Monday, May 2, 2011

Tribute to our Troops

 Sept. 1, 2001

First, I would like to pay tribute to the brave men and women who have gone to war, fighting an enemy that has sought to bring the United States down, into the ground.  The attack on the hiding place of Osama bin Laden yesterday, May 1, in Abbotabad, Pakistan was a fitting high point in our war to defend our nation.  
As President Obama said in his speech late Sunday night, “Justice has been done.”
I’m proud of the men who made this dramatic attack, and of all the men and women who have given their labor, their blood, and their lives to defend our country’s honor.  
God Bless America!

 USS McCaffery (DD860) 
My first time in combat

Viet Nam.  I was assigned to command USS McCaffery (DD860) in 1972.  This was my first command, and I was excited. Sometime when I was going to all the schools you have to attend before you take command, the Navy changed the orders for McCaffery.  Instead of continuing her duties as quietly training people in antisubmarine warfare off the coast of Florida, she was being sent to the Pacific for duty with the Seventh Fleet off the coast of Viet Nam. 
            By the time I got out of my schools, the destroyer had already sailed from her homeport, Mayport, FL, and was transiting the Panama Canal enroute Pearl Harbor, HI. 
            I flew to Hawaii and embarked, and then we did the command turnover en route Midway Island.  When we got to Midway we had the change of command ceremony, and my predecessor flew home.  We sailed from Midway directly to Yokosuka, Japan.
            In Yokosuka we had a lot of work done to the ship that could have been done in the U.S., but with high stateside labor costs might have cost three times as much.  Also,  the Japanese workers are very competent, energetic and scrupulously honest. Still, it might have been useful to make those repairs before the ship sailed 10,000 miles!
            In spite of all the repairs, the ship was 27 years old.  As we got near Viet Nam our evaporators started to fail, and steam-powered ships need lots of good, pure (feed) water.  We had to go alongside the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise anyway to take on fuel, so we asked for several thousand gallons of feed water. Enterprise also sent over several gallons of ice cream, too, which our destroyermen were able to handle.
            At any rate, soon we were headed for war.  This was my first taste of combat.  In the 15 years I had been commissioned, I had served in submarines, destroyers and a converted aircraft carrier, as well as ashore in Washington and Iran.  But I had never been shot at.  Many of our officers and men, however, had been at sea off Viet Nam, or in the swift boats patrolling the rivers of Viet Nam. 
            Our assignment was to attack coastal gun installations along the North Vietnamese shoreline. Each night we would put all four boilers on the line, and go steaming toward the coast of North Viet Nam at flank speed.  There’d be at least four destroyers, steaming in formation, with darken ship and radar silence.  We would proceed to a particular point, and then turn and blast away at selected targets along the shore.  Then, at a second point, we would turn and get the hell out of there. 
            Most nights, it was dark as pitch.  It was all you could do to keep track of the other three destroyers, as well as look out for Vietnamese fishing boats. 
            As soon as we started firing, the North Vietnamese coastal defense batteries would open up, firing missiles and artillery at us.  You could see the splashes of some of the rounds that came close, and you could hear them on sonar.  When the engineers in Main Control  heard the splashes through the hull, they’d call up and ask if we needed a little more speed!   The whole crew was highly motivated to get out of range of enemy fire.
            After one of these attack runs the shell casings would be piled up all over our weather decks, and we’d have to clear them away because later each night we would go alongside an ammunition ship to take on more ammunition, and then we’d go alongside a fleet oiler and refuel.  All of that made for a very fatiguing night.
            This was December 1972. 
            President Nixon ordered B-52s to commence massive bombing of Hanoi and other North Vietnam targets, and we’d see the bombers fly overhead and then see them dropping their bombs.  
            A month later, the U.S. and North Viet Nam agreed to a cease fire and prisoner exchange, and American POWs, including  Commander John McCain, came home.
            We spent the next several months in Southeast Asia, and finally returned to Mayport, Florida in July, 1973. 

Now, here are some books the Personal Navigator is offering:

Manchester Daily Union, Manchester, N.H. Tuesday, May 16, 1865  Manchester, NH: Campbell & Hanscom. By telegraph from Washington:  The assassination trial is open to reporters of newspapers. It is supposed that Jeff Davis will be brought to Washington and tried for murder. The Negro Problem in Kentucky is one of great practical moment. Negroes are leaving their homes by the thousands and are crowding into the towns, demoralizing and being demoralized.... the plantations are without labor, and crops cannot be grown. Uncertainty and confusion take the place of order, and poverty and disease must follow upon idleness and dissipation.  Negro Suffrage--the Abolitionists, not content with negro freedom, are clamorous for negro suffrage. Continued account of Assassination Trial...Mr. Lloyd, who kept a hotel at Surrattville, testified that several weeks before the assassination Booth and his accomplices came to his house, and brought two carbines and a rope... Testimony of Mrs. Surratt... Booth and Harold came to the hotel soon after midnight; Booth said, "I will tell you some news; I am pretty certain we have assassinated the President and Secretary Seward."  Commentary on Mission of the Democratic Party. Adv. New Dress Goods; Mourning Goods; Carpeting and Housekeeping Goods at Barton & Co., East Side Elm Street. 4 pp. 32 x 47 cm. Newspaper, some perforations in spinefold, good. (8030) $25.00. Civil War/History

 World's Poultry Congress
 Poultry: Official Programme World's Poultry Congress, Ottawa, Canada July 27th to August 4th, 1927 1927 Toronto, Ontario: The Mortimer Co. Ltd. Official program for World Poultry Congress. First day, July 28 featured talks on breeding, by Thomas Rigg, President, American Poultry Association; Prof. Allessandro Ghigi, Professor of Zoology at the University of Bologna; Shinji Susaki, Tokyo Imperial University, Japan; Rev. Bro. M. Wilfrid, Prof. of Poultry Husbandry, Oka Agricultural Institute, La Trappe, Quebec; more. July 29, A new method of recording eggs in egg laying contests. July 28: Poultry diseases; fowl paralysis, entero-hepatitis in Turkeys, Chicken Pox, Roup; Avian typhus and cholera in Italy. Band concerts each afternoon and evening. Aug. 3rd. official visit of HRH the Prince of Wales. Aug. 4th, auction sale of birds.  20 pp. 15 x 23 cm. Paper booklet, very good. (8084) $20.00. Farming/Poultry

Farmer Goodall and His Friend by the author of "The Last Day of the Week"  ca. 1842 New York, NY: Carlton & Porter, Sunday-School Union. Author of this book was a Calvinist woman and preface for this edition mentions that, but in coy 19th century fashion, does not provide her name.  Writer of Preface (S.B.W.) notes that several portions of original text have been omitted because they were sentiments contrary to what "we" believe to have been "the mind of the spirit." 204 pp.       10 x 15 cm. Black cloth with gilt title on spine and blindstamped design on cover. Minor wear and rubbing. Bookplate from "Chesterfield Facty Vill." Good. (8090) $40.00. Children's/Religious

Gellert:  Trust in God; or, Three Days in the Life of Gellert 1866 New York, NY: Robert Carter and Brothers. Book prepared for children. Tells about life of Christian Fürchtegott Gellert (1715-1769), hymn writer and poet.  This book tells about three days in the life of this Godly man, during the Seven Years' War, when he lived in Leipzig. 93 pp. + 15 pp. adv. 10 x 15.7 cm. Dark cloth on board, blindstamped "Fireside Library" in design with gilt title on spine. Mottling on cover mostly on front leading edge. On front pastedown is pencilled "Mrs. Sherman and Mrs. Davis Green Hill 1867". Fair.(8082) $48.00. Children's/Religious/Biography

Here and There in New England and Canada by the Boston and Maine R.R. Lakes and Streams; Profusely Illustrated   by Sweetser, M.F.  1889 Boston, MA: Boston & Maine Railroad. This is a marvelous little book for Boston and Maine passengers as they explore inland New England in 1889. Three beautiful fold-out maps in very good condition show the B&M Route, Lake Winnipesaukee and Lake Sunapee region. Includes facsimile of "Gems of the Northland" by John Greenleaf Whittier, 1889. Lakeward Routes. West Medford, MA Station. To Wolfeborough. Lake Winnisquam. Lake Spofford. Webster Lake. Mascoma Lake. Cover shows waterfall and typical lakeside scenes. Maps are a special nicely preserved treasure.       96 pp. 12.3 x 20.2 cm. Paper booklet, slight soiling of cover, very good. Fold-out maps, very good. (8104) $85.00. Travel

Greenfield (Mass.) Gazette & Franklin Herald, Greenfield, Mass., Tuesday, June 2, 1835 Phelps, A., Editor            1835    Greenfield, MA: Phelps & Ingersoll. From the Baltimore Patriot: Lengthy discourse on "The Van Buren Convention", full of strife, bickering and ill-feeling.  New York delegates unprincipled; Virginians were laughed at, derided and insulted; The New York delegation found the New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine Jacksonism so pliable that it could be moulded as New York pleased. The prospect of the Whigs is now a glorious one.... [Note: Van Buren was president, 1837-1841.] Washing Sheep. Many seem to think that they more dirt they can sell with the wool the more gain. Editorial on The Baltimore Convention: No one  off the packed assemblage dared to vote contrary to the known will of Gen. Jackson (who was then President).   Great Meeting at Faneuil Hall: A series of resolutions, approving of the nomination of Daniel Webster for the presidency.  Mr. Clayton has recovered the balloon which left him dangling on a house top in his last attempted ascension.  It was found on the bank of the Licking river, about 15 miles from Cincinnati.  A trial of a locomotive engine was made on the Lowell Rail Road.  A number of gentlemen made the passage from Boston to Lowell in an hour and fifteen minutes. 4 pp. 40 x 54 cm. Newspaper, worn, closed tears, fair.  (8102) $28.00. Newspapers

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