Photos by
Kevin Hecteman
San Francisco, California

Fleet Week October 11 & 12, 2003

(Click on Thumbnail for larger photo)

Here, the Double Farvel is seen from Crissy Field during Friday's practice run with The Rock in the background.

The Diamond 360 again, this time seen from the flying bridge of the WWII Liberty ship S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien on Saturday afternoon. I am now a volunteer docent aboard the O'Brien and made the cruise this year as a member of the crew.

Drat those cables! :-)

The Line-Abreast Loop seen from the O'Brien.

The Delta flies down the show line at the end of the show. That big orange bridge in the background needs no introduction...

Fat Albert at the Golden Gate.

The five-ship Vee flies down the line to close the show, with the San Francisco skyline in the background, seen from the O'Brien's bridge. No. 6 did not fly this day.

The diamond begins the Diamond 360 on Friday, as seen from East Beach at Crissy Field.

The diamond has just been given takeoff clearance at San Francisco International Airport on Thursday afternoon. This year, the Blues, for the first time, used SFO as their staging point for Fleet Week (in past years, they've used NAS Alameda and Oakland). The Hornets are tiny little things compared to the jetliners one usually sees at SFO! 

Some of these were taken from the Liberty ship S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien.

The Background Photo

The Jeremiah O'Brien is one of some 3,000-plus Liberty ships built during World War II and one of two still capable of steaming (the other being the John W. Brown in Baltimore). The O'Brien was part of the 5,000-strong D-Day armada in June 1944 and the only ship from that armada to return to Normandy in 1994 for the 50th anniversary of D-Day. (The ship made the round trip from San Francisco for the occasion with a volunteer crew.) The ship now mostly rests at Pier 45 in San Francisco, where it's open to the public as a museum (the National Liberty Ship Memorial). The ship usually cruises San Francisco Bay twice a year, one weekend in May and Fleet Week in October.

By the way, if you've seen the movie "Titanic," you've seen the O'Brien's vertical triple expansion steam engine in action.

--Kevin Hecteman

Here's the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien herself, at Pier 96 in San Francisco at sunrise Saturday.

Saturday afternoon, the O'Brien's Captain took us down the Oakland Estuary to have a look at the USS Midway (CV-41). The Midway served for nearly half a century, from just after WWII to 1992. The old flattop was just passing through en route from Bremerton to San Diego, where the Midway will become a museum ship.

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I would like to thank

Kevin Hecteman

for the use of his photographs.