By Malcolm Friedman
Downingtown, Pennsylvania

In January 1961 I entered the glorious Boot Camp at Great Lakes. I turned 19 years young in Boot Camp.

After this "welcome to the real world" experience I was assigned to COMPHIBRON TWELVE for the remainder of my four years in the Navy. The USS HERMITAGE (LSD-34) was the flagship for COMPHIBRON TWELVE whenever the Commodore (actual rank of Captain) and his staff of officers and enlisted men were on board. I cannot recall how many cruises I made on the USS HERMITAGE. I did make a total of eight Carribean and two Mediteranean cruises while in the Navy which included the Cuban Blockade. Some of the other ships I sailed on for COMPHIBRON TWELVE were the USS FRANCIS MARION (LPA-249). USS GUADACANAL (LPH-7), and USS BOXER (LHD-4). The USS HERMITAGE was the special ship to me. It was the first ship I ever was on, but there were other reasons for which I cannot remember after all these years.


Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this past reunion. To this I am most sorry and disappointed. Hopefully I will be able to attend the next one; God willing. I am mentioning the above about COMPHIBRON TWELVE because I have not heard anyone else who has sent e-mails prior to or after the reunion mention this command and that the USS HERMITAGE was a flagship.