what are you listening to right now .... part six

boomer

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Al Green's - Let's Stay Together

Footage of John Steiner's Dibley 25 CARBON sailing in the 2014 Three Buoy Fiasco, taken from on board Frankie, with Bob Perry driving.

Crew owner Kim Bottles, Hobot, Thor, Kim's niece and my self. 

Last two clips CARBON IS flying an asymmetrical in a Bainbridge Island/Winslow Wednesday night beer can race. 




 

boomer

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The extended jam version three years later at the Fillmore East. Skip Battin on base and Gram Parsons on the drums killing it. Would have liked to see Roger McGuinn's 12-string Rick dominate this jam version as in the original hit.




 

boomer

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I'm sure many of my old service buds got a lot of "thank you for your service" on this past Veterans Day. It's hard for me to say, "I was doing it for service to the country." Since I had planned on joining the Seabees since I was 12, do 20-30 years and build a retirement - despite joining during "a illegal war, that a staged skirmish in the Gulf Of Tonkin, increased the US involvement in the war - for all the wrong reasons." Didn't quite work out that way the US intended. But things don't always work as planned.
 



I will add; most everyone I knew was against the war when we went in, or at least a high percentage of them - probably about 75%+ of my class, and 100% of my friends. The "Tet Offensive", U.S. citizens' mistrust of their government that had begun after the offensive worsened with the release of news about U.S. soldiers massacring civilians at My Lai in 1968 as well, the invasion of Cambodia (1970), then what happened at Kent State University in May 1970, and the leaking of the Pentagon Papers (1971)cemented the US general population's opposition of the war. At school we wore black ribbons on our arms in solidarity. We had several school wide gatherings in the gym, so the facts and truths could be explained to the student body.
 



Most who went in the service back then went in because it was a generational - our fathers or parents had served in WW II. Those who went in, went in despite the draft, I enlisted about a month after my 18th birthday my senior year, on March 10, 1972 under the "Cash" program. Still no matter the difficulties we faced, we tried to face them with a good attitude, and have a good time especially in the Seabees. The draft ended in 1973 as I recall.
 



Most I went in with, went in because their father or parents were in during WW II. Also, many who went in the service didn't want to go into the Army or worse yet the Marines, so they joined the Navy or Air Force, or those like Trump, got a school deferment.
 



Most my time in the Seabees, was about having a good time. Though we worked hard, we played hard - if you couldn't have fun, why be there, eh?
 



From what I heard from my brother, those in the fleet liked having a good time, too - even when the hours were long - but I imagine that depends on what ship and who the Skipper was, and if the XO as well as your chief was cool.
 



Some facts from that war; 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the official Vietnam era from August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975.
 



2,709,918 Americans served in uniform in Vietnam.
 



Vietnam Veterans represented 9.7% of their generation.
 



They have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.
 



Their personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.
 



87% of Americans hold Vietnam Era Veterans in high esteem.
 




There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Era Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group.

Vietnam Era Veterans are less likely to be in prison – only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.

85% of Vietnam Era Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.

97% of Vietnam Era Veterans were honorably discharged.

91% of Vietnam Era Veterans say they are glad they served.

74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.

The big Myth: Common belief is that most Vietnam Era Veterans were drafted.

Fact: 2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. Approximately 70% of those killed in Vietnam were volunteers.

Who's the greatest generation?


 

boomer

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The rain lightened up for a wee bit - hence the smiles and chuckling. Men of Seabee Team 1011 placing the form for the footing of a pier on the third bridge, Province Route 15. L-R BUC Gerdau, BU1 Faber, and UTA2 McMillan.

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boomer

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Seabee Team 1011 at work on the fourth bridge, Province Route 15. Note that's the old bridge is still being used, Vinh Long City

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boomer

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The look on their faces says it all. Ham and MoFos again? I don't think I met anyone who liked Ham and MoFos(Lima beans). Definitely not a favorite. Engineering Aide 3rd class Ed Sugg, Equipment Operator 1st class Sam Bass, and Equipment Operator 2nd class Mike Morisoli, from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 62 Detail Buford.

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boomer

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Engineering Aide 3rd Class Jim Miller, kneeling. The Seabee NMCB 62 detail survey nine miles in three days. The team departed in helicopters from Phu Bai and landed across the Dai Giang River in a rice paddy. Note they're still using M14s rather then M16s - some battalion Commanders felt the M14 was a better rifle for Vietnam.

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boomer

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Men from Seabee Delta Company plow through a rice paddy as they set fence posts at Ammunition Supply Point #1, DaNang. Delta Company provided perimeter security in the form of a six-mile chain link fence that was put up over terrain varying from swampy rice paddies to the sheer slope of a rocky hillside.

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boomer

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All stop...smoke em if you got them - the smoking lamp is lit - break time when the Public Works CO comes to check the progress. Seabees from Public Works Naval Support Activity, Da Nang were responsible for bridge construction for the Army I Corps.

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boomer

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A masterpiece, one of the greatest American songs ever made. Its timeless; all these years later and it's still relevant. Although "For What It's Worth" is often considered an anti-war song, Stephen Stills was inspired to write the song because of the Sunset Strip curfew riots in Los Angeles in November 1966 - a series of early counterculture-era clashes that took place between police and young people on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California. "For What It's Worth" quickly also became a well-known protest song. Stills said in an interview that the name of the song came about when he presented it to the record company executive Ahmet Ertegun (who signed Buffalo Springfield to the Atlantic Records-owned ATCO label). Stills said: "I have this song here, for what it's worth, if you want it."




 

boomer

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More then a few of my classmates and childhood friends served in Task Force 77, which was the aircraft carrier battle/strike force of the United States Seventh Fleet in the United States Navy (USN) since the U.S. Seventh Fleet was formed. During the Vietnam War, twelve different commanders led CARDIV FIVE and CTF 77 in numerous combat deployments to the Vietnam War zone. Beginning in 1964, COMCARDIV FIVE was permanently deployed to the Western Pacific and dual-hatted CTF 70/CTF 77, homeported at Naval Air Station Cubi Point in the Philippines. During the Vietnam War, Task Force 77 conducted carrier strike operations from the Gulf of Tonkin and South China Sea for nine years, from 1964 to 1973. Twenty-one of the Navy's 23 operational carriers made at least one cruise with the Task Force and served over 9,100 days on the line. The nickname Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club came to be associated with US carrier operations off Vietnam. Rolling Thunder air strikes, armed reconnaissance, and photo reconnaissance missions were conducted against selected targets and lines of communication (LOC) in North Vietnam, while operational procedures were developed by the operating units, 7th Air Force and Carrier Task Force 77, that permitted the full range of coordination for all air operations in the Rolling Thunder program.




 

boomer

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As the U.S. Navy entered heavy combat in Southeast Asia between 1965 and 1968, a chain of command evolved which reflected the complex character of the war. In theory, Commander in Chief, Pacific was the commander of all American forces in Asia, including those assigned to Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (COMUSMACV). The U.S. Pacific Fleet was the naval component of the Pacific Command and as such directed the Navy's activities in that ocean. Subordinate to Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT) was Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet, who conducted those naval operations in Southeast Asia primarily external to South Vietnam. The fleet's Attack Carrier Striking Force (Task Force 77) mounted from the South China Sea the aerial interdiction campaign in Laos and North Vietnam, while Seventh Fleet's cruiser and destroyer units hunted the enemy's logistic craft along the North Vietnamese coast, bombarded targets ashore, and provided naval gunfire support to allied forces in South Vietnam.
 



From the South China Sea, the Seventh Fleet's Attack Carrier Strike Force participated in Operations Rolling Thunder and Blue Tree in North Vietnam; the Barrel Roll, Steel Tiger, and Tiger Hound bombing and Yankee Team reconnaissance efforts in Laos; and the ground support mission in South Vietnam. Except during the period in 1965 and 1966, when the aircraft carrier supporting operations in the South sailed at Dixie Station, the carrier task force was deployed at Yankee Station (after April 1966 at 17°30'N 108°30'E). Generally, before August 1966, two or three carriers operated in Task Force 77, and after that date the number was often three or four. During the Easter Offensive 1972 Five and Six carriers operated in Task Force 77. On each ship, a carrier air wing controlled 70 to 100 aircraft, usually grouped in two fighter and three attack squadrons, a reconnaissance attack squadron, an airborne early warning squadron, and smaller detachments. However, the number depended on the size and class of the carriers, which varied from the large-deck 65,000-ton Forrestal class and 70,000 Kitty Hawk class and Enterprise-class ships, to the modified 27,000-ton, World War II vintage Essex-class ships.
 


 

boomer

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Vietnamization was a policy of the Richard Nixon administration to end U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War through a program to "expand, equip, and train South Vietnamese forces and assign to them an ever-increasing combat role, at the same time steadily reducing the number of U.S. combat troops" . Brought on by the Viet Cong's Tet Offensive, the policy referred to U.S. combat troops specifically in the ground combat role, but did not reject combat by the U.S. Air Force, as well as the support to South Vietnam, consistent with the policies of U.S. foreign military assistance organizations. As said above, U.S. citizens' mistrust of their government that had begun after the offensive worsened with the release of news about U.S. soldiers massacring civilians at My Lai (1968), the invasion of Cambodia (1970), and the leaking of the Pentagon Papers (1971). Except for our Marines at the US Embassy in Saigon whom didn't depart till the end of April 1975 - (a buddy of mine Johnny Peterson was one of the last Marines to leave the Embassy that day.) _ the last of our troops deployed left on March 29, 1973 - when the last remaining American combat troops withdraw from Vietnam as President Nixon declares "the day we have all worked and prayed for has finally come." America's longest war(at that time), thus concludes. Last U.S. Marines to leave Saigon describe chaos of Vietnam War's end

The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter




 

boomer

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Still unfortunately there was one last fight to be fought. The Mayaguez incident took place between Kampuchea (formerly Cambodia) and the United States from 12–15 May 1975, less than a month after the Khmer Rouge took control of the capital Phnom Penh ousting the U.S.-backed Khmer Republic. After the Khmer Rouge seized the U.S. merchant vessel SS Mayaguez in a disputed maritime area the U.S. mounted a hastily-prepared rescue operation. U.S. Marines recaptured the ship and attacked the island of Koh Tang where it was believed that the crew were being held as hostages.
 



Encountering stronger than expected defenses on Koh Tang, three United States Air Force helicopters were destroyed during the initial assault and the Marines fought a desperate day-long battle with the Khmer Rouge before being evacuated. The Mayaguez's crew were released unharmed by the Khmer Rouge shortly after the attack on Koh Tang began. It was the last battle of the Vietnam War and the names of the Americans killed, including three Marines left behind on Koh Tang after the battle and subsequently executed by the Khmer Rouge, are the last names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
 


 

boomer

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My Battalion - Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 "The Professionals" had one last job to do after five successive deployments to Vietnam, the construction of The Rose Garden - officially known as Palace Dog - Palace Dog was a United States covert operation to support the Royal Laotian Government in its military operations during the Laotian Civil War portion of the Vietnam War. Palace Dog, Project 404, and the Raven FACs principal task was the supply of forward air controllers for close air support to the Royal Lao Army (RLA).

NMCB 5 had been the last battalion to serve in Vietnam and the conflict was continuing to wind down. However, NMCB-5 was to serve as the Pacific Alert Battalion in
support of the Third Marine Amphibious Force while working on a host of jobs during the upcoming deployment to the Western Pacific. Many of the men of FIVE were just "boots" and had never been initiated into the fight side of the Seabees. Should a crisis arise and the Marines are thrust into a trouble spot, the men of FIVE-"boots" as well as veterans-must be ready to defend themselves and any construction they do for the Marines or other U.S. forces.

To prepare for this eventuality, the Seabees of FIVE underwent seven weeks of military training. There were classroom subjects such as combat formations; infantry defensive tactics; nomenclature of the M-16 rifle, .45 caliber pistol, M-60 machine gun and 12 gauge shotgun; camouflage; and map reading.

After classes, the men went out into the field at nearby Broome Ranch to receive training in crew-served weapons-including the use of the 3.5-inch rocket launcher, 106mm recoilless rifle, M-60 machine gun, 81mm mortar and M-79 grenade launcher.

Next, the battalion spent 10 days at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base where the men fired the M-16 rifle on a 200-yard range. A total of 92 per cent of the men shooting fired qualifying scores, a new record on the Navy training range.

Highlight of military training was an overnight combat exercise in the Camp Pendleton hills. The FIVE Seabees set up a command post on a ridgeline, dug foxholes and successfully defended their posi-tions against simulated attack by "aggressors.. .

The men of FIVE said good-byes to their loved
ones and reluctantly climbed aboard airplanes at Pt. Mugu for the flights to West Pac. The deployment was started.

Detail Falcon remained in California to do demolition work on several structures at the Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, to make way for the construction of a trailer park. This detail was later ex-pected to journey to Japan to work on several projects. .

The main body of the 500-man battalion arrived at Camp Shjelds, Okinawa, just in time for R eversion Day on May 15. The Japanese flag was raised alongside the Stars and Stripes as the government of Okinawa was returned to Japa nese jurisdiction after 27 years of American
administration since the end of Wor1d War II. .

Detail Hawk went on to the Philippines to put the finishing touches on the house moving project that Detail Clydesdale had started the previous deployment and to build a rinse rack to wash planes at Cubi Point Naval Air Station.

Detail Raven traveled on to Taiwan and began rehabing a barracks at the Headquarters Support Activity, Taipei. ·
On Okinawa, the main body started the final stages of work on the new officers club and BOQ. The F IVE Seabees also began constructing an addition to the Crash Station at the Marine Corps Air Facility, Futema. a perimeter security road around Marine Corps
Ammo Supply Point Two, erecting a five-mile long fence around it and installing a water distribution system.

The men had barely unpacked their bags and settled into their new jobs throughout the Western Pacific when the call came to "mount out." Within 48 hours, the battalion's 100-man Air Detachment had staged nearly 5 million pounds of equipment and materials at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, for shipment to an undisclosed site. It was an
"all hands" operation, with many men working an day and all night to successfully meet the mount out requirements.

The first flights of C-14 I jet cargo planes began carrying the men of NMCB-5's Air Detachment, their equipment and materials from Okinawa. The Air Detachment's destination was classified and rumors ran
rampant throughout the battalion. When we were told that we were not going to Vietnam, everyone heaved a big sigh of relief. till Bravo was called to supply 12 volunteers for Detail Buford, who'd be going to Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam to dissemble and prepare for shipment to Diego Garcia, the concrete batch plant left their by Seabees for construction of the Cam Ranh Bay Base. Then load pumps, piping and building material left, to be used for humanitarian building projects in New Guinea and Micronesia.

Royal Thai Air Base Nam Phong

 

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boomer

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The little job for our Detail Buford, was fairly straight-forward - to go down to Cam Rahn Bay - Dissemble a concrete Batch Plant and load it, pumps, piping, other material and furnishings on the ageing LST Vernon Country to be transported to Diego Garcia and be reassembled, then a series of hops to Australia then to the former Port Moresby Flying Boat Base in southern New Guinea to unload,  pumps, piping, other material, from where we took a Seaplane to Buna, New Guinea, to meet the LST Vernon Country again, which had brought other material we had loaded - more pumps, piping, other material and furnishings - air conditioners, desks, refrigerators, and other furniture along with windows, doors and corrugated tin roofs from the buildings left by the left by US forces at Cam Ranh Bay.
 
The USS Vernon Cruise was a busy ship, below is a map of her cruise the year before picking us up.
 



The USS Vernon County began the year before picking us up in dry dock number one at Yokosuka, Japan, at the naval ship repair facility. The Vernon County took on a decidedly different appearance, because, instead of the standard U.S. Navy haze gray, Vernon County had been painted white overall in preparation for her next deployment. When we boarded, they told us the ship was painted white because of the heat so close to the equator, but history now says that she was painted white because India was very sensitive to military activity in that area and being white made her appear to be a hospital ship, or on a humanitarian mission. We were actually a war ship because of our 3 gun mounts of 3" and the 50 cals.
 



The final preparations were made for Vernon County to become, by necessity, totally self-sufficient, far from the U.S. Navy's logistic, maintenance, and support areas. After taking on part of the necessary stores and equipment, before proceeding to Okinawa to pick us up before, then she sailed for Cam Rahn Bay, where we disassembled and loaded the Concrete Batch Plant and other materials and equipment. Then proceeding on her way to and bound for remote Diego Garcia, in the Chagos Archipelago in the British Indian Ocean Territory, with an interim stop at Singapore.
 



Vernon County ultimately reached Diego Garcia offloading the concrete batch plant and much of her heavy equipment to prepare a staging site for the reception of the many tons of supplies and equipment needed to build the station.
 



As the days passed, the atoll began to change; the ship rode higher in the water as equipment was unloaded. Temperatures on deck averaged 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius) between 10:00 and 15:00 hours each day; "tropical" duty hours of 0400 to 1400 soon commenced aboard the ship. The men of Underwater Demolition Team 12 and a platoon of Seabees removed underwater obstacles, installed buoys, marked anchorages and cleared land. After the USS Vernon County finished unloading, made two additional voyages to and from Diego Garcia, picking up more men and supplies at Singapore, Cocos Island, and Mauritius.
 



During the last few days of her deployment to Diego Garcia, Vernon County was repainted her standard haze gray, a sure sign that the time had come for the ship to sail away from the atoll upon which she had established a base camp and the beginnings of a communication station.




 



I'd never heard of Buna, New Guinea before, but apparently a area where a months long battle was fought in the area during WW II. It so was humid and wet there, us Seabees did our work barefooted, rather then risk getting severe trench foot. Then on to Truk Atoll, where pumps, piping and building materials was unloaded, with the rest headed to the other islands of Truk Atoll to be distributed. After this Vernon Country took us to Japan, and the ageing LST retired shortly thereafter.



Then, via the great circle route to Elmendorf AFB our detail boarded a Air Force MAC C-141, then McCord AFB, then Point Mugo NAS where we bussed back to Port Hueneme, CA. I then requested an island sea duty command, and was offered two choices Guentamano Bay or Adak, Ak - I choose Adak. I was hoping my next couple years would be a a bit more relaxed, then my first year. I arrived on Adak island on January 10, 1973, right after a blizzard, and as they say, the rest was history.
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