Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ode To The Rack


This picture of a Submariner in his rack on USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730) got me thinking about how much I used to love my rack on the boat.

A Submariner's rack is a place of safety; a place where he can get a few minutes to himself. Sure, it's a place to rest ("Joel, come sleep in me" my rack used to call when I finished an especially tiring day) but it's also a place of refuge in a small tube filled with 130 smelly guys. We had this one JO on Topeka could could, literally, spend 18 hours in the rack on Sundays when there was nothing going on. Another guy tried to float a leave chit in the middle of deployment to spend an entire day in his rack. (Got disapproved.)

How much did you love your rack? And do you have an especially humorous or poignant stories about submarine sleeping spaces?

Update 1625 15 Jan: For non-Submariners reading the comments who wondered what it meant to "pin" someone up is their rack, a reader sent in a photo from USS Sturgeon (SSN 637) in the early '80s:

More Sturgeon photos from this era can be found here. Remember, current day Submariners shouldn't do this, because it's considered to be "hazing". (And, let's face it, it's unsafe if someone were left like that and there was fire or flooding.)

63 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a submarine rack story, and not even a real rack story, but does anyone remember Jack Lemmon as Ensign Pulver in the WWII movie Mr. Roberts? Pulver was the rack king of rack kings. He even had a reaching gizmos so he could get things w/o getting up.

For me (and this story probably only applied to SSBN weapons types in the 70s not working up to an NTPI, in 3 section at sea), once I was qualified it was 6 on watch, 2 doing PMs-movies-BS sessions, and 10 in the rack. Three cycles of this and I'd be slept out. Would then stay awake for 2 watch cycles (24 hours), and then right back in the rack.

1/13/2010 3:53 PM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Underway ELT was the best. I'm pretty sure I've been in the rack more than 18 hours straight before.

With that said, we did have 1 or 2 guys take that day of leave underway. Always seemed like a bad use of terminal leave!!!

1/13/2010 4:07 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

The day I qualified in SS-244 I went back to Hogan's Alley, grabbed the ET-2 I'd been hot-bunking with, and told that dink NQP to get the hell out of my rack. He did. COB backed me.

1/13/2010 4:30 PM

 
Anonymous STSC said...

On 637's there were the fan 4 wars in the Bow Compartment. Blue-shirts vs. Goats. All the Chiefs (except the ICC) would switch it to Slow, contrary to the ventilation lineup.

I had the bottom rack in the penthouse stack of 4 which sucked on deployment because the deck level w/ cans laid down was actually higher than my bunk - dustbunnies float (or were swept) downhill. Had to rig a cardboard pubie guard until we ate our way out of the cans in the Bow!

Fan #4 in fast froze the Chiefs out but made the rest of the compartment comfortable instead of being in a rack the temperature of a sauna.

I was happier to make STS2 because it meant I got my own rack than I was about the pay increase. Absolutely loathed hot-racking.

On my one T-hull, the outboard racks were the ones I prized. BR6#5 was my favorite, w/ the outboard for extra storage space using spare bunk laundry bags.

ON 688i's the lower level inboard racks on the outboard side of berthing were pretty sweet. #13 iirc was not quite as choice because the damn JO's would tap on the scuttle hatch lever cover.

FCB racks #1-3 were also 6" longer than the rest of crew berthing and more isolated, although the noise from the RBP greasing (in manual or auto) station could be annoying. I always asked for ST's to get those since it was next to the TAHS AND #3 had the sphere access hatch (& mucho extra space).

In the Mess, I was very fond of the outboard aft bottom rack on a 688i - not that I got to see alot of it.

1/13/2010 4:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They always show the same canned pose for PAO events...a guy in his rack, reading. They need to show what really happens when the curtain is closed!

1/13/2010 5:25 PM

 
Blogger Bearpaw said...

Rack 16 FWD was a sweet upper rack. Head room and no real traffic. Sometimes you could hear the door to the ML head but most times we were too tired to be awake long.

Doing the old frozen mattress and pillow was a great gag.

1/13/2010 5:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

688 class 9 man berthing, top aft rack...certainly the best ventillated rack in submarine history. A meat locker anyway.

1/13/2010 5:27 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New guy reported onboard, first underway. We put a TDU weight under his mattress every few days. Convinced him that it was normal to be a bit weaker as the underway went. This went on for weeks. Got to the point that after fighting the rack open and posting it, he would have to quickly slash his hand into the rack, touch the post, then rip his hand out so the rack would not slam shut on him. Only reason it had to stop was for the safety of the guy sleeping under him. The last time that rack slammed down, the other guy came flying out of the rack, thinking the one above him was crashing through onto him. He finally showed him the TDU weights.

1/13/2010 5:38 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always felt bad for the guy who lived in one of the upper racks in the bow compartment that had some rig for dive valves in the overhead, but not as bad as the rack in 22 man that had the san tank vent. That place smelled after blowing sans.

When I later served on an Ohio class and 688's I was glad that San tanks could be pumped instead of blown.

1/13/2010 6:04 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On my first deployment (688-2nd flight) was headed up middle level back toward galley past the doc's space - unexpectedly saw our C.O. quietly coming out of aft crew's berthing. Thought - 'that's odd . . .' went back and immediately asked the older salts what the deal could be - guy sitting underway electrical operator immediately said - "Maybe the Old Man wanted to see a session of Meat Puppet Theater" . . . still cracks me up to this day . . .

1/13/2010 6:13 PM

 
Blogger iotech said...

Hey! Thats my old boat! Not my rack though.
On the HMJ, the MTs claimed the first bunkroom on the port side, immediately aft of the lounge. An accommodating IC2 'arranged' for an extra 115vac receptacle to appear in the big communal locker on the fwd wall.. and every patrol afterward, a tv and vcr would miraculously appear in that locker - we ran our own movie house (even occasionally showing movies with redeeming qualities). The IC2 had a 'season pass'.
The bunkee was a sacred space on the HMJ. People who opened others' curtains could get harmed. This one time (not at band-camp, but close) I was the roving patrol, and had gone in the bunkroom to wake our reliefs. Usually this was done with a light tap-of-the-nightstick on the bunkpan and a whispered name of the sailor we were trying to wake. This particular time, I was waking a sailor whom I'll call "Bob".
I entered the room, his rack was forward bottom. I could see his bunk light was on. I crouched. *tap* "Bob" No answer, but I could hear a bit of movement. "Bob". Again, no answer. *tap, tap* "Bob!" Aaaaand SWISH, his curtain goes whipping back. He's laying there magazine in left hand, uhhh 'equipment' in right hand, looks at me calmly and says "I'm kind of busy here, do you mind?" SWISH, curtain goes shut again. I returned to CAMP and reported all reliefs awake.
Good times.

1/13/2010 6:30 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No discussion on racks would be complete without talking about one's patrol sock.

Name or no name?

Washed or unwashed?

Black, white, brown or some other color?

So many questions, so little time!

The Nav comes up to control one night, obviously just racked out (sleeping in his poopy), and can barely think about what he is doing. Answers the QMOW's questions, gives some guidance to the OOD and heads out of control...stuck to the back of his poopy is his patrol sock!

1/13/2010 6:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love my patrol sock so much that I asked my wife to change her name to "Sock". She didn't see the humor and said she does more than a sock. She's right, she ALSO cooks!

1/13/2010 6:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear that? ... That's my rack calling! See ya!

1/13/2010 7:10 PM

 
Blogger Bearpaw said...

You guys are cracking me up with the sock stories.

1/13/2010 7:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never liked with the press would refer to our bunks as "coffin-sized."

1/13/2010 7:18 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was actually too tall to sleep in a rack in berthing. So, I was able to get a rack in the torpedo room, on the middle-bottom of the room, right between the mines and the cranks. Used to kick the cranks off their racks for a double rack. But would always wake up for the sonar techs vs. torpeodomen slapfights.

1/13/2010 7:20 PM

 
Blogger ret.cob said...

Naturally, the COB has the best rack in the Quarters. I did anyway. On FINBACK we had a little guy, Senior Chief Radioman, who slept in top, aft stbd rack. Somebody opened his bunk pan with him in the rack and latched the rod. He couldn't get out and was screaming his head off in there. The rest of us cracked up. As a junior blue shirt I picked a rack one patrol in 644 right over the drop-in (dry stores). Every once in a while a can would get loose and roll back and forth and bang against the bulkheads down there when we went to PD. Drove me fuckin nuts. Had to get up, go down there, fix it, climb out, try to go back to sleep. Blah. Another patrol I slept in a top rack right under the Dial-X stack so everytime somebody would pick up the phone and dial I'd click-click-click. What a pain. It's the little shit that can keep me up. The worst of course was AEF would always kill the fans on a 4MC report so they always died before we got the 1MC and the alarm. So now 1) 35 years later I can't sleep without a fan on, and 2) if you ever turn the fucker off, I bolt upright instantly. But I'd go back in an blue instant...

1/13/2010 7:42 PM

 
Anonymous EM1(SS) 655 said...

A little more ingenious but way less subtle were the guys that pop riveted a toilet paper holder into their rack for the "occasional runny nose."

1/13/2010 8:12 PM

 
Anonymous LT L said...

No discussion on racks would be complete without talking about one's patrol sock.

So I'm on my First-Class Middy cruise (the one between Junior and Senior year) with five other dirtbag college idiots (not a one who went subs, sans myself), and as we pull into Halifax and are packing our stuff when one of the idiots makes a dirtbag comment in berthing and storms off. The three MSs who shared the bunkroom give me an evil glance and one of 'em says "you gonna take that shit?"

No. No MIDN L will not. Out of the seabag comes the patrol sock. Into the idiot's seabag goes my patrol sock. Onto the idiot's seabag goes my padlock.

MS gives me a sideways look: "yeah, we're gonna see you again after graduation."

-LT L

1/13/2010 8:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"On 637's there were the fan 4 wars in the Bow Compartment. Blue-shirts vs. Goats. All the Chiefs (except the ICC) would switch it to Slow, contrary to the ventilation lineup.

I had the bottom rack in the penthouse stack of 4 which sucked on deployment because the deck level w/ cans laid down was actually higher than my bunk - dustbunnies float (or were swept) downhill. Had to rig a cardboard pubie guard until we ate our way out of the cans in the Bow!

Fan #4 in fast froze the Chiefs out but made the rest of the compartment comfortable instead of being in a rack the temperature of a sauna."

Funny. I had that same rack in the bow on a spec op run - awful. When I racked in the 22 man, I would put the fans in fast every time I went up or down the ladder by the goat locker. LOL I also adjusted the pneumatic controls to drop the temp in the 22 man. Ahhhhhhh ZZZZZZZZ

Always got a kick out of going back to Maneuvering and discussing rack activities while many of the JOs would feign disgust - at least at first.

1/13/2010 8:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ret.cob said...
"Somebody opened his bunk pan with him in the rack and latched the rod. He couldn't get out and was screaming his head off in there. The rest of us cracked up."

In today's force, that's considered hazing, and NJP does result from it. Shows how much times have changed.

1/13/2010 8:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had an MM2(SS) in the yards who was about 6'8". He came to us from the Skate and had a permanent stoop.

So the Command, being sensitive to the special needs of each crewman, had one of the racks in the PO1 Quarters (SSBN 616 class)modified specifically for him.

The locker at the foot end of that rack was closed off and then the side was cut out to add about 12" of foot room to the rack.

Of course, Navy protocol being what it is, he couldn't be assigned to that rack for the shakedown and the first post overhaul patrol until he made MM1.


ex-EM1(SS)

1/13/2010 9:03 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever slept like I did on the boat. I don't even think I'd want to. About the only thing that would consistently wake me is the urge to urinate. I've slept like the dead through drills many a times.

Of course, as the MPA during ORSE that was kind of frowned upon...
Ironically, the one time we did have an actual casualty during the dead of night I was the only officer to wake up.

1/13/2010 9:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm, Second Class, qualified, on the Barbel, Sonarman. Oh yeah, I got some rack time. Had a reputation to maintain, Dammit!

Everytime we had the diesels running, it was all I could do to stay awake. My first WP we were on the surface quite a bit. Sonar on Barbel was useless on the surface (Quiet in the back, you!). We would shift to a modified 3 on, 15 off rotation. Yes, I often slept the entire 15 off! Never got posted, but I had to bunk too close to Sharkbait! So it kind of evens out.

Ken in Yoko.

1/13/2010 10:08 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Virginia class on a good underway we go three section with a Kickout. Oh man nothing like time traveling for almost 30hrs. That much time in the rack it hurts to move, but it feels soooo good!

1/13/2010 11:37 PM

 
Blogger Ret ANAV said...

Favorite racks:

SSN 642: 10-man aft outboard lower.
688: I have two favorites, actually. CPO Quarters Aft Outboard Top (lots of overhead room) and 9-man aft bulkhead middle (for reasons known only to my wife and me!)

1/14/2010 5:03 AM

 
Blogger Seawolf said...

Forget the number of hours in a rack. The Doc on our boat was going for a record number of days in the rack. He only got out for meals and the head occasionally.

1/14/2010 5:12 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I recall it was an unwritten rule that one never, NEVER, put there hands inside another man's rack, especially when that man was in the rack.

So, I'm living in forward berthing on the 704 boat, bottom rack, and the Lee Helmsman is making the wakeups for the oncoming watch. He tries to wake up the FT1 that has the upper rack across from me but the guy won't acknowledge the wakeup. The poor nub puts his hands inside the rack to shake the FT1, and the next thing you see is a fist flying out!

The fist connects sqaurely with the forehead of the poor non-rate and he is down for the count.

Like I said never, NEVER, EVER, put your hands inside another man's rack.

Joe Alferio

1/14/2010 5:35 AM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

Somebody opened his bunk pan with him in the rack and latched the rod. He couldn't get out and was screaming his head off in there. The rest of us cracked up.

Ah, posting. Priceless!

Of all the things I miss about life on boats, the little things we used to do to each other to while away the time like this are way high on the list.

My all-time favorite bunk on any boat was on a 637 short hull. 18 man (FCLL, aft of DG Room) starboard outboard forward top rack. I was actually assigned that rack, and it was the only one that didn't have a bedpan. It had 2 lockers. One at the foot end was a small locker. The one at the head end however, was deceptively HUGE. I was moving in, and went to put in a stack of coveralls. I stuck them in through the door, let go and then discovered that the locker went all the way to the deck! To utilize all the space I had, I rigged up plywood platforms with rope to hoist my belongings up and down. It was almost like a jacobs ladder set up. It worked great, until I made Chief there and got stuck in one of the CPO "Coffin" racks. They sucked mightily.

1/14/2010 6:56 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can confirm the "no hands in another person's rack" policy. As a nub messenger U/I I made the mistake of trying to shake awake the A-Gang LPO who was a notoriously heavy sleeper. Before I knew what was happening, He yanked my arm and the rest of my upper body into the rack with him and I was horrified to find that he slept in the nude. He pinned me in there for about 30 seconds (but it seemed like an hour) and then said to me before letting me go, "Word of advice nub, don't ever put anything in another man's rack." And I never did....

1/14/2010 8:16 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First patrol (Stony J mid 70s) my rack had the San 1 vent. It so stunk.

On off crew between 1st and 2nd patrols, one week before flyover to Holy Loch the COB did rack selection. On the SJ the nukes, including the E-6 nukes, liked the outboard port racks in main bearthing. This left several racks in the first class birthing (adjacent to the crews lounge) still available when us low life deck gangers got our turn to pick. Realizing this opportunity and remembering the San 1 vent experience of the previous patrol, I asked the COB if I could have one of the available racks in the 1st class birthing. He said yes and I did the same rack for the remaining five patrols.

1/14/2010 10:42 AM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

Headroom was only half of that shown in the photo, but no one had to hot-rack, either.

My rack was the only refuge guaranteed to prevent seasickness when that was needed, but rarely ever available to me at those times. It was also the only wall space to display my 3-D post card of tropical fish.

The day I was assigned my rack, it was obvious that the hydraulically-operated torpedo-loading "rabbit" would extend several inches over my pillow during its operation.

Switched the pillow to the other end immediately and never heard a word about it. Months later was awakened to the loud bangs of a loading exercise. Sure enough, the rabbit was where my head would have been. Just moved my feet over a little.

1/14/2010 10:42 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Westpac in 93'. Our sonar section went 4 section because we got extended on station. Me and another Sonar Supervisor swapped watches and went into an unauthorized 12 on, 36 off rotation. I think I had bruises from so much rack time after that one.

1/14/2010 1:04 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh rack stories..... My best racks!

637 Stretch..best racks bow compartment, port side, just aft of the TA handling Station bottom rack...LOTS of storage place outboard the false bulkhead. Plus about 2 feet opening to get in. I would tuck my curtain in..sleep through drills!
the other rack was the bow compt. STDB side centerline penthouse rack (when it was 3 racks high) You could sit up in it!

688 - best rack..Fwd berthing all the forward, athwartship racks right before going into the TA Handling space. I had bottom rack, 715 and 718. Had tons of storage space between rack and sphere access.

731 - CPO qtrs port side outboard aft top rack above the COBs.

When I went to the 715, the STS1 I replaced used to do the berthing bill for the COB, so he put it on me.
He asked me, "Do you know who the senior PO1 is when it comes to the berthing bill?"
I replied I didn't know.

He said the senior PO1 was the one filling out the berthing bill and I got first choice of what ever rack I wanted!

Great topic Joel... I could go on ffor a few about other racks and fun had!

STSCS(SS/SW) USN RET

1/14/2010 2:11 PM

 
Blogger Jason William said...

On the 714, an older 688, aft crew's berthing got a thorough dousing of amine when one of the tank seals gave out. Luckily for us it was in port.. Talk about "boat smell"..

FTSN(SS)

1/14/2010 3:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SS-348 qual boat. Was TM3 when assigned to ATR. Bunk was fwd stbd upper in ATR. To port was ventilation line, stbd was lockers. Only way to get into bunk was climb carefully over guy sleeping in pullout bunk EN1(SS), slither between foot of my bunk and next one aft, once in very cozy. Bunk was canvas bottom laced to pipe frame hinged to boat frames and held up by chains on inboard side. Stinky mattress, mattress cover (no sheets)all incased in flash cover. Got six months out of my mattress cover in WesPac. flip over then turn inside out and use both sides again, that was the drill. Spent most of time on the surface ATR very noisy, both screws under ATR plus continuous movement of rudder rams and hydraulic flow noises with lots of vibration and figure 8 movement when underway on surface. Pretty smelly on SpecOp. No showers for 57 days plus shooting garbage out of torpedo tube 7 when GDU crapped out. Leading TM gave me my leave papers in Yokosuka ONLY after I dived and cleaned tube 7 upon return to port. Tube roller pockets full of nasty shit.

Yep, thats the way it was in them days...........

Keep a zero bubble..........

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

1/14/2010 3:21 PM

 
Blogger SJV said...

We always had an unqualified JO in the top inboard bunk in 9 man (688I). Had a hatch that opened into the wardroom, under the table. The hatch was used by ENG to pummel said JO whenever he felt it necessary. Pretty much whenever the poor guy was in the rack. Sure sounds like the treatment on your boat was much nicer than what our JO's got.

I had the same rack for all two years of my sea time, next to the RBP grease pump. I think it woke me up once. Never had a problem with sleeping when I had the chance, just didn't get the chance very often.

1/14/2010 5:28 PM

 
Anonymous STSC said...

On the HMJ back in the day we did a full day dependents cruise from Everett back to Bangor. We let a whole lot of guys off the boat in Everett beforehand to maximize space for dependents, and basically everyone was Port & Starboard that day. One day, no big deal.

My wife was on the cruise & someone watched the kids for us at home. As soon as the Maneuvering Watch ended, my Chief relieved me as Sup, and I accompanied my wife on the tour (we had pre-arranged tour stations & a time-table), then we relaxed & walked around for a bit before having a quick lunch together.

I go up to relieve my Chief, who didn't want a relief - just a chow break since he didn't have any family on the cruise. (Vic, I can't thank you enough!) Not passing up a sweet deal, a half hour later I was back off watch, chow relief completed.

We'd done the tour already...so what to do?

A husband and wife can fit very snugly together in an Ohio Class BR middle rack, with just enough room for about 6" of hip movement... Everyone else was on watch or with their dependents so we had the BR to ourselves.

Best dependents cruise E V E R.

Maneuvering watch coming back and it was hard to keep the grins off our faces. My wife sat at an empty stack and listened to the ocean while I made sure nobody fell asleep as we transited inbound on the surface.

Good times.

1/14/2010 5:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We always had an unqualified JO in the top inboard bunk in 9 man (688I). Had a hatch that opened into the wardroom, under the table. The hatch was used by ENG to pummel said JO whenever he felt it necessary.

I think you are mis-remembering.
9 man isn't below the Wardroom on an i-boat. It is on the same level on the opposite side of the ML passageway. No way someone pounding on the hatch with their feet would reach (or even be heard) by someone in 9 man.

Lower level berthing is below the WR though. I'm pretty sure it is LL Rack #13 that has the scuttle to the WR in case of a fire (dryer adjacent to lower level berthing or AEOG going boom) that might trap guys in berthing from getting out.

1/14/2010 6:06 PM

 
Blogger Randall said...

SSN-757: 1993-1995. I, STS3(su), had the pleasure of getting bunk #2 in forward berthing during Alex's first deployment. STS2 Keith Cumberland had #3 with the hatch to the sphere. Thanks for the rack COB (QMCM Chris McCool).
One time during the deployment, the General Alarm goes off. Hadn't been drilling and spilling for quite sometime. We jump out of our bunks. Keith looks at me and says, "This isn't a drill."

1/14/2010 7:25 PM

 
Anonymous LT L said...

"Closet" middle rack for Mission 2002 on 683. Two huge pukas, but tiny access hatch so getting anything in or out required ten minutes of unloading and reloading.

I had the distinct privilege of racking in the "forward ranch" for Mission 2004. I had almost another rack's worth of outboard accessible thorough a punch-out, and stowed ten cases of pop there for bribes alongside the ASW piping, so they were always cold. The only thing bad about that rack was Blake and Tim's never ending farts from inboard and above.

-LT L

1/14/2010 8:18 PM

 
Anonymous ex-ET nuke said...

630-738, you beat me to it. I also was assigned to that rack once I made 1st, and had a similar arrangement. On deployment, I put 4 cases of Mt.Dew down there attached by parachute cord. By mid-op, I was the most popular guy on the boat selling $5-a-can sodas. 1/2 the money I made went to the Rec committee for the post-deployment Pig Roast.

1/14/2010 8:20 PM

 
Anonymous JTav8r said...

Someone mentioned modified 3 section, with the 30 off.

726 Blue many years ago, I was fully qualified, had the duty day just prior to underway. Was also Maneuvering Watch RO. So by the time Maneuvering Watch was secured, I was going on about 36 hours straight. (No one in Engineering got any sleep on an inport duty day, or if you did it was a bonus!)

When underway watch section was set, I had 30 hours until I had to be back on watch. I went forward and fell in my rack, out rather quickly. Woke up at the 12 hour point cause I needed to drain the tank. Went back to the rack and proceeded to sleep just short of another 12.

1st day of that patrol went by real fast, or so it seemed.

1/14/2010 8:44 PM

 
Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

Of course, mine is not a sub story, but I can relate to a lot of you bubbleheads stories. My rack was my domain. When not sleeping it was where Deck Department's apes gathered on pay day to pay me back from slushing and also the place where I'd fix Sony walkmen cassette players.

1/14/2010 8:53 PM

 
Anonymous JoeMissile said...

One time when we were rigged for reduced electrical and snorkeling in the south pacific, for what seemed like days. So I was laying in the rack nude and no covers trying to get some rest. Couldn't sleep, just laying on my back when I feel a tickle on my chest, brush at it and it's still there. Half awake I flip on the light and see a cockroach about the size of a beer can about 6 inches from my face. I let out a yell, tried to sit up, cracked my head on the overhead and knocked myself out.

Woke up groaning a little later, got up and found out I had blood all over my face after I scared the shit out of some people in the head....

1/14/2010 9:20 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh...the good old days!

Best bunk story from the 592: We had an electrician that was a real rack rat - there every second he could be. His LPO submitted a work request for life support equipment to be installed in the guy's rack. The Eng thought it was funny as hell and said that for a minute he thought about approving it but sanity returned.

Best rack on the 588's: The mezzanine was small berthing area in the bow above the torpedo room. My rack there was right under #1 MBT vent and I could actually sit up in the rack! It was almost always quiet; rig for reduced electrical it got more humid but stayed cool (unless we were in really warm water); even at high speed there was no vibration.

Jerry

1/14/2010 11:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No need of a rack sock; sonar girls were much better.........

1/15/2010 3:13 AM

 
Blogger Ret ANAV said...

"Best rack on the 588's: The mezzanine..."

Man, on 590 I fought tooth and nail for two years before I FINALLY got a rack in the Mez! Only bad experience I had in there was shooting waterslugs with the W/T door shut (Ouch!). A quick cycle of the sh1tter ball-valve fixed THAT problem though! Only better bunkie on the 585's was the "Hanging Gardens", but trying to supplant the Leading SK took an act of Congress!

1/15/2010 5:07 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel:
Off-topic news tip:
Bloggers To Ride A Navy Sub
(KNSD-TV SAN DIEGO (CA) 14 JAN 10) ... R. Stickney

For the first time ever, the U.S. Navy will take civilian bloggers out for a ride on a submarine.
The trip, planned for Friday in San Diego, will take eight bloggers on an all-day embark aboard a fast attack submarine.
It’s part of an ongoing distinguished visitor embark program that has been reaching out to community bloggers as a way to communicate U.S. military missions to a whole new audience.
“The Navy recognizes the importance and the reach of social media,” said Capt. Brett Genoble. “Taking out this group of San Diego-based bloggers is a great communications opportunity.”
“It’s a new way for us to show what we do and how we do it,” said Capt. Genoble.
Local blogger Jenn Van Grove, who has taken part in two previous embarks on USS Nimitz and USS Green Bay, saw first hand the value of having civilians report to their followers and their community about their experiences with military life.
“Before I went on the Nimitz, my perception of the Navy was not great,” she said. “I don’t think that I had really respect or appreciation for what our Navy does. From the minute that I set foot on the Cod, that whole perception started to change.”
“I’ve already seen with past visits that people are envious and curious about what I’m doing which has to be good for the Navy’s bottom line,” said Van Grove.
Also invited are @ginatrapani (Gina Trapani ), @chriscantore (Chris Cantore), @techlifeweb (Scott Kingery), @thepegisin (Peggy Gartin), @downtownrob (Rob Marlbrough), @aaswartz (Angie Swartz) and @mitchwagner (Mitch Wagner).
What will the experience be like? Genoble tried to paint a picture for us. Take a 2000 square foot home, put a lot of valves and pipes in it, shut all the blinds and invite about 100 of your friends in, and you can imagine the experience, he said.
The group will not only send several Twitter updates to followers during the trip but will also take hundreds of photo and publish multiple blog posts after returning.

1/15/2010 7:21 AM

 
Blogger SJV said...

Could be I've forgot, but I always thought there were nine racks in LL berthing. Our ML berthing had one door, opened out to the passageway to the Crews Mess, and another door that went to the ML head. Way more than nine racks in there. But that's probably not the only thing I've forgotten about those days! Sorry to be less than technically accurate.

Either way, there was no pounding on the floor. The ENG opened the hatch and beat on the guy. Something about get up and get qualified you bag of #$@*. Or maybe he made it up to get sympathy from his watchteam. Most of the JO's that were in that rack were pretty good, and also good natured, so I suspect the selection of the particular JO to berth down there was made by the ENG.

1/15/2010 8:03 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this talk of 688's and 637's. All were like like flying first class compared with being 594 tough. The whole set up sucked . But being on one set a man on the right course, for he was stay in the Nav. Submarines couldnot get any worse.
With that said the best racks were in the bow just forward of the chieg quarters and it usaully took a re-enlistment to acuire one. Big price to pay for getting as close to a rack that a 688 princess took for granted.

1/16/2010 3:59 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: "...compared with being 594 tough.."

Even the goat locker berthing sucked on the 594's! Just a crappy layout in the berthing area. Plus, the urinal drain line was always plugging up - as I recall, it was long run at too shallow of an angle.

I agree that the berthing forward of it was decent.

Jerry

1/16/2010 12:05 PM

 
Blogger RM1(SS) (ret) said...

On 717 I had the inboard top rack with my feet next to the door from Aft Berthing to the ML head. A couple of ventilation ducts to grab onto made it easy to get into the rack, noise from the head almost never bothered me as I can sleep through almost anything (including a battle stations drill, once), and an air vent right outside the rack provided white noise to block out noise from other people. Liked that rack so well that I grabbed the same rack on both 699 and 719.

Speaking of posting people, some STs on 717 were hotracking (in the bunk that eventually became mine), and it was common practice for them, whenever they needed anything out of the rack pan, to lift the rack with its sleeping occupant and post him long enough to dig out whatever it was they wanted.

And then there was the A-ganger on 719 who took a shower, tossed his towel unto his bunk, and then lifted it up to stow his soap and get clean skivvies. He didn't want to take the time to use the post, so he just leaned forward a bit so he could hold the rack up with his gut for a few seconds. Problem was, he was too skinny to hold it that way, so when he let go of the rack with his hand it just slammed shut - right onto the portion of his anatomy that was dangling into the rack pan....

1/16/2010 8:21 PM

 
Blogger RM1(SS) (ret) said...

On 717 I had the inboard top rack with my feet next to the door from Aft Berthing to the ML head. A couple of ventilation ducts to grab onto made it easy to get into the rack, noise from the head almost never bothered me as I can sleep through almost anything (including a battle stations drill, once), and an air vent right outside the rack provided white noise to block out noise from other people. Liked that rack so well that I grabbed the same rack on both 699 and 719.

Speaking of posting people, some STs on 717 were hotracking (in the bunk that eventually became mine), and it was common practice for them, whenever they needed anything out of the rack pan, to lift the rack with its sleeping occupant and post him long enough to dig out whatever it was they wanted.

And then there was the A-ganger on 719 who took a shower, tossed his towel unto his bunk, and then lifted it up to stow his soap and get clean skivvies. He didn't want to take the time to use the post, so he just leaned forward a bit so he could hold the rack up with his gut for a few seconds. Problem was, he was too skinny to hold it that way, so when he let go of the rack with his hand it just slammed shut - right onto the portion of his anatomy that was dangling into the rack pan....

1/16/2010 8:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iron rack competition during northern runs. Pretty damn hard to beat an MS, though I gave a good run at 2nd place and lost to the ELT. How in the hell I ever slept comfortably in those things I will never know.

My favorite rack was any outboard upper rack with a supply locker... I had a master key and enjoyed the extra storage. Added benefit of an upper is no butts or feet.

Ex ET1

1/18/2010 6:37 PM

 
Anonymous masters degree online said...

What the heck is this. They look funny, ain't they?

1/22/2010 2:33 AM

 
Blogger louie said...

9 man berthing in San Juan class of 688's used to be a fridge in original designs was always about 55 degrees rack 9 which i requested endlessly was the first rack off the AC blowers the coldest rack in the boat and i always slept like a baby

1/27/2010 5:50 PM

 
Blogger Jason said...

on the 725 my favorite rack was on the top, half way between the towed array and the ML Head in forward berthing. It was outboard the Yoeman shack, so there was no noise. I would grab an EAB manifold and a pipe to swing up. No foot funk wafting in, and bedpan access was easy enough (I am 6'5"). The best part of a top rack was the extra storage capacity in the overhead. SNOB got his choice, and I was SNOB for quite awhile!

I have not slept the same since EAOS, something about the "tube shuffle" and the "Ventilation whitenoise" that makes the "Timemachine" work so well!"

I never named my patrol sock because I changed her daily, but she never seemed to care!

White she was...and was washed weekly.

Remember when it was a luxury to take a "Hollywood"

"Meat Puppet Theater" Now that is funny!!

2/12/2010 1:05 PM

 
Anonymous www.españa-3d.com said...

This will not have effect as a matter of fact, that's what I suppose.

11/14/2011 12:33 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Former MM1 Nuke. I had been getting a series of shitty wake-ups from the messengers so I told them to stop pussy-footing around and make sure I got up with plenty of time to eat 'breakfast'. One of them reached through my rack curtain and brushed my face. I freaked out, grabbed him, and accidentally broke 2 of his fingers. Lesson to the wise: tap the curtain, but don't break the barrier.

12/01/2011 8:13 AM

 
Anonymous squidoutofguam said...

When I was in the 673 boat, I had been up about 30 hours and had finally repaired a finicky piece of gear. The chief, who had seen me twice already and was going to be with me on watch again, asked if repairs were complete. I replied yes and was told to go down until they woke me up. No one came and I got to spend 18 wonderful hours sleeping except for bladder ops. Later, I put in a request for special liberty on my birthday (which was underway) and it was approved. I did nothing but watch movies and sleep. I still have the approved request chit. Chief said try it, but the Weps and the XO said no. The Captain signed it.

4/12/2012 9:36 AM

 
Anonymous Roseanne said...

Quite useful info, thanks for this article.

9/24/2012 2:57 AM

 

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