Biography : Robert Stoner
Bob joined the Naval Reserve when he was a high school senior in 1964. He took his Boot Camp at Great Lakes, IL that summer before entering college under the delayed entry program in the fall. This program meant that for each year of active duty deferment, a year was tacked onto the original enlistment (therefore, his first enlistment was 10 years instead of six). During his college years, he advanced in rating until he was a Gunner’s Mate (Guns) Second Class (GMG2) at the time of his graduation in January of 1969. He began his two-year active duty assignment in February aboard the USS Nueces (APB-40) attached to the Mobile Riverine Force (CTF-117) in the Mekong River delta of Viet Nam. While attached to the Nueces, he participated in various combat actions against the VC forces around its base at Dong Tam.
The MRF was decommissioned in October of 1969 and the Nueces was brought back for mothballing at Long Beach Naval Ship Yard. He received orders to Boat Support Unit ONE in December of 1969, and after 20 day’s leave, reported aboard in January of 1970. While at BSU 1, he was stationed at the armory where he became familiar with the many weapons of the unit. During the February through April period he also received training on PTF-13 at Coronado, CA; the GAU-2B/A Mini-gun at NAF Imperial Beach, CA; and Combat Medical School at Camp Pendelton, CA.
He was posted to Mobile Support Team TWO, Detachment “Charlie” and deployed to the SEA FLOAT/SOLID ANCHOR operation at Nam Can, RVN, in May 1970 until November. The detachment rotated home at the end of November and arrived at North Island Naval Air Station on 5 December 1970. He was released from active duty on 4 February 1971.
He was advanced to GMG1 upon reporting back to his Reserve Center and in late 1972 applied (and was accepted) to the new Coastal River Division TWENTY ONE that was forming at Great Lakes, IL. The new unit received two fast patrol boats (PTF) in 1973, and one PTF and three patrol gunboats (PG) in 1974. During his time with CRD 21, he was advanced to GMGC and served aboard all three PTF’s. His duties included: leading Gunner’s Mate, leading petty officer, Chief of the Boat, and Officer of the Deck (under instruction). He earned the Surface Warfare badge for service with CRD 21. After the decommissioning of CRD 21 on 30 June 1976, he returned to the Naval Reserve Center at Great Lakes where he served with various units until assignment to the NR detachment of Mobile Technical Unit TWO (the parent command is home-based at Norfolk, VA).
During his ten-year tenure with the Great Lakes detachment of MOTU 2, he was advanced to GMCS and later to GMCM. During drill weekends he was an instructor at the Gunnery School on the Naval Base and eventually became senior instructor there. He performed his active duty for training at the parent command in Norfolk, VA. Collateral duties while attached to MOTU 2 included unit Command Master Chief and later NR Center CMC. He retired from the Naval Reserve on 30 September 1987.
In his civilian employment, he has worked in the aerospace industry as a technical writer since 1973.