USS James C. Owens - DD776

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I was stationed on the above ship when it changed home port from Pearl Harbor to Treasure Island in August 1971. It was a stroke of good luck for me since I was a Naval Reservist finishing my two years of active duty (during the Vietnam War) and would be starting school at Golden Gate University in San Francisco the next month. In September my status changed from active to drilling on weekends until my commitment finished and, as it turned out, the ship was decomissioned and transferred to Brazil.

While I had heard of Treasure Island (we called it T.I.) I hadn't seen it before my ship was stationed there. Even in August, the breeze was quite cool. Having been in the tropics for about 18 months I guess I should have expected that.

My buddies and I set about exploring the island. It was a mixture of eras. Some remains of the Worlds Fair, the two large sea plane hangers, WWII buildings, a nice little chapel, small sail boat slips, dependent housing and all around beautiful views. I don't think the place was ever fully redeveloped by the Navy. They just used what was there and remodeled or built sparingly as needed.

As I think back, the attraction of the place was it's isolation in the middle of a metropolitan area of several million people. It was a place once mystical for it's many visitors that had become more attractive to look away from than to.


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