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US Navy in Action Dan Blaine DBLIVIT blaine@eucom.mil Operating off the California coast in 1961, our mission was to refuel the aircraft carrier USS Hancock. Our skipper was an old time "blackshoe" sailor, not an airdale getting his deep draft experience.

The Hancock's skipper, however, was a greenhorn airdale who probably knew how to fly airplanes, but did not know how to steer a ship. Consequently, as the Hancock approached our port side they oversteered and wound up wiping out our flying bridge and our oil booms, not to mention scaring the sh*t out of us.

After we separated and got back on course, the Hancock signaled us that they would like to try the operation again. Our skipper replied that our oil hose booms on the port side were no longer operational. The Hancock answered they would then like to try an approach on the starboard side.

Our skipper replied "ZBM2" : not a qualified operator...get one and then come back!



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