It was a very hot night and we were underway for another west-pac and on the way to Pearl Harbor we having some fun with our sister ship the OKlahoma City that day. Well night had fallen and we settled in for a quite night. I was in number three boiler room that night and also on mid-watch it was hotter than hell as usual. We were steaming as best i remember at half speed it was getting near the end of the watch with our bellies full of mid-rats and calm on the ship kind of half asleep and wishing that this watch would hurry and get over when over the bull horn came a call for all back full and then the collision alarm was sounding the machinist mates in an attempt to save our asses put all the steam that we had to the screws our steam pressure was dropping and the top watch was telling them to back off and let us catch up or we would run low water we put every burner we had on line and poured the coal to her in hopes that it was all in time.Then came the call for all back flank the ship was shaking from the force of the screws turning backward even though we were still going forward the old girl seemed to straining to give all she had. well it was when we were told to brace for impact that a bone chilling calm filled the boiler room and we all looked at each other with the look of impending doom needless to say we missed what ever it was that was out there in the way but even today i get chills recalling what may have been my last voyage.
Clayton Wright Jr. (email@example.com)