I got an email from Michael, a Navy veteran who has an incredible talent for finding great stories. In this particular email, he included a link to a website featuring my old ship, USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73), which immediately transported me down memory lane.
I’m a GW plankowner, and proud of it. (For those not in the know, the Sailors in the first crew of a new ship are called plankowners.)
That first crew was stacked with incredible Sailors and Officers, and led by a capable and greatly respected Captain we all knew would eventually be promoted to Admiral (he was).
The commissioning ceremony took place – appropriately – on July 4, 1992 in front of a massive crowd in Norfolk, Virginia. No one knew at the time that GW would be the first carrier off the coast of Manhattan after 9/11, would be on scene after the massive 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, would be engaged in combat operations for over a decade, or that she would be the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier permanently home ported in Japan.
But we all knew she was capable of those things.
Here is the link with all kinds of cool facts: http://www.gw.navy.mil/index.html.
The history of GEORGE WASHINGTON can be found at http://www.uscarriers.net/cvn73history.htm.