A Land-Locked Coastie

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On this and linked pages
are some pictures from my time in the U.S. Coast Guard
(mainly Jun70 - Dec73).
I received a 6-month early-out because I served on two LORAN Stations. I have to admit that I actually had a wonderful time - even with the emotional conflicts brought about by basic training and isolated duty! Obviously, looking back, there are somethings I would have handled a little bit differently, but all-in-all, it was full of rewarding experiences.
And me?   I'm Steve Bonnell - stationed on LAND for my complete tour of active duty - except for the Governors Island Ferry!
My personal page is here.
View Steven L Bonnell's profile on LinkedIn

I'd be glad to hear from you via e-mail if you have any comments what-so-ever. Especially if you SEE yourself in any of the pictures, or   'been-there, did-that'   too!

<  click on the small picture to see the LARGE version
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Initial Training

Cape May, New Jersey
BASIC Training Company: HOTEL-79 Jun-Aug 1970

Governors Island, New York
Electronic Technician A School, Sep 70 - Feb 71

Steve Bonnell     slbnl@kbsb.com


... also known as The Western White House,
San Clemente, California.

... still sorting out these pictures ...

Steve Bonnell     slbnl@kbsb.com


(when I bought my 35mm camera!)
1. An overview map of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.
2. A map of Unimak Island, showing the highlights of the island (both of them!)
3. The main Station Building, from the back, looking north-west.
4. The TUNDRA is the foreground and the tall & white POGROMNI VOLCANO is the background, as they sandwich in the small brown hill which was home to an old Air Force DEW-LINE Radar station. The station is now ('73) a communication relay site - managed by about 4 civilians... our only human neighbors on the island.
5. A Coast Guard C-130 dropped in with some supplies while 2 Coasties where dressed for crash crew duty. Fortunately, they were never used - other that to pose for pictures.
6. The STATION cook - other than the CO, this is the other guy you didnt want to upset!
7. The local hangout - the station BAR - complete with a KODAK GIRL in a BIKINI !! Oh, what 'Kodak Moments' ...
8. The bar from the other direction - notice the POKER TABLE - ...errr, I mean the CARD TABLE!!! Boy, the 'sea-stories and bull' that got shovled around that table!
9. A triple-shot of my room. We were fortunate that we each had seperate rooms - not that there were any problems with living together for 12 months ... but it was still nice to be able to get away - even up there.
  • TOP - A view of my east wall - with a picture of my wife - and a photograph I took on the island. On the bottom right you can see some blue books - I was taking an Electronic Engineering course while up there - at least I was trying to make that time worthwhile!
  • MIDDLE - Lot's of items from one of the major past-times on the island 'add to the decor' - BEACH COMBING! Hanging on the door is a Fish Net; then a Marker Buoy, with a heavily-sought-after GLASS BALL (a large one) setting on top; and hanging from the ceiling is a plastic Float - #17 (my wife and I started going steady on the 17th)!
  • BOTTOM - An AMATEUR RADIO map of the world covered most of the west wall - which was also an outside wall. I had the room on the north-west end of the second floor - the window on the north wall viewed the Bering Sea. I purchased a colorful ROCKY & BULLWINKLE bed spread just for this trip. I was an ET, don't ja' know!
10. A view of the LIBRARY - with my dog Sybil in the doorway.
11. ON-THE-ROAD-REPAIRS were not to be un-expected! The yellow vehicle on the left is the UNIMOG by Mercedes Benz. The orange one on the right is the SNOW-TRAK ... I think it was a Thykol (? correct me if you know for sure ?). Actually, between the two of these vehicles, not much on the island was 'impassible' - in rain or snow! Missing from the picture is the GOAT - a wheeled version of the old-war-time HALF-TRACK! And don' t feel I didn't offer to help these three folks with that repair job - even tho' I was an ET!! And if you even look close, you'll notice someone in the back seat of the Unimog! Besides, there was no-more room for another body that close to the action.
12. On the right, our local 'bush pilot' from REEVES Airways. I always thought he looked like Walter Mathau!!!
13. Believe it or not, I was only SIX-FEET from this KODIAK BEAR when I took this shot!!! Night visits were very common, especially if we accidently 'spilled' some grease or garbage in the field! As long as he had something else to eat, I felt safe. (I was an ET, don't ja' know!)
14. Here's the crew watching the COOL BARGE of '73 coming into shore. Yep, ya' can get so darn bored that you'll watch anything that is a 'change of routine'!
15. Here is a GEOLOGIST from Columbia University (on the right) and me inside one of the many dormant volcano-craters. He was here about a week to search around the island and collect rock samples - I was his escort. Somewhere close by is my trusty rifle - just in case we met a bear or two! My camera used the auto-timer to take this shot. And yes, it was even windy down inside the crater.
16. Another plane from REEVES - not only did these planes bring supplies now and then, but they were our MAILMAN too!
17. A very colorful sunset over the Bearing Sea - which was quite common. (The colors, not the sunset!)
18. This was our CORPSMAN - who also liked to dig into dirt on the side. This guy had spent a tour in Viet Nam prior to coming to SARICHEF. We had a very bad accident one day - and I believe to this day that it was THIS MAN'S SKILL that saved the accident-victim's life. When you're an 8-12 hour plane ride from civilization, any bad accident can be terminal - but this guy made the difference!
19. While beach combing, there are such beautiful waterfalls to observe. Note the Coastie standing at the bottom of the falls and you'll get an idea of how high the cliffs are.
20. The local ground rodent - affectionately called a WHISTLE-PIG because of the shrill noise it makes!
21. A top-down view of an EAGLE'S NEST - with at least two eaglets inside. Notice the surf in the top-left corner - this nest was on a single rock that stuck out from the cliffs along the beach.
22. And here is one of the parent EAGLES keeping an eye on me! I hung around only long enough to take the pictures - I sensed I was making them uncomfortable ... !

Steve Bonnell     slbnl@kbsb.com

Know what these names have in common ??
Petit, Colvin, Ness, Dykstra, Pickering


... was remote controlled via a radio-link at the time,
so we only visited for maintenance and equipment emergencies.

1. A BRASS PLAQUE concerning the SIESMIC SEA WAVE of 1 April, 1946.
2. A view of the coast below the Scotch Cap LIGHT. At the bottom-left, only about 10-20 feet from the water's edge, is what is left of the original Light Station. At top-center is the new LIGHT TOWER and the building which houses the Radio Beacon, the remote radio-link, and three automatic generators. This is not the crew's quarters, which is on top of the hill - to the right of the flag-pole.
3. A closer view of the original station along the beach. This is the item pointed out in Picture #2. Also, see Picture #4.
4. Here I am setting on the steps of the original LIGHT STATION - (see pictures 2 + 3). Notice the mangled & twisted reinforcing-rod that used to help hold the concrete walls together! Some of those rods are almost an inch in diameter. Imagine the FORCE of the WALL OF WATER that hit this building to cause this much damage. Did you read the plaque in picture #1 ?
How utterly insignificant the ocean can make you feel...
5. I'm not sure if this was taken on the same day as the earlier pictures or not - but the weather did change THAT FAST at times! This is from the main building looking out towards the LIGHT TOWER. Yes, it is RAINING SIDEWAYS, and HARD - notice the 'white caps' in the water and the 'bend in the antenna' on the right! ...So THIS is why those ROPE HANDRAILS go from building to building!!!
6. Now here we have a shot of some the crew 'relaxing' inside the crew's quarters at Scotch Cap - You can tell by their 'eyes' that they are really enjoying themselves at the favorite past-time at Scotch - POOL! The coastie on the left holding my dog Sybil, was our 'internal mailman' Kevin Lindsay - he kept things in order between us and the Post Office in COLD BAY. This also allowed him the PRIVILEGE of meeting the stewardesses whenever the larger REEVES planes landed!! He liked his job. Sitting down is our Engineman, Jim Sorrell. On the right is our fearless leader - a man from the Academy, LTjg Charles D. Wurster! I'm not sure WHAT he did to get sent up here!!! Actually, I don't know WHAT I did, either... And be sure you take notice to the very attractive 'paint by the number' picture of the nude girl in the background resting on the short-wave radio. For some reason, this was the ONLY painting that was there! ( Many years after these pictures were taken, both Kevin & Jim have contacted me after viewing this page!)
7. Talking about the FORCE of a WALL OF WATER, here is an upside-down ship's hull which was washed up on the rocks! There was also an anchor chain tangled along the 'beach', buried in some places, laying on top of the rocks in others - none of us could budge it!

Steve Bonnell     slbnl@kbsb.com

USCGC RELIANCE   Reserve Cruise

... after active duty, I came back -
just to see the sea for a couple of weeks!

... still sorting out these pictures, too ...

Steve Bonnell     slbnl@kbsb.com

. . . more on the way . . . (latest-update date is at the bottom).

LinkedIn   is a wonderful networking tool for professionals.
Thanks for getting this far!
And please, feel free to send an e-mail message if you have any comments to make.

And please visit some other pages here at KBSB:

My wife's ART HOME PAGE - www.kbsb.com/kb/

Some unique OTHER LINKS

Sgt. Jon Edward Bonnell - US Marines

LT Michael Frederick Wolf - US Army Air Corps

Point de Repere:
Montoursville + TWA Flight 800 Plane Crash of 17 July 1996


If you have ANY connection or interest with the Coast Guard, past or present,
make sure to visit the following:

Fred's Place
. . . if YOU were a Coastie,
BE SURE to visit Fred's REUNION HALL!!!
An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog
Coast Guard Heritage Museum
Coast Guard Heritage Museum's Blog
at CapeCodToday.com
The Coast Guard Channel
United States Coast Guard
The OFFICIAL page:   www.USCG.mil

And here's some other Coast Guard related sites
from around the net . . .
The True Story of the Four Chaplains

The SAGA of The Four Chaplains

Coast Guard Warriors - Part of the Mix
The Lucky Bag:
Tales of Coast Guard History on the Web

information - to the best of my recollection- by: Steve Bonnell (slbnl@kbsb.com)

View Steven L Bonnell's profile on LinkedIn
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