The Battleship U.S.S. New Jersey,
NAVIGATION DIVISION (Part I)
Muster for Navigation
on the starboard bridge wing was standard morning routine. As you
can see, we were a fairly informal looking group often to the duress
of our 1st Class and, frankly, myself. It took awhile to adjust
to the lax attitude of the division. I was too gung ho. I remember
the fellows were very congenial and generally a very happy lot.
I always felt like an imposition. Interesting.
that striking for musician was no longer an option. I was in Navigation
and liking what I saw I took advantage of their tutilidge and became
a striker, studying for Navigator 3rd Class.
bewildering, as there are so many good things I can say about 'N'
Div. and the men who made up an outstanding navigational team under
Chief Tucker and Cmdr. Sabin. The men accepted me as one of their
own. They may dispute this today, but it took me a while to feel
I really belonged. Obviously my problem. I thank God for such a
generous and understanding group of people to shepard me along.
Ours, like most
divisions comprised of a diverse group of people from all over the
United States. Attititudes, experiences and humor was surprsingly
unpredictable. We had arch conservatives, as myself, and a few who
had a more liberal approach to life. Yet responsibility was the
same through out. Amazing.
with all the divisions aboard a Navy vessel, we have our berthing
space, our cleaning space, our watch spaces and duty spaces. Watches
typically take place aboard the bridge while at sea. In port we stand
watch at the forward brow as the Ship's Log Book is transfered there
and maintained in the Quarter Deck shack. Ours was a smooth running
group. Duties were taken seriously and professionally. I couldn't
have been more fortunate to be with such a diverse and professional
group of men.
is Navigator 3rd Class Walker and 3rd Class Boyer relaxing on the
port bridge wing while in Olongapo, Philippines. This has to be the
third time in Olongapo as evidenced by the beautiful wood bridge decking
the Capt. had made the last time we were there. Flooding on the bridge
during heavy seas was a problem.
your mouse on the pictures for more information. If a hand "hand"
appears click for a larger version.
the left is the Ship's Navigator Cmdr. Sabin and his assistant Ens.
Bates. The Commander was a good leader and with Chief Tucker were
both good managers of human nature. I cannot think of any incidents
with-in our division that required any discipline.
Ens. Bates was
a good student under the watchful eye of Chief Tucker. The Chief
was from Kentucky, I think, with home-spun humor and a very happy
disposition. He treated everyone equally and in good repose. Likewise
for the good Ensign who was always careful of what he said and did.
As I said, he was a good student and easy to get along with.
left is one of our 2nd Class. In the middle photos we have Walker,
'Boats' Condon and another Boatswainmate who's name I forget. Directly
above is a shot of Cmdr. Elfelt, our XO with Ship's Navigator Cmdr.
Sabin. I look now and I realize how young these men really were
back then. It's odd, as I'm older now then they were then. I only
wish I had accomplished as much. I admired them greatly.
At the left
is one of the two doors to the barbette. This is the port side door.
The walls are some 19" thick solid steel and inside is the
helm by which we steer the ship and the EOT (Engine Order Telegraph)
to give engine orders to the engine room. There are two compases,
one magnetic and the other gyro. Most orders were given in magnetic
headings with all corrections made in the Chart House behind the
of the coolest looking 'Boats' on the ship just after sounding a
call on the 1MC. He didn't want his picture taken, but I took it
anyway. It was a hot day off the coast of Vietnam. We're most probably
preparing for another gun run.
Note his lanyard
with pipe, super-clean 'T'; the clean, white overhead (now black),
marlinspike post and covered captn's chair in the background. Also
note brasswork just under the window and hand crank. We kept a clean
ship, didn't we?
seems I lived on the bridge. figure I spent more time on the bridge
night conditions is Chief Tucker. The chief was not much for pictures
either. He warned me to to paint the officers head (my cleaning space)
red, white and blue like his bugler did during the Korean Conflict.
their duty belts we see Capt. Snyder's two messangers. Not too talkative
at first, we soon became fast friends. Here they are talking to
Note the white
overhead and brightwork under windows.