Naval Station, Bremerton, WA

(Naval Station, Bremerton is now part of the consolidated Naval Station, Kitsap.)

Additional NavSta, Bremerton links:

PHM Photos and info:

My Duties at NavSta, Bremerton
(LimDu) Jul 1981- Aug 1982

I was stationed TAD in USS Reasoner (FF-1063) and was living with my family in Jackson Park, Naval housing near the Naval Hospital, Bremerton.  I  committed to work by bicycle, a Motobecane Mirage.  (A 12 speed French road touring bike) I would first ride to the Seattle / Bremerton ferry, eat a breakfast of fried egg sandwiches brought from home, take a short nap, and then continuing on on the Seattle side to Todd Shipyard where the USS Reasoner was undergoing overhaul.  One morning in July 1981, while cycling to work, I hit a slick spot in the road and crashed.  I landed on my head and elbow and slid some 15 feet on the asphalt.  Helmets were not in vogue or even required, but I wore a Skid Lid and I'm convinced that it saved my life, unfortunately, my left elbow was shattered.  I went to the Naval Hospital, Bremerton where they performed emergency surgery and put me back together with 7 pins and a screw.  After the surgery I was assigned to the Limited Duty (LimDu) Division at Naval Station, Bremerton. (Now part of NavBase, Kitsap)

My first LimDu assignment was at the main desk of the Corpsman barracks of the Bremerton Naval Hospital.  This bored the puddin' out of me, but it was better than checking ID cards at the Navy Exchange.

Fun story - Kitsap County, WA has lots of wild Huckleberry
(Vaccinium ovatum) and my kids loved picking and eating them.  My wife made a wonderful huckleberry pie which I took to work in my lunch and being a nice guy I shared my pie with the Corpsmen (HM).  After eating some of my pie one of the young corpsmen somehow got the idea that all of the local berries were poisonous and went to the ER had had her stomach pumped.  What a stupid thing to do over huckleberry pie.

I learned of the new hydrofoil program and that they needed help with their pre-commissioning program so I asked for a change of duty.

I was re-assigned to the PHM Mobile Logistic Support Group (PHM MLSG). The PHM hydrofoils were being built
by the Boeing Marine Systems in Renton, WA and the MLSG was preparing for crew training and commissioning.  MSLG had been receiving charts and didn't know what to do with them.  As a QM2, I just walked into the job.  Basically I received and set up chart portfolios, assembled navigation pubs and messages in preparation for each boat.  The boats did not have a navigation department, as such, and Operation Specialists (OS) were cross rated to perform the QM duties, so as each crew arrived I was also in charge of cross training personnel.  Because the PHMs were going to Florida, the crews were from the East Coast and they knew nothing of Puget Sound.  I grew up on Puget Sound and knew it well so I also served as pilot until the crews became proficient and their ship was commissioned.  I then did the whole thing all over again for the next PHM being built.

I was a QM2 (E-5), and thought I was just doing normal stuff.  I was surprised when I found that I was able to have all of my PQS signed off through QMC (E-7).  I even had half of my PQS for QMCS (E-8) and some for QMCM (E-9) signed off!

After each PHM was commissioned there was a time between boats when things were really quiet.  I only had to work half days and I would spend noon time at the base bowling alley where they had half price mid day specials. (I bowled in two civilian leagues then.)  One day I was asked if I was entering the entering try outs for the Navy NW Regional Championships.  "How much is it?" I asked?  "Well, you're on LimDu which means you are assigned to NavSta Bremerton, so it is free."  Hmm.  21 free games.  Kind of a no brainier.  I bowled my 21 free games and qualified to represent NavSta Bremerton in my division. They sent me TAD to the Bangor Bowling alley and even gave me per diem for food and drinks.  Wow!

With an established league average of 154, I was just an average bowler, however that week I bowled a 162 average to win my division.  That included a 268 high game for the division high game and a 611 series for the division high series.  I was the only bowler that year to clean sweep the division titles!

The rest of my LimDu was a delight. There was no stress and my time was my own.  I got to work in my rate, got to get underway and got to drive PHMs. Once I came in, collected my messages and later went for coffee.  Everyone was surprised to see me.  They thought I was seeing the DR.  Then there was the time I came in on a Tuesday. Everyone asked how my Dr Apt went.  I didn't have an appointment and produced a chit to show that they had approved special liberty for Mon.  I could have said anything and gotten all the time off I wanted, but, I didn't.

During the year of LimDu I underwent two major and two minor operations on my elbow.  There are still two pins in my left elbow and it will not completely straighten out which means I can never attempt push ups or pull ups.
In Aug 1982 I was released for full active duty and was transferred to USS Durham (LKA-114).

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