Recently people have been joining me on my Sunday Walks in Downtown Albany. Typically, I walk in Albany when I'm scheduled as a tour guide on the USS Slater. A slide show and a map are detailed at this blog entry. I plan on walking on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. You can contact me at:

More on the USS SLATER (

Monday, September 3, 2007

Tour 9/1/2006, Mogadishu

This Saturday I had a diverse group of visitors with ages ranging from mid-2 to perhaps 50+. With a wide range of ages, the compromises necessary can lead to a long tour that makes everyone unhappy. Topics of interest for the older groups are often considered boring for younger members (who require hands-on interaction). Safety is always paramount for a tour guide, but irrelevant for a hyperactive two year old who's interested in exploring the world. Luckily I was blessed with a pair of very attentive parents. Every time I was distracted by a darting 30” blur a young parent was there putting my concerns at ease. Just my opinion, but I think everyone had a good visit.

After the tour I was asked if I heard of the USS Rich. The visitor noted that she had grown up in Mogadishu, Somalia (during a more peaceful time) and remembered a visit of the USS Rich in the mid-1960s. I was familiar with a Destroyer Escort named the USS Rich (DE-695), but it wasn't the same ship as the one that visited Mogadishu. The USS Rich, DE-695 was sunk on June 6, 1944 off of Utah Beach. The Official Loss of Ship Report is available at the USS Rich (DE-695) web site.

After the loss of the USS Rich (DE-695) the Navy built a new Destroyer named USS Rich. The second USS Rich (DD-820) was commissioned in 1946. The 2nd USS Rich did visit Mogadishu in February, 1966. Sometime. after a deployment, a ship would publish a cruise book that contains highlights and ports of call. The USS Rich published one following the 1966 cruise to the Red Sea, and it's available on-line. Several pages relate to the Mogadishu visit. The Rich's Captain (L.K. Fenlon, Jr) also sent a letter (Familygram) to the USS Rich's families about the deployment. Here are links to these references to the Mogadiscio visit (the Italian spelling of Mogadishu) on the USS Rich (DD-820) website:

Cruise Book Page 54
Cruise Book Page 69
Captain Fenlon's Familygram

It appears that the USS Rich has a very active reunion group and a great web site. It's my guess that the web master would be interested in hearing reflections about the USS Rich's visit from a Mogadishu resident (

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