Story contributed by STG1 Bill Zier:
Both of the stories about the Daniels collision were basically correct with one exception, the Russian Carrier we were following and snooping on when we had the "almost collision" was the Kiev. She was actually the first Russian aircraft carrier commissioned and was an incredible sight. You can check that year's cruise book for pictures and accuracy. The name of that operation, because it was only the JD and what seemed like half the Russian fleet including aircraft, was "Operation Stacked Deck". One morning while we were performing our duties in the midst of the Russian carrier group STG2 Froustet and I had some "fun" and got permission to "go active" with Sonar and sent a nice long wake up PING, concentrated in a nice narrow beam, at one of their Destroyer's Sonar dome, just as they crossed closely across our bow trying to shoulder us away. We found out later that it may have caused some damage and that they were not pleased. Life is tough.The actual collision with the Conyngham was about a month later, as described in that same cruise book. I was up and talking to the Sonar Supervisor, STG2 Ripley, in Sonar Control about or around 0500, when first, the Chemical alarm was sounded. Since we were not at war, we were both fairly sure that we were not under chemical attack and assumed that someone on the bridge bumped into the the alarm switch and woke the entire ship a little early. Just as we both started to laugh, the collision alarm was sounded with a verbal message that this was not a drill and a collision was imminent, followed by the General Quarters alarm. Within maybe one or two seconds we, and everything not tied down, were sent flying across Sonar Control. We quickly recovered and started issuing out inflatable life jackets. I'm fairly sure that the other two guys on watch with Rip in Sonar Control, were STG3 Pelot and STG3 Cadarette. It was quite a wake up call and it's unbelievable just how fast a crew can respond to GQ when you know it's the real deal. I don't remember anyone sustaining any serious injuries. We were very fortunate. Just as a side note, STG2 Ripley, STG2 Gramley, and several others in different divisions on the JD were former crew members on the USS Belknap when she collided with the Kennedy and several crew members were killed. Rip was actually in Sonar Control on the Belknap when it happened and watched one of his shipmates killed. As alarming as the JD collision was for most of us, I'm sure it brought a few nightmares to Rip, Grumpy (Gramley's nickname), and a few others.