USS Fletcher DD-992, The People

November 27, 2009 by  

Mess Cranking USS Fletcher DD-992

Mess Cranking Is 4 Months Of Sleep Depravity

        This post will be similar to my previous post because it will also contain photos taken while serving aboard the USS Fletcher DD-992 from 1993 through 1996. Specifically, all the photos will contain images of my former shipmates and I… Nothing but people for this post. So, the above picture shows, from left to right, McClenndon, Smalls & York.

Captains Birthday Cake USS Fletcher DD-992 1993

1993 Captain’s Birthday Cake USS Fletcher DD-992

        I was mess cranking in the wardroom for this event. For you non-navy people, mess cranking is a joyous time of washing dishes, serving food and washing dishes… For four months. The worst time I had in the navy was while I was mess cranking. The wardroom is where officers eat, so it was the cushiest mess cranking job but it still sucked balls. The cook on the left is MS3 Galan, and the other cook I only knew as “Lucky.”

USS Fletcher DD-992 The Mighty Warship Mata

Mata At Rest

        Once I was done mess cranking, I was sent back to 1st division for a life of chipping and painting. From time to time, shipmates & I found hidden areas to relax in.

USS Fletcher DD-992 Robo The Cook

Everyone Has To Paint In The Navy – Even Cooks

        I knew this cook as Robo. It was impossible for him to have a bad day or take it out on some one else if he was. It was always fun to have him around.

On Watch USS Fletcher DD-992

After I Mess Cranked I Stood Watch

        If you do not have a rate when you enlist in the Navy, you will be a part of 1st division, and we are the ones that chip and paint all day. If the ship is out to sea, then you ALSO get to stand watch for four hours at a time. That’s me on the left and McClenndon on the right.

Sweepers, USS Fletcher DD-992

Sweepers, Sweepers, Man Your Brooms

        Everyday, twice a day, in port or at sea, the ship got swept. If it was raining, you had to sweep “standing water.” Yep, we swept up water as it fell from the sky. Uh, yeah. Asher is seen here sweeping up some deadly dirt from the ship.

Aft Lookout Watch USS Fletcher DD-992

Aft Lookout On The Mighty Warship Fletcher DD-992

        I found that a lot of my pictures were taken while I was on watch or taken of other people on watch. I carried a small point and shoot camera around with me a lot in the early days of my navy career, but nothing above the level of “snapshot” was ever produced.

On Watch Under The CIWS USS Fletcher DD-992

Workman Pointing Out A Contact

        Being out in the middle of the ocean is fun, but when you are standing watch and looking for contacts out there, it’s not like finding birds in the park. The ocean is so big and anything on it is barely a speck. It is tedious and boring to stand watch, but it was to be done, day & night everyday.

USS Fletcher DD-992 Majuro, Marshall Islands 1994

Marjuro, Marshall Islands 1994

        Majuro was my first exotic port during my time on board USS Fletcher DD-992. The drink in front of me has whiskey in it. It wouldn’t be for another week or so that I would discover rum, which would be drink of choice for years after that. I’m on the left, McClenndon in the middle & Pannkoke on the right.

USS Fletcher DD-992 Majuro, Marshall Islands 1994

Marjuro, Marshall Islands 1994

        Going to exotic places and sipping cocktails in beachside bars was something I really looked forward to doing while in the navy. There were a few shipmates that were deep into hobbies like scuba diving, golfing and sailing, but most everyone else would hit bars and clubs in every port. It was so much fun to do that, and there are so many things to do in all these ports around the world that there never was a dull moment when you are on a Western Pacific deployment. Above, from left to right are: Hanrahan, James, Coleman (Big C) & Pannkoke

Majuro, Marshall Islands 1994 USS Fletcher DD-992

Sailors From USS Fletcher DD-992 Marjuro, Marshall Islands 1994

        My trip to Majuro in 1994 has always been especially etched into my memory because it was my first port of call in the Navy. It was a very friendly place, and there were children that would follow us from time to time. The image above has three shipmates in it and one mysterious hand that I just cant explain (in the the right/center part of the pic). They all loved having their picture taken. McClenndon is at the top/center, Hales in the middle, and unknown on the right.

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3 Responses to “USS Fletcher DD-992, The People”

  1. Rick Vyper on March 5th, 2011 3:09 pm

    OMG! A total trip down memory lane! Love what you've done here Rob!

    Hit me up sometime and add me to Facebook, if your on!

    Miss you man!

    RM3 McClendon

  2. Kim Kingsley on April 20th, 2011 4:50 pm

    Those we're the good old days. I remember some of these guys. I was a MR2 when I left in 1994.

  3. Jason Workman on June 12th, 2013 7:49 pm

    Rob Hurlbut! Wow! I happened to be researching the first and only place I went Scuba diving and found your site. It’s an absolute trip down memory lane. After all, we spent a good deal of time 3′ from each other. Anyway, I’ll spare the suspense… It’s Workman. I’m in Cleveland Hts, Oh living the dream. Would love to catch up with you and chat. Give me a shout.
    Cheers!

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