A Letter From a Former Essex Sailor

A Little History

The Essex is Alive and Well


This letter came about as a result of Christmas packages our family recently sent to Any Soldier (www.anysoldier.com ). One of the packages wound up with a Marine Corporal in Afghanistan, who wrote back and alerted me that the Essex was alive and well and that several of his fellow soldiers had recently been on Her. That prompted me to write back and share a bit of history of three amazing years - 1960-1963. In the letter I expressed astonishment that the Essex was still afloat, although after further digging I now realize that She was indeed out of action for over twenty years, but apparently recommissioned in 1992.

All of this then prompted me to forward the attached copy of my letter to Corporal Cain on to you. I am sure you know much of the Essex's history, but I thought you and perhaps some of your fellow officers and crew might enjoy reading a bit of three especially remarkable years. During the 1960-63 period the Essex was called on to be the flag ship for three of the more significant crises in post WWII history - the Bay of Pigs Crisis, the Berlin Wall Crisis, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Delighted to hear the Essex is back in action. It was a privilege for me to have served on Her, and I am sure all of you feel the same. And thanks to all for bearing uniform during these critical times for our Nation.

Brooks Helmick


Former Electronic Warfare Officer and OI Division Officer

USS Essex (CVS-9)



Read The Letter


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