More Sea Stories with Carl Snow

Carl’s biography: A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Carl Snow graduated from the University of Maryland and had a long career in the United States Navy. Carl started out as a Radarman (RD) and advanced to first-class petty officer. He was involved in “ECM” as the Navy called it then, when a new rating was created, Electronic Warfare Technician (EW) and Carl was folded into that, advancing to chief petty officer. Then he applied for a commission as a Warrant Officer and was selected, becoming an Operations Technical Officer. After retirement as a CWO4, he worked as Assistant Editor for The Hook magazine and then as Production Editor for the Topgun Journal at the Navy Fighter Weapons School. When Topgun moved to Fallon, Nevada, Carl remained in San Diego, working as a Technical Writer, researching and writing manufacturing process documents for hi-tech electronics manufacturers.

Carl retired for good in March 2011 and volunteers in the Midway Museum Research Library in San Diego, California.

On Getting Face-time in Thailand

Ah, Pattaya Beach, the first port call coming out of the I.O (Indian Ocean). I don’t think that I am in the picture; my days of “scouting local talent” were far behind me by then. About the only thing I ever got in Pattaya Beach were a pair of ornamental brass dolphins (somewhere in one of the sheds by now) that I had to carry back to the ship by boat. They weighed about 30 pounds when I bought them and I swore they were 200 pounds by the time I got them back to the ship. I went a couple of times for the freshest sea food in the world at a restaurant called Dolph Rijk’s. The fish were unloaded on the beach and carried across the road to the restaurant. Delicious and you could watch the boxing matches across the street while you ate. Once in a while the admiral would host a battle-group party for all the ship’s officers at the Holiday Inn hotel up the beach. These were mandatory, “face-time” events; you’d go and make sure your department head saw you, and maybe do something obnoxious so he’d remember that you were there. Two drinks and about twenty minutes of mingling usually satisfied the face time requirement. An engineering junior officer brought a local girl to one of admiral Brown’s parties. She was dressed in a frilly lace top and long native Thai wrap-around skirt. He twirled her on the dance floor and her skirt unraveled, leaving no doubt that she had no underwear on. They hastily exited the hotel and the general consensus was that it was an intentional, though raunchy, attempt at face time.

On Man Overboard Dummy

The helicopter squadrons (both) ready room was in the area where the F-8 Crusader “mini-museum” is now. The first time we had a man overboard drill after I became ATO (Air Transfer Officer) we had an argument when the helo crew dumped the water-soaked Oscar dummy in the ATO shack. I soon found out that, being a “passenger” in the helo, he belonged to us until we got him back to the forecastle and turned him over to the Boatswain’s Mates. After that, when there was a man overboard drill one of my airmen always met the helo and hustled the dummy down to the forecastle. Live and learn.

On Where do Oscars (Man Overboard Dummy) come from

We could probably find a photo of Oscar in one of the cruise books and send it to the “cushion lady” in the Air Wing Department. They were all home-made by the Boatswain’s Mates, usually by cutting up old kapok life jackets. We may be able to get an active-duty ship to donate one in exchange for attribution in the exhibit.

On Helo Rotor-over

I remember the Wessex coming over. He brought the British admiral to see our admiral and they tied it down on spot three. The pilot was a warrant officer and, since their passenger was staying for lunch it fell to me to entertain him until time to man up for departure. One of the chiefs from HC-1 (Helicopter Combat Support Squadron-1) took the crewman under his wing and I took the pilot down to the dirty shirt locker for lunch. He was taken with the “auto dog.”

Afterward I took him around the ship to see some of the spaces he was interested in. He asked if we’d ever seen a “rotor-over,” which turned out to be the helicopter equivalent of a wing-over in an airplane. He asked if we’d like to see him do one upon take off. I called the Boss on the Mouse when we were manning up and requested permission for the helo to do a rotor-over. He said it was okay, just don’t hit anything. I called for the admiral at the flag mess and escorted him to the helo. The Boss alerted the flight deck crew to watch the helo for some aerobatics.

As soon as he was clear of the deck, he accelerated and made a couple of passes up the starboard side and then after the second pass, he climbed and “rolled” the helicopter then dove aft and crossed the fantail and took off for the admiral’s flagship. I always assumed that the British admiral knew about the maneuver and was okay with it. We were all impressed.

On Will Rogers

Speaking of Will Rogers, I’m reminded of his comment, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” When I was on Enterprise (CVN-65), our CIC Officer, a certain commander Wheeler, apparently not well regarded, was transferring from the ship. Some of the officers in CIC wore tee-shirts that read, “CDR Wheeler never met Will Rogers!”

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