About the Ships
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Guided Missile Destroyer; Farragut (Coontz) - class; planned as DL 8; built and commissioned as DLG 8.
Named after and in honor of
Thomas Macdonough .
This was my first ship. It was home ported out of Charleston, South Carolina. Unfortunately I did not serve onboard for a long period of time.
I went aboard in February
1974 and left in May 1974 due to a change in orders. I met the ship in Charleston and shortly afterwards she was in the shipyards in Philadelphia for some refitting. I went through a couple of shakedown cruises and through training in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
USNS WACCAMAW originally was a MARAD standard type T3-S2-A3 oiler.
She received a "jumboization" conversion in the mid-1960s. Commissioned
in 1946, the WACCAMAW was the first ship in the Navy named after the river
in South Carolina. Transferred to the Military Sealift Command around
1975, the WACCAMAW was eventually decommissioned in 1989 and stricken from
the Navy list in 1991.
I went aboard her in January 1976 in Naples, Italy. When I caught up with the ship I did not realize I would be deployed for over a year. There was a special Navy Detachment of less than 20 sailors. The duty was great with the exception of being gone so long.
USS Claude V Ricketts
USS CLAUDE V. RICKETTS was the 4th ship in the CHARLES F. ADAMS - class of guided missile destroyers and was home ported in Norfolk, Va
I reported aboard this ship in April 1979 and stayed onboard until July 1982.With the start of the Iranian problem in the fall of 1978, the ship went to the Mid-East. She performed the tedious but important duty of screening escort for the USS LaSALLE, an 8,000 ton command ship. The USS LaSALLE was the Flagship for the commander of the Middle East Force. She performed this duty for 72 straight days without seeing port.
We used to say "Steaming Grey Destroyer, the on that God Forgot" We spent most of 1981 at sea as part of Nato forces. It was a great trip, but once again I spent most of the year at sea. I left the ship in 1982.
The second USS Butte (AE-27) was a Kilauea-class ammunition ship in the United States Navy
In June 1979, her homeport became Naval Weapons Station Earle, New
Jersey. Butte underwent another major overhaul in Mobile, Alabama from
August 1985 to May 1986. Butte was a big part of Operation Goldenrod
during a 1987 Mediterranean deployment when she helped with the arrest of
two Lebanese terrorists in international waters off the coast of Lebanon.
I went aboard the USS Butte in August of 1984 and stayed with her until January 1988. Once again this was a steaming ship, so we spent a lot of time at sea.