Retired Rear Admiral Jeremiah A. Denton Jr. Obituary

Handout photo of retired rear admiral Jeremiah A. Denton Jr. in WashingtonRetired Rear Ddmiral Jeremiah A. Denton Jr. addresses the audience during the National POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, September 18, 2009. The prisoner of war had been tortured for 10 months and beaten repeatedly by his North Vietnamese captors in recent days, and there were threats of more if he did not respond properly when the propaganda broadcast began. Haggard but gritty, Cmdr. Jeremiah A. Denton Jr. slumped in a chair before the television cameras. Pretending to be blinded by the spotlights, he began blinking — seemingly random spasms and tics. He answered interrogators’ questions with a trace of defiance, knowing he would be beaten again and again, but hoping that America would detect his secret message in Morse code. 

To a question about American “war atrocities,” the captured pilot said: “I don’t know what is happening in Vietnam because the only news sources I have are North Vietnamese. But whatever the position of my government is, I believe in it, I support it, and I will support it as long as I live.” The North Vietnamese, who lost face, were even more outraged when they learned that Commander Denton, in the Japanese-taped interview broadcast on American television on May 17, 1966, had blinked out “T-O-R-T-U-R-E” It was the first confirmation that American prisoners of war were being subjected to atrocities during the Vietnam War. The commander was beaten all night. DENTON-1-obit-master675Mr. Denton, who returned home after seven years as a prisoner went on to become a Rear Admiral and a United States Senator from Alabama. He died on Friday at Sentara Hospice House in Virginia Beach, his son, Jeremiah A. Denton 3rd, said. He was 89. Mr. Denton called himself “an average product of Middle America,” but his story was anything but ordinary — a war hero appalled by what he called America’s moral degeneracy, a crusading spokesman for right-wing Christian groups, a one-term Republican senator in the patriotic matrix of President Ronald Reagan. It was a political life shaped by indelible experiences in Vietnam.

On July 18, 1965, Commander Denton, leading a squadron of 28 A-6 Intruder attack jets and flying his 12th mission over North Vietnam, took off from the aircraft carrier Independence in the South China Sea. His bombardier-navigator was Lt. Bill Tschudy, and the target was a complex of military warehouses at Thanh Hoa, 75 miles south of Hanoi. As he came in over the heavily defended Thanh Hoa Bridge on the Ma River, antiaircraft batteries opened up. Shells riddled the Intruder, knocking out its sophisticated guidance system. The aircraft went into a tailspin, and pain shot through the commander’s left thigh; a tendon had ruptured as he desperately tried to regain control, but it was hopeless. The fliers bailed out and were captured. “Dazed and bleeding as I was, my principal emotion was fury,” Mr. Denton recalled. “I was mad as hell at being shot down, and even angrier at being captured.” CDR Denton with his A-6A Intruder aboard the USS Independence 1965.DentonwithA6

Over the next seven years and seven months, Commander Denton was held in various prison camps, including the notorious “Hanoi Hilton,” and endured beatings, starvation, torture and more than four years of solitary confinement, including periodic detentions in coffin like boxes. He and other officers nevertheless maintained a chain of command and a measure of discipline among the prisoners. “I put out the policy that they were not to succumb to threats, but must stand up and say no,” he told The New York Times in 1973. “Figuratively speaking, we now began to lie on the railroad tracks hoping that the sheer bulk of our bodies would slow down the train. We forced them to be brutal to us.”HanoiHilton

The commander was often punished for urging others to resist. He also devised ways for prisoners to communicate by signs or numbers, tapping on a wall or coughing signals in a sequence. Ten months after his capture, he was selected for a propaganda interview to be broadcast on Japanese television. It became famous after it was discovered that he had tricked his captors and blinked out the Morse code message that exposed North Vietnam’s brutal treatment of prisoners of war. During his captivity, Commander Denton was awarded the Navy Cross and promoted to captain. In 1973, after President Richard M. Nixon announced a Vietnam peace agreement, Captain Denton was in the first group of prisoners released. “We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances,” he said at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Commander Denton at Clark Air Base in the Philippines just after his release 387px-J_Denton_speech

His ordeal in Vietnam was graphically chronicled in a 1976 memoir written with Ed Brandt, “When Hell Was in Session,” and made into a 1979 NBC television movie starring Hal Holbrook and Eva Marie Saint. In the book, he described an ordeal under torture. “A special rig was devised for me in my cell,” he recalled. “I was placed in a sitting position on a pallet, with my hands tightly cuffed behind my back and my feet flat against the wall. Shackles were put on my ankles, with open ends down, and an iron bar was pushed through the eyelets of the shackles.”

“The iron bar was tied to the pallet and the shackles in such a way that when the rope was drawn over a pulley arrangement, the bar would cut into the backs of my legs, gradually turning them into a swollen, bloody mess. The pulley was used daily to increase the pressure, and the iron bar began to eat through the Achilles tendons on the backs of my ankles. For five more days and nights I remained in the rig.”

JeremiahADenton

Promoted to Rear Admiral, he was named Commandant of the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., a post he held until his retirement in 1977. Dismayed by what he regarded as a widespread failure of morality in America — from adolescent promiscuity to political disunity and disrespect for authority — Mr. Denton, in 1977, established the Coalition for Decency, dedicated to family values and good citizenship. A Roman Catholic, he also became a consultant to the Christian Broadcasting Network and to his friend Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition, and began lecturing on domestic and foreign affairs, voicing support for the military services and for the contra rebels in Nicaragua.

In 1980, capitalizing on his war-hero image and running on a platform of strong national defense, he was elected to the Senate, defeating the Democrat, James E. Folsom Jr. He was Alabama’s first Senate Republican since Reconstruction and the first former Admiral elected to the Senate. He served from 1981 to 1987, compiling a solid conservative voting record. He lost his bid for re-election in 1986 to Richard C. Shelby, a Democratic congressman who later became a Republican and who continues to hold the Senate seat.  President Ronald Reagan speaks with then-U.S. Sen. Jeremiah Denton in the White House in 1987.
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Jeremiah Andrew Denton Jr. was born in Mobile, Ala., on July 15, 1924, one of three sons of Jeremiah and Irene Steele Denton. His father, a hotel clerk, moved the family often and the boy attended 13 elementary schools. In 1936, his father left the family, which returned to Mobile, and the parents were divorced in 1938. Jeremiah Jr. attended a parochial high school, McGill Institute, excelling in athletics and graduating in 1942. He studied at Spring Hill College in Mobile, but in 1943 entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., and graduated with honors in engineering in 1946. In 1946, he married the former Kathryn Jane Maury. The couple had seven children. Mrs. Denton died in 2007. Besides his son Jeremiah, Mr. Denton is survived by his second wife, Mary Belle Bordone; four sons, William, Donald, James and Michael; two daughters, Madeleine Doak and Mary Beth Hutton; a brother, Leo; 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

He served aboard the aircraft carrier Valley Forge in 1946 and 1947, testing and flying blimps. He also took flight training and became a pilot in the late 1940s, and over the next decade served as a flight instructor, test pilot and squadron leader. He studied at the Armed Forces Staff College and the Naval War College, becoming an expert on airborne electronics and antisubmarine warfare, and in 1964 earned a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University.

A year later, Commander Denton began flying missions over Vietnam.497472

His Navy Cross Citation reads:

“For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from February 1966 to May 1966. Under constant pressure from North Vietnamese interrogators and guards, Rear Admiral Denton experienced harassment, intimidation and ruthless treatment in their attempt to gain military information and cooperative participation for propaganda purposes. During this prolonged period of physical and mental agony, he heroically resisted cruelties and continued to promulgate resistance policy and detailed instructions. Forced to attend a press conference with a Japanese correspondent, he blinked out a distress message in Morse Code at the television camera and was understood by United States Naval Intelligence. When this courageous act was reported to the North Vietnamese, he was again subjected to severe brutalities. Displaying extraordinary skill, fearless dedication to duty, and resourcefulness, he reflected great credit upon himself, and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.”

 A true American. A true American hero in every sense of the word.            Yours Aye.

‘Away she goes’

HMS Argyll a Royal Navy Type 23 ‘Duke’ Class frigate ’accidentally’ fires 9ft torpedo into HM Dockyard Devonport, which houses NUCLEAR submarines.1407935

images-1The Royal Navy’s high command have launched an investigation into the blunder, which took place during a training drill at Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth on Wednesday afternoon. Dockyard workers watched as the projectile shot out of a torpedo port on HMS Argyll, as it flew 200 yards through the air before blasting a hole in a security fence and slamming into a storage container. The torpedo was an unarmed ‘inert’ version used for training, so it did not explode and merely thudded into the forty-foot  metal container.   ‘Away she goes’ along with the Skipper, and the Weapons Electrical Officer’s careers…article-2581082-1C4A44D200000578-629_634x422MORE HERE: Royal Navy warship accidentally fires 9ft torpedo into Devon dockyard which houses NUCLEAR submarines

Oh the irony of it all; HMS Argyll’s motto is… ‘Ne Obliviscaris’ ~ “Lest We Forget” Sadly this ‘incident’ will unjustly ruin a few career’s, unless there was a catastrophic weapons systems failure.  Fingers crossed for all concerned in the Admiralty Board investigation…       Yours Aye.

Boycott this despicable woman

Natasha Leggero, the comic who was slammed as ‘disgusting’ for making a joke that World War II veterans are so old they are only able to chew SpaghettiOs during NBC’s New Year’s Eve coverage, says she is not sorry for the jab that created controversy for the TV network. Born in Rockford, Illinois, of Italian descent… article-2532278-1A5D257900000578-230_634x420

The 31-year-old comedian angered some audience members during NBC’s ‘New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly’ when she made an offhand remark in regard to a tasteless tweet that SpaghettiOs had posted on Pearl Harbor Day. ‘I mean, it sucks that the only survivors of Pearl Harbor are being mocked by the only food they can still chew,’ Leggero quipped. Deluged in angry Tweets, most of which can’t be published, Leggero responded in a post on her blog on Friday,  when she wrote ‘I’m not sorry’: Comedian Natasha Leggero refuses to apologize mocking Pearl Harbor survivors on NBC

pearl_harbor

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.                 President Ronald Reagan

This woman can express herself in any which way she chooses, purely because decent men and women sacrificed all that was dear to them throughout WWII. Her comment was unjust, despicable, and cruel. I trust the decent American public treat her with the utter contempt she deserves. Her career should cease with immediate effect, and those sharing in her laughter on the same platform should hang their heads in shame!   Yours Aye.

An Almost Late Murry Christmas

Before I type another word, I want to thank several of you who offered to send care packages my way. I truly (truly) thank you for this kind gesture. A very odd thing has been occurring out here with mail. It very often does not get to me. Several reasons, first it was the wrong address. (That tends to cause problems.) And then, with us being in port, I worked at an office for several months, so I was separated from the mail room. And now, I have no idea. Three (3) packages are out there, sent by well intentioned friends (or the random bike gear merchandiser that I could not ignore) and I have yet to receive them! And it has been multiple weeks. . .

So for all you of whom offered to send me something, please do not feel insulted that I asked for you not to. I am in a holding pattern with mail, hopefully it will get sorted out soon.

And to everyone else, who did not offer to send anything, what is wrong with you? Ha ha, just kidding. Merry Christmas and have a great New Year. Your Sailors (at not quite the tippy tip of the spear) thank you always for your support.

I would apologize for the lack of blogging, but you’ve got the calloused hands of Ex Bootneck, guiding you to great media nuggets. (And he posts pictures of his doggies!)

Stop, Stop, Stop, this nonsense…

Rant almost over… I know it is only a planned concept at the moment, but: such a project will just become an opportunist TARGET for the ill-disposed extremists of the Islamic faith. Pure greed & profit, put before human life & common sense. My own humble opinion    Yours Aye.article-2514936-19B1AD2700000578-444_964x647The incredible mile-long floating CITY – complete with schools, a hospital, parks and an airport for its 50,000 residents. The Freedom Ship is 25 storeys high and would feature a casino, an art gallery, a park and a shopping centre. The concept, designed by a Florida-based company would cost $10 Billion USD if was commissioned to be built. The vessel could house 50,000 people but it would contain additional space to hold an extra 30,000 visitors. The ship would constantly sail around the world – doing a full circuit every two years – but would be too large to enter any ports.article-2514936-19B1AD7B00000578-941_964x873The incredible mile-long floating CITY – complete with schools, a hospital, parks and an airport for its 50,000 residents   A Hollywood disaster movie waiting to be made!article-2514936-19B1AD6B00000578-547_964x643

Getting Hammered with the Admiral

There is a house in New Orleans. . .

Just kidding, I always wanted to start a blogpost like that. And it is especially funny (or not) considering how infrequently I’ve been blogging recently. I can point to long hours, but the truth is my job requires me in front of a computer and then in my off-time, I don’t particularly want to sit in front of another screen. Strange that a shipboard job is so pc-centric, but that is how it is in the modern Navy. Those among you who have done military staffwork surely understand.

Okay, so let’s talk title. Yes, I was propositioned (can you use that word with alcohol?) by the Admiral to go get hammered with him. It was all the more hilarious because my boss, the Captain, walked in during our pre-brief right when the Admiral said: Lieutenant, you and I are going to have to get hammered together. 

Before I get into the bulldozing, and then the laying of iron rebar, and than the pouring cement, and then the framing of our little story here, perhaps we should do a historical stroll with modern major admirals to see who among them might have tippled a grog or three with their younger staff?

This naval forum had a list of the top ten admirals of all time. Sort of a Navy Hall of Fame:

1. Yi Sun Shin – Korea: Arguably one of the greatest admirals of all time; drove the Japanese out of their collective minds. Of the at least 23 major battles during the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592-1598), Admiral Yi gained victories in all of them; he never lost a single engagement and is the national hero of Korea.

2. Horatio Nelson – Britain: If you do not know who he is you have no business in these forums; I recommend that you try knitting sweaters instead.

3. Frank Jack Fletcher - United States: Admiral Fletcher was the operational commander at the pivotal Battles of Coral Sea and of Midway.

4. Gaius Duilius - Rome: He won a major naval victory over the Carthaginians during the battle of Mylae thus setting the stage for the decline of Carthage as as the per-eminent naval power of antiquity.

Don Juan movie5. Don Juan of Austria: The Victor of the Battle of Lepanto, the last major naval engagement between galley fleets; this battle set the stage for the decline of the Turkish Empire.

6. François Joseph Paul, Comte de Grasse - France: Fought the British fleet to a standstill at the Battle of the Capes, and forced the British to retire without supplying Yorktown, thus forcing George III to give up his American colonies.

7. Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter - Holland: One of the most famous admirals in Dutch history. De Ruyter is most famous for his role in the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century. He fought the English and French in these wars and scored several major victories, the best known probably being the Raid on the Medway.

Admirl Togos8. Heihachiro Togo – Japan: The winner of the Battle of Tsushima Straits; historian Edmund Morris calls it the greatest naval battle since Trafalgar. It was the largest naval engagement of the pre-dreadnought battleship era and the only sea battle in history in which steel battleships fought a decisive fleet action.

9. David Glasgow Farragut – United States: On August 5, 1864, Farragut won a great victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay. Mobile was then the Confederacy’s last major port open on the Gulf of Mexico; when it was captured, it helped to set the stage for the final defeat of the Confederacy just as surely as the Battle of Gettysburg.

10. Isoroku Yamamoto – Japan: Planned the daring attack on Pearl Harbor thus bringing the United States into the Second World War.

Admiral Bull Halsey

Admiral Bull Halsey

Interesting, the poster goes on to say he did not place them in order of greatness. But he does take some heat. And a new forum member goes on to post this list (bear with me on the booze and el-tee thing, we are getting there, albeit in an Italian taxi cab kind of way.) New list:

1. Ray Spruance – TF-16 at Midway, TF-58 at Marianas Turkey Shoot.

2. Marc Mitscher – Ran TF-58′s carriers. Turned on TF-58′s lights so the Hellcat, Helldiver and Avenger aviators could find their way home.

3. William “Bull” Halsey – Aggresive patrolling after Pearl Harbor was immeasurably valuable experience for our inexperienced naval aviators. Ran TF-38 (same ships as TF-58). Halsey and Spruance rotated command…One admiral and his staff would run an Op while the other and his staff planned the next Op.

4. Tamon Yamaguchi – If he had been in Nagumo’s place at Pearl Harbor and Midway…1942 and 1943 would have been bad years for the US Navy.

5. Raizō Tanaka – If he had been in Kurita’s place off Samar…the Leyte Gulf beach head would’ve been clobbered.

Commodore Edward Preble

Commodore Edward Preble

6. Edward Preble – Technically a Commodore…the phrase “Preble’s Boys” says it all.

7. Alfred Thayer Mahan – Father of the modern US Navy.

8. Isoroku Yamamoto – One of the most brilliant naval strategists and a great leader. He truly was irreplaceable.

9. Heihachiro Togo – Tsushima…’nuff said.

10. John Henry Towers – Father of US Naval Aviation.

Should I go admiral by admiral and conjecture about whether these towering giants were on drunk terms with their staff? Probably more than half of them were. It was a different time, on different seas. Technology has changed business on the world’s oceans. So has culture. Now, 16 year-olds girls stateside are tattoo’d like Sailors of yore and us modern Navy-folk are less rough around the edges.

Okay, so I owe you a story. It is the afternoon and my boss grabs me in the p-way (short for passageway of the ship.) Hey, go up to the quarterdeck and greet the Admiral and get him back to our space for the brief.

Call football iiI jam up to the quarterdeck without going back to my office. Good call. The Admiral is ten minutes early. He gets gonged (ringing the bell thingy) on. And I take him back to our space. I had spoken to him once before, right when I checked into the command. And he and I share an alma mater. (Or in this case, considering our football team, the Cal Bears, perhaps I should be calling it the alma whatsa matter?)

Tough year for Cal football, eh, sir?

Hell of a year. We’ve gotten killed in every game. What are we, 1 and 9?

Something like that sir. I lost track.

USC put up 62 on us! More than a point a minute. 

It is rough.

Call footballI lead him into our space and we continue our bemoaning of our bad-news Bears. Finally, he ends with: Lieutenant, you and I are going to have to get hammered together. 

My boss, the newly-arrived-to-the-space-Captain, looks around the room at me first and then the other folks with a double-whisky-on-the-rocks-tango-foxtrot look. I tell him later what we were discussing. I figured it was something like that, he tells me.

Becoming a Military Linguist

Folks, as I still work the long hours of being deployed (no complaints), you might enjoy this email interaction I had with a prospective linguist as she looks to join the military:

So it started with a comment on the About page which I returned with:

You commented on my blog and I would be glad to answer any questions you had about being a Navy CTI (or the other branches for that matter.)

I enjoy the field immensely and like “talking” about it. . . I was an Arabic/French linguist, but am currently stationed in Japan.

And her questions:

Thank you so much for your willingness to talk with me about this.

I’m a 26-year-old college graduate with a degree in language (Latin
and Greek – useful, eh?) and I’ve been floating from job to job
halfheartedly since finishing school in 2010. I keep returning to the
idea that language is my one true passion, but I haven’t figured out
how to implement it professionally. I’ve at the same time been
developing a stronger interest in the military, and when I learned
that one can enlist as a linguist, I’ve been so thrilled at the
possibility. I do have an upcoming session with a recruiter, but given
that he will obviously be biased, I need all the advice I can get.

I’ve been told that I should enlist specifically with the army because
they’re the branch who will guarantee your placement as a linguist. Is
this the case? I’d like very much to ultimately work as an
interrogator, but I don’t really know the other routes that one can
take as a linguist. What did you do?

Also, I’m wondering about the experience of being a woman in this
position. I think we’re all familiar with the horror stories of women
being constantly assaulted – is this something that in your mind is
overplayed by the media, or is it as rampant a problem as we all hear?
As a man in the military, what are your thoughts on whether women
belong there? What have you observed about the general attitude on the
part of men toward their female counterparts in the service? Feel free
to be as un-PC as necessary :)

Lastly, what work opportunities are there for a linguist after your
term is complete? I’ve again read many horror stories about
high-ranking veterans failing to find work after leaving the
service….but it seems like there should be a fair number of options
for an American who speaks Arabic, no?

Honestly, anything you can tell me about your experience would be
extremely helpful.

Thank you, thank you!

I always get concerned when folks are joining the military with no good sources of inside information. They (understandably) have to rely on the press, who has an agenda of their own. My response:

Wow, okay! Let’s do this. I understand your position very well. I was a UC Berkeley grad when I enlisted and got a couple of raised eyebrows.

I understand your concern about recruiters. Don’t sign anything and you will be fine. I had a somewhat shady interaction with the Air Force recruiter; it really turned me off to that service.

I also love languages. I speak French and Arabic. The first I got when I was young and then I learned Arabic at DLI, the military’s school in Monterey, California. (I also took Greek in college. Kalimera!) I am stationed in Japan and tomorrow I go to my first Japanese lesson. Can’t wait. . .

You got bad gouge about the Army guaranteeing you a job. The Navy can too, provided you get it on paper. I entered the Navy with my job as a linguist guaranteed. The only thing that would have stopped me- if I had not passed my security clearance or had failed out of DLI. Trust me, I’ve seen both. It is a little scary, but you will be fine. (Provided you don’t have too many skeletons in your closet. . . (Grin.) One guy had a vindictive girlfriend who lied about him and drugs, so he never completed DLI.)

Ah, women in the military. Okay. Whatever you’ve heard was bs. Look, I am a Berkeley grad, so I think I have a little bit of an outside perspective that may grant a stranger a little credibility on the matter. It is nonsense that women get constantly assaulted. I will say, it is more dangerous being on a college campus, at frat parties, etc, than being in the military as a woman. Obviously, I am a man, so take my opinion as that. Sadly, there are folks who score political points by taking us down in this respect. Do women get assaulted? Yes, tragically. But at a lower rate, I would argue, than the civilian world. I would be glad to forward your email to friends of mine who are female. And you can hear it from them. . .

Do we joke around? Yes. It can be a little like a locker-room sometime. We are a different kind of job after all. Truthfully, the filthiest I’ve ever seen a Sailor/Officer in a group setting was a tie between two women officers. They were x-rated in their wardroom banter. It was kind of shocking, but no one said anything to them because they were female. That all said, thousands of female service members are fine. A couple of tips: Don’t get repeatedly, fall-down drunk with your shipmates. Don’t walk around in a bikini at parties. Etc. . .

Last thought on women: I really appreciate having females in the Navy. And on the ship. (Even subs if you guys want to. I certainly don’t want to be in one of those sinkers.) Trust me, the Navy is like a really cool, slightlllllllllllly miserable club where you work hard. Or sometimes, you completely screw off. (Don’t tell anyone about the last thing.)

As far as jobs go after the service, I am in for 20 or more. But there are plenty of opportunities for folks who speak languages. Google Titan, L3, SAIC, Booze-Allen-Hamliton, etc for military contractors offering job opportunities.

Interrogators? I ran the linguist shop down at Gitmo when Gitmo was Gitmo. You can go that path, but the Army seems to have a far more robust program than the Navy. My friends who did the job were known as 97Es. But now I think they may be known as 35Ms. It is an interesting facet of linguistics.

I’ll stop rambling. I think you have valid questions, but don’t buy the media bs about the military being hard on females. My boss right now is a female Commander and she would undoubtedly say that the Navy is a fair organization that values hard work, talent, and dedication. (Phew, I sound like a commercial.)

Let me know how I can help. Your three next steps are: visit the recruiter (Go Navy!), take the ASAVB, and then take the DLAB. (A test that sort-of “explores” your ability to learn languages.)

Can I post your email and my reply on my blog? I will eliminate any identifying material, of course. I think it can be helpful to other folks…

Take care and fire away with more q’s,

Ah, one of my favorite topics – joining the Navy. To be continued. . .

Seals fired from torpedos tubes

Not quite so much being fired, but SEAL pods being sedately launched…
SEALtorpedo
Torpedo ‘SEAL’ is a semi-submersible that transits within a NATO-standard 533 mm torpedo tube. Torpedo SEAL is fully extended and ready for use once removed from the tube, it is then able to transport two divers and equipment, fully submerged, over a range of 10NM. Torpedo SEAL may also be easily stowed within the multi-purpose tubes being designed into future submarine designs, or beneath the outer casing of the submarine. Find out more about JFD & The SEAL Pod 

I could have hacked being a SEAL, or specifically a Swimmer Canoeist of the SBSBut not for me the life of a ‘sun-dodger,’ spending hours on a sandy bottom; I chose a life on the ocean wave for adventures to foreign shores on behalf of Queen & Country.    Yours Aye.

Lady Gaga & Ladies of the Night

article-2471334-18E569F700000578-202_306x423A U.S. Navy commander has been accused of moving ships ‘like chess pieces’ to ports in Asia to financially benefit a defense contractor, in return for prostitutes and Lady Gaga tickets, according to naval court documents

Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz also allegedly passed confidential information on ship routes to the firm, Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd, or GDMA. The accusations unfolding in a federal court case signal serious national security breaches and corruption, with the threat that more people, including those of higher ranks, could be swept up as the investigation continues. US Navy commander ‘diverted aircraft carriers and moved ships like chess pieces to Asian ports in return for prostitutes and Lady Gaga tickets’images

Also charged were Leonard Glenn Francis, the CEO of defense contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. And John Bertrand Beliveau II, a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service – NCIS. The scandal is reverberating across the U.S. Navy and more arrests possible.  

It beggars belief that in today’s age of digital documentation and storage, a senior Commander would be so stupid as to think he could get away with fraud on such a grand scale. Career over, family torn apart, and the U.S.N’s reputation dragged through the mud once again. It looks like there will be many more heads set to roll, with one or two wearing heavier scrambled eggs on their hats. There could be ‘a lot of promotion that side of the ocean’ as more senior ranks take a tumble.

The Navy (every Navy, military and civil) have been linked with the ‘oldest profession in the world’ since the day dot. But to throw it all away for tickets to see Lady Gaga? The man must be as gaga as the woman herself, and she’s as mad as a bag of frogs!      Yours Aye.

Pickles in Mayo

(Commence old grandpa voice) There is a certain joy in working with them young fellers. They know how us ol’ codgers work and sometimes they tell tales they know are gonna to crack us up. Like this complaint about a Fire Controlman (FC):

Sailor 1: Would someone please talk to FC2? He is sitting on the floor of berthing in his tightie whities, dipping pickles in mayonnaise and eating them!

Sailor 2: In his underwear?

Sailor 1: That’s what I said. That guy looks like a wolfman he is so hairy.

Sailor 2: Pickles in mayo, that doesn’t sound good.

Sailor 1: Yeah, he stores them in his wall locker.

Sailor 2: I’m no doctor, but doesn’t mayonnaise go bad pretty quickly?

Sailor 1: Whatever, I don’t care. I just want his fatass to put some clothes on.

Very quietly I laugh to myself. The Navy’s a chuckle a minute if you listen.

Blohm+Voss Skeletal Super-Yachts

article-2460706-18C628A900000578-107_636x464The super-yacht of the future: Stunning ship with a skeletal structure that’s set to be on every billionaire’s shopping list The stunning super-yacht has been designed by multiple-award-winning Iraqi-born Briton Dame Zaha Hadid, the brains behind the Aquatic Centre for the London Olympics and Glasgow’s Riverside Museum. She has teamed up with German shipbuilders Blohm+Voss to create a fleet of six different super-yachts.Blohm-Voss-BV-141-3Blohm & Voss. Bv141 Tactical reconnaissance  aircraft, which flew within the role perfectly, but not adopted as it was deemed too unconventional (Oh really)?DownloadedFile

Blohm & Voss have been thinking and engineering their way out of the box and beyond since 1877. Starting with boats, ships, submarines, and then onto aircraft. Their state of the art ship yard is on an island close to Hamburg, an engineering monument to their development within the cruise liner and super-yacht world. If they say they can build a skeletal structure covered in glass, then they will do it. Pity the poor crew who have to clean and polish it every watch…  Click below to enlarge            Yours Aye.Blohm+Voss shipyard April 2010

The fallen. 21st September 2013

A misnomer in one sense, but a tribute none the less, as this year, 2013, the International Day of Peace fell on Saturday, 21st September. To commemorate the day a pair of British artists created a stunning installation of 9,000 silhouettes on a D-Day Landings beach The project, named, ‘The Fallen’ was a tribute to the Allies, civilians, and German forces who lost their lives during the ‘Operation Neptune’ landing on June 6, 1944. The design was the brainchild of British Artists Jamie Wardley, 33, & Andy Moss, 50. Together with a team of hundreds of volunteers the pair travelled to Arromanches beach, Normandy, to create the silhouettes, which were individually drawn into the sand. The shapes were then left to the mercy of the tide which washed away the ‘fallen’ after around four and a half hours.                       article-2429903-18314F7700000578-966_634x475article-2429903-183153EA00000578-818_634x474To understand the true scale of the task ahead of the Allies on the morning of 6th June 1944, you have to visit and put yourself in their place, and walk the various beaches taken by them. Raw courage, and pure determination won the day, at a terrible cost.  Yours Aye.

Am I Too Stodgy for the Navy?

It was nearing dusk on base and I was returning from a run around town. Full confession: I had gone too far and was walking the last mile in. (One additional confession: I was breaking in a new pair of running shoes.) As I came up on the Navy Lodge, I passed a children’s playground and then a Navy residence tower.

Blasting from the tower was loud rap music. It sounded as if someone was having a party. Over a backbeat, a guy was rapping. And I am sorry to say, it was lewd. It sounded as if he was rapping: pull it up, pull it up, let’s see your tits. 

Okay, so I am a Sailor too. And I understand our guys. I am not a prude despite how this sounds. But what if someone was at the party who did not want to be there? Or is it not a concern that there were children within earshot?

When I got back to my room, I called the on-base operator to have her connect me with base security. I don’t have kids, but I imagined if female friends were there at the party. The base operator was Japanese and I had a terrible time trying to tell her what I needed. I gave up and called the front desk. The Navy Lodge receptionist took my info and promised to do something about it.

Meanwhile, I’ve showered, changed, and relaxed into my evening. The front desk guy calls back and tells me, his bosses told him he can’t report it as it has nothing to do with the Navy Lodge. I ask him for the direct number to Navy Security.

He gave it to me and I called them. I identified myself by rank to the Petty Officer (a Master-at-Arms) who answered the phone. And then I proceeded to tell him what I heard. He chuckled lightly. (I thought, am I too stodgy for the Navy?) Tomorrow, I guess I’ll ask the Command Master Chief (CMC), who’ve I gotten to know, as much as you can in ten days on-base. I am curious what he says. Are we in the Navy serious about stopping sexual assault? Or was this just our guys having fun?

Your Olde Shipmates

Part of being in the Navy, at a very popular vacation spot, is that you are bound to run into old shipmates. Sure enough, day two, I spied a familiar face in the local coffee shop. Looking haggard.

Hey, how are you? How are things? I asked him. Just got into town.

Good. I leave in two days for DC. Done with my tour.

Ah, too bad. How was your last deployment?

Exhausting.

I can tell.

What?

(Laughing) Sorry…

It was disappointing that he was not going to be in town. Smart guys like him are invaluable to turn to even if he was stationed on a different ship. I wished him good luck in DC. That did not seem to me like a fair exchange, Japan for the Pentagram.

Later in the day, while returning to the humble confines of the Navy Lodge, I saw another guy I knew. I forgot where I knew him, only that I did not like him. A fact of life is that I (you) can’t get along with everyone.

He grinned at me, as if he expected me to say hello. I just walked by him and went to my room. I hate playing fake. Why catch up with someone when you have nothing positive to say? Anyway, as I opened my door, I remembered. He had a very college way about him, with not a military bone in his body. And I did not agree with him on anything. Ah well, hopefully he is not on my new ship…

Send for the Silent Service

There is only one reason a Submarine breaks the surface, and that is to be spotted. According to accurate reports, HMS Tireless has done just that, off the coast of Gibraltar on Saturday 24th August. British nuclear submarine ‘surfaces off Gibraltar’oyal  Navy Submarine HMS Astute Fires a Tomahawk Cruise Missile (TLAM) During Testing Near the USAHmmm… Gibraltar to the Cyprus Basin is approximately two and a half days submerged at 30 mph/59 kph. Or two days to the Nile Fan (of which is approx 220 miles from the coast of Tel Aviv). Given that permission would be required to ‘throw’ a Tomahawk cruise missile through a countries air space, and that the distance from the Nile Fan to Damascus is approx 332 miles, it would be obvious that Israeli airspace would be a pretty good direct flight path. Speculation of course, pure speculation and simple conjecture…     Yours Aye. 

Have Faith, the Ensigns Are Here!

EnsignEnsign is a special rank in the Navy. It is the first tour for newb officers and folks approach them differently. I try to be jovial with the Enswines. It is easy to give ‘em a hard time, I had a couple of folks think it funny to rib me (more than my share) when I rocked the golden bars.

So I am sitting in a housing brief and the retired Army guy giving the lecture turns to the four Ensigns at the end of the table and asks: Hey, what is wrong with you guys? You all look constipated!

I smile and before I could engage my filter, I mutter loudly: Ah you know, they’re Ensigns. 

Right you are, the briefer replies squinting at their rank. Relax guys. . . 

He finishes the brief and I dart a look or two back at the Ensign crew. One of them returns the look with a frown.

Later, I see three of them at the bustop. And one of them again looks at me askance.

EnsignSo I roll up jovially, introduce myself, and chat with them. Where did you go to school? What community are you in? What ship are you going to? Watch out for this. . . Keep an eye on this job if you want to lateral transfer into this. . . General Navy gouge for the boys.

Moral of the story: If you are an Ensign, relax and stay focused. If you are not an Ensign, for goodness sakes, help the lads out. There has got to be better ways to loosen up the Ensign crew than the old way, injecting their gizzards with copious quantities of rum.