Reported to HQ as Division CPO in 1968 at which time I relieved RMC Wayne Smith. The Division officer was a fine man, CWO A. J. Eggett. I was transferred to Farfan in 1969(?) as AOINC when CWO Bob Gravely was transferred. The OIC was Dave Hawtin -- an exceptionally fine officer and a total gentleman.
I enjoyed my tour at Farfan immensely, but had the misfortune to serve there was at that time dope in wide use. Most of the dopers belonged to HQ, but were berthed at Farfan. Major problems in that there was no brig in Panama -- hence nothing to do with the dopers, except put them on outside maintenance awaiting discharge, court martial, whatever . . .
I lived in the house on the hill above the swimming pool with wife and four children. The children loved Panama. One has a "summer home" not too far from the Costa Rico boarder -- about a dozen rooms on a big plot of land on the ocean. Another was preparing to start an aircraft maintenance company in Panama -- all ready to go, then he was asked for a million dollar "kick-back." Think the company is now going on a fifty acre plot in Florida.
Transferred to USS KING where I made RMCS, then USS BERKELEY where I made RMCM and was transferred from tin cans, kicking and screaming all the way! Went to LONG BEACH in which I was Radio officer and then CMC until COMDESRON 33 lost their commo, for which I was sent there TAD. Recruiting duty followed where I had, roughly, one-half of Indiana and KY -- 31 recruiters. Then COMCARGRU TWO homeported in Naples as ACOMM, then COMCRUDESGRU TWELVE as ACOMM. Requested NAVCOMMSTA ROTA for my twilight tour, but left there after one year when COMSIXTHFLT "Made me an offer I couldn't refuse." Spent six years at COMSIXTHFLT as COMM READINESS and SIXTHFLT Master Chief.
Went into Merchant Marine as REO after retirement and stayed there for around 13 years. Served on several ships -- some straight civilian and some military pre-positioned.
Got tired to the 22 hour flights to and from the ships, so quit and became an investigator for federal background investigations.
Great duty at Farfan. Never liked shore duty much, but Farfan was great!
I am now living in West Milford, West Virginia, a small town not far from my farm. The farm was badly damaged in a tornado. The house is livable, but there is fallen timber all around the house -- three to five acres of timber was twisted and torn. I'm thinking of selling the farm to son, grandson, or a neighbor who owns adjoining property.
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