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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.

 

 

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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, 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.

  • 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

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