Prospective Electronics Material Officer School, USS Long Beach CGN-9 Mare Island, California

March 1972 to June 1972

This was the most interesting experience in that I was the only student in the class. I hated the fact that there were no other minds conjuring up different angles and asking questions that would provoke thought. Listening to a dry lecture was extremely exhausting.

One class was on an old Fire Control Computer which had a row of toggle switches across the front with a light above each switch. I may be wrong in the number but it seemes to me there were 32 switches... each switch representing one BIT and the whole group represented a BYTE. I had to write a short program in binary, enter the program one BIT at a time, press a button at the end of the row of lights to ENTER the BYTE until I had entered the whole program.

Of course, if there was an error in entry or in the program it was the devil to troubleshoot. Thank God for more modern computers!

It was a lonely time. Away from home and family and only me in the class. I went on long walks after supper and read or watched TV for entertainment. I was housed in a Motel if I recall correctly.

Not all of the classes were conducted at Mare Island. I believe at least one was at Treasure Island.

I was glad when the school was completd and I could get on with my next assignment.....

USS Long Beach CGN

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