Angstead connects present with past for USS Saint Paul
Recruit Training Command (RTC) Command Master Chief (MCD/PJ/FMF/SW) Christopher R. Angstead traveled to Indianapolis Aug. 11 to serve as principal speaker for the closing banquet of the USS Saint Paul Association reunion.
The reunion, which took place from Aug. 7-11, was attended by those who served on the USS Saint Paul (CA-73) between the commissioning, Feb. 17, 1945, and decommissioning, April 30, 1971, serving in World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War.
The USS Saint Paul Association is the largest in existence for a single vessel, and boasts quarterly newsletters and biennial reunions for members who served aboard “The Fighting Saint.” In 2010, the association held its gathering in Providence, R.I. and received principal remarks from Vice Adm. Phil Wisecup, the Navy’s inspector general.
An invitation was extended by Capt. Hank Koehler, the association’s president, for Angstead to speak to members about recruit training in 2012, decades after their own journeys through boot camp.
“It was inspiring, listening to their love of the Navy,” said Angstead. “I was humbled because of the legacy of the USS Saint Paul. I did some research and was unaware that the ship was so decorated.”
The second Navy ship to be named for St. Paul, Minnesota, the Baltimore-class cruiser earned one battle star for service in World War II, eight for the Korean War and nine for the Vietnam War. Present during the formal Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945, she would go on to participate in gun strike missions in support of the UN blockade in Korea, firing the last round shot at sea in the war. Before being decommissioned in 1971, she provided gunfire support during five deployments with 7th fleet in operations off North and South Vietnam, and earned the Navy Unit Commendation and two Meritorious Unit Commendations during that conflict.
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