Gilding the Coucal

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 reviews
From his parents loving arms to command of a US Navy submarine rescue ship, Lt. Commander James W. Gibson takes readers on an E-ticket ride to distant ports while rescuing hapless boaters at peril in the open ocean and eradicating starfish destroying fragile coral reefs. In Gilding the Coucal, he describes training as a US Navy Deep Diver, an Engineman, Fireman and in all stations of command. More

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About James W Gibson

Author James William Gibson, Lt. Cmdr. US Navy (retired)
Fresh from high school in western Pennsylvania, Jim Gibson joined the US Navy in July 1948.
He served as an enlisted man for 12 years, reaching the rank of Chief Engineman. Most of this time was spent on diesel powered subs. Bucking tradition during the post-World War II 1950s and '60s, Gibson was then promoted to Ensign and joined the ranks of commissioned officers.
He qualified twice as a submariner, first as an enlisted man and later as an officer. He also graduated from the Navy's elite Deep Diver School and attended, then taught at, the Navy's Nuclear Power Training Center in Arco, Idaho, where he served under Admiral Hyman Rickover.
Eventually, as a Limited Duty Officer, Gibson finally qualified for a command position on a submarine rescue ship, the USS Coucal (ARS-8), with a crew of 86. Gilding the Coucal is Gibson's first book and chronicles his life story from adoption through retirement.


Review by: John on May 08, 2018 :
The title of this book immediately caught my attention. I was an Electrician's Mate onboard the Coucal from 12/ 68 until I/72. Captain Gibson's story brought back so many memories of serving onboard. Liberty in Lahaina, Maui, laying 4-point moors, beer ball games, eating fresh-caught mahi-mahi, and as an electrician, ungodly hours making repairs and sleep deprivation. Pranks Chief Kerr and others played on 'new boots' onboard. Sending innocent new seaman to different ships asking for keys to the captains sea chest, bottles of blue steam, and best of all, relative-bearing grease. I remember liberty in Saipan turned sour and the 'Saipan Rock Festival' occurred. Later visiting Japan and almost breaking my leg in a benjo ditch. Nearly being run over one morning when I forgot the Japanese drove on the wrong side of the road. Rickshaw races in Hong Kong. Being robbed by jeepney drivers on Christmas Eve '70.So many memories and so much work. A good read. Thank you for a good read, Captain Gibson, Sir! Request permission to go ashore, Sir!.......John Schwarz EM3
(reviewed 13 days after purchase)

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