joe Roy, Sanderson, I seen
Bruce mold about three years ago. I would like to remember HM3 Jeff Mold who died shortly after he got out of the Navy. I had some really
great times with "A" and "R" division personnel. Yorkie your pictures were great, thanks for the memories. If anyone remembers this group, 
please fell free to email me.
 
MR2 Wayne Bauer
***********************************************************
 
I remember I think it was Okinawa, Beamer might recall it, but we had been frapping the mooring lines on the forecastle. The sailor was
afraid to look down, he did and he lost his false teeth, of course, we laughed. There was someone there with a movie camera and he got
it all. awhile down the road we watched it again. Maybe whomever took the movie will submit it.
 
Mike Lovaas
***********************************************************

I reported on board the Friday before the Mo Boat departed San Diego for Diego Garcia 
in February 1971. During the year I was on the Monticello, I was assigned to M, S-2 
(mess cooking) and A Divisions. 
Seeing Sydney, Perth, Singapore and Hong Kong was an experience I'll never forgot. 
I was only nineteen years old at that time.
I left the Mo Boat to attend Engineman Class "A" school in Great Lakes Ill in 
February 1971. After graduation I wound up on the U.S.S. Grand Canyon AR 28 in
 Newport RI and Mayport FL.
After my enlistment, I subsequently became a professional fire fighter in 
New Jersey and during that career, I participated with the 9-11 rescue effort 
in New York City.
I have since retired from the fire service and I'm now working as a boiler 
operator at a suburban New Jersey hospital, paying for two kids in college. 
To this day, I'll always say that CS1 Carlos "Chico" Herrera made the best chili ever!

Ken Dalton, EN2 1970-74

***********************************************************

68-70 their were a quiet a few fun times and some not so fun times but it 
seemed that the crew and also the officers were pretty close if something 
should happen to anyone of us the memories sometime bring a tear to your 
eye comparing us to today's military and what they ha ve to go through

Forrest Albin BM3
kmafla@Earthlink.net
 
***********************************************************

I REMEMBER BEING IN HONG KONG ON LIBERTY AT THE LITTLE BAR WITH BM3BARRISTER AND BM1 JOWERS 
ALSO BM3 PEDEN AND PEDEN 
GOT WASTED AND WE SENT BACK TO THE FERRY DOCK IN A RIKASHAW
AND PEDEN WASN'T GONE TO LONG AND HE WAS BACK AT , THE BAR WITH US CAUSE HE SAID HE BEAT UP
THE RICKSHAW DRIVER CAUSE HE THOUGHT HE WAS KIDNAPPING HIM.

I ALSO REMEMBER THE AWESOME BAR-B-QS ON THE MEZZANINE DECK WHAT A FEAST.

DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE BOS'N THAT WAS ON BOARD 73-75 I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH LONGER 
HE WAS ON BOARD HE WAS VERY HEAVY SET!!!!!!!!!!


IF YOU WANT TO E-MAIL ME 
qualls10873@Yahoo.com

LEON QUALLS
 
***********************************************************

As a young navy man I recall the outside movies playing while the slow roll 
of the ship and the stars that moved back and forth accross the night 
sky putting you in a very relaxed mood. Learning how to get around the 
inside of the ship and watching the well deck fill with water, 
flight operations and most of all eating SOS.
 
Chet Mealer RM1 (Retired)

***********************************************************


Hello is there any snipes that were on the MoBoat? 
well I was a MM3 on from 61 -64,, went to pearl, Olongapo, Hong Kong, 
Chrismas island, Oknaiwa,and other places remember lots of good times.
 
Jim Mooney, MM3
Hymie_Ho@Hotmail.com

***********************************************************
 

Fellow Mo-Boaters;

Just found this site, any other Flaggs out there. Was on top of the world as a Signalman aboard Her from 76'to 80"

I was discharged while we were dry dock-Portland the day

Mt. St. Helens blew her top the second time. How about Bobby Floyds Java Jive bar in

Tacoma WA. Anybody remember spending a week with me there one day? Good to read you all.

God Bless America!

Charlie Kampa

ckampa at co.ottertail.mn.us (replace "at" with @ and remove the spaces)

***********************************************************

I was on the MoBoat from 80-82. I worked down in the forward engine room... If any of you guys read this...e-mail me...we sure did have some good times!!!

MM3.. Knocked down to E-1 when I left.. Buff

Craig Buffey
craigbuffey@Yahoo.com
 
***********************************************************

 I REMEMBER MY 1ST DAY ON PIER 13 SAN DIEGO WALKING ONTO THE RUST BUCKET IN 
 1985,WHAT A SITE ... BUT THE CREW I GREW TO LIVE WITH GOT HER GOING AGAIN 
 FOR THE LAST 2 WEST PACS SHE DID . WE PASSED ALL SEA GOING TESTS AND HAD A 
 GREAT TIME WATCHING OUR SISTER SHIP THE THOMPSON STALL IN BALLASTING IN 
 CHANNEL.. LOL THIS IS MY 1ST TIME IN 20YRS GOING TO THIS SITE . HAD A 
 GREAT TIME ON BOARD BUT STILL EARS RING FROM TINNITUS I RECEIVED BEING A 
 HOLE SNIPE HOPE TO HEAR FROM ANYONE WHO WAS ON BOARD DURING 83-85 I WAS 
 THE LAST OF 5 MATES TO STAND COLD IRON BEFORE SHE WAS TOWED TO BREMERTON 
 WASH.. REST IN RUST LSD-35 
 
 Chris Keegan
***********************************************************


Hi all was just looking through the photos posted and boy did a lot of good 
times come back to me. I was in charge of the machine shop from 75-76 got 
off just before you left on West Pac. Been trying to hook up with some old 
A-gang friends, Joe Roy, Sanderson, seen Bruce Mold about 3 years ago. 
would like also to remember HM3 Jeff Mold who died shortly after he got 
out of the Navy. Had some really great times with A & R Div. personnel. 
Yorkie your pictures were great, thanks for the memories. Anyone that 
remembers this group feel free to e-mail me. 
 
MR2 Wayne Bauer
***********************************************************
 
I was standing top watch in the boiler room and we were pulling into port, can't remember where.
But I do know we were close enough into it that you didn't want anything to go wrong. We had this
particular BT who only showed up in the boiler room to collect water samples, (Oil King) and
when he walked past the burnerman he liked to mess with him and kick a burner out as he passed.
Well this time he did this he didn't look first and kicked out the only one lit. (not a good idea
when pulling in) My burnerman couldn't believe he did it, i tried to light fires off the back wall, 
but wouldn't go. Finally I had to tell main control, "FIRES OUT #1 BOILER". Oh shit.
Anyway I always wondered just what Dave Ryan knew that kept him out of trouble for doing that.
It was quite funny afterwards.
 
Wayne VanderZwaag
 
***********************************************************
 
Stop me if you've heard this atomic secret...
Served on MoBoat from 75-79. Long Beach to Anchorage, AK to Kangaroo II, some strange RimPac to the middle
of nowhere (Enewetok), to deliver Pampers, fruit cocktail and Airstream Trailers to imaginary islanders, and
another WestPac featuring the strange case of disappearing SM Bauman... and the disappearing stern gate.
I remember that week in Tacoma well. To this day I have Java flashbacks whenever i hear someone play the 
Wulitzer. Can't help screaming, "Go, Bobby, Go!" You had to be there...
 
Best,
Jon Hayman
 
***********************************************************
 

I remember all the wing wall parties of all E-3 & below @ after lookout I made 
West-Pac 78 with Jeff Schrader as my mentor on the pool table. I remember the 
stern gate. I think that was always one of those things you thought about when you 
walked by " Would that thing ever fall off?" HA, HA and the late night climbs 
down the back of said stern gate to partake in some party times! Lots of 
great memories!! All that remember feel free to contact me @ 
 or  I also remember when in the MR 
shop with a car cassette player hooked up to a 12 volt car battery playing 
Van Halen "Running with the Devil" 
and the 3rd verse we realized that the words were "GODDAMN THE NAVY AND ALL YOU LIFERS, 
I'm gonna tell you one more time" And what about Cheif Kupkie? his famous tattoo of his name on 
the head of his pecker! Well "Let the good times roll"

Thanks to all you helped make me the man I am today and not in jail!

Kevin Laurie
 
***********************************************************
 
 

Ahoy Beamer,

Thank you for providing such a great web site. I'm compiling a history of my Naval service and your site has been invaluable.

You may want to re-categorized me in your crew list, as I was actually attached to the USS Monticello in 1972.

I was assigned to Tactical Air Traffic Control Squadron 13 (TACRON 13) Detachment C, 1972-1973.

Our detachment reported aboard USS Monticello on 20 September 1972 for transport to Okinawa, Japan.

We got underway for WEST PAC early on the morning of 21 September 1972. We were in port Honolulu, Hawaii 27-29 September 1972.

On 30 September 1972, we were again underway for WEST PAC. On 11 October 1972 the USS Monticello anchored at Kin Wan, Okinawa.

Our detachment disembarked this day by way of a mike-boat (landing craft.) We landed on a beach at Kin Wan where Marines from

Battalion Teams (BLT) 3 and 4 were waiting to embark on board USS Monticello. At this landing site I bought a small bottle of

Coca Cola from a vendor, I still have the bottle with Japanese writing for a souvenir. Our detachment was then trucked from here to

Buckner Bay, Okinawa where we embarked on board the USS Cleveland. That evening we were underway for Han La, North Viet Nam.

 

The USS Monticello is important to me because it was the first of many ships I served on during my 22 year Naval career.

Ironically, the USS San Bernadino, which was in company with the USS Monticello from San Diego to WEST PAC is the ship that I returned to California on.

 

One memory while on board the USS Monticello that I will never forget is; One evening while en route from Hawaii to Okinawa,

I was standing on a low portion of the aft-port catwalk watching the waves. I saw two large shark fins, about 20 feet apart swimming towards me,

I thought it was 2 sharks. When the fins got very close to the ship, I saw it was 1 huge shark, it opened it's mouth wide and begin madly thrashing. 

By the way, I have friends in the Valley Springs Optimist Club. 

 

Your fellow shipmate,

Lloyd Reber

**********************************************************

I served on the MO boat from July 1961 to 15 Jan 1965. I was in division 2 as an undesignated seaman until I made ET 3 and served the rest of my time in the ET shop.

My fondest memory was the time I mixed red lead and white paint to produce a "titty pink". I painted the second division head with it and painted the trim with black striping.

Every one loved it except the BOSUN. I got to paint it again the next day, but it was enjoyed for a little while.

If you want to please contact me at

Tom Bouquet

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Dear Robert,

I am sending my $30.00 life member dues. I am incarcerated and cannot access the website, but I have several friends who can.

Is it alright if one of them accesses the website to get information for me?

If anyone wants to write me, they can write me at: Don Colvin, 531628 Wynne, Huntsville, Texas 77349. They have to use my TDC#, because they route mail by TDC numbers.

The following names i could not find on the list: Sammy Quinn, Tyler Texas, Stewart Boatswain's mate who was the coxswain of the Captain's gig, Issacs, Eric Stanley

Brian Sipes, Brian was the mailman, Lt. David O'Connor, Lt. john R. Loner. Captain James A. Homyack, Captain Homyack made admiral I believe in early 1969.

I remember Lt. Doc O'Connor went to Holy Cross College. John Jett and Donnie Carson, Cook from Longview, Texas. Tom Farrow, Houston Texas. tom has been writing me for

several years.

I will send some of my personal history while I was onboard the USS Monticello if you would like to put it on the website .

I don't know if you remember me or not, but I was a Boatswain's Mate seaman on the starboard wingwall from September of 1968 to February of 1969, then I changed my rate

to yeoman seaman and i worked in the Captain's office until my discharge on July 17, 1970.

I am looking forward from hearing from you and my other shipmates. I have been in prison for 19 years and 2 months and I come up for parole in September of 2009.

Sincerely yours,

 

Don Colvin

 

P.S. There was a BM3 I went on liberty with in Hong Kong, but I do not remember his name. I remember his name. I remember I worked with him and what he looks like.

I remember we rode a train up the mountain and took lots of pictures. I lost most of my pictures when Charlotte and I divorced in 1989.

***********************************************************

I served on the USS Monticello from 1971-1974. The skipper at that time allowed me to take my dog, Dammit, to Hawaii.

He was a mustanger who really loved dogs. I went on three West-Pac trips and enjoyed the last two much more as I was no longer a pollywog.

The friends that I made during my time on the Monticello I still remember to this day.

Pat Van Brocklin

***********************************************************

Man, I just found this site tonight. And It wasn't long before I damn near fell outa my seat here.

I'm readin' some of these stories, thinkin' 'bout that time in my life. Wow, what a time it was.

EN2 Tony Iallonardo. Served proudly and honorably with you guys, my brothers, July '72 thru August '74.

A-ganger. What a bunch of crazies ......

So anyway, here I be checkin this out ... and I come across Crowell and Van Brocklin.

I could tell you some CRAZY shit about these two !!!!!!!!

For the moment, as I write this while doing other things, I hereby testify to the accuracy of

Crowell's MONGOOSE .... I was there. That's a scary thought. But we lived thru it. And now

we've got these cool memories, when the memory works.

No jive Bill, that secret held tight.

And yeah, I got one you'll remember. You in the engine shop in a chair, supposedly napping,

when Ray Medler (EN2) walks in and seeing you there soundly asleep in that chair, he could not,

and I mean he COULD NOT resist the opportunity to swanker over to the side of that chair and

attempt to stick his heehaw in your ear. You'll recall that you were not sleeping. No ......

You were very much awake and waiting for that sucker ... and about the time he got within 6" of you,

you came very much alive and ...... well ..... YOU remember what you did ....

scared the livin' hell outa' him when you went for it !!!!!

And Van Brocklin. sorry but I gotta' say wow again. Pat. What a guy. This guy is (was?) a big old

strapping hunk who had it goin' on wif the 'ladies'. I was better lookin' (wink wink), but you

did have it goin' on. Dude, you were nuts then. Hope you kept that with you all these years.

I remember some wacky times at the little duplex or triplex or whatever it was that you were renting ...

can't remember who your roomy was. Black dude?

Pat was a 'Steamer' back then. Didn't matter what port we pulled into. The ladies gravitated to Pat.

I, however, remember a night, the first night in Waikiki on our way to WestPac '72. Pat had an

experience down around Hotel Street that was to say the least, .............. hmmmm .....

different .... yeah, that's it, different. This one kept A-gang laughing for a long way into

that cruise. But as wacky as it was ... I will defer to you Pat, and your memory of that night,

to relate it to those you will, should you ever feel the need to do so. Crazy times man.

I'll be back to this forum as often as I can. Wish I had the time to relate the story of being

chased by huge numbers of seriously p****d off natives in KaoShung with Benny (EN2 from Oklahoma)

and Ray Medler (again !!) in tow, thru the side streets and out into the main drag where we got

lucky enough to be grabbed and thrown into the Shore Patrol van and hauled ass outa there, before

that crowd took us apart. And of course it had to do with drunk sailors, women, a thrown whisky

bottle, and a lady with a very bloody hair-do. Man, can't believe it was that long ago.

So Bill, Pat, I am so glad I read your posts. Again, I hope things are well with both of you,

and a warm regards to all those crazies, hero's, I was fortunate enough to serve with.

In my memories I love you all.

I can be reached at

Regards and best wishes,

 

Tony Iallonardo ENC/USN/Ret

REUNION - - - YES !!! Come on, let's be there !

Tony Iallonardo

***********************************************************

Hello all, I was a radioman (OC div) on the Monticello 1973-74, went on a WestPac sometime in there.

I remember going to one place in the Philippines called Batangas city.

If anybody has a crewbook and knows the exact date of this, please email me at

 

Thanks,

Mike Thor RM3

***********************************************************

22 October 2009

I served on the MoBoat from jan 66 till may 69 and had a lot of great times, I was an RD3 and remember a

buddy of mine Danny Johnson and John Bourne, They both always seemed to be my {partners in crime} whenever

we were bar hopping in Olongapo or any other liberty ports we visited, like John beating up a cabbie in

Yokosuka for hitting him when he stepped off the curb across the street from the base one night.

Would like to hear from anybody that remembers me from that time.

Also if anyone has any pictures of our picnics we had in DaNang I would really like to see them.

[I have cancer and my counselor would like me to get these} Anyway I really enjoyed those years and

never have had any regrets about being on the MoBoat or in the Navy.

 

Patrick Burnight

***********************************************************

January 12, 2010

My little Brother Lacy A. Freeman served as a signalman on the USS Monticello from 1980-1983.

Lacy A. Freeman passed away today Tuesday Jan 12th 2010 in Bettendorf Iowa. from a short illness of cancer.

you can see his obituary at trimblefuneral home Moline, Illinois website. His funeral is set for

Monday January 15th, 2010 and his burial will be on the Rock Island Arsenal Military base Rock Island Illinois

Lacy loved his ship and the Navy was a good thing for him as a 17 year old. Lacy loved his country

and serving in The US Navy always made him proud to be an American and he always knew that most

Americans take their freedom for granted and thought that was alright in such a way that if you

can take something like freedom for granted then you know you're FREE.

I will miss my little broth Lacy A. Freeman. 1962-2010

Vic Freeman

***********************************************************

I was station aboard the U.S.S. McGoffin APA 199 our nine month tour was over and we were two or three days out of Yokosuka, Japan

enroute back to San Diego, U.S.A. I was working the third shift when the Captain came into the radio room about 10pm which was his

custom and I gave him the message on the Gulf of Tonkin and mentioned to him that since the U.S.S. Nobel APA 218 was in port at

Subic Bay Philippines for boiler repair that I thought there was a good chance that we would be turned around. The next morning

about 6.45am walking into the radio room Bill Batson said, Al you were right, we turned around a little after midnight.

e are going to Mount Fugi to pick up the marines and then to Okinawa to take on ammunition and then to the Gulf area.

While docked at Okinawa I was transferred to the U.S.S Monticello LSD 35 and spent the remainder of my tour of duty (about four months)

aboard the Monticello. We spent approximately 60 or 70 days off the coast of Vietnam (sailing the 100 mile square) before returning to

Okinawa. The only two radio personnel names (aboard the Monticello) that I can recall are the 2 PICKENS brothers.

Though all of the ships crew treated me (a newcomer extremely well). After leaving Okinawa for the states we ran into

very rough weather. We were directed to sail between two typhoons and for several days we had high seas (25 to 35 foot waves)

I can remember the sound as the ships propeller on numerous occasions came out of the water. The ship lost a Papa boat

(carry's 60 marines) on the way back (I say lost; it was badly damaged). I was discharged from the U.S. Navy in San Diego

on December 14, 1964, after serving 3 years 11 months and 17 days. My tour of duty took me from Saint Louis, Missouri, to San

Diego, California, To Kodiak, Alaska's Naval Radio Station Holiday Beach to Vietnam and the Far East. All in all I met and

served with a bunch of Great Sailors and an experience that I have often thought of many times and wonder about the paths

that all have taken. Hopefully all have found the path that leads to Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

Albert Louis Allen RM2

 

***************************************

 

I was on the Mo-Boat from January 1967 through 1969, when I got off in Bremerton to go to a yard tug at

Bangor Ammunition Depot. I remember (or rather don't remember) a lot of drunk nights and cooking some rather so-so chow.

I loved it when the marines would come on board and we'd watch them get sea sick.... of course later on learned that

they were the nicest people in the world. One day a marine "accidently" shot himself in the troop quarters and he

later survived even though he took it in the lung. One marine fell off of the railing into the well deck and greeted

a diesel engine and was hurt pretty bad. How many remember the night the Monty hit the USS Tripoli LPH10 during the

first 45 minutes of night ops off of Viet Nam. I did work in the ships store for a time before I became a cook......

"Well, I could boil water anyway" well I did make good cinnamon rolls... Oh yes, I remember the captain and marines

running up to the helo-deck to chew out a Huey chopper pilot for landing without permission......

it was General Westmoreland and when the captain saw him he turned white and saluted!! I guess Westmoreland's

chopper had engine problems and he had no choice but to land on the Monticello. One of the officers dropped

anchor in Hawaii just before he ran us aground... Well a lot of that is bad stuff, but there was Mom's in Subic

and all the yellow dirt on the whites... We also had a great time at White Beach with warm beer and 110 degree weather.....

Oh, another memory is when the Monty was ballasted down to rescue a civilian barge and we started getting fired upon

and had to get the hell out... luckily the USS St Paul broadsided at about 1/4 mile and shot the hell out of the beach....

I had ran to the fantail and saw one of the shells hit the water no greater than 100 ft. from the stern....

I believe the Monty was also on line when the Thom Greene County was hit ... that was sad...

I guess one or two sailors were killed.... Well that's my memories of the Monticello... Feel free to e-mail me..!.

Mike Funderburg (T-Bird)

***************************************

 

I heard the old Monnticello LSD 35 was being sunk as a target in rimpac 2010 off Hawaii along with my old ship

uss anchorage LSD 36 and the New Orleans LPH 11. I remember back in 1981 we had to beat feet out of Buckner Bay,

Okinawa Japan to avoid a typhoon and we were in company with the Monticello. All weather decks were secure due

to the storm but I snuck out anyway and watched the Monticello disappear under a mountainous wave that went over

her bridge and she appeared on the other side of it. That was all i needed to see and I beat it back inside.

Sorry to hear she is going under but will be in good company with the old 36. I was assigned to number 2 MMR

on the Anchorage but remember being moored alongside the Monticello many of times in San Diego.

Goodbye to a couple of good old ships.

Pat Waters

 

***************************************

             Robert: My name is ED LANE, and I was a member of the commissioning crew of the U.S.S. MONTICELLO, LSD – 35. I happened to see your address in a back-issue of VFW Magazine ( June 2010). I have thought of LSD-35 over the years … of significant happenings before, during, and after her commissioning … and where her duty stations may have taken her after I left her, in 1957. I was an ET – 3, one of three Electronic Technicians assigned to her original crew … one ET-1, one ET-2, and one ET-3. Just recently, my recollections became focused when I read that LSD-35 had been sunk off Hawaii, as part of a live-fire military exercise … the article had a photo of her, apparently before she sank. Sad, but still a more fitting end than what befell the LST that I was transferred to after leaving MONTICELLO … they hauled the LST away from the dock at San Diego and cut her up for razor blades.

Briefly, some of my personal significant memories of MONTICELLO’s first year as a part of the regular Navy began with my being transferred from Patuxent River Naval Air Test Center ( PAXRIV ), to become one of her commissioning crew. I, along with many other rates, found ourselves at Norfolk for training in our respective specialty ratings. My training consisted in familiarizing with the radio, radar, navigational, and any other electronic equipment that would be on her … this took about 3 months, as I recall. Then, a trainload of us future-crewmembers were taken through the southeastern states to New Orleans where, again, we were temporarily billeted at an inactive Naval base ( Algiers, if memory serves here ). Anyway, I remember that we had to take a ferry across the Mississippi River to get to downtown New Orleans. We were only there a short time, about 2 to 4 weeks. Then, we went to Pascagoula, Mississippi, to Engels Shipyard, where she had just been finished. Then, we had several weeks of continuous “ All Hands Evolutions “, in which we manhandled aboard all her provisions, foodstuffs, hardware, equipment, small stores … basically everything except what hadn’t been welded or screwed to the decks by the shipyard … and the ammunition for our guns … that came later. When everything had been stowed, more or less properly, but definitely in a hurry, there was a VERY PROPER, and FORMAL, commissioning ceremony, where our Captain took command. Then we sailed away from the shipyard, down the Pascagoula River, into the Gulf of Mexico.

Our initial sailing orders, as told through scuttlebutt to the crew, was that this phase of her “ shakedown “ would be a cruise around Florida, and up the east coast to Boston.  Boston was the Captain’s home town, and we were to lay up there for a couple of weeks so the Captain could have some leave-time with his family. That suited this young, 22-year-old sailor right down to the ground, since I had not been more than 100 miles away from home before I joined the Navy. Everything went great, smooth Gulf of Mexico, warm winds and ocean breezes, almost like a vacation. We rounded the southern tip of Florida and cruised north on the Gulf Stream. Then early one night we were passing a few miles offshore of Cape Hatteras when we ran into a hurricane. And it was just like the hurricane sequence in the movie “ The Caine Mutiny “. All night and the next day, the Captain headed her bow into the monstrous waves, that’s all he could do … and all the crew could do was to “ grab something and hang on “ … we were locked down with maximum water-tight security and no one was allowed to come on deck, although why anyone would do such a suicidal thing was beyond me.  Every few minutes the ship’s props would come out the water as she topped another gigantic wave. The props spinning freely wracked the ship as though she would come apart at the seams, before sliding down and burying her bow in its trough … then shudder and shake herself free, only to struggle up the next wave … endlessly, it seemed. A lifetime later, it seemed, the storm subsided, and MONTICELLO sailed on … she had definitely proved that she was seaworthy.  But that was as close to a miraculous salvation as I have ever experienced since. We had a great time in Boston, while the Captain had his shore leave too.  The big ticket item for me was that I got to attend the Boston Pops Orchestra; what a fun experience for a small town boy.

From Boston we were to cruise leisurely through the Caribbean to the Panama Canal, through the Canal, then north to our home port, San Diego. This was fabulous.  I was getting to see this exotic tropical paradise, and I was getting paid, a little, in the bargain. Bring it on. Again, smooth sailing all the way. And don’t forget, this was part of our “ shakedown cruise.” Somewhere south of Cuba, in the central Caribbean, the Captain stopped the ship, lowered the tailgate, flooded the well-deck, and invited the crew to have a swim in the ship, while a guard armed with an M-1 rifle was stationed on each side of the fan tail, to shoot any hungry sharks who might be attracted. A further training exercise consisted of several gunners mates taking target practice shooting submachine guns, rifles and pistols at various floating objects that were tossed overboard … ostensibly as “ repel boarders “ exercises.  Actually, everyone was just invited to have one hell of a rip-roaring military party. All that was missing was the booze. OK, enough fun, back to sailoring, on to the Canal.

Passage through the Panama Canal was mind-blowing for me. Since grade school I had seen many photos of the Canal, its locks, cuts, lakes, and jungle villages. But this was in 3-D with Smell-o-Vision. All the way through the Canal all hands were at “ battle stations “. My battle station was below decks, on the starboard side, in a tiny compartment that housed the ship’s  emergency radio equipment. Cramped, but it had a porthole that was just a couple of feet above the level of the top of the ground on the side where the small engines ( “mules” ) ran along railroad tracks, and pulled the ships through each lock in turn. I had a grandstand seat for the entire journey, without a thing to do but watch, and take an occasional photo. The ship was so wide that I could almost touch the walls of the locks as we went through. When we got through, we tied up at Panama City. I had not been told, but it turned out that one of the ship’s two main electric generators had burned out during our passage through the Caribbean. We would be tied up while a new generator was flown down from the States, and installed.

Oh, boy, more tough luck. Nothing to look forward to but shore leave for 2 or 3 weeks, explore Panama City, and relax at the very well appointed and elegant Naval base’s Enlisted Men’s Club. Since there wasn’t much for us Electronic Technicians to do, we were essentially on permanent shore leave, and we took advantage of every day to rent a taxi and explore and sight-see everything within miles of Panama City. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much worth seeing once you got two or three miles away from the naval station. This was a major educational experience for me into how most of the world lived OUTSIDE of the United States. Basically, their society was divided into those who had the BEST of EVERYTHING and those who had NOTHING. Those who had nothing were happy to see the American sailors, because we had lots of money, and we spent it. When we tried to enter the POSH ENCLAVES of the rich, however, their hotels or restaurants, we soon found out that American military personnel were NOT WELCOME … our paltry money meant nothing to their society, and to walk in in uniform was not tolerated. Oh, we could occasionally bribe our way into some fancy place with an outrageous tip to the maitre de, but we were snubbed, got no service, and soon got the message that we might as well leave. One day we asked our taxi driver to take us into the best neighborhoods, so we could see the homes of these rich people … he refused … it was strictly forbidden, and he would be jailed and his livelihood of driving a taxi would be revoked. He could only take us to see the usual tourist attractions, the university, and the sections of town where EVERYONE ELSE lived. One place, however, where we were welcome was the city’s CASINO; our money was welcome there, since they were sure going to take it away from us. Me and my shipmates decided to hell with them; we would NOT give a cent to those bastards. We only spent money where we thought it was going into the working man’s pocket. And we let them know that was what we were doing, and they appreciated it. Once they understood that, they would do anything for us that they could. Eventually, all good things had to end, and we cast off for San Diego.

The Pacific lived up to its name, and it was smooth sailing for five days. When we arrived in San Diego harbor, however, it was announced that the MONTICELLO was in quarantine status. We were required to anchor about a mile away from the downtown docks, where we were supposed to tie up. No one would be allowed off the ship for 24 hours, as I recall. After that, every man who was eligible for shore leave had to muster on the quarter deck and have his temperature taken by a medical corpsman, to see if he had a fever. It turned out that over ten percent of the crew, which was about 400 men and officers, had contracted some form of venereal disease from frequenting the whore houses of Panama City. By Naval Regulations, any ship with over ten percent of its crew on sick call could not enter port, and was under quarantine until the disease was declared over. Well, here was this ship, with 400 men, many who had wives and children waiting for them on the dock, and no one could leave the ship. Time, and a lot of penicillin shots later, and the crew was gradually allowed shore leave, and the ship tied up at the dock, complete with a band, and hundreds of wives and kids. Many has been the time when I have wondered what a bunch of old salts told their wives about that time in quarantine. And by the way, I was one of the first lot that was granted shore leave, that first day. One more place I did not give any money to, because they also were run by the wealthy patrons.

I hope you have had a good response to your listing.

Ed Lane

***************************************

December, l957, nearly fifty-five years ago, I climbed the gang plank of the USS Monticello (LSD-35) for the first time. 

I was eighteen years old; six months out of high school, three months out of Boot Camp, and three weeks out of Personnel

school at the Naval Training Center in San Diego, California.   I was shown a compartment, starboard side, foc’sle, and for

the next thirty-months, the USS Monticello was my home.  There was not yet a bridge to Coronado and the San Diego Padres

were a minor league team whose ballpark was on Broadway in downtown San Diego. 

 

The tallest building in the city was the El Cortez Hotel whose trademark was a glass elevator rising up the outside of the building.

During my years aboard,  I was to advance from PNSN to PN2, I was to roam the Pacific Ocean and see Atomic bombs exploded;

I was to sail passed the hulk of the USS Arizona, still leeching oil, in Pearl  Harbor; I was to walk the streets of Honolulu much as

 they had been during World War II but nothing like they would become;  I was to taste my first Scotch whiskey at the Top of the

 Mark in San Francisco, when that hotel offered the most spectacular view of that spectacular city; I was to experience the tail end

of a typhoon off Kodiak Island, Alaska where even the most experienced sailors got sick; and I would grow from a boy to a young man. 

My experiences aboard the USS Monticello were experiences that I remember with appreciation and fondest as having contributed

to the foundation upon which I was to build a life that I could not have imagined while standing the mid-watch, drinking coffee,

and staring across the water at a sleeping San Diego.  In my mind’s eye, it doesn’t seem so long ago.

James C. Coomer

***************************************

I too made the 73-74 WESTPAC, as a young Machinest Mate. Oh yes, lots of tales to tell.

Most are not suitable for print.

Did my time in the pit......aft engine room.

Question for the "Old Salts".

On the evap, was a painting of a hillbilly standing next to a still.

At some time, before I came aboard, the evap had been stripped, and re-lagged.

The painting was cut out and re-attached.

Who painted it, and when?

Being from Missouri, I loved it.

Curtis Weiland

***************************************

Hello,
 I served on the USS Monticello from around June 67 to April 69. My nick name was "SKI"  I was in "M" Division aft engine room. 

 I would like to here from guys like Lewis, Huff, Staub, Jenkins, Blunt, Flarety.  Anyone out there? Anyone remember me?
Ski


***************************************

I came aboard just as the M0-Boat returned from her Westpac in 1973 until the night before she left for her next Westpac in 1974. 

During that time we sailed to Anchorage to show the flag over 4th of July because the USS Anchorage had suffered a deck fire. 

Our money wasn't any good in Anchorage and the whole city came aboard to see our Navy Seals and Helos put on a great show.

Great port of call!  We did a rimpac, roughtray, blew up a firing range with our 3" 54sm and various other trips. 

I didn't get to stay aboard for the following Westpac, but I was aboard long enough to make a lot of friends and lasting memories.

After I left the Navy I used my FTG training to move into launch systems for the P3 Anti-Submarine aircraft, and then into automatic test systems engineering. 

For the past thirty years I have worked on various missile and aircraft test systems, but the main one has been the one that tests the Boeing Harpoon/SLAM missile. 

I was really sad to read that a Harpoon launched from a P3-C launch system I worked on back in the day and using a Harpoon missile that I have

worked on for thirty years eventually sunk the Mo-boat.  I didn't do it, but in this one case I kind of wished that it hadn't worked.    

Jeff Hall FTG-3 1973/1974  Reno, Nevada

***************************************

I served onboard the Mo-Boat from 1978 -1983.  I remember Mount Saint Helens blowing her top. 

I was in Vancouver, Washington when it happen.  I thought at first it was snowing until I went outside.  
I also remember the Mo-Boat losing an anchor off of Korea and of course the stern gate problem.  
I worked in Main Control, Aft Engine Room and I was also the Log Room Yeoman
 
David Forster
dforster "at" airadvantage.net
 
***************************************
 

Hi Beamer,

Barry Craven came aboard the Monticello after a stint as a corpsman with the Marine Corps in 1966. 

He was only on board for a few months before he left the ship in early 1967 to attend his ill father in Reno, NV. 

He and I became friends and I remember a story about my getting him in trouble during a GQ drill while anchored out in San Diego. 

He had "lent" me the use of sick bay while my girl friend was visiting aboard when GQ was called. 

The door was locked (for some strange reason) so he couldn't get in to get his first aid kit and he showed up at his GQ station without it. 

The XO was not pleased and chewed him out.  His obituary is here.

Ron Harben

***************************************

I was just a kid in the early 70's when My Cousin, Nicki Joe and  my Mom Carol Met some of the guys from the MO Boat. 
John Barrington, Gary "ox" Oxford are the only Names I can remember, but the guys lived at my house in Reseda Ca. 
in the winter of 1975 I think some of the best times of my childhood was from these gentlemen who saved our Christmas 
and taught me to drive, I was around 12 years old and the first car I ever drove was a 1969 Mustang Fastback, 
after John Barrington changed the clutch out of it in front of my house. does anyone remember me, Buddy, 
Dori my sister, Dana sister, Carol Mom Nicki my cousin.

Please email me if anyone remembers anything from that time. like I said I was just a kid! 
Buddy Van Wie
blvsr at me.com
***************************************
It is very refreshing to know that most of my shipmates are still around. 
Thank you so much Beamer for making this site accessible. 
Now, if you served the MO in the inclusive years of 1971-1973 please let's get together & reminisce about the good old days. 
CPO's Quarter was a real fun place to be, most especially when we had Big Holloway presiding.
Rogelio Morales
***************************************
  

I was on the MoBoat from 1961-1963. I was FN. I remember the Mooney brothers Jim, Tim and Tom. The Campbells, the Nelson brothers and Emmitt Dunn.
I remember going to Pearl, Hong Kong, Olongapo and the bomb test at Christmas Island and lots of fun. Anybody that remember me I would love to hear from you.
I have made contact with Robert Campbell. I live in Madera Calif.
 
Don Morgan
Donmorgan42 @ gmail.com
***************************************
This may seem strange to those who spent their entire navy time on the "MoBoat." The "MoBoat" was the first ship I served aboard. 
So what is strange about that? I was a YN1 with 10 years active service. I reported aboard in Bremerton in May 1969. 
I arrived in Bremerton on Thursday I think it was, and the "MoBoat" was on sea trials for final acceptance from the ship yard. 
Reported aboard Monday morning when She came into port. My first trip to sea was the dependents cruise to our home port in San Diego. 
Had minor sea sickness the first couple of days but then got used to it. We transited to San Diego and then went into RefTra. 
Fun for someone who had that many years in service but had never been through RefTra. Had some local ops and then came our Westpac cruise. 
Left San Diego Jan 31, 1970. Visited Pearl Harbor, then headed West again. We had the collision with the USS KAWISHWI. 
We heard a noise and seen the 14 inch beam in the Ships Office twisting and paint flaking off. We were never told to leave the office but we did. 
I remember the YNC and I was trying to get out the door at the same time, he stopped looked at me and "Rank has it's privilege, get out my way." 
I yielded to the boss. Then on to the rescue of Japanese fishermen. Along the way we visited Subic Bay, South Vietnam, Hong Kong and Pearl Harbor again. 
Who can forget our swim call in the flooded well deck with cookout on the helopad while steaming from Subic to South Vietnam. 
In April 1970 I received orders to detach from "MoBoat" and report to new construction LST-1187 in San Diego. I detached in May 1970 while in Subic Bay. 
Thus ended my tour on the "MoBoat."
 
Arvis Foshee
cajunswabbie@ outlook.com
 
 
 

 

 

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