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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USS Oklahoma City
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Joe Caruso's OK City News Notes


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Read The Fall / Winter 2014 Issue


Of The USS Oklahoma City


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2015 Reunion Information


Check the REUNION page.



Pledge of Allegiance
Remarks By John McCain



In light of the recent appeals court ruling in California, with respect to the Pledge of Allegiance, the following recollection from Senator John McCain is very appropriate:

As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitary confinement two or three to a cell.

In 1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room.

This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POW's 10,000 miles from home.

One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian. Mike came from a small town near Selma, Alabama. He didn't wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy. He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School. Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967.

Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country and our military provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.

As part Of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing.

Mike got himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of months, he created an American flag and sewed on the inside of his shirt. Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike's shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most important and meaningful event.

One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, and discovered Mike's shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it. That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours. Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in.

We cleaned him up as well as we could. The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room. As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could. After the excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, making another American flag. He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to Pledge our allegiance to our flag and country.

So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote freedom around the world. You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

SEE ALSO "God Bless America" sung by John Wayne and a host of celebrities on his Fourth of July Special in 1970.Be patient as it takes a minute or two to load.



A tip o' the cap to my one and only brother Dennis Caruso, PH2 USS Philippine Sea, 55-59, for sending these along.


Taps


Glenn Ryel


Walmart's New Greeter


Walmart Greeter

Charley, a new retiree-greeter at Wal-Mart, just couldn't seem to get to work on time.

Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late.

But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean-shaven, sharp-minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their "Older Person Friendly" policies.

One day the boss called him into the office for a talk.

"Charley, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a bang-up job when you finally get here; but your being late so often is quite bothersome."

"Yes, I know boss, and I am sorry and am working on it."

"Well good, you are a team player. That's what I like to hear.”

“Yes sir, I understand your concern and I will try harder.“

Seeming puzzled, the manager went on to comment, “I know you're retired from the Armed Forces. What did they say to you there if you showed up in the morning late so often?"

The old man looked down at the floor, then smiled.

He chuckled quietly, then said with a grin, "They usually saluted and said, Good morning, Admiral, can I get your coffee, sir?

Walmart Greeter

Editor's note: This story is not verified. It was sent in by my brother Dennis Caruso (PH2 USS Philippine Sea 1955-59) who is also somewhat unverified. I would love to believe this is true but I remain skeptical, even though there is no information at Snopes to refute it.



Fleet Broadcast for 05 Oct 14


It had been suggested that we look into putting artifacts and memorabilia from the cruiser Oklahoma City on display aboard its sister ship, USS Little Rock, in Buffalo, NY. This was presented to the folks in Buffalo and we were offered a sizable compartment for this purpose.

In June, Paul Dillon and John Baker went to Buffalo to check things out found they had for us a compartment on the port side of the 03 level, just aft of the bridge. It originally was the Flag Plans office and measures 18’ by 13’-6”. They will prepare the compartment by painting it, install lighting and our expenses will be putting in new flooring and the cost of display cases. There will be no monthly “rent” or other fees.

It should be noted that the minimum cost estimates for a standalone 8 foot floor display case is $1000. The minimum cost estimate for a 4 foot wall display is $750 which plays out to upwards of $9000. Due to the limited widths of passageways and doors, these will need to be built in the space provided.

One thing to note is once artifacts and memorabilia are placed on display they become property of the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Servicemen’s Park and will not be returned. Donors of items will sign off on an affidavit agreeing to that stipulation.

This was presented at our business meeting in Providence last month and the membership present approved to proceed with this project. Fund raising efforts will begin with the next Corral and a 3-member committee will be formed to solicit artifacts and memorabilia. Procedures to donate items will also be in the next Corral.

If anyone should have any questions about this, please get in touch with Association President John Baker at 620-399-3999 or send an email.

Submitted by association historian T.C. Lamson, RM3 68-70



Operation Frequent Wind

The library volunteers of the USS Midway Museum in San Diego are collecting information on Operation Frequent Wind (Evacuation of Saigon) in April 1975. Our ship was there and played a part. These folks are asking men who served at that time to contact them at Midway Volunteers to share your memories of that time.

There will be a 40th commemoration ceremony on the Midway 26 April 2015.


TAPS

Ken Kanewske BMSN 2nd DIV. CLG5 71-73 Passed away suddenly Friday, February 21 at his home in San Lorenzo, CA. He was 63. He was always there to help anyone. He was a great friend and shipmate and loved riding his Harleys. He was well known in the Oakland-Bay bike community and he was my best friend. We will miss him very much. Any inquiries, please contact me, mail John Sabo, BM3 2nd Div. 72-74.


Branson Reunion Photos




Click on the Water Tower to view photos.




Welcome Aboard


New to the Crew for October
Doug Brewer, FN 76-776

New to the Crew for June, 2014
Neil Ringlee, SGT USMC 72-74

New to the Crew for May, 2014
Bob "Batch" Batchelor, CYN3 69-70

New to the Crew for March, 2014
William Boysel, CS3 72-74
Dennis Green, BM3 75-77
Sam Robinson, FTM2 75-76

New to the Crew for February, 2014
Glen Ryel, SK3 67-68
Ed Wrona, SH3 71-73

New to the Crew for January, 2014
Ronald Walters, CPL USMC 1971

New to the Crew for November, 2013
Robert Phillips, FTM1 72-76

New to the Crew for July, 2013
Lawrence (Larry) Wittenberg, LTjg 67-67

New to the Crew for June, 2013
Thomas F Murray IV, Ensign 78-79
James Gilbert, IC3 64-66
Gary Rosema, OS3 70-73

New to the Crew for March, 2013
Samuel B Allen, LTjg 71-74






Quote of the Month



"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation...
One is by sword...
The other is by debt."




John Adams, 1826




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


SSN723 Westpac Cruise 2004
Click on the link below to see all the photos from the cruise. Allow from one to five minutes for the pictures to load. When you see the green arrow in the upper right hand corner, click on that to start the show.
Slide Show





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The USS Oklahoma City website is published daily for the benefit of the crewmembers of all ships named Oklahoma City. Editor and Publisher: Joe Caruso; Graphics Editors: Phil Gerini, Glenn Stone; Editorial Contributors: Jack Kemejuk, John Baker, Paul Dillon, Frank Zacarro, T.C. Lamson & Jim Blackburn. All rights reserved. Copyright 1997 to 2014.


Your Webmaster is ETN-3 Joe Caruso, 1969

© 1997-2014 Joseph L. Caruso webmaster@ussokcity.com
No animals were harmed during the production of this website.



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