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 The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Scott aka RazMaTaz 
Date:   2006-03-08 21:03:19

Readers, this is "off-topic" but a story that many of you may enjoy. It occured shortly before the Constellation departed for the infamous '71-'72 Tonkin Gulf deployment. It is a long article and hope it all prints out. If it doesn't, you can email me at: hewett -a t- jps.net and I'll send it in it's entireity. Thanks for the bandwidth Dan.

“Everything Gray is Game”
by Senior Fleet Ensign Hewett, aka the G.T.O.

It was mid-September in 1971 while tied up to the pier at Naval Air Station, North Island (San Diego) that the following true story occurred. Our ship, the USS Constellation (CVA-64) was tied up to the pier, directly in front of and in-line with the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). We would be leaving for the Viet Nam waters in a week, so everyone was living life to its fullest and enjoying the last few days at home. Regulations were bent and rules slightly skewed to allow for “understanding” or our pending deployment. The Constellation and Kitty Hawk, as large as they were, appeared identical except for the hull numbers, 64 and 63 respectfully. Even the pick-up trucks parked in front of each aircraft carrier looked identical.....all gray except for small numbers that did not coincide whatsoever with the hull numbers. Everything is gray in the Navy.

While in-port, my collateral duty was that of the “Ground Transportation Officer” (G.T.O.). It is a thankless job and an impossible one at that. Typically, I would be assigned 1 Sedan, 1 Station Wagon, 2 or 3 Pick-up Trucks, and maybe a 2 ½ ton truck. That was supposed to provide transportation for 5,000 sailors. To top it off, typically the Sedan went to the Captain and the Station Wagon went to the Executive Officer. That left me with 3 or 4 vehicles for the rest of the ships crew. Impossible at best.

Keeping an aircraft carrier up and running requires lots of maintenance and supplies, especially for the Engineering Department. Without the boilers and gear train, we can’t go anywhere. I had been told by “higher ups” to give preferential treatment to the Engineering Department and give them a Pick-Up truck whenever they needed supply runs. About that time, I met “Nesbitt and Lassiter”. These Petty Officers had the gift of the gab, and the enthusiasm of “Starsky and Hutch”.... and they were attached to the Engineering Department and knew full well how to take advantage of a young Ensign (myself), and “work me” for a Pick-Up truck just about anytime. I pretty much new they were taking advantage, but they were very likeable guys, and I gave them a truck whenever I possible could.

With a week left in port, Nesbitt and Lassiter (Starsky and Hutch), had all kinds of excuses for supply runs. I just about gave them a pick-up continuously, but always told them to check back in with me every few hours in case we ~really~ needed the truck. Well this one day they were a couple hours late. I walked down to the pier and met the two rascals coming back up to the ship.
The pick-up truck had so many scratches and scrapes on it that it looked as if someone had taken a weed whacker and belt sander to it. I told Nesbitt and Lassiter if they were honest with me, I’d let it slide. Heck, the way I figured it, the pick-up truck belonged to the Naval Base, and they had plenty of gray paint....and we were leaving in a few days anyways! Nesbitt and Lassiter decided to “fess up”, since they knew I wouldn’t do anything anyway....AND they were quite proud of the way they “solved a problem”. There story is as follows:

“Ensign, we took it up in the hills and drove that 2 wheel drive truck everywhere a 4 wheel drive truck could go. We got stuck a couple of times, but managed to get it out. Unfortunately, we knew we were running real late, so we were speeding to get the truck back to you. In the process, we ran over a couple curbs and flattened two tires and bent two rims beyond repair.”
I looked at the truck, and other than the scrapes/scratches/mud, everything appeared fine. I asked, “what do you mean, you ruined the tires and rims, they look fine to me”? It was at this point they confessed their brilliance at the art of “cumshaw”:

“Well, sir, the reason we were even later was that we pulled up alongside one of the pick-up trucks parked in front of the USS Kitty Hawk down there sir (pointing aft to the Kitty Hawk). We jacked up both pick-ups and swapped wheels and tires with one of theirs, sir. About that time, the Shore Patrol from the Kitty Hawk was walking the pier and was approaching the area we were working. We made a point to summons the Shore Patrol over to us. He said, “what’s the problem”? We told him we were ~working on~ this truck (it was still jacked up) and needed to go get parts. We asked him to please keep an eye on it and don’t let anyone mess with it while we are gone. He assured us that he wouldn’t let anyone near it until we got back....and off we went, with ~ new~ tires and rims. And here’s your pick-up truck, sir!”

That was almost 35 years ago. I suspect if I went back, I would find the same Shore Patrol marching back and forth keeping everyone away from the ~now-vintage~ pick-up truck!

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-09 12:37:24

Had about the same deal in my first squadron, an F-8 squadron, with ground support equipment. Had about the same deal in my first F-4 squadron with engine parts. Some of those sailors were excellent thieves.

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-09 20:37:17

er . . . . I meant "dog robbers," not thieves.

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-10 02:35:46

Raz, say it aint so!

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-10 04:15:03

During the Pueblo incident, we got un-a$$ed off the ship to AFB at Puson (nice having a 9,000 ft runway) Outside the base the vendors sold "rat on a stick." After you got past the name and idea, and if you were pretty wasted, it was OK.

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-10 06:23:46

This is the sad thing about Bucher. He was sent up there all alone, no support or air cover. I truly believe that it was intended for him to be captured to plant defective codes and information in the hands of the Koreans and therefore the Chinese.

The long and the shot of it never made sense. Why would such a 'supersecret' vessel be sent so far north alone. The answer is that the equipment was not that sensative, old technology, and the info on board was defective or purposely false. Remember, from time-to-time, the Navy eats its own. Bucher was screwed.

How many Captains does it take to control an Exxon Supertanker, anyhow?

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: DDickey 
Date:   2006-03-10 07:14:08

Capt. Hazelwood was misunderstood. He ordered a "Tanqueray on the Rocks".

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Dan (not Anderson) 
Date:   2006-03-10 07:31:15

Interesting stories here.

About the Pueblo. There was "conspiracy" theory that the NSA used the Pueblo as a red herring to smoke out USSR cryptography and figure out ways to break their codes. Read it in a couple of books on the Pueblo incident.

From what I've read, the photos from the NK showed the Pueblo sailors flipping the bird-told the guards it was a western greeting. A lot of folks say it was to the guards, but the author of one book claims the birds were for the NSA and the Navy for leaving them high and dry.

I'd reference the book if I can find it (if anyone is interested...)

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-10 08:57:05

Hello Dan -

Exactly. I did not read it; I heard it in the Nav. I'll tell you how serious we were in helping them. I was in an F-4 squadron then and our missions were jokes. We launched with air-to-air missiles on board, no air-to-ground weapons. Our missile load out were jokes. The Sparrows would not tune, and several times my sidewinders were blue versions – practice sidewinders.

This event was meant to be. I would certainly like that book reference.

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Scott aka RazMaTaz 
Date:   2006-03-10 09:30:13

The question was:
"How many captain's does it take to control a Exxon Supertanker"?
The answer is:
One and a fifth


 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-10 17:05:19

What pieces of sh!t some of our fellow Naval Officers were . . .

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Dan (not Anderson) 
Date:   2006-03-10 21:20:35

I finally found the book.

Liston, Robert A. The Pueblo surrender: a covert action
by the National Security Agency,M. Evans and Company, New York, 1988
1988 (Argues that the NSA planned the Jan. 23, 1968 North
Korean seizure of the Pueblo, a US Navy ship.)

It got blasted by a lot of reviews on amazon.com primarily from naval intelligence types for the holes in the story and lack of accuracy. Also, the author was considered a lefty although I have to say that it didn't seem that way to me (I didn't see any crap about the glories of NK or the wonders of socialism in it but I wasn't really looking for that crap.)

Having no experience in intelligence or the military, I can not say one way or another if it is accurate. I just read the book.

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-11 08:37:31

Thanks for the reference Dan . . .

Author: LB 
Date:   2006-03-13 14:27:48

Cdr. Bucher frequently joined us at the Miramar Officers' Club for a friendly game of Klondike in the '70's. We all liked and respected the man. He also played this risky game with the great panache befitting a true warrior.

On one sad occasion, a ranking black-shoe officer in uniform came across the room, called out Bucher by name, and then threw a drink squarely in his face! It took the whole table of us junior officers to restrain him from physically retaliating against this cretin.

I too tossed back a few with Pete Bucher....and I never saw any black-shoes pulling this stuff but I sure did see some F-8 Jocks spit on him, calling him a traitor. I only hope those jerks got their due in the Hanoi Hilton.

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-13 15:56:27

Being a former F-8 jock, one cruise, before I was forcibly moved to F-4s, my fellows’ conduct reported here embarrasses me. “When you’re out of F-8s you’re out of fighters;” and, “F-8s – last of the gun fighters!”

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-13 16:59:38

Remember, the A-3D or "All 3 Dead" had no ejection seats, they had to sit and stay in it.

I really mean it, a lot of F-8 guys were forced into F-4s because the Nav was shutting down the F-8. They had no seats. And we loved the ‘Gator. Hell, I would have even taken photo F-8s to stay. But the all-powerful detailer said, "Shut up, the orders to VF-121 have already been cut."

What was going on, we later learned, was that they wanted to move as many JUNIOR F-8 drivers over to F-4s as early as possible so that we would not be too contaminated with that F-8 single seat b.s. We had to get accepting of the RIO in back. Older F-8 guys really had a hard time with that crew concept transition. For that matter, on occasion, I did also and was known to say on occasion that I would trade the backseat for 3,000 # of gas on a night approach.

Interesting while the F-4 was one of the better a/c to land on the boat, and the F-8 one of the more difficult, many of us that came out of F-8 initially had trouble landing the phantom on the carrier. We were constantly over controlling it and having the sound coming out of the backseat on the ICS did not make it any better. One night – no divert available - I boltered the F-4 - 5 times before I got on board. In the F-8 my record was 3 straight bolters.

But, most of us smoothed out quite well. Most of us found the RIO, if he was good, to be a real asset. It was great to have a competent team member to talk on the radio, navigate, run the radar and intercept and manage the ECM and ECCM systems, read off checklists and loose at ship, captain and crew, or hoses and buy a round. All the front seat had to fly the damb thing.

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-13 23:34:10

The wing raised (or as some said, aerodynmically, the fuselage lowered) and changed the aero configuration in slow flight - landing and take off (and some other times we did not talk too much about) . . .correct.

The F-4 was cool looking, in an ugly sort of way, but the F-8 was plain sex on 4 wheels. One also sat in it some what reclined; the ejection seat was reclined. It was built on the soviet theory that you can take more g's if you sat reclined, rather than sat straight up. And it was true.

The plain and simple of it was that the F-8 could turn with any MiG; and out turn many MiG pilots, the F-4 had to go up, it could not turn with a Mig. Thus, the F-8 had a better kill ratio than the F-4. An F-8 - A-4, 1 v. 1 was a fight to behold.

But it was a hand full. Little carrier deckd, and an engine – J-58 – that was slow to spool up in the landing configuration. You could never, never accept a low ball because after you hit the burble behind the ship, you next hit the ramp. No recovery power in the landing config. The F-4 had the power in the landing config. I over controlled the F-4 at first because of all of the power in the landing config. Also the F-8 was very crosswind sensitive – narrow landing gear config. The F-4 landing gear was well spaced, not so sensitive to x-winds.

However, F-8 was like your first true love. The first lover that did everything that you could think of and then quite a few more tricks that you as the ‘country boy’ never imagined. Oh, the a/c in the training command were sexual escapades, but they were just dates in the back seat of a chevy. The first time you walked up to the F-8 you fell head over heels in love. Then when strapped on the F-8 and took it up, master of your own life and fantasy, you knew what love was finally all about. I do not know if anyone every tamed the F-8, but they always got a damb fine ride. I never felt that way about ‘double ugly.’

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-14 06:44:54

Correction " the F-8 was plain sex on3-wheels," thinking again of the F-4. When the F-8 was in the rear view mirrors of the F-4 it was not a very pretty sight to the F-4 crew either.

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-14 11:16:18

LB - Yep it was different because of those longer intakes on the Viggie. Made a heck of a lot more rumbling.

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-14 14:39:34

What is the origin of the word, "Cumshaw?"

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-14 18:40:51

When she left the home at the start of the divorce . . . my home from before the marriage and only in my name, my former wife burned all my slides that she could find, and burned my Cubi Point T-Shirt, and also my T-shirts from New Paulines, Pearl City Monkey Bar, Cave Bar and woe of woes, my Lucy's Tiger Den T-shirt.

She also burned my military flight log books, and took my Browning 9mm . . . which considering where my mind was then, was likely a good idea for her and me.

The reason that she did not get my flight jacket was that it was on me. My then girl friend and I had flown to KC for a conference in my then Citation SP . . . which of course went away in that divorce.

There was some Karma working there! I do not recall the girl friends name, but I sure recall that Citation!

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-14 18:43:13

Hey John thanks for the dope. "The word comes from the pidgin English of the old China Fleet for "Come Ashore" money."

About the same origin as "Pogy Bait." Using candy bars to get Chinese whore$ by the china fleet sailors and marines.

 Re: The Art of Cumshaw - OFF TOPIC
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-03-15 11:52:59

LB great flicks. Were we ever that young? That is the first pic that I have seen of cunningham in the cockpit with another RIO. I'll forward them to Dan and see if he wants to post them.

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