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David Goff, BM-2, BSU-1


 

MORE SWAB
 

My name is David Goff, I was transferred to BSU-1 in Aug. 1965 as a BMSN, and departed in AUG, 1968 as a BM2. During that time, I was assigned as Coxswain of the SWAB for a three month period. I was advised that the SWAB concept was that of two engineers from San Clemente Island, and the boat was converted there.

The idea, was of a wolf pack of three to five boats, which would lay up off the coast, waiting on enemy craft to pass. Other than the main battery system, the conversion of the boat was rather crude. Leaving no doubt the craft was not  constructed by Bertram. The Main Battery was of two gyro controlled nests of seven 57 MM recoilless rifles, with one 50 Cal. machine gun mounted below each nest, which were used for spotting, they fired tracers only from a one thousand round magazine which was mounted athwart ships under the mounting bar for the rifles. For retreat a 20 MM cannon, drum fed, was mounted behind the pilot house. The sighting system I am vague about, but I do recall that it was rather sophisticated. The rifles were set up with six in a circle and one in the middle, quite impressive.

The entire hull was lined with radar absorbent material including the engine compartment and the engine hatch covers. The material had the appearance of egg cartons and it was spongy, a couple of inches thick and gray in color. The rifles were wrapped with this material also, and the muzzles and breaches were covered.

If I remember correctly Mike Bowers was the engineman, when we went on an operation with a couple of LCSR's out to San Clemente Island to chase destroyers. The SWAB got within one hundred fifty yards of the destroyers before being visually sighted.

I did not have the opportunity to fire the weapons package. I was informed that they were test fired. When the full salvo was fired it blew the engine hatch covers open.

There was only one of these built and it was on the 31 foot hull. I felt privileged to be the coxswain of such a scary boat. To me it had a lot of potential.

PROJECT ZULU

I was also in project ZULU Detachment Bravo, I was the original Coxswain of the Bravo LCPL Mark 4, sadly I was only in country on that tour for four months, personal problems in the states cut my tour short. I remember disliking the armor plated chairs, where the armor surrounded my head. We had taken rounds from forward between the boat officer and
the coxswain, and I thought often about a round rattling around inside that armor plate. I also remember during construction of the boats one hell of a case of flash burn I received while helping the welders in the cabin of the boat putting in the ceramic armor plate. I had my eyes wrapped for a week. While in country, we got up one morning and went down to check on the boats, and there must have been a few of hundred thousand black beetles on the outboard side of our support craft and our boats. During the night they had come from the other side of the river.
If I recall correctly we used fire hoses to clear them off. It was amazing, they were inches deep.

SEABLAZER

I did test an evaluation on the SEABLAZER, she was the prototype for the stabs. She had twin 300 hp Ford Interceptors with two four barrel carburetors on each. The outdrives were complimented with a hydraulic pitch system witch allowed you to change the degree of pitch on the outdrives when on the beach. I remember having half or more of the hull on the beach and changing the pitch, sending more air and water forward under the inverted V hull, being
off the beach turned and up on step in a minute. The boat had lead bars installed representing the weight of Seal Team, weapons, etc.

REDEYE HEAT SEEKING MISSILE

I was on the crew of PTF-13 during surface to air testing of the REDEYE missile off the coast of Port Huenme, Ca. in October 1967. I recall tracking the test plane with the launcher, having to acquire the target then move the sight line to another part of the sight, I think it was called super elevating, before firing. The test were being run in order to confirm if the weapon would be useful from a moving surface. It seemed great to me.  The test ended in tragedy for the accompanying pilot and his aircraft which was I believe an AD1 Skyraider.


Toward the end of the day, at approximately 1730 hrs. the pilot let us know that he was running low on fuel and needed to stop operations for the day, as we were also running low on fuel our skipper concurred and advised the pilot that we would pick it up in the morning. We thought he had gone back to his base, and all of a sudden he is coming
straight up our stern from north to south. He was so low, that if you could have froze him over the boat, you could have counted the rivets in the body and wings of the plane. He flew south about a half mile or so right on the course the 13 boat was on, at which time he did a 180 degree roll heading right back at us. All eyes are on the prop driven  fighter as he heads straight for us. He was so low that he trimmed off six to eight feet of our port whip antenna and hit the water about a boat length behind us, skipped out of the water hit the water again, at which time his aircraft disintegrated in a large explosion. The crew was completely stunned.

During initial search all that was found was a section of wing that was to large for us to recover. We searched until 2400 if I recall correctly. About 2230 we recovered a double hand full of tissue, which we wrapped in canvas and turned it over to an ambulance crew on arrival at the pier.

The pilot was a full commander, combat veteran from Nam in that type of aircraft. Sad day.

I Googled this and came up with a tidbit that was written in the Long Beach Press Telegram on Oct, 6 1967. It stated that the pilot and plane disintegrated and that it was going to be investigated by non other than Capt. Alan B. Shepard. The news paper does not have archive that go back that far, but the Long Beach public library does have this on micro film.
 


LCSR STORY

During the summer of 1968 I was assigned as an LCSR coxswain, not recalling the boat number or who was crewing with me. The USS Tucumcari PHG-2 arrived in July of 68 and was the talk of the town everyone wanted a ride or just to see her. One summer day it was arranged for several admirals to pilot the Tucumcari and get a certificate.


My boat was assigned the task of ferrying the admirals from a yacht club to the Tucumcari. and back to the yacht club after there ride. We had delivered and picked up a couple of them, when the crew decided they were hungry and thirsty, so we headed over to the Point Loma Fuel Pier to see if there was a snack bar, after tying up my bow hook and engineman went up the pier to find some food and drink, no sooner than they get a hundred and fifty yards away the radio starts squawking. The Tucumcari is coming back into the channel and wants my boat on station in stream to pick up the admiral. My crew is way up the pier, so I hit the horn and shout at them to get back to the boat. They start running back and I think they are going to be back faster than they actually are, so I light off both the outboard and inboard engines thinking we will be out of there quickly. Wrong, wrong, that inboard engine fired up the creosote on the piling so fast I could not believe it. The 750 degree exhaust temp was instant. Luckily there were fuel pier employees close at hand. the crew jumped on board and threw off the lines, and as I pulled away there was a considerable amount of profanity and fist shaking coming in my direction as they were breaking out the fire extinguishers. We arrived on station in time to pick up the admiral, got him on board and was nicely up on step when both engines flamed out at the same time.


The LCSR, the slugs they were, just went dead in the water and the white smoke started rolling up and filling the pilot area, the admiral was about to crap in his pants, we were just inundated with smoke. I had to reassure the admiral that we were ok, and that we would be underway as soon as the turbines RPM came down.  There was not a whisper of the fuel pier fire when I got back to the base, so I guess the fuel pier crew took the fire in stride. What a fun day.


MST-1 STORIES 1966

THE DUMP RUN

Soon after arriving at the Nasty Base, the snuffy BMSN I was, as well as being the new guy, I was given a dump run with two others. We loaded every thing on a six-by and headed out, upon arriving at the dump I was taken by genuine surprise when the women and children surrounded the truck on the way in and stayed with it until we finally stopped the truck. I remember we were shouting at them to back away so we could unload, to no avail. We ended up firing our weapons in the air, before they would back away. We started unloading and they started to move back to junk that we were throwing off the truck, we had to fire in the air again before we could continue, this happened a few times before the truck could be fully offloaded. Very sad, will never forget that.

                                                              
THE CENTIPEDE

One wonderful morning at the Nasty Base, myself and couple of other seaman were working with a BM1 whose name I do not recall, although he was a big fellow. Anyway we were working on land close to one of the piers, the BM1 did not have his trousers bloused. Mistake! Suddenly he grabs a hand full of trousers at his right hip and opens his belt and unbuttoned his trousers, he turned the trousers inside out at the hip and flipped a large centipede out onto the ground.After dispatching the centipede he took a look at his hip and discovered a nice red bight area. He was an old farm boy and one of the seaman was also a farm boy so they went to work. The BM1 broke out a case knife, cut a cross in his hip and the seaman sucked blood out of it a couple of times. I don't recall if the BM1 had any further reaction.

AMMO RUN

Blas Mojica GMG3 at the time and myself were given a list of ammo to pickup for the Nastys. So we got a six-by and went up to the ammo bunker. We had loaded all the 20 MM. and 81 MM. So we started loading the 40 MM, there were a lot of cans to load, so we started throwing the cans on the six-by and allowing them to slide forward on the steel deck of the truck, every thing was going great until GMG1 Crabtree showed up. He saw what we were doing and  chewed us up one side and down the other. Then he asked us if we new when that 40MM ammo was made. Of course we could care less, we just wanted to get it loaded and back to the boats. Well Crabtree advised us that the ammo  was made during WW2. Doing a quick calculation, that made the HEPD and HEAP that we were loading was around twenty two or three years old. Wow, that's older than I was. Needless to say we started handling it a bit more cautiously. Fun tour.