|Posted by Richard Ames on December 30, 2011 at 3:55 PM||comments (1)|
I just installed a new "Video" page for the website. It's a listed along with the other 14 pages as a link across the top of the page. I also uploaded the first video for the new video page. One of our Sherman crew members John Holden ENC 82-84 ... Sent me an interesting DVD he had converted from one of his old movie films have a race between the Sherman and the Midgett ... he mentioned it might be one of only three copies were ever made, See the full caption for the video below
Before I could post the video on this website, I had to convert it from the DVD format to a digital format (avi)
My plan was to upload the 840 MB AVI file to YouTube .. thereby saving some of this website's band width .. In other words the website provider allows me something like 5 GB uploads and downloads in a given month, if I want anything over that I have to pay more. The original video being almost 1 GB, means if five people downloaded it in a month's time, that would be 5 GB of my bandwidth for the month. But as a workaround I could upload it for free to YouTube .. Then do what they call an "embed" what is basically an Internet web link back to my YouTube page. Then if anybody downloaded it would not affect my bandwidth. So the video is also on YouTube.. And when you click on the planet it will play inside of a window but streaming from the YouTube webpage without you ever leaving the Sherman site. I've known about this for quite some time but it's the first time I've actually put it into practice. I have several more private Sherman videos that I will convert and get posted here on the site sooner later.
Why did I tell you all of this? Because I really want to encourage you to post your videos of the Sherman or Coast Guard or anything related ... and share them with the rest of the crew members. But at the same time if at all possible we can post them on YouTube and embed the videos here. If you need help doing that just let me know ... I can send you detailed instructions on how to do most things on this website if you're interested. Or send me the videos that I will post your video for you in your name.
One interesting thing about John's video is listening to the helicopter crew and photographer, turn up your sound a little .. especially near the end when the Sherman crew is lined up along the rail rowing past the Midgett ... listen closely when they panned back to the Sherman and one of the helo guys points out that the deck crew is mooning the Midgett ... there's no accounting for some of our crew members even when they do when LOL!
The Video Caption reproduced here ...
The USCGC Sherman (WHEC) 720 and the USCGC Midgett (WHEC) 726 engaging in their "Full Power Trials" testing the capabilities of their Pratt and Whitney Gas Turbine Engines. A true sea going "Drag Race"
This race took place in the early 1980's near San Diego California. The video was shot from the Midgetts helo with over heard comments from the photographers. The video was sent to me by John Holden ENC.
Chief Holden was on the Throttles in Main Control aboard the Sherman at the time. John said "I remember it like it was yesterday, Pete (Pete Mason was the Shermans EO at the time) put me on the throttles, it was my engine room!, I had to pull back a little because the exhaust pressure was too high and when I did, it was a little too much, (this is when the Midgett pulled ahead at the beginning of the race) then a minute later I slammed the throttles down once again, and all 18,000 hp came alive." John also related to me that the race or "full power trial" was the first time the Sherman was at 100% full power in13 years. The "Race" was agreed upon by both ships and the ship that lost would pay for a party for both ships to celebrate.
John believes that one of the deciding factors was the excellent maintenance being performed on Shermans jet engines particularly a new practice he initiated, cleaning the fuel filters with a military surplus ultrasonic cleaner a practice which just may have given the Sherman the winning edge.
John Holden ENC and Pete Mason LCDR are both members of this website. Thanks for the great story!
|Posted by Richard Ames on November 2, 2011 at 10:05 PM||comments (0)|
Ships to Agent Orange List
|Posted by Richard Ames on November 1, 2011 at 9:30 AM||comments (0)|
I liked standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with salt spray in my face and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe - - the cutter beneath me feeling like a living thing as her engines drove her swiftly through the sea.
I liked the sounds of the Coast Guard - the piercing trill of the boatswains pipe, the syncopated clangor of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, the harsh squawk of the PA system, and the strong language and laughter of sailors at work.
I liked CG vessels -- nervous darting 255s, plodding buoy tenders, and light ships, sleek 327s and the steady solid hum of the twin engines on the HH16E.
I liked the proud names of Coast Guard ships: USS Bayfield, USS Cavalier, USCGC Taney, USCGC Cosmos, the Wind class Icebreakers and the USCGC Bibb just to name a few.
I liked the lean angular names of CG "shallow water cutters" the 82 footers, Pt Hudson, Pt lookout, Cape Trinity and the Cape Higgon. Named for locations around the states. I liked liberty call and the spicy scent of a foreign port.
I even liked the never ending paperwork and all hands working parties as my ship filled herself with the multitude of supplies, both mundane and to cut ties to the land and carry out her mission anywhere on the globe where there was water to float her.
I liked sailors, officers and enlisted men from all parts of the land, farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England, from the cities, the mountains and the prairies, from all walks of life. I trusted and depended on them as they trusted and depended on me - for professional competence, for comradeship, for strength and courage. In a word, they were "shipmates"; then and forever.
I liked the surge of adventure in my heart, when the word was passed: "Now set the special sea and anchor detail - all hands to mooring stations for leaving port," and I liked the infectious thrill of sighting home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting pier side. The work was hard and dangerous; the going rough at times; the parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust CG laughter, the "all for one and one for all" philosophy of the sea was ever present.
I liked the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as flying fish flitted across the wave tops and sunset gave way to night. I liked the feel of the CG Cutter in darkness - the masthead and range lights, the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of radar repeaters - they cut through the dusk and joined with the mirror of stars overhead. And I liked drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad noises large and small that told me that my ship was alive and well, and that my shipmates on watch would keep me safe.
I liked quiet mid-watches with the aroma of strong coffee and PBJ sandwiches -- the lifeblood of the CG permeating everywhere. And I liked hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes racing at flank speed kept all hands on a razor edge of alertness.
I liked the sudden electricity of "General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations," followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors as the ship transformed herself in a few brief seconds from a peaceful workplace to a weapon of war -- ready for anything. And I liked the sight of space-age equipment manned by youngsters clad in dungarees and sound-powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize.
I liked the traditions of the CG and the men and women who served so valiantly. These few gave so much in service to their country. A sailor could find much in the CG: comrades-in-arms, pride in self and country, mastery of the seaman's trade. An adolescent could find adulthood.
In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, they will still remember with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods - the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water surging over the bow. And then there will come again a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the wardroom and chief's quarters and mess decks. Gone ashore for good they will grow wistful about their CG days, when the seas belonged to them and a new port of call was ever over the horizon. Remembering this, they will stand taller and say, "I WAS A COAST GUARDSMAN ONCE."
|Posted by Richard Ames on September 12, 2011 at 4:10 PM||comments (2)|
Week of September 12, 2011
Veterans who served aboard U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships operating on the waters of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, may be eligible to receive Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation for 14 medical conditions associated with presumptive exposure to Agent Orange. An updated list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships confirmed to have operated on Vietnam's inland waterways, docked on shore, or had crewmembers sent ashore, has been posted at the VA Public Health Agent Orange webpage to assist Vietnam veterans in determining potential eligibility for compensation benefits. For questions about Agent Orange and the online list of ships, veterans may call VA's Special Issues Helpline at 1-800-749-8387 and press 3. For more information, read the VA press release.
For a full rundown of veteran military benefits, visit the Military.com Veterans Benefits Center.