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50th Anniversary

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by David1947, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. David1947

    David1947 Older Than Most SILVER Star

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    Well, sort of but not like you might think.

    February 14, 1968; the US military was deeply involved with the Tet offensive in Vietnam, I finished the school I was assigned to and had joined the battalion, NMCB 4, B Co., Seabees. The first Vietnam deployment was not scheduled until April but due to the Tet offensive we were given the orders to move early. Sadly, I had to call my future wife and tell her the sad news and give her the task of rescheduling the wedding we had planned for March. On the morning of February 14, 1968 I joined about 200 of my closest friends on the grinder at Port Hueneme and we were transported to Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station where we boarded a MAC C-141 Starlifter for the flight. Sitting facing the rear was a new experience. One stop in Anchorage, then another in Japan and then one more and on into Vietnam.

    This was the first of three deployments and I finally came home to a country tearing itself apart in May 1970.

    BTW My FJ40 that is in my avatar has a build date of 3/70 so it appears we may have both been in S. Calif at the same time before we both headed to NC.
     
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  2. 4x4veteran

    4x4veteran

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    My 40 is dated march 1970. I got out of the navy in Feb. 70. My cruiser and I didn't meet up until late 73.
    Is your 50 years with the wife or the Cruiser?
    My wife and I are in #49.
    I do not have any ribbons on my Cruiser but have though about on for my guitar.
    The year you was deploying my ship was getting shot.
    We took a five incher in the starboard side. hole.jpg The hook at bottom middle of the picture was the foot of my rack. My guitar (1956 Guild was laying on the bed) miraculously only got slight water damage. It still plays beautifully to this day.
    No one was injured. A piece of shrapnel went through the door of the 56 room (forward left of picture) and tore a hole in the cuff of one of the sailors there. The bulk of the projectile traveled over 30 feet a foot short of the port side bulkhead.
     
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  3. 65swb45

    65swb45 Supporting Vendor

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    Thanks for sharing that David. It’s funny how something like a date will act as a ‘trigger ‘ and the next thing you know the years disappear and you’re back, right down to that feeling in your gut. I never served, but my BIL was there from 65-67. Biggest guy in his platoon; carried the bazooka.

    He made it home in one piece in time to pick up the last 1967 Firebird new off the lot with the tarantula 400.
     
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  4. David1947

    David1947 Older Than Most SILVER Star

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    The wife and I celebrate 50 in December. The 40 and I celebrate 4 in October.

    I remember all to well the rocket attacks, mortar attacks, the occasional sniper, heat, nasty conditions, smells, etc..... Took me a long time to adjust and even today I can get a smell or some other trigger that takes me back instantly.
     
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  5. single malt

    single malt

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    Thank you and all Vet’s for your service.
    I graduated high school in June 1972 with a draft# that I knew I was on my way.
    But before I got the official call the draft was stopped in Jan. 1973. That was a memorable time in my life.
    I bought a 1973 40 that just happened to have a Feb build date 10 years ago to reflect back on those times.
    Now due to other life happening’s I’m in the process of finding a new owner that will continue to enjoy this 40.
     
  6. pngunme

    pngunme SILVER Star

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    The Air Force was my home... my first “house” was a barracks room, at Wheelus AB, Tripoli, Libya.

    I left TINY McCarran airport, here in Vegas in Dec 17, 1968 and flew to Philly, with several stops. Then an airport shuttle to McGuire AFB, NJ.

    Several hours later, I boarded a charter to Rhein Main AB, GE, with a stop at Shannon, IR.

    Several hours after arriving at Rhein Main, I boarded a C117 for Wheelus.

    The flight over the Med, in that 117, took FOREVER, but we eventually arrived at Wheelus just after dark.

    I found a snack bar and scarfed down a hamburger, then found my squadron and a barracks room.

    Fifteen months later, I reversed the trip, leaving Wheelus in March 17 and arriving in Vegas on March 18, 1970.

    Dianna and I opted to wait, to be married, until I returned from Libya... so, we were married at a wedding chapel, on The Strip, in March 21, 1970... 48 years next month.

    We bought 44 on our 44th anniversary.

    I retired from the Air Force in 1988.

    If any of you were 6th Fleet, thanks for all the free drinks at the Wheelus AB Rod and Gun Club!!

    Explanation: after months st sea, the 6th Fleet would dock in Tripoli, only to find there wasn’t much for low ranks to do... so, they’d party at the R&G club and spend a large part of several months of accumulated pay, buying drinks for everyone.
     
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  7. 1969FJ

    1969FJ

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    I did not think that Vietnam was capable of Naval warfare. A 5 incher is quite a round. Thanks for your service.
     
  8. 4x4veteran

    4x4veteran

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    I was on a 375 foot 2100 can. We took several forays up the larger rivers where we drew small arms fire.
    We took that big mother one night when we were about a thousand yards from shore giving cover for the rescue of a downed helicopter pilot.
    To hear the sonar guys tell it we were pinging off the bottom pretty close.
    (Going to work land cruiser into this) An FJ40 with a good snorkel could have driven out and got the pilot.
     
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  9. 1969FJ

    1969FJ

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    Makes sense now. Moving a ship like that in shallow certainly was risky.
     
  10. 65swb45

    65swb45 Supporting Vendor

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    Keep up the gratuitous mechanical references: snorkel, winch,birfield. Maybe it will hold the moderators off.
     
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  11. 4x4veteran

    4x4veteran

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    So, David, What did you do in the sea-bee's and how did it influence you buying a Land Cruiser? About all I know is what I saw in an old WWII movie.
     
  12. 4x4veteran

    4x4veteran

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    I can feel them lurking. A marine helicopter would spot for us and we would lob our artillery over the jungle in land.
    Better yet we would run the coast firing trying to draw shore fire so the copter could spot and the battle ship Missouri would lob their 16 inchers over our heads from two miles out.
    I don't know for sure but there is a good chance we blew up some Land Cruiser.
     
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  13. mattressking

    mattressking

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    Very cool, especially since I am sitting on base at Port Hueneme as I read this.
     
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  14. David1947

    David1947 Older Than Most SILVER Star

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    I was a Construction Electrician Petty Officer 3rd Class, NMCB 4 B Co. I bought the first 40 in 1972 when I found the '71 on a used car lot. I knew I wanted a 4x4 but I didn't want a jeep. I saw a FJ40 at the local Toyota dealership when I returned home and I remembered how tough it looked so when I found the first one I couldn't say no. I ran that truck ragged for 8 years and it was still in great shape when I sold it. I regret selling and if I could find it again I would most likely try to buy it.
     
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