Reprinted By Permission of the Author
76 trombones lead the grand parade, hey it works with the title! Yes there was, and still are musicians on the CGC CHASE. The Official USCGC CHASE Web Page, has pictures of a current ships rock band. Rock On!
Everyone needs a way to express themselves, and for some of our crew it was music. While our skill levels were varied, that really did not matter. We played for our own enjoyment.
There were many different types of musical instruments played on the CGC CHASE. Drums, guitars, trumpets, flutes, harmonicas, and I am sure many other instruments.
Our 1969/70 rock band, set up their gear in the flight deck hanger. They could play as loud as they wanted without bothering anyone. Other musicians would use the same hanger at different times, or play in berthing areas and out of the way compartments.
From the CGC CHASE News Paper, The Short Timer, November 16th, 1968:
Tonight, immediately following “Happy Hour” there will be a real old fashioned Hootenanny on E division recreation deck. All hands are invited to come listen to such great names as, Cliff Harvey, Sal Sellers, Lurch Garvin, and Pete Pettek, combine for the wildest sounds ever heard. This being sponsored by the great music lover “Ma” Chabala.
I hesitate to name any of the crew members that come to mind, as being some sort of a CHASE musician. Since I can not name all of the crew that were involved in various musical activities and do so in some factual way. I won’t mention any of them. A special note though, two of my era Commanding Officers are musicians. Wayne E. Caldwell, and C. William Bailey.
C. William Bailey is an accomplished musician, with an impressive musical background and history. While being in his late 80’s, he is still and active musician.
I was also a CHASE musician. The musical instrument I played while serving on the CGC CHASE, was an old trumpet. This horn was purchased from a fellow crew member. Larry Healey, and had a lot of playing time during the WESTPAC Tour. Larry Hermida, another fine trumpet player on the CHASE, would borrow this horn from me. I eventually sold it to him, just before I transferred off.
In closing, I want to finish this article with a personal note. Learning to play the trombone, and later the baritone horn, gave me the opportunity to be a member of the Cape May Recruit Band. We played at various Coast Guard functions. When reporting on board the CGC CHASE, a higher ranking “petty officer,” took offense to my Coast Guard musician’s badge that was sewn on my dress blues. He wanted this symbol “removed from my uniform.” One of the higher ranking officers, heard of my dilemma, and came to my rescue, the patch stayed. Thank you, it still means a lot to me today.
To the men and woman musicians of the CGC CHASE. While the years have passed since I was an active crew member, I am happy to see this old sea faring tradition, is still an on going past time. Keep the music playing.
Return To Coast Guard Stories