On this day in 1971 I saluted sharply and walked down the brow of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk for the last time as a young sailor in San Diego.
I served aboard the Kitty Hawk from the overhaul in Bremerton, Washington to the 1970-1971 WESTPAC cruise, the aircraft carrier's 5th Vietnam cruise.
I served on "Yankee Station" in the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea off the coast of North Vietnam, and made port of calls to Honolulu, Subic Bay in the Philippines, Sasebo, Japan and Hong Kong. It was quite an adventure for a young man.
I was 17 & 1/2 years old when I boarded the Kitty Hawk and 19 & 1/2 when I departed the carrier.