March 6, 2015 |
THERE WAS something strange about that hair tonic Charlie Zebrowski was splashing on the heads of his fellow sailors aboard the destroyer USS Coughlin. A case of it had been sent to him by a cousin when he learned that Charlie was the ship's unofficial barber, keeping the other sailors trim for inspections. There was something different about the tonic all right. It was booze! An honest mistake? Or his cousin's idea of a good joke? Whatever, Charlie soon became the most popular man on a ship that often saw action in World War II. Even officers stopped into Charlie's makeshift barbershop for a cut - and a sip. There was one thing that Charlie Zebrowski appreciated and that was a good joke.
September 19, 2014 |
On the signal bridge of the USS Frank E. Evans, Steve Kraus was scanning the ocean about 3 a.m. as the destroyer made a long, sweeping starboard turn through the darkness. The watch was uneventful until - seemingly out of nowhere - the Australian aircraft carrier Melbourne came barreling toward the Evans at 22 knots. Kraus hurried into the ship's signal shack and got on the intercom to warn the pilot house below: "We're going to get hit!" Then came a mighty crash, and the screeching and shrieking of metal.
July 18, 2014 |
If preparing dishes in a cramped kitchen sounds daunting, imagine cooking in a small space hundreds of feet below the sea's surface for 170 of your closest friends. For Philadelphia native Petty Officer First Class Christopher Engman, the lead culinary specialist aboard the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Pennsylvania, whipping up macro recipes in a micro kitchen is the norm. Engman, 26, joined the Navy in August 2005 as a junior enlisted sailor after graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in Northeast Philadelphia.
July 5, 2014 |
The Coast Guard has called off the search for a sailor missing since Wednesday evening in the Delaware River. Police declined to give the name of the man, 66, who was last seen clutching a cooler to stay afloat during a rainstorm. Coast Guard officials said there were no plans to reactivate the search. The man's 21-foot sailboat was not found during a search that resumed Thursday at 7:30 a.m. and stretched from Neshaminy Park to the Walt Whitman Bridge. Four other people on the boat swam to the Philadelphia Fire Department building on the west bank of the river and called 911 about 7:40 p.m. Wednesday.
July 3, 2014 |
When the Second World War ended, 20-year-old Navy technician Robert Cyliax just wanted to go home. After a flight from Iwo Jima to Japan, another to California, then a two-week drive back home to Philadelphia, Cyliax was tired and not concerned with collecting paperwork. Nearly seven decades later, in the crowded kitchen of a Philadelphia veterans' shelter, the 89-year-old former sailor belatedly picked up five medals for his service Tuesday, all earned but never received. Members of Cyliax's family - some of whom had journeyed to Philadelphia from St. Louis - waited in the Veterans' Group shelter as his younger son, Curt, drove him from his Horsham home to the surprise ceremony.
June 4, 2014 |
FOR THE PAST five years, Doylestown native Devon Butler has sailed the seas, exploring shipwrecks, helping scientists assess oil-spill damages, excavating sunken cargo - whatever enabled him to indulge his passion for diving. His mother, Rosemary Carroll, worried occasionally about pirates, storms and diving accidents but didn't dwell on the dangers of her son's profession, lest her concerns consume her. Still, she never imagined the predicament Butler, 27, now endures: Police in Honduras hurled him and five crewmates into a dilapidated coastal jail on May 5, claiming that they were smuggling guns into the poor, crime-plagued Central American country.
November 20, 2013 |
FROM Philadelphia to the Philippines, a young sailor is showing some brotherly love. Typhoon Haiyan swept across the South Pacific nation Nov. 8, killing nearly 4,000 people and displacing 4 million others. The USS George Washington was on the scene less than a week later. Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Nurse of Philly is among the 5,500 sailors onboard the nuclear-powered supercarrier. "It's amazing to be able to help out. One minute we're in Hong Kong, the next we're here," he said by phone from the Philippine Sea. "It feels awesome to be able to assist people in need.
September 17, 2013 |
CHERRY HILL Nineteen thousand feet above sea level was far from the wet and wind where John MacCausland likes to play. But the champion sailboat racer from Cherry Hill had always wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, just as he had set his sights for decades on another goal: the world championship in the Star class of sailboats. He had won 19 East Coast championships and six North American championships since he began racing Stars as a teenager. He even crewed on the America's Cup winner, Stars and Stripes, in 1987.
August 19, 2013 |
The G-rated tour routes of the legendary warship are clearly marked with tape or paint. They take visitors to awesome 16-inch guns, feared by enemies from World War II through combat actions in Korea, Vietnam, and Lebanon. They head to Tomahawk missiles, the navigation bridge, and the captain's quarters. But visitors who come to the Battleship New Jersey for its monthly adult twilight tours are taken off the beaten track to see another side of the sailors' lives. Thursday night, they eyed a 5-by-5-foot painting of a Navy boiler man posing, as the curator said, with two "anatomically correct" women - one of many risqué artworks tucked away in the 887-foot ship's hidden nooks.
July 27, 2013 |
When Margaret and Theodore Krier sailed their sloop down the Intracoastal Waterway in 1991 from Maryland to Florida, it was a leisurely trip. But as they returned, "they got caught up in the Perfect Storm," which devastated parts of the East Coast that autumn, son James said. Fortunately, "they took refuge in the Great Dismal Swamp Canal," which runs through coastal North Carolina and Virginia. "They missed the brunt of the storm," he said, but had tales to tell. On Sunday, July 21, Theodore G. Krier, 88, a former X-ray service technician in Philadelphia, died of heart failure at his home in Winston-Salem, N.C. He lived in Haddonfield from 1963 to 2010.