USS Trumpetfish SS-425
Goiás S-15
Message Board

Mar. 15, 2020

I served for a short training period, (last quarter of 1962 to August, 1963,) on the T-fish. That is what they did with us nuclear designated people until an opening in Nuc-Scol class opened. I went aboard as an MM designated E-2, made E-3 and then E-4 in that short time. I mess cooked one night and then was assigned to the A-Gang because I was an "old guy" of 24 and had served an apprenticeship in the Machinist trade before entering the Navy.

We were underway and one of the Hi-PAC's cylinders wiped. We had one in stores but it was not bored out and honed to proper size and lathe experience was needed. EN-1(SS) Jack Luntsford listened to my answers to his questions when I reported aboard and squired away the knowledge of my civilian training and experience until it was needed. The cylinder went out. The new one was broken out and discovered to be lacking. Jack told ENC George Flatley, (A-Gang) about me. The lathe and tools were broken out. (It had not been used since placing aboard.) I bored and honed it and it worked. After that, I was assigned to A-Gang, by-passing a list of previous applicants, (who could not operate a lathe.) Jack took me under his wing and taught me the boat. I qualified SS and even became a qualification petty officer. (Got my signature on YOUR card?  Its a rarity.)

I created a website a few years ago and also communicated on Ron Martini's Submarine BBS. I posted my story of Jack Luntsford, who was killed on a river boat in Vietnam. That BBS and my web page are gone now. I'm nearly gone myself. But I remember the T-fish fondly. Your first boat is like your first girl in that respect.

Mike Rankin, ex-MM!(SS)
Qualified on SS-425 and SSB(N)622

July 24, 2016

After I graduated from high school in 1962 it was not long before I was called downtown at the military inspection office to see and question me and others who were classified 4-F. That designation did not make me feel inferior because I spent all my school years accepting and dealing with my situation of being born with no left hand. The Sergeant told me, as he looked at my arm, that's very interesting. That brought out an aggressive response from me when I told him "What is so damn interesting about it ?" He apologized and I calmed down. After that and as the Vietnam conflict (War) raged I felt a need to do something in support of my Country and those in the military.

Since this was before the computer/internet/satellite communication was available the reliable HF communication with short wave transmissions and receiving was the only available way to communicate where telephone was not available. I studied and took several tests and progressed to the top ham radio license (Amateur Extra) and put my equipment and time communicating with our military and those brave soldiers to have a means of communicating with family from various parts of the world.

I really felt honored to do that and had many sleepless nights doing my calling to provide this service. My most memorable times was with the USS Trumpetfish. I will always remember those years and  proud that I, along with others like me made a difference by offering my time and equipment so our military men could communicate with family. Some locations were classified and although I knew where they were I had to keep my finger on the transmitter button to protect the locations of those locations.

I just wanted you to know that although some have short comings physically, there are ways we can serve our beloved United States in many ways. Take Care and thanks for having the website because I can see not only the USS Trumpetfish, but other ships and subs I have communicated with tucked away in my memory. 

Jerry Ballard

June 2, 2010

I am saddened by the news of Hoss' death (see message 1). I served with Hoss on the Trumpetfish from June 1963, until April 1966. As you said, he was larger than life and "on the go" 24/7 - full steam ahead. He and I got along great (I was an Electronics Technician) and with my watch station in the Control Room right by the Gallery where he "ruled the roost" it allowed for us to share many long hours together.

Two things stand out in my mind about Hoss.

One, GOD help you -- didn't matter if your were the Captain, visiting Admiral, officer onboard or shipmate -- if you DID ANYTHING that made his bread fall while he had the loaves baking in HIS OVENS, you were threatened with your life and was BLASTED with a string of "words" that could melt asphalt at 100 feet.

As to the falling loaves of bread, he'd probably been a Master Chief if he hadn't got busted down so many times because he threaten to cut the Captains head off with a meat cleaver if he allowed the snorkel valve to close just one more time. If it did, the diesel engines running would then have to draw air out of the boat to keep running and thereby, create an immediate "vacuum" (drop in air pressure) in the boat. Needless to say, the sudden drop in air pressure absolutely KILLED any bread from rising that was in the ovens.

Number two was, if you "bet money" on ANYTHING (usually sports) against Hoss, you'd loose. He'd always tell me with a smirky grin on his face when he was making bets in the Control Room with others, especially during football or baseball season, "They're betting with their mouths and not with their brains." What he meant was the he KNEW ALL about the players, stats, who was hurt, not playing etc., and his bettors were just betting with their "favorite team," etc. He RARELY ever lost a bet.

Thanks for your words that you wrote about Hoss. Tell David and Michael that Hoss loved them more than life itself.

Mike Bailey
Marietta , Georgia

April 17, 2008

My father served on the Trumpetfish I believe in the early fifties. My dad's name was George T. Straubinger originally from Virginia, but pretty sure he was living in California at the time he joined the navy. I was wondering if you had any information that would indicate the time that he served, he passed away in May 93', and I have recently taken an interest in the time he spent in the Navy. Thank you for any help you can provide.

Marc Straubinger

December 4, 2006

It is my sad duty to inform you of the death of Charles R. "HOSS" Hostetler on Dec. 3, 2006 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, N.C. following open heart surgery. I am Gerry Hostetler and, as he would say - His BEST ex-wife. He was proud of his Navy service and loved to feed his boys on the sub. He served on the USS Trout, the USS Trumpetfish (until mid-1966, I believe) and then the USS Odax until Dec. 1966. He retired from the NAS Memphis, where he also was a cook. He was a larger-than-life character, as all who knew him - even in Sea Stories - will confirm. He was a legend, and deservedly so.

Gerry Hostetler

(It's a Matter of Life by Gerry Hostetler)
Charles R. "Hoss" Hostetler

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