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Memories of Bryan Waller

I remember going to a bar in Rotterdam with 3 others, I can't remember the names but they were all coners.   We ended up in a small bar and were welcomed at the door by an immense black man in a military uniform.   For the next 3 hours we enjoyed free wine, beer and food.   It wasn't till the one guy (Caputo I think) went to get a pack of cigarettes did we find out that it was a wedding reception.   We stayed another half an hour then left politely.   The same gentleman who welcomed us, also thanked us for coming.   We told our story to the Eng. who we saw in the McDonalds later, he tried to get in, but was tossed out.

I also remember bribing the shipyard worker in Rotterdam with cigarettes and a Bergall cap to use his large crane to help us get the AC unit pump off of the boat.

Other memories include, watching the boat drift towards the carriers at the pier when we blew up the clutch.   The tugboats sure were slow to get there and the SPM definitely was not intended to maintain steerage.   Also working 28 straight hours with Roger Heck to mill a tool out of a huge piece of aluminum to allow us to replace a motor generator bearing while out to sea.   We got the job done about 24 hours before coming back into port. We did get a letter from the Admiral for doing it though

I was only on the boat for a short time 1 year 10 months and I will agree we did a lot of time out to sea.   It was a lot of fun, but I would never do it again.  

We had one guy in Amsterdam who was coming back on the train that fell asleep and ended up in Belgium with no money, passport etc... We had to send someone to Belgium to get him.

The other funny thing was that our trip to Rotterdam was right before our ORSE so they decided that during our liberty trip in Rotterdam, we would remove every deck plate from aft of frame 57, send the out to be steam cleaned, paint the rails, replace the rubber and then put all 275 deck plates back in five days time.   The deck plates came back looking worse than when we washed them installed with TSP.

I was digging around the site, saw a bunch of names I recognized.   I saw the note regarding Brad Nelson, he was the COB while I was on the Bergall.   I'll never forget talking him into changing me from the Anchor watch to the Phone talker in the conning tower during the maneuvering watch.   It was about 8 months before I got out and my justification was that, I was fully qualified through Engine Room Supervisor and Subs and that the glorious site of Dolphins jumping through the wake, might just inspire me to re-enlist.   It didn't but it sure was more fun than staring at the anchor for 4 hours. Also I had to be a witness at every Captain's Mast for the last six months I was aboard.   They always did re-enlistment ceremonies after Captains Mast and Captain Riordan though witnessing the re-enlistment might inspire me as well.

The last thing I can remember was driving the XO nuts, when myself and three others managed to convince someone to put us on a 4 person rotation for Engine Room Supervisor.   It only lasted about a week, but it was great being 6 on, 18 off.

Bryan Waller

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