70s Navy "Tiger Cruise" in the Pacific
In the late 70s, I got to go on a Tiger Cruise from Hawaii to San Diego when I was in high school. I had a blast. The highlights included watching a gunnery exercise, a familiarity fire on the fan tail and shooting some old flares off the signal deck. The fam fire began with Master at Arms throwing a high explosive grenade over the side. Us dependents got to shoot a 1911, a shotgun, an M14 and about about 10 or 20 rounds through an M60. It was the only time I ever got to shoot tracers, very cool. The crew got to fire a lot more rounds, we just got a taste.
One night when I was roaming around the the ship, I spotted a flare up near the signal bridge. When I went to investigate, I found a sailor with boxes of expired flares shooting them with a flare gun (12 gauge? maybe 10) into the night sky. He asked if I wanted to shoot some too, I couldn't refuse. We were there for about an hour shooting these flares. It was almost as neat as shooting the tracers.
All in all, it was great to get behind the scenes view of life abroad ship.
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