Shipmates Contributions


"In the beginning there was a word; and the word was God. All else was darkness and void without form. So God created the Heavens and Earth. He created the Sun and the moon and the stars, so that light may pierce the darkness. The Earth, God divided between the land and
the sea and He filled it with many assorted creatures."

The dark, salty, slimy creatures that inhabited the seashore He called Royal Marines and He dressed them accordingly. The flighty creatures of the air He called Airy Fairies, and these he clothed in uniforms which were ruffled and foul. These creatures were not over
popular, as their droppings fell on the earth below, but God forgave them because as He said, they knoweth not what they do.

The lowest creatures of the sea, God called Skimmers, and with a twinkle in His eye, and a sense of humour only He could have, God gave them big grey steel targets to go to sea on. He also gave them very many splendid uniforms to wear. He gave them wonderful and
exotic places to visit.  He gave them pen and paper so that they might write home every week, and he gave them ‘make and mends’ at sea! He also gave them a ‘chinky’ laundry that they might keep their splendid uniforms clean. (When you are God you tend to carried away at times).

On the seventh day as we know God rested, and on the eighth day at 0700Z God looked down upon the Earth and God was not a ‘happy God’.  He realized something vital was missing. So he thought about His labours and with His infinite wisdom, God decided to create a divine
creature, and this divine creature He called a ‘Submariner’. And these Submariners, whom God created in His own likeness, were to be of the Deep, and so he gave them a white woolly jumper to keep them warm.  He gave them sleek, black, steel messengers of death to roam  the depths of the oceans, waging war against the forces of Satan and evil.  He gave them hotels to welcome them when they grew weary of doing God’s will. He gave them subsistence so that they may entertain the ladies on nights ashore and impress the hell out of the  poor creatures called Skimmers.

At the end of the eighth day, God looked down upon the Earth and saw that all was well. But still God was not happy, because, in the course of His labours, He had forgotten one thing, He had not given Himself a Submariner’s white woolly jumper!! He thought long and hard, and finally satisfied his mind that not just anybody can be a Submariner.

I  was a member of the "Gold" crew from 9/66 to 5/69! We were based at Ford Island, Hawaii when in port and then would fly to Guam to meet the return of the "Blue" crew as they returned from their patrol. I made 5 patrols on this great Boat! My skipper was Comdr.. William's. As all boots have to go through, I was a member of the seaman gang for the first 2 patrols while qualifying. I then become a Sonar man. Before the last patrol, I became an STS2. I have lost all contact with any of my shipmates over the years, and would like to hear from any out there. Maybe we could share some great stories, like the time we painted the deck with pink and green paint. We were ordered to paint the deck and told to 'borrow' paint from the skimmers base. They didn't say what color to paint it!

                            Dave Sisson STS2/ss

How To Simulate Being A Submarine Sailor

  • Many of these apply to not only submarines but surface ships as well!!!! A goooooooooooood one. Certainly not a recruiting tool!!!!!

  • Buy a steel dumpster, paint it gray inside and out, and live in it for six months.

  • Run all the pipes and wires in your house exposed on the walls.

  • Repaint your entire house every month.

  • Renovate your bathroom. Build a wall across the middle of the bathtub and move the shower head to chest level. When you take showers, make sure you turn off the water while you soap down.
  • Put lube oil in your humidifier and set it on high.

  • Once a week, blow compressed air up your chimney, making sure the wind carries the soot onto your neighbor's house. Ignore his complaints.

  • Once a month, take all major appliances apart and then reassemble them.

  • Raise the thresholds and lower the headers of your front and back doors, so that you either trip or bang your head every time you pass through them.

  • Disassemble and inspect your lawnmower every week.

  • On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, turn your water heater temperature up to 200 degrees. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, turn the water heater off.

  • On Saturdays and Sundays tell your family they use too much water during the week, so no bathing will be allowed.

  • Raise your bed to within 6 inches of the ceiling, so you can't turn over without getting out and then getting back in.

  • Sleep on the shelf in your closet. Replace the closet door with a curtain. Have your spouse whip open the curtain about 3 hours after you go to sleep, shine a flashlight in your eyes, and say "Sorry, wrong rack".
  • Make your family qualify to operate each appliance in your house - dishwasher operator, blender technician, etc.

  • Have your neighbor come over each day at 5 am, blow a whistle so loud Helen Keller could hear it, and shout "Reveille, reveille, all hands heave out and trice up".
  • Have your mother-in-law write down everything she's going to do the following day, then have her make you stand in your back yard at 6 a.m. while she reads it to you.
  • Submit a request chit to your father-in-law requesting permission to leave your house before 3 pm.

  • Empty all the garbage bins in your house and sweep the driveway three times a day, whether it needs it or not. Have your neighbor collect all your mail for a month, read your magazines, and randomly lose every 5th item before delivering it to you.
  • Watch no TV except for movies played in the middle of the night.

  • Have your family vote on which movie to watch, then show a different one.

  • When your children are in bed, run into their room with a megaphone shouting that your home is under attack and ordering them to their battle stations.
  • Make your family menu a week ahead of time without consulting the pantry or refrigerator.

  • Post a menu on the kitchen door informing your family that they are having steak for dinner. Then make them wait in line for an hour. When they finally get to the kitchen, tell them you are out of steak, but they can have dried ham or hot dogs. Repeat daily until they ignore the menu and just ask for hot dogs.
  • Bake a cake. Prop up one side of the pan so the cake bakes unevenly. Spread icing real thick to level it off.

  • Get up every night around midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale bread.

  • Set your alarm clock to go off a random during the night. At the alarm, jump up and dress as fast as you can, making sure to button your top shirt button and tuck your pants into your socks. Run out into the back yard and uncoil the garden hose.
  • Every week or so, throw your cat or dog in the pool and shout "Man overboard port side!" Rate your family members on how fast they respond.

  • Put the headphones from your stereo on your head, but don't plug them in.

  • Hang a paper cup around your neck on a string. Stand in front of the stove, and speak into the paper cup "Stove manned and ready". After an hour or so, speak into the cup again "Stove secured." Roll up the headphones and paper cup and stow them in a shoe box.
  • Place a podium at the end of your driveway. Have your family stand watches at the podium, rotating at 4-hour intervals. This is best done when the weather is worst. January is a good time.
  • When there is a thunderstorm in your area, get a wobbly rocking chair, sit in it and rock as hard as you can until you become nauseous. Make sure to have a supply of stale crackers in your shirt pocket.
  • For former engineers: bring your lawn mower into the living room, and run it all day long.

  • Make coffee using eighteen scoops of budget priced coffee grounds per pot, and allow the pot to simmer for 5 hours before drinking.

  • Have someone under the age of ten give you a haircut with sheep shears.

  • Mount a florescent light under your coffee table and sleep under it for a month.

  • Sew the back pockets of your jeans on the front.

  • Every couple of weeks, dress up in your best clothes and go to the scummiest part of town. Find the most run down, trashiest bar, and drink beer until you are hammered. Then walk all the way home.
  • Take a two week vacation visiting the red light districts of Europe or the Far East, and call it "world travel".

  • Lock yourself and your family in the house for six weeks. Tell them that at the end of the 6th week you are going to take them to Disney World for "liberty". At the end of the 6th week, inform them the trip to Disney World has been canceled because they need to get ready for an inspection, and it will be another week before they can leave the house.
  • Are you ready to go to sea?




We have two things in common, the Ben Franklin and FTB. I served aboard her '74  to '77.   I came aboard straight from 6 runs aboard the Rayburn and 4 runs aboard the 640, blue crew.   Your pics from MCC brought back some memories, but there were some definite changes after the stint at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY).

At any rate, I scored to FTB1(SS) before I left, the LPO was Pat Parker, he scored something like three higher on the exam and made first before I did.  Your comments
regarding the best duty are absolutely correct.

William Witchey

Nice Web Page!

I served on the Ben Franklin from 5/80 to 1/83 and was an EOOW/EDO most of this period (I was loaned out to the SSBN 626 for 3 months, 12/80-3/81, to serve as an EOOW/EDO for their patrol).  When I left active duty I had somehow made LT even though the Engineer and the CO disliked me.......

I started civilian employment at Nebraska Public Power District's (NPPD) Cooper Nuclear Station in 4/83 and have worked there ever since.  I rejoined the Navy Reserve in 1984 after undergoing an attitude readjustment, and have attained the rank of CDR, presently serving as the Emergency Planning Navy
Liaison Officer for FEMA Region VII.

Kim Walden, who I replaced when I came to the Ben Franklin, also works at NPPD in the corporate office.  He is now a CAPT in the reserves and  serves as the Nebraska Emergency Planning Navy Liaison Officer.

Gerry Hurla, an E-6 ELT during the 1979-81 overhaul era works at the Calloway Nuclear Power Plant in Missouri.

MT2  Rainwater, early 1980's, works as a vendor rep for an electronics firm that services equipment at nuclear power plants. I saw him briefly in the early 1990's but have lost touch.

The nuc@ work photo looks like a MM that used to work for me.  He is currently an engineering consultant in the nuclear industry and was at Cooper Nuclear  Station in 1996.....I just can't remember his name right at the moment.

CAPT Goebel, CO 197? to 1981, retired as an Admiral ~ 1995 following his tour at the STRATCOM located in Nebraska.  He tried his hand at trying to help Northeast Utilities recover from all their nuclear power plant problems but left the company after a short period of time in 1997.  I have not heard about him since that time.

The number 640 used to plague me everywhere I went. Upon leaving active duty and driving from Charleston, SC to Wisconsin my car even broke down on I-640. Somehow I have turned that around and 640 seems to be a number associated with good things.

Robert Beilke


My name is Budd Klungler.

I rode the Franklin down the ways and commissioned her.  I was on the Franklin from January 1965 to July 1969.  I came aboard the Franklin as an MTSN (SU) and left her as MT1(SS).  I retired from the Navy in January 1982 as FTCS(SS).  I now live in Monroe, Michigan with my family.  I have been trying for years to see if there is, will be, or was a commissioning crew reunion.  I know of a number of other guys that were in the commissioning crew that live in and around the Bremerton area.
Any information you have on the original blue or gold crews would be extremely appreciated.

Budd Klungler FTCS(SS) Ret.