AtoZ Blogging Challenge (2021) US Navy Ships AtoZ

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter A

First day of April and I’m starting on the #AtoZchallenge with a handicap. I’m now the world’s slowest typist because I can only use one hand, Ain’t that a hoot? Yesterday afternoon I started to work and fell down the stairs! The head of my humerus is broken, and as a result, I cannot use my left hand. So, on that sour note, I’ll try to copy and paste tidbits about my ships rather than trying to tell my usual stories and tall tales. I’ll do my best to get through the month.

A is for USS Austin (LPD-4) [4 February 1963 – 27 September 2006]. I was assigned to this magnificent ship from 1982 to 1985 and had some incredible adventures. We sailed the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and Mediterranean. We also crossed the Arctic Circle and became Bluenoses!

Probably though, the one event that will never be forgotten happened on 23rd October 1983. The Marine barracks was bombed and 220 Marines, 18 Sailors, and 3 Army Soldiers lost their lives. The memory ranks as one of the saddest of my life. I’m proud to have served with those guys. Very proud.

On a happier note, back in November 1967 Austin was part of the Apollo 4 recovery force. The Command Module splashed down in the north Pacific about 16 kilometers off it’s target, near Midway Island.

Austin took part in supporting a great many operations all around the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean. Austin’s final deployment was from November 2005 – May 2006. The Austin and her crew transported Marines to the Persian Gulf and supported their mission ashore during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Here are some dry facts about Austin gleaned from Wikipedia:

Ordered:21 September 1961
Laid down:4 February 1963
Launched:27 June 1964
Commissioned:6 February 1965
Decommissioned:27 September 2006
Stricken:27 September 2006
Motto:Potestas Maritimas per Mobilitate, “Seapower through Mobility”
Fate:Sold for scrapping 30 September 2009 to International Shipbreaking, Brownsville, Tx

#AtoZchallenge is not only about me. Many, many other bloggers are participating this year. I encourage you to visit a few. Don’t forget to like and comment so we know who you are so we can thank you. Additionally, you may find a blog or three you like enough to follow. If you do, hit those subscribe buttons and get to reading! Thanks for coming by today; here are a few suggestions you might want to look at:

So, Come back to see me, won’t you? See ya tomorrow!


About Ol' Big Jim

Ol' Big Jim, has been a storekeeper, an embalmer, a hospital orderly, a medical biller, and through it all, a teller of tall tales. Many of his stories, like his first book, New Yesterdays, are set in his hometown of Piedmont, Alabama. For seven years, he lived in the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Amman, Jordan where he spends his time trying to visit each one of the thousands of Ammani coffee shops and scribbling in his ever-present notebook. These days, you can find him back stateside, still filling notebooks.
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