Disclaimer: I mean no disrespect to the USN or any of the men who served aboard the USS Virginia. I am still proud of my ship, and my time on board her.

STG2(SW) Gutek here from the early 80's. I was part of the infamous CA division of Combat Systems. The Sonar Gang. (at least we thought we were infamous...but I digress). I remember 1980 and the Iranian Hostage crisis , but it seems I have a different take on the "A Whale Of A Story...However unsubstantiated this story is...here goes... One thing to remember before I start, as a Sonar men we had spaces all over the ship, fore,aft,up down inside and outside. We got around and knew alot of people...Now back to the story...I don't remember just how many days we had been at sea, but I think we were getting close to 100 or were expected to go over, ( we did 100+ later, but thats another story), While it was true we would run around as fast as our reactors let us go, I not so sure about hitting a whale. I mean it sounds good for the newspapers, or the brass in Washington, but....remember I said we had spaces all over??...well one of the spaces we had was all the way foreword, just before the Bo'suns locker, it was called "The Fiddle Board". This board was a fairly complex system of firemain water pipes and 3000PSI high pressure air pipes that, when working properly, would keep the sonar dome rubber window at 38PSI....( 38 PSI ?? CGN 38 ?? coincidence?? insert Twilight Zone music here)...Like I said when "working properly", get it yet ?....after the rupture of the dome window, when we would sit around Sonar Control discussing the issue, a couple of less then scrupulous guys would just smirk at each other...you draw your own conclusions.....Remember doing 5 knots all the way to the Philippines in that typhoon ?? I spent 4 years on that great ship. I got there as an E-2 and worked my way to STG2(SW),and was on the fire party, SAT & BAF Team, and ran supply for my division....oh my supply...there's a few stories in that area too !!!!!

Bill Gutek

Postscript: After all was said and done, after 3 weeks in dry dock...somewhere around 0200 in the morning, I was woken up to "inspect and sign off" on final installation of the new Sonar Dome Rubber window !! YEP, as a whopping E-2, less than a year in the Navy, I went under the ship with the lead man from Goodyear, ( you haven't lived until you've been under 11000 tons propped up with what looked like 2x4's...)...anyway, this guy shoves a clip board to me and says..."sign here for final installation"...so...i signed....There you go for the USN !! from 1980 to 2003 the Sonar Dome installed on the ship was "inspected" by ....ME !!

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