Southwind’s Gunnery Exercise
The senior ship directed Southwind to conduct annual gunnery exercises. Given area to South, picked target-sized iceberg, commenced one of four runs at various ranges - six rounds each range. First round creamed iceberg. Crew ecstatic. Noisy cheers not just for gunnery department or fire control teams, but for the whole ship‘s crew. Of 24 rounds fired, 21 hit target. Exercise a failure on paper because rounds should have bracketed target, not hit it. Didn‘t take away from our jubilation and pride. Listening for senior ship participation, we heard one, just one, round fired, then nothing, thus ending their annual gunnery exercise. Southwind rides again.
Southwind’s Arrival in Thule, Greenland
This could have come under ―bad‖ time, but I may have been the only person to have taken it to heart. Arctic East. Arrived at North Star Bay on the 4th of July in a snowstorm. Instructions from senior ship: Southwind to follow Edisto, clearing channel of ice as far as position off Thule Air Base when Edisto will break off, proceed to Base and receive arrival honors. Southwind to stay off, continue to clear channel until called in later after ceremony at the dock. Why I didn‘t voice immediate objection, I don‘t know, but anyway, it was moot. As Edisto made its turn, it suffered a complete blackout. Southwind ran and reran the channel with a shit-eating grin
Wild Ride in Godthaab, Greenland
(Here's another on the good side.) Many remember the bad night and wild ride we had in Godhaab. Greenland, in September 1967. We were safely (we thought) moored on two anchors with the towing cable, 2 1/2-inch plow steel wire rope passed to a shore fitting. A l80-ft. buoy tender - I forget the name - was tied along our port side. Relaxing after dinner, a loud bang was heard with accompanying jolt and we all knew the worst had happened. GQ was sounded. On the bridge we felt the ship swing over the anchors as the stern headed downwind towards reefs. As one engine came to life, we miraculously missed the rock wall on what became our starboard side. With one engine we stopped the swing just as the 180's CO said "We're going aground." They didn't. We didn't. But we spent several hours "sailing" the ship to keep it headed into the wind which had reached 90 mph. Several minutes after the swing, which seemed like hours, the bridge received - by squawk box from the fantail - the most welcome news possible. as reported by BMC Kennedy: "the towing cable's aboard." Somebody gave a huge sigh of relief. Don‘t try to imagine what it would be like to have that cable wrapped around the screw. Nightmare time.
Southwind’s New Scullery
S o m e o n e e l s e t o l d o f o u r r a i d o n e x c e s s i t e m s s t o r e d a t C a m p T u t o , T h u l e , G r e e n l a n d . A m o n g t h e Later, returning to Baltimore for a short Yard many useful items acquired was a scullery.
availability, our esteemed Engineering Officer (LT George Saunders) requested that a new scullery
be installed on Southwind. He was told in no uncertain terms that his request could not be granted due to insufficient funds for a new scullery. Mr. Saunders said, "Hell, you don't have to buy a scullery for us. We already have a new one. We just want it installed." Which was done.