Deck logs are available for most all US Navy ships from the National Archives. The logs do not capture much detail and they are basically boring chronologies of the "routine". Ordering them requires you to
specify a date range, and each page within that range will be copied. It's a manual and expensive process, about 50 cents per page. Here are a few pages from the USS Thomas J Gary's log.
- July 16, 1966, what's unique about this page is we were in
dry-dock in Davisville, RI. I (Gene Spinelli) had the midwatch. The OOD was "Mary Jane" (the original dick head of the navy). Sometime after midnight Mary Jane decides that he wants to inspect the keel blocks.
He exchanges his officer's cap for a hard hat, grabs a flashlight and disappears into the night. Sometime later he returns to the Quarterdeck and can't find his officer's cap. Since I was the Petty Officer of
the Watch, he orders me to find his hat (sounds like the strawberries from the Caine Mutiny). I told him I couldn't leave the Quarterdeck to search for his hat. I also suggested to him that the Petty Officer of
the Watch didn't usually have the responsibility to watch an officer's personal property left near the Quarterdeck. In a huff, Mary Jane left the Quarterdeck and it was the last I heard of his hat for over
At a TJ Gary reunion in the 1990s, someone tells me the story of a drunken shipmate returning from liberty that night, he saw the hat on the quarterdeck, and he stole the hat. The hat
was initially hidden in a laundry bag, then dismembered and tossed into the dry dock. Mary Jane was a real dick head, who received that nickname because of that horrible concoction he used to wear, English
Leather mixed with Faberge cologne.
Legend has it that one night while at sea, Mary Jane walks into the pilot house while the captain (JJ Kingston) was sitting in the Captain's Chair. Kingston
smells that "hooker-like"odor and says"who's the pussy on my bridge". Even if this never happened, it's a great story, Kingston would say something like that. I always liked that guy!
August 8, 1966, Change of Command, Smith to Kingston
August 24, 1966, Underway from Newport to Panama Canal
August 30, 1966, Transit Panama Canal
Sept. 26, 1966, Arrive Dunedin, New Zealand
Nov. 12, 1966, Sailing with 148 sea cadets and citizens aboard
Nov. 12, 1966, Page 2