PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - As crew members secure equipment and offload years of operational gear on the soon-to-be decommissioned USS Crommelin (FFG 37), historical items from years past are emerging, and Sailors are realizing there is more to their task than just shutting off the power.
"It's our job to make sure that this ship and the noble missions her crew conducted will never be forgotten," said Lt. j.g. Blaise Cummo, the ship's navigator and historical curator. "Certain things like the ship's commissioning plaque and the ship's bell are being sent to Washington, D.C. to be saved for posterity."
In addition to the "big ticket" items like the commissioning plaque, Sailors are finding items of both personal and historic significance.
"This is the original promotional booklet for the air search radar," said Electronics Technician Seaman Dane Throop, holding a dog-eared booklet full of bleached color photos and technical expositions. "It's really cool to find old stuff like this."
And in the wardroom, they found a pamphlet from Crommelin's commissioning ceremony, complete with photos of her first crew members. "Look at the beards on those guys," said Ensign Andrew Jeter, the electrical officer. "A lot has changed since then."
Although styles and regulations have changed since Crommelin was commissioned 30 years ago, the Sailors said that one thing has remained constant- their love and care for their ship.
"I'll always remember this as my first ship, where I went from a green college graduate to an experienced naval officer," Jeter said. "I'm going to miss this old girl."
Crommelin, the 28th ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class, guided-missile frigates, will finish up her 30 years of commissioned service with a decommissioning ceremony Oct. 26.