U. S. NAVY


                                                                   San Diego. CA Boot Camp

US Naval Training Center, San Diego, Ca; US Naval Training Center, Norman, Ok; US Naval Training Center, Jax. Fl; NAS, Corpus Christi, Tx; HS-4 Ream Field, Imperial Beach, Ca; VAAW -35, North Island, CA; Naval Gunnery Center, Tuscon, Ar;VP-30, NAS Jax. Fl; VP-11, Brunswick, Me; NAS Argentia, Newfoundland; NAS Keflavik, Iceland; NAS Guantanamo Bay Cuba; Belfast, Ireland; VP-31 Moffat Field, Ca; VP-16, NAS Jax. Fl; NAS Key West, Fl; US Naval Station, Rota, Spain; Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico; Tidewater  Community College, Portsmouth, Va; USS Forrestal, Norfolk, Va.
Places visited, US Navy and Merchant Marines:   Mexico; Canada; Bermuda; Azores; Grand Turk, Island; Panama; Brazil; Barbados; Ivory Coast, Africa; Morroco; Tangiers; England; Scotland; North Pole; Hawaii; Alaska; Guam; Midway, Island; Okinawa; Hong Kong; Philippines; Borneo; Japan; Korea; Italy; Sicily; Sardinia; Greece; France; Turkey; Belgium; Netherlands; Portugal; Germany; Danmark; Sweden; Norway; Jan Mayen, Island; Israel; Tunisia; Gibralter; Malta; Cuba.   
Navy Duty Stations    Aug 1955 - Jun 1977



                                                       Duct Medal (4), National Defense Service  Medal.


                                                                            Pictured below is

                                             Charles Whitfield, Fred Moore, and Richard Gandy

                                                      In the front is Clifford "Spot" Taylor

I was stationed at North Island, Cal. from 1957-1959, and after discharge I returned to Minden and ran into  Bo one day.  We got to talking and discovered that while I was at North Island, he and A. C. were stationed there too.  I had been there for 2 years and never once ran into either of  them.  That is amazing since it wasn't a very big base and the only way to get into San Diego was the nickel snatcher.  What are the odds? 


                                                                                S.E.R.E. SCHOOL

For anyone who doesn't know, Sere School is what the navy calls their Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training.  Usually, people were sent to Sere School just before they were scheduled to be sent to Viet Nam.  In my case I was just starting a two year tour of shore duty, and was looking forward to it.  This was during my flight crew phase of the navy and when on shore duty, there wasn't any of the long 12 hour flights, that always seemed to come at or after midnight.  They were mostly local flights of no more than 4 hours total flight time duration.  When I got orders to Sere School, I checked to make sure I hadn't received other orders, because no one went to Sere School while on shore duty.  It may have been because I had been stationed at Brunswick, Maine for 4 years just prior to this.  Brunswick had their own Sere School not too far from the base, and my crew had gone while I was on emergency leave.  So maybe someone thought that I had cooked up a way to miss Sere School and decided to surprise me and send me while on shore duty.  Anyway there were about 35 guys in my class, and we had  two days of classroom training before we went into the field.  Before I left San Diego, I had been briefed by a guy who had just returned from the school, who told me everything one  should know before embarking to Sere School.  Some useful info  and some not so useful.  Anyway, armed with all of his info, I felt pretty confident about my impending trials.  We were told if we hadn't been captured within a certain period, that we would hear horns, sirens etc., and when we did, to come in because that would be the end of the evasion phase.
    The guy who had briefed me had told me the best way to evade was to find a good thick area and lay down in the middle of it, then I could hear and probably see the enemy as they walked past me.  I found a perfect place with briars throughout it and trees that one couldn't see through, so I crawled into the middle of the briar patch and lay there waiting.  Not long after, I heard someone talking as they approached and passed me. Then I heard others and saw one or two pass by.  After not hearing anyone for what seemed like an hour, but in reality, was probably 10 or 15 minutes, I cautiously arose from my concealed position, and stayed in the patch for a while, looking and listening for voices or walking noises.  Finally I started my trek through the woods, moving very carefully and slowly from tree to tree.  Finally, I decided that everyone had passed through my area, and just about that time I heard car horns honking and sirens sirening and started looking for someone to surrender to.  After a short time, I saw people ahead and walked in their direction.  I was given the number  33 signafying the order of my capture, meaning there were only 2 more people in the woods, who hadn't been captured.   I was told to get on the ground, which I did, then was brutally grabbed and stood on my feet.  I had a smile on my face, and the guy said, "We'll wipe that smile off your face," then pushed me ahead of him with a couple other guys and took us to the P.O.W. Camp which was very close by.  Upon arriving, we were introduced to the reason for this email.  Water Boarding, which they called the Chinese Water Torture.  I was put down on my stomach and a limb or board, I don't remember which, was run under my arms.  Then I was turned over and was laying on my back, at which time a T-shirt was thrown over my face. Then someone sat on my chest and began pouring water over the T-shirt, giving me the impression that I was drowning.  Never having drowned before, I wasn't sure if I was actually drowning or not, but obviously I wasn't because I am writing this email.   
     We were told at the de-briefing that it would be hard to drown anyone with the Chinese Water Torture.  The instructor said, "All you have to do is drink the water."  Now the media is making a big deal out of water boarding which everyone who was in the navy with me had it done to them by our own people.  And if anyone could have drowned from it, they would have.  That's Murphy's law.  So if that is the only torture they used on the terrorists they weren't tortured at all in my opinion.
By the way, the advice I received from my friend was pretty good, because the water boarding was all I had to go through. I know it was because I was no. 33, because most of those in my class really got worked over.  The instructors went through that course everyday all summer and if one could evade them, they could evade anyone in a jungle.

Narley Stryder  



Freddy Moore