|CVN-75 USS Harry S. Truman|
|Visits UK Shores|
Nigel R. Sadler reports on the visit of CVN-75 to Stokes Bay, Portsmouth 8th May 2003
Anchoring in Stokes Bay, Portsmouth on 6th May 2003 was the 8th "Nimitz Class" Nuclear Aircraft carrier CVN-75 USS Harry S. Truman named after the 33rd President of the United States of America.The ship was returning to her homeport of Norfolk VA. The HST has departed her homeport on 5th December 2002 after completing her COMPUTEX and JTFEX.
During her 6 months at sea she had made port calls to Marseille/France (23 Dec), Crete/Greece (30 Dec) and Koper/Slovenia (31 Jan) prior to her involvement in Operation "Iraqi Freedom" the war to free the Iraqi people from the grip of the evil dictator Saddam Hussein commencing on 19 Mch 2003. After continuous operations and after the fall of Baghdad the ship was ordered home to Norfolk on 22 Apl and as she headed home for a well earned rest for the crew.
The visit to Portsmouth was a low key affair, she anchored on 6/5 for the 6 day visit finally departing for home at 07:00 on 12/5. She was due to arrive in Norfolk on 23/5 some 6 months since deployment.
CG 56 USS San Jacinto
DDG 79 USS Oscar Austin
DDG 57 USS Mitscher
DDG 75 USS Donald Cook
DD 977 USS Briscoe
DD 989 USS Deyo
FFG 53 USS Hawes
SSN 720 USS Pittsburgh
SSN 765 USS Montpelier
TAO 196 USNS Kanawha
TAE 34 USNS Mount Baker
|Having passed through various levels of high security we finally boarded the boat to take us out to the ship, a nice calm day meant an enjoyable transit, prior to docking with the pontoon aft of the ship for embarkation. We were greeted by the CPO who proceeded to introduce our "guides" for the day, and we were split into two parties.|
We then migrated to the hanger deck where 3 aircraft were in prominent display following the previous nights hanger party, the ceiling was decorated with multiple flags. At the stern end of the hanger deck there were a number of aircraft in various states of repair, included unfortunately the CAG SH-60. A full list of serials and details of mission markings noted can be found at HST_Airwing
Of further interest the USS Winston Churchill was dry docked during the visit (from the Theodore Roosevelt BG) with a prop problem, she had two SH-60's aboard which remained intact during her visit although not yet identified.
The author would like to thank Alan Carr, RADM P.D.Smith, Zip Rausa and our guides on the ship for their kind hospitality during our visit.
More can be found about this amazing ship at their website:-