Served aboard Ranger 1962-1964
Alan was a Sailor (SA/SN/YN3 in Ranger)
Alan as he looks today, December 2004
Alan with authentic 'Navy Chow Tray'
I was the Locker Petty officer in Boot.
Ranger was my First Sea Duty after Boot Camp
F-4 USS Ranger
Photo's submitted by Alan F. E. Thiese
A youthful Alan F. E. Thiese decided to enlist in the U. S. Navy at the age of 21 Ĺ years. He was within six months of the draft into the U. S. Army. He had been a farm boy for 18 years in Northeast Iowa. He had completed 1 Ĺ years of college at Valparaiso University in Indiana majoring in pizza and beer. He then worked on a dairy farm called Rolling Acres on Barrington Road, East of Elgin, Illinois for eighteen months. He was sworn into the United States Navy on August 31, 1961. He participated in Basic Training (Boot Camp) at Recruit Training Center in San Diego, California.
After Boot Camp and Boot Leave visiting family in Iowa he was enrolled in Electronic Technician Class ďAĒ school at Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. After four weeks of this school with binary numbers and total confusion he failed the weekly test and told the First Phase Chief that he would be better off in the Fleet. At that point he was informed that that was just what he also had in mind.
in Alameda, California
On April 18, 1962 Alan walked down a long pier at Hunterís Point Navy Ship Yard in the San Francisco Bay. After passing a long vehicle ramp to a deck edge elevator he approached a U. S. Marine in Full Dress guarding a set of ladders to the Quarterdeck of the great aircraft carrier, the USS Ranger (CVA-61). At this point the Marine smiled and informed him that he must backtrack and use the ramp for vehicles and also enlisted members of the crew. This ramp also allowed trucks to bring supplies to the Hanger Bay of the Ship. Additionally trash and discarded materials from the overhaul were taken from the ship by trucks.
was assigned to the Operations Department Office and immediately set out
to become a Yeoman. This
was a job which allowed him to use his typing experience from High
School and also allowed him to avoid the deck department and heavy work
which involved painting and keeping the ship clean, along with plenty of
work during underway replenishments.
After a brief period in the office he was assigned to a tour of
Mess Cooking for six months. His tour happened during the Western Pacific deployment and
he worked as a table wiper for seven hours and then set up for the next
meal for one hour. A
carrier at sea serves each meal for a period of seven hours so it is
possible to have a complete meal during twenty-one hours out of each
twenty-four hours. During
this time he studied hard to become a Seaman.
During his tour in Ranger he was advanced to YN3 and continued to
work in the Operations Office, then Air Intelligence and finally the
Weapons Control Center. He enjoyed the Western Pacific Cruise of 1963 and upon return
to the United States USS Ranger commenced a major overhaul to install
the Integrated Operational Intelligence Center (IOIC) in 1964.
During his tour in Ranger he was the subject of a Background
Investigation and granted access to Top Secret information, based on
need to know in order to type letters and messages.
The RA5C aircraft was introduced to the Fleet by the USS Ranger.
Additionally the F4 Phantom was first deployed to the Pacific in
Ranger during the 1963 Cruise. One
of the high lights of the 1963 cruise was a drag-race with the USS Kitty
Hawk (CVA-63) Of course the
nickname of the Kitty Hawk became the ďPussy BirdĒ and the story of
the drag race was written un in Hotrod Magazine.
departed Ranger after buying his Division Officerís 1961 Ford Fairlane
four door sedan on July 18, 1964.
Command Systems Support Activity, Washington, D.C.
then reported to Naval Station, Washington, D.C. on July 31, 1964 after
visiting his family in Iowa for duty at Naval Command Systems Support
Activity (NAVCOSSACT) at the Washington Navy Yard on 11th
Street S.E. in the District of Columbia.
This command was a Soft Ware Development Command to develop
systems to exercise Command and Control for the Navy Operations Center
in the Pentagon and also the Pacific and Atlantic Fleet Commands along
with Naval Forces Europe.
Alan worked in the Mail Room.
While stationed in Washington, D.C. he enjoyed numerous social
One was attending a Navy Academy Football game on a Fall
afternoon where he witnessed Football Great Roger Stalbach lead the Midshipmen.
It was his pleasure to also obtain a wife during this tour of
On June 29th, 1966 after getting cold feet about
becoming a civilian he re-enlisted for six years and received orders to
U. S. Navy Forces Europe.
S. Navy Forces Europe, London, England
his family with his new Bride
during September 1966 and a wonderful and fun filled cruise onboard the
SS United States Alan joined the staff of U. S. Naval Forces Europe on
September 28, 1966. During
his tour on this Staff, Alan worked in Central Files and also the Plans
and Policy Department (N-6) Division.
During duty in London, England he became a Father two times. His first daughter, Carolyn Ann Thiese was born on February
22nd, 1967. His
second daughter, Susan Lynn Thiese was born on February 6th,
1969. During his tour on this Staff, he served under the command of
Admiral John S. McCain who had a Son, John S. McCain who became a
Prisoner of War in Vietnam in 1968 for five years.
The former Prisoner of War went on to become a United Senator.
In addition to the opportunity to visit Europe and see some of
England during this tour of duty Alan was assigned as a part of an Honor
Guard on the steps of Saint Paulís Cathedral on Monday, April 14th,
1969 for the Memorial Service for Dwight David Eisenhower.
President Eisenhower was memorialized in England because he was
an Army General during World War II and part of the United States Army,
which was victorious in that War. The
offices used by Navy Forces Europe at Number 7 North Audley Street in
West 1, London was also the Headquarters for General Eisenhower.
As I performed my duties as part of this Honor Guard I know that
the Queen Mum winked at me as she ascended the steps of Saint Paulís
to attend this service. On
September 1st, 1969 Alan was detached from duty in London and
traveled to the United States on a Trans World Airlines plane along with
his family. After visiting
family in Minnesota and Iowa they traveled to the East Coast to report
for sea duty. He was
advanced to YN1 during his tour in England.
the USS Sellers (DDG-11) for two months as she traveled throughout the
Mediterranean Sea Alan reported onboard the evening of November 22, 1969
as she made final preparations to return to her Homeport in Charleston,
S.C. in Palma, and island East of Spain.
After a major overhaul at Charleston Navy Shipyard the Sellers
commenced a training cycle, which included Refresher Training off of the
coast of Cuba in 1970 over the Christmas Holiday.
Upon return to Charleston in early 1971 Alan had to accept the
fact that his Bride had acquired her Sisterís ex-husband as a love
interest. In summary he was
divorced by his wife. This
became final during the Mediterranean Cruise of USS Sellers (DDG-11) the
Summer of 1971. Alan a YN1,
served in Sellers as the Shipís Secretary, Leading Yeoman and also the
Leading Personalman. He was
the Administrative Officer for all practical purposes. Of course an Officer was assigned the title.
Alan enjoyed his tour in USS Sellers and upon receipt of orders
during the 1971 Mediterranean Cruise to Shore Duty in Macon, Georgia;
five of his shipmates begged him to switch his orders.
Alan departed the USS Sellers (DDG-11) on October 28th,
he visited his
family in Iowa prior to reporting to his next duty station.
Staff, Director Navy Recruiting Area Three, Macon, Georgia
arrived in Macon, Georgia on November 20th, 1971 and reported
for duty at 451 College Street, which was also the New Federal Building
overlooking downtown Macon, Georgia.
He worked in the Enlisted Programs Office, which monitored the
recruiting efforts for the entire Southeastern United States.
During duty on the Staff, Navy Recruiting Area Three Alan was
selected for advancement to Yeoman, Chief Petty Officer. This event happened on Alanís 35th Birthday,
February 19th, 1975. His
actual date of advancement was effective November 16th, 1974.
was responsible for developing the monthly goal letters for the
Districts of the Southeast United States along with compiling the
monthly reports. This was
very interesting work and involved coordination of efforts to achieve
the monthly area goals. During
this tour of duty, Alan also had adequate time off to acquire a Bride
named Janice Marie on October 7th, 1972, along with a
ready-made family. She had
a Son named Shield Loyd Bozeman III.
Alan enjoyed this tour of duty and accepted orders to Sea Duty on
the West Coast on November 18th 1975.
Again, he visited his family in Northeast Iowa enroute to the
USS John Paul Jones (DDG-32) Home Ported in Long Beach and San Diego, California
then reported to USS John Paul Jones on December 15th 1975
for duty as she prepared to enter the Long Beach Navy Shipyard.
His family moved into Navy Housing in San Pedro, California so as
to be nearby during the overhaul. Alan
served as the Shipís Secretary and also the leading Yeoman along with
being the Captainís Writer, which is the normal procedure for the
leading Yeoman on a Destroyer type ship.
It was during the overhaul that on June 29th, 1976
that Alanís second son; Michael Alan was born at the U. S. Navy
Hospital, Long Beach, California. After
completion of the overhaul the ship was assigned a new homeport of San
Diego. During the buildup
for an upcoming Western Pacific Cruise Alan decided to commute to work
on a motorcycle. In early
May of 1977, Alan experienced a tragic accident which involved crushing
his entire left elbow. This
required a long stay in the U. S. Navy Hospital in San Diego and
subsequent limited duty. Alan
was detached from USS John Paul Jones on July 22nd, 1977.
USS Hull (DD-945) Home Ported in San Diego, California
completion of his limited duty Alan was assigned to USS Hull and
reported onboard for duty on December 9th, 1977. The USS Hull had as itís main defense a prototype Eight
Inch Gun. All of us
on board were quite proud of the fact that we were known as the eight
inch Sailors. It was
mounted on the Forecastle and caused the ship to have a very interesting
profile when viewed from the side.
The Hull made a Western Pacific Deployment in 1978 and Alan
enjoyed his final Sea Duty Cruise as he prepared for Shore Duty and
retirement. He departed the
USS Hull on December 1st, 1978.
Staff, Commander, Navy Recruiting Area Three, Macon, Georgia
Alan reported to his final Shore Duty assignment on December 12, 1978. This tour of recruiting support duty was very much like the previous tour of recruiting support duty that he enjoyed in the early 70s. Once Alan achieved 20 years service on August 30, 1981 he was informed by his leading Chief that he was indeed working for half pay. Not understanding what this was about, Master Chief Yeoman A.D. White explained that after twenty years of service one could retire and receive one half of base pay. With this knowledge Alan then submitted his paper work to transfer to the United States Navy Fleet Reserve effective December 31, 1981. This was approved and Alanís parents visited Macon, Georgia and celebrated on New Yearís Eve 1981 with the new retiree and his family with a small family gathering. The Celebration was great fun as the Captain of Navy Recruiting Area Three had given him a Magnum of fine Champagne to enjoy with his family.
This history of the United States Navy service of Alan F. E. Thiese, service number 549 71 07 was written in the Spring of 2004.
BACK - To Home Page
Or- Return to Shipmates