Keith Hecker (1972)
It was a sad day when Ealey drowned, he was a good dude. I had just come back from swimming back from the 50 personel boat and passed Ealey at the top of the gangway. I was sorry to see that.
Paul D. Carr (1972)
I thought Ealey died on swim call? Did anyone try to save him from drowning? Would his death be noted by the OOD?
Would his drowning while on active duty during the Vietnam conflict not qualify him to be listed on the Vietnam Wall?
Rick Richardson (1970)
I was there when ealey met his tragic end.
He was at swim call, with all of us who were not on duty that day. as excellent a swimmer as he was, and I think we all remember him as a really big "teddy bear" funny as heck and always laughing, He caught a cramp in the water. OI Don chandler tried to help him out of the water and when ealey finally got on the liberty boat which bought him to the gangplank he was walking on his own steam but bent over. It was my understanding from the corpman that he drowned internally between the gangplank and sickbay.
We all mourned, missed and thought of him in the coming days. He still crosses my mind all these years later .
I have many memories with ealey as we grew very close and ate many meals, watched many movies on the messdeck and just all around enjoyed each others company.
My heart still remains with his family.
Richard D. Tekulve (1972)
E was my first mentor in the forward fireroom back in the day. I think the most important thing he passed on to us was to not take officers seriously but to take your job seriously because there were lots of things down there in the hole that could get a guy hurt - that and never be late to relieve the watch.
I picked Ealey up out of the Atlantic Ocean. He was dead as a mackrel. Foam coming from his nose and mouth. Very, Very doubtful in made any gangplank................... You can't fake death..... and it was not snot.
Rick Norwood (1973)
I saw Ealey immediately after his head broke out of the water and also witnessed the foam coming out of his mouth. I also recall that someone put a life jacket under his head and he was then pulled into a boat. They called the Ship's Doctor to the Boat davitt over the ship's announcing system to tend to Ealey as soon as he was hoisted up. I don't believe he walked anywhere.
Arthur Sanhudo (1971)
I also witnessed the untimely death of our shipmate Ealey ... a funny guy always joking .... we lost a great man that day ! As far as the death is concerned ? due to the fact I worked in the Newark FD in New Jersey for over 26 years , ! learned a few things ! and sorry to say it could had been handled a little different ... thats all Ill say ! He was dead before getting on board of the Seattle ... my opinion is that he died while on the motor whale boat !