Pat Little
V-2 Div. Waist Cats. 1967 / 1971
OX Div. Division Officer 1984 / 1985

Borrowed Cruise Books

..... Wow, as I really started getting into the cruise books loaned to me by
Ray Blomberg, I didn't know how excited I'd get, nor how big the task might be. Gosh, I'd like to save each and every page - would you consider "selling" the cruisebooks Ray?

.....Knowing that isn't reality, it is still very hard to decide which pages to save, copy, place in the archives, and which ones not to. Along the way - and in BOTH cruise books (nothing to do regarding V-2 Division), I observed several other former shipmates I knew in other Divisions. This is so cool!

.....Let me share a particular experience with you, okay?

.....Years after Ray Blomberg, myself and the others we have been in touch with recently, who proudly served onboard INDEPENDENCE during the 60' and early 70's, I had the opportunity to meet up with another former shipmate - one whom I had never met while serving onboard, even though we had actually served together onboard in the 60's.

.....After I got commisssioned and was later assigned to the pre-commissioning crew of USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) in 1991, I met up with a LCDR Don Diehl (also an LDO). Once Don and I got to talking, and sharing our past Naval experiences, we connected to days served together onboard INDEPENDENCE in the 60"s. Sure enough - and as I reviewed the pages and photos, Don was an RD2 back then, working in OI Division of the Operations Department in the Combat Information Center (CIC). Naturally, those of us working the flight deck, catapults and arresting gear had no business being in CIC then.

.....As things would turn out in the later years, he and I worked hand-in-hand in Combat, he in OI Division O-in-C, and I as OX Division Officer. We ended up becoming good friends and even roomates on GEORGE WASHINGTON until his retirement in the early ninties, after our maiden Mediterreanian Deployment.

.....We maintained our friendship even after his retirement, when I transferred to USS JOHN C. STENNIS. We both remained in the Virginia Beach, VA area. Having seen his photo in both cruisebooks - 1968 and 1970 - really brought a chill to my spine. Sadly to say, our shipmate Don passsed away in 1998 from cancer.

Do you see what I mean about my "trip" here with these books? Not only do they provide the great memories of serving with Ray and the others in V-2, but much further than I would have ever expected. Again Ray, my friend, thank you for sharing. I will look forward to meeting up with you and all our shipmates in Memphis.

Always the best to you and yours,
Pat Little
ABE * V-2 Div. Waist Cats. 1967 / 1971
ENS * OX Div. Division Officer 1984 / 1985

The Rest Of The Story.

..... Regarding my affiliation with LCDR Diehl, well - Not only had we served together onboard INDEPENDENCE in years past, and figured it out while serving onboard GEORGE WASHINGTON, we not only became good friends, shipmates and room mates ... but we were known as two of the "oldest, saltiest Sailors onboard". Between the two of us we had in excess of 50 years Naval experience - not all the best, mind you. But, I suppose not too many could say ... been there, done that ... more than the pair of us combined.

..... Well, Don and I were LDO's, and also very proud of our time served in the Enlisted ranks. Yes, we did remember where we came from, and attempted to lead our troops in that regard. As it would be, Don and I were given an opportunity to enhance overall "crew morale" while underway. Hence, we volunteered to co-host the weekly "GW Saturday Night Live - Bingo" each week while underway on the ship's closed-circuit TV system. I guess that's where we met many great Sailors onboard GW. I must admit that neither Don, nor myself, were what one might describe as always being "politically correct" .... but we always had harmless fun during the broadcast, and the crew seemed to enjoy the distraction away from the events surrounding our travels and daily routines - at least for the moment, anyway. Yes, each of us did get "called on the carpet" for some of our comments from time-to-time, and by the graciousness of our superiors, we were forgiven, and allowed to continue on. We did have super leadership onboard GW, as well we did onboard INDY!

..... Below is one of the "cartoons" which appeared daily on the back of the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN-73) Airplans.

..... The cartoon will always hold great meaning, feelings and significance in my heart - because, in reality and compared to LCDR Don Diehl, I was certainly "the New Guy". The folks in Strike Ops (who prepare the daily Air Plan) knew us both ... too well, I'm afraid to say. I wish that my good friend and Shipmate, Don Diehl, were still here to attend the 2007 USS INDEPENDENCE (CV/A - 62) Reunion in October. I also would hope that anyone having served with my room mate, try to attend our annual reunion.


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Special Thanks to Pat Little V-2 Div. Waist Cats. 1967 / 1971 * OX Div. Division Officer 1984 / 1985
for submitting this story for use on our Reunion Site.

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