China Art Figure

by Richard
(Portsmouth Va USA)

My name is Richard Flowers


I served 20 years in the US Navy I was stationed in Norfolk Virginia for most of the 20 years I served. I am originally from Long Island New York, I was but a young man when I first joined the service in June of 1980 I was 19 years old, ready to face this new world that I had chosen for myself. During my 20 years I had been stationed on 3 different naval ships, and three different shore duty stations, with training schools to fill in the gaps. The first ship I was stationed on was the USS Nimitz Aircraft Carrier, CVN 68 I served 4 years on that ship and it was like the best of times, and the worst of times. The good, the Bad, and the ugly. Hard work was the norm sometimes 12 to 14 hour per day but as a young man this was not hard for me I was full of energy, I had many friends on that ship, I worked in a fuels division, and was tasked with the care of maintenance on the aircraft fueling stations. Our division had about 30 people, some worked below decks purifying that fine yellow gold JP 5 with not a particle in it because because particles in JP 5 would, foul a aircraft engine, that would in turn bring down a multi million dollar plane, this fine yellow gold would be pumped to the fueling station.

I worked above decks on the black top 4 acres of steel, and working on the fight deck of a aircraft carrier was like no other job in the world, full of action but, also full of danger, watching aircraft being guided to there launching, when all is ready the hand salute forward on in arms way. Then there was the aircraft recovery the home coming the landing of our brave brothers. Aircraft being gracefully moved from one end of the flight deck to the other like a orchestra concert, and high above the black top was the tower where the (Boss), that is the Air Boss was the conductor.

The best of times on the Nimitz was found after working hours when friends would talk about things going on with family, friends at home girls meet and lost. Relationships that had ended or started and like always your crew members your shipmates there to help you get through a ear to listen, and a laugh to share. The worst of times when you deploy overseas your ship and your men have to be ready to face what ever comes your way, so you have to train, and be ready to take the watch, during one of our training exercises in May 26 1981 there was a aircraft that crashed on the Flight Deck killing 14, and injuring 48 the worst of times. To my fallen shipmates until the sea gives up it's fallen dead we still remember I still remember. My second ship was the USS Iwo Jima the Green and Blue side of the naval service, this ship was the lead ship in her class Amphibious Assault Ship, her chariots the Helicopter, her most destructive weapon a division of US Marine and there M 16 rifle. This ship served in the Cuban missile Crisis, Vietnam War, recovered Apollo 13 and served in Operation Desert Shield, her crew served her well, and she was always ready for action, but being ready means you most pay a price, and we did on 30 Oct 1990 after repairs to a main steam value in Manama Bahrain, we where heading out of port coming up to port speed when the Bonnet blow off the value that was just repaired killing 10 of 11 crew members. America's greatness comes from the voice of those welling to stand up and say this is not right what your doing, and thin to back it up with all you have the blood of your life.

My last ship and my last love was the USS Austin LPD 4 lead ship in the Austin Class Amphibious Transport Docks I served there from 1997 to 2000 on the way out the door of my 20 years of service to the Navy and the people of this great country to get to this point of life along the way you meet people that remain your friends, and to tell the truth you also meet people that you just want to stay away from. Some people that are still in the navy today still look at the color of your skin as a factor of how they treat you. USS Austin, my last love the people on this ship made the Navy to me seem new, and all this starts with the leadership of the ship the Captain, and his senior enlisted officers. This was the best of times for me, because it took me back to a place in the Navy where when you work hard you can play hard also. Go out and let your hair down without looking over your shoulder if your doing somethings that was not by the book. Today's Navy is different it cannot afford to be politically incorrect, people have to stay in line, and don't make trouble, in other words we want your blood, not your talk back. On USS Austin this ship is where I started my interest in collection Pottery and collectibles, all due to my friend Chuck, he was a auctioneer in North Carolinian, but he decided to join the Navy his family was into this business, and he just followed in there foot steps. He would buy thing that I took for granted and make money selling it or making a trade. After my service was over and I started working and traveling I started picking, buying and selling items that I would find along the way.

So that leads me to this Chinese Figurines that I have found, there is (6) in total but I just wanted to see if I could get some help reading the marks on the base of the one that I am showing. I bought these figurines from a nice lady that had a shop in Norfolk that was about one city block, she had so much stuff, it was always a joy to just climb over some of things she had. She passed away about 8 years ago, so I hope that you can help with the Identification of the marks.

Best regards

Richard Flowers

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Reply by Peter (admin)

You didn't manage to successfully upload your pics, but I liked your story so much, I published you anyway. If you read this, please ost your pics to me direct at peter@theclayartist.com

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