Alaska Fire Fighter Donates Moose Head to Naval Warship
May 9, 2013 – Anchorage, AK Local 1264 fire fighter Lex Patten has donated a 100-pound mounted moose head to the U.S.S. Anchorage, one of the U.S. Navy’s newest warships. Patten says the gift is in honor of his late father, Allen Patten, a World War II Navy veteran and avid sportsman.
The ship’s commissioning ceremony was held in Anchorage’s port May 6. “My dad donated a Dall sheep shoulder mount to the submarine U.S.S. Alaska during its commissioning in 1986,” says Patten. “When I heard about the U.S.S Anchorage ceremony, I could not think of a better way to remember my dad than to make another donation.”
The moose head, which has antlers measuring 65 inches tip-to-tip, had served as a reminder of the last hunt Patten enjoyed with his dad in 1990. “My family moved to Alaska after dad retired from the Navy because he wanted to spend more time hunting and fishing,” says Patten. “Many of my memories of dad are of the times we spent together outdoors.”
Before Patten’s father dedicated his life to outdoor sportsmanship, he was a World War II hero. The elder Patten and his five brothers survived the attack on Pearl Harbor while aboard the U.S.S. Nevada, and the brothers later helped protect the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lexington during the Battle of the Coral Sea.
With the help of fellow Local 1264 fire fighter Cory Purcell, Lex Patten carried the moose onto the U.S.S. Anchorage, an amphibious transport dock ship, just a few hours before it departed for a return trip to its home port in San Diego, California.