Comments from Jerry Fifield:[Stay tuned to follow Jerry's adventures as the NEW Chief of the Boat for the restoration of PTF-7]
They weren't worried about me hurting someone else with that missile launcher, but them goats on San Clemente Island and that goddamn Mexican Patrol Boat that kept messing with us when we were fishing in the Coronado Islands were a threatend species. It was an old Navy minesweeper with a 3 inch single fire mount on the foredeck and he would shoot at you also. I pissed him off one day, showed him what speed and maneuverability was all about, ran circles and figure 8's around him at top speed, about 300 to 500 yards out, he didn't mess with us anymore, and he damn well knew he better hadn't shoot at us, I wasn't above starting an international incident, I'd talked to it's Capt. on the radio once, told him to take his best shot and he damn well better not miss.
Dan. I made permanent Chief on March 16th 1968. My pictures were taken in either April or May of 1968. Most of the people that you see on the deck were observers, we were spotting for the USS New Jersey firing her 16 inchers at the southern end of San Clemente Island, giving them goats hell, after they had put her back in commission. AWESOME. If I remember rightly, she stayed out to sea for one more day and then returned to port. When she did return they held open house for the public for a few days and I took my wife (at the time ) and went aboard for the tour. They had all five of the different 16 inch projectiles that they used lined up against the bulkhead at the quarterdeck. My wife was only 5 ft. tall and when we were about halfway up the gangplank she asked, what's them, pointing at the forward gun mounts, I said , that's what goes out the end of them. She also said AWESOME, I said, Yeh, you ought to hear them going over top of your head. Everyone of those Iowa class battlewagons ought to be in commission, if for nothing more then P.R. and good will tours, just like our PTF's should be, I don't care how much they cost to operate, the government wastes a lot of money on useless projects it's pathetic.