Officer Indoctrination School LDO Class 1965
Newport, Rhode Island
April 1965 to June 1965
LDO school was only three months but seemed much longer. We were exposed to an awful lot of skills but the greatest emphasis was on how to act as an officer and a gentleman. The final exam was a banquet where all the newly learned skills in the social graces were tested.
I reported to the BOQ late in the week before the classes were to begin. I was doing laundry down the hall from my stateroom and heard another officer talking about his luggage being lost in transit. He was about my size and I offered to loan him a uniform until he retrieved his own. He asked what rank I was and I said I was an Ensign. It turned out he was there for Chaplain School and was a LT.
A week or so later he came by my room and asked if I would like a ride into Providence, RI. I had an Aunt and Uncle living in Providence so I accepted his invitation to ride with him. On the way we talked about my relatives and I found that he had worked for my Uncle while he was growing up! Small world!
Three members of the class were kicked out of the school and demoted back to Chief (or maybe First Class) for fighting in a bar. That was not considered proper for an Officer and a Gentleman.
The course I considered most useful was in Damage Control. We descended into a mockup of below deck spaces on a ship. There were supplies for making repairs in the spaces. Water began flooding in from a number of places and it was up to us to find the materials to stop the flooding and get the job done before the compartment completely flooded. There was ample motivation to get it done and to do it right.
We had lessons in radio procedures and in navigation which I had experienced earlier in my career. I had studied navigation on my own while at Hunter's Point and been instructed by the XO on the USS Teaberry AN-34 as we were on passages along the California coast. Of course I had lots of RT experience as an ET at HDU Port Townsend, WA and at Neah Bay.
Ship handling was new to me because it was not steering with the wheel, it was giving the orders for the steering of the ship.
I was able to travel to Providence and Boston on weekends to spend time with relatives. That is beautiful country and it was wonderful to spend time with my Dad's sisters.
Like all duty assignments, this one came to an end and I received my first orders as an Officer. They were for...
USS Everglades AD-24 home ported in Charleston, SC. And, I was off on my next adventure.