We went on a "Springboard" exercise with USS Tullibee and had a portcall in Bermuda during "College Week." I saw my first whales while standing lookout watches on the way. We road out a hurricane on the surface, needless to say Tullibee stayed deep. I was nearly washed out of the lookout station by a pooping swell. I have many "sea stories" and fond memories of my days onboard.
"Springboard" was often used to describe any spring Carribean exercise. I reported aboard CAVALLA in Jan '63. This was after the Cuban Blockade. Many of my shipmates were onboard during the ops they conducted. I believe Cavalla conducted barrier ops in the GI-UK Gap.
The CO was CDR W. Krause who was relieved by LCDR Eugene E. Williams while I was onboard. XO was LCDR Paul Pitts, LT DK Sullivan, ENS George Futch was Supply Officer. We lost the Navigator to USS Thresher which went down while CAVALLA was conducting Subschool Ops. We lost 6 - 8 shipmates with Tresher. In fact, our Chief Cook, Rufus Weaver was to report aboard Thresher the day after she was lost. He came back a different man!
We, the CAVALLA, had a portcall in Bristol, RI (the skipper's father Williams, was mayor or something). A TV camerman filmed the decks going awash with him on the sail! That film may still exist in Bristol. We, the crew, marched in the 4th of July parade - what a show we put on, the longer the parade lasted the "drunker" the crew got. The crowd kept providing beer for us marchers!
My love of submarines and decision to make the Navy a career was developed in the pride and teamwork of the Boat and crew. I went on to attend enlisted Nuclear Power School, Kansas University by way of the NESEP (Navy Enlisted Scientific Education Program) and retired after my tour in Command of USS George C. Marshall (SSBN 654)(Gold).
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