DD(Dads Diary) 82

I have blogged or Ranted on this before , But more on my Tale of 2 Helicopters! My first job as an Aviation Electrician was as a maintenance technician on the H-2 Sea sprite , the engine covers (Or Cowling !)opened upward so we could work on the engines , but they were very light and made of fiberglass , so we had to stand up and balance on the Auxiliary Fuel Tank , and keep our tool box on the ground , and just hold any tools we needed at the time. Which was especially challenging at sea as the ocean made for a less than steady work place! Years later I worked on H-3 Sea kings ,   the engine covers were much sturdier , as they swung down and could handle several people , and tool boxes and several pieces of repair gear , what a small benefit for me? They could even stand a heavy generator , which was an added benefit for me too!

 

DD(Dad’s Diary) 81

This blog will be a change from the usual Navy stuff , just a day off  , and will get back to usual programming next time! The Pittsburg Pirates baseball team do their spring training here , and we catch a few games. But the rest of the year their minor league affiliate here  is the Bradenton Marauders , we are season ticket holders , so go to all of their home games at what used to be known as McKechnie field , but it ha$ been renamed Lecom (Lake Eerie College of Medicine) park ! Our box seats are behind home plate and is protected by netting , so we are safe from foul balls! But when the Pirates are here we sit in the outfield boardwalk , where the view is great , but we have to be alert when the batters are at bat , especially the left hand hitters. Mother nature has been known to cancel some games , when a rainout comes to town , but is rare and is a cool off for me!

DD (Dad’s Diary)80 Roundabouts/ Traffic Circles

This is a break from the Naval stuff. I’ll get back to that next time! In Bahrain in the Middle East and Europe they are a fact of life , as most people there grew up with them , and are more used to them , so they are a great way to speed up traffic there , the rules of the road are much different for US! They would work great here in the USA if we too grew up with them , not forced on US by the local politicians! But they seem to want them to cure all our ills! Im sure the EMT folks would not want the added patients?! Not to mention the Ambulance and Wrecker lobby would benefit for sure! We are more used to signs not symbols or stick figures or even traffic lights !? Just a rant , and will add more when I cool off and re heat!

DD(Dad’s Diary)77

When I was stationed in California @ HSL-35 in 1985 Our H-2 Helicopter was used on assorted USS’s to hunt Submarines , and since the cabin was rather small , it did little else. I first deployed on the USS Merrill(DD 976)  for 9 Months in the Western Pacific Ocean ; as a Destroyer to accompany the Aircraft Carrier Group , and the Merrill could sail in shallow waters , we often cruised apart from the group , which was good and bad , not only could we get closer to land , but Mother Nature was rather hard on us in foul weather too! The Helicopter was also used to help navigate the Ship (What better way to look ahead?).

more next time..

 

DD(Dad’s Diary) 63.. More Mobile Home Stuff!

The Trailer was Bought new in Tn , but was made for the south , so when  we moved it to my next Duty Station in Virginia , we had sort of an issue with the weather there , the Snow and Sleet were rather rough on any home , and even more so for us in my little trailer! Just 2 Bedrooms for me and Christopher , and 1 small bathroom , so it was rather cramped! Moving to a new city is a challenge for sure , but Moving there with your home makes the change a bit easier?(Though the government requires lots of permits and taxes , they may pay for the move , but had me pay in other ways !) Living in a trailer park that was used to residents boarding up when they were gone for a long time was a plus for me , so my neighbors all kept an eye on my place when I was deployed..

More to come…

DD(Dad’s Diary)72

My first “real” Helicopter after several months of training , was the Seasprite H-2 , The engine cowlings / covers were just light enough to protect the engines , and opened upward so we had to balance (Which was even more of a challenge when we were at sea , but thats a whole different blog…!) We had to leave our tool boxes on the ground! The Cowlings were  not strong enough to stand on , so  most other helicopters could support maintenance folks , and their tool boxes on the engine cowlings , to work on the engine. Most electrical components were in and around the turbo jet  shaft engines, so we had to wait for them to cool down after flight.

The H-2 was used @ Sea as a submarine hunter , and various other missions , usually on a smaller ship , and closer to the ocean , so salt spray was very corrosive to the aircraft.

DD(Dad’s Diary) 74

My next cruise while at HSL-35 in San Diego , was on the USS-Lockwood( FF-1064), a frigate in the carrier group . It had 2 small hangars , as they were outfitted for  2 H-60 helicopters , and since we were an H-2 we just 1 helicopter , deployed for a 9 month western pacific cruise . The extra hangar was used for storage , but since we were just visitors the ships company had first dibs on the space! The ship had a small berthing area just behind the small hangar , and it is usually used for nicer things , so it had several bunk beds , and its very own bathroom ,  we had always had to share them with others , so this was big deal! Not only was it a luxury , but closer for us to get to the hangar too! Our tiny hangar was just big enough for our Helicopter , and spare parts were also stored in cages near the helicopter.

More next time…

DD(Dad’s Diary) 76

This is a true story , not some April fools joke! After basic training , I went to N.A.T.T.C. (Naval Air Technical Training Command)Millington Tennessee @NAS Memphis to learn the basics as an Aviation Electrician in 1983. Several years later I was sent there for an advanced avionics school , and after the 9 week course was complete , I got orders to the basic AE school as an instuctor on the same base , the 2 Years there were great , And I later served with 2 of the Unnamed(to protect their ID, and prevent any law suits?) sailors in my class , so what better way to evaluate just how well I taught them. Not only did they both work at the same squadron , But both of them went to the middle east  with me too , so even the vast world can be even small too?

DD(Dad’s Diary)75

This is a tribute of sorts , as both ships I served on are no more! The USS Merrill (DD 976) was decommissioned several years ago , and was used as target practice for other naval ships in the pacific area , before being sunk as an artificial reef off Hawaii! And the USS Lockwood(FF 1064) was decommissioned several years ago too , and was scrapped  for the metal, so the legacy will live on , 1 ship gave other ships metal to use in building other USS’s , and the other 1will live on in helping other USS’s have a more accurate shot!

This is an abbreviated DD , spring baseball kind of gets top billing?