I retired from the US Navy over twenty years ago. At the time, it seemed like the best thing for me to do in my life. Since then, I’ve often wished that I hadn’t retired. In fact, these days I often find myself wishing that I was still serving. I really miss it.
By no means should this article be mistaken as a history of the US Navy. The Navy recently christened a brand new ship, the USS Zumwalt. After seeing the pictures of it, I thought I would post a short article depicting how Navy ships have changed since World War II, with a little personal twist.
This is the Old – the World War II aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. She saw combat in the Pacific during World War II. She is now permanently berthed as a wartime memorial and museum at Patriots Point in Charleston, SC. If you ever visit Charleston, a trip to Patriots Point is positively worth the drive over the Ravenel Bridge, especially if you are a history buff.
To the left is the USS Dupont, a Forrest Sherman class destroyer and quite a bit newer than the Yorktown. Dupont was commissioned on 1 July 1957 and proudly served until her decommissioning on 4 March 1983.
This is the first ship I served on during my career. I reported aboard in the fall of 1975 after nearly a year of training. While serving aboard Dupont, I visited much of the Caribbean, spent a few weeks in Philadelphia during the nations bi-centennial, and deployed for over six months to the Middle East.
Next up is the USS Independence, a Forrestal class aircraft carrier. Indy is a tad bit newer than Dupont and she was active for nearly twice as long as Dupont, from 10 January 1959 until 30 September 1998. Indy is the second ship I served on.
I reported aboard while Indy was completing readiness training in the Caribbean and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During the time I served on Indy, we deployed once to the Mediterranean Sea and once to the Indian Ocean. Highlights were a two day tour of Israel and a visit to Perth, Western Australia.
And, now for the New. This is the USS Zumwalt, just christened last week. It’s easy to see from the picture that this is new, exotic, stealthy, and built to rule the seas. Follow the link to read the article from the Portland [Maine] Press Herald.
Seeing this marvelous machine makes me yearn to be back on active duty and serving aboard her. And I don’t care what any naysayers think.
Although for a short period of time in my naval career I hated it and had a few problems, but everything eventually worked out great for me. I’m proud of my service and the career I had in the Navy. It remains to this day a part of me. It’s who I am.
Just thought you should know.