END OF AN ERA

 USS Vogelgesang, DD-862

The first nuclear powered American Navy aircraft carrier, and at one time the largest ship in the world, was decommissioned a few days ago. It served our nation for 51 years and was named after the Starship Enterprise of Star Trek fame. Many thousands of men and women served aboard that great ship over those years, and my own ship, the USS Vogelgesang, DD-862, served alongside her in operations at sea. We served as the Enterprise’s guards, and rescued her pilots when they overshot their landings and ended up in the drink. I used to look out there at that great flat-top and wonder what life was like on her. I knew it had to be cushier than the rough life of a tin can sailor, but we could go places, and did, that a deep draft ship like the Enterprise could never come near.

51 years is a really long life for a steel ship. The Enterprise was originally designed to last 25 years but upgrades extended her life to double that.

The Vogie, as we called my destroyer, was commissioned in 1945 but too late to see action in World War II. After 37 years of active service she was finally sold to the Mexican Navy in 1982, where she served for another 20 years before being finally decommissioned and scuttled for a fish habitat in 2002. The Vogie was an active warship for 57 years, longer than any other ship, a record that remains unbroken.

The Vogie was named after an American admiral of German descent, whose name means “bird having sung” in German.

Those who served aboard the Enterprise have a proud heritage, and her sailors of days gone by still miss their time of service aboard her. It’s the same with us from the Vogie, and more than any other period, it was the years I was lucky enough to crew on her that were the most important years of her service. More happened in that three years than in any other three years of the Vogie’s life. It was amazing, the places we went and the adventures we had. I never really appreciated it until I was in my 30′s and began to understand just how unique that whole experience really was. I’d thought that it was just how the Navy was, but it really wasn’t.

I’m in contact with some of the surviving crew from our time of service, and I wrote a book about those 3 years aboard her, which, like most books, has never been published. But I have it on cd and if anyone reading this would like a copy, email your address to me at blogman -at- wildblue.net and I’ll mail you one.  It’s not a bad read, if I say so myself. Which I do, of course.

6 Responses to “END OF AN ERA”

  1. x says:

    Books don’t have to be unpublished these days and it’s a shame if bits of history just disappear. Why not publish it on Kindle? Let me know if you need any advice on doing it.

  2. PALADIN says:

    Howdy Blacksheep, hope your day was fine.
    Those are some fine old ships to be sure.
    With the end of the Enterprize , it ‘s sad to see her go.
    If only the ops center aboard her could talk ! Man there’s a million novels i bet.
    That carrier served this Republic well, as well as all the men and ships who sailed withn her.
    You can be proud of your service and association with her.
    And …thank-you for your service to our country, I appreciate it.

  3. x says:

    Cheers for offer of the enormous fortune from your book Mr S, but for legal and other reasons, best you register it on Amazon yourself.

    However, I can certainly do the hard part of conversion for you, best hastle-free format is zipped HTML and I have things I knocked up to do that from text. You then just need to create an account, fill in all the crap on the form and submit the file. If you don’t have a Kindle to view the final book, there’s a PC app available.

    I assume it’s all proof read, spell corrected etc and has a Title, so I just need the Word file and a description, at least 30 but I suggest 200-250 words. A cover image is optional but obviously desirable, JPEG and GIF images up to 127KB in size.

    Email it to the address you have here. PS Can’t find yours.

  4. Black Sheep says:

    Xogg, I had your email address a few years ago but I didn’t make a point of saving it anywhere as I know you’re a private person. Sending this book by email in any case would be an enormous upload, especially with the server I have. Thre’s quite a few jpg.’s in it as well.

    My email, blogman at wildblue.net, works fine. but if you’d rather not divulge your address, I understand.

    I’ll give Kindle another look. Thanks for your input. It has been thoroughly proof read and spell corrected and all the rest of it, cover image and so forth. It should be ready to go, it’s in Word format but not HTML zipped. I can always do that too if need be.

  5. x says:

    Amazon does accept Word files but I believe you have to add bookmarks and there can be all sorts of problems with it in practice.

    Much better to save as a text file and convert that to HTML which can easily be done from some simple VBA in an Excel sheet. I auto create HTML all the time, both for my little business and for xoggoth.

    Probably easiest in first instance if I tidy up one of my xoggoth things, add some instructions and post or email you a link later this week. Hopefully, it will do almost everything you need in one click. Then just zip it and upload.

    The only extra work you will probably have to do is to put a # or something at the start of each chapter title, so it knows it’s a title, and some similar marker whenever there’s a picture, but I’ll give you all the details.

    You could email me a vastly cut down version with just the Title, preface, chapter index, and 2 or 3 chapters that included a picture so I could check out it’s all working. Soon you could be earning almost $15 a year like me!

    xoggoth at xoggoth.org

  6. x says:

    PS I you haven’t created a chapter index it could do that for you.

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