Profile Photo
bob mack
59 articles

Dragon 1/350 Ohio USS Alabama

March 31, 2019 · in Ships · · 20 · 4K

My brother joined the navy at age 17 in aug. 1962 after completing the 11th grade...He attended boot camp at san diego and qualified for his GED before being transferred to Millington- Memphis NAS Tenn. for electronics "A" school

..I fondly remember a TBF Avenger on a pole as you passed through the gate... After completing this assignment he received orders to PAX river NAS Md. where he served as an aviation electronics mate for the next few years.. At age 19 he became one of the youngest 2nd class petty officers in the Navy and by the age of 21 achieved the rate of 1st class PO or E-6.

...I've always thought "Mustangs" make the best kind of officers, one because they've seen a picture from life's other side and two they've already distinguished themselves as enlisted men...

Next the Navy sent him to Purdue university where he made the dean's list his first semester, graduating with a commission in 1970 and a degree in Electrical engineering, before heading to Admiral Rickover's office for his obligatory interview with the great man... Rick would saw one leg off the candidates chair about an inch shorter than the other three, shine lights in your face, lock you in his locker and go to lunch and generally browbeat you trying to make the prospect buckle..he asked one candidate to make him mad...without hesitation the recruit took his arm and wiped the Admiral's desk clean...Rickover accepted the man for training and he went on to have quite a career as a "Nuke"...after his interview bro was accepted and began his journey through the nuclear pipeline before being transferred to the fleet and a career in fast attack the hunter/killer role for the next 22 years, commencing in a couple years of patrols as skipper of an FBM...the guys who lurk on the bottom waiting for the call from the president, the CNO and the combat commanders to DEFCON 1...a few trips to Holy Loch in between then the Med. Italy, Sardinia and such, even a shot at Amsterdam... he then went through a refit and refuelling at Pascagoula Miss..his real command experience began as XO of USS Bluefish...the XO and Chief of the boat, run the the boat and doubtless it's no bleeding hearts club.

Next he assumed command of the USS Olympia, somewhere in between became a deputy commander of nine boats at Pearl and served on several highly classified operations... he did some time in the Persian Gulf a fairly deadly corridor when the ship bumping was going on then did a stint in Omaha i'll leave to your imagination...

his final assignment was as operations officer Assistant Chief of Staff CINCLANTFLT where he planned and directed all Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines on the East coast to their assignments and in his spare time managed to obtain two masters degrees from the War College...

He took command of the USS Alabama SSBN 731 " blue crew" from aug 1992- nov 1993...he was the CO at the time of the making of the movie "Crimson Tide" though the movie wasn't photographed on the Alabama as the Navy got wind it was about a mutiny, pulling the pin on any further resources and Tony Scott had to finish filming with the assistance of the French Navy on one of their Triomphant Class ballistic missile submarines and the aircraft carrier Foch

the movie was baloney as you wouldn't break from the prime directive over a communications problem...these guys train so thoroughly most decisions and attention to detail become almost robotic... in almost any Navy pulling a stunt like Denzel could very likely get you fired but that's the farce you get when Tarantino's enhancing the dialogue and changing the script at his whim..

Larry was also awarded the Legion of Merit and trust me when i say these things are easier to get in wartime than in peace...he is notoriously very tight lipped but the LOM is generally awarded for three criteria...#1 a Commander or Captain doing an Admirals job ...#2 outstanding accomplishment on a particular assignment...#3 outstanding accomplishments on several assignments combined...these guys won the Cold War and nobody even knows it...

on June 5, 2000 he put on his uniform for the last time after 38 years of distinguished service to his country, which my son and I our wives and his lady attended, and began enjoying the fruits of his hard labor

... i have honestly always considered it a privilege to stand in the shadows of two great men and I'm immensely proud just to be in the family...sometimes I catch on slower than wet gunpowder...even still they managed to teach me a few things

the first 8 Ohio's sported the Trident C-4 from 1979 to 2005 Alabama completed the last patrol of the C-4 when the last 24 were removed from Alabama at Kitsap Wa. and they were stricken from the Naval arsenal for the Trident D5

Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

1 additional image. Click to enlarge.

20 responses

  1. Spectacular presentation, Mr. Mack...outstanding in every way.

  2. thank you Craig...a labor of love

  3. Bob, Nice post, model and display. "Liked"

  4. most appreciated sir...loved the Texan

  5. Well done, Bob!

  6. thank you very much John

  7. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    A well done homage Bob, a job well done. Just by looking at this model and it's display, one can feel the dedication, again … well done.

  8. Nicely done Bob, nice tribute as well.

  9. i appreciate that very much Tom..great to hear from you

  10. A nice looking Boomer! a fine tribute, and a great build!

  11. Nice tribute and a great-looking sub! Well done.

  12. That's one helluva career there - real, serious, sustained achievement from first to last. Any time you meet on of those guys you know is going all the way when you're in, you end up standing in awe.

    And what a beautiful gift! A brotherly labor of love. Just super.

    • thank you very much Tom…i thought of you a lot through this build also because you served pretty close to the same time frame…i honestly don’t think he even knows how accomplished he is…he almost always did things the right way a concept i could never quite grasp…one time as a kid playing ball in Lakehurst they broke a window and everybody scattered…he walked right up to the man’s door and told him what happened…the guy brought him over a gift…mom said it was a model…he’s helped everyone in the family at one time or another…thank you for your service also

  13. That was one heck of a career and a fitting, as well as moving tribute. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who have served and are serving. Great work!

Leave a Reply