My Service

A Little About Me and My Personal Military Service

Hey, "BOOT"!

I have recently found my naval travel log, in which I kept track of our
ports of call while I was onboard the DeSoto County, so, hopefuly,
this will be rewritten soon.  (Keyword - hopefully!)

I'm proud to have had the opportunity to serve my country.
I may have been a bit of a wise-ass kid and got into trouble from time to time
with my superiors, but how else does a budding alky act?  (BTW, sober over 29 yrs.)
I was active in the US Navy from July 26, 1960 to June 8, 1964, and served
all of my sea duty time (2/61 to 6/64) on the USS DeSoto County LST 1171.

You visiting land-lubbers have already learned, that's Landing Ship Tank (LST),
sometimes also known as a Large Slow Target, an amphibian ship
that hits the beach with over 600 Marines and their implements of destruction;
then, if we don't/can't get off the beach, we stay and support the troops.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was my first Commander-in-Chief, followed by John F. Kennedy.
I (and probably many of you) still remember where we were when we learned JFK was shot.
(Did I mention I was a budding alky?  I was in a package store in Groton, CT buying beer,
when a lady came screaming in, "Gimme a bottle, quick!  They just shot the President!")
Lyndon B. Johnson was President for the last eight months of my tour of duty.

When I went aboard the DeSoto County, it was departing for a cruise to the Caribbean.
That night was the only time I came close to being sea sick on that flat-bottomed bath tub.
We passed around Cape Hatteras and it was pretty rough.  But I went topside and to the bridge for
my first watch, and I was fine.  I fell in love with the Caribbean on that cruise, and we had
liberty in San Juan, Kingston, Port au Prince, and St. Thomas.  On other cruises,
we also hit Bermuda, Gitmo, and Panama.

We had a great time.  Later the same year, we took seabees to Scotland,
and stopped at Dublin, Ireland and were the first American warship to have
liberty there in over twenty years.  I do remember the Irish were wonderful
to us.  One of my fondest liberty memories.  We stopped at
Rota, Spain before returning to the states.

Truth be known, I wasn't as bad as I often make myself out to be.  I did manage to
keep track of our ports of call, and wrote them in the log I mentioned above.
I will be updating this page with that information soon, as time allows.

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