Earl Adams
Bowditch Memorabilia 1967-68


My wheelbook from Bowditch, with notes on equipment operation.

Friden Flexowriter Class
October-December 1966

My certificate from the Friden Corp. for Flexowriter training. The Friden Flexowriter was the terminal device for the NavDAC Mark 1 Mod 0.

A menu from the Mardi Gras Restaurant and "Nite" Club, in Rochester, NY, where our Flexowriter class had its parties. Check out the prices! Coffee, however, was an outrageous 15¢ . We lived in hotel rooms, which were paid, and received a monthly allowance for meals. So even with a monthly pay of only $211.50, I could afford to eat here. And a live orchestra every night!

Travel Orders and Vouchers
to USNS Mizar T-AGOR-19
September-October 1968

These are the travel orders and vouchers for my temporary duty assignment to USNS Mizar during the Scorpion SubSearch mission.

They represent a good example of Navy travel orders in Europe during the period.

When we traveled in Europe we didn't need a passport, but we did need NATO "orders". Note that they are bilingual, English and French, even though France had withdrawn from NATO's military command structure in 1966. Who knows what the French on these orders actually says?

I was not authorized to carry a weapon. I'm sure Europe was relieved.

I also needed NATO orders to return to the Bowditch, but there was no one to write them so I had to do it myself, thus the CCB:ega in the upper right. I had to agonizingly peck out the French one letter at a time. What a pain! I ordered myself to report to the US Embassy in Lisbon to await Bowditch's arrival. They couldn't figure out what to do with me, so they paid me, set me up in a hotel, and turned me loose in Lisbon. I had a grand old time!


Custom made souvenir by a local artist. Oil on photograph on a tree trunk (looks like cedar). A local artist made these up just as we docked, then came aboard and sold them in our crews mess. Fast work! About 16" wide and made to hang on a wall. I don't know how this was arranged but we often had locals set up in the crews' mess soon after docking to sell stuff.


Patch from the U.S. Naval Station, Rota.

Los Caracoles

The Los Caracoles Restaurant was a favorite of the Bowditch Crew in Barcelona. The restaurant was on a corner with the dining room largely open to the street. On the corner by the front entrance was a rotisserie, with chickens cooking away.

The Los Caracoles ("The Snails") Restaurant was a favorite of the Bowditch Crew in Barcelona. The restaurant was on a corner with the dining room largely open to the street. On the corner by the front entrance was a rotisserie, with chickens cooking away. Forty years later, the Los Caracoles Restaurant is still in business at the same location, in a much higher class incarnation.

In May 2006 John Hansen and wife Nancy revisited Los Caracoles.

The Kit-Kat

Also a favorite of the Bowditch crew, but of a different sort than Los Caracoles.

A card and a pin.


A match book from the Gillieru restaurant.

Thirty-Five years later, this restaurant was still operating, at the same address, and WITH THE SAME PHONE NUMBER!

Patches from Bowditch Ports of Call

Private Clubs

Wherever we went in the UK, there were private clubs, and the Bowditch crew were always welcome as "guest" members. Here are my membership cards from clubs in Swansea and Plymouth. Belfast was also a great place for private clubs!


Wherever Bowditch docked, we depended on Taxicabs for transportation and cab drivers for information. I was never cheated or mislead, a truly amazing experience considering. There was many a night when a helpful cab driver got us back to the ship with no more detailed instruction than "Barco Americano Bowditch"! Of course, in England we spoke the same language (sort of). I always had business cards from cabbies in my wallet, but only these two have survived.

Kodak Film

While stationed aboard the Bowditch I used a Kodak Instamatic camera for color photographs. The successor to the Kodak Brownie, most early models of the Instamatic (I think mine was a Model 100) were simple point-and-shoot cameras with an all plastic body and lens, and a fixed aperture and shutter speed. All of my color slides were taken with 24-exposure Kodachrome 126 cartridge film. As I (vaguely) recollect, flash bulbs came in 4 bulb cartridges, packed 6 in a row in a transparent plastic box.

Despite the modest equipment almost all of my slides from the Bowditch have survived.

The 126 cartridge was sold at the Bowditch ship's store, and came with a prepaid development mailer. Here's a box of slides as returned from Kodak. I took a few rolls of Kodacolor 126 cartridge color print film. These were also sold in the ship's store with prepaid mailer. The negatives from this film have survived very well; some examples are photographs of my stateroom. Only a touch of color correction and some mold and dust removal were required to produce these digital prints from the negatives.

Paper Money

Paper notes from each of the countries Bowditch visited during 1967-68.

Sheath Knife

The Sheath Knife that I bought while stationed on Bowditch. I used it to cut nylon line used in the rigging of Deep Ocean Acoustic Transponders. The small companion knife is long gone, stolen by a neighbor kid in Groton (aarrrrgggghhhh!!!). I replaced it with a new one, but it's not the same.

Michelson Memorabilia 1970-71

Wake Island

I flew to Japan to meet Michelson in Yokosuka in ca. April 1970. The military leased commercial aircraft to transport people from San Francisco to Japan. The flights had to land on Wake Island to refuel. Wake I. is a truly isolated site. This post card is perhaps the most famous photo from the island. Wake was the site of a gallant and hopeless defensive stand by United States Marines and civilian construction workers against the Japanese during WWII. (Note that no Japanese city is included on the sign.)


My notebook from Michelson, with notes on equipment operation.

Shellback Certificate

On Decembe 26, 1970, Michelson crossed the equator. I suspect we may have slowed down so that this did not happen on the 25th, as the traditional Shellback initiation is not a ceremony suitable for Christmas day.


The certificate is signed by John L. Hammer, CO of Oceanographic Unit Three. He was a good CO.

Paper Money from Japan


A match book cover from the "BAR TWILIGHT".

Yokosuka PO Club Patch

Yokuska apparently did not have an Acey-Deucy Club, but a PO club, which included PO3s. I actually don't remember this, but it would have been OK with us. Everyone in the OcUnits was a PO1, 2 or 3, with only a few Chiefs and Os. We wouldn't have liked it if our Third Class couldn't come into the club with us.


A match book cover from the "Bar EROS". Let's see...a Japanese waterfront bar named for a Greek god with an Aztec theme. Wow! (See my photo album of Sasebo for a waterfront bar with a Mexican shotgun wedding theme!)

A match book cover from "The Red Vest" and "Stork Piano Lounge". Japanese waterfront bars. In China Town.

Unknown Japanese City

An ashtray from the "Bar Robins". I don't known if this counts as a souvenir from a bar, since the original packing box indicates that I actually paid for it.

MSTS Cigarette Lighters

MSTS Button

The "Hallmark" Patch

Bloody-minded Cold War sentiment. Not necessarily a T-AGS item, it's from the SSBN culture, but it is closely related.

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