The USS Canopus was my first ship. It was a submarine tender based in Kings Bay, GA. I was sent there in September 1992 and stay thru her decommissioning in November 1994.
Ships emblemSome basic stats...
Commissioned - 11/4/65
Decommissioned - 10/7/94
Scrapped - 2010 (sniff)
Length - 644 feet
Width - 85 feet
Speed - 20 knots
2 steam turbine boilers
The pic above shows 2 subs alongside. Instead of being broadside the pier like normal, Canopus was tied up ass-end to the pier. We could tend more subs that way. We would supply weapons, food, mail and other supplies to them.
Being a tender, it didn't need to go out to sea much, the subs mainly came to it. We did spend 3 months in Norfolk in 1993. We went there via the Bahamas!
I started out in deck department, chipping and painting the outside of the ship. I spent many hours on that front area, the foc'scle (or forecastle) with my bucket & roller. But I knew I didn't want to stay a "Deck Dog" so I got into the post office.
I was on the Decommissioning Crew. In late 1994, we basically stripped the ship of all useful items, had a (for me, tearful - I'm a sucker for Taps!) ceremony where the flag was lowered for the final time. It was towed away and eventually scrapped. That video was so hard to watch - so here's a link to some clips of the decommissioning ceremony. There's actually some pretty cool shots of the ship itself. Totally brings back memories.