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When I was stationed on the "Big E", CVN65 back in 1971 or so we were off the coast of 'nam running bombing raids when India and Pakistan started fighting really heavy. We got the word to proceed at max speed to a station off the coast of India to cover the evacuation of American civilans. This was about 3 weeks before Christmas and we were due to go to Hing Kong for a holiday port visit in several days. Anyways away we went at 30 knots leaving our escorts in our wake and on into the Straits of Machlacca never slowing down. I remember the ship broadcasting over all marine channels for ALL water traffic to get out of the way and even a Japanese super tanker moved over so we could go by!

We got on station and the planes were armed, manned and on the cats ready to launch in 30 seconds with pilots already strapped in. We took station and the Marines from the USS Guadalcanal went in to brought out the civilians from all over the place, probably thousands I heard. In the mean time we were running out of food since we had already been out a month so we had steaks, powdered eggs, powdered potatoes and canned corn for 3 meals a day. Some of the steaks had a frozen date of 1955 on them but nobody was complaining. Christmas was coming and we had no word on when we could leave and then on Christmas eve a large grey shape appeared on the horizon.

It was our supply ship with what we prayed would be some mail and food. As it came along side the CO, capt CC Smith was on the wing of the bridge waiving in a Santa suit and then we could see the entire deck covered high with mail bags! The transfer started and took over a full day to complete and we ended up sorting the mail in the hanger bay into large squares for each department and it took several days to get it finished! We also finally had some different food althought in thinking about it the guys that were in land in nam had it a lot worse that we did! When the ship left they had just enough food and supplies to get back to the PI for a refill and we were ready to stay on station some more.
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