Bob Lord was a Bunker-Ramo Tech Rep aboard USNS Bowditch (Jan, 1972 to July, 1973) and USNS Michelson (Aug, 1973 to May, 1974).  He was responsible for engineering and maintenance of the AN/BRN-3, the CP-677 computers and the Navigation Contour Plot System (CalComp plotter).
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  Bob Lord at life boat drill.

A hat was required!!  So...I wore one.
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  SASS CP677 mod.

The Bunker-Ramo CP677 computer, one of my major engineering and maintenance responsibilities aboard the TAGS.

This is the machine that's part of SASS in Sonar.  The cabinet on the left is the extended memory cabinet.

The front cover has been modified with plexiglass-covered cutouts to provide visibility of the register lights while maintaining cooling effectiveness.

We all loved to watch the register lights blink.

A description of this modification is in my October 1972 Cruise Report.
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  Southampton, England
  The Engine Room of USNS Bowditch

These photos are from the Cruise Book Pasteups, and originally accompanied a photo montage of the Bowditch's engine room in the April 1972 Cruise Book.
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  Bowditch Crew, Southampton to Paris

Dennis "Flash" Johnsey and I traveled by bicycle, using two old bikes I found in one of the holds and refurbished.

See Flash's albums from Paris, Notre Dame and The Louvre here.
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  Bowditch Crew Aboard Ship
This is a collection of crew photos from my 1 ½ years aboard the USNS Bowditch as Bunker-Ramo tech rep. Barry Bethel (in photo 1) replaced me in June of 1973.
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  Ship's Spaces
Some shots of ship’s spaces.
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  The Gym.
The transformation of #2 Hold into a real gym. This effort started during the yard period in Falmouth late in 1971, just before I joined the ship’s company. The last of it got finished at sea on our way to Rota in February of 1972. Playing just about any kind of game down there was a real trip in a heaving sea. Jump up as the ship was heaving up, and you might find yourself 10’ off the deck as it hove down.
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  Shooting skeet off the fantail
At sea on fair days, we rigged up a skeet thrower on the fantail and wasted many, many clay pigeons, hours, and shotgun shells shooting skeet. If you got good, you got very, very good as the ship heaved, swayed, and surged. Most of us just got bad.
Note the ear cotton in these pics.
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  Bowditch Crew in Southampton

We inported in Southampton probably more than any single other place in the Atlantic Theater. As a result, the crew began to develop relationships (both spontaneous and ongoing) with the natives. We also ventured outside the city to other parts of England.

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  Bowditch Crew in Southern Spain

In the early 1970’s, the Bowditch enjoyed numerous inports in southern Spain and Italy. We visited Rota, Malaga, Barcelona, and Naples. 

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  Bowditch Crew at Stonehenge

During many of our Southampton inports, we ventured in groups outside the city to other parts of England. These pics document a trip to Stonehenge in multiple rental cars.

  Drivers' School 

: In 1972, Mark “The Dildo” Comstock, Dave Strause, and I started a series of race driving lessons at the Jim Russell International Race Driving School in Snetterton, England. This is the school that trained such well-known drivers as Emerson Fitipaldi in the late 1960’s. Over a number of inports, we rented cars in So’ton, drove up north to the track, and spent a few days training. Of course, there was the obligatory stop for a couple days in London on the way.


The School used Formula Fords to train us. These were open-wheeled, homulagated racers that used a tuned Cosworth engine and frame design. A pretty tight fit for a 6’ 5” tech rep, but worth the squeeze. There’s just nothing like the feeling of winding around corners at 120 mph with your butt-cheeks only 4” off the ground. The cars were set up with limiters on their tachs, so students could be gradually allowed to go faster and faster through the course as their skills increased.

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  Michelson Crew in Guam
I left the Bowditch in Southampton, England in June of 1973 and met the Michelson in Agana, Guam in August. Here’s a few shots of the crew on the island of Guam. These shots are around a great volcanic beach area and swimming hole on the other side of the island from Agana, the “capitol” of the island.
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  Michelson Crew
A few shots of the crew of "The Mike".
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  Michelson Crew in Japan
Ron Hauser, a great friend from our Bunker Ramo office in Agoura Hills, California, replaced me on the Mike in March of 1974. We overlapped for a few cruises, and we did some travelling in Japan during our inports in Yokusuka.  Both Ron and I were 6’5” with a similar ‘70’s look. We towered over the population, and we got lots of stares wandering around the country together.
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  Michelson in the Philippine Islands

We spent a month or so in the yards at Subic Bay near Manila on the Philippine island of Luzon. I wish I’d taken more pix then, but here’s a few from that time. The country was under marshal law then, and it could be a dangerous place to wander around in with a visibly expensive camera.

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  Photos From the Ship
Some shots taken from and around the Michelson in the Japanese theater.
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  Michelson Ship's Spaces
Some shots taken from and around the Michelson. I don’t have many pics of the navigation and sonar spaces from my days on the Bowditch because of security. The rules were a little looser on the Mike.
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A collection of photos from my visit to the SS Lane Victory in San Pedro, Calif, in December of 2010.


The official SS Lane Victory site is here: http://www.lanevictory.org/index.php


  SS Lane Victory

The S.S. Lane Victory is a nationally recognized historic landmark that now serves as a living museum and memorial to the service of Merchant Marine sailors and Navy Armed Guardsmen over the years. Several times each summer she sails from her berth at the port of San Pedro out to Catalina Island on one of her "Victory At Sea" cruises.
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  SS Lane Victory Museums

The Lane offers two very complete and interesting museums aboard. One is in Hold No 2 and the other in No 4. The museums cover the Lane’s specific history along with lots of cool exhibits of WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam conflicts. The museums alone would’ve been worth the trip.
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