Recollections of a midshipman

Floyd Freeman recalls his six-week experience on the Irex in Summer, 1967

I was on the IREX as a first class midshipmen during the July/August time frame. There were 3 of us assigned to the boat for 6 weeks. She operated between Bermuda and Florida acting as an ASW “rabbit” for several weeks, with a stop in Jacksonville and Bermuda for liberty. She was at sea for all the six weeks, pulling in on the weekends to Groton when she was not operating during the Bermuda/Jacksonville trip.

Several excellent sea stories were generated during the time period, including the supply officer sneaking two (large) beers/crew on board (with CO's permission), cookout/swim call while consuming the beer, and a companion NLON sub (I think it was the USS BANG) circling us while we were doing all this (their CO would not agree to allow his crew a swim call).

Being at sea on her for 5 of the 6 weeks without AC (it broke the first day out and stayed that way) convinced me that diesel boats earned the nickname “pig boats”.

It certainly was a unique boat and crew.

Floyd E. Freeman

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