Master Electricians in Long Beach

I'm delighted to have Don's recollections of screw-ups, mishaps and other adventures. Here are a few more.


Preparations at Long Beach for possible MOMAUPAC deployments took some strange twists & turns. For example, instead of buying 10 UL-approved extension cords to put into the pack-out boxes the MNs made their own. Soon afterwards, Chief Sing plugged an electric drill into one of the ersatz extension cords and walked to the nearest electrical outlet. What happened next shocked everyone. Soon as he put the plug into the outlet he let out a yelp and started to shake violently. Then Chief Sing did something that may have saved his life. (Note from Chin Sing upon reading the account: "I remember that incident very well. The shock caused me to throw the electric drill across the room smashing the wall."
On one end of the extension cord, someone had hooked one of the hot leads to the grounding prong. The other nine extension cords were fine, but one had a near-fatal flaw.

Whoever designed the wooden pack-out boxes was thinking ahead & did a good job. With all our Navy stuff in them, for the trip back home, we still had ample room for wood carvings & other "goodies" from the Philippines. And on the way over, we played cards on them, sat on them, and even took a nap on them during the long prop-powered, Navy cargo plane flight.

SERE school at San Diego & Warner Springs, prior to our deployment to the Philippines, was interesting. On the first day in the classroom at San Diego, we got no food. I found it odd that I felt hungrier on the first day than I did on days 2-4. During the classroom phase, some guys put 4-5 teaspoons of sugar and creamer into a cup with very little coffee. At the seashore that evening, we found very little for over 70 hungry sailors to eat.

At Warner Springs, during the resistance to interrogation phase, they pummeled our senior officers & knocked some to the ground. A low point for me was when I saw them hang WO Putnam upside down on a chain-link fence.

After the six-mile cross-country hike using a compass for guidance, we were informed that an air-drop of food was on the way. It was with great anticipation that we unhooked the parachute from the large cylindrical container, and started pulling out copious amounts of packing material. There was a collective groan of disappointment when a lone 6-lb. tin of Spam was revealed. Cutting it into very small pieces for over 70 hungry sailors, who were watching, was a very delicate operation.

Don Jones, MNCM, USN (Retired)




Derick S. Hartshorn - 2009-present
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