11 Jun Commissioning of USS Kidd
Kerry and I got to take a guided tour of the ship, including the CIC (I forget what it stands for) that is the “nerve center” of the ship’s defense system … radars, computers, huge map screens, guys that sit next to each other that can’t make decisions without each other to make sure people don’t do anything alone that would be stupid.
Among other things, I learned …
- A ship is NOT an official part of the Navy until it is actually commissioned. Commissioning is NOT the same as Christening a ship.
- Matt is now what they call a “Plankowner”, since he is part of the crew when the ship is commissioned. Grampa Bill is also a “Plankowner”, having commissioned a ship in 1943.
- In the old days, when they decommissioned a ship, they would literally give a plank of that ship to each “Plankowner”.
- Babies of the crew can be christened (baptized) in the ship’s bell. They talk out the hammer, turn it upside down and fill it with water. The first baby christened in a bell has their name engraved inside the bell. When that bell is taken out of service, they find the person whose name is in the bell and offer it to them.