Subject: USS Rainier
Date:Wed, 7 Oct 1998
"RAINIER " The best ship I ever served on. My first memory of her was when I got off a bus at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard on the mid watch, March 1961.
There, tied up alongside the pier was this huge gray hunk of steel that was going to be my home for the next two and a half years. I threw my seabag on my shoulder and walked up the gangway to report aboard my first ship. She was going through a yard overhaul at the time so there was no one staying on
board except the duty section. The messenger of the watch takes me down to number 3 and points to a cot with his flashlight and says, "Sleep here and in the morning report to personnel." After the messenger left I laid down on the cot in the dark not knowing who or what was around me or even where I was.
I laid there the rest of the night wide awake the whole time listening to noises I had never heard before, squeaky noises and something that sounded like metal falling down a pipe. I knew there were others there with me because of the snoring but that didn't seem to give me any comfort. Morning finally came after what seemed like a week.
Someone attached themself to me and proceeded to be my guide for the day. I don't remember who he was except that he was not a happy person and didn't have much good to say about the ship or anything else. Other people I met that day seem to just pass me on to the next person as quick as they could.
They seemed to be preoccupied with other matters more important than a new boot.
Well, that first week I just kinda hung out and stayed out of everyone's way. Took some self-guided tours of the ship and got to know her pretty well.
After awhile some boatswain's mate from 1st div. noticed me and thought maybe I should be on a working party he was in charge of. I had heard about working parties and figured it was something I didn't want to be a part of. I looked him in the eyes and said "I'm in 3rd div. and I'm on my way to work on the forward gun mounts." He said, " Then get your butt up there or you
will be working for me." It only took me about 2 seconds to get up forward.
When I approached the forward guns I saw this huge 2nd class gunners mate leaning on the gun tub staring out into space (Wallace was his name). I told him I was the new man in 3rd div. and was reporting to him for instruction. I'm sure there are some of you out there that remembers GM2 Wallace (someone who was laid back, didn't get very excited) he looks at me in a far off stare and tells me to grab some rags and start wiping down Mt.
The next morning at quarters I fell in with 3rd div. and got some
questionable stares. I believe it was the 1st Lt., he asked me why I was standing with 3rd div and not 2nd div. where I belonged. I replied "Sir, I'm a gunners mate striker and thought I should fall in with 3rd div." He said "You prove to me for the next three months that you can be a gunners mate and I will let stay in 3rd div." From that day on I was a gunners mate
and retired as GMCS.
I have many more good memories of the Rainier. The crew I severed with was the best. Capt. Bullard was in command when I came aboard. He was relieved on Nov. 1961 by Capt. Thompson. Both were very good skippers. Some other names I remember were Steed, SN; Palmer, SA; Buffum, SN; Pollansek, BMSN;
Lincoln, SN; Luther, SN; Lester, GM3; Price, GMSN; Morvant, GM3; Moore, FTSN.
When I brought up the Rainier's home page all sorts old memory came forward,Port Chi, Pittsburg, Walnut Creek, West Loc, the many long unreps at sea and the many different ports of call. I have served on a number of different ships, DD's, DLG's, Tenders and a MSO, but none of them can compare to the closeness and teamwork of an ammo ships crew. Where else will you see men and offices side by side, sleeved rolled up, handling ammo during an unrep or offload.
"We Deliver - You Fire.."
Joe A. Jacobs, GMCS, USN-R, Ret
(Thanks Jake...Below are links to your pictures.
1.)Seaman Jake Jacobs- 1961
3.)Mount 31 Crew- NOV 1961 at Port Chi Buffum,SN Reloth,SN Palmer,SA Zeiser,SA Jacobs, SN Wallace GM2 Back Row- Steed,SN Hopkins,SN
4.)Mount 32 Crew- NOV 1961, Port Chi Miller,SN Pattello,SA Lackey,SN Terry,SN Luther,SN
5.) Mount 34 Crew, NOV 1961, Port Chi Pollasnek,BMSN William,SA Bolander,SA Reed,SA Lincols,SA
6.) At the Windsor Bar- Hong Kong- 1962 , L to R- Jacobs,SN Price GMSN Lester GMC and Unidentified Local Lady
7.) Whaleboat Shark Detail during Swim Call in the Pacific- 1961- Who are these guys ?