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U.S.S. Wright


USS Wright (CC-2)

I crammed in a lot of Navy living during the few months I served on the most strategic ship* in the U. S. Navy during the Cold War**. (I was aboard during 1968--the height of the Vietnam "Conflict" and a really wild year for America! ***)

The USS Wright was a National Command Communications ship designated as an escape for the president and top government officials had a nuclear attack upon the United States occurred. Two officers aboard the Wright had orders to be present if the top secret authentication codes for nuclear war orders were handled. Each officer knew the code to one of the two combination locks that secured the launch codes. She was a Lady with a Secret containing the (for that time) best communications technology in the world. If you want to read fasinating facts about the Wright and the Cold War see “Ghosts of the East Coast:  Doomsday Ships”. Also see "Russia Reality".

While aboard, I became the best pot scrubber in the Navy, worldwide.

Not long after I left the Wright, I experienced the verses of the hymn Love Lifted Me. See the details in my testimony.

Click on each picture for a larger image.
(Then hold CTRL and roll the mouse wheel to enlarge.)

<---Entering NYC--< ^With parents on pier^ >--Helo in evening--->

Sometimes it was smooth sailing. The left photo has ripples caused by the ship or it would have almost looked like a sheet of glass. --->

PHOTOS I MADE OF CALM AND ROUGH SEAS


Both photos (click to enlarge) were taken from the same place,
but I could not go outside during the storm.

<--- A rough sea was in store when we heard, “All hands stand by for high seas and heavy rolls.”

The design is based on the National Shield
with an American eagle and globe in the lower right.
The lightning bolt in the eagle's talons represents
command and communications, Wright's mission.
The motto "Vox Imperii" is translated "voice of the leaders".

^Aiding
USS Guadalcanal (LPH-7)
^SHIP'S PATCH
^Dress Blues
^Manning the Rails
^Steaming

 

^Entering berthing compartment
^Racks

<-------<BOOT CAMP>------->

BOOT CAMP BLIZZARD
(click for article)

Company 23, 1st Regiment, 11th Battalion
United States Naval Training Center
Great Lakes. IL
Jan.-Mar 1967


*The crew of the Wright’s sister ship--the USS Northampton (CC-1) —would disagree.

CLICK FOR MEMORABILIA OF THE USS WRIGHT CC-2

MILITARY LINKS

USS Wright Association
USS Wright Novelty Items

USS Wright Unit Page
Allied Forces Cold War Association
American Cold War Veterans
Cold War History
Cold War Museum
Cold War (TV series)
Cold War Veterans Association
Thoughts of the Cold War (blog)
US Navy Museum Cold War Gallery
West Virginia Vets (WVV) (Be sure to see “Hold the Line”)

** The COLD WAR was waged to stop the spread of communism. Communism (in a nutshell) required (1) abolition of religion; (2) government ownership of communication, transportation, factories, agriculture; and (3) government control of labor and education. Communism resulted in bloody purges, lethal labor camps. and the cold-blooded murder of multiple millions of innocent people. Lasting from September 1945 to December 26, 1991 many experts refer to the Cold War as World War III. It was global, with many facets and changing strategic considerations. During some parts of the period, actual shooting wars were involved, but always it was a political and military confrontation. Many of the personnel losses in the Cold War were on missions that were under the veil of secrecy because it involved various shades of warfare--conventional and unconventional; open and in the shadows. 

Cold War Veterans served in all kinds of roles from the mundane headquarters jobs to the front lines, in the bunkers of NORAD and over Soviet airspace, tracking Soviet submarines and detecting enemy radar and signals along the coast of North Korea and the USSR, deployed to Nike Hercules nuclear missile units that defended such familiar places as New Jersey to forward locations along the Iron Curtain and Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), and in places of which many had never heard.  Sometimes, the Cold War turned very dangerous and we accepted that risk.

Vietnam (with Korea) was a major hot part of the Cold War*. I volunteered for Vietnam duty, but Uncle Sam had other plans (All part of God’s perfect plan.), so I am a Vietnam Era vet. “A Vietnam Era Veteran is a person who served on active duty for a period of more than 180 days, any part of which occurred between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975, and was discharged or released with other than a dishonorable discharge.” (http://www.dol.gov/esa/ofccp/regs/compliance/fsvevraa.htm)

In 1964 Ronald Reagan, speaking of the Cold War, wrote, “There can be no real peace while one American is dying some place in the world for the rest of us. We're at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it's been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening.” (Ronald Reagan in “A Time For Choosing” http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/a-time-for-choosing/) After he became president he put in place policies that put pressure on the Soviet Union and said, “ Here’s my strategy on the Cold War – we win, they lose.” (Ronald Reagan, June 1988 http://61538490.weebly.com/ronald-reagan-and-the-evil-empire.html)

“For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence — on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.” President John F. Kennedy 27 April 1961 (emphasis added)

In his first State of the Union speech President Dwight Eisenhower said (http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=9829), “There is but one sure way to avoid total war--and that is to win the cold war.” We won!

"Cold War veterans answered the call, drafted or volunteered, when it was popular and when it was not. America needed her guardians of freedom and we were there. We served around the globe for 46 years ensuring freedom would not disappear at the hands of totalitarian communist regimes. We did it at places most of the world never heard of and at locations that made routine headlines. We did it in the air, on land, and at sea.  We served with our active duty forces, our reserve forces, and with the National Guard. We served with conviction and honor. We served with pride."

(The above Cold War material was adapted from: American Cold War Veterans and various Internet sources.)

*On June 25, 1950, the Korean War began when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War.
https://www.history.com/topics/korea/korean-war#section_2

In June 1950 communist North Korea invaded South Korea. The United States came to the aid of South Korea at the head of a United Nations force composed of more than a dozen countries. Communist China joined North Korea in the war in November 1950, unleashing a massive Chinese ground attack against American forces. The Soviet Union also covertly supported North Korea…This was the first hot war of the Cold War.
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/us-history/postwarera/1950s-america/a/the-korean-war

The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, was a major conflict during the Cold War… The Vietnam War represents the fight between communism and capitalism, the fight of the Cold War.  Basically, the Vietnam War was a microcosm of the Cold War during that time period.
https://thecoldwarexperience.weebly.com/vietnam-war.html

The cold war and the American war in Vietnam cannot be disentangled. Had it not been for the Cold War , the U.S., China, and the Soviet Union would not have intervened in what would likely have remained a localized anticolonial struggle in French Indochina. The Cold War shaped the way the Vietnam War was fought and significantly affected its outcome. The war in Vietnam in turn influenced the direction taken by the cold war after 1975.
https://academic.oup.com/maghis/article-abstract/18/5/18/1009044?redirectedFrom=fulltext

"And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." (Robert M. Gates, 1996)

What Was the Cold War? (Great 5 minute video.)

10 Reasons Why the Cold War Matters

A fellow Cold War vet called me a “Cold Warrior” and I pointed out that I was only a flunky. So, who would qualify to be labeled a “Cold Warrior”?

You can see interesting Youtube videos by searching for “Cold War”, “Continuity of Government (COG)”, “Cold War bunkers”, ”MAD”, etc. You can actually see the Northhampton at from 5:55 to 6:47 in THE ANSWER TO THE PRESIDENTS CALL: Military Cold War Exercises in the 1960’s.

Below is information about the long sought due recognition for Cold War veterans.

***Few years in America’s history were as wild as 1968.

Nuclear tests, rampant illegal drug use, riots and anti-war protests occurred throughout the year across the USA and in other countries. I included some baseball items because I used to love the game. Some headlines:

January 5 Dr. Benjamin Spock and others were indicted for conspiring to encourage draft law violations.

January 16 The anarchist Youth International Party was founded.

January 21 20,000 North Vietnam troops attacked an American air base.

January 23 The U.S.S. Pueblo (spy ship) was captured by North Korea. (I was at sea and my ship was near Florida for a port visit when we got orders to return at full speed and stand by off the coast of D. C.)

January 31 The Tet Offensive in Vietnam began. (By the time it was over U. S. forces had over 9,000 casualties--over 1500 killed.)

February 1 The Pulitzer Prize winning photo of the execution of a Viet Cong war criminal.

February 8 Three students were killed by police during a segregation protest at South Carolina State University.

February 21 A Delta Airlines jet carrying 169 passengers was hijacked to Cuba. (More hijackings followed.)

April 4 Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. (Race riots erupted all over the country.)

April 9 Opening Day of Major League Baseball was postponed because of the funeral for Martin Luther King Jr.

April 11 The Civil Rights Act was signed. (This strengthened the 1964 Act.)

April 23 Anti-war activists at Columbia University seized five buildings.

April 27 In New York, 200,000 students refused to attend classes to protest the Vietnam War.

April 29 The musical, Hair, opened on Broadway featuring profanity, nudity, drug-taking and the desecration of the American flag.

May 12 The Poor People’s Campaign began in DC with about 5,000 demonstrators and Resurrection City was setup with hundreds of plywood and plastic-sheeting huts near the Lincoln Memorial.

May 16 An earthquake in Japan killed 47 people.

March 16 The My Lai massacre occurred in Vietnam.

May 22 The U.S.S Scorpion (submarine) disappeared. (I remember the stunned silence of my shipmates as we listened to the news about our fellow sailors.)

March 31 President Johnson announced he would not run for reelection. (He also announced a decrease in the U. S. efforts in Vietnam. This led to an early release of several thousand troops which effected me.)

June 5 Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated.

June 12 The film, Rosemary’s Baby, came out about a baby conceived by Satan. It launched many more movies about Satan worship and black magic.

June 28. The USS Liberty was decommissioned. (In June of 1967 the spy ship Liberty was attacked by Israel during the Six-Day War. 34 sailors died. I was assigned to the pier detail when the Liberty came into the Portsmouth shipyards in 1968. I distinctly remember the reverence I felt as she was nudged alongside the pier.)

July 13 The Hong Kong flu was detected. (It arrived in the USA in September. Deaths peaked in late December with a final toll of about a million (34,000 in the USA.)

July 14 Hank Aaron hit his 500th homerun.

July 20 Iron Butterfly's "In-a-gadda-da-vida" became a hit. The title resulted from the slurred speech of a drugged or drunk band member.

July 30 Washington Senator infielder Ron Hansen made an unassisted triple play.

August 8 Richard Nixon was nominated by the Republican Convention. (He was elected president on November 5.)

August 20 The Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia.

August 26-29 Violent confrontations, between police and 10,000 anti-war protesters, erupted at the Democratic Party convention. (There were numerous anti-war protests throughout the year and, for several years, causing a lot of anti-military hatred toward those of us who served.)

September 1 An earthquake killed 2000 in Ferdows, Persia.

September 7 Feminists protested the Miss America Pageant.

September 11 Air France Flight 1611 crashed killing 95.

September 14 Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain won his 30th game of the season.

September 19 Mickey Mantle hit his 535th career homerun.

October 2 Bob Gibson struck out 17 batters in the first game of the World Series.

October 27 50,000 protested the Vietnam War in London.

October 31 President Johnson announced he was halting bombing in North Vietnam. The war went on until April 30, 1975 when Saigon fell to North Vietnam troops.

Novemeber 5 Republican Richard M. Nixon narrowly defeated Democrat Hubert Humphrey for president

November 11 John Lennon and Yoko Ono appeared naked on the cover of the "2 Virgins" record album

November 20 An explosion at a coal mine, at Farmington, WV, killed 78.

December 20 The Zodiac Killer began to murder in California.

December 20 The famous author John Steinbeck died.

December 24 (Christmas Eve) Nearly one billion people watched on television, or heard on radio, as the Apollo 8 became the first manned mission to a celestial body and listened to the astronauts read the first 10 verses of the book of Genesis from the King James Bible. (Madalyn Murray O'Hair, an atheist, sued the United States government for allowing what she perceived was a violation of the First Amendment.)

In 2007 Newsweek ran a cover story "1968: The Year That Changed Everything."

The year of 1968 was a good year to learn to “Trust the Captain.

--------------------------

Cold War veterans seek due recognition for their service

They may have served in the U.S. military overseas or at a missile base in America. They may have been on secret missions in submarines, in aircraft or on the ground. They are millions of Cold War veterans, who served in the military from September 1945 to Dec. 26, 1991 — the day the Soviet Union dissolved — during pockets of peacetime tension that came during the expansion of communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Frank Tims, historian and past chairman of the American Cold War Veterans, said a medal or a memorial would "at least get some formal recognition that the Cold War was more than just a period of unpleasantness and that the Defense Department has never owned up to recognizing it."

Supporters say there are small memorials around the country for Cold War veterans, but they think there should be one in Washington, D.C., which is home to numerous other memorials, such as for World War II and the Vietnam War.

There has been federal legislation for a Cold War service medal, but the Defense Department, some veterans said, has stymied the idea in prior years.

A Cold War recognition certificate, established in 1999, is available for service members and civilian workers, according to the Defense Department. There also are commemorative medals sold by private vendors, but they cannot be worn on military uniforms, the department has said.

snips from: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/11/11/cold-war-vets-seek-recognition/18839955/

House Resolution 900

In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

March 21, 2010.

Whereas the Cold War involved hundreds of military exercises and operations that occurred between September 2, 1945, and December 26, 1991;

Whereas millions of Americans valiantly stood watch as members of the Armed Forces during the Cold War; and

Whereas many Americans sacrificed their lives during the Cold War in the cause of defeating communism and promoting world peace and stability: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) honors the sacrifices and contributions made by members of the Armed Forces during the Cold War; and

(2) encourages the people of the United States to participate in local and national activities honoring the sacrifices and contributions of those individuals.

429 Ayes, 0 Nays, 1 Present/Not Voting.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hr111-900

COLD WAR VETS ARE STILL WAITING FOR THE BILL TO REACH THE PRESIDENT.

Disgrace: Barack Obama Broke Promise to Honor Cold War Veterans 11-11-12

(snips from the article)

President Barack Obama once promised, as a U.S. Senator, to honor veterans of the Cold War, who have never received official recognition and are therefore prevented from full participation in many Veterans Day celebrations. But he never fulfilled that promise--neither in the Senate nor the White House--leaving Cold War veterans in the cold.

The U.S. has thus far failed to honor those who served in the long struggle against communism, which began almost as soon as the Second World War had ended. Though communist regimes--especially Stalin's Soviet Union and Mao's China, and satellites such as Pol Pot's Cambodia--committed more murders than the Nazis, few Americans are aware of the absolute moral evil that communism represents, or the sacrifices made to stop it.

The U-2 pilots who provided essential intelligence; the soldiers who kept watch in Berlin; the sailors who were silent sentinels aboard submarines, tracking Soviet movements, ready to strike--all have gone unheralded, and largely uncelebrated, even on Veterans Day.

It is possible that the reluctance to honor Cold War veterans springs from a political motive. Many on the left opposed the tough line taken against communism... They won the longest and most important war of our nation's history, freeing millions from totalitarianism. But the nation they served has yet to commend them--and the president has, disgracefully, failed to honor his promise.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/11/Disgrace-Barack-Obama-Broke-Promise-to-Honor-Cold-War-Veterans

Perhaps President Trump will award all Cold War vets the Cold War Victory Medal.