Who We Are:
Welcome to our website, USS Fresno.com. We’re glad you’re here.
This site is dedicated to the men who served aboard the USS Fresno (LST-1182) during her active years, from 1969-1993. Over those 24 years of faithful service, there were literally thousands of sailors and Marines who sailed aboard the Frez to ports all over the Pacific. The Frez was homeported in San Diego, then later she transferred up to Long Beach and was a constant sight off the coast of Camp Pendleton as she picked up and delivered Marines and their AAV’s for deployments.
With her transfer to the Reserve Fleet in 1990, to her decommissioning in ’93, to her eventual sinking as part of a Navy exercise off Guam in 2014, the Fresno is now nothing more than a memory to those of us who walked her decks. We’ve heard from several former crew members, both officer and enlisted, who said that their tour aboard the Fresno was the most memorable of their entire Navy career. There was something about her flat bottom and her constant need of attention that bound us together as crew and as brothers. The Fresno was not easy duty – but it forged a brotherhood that is unlike any other. We will never forget our days aboard the “Flexible Frez”
This website began as a Facebook page that I started in 2008. I shared some of my pictures and told some of my stories, and slowly but surely, the old salts started trickling in. As of the publication of this webpage in 2022, our FB family has grown to 409 members. Many of them have begun the migration over to the website, and we’re hoping that the majority will check in at the Quarterdeck before too long.
There were really no ideas about reunions in place at the outset, but with the release of the video of the Fresno’s sinking in 2014, we began to feel a pull to get back together to see each other. In 2016, I organized the first “official” ship’s reunion in my backyard in Nashville, TN. We had about 25-30 former crewmembers show up – officers, enlisted, Plankowners. Heck, I even found out that our old 1st Lieutenant lived 20 miles up the road from me! After that great reunion, we began looking towards a second one. In 2019 we hosted a great one in Las Vegas. We had over 60 attendees and had an amazing get together. It was like old times as crew members from different eras mingled and we all shared stories that were remarkably similar no matter WHEN we were on the Frez. It was an amazing time. In 2021, we put together a third reunion, this time in Biloxi, MS. We had about 30 guys show up, and we made a mess out of a VFW hall in Pascagoula. It was once again an amazing time of brotherhood, storytelling, laughter and lies. We left Mississippi with an itch to do it again, so we are currently making plans for our fourth reunion to be held in San Diego, CA in June of 2023 (23rd-25th). We’ll post updates on this site with info you need to know as we draw closer.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the site, and if you’re a former crew member, I hope you added your information to be included in the Crew’s Log. We’ve also formed the “USS Fresno Memorial Association” as a way to help out any of our former crewmembers in need. Your donations and membership are appreciated and much needed to help out any of our brothers who need us. “Shipmates helping Shipmates” is the motto we live by at the USSFMA. The items sold in the Ship’s Store here on the website are all fundraisers for the USSFMA as well, and 100% of the funds collected above and beyond the cost of the materials is given to the USSFMA to be distributed to our shipmates, or used to help defray reunion costs.
This has been an absolute labor of love for me, and I’m glad that I had the chance to give back to the crew of the best damn ship in the Navy – the USS Fresno (LST-1182)
– GMG3 Hoss Peterson (’88-’90)
President, USS Fresno Memorial Association
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Homeport: Nashville, TN