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Yeoman, 3rd Class Petty Officer VSF-1 Personnelman, 3rd Class Petty Officer
USS Shangri-La Mediterranean Cruise
September 29, 1966 - May 20, 1967

Paul in the ADMIN/Personnel Office
aboard USS Shangri-La

Personnelman, 3rd Class Petty OfficerPaul lukes PN3 
After one semester in the Air Force ROTC in my freshman year at San Jose State College, I joined the Naval Air Reserve at NAS Alameda in the 2x6 program.

I started as an ADR striker, but was talked out of it by my Personnel officer who pointed out the advantages of working in an office compared to being on the flight line.

After three years in the active Reserves, I had made rate and used up all my college deferments, so it was off to Treasure Island for assignment and back to NAS Alameda for VSF-1. I had requested auxiliary ships home ported in San Diego, but the Navy knows best. (I took comrats and continued to live in San Jose with my granny, who finally asked me, “When ARE you leaving?”

The Med Cruise was the high point of my Naval career and bunking in a compartment with the aviation boatswains mates was a unique experience.

Careful study of the BuPers Manual yielded an early out to return to school, but I passed on remaining active in the Reserves. (The squadron I would have been in was activated for Viet Nam shortly after I got out, so compared to the Med Cruise it seems like a better choice.)

I enjoyed my enlistment, eventhough I had some close calls with the military justice system as I made the transition from civilian life. We can reminisce about that aspect of my Naval career, over beers, anytime.

I went back to school on the GI bill and got a community college teaching credential in Journalism. I met my wife when I was working as a copyboy at the local paper during graduate school. We've been married 35 years with no children. Cars have taken the place of kids, and we have several. 

I've had a mixed career between teaching and freelance writing with a few odd jobs like working in a lumber yard and being a Teamster thrown in. 

I grew up around San Jose and still live here -- the weather's nice for old cars.

Paul Lukes

Paul on the Flight line in Reserve Squadron VP-875 at NAS Alameda, California

Paul in the Office in Reserve Squadron VP-875

VSF-1 Med Cruise - Athens December 1966 on the Acropolis

Paul visit a Naples Orphanage with David King PN1 who took the picture


In 1969, while I was in graduate school, I worked as a copyboy at the San Jose News. This photo of the Shangri-La came across the wires, and I saved it. The ship was in WestPac sailing into Australia. "Hi Luv" was their Aussie greeting. 

I want to thank you for posting the "Hi Luv" photo of the Shangri-La on your web site.

I have always wanted to see that photo again since that was my ship and I was actually in that picture!

If you look at the photo, the letter "i" is made up of two rows of sailors side by side.  I was the sailor standing in the left hand row at the very bottom position at the base of the letter.

My parents saved a copy of that photo from our local newspaper, which they gave to me when I got home (I got an early out upon arrival in Mayport on December 17, 1970). Unfortunately, over the years I lost that picture so it was nice when I saw the photo on your site.

Thanks again

Frank Oese
OI Division USS Shangri-La 1969-1970.


I don't remember where this second picture came from. I think I found it aboard ship and saved it. It's got Italian writing on the back indicating it was taken at Naples, but there's no date. The twin blade helicopter probably helps with the date, though.

Paul and Tom Loftis YN3 in 1981 in Paul's 1939 Morgan three-wheeler

City of Hayward Volunteer & Awards Dinner
October 23, 2008 Photos

Paul interviewed at the San Jose Veterans Day Parade
November 11, 2008

 Video Requires Adobe Flash Player (Download)

Paul's 70th Birthday
at the spaghetti Factory, San Jose, Ca.



Paul with shipmate Bob Swanson and Bob's wife Donna


Some Articles Written By Paul

Sky CAPs: Civil Air Patrol 
By Paul Lukes 
The first order of business after the events of 9-11 was to get all commercial and private aircraft in the country on the ground. The only planes allowed in the skies were military planes, to ward off additional attacks. (more

Civil Air Patrol always on a mission
 By Paul Lukes 
 While all civilian airplanes in the United States were grounded after 9-11, nonmilitary pilots flying for the all-volunteer Civil Air Patrol carried medical supplies to disaster victims in New York and transported officials who had no other means of quick travel. (more)

Hot rod club celebrates 13 years of cruisin' 
By Paul Lukes 
When filmmaker George Lucas made his first feature-length hit, American Graffiti, in 1973, much of the country was swept up in a wave of '50s nostalgia for summer nights of teenage innocence and cruising to the drive-in restaurant in a patched-together hot rod. (more)

On Stage: Sellers only get one chance to make a first impression
 By Paul Lukes 
It used to be enough to bake some cookies and put a pot of hot apple cider on the stove to waft enticing fragrances through one's house when it came time to sell. But those days are gone. (more)

Understanding Y: The YMCA began as a men's Christian organization
 By Paul Lukes 
 For more than 75 of his 91 years, Dave Tatsuno has had a love affair with the YMCA. And for good reason. The Y took him in when he was a young immigrant and gave him a home, and when he was interred in a Japanese relocation camp during World War II, he was instrumental in starting a Y there. Many like Tatsuno joined the Y as youngsters and have stayed involved all their lives because of a sense of gratitude.  (more)

Car enthusiasts honored for giving $2 million 
Davis duo helps local nonprofits 
By Paul Lukes 
Christine and John Davis may not be household names, but the San Jose couple have given $2 million to more than 50 children's charities and nonprofit groups over the past 21 years through their organization, Air Systems Foundations Inc. (more)

Stitch in Time: Tailor Ricardo Torres
By Paul Lukes 
Ricardo Torres is an old-fashioned tailor who learned how to make good-fitting, long-lasting, well-made clothing as an apprentice 52 years ago from master tailors in his hometown—Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico. He can make a suit, jacket, pair of slacks or shirt from scratch.  (more)

Photo Op: Confoti served up tiny round photos of the president as confetti 
By Paul Lukes 
Confetti had its beginnings in Italy, at carnivals and other celebrations where people scattered candies or plaster imitations of candy about for decoration. What wasn't eaten was swept up and tossed in the garbage. (more)

Santa's Helpers
Toy project brings joy to less fortunate
By Paul Lukes
It's not exactly Santa's workshop at the North Pole with elves making toys for children, but it's just as magical. (more)

French Connection
Almaden Valley woman takes over San Jose's legendary Emile's restaurant
By Paul Lukes 
For the first time in more than three decades, a new owner has opened the front door of San Jose's legendary Emile's restaurant. Almaden Valley resident Alexandra Dorian served her first customers Jan. 18 at a grand opening intentionally marked will little fanfare. (more)

Hip to be Square
Square dancers revive nearly lost tradition
By Paul Lukes
Square dancing may appear to be a dying art form in many parts of the country--but not so in Santa Clara County, where enthusiasts have been thinking outside the box to help the American tradition make a comeback. (more)

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