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SCPO Robert Shippee - Military Timeline
Senior Chief Petty Officer
USS Samuel Eliot Morison (FFG-13)
Chief Petty Officer
Robert and I (ET2) at the time pulled shore patrol in Villafrance, France in the summer of '82. Of course, we had to wear our dress whites and were looking sharp as we stepped off Fleet Landing to hit the beat and explore the city. Just as we got to the main drag, a group of hot young French women pulled up in a expensive convertible, smiled and flashed us by pulling their tops down bearing their breasts, then quickly drove off giggling. We both remember thinking, "Wow, we're gonna like this town"! We also pulled shore patrol duty in Split, Yugoslavia in the Winter of '81 and were the curiosity of the town. Not only because we were the first Americans in uniform to visit that communist country in years but also for the fact that I was Black and they were very curious (in a courteous way)about us. We got to stay in a hotel room, ordered room service (a steak dinner with all the trimmings) and attempted to pay for the meal (about $5.00) plus tip. They absolutely refused to accept the tip since it was a totally foreign conceot to them at the time.
Hearing that Robert was 1 of 37 Sailors killed on May 17, 1987 when two Iraqi French-made Exocet cruise missiles slammed into the USS Stark (FFG-31) on patrol. They were mistanken for an Iranian ship during the Iraq-Iran war. Due to the heroic and miraculous damage control efforts of the remaining survivors of the crew, the ship prevailed to be repaired and sail again.
1980 - 1982
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