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Chief of Naval Reserve

CNAVRES Command staff

Location: New Orleans, LA
Veterans: 7
Latest Activity: May 19, 2017

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Comment by Douglas James Riley on May 19, 2017 at 12:41pm

RADM Lyon was the deputy for VADM Charbonnet when I was there. He wasn't a line officer, I think he was supply and logistics.

I remember hearing about them bringing the new boat down the inter-coastal waterway (from NC I think).  Prior to that they had a civilian boat in use.  Sounded like a great trip funded by the Navy!

BM1 Best sounds familiar, but he was gone when I got there. I think it was a temporary crew. 

I was brought in to replace the EN who was aboard when they brought down the new boat.  He was pissed and had an extreme attitude about me taking over. But hell, orders, man! He was on loan from the Coastal River Division on the base, just to get the boat and bring it down.

I remember a civilian lady in purchasing I had to get funds and Purchase reqs. from.  We bought most supplies at the boat shops in town. Her name was Mabel.  A big lady and was always griping about the money we spent.

She complained once that she should have VADM Charbonnet's picture hanging behind her desk.  I got the chief of staff to get me a 8x10 of the Admiral which the admiral had signed "Financially yours, Pierre"

Thought she was going to fall out of her seat laughing!

Comment by Ray ashenfelder on October 17, 2016 at 11:44am

Matter of fact I will be visiting NOLA in Nov and am really looking forward to see all the changes that have happened since I left almost 40 years ago, heck when I was there I attended the first Kings Parade that had in the Super Dome.

Comment by Ray ashenfelder on October 17, 2016 at 11:36am


I got on station in Aug 1973. I was just passing thru on another assignment and ended up staying until early 1976. I was assigned as the SK striker (E-3) supporting then VADM Coopers front office. In early 74 I finally got a great boss to work for by the name of Senior Chief Dickens( who later became MC of the Command) who kicked my butt and taught much needed skills. Now about the barge, I was assigned as the Command SK that funded the crew that brought the barge down to NOLA. If I remember correctly I worked with a really great BM1 ( I think his name was BM1 Best), I believe he was the lead on the project also provided me with same great memories fishing etc. I can always remember the amount of oil that was bought on that trip by the crew,,,,,, God Loves BM's.  I was still assigned as the staff SK when VADM Charbonnet came on board. I remember to this day how he would take the water barge  over from the NSA every day and made it a point to walk up and down the line to speak to his sailors. Of course I also remember the day  that it broke down and floated down the river , I always felt bad for the BM on duty that day.  As I recall they had two other 2 stars their 1 for the AIR side and the other for the SURFACE side. The surface 2 star was ADM Russell who was later transferred to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Anyhow lots of great memories for sure and many great folks that I have to thank for keeping me focused.

Comment by Kenneth L. De Long on May 21, 2015 at 7:08pm

Palmer did take over in 78 I worked in COMRESTACSUPWINGMAINT Staff, Master chief Umholtz

Comment by Jerry Partin on March 6, 2015 at 8:10pm
Jerry Partin I was station at CNAVRES from 1980 - 1985 I was In Aircraft maintenance code 5745
Comment by Douglas James Riley on January 9, 2015 at 4:21pm
Bruce, I didn't move from New Orleans area till 1990, so it might have been mid to late 80s that I saw the single screw barge.
We used to tease the flag LT unmercifully too! Must have been a Navy tradition. Ha
Did Adm. Palmer take over in 78 when Charbonnet retired? His name sounds very familiar. I extended 3 months to just stay for Adm. Charbonnet's retirement then I got out, so I never worked for his successor.
If he was only a rear admiral, someone senior might have take the barge from him later. Charbonnet was a senior 3 Star. Was supposed to get his 4th star until they force retired him. Wanted younger Admirals they said. After they promised him the 4th star for taking on the rundown (at the time) reserves. It was not considered a optimum posting.
Comment by Bruce Wozniak on January 8, 2015 at 11:45pm

I was Engineer 1981 then added POINC 1982, under Rear Admiral Palmer the Barge was still a 40 ft twin screw with the slant 6/71s and hydraulic start. it was a tuff go in the winter if she failed to start and we had to pump up the accumulators by hand. Many fine memories from Mardi Gras to fishin in the gulf. stories? one morning while we were waiting for the Admiral on the west bank the flag lieutenant gave me a signed blank personal check told me to check the price of shrimp purchase 15#, box it take it to Belchase and put it on the plane to DC c/o the admirals pentagon office. I did as he requested but it was near the end of the season and the cost was pretty steep. so I called the Lieutenant gave him the info he had me wait while he called DC, then radioed me back saying nevermind and to just tear up the check. well the next morning on the barge after I gave the flag lieutenant  his cup of coffee I said I would like to thank him and that I really appreciated him paying off my mortgage, he said "what?"  and I said well I had made out the signed blank check out to me for the balance of my mortgage! Now this Annapolis graduate Flag Leutenant choked spit coffee across the coxswains flat, I busted up smilling telling him to calm down I was just joken. the poor guy never could figure me out. About a month prior to this he was so sure I was a plant for waste fraud and abuse and afraid of getting the admiral in trouble, that he had the Coxswain pull all the scrap books and fishing logs dating back to Vice Admiral Charbonet off the barge as far as I know the Coxswain still has some nice souvenirs.   

Comment by Douglas James Riley on May 15, 2014 at 4:37pm

The Admiral's Chicken of the Sea

Daily we would transport the Vice Admiral and his staff from the NSA New Orleans on the west bank of the Mississippi to the East bank CNAVRES office and back at the end of the day.

The Admiral was an avid fisherman and we kept his fishing gear on the boat.  He was also a man of great humor, so I decided to liven his day a bit.

From his quarters I retrieved a rubber chicken that he had as a gag for parties and I hooked it on the leader of one of his fishing rigs.

As we approached the East bank to pick the Admiral and staff up, I fed out the line off the back of the boat. The Coxswain slowly approached the pier while I “fought” the Chicken off the rear of the Flag Barge.

I could see the Admiral excitedly pointing us out to his staff – probably remarking that I had a fish!

As we came along side I tightened the drag and reeled in the chicken.  The Chief of Staff (O-6) looked like he was going to go ballistic and I feared for my stripes, but the Admiral, as I hoped, was roaring with laughter and told the Captain that I made his day.  Phew!

The pier was full of hundreds of other Naval personnel awaiting the regular shuttle boats, and all were laughing.

Comment by Douglas James Riley on July 6, 2013 at 10:12am
I got to fly on the saberliner a few times, but you right, we should've done things together! Although I sounds like you and I were a year separated.
I went back in early eighties (as a civilian) and the boat had been replaced by a single engine model (shorter, I think it was about 36') - it was a weekend so there was no one to ask.
If the current Admiral was not a big fisherman, they probably swapped it to fleet for the smaller version.
Adm Charbonnet used it not only for official business, but we went fishing in the Gulf every weekend.
Comment by gerald w hargis on July 6, 2013 at 9:02am

wish the boat crew and the aircrew had gotten together and traded off some sailing time for some air time! good to meet ya on here though. flag aircraft sitting up davis moffat in wraps right now, wonder what happened to the barge.


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