The Richard A. Kirsch Gallery - Continued

OP Division - Photo Lab Adventures

by Rich Kirsch, PH3, USNR

Gallery Page III
"The USS HORNET CV-12 Collection"

Photos taken from a visit to the USS Hornet CV-12 Museum - 2002

Rich: Recently, I had a wonderful experience visiting our old Home Port (not mine, the Vietnam Era Homeport) at the old Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, to visit the permanently docked USS HORNET CV-12 which is now a Maritime Museum. It was a walk back in time and one which my wife Gail and I thoroughly enjoyed.

Jake: When he told the Yeoman that he was going to visit the HORNET, I had specifically asked him to snap some pictures for this Gallery. And more particularly, I sent him TAD to take a picture of a Head and also the FCC Station in Hangar Bay #1. He completed his mission for me and for all of us, and some of his pictures are here for all to enjoy.

As I had requested previously of our XO, Dennis Milliken, to snap some pictures of the Bridge and also a Fog - Foam station, he fulfilled that request also, and you can view some of his pictures in his own Gallery, by clicking his picture here.

Thanks to such Shipmates like Dennis and Rich, this site keeps getting better and better!!!

~ Jake ~

Click Me to visit
My Gallery

Since Rich has taken more pictures of his visit to the USS HORNET, I expect to be adding more to this gallery as time permits. It will have other photos which Rich snapped during his career, as your Yeoman finds them interesting and worthy of being placed in this Gallery.

Thanks again to Rich for the fine job that he has done in keeping the Memories alive for all of us!

This is a good picture of the Fire Control Station in Hangar Bay #1. I am sure now that you have been reminded of it's presence, memories will come flooding back. I always thought it a "curious" place, with those little slits. Below it and to the left you can see the entry to the escalator up to the Gallery Deck.

To the Right you will have more memories "jogged" as you peer into a typical head. However, my own memory of one being so "squared away" needs a "bit" more jogging. But then, Rich informed your Yeoman that this particular head was more than likely, the Marine's Head (notice the crimson deck). And then I could understand it all.

Rich was proud to show you where he spent a lot of his Photographic time; that being on the Observation Platform, at the Photo Station. He drew a circle around it in the following picture. From this vantage point, he could see all activity from there forward. He'd have a hard time managing anything aft, but then, there was a Photo station aft of the Island, where another of his crew mates stood watch.

To the Right is a close up view of the same Photo Station.

When one thinks of it, wow, what duty! To be up there where all the action was taking place was terrific duty.

Some of us had better duty than others; some had fantastic duty! Rich was one of those. No Mess Duty for Rich! No Weapons Onloading... just snapping one picture after another, and waiting... waiting for that one very Special shot that would make everyone proud.

It was because of our Photographers Mates and the Photo Labs on our ships, that has brought the action home and placed us in the History Books.

Below is another picture that Rich just had to take on his visit to the Hornet. The Galley and the Scullery. Remember those Trays we all took chow off of? Well, when not in use, here is where they stored them.

Now when were they not in use? Feeding 3000 men during deployment, especially during Vietnam was an around the clock ordeal! Somehow the smells of the Scullery still clogs the 'old passageways' of my mind. How many of you can say the same thing? Ok, guys, no 'Skylarking' on the Mess Decks!

Pictured to the left, pulling a Tray out of it's rack, is Gail Kirsch, Rich's 'other half' - who was having a great time of it, that day, on their visit to the USS HORNET Museum.

One can talk and talk about life aboard ships, and try to relate their experiences to their families and loved ones, and they will never quite come to appreciate all the "sea stories" until they, themselves walk the decks.

At least Gail now knows the experience first hand.

Ah, yes, to go to sea again.

We all, who have 'gone down to the sea in ships' know the exact meaning of the poem written by MaseField...

I must go down to the sea again,
to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
and a star to steer her by.

We can never forget it; it's in our Blood, our minds and our hearts till they lay us to rest. Thank you USS HORNET CV-12, for refreshing our memories, about a time in our lives when we were young, and proud, to be a part of the USS Hancock Tradition.

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