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  USS Noxubee AOG56

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45-59 ribbon bar
Noxubee Crest

I Helped Bury the Noxubee


by Larry Potts

 

When you bury someone, you expect them to stay dead. I helped bury the Noxubee in Green Cove Springs, FL in 59. what a pleasant surprise to learn in 03 that the second life far exceeded the Noxubee I knew. the Noxubee I knew had been relegated to the Atlantic Fleet odd-job handy man. How can you have pride in being a crewmember of what was considered the dirtiest, rustiest bucket in the Navy? I think it was because, unbeknown to the powers that be, only the Navy's best were assigned to the Noxubee. The things we didn't have aboard the Noxubee were more than made up for by the comradre aboard ship. to a man I think we all looked forward to bigger and better things. In retrospect, we may have been driving the Cadillac.

The atlantic fleet used the Noxubee as target for sub exercises off Newport. We were spotter for after firing exercises off Puerto Rico. we escorted US Navy giveaways to Greece as far as the Azores. A stopover in Bermuda for repairs and two more at sea breakdowns were just another day's work. You name it, we ended up doing it. the ice in Newport and also in Norfolk are unforgetable. Boston Shipyard and Fenway park are fond memories. i bought my first new car, a winged 59 Chevy. Capt Keller gave me permission to drive it to Green Cove Springs.

Every once in a while, an unexpected perk would come along.One of these happened in the fall of 59. one of the Navy's newest and shiniest destroyers had been assigned to attend the Rockland, Maine Lobster Festival. Rough weather in the North Atlantic damaged the can and she couldn't meet the schedule. Wouldn't you know it, the Noxubee was the only ship close enough to make it. Margaret Chase Smith, Rhode Island Senator and Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, insisted that the Navy be represented. With utmost pride and on our best behavior, we sailed into Rockland, anchored among all the lobster traps and enjoyed all the activaties and freebes of the festival. Lobsters were $ 1.0O each and steamed in a mesh cylinder at the landing. The good old days!

Time has a way of changing how we look at both the good and bad, but i wouldn't take anythiny for my Noxubee experiences. My appreciation for country and patriotism were moulded by the time spent aboard the Noxubee.