One of my memorable days on Conserver was the day I took a short cut to the berthing area.
As a newlywed my wife Thayes and I had very little in the way of furniture. She had been renting a furnished house and I was a single sailor when we married. We had just moved into our quarters at Navy housing in Pearl City. I was granted special liberty to be home with my wife because our personal effects had arrived and were being delivered. They consisted primarily of clothes, kitchen utensils, linens and such, all my stereo equipment and both of our record collections. Not much really, but they were things we missed and would help make our house a bit more homey. The few furniture items we had were loaners provided by PWC.
I had duty the night before. My special liberty started after morning quarters that memorable day in October 1974. Operations Department held quarters on the port side of the main deck near the bow. As soon as QMC Larose dismissed us, I headed for the berthing area to change and get ready to hit the beach. The shortest route was down the forward hatch on the starboard side that led to the armory then aft. It had drizzled early that morning, the hatch had been left open and the ladder treads were slippery.. I stepped over the hatch coaming and that’s the last thing I remember until I came to at the bottom of the ladder.
Doc Hansen swathed my head in bandages to stop the blood flow from a gash on the back of my head. I forget whether I walked to the ambulance that had been called or was transported to it in a stokes stretcher. I had a short ambulance ride to the Medical Clinic near the Makalapa gate where I got eleven stitches. Someone from the ship had called my wife to tell her what had happened and where I was taken. When she got into the ER recovery area I was a mess. Dried blood all over my hair and on my dungaree shirt. They observed me for an hour, prescribed 24 hours of bed rest and some pain killers then released me to my wife.
First thing I did when I got home was take a nap. It lasted only until the shipment came. It was time to open the boxes and find the stereo equipment that had been dearly missed for months. Neither stitches nor the throbbing headache were going to keep me from setting up my stereo system and listening to some tunes.
Taking a head count (sorry) to see how many crew members would purchase one of these. The vendor I’m looking at describes them like this: “5 panel wool blend cap. Has adjustable plastic strap closure. Made in the USA. ”
I’m pricing them out at various quantities to get the best price. The more we order, the lower the price. The preliminary price I got for a quantity of 100 is $18.70. Whatever price I get will only be marked up to cover my shipping and handling costs, first class USPS.
Please comment below with a “yes” or “no” if you would order at least one.
I think a lot about the fact that I had a pretty solid set of running mates while on Conserver. I rented an apartment with a group of guys in Salt Lake — 1128 Ala Napunani — to be exact, not too far from the Hickam gate with easy access to alpha docks.
EM2 Scott Gossler and I were the anchor tenants sharing that three-bedroom, two-bath apartment. EMFN Mike Cone of Baraboo, Wisconsin rounded out the trio for a while after we moved in, but was soon replaced by MM3/DV Roy Sykes. Even though we enjoyed having the younger Mike as a roommate, it seems Roy, Scotty and I, being closer in age and petty officers, just had more in common.
Roy and I shared a home town (St. Louis), and I adopted Scotty’s love for sports cars early on, and the three of us just loved partying and relaxing in our comfortable and clean bachelor pad that allowed us to live like civilians when we were in port, not working or standing the dirty duty.
Underway, on local ops and Westpac cruises, the three of us also hung together along with the likes of MR3 Barry Shooltz, SK3 Russel Wiitala and occasionally others. My other favorite shipmates were QM3 Paul David Muller and YN1 Bob Castro.
My point in all this is that out of all the enlisted men to choose from — the ward room and goat locker seemed to be classes in and of themselves — most of us seemed to choose our running mates and that was it. What makes this interesting, considering the total time the old girl was in the fleet, is how even though we had our cliques and circles of friends, we all share a common allegiance in having been assigned to that vessel, knowing that we worked hard, played hard and all can look back and say, “I’m proud to have served aboard the USS Conserver, ARS-39.
Really enjoyed my time on the Conserver. Had some good times, and some bad times. Have some great memories and sea stories that I have shared over the years with old friends. I especially remember the RUWS project and the “shipyard” time in Singapore with the emergency underway in the middle of the night.
An aircraft lost the back door, or something, we were in Singapore, in a short shipyard repair and had all the anchor chains and anchors off, three engines either torn down or in repair, and a lot of other stuff off loaded. Everybody that was on liberty was in town, they sent the SP and a bus to get us, Doc Hansen and I mustered all the divers and jogged back to the ship. Sent 2/3 of the crew to bed, reloaded what we could, and got underway. Came back to Sing later on and finished.
Hi guys what a trip it has been. Too many stories for now but I just wanted to say Hi and I will post here when I can. I look at the picture on the home page and it brings back memories of friends, team mates/shipmates of some of the best time of my life (even though we may have bellyached a lot then). Good to see you guys and I am looking forward to the next reunion.
It’s been less than 24 hours since we launched our website. I’m very pleased with the response.
If you’re not registered, see this post.
Of the 16 registered users besides me, only two have added any content, Jim Alderson and John Ackerman. I invite all hands to please consider adding a blog post about a memory of issue relevant to the rest of the Conserver community. Here’s how registered users do that:
1. Log in using the Username and Password fields on the right side of the page.
2. The login section will then say Welcome [your username]. Under that you’ll see Dashboard. Click on that.
3. In the far upper left of the page you’ll see Posts. Click on that.
4. Under Posts you’ll see Add new. Click on that.
5. The Post editing interface will open up. Give your post a title and write your piece in the content area.
6. When you’re finished writing, click Submit for Review.
If you’ve ever used a word processor you’ll be able to use the Post interface.
Please don’t edit or change anyone else’s content. If you have a problem with it, use the comment feature in the actual post or contact them or me and we’ll take care of it.
Do not mess with the Comments or Contact sections. You are, however, encouraged to edit your own profile, especially the Biographical Info box. Feel free to change your password any time.
We all look forward to hearing from you.
This is a work in progress!
The look and feel will come together and improve over time.
This is your website.
The success of USSConserver.org depends on the contributions of her crew, family and friends. This is a community project. All hands are encourage to contribute stories, reflections, facts, dates, suggestions and ideas.
Instructions for becoming a contributor are as follows:
- Click Register on the right column of this page
- Fill in all the fields. Please put something in the About Yourself box, especially your time on board and role on ship. I need to feel comfortable that you are indeed a shipmate and not some spammer. Thanks!
- Click Submit
- Check your inbox for a verification email message
- Click the link to verify your account
- That link will take you to a page that informs you that an administrator (me) will review the account. I’ll be alerted that a new user has registered and I’ll approve it as soon as I can get to a computer.
Once your account has been approved, you will be able to post on the blog – the home page of the site. Again, the post will be reviewed and approved if appropriate.
If you have any questions about this process, please submit via the Contact page form.
Donations are accepted. Please consider a small non tax deductible contribution to the maintenance of this website. Click the Donate button located at the right.
I look forward to your input.