BM3 Potter was lost at sea in the North Atlantic during Operation North Star in 1990
Paul Horstman (1990)
If I remember correctly, Potter made BM2 shortly before he went down. Apparently my memory is a bit off, but I thought he went down in the Red Sea. But I do recall that he was cleaning lines from an aft bit. One of the lines came undone, instinctively he stepped on it, and the line wrapped around his leg as it pulled him through the eye. I didn't get along with him, mostly because I was an immature moron. But he didn't deserve to go that way.
Randall McGuire (1989)
Randall McGuire here. Seattle crewmember 89-92.
John Potter was lost in the North Atlantic. We were leaving Namsos, Norway and steaming south. I remember it being very cold of course. The ship had come up to 30 knots or so when the event occurred. There was quite a bit of chatter about how long he could survive in those water temps even if he were to have survived going through the eye.
The guy who was with him that day on the fantail was also assigned to the same battle station as I during onboard fires and drills. He talked with me at length about the moment that happened and what he recalled of it. He was standing right beside Potter when he was pulled into the sea. His last name started with an R but other than that I can't recall that person's name.
I served in the IC shop. IC3 McGuire.
Charlie Eagle (1991)
I remember this very much so as I was on the bridge when it happened. I couldnt believe it as we always had drills but never expected it to actually happen. I was very sad on this day.
David Wicox (1990)
There isnt a day that I don't think of John. I was a young kid and he took me under his wing and helped me when He could..I remember at the funeral service aboard ship , we did a gun salute in his honor and we were crying so much that we couldn't shoot in unison ..GMC Brown read us the riot act about how we sounded like we were duck hunting..seconds later we re-loaded and gave him a proper salute. I was in his watch section and rig team before I went into Weps.
To those Seattle crew members interested and who have the opportunity to visit Arlington National Cemetery, there is a marker placed there in memory of BM3 John Potter. It is located in Memorial Headstone section 60, marker #533. His marker lies in the same section and same row as another Seattle sailor, AMS3 James F. Crockford (#516), who was lost in the Red Sea in a separate incident during Desert Shield/Storm.