www.RogerWendell.com
Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
Line

U.S. Department of Transportation
(The Department of Homeland Security didn't exist back then!)
US Coast Guard Bar
Semper Paratus
(Always Ready!)

SNRM Roger J. Wendell at USCG Radioman A School, Petaluma, California - September 1975
Age 19 at Radioman A School - Petaluma, California - 1975
Welcome to my:
Coast Guard
Comments page!

 

 

Message in a bottle My main Coast Guard page received so many great comments that I thought I'd experiment and post some of your thoughts, notes, stories and letters right here. As a privacy note, I only post an identifiable name, or call sign, if the author gives me permission!

 

Roger J. Wendell Coast Guard Boot Camp - 1975
Your humble webmaster in boot camp, 1975
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for Coast Guard photos and friends!
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my main Coast Guard page...
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my regular Guestbook page...
 
August 28, 2017
 
Roger,
 
Came across your USCG website today - nice memories.
 
We just missed each other at Alameda. I graduated September '74 in a previous Alpha Company. Can't recall the serial number but if you were in 100 I must have been in 98 or 99.
 
When I enlisted I was in a post-high school rush to be anywhere but Kansas. Wasn't disciplined enough to wait for a guaranteed school. At the end of boot camp I picked a Seaman Apprentice slot at NMC.
 
I have fond memories of my time at Point Reyes Station. Didn't spend much time at either the xmtr or rcvr sites. Mostly worked at grounds keeping and painting at the housing facility.
 
When I first arrived the housing facility was, along with the rest of the community, pumping raw sewage into Tamales Bay. The Guard had offered to build a treatment plant for everyone but the townspeople weren't interested. That was when the big sewage tank was installed and the daily "honeywagon" trips to Two Rocks started.
 
The housing facility at Point Reyes, brand new when I arrived, is now Section 8 housing. Time flies.
 
In May '75 I received orders to Tracen NY for ETA school.
 
Before departing for Governor's Island several of the NMC ETs took me under their wings and made sure I was all lined out on NYC. I drove from Point Reyes to NYC in a '65 Austin America I had purchased from one of the Warrant Officers. Mr. Costello, I think was his name.
 
I enjoyed ETA school, Governor's Island and NYC. Definitely was not living in Kansas anymore. Learned scuba at the base pool and generally had a blast biting the Big Apple.
 
After ETA I transferred to WMEC Modoc in Coos Bay, Oregon for 2-1/2 years of fishpats. Although I made some good buddies and had some "interesting" times, I can't say that I was much thrilled with sea duty aboard a WWII-era seagoing tug.
 
I had finished ETA in "Nav Track" but when I got to the Modoc I found out that I was the only ET aboard and responsible for all the comm gear as well. The ship couldn't get underway without the ET aboard so they wouldn't send me for any more schooling. I allowed myself to be overwhelmed with the situation for the first year
 
Station Coos Bay helped out with some of the things that were over my head but eventually their chief accused me of sabotaging one of those refrigerator-sized WWII CW transmitters. Later they discovered that the problem was cosmoline that had melted down into a tube socket but by then I'd had enough. I had them bust me down to SN and I scraped paint for the remainder of my enlistment.
 
I don't regret my time in the Coast Guard despite the crap ending. Alameda was tough, but not intolerably so. Overall it was a memorable, positive experience. I enjoyed my time at COMSTA SFRAN and TRACEN NY too.
 
While typing this I recalled one rainy night in early 1975 when several of us under-aged types from NMC traveled to the Two Rocks E-Club. Perhaps we've already had a beer together...  
Thanks for maintaining the site,
 
Don Jones
August 18, 2017
 
Hello Roger
 
Like so many, I was stationed at Cape May for boot camp commencing in Sept 1963. Following boot camp, I spent about a month on temporary permanent party as a switchboard operator while waiting for my radioman school class (1-64) to begin. From Groton as an RM3 I served aboard the USCGC Chincoteague (WAVP-375) for approximately 15 months. I was promoted to RM2 and and transferred to USCGLORSTA Carolina Beach, NC. After discharge in 1967, I eventually picked up a degree and did a career with GM. I'll never regret enlisting in the Coast Guard. No doubt, it's the best choice of the military services.
 
Tom Hackenberry
 
Semper Par
 
RM2 Roger J. Wendell - Montery, California 1977
Me in 1977 at Group Station Monterey, California (NMC6)
August 18, 2016
 
Hello Roger
 
Like so many, I was stationed at Cape May for boot camp commencing in Sept 1963. Following boot camp, I spent about a month on temporary permanent party as a switchboard operator while waiting for my radioman school class (1-64) to begin. From Groton as an RM3 I served aboard the USCGC Chincoteague (WAVP-375) for approximately 15 months. I was promoted to RM2 and and transferred to USCGLORSTA Carolina Beach, NC. After discharge in 1967, I eventually picked up a degree and did a career with GM. I'll never regret enlisting in the Coast Guard. No doubt, it's the best choice of the military services.
 
Tom Hackenberry
 
Semper Par
Roger                                                                                                         November 23, 2014

Just found you site surfing for photos of Government Island. I went to boot camp in 1973 (Hotel 89). Joined the Coast Guard right before my lottery number, 94 was called. Left government Island for DC school on Governors Island. From there I went to Kodiak Island where I was on the Fire Department and then transferred to Terminal Island where I was with the Captain of the Port, later Marine Safety Office. Seemed I couldn't get off an island the entire time I was in.

Got out in 77.

One of the best things I ever did was join the Coast Guard. It literally changed my life.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Regards

Roger Johnson
Hotel 89. DC5

FB Roger on you Coast Guard website...                                                     July 19, 2010

I was a Coast Guard Radioman in the Guard from February 1968 through December 1971...I went to boot camp at Cape May, New Jersey and then to Radioman "A" School at Governor's Island, New York (class RMA 6-68)... My first official duty station was USCG RADSTA Honolulu/NMO at Wahiawa on the island of Oahu. I started as a SNRM in December 1968 and left NMO a RM2 in January 1971... I then was assigned as the Radioman-in-charge aboard the USCGC Kukui/NRCQ... The Kukui sailed all over the Pacific Ocean to many and various islands with CG Loran Station on them... I got out of the Guard in December of 1971 and came home to Tampa, Florida... as I write this e-mail I have 195 days left until I retire after 32 years of service to the local county government. I am the current Emergency Manager for our County which places a lot stress and responsibility on me... I am really looking forward to retiring and playing with my ham radio equipment... I have been a ham for 40 years and hold the call Kilo Romeo Four X-ray (KR4X)... take it easy mate and

Semper Paratus

Larry/KR4X KR4X Vibroplex
"Real hams talk with their fingers"

Roger                                                                                                         September 27, 2010

---times have sure changed since I was a Coastie back in WW2 days--

You have an excellent website and I really enjoyed the pics and anecdotes of your 'days of yore'---wish I could do the computer bit better and setup my own site but age marches on---at 88, I am doing enough just being around--most of my 5+ years from '42-'47 were doing bits and pieces except for a 21 mo stint on CG 83464 which wound up as (CG43- CG Resflo 1, Normandy 6/6/44)--I was a CMoMM on the cutter, a plankowner since 7/43 starting as MoMM2c (loved those 83's and the boom of Sterling Viking II's when they were fired up)----Boot camp at Ellis Island, Security Boarding Detail NY Harbor, Sandy Hook LBS, '464 time, Cape May CGOB till discharge----wonderful life and great people for most of my time----CG is still best of all services and do more with less than any of the others-----America gets it's money's worth from our people---God Bless them all----having a museum quality replica built of my '464 in 1-24 scale by a professional builder (check it out on ModelWarships.com, listed on the Forum under 'Scratchbuilding' and Bill Waldorf's blog if you care to)---Take care and best wishes to a former Coast Guardsman---

Semper Paratus

Jack Read

Here's the link to Jack's '464 in the 1-24 scale:
http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=58939

 

hello roger:                                                     March 13, 2010

ran across your page. great site! i was in coast guard from 64-69. Spent time at radio station San Juan, cgc Courageous wmec622, then back to the radio station. Made it to rm2 there. my last six months i spent at Fort Hancock, sandy hook, new jersey. i was in charge of communications for all the 30 and 41 ft boats. the summertime there was extremely busy. there i made rm1.

nice talking to u

barry winn

Hello Roger: No problem go ahead [permission to post letter]. There is some more to the story. I graduated from Cape May boot camp Oct 64. From there i went to the buoy tender Walnut in Miami Beach, Florida. Aug of 65 i was sent to loran sta Adak Island Alaska. At this time i was still seaman. There i was doing radio watches on the weekend. Aug of 66 i left Adak to go to Radioman School in Groton Conn. For me to start Radioman school i had to have at least 3 yrs service left. So i had to extend 15 months. I graduated from Radioman School and the journey began to San Juan.

cul barry

Good Morning Roger,                                                     March 14, 2010

You have a great site! You sure bring back memories. I was in the CG 12/56 to 6/66. Among my various assignments NMO 1958 and NMC (Sweeny Ridge) 1964. I've just published my first novel - can you imagine a protagonist that is a Coast Guard radioman? Please go to my website: http://www.pointdeception.com and check it out and sign my guest book. Here's a little sample from the book.

EIGHTEEN UNITED AIRLINES' FLIGHT 291 nonstop from Houston touched down at San Francisco International Airport without incident. The three hour and seventeen minute flight was not boring for Kelly thanks to twenty two year old Brenda Conrad occupying the window seat next to him. Brenda was a good looking blonde who told Kelly that she was going to be studying at the world-renowned San Francisco Conservatory of Music. During the flight she gave him the address of the family friends that she would be staying with as well as her telephone number there.

Would love to hear from you when you find time.

Jim Gilliam, ex-RM1 ZUT68, BUG #15 CGDIST14 1958, K5UID/MM EMBARKED CGC KUKUI 1959.

                                                                 September 09, 2009

Note: Throughout my time as a Coast Guard Radioman I had the pleasure of working closely with the Navy (especially at NavCamsEastPac while I was at NMO in Wahiawa). In fact, as an RM2 I even supervised a small unit that had the communications "guard" for two Navy submarines - I believe they were some of the last diesel powered units in the fleet but I don't recall for sure right now. Anyway, as you can see from the letter to the right, I'm pleased to include notes from the Navy guys (and gals!) that I worked with way back then!

- Roger J. Wendell  
 
 
 

Hello Roger,                                                                  September 09, 2009

I am Ron Wa5nex. I ran into your website and was most interested. I too was stationed at Wahiawa from 70-72 as a cto. I remember the station well. I spent many, many hours in that old bunker. I even slept there too when it was too noisy in the barracks. When I was first stationed there we had a kwm2 then after 6 months we got a new Henry 2k3 linear. I really enjoyed those days, and I have a few old souvenir yellow qsl cards from KH6UL. As a CTO, that was mainly teletype but no cw. Don't know why they didnt make an R branch out of me cause I already knew cw. There was a critical shortage of radiomen with cw experience and I volunteered to work as an RM for 6 months. My chief thought I was crazy because I didnt have any cw training. He approved my request anyway. I LOVED it. The Chief of the RM wanted to keep me ha. Sure hope to run into you on the air sometime Roger.

73 Ron
Hi Roger,                                                                  18 June 2009

I was also at NMC. I grad with Hotel 69 from Tracen Alameda, Govt Isl. Went to RM A school in Manhattan, NY on Govn'rs Isl. for 9 months (too cold then too hot/humid!)

Wen I first reported to NMC it was located in San Bruno on Sweeney Ridge above the SFran Jail. We had a great view of the Bay, G/G Bridge, Marin, and Pacific over the hills and many times, over the fog. Between my first and second enlistments NMC was moved to Pt Reyes where she is now.

I also served on the CGC Rush (NLVS) on 4YN. I got halfway to Hawaii 4 times on that station but never made it all the way. I really enjoyed 4YN. After the Rush I returned to NMC to finish my second enlistment.

I grew up in Mill Valley - way too close to bootcamp. My first home in 1950 was Lime Pt Light under the north tower of the G/G brdg. My father was CG, my brother was flt engineer and retired after 27 yrs, my youngest son just graduated with November 181 in Cape May, NJ last friday 6/12/09 and is actually reporting to the CGC Polar Sea in Seattle as I write this this evening. My oldest son is in the Army in Japan with Military Intell after learning morse in Arizona. I tried to teach both my boys morse when they were young but they'd have none of it.

I got out as an RM2, loved my RM job and wish I'd have never gotten out. I hear that a lot too... I'm now an RN and living with my brother and his wife in Clearwater, FL. Take care and I'm glad I ran across your site.

Tim Kerr              Semper Paratus om!  
 
 
 
US Coast Guard Bar  
 
 
 

Dear Roger,                                                                  22 February 2009

Congratulations on your excellent website. The letters and comments, as well as the pictures diplayed, bring back many fond memories of my Coast Guard days.

I was especially impressed by the article submitted by RM2 Lynn C. Smith. Coincidentally, I was stationed in the USCGC Sebago (WPG-42)/NRUF on/about June 1959, but must have just missed Lynn who was leaving for Radsta Galveston (NOY) about the same time. However, on April 15, 1960, I was transferred to NOY, and would soon catch up to him there. I served with Lynn at NOY until I left for the USCGC Cahoone (WPG-131)/NRLG, in July 1961.

Lynn's account of our experiences at NOY were portrayed as I remember, except for one slight, but obviously unintenional, mistake. The photo of the operator sitting at the CW console, was indeed Calvin J. Lanford (now deceased). However, the person standing in the other photo taken at NOY, across from the ORAD/Beacon console, was not other than myself as an RM2.

In addition to RM2 Smith, RM3 Lanford, and myself, also there were: LT Hood, Chrele Calimer, RMCS Byrd, RM1 Callies, RM1 Roesing, RM1 Bauer, and RM3 parker.

Lynn also mentioned hurricane Carla. I certainly recall hurricane Carla and the ravages of her wwrath over Galveston island. Although the Cahoone was at safe mooring within the Houston ship channel, the aftermath of wind damage and flooding left many of our familes stranded in evacuation centers on the island for many days without our knowing of their well being or lcoation. An unforgettable experience.

Thank you for providing such a fine contribution to the proud history and traitions of our Coast Guard family.

Semper Paratus,

David L. DeGeorge Sr
RMCM, USCG (Ret)/KFNMA/ZUT1282
North Port, Florida

                                                                                           June 2008
Roger,

Just visited your Coast Guard web page. Nicely done.

I, too, was a RM. Boot camp at Alameda (D-75 Oscar Company) [1970] and Radioman A School at Governors Island [1971], New York. Brief stay at San Francisco Airsta [1971] and Radsta Long Beach [1971-72] before the CGC Burton Island (WAGB283) [1972-74].

It was really interesting seeing the boot camp photos after all these years. What memories. We qualified on the M-1, M-14, M-16, .38 and .45 caliber. We used the Springfield A3 '03 in the Honor Guard. Funny....we never saw a weapon after boot camp.

Got out for eight years and joined the Air National Guard in 1982. Retiring from the Air Force Reserves on Sept 30 with 32 years service.

I've bookmarked your page and will return often.

Thanks for the memories,

JACK GIRALICO, RM2, USCG (1970-74) NMC21, NMQ, NEVK

Semper Paratus

ID of RM2 Roger J. Wendell, Wahiawa, Hawaii - 02-10-1977
Are you allowed to smile in a military photo?
Roger,

Just had to write and tell you what a pleasure it was to find your site. It brought back a lot of old memories and was surprised to learn there are loads of former Coastie Rm's that get together.

I guess I was older that you or Bob since I was in from '57-'61. I went to radio school in the class of 4/58 in Groton (rotten Groton as we used to call it) When I graduated RM3 I was a little over 17 yrs old and thrilled with all the radio stuff and that I would be communicating with the outside world on a ship or land station.

I came from Houston, Tx and I managed to swap with someone and got assigned to cgdist 8 and subsequently the Cutter Sebago out of Mobile. This was quite an assignment for me and I really enjoyed it. It was now Jan or Feb of '59 and Castro was just starting his thing and we intercepted a couple of stranded boats down in the lower gulf running guns and ammo from Mexico.

Anyway, after 7 months I got a swap to Galveston, Tx to NOY, where I spent the remaining time of my enlistment. Although I really enjoyed the radio work, I realized the need for an education and started college at the end of my 4 years. I was discharged from Galveston on a Friday before hurricane Carla hit on Monday in Sept of '61. Lucky huh??

Anyway, you have my permission to post this with my name and Email on your web site and would love to hear from anyone old enough to be there then and still be alive. haha

By the way, I do website design and have space on a server and if you even need help or space for any of this, I will be glad to help out in any way I can, of course, at no charge.

Best Regards,

Lynn C Smith
shadow1@broadbad.com Houston, Texas

[Ed note: Some of the pix Lynn later sent me can be viewed on my Coast Guard Photos from Friends page]

                                                                                           January 2005
Hello Roger,

"Zut" I ve visited your website and enjoy reading info about CG Radiomen. Ive been a member of the CG Radio Club and listed in the Call Book "N3GN". I attended CG RMA School from Sept/75 to Feb/76. My first Assignment was the CGC Boutwell/NYCQ.

During my Second Alaska Patrol "AlPAT" I visited CG Radsta Adak, Ak/NOX, and put in for a transfer. Everyone on the Ship thought I was nuts but my goal was to work CW and I didnt get much aboard Ship, except to copy 500 khz. Adak was the best Tour in the CG.

I finished off my enlistment at Commsta Portsmouth/NMN. I like the work and equipment but hated the area and the Command was quit "Anal" there. After the Guard I worked for 3 years at Chathamradio/WCC, and that was the most fun job I ever had. I left in 1984 at age 29 and figured it would be easier to start a new career than to hang on till possibly age 40 when I figured CW would end and so would a radio career.

As it turned out WCC Closed except for being a remote for KPH in 1994. I joined the Maryland State Police in 1985 in their telecommunications division am and still there. I have always credited my training and experience in the Guard for my good skills in radio work or now they call it "multi-tasking" We were doing it before the term was invented.

I see you also do mountaineering. Im very active with an outdoor club in Delaware which we Hike, Cycle, Cross Country Ski, as well Im a serious Sea Kayaker. Anyway just wanted to say hello and glad to see there are a few of us that are members of the CG Radio Club and CW Operators Assoc. from the 70's. Most of the members are much older and Hope that more from the 70's will Join in the future. I tell people I work with about the sign over the front door in RM School "Through these doors pass the best trained Military Radioman" During "Net Phase" it was quite a perk to enter and leave the school thru those doors.

Anyway let me say 73 and ZUT.

Ken Berg / N3GN
ZUT Roger, good to see a nice page with my favorite subjects!

I started out in 58 at Cape May, too stupid they said to make RM school even with a General Class Ham ticket, to the 17th on board striker for RM, made it on the Citrus, a wonderful day to sew on the 3rd class crow! Alaska was not a state then. RMIC Clarke Harwood was a fine role model.

Next a rocky ride in the 9th, NMD, wow what chow, Battles was the best cook in the Guard, NODZ, NMP (chief Vic Hansen wore Hawaiian shirts) and finally a good home at NOG, the Soo. Good group of ops and good folks in charge. They caught up to me, (No one ever got good duty for long) a messy gray Navy boat, in Boston, the USS Edisto, McNamara said, CG it's yours! 65 to 66 and out after 8 years. All of us breathed the dirt from Boston Ship Yards.

A good positive thing happened in the 70s, Higher Up's began to ask questions, why were members leaving? If you ascertain what pisses folks off, you then retain more of them.

Lost my speed key ticket over the years and yours brought back so many memories. Thanks for the nice postings. I have never lost my pride in sending and receiving, several weekly skeds on CW and the XYL has the order to throw in the speed key in the casket. ZUT OM w8su first ticket WN2RIE/Trenton NY 1957.

Bob Ballantine

RM2 Roger J. Wendell - Montery, California 1977
Me in 1977 at Group Station Monterey, California (NMC6)
[ed note: This is an interesting story from a Marine Corps operator who served TAD on an Alaskan Coast Guard Cutter in 1963. In the first couple of sentences he's referring to his duty as a Morse intercept operator in Puerto Rico. In a subsequent email he wrote back recalling that the Cutter Clover's radio call sign was "NRPK..."]

From: Willy Carter (March, 2005):

I remember hearing someplace that 50 wpm with a standard key was about as fast as one could send code. And to get any faster you had to use a speed key. I can't remember if they used a speed key or not. I worked as a radio operator on the coast guard cutter clover out of adak Alaska. I am probably the only marine in history to be sent tad as a radio operator on a coast guard cutter. Long story. They used speed keys on the coast guard cutter. I had been trained on a regular key and had a hard time changing over to a speed key. I still this it was between 55 and 65 wpm. Guess we will never know.

As to my duty as an radio operator on the cutter clover. They had a tad one week trip form adak to atoo island. It was a resupply run for the coastys on atoo's loran station. They took marines along to load and unload the cargo. While on the cutter they found out that I had been a radio operator and took me into the radio shack as they were a man short while on this trip they had another radio operator get emergency orders and were two short. There were only four operators on the boat. They were about to go on their yearly run to check buoys and light houses on the northern coast of Alaska and needed at least one more radioman in order to maintain a watch.

I had not gotten my final clearance yet and was just doing labor around the base. They requested permission from marine hq for me to go along on the cutter as a radio operator. And that's how I got to spend four months on the coast guard cutter clover. I had a ball. The old man on the cutter used me as his boarding party when we caught people fishing in our waters. Russians and Japanese mostly.

Here's a great letter from Denise Lujan RMC (RET) 1995
(received on April 5, 2006):

Dear Roger;

I am glad I stumbled on your site when searching for Q and Z signals. I spent a lot of time checking your whole site very nice and concise, and informative. I loved your call tape, WOW the memories de CNL on frequencies...., and ...ZBO, QSY ZBZ QRK QRL all used for many years.

My first duty station in Oearias, Portugal 1974-1976 we used call tapes, and transmitted in code the XMT and RCVing of traffic on teletypes using code as a go between. The next time I used my code briefly in Morocco and then not again until about 1982 when Subpac Pearl Harbor was scrambling to find qualified code operators for a exercise. I loved code too, and I totally agree with your 1983 letter, they should keep code current for many reasons, satellite comms for one, if it gets squashed they will be wishing for qualified code operators.

I lived code when I learned it, it was just like a language and I was recently reminiscing with another female retiree communicator about how when people spoke, or I read a sign it translated to code then to English and vice a versa, when people spoke we heard the dits and dahs. This was long ago

I am a retired Navy Radioman Chief 2319/2304 even though they officially did away with 2304 before I retired. I went to RM A school and Code school in Bainbridge, MD in 1973-1974, and was about the last class for both the A and Code schools they all went to California and downsized the code billets.

Thanks for the great site, info, and memories

Respectfully

Denise

Roger,

I was one of the Coast Guard's original and unknown merry pranksters. Fortunately, I was never caught in any of the several grand hoaxes I perpetrated. Now that I'm safely beyond the reaches of the service, the truth can finally be told.

Between 1982 and 1983 I was serving in the Public Affairs Office 5th District Office in Portsmouth, Virginia. It was a tough place to work with a lot of personal pressures nobody should have to go through in the service (which I won't go into), and a "harmless" little hoax looked like a way to blow off some steam.

At that time USCGC EAGLE was scheduled to pay a port call in Norfolk. As you probably know, the EAGLE was once the German Navy training ship HORST VESSEL during the Nazi era. What better hoax than to start a legend that might live on for years.

I concocted a wonderful story about a teenage boy named Karl Schmitt in the German equivalent of the Sea Cadets who served aboard this ship during the last year of the war. A German Air Force officer was a passenger on one cruise, and Schmitt noticed with some interest that the officer had a satchel handcuffed to his wrist. Schmitt assumed they contained important military papers.

During his duties as cabin boy, Schmitt accidentally opened the door to the officer's room without knocking. He saw man seated on his bunk with the satchel open. Spread before them was a fortune in diamonds. Later a storm arose, and the officer was lost overboard. When fishermen found his body a few days later, the satchel was missing. I left Schmitt speculating that there might still be a fortune in diamonds hidden in some void space on the ship. [The ship has been gutted at least once, but most people wouldn't know that.]

Now this story was too good to pass up, and I worked the tale up in a letter and sent it to what I regarded as the most unreliable local newspaper in the area. I concluded the letter by having Schmitt say, "It amuses me to think that when American visitors came aboard the ship next week, they may be stepping over a fortune in diamonds." Sure enough the newspaper published the letter, and without ever checking its authenticity.

I was laughing up my uniform jacket sleeve until someone clipped the story from the paper and handed it to the admiral. He showed it to my boss and said, "Find that man. I want to make him my guest of honor at the EAGLE open house." Minutes later our office went into high gear to track down a nonexistent ex-German sea cadet. My poor third class was assigned to the task of contacting the man. She tried every Karl Schmitt in the area, even riding her bicycle over to the house of one prospect. I felt terrible for her, but could do nothing except sweat unless I was willing to sacrifice a stripe or two.

A few days later as I was talking with public affairs officer, the third class stumbled in and threw herself dejectedly into a chair. She poured out her frustration to the lieutenant and myself, explaining how many blind leads she had followed up.

The lieutenant looked at me and asked, "Do you think this could be some kind of hoax."

I responded, "I don't know sir, but it looks to me like we have wasted an awful lot of time on it."

"You're right," he agreed. "I'll tell the admiral the letter was a fake." I breathed a silent sigh of relief.

A year later both the third class and I were waiting out the last days before our discharges. I really felt guilty over all the trouble I had caused her, so I confessed the whole story with an apology.

The third class looked me in the eye and said, "That's a pretty good story, but if I had found out then, I would have belted you in the mouth." And she probably would have.

Kind regards,

Garth G. Groff

Roger,

Just had to write and tell you what a pleasure it was to find your site. It brought back a lot of old memories and was surprised to learn there are loads of former Coastie Rm's that get together.

I guess I was older that you or Bob since I was in from '57-'61. I went to radio school in the class of 4/58 in Groton.(rotten Groton as we used to call it) When I graduated RM3 I was a little over 17yrs old and thrilled with all the radio stuff and that I would be communicating with the outside world on a ship or land station.

I came from Houston, Tx and I managed to swap with someone and got assigned to cgdist 8 and subsequently the Cutter Sebago out of Mobile. This was quite an assignment for me and I really enjoyed it. It was now Jan or Feb of '59 and Castro was just starting his thing and we intercepted a couple of stranded boats down in the lower gulf running guns and ammo from Mexico.

Anyway, after 7 months I got a swap to Galveston, Tx to NOY, where I spend the remaining time of my enlistment. Although I really enjoyed the radio work, I realized the need for an education and started college at the end of my 4 years. I was discharged from Galveston on a Friday before hurricane Carla hit on Monday in Sept of '61. Lucky huh??

Anyway, you have my permission to post this with my name and Email on your web site and would love to hear from anyone old enough to be there then and still be alive. haha

Best Regards,
Lynn C Smith
shadow1@broadbad.com
Houston, Texas

 

 

  US Coast Guard Bar  

 

 

Roger,

Enjoyed your web page. Good going on the CW record. I would have graduated at the top of my RM class except for Morse Code. I struggled with it and that was the only thing I struggled with in school.

Ours was one of the first RM classes through Petaluma. I really enjoyed that school and that assignment. What a pretty base. I almost hit a deer returning late one Sunday night from liberty!!

I got out of the Coast Guard shortly after you got out of RM school (left the Guard in September of 1975). I did all my years after school in just one assignment -- The USCGC Campbell.

I got better at Morse Code, naturally, because every other watch was listening to 500 MHZ and getting OBS and AMVERs from the merchant vessels. I used to enjoy that. But I never got very fast even though I got better. I probably didn't top 20 WPM. Thanks for the site. I enjoyed it.

David E. Buehler

 

Back Back to Roger J. Wendell's Main Coast Guard Page...

 

Line

 

Back Back to Roger J. Wendell's Home Page...

Back

 

Abbey | About | Blog | Contacting Me | Copyright | Disclaimer | Donate | Guest Book | Home | Site Index | Solutions | Terms, Conditions and Fair Use | What's Changed or New?
Copyright © 1955 -