“I served aboard USS Providence, a Light Cruiser with Terrier missiles. I was assigned to OI Division that ran the shipboard Combat Information Center. We deployed from San Diego to Vietnam in April, 1972, for duty providing naval gunfire support for troops ashore in both North and South Vietnam, as well as interdicting enemy water-born supply shipments along the coast.
“Providence had two alternating teams who received fire support calls from inland spotters, both air and ground. We worked with Navy and Marine gunners who delivered the requested artillery rounds. I was one of two radio operators who received the incoming calls for fire. Providence received two Navy Commendations for her combat operations in Vietnam’s waters, but we were also sadly wounded by the loss of Rear Admiral R.C. Robinson on May 8th when his helicopter suffered a mechanical failure while landing on our fantail. I was on watch when that happened and was involved in the recovery. I have completely and successfully avoided helicopter flight throughout my lifetime.”