Category Archives: Sea Stories

Now that’s teamwork

Posted by Lex, on August 12, 2008


Witch doctor, US Navy save hiker

A MELBOURNE lawyer who became seriously ill while hiking on the Kokoda Trail was guarded by a witch doctor in a remote Papua New Guinea village until she was rescued by the US Navy.

Debra Paver had seizures and fell into a coma on the trail last week.

While she clung to life, a woman witch doctor brandishing a machete watched over her…

At the request of the US embassy in Port Moresby, a helicopter was sent on Friday from the ship.

The helicopter landed on a small patch of land in the mountains in thick fog at 1800 metres.

Ms Paver, 44, of Brighton East, was flown to the USNS Mercy and admitted to the intensive care unit where she began to recover from hyponatremia, low sodium levels in the blood.

Join the Navy, see the world. Provide material support to Papua New Guinian witch doctors.

Some guys will do anything for a little liberty.

Update: As Sim points out in comments, the Mercy’s CO has his own blog and talks about the event. Cool.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Lex, Navy, Sea Stories

Introducing Whisper

By lex, on March 4th, 2011

Perspicacious readers will have by now noted that your hosts store of “there I was” stories of naval derring-do  have, well: diminished. Either through the telling, distance or the egregious assaults made by father time upon our brain cells.

So we’re offering up a guest posting position to one Whisper, active FA-18 pilot and patriot. See how that goes.

So without further ado, here y’are.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Lex, Naval Aviation, Neptunus Lex, Sea Stories, Whisper

Passages. Sad Passages.

Brownsville, Texas
It is where ships go to die.
Forrestal and Saratoga are unrecognizable.
Constellation arrived a couple of weeks ago.
The three Good Ships I made cruises on are in the queue. Independence, Ranger and Kitty Hawk.
It hurts.
Old friends they are to so many who chose the sea.
The times are indeed, a changing.






Filed under Carriers, Good Ships, History, Lex, Navy, Really Good Stuff, Remember, Sea Stories, Shipmates, Ships and the Sea

The Rooskies

“Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don’t want no horsin’ around on the airplane?” The words came from B-52 Aircraft Commander Major Kong in the dark movie Dr. Strangelove in response to being apprised by Lt. Goldie, his radio operator, that Wing Attack Plan R for Romeo was in effect. Nuclear war with the Rooskies.

Slim Pickens (Major Kong) and his crew get ready to go toe to toe with nukes. And before they can be recalled the CRM 114 radio that should receive the message calling off the attack destroys itself, and Major Kong’s crew becomes the opening act to World War III.

I don’t propose at all that I am an expert on the CRM 114, in fact it doesn’t exist. It was made up for the movie, although we all know there has to be some device or devices like it out there. Continue reading


Filed under Carriers, Funny Stuff, Naval Aviation, Navy, Sea Stories

Her final voyage: Navy’s first super-carrier USS Forrestal begins journey to the scrapyard after being sold for ONE CENT

Having served in Independence and Ranger, this does tug at the heart strings a bit. I did serve in those years with men who were aboard Forrestal during the tragedy of 1967.

The Navy has paid one cent under a contract to have the 60-year-old vessel dismantled by All Star Metals in the Gulf port of Brownsville.

The decommissioned aircraft carrier Ex-USS Forrestal, pictured in 2010, is now on its final voyage to the scrap heap in Texas
The decommissioned aircraft carrier Ex-USS Forrestal, pictured in 2010, is now on its final voyage to the scrap heap in Texas

Tugboat Alex McAllister pushes the USS Forrestal into the Delaware River on the aircraft carrier's final voyage from Navy Shipyard in south Philadelphia
Tugboat Alex McAllister pushes the USS Forrestal into the Delaware River on the aircraft carrier’s final voyage from Navy Shipyard in south Philadelphia
The times are indeed a changin……………………………


Filed under Good Ships, History, Navy, Remember, Sea Stories, Ships and the Sea

Treasure Map

I’m currently reading Theodore Roscoe’s United States Submarine Operations In World War 2. This particular edition was probably a first edition published in 1949(!) by the United States Naval Institute Press. It’s even looks like it was published in 1949:

From the preface:

This volume is not the official operational history. Strictly speaking, it is not a history, nor is it to be studied as such. Herein, in the narrative form, the reader will the inspiring saga of submarining. For the student, the technical side is featured. And many aspects of submarine warfare which would ordinarily be excluded from a purely historical text are detailed and discussed.

It’s in my care for now, on loan from the Pritzker Military Library. I wanted to see if there are historical parallels between the sub campaign in the pacific to seeing how reasonable it would be to use SSNs/SSKs to contain the PLAN within the first island chain.

Going through the first chapter I found this enclosed in the book:


It’s an unknown newspaper clipping detailing the moorings of Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941 at 7:55am.

The other side of the clipping features an ad for a book called “Home Before Dark” by Eileen Bassing. According to a quick Google search it was first published in 1957.


That leads me to believe the map and newspaper were published in 1957.

The map itself is very interesting as it details most of the ships in port and even tells I what some witnesses were doing moments before the attack.

Even more unusual, the paper left a stain on the page which makes me believe maybe it hasn’t been seen since 1957. Who knows.

Anyway, this is a treasure map and maybe, if the reader know more than I, of some historical significance.

Just amazing…you never know what you’re going to in and on these books.


Filed under Books, Navy, Sea Stories, Shipmates, Ships and the Sea, Submarines, Uncategorized

One Foot

All carrier aviators have a story or two to tell, and I have a tale of working the carrier at night to offer.

I am a little bit reluctant to pass on some of my stories because of the fear of honking my own horn.

On the other hand, if the tales aren’t told, what will be left in the passdown log for generations to come?

This incident happened when I did my turn in the A-6 back in the 1970’s. At the time I was young and invincible… Continue reading


Filed under Flying, Naval Aviation, Sea Stories