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Home arrow Sea Stories arrow Sea Stories - APSS/LPSS arrow Easter Sunday
Easter Sunday Print E-mail
Contributed by A J Barkis   
Jul 14, 2012 at 06:26 PM

Easter Sunday 1969 had us doing training ops in Banaga Bay[1].  It was about 1200 best I recall.  We were submerged sitting on the bottom off of the beach, the Subic Bay “O” Club 400 yards off the bow and 2000 yards off Barrio Burrito at 270.  I believe were doing bottoming training, which to the uninitiated was a real trip.

 

 

Soon after starting the op we stopped abruptly.  We hit the surface and headed toward Cubi point, which was a good distance from our current position.  We changed course and head more toward Grande Island when the word came over the 1 MC “Rescue Swimmer to the hangar”.  I grabbed my fins and life jacket and headed toward the after battery.  On my way through the control room I asked, “what’s going on”.  The reply was a couple of downed pilots.  I met Shaggy Dog in the after battery.  We both went up into the hangar[2].   Shaggy was the MM on watch and was there to operate the hangar door.  Shaggy opened the door and we both walked out on deck.  I handed Shaggy my wallet, cigarettes and lighter.  I had already put on my swimmer’s canvas bootees. They had a rubber sole that protected a swimmer’s feet from rocks, coral, and critters, kind of like a high top sneaker.  Beat the hell outta boondockers.

While we were closing and Shaggy was operating the door, I asked him if he knew what had happened.  He said a couple of pilots had ejected from the jet after some sort of malfunction.  They were in the water and we were headed to where they were spotted going into the water.

Well, we made a sweeping turn in the middle of the bay slowed and then came to all stop.  The stern stopped swinging and a couple of heads and green shoulders came into view slowly moving toward the turtleback doing a dog paddle.  I didn’t see there chutes so apparently they had ditched them upon ditching.  That was desirable because of the potential of the chutes fouling in the screws, screw guards, or rudder.  They both managed to scramble up onto the turtle back and then onto the after deck.

We all walked toward the hangar and as the pilots passed by Shaggy he looked them at them up and down and with a sly grin said “Happy Easter”. 

And indeed it was.  Both pilots were treated to Easter dinner in the wardroom.  Bettcha they never forgot Easter 69.

Lunchmeat.



[1] Banaga Bay is inside Subic Bay proper off the port side after passing both the sea buoy and Grande Island.  Training ops by all forces were conducted there, mostly by grunts doing amphibious landings, hell even by the “Tunny Tigers” practicing with  Tunny’s compliment of M-16’s, M-60’s and 40mm grenade launchers.  Our 50 calibers were used either on the sail mounts or the aft mounts on either side aft of the hangar.  Barrio Burrito was the first Barrio past the PC checkpoint

[2] Access to the hangar was through the after battery.


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Last Updated ( Jul 16, 2012 at 11:54 AM )
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