CORONADO, Calif - Sailors from Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1 remembered their shipmates during a memorial ceremony for the crew of Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1500, at Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) Coronado, May 27.
While operating in Vietnam on Feb. 27, 1969, LCU 1500 was hit by an enemy rocket, killing her 13-man crew along with several nearby Sailors at Bridge Ramp in Da Nang, Vietnam.
The memorial service included opening remarks from ACU-1 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Andrew D. Amidon, along with comments from guest speakers.
"I think the most important reason we memorialize Sailors is the fact that you can't have a true perspective of the future if you don't honor the past," said ACU-1 Command Master Chief Richard A. Thomas.
LCU 1500 earned seven campaign stars for its service during Vietnam.
"It's the deeds, the actions, the courage, the honor and the commitment of those who went before us that allows us to focus on what our true purpose is," said Thomas. "If we don't recognize those significant contributions and those ultimate sacrifices I can't see how we can focus on our future as good Sailors."
This was the 42nd annual memorial service for LCU 1500. Every Memorial Day weekend, ACU-1 holds a memorial service to honor the sacrifice and commitment of those ACU Sailors who lost their lives.
"It's very important to honor those who fought prior to us and it's important to remember why we are here. Especially being at ACU-1, it means a lot to me and my shipmates," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Brandon Burtenshaw assigned to ACU-1
The memorial service was concluded with a reading of all the names of the crew members of LCU 1500 who lost their lives, followed by a wreath laying ceremony.
"Ceremonies like this help bring you back down to earth and help you remember why you are serving," said Burtenshaw. "It's not just about a paycheck, it's not always about yourself; it's about something bigger than yourself."