I served the empire when I was a very young man. The bulk of that military service was on the USS Florikan (ASR 9). The above linked site has some good photos, allows registration of when you were aboard, and to see others serving that same period. I recognized two names and left a message for one. The Florikan was a submarine rescue ship, but its primary functions were diving and salvage. Despite Navy divers being the best in the world, I was witness to a fatality, and two divers suffering the 'bends'—one of those cases debilitating. The diver killed in a dive accident had a son just a few years younger than my closest friends and I. His father would bring him aboard when he had weekend duty, and we would hang out with him since our age gap was neglible. Those heady days of being out to sea, the anecdotes, and everything else deserves eventual commitment to prose.
I also have some amazing photographs of the USS Florikan anchored just off Catalina Island. We would then serve as an offshore mooring for subs (they don't have the best anchoring abilities) and then everyone would use our boats for Avalon shore leave. The photographs feature the last commissioned diesel electric submarine lashed to one side and a brand new Los Angeles class nuclear attack boat along our other. I don't remember the names of the subs (it's been decades). I do remember it was poignant for the 'bubble-heads' (submariners), seeing that juxtaposition of old and new. I also have a photo of a good friend named Fernando Alfonso and my self with Diamond Head behind us as we sailed to our new home port in Pearl Harbor from our previous one of San Diego (alternatively 32nd Street and Point Loma). That photo was right after I got my shiny Surface Warfare pin (ESWS). I need to scan those photos, and place them online.
2007-07-24: More Florikan information: USS Florikan (ASR 9) some early history (looks like this link is gone now).
2010-04-12 I finally did get around to scanning and posting photos. Was also happy to see former shipmates making comments here as well.
2011-01-06 Please read the comments to learn about the USS Florikan's current status.
Echo Park Film Center's Spring 2006 youth documentary project centers on the "Red Hill" era, a time during the 1930s, '40s and '50s when Echo Park was a center of leftist political activity. Learn about your neighborhood's radical past and how this history has continued to affect and influence community activism in the years since! Numerous veteran activists are profiled in this documentary.
Friday July 20 - 6:30 pm Edendale Library 2011 Sunset Blvd. 90026 Enter parking lot on Alvarado, north of Sunset