PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
The following Reflection represents ADJ3 Steve Weaver’s legacy of their military service from 1972 to 1976. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life.
Can you recount a particular incident from your service, which may or may not have been funny at the time, but still makes you laugh?
My first sea duty was aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Forrestal, CVA-59 for a Mediterranean Deployment in 1974. I was attached to RVAH-6 and my rate was AD-J (Jet Mechanic) where I worked out of my squadron’s P/P shop as an Aircraft Troubleshooter on the flight deck.
My shop was located just off the hangar deck, on the port side of the ship. There was a ladder on the landing just outside the shop, going both up and down. Fancy white rope weaving covering the ladder hand-rails, and brass fixtures on the stanchions indicated this was the “Captain’s Ladder” and off limits to enlisted personnel.
The next level up was Chief’s Country, and from that landing was another ladder continuing up to Officer’s Country on the next level. The decoratively dressed knotting on the hand-rails continued on this ladder too. The hatchway off the Officer Country landing opened into a long passageway fore and aft with staterooms and offices. Usually a Marine guard stood outside the door to one of these offices.
During flight operations I had to make my way up from my shop to “The Roof” for launch and recovery of our aircraft. I would have to climb four levels of 68 ̊ steep angled ladders several times in the process. One of my ever-expanding missions while deployed was to learn my way around the huge carrier, and most of all, to find shortcuts.
Now one day I discovered I could sneak up the captain’s ladder just outside my shop, and if there was no Marine guard, scurry down the passageway in officer’s country and across to the starboard side, then duck onto an accessible ladder and be up on the flight deck without getting caught. This was risky, but I managed to do this several times easily.
On one occasion after a recovery, I decided to take my shortcut through officer’s country. As I crept up to the long passageway, I peeked around the corner and there was no Marine guard in site, so I started on my way when I heard: “STOP… HAULT right there!”
I turned around to see the angry Marine coming towards me, so I quickly took off running. I jumped through the hatchway and slid down the ladder to the landing outside of Chief’s Country. Hitting the landing, I quickly turned into the passageway and ducked into the chief’s head, hastily hiding in an unoccupied stall.
Then the Marine came in, huffing and puffing, just as a real Chief came out of another stall. The Marine asked the Chief: “Did you see a Sailor come in here?” Then the Chief replied: “Sailors are the only ones in here mister!” So the Marine turned around and left.
Then the Chief says: “Okay─ you can come out now.” So I unlocked the stall door and, peering out, said: “Thanks Chief.” And looking at me, he smiled and said: “Carry on.”
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lol, great memory
Doesn’t sound like any lifer I ever interacted with as a draftee grunt in 1970 Vietnam/Cambodia. Worth posting as an aberrant occurrence!
Good for you for not getting caught. Good story.