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Noxubee Crest

Dead In The Water


By Doug Prettyman

Shortly after returning home to Pearl Harbor in February, 1970, the Noxubee was transferred from Pearl's Pineapple fleet to Norfolk Virginia. The Pacific Fleet did not give us any support , money, repairs or even the time to fix any thing. Noxubee now belonged to the Atlantic Fleet. They just wanted to get rid of us. So an electrical problem with one of the ship's service generators went un-repaired as we set out on the long cruise through the Panama Canal and on to Norfolk.

Panama Canal On the way, we spend a few days in Los Angeles and Acapulco, Mexico We passed through the Panama Canal and were headed to Jacksonville Florida before making the final leg of the trip to Norfolk. Some where near Cuba the 60Kw generator quit and then the Diesel Engine on the other ship's service generator had a really weird thing happen to it. Some how salt water got in the lube oil and crank case wiping out all the bearings in the engine. All four main engines were fine but could not be put on Ship's Service (that is the way the ship was made) so we had no power on any of the ships electrical systems, lights, cooking, ventilation.

It seems like it took three days to complete the repairs. During that time we were dead in the water adrift with out power. You can imagine what those three days were like without electrical power of any sort. The engineers working to overhaul the Diesel Engine only had the light of flash lights to work by. I can tell you it was hot and rough down in the engine room.

Luckily, I had gotten a lot of spare parts from a deal I found through GSA in Hawaii before we left for the east coast, in fact there was enough parts to completely rebuild that engine. I do not know what we would have done if we had not had those parts.

Sails While the engineers were sweating it out in the dark, hot engine room rebuilding the engine the deck force tried to rig sails and from what I remember we lost 10 miles going in the wrong direction before they could get them down. At least that is what I heard. They will probably tell me I am wrong about that you now how DECK APES are.

Those three days without power caused us to miss liberty in Jacksonville but we made it to Norfolk on time.

Any way that is my story and I'm sticking to it.