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Ashtray: USS Oklahoma City

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    Posted 8 years ago

    Marcus
    (21 items)

    Okay military folks, educate me here. This ashtray weighs a ton (well, 15 pounds), appears to be made of solid brass, has felt on the bottom, and has interesting print on the top. One side says "USS Oklahoma City", one says "J.D. Ratliff" and one says "CG - 5 -1975 -1978".
    Now, was this an ashtray that would have been on the ship while it was in service? Who is J.D. Ratliff? I assume the 1975 - 1978 are just dates, but how is that significant? What do the other numbers mean?
    Someone out there knows all about this item, please fill me in!

    Unsolved Mystery

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    Comments

    1. beachbomb beachbomb, 8 years ago
      http://www.navsource.org/archives/04/091/04091.htm
      this website has most of your information. This ship was reclassified a CG-5 in 1975 and decommisioned in 1979. This was probably a decommissioning award/plaque type of thing for an Officer on board the ship.(Ratliff). Or possibly an item used on the ship by Ratliff(probably an Officer).
    2. beachbomb beachbomb, 8 years ago
      Just a few more comments, the felt on the bottom is so the ashtray would not slide around a table-top or counter-top in high sea states. My best guess is this was an Officers ashtray and was used on board the ship, J.D. Ratliff probably served on board during the dates indicated on the ashtray.
    3. scottvez scottvez, 8 years ago
      The item looks to be a shell-- if you remove part of the felt on the bottom you should see markings that would identify the projectile type.

      This was probably a departure gift for someone who was leaving the navy or going to another duty assignment. It was most likely made on board the ship by USN personnel.

      If it is indeed a shell, then it would be classified as "trench art".

      You can take a look at my postings to see a variety of trench art items.

      scott
    4. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      And here I thought I was looking at a picture of a land mine....Cool piece!
    5. scottvez scottvez, 8 years ago
      Have you gotten a look at the bottom?

      scott
    6. SEAN68 SEAN68, 8 years ago
      very cool:)
    7. AzTom AzTom, 8 years ago
      Would like to see a photo of the side.

      Ratcliff is not on the list of Commanding officers for this ship.
    8. Tophog, 4 years ago
      Sorry I'm late to the party.

      It is an ashtray, actually made out of 2 fired shells from the ship's 6"-.47 guns. The center 'cap' was added after machining.

      I know because I served on board the ship as a Gunner's Mate from '77-'79. We would take 2 shells to the machine shop on base in Yokosuka, Japan. The local machinists would make an ashtray from them. Cost was 2 cartons of Marlboro Red cigarettes at $2.30 each!

      I have 2 made from the 6-inch guns, and one from the 5-inch guns.

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