Back to WestPac for Me


By Stan Prince

March 24, 1973 while manning the rails aboard the USS America we tied up at Pier 12 in Norfolk. Marching down the gang plank I took my first step on US soil in over 10 months.

There were crowds of people looking for their loved one as they disembarked the Ship. Many reuniting with families, many Sailors seeing their newborn daughter or son for the first time. We marched to our awaiting buses and made our way to the airport to our Marine C -130 and our short flight Home to MCAS Beaufort SC. There we had our HOMECOMING and all the pomp and circumstance the Corps is known for.

Little did I know that in 30 days on April 24th I’d be signing an Overseas Waiver sending back to Southeast Asia via Kyoto Japan when to MCAS Iwakuni Japan then down to Nam Phong MCAS Rose Garden to participate in “Nixon’s Private War” in Laos and Cambodia…

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From World War II to Operation Desert Storm. The "Fighting Shamrocks" from VMSB to VMFA have served and sacrificed gallantly every time it has been called upon. From the cold inside the Artic Circle at Bodo Norway to the heat and dirt of Balıkesir Turkey. Shamrocks have left their mark.


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