Retrieval of the 102 - One of
the purposes of the LCS(L) Association is to have one of our LCSs returned to the
United States for a museum and memorial to all those who died aboard our ships
in the service of their country during World War II.
The former USS LCS(L) 102 has
been located. In 1953, the 102
was lent to Japan and was named the Himawari. It was returned to the
U.S. Navy in 1966, then lent to Thailand on the Military Assistance Program and named
Founders of our National Association of the USS LCS(L) 1-130 stated that one of the purposes of our organization was to retrieve a LCS and establish a museum and memorial. While we all rejoice in the culmination of their foresight, we are sadden that they are not alive today to share in this celebration that they worked so hard to accomplish, especially Phil Peterson.
Eleven years ago we learned that the Royal Thai Navy had the last operating LCS in the world. I have been involved for only the last six years. I am often asked why I spent so much time, effort, and money in retrieving the 102. Well, I was 18 years old when I reported aboard ship. It was a “Home Away from Home” for 17 months for me. Now let me ask you, “Have you ever showed your children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren the home in which you grew up in? Need I say more!”
Receiving permission from the U.S. State Department and the Royal Thai Navy to transfer the 102 to our organization has involved the cooperation of many individuals and organizations.
Foremost among them is Chris Alf, CEO of the National Air Cargo who provided the funding as well as the administration for transporting the 102 from Thailand to the United states. Two of their key staff members from Bangkok are here tonight- John Romer, LCDR, USN(Ret) and Khun Zeny, a former employee of the U.S. Embassy in Thailand for 31 years.
Another key person in the retrieval is the Honorable Chris Lehman. His father was the commanding officer of the LCS 19, and his brother John Lehman, Jr. was the Secretary of the U.S. Navy under President Reagan. Chris made possible the arrangements with National Air Cargo for transporting the LCS 102 to the United States.
I highlight these individuals because, without their untiring devotion and support, the ceremony tomorrow would not be happening.
Another individual who has been my personal support system is my wife , Janice.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this project
Adding forms to this Website
- The first
form will be a form to join the LCS(L) 1-130 Association. Once filled out,
users will be able to email the form to the Secretary. The second form
will be one that can be used to make donations to the fund to retrieve the 102.
The third form will be used to renew memberships in the LCS(L) 1-130
Individual Ship Histories Project
- On the
www.navsource.org/archives/10/05/05idx.htm there are still too few LCS(L)
histories. Only the histories of 60 of the 130 LCS's are available, that's only
a bit over 46%!! The Association seeks to expand
greatly this important collection. The ships, despite their physical
uniformity, had a wide variety of experiences, to say the least. There is no
such thing as "just another LCS history," as the ships' logs readily
attest, and we need to produce a solid increase in this collection. The goal, of
course, is to get all the possible histories.
Making New Ship
Histories - Ship's histories are about what happened to a ship, its crew,
and its mission. Although all of our 130 mighty midgets looked alike,
their histories were as different as the sailors aboard them: the places they
went, the things they saw and did, their failures and successes, their crew's
thoughts, feelings, troubles and triumphs, their hopes and fears, were all a
unique part of their war experiences and hence of their ships' histories.
Every sailor aboard, ten thousand of us, has these things recorded indelibly in
his memory, in what was the great adventure of his days. It's worth
recording, and no one else can put these things down. Dig through old
records and letters you may have. If you have access to our National
Archives, get your ship's Deck Log for a guide and memory booster. Make
phone calls to old shipmates. Get as many of them involved as you can and
collect thrir thoughts and records. You might be surprised with what you
come up with, maybe even some things you didn't know. Write it all down.
Don't worry about spelling or grammar or composition All that can be
smoothed out later. Just write it like you'd say it. If writing is
not your thing, cut a tape and send that to us. We'll transcribe it.
Call or email Bob Wisner at 505-524-8499,
firstname.lastname@example.org, or John Rooney at 610-935-0902,
email@example.com, and we'll help
you get started. Aside from ship's Deck Logs in the National Archives
(important records certainly, but mostly an impersonal bare-bones account of a
ship's activities), we have no personally-written ship's histories for 70 of our
LCSs. Don't let histories remain silent. We have to get as many
histories as soon as possible into our Association archives and out there on the
internet before we all become history ourselves. Put something together,
for yourself, your shipmates and family and friends, and all the readers and
researchers who remain interested in World War Two. What we and the Little
Ships did is a unique and important contribution to the history of the war we
knew. What we don't record now, we'll lose, as all those who follow us will
lose. Like Snuffy Smith used to say, "Time's a'wastin'!!*".
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons Project
seemingly limitless energy of Mr. Gary Priolo of NavSource (whom John
Rooney describes as a one man anthill) has been put to
work in placing the ribbons of ship awards and citations on the individual ship
entries of their website. The Association seeks to have such ribbons
displayed for each ship.