The Bow Ramp

Friday, March 11, 2005

Test Post from Email

I'll see if this email comes through as a post.  Last night I added a new masthead to the blog.  The photo was taken recently and was obtained from the Navy Newstand at  I will put an atribution on it when I figure out how to do it other than imbedding it in the picture.  The reason I grabbed that photo, is that I don't have any external photos of an LCU from my personal collection.  Too many moves over the years have put some chronological dents in the visual record of my life.  Anyway, that photo gives you an idea of the size of  an LCU.  They were designed with a crew of twelve in mind, but at the time I was aboard, we had eight.  We were also the "kiddie crew" at the unit.  Until the OINC messed-up and got promoted, none of us was over E-5.  We worked out tails off on that thing.  Just because we were small didn't excuse us from a lot of the tasks that are required of full-blown ships.  For example, nautical charts.  I had a full load of charts, and spent many evenings entering chart corrections instead of hitting the beach because there was no one else to assign the job to.  We were cross-trained to an unbelievable degree.  At various times I piloted, navigated, steered, and repaired the boat.  I operated radios, radars, flashing lights, signal flags, .50 Cal. machine guns, winches, engines, coffee pots, and washing machines.  I could stevedore with the best of 'em.  God, how I miss it all!