|Gilbert F Houston
USS Pickerel (SS 524)
- Started in USNR at San Francisco (Hunters Point) with SubDiv 12-32 in Feb 1956.
- Went to Sub School there that summer going for 6 wks to SP & SG schools.
- Went on Active Duty (2 yr obligation) in early '57, outfitting @ T.I. then to Mare Island
- Assigned to USS RAZORBACK (SS-394) in San Diego.
- Started on WestPac trip that summer but had asiatic flu so bad they thought I had
pneumonia & transferred to Tripler USA Hospital at Pearl along with another
crewmember (who DID have pneumonia). Two sailors from USS PICKEREL (SS-524)
assigned as replacements for us. After recovery we were assigned to USS PICKEREL
(SS-524) but other guy had more time toward quals and when the two that took our
place went stateside from Japan for discharge the other guy on PICKEREL went back
to RAZORBACK and I stayed in Pearl.
- Qualified on USS PICKEREL (SS-524) in spring '58 (long qual time due to the boat
being in the yards when I reported aboard).
- Made a WestPac trip summer/fall '58 then back in Hawaiian waters until transferred to
T.I. for ET "A" school in '59.
- Reenlisted (USN) as SN(SS) Dec '59 for NucPwrSchl while still student at ET school.
- Attended NPS at NLON in '60 then prototype at Windsor Locks (S1C), made ET3(SS)
early '61 at S1C.
- Assigned to USS JOHN MARSHALL (SSB(N)611) new construction with classes at
Bettis Plant Pittsburgh, PA for 6wks enroute in '61.
- Went through new construction on USS JOHN MARSHALL (launch, outfitting, testing,
sea trials, commissioning and shakedown) then made 5 Blue Crew Patrols making
ET2(SS) and ET1(SS) along the way. Got married at end of first patrol to gal I met while
at Bettis Plant (we're about to celebrate our 46th anniversary this March 30). We have
three kids, three grandkids and a great-grandson with a great granddaughter on the
- Got discharged in May '65 and moved to Chico, California where we still live. Made my
living as a Broadcast Engineer for radio and TV stations here in Chico. Retired a few
years back but occasionally help out or get parts for a couple of stations working with
friends I've made over the years.
- Went into USNR again in '67 while attending college at Chico State. Made ETC(SS)
and then applied to Warrant program. Made WO1 in '73 then moved up to CWO2 next
year and got assigned to Mine Force Support Group out of ResCent Sacramento as
XO. Stayed with that group for ~7yrs with name changes and base location changes (to
T.I. after a year or so then to NAS Alameda) in a couple more.
- Had an opportunity to be assigned to ResCrew of minesweeper USS EXCEL
(MSO-439) and qualified SWO in a few years. Served on EXCEL for almost 20 yrs, with
ComPacFlt (in a comm billet) for a year or so then inactive for a couple more and retired
in 1993 with total of 40 yrs.
- Currently (2010) Vice CDR of CUTTLEFISH Base USSVI ( second tour - was
plankowner VC back a few years ago) and just finished two years as Chair of Chico
Veterans Day Committee.