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Fleet Week in SF Robert Sheridan bobsheridan bobsheridan@earthlink.net Ya know, Fleet Week in SF ain't a half-bad idea...

Lemme tellya what goes on, as far as I know, which ain't much, I've gotta admit.

We have the Blue Angels taking off from the former NAS Alameda, where the Hornet is berthed, permanently, in retirement, and on display. The Hornet is the carrier that launched the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, a one-way raid, as there wasn't enuf fuel to make it back, as tho' anyone wanted to land on the Hornet once making it off. The Doolittle raid was our first strike on the Japanese Home Islands after Pearl Harbor. Kinda served notice that we were still around. Landing was in China, fergodsakes. I guess Chenault's Flying Tigers took care of the ground holiday package tour.

We have the Pampanito, a GE or Westinghouse built submarine also on display down at the Wharf. It's like walking around in a Volkswagen.

Then we have the Jeremiah S. O'Brien, a WWII Liberty Ship, that made the sail back to Normandy on the 50th Anniversary of that party. It's also on display. Powered by an 1894 model Diesel engine, 'cuz they were easy to build and reliable. This one was built in Maine. My dad built others in Mariners Harbor, at the Beth Steel yard. He drove cranes. The man down the block worked in the propeller shop, which I had the privilege of touring at about age five.

Then we have the active duty naval vessels, some of which I've toured. Big carriers, loaded with Marines and all of the equipment those guys get to play with.

Last year they had the usual parade of ships, hovercraft, subs, jets, oilers, and stuff with no windows (I know, portholes, but I'm talkin' up top) bristling with antennas, probably trying to get in touch with DBlivet.

Very impressive.

You could probably get a drink in San Fran if you came out.
A lot better than meeting in the Caffe Roma, which is where we go to get straightened out after the depth charging.

Happens in September, if I'm not mistaken.

You know, San Fran and the Navy have a love-hate relationship. During the War, the Navy could do no wrong, I hear. During the Vietnam War, they couldn't do anything right, 'cause no one around here liked that war, except maybe a few. Big center of anti-war activity. That translated to anti-Navy activity. Protests, etc.

So when SF wanted to homeport the Missouri in order to continue attracting the tourist, the Navy said get-screwed, and berthed it up in Puget Sound or some other dead end.

Now SF is sorry, as the VN war is long gone and we want the Navy dollah.

So, every year the Navy puts on Fleet Week to show the flag and help with the recruiting. And every year the politicians try to make it up to the Navy, which has a long memory.

Maybe someday San Fran and da Navy will figure out they're both on the same side.

Maybe.

-rs



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