Gitmo Water Cutoff 

 

1964

 

If memory serves me correctly, seems I remember the Admiral whowas CO of Base GITMO back in '64 when Castro cut the water off.  Admiral Bulkley, in a red MG sports car and dress whites made a ceremony of cutting the pipe line carrying water into the base.  He must have ruined his choker whites with that cutting torch, ya got to admire his guts.  We had the FDR and a bunch of cans there with us to help defend the base. I rode horseback patrols up in the mountains until a sailor from another ship got off the trail and his horse was killed by a mine.

 

I turned 21 the day of the incident.  On board the Bordelon DD 881( Seaman/ GMG striker) we alternated plane guard duty with gun guard duty anchored off Hospital Cay, manning our two 5" 38 mounts with half crews and zeroed in on various parts of the base.  The FDR kept a combat air patrol over the base and herself which kept everyone busy, but feeling safe from the Cuban Migs.  I remember those long hours on the helm staring at the stern of the FDR and the hot long hours manning the 5" 38s while we were making water for the base.

 

As to Admiral Bulkley, in case some of you don't remember, he was the PT skipper who took MacArthur off Corregidor under the noses of the JAPS.   I am almost positive he was the CO of Gitmo during the water crisis.  Not sure though, too many years have passed.

 

Doug Traylor