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Saying So Long to the USS Cape Cod

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Last week, I got in to work and heard that a member of the Ghost Fleet of retired military ships that rests on The James River was moving on after 12+ years amongst the other ships of the Ghost Fleet. 

The USS Cape Cod, which last served in Liberating Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm, was being moved out and to it's new spot near the Gulf of Mexico, where, it was to be salvaged and recycled.  

I made a few quick calls around and loaded up the car for a day-trip out to see this historic moment...and it was darn awesome!

To see this big beauty being hooked up to tug boats and prepared for the move was not as melancholy as I thought.  Once I got out there, all those ships of military history sitting was like seeing a group of elder war heroes giving a final send-off to an old pal.  It was awesome. 

I also got some video...I'll be doin a longer-form version of it...but while I continue work on it, here's a sneak-peek of what I am working on.

It was great to see...awesome to witness, and fantastic to grab some pictures.



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03/12/2012 9:19AM
Saying So Long to the USS Cape Cod
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03/13/2012 1:29AM
A sad day for the lady
This is a sad day, for the USS Cape Cod and those who proudly served on her. She was a truly great ship and will be sorely missed by us all. I am always glad and proud to say that I served on board that great ship. Thank you so very much for the video and pictures, they are greatly appreciated!
03/13/2012 1:55AM
USS Cape Cod (AD-43) Dedication Slide Show from Decom Sailor Hi, love the teaser You posted, Ty, can't wait to see the full piece, btw I served on the Cape Cod when she was taken out of service from the Navy, and put a lil slide show on YouTube , here's, a link, hope it works for you, plz enjoy,
03/13/2012 10:10PM
Great memories!
One of the best ships I served on! She holds a special place in my heart. I have fond memories, the best one of all meeting my husband. I wish I could've taken a piece of her home. She will be truly missed! Thanks for the video. Fair winds!
03/16/2012 9:07AM
My One And Only
Served on her during the war and have many memories. Lots of bizarre things happened on that ship! R.I.P. AD-43
03/18/2012 9:15AM
Going to miss our fine Ship!
Cant wait to see the full video Chuck....Thank You for getting the video I wish I could have taken myself...All of us who served aboard the Cape Cod are thankful..Wishing I could have one more visit!
03/24/2012 6:30AM
Sad to see her go
I decommissioned CC. I was the chief in charge of inspecting every space prior to turning it over to Norfolk Naval Shipyard, to ensure that each space met a pretty pristine material condition requirement. The intent was to put CC into such a condition that in the event that the Navy wanted her back online, all that would be required was a new crew and about 6 months time to get her going again. All the shops tools and equipment were placed on pallets in the ships hold spaces below decks and packed with desicant.... I mean everything. All hand held tools, portable tools.... All the furniture remained in the spaces.... desks, chairs, filing cabinets. We made the ship absolutely ready to go again. Every light had to work before we could turn it off. Every space was painted with no bare paint. I had always hoped that she be recommissioned. I retired from the Navy 6 years ago. I still work for the Navy as a civilian, so I see ships get decommissioned pretty regularly. I see the crews walk away for the last time with the same mixed emotions that I had walking away from CC. My first ship (USS Acadia) was recently sunk off the coast of Guam. That hurt. But this is life. The THINGS we build will eventually fall. Only our friendships and our memories last. NIce job on the video.
03/30/2012 6:22PM
Thanks for the video!
I was on the ship for the last six months and traveled to Virginia to decommission her. The video holds a lot of memories
03/30/2012 9:34PM
04/09/2012 10:32PM
My 1st Ship
I was a PN3 on the Cod, became a Golden Shell Back, went to War and Visited some awesome ports. Cape Cod AD-43 R.I.P
04/24/2012 9:46AM
My husband and I both served on the Cod our first tour of duty in the mid 90's. He was part of the crew that decomissioned her here in Norfolk. Now my husband is retiring feom the Navy after 20 yrs and had hoped to have his retirement flag flown there. Was so sad to hear she was being moved and her fate sealed. So many happy memories however, she will be remembered fondly! Just sorry we didnt get the chance to see her before she left.
04/24/2012 10:11AM
My husband and I both served on the Cod our first tour of duty in the mid 90's. He was part of the crew that decomissioned her here in Norfolk. Now my husband is retiring from the Navy after 20 yrs and had hoped to have his retirement flag flown there. Was so sad to hear she was being moved and her fate sealed. So many happy memories however, she will be remembered fondly! Just sorry we didnt get the chance to see her before she left.
04/25/2012 11:34PM
Fond farewell to a Great Lady.......
I was assigned to The Cod right out of HT "A" school in Philadelphia. I arrived at the Pe-Com building on 32nd Street in San Diego in Dec of '81.there were only about 25-30 people at the time and we were given berthing on The amphib base on North Island til Commissioning in April '82. In that time it was a helluva lot of fun watching the crew grow and become her (my) family. I was assigned to R-1 Div, best bunch of people I've ever known, in the carpenter shop64 A/C. The memories of watching her get her finishing touches in the yards and moving on board and finally getting her under way for Reftra and ultimately a West-Pac the likes of which I have yet to see rivaled are some of the best times of my youth and my live. FAREWELL YOU GREAT LADY!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE...... Stan Trujillo
06/29/2012 12:59PM
Goodbye COD
Good bye old friend. Goodbye
07/02/2012 3:52PM
IC 3 Kathy Dempsey
I am deeply saddened to see The Cod go the way things do in the military, I am proud to have served on board for 3 1/2 years. finished my tour in 1988 at north island. Met lots of great people most of whom I still fondly recall. It was a priveliege and an honor to have been part of this great fast attack tender's history.
07/03/2012 9:01AM
Farewell Cape Cod
I was a crew member from Jan 1990 to March 1994. if anyone has information on how to get souveniers contact me @ I still have my Desert Sheild/Storm plaque that was made in the ships foundary.
07/13/2012 11:26AM
Goodbye to my final duty station.
I served on the USS Cape Cod from 1991-1994 in the pump shop as a repair man. I was on my only West-Pac...and was inducted into King Neptunes fleet on her!! Sad to see that they have to be recycled down...better than my first ship that was shot and sunkby a torpedo.
07/14/2012 10:49PM
a piece of my life's puzzle is missing edge piece !!!!
i checked on board in march 1982 and was lucky enough to do the first 2 west-pacs. i was in R-1 pipe shop the shipfitters shop. worked with many great men and women. worked for some great men that helped set the foundation for the man i have become. to my superiors, thank you for your patience with me, i was young, dumb, and immature. but i think you would be proud of the man i am today. george z., rick r., larry K. sheppler and even gus g. aka wingnut. to all the friends i made, i think of you almost on a daily basis. thanks for the memories shipmates. but to the grand ol girl that i called home for 4 1/2 years you will be missed and there is a hole in my heart now. joe doncoes R-1 ,11-A for ever !!!!!!
08/03/2012 10:11PM
Farewells are always tough
I reported in summer of 81 as fifth officer in the pre-commissioning crew working out of some trailers at the NAASCO shipyard in San Diego. Went out on sea trials and builders acceptance. I spent a lot of time working with the prior ships of the class (AD-42 and AD-41) to prepare Cape Cod for commissioning with all the stuff in the right places. Sorry to see her pass as the last of the four ships I served on is no longer.
12/05/2012 11:35AM
BT Roxanne
Just read this news. Sad to see. I was onboard in 1987-1989. I still hang my shellback certificate in my office and drink from my Cape Cod coffee mug :)Good memories and awesome shipmates.
12/29/2012 10:21AM
plank owner
I was Also a Plank Owner, though didn't stay long , left for school before first west pac, had a lot of fun back then(from what i can remember)!!! TOM RUDISAILE BETHANDTOMR@FRONTIER.COM
01/09/2013 11:45AM
K.Wall -SK
Nothing but fond memories of this ship,served onboard from 3/89-11/92.I wish that it had remained longer in the fleet,I'll always remember the time spent in Sasebo and Yokosuka Japan and other great port visits.
01/29/2013 7:15PM
My first and favorite ship: USS CAPE COD (AD 43)
Wow, I found your site by accident and loved the great memories it brought back! I was on for her last two WESTPACs. I worked in the Dental Department and enjoyed helping the crew as well as all the other ships' crew that came along side including all the amazing ports we visited. I must say, it was one of the best times in my life. I just wish I knew about the CAPE COD being in the James River. I would have paid her a visit; just so many great memories! Thanks for posting. BTW, it was there where I learned to whistle with two fingers, one hand!
02/08/2013 1:42AM
My last ship: USS Cape Cod (AD-43)
Served in the last part of Pre-Comm when I checked in on Jan 15th, 1982, commissioned her on April 17th, 1982. I served as the S-7 LCPO and as the ADP Officer until I transferred to Navmasso Det Pac San Diego in May 1985. The Cape Cod was a fantastic ship with a great crew. I still miss her and the crew even after all these years. There will always be a special place in my heart for the USS Cape Cod and her crew. God Bless Shipmates.
02/14/2013 1:12PM
good bye!
I too was a in a small group to move aboard while still at NASCO.Worked in E-Div. Still work for DOD in Columbus, Ohio and this girl prepped me for my career wit the federal govt. Worked with some awesome guys....had a blast on maiden vogay to Everett, WA....right up to the end when was ressasigned to the USS who i am?
02/19/2014 2:36AM
MM2 in R-2 Division
CC was my first ship in December 1984. Was proud to serve on her for five years before being transferred. I found you website by accident and was saddened to hear she was being sold for scrap. She had a lot of years left and was decommissioned too early. Went on two west pacs on her and became a golden shellback. Great memories and great friends. She will be missed.
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