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Ron,
Don't forget us Radio "Officers" who joined the Offshore Industry on Rigs where our position was identified as Radio Operator
Denis
A year into my shore job, I did a voyage on a Grimsby trawler to try and keep my PMG cert going and found that I was called a radio operator.

N.B. The voyage lasted 16 days and I subsequently learned that that was insufficient for my purpose - they required 1 month minimum. Aaargh!
 

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A year into my shore job, I did a voyage on a Grimsby trawler to try and keep my PMG cert going and found that I was called a radio operator.

N.B. The voyage lasted 16 days and I subsequently learned that that was insufficient for my purpose - they required 1 month minimum. Aaargh!
Ray, the time wouldn't count anyway because the trawlers were only compulsorily fitted with radiotelephone.

As for the "operator" title, a ROse by any other name ...."

John T
 

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They paid double MIMCO wages so I joined. Some beautiful ships. My name aboard was always Funker. Now in New Zealand the rego on my car is FUNKER. I do get some funny looks!
I was a "Funker" too Chris. Great idea for a car number plate but I might not get it past my dyslexic wife (did I spell that right?).

John T

PS The Electrician's "Blitz" would be a good one too.
 

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I started at the top as a Radio Officer dressed in No 10 starched whites on passenger ships, gin and tonics in the passenger lounge, a table for dinner with invited guests, and ended up 40 years later on the bottom plates as electrician. My final voyage was in 2019. I spent the last day of that trip changing out electrodes in the **** tank. The money was incredible. It's a rum life.
 

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I knew a former deck officer of the pukka P & O who once enjoyed a similar familiarity with the silver service as yourself......his cabin carpet was the thickest he had hitherto encountered.
He finished his career on the "supply boats".

For the final 20 years it was "lino" all the way.

It's a rum life indeed.

:)
 

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Just remember that in the US military it takes an act of Congress to make an officer and a gentleman. For some it comes as a byproduct of upbringing.
 

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Be thankful they didn't call you a 'wireless operator'. ... and you were only an officer on your ship...you aint one now ! Did you object when they called you "sparks"? You should have, thin end of the wedge !
I once read that during the Russian Revolution the revolting ones got hold of the officers and nailed their shoulder boards onto their shoulders with 6" nails. Since they liked being officers so much.
 

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Who is responsible for the description of the Radio Room thread? "A forum for all Radio Operators etc.etc"
I thought I used to be an Officer?
Bobby Corcoran, practical lecturer at Glasgow College of Nautical Studies (and previously the Watt College in Greenock) was quite vocipherous in reminding us that seagoing Radio Operators, through their unions, had fought for the right to be considered Officers.
 

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I knew a former deck officer of the pukka P & O who once enjoyed a similar familiarity with the silver service as yourself......his cabin carpet was the thickest he had hitherto encountered.
He finished his career on the "supply boats".

For the final 20 years it was "lino" all the way.

It's a rum life indeed.

:)
Carpet! Never touched my feet in any Engineers quarters occupied by me but thinking of class distinction that did occur to me was the thicknedss of the granulated cork chip that adorned the cabin deck heads .
There must have been said Company code of practice for this as it applied to all the ship's i sailed or visited whereby the Captains' cabin had a layer of cork insulation about three weatabix deep and proportionally thinning as the occupier's rank sank until the junior engineers had a much as you might sprinkle a little pepper on your meal.
A wooed lady contemplating a ship board visit might be inclined to ask "How thick is your cork"

Bob
 

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re: Just remember that in the US military it takes an act of Congress to make an officer and a gentleman.

Well, yeah I guess so for those folks in the military?
Early 1970s US Navy enlistments were way down.
Some suggested it had to do with 'Nam?
Regardless the US Navy hired we civilians to sail their ships without guns - US Naval Ships.
But we needed US Navy Identification. Reporting aboard as a 1 A/E I became an instant US Navy lieutenant commander, or so said the identification card I was issued. That was taken away from me when I left that ship nearly a year later.
 

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Trevor,

I think that the intention was to make the thread inclusive - not all the people on this site that operated radio equipment were on ships. There were other sorts of ships that were not Merchant ships, and they didn't carry Radio Officers. They were painted a sort of grey colour - you must know them, we used to see them tied up at the quayside in the better ports.[=P]
Thanks Trevor. We, Navy and Coast Gueard radiomen (although if in todays politically correctness radio sailors) were mostly not officers only petty officers. We do thank you all for letting us mingle with you all. We probably either contacted you directly or sent out warnings, or handled SOS calls for you and are honored to on here with you.
USCG RM1
 
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To make the thread inclusive, they could have called it Radio Officers and operators. The difference between a radio officer and a radio operator is that the former is also trained in maintance and servicing of all the equipment that they operate, and more besides sich as radar, public address systems etc. This is nothing to do with snobbery! I did not like being called a radio operator, and if I called deck officers "map readers", engineers "fitters" and Pursers "grocers" there was usually Hell to pay! :D Without any prompting, my discharge book of 30 years in 19 ships always showed that I was signed on as radio officer. A lot of people insisted on using the term "operator" and one of the greatest offenders were shipyards, where in 90% of merchant ship plans, the radio officer's cabin was shown as "radio operator!" I am not obessed with this, and the fact that I have perused so many ship plans is because after they got rid of us all, I became self-employed as a ship model builder, as I wanted nothing further to do withe electronics. And confined my time as "radio operator on boats" to the past o_O But as the thread title has now been amended, everything is OK! :D
 

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As I said, I was not obsessed about it, but it did annoy me slightly whenever it came up. I always believed in the job of radio officer, and was not clever enough to get the Advanced Marine Electronics diploma, so I got out shortly before the end came. But I don't think it was unreasonable to want a correct job description for the hard-won qualifications that I did have - 1st Class PMG plus radar. I qualified in 1960, and left in late 1992, and by that time, I had really had had enough. Last ship, the brand new RMS St Helena, completed 1989. Never missed it, and at the same time, never regretted becoming a radio officer, and would do it all again if I was leaving school in 1959. But if I was leaving school in 2020, I would not even contemplate going to sea in any capacity!
Bit of a dinasaur! :ROFLMAO: .
 

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I loved being called "Sparks" and designated R/O.
We had duties and responsibilities that entitled us to Officer status.
On most vessels from 1,600 tons right up to the biggest VLCC we were solo.
Sole responsibility with no back-up available.
Unlike every other department where there were chains who could step up a notch if required.

I left the sea and became a radio/TV service technician.
I remember one house call to mend a colour TV (which were tricky beasts) and being greeted by a shout of
"the fitter's here to mend the telly".
Mortified!!
 

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Nowt wrong with fitters. I have sailed with a fitter from Philippines many times over the past ten years. He was hand-picked for the expedition vessel "DSSV Pressure Drop" which I sailed on last year. Several years ago on another ship, a Dive Support Vessel, I was lecky and had a washing machine with a collapsed spherical bearing. No spares. He happened to walk by and said he could make one of those on the lathe. I said piss off. In two hours he handed me four of them, better than original. The man is probably one of the most skilled people I have ever met.
 

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I think you completely misunderstand me! My dad was a fitter, and this is nothing to do with snobbery! .
If you call as ships' engineer a fitter, you will find that as a rule, they are not very pleased about it. Same as if you called an able seaman a dhu. At the Titanic enquiry, I believe some Lord or other referred to the Titanic as a "boat" and someone complained, and he replied along the lines of as far as he was concerned, it was built to float in water, and was therefore a boat! But imagine his fury if someone had called him "Mister" instead of Lord.......! :LOL:
A radio operator operates radios, and is no doubt highly skilled in that field, but a MN radio officer is trained to repair the equipment as well as use it, and to me that make a whole lot of difference.
As for making a new bearing, it sounds very much like your fitter made you some bushes - round pieces of brass with a hole though them that would have served very well as temporary bearings rather than one with lots of small ballbearings in it, I have made them myself when bearings failed, and no replacements were available! This is some of my work, although I am not an engineer, so as far as that is concerned, I don't mind being called an amateur "fitter":LOL: as far as engineering goes, but professionally, I was a radio officer, and operating was only part of my job.
Bug Key (Medium).JPG
 
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