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Hopkinton Veteran Departs - Paul A. ‘Buzzy’ Buswell

By contributor,

On 4 November 2010, Paul A. “Buzzy” Buswell passed in his sleep. He was 60 years old.

Upon graduating from Hopkinton High School, Buzzy enlisted for a 4-year hitch in the US Navy in October 1969. He was assigned to training company 615 at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Illinois, the largest training center in the US Navy.

After Boot Camp, Buzzy’s first assignment in December 1969, was aboard the USS NORTHAMPTON (CC-1) at Portsmouth, VA., where he was attached to the Deck Force. During its service the cruiser was deployed in the western Atlantic as a Command and Control Ship sometimes called The Gray Ghost. The ship’s mission included serving as a command post in a “floating White House” allowing for an evacuation of the president and his advisors in event of a nuclear attack. Alert duty alternated every two weeks with a sister ship. At various times she hosted presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson.

In February 1970, the NORTHAMPTON was decommissioned and Buzzy was transferred for the remainder of his active duty to the Destroyer Tender USS PUGET SOUND (AD-38), which entered the fleet in April 1968. The PUGET SOUND home ported in Newport, RI, and sailed with the motto Standard For Excellence. Buzzy trained aboard as a Subsistence Specialist, enabling him to become a food service provider during his duty tour and later in civilian life. Assigned to the galley, he served for a long period in the Butcher Shop helping to prepare meals for a compliment of 106 officers and 1,314 crew. The PUGET SOUND provided repair and maintenance for US Navy shore and seagoing equipment. Buzzy often spoke of Operation Pegasus which occurred from August to October 1972, when dependents of sailors attached to Destroyer Squadron 12 (DESRON 12) were transported from Piraeus, Port of Athens, Greece, to Naples, Italy.

Buzzy was a proud sailor who enjoyed the time he served his country on active duty. He attended Veterans’ activities in Hopkinton and Southborough, and was buried with full military honors at Pine Grove Cemetery in Westborough.