Junior Officers

i began a post Saturday night with many thoughts i thought would go well as a rambling entry. By mid-Sunday morning, i recognized it would be more like a book than a post: too many things to say with too much to write about any of them.

i started on a different path as i cleared out one more pile in my office. There was a large 12×13-inch old album. i opened it up and there was the tale of tres amigos. It was on my first ship, the USS Hawkins (DD 873), homeported out of Newport, Rhode Island. This particular group of photos was in 1969 when the ship was assigned to be the observation ship, providing a fixed position for submarine Polaris missile training. Our first sub was a British sub that had a perfect Polaris launch. i will not write of our second submarine here. This is a memory of great shipmates on a terrific ship with fantastic officers and a wonderful crew, mostly made up of guys who were there because of the draft.

Great memories:

The goofy guy, ASW Officer, in front of the ASROC Launcher Captain Control Shack
A serious Andrew Nemethy.
Rob Dewitt, the third and calmest of los tres amigos.
Joe, who graduated from Fordham but because of my brain fart, his last name will have to be edited in later.
Joe was taking this photo of Andrew and the goofy guy.
Our pier in Cape Canaveral.
Andrew fishing with crew members.
Hawkins’ lee helm and helm in the pilot house.
Looking aft from the DASH deck en route to our station.
The Brit’s successful Polaris launch.

And with that, i shall rest with my memories tonight.

3 thoughts on “Junior Officers

  1. Hey, Jim….where’s ME!😉. The Brits were there because there was an issue with the solid propellant. We were the telemetry platform. I recall us taking cover when a second shot was going astray and the missile destroyed with pieces actually hitting us.
    We had a Congressman onboard. A woman. One of the young BTs invited her to a tour of his fire room!
    Might recall a few wives were there also. We were in between ports. Terry and Patty Schissler travelled as a mini caravan with a baby, parakeet, and dog. We all stayed in same beachfront motel and would hit the beach after coming back each day. Good memories!
    P.S. Foster was going to visit us last wk. But had to cancel.

  2. The big goofy guy was Joe McMackin. He went on to law school. Got a call from Chuck Miller. Joe died recently of a brain aneurism. He lived in Naples, Fl.
    We will see Chuck in DC in Dec. He lost his partner of 35yrs to cancer last year.

  3. Hey Jim et al. great little thread. I have a lot of those photos in my album as well.
    The launch I remembered was the one where they blew the missile up, which I remember because I was using the ship’s Nikon (our high tech surveillance device!) – or was it a Pentax? – to photograph the launch. It was definitely an exciting little moment, though I don’t remember parts hitting the ship. It was a fun assignment.

    I think McMackin went to Wesleyan because we had a college rivalry. Sorry to hear of his passing. McMackin was definitely not your image of a naval officer, but then appearances can be deceiving. He was an awful nice guy though, made sense he would be a lawyer. I had a Fiat Spyder sports car and he had a wild looking Opel sports car and we did drag races on the pier at Boston Naval Shipyard. Those were the days.

    Joe, remember you well, glad to hear you are alive and kicking. Curious what your naval career ended up as? Where do you live? And who was the other academy grad who came on with you who was a newly wed and I recall he was in CIC? Cannot remember his name. Cheers

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