Old, old friend

I got word today that a very old friend of mine The USS COCONINO COUNTY LST 603 is still around. She served in WWII, Korea and Viet Nam and in 69 was turned over to South Vietnam. She is still active and is now the Vung Tau (HQ-503) and is a training ship homeported in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). This November it will be 74 years since her keel was laid. I rode her from Norfolk Virginia, thru the Panama Canal to VietNam and was on papa boat the night she took two mines. To this day I cannot get the picture of her settling back down and all my ship mates on board out of my mind. That was a very long night. I must admit to you that I NEVER signed up for the draft as I was 17 when I enlisted.