I spent two years on the “Indy.” In 1990, out of the entire year, we were in port for only 90 days. We spent 275 days of that year at sea. “Haze gray and underway!” “Sailors belong on ships, and ships belong at sea.” That was also the year we entered the Persian Gulf as the first response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. That was “Operation Desert Shield,” which later became “Operation Desert Storm.” We spent 118 days on station in the Persian Gulf without seeing a port (or a female).
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Among the many memories is my very first time at sea. I got to be in a movie! “Flight of the Intruder” was filmed on the Independence. It wasn’t a blockbuster. But, I got to be an extra in a scene with Danny Glover.
It is sad to know that my ship will cease to exist. Some ships (like my brother’s ship, the USS Iowa) become floating museums. The USS Independence was not so lucky. It’s a shame, but life goes on, and memories are forever. Fair winds and following seas.
Edit to add – January 2018:
The shipbreaking company that is dismantling the USS Independence sells off bits and pieces of the ship on Ebay. I was able to get some of the Dental Department signage! Big score for me! Now I have to figure out what to do with it.