by SN Patrick Newman (June 1967 to June 1970)
The damage occurred to the bow section and flooded the shaft alley that was formerly the home of the bow motor. We had amongst other things toilet paper stored there.
We made a stop I believe off the coast of Valparaiso, Chile. We did not want to dry dock in Chile because since we left, the country was now run by the Salvador Allende administration, and was now a communist country. It was at the height of the anti Vietnam War sentiment.
We sent one or both LVCP's to get supplies, namely plywood and cement. We sent divers down to the site of the hole and using mattresses and plywood, along with a hawser and capstan, made a series of dives and closed the hole enough to lower the submersible pumps and dry the area enough so the hole could be cemented to allow us to limp back to Baltimore, MD where we went into dry dock.
While in dry dock, the civilian crew had the job of jack hammering out the cement. It was a loud process and it went on 24/7. Some crew members would disconnect the air hoses when coming back liberty. The workers would have to come back on deck and reconnect the hoses. I recall that we posted a hose watch to prevent that from happening. "GOOD DUTY."