“AND NOW, THE REST OF THE STORY”
THE FOLLOWING STORY, ALONG WITH THE PICTURE WAS SUBMITTED BY KEN LUSE.
In the summer of 1964 the Cavalier stopped in Hawaii on our way to the
Western Pacific. During that visit we had a little amphibious training
exercise for some Army guys (about 800) for a couple of days. The
exercise was off the coast of Molokai and was training for us as well as
them. We shelled the target and played real war games and sent the
troops down the nets into the landing crafts.
After we had sent all the Army guys down the debark nets and completed
our days work, one of the Army mess cooks decided he would try to catch
a big fish. This was an Army mess cook that was not required to go
ashore during the exercise. Somewhere he found a big hook and either
stole or borrowed several pounds of beef liver from the refers. He tied
the hook on some line he found on one of the jack stays, put the liver
on the hook and went fishing off the side of the ship at the #3 hatch.
There were 3 or 4 of us from 1st Division sitting up in the forecastle
coffee mess around 1600 and when this guy's buddy comes running up
forward to find some sailors to help this big black mess cook land this
shark he had hooked. We ran down to the #3 hatch and there was this guy
letting the line pay out through his hands. We grabbed the line and
started tending it off a cleat. After the shark quit taking line, the 3
or 4 of us would grab the line, all heave together and put a turn on the
cleat. When we got it close to the side, Lt. Hootman got a rifle and
put about 15 rounds in it and killed it. We then looped a line around
his middle and brought it aboard with the boom. By this time the whole
ships company showed up to watch us bring it aboard. There was a mad
scramble to knock out the teeth for the lucky necklaces, and we
inspected all the fish that came up from his stomach because of the
lasso around his middle.
Lt. Hootman identified it as a Great White. It was about 12 feet long,
and estimated to weigh about 1200 pounds. Someone looked it up in a
record book and decided it was the largest Great White ever caught with
a hand line.
The attached photo was taken after as we were putting it back in the
water and was sent to me by Lt. Hootman's daughter several weeks ago.
(He died several years ago and she would like to know more of his
history on the Cavalier)
This account of the shark story was submitted by Ken Luse SN 1st Div.
Jan 1964 - March 1965
Anyone on the ship during this time period will remember 3 things, the
Typhoon (described by Doc), the Shark and the 57 days off the coast of
Ken Luse P.O. Box 7722, Eugene, OR 97401