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Old 03-28-2008, 10:22 AM
R. Dale Flick R. Dale Flick is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,573

Hi, Bob,
Good questions above and I don't know any of the answers. Doc Hawley stood many a watch on the AVALON with Capt. Emory Edigington and, no doubt, heard accounts/memories of the SAM P. SUIT directly from the lips of one who was there then. I knew Emory until his last days at an ancient age but, unfortunately, didn't think to ask him about the explosion. I figured there were some things you just didn't bring up or press the point too much. Like in our military from my experiences, there no doubt have been some 'close calls and near misses.' These things also just not mentioned after the sweat dries on the palms of your hands.

John Burns, son of Jim Burns, recalled the incident on DELTA KING, I 'think,' during the big maritime strike in San Francisco when they attempted sneaking the boat from her pier for Sacramento to dock in fresh water up there. She was going along when John, then a licensed fireman under his dad, walked to the boilers and saw all of the indicators showing no water level!...Dry!...Zilch...-0-. Old Jim Burns was manning the throttle. John's eyes bugged and he quickly pulled the fires to prevent a virtual 'melt down' [Or worse] and the boat drifted against the battlements of Alcatraz Prison. She grounded there on the gravel while prison guards stood on the ramparts with machine guns pointed down. Problem was debris had been sucked against her intake pipe during the time the boat was moored at the pier and no water was being pumped in. John was a good swimmer and jumped over the side, dove down and cleared the debris. John told me that story in person and Stan Garvey incorporated it in his 'KING & QUEEN of the River book.'

Cheers, with chills running down my neck,
R. Dale Flick
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