Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 32, 2015

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Reported North Vietnamese PT boat attacks result in retaliation strikes on August 4, 1964

Reported North Vietnamese PT boat attacks result in retaliation strikes on August 4, 1964

Reported North Vietnamese PT boat attacks result in retaliation strikes: At 8 p.m., the destroyers USS Maddox and USS C. Turner Joy, operating in the Gulf of Tonkin, intercept radio messages from the North Vietnamese that give Captain John Herrick of the Maddox the “impression” that Communist patrol boats are planning an attack against the American ships, prompting him to call for air support from the carrier USS Ticonderoga.

Eight Crusader jets soon appeared overhead, but in the darkness, neither the pilots nor the ship crews saw any enemy craft. However, about 10 p.m. sonar operators reported torpedoes approaching. The U.S. destroyers maneuvered to avoid the torpedoes and began to fire at the North Vietnamese patrol boats. When the action ended about two hours later, U.S. officers reported sinking two, or possibly three of the North Vietnamese boats, but no American was sure of ever having seen any enemy boats nor any enemy gunfire. Captain Herrick immediately communicated his doubts to his superiors and urged a “thorough reconnaissance in daylight”. Shortly thereafter, he informed Admiral U. S. Grant Sharp, commander of the Pacific Fleet, that the blips on the radar scope were apparently “freak weather effects” while the report of torpedoes in the water were probably due to “overeager” radar operators.

Because of the time difference, it was only 9:20 a.m. in Washington when the Pentagon received the initial report of a potential attack on the U.S. destroyers. When a more detailed report was received at 11 a.m. there was still a lot of uncertainty as to just what had transpired. President Johnson, convinced that the second attack had taken place, ordered the Joint Chiefs of Staff to select targets for possible retaliatory air strikes. At a National Security Council meeting, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, and McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, recommended to the president that the reprisal strikes be ordered. Johnson was cautious at first, but in a follow-up meeting in the afternoon, he gave the order to execute the reprisal, code-named Pierce Arrow. The President then met with 16 Congressional leaders to inform them of the second unprovoked attack and that he had ordered reprisal attacks. He also told them he planned to ask for a Congressional resolution to support his actions. At 11:20 p.m., McNamara was informed by Admiral Sharp that the aircraft were on their way to the targets and at 11:26, President Johnson appeared on national television and announced that the reprisal raids were underway in response to unprovoked attacks on U.S. warships. He assured the viewing audience that, “We still seek no wider war.” However, these incidents proved to be only the opening moves in an escalation that would eventually see more than 500,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / U.S. Department of State - Office of the Historian / The National Security Archive.edu

Image: Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara points out action in Gulf of Tonkin during a briefing at the Pentagon. (Bob Schutz, AP) • Photograph taken from USS Maddox (DD-731) during her engagement with three North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin, August 2, 1964. • Oil on canvas by Commander E.J. Fitzgerald, January 1965. It depicts the engagement between USS Maddox (DD-731) and three North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats on August 2, 1964.

U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier USS Washington (U.S.Navy.mil)

The Old Salt’s Corner

Supplementary Plot (SUPPLOT)

The function of SUPPLOT is to gather indications and warning (I&W) information and pass it quickly to the pertinent warfare commander(s). It is not physically located within CVIC. SUPPLOT can be thought of as an afloat information correlation center. SUPPLOT provides tactical indications and warning, intelligence support to the ship, air wing, embarked CARGRU/CRUDESGRU staff, and to the composite warfare commanders.

SUPPLOT serves as a focal point and fusion center for all-source operational intelligence information. The information is derived from organic intelligence sensors as well as from intelligence assets from outside the battlegroup (e.g., national assets). The combined warfare commander uses this fused intelligence in combination with information from other battlegroup assets to determine a course of action. Additionally, many CVBGs choose to stand up their C2W (AQ) watch in SUPPLOT spaces. FAS.org / Module 6 — Intelligence WORK CENTERS

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“From my tribe I take nothing, I am the maker of my own fortune.

~ Tecumseh

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Be quick to reward good behavior.”

~ Anonymous

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

China: Doctors remove 420 kidney stones from patient

China: Doctors remove 420 kidney stones from patient

Doctors at a hospital in Dongyang, China, removed 420 kidney stones from a single patient in June (a “Mr. He”).

One of the surgeons told reporters that a heavy diet of soy-heavy tofu was probably to blame.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most stones removed from one kidney during surgery (in India in 2009 in a three-hour operation) is (this is not a misprint) 172,155.

Qianjiang Evening Post via BBC (06/08/2015)

Why Do Airplane Windows Have Tiny Holes?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Do Airplane Windows Have Tiny Holes?

The first thing you need to know is that an airplane window is made up of three panes: the outer pane which functions as the “primary structural window”; the middle pane, where the hole is located; and the inner pane, the one closest to the passenger. Between the outer and middle panes is a small space called the “air gap”. Together, the two panes and the gap constitute the “two-pane air-gap design”, which is prepared to take on the full force of atmospheric pressure.

At cruising altitude—around 35,000 ft—the air pressure is 3.4 pounds per square inch. This is much too low for a human to function normally, so the air pressure in the cabin is maintained at around 11 pounds per square inch. According to Gonzalez, “The bigger the pressure differential between air outside the plane and air inside the plane, the bigger the strain placed on the plane’s various cabin structures, including its windows.”

In order to regulate the air pressure, the “breathing hole”, as it’s officially called, acts “as a bleed valve, allowing pressure between the air in the passenger cabin and the air between the outer and middle panes to equilibrate.” It ensures that the full force of the air pressure only acts on the outer pane, leaving the middle pane available for emergencies.

Aviation StackexchangeDaily MailPopular MechanicsRedditTIME

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Ring True, Ring of Truth”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Ring True, Ring of Truth‎:” In the past coins were actually made of gold, silver or other metals. Their value depended on the amount of gold or silver they contained.

Some people would make counterfeit coins by mixing gold or silver with a cheaper metal. However you could check if a coin was genuine by dropping it. If it was made of the proper metal it would “ring true” of have the “ring of truth”. Idioms The Free Dictionary

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy America's Navy - A Global Force For Good

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

COMNAVFUDGEPAC: Pejorative for any suspected homosexual sailor onboard a ship or station. Derives from the acronym COMNAVFUDGEPAC.

Comp Time: Compensation Time, time/days off during week for shore-based sailors who had weekend assignments, above and beyond mere watch-standing.

Crow: Black eagle for petty officer rank used on a white uniform.

Crow Fever: A term when a sailor reaches E-4 and lets the limited authority of the rank go to his head, causing him to go mad with petty power.

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines Marines - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

GAF: Give A F**k.

Gaggle: An unorganized group doing nothing.

Galley: Kitchen.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VAW-120 - Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 120: “Grey Hawks”
NAS Norfolk, Virginia

Aircraft Nicknames

Aircraft Nicknames

F-3D Skyknight nicknamed “Drut” The Douglas F3D Skyknight (later designated the F-10) was the world's first jet fighter designed for use as carrier-based night fighter. Its radar equipment required a wider-than-usual fuselage, so it was nicknamed “Willie the Whale”.

The U.S. Navy asked Douglas to develop a carrier-based night fighter in 1946. The result was the straight-wing, two-seat, twin-engine F3D.

After 1953, Skyknights were converted as trainers for radar intercept officers and for use as electronic reconnaissance and countermeasure aircraft during the Cuban missile crisis and the Vietnam War. The Skyknight was the only Navy/Marine fighter to fly combat missions in both Korea and Vietnam, and the last was retired in 1978. Boeing / Wikipedia

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Big Data and Bacteria: Mapping the New York Subway’s DNA

Big Data and Bacteria: Mapping the New York Subway’s DNA

Scientists in 18-Month Project Gather DNA Throughout Transit System to Identify Germs, Study Urban Microbiology

In 2014, a team of scientists from Weill Cornell Medical College sequenced genetic material found in the turnstiles, seats, and ticket booths of all 468 New York City subway stations.

They discovered bacteria known to thrive on human skin, as well as those associated with gastrointestinal and urogenital systems and human feces. They discovered remnants of neighborhood-specific cuisine like pizza and falafels, though considering the fecal bacteria situation, eating on the subway might be ill-advised. One station that had been flooded during Hurricane Sandy still contained DNA associated with a marine environment. They even found traces of anthrax and the bubonic plague, although they were also quick to downplay any risks to the public. All in all, the team found DNA from 15,152 distinct species.

The weird part? Over half of the DNA sequences matched no known organism. The likely explanation is that the subways simply contain mundane microorganisms that we haven’t got around to matching the genetic sequences for yet. Then again, New York’s health department condemned the paper, saying, “This report is deeply flawed, and the interpretation of the results is misleading. The researchers failed to offer alternative, much more plausible explanations for their findings, which is a common best practice for scientific papers.” That sounds like they might be hiding aliens. Cornell.edu / Scientific American / Wall Street Journal

© CEASAR CHOPPY by cartoonist Marty Gavin - archives Ceasar Choppy's Navy! “© CEASAR CHOPPY” by Marty Gavin


“Rock And Roll All Nite” - Kiss 1975

“Rock And Roll All Nite” - Kiss
Album: Dressed To Kill
Released 1975 video

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of Kiss wrote this track, which became their signature song and was usually played as the last song in their encores. Stanley told Bruce Pollock: “Originally Gene and I would tend to help each other fill in the gaps. 'Rock and Roll All Night' came about because we felt we needed an anthem, a song that could be the rallying cry for all of our fans. So I went back to the hotel and came up with the chorus and the melody. Then I went down to see Gene and he came up with the verses. We used to write a lot like that. As Gene and I became better writers we became either less willing to bend on our individual ideas, or it may have been that we both figured our songs would be stronger if developed by the person who wrote them.”

Kiss performed this at the closing ceremonies of the 2002 winter Olympics from Salt Lake City video, while Katarina Witt and Kristi Yamaguichi skated to it.

Kiss produced a video for this where they performed the song along with the cast of That '70s Show.

On the Kiss Unplugged album, each of the original band members sang a line of this as they played it on Acoustic instruments.

The members of Kiss provided their voices for an episode of Family Guy video where Peter and Lois are following a Kiss tour. As the band plays this song, they hold the microphone up to Lois in the crowd to sing along after the line, “I wanna rock and roll all nite and...” Even though most people (including non-Kiss fans) know the words, Lois doesn't know the words and says “have a wonderful time”. This leads to her revelation that she just pretends to like Kiss for Peter's sake, which upsets him until they go to a restaurant and meet the band, who recognize Lois from when she was a groupie known as “Loose Lois”. Peter is honored that his wife slept with Kiss.

The rock band Poison recorded a cover of this song on the soundtrack of the 1987 film Less Than Zero. It later appears on their 2006 compilation The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock and again on their 2007 cover album Poison'd!.

Kiss official site / Rolling Stone / All Music / Billboard / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Dressed To Kill (album)” by Kiss



● The official color of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is “International Orange”.

● The Vatican Bank is the world’s only bank that allows ATM users to perform transactions in Latin.

● The first Star Wars movie (A New Hope) was originally given a movie rating of G. That changed when they added the burning corpses of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. The rating was quickly changed to PG.

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

A guy comes home completely drunk one night. He lurches through the door and is met by his scowling wife, who is most definitely not happy.

“Where the hell have you been all night?” she demands.

“At this new bar”, he says. “The Golden Saloon. Everything there is golden.

It's got huge golden doors, a golden floor and even the urinal's gold!”

The wife still doesn't believe his story, and the next day checks the phone book, finding a place across town called the Golden Saloon.

She calls up the place to check her husband's story.

“Is this the Golden Saloon?” she asks when the bartender answers the phone.

“Yes it is ”, bartender answers.

“Do you have huge golden doors?”

“Sure do.” “Do you have golden floors?”

“Most certainly do.”

“What about golden urinals?”

There's a long pause, then the woman hears the bartender yelling,

“Hey, Duke, I think I got a lead on the guy that pissed in your saxophone last night!”