USS Badger FF-1071 finished refueling, doing break away maneuver
|In 1976 I joined the Navy and served at sea aboard the frigate Badger in the western Pacific from 1977 until 1980.
The USS Badger was 438 feet of steel and aluminum who's rolls in heavy seas were a constant reminder of how small we were in a vast ocean.
During my time aboard, we made two WESPAC tours of the Orient, Middle East and Africa from our home port in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Ports of call:
|My job title was Machinists Mate. I worked in the engine room
and generator compartments as an operator and mechanic.
There were always two constants wherever I worked - hot and noisy. The upside to this was we were seldom visited by the "brass".
Every group aboard the ship has a nickname and we were no exception. They called us "snipes" and we were usually easy to spot because we were the sweaty, dirty ones in the chow line.
All the bitching aside - my time in the Navy was probably the most influential period in my life. The intense workload and bonding among my shipmates was unlike anything I'd experienced before or since. You learn that almost anything is possible once you get past the fear of trying.
I recall the Badger was relatively new the first time I crossed her gangplank in 1977.
Badger's service took her from the shipyards of California, where she was built, across the Pacific to Hawaii, the Orient, Middle East, Africa and all points in between.
In 1998 she was sunk in two miles of water northwest of the Hawaiian island of Kauai as part of a training exercise called RIMPAC98.