Concord, California: 1963-1965

In a Letter to Jayni Mosher, Suzanne described the period of her life immediately after the wedding:

I returned to school in Norman and completed most of my degree and worked to pay for my keep.  (We did not take any parental financial help after marriage)

I also learned during the first weeks that I was pregnant! Clyde’s “westpac cruise” ended in July and we re-established a home for ourselves and baby Laurie who was born September 19. In early November, the Pyro again set out on a westpac cruise; however this time, the cruise became irregular because the US had begun bombing in Vietnam.

Ensign Clyde E. Griffith, standing in front of the U.S.S. Pyro.

The Pyro was the only ammunition ship available in the western pacific and the men worked extremely long hours to load bombs aboard carriers and then return to the Phillippines to resupply and back to the South China Sea. Their cruise was extended time and time again finally returning home the following November, 1965, after a full year of full time engagement. In December, Clyde had a month leave and orders to report to another ship located in Norfolk, VA. We were so happy to be leaving the west coast and Vietnam. In Norfolk, he was on a ship that was a carrier, but had helicopters and marines. They primarily took a cruise in the Carribean and picked up astronauts.

Visiting Clyde on a Naval Leave in Puerto Rico


Laurie and I got to visit in Puerto Rico for about 10 days where Clyde had leave, in mid cruise. It was also only a four month cruise to begin with. After this cruise, his ship was “in drydock” for upgrading and repairs for a year, Clyde had the equivalent of shore duty. During this time, we began making plans for Clyde to resign his commission at the close of his four year obligation. He wanted to attend Seminary at SFTS in San Anselmo, CA and I needed a vocation that could support us!

A letter from Sonoma Griffith, Clyde’s mother, to Suzanne dated May 5th, 1964, shows how the two women were still getting to know each other.

View photos for the time in Concord