I posted this web page originally just to share the photos I made while serving on the USS Oklahoma City from 1969 to 1972. The intended audience was the other fellows who served on the ship with me. Then I realized their families and others might be interested, and they were unlikely to know what was happening in the photos. I started writing descriptions of the activities in the photos, and that led to a broader story of my experiences on the ship. This story was originally posted as the "Life in a Tin Box" section linked to below.

I received a bit of criticism of my web page from some of the enlisted men I served with because my "Life In A Tin Box" story described life on the USS Oklahoma City from an officer's viewpoint, and shipboard life was much different for the enlisted men who did the daily dirty work. Well, I was an officer, so my story is an officer's story. But the criticism was valid. To have a better appreciation of life on a cruiser in the third quarter of the 20th century you need to read a sailor's story.

I was contacted by Steve Shaw, who served on the OK City from 1971 through 1972. Steve was writing a personal journal of his military life for his family, to record his adventures as a sailor, and wanted to quote some parts of my "Tin Box" story. I gave him permission to quote my text and use my photos. He sent me his story of life on the OK City and I thought it would make a good "Enlisted Man's Tale" to complement my "Officer's Tale." Steve agreed to let me post it here. You will see that the enlisted man's life was much harder than an officer's.

An officer's story by Phil Hays: Life in a Tin Box

An enlisted mans story by Steve Shaw: Life Aboard the OK City


What is the anchor ball?