Tim Smith At Almost 6 Years Old
Visits USS Bennington in San Diego
From: "timothy smith" [email@example.com]
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 13:23:36 -0800
Subject: A Bennington Memory
When I was almost six, in September 1956, (I remember the date because Disneyland had just opened. I wanted to go there, but the folks could not afford it) the Bennington was docked at the Navy Dock in San Diego, California. My dad was an LA cop and mom worked for the phone company. Money was tight so the best vacation was to go to San Diego for a week in the summer. My brothers and I were in awe of the big ship, so my dad showed his badge to somebody and suddenly we were on a personal guided tour of the ship. They showed us everything and I even sat in the cockpit of a jet on the flight deck. As I remember, we were the only civilians on the ship, but the crew treated us like we were royalty! Someplace, I have a snapshot of my brother and I by the bow of the Bennington. If I find it, I will send you a copy.
After the Bennington, dad got us onto an old diesel electric sub that was moored nearby.
What a difference! Maybe that is why years later I joined the Army!
Years later, about 1976 I think, I was an LA cop. I saw a big boat under reconstruction in a residential back yard. It turned out to be one of the Bennington's whale boats which was bought at a surplus auction. The owner, a guy named "Vance," was a marine engineer, but had been a whale boat operator during the war. He showed me the books on the boat and assured me it was from the Bennington. I changed duty station after that and lost touch with Vance and the boat.
I hope these meanderings are interesting to someone in the Bennington Family.
Maybe a Bennington sailor remembers us.
I just wanted to say "Thanks!" for the Great tour!