Remember this plankowner?

On Jan. 22, 1985, James Everett decided not to report for work on the Navy tank landing ship Fresno, where he served as a chief petty officer. He was an RD2 on the USS Francis Hammond at the time of commissioning. The primary reasion for me to believe that it’s the same Jim Everett is his rating and the details of his service before 1970, which he had told me about back then. Read the full article here.

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8 Responses to Remember this plankowner?

  1. Bobby (Stubby) Daniel says:

    I remember Jim. He was allways talking Vietnamese and seemed happy. A least 2 tours in Vietnam (in-country) and 25 years in the Navy … He deserved better. There are so many that have gone thru what he has and many more will continue to do so. Very little was done to help our returning veterans in the past. Many refuse to believe they suffer from mental health or are too ashamed to report it.

  2. My memory is so foggy that I don’t remember yours and his duty on the Hammond overlapping. I know he was transferred before our first Westpac. I remember him trying to convince me I should put in for “Advisory” duty in Saigon. He always talked about the “gravy” duty there. I did learn a few phrases of Vietnamese from him. He was an interesting guy.

    I can’t imagine what would drive him to becoming a deserter after so many years “in”. He must have lost his mind. They tell us we’re entitled to the VA to use for help, and I have been using it since my wife retired and we dropped my regular insurance. It’s affordable and fits in with my current health care needs, sort of. Someone at a local VA hospital told me recently that the VA health care system has a backlog of 800,000. Something’s wrong when I complain of a persistent cough and maybe get an appointment to see someone in 60 days.

    These guys coming back from the middle east have certainly seen their share of horrible things. The thing is, when you come home, you’re pretty occupied with fitting back into civilian life and tend to push the memories away. They WILL return. When I got out of the Navy, the job I had here in Vancouver while going to college was working in a VA facility. There were the cardiac, pulmonary and TB wards and others that contained mostly guys of my dads age, WW2 and Korea vets. The ward with the most guys my age or a little older??? The “psych” ward. Like you say, there will always be those who will deny they need help, OR our system is making it even harder to get the help, so it becomes easy to “blow it off”.

  3. Bobby (Stubby) Daniel says:

    I report aboard in March ’71 right after Paul. I believe the “boat” was in drydock. I swapped with a guy that chief didn’t care too much for. Paul and I tried real hard to drink Long Beach dry.

  4. You and Paul Haldeman may have been replacements for RD2 Freddie Drew and RD2 Harry Armstrong, though I never knew the chief had anything against one of them. Jim Everett and I used to try to drink the lower end of town dry in those days, too, hehe.

  5. Bobby (Stubby) Daniel says:

    Paul and I reported aboard as RD3’s. The guy I swapped with must have lived close to Charleston, SC. Chief use to always say that it was the first time a swap had ever worked out for him. After Jim left the chief did not assign a LPO. He really helped us grow in many different ways while having our backs. Additionally he became the Senior Enlisted Advisor. I never met a finer chief than RDCS Remetch during my 20 years in the Navy. Our crew was special, and leaders were the best. If you screwed up the officers could make you feel bad by using few words that could motivate you to improve.
    Lt Ulrich our Ops boss was the only one from the Frannis Hammond that I ran across after I left. He was a full Captain on one of the CruDesGru staffs that came aboard the USS Peleliu (LHA-5) West Pac 1982.

  6. Stubby,
    Yep, if you replaced someone who was from SC, then that would have been RD 2 (or 3?) Freddie Drew. We used to tease him about his accent and some of his sayings. If you had a car, he’d ask “Could you ‘carry’ me downtown to the movie theater?” “Hell no, I won’t carry you, but I’ll give you a ride.” He would say “Can I ‘borry’ a pack of cigarettes until payday?” He liked when the dessert menu include some “pah”.

    Chief Remetch was a fine guy. Good example of “firm but fair” and a factor in some of us “maturing” under his direction. I remember in 1973 up in Combat and I had some stuff out on the DRT that I had just bought on a shopping trip in Hong Kong. There sat an ornate brass Chinese opium pipe and a hookah/water pipe. Chief Remetch comes in through the hatch and just says “I’d suggest you stow that stuff away.”

    I agree with you about the officers, as it could have been worse. I think in 1972 when we were bouncing back and forth between different assignments off of Vietnam, most of the Ops officers were new to this condition, also. I remember Lt. Ulrich as a very fair Ops Boss as well as Ltjg Urmston and Ens. Withrow.

  7. Bobby (Stubby) Daniel says:

    Dennis,
    I remember the the pipes on the DRT. Paul, someone else (maybe John), and I took a trip to Big Bear lake before the Cruz. Took some stuff Paul had from his previous cruise in Thailand, and a pony keg. We rented a boat and got lost on the lake.

    Rode someones 10 speed bike from the ship to Phils once. The trip back was a challenge (if it was by bycycle I would have thrown it over the bridge).

    I bought a “Harvey Wallbager” shirt at Romans IV. Drank alot of alcohol there and listen to alot of Hudson and Landry (drunks trying to imitate them). My shirt was stolen off a clothsline in the PI. I loved that shirt.

    • Stubby says:

      I do not believe that many enlisted men were ever in charge of large sums of money. There was always a commissioned officer (usually a JO who reported to the Supply Officer). It sounds like Jim may have been involved in a slush fund. On one of the Ships I was on, an E-6 in charge of the First Class Mess spent all the funds on a cruise. He was transferred for his own protection. He had been falsely listing shipmates in the logbook as owing money.

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