Arts, Culture & Media

Remembering the USS Caloosahatchee

(How old are you now?) I'll be 81, I live in Long Island. I was a flank owner. (Among how many?) There were about 367 of us. (What was the ship like?) It was a Navy fuel supplier, we supplied gas and oil to Navy bases and ships at sea while moving. (What was your job?) We would lay out the hoses on the booms and keep the hoses out of the water, and they would connect our hoses to our intakes and when that operation started we couldn't leave our posts, which could take 6 or 7 hours to fill up an aircraft carrier. (What would you do then? Where would you go?) We would go south around the Florida Keys and by Texas and then from there we'd go to Guantanamo, Cuba, or sometimes as north as Iceland. (So you saw a lot of the world at that time, how old were you?) I was 17. it was a lot of responsibility. (So let's talk about the decommissioning of the boat, right? Now that it's going to be dismantled, what do you think about it?) It was part of my life, I had a lot of good friends there. we had a reunion in Virginia. I cried when I saw a different decommissioned ship, all rusted out, what they would say if they could talk.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

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