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  USS Noxubee AOG56

A Tribute To Those That Served

Thank a Veteran

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Vietnam Ribbon Bar
Noxubee Crest

Selected Recollections


By Marvin Knebel

It is good to read some of the things on this website written by the guys I can remember, and also by those I didn't have the privilege to know.

I was aboard the USS Noxubee from November 1968 to about May of 1970. For many Viet Nam crew members, being on ship was perhaps like an extension of high school, and if you got along well there, military service was just a continuance. I did not, wasn't too highly regarded and, to use Mr. Danaher's description in his periodic evaluation, had not "developed as expected". He had me transferred. I wound up on an ARS. I was miserable there. I was homesick for the "Knucklebee", as GM3 Hardel of California, called it. Because, by comparison, I can tell all of you the Noxubee was real nice duty with much superior personel.

I can remember many of those guys from 32 years back. I went through the crew list for fun and recognized 79 names. Not bad for an introvert like me. I still have 50 photos of people and places during those service years.

On the way back to Pearl from Nam, the captain decided to open the throttle up for a speed run. A bunch of us guys were leaning on the railing looking forward over the starboard tank deck, when the Captain made the announcement over the ship's intercom. He mentioned that we were going to try to get the old crate up to 16 or even 17 knots and ended with. "So hold on." Pasquale Varone immediately grabbed the hand rail as tight as he could and pleaded, "Oh, I can't hold on much longer!" That really cracked me up.

My recollection of all personnel are solidly net positive, with the exception of the 3 guys who expressed the strong desire to pulverize me. That rates a neutral. I was so boring and dull that I didn't know how to spend money. Our Supply Officer had $650 in his safe that I didn't know what to do with. When Smitty found out about it, he begged and bugged me for $35 of it. Finally I gave in. {He left the ship without paying it back. So I guess you could say he's still "borrowing" it.} Al Sabourin told me if I would have given him half of it, he would have beat the crap out of Smitty until he paid it.

I read that Al Sabourin is no longer with us.What a loss! He was so good natured. Does anyone remember when some of us were on the motor whale boat on a quiet evening in Da Nang harbor and in going back to the ship, which was about half yellow from the zinc chromate, some of the drunks started singing, "We all live on a Yellow AOG.....Yellow AOG.....Yellow AOG" to The Beatles' song "Yellow Submarine?" You could hear it all over the harbor. I do remember someone saying our Captain was slightly torqued about that.