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  Tuesday, March 3, 2015
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USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) Visits South Boston
By Rick Winterson

     Late Thursday afternoon, March 16, the USS Philippine Sea arrived here in South Boston to help observe Evacuation Day/ St. Patrick’s Day.  It tied up at the Black Falcon Terminal.  A Naval ship has been part of our local observances for many years, a cutom begun by the late Congressman Joe Moakley and continued by his successor, Stephen Lynch.

     John “Wacko” Hurley was on hand with a contingent from the Allied War Veterans Council to welcome the USS Philippime Sea.  A welcoming banner was unfurled as the ship was piloted in, and the pipes struck up several salutes.as she docked.

     The courtesy of the Captain of the Philippine Sea, Eugene Moran, along with his officers and crew, was outstanding.  The wardroom was decorated with colorful green shamrock cutouts.  The food and refreshments were excellent.

     Hurley and Capt. Moran exchanged mementos, among which were a large box of 9-0 cups.  Gene Vaillancourt, Boston’s Director of Veteran Services, gave Capt. Moran a city flag and a book about the city.  Dan Lynch and Nick Zaferakis presented the Captain a flag flown over the Capitol from Congressman Stephen Lynch.  Tom Butler then presented a gift from Massport and Mike Bare, standing in for Council President Flaherty, presented a citation from the City of Boston.

     The USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) is named for the last and decisive air-sea engagement of World War II.  The Imperial Japanese Navy lost virtually all of its naval air power and a third of its carrier strength in this battle, which occurred in 1944.

     The cruiser was commissioned in 1989, and served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm when Iraq invaded Kuwait.  It has been the flagship in a drug interdiction exercise.   Within the last few months, during training and readiness exercises known as “INSURV”, the USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) set new standards for proficiency among cruisers.

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Parade Organizer John "Wacko" Hurley with Capt. Eugene Moran, Jr., USN, on board the USS Philippine.

Bob Mood, Julia Mudloff, and

Kevin Conroy welcome the USS Philippine Sea to South Boston's Black Falcon Terminal.

There's no mistaking Wacko Hurley's welcoming committee.