Wednesday, August 24, 2011
The Line of Death!
During the USS Caron's (DD 970) 1985-86 Med Cruise, we participated in operations against Llybia. One of those operations were to breach the so called "Line of Death" that Qaddafi had designated. In preparations for the operation, we were ordered to establish and train an armed boat crew to recover downed pilots of any nation, friendly or not. The Executive Officer came to me as the Command Master Chief and the Leading Gunner's Mate to select the men for this potentially dangerous detail. I quickly told him that I would be leading this team. He told me that I could not and that I was to select only unmarried men! After a blast of profanity from me, I asked him WHY only single men. His limp wristed reply was that they would not leave behind any family! I went on to explain the fact that we were military men, in a combat operation, and that the Navy expected the best men for the job to be selected. Since I was the only person in the crew that I KNEW would shoot someone, I knew I was going. I also took Konehead, another young Gunner's Mate, a Boatswain's Mate with plenty of boat handling experience and an engineer who I thought could keep the boat running, no matter what. Thankfully, we never were needed, but the attitude of that Executive Officer stayed with me forever.