NEVER FORGET THE WAR IN VIETNAM
More than 58,000 Americans died in the Vietnam War. The earliest American casualty was in 1956.
American involvement in the Vietnam War officially ended in 1975 but the fate of many Americans, listed
as POW/MIA, is still not resolved. We must never forget them.
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This web page documents my memories of the time I served aboard the USS HANCOCK (CVA-19),
from October, 1964 until June, 1968. During that period, I made three combat deployments to serve
off the coast of Vietnam. Those deployments lasted for 11 to 13 months.
USS HANCOCK (CVA-19) was an ESSEX CLASS aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy.  Commissioned in
1944, HANCOCK saw service during World War Two and was struck by a Japanese Kamikaze off
Okinawa in 1945. in the early 1950's, It was the first U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier to be modified to
include the angled flight deck and equipped with steam catapults. The HANCOCK made seven
combat deployments to Vietnam between 1965 and 1972. It was engaged in the evacuation when
the war finally ended in 1975. It was decommissioned and sold for scrap in 1976.
THE TURBULENT SIXTIES
The Days of Long Hair and Short Skirts!
We were not war heroes. Most of us never fired a shot at the enemy and we were not shot at while
we served on HANCOCK. We were just ordinary sailors, doing what we were ordered to do.  Most of
us were between the ages of 17 and 24 years old. We worked hard doing our jobs to keep that old
ship running so we could stay "on the line". Our main reason for being there was to launch and
recover our aircraft in support of the war effort in Vietnam. Our aircraft provided support for friendly
forces in South Vietnam and bombed selected military targets in North Vietnam, in coordination with
the U.S. Air Force. We were doing something important and we all truly believed that. It was hard to
believe in that later - when we were hissed at and spit on in the airports and other public places.
We came from all over the U.S.A.  Most of us came from small towns in the heartland regions of
America.  Some came from the big cities - New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta, Houston and
Seattle - among others. it was the first time some of us white boys from the south had ever
associated with Negroes and it was the first time many of them had associated with whites. It was
"The Age of Aquarius" - the world was being turned upside down by changes brought about by Dr.
Martin Luther King and his followers, the "Now Generation", the "British Invasion" and the "Hippie
Revolution".  For the most part, it was all "cool and groovy" but there were some sad and tragic
times.  The U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War was a point of controversy from the start. We were
young and high spirited - full of energy and new ideas, ready to meet all of the challenges and
changes.  We were also gullible and very naive. It was a learning experience for all of us. On the
HANCOCK  we were a close knit bunch and we  all stood together to get the job done.
This website is in the process of being reconstructed after I
made a mistake and erased a good portion of it from the server.
Oooops!
I will be doing the reconstruction in small steps, a little at a
time. Please bear with me as I put everything back together
again.

In the meantime, you can visit me at:
Old Geezer Art
http://www.oldgeezerart.com
You can also visit me on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/ray.phillips.7169


You can also contact me by email at this address:
daltonphillips@namvetsonline.com
1966 WestPac Cruise
1967 WestPac Cruise
Follow the links below to see pictures from
the Cruise Books.
SHIP'S CARPENTER & THE REPAIR DIVISION
Read the Ramblings of an Old Veteran