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The USS Stark County LST-1134 was my first ship. Her homeport was Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. I was a young YN3 when I transferred from an aviation squadron at NAS Barber's Point HI and I was the "ship's office"! I was only onboard about six months when we received orders to transit to Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington for transfer of the Stark County (also known as the Hilo Queen because of dependents cruises to the island of Hilo) to the government of Thailand. Our leading radioman RMI Eddy Kelley wrote the following poem just before decommissioning.

THE SAGA OF ELEVEN THIRTY FOUR

AS THE USS STARK COUNTY
YOUR DAYS ARE ABOUT DONE
FOR WE'RE TOLD BY BUSHIPS
THAT YOUR TIME HAS NOW COME

FROM YOUR BROKEN OL' KEEL
TO THE TIP OF YOUR MAST
YOU SAILED LIKE A QUEEN
WHICH FOR US WAS YOUR LAST

YOUR WORN OUT OLD ENGINES
AND TRANSMITTERS HUM
YOUR STORY TELLING STEERSMAN
YOUR GRADED EXERCISE FUN

HAS COME TO A FINISH
AS THEY CHIP AWAY YOUR RUST
AND HAUL DOWN YOUR PENNANT
FOR A CAUSE THAT'S JUST

THE NAVY MEN THAT SAILED YOU
WILL HEAD FOR THE FLEET
BUT THEY'LL REMEMBER THAT YOUR
DUTY JUST COULDN'T BE BEAT

IN NINETEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY SEVEN
WHEN YOUR ONLY "E" WAS WON
YOU BEGAN COMING APART
FROM YOUR KEEL TO MOUNT FORTY ONE

SO WITH THE BEST MONEY CAN BUY
THEY'LL MAKE YOU BETTER THAN NEW
AND FROM A FARAWAY LAND
YOU'LL HAVE A NEW CREW

AND WHEN WE HAUL DOWN YOUR ENSIGN
AND WE ALL WALK ASHORE
SOME OF YOUR OLD SAILORS WILL STOP
AND LOOK BACK A MOMENT MORE

THEY'LL WONDER ABOUT YOUR NEW NAME
INSIDE OF THE RAMP DOOR
AND WE'LL PRAY FOR THE FUTURE OF
OLD ELEVEN THIRTY FOUR

MAY YOUR LUCKY STAR GUIDE YOU
WHERE EVER YOU STEAM
AS IT DID WHEN YOU SAILED ACROSS
THE TRADEWINDS AS
THE HILO QUEEN