History Page 2
While assigned to Squadron TEN, Billfish completed a Mediterranean deployment, participated in Queen Elizabeth's SILVER JUBILEE Naval Review at Portsmouth, England, conducted various fleet exercises, and completed two operations of special importance.
It was during one of these northern runs in July and August of 1978 that the periscope was damaged on what was later called a floating piece of ice. (Click for newspaper article) The Billfish returned from the second northern run around Thanksgiving without two of her crew. JD and Peter D decided to stay a little longer in Europe for additional sightseeing.
During this period, Billfish was awarded the Engineering "E" for excellence three years in a row, plus the ASW/Operations "A" for outstanding performance in Antisubmarine Warfare, and the overall Battle Efficiency "E" for outstanding operational performance in 1978.
Billfish in Norway
The Billfish visited Cape Canaveral in early 1979, and conducted various weekly operations until deploying to the Mediterranean again in the summer and fall of 1979. The return trip was livened up when the crew managed to outrun something that was not silent, but deadly.
Leaning Tower of Pisa - Med run '79
Mike Kurowski and Al Morin on guitars, Benjy Bertossi behind,
La Spezia Med run '79
Al wrote the lyrics to the Billfish Rag, which became our unofficial anthem It was the song most requested of our on-board musicians.
More various weekly operations followed until the Billfish again visited Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for a mini overhaul in the spring of 1980.
The Billfish visited the US Naval Academy and hosted tours to the midshipmen in late 1980.
More weekly operations, and then the Navy chose the Billfish to be the stage and recording studio for a recruiting commercial. Several days were spent with photographers and video crews roaming the boat filming an ad called 'The life of an Engineer '. Many of the stills from this photo shoot are displayed at the Submarine Museum on the big picture wall, thus making celebrities of this author and many others who were on board at the time. Funny though, the Navy hired actors for the actual commercial instead of using some of the good looking crew members.
Donny Miller Eddie Collins Dave Lemke Dennis Thayer Rich Cavaretta