The paint was thick and needed chipped And cleaning details had long been skipped. The whole ship was one big wreck And the only fresh air was out on deck. Rosy
In the galley the roaches were so thick To get our chow we had to be quick. Just when you thought you had a break, About five would grab your steak. Rosy
Around chow time is when it came, Now days it ain‘t the same… The commissioning crew had it worst, It made their lungs almost burst. Rosy
Only a few of us left to remember, the beast of that December….. You new men have it cozy, Cause you never met old Rosy!
Vietnam Orders 1968
We were underway on Deepfreeze 68 and about to enter the Panama Canal. I was called to the ships office and the XO told me to pack my bags as I had orders to Vietnam and would be dispatched at the Panama Canal for some sort of special training.
I had not put in for Vietnam so I was somewhat in shock. I could only deduct that it was because I had been sent to Parris Island for special weapons training for three weeks in 1962 and again in 1963. The same 60 CG personnel were sent both years for full weapons training with the Marines.
Went I got back to the berthing area I ran into EN2 McKnight. I believe his first name was Charles and we called him Chuck. McKnight and I were very competitive but friends. He blew a gasket when I told him about the orders since he had submitted several requests for Vietnam. He stormed out and went directly to the XO and expressed his displeasure. I was about half packed when I was called back to the ships office. I believe we both were taken to the Wardroom for audience with Captain Dolber. The Captain told me that McKnight wanted my orders and he asked if I had any objections. He said he was not sure he could get the orders changed since they had come in my name but he would try. I weighted it for about two seconds and give it my blessing.
The XO told us both to get completely packed just in case. Chuck and I owned an old Cushman Motor Scooter together back in Baltimore. We made the agreement that whoever went to Vietnam would get his half bought out for $200. The Captain was successful and EN2 McKnight got the orders. I gave Chuck the $200 and bid him farewell. I already had the bill of sale in my name.
I was surprised that the Captain would consider the swap. I believe I was the better Engineman and I was one of the only snipe type boat coxswains. However McKnight was one of the ships scuba divers