Boatswain's Mates perform various deck duties aboard ship, maintain rigging, ground tackle, canvas articles; supervise operation and maintenance of ship's boats; operate and maintain cargohandling equipment; supervise working and damage control parties; act as members of gun crew.
What They Do:
Boatswain's Mates (BM) train, direct, and supervise personnel in ship's maintenance duties in all activities relating to marlinespike, deck, boat seamanship, painting, upkeep of ship's external structure, rigging, deck equipment, and boats; take charge of working parties; perform seamanship tasks; act as petty officer-in-charge of picketboats, self-propelled barges, tugs, and other yard and district craft; maintain discipline as master-at-arms and police petty officers; serve in, or take charge of, guncrews or damage control parties; and operate and maintain equipment used in loading and unloading cargo, ammunition, fuel, and general stores. (From NAVPERS 18068-14B)
BM Boatswains Mate
Service (Specialty) Rating
from the Crew
Terry Mahoney, BM3
I joined the Little Rock pre-comm crew at the Phila Shipyard in
Nov 1959 fresh out of boot camp. We sat around until Feb. 1960 playing
cards at the Receiving Center and doing odd jobs for everyone. We
were then sent to Newport R.I. and froze our butts off in those WW1 barracks.
They sent us to all kinds of schools; Damage control; Winter survival (which
came in handy up there), and 2 or 3 others that I can't remember now.
I think it was in Newport that they grabbed a bunch of us for OI Div and were
determined to make Radarmen out of us. The ones that could write backwards
made it and we went on to other training.
In the spring some of us were flown to Willow Grove
NAS and thence to Camden NJ where we went aboard the Little Rock.
We were working for BM1 Howard Dickey and work us he did. We spent
about 4 wks there and then went back to Newport via train because the flight
down was so bad that no one wanted to fly back. Dickey pulled some
strings and got us on the train. For that I have been eternally grateful.
After the commissioning, when we finally got underway,
I found out what CIC was all about and didn't want to spend my life below
decks writing backwards and staring at a repeater. I finally ticked
off an RD2 whose name I've forgotten and they sent my sorry butt to OL
Div. to be a lookout. Lt. Elliot was the Div Officer and Howard
Dickey BM1, Jack Lamb BM2 and John Cournoyer BM2 were the division PO's.
I enjoyed working topside with those guys and learned a lot from
them. I stayed in OL and made BM3 in Oct of 62 and left the Rock in
I live in Pa and am only about 120 mi from Buffalo
and visit her occasionally to relive the best time of my young life.
Sorry this is so long but it brought back a lot of good memories. See
you all in Buffalo next year.
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Obert Blaisdell, BM3