Submarine's Alumni Liken Bond to Family
By Jennifer Feals
Seacoast Sunday, May 23, 2010
[The following article is courtesy of the Seacoast Sunday and Seacoast Online.]
PORTSMOUTH -- Crewman of USS Albacore have a connection to the submarine and each other — quite similar to a family, they say.
During the USS Albacore Shipmate Reunion this weekend, amongst hugs, stories and jokes, some members of that family reconnected. The event was attended by approximately 100 shipmates and family members who took part in gatherings at Albacore Park, group dinners at local restaurants, tours of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and more.
"Anybody who served on this sub will tell you it's different than any other they've served on," said Butch Jordan, from Connecticut, who served two years on Albacore and a total of 25 in the U.S. Navy. "It's a special ship. Everything we did was new."
The crewmen cared about the ship and each other in a way that didn't happen on other vessels. Jordan said lifelong friendships were made between many.
"We were a very close crew and that's what made it what it was," said former Chief Henry Graves, of Kittery, Maine, who served on Albacore for 12 years. "The guys, the families, you got to know everybody."
Having the sub to come back to is special for the crew.
"It's something to have that sub here. How many people have that in their back yard," Graves said. "We come down once in a while, but we don't get to see those guys from other states too often."
Albacore was the first sub Jordan served on, adding to its special place in his memory. "It's a wonderful thing to say your first sub is now a museum exhibit," he said.