AK (FBM ) 260
Ship's History

Found this searching on the web for Betelgeuse stuff. If you would like to add to the story, email me and I will add below.

A sailor from the Minesweeper USS ADROIT (MSO 509) wrote the following:

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in June 1966

I am sure that most if not all of you know what a "Cattlecar" is. If not, it is a semi tractor with a cattle trailer refurbished with two decks and inside seating. Used from time to time by the navy to transport personnel from point "A" to point "B". Such was the case in Gitmo, Cuba in the mid 1960's. They used the "Cattlecars" to transport personnel from the docks to the main part of the base, where the Enlistedmen's Club was located. The route of the Cattlecar took it from the EM club to the pier where the Minesweepers tied up and then on to the next pier where the USS Betelgeuse was tied up. The Betelgeuse being several times larger than all of Min Div 44 combined.

Imagine if you will, from the back of the Cattlecar, filled about half with Minesweep Sailors and half Betelgeuse sailors, Minesweeper RM3 yells to Minesweep Electrician in front of Cattlecar, "Hey Sparky, What kind of Goose doesn't fly?" The Answer from Sparky comes "BEETLE GOOSE!" Then from Minesweep BMSN on top deck comes "F*#K THE BEETLE GOOSE!!!!!!!! Then a roar of laughter as the Minesweep sailors all laugh at the same time.

Imagine white hats, shoes, hair and maybe some teeth coming out between the boards of the cattlecar as it stops on the Minesweep pier. Then the fight literally falls out of the Cattlecar doorway onto the pier.

MinDiv 44 Commodore, highly peeved that the division has not been relieved on time, is standing on the Quarter Deck of the Adroit and witnesses what is happening. He walks to the fantail where several Adroit Sailors are standing and asks them why they are standing there while their fellow shipmates are in peril. Suddenly down the gang plank, over the rail and any other means of exit from the ship are full of able bodies. The other Minesweepers at the pier see what's happening and comes to lend a hand. Word gets to the Betelgeuse and reinforcements arrive to their relief.

The Shorepatrol comes rolling in and about a dozen SP's come running up. The Adroit CO, tells the SP that it would be foolish to intervene considering their few numbers. The SP Chief agrees and retreats to get reinforcements. When the SP finally arrives again the only ones still fighting are a couple of Betelgeuse sailors fighting one another.

About two days later the Commodore and CO calls All Hands to the fantail. He said that it had been reported to him that there had been some kind of skirmish on the pier a couple of days earlier and that he had been ordered to do an investigation. He asked if anyone saw one of their shipmates involved in such a fracas. If they did would they please hold up their hand. No one held up a single hand. The Commodore said "That is what I thought, The investigation has been completed. You can go about your duties!"

It was told later that several Betelgeuse Sailors ended up in sick bay and several were taken to Captains Mast for fighting.