Departing Hong Kong

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    Lt. Commander Malcome Barrett, USN

    I recall that we (VA-144 pilots and one ship’s company puke; me) were having dinner at the Hong Kong Hilton when a uniformed Naval Officer (LCDR Don Smith, OPS Dept, CVA-64) approached and told us we had to be back aboard by midnight as we were getting underway at 0800. The torpedo boat attack on Turner Joy had occurred off the north Viet Nam coast. Everett was sitting across the table from me and I recall that he was delegated to order the wine. Most of the CAG 14 pilots I have seen over the years remember me because I was the one who administered the NATOPS instrument exam. No one knows who they are talking to in CATCC.

    I saw Everett for the first time since then at John McCain’s first presidential announcement event in 1999 at Senator Chuck Hagel’s home in Virginia. I mentioned the Connie and he acted like he remembered. Seeing Everett almost brought me to tears.

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