Little known facts:
That is why for Americans it is hard to understand how we about lost one of our BEST destroyers a week or so ago. And that, on a normal night operation.
I have been aboard 2 ships as a Marine and one Aircraft Carrier as ship’s company. I have sailed on most carriers that were on the East Coast as an inspector for a few weeks at a time. I have never been concerned that my shipmates would not do their jobs and do them well. Their lives as well as mine depended on it.
Once on the Independence CVA62 in the North Atlantic we were taking on supplies as well as armament when the two ships came together. Then the blaring announcement, “THIS IS NOT A DRILL COLLISION, COLLISION”. There was a lot of damage to the supply ship. I happened to be on the ships elevator on the working party (FRONT ROW SEAT). It was amazing to see steel bent like you would bend paper. Our Executive Officer was driving the ship at the time and failed to make a correction in course. It is a tremendous undertaking to separate two ships once they come together.
Of course in the USN the Skipper is not forgiven. He let someone drive he was ‘positive’ could do the job.. The Navy takes it serious. On our ship the Skipper was responsible for a multimillion dollar ship and multimillions in planes, not to mention the 5000+ men aboard. It amounts to billions of $. It is a serious position that normally goes like a well-oiled clock. UNTIL……
But when you hear (or know), “THIS IS NOT A DRILL” life takes on a new meaning.
Tragedy happens. Wrecks, divorce, death, disease, etc. When these happen you know “THIS IS NOT A DRILL”. You cannot plan for that occasion, but when it happens we try damage control but we must HANDLE IT!
Studebakers, pictures from our trip to the Stude museum in South Bend