Riggins with little brother Charlie and little sister Sadie.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday thoughts.

Got up to a beautiful Sunday, Donna & I had coffee and she enjoyed the morning reading blogs, and discovered the MO Chapter of the Good Sams are having a Rally in Columbia MO. which is a little over an hour from our home. I think the date is on Sept 23-26th, so she said she would find out tomorrow if she can get the time off and we will make plans to go neither of us has ever been to a Rally before and since this is just a small one we thought it would be nice to try. Plus it will give us a break before I leave for Pa. Haven't been out to take any pictures lately but I have a few in the archives, that I can share.
Here are the ship's I was lucky enough to serve on in the middle 60's.
The first was the USS Shangri-La CVA 38
Next up was USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA42
             Then USS Independence CVA 62
               The last was USS Intrepid CVS 11
The first two pictures show a destroyer following following in the wake of the carrier, this was standard practice since they always operated with a battle group and this destroyer would be available for fast response to a man overboard if we weren't having flight operations and the helicopter wasn't, airborne in all cases of a man overboard day or night unless the weather was absolutely the pits a helicopter was launched to help in the rescue.
Since I took the top picture I know the Destroyer pictured is the USS Newman K. Perry DD883, because I had a hometown buddy on board her.
How did I get to be on so many ships in a four year career? We were assigned in Detachments of 3 helicopters and so depending on where and what they were doing decided how long the detachment would be aboard, On Shangri-La it was 10 Months, On Roosevelt it was only 3 months. On Independence it was 9 months. and my final cruise on Intrepid only lasted 2months and it was in the Gulf of Mexico taking the place Of the training carrier Lexington. We were back at the pier in Pensacola every night and the liberty was good. In between there was a lot of short cruise's to Gitmo for readiness test so it would fill the year out pretty quick.
Also you can see as the number get higher the ships got bigger, Shangri La and Intrepid were Essex class ships built in WW2 and modernized for jets, Roosevelt was built in the late 40's and it was larger than the Essex class. Independence was built in the middle 50's and was what came to be known as super carrier's. The carriers from number 67 on up that are in service today are even bigger yet.
Anyone going to new York City can visit Intrepid as it is now a floating Museum tied to the pier on the Hudson River.
All the others have been converted to cars and razor blades or whatever.
We used to call them Uncle Sam's pig iron air stations.
Oh well another blast from the past good thing I wasn't a draft dodger or I wouldn't have much material for a blog today.
Hey if anybody in the KC area wants to meet up in Columbia at the Rally let us know, my e-mail address is in the about us. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.


  1. Thank you so much for your service to our country, Sam!

  2. Sure wish we lived closer, we would meet up with ya!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  3. I always thought that aircraft carriers were the most amazing ships. If I was ever to be in the military, a position aboard one of those would be my career choice!


  4. You were very fortunate to have those experiences Sam. I think it's every young boy's dream to fly or sail in something. You did both.

  5. I think you guys would love attending a rally! Hope things can work out for you all so you can go.
    Thanks for your service to our country! It is men like yourself that makes this country great.

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  6. Nice photos of those carriers Sam. It must have been interesting to serve on those babies!!

  7. Thank you so much for your service to our country!