If you ever wondered…

Sorry, the scheduler didn’t go this morning.

Why old sailors have no personal modesty…

When I first came in, everything was open bay barracks, in one case 160 man open bay. I never saw a ‘semi-private’ room until I made E-4, and that was a shared room with three other sailors. On deployments, it was usually an 8 or 9 man room, or a 40 man quonset hut.

The ‘best’ I ever had was a 2 man room, and that was as an E-6. Granted it’s better now, but it’s still not real privacy.


If you ever wondered… — 17 Comments

  1. That shines a light on so many things that used to confuse me about my friends in the Navy.

    Oh and six months in and out of hospital with a daily sponge bath by a different nurse every time will burn any semblance of modesty right out of a person too.

  2. I watch this and the first thought that came to mind was what happens when “General Quarters, No Drill” is called? How can it be possible to get the full crew up, dressed in battle gear, and on station in anything like a useful time?

  3. Carlton- They would grab gear and go. Dress at the station if they had time. I don’t know what the time to report is now, but talked to old Tin Can sailors who said they could set GQ in ten minutes.

    Jim- We were still in 4 man, but a better room, not sharing a head.

  4. Was stuck on a tin can for two years with the DASH program. E6 and already to go toE7 but because they had already put me thru DASH school I didn’t get the hat for those two years.

    The forward head on a 2250 was right up there in the bow. I mean right where the taper to the bow was located . There were five “thrones” there, three aft and two forward and slightly staggered so if all were in use at the same time, your knee was right there between those of the guys sitting opposite you!! After a few days the idea of trying to be nice and “squeak out” those deposits and muffling the gas passing was all done with! Niceties be damned! Just let her rip!! No such thing as modesty on those vessels!

  5. What is this “privacy” of which you speak?
    Four shi… um, toilets in a row with no doors on the stalls and a wonderful view of the passageway for all passersby to wave at you. One roll of TP to share amongest your fellow sitters. Pity the man who fumbled the toss or the catch as the deck had considerable water on it sloshing to ‘n fro. Don’t some parts of the good ole days.

  6. Wow. Just wow. Kinda gives me a little insight of what my dad had to put up with. He was stationed on DD534 for just under 3 years during WWll. From commissioning to the end of the war and 10 battle stars later. Just wow. I have actually done the “tour” on the Cassin Young DD793 in Boston. Really makes you think about what those hero’s had to live with. Amazing guys.

  7. Most of my experiences were like yours, Old NFO. I did luck out when I got to Cecil Field, though: I got an 8-man room (2 joined 4-man rooms) all to myself. Felt like a mansion, it did. Of course, before that I’d done penance. My rack on CV 67 was on the 3rd (berthing) deck, right next to a weapons elevator. I was night shift, so most of the time I was trying to sleep, the elevator was in motion.
    Later, on CV 59, I was up for’ard, near the cats.
    And my girlfriend wonders why I can sleep through damned near anything. An out-of-place noise, like a cat jumping to the floor from a chair, will wake me, but I could sleep through an explosion, as long as I knew it was supposed to happen.

  8. Real luxury is getting issued a two man tent you don’t have to share with anyone…

    Had a Sgt that would regale us with tales of MEU floats in the Med, packed in 4 deep. Thanks, no.

  9. When I transferred from the DD-873 to Forrestal I thought my “Hollywood” rack was the best thing ever.
    All 130 or so snipes in Forrestal’s “M” Division used the same small head located just outboard of the starboard serving line on the aft mess decks.

    I didn’t get a room until my shore duty tour.

    Late in my career I may have been a bit less than totally sensitive to the complaint, “Chief, the air conditioning outlet in my rack isn’t working right.”
    I’m sure that those from the hammock days would be equally insensitive to my complaint when my individual rack light didn’t work.

    • John, hello from another old FID squid–although I was a brownshoe (AIMD)!
      Alas, the old “Forest Fire” is no more–she was broken up a few years back in Brownsville.

      • Tennessee Budd.
        I joined her in Athens in ’74 and transferred off her just before she went up to New York in ’76.
        I spent two years in One Auxiliary Machinery Room making electricity.
        Then I spent three more years on her as a civilian engineroom mechanic when she was in Philly for the SLEP program.
        When were you on board?

  10. There were 60 racks in engineering berthing for the CG I was on, we had no problems with sleeping, or getting up and to stations when an alarm went off.

  11. As someone who has spent a couple of Westpac’s as a Throttleman, the person opening that valve would have had the EOOW and the people in the boiler room “annoyed”.
    When you crank the throttle open that quickly, you can suck water out of the boiler and into the turbines.
    “Annoyed” sailors are not a good thing.

  12. As a JO on a 640-class SSBN, I think the best arrangements I had were my first patrol living down in a 12 man with the First Classes (the officer staterooms were full, so me and the other Ensign were down in PO1 berthing). Cold dark and quiet- they had disconnected the 1MC in there and you could sleep your ass off in there. The messengers often didn’t know to find us in there when a DivO report was needed, either.
    Downside was when they ran a flooding in the battery well drill, the JOs mattresses were the ones that would be grabbed to stop the (pretend) seawater going into the battery well just outside PO1 berthing.