It is where ships go to die.
Forrestal and Saratoga are unrecognizable.
Constellation arrived a couple of weeks ago.
The three Good Ships I made cruises on are in the queue. Independence, Ranger and Kitty Hawk.
Old friends they are to so many who chose the sea.
The times are indeed, a changing.
Interesting piece……………………………………………..”Which brings us to carriers. The Navy’s first carrier (a converted collier), the USSLangley, was named for aviation pioneer Samuel P. Langley, the inventor of theAerodrome, and the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. When the Navy was compelled to stop building battle cruisers after 1923, Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby decided that new construction aircraft carriers (CVs) should be named after “historic Naval Vessels or battles” (think Lexington, Saratoga,Ranger, Yorktown, Enterprise, Wasp, andHornet). Once World War II began, the convention was modified to “famous old ships and important battles of our history and present world war”—and includedIndependence-class light fleet carriers (CVLs).”
At 0800 hours on the 9th of April, 1963, USS Thresher (SSN-593) got underway from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to begin initial post-overhaul dive trials in the Atlantic some 220 nautical miles east of Cape Cod.
She never returned.
129 men went down with Thresher in approximately 8,400 feet of water. 16 officers, 96 enlisted men and 17 civilian technicians. (A full list of those lost is here.)
The company I work for was represented on board Thresher. With children in the Navy, friends who served in the Silent Service and working with people who support the Navy, this anniversary has a special poignancy for me.
I remember this event very well. I wasn’t quite ten years old when it happened. But growing up in New England as a young boy, not long after World War II and the Korean War, patriotism was much more wide-spread than it seems to be now. This was a major news item as I remember it. We were all saddened and shocked at the loss of Thresher.
Lest we forget…
Requiescant in Pace
Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead…
She is still there, in the same place she was on a balmy Sunday morning back in 1941. The daily routine was underway, sailors were doing the things sailors do on a quiet Sunday morning in port.
All that changed forever when aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy slid into their attack profiles. Bombs fell, torpedoes entered the water, strafing runs commenced. Americans began to die.
When it was over, a heavy pall lay over this most beautiful of islands. Death and destruction were left in the wake of the departing Japanese.
USS Arizona lay shattered on the harbor floor, most of her crew still on board. Dead on her bridge were her captain, Franklin Van Valkenburgh and the Commander of Battleship Division One, Isaac Campbell Kidd. Both of whom were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions that day.
Also awarded the Medal of Honor was Arizona’s Damage Control Officer Samuel Glenn Fuqua, who survived the war and eventually retired as a Rear Admiral (Lower Half).
But she is still there, as is her admiral, her captain and her crew. Spare a thought this day for them. For the USS Arizona and the 1,102 men who still lie entombed within her. Spare a thought for all those who lost their lives that day in defense of freedom.
December 7th, 1941. Indeed a date which will live in infamy. But back then we Americans knew how to shoulder the load. We knew how to fight back with pride and with honor. We stood together in those days.
Nowadays, not so much. I pray that we are not living in a time which will live in infamy. But I think we are.
Funny the things you learn about people you’ve known for years. One of my dear friends, who I’ve known for 12 years, just mentioned that he served on the USS Kittyhawk from 1990-1994 as an Aviation Electronic Technician.
I never knew he was in the Navy! And during Desert Storm as well…
So my bleg – anyone here serve on the USS Kittyhawk at the same time? I’m curious to find out how small the world just got.
The photo was at the Commander, 7th Fleet site. Fond Memories………..possibly. It has been so long since I participated in such an evolution.
It ain’t all shoot em from the front and catch em on the back folks. There is the routine, the mundane, the dirty stuff that needs to be done. Those flight deck markings need to be visible and the crap that leaks out of airplanes builds up on the flight deck and makes things interesting. It also hurts like hell when one is blown down the deck a ways on one’s posterior.(Personal Experience at the tender age of 19!)
The link is to the post I put up at Old Retired Petty Officer, just for grins.