US Coast Guard
Page No. 12
​​​U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spar WLB - 403 out of Bristol RI.

Some Stories, 53 years​ later
 Posted on 5 / 14 / 11
I just received an email from one of the 5 crew members that was on board the Spar's journey in 1966. One of the storms were around the end of September which also lasted over a week, Dave Milanak sent this in to me last night and I believe he had some detailed recollections come back to him or he wouldn't have sent this in to me: "quote" As I am now in my 60's Sept. 30th, 1966 to Oct. 6th. 1966 has been the longest and most frightening week of my life that I can remember. Dave Milanak  "Unquote".  These swells I believe are approx. 70 to 90 feet and they were being logged in on the bridge - in fact were 70 to 90 foot and we also had them coming from both port and starboard sides. The ocean was just peaks very high peaks I guess that's why there called mountainous seas.  I can still see it like Dave Milanak can a very vivid memory indeed.  One had to be there to know what we all went through & I can say we shouldn't be here now but the Spar made it and the officers on the bridge. Who knew that we were headed for a second one not to far from the future, two weeks long.
Dave Milanak / Seaman

​Posted on 11 / 13 / 2011
Hey Tom -
Just looked at your changes to page 3. Wow, I love the new pics Jim sent and the information. Tom you did a great job of laying it all out! I'd never seen most of those pictures. I thought that was Alan Peterson's 305 scrambler but I remember when Gary saw something he liked he had to have one too. I remember riding on the back with Peterson and going to Newport. Anyway, great job Tom. RICH
Hey Rich... Thank you. When Jim called I sometimes think I would be at a loss for words. It was the complete opposite. My wife had to go out and when she returned it was 3 1/2 hours that just zipped on by. Nuts... Jim says he has more to send, he just has to find it. I'm not blowing my own horn here Rich, but before I ever had a PC, my son in-law set up a real old lap top, with a zip drive 100 MB. just to put my camera pics onto to save. On that laptop was a program called Photo Impression, by H.P. Well I worked with that for 3 years and could do just about anything to pictures. That knowledge now pays off, Jim's picture were scanned, 4 on a page in low resolution, color was off, and some other items. So I was able to do all the work it took to make them presentable for the site, even make the pictures the same size. Before you found my site, a lot of the pics were all uneven, which eventually are pretty much done. And I still would like you to point out any suggestions or errors you may find. Thanks, Glad you like it Rich.
 Your Shipmate Tom EN3.

Posted on 11 / 9 / 2011 ​ Jim Malone.
Hey Tom,
l didn't think l had spelled the girls name right when l sent the last email. She was from Norway, but l met her in a bar in Copenhagen, Denmark. That bar was in the Nyhaven district on the waterfront in Copenhagen and l remember the OOD telling us before we left the ship, not to go there. So, what did we do? Everyone went there. lt was FUN. l do remember the Toborg and Carlsberg beer was very strong; l could only handle about six before l felt like worming around on the floor.
l am going to look for more pics and l believe l have some embroidered patches from the different countries we visited. Iceland, Norway etc. lm going to find someone with a scanner and try to get the pics sent when l get them all together. l did ask them at the library if l could send or receive pictures and they said no. As for the 2 pics you sent me, the first one of 'Chooch"& me is fine the way you have worded it. The goofy looking one of me you might say: " l always look this way after a four hour watch on the bridge."l hope you stay the course of not drinking. Gina (my wife) had a bout with alcohol for many years. She finally went to AA and kicked it about three years before she died of cancer. Those 3 years were a blessing for both of us as she was a different person. We probably grew together more in those last 3 years than the previous 27. We sure can waste a lot of our lives if we don't have a direction, or a plan, or a guiding force. Take good care, my friend. Your old/shipmate/friend,​​Jim Malone.
​PS: You will have to give me your phone# and if l get stuck on
​emailing the pics you might be able to help me.

Posted 11 / 8 / 2011 Chuck Goodspeed
Just wanted to wish you all a happy Veterans day,Veteran is a title I wear with honor.
I will be thinking of all of you at the ceremony the 11th hour the 11th day the 11th month. Thank you all for your service and Semper Par all.
​Charles H Goodspeed BM3 Former Active Duty
USCGC Acacia WLB 406  1967-1971
Semper Par

Posted on 11 / 8 / 2011 by Jim Malone.
l did find some pics including the one with you, me and the blond girl l had my arm around. She was from Norway and l believe her name was Lila. The hard part will be getting the images to you, these public pc's dont have the capability and l dont want to send the pics in the mail. l found a picture of Richard in the engine room of the Spar, another crew member and a b/w picture of the Spar in rough seas that was part of a Christmas card Rich sent to me when l was at a lifeboat station in Kenosha, Wisconson. l believe you may have that picture of Rich and the one of the Spar. l will try to find others and think of a way to get the images to you. Got any suggestions? Semper Paratus! Jim.
​ (l wonder what Gnarls is up to?)

​​​​Posted on 11 / 7 / 2011
by Jim Malone
l will have to scrounge around, but l may have a few pictures. l do remember a picture of you and l and a blonde girl l had latched on to at a Nyhaven bar in Copenhagen. You know, one of those pictures a person takes of you with a Polariod camera and then tries to sell them to you. Remember it? l will have to look hard and find what l can. l wil let you know, Jim. 
Those flags l was waving around are call Semifor flags, used for signalling other ships. As l recall, that was some sort of training we went through with other Coast Guard ships. lf l remember right, that was DJ Hart standing in back of me when l was doing the signalling. He had never been to signalman school, but lucky me, l had. l dont remember when you got transferred. l had to laugh the other day, l thought of a time when you and l were talking about a seaman on the ship named Swanick. ( l hope l spelled his name right) And in our infinite wisdom, we had decided he looked kind of gnarly (you know, his face and hands) so we nick-named him "Gnarls". l know its not right, but l laugh every time l think about it. lm laughing right now, sorry Gnarls. Later, Jim.
lts such a small world. l met my wife Gina at a party Carl Provost and his wife Kathy invited me to on a New Years Eve. l believe Mark Chadwick and his girlfriend Sheila came along also, and the rest is history. Wow, l had completely forgotten about Carl. l think it would have been quite a distraction having lady crew members, although all the male members on the crew probably would have taken better care of themselves (like showers, shaving and brushing their teeth etc.) l hate to sound so old school, but l dont think it would be good. l was at a lifeboat station before l "mutualed" with a guy on the Spar. l think they renamed the lifeboat station "search and rescue units" about the time l was leaving. l will see about the pictures when l get home. Jim.

Posted on 11 / 31 / 2011
​ Rich Notestine to Jim Malone.
Hey man, its good to hear from you!
l do sort of remember that old saying "impress me" but that is not me any more.
l know what you mean about computers, l did use them at work, but they were only related to the operation of machines that processed mail. The internet is a completely different animal. l own a computer that is so old that they probably would use it for a door stop in the Smithsonian. lt was also a pre internet computer. Back when you could only get on bullenten boards, and l didnt even do that. l use public pc's and have an email address through a friend who has an up-to-date pc.
l really did not get interested in the history of the ship until l got a call from D.J. Hart who was a QM3 on the bridge with me. Do you remember him? We talked for at least a couple of hours about the ship and all the things that went on. lt was good. He still lives in Rhode Island and is doing well.(retired) l told him about the web site, but l think DJ doesnt mess with the computer a whole lot. l have emailed him and do not get any response. l do have his phone # and call him from time to time. DJ was looking for me and Richard Notestine. l gave him and old phone # and an address that l had from Eudora, Kansas. l got Rich's email address off you web site. Thanks, good job!
l married a girl from E. Providence, R l in 1969 and we had two children. l lost Gina (my wife) to breast cancer in 1999. l have four grandchildren and a very busy life. l would imagine the Coast Guard has changed a bunch. l do have very fond memories of all the time l spent there. From boot camp to discharge in 1968. l wasn't very mature when l first went into the service, it did help me alot, l believe. How has life been for you since you left the service? Hope you are well mentally, physically and spiritually. Take good care,   Jim Malone.

​Posted 9 / 2 / 2011
 Crew member No. 5 found his place on the Spar wlb-403's 1966 trip.
​He is Jim Malone  His favorite saying back then was Impress Me.

​Guess what - Jim Malone found me. Here's what he sent. 
Well Richard l finally found out how to get a hold of you. This is Jim Malone.  It's been a long time, my friend. So much has happened since l last saw you or spoke to you. l have thought about you and your family often, and as far as l can remember your last location was Eudora, Ks. l called the phone numbers l found in a letter you had sent to me some time ago to no avail. How in the heck are you, anyway?  l got a phone call a couple of months ago and you will never guess who it was. DJ Hart from Rhode island. Wow, what a surprise. We must have talked for over two hours going up and down memory lane asking questions and laughing about old times in the Coast Guard. He asked about you and l told him about your last location that l knew of in Kansas. It sure was good to hear from him. He called me back a short while later and said he ran into the same dead end that l did in Eudora. (man, l hope l'm spelling that right) Anyway, l just got a little curious this week and started looking up stuff on the Internet about the Spar. Low and behold, l found all kinds of info, including pictures of the 1966 trip up north on the Spar. l found another web sight today, and got your email address off of it. l was glad to find it.  l am not hooked up on the Internet, so l have to use a public PC or a friends. Right now l'm in the library. l still live in the KC area, more specifically Lee's Summit. l have lived there since 1992. l'm retired now and burn a lot of my time giving care for my mom, kids and grand kids. l guess you can get my email address from this email. l will have to sign off for now.
​Hope to hear from you soon. God bless.  Your friend,
Jim Malon
​Posted on 8 / 14 / 2011
Hi Rich, My PC was down for a day, adjustments were made for me, just what I really don't know.
How are you ? I was and still am watching a movie made in Iceland. I had such a rushed memory hit me since the trip.  When we were in either Reykjavik or Keflavick Iceland ,when we walked down the streets, not one person would look at us directly eye to eye. Not eye to eye, I thought WTF, I would walk in front of them and ask a question, no response what so ever. The second thing is I remember when we were there ,there weren't any ugly girls walking around, no even heavy set women. I approached one man and asked him what do you do with all the ugly girls put them in the basements? All we see are beautiful girls, but they wouldn't talk with us, looked right through us like we were translucent. When we were leaving I found out that it wasn't because we were Americans ,it was are uniforms, do you remember the Icelandic people didn't like the US Military.
Tom.Yeh - We were told not to go into town because it was a waste of time. The Navy base there had about all you could ask for except girls. Remember the club (bar) that we went to on the base? The reason for no ugly girls was because the vikings settled Iceland and when they plundered other Scandinavian countries they only kidnapped the best looking blond girls they came across.

​​Posted on 7 / 31 / 2011
I can think of many things, only thing is can`t remember if they were when I was on the Spar, Hamilton, or light ship. I do remember all the fog we had on the trip. I don`t know who it was, but he went and stood on the bow and blew through a sewer side nozzle like a trumpet when our fog horn died. There was so much fog that if you stood aft you couldn't see the bow. And having the mid watch during the storm with the waves going over the top of the ship. All Mr. Devens kept telling me was to keep the bow pointing into the waves. The Spar would go under the wave and shudder as she came out of it. Having mid watch in the bitter cold with the fur around the hood of my jacket freeze up. Rich might remember this because he was a good monkey fist thrower. When we pulled into Belfast the dock workers were talking to us and we couldnt understand a word they were saying. He and I were saying to each other what the f did they say and we would laugh. I bought an Irish lace table cloth in Belfast which I still have.
​ Kyle Chapman.

​​​Posted 7 / 30 / 2011

I can only think of one thing right now. I had the watch 4-8 PM, the guys were playing volley ball on the buoy deck they were using the boom as a net. They had a string taped to the ball so it wouldn`t go over the side. It lasted only about 10 min. because the tape came off when the ball was hit and it went over the side. Another thing, Rich would remember this. In the storm the paint got loose and re- painted the paint locker. Brennan and I spent the night in Sweden. We were told not to go to Sweden because we didn`t have clearance but we did anyway. The rest of that is personnel. Ha HA. By the way happy belated birthday Tom. Kyle Chapman.

Posted on 7 / 25 / 2011
​​I sure thought you had that story, anyway it's fairly short. Here it is:
Chad and I decided to go topside for a smoke in the middle of the night like we did Tom when it was really dark. The sea was real calm, just some nice ground swells.We went out the starboard side main deck hatch and you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. No sound except the ship cutting through the water. Kind of spooky. Evidently someone had opened the stack space and forgot to dog down the hatch and it must have been hanging open. We didn't even get a chance to
light up. The ship went over a big ground swell and that hatch slammed shut. You can imagine how much noise it made.We both did the panic thing and I was going through the hatch and Chad grabbed me to throw me out of the way so he could get in and I did the same thing to him and we did this like four times before we made it inside. When we finally got inside we realized how stupid we must have looked pulling each other out of the way. The 2 stooges. We cracked up and
when we stopped laughing we finally got the guts to go out and dog down the hatch. Rich Notestine.

Hey Tom
It's been a long time, but it seems like yesterday. I've been off the net for awhile. Just got hooked back up recently. Ran across your Spar website today by a fluke. Man, you have put a Lot of work and information into that site. You have pretty much saved all of that information from just disappearing into the past. Nice work!! Also saw you in a couple of other places but this seemed to be the easiest way to contact you. Needless to say a lot of water has passed under the bridge but I could never forget my Coast Guard days. I've exchanged emails with Sam Smith (Smitty) awhile back and also Dave Milinak. I'll have more time to exchange info with you later but you can email me any time at or
Do you still pinstripe? I remember you pin-striping one of the guys black Ford Falcon on the dock. Always amazed me.Well I've got to run. Talk to you later. Rich Notestine
Rich Notestine now makes (4) shipmates to meet with the help of this web site & Fred's Place.  
​We made the trip together on the Spar-403 in 1966.

Posted on 7 / 25 / 2011
Boot camp and the cigarette. A Boot Camp Story I was in Oscar company summer of 1965.  Our CC was a first class petty officer Gaus Bm1.  I remember this guy in our company asking for a smoke break while doing maneuvers in the obstacle course. I thought this guy was in trouble & I was right.   Guas was a real nasty guy.  We all stood at attention as he instructed our shipmate to go get his cigarettes from the barracks. Now he also told him to go into his office to get his scotch tape dispenser. This kid was fast he was back in a heartbeat. Guas took out all his cigarettes, made a roll out of them and taped the cigarettes all together. Then he told this guy to stick them in his mouth and light up. Damn if he didn't do it, Guas kept saying take a drag bigger bigger we were sick just watching him needless to say he never asked for another smoke break again.  Guas was hard to beat but I have to admit I did beat him and it wasn't really hard to figure out but I did it without getting caught.  The one thing in boot camp could not deprive you of was religion.  I went to a Methodist meeting on a Tuesday night it was an hour Long.  You could smoke as much as you wanted to then I thought I'll go to the catholic mast on Wednesday night same deal with the smoking. ​I went to the Jewish meetings also.
​ I went to them all and never got caught.
Another Story At Sea In 1966
 This just came to me while building this site. I Remember when at sea I went up to the bridge every chance I could get. What just came to mind was coffee mugs Yeah.......   No matter when I went there day or night I noticed one thing.    Its been so long I really cant remember any Names but I'm speaking about Officers.   I never seen a coffee mug make it back down to the galley to be washed.   Now these are just the ones that I have seen. What about the ones I didn't see ?    I asked the cook one time just how many mugs are on this ship?  He replied something like a lot of cases of them in storage. One night when I was relieved of duty I visited my friend, Leonard Johnson on the electronics working with the survey team, I mentioned to him What would a mountain made of coffee mugs look like on his chart, he didn't know what I was talking about until I told him, It was just a joke. I told him of all the mugs that I've seen go flying off the bridge when these officers were finished with their coffee​ they never made it back down to the galley.
​Just Another Memory From
​51 Years Ago.

​Posted on - 8 / 17 / 2010

Hey Tom - what's going on?
I just remembered something that happened back on the Spar in Bristol,a real close call where I almost had my head removed literally. I don't know if you were on board at that time. I was hanging around on the buoy deck with a couple of other guys and chief Downs was there also. We heard a loud metallic crack and someone yelled my name and I turned around and something breezed by my head leaving some black grease on my hair.When someone secured the boom with the hook in a pad eye on deck,they had it pulled way too tight. Up where the block and Tackle was secured to the bridge (see the pink oval in the photo) the steel link holding it up there snapped and the block and tackle came swinging down on the cable.You remember how big those were and solid steel. 3 or 4 hundred pounds.
When I turned it just grazed my hair leaving grease in it and the chief jumped out of the way just in the nick of time and it hit the inside of the hull about where the sinker chocks are and put a large dent in it. We looked at each other like how did we get so dang lucky. Had to have been God looking out after us. Buoy tenders were freakin' dangerous!One other time I almost got my legs crushed or worse but that's another story and it's getting late.
​ Talk to you later.
​ Rich Notestine SPAR WLB-403

How many crew members on the Spar ?
When we were on the Spar -403 there was a 102 crew members, and 12 Officers, plus the 10 Oceanographers on board.  In the crews quarters we were stacked 3 high I was In the middle, when I wanted to turn over on my back I had to get out and climb back in again that's tight as I'm typing this I'm thinking of when John Hagerty ( Spar Museum ) was on the Spar some ten years later I heard the crew count was 45. It sounds like they had a lot more room then we did.  Now picture living like this in a closed up sometimes in an x-ray condition, out at Sea in swells that made you feel like you were made of lead and then sometimes pitching down, light as a feather. That was from what is called "pitching"
Would I Do It Again ? Yeah !!

Posted on 4 / 19 / 2010
​​John Hagerty and the lobster pots.
I never touched any lobster pots. Didn’t have to, if you go diving at night with a flashlight the bottom was covered with them. You go diving during daylight you only see a couple. All you do is shine the light on them with one hand and grab them from behind with the other, then shove them into the bag tied around the waist. Probably still
​would have been shot if caught though.   

​​A Night In Belfast.
Dinner in Belfast when we were in Belfast Ireland Rich Notestine & myself had liberty this one night before work hours were over. I asked him what he thought about going out tonight and treat ourselves to a good steak dinner? It sounded good to him as well with our dress blues on & shoes shined we were off. It took a little while to pick a spot out but we finally found what we thought was a good spot good God / Were We wrong. We seated ourselves at a table we wanted that's because we were the only ones in there. It Didn't take us long to know what to order we both wanted the same thing a steak baked potato and a salad with a lot of cold beer to wash it down if they had It.   The waiter came over and took our order as he placed a plate full of bread and butter before us It looked good then our beers came out and I said wait and just chugged that one down as did Rich we asked the waiter for another round. I reached for a piece of bread and went to butter it and I noticed a bite had been taken out of it so I said to Rich if you don't want the bread please don't put it back on the plate. He said he wasn't anywhere near the bread I just put the Bread back and our steaks came out and soon after.  I noticed the waiter looking at the bread that we didn't want.  As we were trying to eat our steaks I asked Rich how his steak was he said a little tough & I said so was mine. It had a lot of gristle to cut off & a lot of fat and other unknown crap. We both looked at each other and said there really Isn't anything to eat. It was Mess on a plate. Well it soon became obvious that the waiter was also the proprietor. He asked what the hell was wrong with his food? I said we didn't complain about anything so why are you upset,? He started to yell at us and said you Americans have everything so easy and nothing that he had was not good enough for us.  I think that was are cue to get the hell out of there, and do some serious drinking somewhere else.
Actually we thought it was rather funny.

​​​The Hand​

An unscheduled stop - for provisions.
51 years ago, is a long time, I can remember a lot about our trip on the
​SPAR Wlb / 403 In 1966. For instance there was one port of call that we hit for one night only, I Cant seem to remember the name, it wasn't on the stop over list when the trip was planned back in port. Stopping at Jan Mayen Island wasn't planned either. That was a thought that came from out at sea. Anyway as fortunate as I could get I didn't pull duty this night. I have asked Kyle & Dave If they recall the this port we stayed at for one night, they didn't know.  A freighter was tied up to another one so we had to cross our gang plank onto one ship and walk our way through two freighters. There was a problem though, there were no lights on these two ships, so they rigged a small light bulb at each entry and exit, meaning we had to feel our way around the freighter without any sense of direction, so the little light bulbs were our guide on & off the ships. Now before we were granted liberty we were told there was some rough bars in this area so be careful and we also had
Cinderella Liberty / 24 hundred hours, better be aboard the ship.
There were 3 of us together, myself, Notestine, and the third eludes me. I Remember I had to go back to the ship for my money that I had forgotten and started to make the trek across these dark cargo ships with no one aboard. As I was walking onto the 2nd ship I saw something in the water. I stopped and just stared at it for a moment or two, remember there were only the 2 small light bulbs at the crossings on and off.  I just stood there looking down at the water, it was moving just enough to move things around a bit and then I could make it out.  Okay it was a hand.   Did my heart rate go up ? You Bet Cha...  I  felt as though now, I was being watched by the person or persons that did this.   Yeahhhhh, I was scared.   I got back to the Spar in a heartbeat.  The Co that night was great guy,Mr Rapp, Chief Warrant officer.  I explained to him what I had found and seen, I wasn't sure if he believed me or not. I talked him into both of us to get two lanterns, and go see for himself.   We did and when we got back  there it was a hand, I could see Mr. Rapp now very concerned, we tried to find something  to reach down and move It.   I went back to the Spar I cant remember what I got  but Mr. Rapp started to move it around and he finally got It.  It turned out to be the arm of a mannequin or of a dummy (me).  That was It.  I didn't get to drink to much, no time left, almost 24 hundred hours Cinderella liberty. We talked about that for quite sometime, because he also thought it was real.
51 years now.     ​​Tom H. EN3
Then and now in the Coast Guard.
All of this Information that I have collected for the SPAR wlb 403  & searching the archives for all this information a lot of memories are returning to me.  I remember the 10 civilians working under the navy's department bringing all their gear and electronics on board.  Getting ready for the survey.  I don't believe back then that the crew really knew what was going on. I have more interest in it now then back in 1966.   Anyway their equipment wasn't just placed anywhere it had to be secured in a very special way and that was to weld all the equipment to the deck. Where ever they choose to put It at the time I wondered why are they welding all this stuff down. It felt like it was going to be permanent for some reason but I soon learned when out at sea. If they hadn't have welded it it would have been everywhere and severely damaged also someone could have been hurt. The two storms we encountered while at sea would have been the proof of such a mishap. Its kind of interesting to me now. I wish I could go back as I think a lot of us do. The way the Coast Guard is today its a different ball game.  
I am proud to have served in the Coast Guard as many others are.​ 
​Once A Coastie Always A Coastie.
Tom Hough, EN3

Two ships in the night.
 I had the 12:00 To 6:00 watch in the engine room along with  Chief Shope, Great person. I would guess it was about 2 hours into my watch. I taking readings every hour all throughout the ship.  When you are in the engine room your ears get accustomed to every little sound. With the main engines running & the port or starboard generator that powers the ships Electrical system.When this happened I was right near Chief Shope where he sat smoking his pipe at the desk we had.  All of a sudden,Baaammmm!!! The ships engines stopped dead completely, I could here the exciter board changing polarity in its direction throwing the main engines & generator that operated the motor for power to the aft steering room going into reverse but then the main engines revved so high I thought the engines were going to blow. Chief Shope just gave me a sign pointing up you couldn't talk in the engine room and I knew what he meant so I ran up to the bridge to see what was going on. When I looked out I couldn't see anything it was pitch black the darkest night I had ever seen on the trip. I went out onto the port fly bridge and it still black. I heard one of the bridge crew members yell he cant see anything to who ever was in command at the time. He was right while I was standing there I Just started to look up and up, until I started to see what looked like a string of light bulbs very high up. It was hard at first to grasp what I saw but I realized it was ne of the biggest freighters that I had ever seen out at sea or should I say closerst to.  The hull was black & again very huge. Our ship has shuttered since I was in the engine room. And it is still shuttering. The whole time the ship was in reverse it felt like she was going to come apart. How close was that ship ? You could have spit on it. When it finally passed us, which was quite some time, I went back to let Chief Shope know what had happened a really,close call, to close for me. It was never brought up how the bridge could have missed this thing on its scope. We were told later that we were in a shipping lane because we were to arrive at our next destination within 6 Hours. Other then myself & the crew members on the bridge that night, could never say how it looked, you had to see this for Yourself.
​ Chief Shope almost fell off the stool when the engines went into full reverse.
Posted on 6 / 17 / 2
Another memory tester,
Dave & Kyle cant remember . While being abroad in foreign ports we naturally had to take on provisions from different countries, several of them had the same thing, their milk and juice came in a triangular shaped cardboard cartons , and they just sat on one side ,when it was on the table. Can you remember the cartons is what I want to know. gotta remember out of over a 100 guys, its just the four of us Dave is emailing me right now while i'm typing. Can you believe only four of us, you spelled the name right Mac kelvey first class ,he went out drinking with chambers ,tall skinny guy that liked his woman very heavy, go figure, chambers could be a bitch at times. you asked if I remembered Richard Funk , absolutely he trained me on the small boats, when changing crew members and provisions for the light ship, I think those guys worked two weeks on and two weeks off. I couldn't live like that. I know it had to get rough at times out there just sitting in the water, not being able to head the bow into on coming waves. Richard Funk played the guitar with Pete, that also was on the Spar. I could go on and on it makes me wonder. how come Dave and kyle cant remember anything. I don't get it,but Rich & Pete played well together,
Another Short Story Between Rich And Myself
Yes - I remember the triangular cartons.
One time Chambers really ticked me off, can't remember why, but I was on the water on one of the small boats & he was on the buoy deck. He yelled something at me and I told him to get bent. He said he was going to have me up before the Captain if I said it again so I said it again like a dummy. I ended up with some kind of 2 week restriction or something.
​Rich Notestine.
Posted on 7 / 23 / 2011
​Memories are coming back.
​I can't quite remember if you were with us this particular night in Denmark when we were hitting all the bars. It seems like it was
Malone and Chadwick. Along this street for blocks, all the bars were either below street level or above. Seemed odd. Anyway we were drinking in this one place with super loud music where you can't hear each other and this big Big guy wanted to know if we were from the US. He acted like it was the greatest thing in the world to meet Coasties from the states. He was with his wife and invited us to another bar so we went with him & his wife. Turns out he was a pro prize fighter in Denmark and had fought guys
in the states like Sonny Liston. Anyway, I bet he took us to 10 bars and paid for all we could drink. Man, he got us wasted.We were in one bar above street level and none of us could see straight and all of a sudden his wife grabbed all three of us and rushed us out the door and down the stairs. When we got to the bottom all of a sudden this guy comes flying thru the door at the top. Evidently he had made some comment to our friends wife and she got us out before the fight started. He thought it was great fun. I think we went to one more place and he brought us back close to the ship. I was so hammered it's a wonder I can remember any of it. I guess we never talked about this unless you just forgot. I'm sure I would have told you the next day.
Rich Notestine.
​One of two storms at sea , IN 1966.
 We weren't out to long after we left Jan Mayen island next day maybe its been 47 years we were informed that we may be headed for a storm. That was it okay the following morning when I was going on watch 6 on 6 off no time for yourself. It was a little rough out there, well I thought to soon because in an hour or so it was murder I was only two hours into my watch when it became difficult to walk up the ladder to take my readings I went topside I took a peak out of the mess hall porthole all I saw was water I waited and still just water I saw no sky at all. I could feel the ship changing course just to keep her bow dead on into the next swell. I have to go to the bridge and take a look well the swells were being logged in at 30 to 35 feet. this is nuts no one could walk in the ship just kept banging into the bulkheads back and forth cant wait till this storm has passed us by remember now this is around our forth day into this storm not only were the swells getting bigger they started to come from all around us towards the bow port side from the stern you could feel the ship gaining speed from the stern swells, now from the starboard side before anyone knew it we were in mountainous seas. You could not see the sky out of any porthole the swells were now being logged in at 70 to 90 feet at this point every moving thing that could move- did.  I had to tie myself into my bunk or I would fall out of it you'll have to read between the lines here okay the storm is now well over a week long the crew I would say was getting irritable at this point, the cook went to his rack and that's the last time we saw him if you were hungry you made it yourself. Peanut butter and jelly is cool with me always had saltine crackers each passing day I knew the whole crew felt like I did when is this going 
to end as it turns out the average swell was 65 feet and higher all along I never felt fear hey I'M in the service what can happen ? Day 10 we had no idea we still had 4 more days to go and worse at that no one talked to each other I heard one crew member say it the best. I cant think of his name he said it was like a ship loaded with woman who was on the rag, all at the same time, when I tied myself in my bunk I could see all the diddly bags on the bulkhead they looked like they were off the wall by 90 degrees it was like magic they would just come off the bulkhead and stand straight out as far as they could. I know that the 80 feet mast was hammered from rolling from port to starboard bashing into the on coming swells they weren't swells they were mountains. anyone now aboard ship that felt no fear then they were nuts. I know of a couple of guys that prayed to get through this thing.  All throughout the ship if anyone can remember there was these little dials that would show the amount of degrees we would roll on well they were pinned to the stops and the ship still went farther. I went up the the bridge and the captain happened to be on watch I requested permission to go out to take a picture  he was reluctant at first but then he said just one and get right back in here I went out the port side holding on and ready to take a snap shot when all of a sudden the bow went under the sea spray hit me in the face,which were clocked in at 90 miles an hour so, they claimed on the bridge its speed. ( I didn't get the shot).  I almost lost the camera Kodak wind-up no digital s back then. One last thing 47 years have passed that's a long time and through the use of computers it starting to seem like its so easy to get in touch anyone let alone your old shipmates but I found two from that trip back in 1966. Dave and Kyle this is something that we found out after e-mailing each other for several months now Now Rich Notestine is in touch with the three of us  5-10-2010. When the movie came out  The Perfect Storm I mentioned to my family that that was nothing compared to what we went through Yeah Right... well Dave said the same thing and Kyle also said the same to his family. This is what I meant when I said that "John Hagerty's" that he had missed one hell of ride back in "1966". When two weeks ended with the storm we found out we had only traveled a few miles towards our course. Now this is the end we hit another two week storm on that trip.
​ I couldn't tell you which one was worse ?​ I think they were equal. Smooth sailing.
​​Posted on 6 / 23 / 2010
​​Some crew members on the Spar.
I don't think Chad was ever on Fred's Place. I did see Richard Funk on there. Do you remember him? I don't know if he made the trip with us. How about Alan (Pete) Peterson. He played a Martin guitar a lot. Also McKelvey, Jack Harris, Chooch & Bob Chambers. Some names are comeing back to me.
 I'll have a coupla pics for you pretty soon - Rich
Saw Swanick in your pics.
​Boy's bike and the bar.Hey Rich do you remember me coming back from the same bar one night we always went to I cant think of the name its the only bar we went to.  I walked by this bicycle that was leaning against the wall say a foot or two from me I got sat on it & road it back to the ship and right off the end of the dock into the water. then I find out the bike belonged to a special child talk about feeling bad I couldn't wait till the work day ended and then I got out the grappling hooks and spent a couple of hours until I finally got it. I cleaned it all up oiled everything and that night put the bike right back to where I found. I believe he was a crippled child I never forgot that. 
​that kid has been with me for 53 years now. ​Tom.   

Stories from 53 years ago.
​Its hard for me to believe that out of a 100 crew members & 12 officers the only Coasties From The Spar trip is Dave Milanak Kyle Chapman & now Richard Notestine & myself Tom Hough. My first encounter with anything pertaining to my history with the Coast Guard was with John Hagerty. His web site ( The Spar Museum ). I didn't even have a computer. Didn't know how to use one. What I did have was an LG-PU,920 Phone. That at the time was my computer, I Had an email address and mass storage. I had many files, and well over 4,000 Pictures. One morning I had to take my wife's niece to the hospital for tests. I knew in advance it was going to take a while 4 1/2 hours it turned out to be. So I went on the web with my phone. I thought,let me try something I'll type in the "SPAR Wlb-403" and to my surprise I came up with the Spar Museum.  I was pleased I looked at some of John's picture and eventually I was at the bottom I saw very small because of it being a phone anyone having pictures of the Spar, any year please contact me.Well I thought lets give this a shot. I emailed John and said I have over 80 pictures from the "SPAR" Back In "1966" on her cruise.  I didn't realize at the time he hadn't had any pictures from that year at all 1966.  Especially on the trip we made with her.  He said and I quote "Blast them to me" I started sending them to John. I never done this before. Well it turned out that a picture took about 10 seconds each to send that's fast.  So I blasted away.  I got an email before I was finished about half way saying slow down something to that effect. Before I knew it he had every photo I had on the "SPAR". John emailed back to me he never has been bombarded with so many pictures at one time. and not with a phone. Then from that time on I found out about Fred's place. I was told that he was sorry but his site didn't function with small devices such as a phone. Well,he may not of known this but I was able to get in & sign up with no problem.  I got a password & I was in from that point I read a letter from Kyle Chapman that he was on the trip In 1966. I contacted him & we sent mail to each other. I hooked up with Dave Milanak, about a month later. Some time went by, and I said to my son in-law I think I'll take you up on your offer. It was time for a real computer. He set everything up for me. The rest is history. I have only had this site now for about 4 months, before that I didn't know how to turn one on. I am self taught a long with some help from Dave & Kyle but mainly  John Hagerty.  I now realize how much of his time I chewed up from him. For that I am very thankful. I Hope your reading this John. Well this whole story is about one thing.
Out of a 100 or more crew members & 12 officers only 3 of us are from the Spar's Trip.
I cant think of any other way to to contact any of the Spar's Crew from the voyage in 1966.
​Tom Hough EN3 U.S.C.G. Cutter Spar Wlb-403
A passing thought.
Can You Imagine This ? When Out At Sea In The Year "1966" We Had State Of The art Equipment The 10 Civilian oceanographic survey workers on board all had top notch equipment to work with. But What if I turned to a shipmate and said 48 years from now I will E-mail  you... whats an E-mail ? Its done on a computer, whats a computer? Or instead of waiting outside the radio room to patch in a call to a land line ship to shore we just used our own cell phones ! or which way are we headed  right now ? The ship went by the gyroscope reading true north lets just  use our own hand held GPS systems to see where we are right now. That would have been hard to imagine back then,
​ My point? where will we be 48 years from now ?
When we were in: Belfast Ireland
Just before liberty yeah I lucked out again, I didn't pull duty.  We were indoctrinated by some big wig from their town we were told not to have any conversation pertaining to religion or politics with anyone. I don't believe that was on anyone's mind at the time other then finding a pub and putting a few ice cold ones down yeah they had cold beer here everywhere else was room temp. about 3 or 4 hours into our liberty we met some true irish girls in a pub, red heads to boot.  I cant remember who I was with but I do remember we decided to go to a movie and then go out after that. the girl I was with was whispering to me ,in the movie about what had happened to her grandfather just two weeks before. She said he was machine gunned down right in front of his home.  Well I thought She was with a nut case and some how I wanted to get rid of her but she was staying with her girl friends no matter what. We finished watching the movie & I do remember it being an english movie not to many american movies played there as she explained. To make a long story short we went out drinking and I listened to all of this girls stories man a lot of them.  I started to believe her that was in 1966. I cant imagine what its like today. I saw her the following day for a couple of hours & we were off once again, never to see her again.  ​The more I write the more I start to remember.
​ I wish I could have access to the ships logs back in 1966.
​​Simply for the crew members names.
A story at sea
Between  Rich Notestine & myself back in 1966.
I'm just sitting here and I'm thinking about the night we went topside to get a smoke, I told my wife it was so pitch black out we couldn't see each other at all. I couldn't see my own hand if I'm correct here Rich we kind of felt our way towards the stern of the ship. It wasn't a rough sea calm in fact, just black. I said I even had a hold of your jacket and I  don't mean that in a way of affection it was just plain scary. Then when I looked straight behind us where the horizon would be a thin whitish line appeared and arched right over our heads all the way to the bow's horizon it was weird. When we were finished we then we went up to the bridge to use a pair of binoculars to look at this thing, if you remember it was wild it was billions of stars- it was the milky way we were in line with it. Now if you have any recollections of this Rich fire away because I am putting this on my web site.
Rich's Reply On    6 / 17 / 2010
Tom you pretty much nailed it. I can't think of anything to add to your story. I also remember being able to see a lot of shooting stars because it was so dark and I remember not being able to see your hand in front of your face. (I like your shot of us in the galaxy)​ and somehow, of all things, ​I remember you hanging on to my jacket. ​Great times.
Added On 8 / 8 / 2010
From Rich
Tom, this was written by a SR-71 blackbird pilot about
the milky way. Does it sound familiar? ​One moonless night, while flying a routine training mission over the Pacific, I wondered what the sky would look like from 84,000 feet, if the cockpit lighting were dark. My desire to see the sky, overruled my caution,I dimmed the lighting.To my amazement, I saw a bright light outsidemy window. As my eyes adjusted to the view, I realized that the brilliance was the broad expanse of the Milky Way now a gleaming stripe across the sky. Where dark spaces in the sky, had usually existed there were now dense clusters, of sparkling stars.Shooting Stars, flashed across the canvas every few seconds.It was like a fireworks display with no sound.I knew I had to get my eyes back on the instruments,and reluctantly, I brought my attention back inside.To my surprise, with the cockpit lighting still off, I could see every gauge, lit by starlight. In the plane's mirrors I could see the eerie shine of my gold spacesuit, incandescently illuminated, in a celestial glow.
I stole one last glance out the window.Despite our speed we seemed still before the heavens humbled in the radiance of a much greater power.
​Rich Notestine.
Submitted on April 23, 2011 8:22 PM EST
​Best compliment I ever received, & I thank you for it.

Comments Your videos are simply top notch...great music, wonderful information, and great technical quality. frankly, they bring a tear to my eye as mom of an ATON unit Coastie....if u do anything of the pacific northwest region /near Seattle, would love to keep an eye out for it.
From a Proud Coastie Mom...
​​I Remember when I first reported for duty on she Spar,
​I met I guess you could say, my first friend and that was "Richard Notestine " It wasn't long after that I realized he was more or less the ships artist. He painted the logo on the front of the boom shack. He did nice work. Then I mentioned to him and a couple of other guys while drinking one night that I was a pinstriper and went to all the drag strips back home. I said on my Next 48 hour liberty I would go home & get my paint box. We weren't supposed to go over 50 mile radius but I did mine was 150 mile. I wound up striping this guys Volkswagen I cant remember his name At All.I also painted a lot of things in the Spar's engine room, the Captain never said anything against it on inspection.
​​Posted 8 / 17 / 2010
​Hey Tom - what's goin on?
I just remembered something that happened back on the Spar in Bristol a real close call where I almost had my head removed literally. I don't knowif you were on board at that time. I was hanging around on the buoy deck with a couple of other guys and chief Downs was there also. We heard a loud metallic crack andsomeone yelled my name and I turned around andsomething breezed by my head leaving some black grease on my hair.When someone secured the boom with the hook in a padeye on deck,they had it pulled way too tight. Up where the block and Tackle was securedto the bridge (see the pink oval in the photo) the steel link holding it upthere snapped and the block and tackle came swinging down on the cable.You remember how big those were and solid steel. 3 or 4 hundred pounds.
When I turned it just grazed my hair leaving grease in it and the chief jumpedout of the way just in the nick of time and it hit the inside of the hull about where the sinker chocks are and put a large dent in it. We looked at eachother like how did we get so dang lucky. Had to have been God lookingout after us. Buoy tenders were freakin' dangerous! One other time I almost got my legs crushed or worse but that's another story and it's getting late. Talk to you later -
​Rich Notestine-- SPAR WLB-403

Posted on 3 / 7 / 2013
Hi Jim...
Going back a few years like 25 I used to take my daughter down to
​ Cape May NJ diamond beach right where the cement ship was  sunk during the war.
There is no sand on this beach it is comprised of stones small stones. This is why its called Diamond beach. You find all theses beautiful stones sometimes crystal clear ( Diamonds ) stones then we would take them home to my tumbler it took four weeks to complete the stages, 4 different grits, walla, beautiful gems. That's not why I am writing to you the butterfly story you sent to me reminded me of this. One day at the same beach I called my daughter and showed her how this monarch butterfly was flat on each wave that come rolling in. I put my hand under it, & the wing span was an easy 3 1/2 inches long or larger. I noticed that the feelers were moving around, so I knew he was still alive, I lifted each wing blowing on them softly to dry them, my daughter asking will it live, I hope so, Then I blew on the other wing, going back & forth then he stated to flap his wings on his own, staying on my hand I put my finger out with my left hand, he stepped up to it and just flapped for the longest time, seemed long, I cant believe I pet his wings without him acting defensively, a few moments I raised my hand up & down and he flew away only to come back around my daughter & I, then he just took off going inland. I never told this story to anyone, perhaps my daughter may have, I don't know.
Over a bug.... It made me feel good the rest of the day. Corny man.

​Your Shipmate & friend, Tom Spar/66.

Posted on 2-21-2014
​Hey Tom -
I think your new site is a big improvement over the old one with Verizon.
​They didn't know it but they motivated you to
come up with a new site that really is outstanding.
​​Great work! - Rich

Thank you very much Rich,
Your shipmate & friend,​Tom EN3
Click below for 18 Pages of
​ original Spar wlb 403 "1966"
​ Cruise, PDF format
Read these stories !!
Posted on 8_1_2015
​Hello David.
​This video was sent to me a few moments ago. I just sat back and watched it to the end. I wondered to myself if our two storms were equivalent to this one. I came up with ours were much more violent and lasted almost two weeks each. Working 6 hours on and 6 hours off the berthing area was constantly dark, we all used flashlights to wake crew members up for their watch. I don't know what your quarters were like but we had to tie ourselves in the rack. Our ditty bags which were on my left by my bunk, hung from pegs off of the bulkhead. When the ship would roll it looked like magic the ditty bags all at once came straight out as if they were hanging outwards. I heard a lot of crew members praying softly every time I hit the sack. It made me aware that I was not frightened from these two storms. I think I felt, what can happen to us, we are in the US Military, not on some friends boat. As I look back now, I believe that we should not be here that's how bad they were. We were a pin point in the heavy seas thousand of miles from land. If we had gone down I cant see how they would ever of found us. They couldn't Enough of that...

I would love to hear how you felt while we were out in those storms if you felt light taking some time, or would I be asking something that you already may have planned, and please believe me, this is not a hint. I can remember they logged them in as mountainous seas, so I was told by a crew member at the helm. We did our pitching and rolling, that's when we would pitch up our knees felt like they were about snap, and pitching down I flew up the ladder in the engine room as if I was weightless, light as a feather, but at the same time we were sliding down sideways from port to starboard. When ever I had a chance I looked out of one of the portholes in the mess deck and never saw the sky just water. I suppose that's when one of the first class petty officers said if someone had opened one of them it could have sunk the ship, that's how so much water it would let in, I still don't know about that one. I asked the 4 crew members this one and I got the same response from Kyle, Dave, Rich, and Jim Malone, the movie the Perfect Storm was nothing compared to what we went through, we all cant be wrong. My family though as they still do think that I am exaggerating a bit. The length of them is what really effected me, I just wanted to stand still for 5 seconds and not being batted against the bulkheads. The separation of the crew and officers are what I am thinking right now for the first time. There is so much I would like to know, but that's not possible. There are many questions I would like to ask you. But Ill only ask one for now.
Take care & God bless.

​Tom Hough Spar/66

Posted on 1_21_2015
​Hello David 

​ I am going through some things and cleaning up my area here. I wanted to tell you and I forgot. One of the crew members was given the Spar's ensign that was on the entire trip. It was being discarded and my buddy Rich Notestine grabbed it and saved it all these years. When he found the Spar's website he was able to get in touch with me. There is a story in the site Eating out in Belfast Ireland, or a night out, he is one of my best friends. Anyway he sent the flag (Ensign) to me to have and I am looking at it right now, and just closing my eyes and picturing what that flag went through 53 years ago in its 17,000 mile journey, and the two storms. That's it, a small fact but I love the flag, one of a kind. It was very nice of Rich to send it to me.
Tom Spar/66.
​Another story while out at sea,
This was about one of our cooks.
All 1966 era songs I remember when out at sea all we could get​ on the radio in the mess deck was radio Luxembourg in Germany, and me like fool said man these records are better then ours in the USA. It was both British invasion and USA songs it was all we had I wanted to put a short story on my site its like it just happened Rich. I would walk around with my sticks and sometimes sing I walked into the mess & no one was there on the radio was a new song "Wild Thing by the Troggs, I screamed out Wild Thing I Think I Love You...and the cook dropped all his pans with food in the trays and ran out because he thought someone was hurt. He was really pissed at me throughout the whole trip.

Picture of Richard Funk, who showed me how to
​ run the lifeboats he was also a Snipe.​
Click onto photo​