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A little History

Memories of John Trolinger

I was on the Bergall (SSN-667) for two years.

I was on board at the early age of 20 as a STS3(SU) in 1983 after a year and a half of school (advanced electronics) and stayed until ship yard in Mare Island. I did not want to be in the boat yard so split-toured to the Rickover (The hot boat on the river).

I picked the Bergall out of Sonar C-school because of a former shipmate who told me of his times on board (IZZY DeJesus) and thought it was the place to be. Izzy was my mentor throughout C-school and was a major influence in my life...unfortunately my time on board was pre-shipyard and everyone knew it. So the Med-Run was not very good. The trip to California was the best though as we had swim call and barbeque half-way through the canal, a stop in San Diego to offload weapons and lots great stories from the old timers.

'Armed and Dangerous in the Canal'   'During the Panama Canal transit, here's a picture of yours truly, topside watch on Bergall just leaving the first set of locks and heading for the barbeque and swim call in Lake Gatun.

'The Escort'  The first picture is of our escort through the Cullebra Cut. It now brings up memories of my father's stories on PBRs in Vietnam, mostly from seeing movies where these guys were used as cut-ins.

'The Mule'   This shot is of the 'Mule' pulling us through the first set of locks. I had just come topside to take the watch and the camera was fogging up with the heat and humidity.

In a 'colder' climate, we had a chance or two to surface under icy conditions.   The fair-water planes rotate and act as ice-breakers.   A little excitement for my day and a moment to sit and ponder.

On the way to shipyard we had visits from many technical types that were trying to figure out where everything was in reference to the prints they had. I do remember telling them that the boat had a great history and to take good care of her. I guess that didn't work as I hear that she was decommissioned.

I left the Bergall as an STS2(SS) qualified as Sonar Supervisor ( thanks to STSC Pat Davis )and left for the Rickover shortly after arriving in dry dock at Mare Island.

I am hoping that someone will write a book about the Cold War much like 'Pig Boats' was written after WWII. We did a lot to stop some really bad things from happening.

Currently I am the manager of special projects for a small company based out of Philadelphia. I travel the country starting- up and programming our computer controlled systems.

Visit my personal web page at

Best Regards to all,
John Trolinger (ex STS1-SS)