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Gallery of War

Page 30

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Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean
Near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Archival Print #H-O118TF
(c)2003 L. Nollenberger

And the sea glimmered with the light of a thousand diamonds, as the Taylor made her final cruise across the Pacific. I stood on her bow and reminisced on the places I had been. When we arrived back at Pearl, they plinned another star on the Vietnam ribbon that sat admist the dozens of others on the ship's prized plaque. I watched as they hoisted it up and under the bridge painted the prestigous Navy "E" (signifying excellence in combat) on the bulkhead beside it. She would go down in history as the oldest, fasted and most decorated ship to ever sail out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She was awarded the Navy "E" at least twice that I remember. She won 15 battle stars in WW II, 2 during the Korean War and Six for Vietanm Service. She had done her duty and done it well. As for me, I kept studying and got my rank (SH3 E-3). I would make Second Class Petty Officer (E-4) and became known as old "Blue." I assume the name probably came from my ability to quote nearly every reg. in the book (it was Navy blue, of course). My buddies pull came through and I was temporarily transfered to the USS Goldsborough (seen on page 21) for about a month. From there I received orders to report to a Destroyer Escort based out of San Diego where I would spend my final two years in the Navy.