Nov 1, 2013

"Permission To Come Aboard Captain!"

Squadrons 44 & 36 Spend the Night Aboard the USS Pampanito
Category: General
Posted by: admin

On May 31, Cadets and Officers from Diablo Composite Squadron 44 in Concord and John J Montgomery Memorial Squadron 36 in San Jose presented Colors on the USS Pampanito ( in San Francisco to commemorate the loss of submariners during WWII.  In return, the USS Pampanito donated an overnight field trip to these Squadrons. 


On July 10, 30 Cadets and 8 Officers and Parents took an audio tour, enjoyed a pizza dinner, and spent the night sleeping on the USS Pampanito, berthed in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.  All had the opportunity to view the Conning Tower, not open to the public, watch Down Periscope in which the Pampanito was a star, and find out what it was like living aboard this small craft.  We had 40 Cadets, Officers, and Parents on board, and it felt pretty small for a night.  During WWII, there were 70 Enlisted and 10 Officers aboard the same boat for 70 days! 


The USS Pampanito, opened to the public in 1982, was commissioned in 1943 and served on 6 patrols, sinking 6 ships, damaging 4 more, and rescuing 73 Allied POWs before being decommissioned in 1945.  How fitting for CAP, with our Emergency Services mission to have this opportunity to spend the night aboard a ship that rescued 73 POWs that otherwise would have been lost at sea!



All had a great time, even with the bunks   stacked 3 high and having all 30 Cadets in the small galley at once to eat.  Cadets, Officers and Parents pulled a "Dog Watch", ensuring the boat didn't spring any leaks overnight, and observed the US Navy traditions, including requesting permission to board and disembark from the Officer of the Deck.  After breakfast and some photographs, all disembarked the boat.  While our time aboard was measured in hours, the experience left a lasting impression on all.  In fact, it took weeks before Cadets stopped saying "Aye, aye"!



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