It has been long enough ago now that it is a struggle for me to remember the details of day-to-day living aboard ship. I will do my best here. I will inquire with my online friends what they remember her as well.
Reveille was at 0600
Breakfast shortly afterwards, maybe zero630
Quarters. Morning quarters was at 7:30 or 8 o’clock?
Corders was the time when you gathered at the same place with the rest of the men in your division. They took muster, which is navies work for rollcall. It is important to account for everyone when you’re at sea. The possibility always exist that someone could be thrown overboard. The only way you would know is if they didn’t show up for morning quarters.
8 o’clock, commence ships work. Everyone had a job to do. Life aboard the U.S. Navy ship at sea can get very busy. Every division had equipment it was responsible for maintaining. We were either operating our equipment or maintaining our equipment
I was in the fire control division. Actually we had for fire control divisions. F one, F3, and GM division. F division was in charge of fire control for the main battery, the 16 inch guns. F3 division was in charge of fire control for the 5 inch guns, and GM division was in charge of fire control for the phalanx system. I don’t know if I ever spoke to AVfire control man who worked on the Tomahawk system.
Some sailors were preparing meals, some sailors were cutting hair, doing laundry, tending the store, some sailors were office workers person now I’m in keeping up our personnel records, some sailors worked in the hospital part of the ship or sick pay,
It was the engineering department that kept the ship moving forward. At sea, engineers stood port and starboard watch. 12 on 12 off.
Everyone was assigned a work center. Work centers were where the equipment was or where the function that your division did was located. Medical dental postal.
We were working from eight until noon. Then it was lunchtime. That one we would resume the workday. If I remember right we would work until four or 430 at sea and in Port we would finish our workday at 3:30. That’s how I remember it I’m not certain on that.
We had something called duty sections.I remember in Port we had four sections of duty watch standers. That means one out of every four days you would have the duty. When it’s your duty day, you cannot leave the ship. This was to ensure that there was at least a skeleton skeleton crew aboard ship at all times.
Having a duty day typically meant there were extra chores that needed done that day that the duty section would take care of. For example the duty section might sleep sweep up the working and living compartments. They would stand watches that have been assigned to the division. If you were off duty, once working hours were ended you could leave the ship freely and go do whatever you wanted to do with your evening. As long as you were back in time for morning quarters you were good.
Things change that see a little bit. For normal steaming at Sea, on the battleship my division had no watch standing assignments. When we went to condition three steaming, which was Roy time steaming then we would begin to mend the watch in one of the plotting rooms. We would make sure we have people available to operate the fire control equipment if it was needed.
I believe we had a six day work week when we were at sea not only were are working extra hour but we also worked on Saturdays.
Keeping the ship neat and tidy was part of our daily routine. We would have what was known as “sweepers”. Sweepers was done at the end of the workday to make sure all of our working spaces were cleaned up free of dirt.
We had brooms fox tails and dust pans. A fox tail was just a small handheld broom with the Shorthandle. You could use it to clean in the corners and crevices around the space.
They would pass the word where we could take our garbage. All dog trash and garbage on station. Throw all trash over the side. By 1991, we were separating out our plastic trash from paper trash. Fit contain plastic it went into a little trash compactor that we had ownership. If it contains paper or other water-soluble types of materials cotton rags etc., we could throw those over the side. At that time I was not really aware of the impact that plastic was having on the oceans. I hadn’t heard about that dead layer of the sea where all the sea water was filled with tiny plastic particles and nothing could live there.
At first it seemed odd to me that we were allowed to throw our trash into the ocean at all. But then I became a custom to it, and separating out the plastic seems strange