DD(Dad’s Diary)58

This blog is a reflection on one of the most interesting Deployments , was On The USS-Merrill(DD 976) , we sailed on the Pacific Ocean , which had many neat Asian Ports , but in order the circle the globe , we used the Persian Gulf , we were in the area in 1988 when the USA had enough of the terrorist using abandoned oil platforms as a base from which they attacked passing ships , more importantly petroleum tankers carrying gas through the area. So The USA lead “Operation Praying Mantis” was used to crush that threat. Many American Forces , and Foreign Allies launched an attack. And an Iranian-Gunboat fired on one of the US Navy Ships , which was not a real good idea , as The Gun Boat was unable to go any more harm! The entire Group of Ships were awarded the Combat Action Ribbon , and many other awards that I’ll cover in future blogs. Our helicopter had no role , so it was stowed in the Hangar. We were kept down below until it was all over. So there was nothing to see here , and besides being on the deck during the Operation would have been dangerous

DD(Dad’s Diary) 57

a continuation of my last blog…The 2 ShipsI deployed on in the Western-Pacific each had their own DeSalination Plant , to make fresh water from the salty sea water, so I have to wonder why the states don’t do the same? But that is just an aside! So when the system on the Ship was down or inoperative we had to conserve or do without! The only convenient time was in rough-seas in a storm. Fortunately storms were rare , but when mother nature  stirred up the ocean , we didn’t fly (as the flight deck was a bit unstable) and the salt spray was more severe than usual , so we kept it tied down in the hangar . But when the helicopter was in the hangar , the rotor blades were folded for storage , so none of the flight controls could be operated , as any control stick or pedal had a direct connection to the rotors and tail. And any change in the flaps on the blades  was very dangerous to the blades. So when it was stowed in the hangar , The control sticks and pedals were locked to prevent use or damage. More next time…

DD(Dad’s Diary) 56

This just a continuation of my last post , Duty at HSL-35 on the H-2 helicopter was an adventure for sure. I deployed for 9 months each time. First on a destroyer , then on a frigate. The H-2 was housed on a small flight-pad on the back of the ship. The salt-spray from the ocean was very corrosive by itself , but the rotor wash stirred it up even more. So we kept a coating of an oil-based spray to coat the aircraft and components (had to be good enough when we had no water!). We rinsed it off after flight , but the ship made their own water , so when we had to conserve when the system was down , and we also stored in a tiny hangar to shelter it from the elements. Not to get overly technical , the salt water acts as a good conductor of electricity , and speeds up the damage that rust can cause , and when the seas were calm ( as they are most days) we left it out on the flight deck , and when it stormed we housed it in the hangar.
This is sure to be more than 1 part , so more to come…