What is the source of the nickname (also the call sign), Lone Warrior, for the USS Harry Truman?
I can see how the Reagan is The Gipper. The Stennis is Johnny Reb; the Kennedy is Big John; the Eisenhower is the Ike; the Lincoln is the Abe; the Carl Vinson is Chuck Wagon.
Why is (was?) President Truman the Lone Warrior?
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The other ships you refer to have nicknames that are more easily identifiable with their namesakes: Reagan as the Gipper, Lincoln as the Abe, etc. The question, really, then, is why the USS Harry Truman as associated with Lone Warrior.
This can be seen a bit better when viewed in combination with the ship's motto, "The buck stops here." This famous expression is associated with Truman and reflects the idea that Truman had some very difficult decisions to make in his term as President (not the least of which regarded the atomic bomb!) "The buck stops here" was a sign Truman had on his desk and demonstrated his belief that he was ultimately responsible for the decisions he made (and he made a lot of unpopular ones!).
The nickname "Lone Warrior," then, can be seen from two angles:
- Truman was, indeed, a "lone warrior" who felt that responsibility ultimately fell in his lap. He was willing to go it alone and make tough decisions.
- An aircraft carrier is a fearsome mechanism. In itself, it is a "lone warrior" that can operate independently and still inflict a massive amount of damage.
It's a great way for them to get your contact information, at least!
It's interesting that you choose to fantasize about launching and landing rather than flying. Still, there is a HUGE market these days for commercial air traffic controllers out there. It's stressful, but it pay well (at least last I checked.)
Also, I'm not sure about this, but I think the information about the call-sign might be wrong. The call-sign for an aircraft carrier identifies its "control tower" and is kind of an official thing. From what I understand, it should start with an "N" for navy (the call-sign for the John F Kennedy, for example, is NJFK.) I think the "Lone Warrior" is really just a nickname. Same with Gipper and such. I'm pretty sure these are just nicknames, though I'm not an expert on the subject.
I have left emails at several navy webistes, includding the Truman's website. So far I have no offical response from the navy. Maybe they have no official version of the story.
I bet you're right.
The Navy website has an ask-a-question link, where I asked this question. I got a computer generated response which said my question had been sent to a recruter.
At about ten years old, I read The Bridges of Toko Ri. I imagined being a female version of Beer Belly, so that I could launch and land naval aviators on a carrier. Well, I've grown up. I'm a bit more realistic. I feel bad that I'm going to waste the recrutier's time, but maybe he will know the answer.
However, I bet you're right.
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