Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrier

From movies to your mother-in-law, put it here and try not to hurt each other

Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrier

Postby Mortuus Fakeuus » January 27th 2017, 1:54pm

A friend of mine over at BDWF posted a story about the upcoming decommissioning of the U.S. Navy's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), and my response is "reprinted" below. Every Sailor gets attached to a special ship, and every naval aviator does the same thing with a very special "flattop," one with which they have bonded strongly, either from a single galvanizing experience or just having safely landed 500+ times on her decks during a tour of duty with one of her squadrons. It was just this way with me and the "Big E," though, as you'll see if you read further, my bond with her went back to a time long before I slammed down on her decks for the first time in a TA-4 trainer jet. For those of you who think that you can't bond with an inanimate object, please read on.

ENTERPRISE wasn't just a ship; she was home to more than 5000 crew and embarked air wing personnel; she was a place to eat and sleep, a hospital for the wounded and the sick, a place that kept us warm and safe, and even entertained, with two 24-hour television stations and even a radio station, "KENT." She was also a very busy military air field, and, as former CNN commentator, Jamie McIntyre, used to say, she was "90,000 tons of U.S. diplomacy." To those who served in her, she was a living thing. And she always will be.

Here's the article in question, and my response immediately follows:



http://pilotonline.com/news/military...18cd0bdd4.html


I built something like ten different model kits of her when I was a boy, from a $4.95 "mini-model" by Revell, to a $300, 3-foot long, highly detailed Japanese "maxi-model," that I still have somewhere amongst the rubble in my workshop.

When the USN first went to navy blue ball caps with command names on them, my Dad brought me an ENTERPRISE ball cap after he'd done his two weeks of active duty aboard her in the early 70's. My Mom told me that he'd applied to do his annual training aboard her so that he could get me a Big-E ball-cap, because he knew how much I'd enjoy it.

When I was 16, I sent my granddad's 48-star flag to the then-CO of the Big-E, asking him if he could have it flown from her mast on her next underway period. Not only did he have it flown from one of ENTERPRISE's halyards, but it had been flown while the ship was passing the USS ARIZONA Memorial, en route to the carrier pier at NAVSTA Pearl Harbor; along with the ship's "steaming ensign," it was dipped in salute to the fallen crewmembers of BB-39. He also took the flag with him to the Memorial and had it flown over ARIZONA's rusted hulk as he was reenlisting ENTERPRISE Sailors there.

After graduating from USN basic flight school, I went to jet training, and, ultimately, to carrier landing training off the west coast, flying old TA-4 Skyhawk aircraft. And I was more-than-thrilled to find out that I was going to be dragging tailhooks across the decks of USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65). I'm proud to say that I didn't miss the wire (AKA "bolter") a single time. I remember almost weeping as they shot me off the bow cat for the last time, and the Air Boss said "Well done, Aircraft Tail Number SEVEN," as I climbed away from my favorite flattop. Only two of us got honorable mention from the Big-E's hard-assed Air Boss that day, and we were the envy of our brother trainees until it was time to head off and learn to fly our specific aircraft types.

After a long final training period with the A-7 Corsair II attack aircraft, I was assigned to a "RAG" (Replacement Air Group) Squadron for a couple months before I finally got my first permanent duty station, Attack Squadron 94, part of Carrier Air Group ELEVEN. And CAG-11 was partnered to and deployed with USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65). I kept pinching myself, over and over again, not believing my luck. I was gonna be a part of Big-E's history! I deployed twice with her, flew a lot of missions where I did little more than bore holes in the air off
Gonzo Station in the North Arabian Sea, but I never got tired of being a part of Big-E's Naval Air Force.

I retired from the USN in 2007, with more than 26 years in service. Although my retirement ceremony was held in the new 911 Memorial Chapel, not more than 100 feet from where I'd been hurt on that terrible September morning six years before, my heart was with the Big-E, deployed overseas as she had been so many times before in the then-46 years since she'd been commissioned. When my eyes got a bit misty during the ceremony, it was from missing that Big Grey Pig, as we used to call her.

In the years since my retirement, I've become a collector of things, mostly watches, but also antique/vintage radios and special flight jackets, on which I have had sewn many of the hundreds of patches I've collected over my USN career. And the best of these jackets have always been the ones that have had to do with the Big-E, my favorite USN girl. Here are a couple of pictures of my first -- and favorite -- Big-E jacket layout:



Image
Copyright ©2017 Mortuus Aviation, LLC. All rights reserved.

Image
Copyright ©2017 Mortuus Aviation, LLC. All rights reserved.



And I have enough patches to complete three or four additional ENTERPRISE jackets, which, I'm certain, I will eventually accomplish.

In the end, when 3 Feb gets here, I'll be very sad -- sad in much the same way I am when I look at the pictures of my old girl as she is now -- but at the same time, I'll be happy to remember that I am a part, however small, of my favorite girl's history. All of my traps ("carrier landings," for those of you in Rio Lindo and Perth-Fremantle) were recorded in the ship's supplemental logbooks, as were all the bolters ( :oops: ), but what they couldn't put into the logs, such things as how much I came to love that old flattop, will have to be kept within me and all of the other Aviators and Sailors who were a part of her over the years.

Godspeed, USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), and may God bless the soon-to-begin-construction Precommissioning Unit ENTERPRISE (CVN 80), at the same Newport News Shipyard slips where her previous namesake was built. Interestingly, CVN-65 had two large portholes installed into her superstructure (or "island," as we all called it) that had been on the original WW-II carrier, USS ENTERPRISE (CV 6), and it is my understanding that the CVN-65 bulkhead into which they are mounted will be removed and installed somewhere in CVN-80's island. Because that's what we do in the USN. We respect our past and find concrete -- or, more accurately, steel -- ways to express that respect. It will be like having all three of those awesome ladies of the sea, carrying on the work that began in 1938, when CV-6 was commissioned into service.

Thus endeth the sermon. So long, old girl...


Image
Last edited by Mortuus Fakeuus on January 28th 2017, 8:16pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious. Great speech is impassioned, small speech is cantankerous" - Zhuangzi
User avatar
Mortuus Fakeuus
Banned
 
Posts: 8770
Joined: February 3rd 2012, 11:00pm
Location: Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby kevco » January 27th 2017, 2:06pm

Salute.
User avatar
kevco
Master of Time
 
Posts: 1355
Joined: June 15th 2011, 10:00pm
Location: Tulsa OK

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby spanky1 » January 27th 2017, 2:18pm

Thank You for your Service To Our Country. I liked the line, 90,000 tons of U.S. Diplomacy.
Image
User avatar
spanky1
Senior Member & WIS
 
Posts: 3295
Joined: August 5th 2011, 10:00pm

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby Wasp » January 27th 2017, 2:37pm

I was on a Navy troop ship in the Med. MEU. I tuned into the functioning and the life of the ship. It is astounding to watch all the functioning components both flesh and metal come together. And not just function but function at a level where verbal commands are more for nostalgia. Things just work and for the most part smoothly. The choreography during flight operations is mesmerizing. Being a part of it must be something else. Glory Days...long live Glory Days.

Cheers Mort, Cheers
Image
User avatar
Wasp
Senior Member & WIS
 
Posts: 3300
Joined: December 31st 2012, 11:00pm
Location: Zip Code: e-i-e-i-o

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby NorthCountry » January 27th 2017, 2:38pm

I can believe you feel love for such things. I see how much the Big E means to you because, your words are wonderfully strung together. I've always appreciated aviation and aviators. Thanks for your service.
User avatar
NorthCountry
Senior Member & WIS
 
Posts: 1791
Joined: March 8th 2012, 11:00pm

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby biglove » January 27th 2017, 2:54pm

Good lord. That put tears in my eyes, Mort.

Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."- Mark Twain

Image
User avatar
biglove
Watchlord WIS
 
Posts: 11312
Joined: October 27th 2013, 9:18am
Location: Deep South

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby Tzimisces » January 27th 2017, 6:44pm

Great stuff. You'll always have the memory of landing on this Grand Old Lady.

Image
“He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.”
User avatar
Tzimisces
Senior Member & WIS
 
Posts: 4860
Joined: August 10th 2010, 10:00pm
Location: Amelia, VA

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby Racer-X » January 27th 2017, 6:48pm

Fitting tribute, thank you Mort.
User avatar
Racer-X
Senior Member & WIS
 
Posts: 5256
Joined: June 11th 2011, 10:00pm

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby spanky1 » January 27th 2017, 8:06pm

Racer-X wrote:Fitting tribute, thank you Mort.


90,000 tons of U.S.A. Diplomacy: Freedom Isn't Free

https://youtu.be/6zNHZKavvnM

https://youtu.be/pdTh5_Um8Ds
Image
User avatar
spanky1
Senior Member & WIS
 
Posts: 3295
Joined: August 5th 2011, 10:00pm

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby AlbertaTime » January 27th 2017, 8:20pm

Wonderful to read.
Curator: Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River

"That stone buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets. I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind." Ikkyu
User avatar
AlbertaTime
Master of Time
 
Posts: 3111
Joined: October 13th 2010, 10:00pm
Location: Peace River, Alberta

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby conjurer » January 28th 2017, 12:37am

That was fucking beautiful, Mort. Really. Truly outstanding.
I checked you out, and I now want you to take the journey to lick my taint. It's small, but vast.


--Temerity, to Mr. Neckbeard.
User avatar
conjurer
ASSHAT & Master of Time
 
Posts: 27716
Joined: July 13th 2010, 10:00pm

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby jb182 » January 28th 2017, 6:47am

Been a while since my last post, but I have to weigh in on this one. I've got goosebumps.
User avatar
jb182
Watchlord WIS
 
Posts: 900
Joined: April 22nd 2011, 10:00pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby codguy » January 28th 2017, 10:48am

Nice read my Brown Shoe Brother!

Mine goes back abit further Mort; CV-41 Midway & CV-43 Coral Sea.
Something about only two cats on the Midway (three for the Coral Sea), stale air, no air-conditioning, JP-5 taste/smell in everything and lack of fresh water builds character.
I have been extremely fortunate enough to have flown on/off 19 different Carriers over my career, the Big-E being one.



I remember the day we flew into NAS Alameda and saw her sans-aircraft stuck in the San Francisco Bay listing towards her port side. Many hours of shifting support equipment and many Tugs had no effect. Wasn't until the tide rose before she was able to move again.

Edited to add something I just found on the above scenario
http://www.upi.com/Archives/1983/04/28/ ... 420350400/




And something for my viewing pleasure
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0flOeZc94KY[/youtube]



-------> RIP CVN-65, Fair Winds and Following Seas CVN-80



I apologize in advance for adding my two cents.
.
Last edited by codguy on January 28th 2017, 11:53am, edited 3 times in total.
.
User avatar
codguy
ASSHAT
 
Posts: 5728
Joined: June 9th 2011, 10:00pm

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby bobbee » January 28th 2017, 11:30am

Very moving tribute, big thanks to you Mort.
And also another thanks to codguy, both of you served your country well.
"O' cruel fate, to be thusly boned! Ask not for whom the bone bones, it bones for thee." ~ Bender Bending Rodriguez

"My father is a mountain, my mother is a washing machine." ~ Cory Doctorow
User avatar
bobbee
Master of Time
 
Posts: 2228
Joined: November 30th 2016, 1:01am

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby Mortuus Fakeuus » January 28th 2017, 6:31pm

spanky1 wrote:
Racer-X wrote:Fitting tribute, thank you Mort.


90,000 tons of U.S.A. Diplomacy: Freedom Isn't Free

https://youtu.be/6zNHZKavvnM

https://youtu.be/pdTh5_Um8Ds

Thank you for these, Spanks; they bring back some memories!
"Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious. Great speech is impassioned, small speech is cantankerous" - Zhuangzi
User avatar
Mortuus Fakeuus
Banned
 
Posts: 8770
Joined: February 3rd 2012, 11:00pm
Location: Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby Mortuus Fakeuus » January 28th 2017, 7:47pm

codguy wrote:Nice read my Brown Shoe Brother!

Mine goes back abit further Mort; CV-41 Midway & CV-43 Coral Sea.
Something about only two cats on the Midway (three for the Coral Sea), stale air, no air-conditioning, JP-5 taste/smell in everything and lack of fresh water builds character.
I have been extremely fortunate enough to have flown on/off 19 different Carriers over my career, the Big-E being one.

I remember the day we flew into NAS Alameda and saw her sans-aircraft stuck in the San Francisco Bay listing towards her port side. Many hours of shifting support equipment and many Tugs had no effect. Wasn't until the tide rose before she was able to move again.

Edited to add something I just found on the above scenario
http://www.upi.com/Archives/1983/04/28/ ... 420350400/

And something for my viewing pleasure
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0flOeZc94KY[/youtube]

-------> RIP CVN-65, Fair Winds and Following Seas CVN-80

I apologize in advance for adding my two cents.

You never have to apologize, cods, and many thanks for your two cents. I remember the day Big 'E' ran aground in the bay; we had flown off the night before (including all the hangar queens that had gathered dust for nearly seven months -- funny how they always seemed to do that, isn't it?), and my then girlfriend woke me up the next day to the news that she'd hit the sandbar. She wanted to drive down to SanFran and see what it looked like, but I had other, more pressing activities -- a'hem :twisted: -- on my mind, so we stayed put where we were. (She shouldn't have awakened me wearing nothing but one of my button-down collared shirts and a smile...)

A black shoe buddy of mine later told me that they tried everything, including "sally ship," with something like 700+ Sailors up on the bow area, running back and forth, back and forth, trying to loosen the sand's suction-like hold on the bow. I remember thinking that CAPT Kelly's career was over and done with, but he somehow survived the grounding and eventually retired as a 4-star admiral. (Damnedest thing I'd ever heard of, truth to tell, and so far as I can remember, it's the only time a skipper of a grounded ship didn't get relieved for cause, right then and there. Oh well, he was a really cool guy, and we all liked him -- air wing and crew alike -- so we weren't upset at all when he stayed in command.)

And it's interesting that you mention MIDWAY, cods. After I transitioned (that's "changed over," for those of you in Rio Lindo and Perth-Fremantle) to the F/A-18 Hornet, I was sent off to The Land of the Little People (AKA "Japan") to NAS Atsugi and VFA-195, which embarked in USS MIDWAY (CV 41) when deployed. It was there that I flew my sorties during Desert Storm. The ship's skipper, CAPT Art Cebrowski was one hell of an odd brassard, but I sure liked him (he was president of the Naval War College when I gradjiated in '99; unfortunately, we lost him in '05 to cancer...) Lots of good memories in both ships. I just wish that ENTERPRISE could've somehow been made a museum, like MIDWAY was, down here in San Diego. (I keep telling myself I'm gonna volunteer as a MIDWAY docent one of these days, but keep finding excuse after excuse not to...)
"Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious. Great speech is impassioned, small speech is cantankerous" - Zhuangzi
User avatar
Mortuus Fakeuus
Banned
 
Posts: 8770
Joined: February 3rd 2012, 11:00pm
Location: Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby Wasp » January 29th 2017, 7:54am

I have been dwelling on the OP for what seems to be an unusual amount of time. Then the realization took hold as to why. 500+ shots 500+ traps, sweet Jesus. PLUS not eating dinner at home for most of those. Your lovely wife deservedly gets half the admiration. Gotta be pull your hair out tough to be married to a nasal aspirator in the Fleet.

Long live Mr.& Mrs. Mortuus.
Image
User avatar
Wasp
Senior Member & WIS
 
Posts: 3300
Joined: December 31st 2012, 11:00pm
Location: Zip Code: e-i-e-i-o

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby codguy » January 29th 2017, 8:43am

Wasp wrote: PLUS not eating dinner at home for most of those.

Oh, Mort ate at home, just his was big, grey and had 5000 family members.



Mortuus wrote:And it's interesting that you mention MIDWAY, cods.


Her being at Yokosuka and me in Olongapo , I have done numerous flights to "Midway Magic". It was truly amazing how the deck crew can shoot A/C off the pointy end with two cats as fast as the bigger carriers could with four! Quite the orchestra.

Sea Story (aka, a no-shitter)......NAS Atsugi, our squadron had many detachments there. One night some of my detachment members decided to paint the water tower on base with a huge FOO DOG & VRC-50 Det Atsugi. It turned out really nice.
Image
For some strange reason the Base Commander took exception to it and went un-hinged.
Wasn't hard for him to find the culprit squadron and commenced to tear our Det OIC a new one (it wasn't pretty I was told).
Once we all returned back to home base, our Skipper held quarters immediately and commenced to hand out letters of appreciation for a detachment well done!

Our Commanding Officer's name; Captain Charles Nels Tanner whom spent 6-1/2 years as a POW and was a member of the "Alcatraz Gang/Alcatraz 11.
Skipper Tanner took this young flyer under his wings as a member of his personal flight crew and personally shared many stories of "life" with me during long flight hours over blue water. He was and is a US Military Hero and a true hero of mine!
https://www.legion.org/stories/honors-a ... a-movement
http://trees.ancestry.com/view/Military ... 70d3e08096
http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories ... lcatraz-11
http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/arti ... pows-hanoi’s-notorious-camp
http://www1.headwaycloud.com/clients/64 ... eqmCzP.pdf
http://nypost.com/2014/02/15/tortured-i ... breakable/

Rest in Peace Skipper, you will never be forgotten.
Last edited by codguy on January 29th 2017, 3:01pm, edited 9 times in total.
.
User avatar
codguy
ASSHAT
 
Posts: 5728
Joined: June 9th 2011, 10:00pm

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby robatsu » January 29th 2017, 9:38am

Fair winds and following seas
User avatar
robatsu
Master of Time
 
Posts: 417
Joined: February 10th 2015, 7:53am
Location: Osaka, Japan/Eugene, Oregon

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby Falstaff » January 29th 2017, 11:03am

A grand old gal that carried a big stick.
"Be careful with that axe, Eugene."
User avatar
Falstaff
Watchlord WIS
 
Posts: 7054
Joined: August 31st 2010, 10:00pm

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby Nuvolari » January 29th 2017, 7:06pm

Mort, damn it, I just love you. That's right, I said it, so what? The man is a veteran who makes me proud to be American, particularly in these embarrassing times. That is a great damn glimpse at the inexplicable sentiment for machinery, large and small, that only a racer or a watch enthusiast can properly appreciate...

Thank you, Sir, for your service and God bless you!

:okk:
User avatar
Nuvolari
Watchlord WIS
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: August 7th 2014, 5:53pm

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby Nuvolari » January 29th 2017, 7:13pm

Mortuus wrote: She'll be able to make 45+ knots (just like her predecessor ;)), and will feature electromagnetic "catapults" and "arresting gear" (no more tailhooks required! :cry: ).
[/quote]

Emphasis added to convey a proper HOLY CRAP!!!! That's pretty damn quick for such a colossal vessel... :shock: :o
User avatar
Nuvolari
Watchlord WIS
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: August 7th 2014, 5:53pm

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby biglove » January 29th 2017, 7:35pm

Nuvolari wrote:Mort, damn it, I just love you. That's right, I said it, so what? The man is a veteran who makes me proud to be American, particularly in these embarrassing times. That is a great damn glimpse at the inexplicable sentiment for machinery, large and small, that only a racer or a watch enthusiast can properly appreciate...

Thank you, Sir, for your service and God bless you!

:okk:


My wife read Mort's farewell to Enterprise and it brought her to tears, also.
"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."- Mark Twain

Image
User avatar
biglove
Watchlord WIS
 
Posts: 11312
Joined: October 27th 2013, 9:18am
Location: Deep South

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby koimaster » September 17th 2018, 4:27pm

I thought this episode in the life of one of our members should be bumped up for newbies to read.
Image

1946-2006

“Your heart was warm and happy

With the lilt of Irish laughter

Every day and in every way

Now forever and ever after."
User avatar
koimaster
Administrator/Founder
 
Posts: 35688
Joined: December 16th 2009, 11:00pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Sentimental Old Mort Says Goodbye to His Favorite Carrie

Postby 3Flushes » September 19th 2018, 8:15am

IDK how I missed this first time around- a little moist over here myself!
Copyright ©️ 2018 3flushes Media.

"When a watchmaker puts an eyeglass into his eye to examine something that another watchmaker has made, he's not looking for an opportunity to praise that man, he's looking for imperfections." George Daniels
User avatar
3Flushes
ASSHAT & Master of Time
 
Posts: 6271
Joined: November 25th 2012, 11:00pm

Next

Return to Anything and Everything Else

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest