VA-163 at NAS Lemoore, California,
Later CVA-19 1968-'69
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VA-163 at NAS Lemoore, California. Joined USS Oriskany in Subic Bay a couple days after the explosion aboard her on October 26, 1966. Arrived back in San Diego November 16, 1966. My home base was NAS Lemoore, California. Deployed on USS Oriskany CVA-34 (1967-1968). Rear Admiral George S. Morrison, (father of the late Jim Morrison of the Doors) was commander of the fleet. Was on station in the Tonkin Gulf on the Oriskany July 29, 1967, when the USS Forrestal suffered its explosions that resulted in fatalities. Later on, deployed on USS Hancock CVA-19 (1968-1969).
It's hard to believe all this time has passed, since our duty out in the "Gulf"! I must say that I have fond memories of my time overseas. Guess my favorite port was Olongapo, where else? Did things there that most guys only dream of. Did you ever hang out at the Queen Bee Club, Oro Club (at the end of Magsaysay street on the right), or at the Hong Kong Club (about a mile down after turning right at the Oro Club)?
I also enjoyed Yokosuka, Sasebo, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. I did not care much for Singapore. Anyway, the Navy was very good to me. Just did not realize at the time how well I had it. The best liberty that anyone could ever find anywhere. Subic was unreal, no !!! Ha, Ha
My daughter just turned twenty-seven a couple of weeks ago. I see that you also have a daughter. My new wife of two years and I toured Alameda Naval Air Station in '97. Guess you know they closed the base down as far as for the Navy and for it being an air base. Anyway, it was open to the public. My wife and I drove up to the carrier USS Hornet that was sitting at the dock. It was kind of different seeing an aircraft carrier (even if it is decommissioned) as a civilian.
Your web site is very well done. Great Work!
VA-163 at NAS Lemoore, California, Later CVA-19 1968-'69
Jake's Comment: Dennis, how well I can relate to your story. Much of what you wrote about could be my own story. I hung out several times at a club called The California Bar on old Magsaysay street, and you more than likely remember that one too. They tore her down towards the end of the war, and rebuilt it. Here's a picture of the new one...
California Bar, Olongapo City, P.I.
The Bridge across the 'Shit River'
The Marine Barracks at Cubi Pt. has a great website, that will bring back the old memories for you, Dennis! That goes for all of you old Salts, who have spent your time in 'hell' - across the 'Shit River' -
To write this Shipmate, send your message to Jake the
Yeoman in Admin and ask to have your Message forwarded.
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