Letter from the CO:
PRINCETON family and friends,
It’s been over two years since PRINCETON’S last deployment, but it’s obvious that your sailors have trained very hard and put forth dedicated effort into preparing the ship during that time. It has been great training and experience for what’s on the horizon. As we continue toward the Gulf, we have ramped up our training, as well as taken the time to commemorate those who have gone before us.
While underway off the coast of the Philippines, we took time to honor the memory of those sailors who were lost aboard the World War II Aircraft Carrier PRINCETON (CVL-23) near the site where the carrier was sunk during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Our Damage Control Training Team did a great job of reenacting the battle damage received by the Light Aircraft Carrier on 24 October 1944. The drill began as a lone enemy dive bomber escaped notice from the Allied forces and released a 500 pound bomb that penetrated the flight deck and hangar bay. The crew was then given the task of fighting the fires onboard the ship just as their predecessors did in 1944. The scenario ended in an abandon ship drill where the crew observed a moment of silence topside for those that were lost over 66 years ago and paid the ultimate price for their nation.
While that served as a sobering reminder of what our duty means, we have been fortunate enough to share some lighter moments in the warmer waters and nice weather of the Pacific. Our port visits in Hawaii and Guam were enjoyed by everyone onboard, and gave all of us a chance to enjoy a short break from the routine. We will be visiting Singapore next, where we will have time for liberty while we prepare for an extensive exercise with their naval forces. It will be a great opportunity to explore a new country and train many of our warfare areas in joint operations. Our sailors have put a lot of time and effort to make sure PRINCETON is combat ready for exercises like these as well as ready for our official tasking when we arrive in the Gulf.
As for everyone back at home, don’t forget to contact the ombudsman so you can sign up for video teleconferencing with your sailors. It’s a great opportunity to schedule some time where you can meet privately with them face to face. Thanks for taking care of the home front while we are away, and we appreciate all of your support.
Honor and Glory
Captain US NAVYCommanding Officer, USS PRINCETON