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An OS becomes Skipper of the Kirk

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An OS becomes Skipper of the Kirk

Postby Bon » 18 Oct 2012 18:52

Kirk Reunion July 2010 Washington, DC:

As part of our Kirk reunion, the Kirk crewmates have been invited by the local Vietnamese community to march with their Vietnamese American contingent in honoring our independance, and a show of how they appreciate their new home. Their organization has seen the movie "The Lucky Few" and have been in constant contact with Captain Paul Jacobs (Skipper of the Kirk in 1975).

Those of us in attendance were amazed by the effort our hosts put together for the parade. We were shocked to find out that, not only would we be marching with our SVN comrades, but we were to be the focal point of their parade effort.

Now imagine, a replica of the Kirk, built out of plywood to scale, mounted on a pickup truck. No kidding, hull number and all being drivin down the parade route, American and Vietnamese flags flying.

Captain Paul Jacobs approaches me just before we were to join the parade and tells me that he has field commissioned me as "Captain". My duty was to get aboard the replica, along with a beautiful Vietnamese lady and command this vessel through the parade with a show of how the Kirk joined hands with the Vietnamese.

You think I was beyond honored, no kidding. Now for the "Rest of the Story".

When it became time for our contingent to join the parade, all ligned up, me at the helm. The truck could not start. Dead battery. These folks have spent a tremendous amount of time and energy in creating the float replica and we went DIW.

All efforts failed to find a jump start and get the float moving. The parade moved on, along with the rest of the Vietnamese regalia. So, after less little more than an hour after taking command of the USS Kirk, I had to give the command to "Abandon Ship". I jumped off, the last one by the way, and ran five blocks to catch up with the parade and march with my mates and fellow Vietnamese American Veterans and their contingent.

Thus I retain, the somewhat dubious honor, of being the first enlisted to Skipper the USS Kirk, the shortest tenure as Skipper, and the only Skipper to have to call an abandon ship.

Jim "Bon" Bongaard
Skipper USS Kirk DE/FF 1087
July 4, 2010: 1320 hours - 1405 hours.
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Re: An OS becomes Skipper of the Kirk

Postby Glen Coplen » 18 Oct 2012 20:21

Congrats on the Breif promotion.
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