Motorcycles, Dogs & Battleships

On a cool, foggy, October morning in San Francisco, I attended the formal commissioning ceremony of the new U.S.S. America (LHA6). I was invited because the ship’s captain, CAPT Robert A. Hall Jr., and his officers, had commissioned me to create a commemorative brooch for the vessel’s sponsor, Mrs. Lynne Pace. My design features miniature sculpted helicopters and a tiny fighter jet poised to launch off the prow. Five symbolic sapphires—four blue, one gold—sparkle from the hull to mark the number of battle stars won by the previous U.S.S. America (CVA-66) during the Vietnam War. The blue stones signify soldiers families, and the gold sapphire represents families of soldiers lost in battle. Moved by her gift, Mrs. Pace modeled it at the ceremony and throughout the Fleet Week festivities in San Francisco, CA.

Once the U.S.S. AMERICA was officially “brought to life,” I received a memorable, behind-the-scenes tour of the massive 844 foot steel megalith by Executive Officer, Captain Wayne Baze. I have completed a number of special commissions over the years, but this was a true highlight for me. I felt honored to be chosen by the U.S. NAVY and especially proud that my creation was so well received.



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