John H. Glenn, COL USMC (Ret)
Virgil I. Grissom Capt. USAF
John H. Glenn, Col USMC (Ret), Former United States astronaut and former United States Senator wrote the following message in the guest book for all USS Randolph crewmen and visitors.
John Herschel Glenn Jr.
In February 1962 the Randolph was my primary recovery ship after my orbital voyage in space. After a three-orbit flight, I landed near Noa from which I was transferred, by helicopter, to the USS Randolph. I just want to say thank you again to the crew of the USS Randolph for picking me out of the sea that day. God Bless
- John H. Glenn, COL USMC (Ret)
We are all proud and grateful to have had Col. Glenn's message in the guest book and and for his contribution to this website.
Col. Glenn, we are extremely proud of and thankful for your military service and contributions to the space program. We are also very grateful for your service to the Country in the United States Senate. You certainly have "THE RIGHT STUFF". God speed Col. Glenn.
Virgil I. Grissom Capt. USAF
"Gus" Grissom was one of the seven original Project Mercury astronauts and was the second American to fly in space. He was named pilot of Mercury-Redstone 4, popularly known as Liberty Bell 7 and John Glenn was named as his backup pilot. On July 21, 1961 Gus piloted Liberty Bell 7 in the second American spaceflight. The capsule reached a maximum altitude of 118.30 miles and splashed down 302.08 nautical miles down range in the Atlantic Ocean. After splashdown, the hatch prematurely blew open, allowing water to enter. Grissom, still wearing his heavy spacesuit, dove into the ocean, nearly sinking along with the capsule. Helicopters rescued him, but the water-logged capsule was too heavy and was allowed to sink. USS Randolph CVS-15 was primary recovery ship for that mission.
Capt. Grissom later flew Gemini 3, nicknamed, Molly Brown, on March 23, 1965; a flight that lasted 4 hours, 52 minutes and 32 seconds.
Gus then moved to the Apollo program. Tragically, he was killed along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger B. Chaffee when the Apollo 1 command module caught fire and burned on the launchpad during a training exercise and pre-launch test at Cape Kennedy on January 27, 1967.
We salute Capt. Grissom for his supreme sacrifice to the country and for his gallant efforts in pioneering the space program for the United States of America. He had "THE RIGHT STUFF".
Why We're Here
This site is dedicated to the to the memory of the USS Randolph and her crews that manned her. This is a place to reminisce and to rekindle old memories, to view and post photos of the ship, the crew and historical documents such as old logs, Plan of the Day (POD), newsletters and ship's newspapers and the like. This is also a place to relate stories and experiences about the ship and the crew and to hopefully reconnect with old shipmates and... our past. Those of us who maintain this site, and very likely those of you who visit here, are very proud of our service to the Country and to the United States Navy.
Further, we honor all our military veterans, past and present, from every branch of service, not only the U.S. Navy but also the Marine Corps, Coast guard, Army, Air Force and National Guard.
Spend as much time as you want here; this is, in a sense, your site. Enjoy it. Honor it's spirit. Preserve it's purpose and dignity.
Once I Was A Navy Man
I like the Navy. I like standing on deck on a long voyage with the sea in my face and ocean winds whipping in from everywhere -- the feel of the giant steel ship beneath me, it's engine driving against the sea.
I like the Navy. I like the clang of steel, the ringing of the ship's bell, the foghorns and strong language and laughter of Navy men at work. I like the ships of the Navy -- nervous darting destroyers, sleek cruisers, majestic battleships and steady solid aircraft carriers and silent hidden submarines - I like the workhorse tugboats with their proud Indian names: Iroquois, Apache, Kiawah and Sioux - each stealthy powerful tug safely guiding the warships to safe deep waters from all harbors.
I like the historic names of other proud Navy Ships: Midway, Hornet, Randolph, Franklin, Princeton, Enterprise, Yorktown and Saratoga. The Ozark, Hunley, Constitution, Missouri, Quincy and Manchester, as well as The Sullivan's, New Jersey, Tecumseh and Nautilus - all majestic ships of the line. Each commanding the respect of all Navymen that have known her or were privileged to be a member of her crew.
I like the bounce of Navy music and the tempo of a Navy Band, "Liberty Whites" and the spice scent of a foreign port. I like shipmates I've sailed with . . . the kid from the Iowa cornfield, a pal from New York's Eastside, an Irishman from Boston, the boogie boarders of California, and of course a drawling friendly Texan. From all parts of the land they came -- farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England -- from the cities, the mountains and the prairies. All are Americans, all are comrades in arms. All are men of the sea.
I like the adventure in my heart when the ship puts out to sea, and I like the electric thrill of sailing home again, with the waving hands of welcoming family and friends waiting on shore. The work is hard, the going rough at times, but there's the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the devil-may-care philosophy of the sea.
And after a day of hard duty, there is a serenity of the sea at dusk, as white caps dance on the ocean waves. The sea at night is mysterious. I like the lights of the Navy in darkness -- the masthead lights, and red and green sidelights, and stern light. They cut through the night and look like a mirror of stars in darkness. There are quiet nights and the quiet of the mid-watch when the ghosts of all the sailors of the world stand with you. And there is the aroma of fresh, strong coffee from the galley.
I like the legends of the Navy and the men who made them. The proud names of Navy heroes: Halsey, Nimitz, Perry, Farragut, and John Paul Jones. A man can find much in the Navy -- comrades in arms, pride in country. A man can find himself.
In years to come, when the sailor is home from the sea, he will still remember with fondness the spray on his face of an angry sea. There will still come a faint aroma of fresh paint in his nostrils, the echo of hearty laughter of the seafaring men who once were close companions.
Locked on land, he will grow wistful of his Navy days, when the seas belonged to him and a new port of call was always just over the horizon. Remembering this, he will stand taller and say,
"ONCE, I WAS A NAVY MAN."
by Ed Hughes
Pride and Gratitude!
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