Next duty assignment sent me to Long Beach, CA and served aboard the USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5) from about 3/61 to 9/62. She was just finishing the 'shakedown cruise' and preparing to become the Flagship of the 7th Fleet.
We set sail for Japan approximately Dec. 1, 1961, stopped in Hawaii for a ceremony with the Gold Star Mothers aboard on Dec. 7, 1961 commemorating the 20th anniversary of the bombing. We arrived at Yokosuka, Japan approximately Dec. 12th, 1961(?) and relieved the Heavy Cruiser USS St Paul(CA-73) and commenced our duties as Flagship of the 7th Fleet.
We participated in a SEATO operation somewhere between Okinawa and Japan. We visited many cities in the Far East; Took 7 days for R&R in Hong Kong, visited the Philippines during the tenure of President Diosdado Pangan Macapagal. We were relieved as flagship of the 7th Fleet by USS Providence (CLG-6) on 5/26/1962 and returned to Long Beach on 6/12/1962.
I was Honorably discharged on 9/20/1962 in Long Beach, CA. Best friends were: Larry D Morey from Cheyenne, WY, Larry D Grant from Lincoln, NE and our top 1st Class was Larry H VanGerpen from Walnut Creek, CA. The OR Division Officers were: Ens. Edward A. Fritz and Ltjg Claude K. Chappelear.
Married Mary L Keith on 5/23/1964; son Gregory A Irvin was born on 5/1/68 and daughter Paula M (Toren) Irvin was born on 9/25/1970 (my birthday present).
I have an email contact, Gene Woody, who also served on the Okie Boat at a
later time now living in Arkansas. This is as much as I can remember at age
71. Whew....my head hurts - 'Anchors away my boy.....'
KIRK, Richard D - Kokomo, IN 77-79 mail
*** Sgt - Marine Detatchment
^^^ Currently flying a helicopter for Indianapolis Colts Football Team. Retired (23 yrs) helo pilot for Indiana State Police
KOENIG, James Mark - Bicknell, IN 70-71 send mail
*** SM Striker - 3rd Division Deck Force
KOOP, Donald - Fort Wayne, IN 68-73 send mail
*** GMM2 - Talos Missile System
LANE, James - Fort Wayne, IN 75-77 send mail
LAPKE, Tom - Camby, IN 61-62 #1129 mail
*** MM2 - came from the USS COLLETT DD730 as MM3
McDONOUGH, Thomas J - Schererville, IN 70-72 #1198 mail
*** SN - Shipboard OL Div / Lookout/ CIC Room
^^^ Today IBM Retired. Raising + Showing / Field Trialing Bird Dogs, Brittanys. Have one Champion ShowDog working on his Field Trial Championship. Working on 2nd Dog show Championship
MORROW, Steven J - Valparaiso, IN 77-79 #1107 mail
*** GMM3 - Talos Missile System
^^^ Today I'm a truck driver and live with and care for my mother
NOLAN, J Danny - Indianapolis, IN 65-67 send mail
PETRI, Frank - Dillsboro, IN 71-73 send mail
*** BT3 - Forward Fireroom and Oil Shack
^^^ Happily married with three great kids, all grown. Got out and went to school and have been bending wrenches ever since. Today I am a Master Auto Tech
ROBERTS, Stephen - Mishawaka, IN 73-76 send mail
*** HT3 - Hull Technician, R-Division, Carpenter Shop
TUTTLE, Tony - Portage, IN 77-80 send mail
*** BT2 - Foreward Fireroom
^^^ Now General Manager for a Steel Mill
VERNON, Keith E - Ramsey, IN 47166 68-71 mail
*** DC3 - R Div, Carpenter Shop & Damage Control. Buddies were Wilson, Beasley, Zellner, Reed & Thompson
^^^ Married to Sherrill for 29 yrs with a son and daughter. I am a welder operator
WATSON, Norman "Buddy" - IN 77-79 #1331 mailto
*** BMSN - I was in 1st and 2nd Div. Doug Owen and SN Dillingham were two of my buddies.
^^^ Now living in a small town in Indiana.
WIDENER, Bruce - New Whiteland, IN 75-77 #1171 mail
*** BMSN - Enjoyed the ports we visited while aboard CG-5 in 2nd division. Seems like a lifetime ago. Haven't been in touch with anyone I served with since leaving the boat. Did 3 years of reserves, but wasn't the same as the OKCity.
^^^ Work for Federal Gov., as a Systems Administrator. Have 4 kids. One married.
WILLIAMS, Scott A. - Zionsville, IN 90-92 mail
*** RM2 - OPS Division
ZACHARY, Jamed D - Danville, IN 64-67 send mail
*** GMM3 - T Division, Talos Missiles. Worked on FAST gear and Missile Magazine
^^^ Divorced with 3 children and 6 grandchildren. Now an account specialist for Schwan's Ice Cream