Friday, August 6, 2010
We left Norfolk for the Pacific with another ship like ours trailing a few hundred yards behind. The trailing ship kept falling farther and farther behind and was soon out of sight. The reason for this was the "old man" captain was running emergency flank. This was 800 RPM on our engines. The governors would shut the engines down at 840 RPM. I don't know what his hurry was, if he was trying to burn up our engines, he had a girlfriend in Panama, or just wanted to lose the ship supposedly sailing with us. After running emergency flank all this time, we received the command to run at 1/3 speed. We received this command at 2 AM. We ran twenty minutes and got the command to stop the engines, then to reverse, then stop. Those of us in the engine room had no idea of what was going on. We soon got the command to secure all engines. I went top side and found we were sitting in the harbor. Late the next day, our trailing ship came in. He had missed the harbor during the night, sailed too far south and had to turn around and come back. I think our old man did this on purpose to show the other captain (a 90 day wonder) who knew what they were doing. Our captain was an old chief who was on the Maryland at Pearl Harbor. He had 27 years in.