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Memories of Duane Barcus, '55 - '56

Was I a young puppy back then, or what?

As a newlywed, I sure found a pretty partner!

October 1955 on the trip to the Med. we ran into a little rough weather and both the main and aux gyros were tipped.   The last part of the trip was by dead reckoning and mostly by magnetic compass, as the sky was so overcast that we couldn't get a fix. As I remember, the quartermaster said we missed Lisbon by about 200 miles. My first foreign port was Lisbon. About 15 years later I was there again but this time we didn't tie up at the pier. We anchored out in the harbor and had to stand two days of port and starboard watch for one day of liberty. That was when the USS Ethan Allen got to go to Lisbon for three days. No shore power plus they didn't want a "NUKE" tied that close to the city.

We then sailed for Nice and spent a few days. After leaving Nice we were anchored off the Spanish island of Majorca when we received word to assist the fleet in searching for a US courier plane that crashed in the Med.   All that was found was ships garbage, nothing of the plane or courier.

We went to Naples, Italy next and I believe we were there about 2 weeks.   I remember several people getting souvenir flying cock and balls from Pompeii.  From there we went up the coast to Liverno (Leghorn) Italy.   One of the enginemen got in trouble calling the local police 'damn communists'.   He spent the rest of the time in Liverno, on board.  From there we went to the principality of Monaco and spent New Years there, left for Barcelona, Spain and finally to Gibraltar. I remember that the fleet was in holiday routine. We had very little operations and spent around two weeks in each port.

It seemed as if we spent much more time in port than at sea during the Med. trip.  Yes, it was a fun time (I was mess cooking :( and trying to get my submarine qualifications done).   As I remember, I was getting behind in my qualifications.

When we returned to New London all the married guys were smart enough to have stood duties for the single johns while we were in the med.   Upon our return they were all ready to hit the beach. I, having never been through this before, ended up with the duty on our return.   I remember the navigator MR. Travers found out about it and after I finished my top side watch he told me to call my wife and have her come get me.  You don't get that on a Nuclear Boat!   I think that the crew of the Bergall were the closest bunch of guys on any boat that I served on.   When Bergall went to Portsmouth, NH for overhaul I moved my mobile home to Kittery, Maine. After only two weeks in Portsmouth I was emergency transferred to New London.   I reported to USS Sea Owl at a little past midnight and the next morning we left for an extended North Atlantic trip.   The guys (radio/sonar & electronics) on Bergall told my wife not to worry that they would get the trailer ready to move back to Groton.   I never got to tell them Thank You!

Some of the names I vaguely remember or I think I remember;
Doc Webber HM1, Travasano YN1, Zurnhelt QM1 (Who amazed us all by showing that he could touch his face with the tip of his nose.), Anderson RM2, Midyett RM, Jones SO3 and Mr. Sanford XO.

Who remembers the cook, CS3 Tinker, cooking and throwing up in a #10 can that was hung from his neck with a piece of white line?   I always hoped that he hit the can EVERY time!   For all of our sakes!

Not a newlywed anymore but I sure found a pretty partner!

Duane Barcus

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