Friendly Fire

Nipmuc in Action
22"h x 24"w, Oil on Canvas
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      This painting was done to commemorate a day in the life of the USS Nipmuc. On a cold crappy day off the East Coast, we were target towing for NATO exercises. I was on Sound-Powered Phones, back with Scotty, who was keeping score on the "rake". You might make us out on the O1 level aft. We are depicted bugging out. The NATO shooter was a Canadain Tin Can. The call came down, "Commence Fire"

"You mean '10 minute stand-by'don't you?" Scotty asked, because we could see that they were out of position.

"No", I replied,"they said Commence Fire." So we took our eyeball positions. I saw the muzzle blast, and cried "Shot!" A few seconds later, you could hear "shoo-shoo-shoo-shoo-BOOM!

Scotty calmly said, "That cleared our mainmast by about ten feet-CEASE FIRE!!!" Then he moved for cover. I conveyed the order to the bridge. While I was unplugging myself from the phones, I could see Rocky, on look-out, hit the deck as the next air-burst went over. The Captain, then Lt. Roger Owens, was shaking his fist at the offenders. The "Cease Fire" order had already been sent to the shooter, but they still managed to get 4 shots off at us, missing badly. I later read an article in Surface Warfare, that layed out a litany of lame excuses, as to why that happened, but we know how that crap happens.

This painting now hangs at the Captains house. I owed it to him for putting me in for Illustrator/Draftsman, without even telling me. Thanks Capt'n






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