Here are three events that happened on the USS Columbus (CG-12)
Sent in by Greg Allard

Greg was a Radioman aboard the USS Columbus (CG-12). He came aboard in 1972 and was there until he left in May of 1973.

Story #1

We were in the Med. and the ship was conducting joint maneuvers with a small task force including the JFK. The Columbus shot one of the missiles off and apparently lost guidance. It headed for the JFK. There was an immediate destruct. Everyone was told to take cover in case there was any falling debris. Of course, no one was hurt and the JFK sailed on as if nothing had happened. I am not sure they were even aware of the incident.

Story #2

Another interesting story was the time the ship was in Gtmo, Cuba. The Phillipino stewards on the ship were fishing right off the ship when it was tied up at the dock. They baited their hooks with some rotten whole chickens. They caught a couple of large sharks and used them for their dinner that evening.

Story #3

Greg believes this happened during the Christmas Holidays of 1972.
It was the holiday season in Norfolk at Pier 5. Of course, this means that everyone has either gone home to their families or just disappeared for a few days. I had decided not to fly home, since I didn't have any "leave" left. The ship was very quiet and we were all enjoying an uneventful "eve watch." All of sudden, alarms were going off all over the ship. I asked what was going on and I was told that some of the missile fuel was smoldering in the forward missile area. They told everyone to stay on board if you had the "watch." The Columbus untied from the pier as a few tugs started guiding us out into the middle of the bay. They were concerned that the missile fuel would ignite and blow the forward part of the ship up and any ships that were nearby. The U.S.S. Guam was right behind us and the U.S.S. Newport News was right across from us! We were greeted by several fire boats. The smoldering missile fuel was apparently contained and after several tense hours, we were guided back to Pier 5. We were never told why the fuel started smoldering!

Thanks Greg, very interesting stories. I never thought about one of those missiles "getting loose".
Shark for dinner anyone??

Back to Stories

Back to Welcome Aboard !!

Back to Opening Page