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Military Service and the Narrow Gauge

September 09, 2020 09:27PM avatar
Olaf has mentioned how the draft affected his train chasing. My experience was quite different. I spent four years in the Navy starting in 1961, During the first two years I was based in Long Beach and used my leave time to make several trips to chase the narrow gauge. Perhaps the most interesting was in the middle of the Cuban missile crisis. We were on red alert, expecting to go to war tomorrow. But my ship was in dry dock in San Diego. I had plans for another trip to Durango, but expected my leave to be cancelled. But the boss said we're not likely to go anywhere, you might as well take your leave. So I was off to Durango where I found this scene while the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war.

DRGWdur1962yard1000.jpg

Some months later I left for my all expenses paid tour of the Far East, which yielded these narrow gauge scenes, plus my first Nikon from the Navy Exchange at Sasebo for something like $100.

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I was having such a good time that I re-upped for an additional two years, based in San Francisco. Shore duty provided even more opportunities for trips to the narrow gauge.

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After four years of all this fun I was tempted to make a career of the Navy, but my friend Gordon Chappell introduced me to David Myrick who opened up some doors for me at Southern Pacific, and I decided I liked trains more than ships. But my time in the Navy was rewarding both professionally and as well as personally.

I had a friend at SP who faced the same kind of draft risk that that Olaf did. After telling him about my Navy experiences, he volunteered for the Navy. He didn't get to make any trips to the narrow gauge, and I'm not sure tossing 5 inch shells at the NVN coast was fun (the NVN had a bad habit of shooting back), but we still talk about our adventures in the Navy way back when.

JBWX



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2020 09:50PM by John West.
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Military Service and the Narrow Gauge Attachments

John West September 09, 2020 09:27PM

Re: Military Service and the Narrow Gauge

nedsn3 September 10, 2020 05:29AM

Re: War Ships and the narrow gauge Attachments

Olaf Rasmussen September 10, 2020 09:46AM

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et&wnc September 10, 2020 09:56AM

Re: Military Service and the Narrow Gauge

hudsonut1 September 10, 2020 11:34AM

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dave2-8-0 September 10, 2020 06:42PM

Re: Military Service and the Narrow Gauge

John West September 10, 2020 12:00PM

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Rpsqueezer September 10, 2020 07:09PM

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Brian Norden September 10, 2020 08:35PM

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usmc1401 September 11, 2020 10:27AM

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Chris Webster September 11, 2020 04:27PM

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Jerry474 September 11, 2020 01:13PM

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guymonmd September 12, 2020 08:03AM

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jim pallow September 12, 2020 08:56AM



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