photo above tells you pretty much what the U.S.S. New Jersey was
all about; Awesome Firepower! The photo was taken in broad daylight
off the coast of Vietnam on one of our many a 'gun runs' during
1968-1969. The photo was taken from the 011 ("owe eleven")
level lookout by a fellow crewman using the then popular new "110"
film. I do not remember his name, however, he was kind enough to
have copies made for me. "Thanks, Good Friend."
As a crew member,
and even though there were over 2,000 of us, we did favors happily
and watched out for each other. It was very much like a fraternity.
And for the life of me, I can't understand how anyone can not have
compassion for his/her shipmates especially in the time of war.
You create an urgent need to want to stay with them and "finish
the job." My dad called it "seeing it through." Call
it dedication, loyalty, corp d'espirit or whatever. It's still a
compelling emotion that's becomes part of you. You don't want to
leave. I've never heard of anyone leaving willingly. You know the
political figure who served in 'Nam I'm refering to.
Admiral J. Edward
Snyder, who'll always be "our Captain" commanded the U.S.S.
New Jersey during her Vietnam deployment from 1968 through 1969.
known by many as "The Phantom", Capt. Snyder was to me,
a young 20 year old seaman, the imperial father figure and supreme
commander of our might vessel.
The photo at
the right was the only one I ever captured of Capt. Snyder. It is
typical of how he looked; hair dishevelled, pipe in hand and talking
to the crew as though he was "one of us".