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  USS Noxubee AOG56

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Noxubee Crest

The Last Doc


By T. E. Basham

In 1974 I was stationed aboard the USS Sanctuary AH17 in Mayport Florida where I worked in Medical Supply. We were getting the old girl preserved to be returned to mothballs when I received my orders to report to the USS Noxubee, homeported in Little Creek.

I transfered without knowing how or where I would catch the ship. While on leave getting my family established in Chesapeake I received a telegram directing me to report to the Philadelphia International Airport on 13 Jan 1975 for a flight to Rota Spain. Having been a west coast sailor, for the most part, I was lost and confused. Five days later I was delivered to the Noxubee via a LCM. I will never forget the shock when I stepped upon the gunnel of the LCM and down to the deck of my new ship.

On 18 January 1975 I became the new HM1 (IDT) onboard. I have been assigned to APAs, a Hospital Ship, a FF, and several FMF units, the AOG was the smallest, and the crew were the hardest working, most mission oriented people I ever worked with. The Noxubee's last sister ship was decommissioned in the morning of July 1, and the Noxubee in the afternoon of the same day at 1420 hours . This made the Noxubee the last AOG in commission. After the decommissioning ceremony the Personelman and I transferred records and personnel for the last time.

I was told sometime later that the controlled sinking took place on 5 July 1975, and the Noxubee started her new role as an artificial reef.

During the time the Noxubee was serving in Vietnam, I was serving as fleet support at the Naval Station Dispensary, Subic Bay. I don't remember any specific people but I do remember the ship name and sending lab forms to the ship.