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Overnight Guests

You probably wouldn't be too perturbed if inclement weather forced your afternoon guest to become an overnight guest, assuming, that you have a spare couch.

But what if there were 1500 guests, mostly women and children, and they had to spend the night at sea?

The crew of the carrier USS Wasp (CVS 18) found themselves in just such a situation recently.

Wasp had departed Boston at 0900 for a scheduled one-day dependents' cruise in the local operating area. Highlight of the program was to be a series of flight demonstrations between 1200 and 1500.

By noon it was apparent that the heavy fog in the area was not going to lift in time to permit flight operations, Wasp's commanding officer announced that the ship was returning to Boston and would arrive at about 1430. She didn't.

After several unsuccessful attempts to enter the fog-shrouded channel, Wasp proceeded to an anchorage and the situation was discUSSed with naval authorities in Boston via radio.

The dependents would have to stay overnight.

All hands turned to to make their guests as comfortable as possible. The supply department broke out fresh stores to feed additional meals to the guests. Needless to say, berthing was a problem. The crew in the after section of the ship gave up their quarters and the officers moved out of their staterooms for assignment to the dependents.

A phone patch via Wasp's ham radio was rigged so that those having pressing business and personal engagements could contact shore.

Providing entertainment for the guests was no problem. Movies were shown continuously in hangar bay one; hangar bay two was the scene of a folk sing, a band concert, and a dance complete with orchestra.

By that evening the forecasts showed that the fog might continue for several days, so the skipper headed for Quonset Point. By the time Wasp arrived at NAS Quonset Point the next afternoon, a fleet of buses was waiting to transport the visitors back to Boston and the debarkation was accomplished without a hitch.

From all appearances, Wasp's guests thoroughly enjoyed their overnight stay. Wasp's crew was delighted at the chance to demonstrate Navy hospitality.

Repeat Performance for HC2

It isn't often that a single helicopter squadron rescues two men from the Mediterranean in a matter of three days. Nevertheless, HC-2 aboard USS Independence (CVA 62) did just that.

A squadron helo was in the air when the word came that a man was overboard. It wasn't long before the pilot spotted a smoke float marker and life ring but the man to be rescued was nowhere in sight.

During a second pass over the area, the real-life Oscar was spotted about 60 yards aft of the survival markers and was pulled aboard.

Two days later, another pilot from HC2 was notified that a plane had splashed down some 16 miles from the aircraft carrier Independence.

This rescue turned out to be a cinch. The downed pilot bad ejected from his disabled plane and was waiting patiently in his raft for help to arrive.

Minesweepers Return

Five Long Beach-based ships of Mine Division 91 recently ended a 110-and-onehalf-month tour off Vietnam where they served a twofold mission.

Besides their primary job-detecting mines-the task of junk inspection was added.

The division, comprised of USS Persistent (MSO 491), Conflict (MSO 426), Dynamic (MSO 432), Endurance (MSO 435), and Implicit (MSO 455), was assigned to the Market Time Force.

The minesweepers patrolled the 1000mile Vietnam coastline to halt transfers by junks of Viet Cong supplies and troops from the North.

Besides the MSOs, the antiinfiltration force is made up of destroyer escorts, Coast Guard cutters, and PCF Navy Swift boats. Those units average about 1000 inspections daily while on Operation Market Time.

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