Helmuth A. Tupot, Electrician's Mate Petty Officer 3rd Class, was assigned to the Navy’s ECC (Expeditionary Combat Camera/UDT) dive team aboard the USS Capricornus (AKA 57). He joined the Navy in October 1955, one month after his 17th birthday.
In November 1955, Helmuth was part of rescue and salvage assistance to the burning Searcher (YAGR-4), followed by the difficult towing of the rescued ship to Brooklyn for repairs. He then sailed off with the Atlantic fleet. His first official mission was to rescue POWs from the Korean War.
In 1957, his entire crew succumbed to the Asian Flu and were mandated to return home to Norfolk, Virginia. He was part of the skeleton crew that brought them home, only to end up in sick bay himself. He awoke to President Eisenhower overhead asking, “How are you feeling, son?” In 1958, the USS Capricornus landed the Marines and evacuated Americans during the Lebanon crisis.
On leave in 1958, Helmuth boldly introduced himself to his future wife Marie Porretto on Wellwood Avenue. She was picking her kid brother up from Lindenhurst High School.
In his final Navy year, Helmuth transferred to the USS Tanner (AGS 15) in the Barents Sea during the Cold War. The ship then moved to survey the waters outside of Cuba before the Missile Crisis. Its home port was the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which Helmuth eventually returned to -- spending his last days patrolling Port Authority. He was honorably discharged in October 1959.
Helmuth immediately reconnected with his future wife and took her to a carnival. They married in September of 1961. Helmuth worked for Herman Star Bakery, Freeport Engineering, Maxon Electronics and Grumman Plant 33. At Grumman, Helmuth wired the Apollo 13 lunar module -- the module that safely returned the astronauts home. Afterward, Helmuth started his own business as a home improvement contractor mentoring homegrown talent.
Together, Helmuth and Marie raised two children, Marie and Craig. He was the dad that all the moms wanted to dance with at father-daughter Girl Scout dances and the Cub Scout leader every boy looked up to. To his granddaughter, Sabine, he was her fearless advocate no matter what her endeavor. Helmuth passed away in October 2020, after a long bout with bone marrow disease. Not a day went by that his family was not proud of him.