The grand kids asked me the other day about my Navy days. After telling them and showing some pictures of the USS Monticello it brought back some good and some sad memories from when I was aboard her. I was an engineman while on board the Monticello, one of my duties was to go on one of the four small boats. We had two Mark 11 and two VP that was carried on board.
She was commissioned in March of 1957. I did not board her until October of 1968. Even though I was only on board for almost two years I did enjoy my time on her. Even though I missed my family while we were deployed I was able to have my wife with me some of the time. I have some pictures of when the ship was ballast down and took a tug boat in side the well deck. We also loaded 3 Jets on board with our cranes, two went in the well deck and one on the helo deck to be delivered back overseas. Also I got a picture of a helo landing while we were off the coast of Vietnam. As you can see in one picture we had loaded some troops and their equipment on board which tears up the wood in the well deck.
The Monticello spent three months in dry dock at the Bremerton Washington Navel ship yard. While there we received brand new wood in the well deck. So before we loaded any more troops we had a swim party where we ballast down, opened the stern gate took on about twelve feet of water then closed the gate.
While refueling out at sea our ship was sucked into the refueling ship and their gun turret ripped us open above the water line thank goodness. I had found this picture taken from the USS Kawishiwi AO 146 which is the ship we collided with. The other picture is of the USS Monticello and The USS Tripoli being refueled at the same time.
The Monticello was decommissioned in 1997 where she was towed out used for target practices and sunk. She will always be in my memory. I know my two youngest grand kids wanted to go see her and go on board her but I had to tell them that it has been sunk and that they can only see her in my pictures.
I have some pictures where the Monticello looks necked from being stripped. I have also add two URL that will show what was done to sink her and to show her finial resting place.
When all the family went to Houston for Caleb’s Graduation. his younger brother came back to Amarillo to stay several weeks with both sets of grandparents. After a month the kids came up from Houston to pick him up. They have been looking for a pickup to give Colten for his 16th birthday which is July 14th by the way, They did not find one for him before time to come and get him. It just happened as they were coming into town his mother was looking at FB on her phone and noticed that one of her friends had posted a pickup for sale. They went and looked it over and decided it was the right one. They did not want to give it to him until his birthday but since they had to get it back to Houston they went ahead and gave it to him. So we were able to see his excitement when they gave it to him. They left today to drive the 12 hours back home.