Honor Pages Index
T.S. Eliot Quote - Going too far Brotherhood Pirates Religion Churchhill Home Address

Jeffrey Schlenker was a nuc machinist mate (an ELT, I believe) in the late 1970's.  He was killed in a motorcycle accident in San Diego in 1979 shortly before the boat was to depart San Diego for it's first overhaul at PSNS.

Per the Social Security Death Index, there is only one Jeff Schlenker who died during 1979.  He was born August 23, 1956 and died August 1979, which is right before Bates left San Diego for PSNS.  Does anyone know if he was originally from California?

Any confirmation would be appreciated.



Albert J. Plourde, III
Jeffrey Schlenker
I was the operator of the motorcycle that end Jeffrey Schlenker life it was Aug 19 1979 on rosecrans st Point Loma, Ca. My life changed forever.
Chuck Phillippe
I can tell you exactly what happened. I remember it all too clearly. Myself and Randy Kahul (misspelled I’m sure!) TM2 (Joe Joe the Dog Faced Boy) where at the Booby Trapp with Jeff (Shlenk). Mark Pedron had run out of gas someplace and they came in to borrow Jeff’s truck to run gas to Mark’s vehical. The Bar closed down Randy, Jeff and I stood around outside waiting on Jeff’s truck to be brought back. Randy and I tried to give Jeff a ride to the base but he insisted on waiting on his truck. I went back with Randy to the base and gathered my clothes from my room and went down to sleep on the boat because I had duty the next morning. I climbed down the weapons shipping hatch and heard the land line phone ringing in control. When I answered the phone it was base security informing me there had been a fatality just outside of the main gate. I asked who and they told me Petty Officer Jeffrey Schlenker. I argued with the guy because I knew it wasn’t true because I had just left him 30 minutes earlier. Yes it is true there were three individuals on one motor cycle. Jeff was on the back. An older model station wagon ran a stop sign on a cross street about three blocks from the base entrance. Jeff was catapulted over the car and collided with the luggage rack. It killed him instantly. The car took off and the San Diego police failed to ever find it or the driver. The driver of the bike was one of our younger QM’s. I’m not sure who the third rider was. Neither where hurt badly just scrapes and bruises. They tried but where unsuccessful in convicting driver of the bike with involuntary manslaughter. The charges were dropped for numerous reasons, one being he was not intoxicated. It’s one of those things I think of often and ask myself what if?? I always felt like I let him down leaving him there. I think of him often, great sense of humor that I’ll never forget. I know in my heart God has a special place for individuals like Shlenk. I just hope I get to tell him some day I’m sorry.
Chuck Phillippe

Peggy Schlenker
Jeff Schlenker
Hi Chuck, I know it must seem bizarre receiving this message from me 40 years after Jeff’s death. My sister stumbled across this website for the William S. Bates, And I took it further by becoming a member of this website. When this happened to Jeff and Mark escorted his body home all I wanted to do was ease the pain by drinking which was very unfortunate as I was mentally not in a place to remember a whole lot of what Mark said about my brother. Jeff and I hadn’t talked for a while because he didn’t like my boyfriend, the last time he was home on leave we finally reestablished our relationship, but unfortunately we didn’t know that would be the end.I would still very much like to talk to someone who remembers my brother and can share memories with me. I would so appreciate it if you could be one of those people. Even after all these years I still miss of him and think of them every day.


Peggy Schlenker

Lee Johnson
Jeff, we have different memories of the event I guess.

What I posted is how AJ indicated it happened to me when I contacted him in the
County lockup, that is what I told his family as well.

Jeff Simpson
Lee - not sure there was a third person on the motorcycle. Pretty certain just those two, Jeff Schlenker on the back and they were going OUT the front gate on Rosencrans, not IN.
Jeff Simpson
Mark - Jeff Simpson YN2(SS) here. Yes, Schlenker as from Calif. Sacramento area, I believe. Barney and I dealt with some family members when he passed away. Here is a major tip for you... Schlenker's family request was to send money to Greenpeace in lieu of flowers or whatever... they had some sort of Greenpeace Fund in Jeff Schlenker's name. You might want to contact Greenpeace. Let me know if t his pans out. B)
Mark Gray
If I remember correctly, the third rider on the bike was Michael Roeder from the Seaman Gang. I vividly remember Chuck Phillippe standing in the door of the Sonar shack the next morning to tell us. My only other recollection is that I had heard the COB (Warren Wattenbarger) had the unenviable task of going to identify Jeff's body.

Mike Roeder is on Classmates.com but has not responded to my note informing him of this website. I've had no luck finding Al Plourde or Mark Pedrin. At last check, the COB lived in central Kitsap County in WA, but again, no response to my emails trying to get him to sign on here.

Remembering Jeff: we didn't hang out a lot together, but the things I remember most were his incessant smile when he talked to you, and didn't he have a pretty sparse and scraggly beard when he tried to grow it ? (I should talk!) Jeff was a real friendly guy that seemed like he really enjoyed his short life. His death was difficult to deal with.

Peggy Schlenker
Jeff Schlenker
Hi Mark, I am Peggy Schlenker Jeff Schlenker‘s sister. I know it’s probably bizarre hearing from me after 40 years of Jeff’s death, but it still like it was yesterday for me. I appreciate everything you wrote about my brother and you described him pretty good, I would love to hear more of what you remember of my brother.



Lee Johnson
Yes, Jeff was killed that night. The motorcycle was owned by Albert J. Plourde (AJ). They had all been drinking quite heavily that night. AJ, Jeff and one other Bates shipmate, (whom I can't remember), decided to ride the bike back to the base. A car did hit them and Jeff was thrown from the bike and was killed on impact (if I remember correctly). AJ was arrested and placed in jail for quite awhile. Jeff's family filed a series of law-suits after that, one after another after another.

A sad time for all of us. Shortly after that we transferred to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and AJ transferred off of the boat.

Brad Williamson
From the 1 MC (newest to oldest)

Brad Williamson: Thanks, Terry - any details we can gather can be used on his honors page.

Terry Fessner: Brad I'll try to find Mark Pedrin who accompanied the body to Jeff's family. Terry

Terry Fessner: Brad Jeff was killed at Point Loma. He and some others were out drinking and Jeff decided to ride a motorcycle as a passenger back to the Bates. Unfortunately a car hit the bike and Jeff wasn't wearing a helmet and was killed. I had the duty that night. Terry

Brad Williamson: Terry, I've added an Unconfirmed section to Eternal Patrol to see if we can get more input from our shipmates on those reported passed on.

Brad Williamson: Terry, do have any information, obituaries, newspaper clippings, or such that would confirm Jeff's death? I'll add him to the list, but we don't make it public until we have some 'formal' documentation, just to avoid the unpleasant possibility of being wrong.

Terry Fessner: Jeffrey Schlenker was a nuc machinist mate and was killed in San Diego in 1979 (Mark Pedrin was his friend). He should be added to the on eternal patrol

You don`t have permission to comment here!

© 2020 Brad Williamson
and/or the
USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association
or respective image owners
All Rights Reserved
Permission is granted for not-for-profit reproduction of text and images under the condition that all attribution as to owner and source is included,
and additionally, when republished electronically, a link to is provided.

U.S. Naval Institute News

  • Navy to Decommission Littoral Combat Ships USS Freedom, USS Independence Later This Year
    The Navy will decommission the service’s first two Littoral Combat Ships later this year, USNI News has learned. USS Independence (LCS-2) will decommission on July 31, Navy spokeswoman Cmdr. Nicole Schwegman confirmed to USNI News. Meanwhile, USS Freedom (LCS-1) will leave the active fleet on Sept. 30, according to a decommissioning memo reviewed by USNI […]
  • Two Navy T-45 Trainers Crash in Texas; All 4 Pilots Safe, 1 Treated for Minor Injuries
    Two Navy training jets collided in mid-air today over Texas, but both sets of student pilots and flight instructors survived, the Navy announced. “Two T-45 Goshawk training aircraft from Training Squadron 22 collided in mid-air in Ricardo, Texas, at approximately 11:00 CST today,” according to a statement on the Chief of Naval Air Training’s (CNATRA) […]
  • New Photos Reveal Details of Cuba’s Tiny, Lethal Attack Submarine
    Like most of the Cuban military, the country’s Navy is characterized by inventive recycling of Soviet-era hardware. Modern systems are rare, but there are systems that are unlike anything you will see in other countries’ fleets. The Cuban fleet has fishing trawlers remodeled into warships and torpedo launching platforms that resemble party rafts. But perhaps […]