Battleship U.S.S. New Jersey, BB-62
DIVISION (Part II)
my arrival on the U.S.S. New Jersey I was placed in the 1st Division
deck force. This was disconcerting as I was concerned if there really
was a billet open for my as a Bugler aboard this great vessel. I
was assured that there was. But it came with an awkward laugh from
the boatswainsmate. I soon found out why. The work was arduous and
very dirty. I was not prepared for THIS.
a week I was transfered out of the deck force into Navigation Division.
This was more like it. I quickly grew a great appreciation for the
hard labor of our crew mates on the deck force. They have good reason
to be proud of this mighty ship. It's their sweat and labor that
kept her not only functional but beautiful as well. Another note:
it's the deck force who serve as ammunition handlers in the gun
turrets at time of battle. It's their GQ location and without them
we would have no firepower. In reality it takes every soul aboard
this mighty and complex ship to make it function and operate as
a famous nautical artist, painted in his spare time. A 2nd class
Quartermaster, James was a core member of our Navigation team on
the New Jersey. Few people knew of Jims' love of great ocean
vessels and his skill for painting them. I was lucky to get this
picture of him on the starboard side of the bridge while at sea.
I was also privy to some of his other works.
You'd be doing
yourself a favor to visit his web site. Just click his name in blue
As you can see,
the pictures are of the New Jersey. I believe the one on the lower
left is the HMS Repulse still in the works.
Tucker and Cmdr. Sabin "shooting stars" using a sextant.
This ancient instrument is still the most accurate method of obtaining
our position. With this instrument you still need a set of tables
and other data plus a nautical chart.
Since I'm nearly
always on the bridge it would often be my duty to do the timing
and take down readings for the Chief or the Navigator.
are relatively easy instruments to use, but like any instrument, it's
accuracy in all in the skill of the user.
the life of me I don't know how I came upon possesing this 8"x10"
contact sheet. I'm sure the ship's photographer gave it to me. Just
the same I'm very happy to have it.
I like this
series because of great shot of Chief Tucker "shooting"
the sun with a sextant, James Flood, the huge guns in the background
and myself (top left). Chief Tucker was a natural teacher. I learned
a lot about navigation from him. I believe the Chief served on the
New Jersey during the Korean War as a young Quatermaster.
Chief used to call me "Hot Rod" 'cause I'd move around
so quickly. Chief Tucker told me many stories from that time including
one about an "errant" bugler who decided to paint the
officer's head (the officers bathroom behind the bridge, that is
traditionaly the Bugler's cleaning station) a patiotic red, white
and blue. Boy did the Bugler get into trouble. So since the walls
of our officers head were white I made sure there wasn't a hint
of red or blue anywhere to be seen lest the Chief finds out and
I'm in trouble.
head was also my practice room. So when I was needed for something
or curiosity as to where I was they'd always say "Trottier's
practicing in the head". 'Never sounded right.
Working on positioning
or dead reckoning in the Chart House on the Bridge. You have local
time and GMT (Zulu) time. We also had two LORAN receivers for long
distance navigation as well as radar for triangulating off- shore
and QM2 James Flood
in the Forward Quarter
the right is our yeoman. He's the Navigation Department's secretary.
I assure you he dosen't sit on any body's lap! You'll notice he's
using an IBM Selectric typewriter, the military standard during
the late 60's. The current controversy over the Bush documents were
supposedly produced on such a machine. However, as an experienced
graphic designer I immediately saw the flaws in the PDF copies I
had of the documents. I first noted the superscript, then the lack
of mechanical letter/word spacing that could only be done on proportional
generating computer program.
The only computer
we had aboard ship (nick named "Lurch") was a monster
about the size of a refrigerator but half the height. It was kept
in a compatment with its own airconditioning to keep the thing cool.
All it spewed out were as set of numbers we had to interpolate on
a navigational chart for position.