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USS Oriskany Logbook
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1) Richard L. Garcia 
From: Brea, California
Division/rate: OI/RD3
Years aboard: 1965-1968
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I spent three years of my young life aboard the Oriskany, including 2 tours of duty in The Gulf of Tonkin. At the time, I was too young to fully understand the impact this time would have on the rest of my life, but I have very vivid memories of life aboard ship during combat. The most memorable will always be experiencing the fire aboard ship on October 26, 1966. The loss of life, and the fear of having to abandon ship has stayed with me all these years. After dropping of our dead in Subic Bay, we limped home, stopping midway for a "Burial at Sea" ceremony. I took pictures of this moving ceremony, and many years later met a young man, Dave Vesper, who taught with my daughter. His father was a ship's photographer. Ironically, he captured the same photos from the flight deck that I took from the O7 level. You can see his pictures in the 1966 Cruise Book. Fifty years later, as I reflect back on these years, I know my navy years will always be one of the most important times in my life.
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