Manuel R. "Manny" Rodriquez, RM2, USN
[Mustering out of the Navy as RMC]

U.S.S. HANCOCK CVA-19 '65-'67

Recollections of a retired U.S. Navy Chief Radioman

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Jake,

I hope your weekend was as good as mine was. I spent Saturday touring the USS Lexington tied up at a Corpus Christi pier. Of course I'm sure you know that the Lex was the Hannah's sister ship. There was a little bit of disappointment for me...I had planned to show my daughter and grand kids some of my work spaces, but those spaces were off limits. Still I showed them where I once sat next to John Wayne for dinner (on the Hannah, of course). Grand kids had no idea who the Duke was! Still, it gave me a thrill.

My daughter was not that impressed with the Lex... Heck she used to eat with me in the Chief's Mess on my duty days on the JFK back in the early 80's, and in the focsle the anchor chain links were tiny compared with the ones on the JFK! I also had my family on a family cruise on the JFK, complete with air show out in the VACAPES (in the 80's).

The JFK was air conditioned throughout... I'm sure you remember the Hannah was not!

Walking around the Lex, we would find very few and very small areas that had any venilation. The Lex brought back some fine memories of my time aboard the Hannah.

I remember waking up in a pool of my own sweat after a night's sleep in the RM's quarters on the second deck just forward of the fantail above. OK, that memory, not so fine. Between radio watches and GQ any sleep was welcome if you could get it. Sleeping out below and on the catwalks was as close as an enlisted man could get to a cool night's sleep. I had claimed an area just outside a hatch from radio II to a storage area for afff, just below the flight deck on the starboard side. During flight OPS I ate a lot of jet exhaust, but if I was asleep it didn't matter.

The last time I saw the Hannah was in 1976. It was just a derelict already more than halfway canabalized for its steel. A Japanese company had bought her for scrap. The family and I were on a short cruise around San Pedro, CA, a good distance across the bay from Long Beach. That memory still brings on the sprinklers. OK! I confess, I'm just a big old softy!

My last ship was the USS Lockwood*. I don't even remember it's hull number. It was a Frigate homeported in Long Beach - a beautiful base back then; nowadays, it has been turned into a "High Roller's" Country Club.

Well I better close if I'm going ot make it to the movies.

Have a great "Navy Day" Jake!

Manny

* From Jake: Manny, the Lockwood's Hull number was (FF-1064). You can enjoy seeing other photos of it at Navsource.org on this Page. She is a Fine ship and should not have been dismantled and sold for scrap. Seems like there should be a better way to take care of these ships than just junking them.


Submitted 08/10/2010
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