Hi all, Going through my possessions recently I discovered my ONI service pins, but I only have the "one ruby", "one diamond", and "three rubies", so a few missing from my 25 years (I obviously did not pass through NOLA at the appropriate time to collect the "two rubies" and "two diamonds"). If anyone happens to have any spares I really would appreciate them as I value those pins very much.


I realize this Website is not the best layout you will encounter, and I am often advised as much by the many "professionals" who email me offering to revise it. Thing is, they seem to forget to advise me of how much they will charge to do that! And would the finished result be that much better than what we now have? It may be a bit fiddly, but it seems to work for most, so I think we'll stick with what we have and carry on regardless. Especially this late in life.



Site last updated Aug 22nd 2017: 


Please read below to note changes that have been made



I have been trawling back through my emails and come across quite a few that may be of interest, so have added those to the Contacts page, some from way back when.... I still do

 receive the odd e-mail now and again and these really are appreciated. Thanks everyone, especially Bob Coddington, who regularly keeps me - and others -updated as to the

 situation re various personnel, and especially so Julie Asher, who kept us updated on Dan Jeffries. Going by the number of emails re the passing of both Dan, Ian Easterbrook, and Bob Molloy, all three were well remembered, so I have featured a short piece on each. You will find these in Personnel down below the Mugshots, to which there are some recent

 additions. There is also a Photo Page for Martin Newey


I have also created a photofile named "Guess Who" - a suggestion by Vivien Watkins - where you will find lots of photos of people and/or places we need help in identifying, please. This file will be found under Photos/Guess Who.


Apart from Ian and Dan, other deaths reported are Don Webb, Francis Minguez, and Bob Molloy


(There are changes to other pages too, especially Crosstalk, which has new sub pages)

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This Website came about as the result of an idea mostly put forward by Ron Hewson's wife, Lynne. I believe some global discussion did follow with other ex ONI-ers, then, somehow or other, with a little input from myself, it seems I ended up being tasked with the job of trying to pull something out of the footlockers of memory! Having no experience whatsoever in the intricacies of web design, I jumped in, elicited advice from wherever, and from whoever was willing to give it, the following somewhat amateurish pages being the result of many frustrating hours at the computer. The initial composing of the pages, images, links etc seemed to pose few problems, at first. It was only when I came to try and publish it on the Web that those "few problems" revealed themselves to be many, and sometimes fatal! But, just as back in the ONI days, things gradually came together, and we succeeded. Although I began work on creating the site in September/October 2009, it was the middle of January 2010 before I finally got it up and running online.

But these pages are hopefully only a beginning. At the start it was quite "Dave Taylor" dominated, the result of me providing the only initial input. However, as we are by now all aware, there is plenty more ONI related stuff out there - and I don't mean in cyberspace; although it is no doubt out there as well! Peter Studer contributed early on, as did Ted Patro and Geoff Metcalfe, then came Hans Karlsson with a huge amount of input. Now it is up to the rest of you ex ONI-ers. It is your website, so let's be hearing plenty from y'all. Photographs, ideas, criticism (minor, of course), and suggestions for improving things. One thing, please, if you e-mail photographs, make sure they are of a decent size for me to work with, and please also don't forget to supply details of what, where, who, and when. A load of uncaptioned photos don't tell a very good story. And that's another thing...... stories! There are lots to be told, lets have them all, please, (although censored at source, as I take no responsibility for others’ great words!)

My contact e-mail address is:  If you wish to send anything by snail-mail - photos for scanning, or on CD/DVD, copies of Crosstalk, Travellers Cheques, Bearer Bonds etc! please e-mail me, and I will advise you of my postal address immediately!

I look forward to being inundated with all of the above! Many thanks.

I continue to spent many hours "housekeeping" the site, creating new pages and standardizing font sizes, line spacing, etc, learning as I go along. If you find the font size is now too small for elderly eyes, please do not hesitate to let me know, but don't forget, you can usually increase the viewing size by zooming in. The main reason for these changes is to reduce the amount of scrolling. There are additional Personnel photos that I have scanned from Crosstalk, though due to newsprint quality these are not exactly sparkling! Some are better than others.

Ted Patro e-mailed me early 2012 asking if I could use some Crosstalks. Could I ever! Anyway he kindly mailed me them on January 13th, I received them March 24th, surface mail, naturally, but they still cost Ted a huge amount of postage. Thanks, Ted. I have now scanned through them all. One thing immediately became obvious; the need of a separate page in the Crosstalk folder for Al DeVoe's voluminous input over the years. You will find them under the, "Al Devoe" tag, where else! There is now also a separate page listing of all the Crosstalks I have on file (CT Listing), and if you are able to add to these I would very much appreciate it; and a Bits & Bytes file for other Crosstalk bits and bytes! In the Operations Folder you will now find a separate Vessels page, and a Stations page. All these new pages are still under development, so please bear with me if they don't appear right away. A Roll of Honor for those known to be no longer with us is to be found at the bottom of the Personnel page. Some details etc to be filled in here.

There are some recent new contacts at the bottom of the Contacts page.

If anyone has any ideas for additional pages, please let me have your suggestions. (I promise not to advise you what you can do with them!)

For a few glimpses of some ONI personnel, and projects, I have now managed to include my video on the site. You will find around 12 mins of footage under "Doodlebug Memories" in the Operations folder. It is mainly Africa & Europe, where I seemed to spend most of my early years with the company. If anyone has any digital footage to add to this I would certainly be pleased to hear from them. 

Ex ONIers continue to turn up at various times, and recently we have heard from: Bob Davis, Jesse Lerma, Mike Sutton, and, via her husband, Ladd, Dana Ehlinger - Bob Suggs' eldest daughter. The latest to come out of the woodwork is Kel Martin, and although with ONI only a few years he certainly seems to have made the rounds - lots of faces awaiting recognition here, Terry Barnett contacted me late 2015, and sent a lot of, to me, very nostalgic photos, for we seemed to work together quite often. It seems that ex GSI and Wesgeco guys also look in on us now and again. Latest contacts, from all walks, are: Tom Hylas, Graham Ellis, and Karl Wilson. Then along came John McAloon, Gerry Christensen, and Nick Tile (ex GSI Marine, Saudi 78-79), Norman White (ex GSI Boat Manager), Ronnie Bingham (ex Western Boat manager), Bill Hodgson (ex GSI & founder of Offshore Surveys Int, along with Paul Round (ex GSI).

Late 2012 I received a lot of input re that Bahamas aerial magnetometer survey back in 1947. This was really the start of ONI, the initials back then standing for Overseas Navigation Inc. You will find this data on the History page.

As always, please stay in touch.


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