USS Nitro Association crestU S SN I T R OA S S O C I A T I O N

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1930's - 1940's






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SN Aug 67 - Mar 69 Robert Eberlein,
Granger IN USA (Association Founder)

As a newly commissioned officer with the rank of Ensign, I served on USS Nitro AE-23 from July 1960 through August 1961 in the billet of Damage Control Assistant (DCA) and R Division Officer. I had just completed four (4) months of Officer Candidate School at Newport, RI which was more intense and rigorous than anything I have ever experienced, followed by ten (10) weeks of training in Damage Control, ABC Warfare Defense and shipboard Fire Fighting at Naval Base Philadelphia, PA. However, as Engineering Watch Officer in the boiler room I came as close to the heat of hell that I ever want to be. With all the "salt tablets" I consumed in those engineering spaces, it's a wonder I've made it to age 82 and still going strong. Years later, as a Commander in the Naval Reserve, I was gonged aboard during Nitro's Decommissioning Ceremony on April 28, 1995 at Naval Weapons Station Earle Pier Two, Leonardo, NJ. It was a fitting salute to her long service and times afloat and ashore that will resonate with me for as long as I live.
Joseph P. De Vito CDR USN (RET)
Freehold NJ USA - Saturday, 20 April 2019 16:07:00

MM2 "A Division" USS NITRO (AE23) from May 1959 to January 1962. I was on the commissioning crew [Plank Owner], but never received my plank. oh well, too late now. I came to the USS NITRO from the USS DIAMOND HEAD (AE19). I had the top bunk in the corner of A division compartment. Eddy in the middle & Terry on the bottom. I remember the port of Rota Spain, we celebrated the birth of my son, Bill. Now going on 80 next April, planning on taking another cruse. {not US Navy}. I have lots of memories from the NITRO.
Earl Land
Fairmount IN USA - Tuesday, 13 November 2018 18:24:00

I was onboard from 1980 to 1984, manning the helm during the fire, became Electronics technician afterwards.
Christopher Gauthier
Thursday, 02 August 2018 at 12:04:00

80-82, Electrician (EM) J-Division. I've only met 1 crew member since leaving the Nitro. Still use the skills I learned aboard her as I am 100T Boat Captain now and tow small crafts, splice lines, and handle passengers and cargo. The main space fire provided excitement. Good times.
Joseph Dobransky
Orange Park FL USA - Thursday, 14 June 2018 09:01:00

served Feburary 1975 to 1977
Curtis L. Green
Miami FL USA - Tuesday, 23 January 2018 at 14:40:00

SM1, OC div, onboard during the fire. Made chief, served Jan 81 to Oct 83
Bill Lahm
Monday 23 October 2017 at 10:19:00

Served onboard from Feb 81 to Mar 85. Lived thru main space fire. Worked in M Div. AsMM2 to MMC. Miss everybody. Hope all is well with everybody. Im now working forDECA NasJax. FL selling food at the commissary. From MMC to Store worker funny. Takecare yall.
Bill Lutz
Middleburg FL USA - Wednesday, 23 August 2017 16:46:00

Came aboard the USS Nitro AE-23 right out of Boot Camp, at Davisville RI May 1961, was QM3 when honorably discharged in January 1963. Enjoyed the many adventures and shore excursions. Served with some real good guys who made the tour of active duty a real pleasure. Hope many of you guys are still kicking and enjoying life. Email back if you were part of my shipmates.
Don Masingale
Monday, 29 May 2017 at 19:42:00

Arthur Lenar
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at 16:56:00

Wows, I just came across this crew members list and am blown away. I know so many of these names from 1978-1980. I am PO3 Branam...John Branam, HT with chief James and Chief Marsh. Came aboard in Philly shipyard and departed in Jan, 1980.
I an blown away because of this fire. I knew nothing about it until today and my buddy Bob Stewart is mentioned as helping to put it out. He was an HT as well and slept in the bunk across from me. I remember coming out of Rota and we hit a swell and the ship crashed down, HT1 Eanonie and HT2 Riener came crashing down on
I taught Ensign Tobias everything he knew about Damage He was a fresh Ensign out of Annapolis. He wasnt a very good student though.
Commander Wallace.....he was acting Commander and signed my collage release before the last Med cruise I would have gone on. Then 4 days before the cruise he tells me the plans were changed and I had to make the cruise. I missed the ships movement to uninroll in collage, get out of my apartment lease and talk the dealer into taking my car back. Not good...but fond memory.
I remember Ibeza and the eribus(spelling?) the liqueur from the tree root...dang that was good. I saw the Alps and went skiing there. Tunisia, Greece.....was all good times. Anywho, Y'all be safe, thanks for the memories and thanks you for your service to America.

John Brown
Thursday, 16 February 2017 at 18:04:00

I was a seamen when I first went aboard the U.S.S.Nitro in 1972. I was a Bm3 when I left the Nitro in 1974 at the end of my enlistment. I was in the 2nd division on the deck force. I boarded the Nitro in Subic Bay in the Philipiines . Mostly after I made Bm3 I was put in charge of the sidecleaners. I chummed around mostly with 2 guys by the names of Chuck and Ray. One of these guys's last name was Sedor. I would love to hear from one of these guys as well as anyone else that was on the ship and was on the deck force at the time. I remember that our Bm1 had the last name of Hackworth. My email is Please contact me if you were on the U.S.S,Nitro during this time.
Donald Hess
Hummelstown PA USA - Tuesday, 7 February 2017 at 17:07:00

TAD 1970, MM3 assigned to A-Div
Only ship I served on that ever had "Swim Call"! Yea!!
Probably the only one in A-Div to miss a roll-call because I fell asleep on the workbench in our "Shack" with the hatch closed. Embarassment doesn't begin to describe that!

Brice Vineyard
Springfield OR USA - Tuesday, 02 August 2016 at 20:37:00

BMSN DIVISION I was Boatswainmate of watch at the time of the engine-room fire of 1981. I sounded general quarters.
Keith Rowe
Miami FL USA - 18 March 2016 at 19:59:00

ENFN A Division from 93-94. Still remember a few old friends MM2 McKenzie EN3 Sirmmons and EM3 LaHue. Email me if anyone wants to get in touch.
Shawn Cranston
Tuesday, 15 Mar 2016 at 22:50:23

GMG1 3rd division 1984-1988
Mark P. Berman
Wake Forest NC USA - Sunday, 13 March 2016 at 13:00:00

On NITRO from Aug 61 thru April 63. Who remembers the big storm in the Med. Email me.
Bob Statt
Friday, 11 Mar 2016 at 00:08:07

Served on the Nitro from 1991-1995. Great Chief's Mess I remember a lot of folks from back then. I started as 1st Division LCPO working with BM1 Brinkley and had great guys in division like Gueverra, Soto and John Fuller. I remember BMCS Lucca, BMC Niemec who I was relief for. When CDR More came onboard he transferred me to RAS Division where I served with EN1 Hughes BM2 Bobby Nelson, MM1/MMC Michael Dunkin. HTCM Lang was CMC the CTMC Matthews took over. Members of the CPO mess included BTC Crupper, MMC Russ Degroat, PNC Dorothy Thomas, PNC Sandy Southall and GMGC Taylor. I had a awesome Divison officer in Lt Davis and our Bosun was Bosn Adams. Others I remember are DC2 Committee, DC3 Minard and ET2 Gipson. I remember a lot of other but time may run out. Some of my fondest memory were falling down the brow during a storm in Norfolk when the the brow fell off the ship and the other was being the only CPO promoted to Senior Chief prior to decommissioning. I was as shocked as everyone else. My best times in the Navy were when I was on the Nitro. I think a lot about her and all my shipmates. I retired from the Navy in 1999 after 22 years I currently work as a Department Supervisor for The Home Depot here in Bowling Green. I would love to hear from any old crewmates.
John Gallagher BMCS(SW) USN Ret.
Tuesday, 19 January 2016 at 11:08:00

My father, Isaac Cabase MATT1C, was stationed on the USS Nitro in 1939, then assigned to the Cocosolo Sub Base in the Canal Zone.
Sunday, 8 November 2015 at 11:48:09

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