Sailors on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln opened a time capsule of sorts last month and didn’t know it.
While performing work connected to the refueling and complex overhaul Lincoln is undergoing at Virginia’s Newport News Shipbuilding, sailors assigned to the ship’s combat systems department found the signatures of two sailors on the carrier’s original deck plates while they were removing tiles. The plankowners made their marks less than a year after the ship’s 1989 commissioning.
A picture of the signatures went up on the ship’s official Facebook page shortly after the Oct. 23 find. In a social media success story, one of the autographers, Data Systems Technician 2nd Class Tim Dukes, saw the post and shared his memories.
“I look back and remember the fond parts of the Navy and wish I would have stayed,” Dukes said in an Oct. 31 Navy news release. “I remember serving aboard it like it was last week. Those bonds do carry across time.”
The carrier’s midlife refueling and overhaul, which was delayed six weeks by budget concerns, began in late March and is expected to last 3 1/2 years.
The $3.3 billion effort will keep the carrier in service another 25 years.