JULY 1970 – JULY 1974

 After a couple of lengthy tours in Vietnam now it’s a college campus.  Purdue was relatively quiet compared to some of the other ROTC units across the country.   This was to be a 3-year tour of shore duty but the Navy ran out of funds and got a years extension, which I never complained about.

Only problem we encountered was just about every single senior knew that they were going to Vietnam. Purdue had two battalions of ROTC students.  One being a battalion of regular midshipmen, chosen from seniors in high school, both on scholarship and non-scholarship. I might add that women were allowed into ROTC for the first time in 100 years in 1972 and the very first female instructor came to Purdue. This was significant as about two years later women were allowed into the service academies.

The other battalion consisted of enlisted men that were selected from the fleet, both Navy and Marines.  They were called NESEP and MESEP, Navy enlisted scientific education program and Marine Enlisted.

Both had all tuition and books paid for while receiving their enlisted pay. They could go up for enlisted promotions while pursuing their degree and ultimate commission.

It was Vietnam and at one time we had 20 contentious objectors both from the Navy and Marine side of the house.  This was time consuming to try to find jobs for them as they were pulled from their education to await their cases.   There were a couple of times that Purdue’s finest and the services brand new officers were no sooner commissioned and brought home under lesser circumstances. I drove the Casualty Officer on a couple of those trips to the next of kin





Voge was a former DE (destroyer escort) and reclassified as a FF (Fast Frigate) to conform to the ship classification of the NATO countries.  Defoe Shipbuilding Co. built the USS Voge in Bay City, Michigan in the 1960’s.Voge was a brand new class of DE’s but she had her problems.  Mainly with the boilers, couldn’t make full speed and trouble making fresh water out of seawater.

Voge was to serve in anti-submarine warfare.  During my tour aboard, Voge had a helicopter hangar built on board.  Of significance while aboard the Voge, a Russian Echo class Submarine struck her in 1974 while sailing the Ionia Sea, between Italy and Greece. The collision alarm was sounded and everyone went to their stations.  Significant damage was done the ship’s shaft and propeller.  Voge pulled into a shipyard in Marseilles, France and repairs were underway.  United States asked Russia for reimbursement of repairs but you know how that goes.

Voge made an extended cruise on the Mediterranean during my tour.  Because of the ship’s engineering problems, significant time was spent in shipyards in the states as well.  At one point the civilian engineer that masterminded the system came in from the Bureau of Ships to analyze the problem.  Ports of call on Voge were Charleston, South Carolina, Lisbon, Portugal, Naples, Italy, Marseille, France, Malaga, Spain and Port of Prince, Haiti and Port Everglades, Florida.

Similar to all ships, my duties in supply were assisting the paymaster, food service, record keeping, and the keys to all storerooms with all consumables, machinery and electronic spare parts.  One thing I failed to mention on the other ships is the “in port watch” standing on the quarterdeck as both Petty Officer of the Watch and Officer of the Deck.

When in port, the quarterdeck is the business and ceremonial area when you board the ship. All crewmembers embark and debark the ship at this area.  Time honored traditions are observed here: requesting permission to come aboard and proper rendering to the United States flag. Also rendering honors for distinguished visitors and Flag Officers (Admirals) etc. Inspections of personnel and items that they may be carrying, as well as their identification, no matter what rank they hold are conducted on the quarterdeck.

On every ship I have served on, when in foreign ports, the nationals always like to see Americans and their ships.  There have been times that locals have tried to come aboard in masses to see the ship and, not knowing each other languages, as Officer of the Deck had to lay my hand on my sidearm and say “No” the best way possible. Watching the sailors come and go on the ship, it was comical at times to see the local’s render our form of saluting when they tried to come aboard.

I always found it an adventure to look forward to seeing a new part of the world, from the first sight of land to the final pulling up the gangway to get underway and looking forward to another adventure. There have been many long days at sea filled with boredom and loneliness. I suppose that is what makes it worthwhile to see another part of the world and observe their customs and way of life.




Named after a national park,”YO-YO” was commissioned during WWII. At one point she was the Navy’s most continuous active duty ship with close to 50 years of active service.

The designation “AD” stands for Destroyer Tender.  This ship had a crew of between 700-800. In 1979 female sailors were aboard for the first time.

Yosemite, a repair ship, most of her time is spent in ports both in the states and in foreign lands, servicing other ships both of US origin and foreign navies. Yosemite had many shops, such as valve, typewriter repair, molder, carpenter, and machine.  She could literally repair anything.  At one distress job order, she made a rather large bearing for a vessel from scratch.

I joined this ship in the spring of 1976 in Boston where she was undergoing repairs; it was right after one of those Nor Easterner snowstorms. Pictures of the vessel show her looking like a gigantic snow pile with only the outline of the ship visible.

I had duties aboard this ship, like all others I served on, only on a larger scale.  The Supply Department consisted of 4 divisions.  Storerooms being of a massive size and even a steel hold with gigantic sheets of steel, even had a 16” gun barrel from battleship days which was offloaded while in Boston.  Of worthy mention, the very first Supply Officer I served with on my first ship, became my last Supply Officer aboard the YO-YO.  That is what makes the Navy so unique.  You, eat, sleep and go on liberty with guys 24/7 while deployed and keep friendships over the years.  Look in any veteran’s magazines and most likely you will see more Navy ads for reunions than any of the other services.

While aboard the Yosemite I was promoted to the best rank, in my opinion, of all the Armed Forces: Chief Petty Officer (E-7) while the ship was in port at Tampa, Florida where she was built.

Ports of call during my tour were Boston, Massachusetts Rota, Spain, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Majorca, Spain, Naples, Italy (Christmas and New Years).   This cruise completed my final 6-month deployment of over 13 ½ years of sea duty.