Time Flies……….It’s been three years since that awesome day……Already?

This day three years ago, I was privileged to spend a great day onboard The Good Ship USS Ronald Reagan CVN 76 with my dear friends, Chris Goodrich, aka the OldAFSarge and The WSO, Erika Cho.

I thought for the sake of waxing poetic that I would post a few pictures of that most awesome of days.

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Sandy Eggo Sunrise

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NAS North Island Flight Line
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Fort Rosecrans…………resting place of our friend, Captain Carroll Lefon……
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Point Loma. This is a familiar sight to yours truly as I saw it many times when aboard Ranger and Kitty Hawk.
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Kestrel’s Four Ship Diamond
hand-maintaining
Maintainers “flying with their hands!”
Old AF Sarge
Chris as the Squadron Duty Officer!
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OldAFSarge, The WSO and yours truly. 
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HSC-4 and The Colors
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Chris, Erika, Bubbles and Mrs. Bubbles.
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HSC-4 CAG Ship
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Selfie Time!
Launch Bar Parallel
I managed to get the launch bare almost parallel with the deck. It was simply luck!

I still think about that day…..I suppose I always will as it was that return to what I spent so many years doing.

To smell the salt air, catapult steam and jet exhaust…………………

China Lake Air Show

It was a small show. I was impressed by the way it was run though. The Blue Angels were there for their first show on the road. I have seen them so many times that I spend my time wandering through the static displays.

The Brits and Dutch had their Test F-35s under the canopies on the line.

BTW, I have disabled person plates on my vehicles and I parked about six spaces from the entry control point for ADA and VIP folks.

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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.