Rainier Memories-63 to 65- Bobby Clements

Bobby Clements writes: (6AUG99)
"I served on Rainier for three Westpac cruises and had a ball, October-62 to August-66. Remember when President Kennedy was shot ? I was on duty in the radio shack and gave the teletype message to the Skipper on the bridge. When I got out, the crew was lined up in the passageway outside sick bay waiting to get their shots to go back to 'Nam.
I got out and became a police officer and went to college.
I remember Captain M.E. Barnett, LTCDR Ostericker- a great guy and ENS French, communications officer, (cool for an officer), JJ DeLong RM2 (went AWOL in the PI), Morgan, RM1, ODonnell RMSN from Pennsylvania, Bleeker BT3 and Gilliam SM2, Odum QMSN, best buddy Marcum RMSN, Edwards RM3, McLaughlin ET2 and a bunch of the old crew. I've got lots of pictures we took on liberty and of the ship from my four years on the Rainier and a log of events I kept when the Gulf of Tonkin Incident occurred. I started it in August '64. The log ran thru December of '65.
The Tonkin Gulf Incident occurred August '64 while we were in Subic Bay, PI when an emergency sortie message came into the radio shack. I was on the beach in Olongapo and the Shore Patrol came around to the bars to round up the Rainier crew that was on liberty. We sailed for the Tonkin Gulf ad rearmed the USS Maddux and USS Turner Joy. Then the next day we rearmed the USS Constellation and the USS Ticonderoga, who made the first air strikes of the war on North Vietnam. I remember the message coming across the teletype saying that the air strikes had knocked out 75% of North Vietnam's POL reserves. We were the first AE on station and we got the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for our efforts. This was on my second cruise to Westpac aboard Rainier. I made three cruises.
A fellow Rainier sailor, RM2 Bill Welch sent me several E-mails this past weekend. We have many common friends and memories of our beloved ship. I have found that the older I get, the more those times aboard Rainier become important to me.
I plan on attending one of the reunions when I can, but my duites keep me busy. Best Regards.

Webmasters Note: Bobby is a police chief down in Alabama and reports in to the mail guestbook regularly- Still trying to get some of those "liberty pictures" out of him- maybe they're too "incriminating". You have the right to remain silent, Bobby, but send in the photos ! They "can and will be used"- right here!

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