|::: Farewell Address :::|
Well, gang this is the last time that I will be speaking to you. I have tears in my eyes and it isn’t because I’m hurt .....
I always did know that you were a damned good peacetime crew and the other day out
there you proved to me that you are a damn good wartime crew. I think that you are the best wartime crew in the Navy...
I did not leave the bridge that night until 11:30 when I found how many of the men had died and how many of them were dying. I
didn’t want to live myself but afterward seeing how hard you were fighting to save the ship which I thought was beyond saving, I knew that I could do more good alive .....
“I want to thank you men for saving the ship. I’m going
back to the states soon and I’ll try to be waiting on the dock when you pull in. Keep up the good work...
The Big ‘T” is still and always will be the best damned ship in the Navy .....
Don’t forget the Big
“T” and that you are still Dixie’s kids .....”
Special Note:according to 80 year old Donald Chester
who was the head cook on board ticonderoga and remembers Captain Kiefer's vow to be waiting on the dock.
"When we pulled into Hawaii, he wasn't standing, but he was there," Chester said. Kiefer watched from a wheel chair as the Ticonderoga
came into port.
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