Memories of a Time When I was a young man.

This past Saturday, the ship that was my first duty station began it’s final journey. The Good Ship Independence was towed from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard enroute to the breaker’s yard in Brownsville, Texas.

I reported aboard her in January of 1974 as a fresh faced 19 year old kid from the Montana Prairies. So began my adventure in the United States Navy.

I participated in the ammunition offload along with several other guys that I went through boot camp with. Then I was assigned to V-1 Division in the Air Department.

After a short period in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, we began working up for the upcoming deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.

I freely admit that I was absolutely terrified the first time I was on the flight deck for operations.

In the latter part of July 1974 we embarked the Air Wing and departed.

We covered the evacuation of US diplomatic personnel and their families from Nicosia, Cyprus. All available aircraft were armed. We then coordinated the Search and Recovery of TWA flight 847 which had crashed near the Greek coast. It was an eye opening experience to say the least and certain images remain in my mind to this day.

Finally, we were able to get some Liberty in Naples, Italy. Cold beer and playing tourist. Other ports of call included Cannes, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona and a few more visits to Naples.

In early January we were relieved by USS America and headed for home. The North Atlantic in January is a rough place, I should add.

20 January saw us go pier side at Naval Station Norfolk. It was a bitter cold day and along with families, friends and a band was a troop of baton twirlers who in those costumes must have been freezing.

It has been a bit over 40 years since I departed The Good Ship Independence as a Petty Officer Second Class now. I know that things change over time and a lot of places that I was stationed have gone into the “dustbin” of history.

The media outlets in the Pacific Northwest gave coverage of Indy’s departure from Bremerton this past weekend.

The following photo is from a Facebook group I belong to………

To those who have been there, you understand.



This is the amazing design for NASA’s Star Trek-style space ship, the IXS Enterprise

This showed up on my Facebook feed this morning. I think it is definitely a neat idea. It seems to satisfy all those visions of my youth with Star Trek, Lost In Space and the like.

I realize that this will never happen in my life time and I can handle that. I watched the Space Race from almost the beginning with Project Mercury and on to the Space Shuttle as a middle aged man.

I wonder what Lex would have to say about this.

This is the amazing design for NASA’s Star Trek-style space ship, the IXS Enterprise

“Warp speed, Mr. Sulu” (courtesy of Mark Rademaker/Flickr)

A giant gun marked with a skull and crossbones and a list of vessels sunk by its shells: Eerie pictures of a German warship and HMAS Sydney which sunk off Australia in 1941 along with 725 crew

From The Daily Mail comes this interesting bit of history……………………

“The first images of two warships which sunk after a deadly battle during World War II have emerged.

The wrecks lie 20 kilometres apart from each another about 200 kilometres west of Steep Point, Shark Bay in Western Australia, north-west of Perth, and sunk in November 1941.

The German raider HSK Kormoran and the light cruiser HMAS Sydney were re-discovered in 2008 with an expedition to the wrecks going out earlier this year.

Researchers from Curtin University and the Western Australian Museum captured 700,000 high resolution images of the two ships with the help of two remotely operated underwater vehicles lowered to 2.5km on the ocean.”

The German raider HSK Kormoran (pictured) was rediscovered and captured under the ocean 
The German raider HSK Kormoran (pictured) was rediscovered and captured under the ocean
Light cruiser HMAS Sydney (pictured) sunk after a deadly battle during World War II
Light cruiser HMAS Sydney (pictured) sunk after a deadly battle during World War II

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Surfing while home nursing a sore back netted this Photos of Canadian Military for 2015 Canada Day : theBRIGADE


rcaf hornetHome today due to a back that is cramping up and generally making life a bit unbearable.

I did some surfing and decided to check theBrigade. Positive results were obtained.

Two samples are provided to pique your interest………Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force.

Hit the link and have a look at the Canadian Forces!

(2) Photos of Canadian Military for 2015 Canada Day : theBRIGADE.

From theBrigade: USS Ronald Reagan visiting Pearl Harbor Memorial (25 HQ Photos)

As most of my followers know, I was fortunate to be able to spend a day on this Fine Ship last April 9(2014) with Christopher Goodrich and his Daughter, the WSO. It was, except for the marriage of my children and the birth of my grandchildren, The Best Day since I retired from the US Navy in September of 1993.

This is a somewhat solemn post as when we enter or leave Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Honors must be rendered with the Traditional Manning The Rail…………in Dress Uniform…………………….Attention To Port! Hand Salute………………………..Too!

In the old days we would exit on the opposite side of Ford Island and do the very same for The Utah.




A few samples follow………………………………


The USS Missouri and The USS Arizona Memorial. The two ships that represent the beginning and the ending of World War 2.

It has been a long time since I have been to Naval Station Pearl Harbor……………………………Perhaps I should take Missus ORPO as we are approaching the sunset years……………

The full series of pictures are at the link below to theBrigade……………….


The Aviationist » GoPro footage of French Aircraft Carrier Flight Deck Operations

Blue Water Ops. French style.

For the record, the wire mentioned in launching the Super Etendard is the bridle…………….It was used our carriers as well in the days of the Phantom, Crusader, Vigilante, Trader and Skywarrior in my early days in aboard the Forrestal Class Carriers Independence and Ranger.

The full story is at the link below.

The Aviationist » GoPro footage of French Aircraft Carrier Flight Deck Operations.

The Aviationist » One of the most awesome pictures ever taken on board USS Enterprise: starry night over Gulf of Aden.

When someone asks me that question…………………Why did you join the Navy? Yeah. Where are you gonna see something like this? I have been in those very waters mentioned in article………………aboard Ranger and Kitty Hawk back in the 1980s.


Indeed. The Best Light Show is that which was made by G-d Almighty.

The Aviationist » One of the most awesome pictures ever taken on board USS Enterprise: starry night over Gulf of Aden..

I can say that at the age of 60 that there are days that I miss it terribly………………………………

A History Lesson, Plane Pr0n and Ship Pr0n all in one.

I came across this on YouTube. HMS Ark Royal R09 in 1975 conducting flight operations in the Mediterranean Sea. I am not sure what time of year it was but in the late Autumn of 1975, when I was aboard USS Independence CV62, we conducted a cross deck with Ark Royal. In 1976, we did it again.

This ship is gone now………………as are the Phantoms of 892 Squadron, the Buccaneers of 809 Squadron, the Gannetts and the Sea Kings and the Turbine H-34……………………………..

The RN Phantoms were amazing with those Rolls Royce Speys and the unique afterburners and the very long nose strut extend for the short cat stroke on The Ark.

Hands To Flying Stations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


USS Ronald Reagan CVN 76

I got an invitation to the Family and Friends Day Cruise on USS Ronald Reagan CVN 76 from the daughter of my blog bud, Christopher Goodrich.

Yes folks I had an outstanding day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jet Blast, Exhaust, Salt Air……………………………………………Out of sight of land………………………………

Yeah! I got to go back to sea after almost 21 years since the last time when I was on Active Duty!

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The WSO, Bubbles and Mrs. Bubbles. The WSO is holding the Coin issued in Memory of Lex. I took it to Sea.
OldAFSarge, The WSO, Bubbles and Mrs. Bubbles. The WSO and Bubbles and his Missus are now my friends. I had excellent company for the day!
OldAFSarge, The WSO and Yours Truly sitting in the Bleachers on The Flight Deck of America’s Flagship