|Welcome To The Official Website For The
USS RICHARD B. RUSSELL (SSN-687)
|Donated Photographs and Text Courtesy of Plank Owner, Paul Bonnett: Page 2
These pictures were from a personnel inspection that we had during the construction days. I guess
even in the shipyard we had to remind ourselves we were in the military. The first picture is of the CO
and XO. They were two great guys, even for officers. Cdr Jack Brons was a man who understood how
to get the most out of his crew. He knew how to instill pride in the crew, and we were one proud
bunch. He told us at the beginning of each testing phase that we could hit the beach when we were
through. The Engineering Department soon became know for setting records for completing the
various testing phases. And the job was done right! When we finished our job, the Captain kept his
word. There was a wonderful relationship between crew and wardroom.
The XO was your typical XO. He said before one of our first operations that no one could steal his
cabin door. However, the masterminds in M-div set to work removing the hinge screws one at a time
over several days until, after watch in control the XO came back to his room to find - no door! Only his
name tag, suspended by two chains, hung before his face. The XO searched for days. The door was
hidden under various matrices, in the engine room above maneuvering, and in the torpedo room! As
the XO moved aft on the upper level the door would be moving forward through the crews mess. The
CO was great going along with the joke for a while, but then we had to return the door. It was great fun,
done with the utmost respect! I'm not sure who all the mastermind were, but Bubba Ford, Tom
Keheley, and Mike Quick should get some credit.
The next picture is of two great guys and friends: ETN2 Rick Wallerman and EM2 Karl Fleishbein. This
inspection was one of the last times that the original bell bottom uniform could be worn before Admiral
Zumwalt replaced it with the CPO uniform.
These stories are as I remember them - Please advertise that if someone out there remembers more
accurately that what I've said, they are welcome to correct me (as long as they were there). After all,
it was 30 years ago!!
The last picture is of me at age 21." - Paul