google.com, pub-7401350658812701, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 USS Oklahoma City CLG5 CG5 CL91 SSN723 google.com, pub-7401350658812701, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0


USS Oklahoma City
New logo courtesy of Glenn Stone, MS2 (SS) 86-89


Combat Action Ribbon
Navy Unit Citation Meritorious Unit Citation National Defense Service Medal Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
VietNam Service Medal Humanitarian Service Medal of Valor with Palm Viet Nam Campaign Medal
Signal Light courtesy of Phil Gerini
CLG-5  Silhouette courtesy of Phil Gerinisub silhouette courtesy of Phil Gerini

Submitted by Phil Gerini OKC Patch CG-5 Patch OKC Patch courtesy of Ross De Paola 723oldpatch First Fleet Patch courtesy of Phil Gerini
SSN-723 7th Fleet VN patch courtesy of Kenneth Pounders 7th Fleet logo contributed by 
Len Buonaiuto Com7Flt patch courtesy of Ross De Paola Yacht Club ComCruDesFlot-9 patch courtesy of Phil Gerini


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Dedicated to the brave men who served aboard
the USS Oklahoma City CL-91, CLG-5, CG-5 and SSN-723.


USS Oklahoma City
Shipmates Found To Date

1394

If you served aboard any of the ships named
USS Oklahoma City please enter your name
and other information into the Deck Log database.



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Joe Caruso's OK City News Notes


D Day Cemetary

You Could Have Heard A Pin Drop

Once upon a time, our politicians did not tend to apologize for our country's greatness. Here's a refresher on how some of our former patriots handled negative comments about our great country.

JFK'S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when DeGaulle decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaulle said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible.

Rusk responded, "Does that include those who are buried here?"

DeGaulle did not respond.

You could have heard a pin drop.

When in England , at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of "empire building" by George Bush.

He answered by saying, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."

You could have heard a pin drop.

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, "Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?"

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: "Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?"

You could have heard a pin drop.

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.

Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks, but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?"

Without hesitating the American Admiral replied, "Maybe it's because the Brit's, Canadians, Aussie's and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German."

You could have heard a pin drop.

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

"You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."

The American said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."

"Impossible.. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !"

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then, he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach, on D-Day in 1944, to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchman to show a passport to."

You could have heard a pin drop.






REUNION NEWS

Good News! The 2022 Nashville Reunion information is now available..

Click this link, or go to the Reunion Page.

Please check back often in case of corrections, additions or updates!


Updated 5 February 2022



TAPS


Tom Hoschek on the USS Oklahoma City

Steve Hampton GMC USNR Ret, reports the passing of SN Tom Hoschek to the website. Tom was a member of 3rd Division from 1971-73. He died June 14, 2017 in Burlington, IA. I have enclosed a photo of Tom on the fantail of the OK City with Blackbeard One in the background (circa 1972). Tom was a phone talker during flight quarters. Tom and I enlisted together and were fortunate to serve aboard the OK City together. We remained lifelong friends.





Underway 2022

Cover photo of the 2022 hull number dot com navy themed calendar.
Although this year's calendar is sold out, owner Dave Schultz has graciously allowed
us to reproduce his stunning photos on our site.
Editor's note: the photo above makes an awesome desktop wallpaper.

See the rest of the calendar photos here

-or-

Check out Hull Number dot com here



I WAS A SAILOR ONCE
AND I WOULD DO IT AGAIN

I liked standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with salt spray in my face and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe - - the ship beneath me feeling like a living thing as her engines drove her swiftly through the sea.

I liked the sounds of the Navy - the piercing trill of the boatswains’ pipe, the syncopated clang of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, the harsh squawk of the 1MC, and the strong language and laughter of sailors at work.

I liked Navy vessels -- nervous darting destroyers (they were called 'tin cans' for a reason), plodding fleet auxiliaries and amphibs, sleek submarines and steady solid aircraft carriers.

I liked the proud names of Navy ships: Bennington, Midway, Lexington , Bunker Hill, Saratoga, Coral Sea, Antietam, Valley Forge - - memorials of great battles won and tribulations overcome.

I liked the lean angular names of Navy "tin-cans" and escorts - - Kenneth D. Bailey DDR-713, Barney, Dahlgren, Mullinix, McCloy, Damato, Leftwich, Mills, Stickell, Noa, Paul, Coontz, T.C. Hart, Glover - - mementos of heroes who went before us. And the others - - San Jose , San Diego , Los Angeles , St. Paul , Chicago - - named for our cities.

I liked the tempo of a Navy band blaring through the topside speakers as we pulled away from the oiler after refueling at sea. (I missed this thrill...) I liked Liberty Call and the spicy scent of a foreign port.

I even liked the never-ending paperwork and all-hands working parties as the ship filled herself with the multitude of supplies, both critical and mundane in order to cut ties to the land and carry out her mission anywhere on the globe where there was water to float her.

I liked sailors, officers and enlisted men, from all parts of the land; farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England , from the cities, the mountains and the prairies, from all walks of life. I trusted and depended on them as they trusted and depended on me - for professional competence, for comradeship, for strength and courage. In a word, they were "shipmates"; then and forever.

I liked the surge of adventure in my heart, when the word was passed: "Now set the special sea and anchor detail - all hands to quarters for leaving port," and I liked the infectious thrill of sighting home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting pier side.

The work was hard and dangerous; the going rough at times; the parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the "all for one and one for all" philosophy of the sea was ever present.

I liked the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as flying fish flitted across the wave tops and sunset gave way to night.

I liked the feel of the Navy in darkness -- the masthead and range lights, the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of radar repeaters - they cut through the dusk and joined with the mirror of stars overhead. And I liked drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad noises large and small and the rocking from side to side that told me my ship was alive and well, and that my shipmates on watch would keep me safe.

I liked quiet mid watch with the aroma of strong coffee -- the lifeblood of the Navy permeating everywhere.

And I liked hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes racing at flank speed kept all hands on a razor edge of alertness. (Some times those shapes came too damn close.)

I liked the sudden electricity of "General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations," followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors as the ship transformed herself in a few brief seconds from a peaceful workplace to a weapon of war -- ready for anything.

And I liked the sight of space-age equipment manned by youngsters clad in dungarees and sound-powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize.

I liked the traditions of the Navy and the men and women who made them. I liked the proud names of Navy heroes: Halsey, Nimitz, Perry, Farragut, John Paul Jones and Burke. A sailor could find much in the Navy: comrades-in-arms, pride in self and country, mastery of the seaman's trade. An adolescent could find adulthood.

In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, they will still remember with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods - the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water surging over the bow. And then there will come again a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the wardroom and chief's quarters and mess decks.

Gone ashore for good they will grow wistful about their Navy days, when the seas belonged to them and a new port of call was ever over the horizon. Remembering this, they will stand taller and say, "I WAS A SAILOR ONCE AND I WOULD DO IT AGAIN."

Written by Mark Midgley


Submitted by Robert Britton



Word Play

a shot of whisky

In the old west a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents and so did a glass of whiskey. If a cowhand was low on cash he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a "shot" of whiskey.

the whole nine yards

American fighter planes in WW2 had machine guns that were fed by a belt of cartridges. The average plane held belts that were 27 feet (9 yards) long. If the pilot used up all his ammo he was said to have given it the whole nine yards.

buying the farm

This is synonymous with dying. During WW1 soldiers were given life insurance policies worth $5,000. This was about the price of an average farm so if you died you "bought the farm" for your survivors.

iron clad contract

This came about from the iron-clad ships of the Civil War. It meant something so strong it could not be broken.

passing the buck / the buck stops here

Most men in the early west carried a jackknife made by the Buck Knife company. When playing poker it was common to place one of these Buck knives in front of the dealer so that everyone knew who he was. When it was time for a new dealer the deck of cards and the knife were given to the new dealer. If this person didn't want to deal he would "pass the buck" to the next player. If that player accepted then "the buck stopped there".

riff raff

The Mississippi River was the main way of traveling from north to south. Riverboats carried passengers and freight but they were expensive so most people used rafts. Everything had the right of way over rafts which were considered cheap. The steering oar on the rafts was called a riff and this transposed into riff-raft, or riff-raff, meaning low class.

cobweb

The Old English word for "spider" was "cob".

ship's state rooms

Traveling by steamboat was considered the height of comfort. Passenger cabins on the boats were not numbered. Instead they were named after states. To this day cabins on ships are called staterooms.

sleep tight

Early beds were made with a wooden frame. Ropes were tied across the frame in a criss-cross pattern. A straw mattress was then put on top of the ropes. Over time the ropes stretched, causing the bed to sag. The owner would then tighten the ropes to get a better night's sleep.

showboat

These were floating theaters built on a barge that was pushed by a steamboat. These played the small towns along the Mississippi River. Unlike the boat shown in the movie "Showboat” these did not have an engine. They were gaudy and attention- grabbing which is why we say someone who is being the life of the party is "showboating".

over a barrel

In the days before CPR a drowning victim would be placed face down over a barrel and the barrel would be rolled back and forth in a effort to empty the lungs of water. It was rarely effective. If you are over a barrel you are in deep trouble.

barge in

Heavy freight was moved along the Mississippi in large barges pushed by steamboats. These were hard to control and would sometimes swing into piers or other boats. People would say they "barged in".

hog wash

Steamboats carried both people and animals. Since pigs smelled so bad they would be washed before being put on board. The mud and other filth that was washed off was considered useless hog wash.

curfew

The word "curfew" comes from the French phrase couvre-feu, which means "cover the fire". It was used to describe the time of blowing out all lamps and candles before sleeping for the night. It was later adopted into Middle English as curfeu, which later became the modern "curfew". In the early American colonies homes had no real fireplaces so a fire was built in the center of the room. In order to make sure a fire did not get out of control during the night it was required that, by an agreed upon time, all fires would be covered with a clay pot called-a curfew.

barrels of oil

When the first oil wells were drilled they had made no provision for storing the liquid, so they used water barrels. That is why, to this day, we speak of barrels of oil, rather than gallons.

hot off the press

As the paper goes through the rotary printing press, friction causes it to heat up; therefore, if you grab the paper right off the press, it is hot. The expression means to get immediate information.

There, don't you feel smarter now?



More Mesothelioma Help

Veterans and Mesothelioma is offering a free Veteran's Support Guide to explain how to apply for Mesothelioma related benefits.



New To The Crew


HUGHES, Alvin - Titusville, FL, 86-91 #1396 mail
*** CWO4 - Reported aboard as an FTG1(SS) and made chief 1990 Med Run FTGC(SS).
^^^ Plankowner served aboard for over five years, Some of my best time during 30 years of active naval service and serving aboard 4 different submarines. Retired navy, retired as Operations manager from Trident Research LLC.

LISTON, Will> - Charles Town, WV, 1966 #1395 mail
*** RM2 - 62-66
^^^ AFTER COMPLETING RM A SCHOOL AT SAN DIEGO, I WENT ONBOARD CLG 5 AT LONG BEACH ALONG WITH TWO OTHERS FROM MY RM A SCHOOL ( RICK CHISHOLM AND ROBERT MUNDAHL). SERVED UNTILL THE END OF MY ENLISTMENT IN SEPTEMBER 1966. WAS RM 3RD AND MADE RM 2 WHEN I RETURNED TO MY RESERVE UNIT. WAS IN CR DIVISION AS SHIPS COMPANY AND TRANSFERRED OVER TO COM7THFLEET STAFF WHEN 7FLT CAME ABOARD IN YOKOSKA. SPENT 33 YEARS AS A POLICE OFFICER, CHANGED OCCUPATIONS AND SPENT 15 YEARS IN FEDERAL GOVERNEMENT INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. RETIRED IN 2010 TO LIVE NEAR MY EXTENDED FAMILY.

LITE, Robert, #1394 mail
***FTG3

TUTTELL, John, Tacoma, WA 73-75 #1393 mail
*** EW3
^^^ Recently retired (2022)

Shingleton, Lloyd, Goose Creek, SC 75-79 #1392 mail
*** OS2 - worked in CIC, part of OI division, operated radars for shipping and navigation. Made two Australian cruises during my time on the ship one in 1976 and the other in 1978. My closest friend was OS2 Lodi Schlegel.
^^^ I am now retired, an artist, painter and a member of the Charleston Artist Guild.

Darling,William, E.Freetown, MA 70-73 #1391 mail
*** GMG 3 - 6" powder mag -gun captain center gun 6" turret
^^^ I have been a self employed machinist for over 30 years, ,raised a family, paid off a mortgage and am now semi retired. Hoping to connect with former shipmates Chuck Knolton John Kirby Bruce Barton, and others.

SSN-723
Kline, Aaron, Houston, TX 01-03 #1390 mail
*** Ens to Lt while on board. RC Div, CRA, AWEPS.

Bullington,Kenneth Ray , Gatesville, TX, 68-70 #1389 mail
*** FTN2 -Weapons – missile systems
^^^ Retired

Morrison, Hal, Colorado, 78-78 #1388 mail
*** FTM2 - Talos Missle Fire Control Technician assigned to Radar 6
^^^ Second Shift Radar 6 Maintenance Lead Petty Officer Ship's tour guide, Ship's soccer team (left fullback), Line Number 1 Phone Talker (getting under way and pulling into port) Bridge Phone Talker (getting under way and pulling into port) .Forward Underway Replenishment Phone Talker Small Boat Sailor (Tokyo Bay, Hong Kong, Subic Bay, and Perth/Fremantle Australia)
^^^ Retired after a number of varied careers in High Tech (Engineering Tech, Test Engineer, CAD Systems Analyst, IT Systems Administrator - Solaris/Linux/Windows, IT Systems Support Manager, PCB Test Development Manager, DevOps Engineering Support, etc.) Married (late in life) with two kids - one is a junior in college and the other is a freshman in high school

Burkhart Grey, Falls Church, VA 77-79 #1387 mail
*** LT - I was assigned as Missile Fire Control Officer upon arrival, then was moved to be the Gunnery Officer. Missile Officer and (briefly) Acting Weapons Officer durin decom. Now an Intelligence liaison director for this country's oldest and one of the world's largest banks.

HALL Donald M . Sterling Heights, MI 1970 #1386 mail
*** PC3 - I arrived on board in 1970 and was assigned as a Look out.  After about 3 months was assigned to the Post Office. In November 1973, I received a new duty station, RTC, NTC Great Lakes Illinois. I was discharged in March 1974 with an Honorable Discharge.  The next day I started my new career as a Postal Employee in Warren Michigan.  After 43 1/2 years I retired.



More than 22k Claims granted to Blue Water Navy Veterans in 2020

blue water navy logo

The National Archives is digitizing more than 1,800 deck logs to determine ship locations, which helps VA confirm service VA estimates there are between 420-560k Vietnam-era Veterans who may be considered Blue Water Navy Veterans.

READ MORE



Meet the Navy's Most Adorable Boat: The Boomin' Beaver

The Boomin' Beaver
The "Boomin' Beaver security tug boat rests on the finger pier next to USS Constitution.

The Navy's 19-foot mini tugboats play an important role in protecting their larger siblings. They deploy, operate, and maintain underwater barriers surrounding ships such as the USS Constitution, the 223-year old wooden frigate berthed in Boston..


Booming Beaver close up
A closer look.

Read the complete article at Military.com



Sailors Aboard USS Oklahoma City Receive Battle "E"

SSN723 Crew Receives Battle

Rear Adm. Blake Converse, Commander of Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, presents the Battle "E" Award to Cmdr. Steven Lawrence, commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723), and his crew on the pier at Apra Harbor, Guam.


Asbestos Ships

Specific Information about Asbestos on the Oklahoma City

Follow This Link



FLASHBACK

USS Oklahoma City alongside the USS Kawishiwi (AO-146)


USS Kawishiwi AO-146

It seems like only yesterday, but it was during Kawishiwi's 1971 WestPac deployment in the Tonkin Gulf. We had been unreping carrier task forces in the area when we received news that we would be receiving the cruiser USS Oklahoma City, which was then flying the pennant of ComSeventhFleet. Captain Wyand told all hands that this was a fine occasion to show them our stuff, and then directed all hands to make the ship "ready for inspection". Among other things, all our fuel rigs were dropped to the deck & a combination crew of deck & R-gang meticulously cleaned hoses and fittings inside & out.

The following day, under beautiful clear blue skies, USS Oklahoma City made a smart approach to our port side. What a sight! All their officers & crew in whites, brass polished, beautiful gray hull, holy stoned wood decks, everything in its place.

Shot lines were fired, and soon we were sending fueling rigs amidships and aft. Their forward receiving station was immediately below their bridge, and when our nozzle assembly hit their Robb receiver, it locked in place. They secured the riding line & gave us permission to pump NSFO (Navy Special Fuel Oil or black oil).

We fired up the pumps in our midship pumping station, opened our gate valve, and then it happened. The line pressure surged way over operating range, and our probe kicked out of their receiver! Worse yet, the automatic valve in the nozzle (which only permits flow when the rig is seated) failed to close! Held in place by its riding line, the nozzle assumed an up-angle of about 60°, so now we were shooting 3000 GPM of high pressure black oil right into their bridge! Huge clouds of oil vapor were wafting over the entire ship, officers and men in their pilothouse were either knocked down by the stream or slipping & falling on deck.

At their end, their men grabbed axes & tried to cut the riding line, to drop the rig into the water. But they couldn't cut it, so after about a minute of continuous douche-down, they just executed a hard turn to port. All our rigs just screamed with tension, then parted & fell into the drink. They didn't bother to hold station, they just left us there.

Everyone on board was stunned and speechless. Soon, we had flash traffic in the Comm Shack from Oklahoma City & ComSeventhFlt, which after deleting the expletives, amounted to "What are you guys doing?"

We retrieved our rigs, and investigated why the nozzle valve failed to close. The culprit - a pair of old dungarees (from the rags used earlier to wipe down the hoses inside & out) lodged in the discharge, holding it open and restricting flow (which built up the over-pressure). In our quest for quality control, we had, ahem,a few impurities in deliverable product. What was to be a sharp evolution, ended in disgrace.

Fortunately, no one was hurt. And ships, as well as reputations, can be cleaned up. Embarrassed though we were then, with the passage of enough time, well....there really was something hilarious seeing those guys getting sprayed down!

Respectfully, An Officer of the 70-71 Cruise.

(Reprinted with permission from Vern Bouwman's USS Kawishiwi AO-146 website.)



Missing At Sea


Peter Emmanuel Gutloff, GMG3


At approximately 0300, 18 October, at latitude 16° 57.6' N, and longitude 107° 14.6' E, approximately three miles from the coast line of the Northern section of the Republic of South Vietnam GMG3 Peter Emmanuel GUTLOFF, USN, 118 63 55, accidentally fell overboard.

In spite of excellent search conditions with unlimited visibility and calm seas, GUTLOFF's body could not be found. A helicopter, two PCF's (swift boats); three LCM's, USS LOYALTY and USCGC PT GAMMON rendered search assistance. All hopes were abandoned and the search terminated at 1800, on 18 October. GMG3 GUTLOFF was assumed dead by drowning.

[Extracted from the COMMAND HISTORY of the USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5)
1 JULY 1969 - 31 DECEMBER 1969 (REPORT SYMBOL - OPNAV REPORT 5750-1)]


Editor's Note: His name appears on Panel 17W, Line 88, of the Vietnam Memorial Wall.




Okinawa 15 February 1962

USS Okanogan (APA 220) (left) loading Marines and equipment of 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, White Beach, Buckner Bay, Okinawa, 15 February1962. USS Oklahoma City (CLG 5) is to the right.


MILITARY
SECRETS

A wonderful collection of military wisdom from those who experienced it.
Thanks to shipmate Robert Britton for the link.

HERE




Veteran Statistics

* 16.1 million living veterans served during at least one war.

* 5.2 million veterans served in peacetime.

* 2 million veterans are women.

* 5.5 million veterans served during the Persian Gulf War.

* Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 558,000 are still alive.

* 2 million veterans served during the Korean War.

* As of 2014, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.

* As of 2014, 3 states have more than 1 million veterans among their population: California (1.8 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.7 million).

* The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.





Informative batch of photos of the USS Oklahoma City (SSN-723) HERE



2019 Reunion Group Photo

2019 Reunion Group Phptp

Thanks to Gary Cousin for the heads up. Names?



Did History Repeat Itself?

How French Colonialism led to the Vietnam Conflict

Read the excerpt here



Albert Einstein quote


Humor File

AOC Press Conference


TAPS

Charles Lee Palmer, EMSN 64-66

1946 - 2020

Charles Lee Palmer

Read the Obituary



Thanks to shipmate Dave Johnson, EM2 63-66 for the information.


TAPS

Vice Admiral Robert B. Baldwin 1923-2017

Admiral Robert Baldwin


Vice Admiral Robert B. Baldwin, Gig Harbor, Washington Robert Bemus Baldwin, Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (retired), passed away on April 7, 2017 at St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington. Bob had an esteemed career and was a very kind and gentle man, much loved by all. His story follows.

Vice Admiral Baldwin was born on April 24, 1923 in Minneapolis MN. He was the last of five children born to Dr. and Mrs. William P. Baldwin.

He was orphaned at age seven and raised, in Fargo North Dakota, by his appointed guardians Dr. and Mrs. William H. Long close friends of his parents. He graduated from Fargo Central High School in June of 1941. Shortly thereafter Bob was sworn in as a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy as a member of the Class of 1945 with the ambition to become a naval aviator. (The Class of 1945 actually graduated in June, 1944 due to a wartime acceleration.)

At the Academy Bob wrote sports news for The Log, the student publication and played on the varsity soccer team. His first assignment after graduation was to the cruiser USS Birmingham in the Western Pacific combat zone. In May 1945 the ship was hit by a kamikaze attack off Okinawa. For his actions in fighting the resulting fire and flooding, then Ensign Baldwin was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

After the war Bob entered flight training, receiving his wings at Pensacola FL. in 1947. There he began what became a classic career in naval aviation. He served several squadrons including the first carrier-based unit capable of delivering an atomic weapon. He commanded Carrier Air Wing SIXTEEN and made deployments to the western Pacific on three different aircraft carriers.

As a Captain, he took command of the fleet oilier USS Chipola during the Vietnam war, operating in the Pacific fleet in the Tonkin Gulf. He also was privileged to serve a tour as Commanding Officer of the great Carrier USS Forrestal. In shore duty assignments Bob was a graduate of the Navy's Test Pilot School at Pawtuxent River and served in the Tactical Test Division and on the Test Pilot School staff as an instructor. He also did four tours of duty in the Bureau of Naval Personnel.

As a Vice Admiral his assignments were Commander Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet, Commander SEVENTH Fleet, and Chief of Naval Personnel, from which he retired in August 1980. His service awards include two Navy Distinguished Service Medals, two Legions of Merit and numerous letter citations.

After leaving active duty, Bob lived in Rancho Santa Fe, CA for several years and was involved in management of real estate partnerships as well as consulting assignments. He also was active in the Naval Academy Alumni Association, serving as it's President from 1989 to 1992. In 1950 Bob married Stanford University graduate June Wilson. They had three children and subsequently moved numerous times coast to coast, Hawaii, Japan and the Mediterranean when Bob was assigned alternating sea and shore-based positions. That marriage ended in the mid-nineties.

At then end of 1999 Bob married Sally Fleck, who preceded him in death. In 2002 he married Corinne Helgeson, a native of the Seattle area. They were married fourteen years residing in Gig Harbor, Washington. He maintained an avid interest in golf.

He is survived by his wife, Corinne, sons Scott and Jared, and daughter Sylvia, grandchildren Denton, Lindsay and Caitlin, great grandchildren Brooks, Bailey and Tyler and Corinne's son Tim and wife Corrine, grandchildren Riley and Trey, daughter Teri and husband Jack. The funeral service and interment will take place at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, May 11, 2017 at 10 A.M.

Thanks to shipmate Oscar Sommer, MS3 1977-79 for this and other submissions.


See also Admiral Baldwin on the Oklahoma City Here



Amish for Trump


Veterans Statistics from the Vietnam Memorial Wall

There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 63 years since the first casualty.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps LCpl Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger, 8,283 were just 19 years old. The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old. 12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old. 5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old. One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam . 1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam .

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall. Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia . 8 women are on the Wall, nursing the wounded.

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall

Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons. West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths. The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.




For information on Mesothelioma, go to the Veterans page.



What You Need to Know About the
Blue Water Navy Benefits Law

Veterans with one of 14 diseases presumed to be related to the herbicide Agent Orange and who served offshore or in the specified areas of the DMZ, can now file a disability claim with the Department of Veterans to receive benefits, thanks to a law enacted June 25.

H.R. 299 extends disability compensation to personnel who served off the coast of the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975. It specifies that veterans must have served on a ship not more than 12 nautical miles off the coast. The expanse of territorial water covered begins on the southwestern demarcation line of Vietnam and Cambodia and runs through several points spelled out in the law.

According to Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 90,000 veterans may be eligible for benefits under the law. Those eligible include veterans with one or more of the presumptive diseases whose claims were previously denied. It also includes those with new claims.

If a veteran is not sure where their vessel was located, but they have one of the associated diseases, they should file a claim anyway -- and do it as soon as possible, according to John Wells, an attorney with Military-Veterans Advocacy.

Information on how to file a VA claim for Agent Orange exposure is available on the department's website here.

If a veteran has previously been denied and need help appealing their claim, can get assistance from an accredited veterans service organization here.

Help is also available through the National Veterans Legal Services Program by email, bluewater2019@nvlsp.org or by phone, 855-333-0677.

Thanks to Roque Gonzalez, USMC 72-74, a frequent contributor to this page.




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SSN-723 Westpac Cruise 2004
Photographed & Compiled by
Shipmate Todd Selby, MMC(SS) 03-05


SSN723 Westpac Cruise 2004
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