Indian Ocean Operations, 1976

After rapidly, and unexpectedly, deploying to the Indian Ocean in July 1976, our support ships catch up, and the USS Ranger is resupplied with fuel, food and parts.  It makes for a very long day when twelve hours are dedicated to air operations and eight hours are spent alongside supply ships.  Safety is a paramount concern.

Indian Ocean Operations.

(audio:  Talking to the crew on the 1mc.  2:05)





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  2. Author

    We spent the bicentennial celebration, July 1976, in Singapore. I remember after pulling out of port, we were expecting to go back to Subic for a short period, then home to San Diego. The evening after leaving Singapore, several of us were on deck, looking at the bow of the ship, and watching the sun go down. Now, I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but we looked at each other and knew that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. We were heading west, not east. My new roommate, taking Dome’s place, was a COD driver. We went through the straits and entered the Indian Ocean. It was a few days before we were told that we were headed off of the coast of Africa in response to Idi Amin threatening to invade Kenya after he found out that the Kenyans refueled the Israeli aircraft after rescuing the hostages in Uganda. We steamed across the Indian Ocean. Some flight ops occurred as the wind was directly from the west, and it did not delay our progress towards Africa. My new roommate made several trips to Diego Garcia as we passed close to that island. We planned strikes into Uganda enroute, and the A7’s were initially grounded. I was the scheduling officer and wrote daily flight schedules in case we would get word that the A7 grounding was lifted. And then it happened. One morning, we awoke and word had been received..launch the A7’s.

    I can’t remember how long we were off the coast of Kenya, but I believe our presence had a lot to do with the situation settling down. Then we received orders to head back east. I remember our beloved Skipper Nick saying that because of our extra time on cruise, we were planning a short stop in Perth, Australia enroute to Cubi, then back home. Boy were we excited, then disappointed later as apparently the Admiral nixed that plan. We did stop in Subic, then began the long trip back home.

    That’s what I remember. I do know this! Skipper Nick was loved and respected by all! His leadership bonded our airwing.

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