Jun 20, 2021
Jun 11, 2021 - 1528
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May 27, 2009
USS Francis Scott Key Deck Log
Please leave your comments in this Deck Log so we can share your thoughts with other shipmates. Be sure to include your name and years served on the Key, if applicable.
USS Francis Scott Key - Welcome Aboard
01/11/2021 - Bill Wise -
Been a while since I checked in (Blue Commissioning Crew - Nav Gang ET1 - 66 to 68 - four tours). Currently happy and healthy and living in Port Townsend at the northern head of Puget Sound.
I watch our subs cruise out to and return from their tours in the Pacific with respect. I've not told this story before.
I grew up as a kid in Norwich Connecticut, 12 miles north of the Submarine Base in New London CT and there across the river was Electric Boat (Groton CT) where so many of our submarines were built.
So when I joined the Navy in 1963, the last thing I expected was to be stationed at Electric Boat while the Francis Scott Key was constructed around me. A year in Groton CT and the Key was launched. I served four tours on the Key. And along with two other tours (SSBN 611 John Marshall and SSBN 658 George Marshall), I've spent a year of my life living next to a nuclear reactor - love telling my friends this story. So much of who I am today resonates with these years in the Sub Service.
So today, the irony of being in Port Townsend at 75 years of age strikes me.
rounded Port Townsend (see below), she was coming into Puget Sound for recycling
in September 1993. From her cradle at Electric Boat to her recycling in
Bremerton, I feel I am following in her history.
Last known photo of the Key underway
Had a chance to ride on the SSBN 727 Michigan from Bangor up to Indian Island Munitions Center across the bay from Port Townsend. They don't have Nav Centers anymore - damn.
Definitely feeling the connection with you all.
Be Well and Godspeed
01/11/2021 Gary Youngwirth Hi to All who served on the USS Francis Scott Key. I served on the Key from September 1970 to May 1974, EM2 (SS). I was on the Blue Crew for two patrols, combined crew for the first overhaul / conversion at Bremerton Washington, and the Gold Crew for my third patrol. Many fond memories of those years. Great Boat, exceptional crew and Commanding Officers. My "Sea Stories" inspired my Grandson, Jack Youngwirth to join the Navy and volunteer for Submarine duty. He arrived in New London last week to start Sub School. My hope is that he will be assigned to a "Boat" and "Crew" as exceptional as the Francis Scott Key.
02/11/2020 - Mike Perry - Hi All, I served on the Key from 1965 to 1967 as an ET1 (ss) RC Division Gold Crew Plank Owner and started the reactor on initial critically. I left a little note on the underside of the reactor image on the RC panel in maneuvering as to the date and time of initial critically. Retired CDR, Civil Engineer Corp, USN.
09/03/14 - Mark Hazzard
name is Mark Hazzard. I was stationed on the F.S. Key from 1984 to 1989. I
served in Newport News Shipyard and then made several patrols as part of the
Blue Crew. I was a member of Machinery Division. I currently reside
in Thompson CT. I retired from the
06/03/14 - Andy Sierra - KEY Gold - 68 - 71, Key Blue 85 - 89 Great site! Thanks for keeping my infamous video alive. Here is my post for Dec Log:
Hey there shipmates! Greatest sailors in the world on the Navy's beat submarine. Big shout out to Tom Springsteen, best man at my first wedding and who nearly wrecked the car as he drove away with me and my new wife. SAPA! By the way Tom, I ended up with three great kids, one an E-7 in the Air Force, 7 wonderful grandkids and a recent great grandson. To all those cooks and mess cooks I terrorized, I want to sa thank you for helping make FSK foodservices the best in the fleet. I retired(E9) in 1996 after 38 patrols and am living in Tennessee. I am on Facebook and have some Key pictures posted there or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
03/12/14 - Rick Lindsey EM2 72 - 74
Greetings! No, this is not a letter asking you to report to your armed forces induction center. I served aboard the Francis Scott Key from 72 to 74. Was aboard for the that very wet night when Henry Snackenburg yelled “Flooding in the fan room”. Someone did not pass along that we surfaced in the middle of a test range and were “challenged” for ID. CO Bump said “take it down and let’s get out of here”. Four days of running hi-packs to put air Back into the emergency blow system. Thanks to Chief Lyle Moore, we are here today to tell that story. I was the phone talker and throttle man for the Poseidon missile test launch off of Florida. Remember that trashy green hut we drank our warm beer in. The COB (Chf Winsor) was the bright spot of that day.
12/03/2013 - Tom Courtien, MT2SS '69-'72
My granddaughter is in 2nd grade. They are having a school concert next week and singing some patrotic songs. Her group is assigned the Star Spangled Banner, Anchors Aweigh, and the Marine Crop Hymn. It can't get better than that for an old navy man. She and her brother are staying with us this weekend and she has the words for all 3 down solid. But, she keeps practicing; it is good to hear that her school thinks these songs are important. She asked me if I knew who wrote the Star Spanlged Banner - I said, know him!!? I was on his submarine!
11/11/2013 - Richard Grube, MM2 75 - 79 Blue - First of all I would to say hello anyone who might remember me. Today is Veterans Day and the Francis Scott Key ( The Boat ) is on my mind , and always in my heart. It was a great place to visit I did not want to live there (lol).
This sad but, Gary Furst died in a auto accident 1997, and needs to be listed on the eternal patrol list. Myself, Larry Killion, Dennis Pyne, Skip Poland were very close friends. Both Gary and Larry came to my wedding in 1980. Gary and I visited each other on and off fishing, camping ect...up till his death.I am also sad to have heard of that Danny McRae passed away. WE were close friends also, HE also came by for visit, after we got out. I would like say that I was a former retired ( Miss Key ). What a blast....! Also Bernie Francis and myself had the honor to present the Flapper Award to CO. Capt Hastie, Stallings forgot to hang the signs in his stateroom .... I would also like to acknowledge some acquaintances and friends Tim Brooks, Chris Moffitt, Meehan, Tom (snick) , Joe D, Ricky Stiger, Steve Nelson. Larry Knapp, Frank Respass, John Mills, Villneff and rest of the A gangers. Harvey for his Yokomoto impressions...very very funny. To one and all thank you for putting up me. E- mail . email@example.com
02/01/13 - Michael DeMotte 90 - 93 RL-Div/ M-Div Gold - Served on decom crew. Upon discharge, returned to Texas, graduated from Texas A&M University, working as civil engineer, married with three children (all girls).
12/20/12 - Scott Humpert 1992 Nav ET Gold - Reported to the 657 as my first boat and made the last blew crew patrol before decommissioning. I started out as a NAV ET. I went on to serve on the Woodrow Wilson and Kentucky as a NAV ET before going to Nuclear Power School in 1995. I then served on the Kentucky (Blue), Scranton, West Virginia (Blue) and California. I retired in October 2012 as the RC Division Chief on the California.
10/17/2012 - Joe Towey 76 - 79 Gold Sonar: Retired as a CMDCM(SS/AW) after faithfully serving for 30 years and I am now an Employee Relations Advisor at the University of Texas at San Antonio - loving life!
05/07/2012 - Dennis Westmore 72 - 76 Blue Yoeman - Retired from the Navy as a YNCS in 1987. Following my Navy career I completed 20 years as a Public Safety Dispatcher for the city of Elkhart, IN dispatching Police, Fire and EMS response. Would like to make contact with John Bragg and RAdm Bump.
05/07/2012 - Frank Nason A-Gang, 65 - 68 Gold - Plank Owner: Reported 1965 SeaTrials, commissioning, 2 patrols. .Transferred to shore duty 1968.Expiration of enlistment Oct.1971
01/11/2012 - Robert Droegemeier 87 - 88 IC Striker Gold - I was really surprised to find this website. As I looked through the sites many faces I recognized but names I do not.
I was on the Key for a short time because of a lack of maturity and a temper. I was a striker for IC-man and was busted from E3 to E2 plus money on top of that for threatening a cook with a crowbar. I was required to go to counseling after that. I started attending Church about the same time counseling started and made a lot of changes in my life. I was able to leave the Navy early with an Honorable discharge and soon started attending a College for the Ministry. I am not proud of my immaturity while on the Key. There were a lot of Great guys and two I would love to get in contact with. One of them the name of Rosinko comes to mind. The other is Dwight Morris who I went to boot camp, sub school and to the Key with.
The sight is Great and with my cancer fight and other health issues it was great to see those pictures.
THANK YOU I enjoyed the sight.
11/29/2011 - Hi Diane, Thanks for the invitation to the F.S. Key reunion. I can no longer travel, so I send my regrets. I served aboard Key for four years (1965-69), and have many fond memories of those days. One numismatic sea story from those days is attached. Thanks again, David Klinger - Click here to read an interesting story about David.
10/11/2011 - John Francis MS Div 91 - 93 Blue
really enjoyed my time on board the Key. I was the Blue Crew Leading Mess
Management Specialist (and we kept the crew very well fed) while I served on
board the Key and took her into DECOM at Pearl Harbor. I finished my 28
year Career in 2005 and work now for Strategic Weapons Facility, BANGOR.
Life is good.
09/05/2011 - Priece Rich, Jr - Radio 72 - 75 Gold
Hello Key Shipmates,
In November 2010 during my
annual physical examination, you know, the one with the digital rectal exam,
my doctor became concerned and set up a prostate biopsy after my PSA results
came back a 14. This was cause for alarm and the biopsy results showed that I
had Stage 3 prostate cancer. I immediately made arrangements with a doctor in
What does this mean to me? It
means that I will continue to get an annual physical. At age 58 now I want to
be around to eventually get to harass some of my old shipmates at a reunion
Please get your annual physicals and take the necessary medications and treatments as prescribed by your doctor faithfully. You know the drill
Until we meet again someday.
08/14/11 - Clifford A. Smith Blue E-Div 74 - 76 - Made LDO and retired in May 1995 as LCDR.
03/31/11Thomas Springsteen Gold 69 - 72: Concerning the listings that Jeff Richardson submitted below I can say that Lt Eisold was one of the best Officers aboard the Key (Gold) he bailed us out at the slop-shoot many times, not only for those reasons but that he was extremely understanding of the crews need to be encouraged and crews need to be acknowledged as members of the Elite. LtCdr Richardson may best remember me as the fool who impersonated his voice over the 1mc many times, it truly provoked him, angered even, but he managed to restrain that anger (most times). I say this of all my shipmates, you all made my time aboard the Key a good time, in learning and growing up, and realizing that
- Jeff Richardson - Gold Crew 69-71 as Reactor
Control, Radio, Sonar, Movie, Dive, and Auxiliary Division Officer. The
following officers served with me that are not listed on your roster:
(Note: We only add shipmates to the online crew list that request to be there by giving us their information)
02/18/11 - Dale Harmon MT Blue 89 - 92 - When DECOM was coming, transfered off and converted to MA about 6 months later, retired in Jan 09. Work at NCIS now.
02/01/11 - Tim Bollinger HM1 Blue 88 - 89 Great memories. Miller Time, Goat locker door stolen - COB pissed. MT's did it. Stubbs won beauty contest his last patrol.
12/20/10 - Don Faust ELT 74 - 76 Blue - Retired, looking for Chris McLean/Steve Huddelston, and Andy Strano
- John Howard ET2 69-71 Blue Guys, not sure how to do this, but I would really like to
find “Speedy” Charlie Weeks, ETCM(SS)?
Jim "Henry" Ford 78 - 81 Nav -ET Gold
came across the boat’s website by accident. Glad I did, it brings back
memories of friends and old times. I was an ET1 in NAV center between 78-81. I
was the NAVET’s LPO for the last two patrols and the ship’s photographer.
I’ll look around and see if I have any old photos and send what I find. I
used to use the ELT lab to develop color slides for the Capt. Ross’s patrol
debriefs while underway, a SSBN first. I saw the photo of the RC at the burial
site in Trench 94 at Hanford, WA. Sad site to see a fine ship is cut up.
01/17/2010 Jack Hicks 79 - 83 MPA Gold - Retired from the Naval Reserves in 1998 as a Commander. Work at Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant in Glen Rose, Texas
12/10/09 Mark Loring, Weapons 70 - 74 Gold - Worked as truck driver/salesman from 1977-2003 in Bremerton. Retired July 03 and moved to Florida. Sippin suds on the Gulf. Think of my days on the Key with fondness
12/03/09 Tom Springsteen - Stores 69 - 72 Gold - SAPA, battle stations helmsman, sonar watches, drove the boat, great crew and great times.
Thanks so much, have spoken to crew mates already, God what tears are in my heart, I thank you and all that built one hell of a site. The Key was a special boat to all of us, She served us well, taught us well, I remember one special guy, Hooker a Cook, man could he cook also he was one hell of a poker player, made Texas hold-em look like go fish the way he played. I served on the Gold crew and Qualified on her in flying colors, not because of my efforts but to those who made sure I knew what it was and what it took, to be on board. Thanks again Russ, and as I compose my thoughts and memories, I will submit them to the site. I am truly indebted to your efforts.
11/04/09 - Frank Reno - Sonar 81 - 86 Blue - Sonar Div LCPO, Weapons Dept LCPO, Diving Officer - Great boat and great memories. I made the last dive as Diving Officer going into the yards for overhaul #2 and the first dive coming out. "Chief of the watch, Choco Block Forward Trim"
10/29/09 - Chris Zuhn - YN 73 - 74 Blue - Reported onboard at the end of the first overhaul in Bremerton, WA. Transit Panama Canal, to Charleston, to Port Canaveral, to Rota Spain. Two Patrols. Still have Qual card (somewhere) and possibly other photographs and items. USNR. Went on active duty, got tired of GTMO and volunteered for sub duty. First in class at sub school in Groton.
10/07/09 - William Moray 68 - 70 Blue. This is a great web site. Brought back many memories. I just retired from E.B. in April 2008. from the S.T.O. ( Shipyard Test Org.) Dept. after 34 years of service. I have made many Sea Trials on the Trident Subs in that time. I only did 2 years in the deck crew. I used to make music tapes, many music tapes, down at WNLC studio's. (My Dad owned and operated the Radio stations from 1936 to 1978.) I had access to the complete music library and made many different tapes to accommodate all the different ears.
09/14/09 - Bob Peabody EM2 89 - 93 Gold Congrats to Keith and Rico, on their retirement and upcoming retirement. So where is the retirement ceremony Richard? I might want to attend? Bob Peabody EM2/SS firstname.lastname@example.org
07/21/09 - Keith Lilly - NavET 89 - 93 Gold - I was on the boat during her last four years and part of the decom crew. I just retired a couple of months ago and my best memories of the Navy were from the Key. A great ship and a great crew.
07/21/09 Richard Morales E-Div 88 - 92 Gold - Currently Active Duty at NAVIMFACPNW on shore duty. Will retire on Sep 30, 2009.
07/16/09 - Received this e-mail from Dan Skittlethorp, a shipyard worker from Newport News, VA concerning the 1978 overhaul.
What a great site that you have for the Francis Scott Key. I am glad that I found it.
I worked for the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in the 70's-80's. I was fortunate enough to have been a member of the Tiger Team there which was responsible for the Trident C4 backfit on your boat. I was team leader for the crew of men that worked on the missle tubes which was performed under the direction of Westinghouse engineers. I believe we ripped out the old tube pads/ electricals in late september 78 on the floating drydock in Charleston and then moved down to the Cape to refit, finishing up in December as I recall. The entire crew on your boat treated us great even though we tore your boat all to pieces. I remember the firing of the 1st Trident also.
What a great time that era was.
PS: I was certain that I had a patch from the backfit of your boat but I can't find it. I have all the other boats that I worked on patches (Vallejo, Stimson, Daniel Boone and also the Norfolk Tigers Trident I C4 Backfit patch), but I have a feeling that the Francis Scott Key patch was sewn on a jacket way back in the day and chances are, my wife threw it away.
05/15/09 Mitchell Phipps MT3 81 - 82 Blue - I was transferred into the blue crew with Ken Krieger and Bill Rasmussen from the Stimson after the great Missile Div bust of 1981.
04/21/09 - Dennis Horn E-Div 74 - 79 Blue - I see John Early on the crew's list. We called him Jack. E-Div and ELT. Best known for ability to sleep under ANY conditions. Slept standing at primary sample sink for ten minutes
03/29/09 PNC(SS) Charlie Snyder 77 - 80 Blue - Need some help. During the backfit to Trident missiles, SKC(SS) John Yeomans (later he went to the dark side and became an LDO) designed and somebody had made a "ship's patch" specifically for the KEY Goat Locker. I sure would like to locate and purchase one. If anyone has an extra that they would consider getting rid of, please give them my email address and have them contact me. Thanks
03/23/09 Wellington "Buster" Davis QM 68 - 70 Gold: I see my name on the Key crew list.. To fill in the blanks I was on the Gold crew and was QM3SS. After leaving the Navy I completed the Registered Nursing program in Wisconsin. Later spent 10 years with the Army National Guard as their Chief Ward Master (Mash Unit), later went to the Air Force Reserves as an E9 Chief of Nursing Personnel for the 934th Air Wing, was activated for Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Now retired with 34 years total time.... I must say the Air Force was great but my best memories and heart will always be with the years I was a submariner ! Wellington Davis Cmsgt retired (Qm3ss forever )
03/11/09 child of Jack FormyDuval TM 75 - 78 & 85 - 87 Blue - My father retired from the US Navy as an E-9 in June 1993. He currently resides in North Carolina and talks about his time on the USS Francis Scott Key (both tours) to his grandchildren and anyone else that will sit down and listen to him.
03/010/09 Charles Kelley E-Div 65 - 70 Gold - I was the senior dink in Eng. quals. I was also a plank owner and served six years onboard prior to making warrant.
02/22/09 Jeff Hudson 83 - 88 Blue/Gold - KEY Shipmates, The KEY was my first boat and I was onboard from 1983 until December of 1988 I was originally assigned Blue crew but that was while we were combined in that Hell hole, Newport News. VA for overhaul. I was assigned to the Gold crew when we changed homeport to Charleston and split crews. I was a MT3 when I reported onboard and left as a MT1. I qualified LOS, COW and DOOW (never stood DOOW though…finished quals just before transfer). I went on to push boots out of San Diego, USS KENTUCKY (BLUE), Trident Training Facility as Team Trainer and Weps Dept LCPO, COB of the USS WYOMING, CMC for COMSUBGRU10, CMC for USS THE SULLIVANS DDG68, and I am currently serving as Command Master Chief, Naval Air Station Jacksonville. I am on Togetherweserved. Hope to see you all soon!!
02/14/09 James Mileur 88 - 90 Gold - KEY Shipmates, I was on 1988 - 1990 Gold crew, Machinery Division under Captain(s) Jimmy Ellis and Will Rodgers. Left in March 1990, newly commissioned as a CWO2 and later helped de-activate/de-fuel the Key as your NRRO-wienie in Pearl Harbor. I'm still active duty in Newport at the relocated Mustang University. Come see at NavyTogetherWeServed.com. --- James Mileur, CWO5
02/03/09 Jerry Smith FTB2 84 - 88 Blue - Recognized a lot of faces in the Newport News Shipyard pictures. I also received my dolphins at that time. I was even in some of the pictures.
01/27/09 Billy Davis FTB 81 - 87 & 88 - 90 Blue & Gold - Great to see and read about old shipmates. I will retire with 30 years of service at the end of the year. Looking forward to the next reunion.
Sam Lewis responds to John Drahos's message below:
01/15/09 John Drahos QM 67 - 70 Blue - Yea, Sam (Spiderman) Lewis. I was "Doughboy" in the Planesman Night Orders. I am also the one holding the cleaver over Bil Hole in the galley (in 1960's photo area). Last name slightly misspelled in the caption (fixed), and the hair is now solid gray and doesn't take that long to comb anymore. This brings back a "flood" (sorry guys) of memories; actually surprised myself identifying names and faces. My daughter, Ruth, put me onto KEY'S website as part of a Christmas package. Best to all shipmates. Fantastic job with the website, Russ. "TO THE KEY".
01/14/09 Jon Buddy Phillips FTB2 81 - 84 Blue - I was an FTB3/2. I retired in July 2007 as a Lieutenant Commander (LDO). After serving on KEY, 3 Tridents, and 3 Submarine Tenders, I still say the days on KEY were the best.
01/06/09 James Shiver Jr Weapons 79 - 83 Gold - I have lots of great memories from the Key - one of which included hiding in Missile Lower Level to avoid my forced entry as Ms Key on half-way night. I later served on USS Daniel Boone and completed two tours at SWFPAC in Silverdale, WA. I retired in 1998 and now work as a QA Inspector for SWFPAC. It seems my entire career has been in service to FBM. Can't think of a greater legacy than that.
01/02/09 Mike McLauchlan Radio 85 - 89 Blue - The Key was my first boat. I am currently the Chief of the Boat of the USS Maryland (SSBN 738) Gold. I have been in the navy for over 25 years, but my memories of the FSK will be with me forever.
12/31/08 Edwin Evering M-Div 65 - 68 Gold - I was the second enlisted man to report aboard the Key during construction - June 1965. I transferred to NPU Winsor Locks in December 1968 to teach Nuc Pwr School. Served 26 years and rode two other subs. Retired LCDR.
12/22/08 Phil Benthall Weapons/Torpedo 78 - 81 Blue - Served during Trident refit in Cape Canaveral, Fl. 1st successful launch of a Trident C4 missile. E-1 / TM3. Served with TM2 Broom, TM1 Formyduval (Misspelled), Chico Worthan (became a corpsman). Went on to serve on SSBN 624 Woodrow Wilson and SSN 681 Batfish as TMC.
11/05/08 - Martin Faulkner RC Div 1969 Blue - I was only on the Key for a short time (one and a half cruises) but I still have fond memories of my time on the boat.
10/23/08 - Jim Lloyd RC Div 86 Gold - I made Key Patrol 50. Tour was cut short due to cancer. Doing fine. Retired in 1998.
10/09/08 - Stan Seago Admin 85 - 90 Blue - I will retire from the Naval Reserves in January 2009.
10/04/08 - Ken Rushton RC Div 90 - 92 Blue - I was always told that it's the crew that makes a "good" boat or a "bad" boat. For me this was a "GREAT" boat. I really enjoyed the time onboard from the CO on down. I retired from the navy, but there is not a day that I regret joining the submarine service and being on a boat of this caliber makes it all worthwhile. Oooo....gah!!! Dive! Dive!
- Bill Wise NavEt 66 - 68 Blue - Seeing the
pictures of St. Croix in the 1960s photo area, I remember coming back from
liberty on St Croix to the Key docked snugly (awaiting sound testing), totally
blown away on St Croix Rum (the rum was cheaper than the Coke), and, much to the
shagrin of the topside watch, diving naked off the sail planes into that warm Caribbean
water - somehow the incident was overlooked, never reported in the annals of
naval history - these were great times - times of purpose and learning and camaraderie
09/09/08 Ron Cwiklinski 69 - 72 RC Div Gold - In the 1980s, I went back to Rota, Spain to see the changes. Nothing there but condos. The Tokyo Bar was the only one still standing.
08/29/08 Charles Swisegood 1973 Sonar Blue - Came onboard at Bremerton refit, sea trials (flooded torpedo room & fire in dryer). Stayed in hospital in Bremerton when Key went back east. Good time while it lasted. Have Piping Systems Training Aid Booklet from January 1973. Still remember torpedo men pounding on hull, shrimp and whale sounds, and Soviet trawler propeller noises.
Steve Hady - 90 - 93 Both Crews Doc - I was Blue crew Doc and took her to
DECOM in PH. I was with Ples Reynolds when he got his fish topside (see
1990s photos). Great
Boat, Great Crew, Great Skipper...
08/16/08 Dennis Wetmore - 72 - 76 Yeoman - Retired YNCS; Graduated State University of New York May 1987, AS Degree in Liberal Arts; Graduated Indiana University Jun 1990, BS in Education
08/03/08 Leif Norrholm 67 - 69 Blue DCA - At the time I joined the Key crew the ship was in PSA and I made the first, third, fifth and seventh patrol. After 10 years of active duty I joined the reserves for 12 more years. I am currently living in Florida. I retired from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission headquarters in Rockville, MD in 1995 after working for them for almost 20 years due to becoming blind. We have 2 sons ages 35 and 36. Our older son is married with 2 children and lives in Annapolis, MD and our younger son is married and is expecting triplets in November. He lives in Atlanta.
6/18/08 Pedro "Pete" Gonzales - 65 - 67 Radio, Plank Owner Gold - I came aboard when the submarine was being built at EB. I am a plank owner. I came aboard as an RM2(SS) having just completed RM "B" School. I reported onboard with Howard Sparks RMC(SS). He was selected for warrant and got transferred. I was transferred in Dec 67 to subase for further transfer to ST. Albans hospital to get my right wrist fixed and evaluated. I stayed in the Navy and served on eight submarines and am a plank owner for the USS Silversides and USS Jacksonville. I went thru the ranks as an enlisted and made RMCS(SS) on Jacksonville. While on Jacksonville I received a commission as Warrant Officer and retired in 1985 as a CWO3. Upon retiring from the Navy I continued to support the submarine community until I retired from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Aug of 2007. I enjoyed my time on the Key and it became a stepping stone in making my career a success and my time spent in the Navy as very enjoyable.
6/16/08 Mike Seaward AWEPS 82 Gold - I made only one patrol on the Key. I was an emergency fill for the AWEPS due to a medical vacancy. I was transferred aboard one day before bus-away for refit and patrol, then I returned to the Bancroft.
5/18/08 Ron (RB) Davis 76 - 77 Sonar Gold - I would like to get in touch with anyone on the Gold crew who served from Feb 76 to June 77. I retired in March 07, 32 years/8 months.
05/06/08 Ronald Farmer 89 - 91 MPA, B-Weps Gold - I have many fond memories serving our great nation on board FSK Gold; the wardroom serving dinner to the crew on Saturday nights, the junior officers having Sunday afternoons to ourselves while the department heads stood the watches and of course, the JO Retention Meetings, smoking cigars and Saturday night poker, complete with a variety of "poker chips." I am currently in the Navy Reserve, serving as the Commanding Officer of COMSUBGRU 7 DET C in Fort Worth, TX.
05/05/08 Michael Bailey Weapons 70 - 75 Gold - Retired as FTCS at ComSubGrp Six in 1978 after a 3yr shore tour. Spent 21 years at Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space before retiring to Ferndale, California in 2000
Daniel Foster ET Both crews 81 - 87 - FS Key - Blue &
Gold + the hellish
overall in Newport News Va
04/10/08 William Carpenter A-gang MMC Pre-Comm - 69 Blue - Second person to report to FSK, Retired MMCM (SS) Last duty station (COB) SSN 682 (PLANK OWNER) We nearly froze to death the day we slid the Key down the ways into the Thames River in early January.
04/04/08 John O'Connor TM1 88 - 89 Weapons Blue I served on the 657(B) from 7-88 to 12-89 as TM division LPO. CDR Miller was CO, LCDR Elliott was the XO and RMCM Mike Rhinehart was COB. I got off active duty 12/89 and enlisted into the USNR and retired in May 2005. I currently reside in the Central Florida area and work for Deland Fire/Rescue, Deland , Fl. Shipmates that served with me are encouraged to e-mail me at email@example.com.
02/17/08 Charles Carl 86 - 89 Weapons Gold - Had a great time during my time on the Key. Made some good friends that I would like to see again....
Douglas Brown 86 - 90 MT2/SS Blue -
I left the Navy after 6 years last serving at POMFLANT (1991). Just this
past weekend I toured what is left of POMFLANT and the Charleston Navy Base.
So sad, yet also touring the Hunley, I knew we all served a greater cause, one
beyond what we could even imagine. As many of us experienced, the Navy and
the Key became our friend, our parent and sometimes our worse sibling. I
made 7 patrols, earned my dolphins first run out and qualified all over the sub.
I also won our first "Halfway" prize, sucking a cherry out of Cmdr.
Millers ear... ugggghh. I made great friends and miss everyone as I
do not keep in touch with anyone. Also I have written to Andy Sierra many
times as I know the Blue Crew took many photos and videos. I stayed in
Charleston during Hurricane Hugo and lived downtown and lost everything.
Please Blue Crewers during my tenure, send along photos to Douglasb7@yahoo.com,
I must have been in quite few. Also I do believe I am in the center
of the photo with my head turned away laying on the deck during swim call, Phil
Newsome thought it might be him, but am positive it is me.
02/06/08 Rick Baker 78 - 80 FTG Blue - Remembering Dennis Pyne. Served w/Larry Kielion, Will Hammond, Jesse Sweezer. Served with Capt Hastie as CO. Was the Helmsmen for first C-4 Trident Launch in Cocoa Beach, FL. Dry dock in Rota Spain where Bob Gaut fell off the top of the dry dock and was seriously injured but survived.
01/17/08 Tom Miner 66 - 69 Radio Gold - I was a plank owner on The Key as well as The Adams. I retired from active duty in the fall of 1983. I will always remember the camaraderie and the professionalism that actually made going on patrols enjoyable. The Key put my feet on the ground and gave a true sense of direction that I would follow for the rest of my career. When it came time to retire, I ask CDR Tom Turner if he would officiate. My retirement was in itself a reunion of of The Key! I look forward to reunion in April of 2008!
01/16/08 Malcolm "Mack" Martin 87 - 90 A-Gang Gold Still active duty but retiring September, 2008. USS FS Key, USS Michigan, CSS-17 SMMS/PMT, OCS, VAQ-141, VAQ-129, CVW-17, VAQ-142. A-ganger to EA-6B Naval Aviator
01/05/08 - Stan Rarden 76 - 78 M-Div ELT Gold: I was astonished to find this website. My son actually found it for me. He's an FC-1 (SW) on the USS Cole now (yeah, he's a skimmer - oh well... you try and you try, but kids go their own way!). Was delighted to see the names Marchand, Roarick and others from our crew here. Just like old times... you guys got here before me! And yes, Lonnie (or is it Ron now?), the wardroom always smeared us in the ball game, but we weren't baseball jocks... we were drunk sailors, and I still think we had more fun. Got some pix around here somewhere and I'll see if I can find them and send them to the webmaster. Blessings to all my shipmates, from Radar.
12/07/07 Steve McAlister 88 - 90 Weapons/NavET Blue - Had good times and I miss everyone.
11/17/07 Dave Carter - 80 - 83 Weapons Gold Hi Guys! I see so many familiar names, it's sometimes difficult to put faces with 'em. I loved being on the Key, especially off-crew :) Hello to RADM Bump, who was my CO on USS Holland and my boss at SUBGROUP 6, and hello to CAPT Bajuk... If anyone knows the whereabouts of LCDR Dave Weaver (my WEPS) and LT Mark Frederick (my B-WEPS), I'd be very grateful to know how to contact them! I was really sorry to hear about Bob Potts' passing, he was always a good guy and I know how he loved to fish... I'll drop Nancy a line soon. A really big HELLO to "Bad Bob" Bethel, Paul Conti, Greg Cook, Nelson Van Dyke, Don Lennex, Kirk Kenyon, Steve Wilson, Don Galito, Irv Blankenship, Dave Angell (even though he was a Nuke;)) Also sorry to hear the boat was made into razor blades... Seems like Baltimore would have wanted to put the boat in the Inner Harbor as a tourist spot... Oh, well :( If anyone has a piece of the hull, I'd be glad to buy it; just let me know how much. Later, Dave
11/10/07 - Fayette Thornal - 77 - 81 Radio Blue - Most memorable time - Made Chief along with Bob Potts FTBC and Andy Anderson ETC (nuc) while in ERP in Kings Bay, GA.
11/08/07 - Randy Peeler - 81 - 85 YN2 Both Crews - I look forward to re-establishing connections to my old shipmates. Thanks, and smooth sailing to all.
11/02/07 - Cory Curtis - 91 - 93 Nav ET Gold Decom Team - I made a few patrols on the FSKey then took her through Decom. I was the ship's photographer so I have a few pics I will be posting. I am proud to have served on such an honorable vessel and to have prepared her for the final voyage.
I don't know how old these are but maybe some of the Nav/ETs will remember the aluminum storage boxes we kept our microtain filters in. They used to be stored in Ops/ML opposite the Ops/LL aft ladder. The remaining Nav/ETs on the decom team drew straws and divvied them up. I got one.
10/22/07 - Forest Lero 75 - 77 M-Div Blue - I also carried a Welding NEC. Transferred to new construction at Newport New, VA in 1977 for the building and commissioning of the USS Cincinnati. I earned my First Class chevrons and my divers certification while on Cincinnati. Made one Med run on the Cincinnati and was discharged to civilian life in Aug. of 1980. I went to work in the commercial nuclear power industry and now hold a Senior Reactor Operators license with the Southern Nuclear Operating Company at Farley Nuclear Plant located east of Dothan, AL. I am currently an Operations Shift Mgr. at Farley
0/09/07 - Rick O'Hearn - 82 - 86 Both Crews NAV ET - First and BEST boat.
10/04/2007 - Doug Marshall - 68 - 71 Weapons Gold - Anyone know how to get hold of Bob Martel TM 2 (SS) aka: Tinkerbell, 67 - 70 Gold? He used to live in Pawtucket, RI 10/01/2007 - Don Tackett - 85 - 87 A-Gang Gold Had a great time, met a lot of good guys. Sometimes I wish I could go back for just a little bit.
09/04/07 - William Stovall - 65 - 67 Weapons Blue (Bills comments on John Linville's stories below) The big wig in the message below from John Linville about Sparks was Adm. Rickover on a shakedown. I've got some real good stories on Capt. Frank (Flank) Graham. It is my understanding that he became the top dog at NEC. I was on a military flight from Wash. D.C. to somewhere in the mountains of Penn. when word was passed to me of his regards. I was CEO of CMP and doing some high intell. work at the time, 1980's... Lt. Cavanaugh was a great guy, I think he was one of the AFT officers trying to get met to sign up on the Ft. Rucker - Helicopter program. I think it was in 1966. No way did I want to shift to the U.S. Army, becoming a Warrant Officer or not. I married Dottie, the girl that stopped me. I SHOULD HAVE GONE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A FASTER DEATH... It was at the wedding reception that I found out she was a NEW YORK CITY GIRL...her DAD ran Hells Kitchen. At his end even he could not stand her. They had a great house on Rogers Lake, Old Lyme, Conn. It's my understanding that Weapons Officer Bill Garrett became the Capt. of a sub tender in Spain and a professor at the Naval Academy...
09/03/2007 - John Linville 66 - 71 M-Div Gold -
shout to Bill Stovall, were you on deck in the
And for you guys who were in M Division during the early patrols and had Lt. Cavanaugh as Div Officer, better known as the Bill and Wally show when he and Walt Perks were aft together, did you know he ended up CEO of Carolina Power and Light and now is CEO of WANO, the world nuclear inspection organization like INPO is here in the US. Check this link http://www.world-nuclear.org/sym/2004/cavanaughbio.htm In fact Capt Forsythe did work for INPO, he came to Seabrook Nuclear Plant once and we chatted for a few minutes. Don’t know if he remembered me but as always he was friendly. Of course our first meeting was less than cordial. Having skated out of qualifying EWS for six patrols under Capt Logan, Capt Forsythe immediately called me on the carpet and gave me my choice. After sixty days on patrol I could have a Captains’ mast or an EWS board. Of course I chose the latter. Charlie Vincent, IC, worked at Seabrook for some years in QA before his retirement and George Williams was there working for Westinghouse during construction/testing phase.
And Lt Dave Klinger, wonder if he still remembers the picture flap back aft. Seems M div guys were posting naked pictures of good looking girls on the bulletin boards around the engineering spaces. Well in a fit of wardroom decorum, Lt. Klinger said they had to all come down. No more nude women. So someone, and nobody wanted to own up to it, had access to some nude male pictures and when the good Lt. came back aft the next day, there were male pinups everywhere. As I remember, he turned red as a beet and retreated back forward. Never underestimate the ingenuity of sub sailors.
I can still remember the story of ol’ Kermit Sparks singing gospel during refit and the time he was down in the HP Brine pump, in the engine room bilge and some bigwig was touring the spaces. All Kermit could see was tan shoes and when he was asked “what are you doing, son?”, his salty reply about what he was doing to a duck and would the owner of the shoes like to take a turn, was a classic! Another classic was during an ORSE board inspection. We had an African-American EM, first name was George I think but whose name I cannot remember. Nice guy, fun to have on watch. He was on EPCP watch, smoking a big cigar during a drill. The ORSE board guy wanders into Manuevering and asks him how often he checked for grounds. George took a big puff on his cigar, turned to the guy and in the best Amos and Andy parody, said “I’se checking for da grounds all da while, boss”. The ORSE guy looked like he was choking and left Manuevering without further comment.
there was MM2 Ronnie, the “human waste”, Hoefer who was my engine room watch
one day when I had EWS. I am up in AMR1 shooting the breeze with A gang
and he comes running up. He asks me if the Lithium Bromide pressure/vacuum
gauge was supposed to be pegged out low. Seems ol’ Ronnie had been
switching to the R-11s for the weekly PM and failed to maintain trickle flow of
chilled water to the bromide. Froze it up like the artic circle. We
had to take it apart at sea and let the ice melt in the tubes. I can still
remember the “tink, tink, tink” as the ice melted and slid out of the tubes
hitting the CRES shield on the RFT. We plugged tubes and got it running
again though. Then there was that incident on the crew flight where Ron
“baptised” a marine in full dress that had the unfortunate luck to be seated
next to Ron on the flight. Later when I was working in
- Ron "Lonnie" Marchand 75 - 78 Radio Gold
- I downloaded and printed the Key Crew's List. Man, a lot a familiar
names were there. Being a Radioman gave us a unique prospective with regards to
the Crew. In Port and at
I distinctively remember that for the 3 years I was onboard the Key, we always
seem to lose to the damn Khakis at the Annual Beer Ball Game. Man, we had much
better athletes than those guys, but somehow we always lost the ball game. But
my last year there, we wised up and finally beat them. We figured out their game
plan. You see, the game would not start to about 4pm. The White Hats would get
there about noon, down a lot of beer and sliders. So when the Khakis finally
showed up for the game, we were stumbling and staggering around the bases, if we
found the bases at all. Well, my last year, we decided not to get plastered
until AFTER the game, and of course we kicked their a$$e$, but all the previous
years they waxed us good. It's was because we had a GREAT CREW, Officers and
Enlisted, we were able to win all those Battle E's, A's, ORSE Awards, Red E's,
Food Service Awards and Communications C. As a reward, Captain Beard got us a
refit at the Weapons Station in North Charleston, the Bahamas, Norfolk, and
08/24/07 - John Paschall - 72 - 75 E-Div Gold - Arrived in Shipyard overhaul Nov 1972 Left Key in early 1975 transfer to NPTU Idaho Falls, Idaho.
08/23/07 - William Stovall Plank Owner Blue -
What happened to the big brass Plank Owner plaque on back wall of Crews Mess. Also I didn't get no plaque at Commissioning. We froze to death being made to stand in cold wind of river, Officers were on pier behind a plastic sheet cover house. We were in whites and no coat of any kind. We passed a bottle around, dropping down to get a swig. God it was very cold!!!
Later I'll tell you about hole between UL MC and Crews Mess hid behind stainless steel cabinets or was it ML MC can't really remember anymore...I guess 40 years will do that...
08/20/07 - James Bohli - 70 - 73 M-Div Gold - 3 patrols, shipyard in Bremerton, left ship for NESEP program, great ship, hope to make '08 reunion.
08/16/07 - William Stovall - 65 - 67 Weapons Blue - HAIL TO B&G CREWS, WE WERE ALL ONE ON THE MEDAL BARGE. MY LOVE TO ALL EXCEPT TO A CERTAIN TM-E9. RED CHERRIES JARS REFILLED WITH CLEAR JUICE, KEPT BEHIND LAUNCHER. THE WAR WITH THE NUKES BACK AFT, WEAPONS RULE. 657FR
08/13/07 - Clifton Williams - 84 - 87 Nav ET Blue - I am LCDR Submarine Engineering Duty Officer still on Active Duty assigned to the MID Atlantic Region Maintenance Center (MARMC) as the Deputy Submarine Maintenance Officer for Code 300 and Submarine Modernization Project Officer. I am currently on IA in a direct combat support billet with NAVY's Joint Crew Composite Squadron 1(JCCS-1)located in Baghdad, IRAQ. JCCS1 provide Electronics Warfare Officers to the Army and Marine outfit in the OIF theater of operation for Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosives Device Electronic Warfare (CREW) I am the 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne) / Task Force 134 brigade Electronic Warfare Officer.
07/23/07 - Dan Kestler - 73 - 76 Admin Gold - Good times on the boat are always in my mind. I would like to stay in touch with mates from the GOLD crew. My heart felt wishes to the families of all the shipmates that have pass on. I remember Chief "Pete" Peterson A-gang - One patrol the 700 lb air gage on the BCP blew out of the BCP. Chief "COB" Harris was Chief of the Watch, I was Stern Planes Watchstation. A professional unplanned drill - what a rush!!!!!
07/20/07 - Michael Moore - 75 - 84 M Div Blue & Gold - I currently live on a 42 foot steel cutter and wander on the east coast and Bahamas.
07/05/07 - Bill Csehy - 77 - 79 Mess Management Specialist Blue - I served with Dennis Payne, James Lewis, Chad Phelps, and Tom Marrah, on the blue crew 77-79. To all my old ship mates and friends I hope you find this and contact me.
06/21/07 - Bryan Breeden QM3 Gold 89 - 92: I filled the nav's shoes with water and froze them...twice. No one ever dreamed it was me. I pulled many other stunts that I will never tell....something to be said for being the quiet one.
06/08/07 - James Kjellin - 84 - 88 Gold Weapons: The Key was my first boat and it was and always be the best. I am still in the Navy and stationed at the Submarine Base in Groton, CT. I will be retiring March 2008 with 24 years of service. I made Chief in 2002.
06/03/2007 - Glenn Fleming - 79 - 80 Blue A-Gang - Participated in C-4 back fit and first successful launch of a Trident C-4 missile. Participated in first ERP at Kings Bay.
05/30/07 - Sam Lewis Jr. - 67 - 70 Weapons Blue : Yea, anybody remember the planesman's log? I must confess that I was Spiderman. Have some great memories of the crew. I've forgotten most of the bad ones. Guess it comes with old age.
05/28/07 - Bill Julian - 82 - 86 MM1 - I was on the Key from '82-'86. My service on the Key is tightly woven into the fabric of my life. My wife and I married while taking the Key through refueling overhaul in Newport News. We were married, in '83, at the justice of the peace in New Port News Virginia and just celebrated our 24th anniversary. Our only son was born in '84, at Langley Air Force Base, and graduated from college last year. We would love to hear from any of our old shipmates, firstname.lastname@example.org.
05/25/07 - Rick Summers 86 - 87 Gold Radio - Made two patrols on the Key, TAD from the Bancroft. Great boat and crew. I retired in March 2006.
05/24/07 - Bob Steffy - 69 - 71 Gold Eng -
web page!! It’s great to look
back and bring to mind so many old memories. Does
anyone have the photo’s of the May 1970 launch
with the exploding missile? I
was on board at the time of the
launch and was in upper level AMR -1 when the hovering system tried to
compensate for the down force, (or was it up force??) of the explosion.
I remember it was quite a ride and very loud until everything settled
down after the explosion.
again for a great job with the web page.
05/04/07 - Bryan Eatman - 90 - 92 Blue Eng - Now in aviation working on helos.
04/20/07 - Mrs. Mark Pinchback - any who served with MT Mark Pinchback (89 - 92 Blue Crew) would love to hear from you. Planning his retirement. Lenette Pinchback email@example.com
04/15/07 - Michael Masoner 90 - 92 Blue I am still on active duty, now LDO LT working on the staff of Director, Strategic Systems Programs.
04/05/2007 - Marty Clemens 72 - 75 Gold: I think I have identified some guys in a couple of pictures that John Yeiser sent of the Gold crew in 1974 (WHO? area). Picture 13 has Dave Fuller and Picture 3 has Capt Beard in the center. Incidentally, Capt. Beard showed up where I work, Crystal River Nuclear Plant, Crystal River, Fl., as the Vice President of the plant site. He was here about 1999 to 2001 time frame. I spoke with him briefly. Dave Fuller, I believe lives in the Phoenix, AZ. Area and works at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station.
04/03/2007 - No Name Given ('81 - '85 Gold & Combined) I ran across this site when I was looking for something else - great photos and a wonderful job of putting this all together. Good memories ... Now with the US Federal Reserve.
03/30/07 Marty Clemens M Div Gold 72 - 75 - Left the Key 7/75. Went to NPTU Idaho Falls, Id. Left the service in 79. Now working at the Crystal River Nuclear Plant in Crystal River, FL
03/2/07 Troy Flowers FTB Gold - I stole the goat locker door during half way night on my 2nd patrol as I was on my way to BUD/S training and thought it would be fun. Kept it for 2 weeks before I had to give it back. I made it as a team guy by the way, SEAL Team 5, and our command master chief (see him on the Discovery channel with the big handle bar mustache) and I were the only two people with dolphins.
02/25/07 Jerry Biscoe IC Div 67 - 70 Blue - Russ, great web site. Pictures, papers, documents, information, etc., brings back so many great memories. Hard to believe it's been so many years since those times. Seems like yesterday, until I look in the mirror. Anyway ,just wanted you to know how very much I appreciate all you've done and continue to do for our shipmates. Biscoe
02/19/07 Matt Hayball, Navigator 80 - 81 Blue - Now CDR, USN Retired. Now have a Master, any gross tons, oceans Merchant Marine License and sail as a Deck Officer on various types of targets. Have same wife, bigger belly and four grandkids.
02/16/07 Mike Robertson, TM2 70 - 72 Gold: Wonderful people. Wonderful boat.
Now at the age of 58 and retired. I look back at those times on that boat and realize that I never had it so good. I'm sure I'm not alone. We were young and best of all rewarded for our abilities. Something that the "real world" just doesn't get. I miss those fellas.
01/27/07 Rob Strause, YN 83 - 86: Fond memories of beautiful downtown Newport News, Bodyslam, Gun-tar, Max and Jeff.
01/27/07 Bob Grigg: Saw the passing of Chief Peterson, This guy knew his stuff. If there are people that you remember all your life, he's one I'll never forget, a real boat sailor. Tons of Chief Pete stories, all good. Bob Grigg 72-75 Gold
01/23/07 - William Hall: In 1970, the Gold crew basketball team went through the season and tournament undefeated. Starters on that team were Bill Grey, Andy Seirra, Ron Roy, Tom Hanline and myself. William IC Div Gold 69-71
Richard Andis: Wow, talk about how 30 years can make a difference. There
were even a couple of pictures of me on the site. Sad to hear about Gus Peterson
passing. My First COB. I will never forget him.
01/10/07 Adrian Schoettner: Left NAV in 1992, Retired from PA Dept of Corrections in 2003, Now Deputy Sheriff in Sumter County, Florida. Had a great time with Bingham and Culligan!!!!
01/10/07 Chris Fowler: This may be the only time I'll be able to say, "I know everyone in the Guest Book. (Hi, Skip)" I reviewed some slides from our port call in St. Croix (1976) with my younger son a few weeks back (He took me to show and tell when he was in the 5th grade as a "relic of the Cold War.":). I promise I'll get a roundtuit and get those pix in, Russ. Chris FTB1 73-77 Blue
01/08/07 Skip Masker: Great Web site. Keep up the good work. Brings back many memories. Skip MT1(SS)73-76 Blue.
01/01/07 Russ Christie: Happy New Year to all former Key shipmates. Russ MT1 70 - 75 Blue