Surprise Meeting Of USS Los Alamos Counterparts

Jim Jones, left, and Jim Nesmith spot each other’s USS Los Alamos hats recently in CB FOX Department Store and the rest is history. Photo by Nancy Partridge 


Los Alamos Daily Post

Vietnam War Veteran Jim Jones of Reading, Kansas was wearing his USS Los Alamos hat when he stopped to shop Aug. 12 at CB FOX Department Store while in town for a brief visit. Local resident Jim Nesmith also was in the store and wearing his USS Los Alamos hat. The two strangers stared at each other in disbelief. 

Jones, 68, served between 1969 and 1973 on board the USS Los Alamos. He met and married his wife Marion while serving in Scotland and brought her home to Kansas. The couple was on their way to California to visit family when they came up through Raton and decided to pay a quick visit to Los Alamos.

“I just wanted a picture with my coin in Los Alamos … I had no idea I would ever run into anyone associated with the USS Los Alamos,” Jones said.

The men had a lot to talk about while they walked down the street to the Los Alamos Daily Post to share their story with the community. 

“Jim is the first man I have ever met who actually served on the USS Los Alamos,” Nesmith said. “I just couldn’t believe it. I saw his hat and pointed and said Nancy (Partridge) look!”

Nesmith and Nancy Partridge serve on the USS Los Alamos Committee, which is a community driven effort to name a submarine the USS Los Alamos. The original USS Los Alamos AFDB-7 was commissioned March 1, 1945 and decommissioned Dec. 5, 1994. 

The committee’s quest for a USS Los Alamos is rapidly gathering momentum. They have written support from:

  • Los Alamos County Council;
  • New Mexico State Legislature House and Senate; 
  • Gov. Susana Martinez;
  • Regional Coalition of LANL Communities;
  • Women Veterans of New Mexico;
  • Military Order of the World Wars;
  • American Legion (local and district);
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars;
  • Military Officers Association of America; and
  • More than 50 letters from Los Alamos Public Schools students and all five members of the New Mexico Congressional Delegation.

Additional support has been committed by General Jack Fox, Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services; Sen./Admiral William Payne and the Eight Northern Indian Pueblo Council.

All citizens of Northern New Mexico, especially veterans whether Navy or not, are encouraged to write letters in support of this effort directly to the Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, 1000 Navy Pentagon, Room 4D652, Washington, D.C. 20350.

To donate to this effort, visit Note as indicated that the donation is for the USS Los Alamos. The support is deeply appreciated to say nothing of needed. 

USS Los Alamos Challenge Coin. Courtesy/Jim Jones

USS Los Alamos Challenge Coin. Courtesy/Jim Jones