After Battery

                   Welcome to the AFTER BATTERY!!

 

 

View of the crews quarters above the battery room on the USS S-4.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the old diesel subs, the After Battery was the usual 'gathering place', where the crew took their meals, played cards, watched movies, held meetings, or just sat around imparting 'words of wisdom' to the lower-rated riffraff.

The following pages are courtesy of Bob 'Dex' Armstrong, fellow torpedoman extraordinaire, who served on Requin in the '60s, back when I was on the Runner. Although we didn't know each other at the time, we musta chased after the same collection of 'colorful creatures' that frequented Bell's, Lovey's and the Krazy Kat along the strip outside Gate 2, in Norfolk (after all, who could forget Thelma, anyway??). 

In 1993, some kid was trying to put together a story for the paper about life on the Requin and approached Dex for info. Well, he found the story, I posted it here, and as Dex so eloquently put it,

 "If the going rate for bullshit ever goes to a dime a pound, all diesel boat sailors will become zillionaires!" 

So here is the original 'Letter to Jason', as related by Dex:

RECOLLECTIONS OF AN AFTER BATTERY RAT

Here are a few more 'gems' that Dex has put together...

MORE RECOLLECTIONS

THE GREAT DEMPSTY DUMPSTER FIGHT

SAINT THELMA

RATIONALE FOR RETROACTIVE COMBAT AWARD

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE AFTER BATTERY RAT?

THE MOONBEAM NAVY

USS REQUIN (SS-481)

THE SNAKE RANCH

MOTHER ONION

THE TRUTH BEHIND "FLEET ANNIE"

ROUTE 460

NORFOLK YARD

HOGAN'S ALLEY

THE OLD DAYS

SNAPSHOTS

MASTER CHIEFS

REQUIN RENDERS HONORS

A THANK YOU NOTE TO RON'S BBS

SLY FOX

ROGER RAMJET

THINGS THEY DON'T TELL YOU AT NEW LONDON

TOPSIDE WATCH

THE WIGWAM

HEAVY WEATHER

THE SLUSH FUND

HEAVY WEATHER II

CHANNEL FEVER

WE WERE A DIFFERENT BUNCH

MOVIES

THEY PAINTED THEM OVER

RUNNING MATES

LIFE IN STEEL PIPE

SMALL SHIPS

HAMPTON BLVD.

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA

RUST NEVER SLEEPS

CONFESSION IS A ROTTEN JOB

ANYONE REMEMBER THE CALIFORNIA BAR?

COWBOY COOKING

REMEMBERING RALPH

ESKIMO JOE

NORFOLK LATE NIGHT RADIO

DOWN THREE

MORNINGS ALONGSIDE

FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS

MARL "TINKER" GARLOCK

MACHETE JUICE

MEMORY FLASHES

STANDING LOOKOUT

THE WORLD BENEATH THE WALKING DECK

THERE WAS A TIME, LONG AGO

IDIOTS AND PAN-FRIED IGUANA

THANK HEAVEN FOR NAUGHTY GIRLS

ARLEIGH BURKE

ANCHOR POOLS

SWINGING FROM LIMB TO LIMB

THE RICKOVER WRECKING BALL

BUTT KITS AND BATTLE LANTERNS

ENGRAVED DOLPHINS

GUT BANDITS AND BELLY ROBBERS

THUNDER MUGS AND FRECKLE MAKERS

BEEN SAVED, HALLELUJAH, BEEN SAVED

THE DAILY HORSECRAP RATION

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE SNAKE RANCH

CONTROL ROOM

WE WERE YOUNG... LONG AGO

SILVER DOLPHINS

RATS ON THE HOOF

VIC CASSIOLA

PIER 22

JOHN Q. BOATSAILOR, ALWAYS A CLASS ACT

35 YEARS WITH METRIC BUILT BLOND

THE SIESTA NEST

RAZOR BLADES AND IVORY SOAP

BUBBLES, THE GODDESS OF THE MAIN INDUCTION

THE LUCY LIGHT

WARM SUMMER NIGHTS

FOUL WEATHER GEAR

TIMES CHANGE

TELL RAY TO STOP

LT JAMES BUCKNER, USN

WE WERE PROFESSIONALS

LINGERIE BENEATH THE SEA

LINGERIE BENEATH THE SEA - CORRECTION!!

BANISHING BOREDOM

CHRISTMAS AT SEA

CAPTURED MEMORIES

LIBERTY IN THE LAND OF OZ

RAVINGS OF A HALF-BAKED COOT

RAGHATS AND RUNNING MATES

THE MEN WHO WORE PEACOATS

THE LIFE OF A BLANKET THIEF

FRENCH WELCOME

HOME SWEET HOME

SUBMARINES NEED E-3S

A BOATSAILOR'S ANGEL

DRESS CANVAS TOPSIDE

BATTLE STATIONS

THE GREAT RAT ROUNDUP DAYS

BELLS, THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE

LT NOEL K. SCHILLING, USN

NOBODY HAD TO COME AND GET THE IDIOT

PIN THE TAIL ON THE DONKEY

SALT WATER AND CHEESE SANDWICHES

ANSWER UP

DOC ROHRE

THE MEN WHO FOLLOWED OLD GRINGO

BEING A TORPEDO PUSHER

ADRIAN STUKE, ULTIMATE E-3

HOP SING, FORTUNE COOKIE & PISS ANT

THE SNOOZE HOLE

ENGINEMEN...  GOD'S WORST CREATION

STUKE, MASTER BULLSHIT MAGICIAN

LIFE IN THE ALLEY

TEAMWORK

PIER DOLLIES

SUBMARINER'S GIRL

BLACKBEARD THE SMOKEBOAT SNIPE

TWIN FISH

BEING A DEAD BROKE E-3

INANE CONVERSATION

RADIOMEN

THE SILVER PLATED COFFEE POT

ADJUSTING THE SCREWGUARDS

SUBMARINER'S GIRL II

OLD GRINGO'S SPECIAL BLEND COFFEE

JACK IN THE BOX

SOFT RAGHATS AND FADED DUNGAREES

BEFORE THE PSYCHIC NETWORK, QUARTERMASTERS

HEAVE OUT AND TRICE UP

THE BROTHERHOOD

THE BIG PICTURE WAS NEVER IN FOCUS

HOW TO STEAL HEAVING LINES

THE BRIDAL SUITE

THE NORFOLK GOSPEL TABERNACLE BUS

MORE COLD WAR SECRETS REVEALED

THE COMMON DENOMINATOR

NOBODY TOLD ME

THERE WERE MANY NIGHTS

THE BARREL

THE PRINTED WORD

THE CIGAR BOX

TELLING JOKES 412 FEET DOWN

THE LONGEST NIGHT

'TEENY WEENIE' BILL EHNEY

ANSWERING BELLS ON THE BATTERY

TORPEDO RECOVERY

PIER 22 'THE CONCRETE BOULEVARD'

RAY 'OLGOAT' STONE

IT WAS A SHINING TIME

WHERE WERE YOU DEC 7, 1941?

HE WAS OUR 'MR. ROBERTS'

TWENTY-FIRST BIRTHDAY

PRIDE AND TRADITION

SALVATION ARMY LADIES

THE ALLOWABLE RADIUS

NUKE BOATS AND SMOKEBOATS

CAPT. JOHN J. VANDALE, USNR (RET)

ADRIAN AND AQUA VELVA

SKIPPY EATERS

E-3 SUMMIT MEETINGS

J-50, A LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN

GOD BLESS THE AUSSIES

GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCE

THE SUBMARINER'S SEABAG

THE NAVAL SUPPLY SYSTEM

BOYS IN BLUE

WE KEEP LOSING GOOD STUFF

WHERE IS IT ALL NOW?

REMOVING ORGANS FROM THE LIVING

HE NEVER STOLE HEAVIES

JURY-RIGGED GEAR AND 'MAKE DO'

WONDER WHAT OLD GRINGO IS DOING

THE SMOKEBOAT ROACH

A SMALL BUT TELLING SYMBOL

GRINGO GETS A FREE ONE

THE MEN WITH THE PIN

THE OLD RASCALS WILL REMEMBER

WE JUST CALL HIM ART

THE POKER PALACE

THE BEGINNING AS I REMEMBER IT

ONCE WE RODE SMOKEBOATS

WHAT AN 'AFTER BATTERY' WAS

A COUPLE OF OLD MEMORIES

LIBERTY LAUNCHES WE ALL KNEW

ANGELS IN LEAD BOOTS

SPECIAL MEALS AT SEA

DUTY NIGHTS WITH THE ANIMALS

LOOKOUTS - GOD'S IDIOTS

THE TAKE FROM A TRASH DUMPER

MORE LOOKOUT MEMORIES

WE HAD UGLY ENGINEMEN

THE GIFT OF COMMON MEMORIES

THE THRILLING DAYS OF YESTERYEAR

EAST MAIN

TRADITION

THE VALUE OF BULLSHIT

I STILL REMEMBER ONE NAVY NURSE

USS KITTIWAKE, THE OLD 'KITTYCAT'

STUFF WE MISSED

AND IT NEVER GOT ANY BETTER

THE WORLD BY THE TAIL

WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER OUR BOATS

INJUDICIOUS LANGUAGE

GIVE THE BOATSERVICE BACK TRADITION

THE USS ORION (AS-A8) REVISITED

SUBMARINE CHIEFS

SUBVETS WANTS YOU, HORSEFLY

WORKING GIRLS

GOING, GOING, DAMN NEAR GONE

THE GREAT 'SKA-LOOSH' LOCKER

OFFICERS... THE GENTLEMEN FORWARD

STANDBY FOR HEAVY ROLLS

DOLPHINS AND SOME OBLIGATIONS THAT CAME WITH THEM

MOBILE CANTEEN TRUCK

REMEMBERING SUBMARINE BARS

IT WAS HOME

NOTHING EVER CHANGED

SIGNAL LIGHTS AND SAILORS

THE SMOKEBOAT NAVY

THE ART OF 'JURY RIG' AT SEA

BLUEJACKETS TRAV'LIN LIGHT

O'BRIAN, THE YO

GENTLE MEMORIES OF SMOKEBOAT SAILORS

SWINGING THE HOOK IN STRANGE PLACES

BEN BASTURA, THE KEEPER OF THE FLAME

LADY VISITORS ABOARD...

ONE MAN'S FOREVER HEROES

MIKE HEMMING, THE 'BOY THROTTLEMAN'

STORES LOADING

SMOKEBOAT BLUEJACKETS

COMMENDATION

BOAT DECK MOVIES ON ORION

THE FLOATING GENERAL STORE

THE ADRIAN STUKE DECK FORCE PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA 

DEX, DO YOU REMEMBER THE SIRAGO?

OBSERVATIONS...

THE PIER DUMPSTERS

FIVE BUCKS AND FULL PEACOAT POCKETS

TRYING TO SLEEP IN THE ALLEY

BUNK BAGS

THE WOMEN WHO LOVED US

FRESH AIR, HOT COFFEE AND SALT SPRAY

SIXTY-FIVE CENT ORION HAIRCUTS

DOLPHIN RECOGNITION

RUNNING MATES

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THERE WERE TWO SUBMARINE FORCES

THE OLD MAN WILL BE ORDERING LINEHANDLERS TOPSIDE IN TEN

THE AMERICAN BLUEJACKET'S WHITE HAT

THE THINNING RANKS OF LOCKWOOD'S IRON MEN

RAINLOCKERS AND RAINBOW SOAP

 TELLING TIME BY PROGRESSIVE PUTRIFICATION

12 TO 4 TOPSIDE WATCH

ONCE UPON A TIME...

MY IDEA OF A SUB SCHOOL GRADUATION TALK

THE GRANBY STREET BUS

WHEN HULL NUMBERS WERE OUR ADDRESSES

CINEMATIC SUB STUFF

WHERE IN THE HELL DID THEY GO?

NIGHT STEAMING

THE LAST SMOKEBOAT CATTLE DRIVE

POPEYE MEETS TECHNOLOGICAL MARVEL

MESSCOOKING ON SMOKEBOATS

REMEMBERING DIESEL BOAT THANKSGIVINGS

SEA STORIES

NIGHT STEAMING ON TROPICAL NIGHTS

LOCKER CLUBS

THOSE WHO SAIL BENEATH THE SWELLS

STAND BY FOR HEAVY ROLLS

WE WERE THE LAST RATS OFF THE TUNA CAN BOATS

'SUBMARINE MAN'

THE SLAP SLAP OF SIGNAL LIGHT SHUTTERS

LIFE ON AN APL

OFF WATCH AT SEA

HITTIN' THE BEACH

THE DAYS OF THE TOPSIDE DOGSHACK

OWNING ONE-SIXTEENTH OF A REAL CLUNKER

BOATSAILORS AND PEACOATS

ONCE UPON A TIME

PAINTING TANKTOPS, SUPERSTRUCTURE AND LIMBER HOLES

INTERNAL AIR A MAN COULD SEE

BULLSHIT AND CINNAMON BUNS

Dex also provided 'illustrations' of characters and incidents mentioned in his 'Letter to Jason', and I've posted them here. Hmmm, bring back a few memories? And oh, by the way, I didn't put return tags on the pics, so just bang yur back button to get back here...

Welcome to the After Battery

Topside Watch

Engineering Officer

Qualifying on the Boat

Heavies

Cinderella (Just where'd them skivvies come from???)

Seamen Gang

Did WHAT to the Cutlass??

COB

Standing Lookout

Greenhorn

'Lucy Locket'

Lifer

Things to do on Fire Watch

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR A PIC OF DEX ON THE TORSK!

The following tales are from Mike Hemming MM1(SS), fellow USS CARP sailor, also affectionately known as 'Boy Throttleman'...

A STINK OF SUBMARINES

BIDET ABUSE

EXPLANATION OF HOW UGLY THE MAID WAS

THE INVENTION OF ??

THE EVIL MEN DO

CHIEF RAY BLOOMER

TERRY THE ANIMAL'S TEE SHIRT OF MANY HOLES

TORSK WORK WEEKEND

ENGINE SOUNDS

RALPH

ETERNAL RESTING PLACES

WHY SUBMARINES ARE BETTER THAN WOMEN

WARM NIGHTS IN PORT

TOPSIDE WATCH

WHITE GLOVES, CHIC SNIPES AND THE FICKLE FINGER

THE LEGACY LIVES ON

PERCY TURNER, ENGINEMAN

RUM RAISON ICE CREAM

THE CENTER OF THE WORLD

A FULL POWER RUN

CULINARY DELIGHTS

SNIPES

FUELING AND LUBING AROUND

FIRST TIME

WHATS IN A NAME

SILVER DOLPHIN CREWS

ARRIVING AND LEAVING

EYES OF 100 YEARS

BELLS

SUBMARINE WIVES

FIRST TIME BACK

THE GREY LADY AND THE SAILOR

A COLD WIND BLOWS

PERMISSION TO COME UP

THE DIVING ALARM BALLET

TAPS

SUBMARINE MOTHERS

THE LAST ONE

WE DID NOT FORGET YOU

TEARS, MEMORIES AND PRAYERS

BEEN DOWN TOO LONG

GRADUATION DAY

FOURTH OF JULY

NEVER ENDING DREAMS

THE NEST

COLD SAILING

NEW DUTY STATION

THE PIER

WE ARE A SUBMARINE SAILOR

ARE YOU CRAZY? --- HOPE YOU GET TO GO

TAKING A WALK

 A SIMPLE CEREMONY

HALL OF WARRIORS

DIVING AND SUBMERGING

NIGHT TRANSIT

MEMORIAL DAY

 ENGINEER'S PRIDE

LOCKER SPACE

FORTY YEARS GONE

THE RIVER

 AND GOD CREATED SMOKEBOAT SAILORS

JOIN US

I SAW AN OLD MAN SMILE TODAY

WARSHOT

NIGHT TIME

SMOKE

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

WHAT AM I?

THE LAST RUN

THE USS CARP'S MASCOT

SALUTING

YEARS IN CHAMBRAY SHIRTS

Not to be outdone, Adrian Stuke has a few things to say about Dex...

THE DAY DEX DIED

DEX CAPTURES FROGMAN

Another 'demented' contributor to the After Battery, Mr. Billy Bob "Launcher" Lary. This bubblehead actually went through a 'sex change' (he was a TM - Torpedoman, then became a MT - Missile Technician) and spent the lion's share of his Navy days riding 'boomers', those big as hell missle boats, plying the world's oceans.  Not to be outdone, he shares some of his experiences in the 'Moonbeam Navy'.

JAWS

KISS KISS

ON THE BEACH

THE ATTACK OF THE SCOTTISH TAXI STAND

MONGO

HALFWAY NITE

ANGLES AND DANGLES

WET TRAINER

AMAZON WOMEN

DANCING AT THE BOOBIE TRAP

58 CHEVY, WARM BEER AND MUSIC

GOOD CONDUCT

TEMPER, TEMPER

 

 

Now come entries from fellow boat sailor, Ron Gorence, QMC(SS) who shares his thoughts from the WESTPAC side of the house.

GROWL, TIGER

TYPHOON

IF IT WON'T FIT IN A SEABAG...

RECIRCULATION

HONG KONG

MARY SUE AND HONG KONG TOO

HORSE AND COW

TRUST ME...

THE BEAR

ONCE UPON A TIME

ALOHA, HAOLE

SAYONARA

YANKEE CLIPPER

SUBMARINE PAINTING, MADE EASY

And to get a perspective from the SSN 'Fast Attack, Never Come Back' side of the house, Steve Gentry shares a few of his experiences.

MURMANSK IS OUR PLAYGROUND

SKIPJACK MOMENTS

ANOTHER SKIPJACK MOMENT

SKIPJACK MOMENT, TYPE II, MOD 3 

CUSTOM BUILT BY ORION (AS-18)

 

Still another 'DBF'er has a tale or two to add to the 'collection' here.  Dave Eberhart was an ST1(SS) who served on a number of 'smokeboats', including BLENNY, CORPORAL, WAHOO, and TIGRONE.  Welcome aboard, Dave!

VISITING SHIP

A JOURNEY OF YESTERDAYS

Another smokeboater snipe shares a few thoughts from his SIRAGO days.  Welcome Joe Roche, who is a 'little' diesel boat-qualified engineman with a 'big' heart, and who joins the reprobates here in the After Battery!

GOD IS AN ENGINEMAN

MY VERY FIRST TIME

BEING KING

AS THE OLD MAN TURNED

AS THEY ROAR TO LIFE

SIR!  I HAVE TWO CONTACTS BEARING...

THE END OF A PROUD LADY

IT WASN'T THE HILTON

 

Ron 'WARSHOT' Smith, a World War II sub vet and author of his great book, TORPEDOMAN, joins the fray and shares some reflections on submarine life during the war.  I'm sure you'll agree that his 'story-telling' abilities rival the best of us!

MIDWAY R&R 1943

 

Comes now Bruce Miller, LCDR USN (ret), bringing us a tale from the 'forward battery' boys!

THE FLYING DESK CAPER

 

Here is a smokeboat engineman, Ronald Mitchell, who has a few recollections from his Entemedor (SS-340) days.

TWO MINUTE AND 47 SECOND CLUB

58 FEET SMARTLY

THE GREAT HYDRAULIC MYSTERY

Yet another entry from Chris Herst, a 'Sonar Girl' from the DARTER !

ARRIVAL

PIRATE CAPTAIN

NICKNAMES

These stories were provided by Nancy Yockey Bonar, whose brother is the late CAPT Harry M. Yockey, (USN, Ret.).  CAPT Yockey served as CO, USS Salmon (SS-573) '70-'72; communications officer, USS Sirago (SS-485) '60-'62; engineer / navigator '65-'66; XO, USS Runner (SS-476) '66-'68.  He also served as the program manager for the Tomahawk Weapons System in '76-'83.

Thanks so much Nancy for sharing these wonderful 'recollections' with us!

THE 'LOVELY KIDS' STRIKE AGAIN

SIRAGO'S GROUNDING

THE 'BLACK DOG' PARTY

POIGNANT ENDING TO CONN WATCH

Larry Dunn has crafted a wonderful poem that speaks volumes about our old diesel boat days.  This is one that's dedicated to every sailor that now wears, or once wore, that coveted insignia.

BROTHER OF THE 'PHIN

Finally, to put everything here in the proper perspective, John 'TwoScoops' Eckard has penned a marvelous piece that, in spite of the 'jabs, barbs & harpoons' that boat sailors like to sling at each other, his poem pretty much says it all.  Thanks John.

THE FURY OF THE SUN