Listed in alphabetical order
Parks Stephenson is a Naval Systems Engineering Manager at Lockheed Martin in San Diego, California. A retired naval officer, Parks began his naval career in ballistic missile submarines. After his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1979, he earned his Naval Flight Officer wings in the E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft. During a disassociated tour as ship's company aboard the USS Constellation (CV-64), he qualified as an underway watch officer on large, multi-screw ships. Parks transitioned to the amphibious air control world towards the end of his career, participating in amphibious operations in Somalia and the Persian Gulf. He has taught U.S. amphibious assault doctrine and techniques to military service commanders in Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore and has operated closely with his opposite number in the navies of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Pakistan, Oman, and Kuwait during multinational exercises. In 1994, Parks was a key participant in Operation Vigilant Warrior, the little-known but highly successful and bloodless repulsion of Iraq's attempted second invasion of Kuwait. The role he played in helping to avert a shooting war is one of which he is most proud.
Recently, Parks has been a contributing member of the Marine Forensic Panel (SD-7), chartered by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) to evaluate the forensic evidence from shipwrecks, like Titanic, in order to learn lessons that might be applied to improve modern shipbuilding techniques. He has authored two monographs on Titanic's Marconi wireless apparatus, published by The Antique Wireless Association, Inc., and a more comprehensive work on the subject is in work. Parks was a historical advisor to director James Cameron for his documentary, Ghosts of the Abyss, and contributed text and computer-generated 3D models to the film's companion book. Cameron brought him back for the Discovery Channel/Earthship Productions-sponsored Last Mysteries of the Titanic expedition, where Parks fine-tuned the use of CG models as forensic tools in the continuing exploration of the wreck's interior. He's also been an advisor for both the History Channel (including the "Modern Marvels" episodes, Titanic Tech and Command Central, Titanic's Final Moments: Missing Pieces, Titanic's Achilles Heel and Titanic's Tragic Sister) and National Geographic Channel (the Titanic episode of the "Seconds From Disaster" series). Parks dove to the Titanic wreck in Russian submersible Mir 1 in 2005, participated in the 2006 and 2009 expeditions to the Britannic wreck, and was the lead investigator in 2009 for the PBS/NOVA documentary, Killer Subs in Pearl Harbor, that identified the final Japanese midget submarine that participated in the Pearl Harbor attack.
Parks has a special interest in historical research and forensic re-construction, specialising in military and maritime areas where he can apply his personal experience. In addition to a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Science from the U.S. Naval Academy, Parks holds a Masters in Political Science degree from Auburn University. Parks is married to Tamara and has two children. Contact him here.
Tom Taylor is a Senior Technical Support Engineer at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems in San Diego, California. A retired Naval Warrant Officer, Tom began his naval career as an Airman on the Line Division in Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron SIX (HS-6), which flew the SH-6 Sea King, stationed out of NAS Ream Field in San Diego, California. His first deployment took him to the South Pacific via the Panama Canal where he observed multiple nuclear detonations off of the French Mura Rora Atoll. Now rated as an Aviation Machinists Mate (Jet), his second deployment was aboard USS Constellation (CVA-64) as a Flight Deck Signalman Enlisted when "The Connie" became the first aircraft carrier since WWII to enter the Persian Gulf in 1974. It was during this tour in HS-6 that Tom was exposed to the world of anti-submarine warfare (ASW). After receiving authorization to change ratings, Tom went through the Navy pipeline and became a Aviation Anti-Submarine Warfare Operator, earning his Naval Aircrewman Wings. He was posted to the "Fighting Marlins" of Patrol Squadron FORTY (VP-40), flying the P-3C Orion as a sensor operator, stationed out of NAS Moffett Field, San Jose, California. His third deployment was flying artic ice patrols out of Adak, Alaska and tracking Soviet submarines on their way to on station. Now a Second Class Petty Officer, Tom experienced his fourth deployment with VP-40 to Misawa, Japan where a variety of missions were flown including ASW and open ocean surveillance flights. His VP tour at an end, Tom transferred back to San Diego, California where he served his first Instructor tour in Air Anti-Submarine Squadron FORTY-ONE (VS-41), flying the S-3A Viking, out of NAS North Island. Here, he came in contact with a highly focused group of senior enlisted professionals that had totally dedicated themselves to the world of aviation ASW. This cadre was linked to similar groups within the VP, HS and HSL communities, all of which was led from the navy detailer's office, and had a lasting affect on those who were brought into the fold and grew from their experience. Now a First Class Petty Officer, Tom returned to sea and made his fifth deployment with the "Dragonfires" of VS-29 aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) to the western Pacific. He now served with a squadron of dedicated sensor operators who highly excelled in their careers (half of which eventually become Chief Petty Officers and a third of which became naval officers). Making Chief Petty Officer himself, Tom's sixth deployment was with VS-29 on a world cruise aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) on her "maiden voyage." Tom returned to shore duty in his second instructor tour in VS-41 where he went through Factory Training for the S-3B Viking in Lancaster, California. Here he was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer (73XX - Aviation Operations specialist with expertise in ASW) and posted to the aircraft carrier USS Independence (CV-62) as an ASW Module Officer.
Having attended courses such as Staff Tactical Watch Officer, ASW Module Officer, and Tomahawk Watch Officer, Tom served as an ASW Watch Officer where he briefed/ debriefed flight crews, maintained ASW plotting solutions for the ship's Tactical Action Officer, and conducted ASW post mission reconstructions. His duties also included "Indy" Battlegroup Surface Watch Officer and ship's Flag Liaison Officer (Flag Slave) when the COMCARGRU came aboard. Tom was on Independence when it became the vanguard of United Nations forces entering the Gulf region during Desert Shield after Iraq invaded Kuwait. When Independence went up inside the Gulf in 1994, Tom had now been on the second aircraft carrier to enter the Gulf since WWII. Relieved by USS Ranger (CV-61), Indy returned to the states and then redeployed to Yokosuka, Japan to swap homeports with the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV-41). Completing his tour onboard Independence, Tom returned to San Diego, California and finished his 22-year career at the Anti-Submarine Warfare Operations Center in NAS North Island, as an Operations Watch Officer and ASW Qualifications Officer supporting VP, VS, HS and HSL crews in ASW pre-mission planning and post-mission reconstruction.
Tom has spent the last 15 years helping develop and test advanced combat direction systems for aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships. His specialty areas include anti-submarine warfare, shipboard sensors, and close inboard weapon systems. His duties included training ship crews in combat system operations and assessing these systems during at sea trial periods.
Naval ships he has served aboard in some capacity:
CV-59 USS Forrestal VS-41 Det CV-62 USS Independence Ship's Company CV-63 USS Kitty Hawk VS-29 CVA-64 USS Constellation HS-6 CVN-65 USS Enterprise VS-41 Det CV-67 USS John F. Kennedy Raytheon CVN-68 USS Nimitz Raytheon CVN-69 USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Raytheon CVN-70 USS Carl Vinson VS-29 CVN-76 USS Ronald Reagan Raytheon LHD-1 USS Wasp Raytheon LPD-5 USS Ogden HS-6 Det T-ARVH-1 USNS Corpus Christi Bay HS-6 Det
Tom has a special interest in historical research and specializes in military history. In addition to a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management, Tom holds a Masters in Business Administration from La Verne University. Tom is married to Patricia and has three children and two grandchildren.
Terry Kerby has been the Chief Pilot for the University of Hawaii's Hawai'i Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) since 1981 and has completed hundreds of submersible dives around the Hawaiian Islands and Central Pacific. Prior to his arrival in Hawai'i, Terry distinguished himself in several ways. In 1970 he joined the Coast Guard and was awarded the Medal of Commendation for a nighttime rescue of two people trapped beneath a capsized boat in the waters off Puerto Rico. After leaving the Coast Guard, Terry worked as a professional diver and submersible pilot for a variety of operations until 1980. He then worked as ship operations director, dive master, safety supervisor, and even stunt double for the motion picture industry, participating in films such as For Your Eyes Only, and The Abyss.
Terry's skill and talent, however, is not limited to guiding ambitious scientists and filmmakers into the depths of the ocean. The combination of his explorer's perception and his desire to bring perspective to the images of exotic environments he visits has unleashed his artistic nature. Terry created a series of paintings that combine scientific acuity and stunning imagery. Terry has recreated scenes of many areas in the Hawaiian abyss that are impossible to photograph because of the limitations of light and space, adding the vehicle to each scene to provide the perspective element that is missing from so many images of the deep-sea.
For more on Terry's work, including a gallery of his paintings, please go to his HURL biography page.