Don't Tread on the Dixie
The USS Dixie (AD-14) was the first U.S. Navy ship to receive the honor of displaying the First Navy Jack as the oldest active ship in the fleet. It was commissioned on April 25, 1940. "Dependable Dixie" spent World War II repairing destroyers in the Pacific.
In the April 1981 photo above, the oldest and youngest Dixie crew members, Fireman Apprentice Timothy Evans and Machinist's Mate First Class Marvin DeWitt, are displaying the First Navy Jack. Illustrator-Draftsman Third Class Alonzo Young gets ready to hoist it. Photo by PH3 John Iobst.
For more on the Dixie's honor, see the story "Honored as Oldest Active Ship in Active" in the July 1981 issue of All Hands.
NavyJack.info visitor Joseph Topping remembered the Dixie fondly from when he served on it in 1970-72 during the Vietnam War:
The Dixie was commissioned in 1940, had teak decks, and was a good first ship. And it felt old. It had so many leaks that a pumping barge was stationed alongside when moored at a pier, to continuously pump its bilges to keep it from sinking. Crossing the Pacific from San Diego to Subic Bay was at a breathtaking 12 knots. But what a great cruise!
The Dixie was decommissioned in 1982.