'Modern Navy Pilot Has Old Fashioned Steam As Hobby'


| May/June 1966



Burrell Engine

Courtesy of Lt. F. A. Orr, USN, VX-6, FPO San Francisco, Calif. 96690. A Burrell Engine with Mr. C. F. Long driving and E. Lucas is the engineer.

Lt. F. A. Orr

VX-6 FPO San Francisco, Calif. 96690

I have been a reader of the Iron-Men Album for a number of years and it has provided many hours of enjoyable reading. The pictures have been outstanding. Many thanks to you and your staff for a fine magazine.

The age of the steam engine was over when I was born but my Grandfather and my father have both had extensive experience in the field. My Grandfather went into the Dakotas as a young man where he plowed and threshed with steam before returning to Corning. New York, where he went on the railroad. He also drove a Buffalo-Springfield roller to maintain the roads in our county.

While my Father was in high school, he ran a pump house for the railroad and then ran the power house for the town of Dundee. When he went to farming, he threshed with steam.

He often tells the story of going to work at the power house one night and seeing Shorty, the man he was to relieve, sitting on a chair, white as a sheet. When asked what the trouble was, Shorty gestured towards one of the boilers. My Father could see nothing wrong until he was told to bend down and look at the crown sheet. There it was, a great big bulge. There is a lot of lime in our water and evidently, it: had formed a crust on the crown sheet causing it to get hot and bulge just as Shorty was heaving in a scoop of coal. Being low slung, he saw it come right down. Later speculation concluded that when she bulged, the scale was broken allowing water in to cool the metal and stopping it from blowing out completely.

My occupation is gallavanting around the world as a Navy pilot. My folks are always amazed that I am interested in steam but I tell them it runs in the blood. Right now I am spending six months on the Antarctic continent flying tour engine turboprop transports, the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. It is interesting duty because of the conditions here.