Next duty assignment sent me to Long Beach, CA and served aboard the USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5) from about 3/61 to 9/62. She was just finishing the 'shakedown cruise' and preparing to become the Flagship of the 7th Fleet.
We set sail for Japan approximately Dec. 1, 1961, stopped in Hawaii for a ceremony with the Gold Star Mothers aboard on Dec. 7, 1961 commemorating the 20th anniversary of the bombing. We arrived at Yokosuka, Japan approximately Dec. 12th, 1961(?) and relieved the Heavy Cruiser USS St Paul(CA-73) and commenced our duties as Flagship of the 7th Fleet.
We participated in a SEATO operation somewhere between Okinawa and Japan. We visited many cities in the Far East; Took 7 days for R&R in Hong Kong, visited the Philippines during the tenure of President Diosdado Pangan Macapagal. We were relieved as flagship of the 7th Fleet by USS Providence (CLG-6) on 5/26/1962 and returned to Long Beach on 6/12/1962.
I was Honorably discharged on 9/20/1962 in Long Beach, CA. Best friends were: Larry D Morey from Cheyenne, WY, Larry D Grant from Lincoln, NE and our top 1st Class was Larry H VanGerpen from Walnut Creek, CA. The OR Division Officers were: Ens. Edward A. Fritz and Ltjg Claude K. Chappelear.
Married Mary L Keith on 5/23/1964; son Gregory A Irvin was born on 5/1/68 and daughter Paula M (Toren) Irvin was born on 9/25/1970 (my birthday present).
I have an email contact, Gene Woody, who also served on the Okie Boat at a
later time now living in Arkansas. This is as much as I can remember at age
71. Whew....my head hurts - 'Anchors away my boy.....'
IRWIN, Hugh - Harrisburg, PA 74-76 mail
*** HM3 - Medical Dept, laboratory tech
^^^ Stayed in Reserves and made Warrant then Commissioned. Will retire in Dec '02 as an O-4