Culdrose sailor LS&GC in two navies
A Leading Writer based at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has been awarded his Long Service and Good Conduct medal whilst serving on Maritime Aviation Support Force, MASF.
Leading Writer Patrick “Tank” Bennett did not originally join the Royal Navy; his initial training was done five thousand miles to the west of HMS Raleigh. In fact he joined up as a Radioman in the United States Navy in 1988.
Tank did his basic training at San Diego, California and remained stationed there to complete his Radio trade training before commencing his first sea draft in USS Mahan, a Coontz class destroyer. Whilst in the USN he served in various shore communication units and at sea in USS Deyo and USS Roosevelt.
Patrick was born in New Orleans, Louisianaand grew up living close to the Gulf of Mexico. After meeting up with an English girl during a port visit to by USS Mahan toPlymouth, he married in September 1990. He then moved toEngland in 1996 after completing 10 years in the USN and became eligible to join the Royal Navy in March 1998.
Since joining Tank has served in HM Ships Cornwall, Albion and Cumberland. During his time on Cornwall he completed a trip around the world, calling in at San Diego where he’d trained. “It was something special to visit some of the places I knew from my USN days”, said Tank. He also spent part of 2012 to the Falkland Islands, where he felt privileged he was able to take part in the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War.
Currently serving with Maritime Aviation Support Force at RNAS Culdrose, he is looking forward to his remaining years in the Royal Navy. “It’s been fantastic serving in the Royal Navy,” said Tank. “One of the big differences between the USN and Royal Navy is some of the jargon used; often I use the wrong word and get very funny looks. In the USN the place where you sleep in called a berthing compartment not a Mess deck, that’s where you eat on an American ship. I hope to complete a Foreign Service tour to the US before the end of my service time. When I retire I’m intending to go back to the USA and spend more time fishing and watching baseball.”
In September 2013, he we will have been married to his English wife for 23 years, and is a proud father and grandfather of six children and one grand-daughter.