Cavalla Crew Interview

Richard C. King

I can still see Terry Schade carrying his surfboard aboard in February 1967 to use during springboard at San Juan, PR. It also took forever to get down the river because of the ice (I was stuck on phones for After Capstan during the entire maneuvering watch) when getting underway for the race to San Juan, PR and Spring Board Operations. I remember that terrible storm on the way to Springboard and tying myself into the rack in the Aft Torpedo Room to keep from falling out. I remember my quals stumper for Aft Torpedo Room sign off. (Location of Ligma-Vida grease fittings.)

I remember the PO2 Cook named Novi that definitely knew how to make pastries. I remember retrieving torpedoes fast enough to break the record during Springboard. I remember hauling in a down target drone and using it perched on the Fwd Capstan with a Snoopy for the change of command ceremony. I remember the stink we stirred up when we had liberty on Block Island in October. I remember some of shipmates saying I could do better when I was dating my future wife of 33 years. I guess you can't always be right -- huh guys.

I remember Dry Stores Locker being flooded and all the labels coming of the can goods and all the flares have to be washed by hand and dried in the berthing area. I remember trying to wash from head to toe with two fingers of water in the basin. I remember Bear Bryant's favorite game when drinking was to toss the topside watch over the side upon returning to the boat. I remember the fire at the Diving Tower while on watch at SUBDEVGRUTWO awaiting separations. I remember the Aft Torpedo Room turning into a rain forest because of 28 degree sea water and everyone moved out except TM3 Cristie and I. The dripping water froze the lockers shut and left two-inches of water splashing around while we playing games with DACE and TINOSA in the Gulf of Maine in February. (they also turned off the heat and AC when we dove). It has been a trip down memory lane.

Maybe next time I can send some pictures. I have great double exposure from shipboard that is like the memories -- a ghost image of the Cavalla with a Caribbean Island in the background. I hope I can share with you guys.

November 1999

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