Bill Shaffer


The new Ensign with the shiny new gold stripes thought he had the answer ......

I was a CWO on the DUANE when we had two new Ensigns report aboard, Tom Keith and Dick Everson, I think. Anyway, Captain Rollins told me he wanted a steering casualty drill that night on the four to eight watch so he could check out Everson because Everson was breaking in as underway OOD. Captain Rollins and I were the only ones who knew what was going to happen.

On my evening rounds of the engine room I casually tripped the circuit breaker with my foot as I went by the switchboard for the steering gear. Then I lefty the engineroom to observe how the engineers acted as they had to go aft and man the emergency generator room and steering gear room.

As the helmsman told the quartermaster that nothing was happening when he turned the wheel, the alarm was ringing, etc. The quartermaster told Everson they had lost steering which Everson then reported to the Captain.

The Captain asked Everson what he was going to do about it and Everson replied ... "Turn it over to you Captain."

That was NOT the answer the Captain wanted and also not the end of that type of drill.

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