Alan Thiese
Served aboard Ranger 1962-1964
(Story Below)


1963 when 
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
F-4 USS Ranger

              Photo's submitted by Alan F. E. Thiese  

Alan F. E. Thiese

The Sailor

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.

 

USS Ranger (CVA-61)

Home ported 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.

Alan 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.

Alan departed Ranger after buying his Division Officerís 1961 Ford Fairlane four door sedan on July 18, 1964. 

 

Navy Command Systems Support Activity, Washington, D.C.

Alan 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 activities.  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 duty.  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.  

U. S. Navy Forces Europe, London, England

 

After visiting 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.

 

USS Sellers (DDG-11)

After trailing 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, 1971.  Again, he visited his family in Iowa prior to reporting to his next duty station. 

   

Staff, Director Navy Recruiting Area Three, Macon, Georgia

Alan 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.

Alan 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 West Coast.

 

USS John Paul Jones (DDG-32) Home Ported in Long Beach and San Diego, California

Alan 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

Upon 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.

Alan F. E. Thiese 

 

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