I’d sooner have a sister in a whorehouse than a brother on the Pittsburgh

CA-4, not SSN-720.

No hard copy of The Sand Pebbles readily to hand at the moment. ADM Mullen ought to read what Richard McKenna had to say about The Beast on page 504.

Everybody who has served has probably served with homosexuals. If they weren’t “openly” homosexual and running off at the mouth about it and making a nuisance of themselves, and they did their job, the heterosexuals could wonder in mild curiosity and not care much one way or the other. There is no great advantage to unit cohesion and esprit d’corps to be had in removing all doubt.

UPDATE 0204101845:

They talked almost desperately about the girls they would have.  Their hands would curl with pleasure and their bearded lips roll back.   Girls were much more important to a crew’s health than beer or onions.  Girls helped to keep in its cage a certain Beast that was always trying to get loose in a ship.

The Beast was trying to get loose in the San Pablo.   There were many little signs.  The customary skylarking and horseplay began going a bit too far for comfort.  Harris began talking openly about the cruiser U.S.S. Pittsburgh.  The Beast was notoriously loose in Pittsburgh.

“I’d sooner have a sister in a whorehouse than a brother on the Pittsburgh,” Farren said one day at dinner.  That was the saying in the Fleet, about that ship.

“I wish you had a sister on the San Pablo,” Harris said.  “But I’d settle for your brother.”

Holman tensed himself to help Farren, if it came to a fight.  But Farren let it go.

The next morning when the lights came on there was a small square of  canvas, with a handful of damp sand heaped upon it, in Harris’ place at the mess table.   Harris had the watch in the engine room.  Everyone saw the sand and canvas and no one spoke about it.  It was an old, old seagoing warning.

When Harris came off watch he stood and looked down at the sand and canvas.  Everyone else looked at Harris.  His beard was spiky gray, like his hair.  Hair thrust out of his nostrils and ears.  It was like quills.  He grinned his wolf-trap grin around the compartment and he was wearing the very face of the Beast.

He did not see what he was looking for in any of the other faces.  Without a word, he picked up the sand and canvas and carried it outside and dropped it into the river.  After that there was no more talk about the Pittsburgh

UPDATE  2010/05/13 DADT Statement From Other Milbloggers


Filed under Morale Operations

5 responses to “I’d sooner have a sister in a whorehouse than a brother on the Pittsburgh

  1. Doug

    American forces are stationed at bases far and wide around Afghanistan. Some bases are like towns, such as Camp Bastion, Kandahar Airfield, and Bagram Airfield. But mostly they are small, often occupied by only a handful of troops.

    Logistics into Afghanistan is a nightmare, and it only gets worse after you cross the border from the North or from Pakistan. By comparison, Iraq “logs” was like a run to a convenience store down the road. Afghan logs are more like driving from Miami to Seattle for grocery shopping, and then driving the groceries back to Miami while under threat of attack. Not a speck of exaggeration in that statement. Enemy logs interdiction was a large constituent of the Soviet defeat, despite that the Soviet Union comprised the entire northern border of Afghanistan. When the Soviet hammer tried to crack the Afghan rock, the hammer shattered. The Soviets can easily put people in space and keep them there, but they couldn’t handle backdoor logistics during their Afghan war. It’s easier to keep people in space than to supply our war here.

    Read more…

  2. Doug

    Charlie Wilson, US politician who secretly funded CIA in Afghanistan, dies

    “After the Soviets left, Charlie kept fighting for the Afghan people and warned against abandoning that traumatised country to its fate — a warning we should have heeded then, and should remember today.”

    After the Soviet withdrawal, Mr Wilson expressed reservations about the American decisions to cut funds to Afghanistan, which he blamed for creating a void that led to the rising influence of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the Islamic militant group accused of the attacks on the US of September 11, 2001.

    Mr Wilson was born in Trinity, Texas, in 1933, attended the US Naval Academy, and served in the US Navy. He was elected to the Texas legislature and went on to serve in the US House from 1973. He retired from Congress in 1997.

  3. Doug

    One of the problems with Logistics is the USAF

    a lot of the problems with logistics in Afghanistan is the USAF. Basically the USAF is bleeding pilot-slots (ie not pilots the got plenty of those) like crazy, and if it is doing what is best for the defense of the country and their turf war, the turf war wins. For example the USAF has to charter huge Russian aircraft to move new equipment to Afghanistan, that they can not risk on the overland route through Pakistan. Congress is upset about it, but they are told, you made the bed by caving in to Boeing and certain high elements of the USAF that were going to keep ordering C-17s, even though every C-5 that the USAF has, needs to be kept by being modernized to the C-5M (ie those trying to get more C-17s by killing the C-5 claim it has a low reliability rate — the reason it has a low reliability rate is lack of spares which the USAF refuses to order in the numbers needed, which results in 1 out of 4 C-5s being ground to take spares off of). And no the C-17 was not designed to replace the C-5, it was designed to replace the C-141. And to use the C-17 to fly from the US to Afghanistan, requires MASSIVE air to air refueling support. Next is the C-27J, what many call a mini-C-130. After the US invaded Iraq, the US Army discovered that the USAF would not transport a lot of items for them as required by law on a timely manner. And sometimes when they did, one C-130 was being used to transport one pallet. Lot of avgas for one pallet. The US Army was forces to use its fleet of CH-47 helicopters for logistics (ie a helicopter is a horrible way to move heavy loads). So the US Army sent over the small fleet of C-23 twin engine transports that the USAF had given them (ie the USAF never wanted them, but they bought them from the UK in exchange for the UK buying some US weapons) for internal logistic missions inside the US) to Iraq. They proved invaluable, because they could fly into a lot of airfields the C-130 could not fly into. But the 24/7 use of them wore them out. So the US Army started a very modest program to replace them. The aircraft was the C-27J. But the USAF found out, and all they saw was pilot-slots. So they told Congress they had a need for an aircraft in that class too, so why not a joint program. The US Army did not like it — ie they knew they were going to get screwed — but they went along. Well when it came time to order the C-27J, the USAF got their friends in Congress to strip funding for C-27Js to the US Army. And then they reduced the number of C-27Js they were going to order. And those that they do have on order are going to the National Guard. The results. The US Army has had to retire the C-23s (ie they were getting worn out and dangerous to fly) and now they are wearing their CH-47 Chinook fleet out.

    Jack E. Hammond

    • The Chinook is a right handy aircraft, but Caribous or a modern equivalent would move the same tonnage on less fuel and less maintenance.

      The Air Force took the Caribous away from the Army back in 1967.

      Naval Aviation and Marine Corps Aviation manage to serve the needs of the Fleet and the Fleet Marine Force with a lot less stress and drama than the Air Force inflicts upon the Army. Much of what is now Army Aviation wouldn’t even be necessary if the Air Force played nicely with others.

      They’ll get theirs when the fighter pilot mafia is replaced with UCAVs.