Friday, July 23, 2010

Hey, I Served On One Of Those Ships

The US Navy is going to inactivate 11 ships.

Among them is the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA-4), which I served aboard during the early 1980's.

Here she is:

I had a lot of fun aboard that ship. Good food (breakfast cinnamon rolls were outstanding) and comfortable berthing areas, and large enough to provide plenty of amenities. I've seen her all the ways you can see her: crossdecking from another ship via an LCM into her well deck; helicoptering off to another ship; leaving her via an LCM which landed us on the beach at Little Creek Amphibious Base, the closest I'll ever get to an amphibious landing of my own; and, of course, walking onto her via the brow at the pier at Norfolk Naval Base. I was onboard her in 1983 off the coast of Lebanon when the USMC barracks bombing occurred, cross-decking to the USS Guam (LPH-9). I've heard that because of that bombing that I'm eligible to wear the National Defense Ribbon, but I've never investigated the possibility of acquiring one, and it's sort of a geedunk ribbon, anyway.

The Nassau will go into the reserve fleet, while others of the 11 ships involved in the inactivation will be sold to other navies, held in reserve, or possibly scrapped.

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