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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jbugs BIG trip to Buffalo, NY & some Navy info

The USS Little Rock
Gramp's Guided Missile Cruiser

Gramps served on the USS Little Rock from November 1962 until June 1965.

Here he is on the left with his friend Tony that he still sees and plays music with.

He went on 2 tours to the Mediterranean, 3 tours to the Caribbean and 1 tour to the North Atlantic .
Gramps and some of the other sailors started a band called "The Little Rockers". Gramps played the drums. (We are in the process of finding a photo)

In 1963 while he served on the USS Little Rock he watched the Russians take missiles from Cuba at the end of the Cuban Missile Crises.
Gramps received "A BRONZE MAN" award which is a very rare award that is given out!
The Bronze Man Award was unique to the U.S.S. Little Rock.
Captain J. R. Payne will announce a procedure
whereby deserving men of the Little Rock will be recognized
for outstanding job performance." It seems that the award was
given out at the discretion of the Captain.Likewise it seems
that these awards were sometimes presented singly to only one
crew member,and at other times the award was presented to several
crew members at the same time.

Each award had a "Serial Number", and from that we know
that there were at least 35 Bronze Man awards made over
its life. Gramps award serial number is 33.

This is what his award was given to him for:

"For outstanding performance as a good will ambassador
and morale booster during the Mediterranean Deployment
from 1 December 1964 to l June 1965 on board the Guided
Missile Cruiser LITTLE ROCK (CLG 4). STRAWN has given
freely of his time and talent as a member of the ship's
band "LITTLE ROCKERS" to entertain both our own sailors
and the people of the countries that the ship has visited.
STRAWN has performed many times in each USO Club ashore
during our port visits and on board this ship while
underway, thus providing many hours of fine entertainment
to various units of the SIXTH Fleet. STRAWN has participated
in concerts ashore for various groups of foreign nationals,
creating an atmosphere of good will and friendship with our
friends in the Mediterranean through music and personal contact.
STRAWN'S performance and conduct ashore has been exemplary
and in keeping with the highest standards of excellence in
the United States Navy."
Signed by R. O. Middleton

Gramp's Guided Missile Cruiser
The USS Little Rock
It is now retired in a Navy & Military Park in Buffalo, NY

They have a USS Little Rock Reunion every year. Every other year it is in Buffalo.

Gramps and Gram invited Jbug to go with them this year, she was so excited.

The first day they were off to tour the ship and visit Old Fort Niagara.

This was one of 4 bunks that Gramps slept on.

What a fun time Jbug had. She got to be the "Powder Monkey" in the reenactment of the shooting of the cannons.

The second day they were of to the Maid of the Mist to see Niagara Falls.

Both sides of Niagara Falls

Jbug and Gram getting prepared for the boat ride.
The buildings in the back are in Canada

US Niagara Falls

Canadian Niagara Falls

The third and final day they went to a Memorial at the ship to honor all of the crew that have passed.

On that third evening they had a very nice banquet to attend.

Jamie and her Gramps before the banquet.

Gramps with his Girls

And of course miss "SASSY" in her little black sassy dress.

The guest speaker at the banquet ended up being the Secretaty of the Navy
The Honorable Raymond Edwin "Ray" Mabus
he also served on the USS Little Rock (1970-1972).

Jamie got her time in with
The Honorable Raymond Edwin "Ray" Mabus

And on one last note Jbug and Gram and Gramps got to see Edgar Winters ( the guys with white hair), who just happened to be behind them at security in the airport. Are you like me and don't know who this is??? Well here is a little bit about him.
Edgar has over 20 albums. Major national television and radio
relied on Edgar's music to advertise their products.

Edgar's music can be heard in film and
television, Air America, My Cousin Vinny, Encino Man, Son In Law, What's Love Got to
do With It, Wayne's World 2, Wag the Dog,Duets, Radio, The Simpsons.


ShaRhonda said...

Oh how fun and what an experience. You should be very proud of your Daddy! What stories he must have!

missy said...

what a great vacation!

Clogger-Girl said...

Hey! Nice pics that must have been FUN!!!

Clogger-Girl said...

These are AWESOME pics! I just had to leave another comment!:)