U.S.S. Little Rock
CL 92 / CLG 4 / CG 4


Page last updated: 23 January, 2018

* * * The BM Rating * * *

Boatswain Mate




General Info:

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)

General Rating

BM  Boatswains Mate
Service (Specialty) Rating
BMA
Boatswain's Mate Master-at-Arms
BMB
Boatswain's Mate Seabee
BMG
Boatswain's Mate Shipboard
BMK
Boatswain's Mate Canvasman
BMR
Boatswain's Mate Rigger
BMS
Boatswain's Mate Stevedore

Note 1.  


Comments from the Crew

Terry Mahoney, BM3
OI & OL, 59-61

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 Nov 62.

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.

- - - - -

Obert Blaisdell, BM3
1st Division 9/66 - 6/68

In charge of 1st Lt. Division. I remember of all the special details including mooring to buoy.

Center projectile loader 6" gun mount (General Quarters)

Division Officer: Lt. Hallinan. He was one of the best I worked for.  He was not afraid to turn-to whenever it was needed.  He backed his men when they were right.  I will always be grateful for his insight and friendship.  If I was not planning to get married when my tour was up, I would have made the Navy my life.  All though there were some bad times, the good times out weigh the bad by far.




Were you a BM on the Little Rock?
We'd like your input memories and comments.
Add your story to the Message Board under the
"What Did YOU Do On the Little Rock" postings.

Enlisted Ratings

History Facts Page

All US Navy Ratings

Home