USS CONCORD (AFS/TAFS-5) Veterans Association

MEMBER SPOT LIGHT

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This Members Spot Light page highlights a particular Concord sailor
and shares their memories while stationed aboard. 

 Quarterly we seek input for our web-page spot lighted shipmates. Clearly all who sailed Concord qualify for this recognition but in our search we try to locate those shipmates that have a unique story or contributed to Concord in a special way during her service. I had the privilege to serve under Captain Taylors command during my ride on Concord and can honestly say it was a pleasure. We worked hard and played hard and I have nothing but fond memories.  Enjoy his thoughts below.
Captain Taylor's contribution
 

I had the honor of Commanding the USS Concord (AFS-5) from 17 Feb 1985 

Until Aug 28 1986. As I look back on that time, I am amazed at the many memorable and exciting events that happen in such a short span of time. 

 

Concord took the USS Nitro under tow when she suffered a casualty with a storm approaching, rescuing two Turkish fishermen who had been stranded in their boat for over a week, having a very large H-53 helicopter make an emergency landing on our deck, my representing the United States at a memorial day service at a veterans cemetery in Draguignan, France, and making numerous (white knuckle) transits of the straits of Messina. All this in addition to our normal mission of replenishing all the ships of the Sixth Fleet (to include several embassies as well as the submarine base at LaMadalena, Sardinia) once every month.

 

However, the most memorable event in my opinion is as follows: We were just to the South of Sicily, making our way slowly toward the Eastern Med to commence the replenishment of the Carrier battle group, which was scheduled to commence in about 4 days. I retired to my stateroom around 2200 and was awaken at 2300 by the OOD. We had received an emergency message from the USS Eisenhower that stated the Carrier was making an emergency sortie to the Eastern Med for some contingency operations. She was inquiring if there was any way that Concord could somehow provide her with some of her scheduled replenishment goods while she was in. transit. I quickly put the entire ship on alert and determined that the USS Eisenhower was approximately 30 miles to our West. I knew the carrier was doing around 31 knots, so I kept Concord on an easterly course and increased our speed up to our maximum of 21 knots. Under those conditions I knew that Ike would pass us in about 3 hours since she was overtaking us by a speed of 10 knots. The supply officer informed me that he could have the majority of Ike’ goods positioned for Vertical replenishment by our embarked H-46s in about one hour. The Helo detachment manned the two H-46s and we commenced transferring goods to the carrier when she was 20 miles West of us and continued  the transfer until Ike had passed us and was 10 miles to our East. We managed to transfer over 80% of the Ike’s requirements that night! The entire operations lasted only about 4 hours and was a total success. The fact that Concord could, on extremely short notice, in the middle of the night, manage to replenish an Aircraft Carrier while she was in transit was a truly a monumental accomplishment, and required the close cooperation of the entire ship. The efforts of the Supply department, the deck department, the engineers, and the Helicopter detachment, as well as everyone else on the ship was truly commendable!

 

My worst experience on The USS Concord was as follows: We rendezvoused with the USS Vreeland to replenish her while she was transiting to her next Port of call. The weather was poor with a fairly rough sea state. The Vreeland had requested a specific Romeo Corpen to facilitate her making her port call on time. It was not the most desirable course or e event but I reluctantly agreed and we started the underway replenishment. The approach and hookup went well but it became immediately clear to me that Vreeland was having trouble maintaining station alongside of us so I was watching her very closely from our starboard bridge wing.

Suddenly Vreeland started to close dangerously close to us and I had to order emergency breakaway. I also had to order left rudder to prevent Vreeland colliding with us. After the ships started separating I noticed that Vreeland was making a hard starboard turn well before the lines had been disconnected. I was fearful that the line would part and possibly seriously injure someone. I had to order 30 degree right rudder and literally chase the Vreeland to starboard to prevent the line from parting. When the lines were finally secured, and we were a safe distance from Vreeland, I was informed by the Deck personnel that we had come within about 2 feet of hitting Vreeland with the Concorde’s stern. I had to file and incident report but luckily no accident had occurred. 

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If you know of a member that you would like to recognize as "Spotlighted" or have input your self that you wish to nominate, contact the webmaster below with the name and reason.

The USS Concord AFS/TAFS 5 Association is a not-for profit and tax free organization IAW 501(c) 19. Dues \ donations however are non tax deductible.
All of our membership dues and other contributions directly fund the association functions, events, and necessary expenditures associated with maintaining our organization.

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