Being on the roof during flight ops is a thrill as a spectator, damned hard work if you're an airedale!
I always thought that some day I would find my way aboard an active fleet carrier. Never happened. Knowing Lex, I thought one day I'd get aboard one but it was like some kind of Karma. I would be up at 3rd Fleet and have 5 carrier COs on the SVTC but they were all overseas and there were none actually in San Diego. Oh sure, if you can get yourself to Japan or Hawaii or elsewhere, there was a chance.I got close to one once. I was taking my friend the master chief to his little tiny ship that tied up that night at North Island. We happened to be smuggling and the gate guard there had me pop the trunk and low and behold there was beer in there. A lot of cold beer.As it happens, even when you're in the duty section, you can step out onto the pier and where there's a peer, there's a beer. Seattle to San Diego on a sweep is not a joyful journey and everyone that does it on a sweep should have a cold one as a reward. John Orth, one hell of a Master Chief.
Nice video. I took a tour of the Indy when she was in SLEP in Philly. Otherwise, I wasn't too close to the bird farms.
Oh, and the USS Shangri-La was mothballed in Philly when I was stationed there on the USS Oliver Hazard Perry in the mid-to-late 80's. There was a tree growing in her superstructure.
I went up to the Oriskany and saw grass growing on the flight deck in Bremerton. I was there to loot the OK City but wasn't amiss to looking at all the ships there. I just missed the mighty Mo. She'd been towed out the month before to be reactivated. There was still a nice statue/plaque about her at her previous spot and it made mention of the Japanese signing the instrument of surrender on the deck of the battleship.
I remember flying out of Philly and seeing the mothball fleet in the river.