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Ken Deshaies
  -       BEFORE     -         AFTER

Prior to joining up with Uncle Sam, I attended Mass. Radio And Electronics School in Boston, Mass. completing a two year Basic and Advanced electronics curriculum, graduating in April 1962. After reading this poster, and running in to these two swabbies, I was convinced to join the US Navy on 3 May 1962. I was "requested" to appear at the Fargo Building, Boston, Mass (1st Fleet HQ) for my pre-induction physical and swearing-in. I passed my physical and raised my right hand - then it was off to beautiful Great Lakes, IL .......the rest is history!!

Upon completion of basic training at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, I was then assigned to my first ship, the USS Saratoga (CVA-60)  in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA as a designated striker (ATRAN) - The "young" Ken shown in his rack 1 - 2 (located under the angle deck catapault). My primary duty station was in the Guided Missile Shop (port side forward of Hangar Bay #1), working on Sparrow III , Sidewinder and Bullpup missile guidance systems (checkout and repair) - attended Class "C" Sparrow III Guided Missile School at Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, FL. USS Saratoga got underway for Guantanamo Bay Cuba and participated in the 1962 Cuban Missile Blockade. Made 2 Med Cruises on the Saratoga. While on Saratoga, I held rates of ATR3 and ATR2 ; and then changed rate to MT3 and MT2. Some of my time and shipmates on the Saratoga in the Guided Missile Division (GM Division) is documented here  -- 

                   

I shipped over in 1966 for 4 more years, and then was transferred to shore duty at Polaris Missile Facility Atlantic (POMFLANT) in North Charleston (Goose Creek), South Carolina for about a year. While at POMFLANT, I changed my rate again from MT2 to FTM3 and then to FTM2 and finally to FTM1. I also had the opportunity to go TAD (Temporary Assigned Duty) to the USNS Norwalk (T-AK 279) for about 3 weeks on a missile supply run to Rota, Spain. While in the Navy, I took 7 rating exams to advance 4 pay grades (example: if you were changing from MT2 to FTM2 - you took the FTM3, FTM2 and rating exams). I was next transferred to the USS Leahy pre-commissioning detail the first week of February 1967. USS Leahy was about to go through a modernization upgrade at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Prior to locating to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, I attended various Class C schools at the Naval Guided Missile School in Dam Neck, Va. USS Leahy was re-commissioned on 4 May 1968 (CO Captain William B. Murray Jr.), and re-assigned to it's new homeport of Norfolk, Va. On 28 July 1969, Leahy commenced participation in the UNITAS X cruise to various Central and South American ports (photo above shown landing the big one in the Galapagos Islands - August 1969), and returned to Norfolk, Va. at the end of 1969. I remained on Leahy until my discharge date of 9 June 1970.

The US NAVY, far above all, remains one of my best life experiences.

In civilian life, I worked briefly (2.5 years) for Pacific Ordnance And Electronics Co. metrology lab in Norfolk, Va. I then hired on to the General Electric Co. in their Medical Systems Operation as a Field Service Representative and Support Engineer in the Norfolk, VA area, and then Field Service Representative - Support Engineer at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, and also held positions at headquarters technical engineering support at GE Medical Technical Services in Pewaukee, Wisconsin and instructor at the GE Medical Systems Institute in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (the home of real winter weather).

On my 60 birthday in 2001, I retired from GE after 28 years of service. I then relocated from Pewaukee, Wisconsin to sunny Melbourne (Viera), Florida, in the shadow of the Kennedy Space Center, where I resided from 2001 until January 2012. I have now relocated to Newton, New Hampshire (original home territory) with my bride of 49 years, and where I can spend most of my free time banging on my keyboard and floating in my new "portable" pool (weather permitting). Life is GOOD!!!!