Gary Rinsem

Navy Pics
by Gary Rinsem

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell

I actually enjoyed every minute of my years in the Navy, even though most of it was horribly miserable and I was surrounded by people deserving of absolute hatred.
Boot Camp
San Diego California

I found a couple aerial pictures on line. This is just the boot camp barracks compound, called Camp Nimitz. It's long gone, but barracks in the right side of the pictures remain, abandoned and derelict.

Each of those I shaped buildings housed close to 200 recruits. About 3,000 total.
I can still spot the window by my bunk.
This picture was years before my time, but nothing changed except it was in color.

Home Port
Terminal Island
Long Beach California

Far more than most bases, Terminal Island busted ass to take care of the sailors there.

Mole Park was a short walk from our home port pier. We had constant gatherings there that we called "hood parties" because we hung out on the hoods of our cars. Not much else to do at Mole Park. No change to the park in 34 years, except the trees seem to have taken over the parking lot in the NW corner.
Our place for Chicken In The Park in Long Beach.
Signal Hill in the 80's was a forgotten bit of raised real estate with an oil derrick bobbing up and down. Groups of us would hang out there and discuss the universe. The view was nice. It was secluded with a clear view of the approach.

USS Prairied AD15
The Oldest
And Rusty'est
Ship In The Navy

It was the most embarrassing piece of crap the US Navy ever floated. This ship was nothing like a warship. It was nothing like nearly all other Navy ships. In 2022, the old crews gather in Facebook groups and talk about it as if it had been respectable. Called "Barf Boys," they were mostly little kiddies back then. The only thing they knew was where underage boys and girls could get beer. They were always drunk anytime the ship was in a port. Returning to the ship meant barf on the decks, here and there. Today they appear to be no different as they tell each other fantasy stories of the late great USS Prairie. Don't challenge their delusions. All they recall is drinking, and the belief that the drunks they knew were the best people on Earth. Barf Boys and Barf Girls would have been entertaining if they weren't so dangerous. Oh nooooo... did I just challenge their delusions? Won't matter. Getting drunk is still their major topic of discussion.

There were quays in Pearl Harbor and San Diego that looked similar, but I think this is Pearl because of the trees beyond the ship. And YES, that ship was ALWAYS peeing into the ocean.
Not a very good showing for "Manning the Rails." And YES, that ship was ALWAYS peeing into the ocean.
Port side main deck looking forward toward the forecastle. Yes it had wooden decks and yes they really were in that condition. This wasn't a bad spot.
This is a small area of the female berthing compartment. That space behind the curtains, much smaller than a phone booth on it's side, is all you get in the entire world.
The ship was overhauled shortly before I checked aboard. Berthing looked like this before the overhaul.
The mess line, between meals.
There were some fun things to see at sea. And YES, the ship really was that rusty.
Navy tug boat crews liked painting graphics on their wheelhouse.
I had a collection of about ten, but can only find two now.

1983 & 1984
Hawaii is a beautiful place. There are interesting things to see no matter where you go.

Yes, we went to the zoo in Honolulu. Why? Because Tami's Dad went to the zoo in Honolulu. It was a nice zoo and we had a good time.
We had a much better time here. The picture is rabbit island by Makapu'u beach. Two visits there, two days in a row. Love on the beach in the middle of the day, with a view like this. Yep, it's a memory that can't be forgotten.
The picture that dominates anything about Hawaii... Diamond Head as seen from Pearl Harbor.

People say you're not supposed to judge, but the minute you do, those people judge you. It's justifiable to judge a place where young girls are sold into indentured servitude as prostitutes (that's a kinder gentler word for slavery). It is very much improper to NOT judge this environment. True, it takes a sickness for a society to do this, but from my observation it was mostly the fault of the US Navy. The Navy took no action to stop it and actually supported what the barf boys did in the Philippines. After all... boys will be boys... including decades of raping young girls who were sold into prostitution... only because the Navy was there supporting it.

The Philippines was a horrible place, unless you're a brain dead kid who wants to abuse booze and young girls.
This is all that most sailors ever saw of the Philippines, bars and whore houses. Same thing.
The Mariposa and Marilyn's were two of the worst. You really don't want to know what they did there. I wish I didn't know.

Say no if anyone ever asks "You wanna play knights of the round table?" Run fast if they try to touch you.
We got out of Alongapo and toured the jungle. It seemed there were people inhabiting every inch of it.
There's a long happy and sad story that goes with this picture. Maybe I'll decide to include it on my web site.
Just more of the story. This picture doesn't show how beautiful it was.
A bunch of us got together and chartered a boat to nude scuba dive. Hey, it was the guide's suggestion and she joined us. I was the only man in the group, so the guys running the boat didn't mind.
A common street scene in Alongapo.
Here's another one. Jeepneys were lined up everywhere. It seemed everyone made their living giving almost free rides around the city.

Yokosuka Japan
Japan is an incredibly welcoming country. There's always crime when people are involved, but in Japan it was safe for ten year old girls to ride commuter trains alone, late at night. Try that in New York.

I had red sneakers and only one light jacket. Japan was freezing at Christmas 1983.
It was an odd little Japanese gun boat, small ship really. Used like our coast guard to patrol close to home. This little thing had over a dozen really small gun mounts.
At least ten of us packed into that hotel room for a fun night. Something denied for weeks at sea to get there.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong under British rule was an anachronism. There were so many stark contrasts between the two cultures that it was hard to anticipate what you'd find around the next corner. Since the end of British rule, when the treaty expired, I have often studied all things Hong Kong. It's not good under Chinese rule and it's constantly getting worse. Soon there will be no difference between mainland China and Hong Kong. Run away, run far far away.

Curious about economics in China, we spent time with the manager of the Bank Of China. He was shocked anyone was interested, while we were shocked at how his bank operated, or didn't operate.
Hey look! It's a Chinese fire drill, but no drill.
It got worse, chicken cages were also above the grill, with open bottoms. I wish I'd taken a picture, but it seemed rude. We found a different restaurant.
These boats were everywhere.
It seemed odd next to modern shipping.
They came in a wide variety.
We we were attacked by them. They started painting the hull grey from boats. They swarmed the main deck with paint and supplies.

Indian Ocean
Anchored off the Coast of Oman
Repairing ships deployed to the gulf
It's incredibly boring to sit on a ship at anchor in the Indian Ocean. I had a lot of time to write.

At anchor a long time off the coast of Oman, a USO show came to see us.
I don't remember anything about them except talking to that blonde for 30 minutes in the crew's lounge. She seemed like a high school kid. Out of place being flown onto a Navy ship in the Indian Ocean.
Not good quality, but these are the only pics I've got to try and show what it's like being at sea a long time. Stick around, there's more to come.
That's called "BAIT" for our target fish. It's a fun story, maybe I'll attach it here. If this is a link, then I did.
That's what it did to the stainless steel hook we made.
And here's what several days of hard fishing finally caught. I was too busy to get my camera, this is a picture of a picture we got from the ship's photographer.

The local news reported that 5,000 women were waiting for the ship to pull into Hobart Tasmania. Subtracting women and faithful married sailors, there were only about 500 available men leaving the ship. They weren't lonely in Hobart. Never claim Australians are unfriendly.

With a rented Holden we toured Tasmania. This brewery was a highlight. Talked our way into a tour of the place and met some wonderful women to hang out with. We'd been at sea a really long time, BB were too excited for words.
We took a tour of a "shot tower" and learned they dropped molten lead from high up, into water to make shotgun shot. Interesting, but could have learned that from an encyclopedia. Tasmania had fun to be had.
A rented Holden. Driving on the wrong side of the street is a treat. And no, I guess I'm not telling about the fun in Hobart.