What happens to a ship, and her crew? It's a question we ask whenever a war ends. When everything seems over. When nothing is as it was, full of possibility, hope and comradeship. When the old camaraderie can no longer hold things together. When greatness no longer seems possible or even interesting.
What happens to a ship? It's a question full of dreams. The ship is still out there or, to be more precise, here in our hearts. For that is where a ship really exists. In the minds and eyes of the crew. In the imagination and will. Only when ex members of the crew cease thinking like Skagit people, always absorbed by the new, the different, the beginning---only then will the Skagit be gone forever.
Underneath laden skies and praises, in 1969 they decommissioned and scrapped the mortal remains of the USS Skagit AKA 105. What lives is the memories of her crew---Hong Kong, Yokosuka, Pusan, Inchon, Kobe, Manila, Guam, Taku Bar, Panama, Alaska, Okinawa, Hachinohe, Marseille, Siagon, Danang, Phu Bai, and Chu Lai. Steam, sweat and smoke, boat drills, troop landings, GQ, typhoon laden waters, and blood red moon dappling over the South China Sea.
Yes, the old "Skagmaru" is alive and well in the hearts and minds of all of us who spent a portion of our lives within the confines of her hull.
The USS Skagit Association was formed by a group of former shipmates who served aboard the USS Skagit AKA 105 and felt they would like to again renew their association with their former buddies by either correspondence or personal fellowship through a ship reunion.
From a "handful" the roster has grown to over 350 shipmates who have been located and who served aboard at various time periods during the lifetime of the ship, 1945-1969.
The present roster shows our shipmates come from all parts of the United States, Hawaii, Canada and the Phillipines.
The first ship reunion was held in Omaha, Nebraska in 1986; 1987 found the group in Grand Junction, Colorado. After a lapse of one year, the 1989 reunion was held in Norfolk, Virginia. Here it was decided to have annual reunions, 1990 found the "Skagit Family" in Seattle, Washington; 1991 Hudson, Ohio; 1992 San Diego, California; 1993 Nashville, Tennessee; 1994 Mobile, Alabama; 1995 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 1996 San Diego, California; 1997 Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky; 1998 Savannah, Georgia; 1999 Omaha, Nebraska; 2000 Sacramento, California; 2001 San Antonio, Texas; 2002 Buffalo, New York; 2003 Biloxi, Mississippi; 2004 San Antonio, Texas; 2005 Reno Nevada; 2006 Charleston, South Carolina; 2007 Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky; 2008 St. Louis, Missouri; 2009 Pensacola, Florida; 2010 Branson, Missouri; 2011 San Diego, California; 2012 Norfolk, Virginia: 2013 Albuquerque, NM: 2014 Rapid City, South Dakota: 2015 Colorado Springs, Colorado: 2016 Washington, DC.