As the Vietnam War continued to heat up and the demand for soldiers, sailors and airmen grew, James Fawcett enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1966, despite still being in college. He knew that he had two options: enlist or be drafted. He bravely chose the former after being encouraged by his father who was a naval officer during World War II.
James served on the USS Eldorado (LCC-11) for three years between August 1968 and May 1971 as the Assistant Communications Officer and Radio Officer. During that time, he and his crew were deployed to Vietnam twice for nine months duration on each deployment where he was an underway officer of the deck for most of the second cruise, responsible for “driving” the 15,000-ton amphibious ship through congested waters and supporting Marines in the northern areas of South Vietnam.
“Many of my shipmates are still friends of mine after many years,” James notes.
These days, he’s grateful for a related occupation in a far less stressful environment – at USC he serves as the director of marine science and policy outreach for the USC Sea Grant Program.
James is proud to work for USC, and USC is proud James is a part of the Trojan Family!
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