During the Vietnam Era "Familygrams" provided families of Rainier sailors (even those who never wrote home) a glimpse of what was happening aboard the ship, who was promoted, and other news. We're transcribing these as the originals were mimeographed with blue ink and are a bit pale after all this time. Hope you enjoy them. -Webmaster
As I write this, Rainier is headed back to Subic Bay for a well-deserved upkeep period after a short but busy line trip. Let me bring you up to date on the events of the last few weeks.
On 26 OCT, Rainier pulled into her first real liberty port of this Westpac tour. Hong Kong proved as varied and exciting as ever. Many of the crew have been savbing for many weeks in anticipation of "Buyer's Paradise". and were thuis able to purchase such items as custom-tailored suits, shoes, cameras, jewelry, cashmere sweatersa and china dinnerware at a great savings in this duty-free port. Since our stay in Hong Kong was fpor six days, there was plenty of time for sightseeing. among the favorites were Tiger Balm Gardens (a fantastic Chinese "Disneyland") the fishing junks and ornately colored resturants of Aberdeen and the sunny beaches of Deep Water and Repulse Bays. Of course, no visit to hong Kong would be complete without a ride in the tramway to the top of victoria Peak. From this vantage point, one overlooks all of the city, the harbor and Kowloon on the opposite side. The view is impressive by day and truly beautiful by night.
On leaving Hong Kong, although we took our purchases with us, some of us left a little of themselves behind. In an effort to combat the city's blood shortage, more than twenty-five crewmembers participated in a Red Cross drive and were more than happy to give a pint of blood.
The Bombing Halt of 1 NOV has somewhat reduced the volume of underway replenishment operations. Even so, we again broke our record for this deployment for the greatest tonnage of ordnance transferred in a single replenishment. On 21 NOV, while alongside the USS Camden (AOE2), we transferred a totl of 826.76 tons of ammo in five hours ! This stands as an all-time record for Rainier.
On 9 NOV, we were honored with a visit from the Commander of the Service Force, Pacific Flewet, ADM Combs, and the Fleet Supply Officer, ADM Sutherling. The admirals arrived by helicopter and after concluding the official business of the visit, took a tour about the ship and chatted with the crew. The following day, the admirals were highlined to another Service Force ship. Their visit was appreciated.
Congratulations to EM1 Napier and CS3 Markwordt who reenlisted in November for four and six years respectively. and QM2 Render who extended for reenlistment on his advancement this month.
The Sailor of the Month for November was won by SK3 Dan Overman for professionalism in performance of his duty as a storekeeper.
The Rainier will soon be bidding farewell to Chief Graminski,RMC, who will be retiring after a twenty year career. We appreciate his outstanding service to this ship and wish him the best in his future career.
We are continuing to schedule deep-sea fishing trips each time Rainier pulls back into Subic Bay. Recent catches have included tuna, dolphinfish and mackeral. Lately, the "big ones" seem to be eluding us but the trips remain popular. [NOTE: See the photo of your Webmaster and the Sailfish he caught, elsewhere on this site.]
In our "Operation Schoolhouse" program, Rainier is financing thew sophomore year of high school for four filipino students. As many of you know, "Operation Scvhoolhouse" was set up to assist a group of less-privileged Filipino students gain a high school education.
Our schedule for December indicates that we will elave for the line in mid- December,and return to Subic in time to welcome the incoming New Year. Letters and gifts for the crew should be mailed before December 9. to arrive in time for christmas.
On a differenty note of celebration, Thanksgiving was observed and was paid royal honors by our excellent ship's cooks. between two destroyer "unreps", the order of the day was roast turkey, roast beef, spiced ham and all the trimmings. Itr was a quiet day, though, and after dinner many of the crew drifted to relax and to think of home. All of us felt moved to give thanks for the wonderful folks at hometo whom we wioll be returning before too many more weeks.
The officers and men of Rainier join me in wishing you all the Happiest Holiday Season. We'll be with you in spirit and we will be seeing you soon.
Warm Regards, JC Smith, Captain