Sunday, February 1, 2009

Exit Beautiful Miss Kitty...

On the mornig of January 31, 2009, I stood on the pier and looked at the beautiful Miss Kitty and bid her good bye.
She was set for decommissioning. Dolled up in colorful ribbons and bows. Her best jewelery shining.

She awaited a throng of people. All come to bid her fairwell. She never looked better.

We had never met before, though I had met one of her sisters. I must say, I was proud to make her aquaintance.

She gazed down upon me, but bid me welcome.
It was a fascinating day for me. She stood, apparently ready for battle, despite the absence of her air groups. Her sailors were serious. While they were not apparently unhappy, they were somber. Proud. I was impressed. With men and women such as these manning the line, we have nothing to fear. Should death and destruction ever be required, these men and women will be ready to deliver it to our enemies.

Her sailors stood at attention, awaiting honored visitors.

It began with a 17 gun salute. Two ceremonial guns graced a sponson, they fired whilst we were on the hangar deck. It was my first decommissioning. There were a few speakers. One of them was the mayor of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. My favorite was Admiral Keating, although Captain Zecchin was entertaining as well. Here is Admiral Keating as he relates a story to the audience.

Before she was decommissioned, though, she was presented the Meritorious Unit Commendation. That flag was raised upon an representative yardarm on the flightdeck before she was placed out of commission.

After the ceremony, we were offered refreshments. I did not partake, but I did take photos of all the stuff they put on display.

One of the best was the ice sculpture of the Wright Flier.

Another was a huge cake...wish I had gotten a better picture, now...

Here you see a few items that were on display. that is an arrester cable on the bottom.

She flew the First Naval Jack. Here is my family in front of it. (many thanks to the sailor woman that took it, she was familiar with cameras and their operation, most impressive!)

See, I am happy to be there!

My wife and I, in front of the Island.

Her stern...
A 3/4 view

Four sisters... CV-61, CV-62, CV-63, CV-64. Remeniscent of the 1980s and the Essex class that resided there for so long...except, these ships are trully large!


These ships are AWE INSPIRING!!
Thank you Kitty for your years of service!

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