Rich Kirsch's "Fighting Hannah"
U.S.S. Hancock CVA-19
OA/OP Division Photo Lab


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Introduction by Jake Jaccard, YN3, USNR (Ret) '61-'67, Web Yeoman of the
USS Hancock CV/CVA-19 Memorial

Richard A. Kirsch on the Signal Bridge - Click the Picture for the Rich-Today PageThe Hancock was recommissioned in 1954 at Bremerton, Washington after a long rest in mothballs following WWII.

Having undergone an extensive refitting period, she received the first Steam Catapults installed on an American aircraft carrier along with the new Mark 7 arresting gear.

Richard Kirsch, PH3, USNR, pictured here as a Photo Lab Seaman (SN), on the signal bridge, was aboard the Hancock from November 1953 through August 1955. His first billet aboard the Hannah was filled as a "Key Runner" - He was one of the few who came aboard every day to open various compartments for the welders and other workmen.

Due to this interesting job, he was in almost every space on ship, from bilge to the mast tower. Few Hancock sailors can make this boast.

After commissioning ceremonies, he was assigned to the Photo Lab.

Because of his knowledge of the Ship from Stem to Stern, Rich was invited to serve in the Admin Department of the Hancock Memorial, as our Official Ship's 'Key Runner' and Admin Assistant.

The above picture was taken as ship was leaving Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, where she was receiving some important upgrades. You can see Alcatraz behind him. He is holding one of the tools of his trade, an A20 - a 4 x 5" Roll-type manual Camera.

What follows in this gallery are some of the pictures he and others of the Photo crew took during this time.

Included in this collection is a rare copy of the Recommissioning Ceremony Program giving the activities of the day.

Since our Middle years Gallery is rather short on pictures depicting life aboard during this time, we are especially grateful to Rich for his contribution.

Also short on 'supply' in our aircraft gallery are pictures of the planes that launched off the deck during this period, but Rich has contributed many pictures of the planes as well.

I am sure you will find Rich's Gallery a rewarding addition to Pictoral History of the USS Hancock and also the USS Hancock CV/CVA-19 Memorial. If you wish to thank Rich or say hello, you can click his picture above.

So without further ado, I give you the Richard Kirsch Middle Years Gallery...

It would be remiss of your Yeoman if I didn't give full credit for this gallery to those members of the Photo lab so here they are, at a local establishment celebrating...

The Photo Crew parties in Oakland

Rich is 3rd from Right, back row, with a cherry in his mouth - mmm, those rum and cokes!
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Recommissioning Ceremony Program cover

Click program for a close-up of Hancock History below...

Recommissioning Ceremony Program - page 2

Re-commissioning Ceremony Program - 15 February 1954 §

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Extended U.S.S. HANCOCK CVA-19
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Enjoy My Personal 16mm Video which I took
of Life on the Flight Deck when testing the new
Steam Catapult System

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 31 May 2008