Tag Archives: US Navy

Dennis’ Time On Research Vessels

I’ve dabbled in stuff I always thought was interesting, but never thought I’d be swept up in an unusual sea rescue with Ed Link Sr., the famous aviator and designer of the Link Trainer of WWII fame, that taught many an aviator to fly blind at night, and the designer of that sub.

I crewed three (3) Research ships, and the Sub rescue occurred while I was on the R/V A. B. Wood. The other two (2) ships were the R/V G. W. Pierce, and the R/V Daniel Harris III, a former World War II US NavySubchaser.

But after we salvaged the sub and removed the bodies of Ed Link II, and the sub’s pilot, and the other two still-alive researchers, we returned to Fort Lauderdale!

And it was the next day, when the R/V A. B. Wood was tied starboard side to the dock at our base at the Navy Sound Lab, at the mouth of Port Everglades harbor, and I was the only crew member onboard that morning servicing the gyro, when I was surprised by having a visit from Ed Link Sr. and his team to the R/V A. B. Wood, to personally thank the crew for all they did in salvaging the sub and its crew, and to present our crew with his compliments, and several cases of booze. A fine man!

The Navy tried for 36 hours, against a 7-knot current forcing that sub into the antennas of the USS Berry’s hull, lying on her side, to get air into that sub. We, on the other hand, had the means to grapple that sub and rip her from the antennas, and pull her to the surface, (which in the end is what we did), but were refused because of Navy pride. And to this day, I will never forget what the Navy did that Day!!!!

Below are some items that have never been seen, and there is another story about my time serving on the R/V Daniel Harris III, formerly a WW II 173ft US Navy sub chaser, that I was third engineer on out of Port Everglades, working for the Navy Sound Lab testing sonar arrays out in TOTO (tongue of the ocean) in the Bahamas, which was kind of like deepest part of the Bermuda trench. We were towing and testing the Navy sonar array miles behind the R/V Daniel Harris III, so we needed depth and distance.

This sonar array was classified back then, it looked like a 2-1/2″ fire hose. Inside it was filled with a special oil and thousands of hydrophones and other sensors.
Fascinating to watch it in action when it sent back info to the ship/sub, and it could pick up a ship miles away, and give bearing, distance, speed, shaft revolutions, how many blades on the propellers, and the name of the ship or sub! The Navy knows the machinery sound of every ship!
Have you ever seen that Movie “The Hunt for Red October”, where Jonesy the sonar man yells out “Crazy Ivan”, or the “magma displacement” scene? That comes from that array we were testing, which is towed behind the sub!

But I can tell you about rebuilding a Sub engine and replacing a pneumatic clutch in situ, on that boat that really showed a guy what mechanics were about! Only sub guys can appreciate that work!

PBR 721 At The “Riverine Group One” Merger Ceremony

PBR 721 at the “Riverine Group One” merger ceremony at Little Creek Amphibious Base in 2012

Sea Tigers Association – a publication of the US Army 458th Trans. Co (PBR): www.458thseatigers.org/pdf/Riv-Ron_4.pdf

2012 US Navy SEAL Capability Exercise (CAPEX 2012)

2012 US Navy SEAL Capability Exercise (CAPEX 2012) off the beach of Little Creek, Virginia. US Navy Amphibious Base showing PBR 721 being used for the SEAL cast & recovery exercise.

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Masthead picture from Game-Wardens page www.tf116.org:
Collection of US Naval ships, boats, aircraft with a still picture of PBR 721 , with SEAL Team 10 during the “CAPEX 2012 ” exercise at Little Creek, VA.

Related Link(s): https://www.facebook.com/Gamewardens/

More Pics from PBR Vietnam Veterans Reunion 2015

Ralph Richason, of 515 Riv-Div, who has taken over the duty of upgrading and maintaining our PBR locator list, which has become valuable for many.

Ralph Richason sent me these pics he took from the Miss Hampton II tour boat, owned by Mike Hebert, The Riverine Reporter for the US Army’s 458th Transportation Co. (PBR) veterans group!

If you like PBR boats, then go to YouTube, and search for “2015 Sea Tigers Reunion” or click here. There are plenty of videos to see!

Regards,
Dennis

Vietnam War era Patrol Boat, River

 

PBR Vietnam Veterans Reunion 2015

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Mike Hebert, Riverine Reporter – 458th Sea Tigers

Slideshow from Michael Hebert,”Riverine Reporter” for the U.S. Army’s 458th Transportation co., (PBR) Vietnam Veterans Assoc., and Owner/Operator of the “Miss Hampton II” tour boat in Hampton, VA:

Riverine Reporter covers PBR Veterans Reunion Riverine Reporter covers PBR Veterans Reunion Riverine Reporter covers PBR Veterans Reunion Riverine Reporter covers PBR Veterans Reunion
Click here to visit The Riverine Reporter’s channel for more videos.

PBR Combat Crewman’s Reunion in Hampton, Virginia

Well, it’s over, but not in our collective memories!

This joint US Army-US Navy reunion, under the US Army’s 458th’s Transportation Co. (PBR) Vietnam Veterans reunion officers, went better than expected. We canceled the rock fight because we were one, and brothers in arms! CMC Jeff Covington, formerly with NECC Little Creek and now assigned to the Joint Task Force Civil Support at Fort Eustis, our good friend who will support us at the drop of a hat, and whom we would do the same for, made all the arrangements with Maj. Gen. William F. Roy at Fort Eustis, who spent a lot of time with us on the boats and was well received by everyone! Thank you Master Chief for your support!

CMC Bill Austin, from Special Boat Team 20, at Little Creek, Va., who came to our support by providing us with Two (2) RIB fast attack boats under the command of Senior Chief Chris Favata, who gave us a rallying speech about the state of readiness of the Special Boat Units in the 21st century and his outstanding crews, who made our event the most successful event that I have ever been involved with!

Maj. General Roy, Commanding General of the Joint Task Force Civil Support at Fort Eustis made us feel right at home with the wonderful welcome speech he gave at the Lakeside restaurant at Fort Eustis. Thank you General, it meant a lot to us old vets!

I’ll have more to say about the event, and those who made it happen in the very near future while I gather the pictures and thoughts I have. But here are some pics for now.

Regards,
Dennis Ambruso

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Mike Hebert, Riverine Reporter – 458th Sea Tigers

Slideshow from Michael Hebert,”Riverine Reporter” for the U.S. Army’s 458th Transportation co., (PBR) Vietnam Veterans Assoc., and Owner/Operator of the “Miss Hampton II” tour boat in Hampton, VA:

Riverine Reporter covers PBR Veterans Reunion Riverine Reporter covers PBR Veterans Reunion Riverine Reporter covers PBR Veterans Reunion Riverine Reporter covers PBR Veterans Reunion See All Pics: https://photos.app.goo.gl/zaNNrzIPnUXO0pLp2
Related Link(s):

Fitting Out For The Joint Army, Navy Vietnam PBR Veterans Reunion in Hampton, VA

Sunday evening , Sept 20, 2015, at the Pelican Marina, Elizabeth City, North Carolina. PBR’s 721 and 6927 are all set to get underway at 08:00 Monday morning!  Gamewardens, MMCS, Bill Ferguson and his wife Nancye stopped by for some refreshments and to wish us a safe journey!

The following are current pics taken this evening!

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Fitting out for the joint #USArmy, #USNavy Vietnam PBR veterans reunion in Hampton, Virginia

Fitting out for the joint #USArmy, #USNavy Vietnam PBR veterans reunion in Hampton, Virginia

Fitting out for the joint #USArmy, #USNavy Vietnam PBR veterans reunion in Hampton, Virginia

Fitting out for the joint #USArmy, #USNavy Vietnam PBR veterans reunion in Hampton, Virginia

Dave Pizzoferrato of PBR 6927

Two Boat Patrol

Dave Pizzoferrato of PBR 6927

Today marks a small historical event not seen in some time here on the East Coast,  when there will be two (2) PBR’s on the same river! 🙂  Dave Pizzoferrato  is trailering his PBR 6927 down here from Richmond, Ohio to the Pelican Marina here in Elizabeth City, NC today, to join up with PBR 721 on the Pasquotank River.

Two Boat Patrol: Dave Pizzoferrato’s PBR 6927 leading PBR 721 into the Deep Creek lock at the head of the Dismal Swamp Canal.

Two Boat Patrol, Hampton, VA. PBR 721 and PBR 6927 on the water together, and just before historic joint #USNavy and #USArmy PBR Veterans reunion.

Two Boat Patrol, Hampton, VA. PBR 721 and PBR 6927 on the water together, and just before historic joint #USNavy and #USArmy PBR Veterans reunion.

Monday we will be taking both boats from Elizabeth City, NC. up through the Dismal swamp canal to the Elizabeth river, then past the Portsmouth Naval shipyard and the Norfolk Naval base,  to the Crown Plaza hotel in Hampton, Virginia for our Joint US Army and US Navy, PBR combat crewman reunion!

Dave and I have been working on the event for over a year, not only for the reunion , but to get our two PBR’s in the water on the same river!  I hope we will get some good pictures of the event to pass on to you all, next weekend perhaps!

Fundraiser Ended: Help Us Reach Our Goal!

This fundraiser has ended and site below is no longer active.

Dave Pizzoferrato of PBR 6927

This fundraiser was really not supported by those whom we thought would have an interest in such an adventure. We offer a heart felt thanks, and the monies we did collect were put to good use in supporting our endeavor’s to transport both Dave’s and my PBR up through the Dismal Swamp Canal to the Joint Army/Navy PBR Crewman’s Reunion in Hampton, VA.

Thanks again to all who supported us.

Brown Water Navy Small Craft Support Base

www.indiegogo.com/projects/brown-water-navy-small-craft-support-base

Shrimp Boil hosted for the US Navy’s Coastal Riverine, Squadron

Shrimp Boil I hosted for the US Navy’s Coastal Riverine, Squadron 4-(D), with Master Chief Jeff Covington, down in Pelican Marina in Camden, NC on the Pasquotank River, on July 26, 2014.

After we fed the crews, they took us for a ride on their boats! 🙂

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