A Dunedin veteran recently recalled his time aboard the USS Enterprise, the world's first nuclear aircraft carrier, which is scheduled to be decommissioned next month following 50 years of service.
Hugh Palmer, 76, spoke to the Tampa Bay Times about his service as a U.S. Navy pilot. Palmer was assigned to the Enterprise in 1962, when the vessel was brand new and "the biggest excitement in the world of aviation," he said.
"I can't believe it's been 50 years," he told the Times. "It will always be the vibrant, exciting ship that is all about the best of naval aviation."
Palmer served aboard the Enterprise as it participated in the military blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missle Crisis, and his shipmates included U.S. Sen. John McCain and astronaut Bruce McCandless, the newspaper reports.
The Enterprise was also employed to the Vietnam War and both Gulf wars. It returned earlier this month from its final mission to its home port at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.
A inactivation ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 1, after which time the ship will be dismantled and recycled, according to the Enterprise's website.
Read more about Palmer's time aboard the Enterprise in the Times' feature story.