Thread: End Of An Era

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    Default End Of An Era

    I can think of nothing much kuuller than to be "First Crew" and then to be there for the final cruise and decommissioning of any ship.

    Joe Krebs Returns For USS Kennedy Farewell. News4 Anchor Was On Ship In 1968.

    The USS John F. Kennedy was decommissioned this weekend after nearly 40 years of service.

    News4 anchor Joe Krebs was aboard the carrier when it was commissioned in 1968, and returned to the ship Friday in Mayport, Fla., for the decommissioning ceremonies.

    Joe sent his thoughts and experiences back from the ship to share with you. The following are his entries:

    March 25, 2007

    In my last note, I referred to the JFK as a huge chunk of steel. It is that, but it was an extremely valuable and useful chunk of steel that rendered almost 40 years of service to this country -- all, of course, with the help and guidance and dedication of the men and women who served on it.

    But it was also home, for a while, for the thousands of crewmembers who spent some time aboard.

    It was my home for about 18 months. And, on Saturday, the day after the decommissioning ceremonies, I was able to take a final tour of the passageways and spaces I once roamed and in which I worked and lived.

    Lt. Walt Matthews is the Public Affairs Officer of the JFK, and, despite the fact that he was exhausted from the sleepless weeks of planning and organizing for the final days of the ship's service, he graciously offered to give a former assistant PAO one last look at the ship. And I thank him mightily for that.

    Walking onto the hangar deck, I was, once again, struck by the utter vastness of it. At sea, it was a place crammed with dozens of aircraft. It was the place where the young, talented -- I would say genius -- aircraft mechanics and technicians would take apart the sophisticated jet engines and electronic equipment, fix whatever needed fixing, and put them back together again. It was a hubbub of activity 24 hours a day.

    I walked forward on the hangar deck to a ladder on the starboard side of the ship and climbed up. I wanted to see if I could find my old stateroom after almost 40 years.

    It was amazing how it came back. I went up two levels, turned right (should have turned left), went through a door, turned right again and came -- as it turned out -- to the wrong room. But, realizing my mistake, I made a couple of more turns and came right to the room. Someone had painted the door red with a big black "G" on the front. Harrumph!

    Unfortunately, no one was home, and the door was locked, so I couldn't go in to see the fold down desk where I wrote letters to -- and read letters from -- my, then, girlfriend (my, now, wife) who was in the Peace Corps in Senegal.

    From there, we walked the long passageways -- that look like an endless series of mirrors -- aft to the ladders to the bridge where I stood many a four-hour watch around the clock.

    The bridge on a ship is the "seat of power." It's where the Captain usually is. It's where they "drive" the ship. It's where flight operations are monitored.

    It's where young officers are given the opportunity to take the "conn." The officer with the conn is the officer who gives the orders regarding the course and speed of the ship. The officer with the conn is the person responsible for making sure the ship remains safe, doesn't run aground, or run into anything.

    Looking out the bridge window forward at the flight deck, stretching out almost as far as you could see, gave an idea of what you were driving. And as you might imagine, an aircraft carrier does not maneuver like a sports car. It takes a long time to turn and an even longer time to stop.

    But there was nothing quite like ordering a turn to the left and feeling this huge ship lean a little to the right and watching the entire horizon start to rotate as if, by command, you had ordered the world to spin slowly. Just be careful. Tens of millions of dollars of ship, aircraft, equipment, and 5,000 lives are, for that moment, in your hands.

    It was a daunting responsibility but an exhilarating experience.

    Lt. Matthews then led me down and out on to the flight deck. On this day, it had the quiet and emptiness of a desert -- four and a half acres of now unused space.

    It was, of course, the scene of many thousands of launches and recoveries (takeoffs and landings) over the 40 years. And it was also the scene of amazing dedication and skill and courage on the part of the young men and women who worked on the flight deck, directing the planes, tying them down, helping to launch them, loading them with ammunition and fuel. It is an inherently dangerous, even life-threatening, place to work -- even in peacetime, even just in training.

    My final tour also took me to the spaces of WJFK-TV, where I used to work and where I anchored my very first newscast. It was immediately recognizable, even though much of the equipment was being disassembled so it could be taken off the ship.

    It was nice to touch base with the start of my career.

    And this decommissioning, I think, takes a lot of us back to beginning of our lives, our adult lives.

    We were all young men then. (There were no women aboard aircraft carriers in 1968. There were more than 900 aboard the Kennedy at the end.)

    September of 1968, when the JFK was commissioned, was an extraordinary time in our country's history. Robert F. Kennedy had been assassinated just three months earlier. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated just two months before that. And it had been less than five years since President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated.

    As I stood at my post on the pier the day of the commissioning, I can remember being caught up in the emotion of that day.

    My parents and my Aunt Margaret and my good friend Jim Phelps -- with whom I had gone to grade school, high school, college, and law school -- had come to Newport News, Va., to be there.

    The president's widow, Jacqueline, and their two children, Caroline -- the ship's sponsor who had christened the ship a year earlier -- and John Jr., were there.

    Sen. Ted Kennedy and former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara spoke.

    Both men's voices cracked with emotion as they remembered the man for whom the ship was named.

    And someone, I'm sure, quoted John Kennedy's comments that he made to midshipmen at Annapolis just three months before he was killed:

    "Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: 'I served in the United States Navy.'"

    It was a time when we were all launching our lives in the midst of uncertain times, perilous times, but we had a sense that it was the beginning of a great adventure.

    And now, to be present at the decommissioning ceremonies, to see and feel and touch that great ship again, and, more important, to see and feel and touch that Captain and those men with whom I served, and spent that time and lived that life, just underscores the fact that the adventure continues.

    I feel honored to have been there at the beginning of this ship's life and to have been there at the end.

    It has been a great experience. It was a great gift to have lived it. And I am extremely grateful for all of it.

    - Joe Krebs

    March 24, 2007

    In the Navy, they're called shipmates. They are the people with whom you go to sea.

    And when you go to sea on a Navy ship -- sometimes for long months at a time, sometimes to very dangerous places -- they become your world. The people you live with, eat with and work with. Your very survival depends on them.

    I remember when I first went to sea on the JFK, being struck by the fact that, out there in the middle of the ocean, we were alone. Even with 5,000 crewmembers on board, we were alone. If anything happened, we on this ship would have to deal with it.

    That sense of utter dependence on each other creates an extraordinary bond. It gives life to the cliche, "We're all in the same boat." We would rise or fall (or sink) together.

    And then add to that the work. Work on the JFK went on 24 hours a day. At sea, we conducted flight operations around the clock on most days. That meant that most of the crew worked 12 (or more) hours on, 12 (or fewer) hours off. Your breakfast could be at midnight; your dinner could be at 9 a.m. (i.e. 0900).

    Tremendous camaraderie builds among people working that hard, under those conditions, for a common purpose.

    And, yesterday at the decommissioning ceremony, you could really see that.

    You could see it, especially, among the returning plankowners -- those of us who made up the first crew of the JFK. We greeted each other like long lost brothers. There was an amazing mix of memories and pride and storytelling and laughter. Most of us had not seen each other for almost 40 years, but, in many ways, it was as if we'd seen each other just yesterday.

    I was lucky to attend the decommissioning ceremonies with one of my best friends, Phil Smith, whom I met at the precommissioning unit for the JFK on the Norfolk Naval Base, months before we ever moved onto the ship. (It was still being constructed at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co.)

    Our friendship on the JFK, as much as anything perhaps, probably led me to the career and life I have today.

    Back then, I had just graduated from law school and was planning a career as an attorney, but I had this nagging dream about broadcast journalism. Phil had just graduated from Columbia University's Journalism School with a Master's Degree. Our endless conversations about journalism and broadcasting and politics and world events over the next couple of years convinced me that "I can try this!" After a brief career as a lawyer, I did try it. And, now, 36 years have passed. So it seems to have worked out to a certain extent.

    But, more to the point, we formed a bond that has lasted since our first days on the Kennedy. The same is true for several other former shipmates.

    And you never know when you'll see each other again. Sometimes life repeats itself. Phil, who ran the ship's daily newspaper, went on to write for The Washington Post for about 20 years. Another friend, Dick Chapman, the legal officer on the ship, went on to become an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. I, who oversaw the TV station on the ship, ended up in Washington at News4.

    One day, several years ago, in U.S. District Court, there we were again. It was a major drug case. Phil was covering it for the Post, I was covering it for News4 and Dick was prosecuting it for the government. It was as if we were suddenly back on the ship. (Except that this time, when the trial was over, we could go ashore.)

    As I mentioned, you could see these bonds of friendship among the plankowners. But you could see it, yesterday, among the thousands of other men and women who had served on the JFK and who came back to say farewell.

    As the captain said in his remarks, it was bittersweet. Former crewmembers, all of us, were happy and proud to be there but sad to see it all end.

    And what was coming to an end was not just the service of the huge chunk of steel that is the JFK, but the life that was lived aboard it. All of us former crewmembers were remembering that life, the friendships we had made, the places we had gone, and the things we had done.

    It is the people who made that experience. It is the people who gave life to the USS John F. Kennedy.

    And that's why, even though the ship is decommissioned, the boilers are silent, the crew has left, and the JFK will never sail again, we will always be shipmates.

    - Joe Krebs

    Evening Of March 23, 2007

    In my last report, I mentioned that the JFK's first Commanding Officer, Earl Preston "Buddy" Yates -- then a captain, now a retired admiral -- was, perhaps, the person most of the plankowners wanted to see, to say hello to, to be photographed with, and, quite frankly, to say thanks to.

    The CO of a Navy ship occupies an extraordinary role in the life of sailors at sea. That person sets the tone, the atmosphere, and the attitude of the entire ship. It can be a happy ship or an unhappy ship, and that is due, in largest part, to the captain.

    And you could tell that these men, almost 40 years later, some in their 60s and 70s, wanted to stand in line to shake the hand of Captain Yates and tell him thank you for the experience he had created in their lives.

    He was an innovator from the very beginning. And the beginning was a small building on the Norfolk Naval Base. Inside was the PCU JFK -- the precommissioning unit of the John F. Kennedy. From January 1968 until September, the officers and enlisted personnel came in one by one.

    I'll never forget that day in February when I showed up. I was one of the first couple dozen officers to arrive, and there were probably fewer than a hundred people in the building. That would, of course, grow to 2,500 in the ship's crew and another 2,500 when the air wing came aboard.

    Captain Yates had that building plastered with huge wall charts, recording the construction progress, the staffing progress, the supply progress and costs of all of it.

    He studied new management practices and techniques and implemented them.

    Earl Yates was the dominating presence in that building. He could be loud; he could be quiet; he could be funny and joking; he could be stern and, uh, not joking.

    He demanded that everyone work hard. And no one ever worked harder than he did. He was interested in and knowledgeable about everything.

    He created and designed the ship's seal, basing it on the coats of arms for the Kennedy and Fitzgerald families.

    And he cared about the crew. He was especially careful to make sure that, after working hard, the enlisted crewmembers had the opportunity to "play hard." He made sure that they got their "liberty."

    As the officer in charge of the ship's television studio -- WJFK-TV -- I had the opportunity to witness his connection with the crew first hand.

    He and the ships Operations Officer, Commander Charles Long, did a regular TV show during which they briefed the crew on what the ship would be doing, and where it would be going over the next several days, but they would also take questions and complaints from the crew and would deal with them on the air.

    It was quite popular and came to be known, because of the nicknames of the two high-ranking hosts, as "The Chuck and Buddy Show." He reminded me today that it was always the highest-rated show on the ship. (True, but did he have to emphasize that to the man who did the nightly news?)

    In short, Captain Yates created an atmosphere of hard work and relaxed fun that seems to have made the Kennedy experience a wonderful memory for most of the returning plankowners.

    And I mention all this, not only to give a feel for what it was like today, but also because it's common to see powerful commanding officers bathed in a lot of pomp and circumstance and respect, but, on this day, Earl Preston Yates was showered with gratitude.

    It was a nice thing to see.

    - Joe Krebs

    Morning Of March 23, 2007

    At this moment, I am sitting in the warm Florida sun on a pier at the Mayport Naval Station and am witnessing the end of an era.

    The Decommissioning Ceremony for the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy has just begun. This brings an end to almost 40 years of service to the U.S. Navy.

    But this also brings an end to a personal era, of sorts. I was present at the Commissioning Ceremony of the brand new JFK on Sept. 7, 1968. At that time, I was also on a sunny pier, but this one was at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Newport News, Va., as this new ship was being handed over to the Navy.

    As a young Naval officer I served almost 18 months on the JFK. I was lucky to be a member of the very first crew of the ship, a plankowner.

    Today, out of about 2,500 original crew members, almost a thousand are present here for the decommissioning.

    It has been a surprisingly emotional reunion and farewell. Among those here, our first Commanding Officer, Earl Preston "Buddy" Yates. As one person pointed out, he is the "rock star" here today. Dozens of plankowners lined up to shake his hand, say hello, and get their pictures taken with him.

    The USS JFK's public affairs staff. Joe Krebs is in the front row, third from the left.

    It is amazing, on reflection, what a pivotal moment in my life this ship seems to represent. It was the first time I had actually lived away from home. And it was, also my first job in broadcasting. As an assistant public affairs officer, I was in charge of the ship's TV and radio station. While at sea, I anchored the nightly newscast.

    Since arriving here this morning, I've run into several men who worked in the studio and one of the guys who did sports for us on the radio station. It has been an amazing trip through many memories.

    Right now, I'm back to the ceremony. More later.

    Joe Krebs

    More Information:

    Official USS Kennedy Web Site

    Copyright 2007 by nbc4.com. All rights reserved.
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    There is talk of bringing the Kennedy to Boston and turning her into a museum ala the U.S.S. Intrepid.

    It might be nice to see that sitting across the harbor from the U.S.S. Constitution too. A nice then & now look at the power of the United States Navy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie View Post
    There is talk of bringing the Kennedy to Boston and turning her into a museum ala the U.S.S. Intrepid.

    It might be nice to see that sitting across the harbor from the U.S.S. Constitution too. A nice then & now look at the power of the United States Navy.

    Now that would be "ubercool". We could have our own "battle group" between the USS John F. Kennedy and the USS Constitiution in Boston Harbor, and the USS Massachusetts (battleship), the USS Joseph P. Kennedy (destroyer), the USS Lionfish (Balao class submarine) and the PT boats and landing cfraft at Batlleship Cove!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Now that would be "ubercool". We could have our own "battle group" between the USS John F. Kennedy and the USS Constitiution in Boston Harbor, and the USS Massachusetts (battleship), the USS Joseph P. Kennedy (destroyer), the USS Lionfish (Balao class submarine) and the PT boats and landing cfraft at Batlleship Cove!
    Hmmmm methinks there might be a conspiracy going on here..... all that ordinance in one place..... Hmmmmm.... NAH! Couldnt be.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    Hmmmm methinks there might be a conspiracy going on here..... all that ordinance in one place..... Hmmmmm.... NAH! Couldnt be.
    This maybe the only way them Redsox can stop George Steinbrenner and the Yankees LOL
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    Well,I doubt that she could fit in at Patriot's Point Naval Museum in Charleston.Anyway,there's already a carrier there,USS Yorktown(CV10)and other WW2 ships,plus NS Savannah,the first and only nuclear freighter.
    A museum would be a better fate than the destroyer I served in got:scrapped for metal recycling.My ship's website( http://www.ussmahan.org
    ) even has pictures of that.I looked at them until I reached the point where the superstructure had been removed to where I could see into First Division Berthing and had to stop.It was like watching an autopsy on someone I cared about.
    Oddly enough,there weren't any pictures of Sidney Portier,Martin Basalm,Wally Cox or Richard Widmark from when they filmed"The Bedford Incident"aboard her when she was DLG 11 in the 60s.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Now that would be "ubercool". We could have our own "battle group" between the USS John F. Kennedy and the USS Constitiution in Boston Harbor, and the USS Massachusetts (battleship), the USS Joseph P. Kennedy (destroyer), the USS Lionfish (Balao class submarine) and the PT boats and landing cfraft at Batlleship Cove!

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    Default I must be getting soft in my retirement......

    From "Plank Owner" to using her as razor blades........ I truely hope the museum works out. At least we got the Oriskany hear in Pensacola! An artificial reef is better than scrap iron and I see it as a fitting tibute when it is one of our great ships.

    Someone once said they never understood why sailors get so sentimental about ships. Obviousely they never served on one. They don't understand that the crew is the life blood of a vessel and we actually pour our heart and souls into her to make her run. They also don't understand that it's about the person serving next to you. Just like the Fire Service, service members will lay down their life for a brother or sister.

    Stay safe,

    Goat Locker Squid

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireDoc99 View Post
    From "Plank Owner" to using her as razor blades........ I truely hope the museum works out. At least we got the Oriskany hear in Pensacola! An artificial reef is better than scrap iron and I see it as a fitting tibute when it is one of our great ships.

    Someone once said they never understood why sailors get so sentimental about ships. Obviousely they never served on one. They don't understand that the crew is the life blood of a vessel and we actually pour our heart and souls into her to make her run. They also don't understand that it's about the person serving next to you. Just like the Fire Service, service members will lay down their life for a brother or sister.

    Stay safe,

    Goat Locker Squid
    Amen to that one Brother! From one Sandy Bottom Sailor to Another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    Hmmmm methinks there might be a conspiracy going on here..... all that ordinance in one place..... Hmmmmm.... NAH! Couldnt be.
    We could use it to beat back the libs.

    Unlike the Communists in San Francisco that turned down a historic naval vessel because it was an instrument of war.


    FireDoc, I saw the Oriskany at the birth near the Wall South about 2 months before she was sunk. Kind of eary seeing such a massive vessel gutted like that.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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    I got to watch 4 of our IRE class ships (1950's era destroyers) get decommissioned, striped and preped to become artificial reefs. Two are in west coast Canadian waters and the others are further down the coast - Oregon/CA rings a bell, but can't recall 100% certain. The local ships are each in about 100 feet of water. Apparently very good dive sites too.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    I guess you've seen that show on Discovery about what they did to turn her into that reef?
    Lotta work went into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by FireDoc99 View Post
    From "Plank Owner" to using her as razor blades........ I truely hope the museum works out. At least we got the Oriskany hear in Pensacola! An artificial reef is better than scrap iron and I see it as a fitting tibute when it is one of our great ships.

    Someone once said they never understood why sailors get so sentimental about ships. Obviousely they never served on one. They don't understand that the crew is the life blood of a vessel and we actually pour our heart and souls into her to make her run. They also don't understand that it's about the person serving next to you. Just like the Fire Service, service members will lay down their life for a brother or sister.

    Stay safe,

    Goat Locker Squid

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    Cliff notes on the article?

    haha.

    Thats cool
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    The ships at Patriot's Point include USS Yorktown,USS Laffey(hit by 9 kamikazes,numerous bombs and STILL wouldn't sink),USS Clagamore(Balao class SS)a Coast Guard cutter and NS Savannah.
    http://www.patriotspoint.org

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    Saluting the legacy of Vimy Ridge. Jeff Bell, Times Colonist

    Published: Monday, April 02, 2007

    Canada became a country in 1867, but many historians point to 1917 and the Battle of Vimy Ridge as the point where the nation found its identity.

    Hundreds of onlookers joined military and veterans’ groups at the legislature yesterday to mark the 90th anniversary of the important but costly First World War clash on the height of land that formed part of the Western Front. On April 9, the exact date the battle began in 1917, a ceremony will be held at Vimy Ridge itself, where the Canadian National Vimy Memorial has stood since 1936.

    The monument has been refurbished — an extensive project that started in 2004 — and will be rededicated at the ceremony, which will be attended by close to 25,000 people from around the world. Among them will be 5,000 Canadian students from across the country, including a contingent of about a half-dozen from Mount Douglas Senior Secondary.

    The towering Vimy monument covers more than 2,000 square metres of land on a 117-hectare site ceded to Canada by a grateful French government in 1922. The battle fought there left close to 3,600 Canadians dead (of the 66,000 Canadians who died during the war) and another 7,500 injured. Overall, about 100,000 Allied soldiers took part.

    Federal Minister of Veterans Affairs Greg Thompson told the Victoria gathering that the legacy carried forward by today’s Canadian military owes much to the valour of the soldiers at Vimy Ridge, which came to be known as “the graveyard of France.”

    “We are a nation devoted to freedom, to democracy, to human rights and the rule of law, and we see it today in Afghanistan and in Canada’s many other peacekeeping and military operations around the world,” Thompson said.

    “On the eve of the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, we are reminded of where this proud tradition was forged. It was on a treacherous, sodden battlefield in the north of France that a young Canada came of age as a nation.”

    Canadians were vital to the victory that was won, Thompson said.

    “We are paying tribute to those men who accomplished, through courage and ingenuity, what other Allied forces could not — to capture and hold Vimy Ridge.

    Minister of Community Services Ida Chong, representing the provincial government, said the Battle of Vimy Ridge helped make Canada what it is today.

    “This anniversary is a reminder to all of us that much of what we enjoy in today’s world, the freedom and abundance that many of us take for granted, is due to the sacrifice that Canadians made those many years ago.

    “Our gratitude is immeasurable, and their memory will endure forever.”

    With a sunny spring afternoon serving as the backdrop to the ceremony, Lt.-Gov. Iona Campagnolo said the time of year brought deep meaning to the occasion.

    “On this beautiful Palm Sunday, in this time of spiritual renewal and welcome resurgence of the natural world all around us, our thoughts turn to 90 years ago, on Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, along a ridge that stretched from Vimy to Givenchy-en-Gohelle, 30,000 young Canadian men faced a formidable enemy, one that had held fast against the Allies for more than two years at enormous human cost.”

    Campagnolo pointed out that Arthur Currie, who lived in Victoria as a young adult and joined the army here, was the Canadian commander credited with much of the planning and tactics that led to success at Vimy Ridge. Constant practice prior to the battle was a hallmark of the effort, she said, and proved her point with direct quotes from field notes. “The men went through their tests until they could do them in the dark,” the notes said.

    Thompson said the sacrifice of soldiers and their families at Vimy Ridge and through the entire war will always be a source of national pride.

    “They were fathers, sons, brothers and uncles who answered the call of duty. They were soldiers cut down in their prime, before they could realize their own dreams.”

    Luc Serot Almeras, the French consul general based in Vancouver, said the heroism displayed by Canadians at Vimy Ridge has deep meaning in France. His own grandfather was wounded twice at Vimy Ridge in fighting that preceded the 1917 battle, he said.

    “The French people will never forget all the young men who came spontaneously from all regions of Canada ... to fight along with them and who died by the thousands on their soil, where so many of them rest. Their sacrifice will always be remembered.

    “Our friendship is deeply rooted in this tragic moment of our common history, as it is in the common values we continue to share.”

    ----------

    Last WWI Navy Vet Dies At 105. Brown Joined Navy At 16

    POSTED: 9:41 pm EDT April 1, 2007

    CHARLOTTE HALL, Md. -- The last known surviving U.S. Navy veteran of World War I has died at the age of 105.

    Lloyd Brown died Thursday at a veterans home in Maryland.

    His death comes days after the death of the last known surviving American female World War I veteran, Charlotte Winters, who was 109.

    According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the deaths leave three known survivors who served in the Army, and a fourth who lives in Washington state but served in the Canadian army.

    Brown was born in 1901 in Lutie, Mo., a small farming town in the Ozarks. His family later moved to Chadwick, Mo. In 1918, the 16-year-old lied about his age to join the Navy and served as a member of the gun crew on the battleship USS New Hampshire.

    Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.


    Photo credit for Vimy Ridge story:

    The colour guard marches to the cenotaph Sunday to take part in ceremonies marking the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
    Darren Stone, Times Colonist
    ===========

    "Thank you."
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    I was on the Vicksburg and Hue City for work and they went out with the JFK for a short "get away from a Hurricane" excursion. While waiting for the storm to pass all 5 ships were out doing maneuvers. There is something awe-inspiring watching a CV, three CG's, two DDG's and a few FG's all doing columns and flanks at 30 knots..

    Incidentally, I heard that one of the big roles of the JFK, as the only non-nuclear carrier in the US fleet, was to allow the USN to go into places that are a little nervous about nuclear-power (Japan) without offending local sensibilities. Now that the JFK is gone I wonder if that is no longer a factor.
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    Just hazarding a somewhat educated guess, I'd say that with the loss of a non-nuclear vessel, the USN has (potentially) lost some really great port visit places, like Australia unless they relaxed their laws a bit. I have some Auzzie navy friends here in DC - I'll try and remember to ask them when I see them later in the month.

    Back in Esquimalt (Victoria, BC for you non-geographical types LOL) everytime a nuc powered ship comes into harbour, we get what is locally called the "Growling Grannies", their name is ... oh heck I can't remember off hand anyhow, they board their kyaks and row around the harbour making all kinds of noise. Kinda funny really, one time we actually manned charged fire hoses, "just in case they came too close".
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    I thought it was because Congress didn't want to pony up for the reactors and instead we had to pay the going rate for JP5 for her life cycle.BTW,there's other non nuke carriers including Kitty Hawk,Saratoga,Midway(built during WWII)and all the LPHs(helo carriers aka Gator Freighters)
    There's plenty of nuclear subs that visit and are based in Japan,for example,so I am sure arrangements have been made.
    JP5 is great for a destroyer.That's like putting high test in your car for its best performance.
    But you have a ship that is designed to carry and refuel aircraft as well as her escorts,you want to reduce her fuel usage as much as possible to keep the AOs and AKs (fuel and ammunition supply ships) out of harm's way.
    Like a line from "Hunt for Red October": "Threaten this service force here and they ain't going home..."
    Japan is rather big on nuclear power,aren't they?How can they be upset when a nuclear powered ship makes a port call?
    They don't even need to know if a ship is nuclear armed,though.As we were taught to say whenever we had civilians aboard"I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons aboard.".It was true in my case.An E-3 bosun's mate striker doesn't get told what's being loaded in the missilehouse or the ASROC launcher(my ship WAS in "The Bedford Incident"as DLG 113)so unless I saw somebody walking around topside glowing,I wouldn't know.

    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    Incidentally, I heard that one of the big roles of the JFK, as the only non-nuclear carrier in the US fleet, was to allow the USN to go into places that are a little nervous about nuclear-power (Japan) without offending local sensibilities. Now that the JFK is gone I wonder if that is no longer a factor.

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    I met Martin Sheen back in early 1985 when he and pther protesters came to Great Lakes NTC to protest nuclear power and weapons.
    The closest any of us got to nukes at that base was those training to run engineering plants and there wasn't anything fissionable around there.We were just learning enough to get into trouble and if someone was going for the nuke program,they'd be trained in Idaho for that,not in northern Illinois.
    But,no one ever said protesters were smart.
    Also,Mr Sheen has gotten in trouble again recently for protesting against US nucelar weapons.I am not sure why he never protested against Iranian nukes or Indian nukes or anyone else's nuke program if he really wanted a non nuclear world.

    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    Back in Esquimalt (Victoria, BC for you non-geographical types LOL) everytime a nuc powered ship comes into harbour, we get what is locally called the "Growling Grannies", their name is ... oh heck I can't remember off hand anyhow, they board their kyaks and row around the harbour making all kinds of noise. Kinda funny really, one time we actually manned charged fire hoses, "just in case they came too close".

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson View Post
    I thought it was because Congress didn't want to pony up for the reactors and instead we had to pay the going rate for JP5 for her life cycle.BTW,there's other non nuke carriers including Kitty Hawk,Saratoga,Midway(built during WWII)and all the LPHs(helo carriers aka Gator Freighters)
    There's plenty of nuclear subs that visit and are based in Japan,for example,so I am sure arrangements have been made.
    JP5 is great for a destroyer.That's like putting high test in your car for its best performance.
    But you have a ship that is designed to carry and refuel aircraft as well as her escorts,you want to reduce her fuel usage as much as possible to keep the AOs and AKs (fuel and ammunition supply ships) out of harm's way.
    Like a line from "Hunt for Red October": "Threaten this service force here and they ain't going home..."
    Japan is rather big on nuclear power,aren't they?How can they be upset when a nuclear powered ship makes a port call?
    They don't even need to know if a ship is nuclear armed,though.As we were taught to say whenever we had civilians aboard"I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons aboard.".It was true in my case.An E-3 bosun's mate striker doesn't get told what's being loaded in the missilehouse or the ASROC launcher(my ship WAS in "The Bedford Incident"as DLG 113)so unless I saw somebody walking around topside glowing,I wouldn't know.
    Japan is big on Nuke power, but the US carrier based there is still a conventional carrier.. We did get visits from other nuke carriers, but they were typical port visits.. 3-6 days... Conventional carriers run on DF-M, (Diesel fuel-Marine) not JP5. the smell was nauseating when they were sounding the tanks.... and my workshop (Hangar deck control) was right above a few of the sounding tubes.. subs were never really stationed in Yokosuka... they would visit for a few days or weeks depending on if they needed repairs.. but never home-ported out of Yoko. Sorry.. can't comment on Sasebo.. never spent any time there.

    -Damien

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    From IMPLICATIONS OF AN ALL NUCLEAR-POWERED CARRIER FORCE ON NAVAL PRESENCE IN THE PACIFIC
    Homeporting a nuclear-powered carrier permanently at Yokosuka would require a major base reorganization, including nuclear-propulsion maintenance and support facilities, upgraded utilities, and dredging of the harbor and approach to accommodate a deeper draft ship. It would also require additional family housing and support facilities. Although funds could be obtained through the Japanese Facilities Improvement Program, the approval process could be lengthy. The Department of State noted that the entry into Japanese ports of nuclear-powered vessels remains sensitive in Japan and that there would have to be careful consultations with the Government of Japan should the U.S. Government wish to homeport a nuclear-powered carrier in Japan.
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    Some pictures of the Last Voyage and Decommissioning from NavSource


    So you call this your free country
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  22. #22
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    Voyager, piccies no workie.

    Fortunately the link does though.

    OH YA. Sure sure. when I pulled my response for an edit, the pictures finally loaded up.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

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    Being a former BT,even if I never practiced long as one,I can tell you any flammable liquid that can get through the burner ports will turn water into steam.Mother wouldn't let us burn gasoline though.She wouldn't like it.No,she wouldn't.
    We'd also get DFM under the Navy's One Fuel program to reduce fuel costs(Coontz class DDG were SERIOUS gas hawgs) but every now and again,we'd get a tankful of JP5.The higher temperature would burn soot right off the boiler tubes,ease the cleaning requirement and reduce the amount of heat needed to maintain a given pressure so the JOOD could order a number of liberty turns when homeward bound.
    DFM also does a right fair job of stripping wax when some flannel headed oil king lets a tank overflow right outside DC Central.That was a big stink about that when the Captain found out.


    Quote Originally Posted by DFurtman View Post
    Conventional carriers run on DF-M, (Diesel fuel-Marine) not JP5. the smell was nauseating when they were sounding the tanks.... and my workshop (Hangar deck control) was right above a few of the sounding tubes.. -Damien

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