Sunday, November 23, 2014

USS Nimitz CVN-68 Diaries... Death Wish

I STILL get douche chills
whenever I think about
just how close I came
to being a statistic!

Chalk one up for
pure dumb luck!

and stupidity of course!
Lots & lots of that.

USS Nimitz CVN-68 Diaries...

Death Wish

The most fascinating, and of course,
most dangerous place to be on the ship,
and perhaps the world for that matter,
was without a doubt...
the flight deck of an aircraft carrier
during flight operations.
(aka flight ops)

Hands down, no debate!

It would be safer standing next to one of the multi-megaton nuclear warheads down below, then up on that death deck.

I’m sure everyone out there has seen the movie Top Gun, right?

Doesn’t it just look like mass confusion
when the jets are taking off & landing?

People in different colored shirts running
all over the place, with clouds of steam
camouflaging approaching danger.

Big metal walls rising out of nowhere.
Loud jet engines, with hungry air intakes,
just waiting for some wet-behind-the-ear’s
deckhand to satisfy its hunger.

A whole meaty person in,
and a fine pink mist on the way out!

I’m tellin’ ya man, this place was a steel jungle.

And, of course, I was just drawn to it
like a fly to the shit under your shoe!
It was just so amazing, and mesmerizing,
watching that organized,
well choreographed,

I used to be out there every chance I had, watching them. In fact, all of my friends
would make fun of me, and tell me
that they were going to put my bed out
on the observation level...
(called the Crow's Nest or Vulture's Row)
... because I was out there so often.

I was glued to that level as though I was
in front of the TV watching porno.
Day or night, it didn’t matter.
If the planes were flying,
and I could get away from work,
I was up there!

Seeing this stuff first hand was simply amazing. To feel the heat, and hear those roaring jet engines thrusting thousands of pounds
into the air, just kicked my ass, man.

That smell of burning JP5 jet fuel made you feel as though you were sitting right there
in the cockpit of one of those F-14’s.

But, do you know who had an even closer look than myself?

Fuckin’ Billy!
Billy Scire!

Billy Scire on borad Nimitz during mess deck duty 1982

He actually worked on the flight deck
after his 6 month mess deck duty
was completed, and held several jobs
while doing so.

He began as a blue shirt.
Those guys were the ones who would
chock the wheels, and chain the jets
and helicopter's down to the flight deck,
once they came to a stop.

Blue Shirt ready to jump into action.

Then from there he was assigned to the ships elevator crew, who also wore blue shirts.

Hanger bay opening with huge elevator in the up position
One of the ships elevator's on it's way down to the hanger bay level

He then ended up in the
Crash ‘n Salvage unit.
That should be self-explanatory.
Those guys wore red shirts.

A Crash & Salvage team on the flight deck... Billy isn't in the photo.

He used to come down to the
shop where I worked with all sorts
of privileged information. He was witnessing everything go down first hand up there.

I remember when we were off the coast of Lebanon. We were so close to the shore, that we actually saw bombed out buildings, still burning. That’s a little too close, dont'cha think?

The ship was in the area mainly to support
about 1,800 U.S. Marines, stationed there
as part of a multinational
peacekeeping force.
(Just being apart of that force in a foreign land,
should be enough to respect every one of those diehard muthafuckers.
Because I’m not goin’ out there, are you?
Where's my smock muthafucka!!??)

But also, the U.S. was having trouble
with Moammar Khadafy in Libya,
at the very same time that we were there
in the Mediterranean.

This was February of ’83.

The U.S was playing cat and mouse with Khadafy on a daily basis. Meaning that, they would send out fighter jets, and fly right up to the beginning of Libyan air space, which was the Gulf of Sidra, and turn away at the last minute.

Nut-boy Khadafy had drawn the proverbial line in the sand and threatened to blow the Nimitz out of the water, if that line was breached.

Below are some New York Daily News
articles that my mom clipped & saved
from February 1983 while I was there.
I'm sure she was shitting herself!

My mom cut these articles out of the Daily News while I was out there... part 1
My mom cut these articles out of the Daily News while I was out there... part 2
My mom cut these articles out of the Daily News while I was out there... part 3

My mom cut these articles out of the Daily News while I was out there... part 1
My mom cut these articles out of the Daily News while I was out there... part 2

My mom cut these articles out of the Daily News while I was out there.

We would always be fucking around in our shop... and even during these trying times...
the 5th grader in all of us still came out!

That's Jeff S. displaying the latest in Khadafy Wear on board Nimitz 1983
That's Jeff Scruggs playing men's fashion model 1983.
The sign he's holding says...
"The latest in Khadafy Wear... Live from Libya"

That's Jeff S. displaying the latest in Khadafy Wear on board Nimitz 1983
Even our chief, in the background,
couldn't be mad at our 5th grade behavior!

Jeff S. & Tommy Mondello aiming "Dan's Drone" towards Khadafy 1983
Jeff Scruggs at the controls and Tommy Mondello about to launch
"Dan's Drone" and take out the troublemaker Khadafy.

Dan K. was our civilian Tech Rep during the Med Cruise 1983
Jerry K. laughing as we fuck with Dan while getting the shop ready for inspection Nimitz 1983
Finally... Dan has reached his breaking point with our stupidity... LoL He was fuckin' awesome!
That's Dan Keller
He was our civilian Tech Rep.
And he was the coolest muthafucka there ever was!
We would always fuck with him and then he'd always get us right back.
And if I'm not mistaken,
I'm about to get my ass beat by him this very second
in that first photo... LoL

He was by far the smartest dude on the ship!
When there was a problem that couldn't be resolved,
be it a portable missile guidance system or a fuckin' coffee pot...
from the Captain right down to the cook...
they all came running down to our shop,
the 670 Calibration Lab... to ask Dan for help.

He was truly THE MAN!

Well, this one time
during those cat and mouse maneuvers
with Libya,
Billy came down to the shop
lookin’ like he’d seen a ghost.

He told me that all of the planes were leaving fully armed to the hilt, and returning to the ship with no ordinance, whatsoever.

They had to be blowin’ up something,
dont'cha think?!

Why would they just drop millions of dollars
of ammo, into the sea?

To be honest,
from time to time I was a bit apprehensive
while floating around out there,
with so much shit happening all around us.
I felt pretty fucking helpless.
I mean it's not like you could just punch the asshole in the face and be done with it.

But anyway, enough of that serious stuff.
Let’s get back to something funny,
like my brush with death!

You see, my good friend Billy,
actually talked me into goin’ out
onto the flight deck...
during ops!!
Instead of watching it
from the crow’s nest.
(Remember that this was the observation level
on what they called “the island”. That's the
only structure you see rising above the flight deck.
It had about 10 levels or so.
The captain & "air boss" overlooked
from the top 2 levels.
The crow's nest was just one level below
the big shots. A really great view!)

Here's a few photo's I took of the island
and also a few from the Nimitz crow's nest.
December 1982 & January 1983

My pic of the USS NIMITZ Island January 1983
My pic of the USS NIMITZ Island January 1983
I snapped one of the Top 2 levels of the Island on The USS NIMITZ where the captain & Air Boss ran the show January 1983
I snapped this from the Crow's Nest during flight ops January 1983
I snapped this from the Crow's Nest after flight ops January 1983
I snapped this awesome photo from the Crow's Nest December 1982. Also that type jet, the A-7 Corsair was the cause of my brush with death!

Can you believe what you just read?
I... was gonna be out there...
DURING flight ops!!

Oh, man, was I outta my mind or what,
wanting to go out there?

But I just couldn’t resist.

I met Billy at the blue shirt shack,
just inches away from the action
one level below the death deck.

All the guys were fuckin’ with me,
and saying that I was gonna die.
Ha ha ha, real funny, you dickheads!

These were the same guys that would
pull me from my bunk
in the middle of the night
while I was in a dead sleep,
and pound me with clinched fists,
then run back up to their lair
before I had any clue
of what the fuck was happening.
Leaving me squirming naked,
on a cold tile floor... LoL

I think about that shit from time to time
and just can’t stop laughing!
Too funny.

Well, lemme tell ya, they may have been joking about my dying, but in reality,
this was a really stupid thing to do.

We both could’ve gotten into huge trouble if anyone ever found out. That is of course,
if I survived and didn't die.

Anyway, Billy handed me all of the gear needed to be part of the team. Ear plugs, goggles, those big earmuff-lookin’ things that went on your head like music headphones, and of course,
the blue shirt.

He gave me a quick run down of everyone’s job. Red shirts do this, green shirts do that, and the guys in yellow are running the whole show!

When a yellow shirt pointed to you that was your signal to run over to him for instructions.

When yellow points, we run, except you!
You don’t fuckin’ move!
I’m gonna find you a safe spot,
and that’s where you’re gonna stay,
no matter what!”... Billy explained.

The yellow shirts run the show on the flight deck!

I was so nervous,
but overwhelmingly excited
at the same time.

Okay, it was time, and we headed up topside.
I stepped out onto the catwalk.
(A narrow and at times wider metal grating
that went around most of the ship.
Just you, an inch of meshed hardened steel,
and a hundred-foot drop that in most cases,
would kill you.)

Typical carrier catwalk just feet away from the flight deck & 100 feet down to that ice cold blue death! And yes, you squeeze in rest whenever possible!

And, after seeing those waves crashing
beneath me, my knees began to tremble.
Maybe I should’ve turned around
right then and there, huh?

Well, I didn’t.
I couldn’t.
I was this close to being a part of something
that has mesmerized me for the past
3 months solid. I had’ta go forward.

Billy grabbed me by the arm and helped me
onto the deck. It was about a 6 or 7 step
climb to the top.

Fuck, I was there!

I was standing on the steel beast,
the flight deck of the USS Nimitz...
just minutes before flight ops
were scheduled to begin.

Holy fuckin' shit, man!

It was loud, confusing,
and everything I thought it was gonna be,
and then some.

I was scared outta my fuckin' wits!

Billy walked me a few steps towards the front
of the ship, and told me to kneel down,
and not to move for any reason whatsoever.

He then pointed out this white
painted line, about 6 or so feet in front of me,
and yelled into my ear...

Ya see that line?
That’s where the end of the wing
comes to when the jets
are taking off from this catapult.
So don’t you fuckin’ move!

USS Nimitz 1981
First "X" is the catwalk that we came out onto.

Second "X" is where I was kneeling.

2 thin arrows point out the wing span line.
Can't remember if the line was solid or dashed
like in this pick of Nimitz from 1981.
A year and a half before I was there.

Thicker arrow on right points out the catapult
that was in use to launch the planes
during my flight ops experience.

Believe me muthafucka,
I wasn’t goin’ anywhere.
Ya know, if I actually had stopped and thought about what the hell it was that I was doing, I would’ve punched myself right in the face, and then punched Billy, for fulfilling my dream.

I was once again in a hell within a hell.
Six inches to my rear was the end of the deck which led to a five-foot drop down to the metal mesh catwalk, and then to a hundred-foot
death dive into the Mediterranean Sea.

And ten feet to the front, was going to be
an airplane wing, streaking by me
at 200 miles per hour!

All of the sudden,
I just wanted to throw up!

Billy left me to go prepare himself
for some chockin’ and chainin’
blue shirt style.
I was all by myself now.

Just me,
my pounding heart,
and my soiled underwear!

It was still about 15 minutes or so
until flight ops were to begin, so I was
just trying to relax, and soak up as much
of the scene as I possibly could.
It was nerve racking, but very cool
at the same time being out there.

Then I got a tap on the shoulder. I turned to see another blue shirt member, Bob W.
A really funny dude that worked with Billy.

That's Bob W. in the white tee-shirt... cool dude! Even though he almost got me killed... LoL

He told me to follow him,
that he would find me a better place
to watch the ops launch
from a different catapult.

First I thought, no I better not,
Billy said to stay put. But like an asshole,
I blindly agreed, and began to follow him.


But hey, what the fuck did I know?
I was well outta my element up there and a bit overwhelmed. And then, I went ahead and broke the oldest rule in the book.

I trusted someone else other than myself!

Well, we started walking towards to rear of the ship. Now, remember that flight ops
were just minutes away from starting.

So, I mean, the pilots
were already in their planes,
engines were whining cries of desperation,
and the most powerful warship in the world
at the time was about to turn into the wind
and flex her mighty airborne muscle.

And there I was, pussy boy, right there
in the middle of the whole damn thing.
Once again, a bonsai tree,
amongst the muthafucking redwoods!

Will I ever learn?
I guess the answer still at this point
would have to be, a resounding... NO!

I was following right behind him mirroring every move he made. But the one move that I missed could’ve cost me my life.

We were walking passed anA-7 Corsair
jet fighter. You’ve seen these babies.
Short and compact, with a gigantic intake hole
right below the pilot up front.

A-7 Corsair jet fighter on the flight deck of the USS Eisenhower
Location where my A-7 was
USS Nimitz flight deck crash May 26, 1981
First photo is the type of plane we were walking in front of.

Middle photo is where that plane was located at the time.
Also, look very closely at the planes towards the front of the ship.

Last photo is a closeup of what you were looking at in the middle pic.
On May 26, 1981 a plane crash landed and a missile blew up.
Blew up!!!
This was just alittle over a year prior to me being out there.

The flight deck really IS one of the most
dangerous places on this earth!

Well, I saw him duck under the big-mouthed
air-intake hole, but for some reason,
I just walked right in front of the intake.

my nuts just shriveled up
as I typed out that line)

I walked right passed it,
while the engines were running.


I say that again...
while the fucking engines were RUNNING!

All of the sudden, out of the corner of my eye,
I saw Billy hauling ass towards me.

He pushed Bob outta the way, and grabbed me. Then, disgustedly explained to me that if that pilot had juiced the engine just ever so slightly, the tiniest of bits, that I would’ve gotten sucked into the fuckin' intake, and been blended into that pink mist I talked of earlier!

He was totally pissed at me for leaving my spot. (Oh man, my balls have now just completely disappeared into my stomach as I re-read that.
No longer just shriveled... but gone!)

How fuckin' stupid was I?
Pink mist, c'mon dude.
Pink mist!

Man, once I realized what almost just
happened to me, I wanted to punch Bob
up-side the head! He just took it for granted
that I knew enough to duck under the intake.

Oh man, what an a-hole!

What the fuck did I know about air intakes,
and jet engines?

I was too busy lookin’ for fuckin'
"Maverick" & "Goose"
for goodness sake.

Tom Cruise & Anthony Edwards from the awesome movie TOP GUN 1986

Anyway, Billy practically dragged me by the ear back to my original spot, which was way up towards the very front of the ship.

All of the sudden, I felt safe back there
in my original hell. I mean those wings
were gonna be a whole 10 feet away from me. That is if there were no problems on take off
or any crash landings that is.

And that mere hundred-foot drop behind me, seemed childlike, after what just happened. Imagine feeling safe, out there.
You should’ve seen my face dude!

Okay, this was it.
I felt the ship turning into the wind,
and the planes began to roll out into position.

The adrenaline was rushing through my veins, and my heart was pounding against the inner walls of my chest like a fuckin' sledgehammer.

I was ready to explode!

Then BANG!

The catapult engaged
and the first plane took off within
an earth shattering thrust
that almost caused my fucking heart
to explode right there inside my chest.

I just began to scream
at the top of my mutha F'ing lungs.



And off it went.

F/A-18 Super Hornet taking off from USS Nimitz 2013. Same side catapult being used as when I was out there in 1983.

I may have also shot a load of cum in my pants as well, because if I'm not mistaken, that felt just like an amazing climaxing orgasm to me.

Disgusting I know,
but just imagine the expression
on my face at the time.
Pure emotional release my friends.
Pure emotional release!
It was beyond belief I’m tellin’ ya...

Hey, anyone got a cigarette?

I managed to keep my eyes opened
for most of the take off. But it would
take me several attempts before
I actually saw a complete launch.

It was incredible, man.
The power!
The raw fucking power that was there before me was, was unstoppable!

At that very moment, I once again felt like a peon, in the overall scheme of life.

Here I was, witnessing something that could destroy cities in a matter of minutes.
And I was almost a part of it!

Do you think I’ve shed that
pussy boy Navy image?
Yes I think he’s gone.
I think pussy boy was now gone!

I was now, invincible Navy boy!

Nothing could get in my way now.
Even though I was just so blown away by being out there, I had finally come of age!

I’ve come face to face with death,
and walked away unscathed.
Nuthin' could stop me now.

And then, it happened.

The one thing that could stop me.

A finger.

One muthafucking finger
stopped me dead in my invincible tracks.

After about 30 minutes into the ops
I looked up, and saw one of the yellow shirts
walking my way, and motioning
for me to come over.

One of the scariest moments of my muthafucking life dude... LoL

Oh, fuck!

I knew damn well that I couldn’t go out there.
My pounding heart was now pounding
for a different reason.

My knees were trembling with fear now,
and not respect. What the fuck was I
gonna do to get outta this one?

My mind moved quickly,
and came up with a way out.
I would fake an injury.
That’s it!

That one finger may have unraveled my unstoppable physical prowess, but it didn’t halt my scamming mind one bit.
Not when my life was on the line.

So, I just started rubbing my ankle,
as though I just twisted it.
I began to wave the yellow shirt off,
and pointed down towards my ankle.

And then, seconds later,
I just dove down into the catwalk,
no steps this time,
crash landing onto that
hardened steel mesh.

Bolted through the doorway, and fuckin’ ran for my ever-lovin’, chicken-shit, cum-stained life! While crying out for my mommy of course... LoL Oh shut up! LoL

And didn’t stop, until I was well hidden, within the confines of my very own backyard, my bunk!

Invincible Navy boy was nowhere to be found. The only thing I could find
was a big, fat, ooozing pussy!
Drenched within a dripping fear!

I couldn’t get far enough away from that fucking flight deck. Never again, man. Get me back to the safety of the nest! The crow's nest that is!
Where your life expectancy
was a little longer than 30 fuckin' seconds!

But I will never ever forget my short, but eventful time out there on that flight deck though. I mean, how many people in the world get to experience something as intense as aircraft carrier flight ops first hand?

Simply amazing dude.

They truly do make it look easy.
But lemme tell ya...
there is SO MUCH SHIT going on
up there day AND night
that one false move really
can get you killed!
and then planes LANDING
just seconds apart at times!

Flight ops

Night ops

Landing ops

Ranks right up there with those first few breathtaking moments when I realized that the parachute had opened and I wasn't gonna die. Remember that floating on air feeling I had?

Well this was right up there with that. Only this had more risks I think, believe it or not.

I still get cold fuckin' chills whenever I think back, and see myself walking in front of that A7 plane and it's gigantic hungry intake. I’m sure that it goes without saying, that I never tried that stunt again. It was just one of those things that I had to try once. And just, once!
Back to the crows nest for me, thank you!

So the next time you guys are watching A&E, or the History Channel, and they’re showing aircraft carriers and flight op’s, just picture me out there, Nervous Nelly running around.

Out of time,
out of line,
and completely out of his mind!

Where's Tom Cruise when you need him?

Thanx Bill...
it really was an experience that I will never forget. And if you didn’t bust my balls I would have never pulled the trigger!

Beyond awesome!