"Liberty Call"

Det 38 1964-65 Page 3
Port Call

USS Shangri La CVA 38
All photos by Larry Plourde PH2

Updated January 25, 2013

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The story behind the picture: "One of the last things I said on my Guest Log page 5, was that I have been back to many of the ports of call. My facebook page cover shot shows me on the Arc of Triumph in Paris. The inset shot was taken by Don Jusko while on liberty during our cruise (1964). When I went back I wanted to match that shot, clothes and all. After climbing 16 stories and coming out on top... I saw the fence. It seems that people were jumping off the Arc. Enough to warrant the fence. I did the best I could do. I did put my hand on the spot that my right foot was on. My "Before & After" photo still works."--Larry Plourde

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We can all remember being at anchor in a bay of a new and exotic port, where adventures awaited. Remembering the ship's crane hoisting liberty boats into the bay. . . and later with much anticipation, arriving ashore and being assaulted with calls of "Hey Joe, I have a sister. . ." or, "You want to buy a Zippo?" Or taking advantage of "Join the Navy and See the World Travel Agency" to see the cultural places that have drawn many of us back, as Larry did in Paris. I remember while at anchor, the locals inquisitive about this larger-than-can-be-believed carrier and sometimes being allowed to visit the flightdeck---People-to-People Diplomacy. I remember in some ports throwing tarps over the RF-8 camera bay windows to disguise the real purpose behind its mission. Even if one didn't go ashore, sometimes USO shows would come to the carrier with real celebrities honoring servicemen, or just walking the flightdeck to view the Mediterranean shore, smelling the sea and distant land. Often just carrying a portable radio around listening to the foreign music was fun. And, at night from ashore looking at the carrier all decked out in lights---what a sight---followed by the bouncy, sometimes scaring ride back, often holding onto a shipmate heaving over the side---and finally, with relief, climbing the ladder, sometimes not too steadily. Ah, that was so long ago. . . Larry's photos, so professionally shot, helps bring it all back. Thank you Larry.

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Created on ... January 10, 2013