In the below email, retired Senior Chief Wellnitz details conditions he noticed soon after reporting in 1979. He claimed that the Commanding Officer, CDR Richard F. Grant (a diesel submarine officer), was having an affair with LT. Dorothy Nichols, the Operations Officer. Wellnitz describes in detail what he saw as incompetency by LT. Nichols, despite Officer of the Deck (OOD), Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) qualification, and assignment as Operations department head, all awarded by CDR Grant. LT. Nichols arrived for duty in 1979 as an 1160 SWO in training, with no previous experience at sea. The year 1979 was the first full year that the Navy assigned women to ships. Wellnitz’s statement corroborates what I’ve written so far about the corruption of the bridge and warfare qualifications on this ship. Arbitrary, lenient, and inconsistent standards allowed these awards based on personal relationships and politics rather than merit.
In the next email, former LT Glen Bruels served as Communications & Operations Officer between 1977-78. The Commanding Officer then was CDR Richard Waer, a diesel submarine officer. Bruels corroborates lack of knowledge of seamanship and surface warfare by the submarine officers assigned to command the ship.
Former MM1 (Machinist’s Mate) Phil Conner agrees with my accounts of the ship’s problems, including sexual misconduct, and loss of ship’s anchor and chain.
In the below email, former BT Michael Ross recalls his memory of collisions, lost anchor and chain.
In Facebook Messenger, former YN2 Barry Ford recalls his memories of CAPT. O’Shea and the climate of sexual misconduct.