TOLEDO, Ohio — It was 25 years ago on February 24, 1995 that Toledo joined the Navy, again.
The USS Toledo, a fast attack nuclear sub, was commission at Newport News Virginia.
WTOL sent camera people, Anchor Jeff Heitz and a producer to cover the historic event that was attended by scores of Toledo officials, dignitaries and veterans. The highlight of the event were the tours that afforded civilians and reporters to take a closer look at this new state-of-the-art submarine that was destined to be deployed to hot spots around the globe.
The Navy was also eager to give Toledoans access to many of the crew of 120 that would call the ship home, sometimes months at a time, underwater, during deployments. From cook to the captain, WTOL found most ready to talk about their experience and expectations aboard this newly-minted tube of steel that promised adventure.
Anchor Jeff Heitz, a Navy veteran, offered a unique understanding and perspective of life aboard the sub, which he said was pretty much the same as life anywhere, but you ate, worked and played deep below the surface of the water.
From our video vault, we found the stories that Jeff and the crew filed that week and are bringing the back for a reprise on this 25th anniversary of the Toledo's commissioning.
The stories feature not only the ship and crew, but also feature interviews with Toledoans who attended the occasion and squeezed through the hatch to enjoy the tour below deck.
The USS Toledo has enjoyed a long legacy of adventure and action since those early days of its story.
She has been deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic several times. She deployed to the Mediterranean in late 2001 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and again in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
Controversy, however, would follow the USS Toledo when in the summer of 2000 she and another American Navy sub, the USS Memphis, were observing a Russian sub, the Kursk, in the Barents Sea. An accident occurred that resulted in the sinking of the Kursk and the detonation of its torpedoes, sending 118 sailors to their watery tomb.
The Russian government at first blamed the USS Toledo, saying it or the Memphis must have collided with the Kursk. But, forensic analysis would later prove that the Toledo would have suffered significant damage had that been the case. The cause instead was attributed to a premature detonation of a torpedo.
Over the years, the crew of the USS Toledo has held a close relationship with the people of Toledo. The crew has been here several times to visit hospitals and take part of area activities with local citizens.
One of the captains was Michael Majewski, a Toledo native and Start High graduate who commanded the sub from 2014 to 2016.
RELATED: Bascom to bring home 'The General'