Our 2013 reunion
information is now posted in the reunion section
of the website. Photo's of the 2011
reunion are posted in the photo section. The fate of
the USS Conway has been updated, be sure to read
about what we have found out. Please remember to leave your comments in the logbook!
OFFICIAL USS CONWAY GEAR BELOW!
MOUSE PADS-BAGS & MORE!
Proceeds support the CVA
First Night Aboard the DD-507
By Noel Anenberg
That didn't wake me. It was eleven thirty, I mean 23:30 hrs for
God's sake. I had just flown to Norfolk, the duty station that I
tried to avoid. I had just graduated from an "A" school that was
not even close to being on my Boot Camp wish list. I wanted
Photographer's Mate or Heavy Equipment Operator, not Fire
Control Technician. I knew less about electronics even after
"A". The chances of electrifying a friendly just by working on
the fire control gear were far greater than ever getting at the
enemy. Hey, I told them I had absolutely no aptitude for
electronics. Oh well, where was I, sound asleep in the Fox
"Anenberg, hey Anenberg wake up."
"What the hell is it?" I finally answered.
"You got the watch."
"I don't have the watch you idiot, I haven't even been assigned
a duty section." It was something like December 28th and there
were two feet of ice around the Conway's hull. That morning, it
was 73 degrees and clear in Malibu as I boarded the United
Airlines jet out of LAX. As I laid there in the dark the thought
"Why did I join the Navy" whirled around my head like a towel in
a clothes drier.
"How, tell me how can I have the watch?" I asked again.
"Hey California, all I know is the OD just said "get Anenberg,
he's got the watch". "I'm just following my orders."
"I just reported aboard" I mumbled in the dark as the sailor in
the rack above me rolled over and let go a long low tremulous
"You already told me that" the voice behind the flashlight said
"but like I said, you got the watch. Ten minutes, 01 level,
I crawled out of my rack and searched my foot locker for the
proper attire for standing on the deck in sub-zero temperatures
as I remembered that just before graduation from Gun Fire
Control School in Bainbridge Maryland, we were asked to submit
our top three choices of duty stations. I remembered sitting
with my "A" school buddy Nevins and debating who had made the
best three choices. Mine, Pearl, Diego and Long Beach beat out
Nevins' Newport News, Ville France and London, I thought. Well,
I must have pissed somebody off, I was thinking, nobody but
nobody wanted Norfolk. I got it.
So I put on everything I had in the sea bag, waddled out on the
deck then struggled up a ladder to the 01 level. I then turned
forward and found my post between the stacks which were adorned
with red green and blue Christmas lights as were most of all the
ships in the bay that early morning. A very, very pretty site
actually, if you were looking at it from a Hampton Boulevard
hotel room. Let me tell you something, it was fra-eeeeeeeez-ing.
I found the sailor I was supposed to relieve and the object I
was supposed to guard. The sailor had his P-coat buttoned with
the collar turned up. His arms were tucked in under the coat and
the brim of his white hat was folded down and over his head
giving him the appearance of a Hostess Twinkie. His teeth were
chattering like the plastic wind up ones found in a Magic
"Yo, you here to re, re, relieve me?" he sputtered.
"Yeah, but my name ain't yo" I answered looking at the object he
was and until 0400 hours I would be guarding. It was a large, a
very large white torpedo with a crack in its fuselage. A thin
steady stream f smoke was streaming from the crack as if some
guy was inside the case and blowing steadily on a Marlboro. My
eyes widened to the size of silver dollars. This was a very
large device with enough explosives to blow me and the 507 clear
to the North Pole in time to meet Santa and his sleigh.
This gets better.
The sailor I was relieving was holding a wilted garden hose that
hung from the front of his P-coat. "I give up, what's the hose
for?" I asked.
"Oh, they t-t-t-t-t-told me that if the smoke gets
th-th-th-th-thicker I'm supposed to spray the cr-cr-cr-cr-ack
with cold water", he shivered.
Oh, that's smart I thought, if this thing blows I'll be
sprinkling it with cold water from a wilted green garden hose.
Boy was I ever glad I went to Fire Control "A" School, I would
have been lost without the training.
"Don't ta-ta-ta-ta-take your eyes off the crack" the seaman
warned as he walked forward of the Number 1 stack then
So there I stood looking out over Chesapeake Bay staring at the
Christmas tree lights and wondering whether Nelson, Rickover or
Nimitz got their start this way. Well not actually, I was really
thinking about how I could manufacture some kind of ailment that
would get me out on a medical and quick.
But luckily that was only my first night aboard that proud 21
ton torpedo catcher that I now yearn to take just one more
cruise on. A ship aboard which I sailed away a boy then returned