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USS O’Bannon. Unconventional Weaponry (A Brief Description of a Funny Confrontation)

USS O'Bannon

USS O’Bannon (DD-450) is a Fletcher-class destroyer laid down on March 3, 1941. She served the United States Navy (USN) in World War II. She was sold for scrap on June 6 1970 with 17 battle stars including the Presidential Unit Citation.

During her World War II service, she briefly trained for war in the Caribbean and participated in the Pacific campaign against the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). She fought in the Guadalcanal campaign in which her assigned squadron, Destroyer Squadron 21 (DesRon 21), was securing the American held Solomon Island. She escorted USS Copahee (CVE-12) on a run to supply depleted American Marines with supplies to continue holding a key airstrip named “Henderson Field”. O’Bannon sighted enemy submarines and fired at them with her 5-inch main battery armament. On Novemeber 12 1942, 16 Japanese torpedo bombers attack American convoy ships. 11 were shot down and O’Bannon fired at 4 of the planes. Word came that a Japanese attack force of battleships, cruisers and destroyers were going to bombard the Americans off the island, and O’Bannon with a underpowered task force, were set to try to turn away the attackers. During the attack, O’Bannon boldly fought Japanese battleship Hiei, getting so close that Hiei guns couldn’t depress far enough to shoot the destroyer. Combined attacks from other American ships, Hiei was set to be scuttled.

On April 5 1943, O’Bannon sighted the Japanese submarine RO-43 on the surface and made to ram it. At the last minute, officers aboard the destroyer decided the sub might be a minelayer and turned hard to avoid the collision. The action brought the destroyer along side the sub. Japanese mariners attempted to man their 3-inch gun battery, O’Bannon deck hands grabbed potatoes out of a supply shed and pelted the potatoes at the Japanese crew. The Japanese believed that the potatoes were hand grenades and threw them back, instead of manning the 3-inch battery. As soon as O’Bannon was far enough away, she opened up with her 5, 5-inch gun batteries and damaged the sub’s conning tower. RO-43 submerged but O’Bannon’s depth charges eventually sunk the sub.

USS O'Bannon Potatoe Commeration

At the end of World War II, she joined her sister ship USS Nicholas, USS Missouri and USS Taylor into Tokyo Bay by order of Admiral William Halsey. She was later decommissioned after overhaul on May 21, 1946.

Sophomore Class Crane Operations: Practicing Our Communication Skills

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As the weather gets warmer, the Vessel Operations CTE program is going underway more often. The Sophomore Class of Vessel Operations has been training and working on the cranes on Privateer. The importance in keeping communication consistent between crew members is very important in any boat we are underway in. However, the difference in what is communicated on Privateer is quite different from what is usually said on other boat such as Indy 7 amd Virginia. Privateer has an A-frame crane that is often used to lift big, heavy objects. If not handled properly, these large objects can become loosened, can swing around, and possibly damage property and even injure crew members and/or passengers. Communication and repeating commands is very important and many people have overlooked the importance of it. Communication should be reinforced at all times on the water, whether we are docking, picking up moorings, not just when we’re operating cranes.

 

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Summer Internship Interview

On May 30, the sophomores and juniors of the Vessel Ops program took an interview for a CTE summer internship involving working on the water at the MAST center. This internship would involve working on the docks or underway on a boat. While were underway we will capture more experiences and learn more tools, helping us become more equipped for the future. We get paid $11 or more an hour, 25 hours a week, for 6 weeks. I plan on using the money to save for college tuition in 2 years. I look forward to this internship, learning new methods of functioning on the water, and exploring new waters.

Fishers Island (Oyster Farm Boats)

IMG_0129This picture above shows me on the bigger aluminum boat ; 35 feet with an outboard engine, that was towing the smaller green boat ; 20 feet with an outboard engine, that go stuck by the oyster farm with Jeremy (Aquaculture teacher)  and some of his students.

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The picture above shows me steering the smaller green boat going back to the Malinowski dock from the Fishers Island’s oyster farm.

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This picture shows Max, Pete’s son, on the left and Theo, Aaron’s son, on the right (and me) on the 20 foot fiber glass boat while we were tied up to fuel. Theo and Max were practicing their line throwing skills. For their age, I’d say they were pretty good at it.

Working On My Own Boat

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I got to work on my boat. It was great. I don’t get out on my own boat that often because school takes up all my time. I have a 29ft Shamrock with a twin screw––a great boat. Today, I took the shrink wrap off and started a full cleaning, and getting it ready to be put in the water. I really like running my boat. It’s a great experience. I did also some work on my dad’s boat which is a 42ft. Hopefully today I can put both boats back in the water and go out for a sea trail.

MOORING

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A group of 4 to do the job

predict the distance

don’t put the helm in a state of confusion

such actions can mess everything up!

once you see the mooring approach

be ready with the hook

make sure to have your spotter by your side

Get the line and place it on the hook

make it off and yell

LINE MADE!

Picking up a life raft

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This photo is from the day we had to deflate the life raft that the juniors inflated for practice. The experience of deflating was very fun and challenging in some aspects. We had to rearrange the raft on the boat to where we were able to open up the depression valve but we had to keep rearrangeing the raft till we had the big valve and we’re able to completely deflate the raft. After we were done deflating it we had to roll it up and then put it on the dry dock.

The Pros of a CTE School

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Being a student at a high school that provides Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs has honestly been amazing so far. I’ve been in traditional school settings my whole life and have always enjoyed learning but much of what we learn in the curriculum is entirely useless.

For example Biology, it’s not that I don’t like science but honestly… when are we going to need to know about plant species in the desert.

See in a CTE School we learn practical skills that actually apply to our future careers. Not only that, but in a school like Harbor School students are given more responsibility and are treated as adults so we are taught to be accountable. Most schools belittle their students. We are respected by the adults if we deserve it.