Gregory Martinez


Connie: The USS Constellation and the Last 50-Star Union Jack


ISBN: 9781555719036
Pages: 257


“In this true story, Mr. Martinez chronicles his remarkable, challenging, and life-changing experiences during the Vietnam War. This emotionally driven narrative is a very entertaining and enjoyable read.” — Scott Reda, film and military documentary  producer, executive producer of Lou Reda Productions.


Growing up in Sea Bright, New Jersey, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Gregory Martinez became engrossed with living by the sea. One day, he received a very distinguished letter addressed to him from the President of the United States. The Selective Service Department of the United States, had directed him to serve in the Armed Forces and report for active duty on July 14, 1970. Seeking guidance from his father, he was told “Go join the Navy. Do what you have to; get something positive out of the experience. Learn all you can.” This became Greg’s first mission.

On April 16, 1971, Greg reported aboard the 4.4 acre aircraft carrier, USS Constellation (CVA-64). By September 1971, the ship and her crew, including the air wing, were combat-ready for deployment. Interspersed with combat duties, Greg experienced riveting life adventures both onboard and ashore during his years with Connie.

After his Honorable Discharge, Greg began to feel the “calling” of his ship. Unsure what to make of these feelings, he slowly permitted himself to be drawn in by her. It eventually became clear that Greg needed to learn more about Connie and what was occurring during her tenure at sea.

Connie—a ship that cannot and will not be forgotten—had a profound and lasting effect on Greg and others who have sailed aboard her. Greg’s final mission and its results are revealed in the concluding chapters of the book; a mission which no one, not even Greg himself, could have ever predicted.

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