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Mike DeMarco

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Mike Demarco PN-2  1967-1969 - - Submitted 7/11/08

I completed two WestPac cruises on board the Estes.  There are so many people that I still remember from that time although I have not stayed in touch with any of them.  Kind of sad, really.

When I went aboard the Estes, I was assigned to first division and spent many hours swabbing the decks and chipping paint (especially in Bremerton, Wash.)  I was assigned to help chip the interior of the locker in the bow of the ship where the anchor chain was housed.  I was hanging from a wooden seat on a rope with that "jitterbug" clanging away and a single light bulb, also hanging from the opening above.  It was like hanging in a darkened elevator shaft.  Thank God, I was young.

After a few months, someone found out that I could type and the next thing I knew, I was in the personnel office.  That was great duty because it gave me a chance to get to know many of the people on board.

Some of those I remember the best are:
Glenn George, who eventually moved into the personnel office.  George was married to Carol and they had a tiny studio apartment in San Diego.  They were great people and opened their home to many of us single guys.  It was pretty common to have three or four of us spread out on couches and the floor on a Saturday night.


Ltjg Huie - I remember him because my mother had traveled to California from Colorado and had hoped to see the interior of the ship.  When I brought her to take the tour, Ltjg Huie was the OOD and would not allow us on board because I was wearing civilian clothes.  My mom was heart broken.  She was the vice president of the local Navy Mother's Club.  She passed away in 2001.

T.E. Stevenson from OA Division - He was always friendly and seemed like the kind of guy you would like to have as a next door neighbor.

Brian Cutler from the Supply Division - Brian co-stared with Tommy Kirk in a movie before joining the Navy.  When that movie was playing in San Diego we all went to see it.  Not bad. 

Bob Bowdoin from R Division - He always seemed out of place to me as though he should be running a gym or working as some one's personal trainer.  But, we got to know each other and he was always quick with a smile and a kind word to everyone.  A great guy!

Of course, all the guys that I worked with in the personnel office.  WO1 Talbot, Chief Miller, Jack Glenn, Duane Bassett, Ralph Thompson (Who opened his home to me at Christmas time and hated wearing his "dixie cup" on his head, as he called it.), Phil Parsons (who used to tell me that I talked like a "sausage."  I always laughed, but never did figure out what the heck that meant), Jim Shackelford (A great friend, who's claim to fame was that he was the best man at songwriter Jimmy Webb's wedding.  Webb wrote MacArthur Park and many other songs).

Raul Lopez - He and I squared off in a boxing smoker.  He won, judged, 2-1, 2-1, 1-1-1.  I never did figure out how those judges gave me one round because all I remember is Raul's gloves in my face and gut.  Hit hit hard too!  I couldn't lift my arms the next day. 

Chief Rice - As we pulled away from the pier to begin our WestPac deployment, I saw him standing on the rail.  He was a tall and imposing man.  As I strolled up to say hello, I saw that his face was wet with tears.  I asked if he was okay and he said, "Mike, I have done this many times and it never gets any easier leaving your family behind."  That really told me something about the sacrifice that everyone was making in order to serve.

I hope this note hasn't been too boring.  I will dig through my archives over the next few days and send along some pictures.

Thanks for your website.  I can be contacted at jmichaeldemarco@yahoo.com.


Mike Demarco PN-2  1967-1969 - - Submitted 7/14/08

Here are a few pictures.

40mm
Goofing off on the 40MM mount

DaNang
Anchored in Danang Harbor

Hawaii
PN2 DeMarco driving a rented jeep with the Estes in the background.  Phil Parsons is in the front seat but I am not sure who is in the backseat

Helicopter
I am sure you recognize "Ghost", the USS Estes helo when we were the flagship

Personnel Office
Front row, Personnelman Phil Parsons, Personnelman Jim Shackelford, Machinist Mate (?) Bob Bowdoin, Yoeman Mull, Back row, Personnelman Lybarger, Commissaryman Sight, Personnelman Ralph Thompson

Thompson & Sight
Commissaryman Sight dropped by the Personnel office quite often.  We were always glad to see him because he was a great guy and always brought cinnamon rolls.  Also pictured is Personnelman Ralph Thompson

Xray Division
Front row, Mull, Thompson, Parsons, Bassett, Lybarger. Back row, unknown and Shackelford

 

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