Abelquist, Paul, EMCS

Electrician's Mate
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Current Service Status
USN Retired
Current/Last Rank
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Current/Last Primary NEC
MM-9593-Submarine Repairman
Current/Last Rating/NEC Group
Electrician's Mate
Primary Unit
1980-1980, EM-4666, (EM) Electricians Mate C School
Previously Held NEC
EM-4615-Electrical Motor Rewinder
EM-4666-Minesweeping Electrician
EM-4650-Inside Electrical Repair
EM-0000-Electrician's Mate
EM-0000-Electrician's Mate
Service Years
1962 - 1983
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Cold War
Panama Canal
Plank Owner
EM-Electrician's Mate
Four Hash Marks


 Ribbon Bar
Surface Warfare Enlisted Badge

 

 Official Badges 

Career Counselor Firefighter US Navy Retired 20


 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge US Naval Reserve Honorable Discharge Navy Chief Initiated Navy Chief 100 Yrs 1893-1993




 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Pensacola CouncilUnited States Navy Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC)United States Naval InstituteUSS Fulton (AS-11) Association
USS Forrestal AssociationUnited States Coast Guard Auxiliary AssociationPost 496Navy Together We Served
National Association of Fleet Tug SailorsNaval Minewarfare Association
  1987, Navy League of the United States, Pensacola Council (Member) (Florida) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  1987, United States Navy Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1988, United States Naval Institute [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1994, USS Fulton (AS-11) Association [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1994, USS Forrestal Association [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2002, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Association - Assoc. Page
  2004, American Legion, Post 496 (Recorder) (Long Beach, California) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  2015, Navy Together We Served [Verified]
  2015, National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2015, Naval Minewarfare Association


 Additional Information
What are you doing now:
Mechanical Department, Dolores Locomotive Facility, Carson, CA.
Repair and maintenance of locomotives.
05 Dec 2016 Retired
   
Other Comments:
Not Specified
   

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1962, Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL), 058
  1962, Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL)
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US NavyFormal Schools and Training CoursesUSS Fulton (AS-11)USS Exultant (MSO-441)
USS Puget Sound (AD-38)USS Forrestal (CVA-59)USS Josephus Daniels (CG-27)Naval Sea Support Center Atlantic (NAVSEACENLANT)
  1962-1962, USS Mankato (YTM-734)
  1963-1963, EM-0000, (EM) Electricians Mate A School
  1963-1966, EM-4615, USS Fulton (AS-11)
  1966-1966, EM-4615, (EM) Electricians Mate B School
  1966-1968, EM-4666, USS Exultant (MSO-441)
  1968-1971, EM-4650, USS Puget Sound (AD-38)
  1971-1972, EM-0000, USS Forrestal (CVA-59)
  1972-1975, EM-0000, USS Okumuglee (YTB-765)
  1975-1979, EM-4666, USS Josephus Daniels (CG-27)
  1979-1983, EM-4666, Naval Sea Support Center Atlantic (NAVSEACENLANT)
  1980-1980, EM-4666, (EM) Electricians Mate C School
 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Pensacola CouncilUnited States Navy Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC)United States Naval InstituteUSS Fulton (AS-11) Association
USS Forrestal AssociationUnited States Coast Guard Auxiliary AssociationPost 496Navy Together We Served
National Association of Fleet Tug SailorsNaval Minewarfare Association
  1987, Navy League of the United States, Pensacola Council (Member) (Florida) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  1987, United States Navy Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1988, United States Naval Institute [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1994, USS Fulton (AS-11) Association [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1994, USS Forrestal Association [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2002, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Association - Assoc. Page
  2004, American Legion, Post 496 (Recorder) (Long Beach, California) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  2015, Navy Together We Served [Verified]
  2015, National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2015, Naval Minewarfare Association

 Photo Album   (More...


Reflections on SCPO Abelquist's US Navy Service
 
 Reflections On My Service
 
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE NAVY.
The men in my family were all navy during WWII. One uncle was a tail gunner aboard the USS Essex, another uncle was a cook aboard the USS Wasp. My stepdad was a boatswain's mate destroyerman aboard the USS Rizzi, USS Heyliger, USS Van Voorhis and minesweeper USS Avenge. My dad was a Norwegian merchant seaman making three convoy runs to Murmansk, two of those ships were torpedoed by U-boats.

The influence of these men on my decision to join the navy was very strong. It was many years before they would talk a little about their adventures, but never about the sad times of war. They all returned to the sea in New York harbor as tugboat men.
WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK. WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR LEAVING?
I joined the navy following a family tradition. I went to a vocational trade high school to become an electrician. The natural path of advancement for me was to be a navy electrician. I accomplished all the requirements for advancement during my career. In the early days, I took an electronics correspondence course to prepare for an FCC license. I never sat for it, however, I did become a television & Radio Repairman and had a successful business for twelve years (while I was in the navy). The electronics training prepared me for the emerging electronics circuits that were entering the electrical equipment aboard ship.

I served aboard seven different ships. My job as an electrician was vastly different on each ship, affording me a very diverse experience in the field. Duties included switchboard watch standing, motor rewinding, and overhaul, minesweeping, TV/Radio repair shop, chief engineer, EOOW, asst division officer, noise & vibration analyst, Atlantic fleet engineering troubleshooter, degaussing & deperming systems expert.

My last assignment at NavSeaCenLant afforded me the ability to travel the world to repair ships where they failed. The downside was the ability to see my peers not doing their job of training their charges. This forced my decision to retire after twenty-one years.
IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN ANY MILITARY OPERATIONS, INCLUDING COMBAT, HUMANITARIAN AND PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH MADE A LASTING IMPACT ON YOU AND, IF LIFE-CHANGING, IN WHAT WAY?
USS Thresher SSN-593 sinking on 10 April 1963. Life aboard USS Fulton was very somber and sad. We were making preparations to get underway to assist at the site of her loss. Then, abruptly, we were ordered to stand down as the reality of our limited usefulness came into view. For the crew, the risks a submariner takes by volunteering became very real. I believe that we, as a repair ship, took our jobs much more seriously from that moment on. SubSafe was created as a result of Thresher's loss.
DID YOU ENCOUNTER ANY SITUATION DURING YOUR MILITARY SERVICE WHEN YOU BELIEVED THERE WAS A POSSIBILITY YOU MIGHT NOT SURVIVE? IF SO, PLEASE DESCRIBE WHAT HAPPENED AND WHAT WAS THE OUTCOME.
I have experienced an event or incident that was harrowing. In 1976 aboard the USS Josephus Daniels CG-27, we just completed escorting the new Russian carrier Kiev from the Black Sea to the Atlantic, taking pictures of her radar and antenna arrays. During the transit, Kiev's escort cruisers and destroyers were tasked with keeping Daniels away from her starboard side. This involved dangerous high-speed maneuvers with the Russian ships crossing our bow within 100 feet; bearing down on our flight deck at a flank speed only to stop within mere feet. Thanks to the skill of our captain, we evaded their tactics and succeeded to come alongside.
On our return to Naples, we were conducting leapfrog exercises with the USS Conyngham DDG-17.

At 0556, the Conyngham slammed into the starboard quarter of our ship ripping a hole in the hull. Fortunately, there were no injuries, just a lot of scared sailors. We were repaired in Greece over a period of four months.
OF ALL YOUR DUTY STATIONS OR ASSIGNMENTS, WHICH ONE DO YOU HAVE FONDEST MEMORIES OF AND WHY? WHICH WAS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
NavSeaCenLant, Norfolk. (1979-1983) I had the honor of working alongside and learning from a professional team of civilian engineers and technicians that taught me many things about engineering ship repairs. I traveled abroad and along the East Coast, repairing problems with all ship types. I literally came of age professionally at this command.

USS Fulton AS-11 (1963-1966) I was a young kid from Brooklyn that knew all the answers, I had something to say about everything. I had a few NJP's until I realized that I was only hurting me and my chances for advancement. After a modest course correction, I began to enjoy promotion opportunities and more challenging assignments.
FROM YOUR ENTIRE MILITARY SERVICE, DESCRIBE ANY MEMORIES YOU STILL REFLECT BACK ON TO THIS DAY.
Advancement to Chief Petty Officer. I was the sole selectee in Feb 1977 at the CommSta in Nea Makri, Greece. A 1 1/2 hour bus ride from Piraeus, Greece with a bunch of chiefs hungry for fun made for an interesting initiation. I took it in my stride and was very proud when it all culminated in the anchor pinning by the captain and CWO-4 Stanley. I knew then that I had crossed over the line to being a leader.
WHAT PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF FROM YOUR MILITARY CAREER?
Navy Commendation Medal described below. Advancement to Chief Petty Officer and Senior Chief Petty Officer. Making chief required extreme amounts of studying and preparing for the exams. I completed in excess of twenty-five officer correspondence courses to prepare myself for the job of Chief. I knew ahead of time, that to be a leader you have to be well-rounded, a good listener, and a problem solver. These attributes are the qualities of an effective Chief.
OF ALL THE MEDALS, AWARDS, FORMAL PRESENTATIONS AND QUALIFICATION BADGES YOU RECEIVED, OR OTHER MEMORABILIA, WHICH ONE IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU AND WHY?
Navy Commendation Medal. USS Josephus Daniels CG-27. On my third trip to the Med, I decided to keep my crew busy and train them in their rating. I was able to cumshaw over three-hundred fluorescent lighting fixtures for installation in all of the engineering spaces during the cruise. splitting the crew into competing teams, they were able to re-lamp all the main engineering spaces in record time, with a side benefit of the captain including fire rooms and engine rooms on his VIP tour list, thanks to the increased illumination.

We went on to finish the remaining spaces, including shaft alleys, steering, aux machinery spaces, and storerooms.

Upon return to Norfolk, the crew of E-division was able to enjoy a maximum thirty-day stand down.
WHICH INDIVIDUAL(S) FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY STAND OUT AS HAVING THE MOST POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?
BMC Patrick Brady, Craft master, USS Okmulgee YTB-765. He taught me how to be an effective leader. Also how to skipper a tug and tow. Which piqued my interest to obtain a Merchant Marine Chief Engineer's License. I planned to join family members in New York harbor aboard tugboats.

MMCS Pat Risbon, USS Josephus Daniels CG-27. He taught me to be a successful engineer of the Watch (EOOW) on a 1200 PSI, four-boiler steam propulsion plant. A great teacher and friend.
LIST THE NAMES OF OLD FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH, AT WHICH LOCATIONS, AND RECOUNT WHAT YOU REMEMBER MOST ABOUT THEM. INDICATE THOSE YOU ARE ALREADY IN TOUCH WITH AND THOSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE CONTACT WITH.
Subase New London 1962 SFP2 Nathaniel Broyles, I was a Fireman and he told me to get a bucket of steam. Every time I did, it would dissipate before I brought it to him. Finally, I succeeded by tilting the bucket to hold the steam vapor in the bucket.

USS Mankato YTM-734 1962 BMC Janes, a good ship drive. we breasted CGC Eagle away from the pier for her summer cruise. as she moved forward, the Chief held the bow lightly against her hull leaving black marks from our sub rubber along her hull. When we returned to the base, we were instructed to report to the base CO for a good chewing out.

USS Fulton AS-11 1964 EM1 (SS) Edwin C. Carothers (alias Bullwinkle). He was a nuke just off USS Thresher SSN 593. He taught me how to balance and silence motors. Plus he played a mean game of Risk.

USS Exultant MSO-441 1967 HM1 James "Doc" Moore. Reported fresh from Viet Nam with Marines. He was cool and a bit of an eccentric. After all these years, we still keep in touch.

USS Puget Sound AD-38 1968-71 EM2 John Seymour, EM2 Joe Farrell, EM2 Earl Dickerson, EM2 Bill Mayes, Lt Bill Nidel, and more. We have been attending ship reunions across the country since 1992. A great bunch of guys.

USS Forrestal CVA-59 1972 Capt Leonard "Swoose" Snead, Cdr Oldham XO, EMC Vaughn, AN John Jennings worked with me in the ship's TV repair shop.
USS Okmulgee YTB-765 1973 BMC John Brady (Craftmaster) A great mentor and ship driver.

USS Josephus Daniels CG-27 1975-79 Capt O.C. Chisum, Cdr R.T. Sollenberger (Eng), MMC Pat Risbon, CWO4 Stanley, FTCS Terry Devlin, Capt R.R. Robertson. These men were instrumental in my success aboard Daniels.

NavSeaCenLant, Norfolk 1979-83 Charlie Freeman GS-15, Immediate supervisor and a great mentor.
CAN YOU RECOUNT A PARTICULAR INCIDENT FROM YOUR SERVICE, WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FUNNY AT THE TIME, BUT STILL MAKES YOU LAUGH?
USS Fulton AS-11 1964 Captain's Mast for NJP. The Captain introduced himself as Capt Rice, I responded, "and I am Quaker Puff". For that silly remark, I received an additional two weeks of restriction.
WHAT PROFESSION DID YOU FOLLOW AFTER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY SERVING, WHAT IS YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY?
I was an electrician during my career. Upon retirement, I joined a defense firm as a project engineer developing shipboard degaussing systems and shore-based measurement facilities. We provided ranging and measurement equipment and shipboard systems to our U.S. allies, which afforded me an opportunity to travel to Asia, South America, and Europe. After a successful twenty-two years, I retired as vice president of marketing and operations. I then moved to CA and began a third career repairing locomotives for Union Pacific Railroad spanning eleven years and resorting to my core skills as an electrician.
WHAT MILITARY ASSOCIATIONS ARE YOU A MEMBER OF, IF ANY? WHAT SPECIFIC BENEFITS DO YOU DERIVE FROM YOUR MEMBERSHIPS?
I became a life member of the Navy League in 1987 and was O of a Sea Cadet division in New York for twelve years. Currently, I am president of the Long Beach Council and JROTC chair with six high schools. I also became a life member of the Naval Institute at that time. I am a life member of the American Legion. I recently joined the Navy Yacht Club of Long Beach. For sixteen years, I was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary until retirement. My duties were vessel inspector and instructor.


The benefits derived from these affiliations is the ability and satisfaction of giving back to the community and working with young people, affording them a personal view of the maritime life and also to help them achieve personal accomplishments.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS SERVING IN THE MILITARY INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU HAVE APPROACHED YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER? WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT YOUR TIME IN THE SERVICE?
I have followed the philosophy of "Lead, follow, or get out of the way" in most everything I do. This attitude has afforded me a very successful and rewarding series of careers over a span of fifty-seven years.
BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED THE NAVY?
Adopt a Can-Do attitude, follow the rules and strive to make a difference. Look to the long view when considering a navy career, where will you be in twenty years? Most of all, look beyond the navy as you will still be young and able to start a second or third career. The top priority is to get a solid education, one that will carry you into the civilian sector. Then for the final gratification, consider Give back duties and volunteerism in the community.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS TOGETHERWESERVED.COM HELPED YOU REMEMBER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND THE FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH.
Paul Abelquist (Abe), EMCS - In what ways has TogetherWeServed.com helped you remember your military service and the friends you served with.
My reflections on a great career
The constant reminders to recall the past memories of time served and relations with past shipmates. A favorable nudge.

DS 5/14/18

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