Next week, another sea story. Come on back! .
Mombasa gleamed under a brilliant sun. As USS Coronado tied up to the pier, the officers and crew repaired to the wardroom, mess decks and berthing compartments, where they would watch a live broadcast of the port briefing by the ship chandler’s representative and then call in questions. Continue reading
In 1982, the capital of Somalia was still spelled in Italian. Today it is spelled Mogadishu, but it sounds the same. USS Coronado, a large amphibious ship painted white, dominated the harbor as she moored to the pier downtown. The flagship of the Commander, US Middle East Force was making her semi-annual Swing around the Indian Ocean, showing the flag and maintaining relations with the local governments. We did not know that it would be our last Swing: before long, the Iran-Iraq war would grind to a halt, but not before the US Middle East Force would be absorbed by the new US Central Command. By the end of the decade, the US Fifth Fleet would dominate the waters between Suez and Singapore, and the Middle East Force would join the Sand Pebbles and the Mediterranean Squadron in the pages of naval history. But not yet. Continue reading