The entries on this page date back to 1997-98 and
email addresses might not be current. If you try to email someone and it
bounces, try to send your message from the Crew List.
SF2 Thomas J. Taylor (Plankowner)
I served aboard the Tucker
from March, 1945 to October 1949. I attended Boot Camp at Camp Perry, VA and Fleet Training School
at Norfolk, VA
then arrived at Orange,
TX for duty aboard the
Upon commissioning the ship went on shakedown
operations to determine the hull integrity among other things. From there
Tucker went back to the
shipyard for minor repairs. After that we went to Galveston TX
On the way to Guantanamo
(GITMO), we did onboard training exercises. In Cuba
we loaded weapons and ammunition and went to Norfolk. On our way there, we
encountered a hurricane that did a lot of damage including the deck
superstructure and the gun mounts.
We then proceeded to Puerto Rico
for gunnery evaluation. In our evaluation group was the USS Duncan, USS Perkins, and the USS Rogers. Of the four of us, they
passed the evaluation and were assigned War Patrol Duty in the Pacific.
We failed and were assigned antisubmarine duty off Nova Scotia. Our homeport was then Portland, ME.
It was the COLDEST and FOGGIEST I have ever seen in my life. We remained
there for the duration of the war.
After V-J Day Tucker
was assigned duty in the Pacific and were homeported in San Diego, CA.
We were then sent to Tokyo Bay via Hawaii
for occupational duty for approximately 6 months. We then were sent to China
for back-up duty for the Chinese nationalists. Our homeport then was Singtaow, China. And did river duty on
River. Then came
back to the States to Mare
Island, CA for
After repairs Tucker went to Long
Beach, CA for Atomic Warfare School
and also for a security clearance. After that we went to the Pacific for
underwater atomic bomb experiments and was part of the FIRST Underwater
Atomic Explosions at Eniwetok. Then back
to the shipyard at Mare Island,
CA for repairs and
Then went to San
Diego, CA and
stayed there. Tucker then
got orders back to the Pacific and to Japan if my memory serves me right.
I didn’t go to Japan
due to a injury I got while onboard.
I was discharged in October, 1949. The crew and
members I remember were: Capt.
Barney Meyers 1945-1947, Capt. Ferguson 1947-until I left the crew. Lt. Zech (division officer) and
left to sub school and was later a commander on the USS Nautilus. Me, I was a second
class petty officer (shipfitter) now known as hull technicians.
2813 Southfork Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37921
Fair Winds and Following Seas: Thomas J. Taylor
LT. G. Donald Fisher, SC, USNR
I served as the Supply Officer on Tucker from April, 1950, to
December, 1951. In that tour we spent nine months in Korea from November,
1950, to August, 1951 operating out of Yokosuka and Sasebo when not in
Korean waters or in the China Sea or Formosan areas.
When I joined the ship it was in dry dock at Vallejo, CA
with a crew of about 10 officers and less than 200 enlisted. We
finished up in the yard just as the war broke out, went to San Diego for
training and built up to 20 plus officers and almost 300 enlisted before
getting to Japan the same week the Chinese came in the war.
The ship was radar picket (DDR875) then and we
switched divisions before going over. We went from Division 52 with four
picket ships to Division 32 with one picket ship and three DDs with
torpedoes. Otherwise the ships were equipped about the same.
FT2 Kay Walden
I went aboard Tucker
in April of 1956 after ET school in the Great Lakes Training
Center. I left in
August 1959 as FT2. My name is Kay Walden. "LK" as most of the
fire control gang called me.
We took three tours to the far west and in those days
our main job was to steam up and down the China
Straits to keep China
from invading Formosa.
I was pleased to read what happened to the old Tucker. When I served it was a Radar
Picket (DDR). Thanks for the memories.
SK3 Terry Williams, USNR
I joined the Navy Reserves at Waco,
TX in 1968 while a student at Baylor University. After graduation, I
reported for active duty in October, 1969. I was assigned to the Tucker and caught up with her the
next month at Sasebo.
At this time Tucker
was homeported in Yokosuka but was
deployed most of the time in support of U.S.
and Allied troops in Vietnam
doing shore bombardment or carrier ops in the Gulf of Tonkin.
During the 1970 Cambodian invasion, Tucker
took up blockade duty off the port
of Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
After being reassigned to the West Coast with the rest
of DESRON 3 in August, 1970, Tucker
spent some major yard time at Long Beach Shipyard and headed back for the
Far East the next year. We took the
northern route for our transit where we experienced the phenomenon of
snow (mixed with sleet) while refueling at Adak, Alaska,
Naval Station on the 4th of July. Remember the old recruiter's
description about Adak? "There's a
beautiful native girl behind every tree." ( At last report, there
are still no trees on Adak
I was detached from Tucker
in August, 1971, at Subic Bay and returned to San Francisco where I was temporarily
assigned prior to being released from active duty.
As with most crewmen on a Gearing class destroyer, I
performed many functions. In addition to regular duties as a storekeeper,
my favorite job was trainer on a 5" gun crew. In my spare time, I
was the ship's photographer and handled press releases and information
I currently live in Spring, TX, a suburb of Houston, where I'm
an insurance agent.
FCC(SW) Jerry Golabowski, USNR
During the summer and fall of 1972, while attached to
the Ship Repair Facility, Subic Bay, I
helped install a SEA CHAPARRELL missile system on the Tucker.
Chaparrell (Spanish for road runner) was an Army
missile system normally mounted on a tracked vehicle. The Navy borrowed
25 launchers from the Army and adapted them for ship board use. I and 5
other Fire Control Technicians were sent to the Army missile school at
Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama to learn how to maintain the system,
then we were sent first to San Diego then Subic Bay and Yokosuka to
install systems aboard FRAMs.
Just before Tucker
was to sail for the Viet
Nam, the system crashed and I
volunteered to ride along and fix the launcher. It took me two days to
figure out the problem and five weeks for the part I needed to get to the
ship (it caught up to us in Singapore where we were
getting our boilers re-tubed).
Fixing the launcher only took an hour once I had the
part; after which I had a terrific 5 days of liberty in Singapore. Getting back to Subic was a little complicated. I had to ride the Tucker back to the gun line,
highline to the USS Vesuvius in late November, helo into Da-Nang then
wait 4 days for a flight to Subic.
Tucker pulled into An Thoi for liberty one Sunday in late
October or early November and drank their club dry. The next day we had a
sad incident as we were proceeding back to our assigned station. One of
the guys in the fire room (whose name I did not know) was cleaning the
deck plates when he backed into exposed wiring from an alarm circuit that
the ICmen were repairing. He was found dead behind a boiler. We returned
to An Thoi and piped his remains over the side. He was sent home from
Tucker was an old worn-out ship in 1972 but she was still
serving our country well. While aboard the Tucker, we fired thousands of rounds at the Mekong
Delta in support of Army units there. The 5" 38 cal guns never
missed a beat and the 600 lb steam plant never dropped the load the whole
time I was aboard. I was an FTM2 back then. I left the regular Navy in
1975 and joined the Naval Reserve in 1979. I'm still drilling and now
have 24 years of service (combined active and reserve).
Web site: http://.wp.com/georog/george1.htm
I went aboard Tucker
to relieve LT Holmes
as Engineer Officer. It was just before Christmas, 1972. Fresh out of Destroyer School
with a pregnant wife and daughter in San Diego.
Notable leaders in the Engineering Department were LTjg Steussy (MPA) and ENS Dunning (laid back, young
kid, "M" Div. Off.). LTjg
Artie Beck was A- Division Officer. He was working for
Southwest Marine out of Long
Beach in about 1990. There was MR1 Frank Grochowski, aka Ski.
He retired in 1993 as a CWO3 which isn't bad (he says) for as many times
as he really, really enjoyed himself on liberty. MM1 Ron Coleman, A-gang supervisor
was later to be CWO4.
The BTC's name was James Dinwiddie, a fine man whose hand I would
like to shake today for keeping a young engineer out of trouble. And what
a character Master Chief
Machinist Mate Greenaway was. He had a running feud with MM1 Craft. EN1 McGee, EM1 Zavala
and BT1 Cooper
were some others I remember. LT
Kaufold was the Operations Officer. He and I were at each
other's throats constantly. Other officers I remember were LTjg Kinnaly (ops type), LT Hinds (tall red headed
Weapons Officer). LTjg Tilden
(smart assed, snot nosed, know it all kid in weapons), Captain Fox (macho
ex-submariner), and LCDR Hall
(XO), a great guy.
An HT Fireman named Manka was electrocuted behind #3 boiler. He was
all sweaty and not wearing a shirt (you could do that in those days) and
he brushed against some bare wires for the high water alarm the IC men
had been working on. They didn't bother taping them up and knocked off
for the day. Somebody re-energized the alarm and along came Manka. He had
been dead for some time before he was discovered because rigor mortis had
already set in. They couldn't find him for morning quarters and the ship
was underway so they started looking and were just on the verge of
turning back track when they found him.
Here is a story related to me only recently by a
shipmate (good thing I didn't know then): "At about 2300 on 31 Dec
72 a couple of the senior petty officers in the Engineering Department
got together for a few social drinks to celebrate the upcoming new year.
All the booze that we had smuggled aboard was brought to the machine
shop, along with mixers and ice and the party began. About 0030 we ran
out of booze. Rumor had it that MMC
Zupinski had a bottle of Imperial that he was willing to
let go of. As luck would have it he was the EOOW on watch. So a quick
call to main control and a clandestine meeting outside the CPO quarters
replenished our supply. The party was going great until MMCM Greenaway called looking
for MM1 Craft.
They hated each other with a passion. Well Craft yelled into the phone
"Speak up you senile old bastard, I can't understand you because
I've been drinking". END OF PARTY!!!! We immediately cleared out of
the shop as if somebody had thrown a grenade in the door, without leaving
a trace, all we had to show for it was some great headaches in the
It was in early 1973 when the Henry W. Tucker was returning from
WESTPAC, that we made a trip to Australia,
New Zealand and Tahiti. In New Zealand we were invited
to a party hosted by wives of deployed officers of the New Zealand Navy
(there was a similar affair for the troops as well) and one of the hors
d’oeuvres was little hot dog-like sausages the ladies called small
boys. Lt. Innocent (yours truly) asked "Why do you call them
We also spilled a little black oil there while
refueling and the Kiwis gave us a chemical in five gallon cans which when
poured on the spill caused it to sink. We (procured) a few extra cans
when they weren’t looking for possible future problems and
it’s a good thing we did.
In Tahiti everybody
went on liberty except, as I recall, Chief Dinwiddie and me. We were left to CDO and
refuel. The Tahitians only had a little black oil left in the bottom of
their tank and it was thick and pressure was low. It took forever and we
needed every last drop we could get so we could make it to Hawaii. We
squeezed every drop of fuel oil we could hold into the tanks. As I recall
we even filled the waste oil tanks with fuel. I remember this 1st
Division kid coming back to the ship for more money in a rental car. He
was way too drunk to drive and somehow I got his keys away from him and
told him he would have to stay aboard. He was understandably upset and
attacked me but Chief Dinwiddie
intervened and defused the situation. At mast, the Captain asked me if I thought
he had learned his lesson but I had to say, no. I wonder how he turned
We did spill some oil that night and we made use of
the chemical we got from the Kiwis. The water in Tahiti
was so clear however that you could see it pinned to the bottom. What
didn’t sink drifted across the harbor alongside a cruise ship and
next morning when we got underway, nobody except the BTC, his minions and
I knew of what we had done.
Good ships and good crews. They don't make either of
them anymore, now everything has to be politically correct. The ship
doesn't have to run, just shine. I have always resented being given
(along with a gaggle of other real world engineers) a tour of USS
Bainbridge and being told that this is the way they wanted our ships to
look and be run. No matter that ours were WWII relics without the
unlimited funds and cream of the crop personnel (including officers)
available to nukes.
The FRAMs weren't just good ships, they were great
ships. All you needed was a little bailing wire and some TLC and they
would run forever.
We sold Henry W.
Tucker to Brazil
on 3 Dec 73 and they renamed her the Marcilio Diaz D25. Last I heard she
was still going strong. They built those FRAM's to last. "When
you're out of FRAM's you're out of cans".
MR1 Frank Grochowski AKA
By the time I retired in 1993
I had served on 10 ships but the old "Mother Tucker" has a
special place reserved in my memories. She was a great ship with a great
crew, we worked hard and we played hard.
Like the time we pulled in An
Thoi and drank the club dry. I remember riding a little bum boat back to
the ship, the weather was getting bad and the boat was rocking pretty
good. One minute I was sitting in the boat and the next minute I saw the
boat upside down and I was in the water because somebody had pushed me
out of the boat. After sitting in the club for hours I could barely walk
much less swim. Somebody tossed me a life ring and I managed to get over
to it. The rest of the drunks on the boat were yelling and telling me to
let go the life ring and swim over to the boat but there was no way I was
about to turn loose of it. Somehow I lost one shoe and as I was floating
there I kept thinking there was no sense in keeping the other one, so I
kicked it off too. When we arrived back at the ship the XO, LCDR. Simon was waiting for us
on the quarterdeck. I stood there barefoot and dripping wet and requested
permission to come aboard. I then asked the XO "Don’t you get
a shot of brandy when you fall overboard". He not very politely told
me that he thought I already had more than enough. Great liberty, but
damn near drowning did put a damper on it though.
We had some great times: Taiwan, Thailand
, Tahiti, Australia,
Subic Bay, Japan,
Hong Kong. Remember "Kulo" the
little brown mutt that MM1
Spencer brought aboard in Hong Kong
who became the ship’s mascot? He would go up and down every ladder
on the ship except the one to M&B berthing. He fell down that one too
many times as a pup and would sit at the top of the ladder and bark until
somebody carried him down. Does anybody remember what BT2 Hodge would do while
playing with the dog?
Since decommissioning I have
only run into three other Tucker
shipmates. I ran into LTJG Artie
Beck in 1990. He was working for Southwest Marine in Long Beach. I was
on the USS Prairie AD-15
and I met him when we went into the yards. I ran into CWO4 Ron Coleman (MM1 in
A-gang) in Mayport FL in 1984. We went to the local Fleet
Reserve Club and tipped a few cool ones while reminiscing about the Tucker. I then talked to George Redboy (I think he was a
GM or TM but I'm not sure). He was working for the Veterans
Administration in San Diego
back in 1990.
Like everybody else aboard I
had more than one job. Being the "MR" was the primary but I
recall a lot of time standing throttle watch in Main Control and a lot of
time humping powder cases as a member of the port section gun crew. To
ensure that I got some fresh air I was assigned to stand under a hovering
helo to pass the fuel hose up to them as a member of the HIFR detail.
Walking off the brow for the last time was really tough. I had found a
home and now they were taking it away. It was the end of an era for all
the FRAMs. They had served well but were simply getting too old. You
could keep them running forever with a little bailing wire and a little
The demise of the FRAMs was
really the beginning of the demise of the Navy. The new motto was
"Run she may, but shine she must". The watch word was
"Politically Correct", right and wrong no longer mattered as
long as it was politically correct. When I was aboard the Tucker I loved the Navy and said
that if they ever wanted me out of it they were going to have to use tear
gas. But after 24 years, 6 months and 10 days I retired.
We had some really good
officers aboard (and a few idiots). You always knew where you stood with
those guys. It was called leadership. Today the Navy's leadership account
is bankrupt, there are no leaders, only politicians and managers. What I
used to call "Good Liberty" is now referred to as "An
Alcohol Related Incident" I have a gut feeling that when the feces
strikes the oscillating air mover that the politically correct boys are
going to be found wanting and the so called leaders are going to be
wishing they had some of the old salts who would charge hell with a
bucket of water, but then it will be too late.
I guess the highlight of my
career was qualifying as OOD underway aboard the USS Prairie AD-15, but as good as
it felt to stand on that bridge it didn't even come close to how good it
felt standing on the rolling, pitching deck of the Tucker. Remember that return trip
from WesPac when we hit the rough weather coming out of Pearl and it caved in the front of
Mount 51? She was a great ship.
Lt. Rogers told you about the New Years eve party
that took place in the machine shop (all without his knowledge, Thank
God). Well I was there and I'm here to tell you it was a GREAT party.
Right up until the time Master
Chief Greenaway called looking for MM1 Craft. The master chief and
Craft hated each other with a passion but I think they both deserved half
the blame. I used to go out of my way to aggravate the Master Chief. I
would be standing throttle watch in Main Control and the Master Chief
would be the EOOW. I would face the throttle board and let out a soft,
high pitched, warbling whistle. The exact same kind of sound you would
hear if you had a vacuum leak. Well the old master chief would grab his
flashlight and go looking around the engine room trying to find it. I
guess master chiefs back then could actually see vacuum, otherwise why
would he need a flashlight.
Despite having really enjoyed
myself in every liberty port I still managed to retire as a CWO3 (which
is about 5 pay grades higher than I ever thought I would be). I called it
quits when the Navy quit being fun, when leaders were replaced by
politicians and right and wrong no longer mattered as long as you were
Walden is right about steaming along the China
Coast to prevent an invasion of Taiwan.
He Didn’t mention the Fire Control Radars for shore batteries that
had us targeted, we tracked these by electronic counter-measures. Also
there were many times we were not allowed on deck because of small arms
fire from the many fishing boats that were always there.
I left the Tucker in July,
1959, and reported aboard the USS
Helena CA75.The Helena has an organization, and we hold a
reunion every two years. Is there a Tucker organization?
Thanks for the information. I
wasn't on the Tucker very
long so don't remember hardly any of the crew I served with.
I spent most of my time on
the USS Harry E Hubbard
and just attended their 10th annual reunion in Tacoma.
I have added the Tucker address to my Navy folder
and will check back often.
YN 3 Paul W. Machart
I reported aboard in January
1962 at Yokosuka, Japan, some time in the early
morning hours of 0100 hrs. as a SA from boot camp at San Diego to spend
my 4 yrs. of active duty aboard her and I departed the Tucker at 1600 hrs
in August of 1965 from Yokosuka, Japan, as a YN3.
I would like to hear from all
shipmate that served during the same time frame. I did enjoy my time
onboard the ship and have some very good memories. I will send as much
info as I can at a later time.
Served aboard Tucker 1955-56.
I am happy to have found this web site, and saddened by learning of her
eventual fate. Worked in the ship's office during some of my tour with
After completing a deployment
to Westpac in 1956 I was transfered to the Hamner DD 718 for a very short period and eventually
was transfered again to the Hanson
DDR 832 where I completed another Westpac tour and was
subsequently released from active duty in Jan. 1957.
I have in my possession a
cruise book for Tucker in 1956. I looked at it again after visiting your
web site and it brought back a lot of good memories and some not so good.
(fortunately most were of the good type).
STG2 Bruce Bender
I reported to the Tucker in
April of 1966 when she was home-ported in Yokosuka, and served aboard her until
January 1968, when I was transferred to the USS Hollister (DD788). The captain of the Tucker from
December 1965 through July 1967 was Commander John H. D. Williams. The XO was LTCDR George E. O’Brien. Captain Williams
was relieved in July 1967 by Commander Sheldon D. Kully.
As a Sonarman, my ASW Officer
was LTJG Fulmer,
who reported to LT. Hiram W.
Clark. Other officers in Weapons included ENS Richard M Gibson (gunnery), ENS Michael Connor (navigator),
LTJG Robert Sanders
(first lieutenant) and ENS Jim
Atwill (ASW). The Chief Boatswains Mate and MAA was Chief McCurdy and The Chief
Sonarman was Chief Payne.
My division (WA) included GM2
Stoker, GM2 Julian. My closest friends included Pat Eberlein, Doug Mundschenk, Pete Peterson
and Larry Jeske.
The ship's motto was Have Gun
Will Travel, and it never spent much time in port. I remember the first time
we left Yokosuka,
I was the new kid joining a well-seasoned crew. We hit a typhoon about 3
days out that lasted for about 3-4 days. You talk about a quick
education! At that time in my life, I had no idea a human being could get
that sick. Most of the time was spent in the Tonkin Gulf
on SAR or in
NGFS. The Tucker was on SAR when the Forrestal caught fire on Saturday,
July 29, 1967. We didn't help fight the fire...if I remember right, that
was done by the McKenzie,
Our job during the Forrestal ordeal was to assist in searching for
survivors. I can remember sitting on the ASROC deck, watching the
Forestall burn from a distance.
A few statistics from Tucker's June 19, 1967 through December 23, 1967
cruise book are as follows:
Days at sea (151)
Days in Port (37)
Fuel oil used (3,191,265 gal)
Underway replenishments (UNREPS) (59)
Steaming hours (3,548)
Nautical miles steamed (53,434)
Rounds of naval gunfire support (1,514)
She was a good ship manned by a bunch of REALLY great
guys. I'd love to hear from any of them.
The picture of the UNREP you
had on the web site brought back one of my most harrowing experiences on
I was on the aft phone and
distance line on the DASH deck for that UNREP, as I was for most of them
during that time. My partner on the line at that time was either GMTSN John Lewman. As you had
written in your account, the weather was terrible and the seas were
running quite high. The conning officer was having difficulty maintaining
station on the oiler, but we managed to get the span wire across and get
it connected to the king post.
But once the span wire was
connected it was discovered that the tensioning device on the delivery
ship was not working properly. As the ships came together the span wire
would go into the water and bounce erratically as it skipped in and out
of the water. But more threatening was the fact that as the ships moved
apart the slack would go out of the span wire and it would literally hum
like a guitar string being plucked. Each time the wire would slack a
little, the after station rigger would climb the king post to attempt to
trip the pelican hook and release the wire, but it was jammed tight from
the tension put on the span wire.
Two or three times the rigger
climbed the king post, jumping down each time the span wire tightened and
taking cover in the helo net on the opposite side. As the ships moved
apart once again it was obvious that this time we were going to veer out
farther than we had before and as the span wire tightened, the king post
began to vibrate from the incredible forces being placed on it.
Suddenly, there was this
sound like an explosion as the king post separated about half way up
it’s height, sending shrapnel flying through the air and causing
the span wire and the top half of the kingpost to trail over the edge of
the deck and into the water behind us. As all of this was happening, I
was attempting to dig a hole in the nonskid covered steel deck to escape
injury from the flying metal while maintaining the phone and distance
line so we could keep comms with the delivery ship.
An emergency breakaway was
initiated and the last line to go back across to the oiler as we pulled
away was my phone line. I don’t know if we played our traditional
breakaway song that night, I suspect "Have Gun Will Travel" was
far from the minds of those on the bridge.
Bud L. Branstrom
My name is Becky Gebhart. I
am the daughter of Bud Lewis Branstrom who served aboard the Henry W. Tucker from 1956 to 1959.
He passed away in May,
1998, but not without leaving behind some stories, photos, mementos, and
tour book of his time onboard. I miss him dearly and cherish these items
that he left for us. They are what led me to this page.
He had also told
stories of touring the China Straits. The best treasure I have is a
set of lamps with dragons on them and are entirely made of sea
shells. I remember him telling of trading his coat in Formosa
for these beautiful lamps.
I was excited to
discover this page, which helps me to understand more about what a great
impact the Navy had on his life. I was also excited to see the names of
two men who wrote letters at this sight, that are in my dad's tour
book. They are Kay Walden
and Harold Zimmerman.
I realize they may not have
known who he was, but it comforts me to know that there are people that
may have shared the same experiences with him and to know that serving on
the Tucker has filled
their lives with the same sense of pride, memories, and stories that will
be shared with their children and grandchildren. If anyone has
stories, photos or information about him my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
GM2 Eugene A. Roll (original crew)
I enlisted in USNR July of
1943. Boot Camp Newport,
RI, Company 1054. First
duty Ship Repair - Argentia,
Newfoundland for 2 years.
Assigned to Tucker and
reported on board July 28, 1945 while she was in Casco Bay, Portland, Maine.
Her duty at that time was participating in radar and anti-aircraft
exercises off the Maine
After VJ Day, we were sent to
Boston Navy Yard to be re-painted and spruced up for Navy Day at St. Petersburg, Florida - Captain Meyer's hometown. Then
through the Panama Canal to San Diego and Pearl Harbor. Hit a bad storm on the way to Yokosuka, Japan. Arrived December 22,
1945. Had Christmas dinner there. (I still have the menu.)
We then went to various
Japanese ports and islands for repatriation of Japanese nationals. First
island called Amami-O-Shima. We were sent to relieve the USS McKean (DD784). I was transferred to McKean as my points were well over.
Then home on McKean to
Okinawa, Pearl and San Diego. Then the big boxcar railroad
trip across the States and home.
ET2 Carl Mulcahy
I am an old Tuckerman having
served aboard her from early 1957 until late 1958.
I came aboard fresh out of ET
school, Great Lakes, Ill. while she was
in dry dock in Long Beach,
Ca. After completion of retrofit and shakedown operations, we took a
WestPac cruise as part of DesRon 32, with a slight detour through several
South Pacific islands and Brisbane,
(reported to be the first US Navy ships there since the war).
As reported by others, I well
remember the patrols in the Formosa
Straits as well as
port calls in so many places known to the men of the Destroyer Navies. I
have many fond memories (and some I probably should want to forget) of this
time in my life.
I left the Tucker in late 1958, to join the
commissioning crew of the USS Richard
S. Edwards, DD-950. I spent the remaining year and a half
aboard the "Ready Eddie", then mustered out in March, 1960.
I note several names in the
crew list from my time aboard, but have to admit that I cannot put faces
with these names. While at Treasure Island
during my mustering out, someone decided they needed my sea bag more than
I, and unfortunately I lost my cruise books with it, so I can't look up
the faces. I do have many, many photos from my time aboard, so I will dig
them out to refresh my memory. I applaud those managing this web site and
intend to revisit it regularly, with hopes of contacting more of my old shipmates.
10287 County Road 2468
Terrell, TX 75160
BT3 James D. Rawlins
I was a crew member of the Henry W. Tucker from 1/65-12/67, as
a boiler tender (bt3) oil king, I was in the forward fire room and a
short time in the after fire room.
I would like to get to know
everybody that was on the Tucker. I really had a great time aboard this
fine ship. I was said to have grown up on this ship. I came on board a
cocky 138 lbs at 5'8" and left cocky at 188 lbs 6'0". But I now
had a trade as a boiler operator and still make my living as one.
I'm also the safety coordinator for the Marion
Whirlpool Divisions maintenance department.
Thank you James D. Rawlins. Please
contact me if you wish.
BT3 Bill Lawrence
I went aboard the Tucker in 1948 when I got out of
boot camp in San Diego.
Was on her from 1948 to 1952.
Was in the Engineering Dept. I worked in the
fire room and was oil king for two years. I also worked as log room
yeoman when I first went on board,. I couldn’t type very well then
and still not much better today. I will always remember the good four years
I spent aboard her. Thank you Bill Lawrence.
1051 Wailea Way
Nipomo, CA 93444
PO Box 84
Yankeetown, FL 34498
BT3 James W. Siler, Jr.
Served aboard the Tucker from 1962-1964. I was a BTFN
and made BT3 in 1963 while we were in Boston for FRAM.
When we left Boston,
we went to Long Beach, California
for underway training before returning to Yokosuka, Japan.
In May 1964, I was
transferred to the USS Porterfield DD
682 in San Diego.
I was discharged in March, 1966 and remained in the reserve for 20 more
years, serving at the SIMA facility at Newport, RI
and retiring as a BTC in 1986.
YN1 Jim Gilbreath
I reported aboard in October 1970 and
left after our final cruise which included Australia.
I have often wondered what became of our
'ole shipmates. Then STG2
Samuelson has checked in as a retired Master Chief and we
have already corresponded.
We had some high times and low, but to
have been Tuckermen
really does make us special. For those who served prior to this date we
thank you for setting the mold and traditions which followed. She was a
fine, fine ship and I am saddened to know that she is now at the bottom
of the seas she once bounded over and through. I would hope that when a
reunion is schedule there will be a large turn out, I know I'll be
attending. So many places and sea stories to live again.
If anyone knows the where-a-bouts of PN2 Robert Zabel, PN2 Darwin Pritchart, YN2 Dennis Dabney
or YNSN David Furman
put up the information that you have as I would like to talk with them. PC2 Socie is still living in San Diego. MM1 Heinz Park retired to Colorado as a
CWO3. I remember it all and especially GMGC Sweeny punching our CO, CDR Nelson in the eye. The
Sheriff. What great times! Take care and get in touch. YNC James (Jim) C.
Gilbreath Jr., USN, Ret. then YN1.
DC2 Thomas J. McLaughlin
My name is Thomas J.
McLaughlin and I served aboard the Tucker
from June, 1968, until December, 1971. I came aboard the great ship as a FA
right out of boot camp and left a DC2.
I made two Westpac cruises
and have many fond memories of places I've visited and the good friends I
I heard about this Web site
from my son who is serving aboard the USS
Kitty Hawk and he called me from Yokosuka, Japan.
Please enroll my name on the ship's roster and I look forward to hearing
from old shipmates. I wish all my ex-shipmates a very happy holiday
LTJG Mitch Beauchamp
I'm not in contact with many HWT crew
members. William D. Center was the Radio Officer
and he is in the base in Seattle.
He is retiring as a Rear Admiral in April according to their Christmas
Card. The Operations Office, George
Klein, is in San
Diego working for a defense firm.
I am a City Councilman in National City, CA
just got re-elected for another 4 year term. I run a biological
consulting firm here and in Riverside.
I am also a director of the San Diego Trolley and serve on the Transit
Development Board. I am waiting for a presidential appointment to a
Border Commission advisory committee. My two daughters are in college.
One thing I'm looking for is a copy of
the cruise book covering Nov 1968 to August 1970 when I was on the ship.
If you know anyone who wants to part with their copy long enough for me
to copy it, let me know. I'll check the web page to see what's happening
FN Cecil (Mike) Dale
4811 Serene Shores Drive
Gainesville, GA 30504
S1/C Al Riss
I was a plank owner on
the Henry W. Tucker,
arriving there after service as part of the armed gun crew on the SS Adams and MS Java in the Atlantic.
We departed via train from Pier 92 in NYC after receiving our orders
My name is Al Riss and my
rank was Seaman First Class, and my duties included service in the
forward 5" mount and piloting the motor whale boat. One of my
shipmates who I remember was Ed
Powers from Courtland,
NY, who has since passed
Our first port was the
Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan.
One of the things I remember was a Japanese aircraft carrier that had
been sunk at dry dock. I was only in Japan a short while. We were
relieving another destroyer and myself and three other shipmates were due
to end our tour of service. We transferred on to that ship (the name
escapes me) and I was eventually released from the service at Lido Beach. If there are any reunions
ever scheduled for personnel in my time frame you can contact me at :
606 Century Dr.
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Note: Al Riss has passed away. See Memorial List.
EM2 Harry Salesberry
My name is Harry
Salesberry. My nickname was "sally." I had the honor to serve
on board the Tucker from
Aug. 66 to May 70. I came aboard out of boot camp as a SA and left as an
EM2. I have many great memories of that ship and her crew, as
others have said "we worked hard and played
I remember one time I was standing
sound and security watch and checking officers country, I saw an officer
coming out of the XO's cabin I didn't recognize, I stopped him and ask
for I D he showed it to me and I ask him why he was in the XO's cabin ?
He said "I am the new XO I just reported aboard". I told him I
hadn't be informed. He said I am glad to see someone doing his job.
I could go on and on as I know most
of you could to. it's good to hear about old shipmates and I am looking
forward to a reunion.
SM1 John Stafford
I was one of the SM1's on
board the H.W. Tucker
from 1968 to 1971, have been searching for SM1 Brian Ambrose that was also
on board the Tucker and
later followed me to shore duty at NAS Kingsville, TX. where I retired in
I eventually wound up back
here in my hometown, Seymour,
TX. in December 1974 and
took a job as a city police officer and was appointed to Chief of Police
in 1975 and served until 1980 in which I changed over to the Baylor
County Sheriff's Dept. and served there as Deputy Sheriff until 1985. The
sheriff lost the election so I quit and went to ranch work until 1992 at
which time my lungs played out on me and I had to sure enough retire.
While I was there in Kingsville, there
were several of us old Henry W.
Tucker Signalmen got together at my home and had a ball. SM1 Conn, who I relieved, SM1 Johnny Walker who was
relieved by SM1 Ambrose
and SM2 Greg Bradley.
was leaving Kingsville shortly after I
arrived there, Walker
was stationed at Corpus Christi, Ambrose had arrived for shore
duty at NAS Kingsville shortly after I arrived and Bradley had already gotten out
of the Navy and drove down from Shreveport,
La. We all sat around
drinking cold beer, scotch on the rocks and swapped sea stories. It's not
often you can get five people from the same ship in one area unless its a
ships reunion. Best Wishes, "Zeke"
BT William J. Hargraves
Hi, my name is William J.
Hargraves. I was a crew member on the Henry
W. Tucker from September 1961 until June 1964. I was a BT in
the forward fire room.
Career wise my enlistment was
unremarkable, but the liberties were legendary.
Allow me to recall a couple.
While on liberty in Yokosuka, just
outside of the EM Club, a Japanese sailor approached me, introducing
himself as Teruo Harada. He asked me if I could help him with his English
lesson. Though English was not my strong point, I agreed.
We proceeded to my favorite
hangout, Mickey's. Sitting in a booth we talked for awhile and then began
reading his English lessons, making suggestions along the way and helping
him the best I could. We spent a couple of hours talking and before
parting, agreed to meet again later in the week at Mickey's.
Two nights later we met and
he told me that I had helped him a great deal. He passed his exam with
flying colors. That was the beginning of a thirty seven year friendship.
After leaving the Japanese
Maritime Service Teruo remained in college. After graduating he taught
school. He eventually obtained a PhD in Economics and became a college
professor. After ten years of teaching economics he was offered The
Minister of Asian Economic Affairs position for the Japanese government.
He served the post for several years and then returned to teaching. He
spent 1998 in England
teaching economics at Oxford.
I've met some interesting people along the way!
One other sea story I enjoy
telling is about a jungle trek in Subic Bay.
I guess I enjoy it because it's so atypical of me. I'm not too daring.
The Tucker had pulled into Subic Bay in the first week of July 1962. It was my
nineteenth birthday and some of my shipmates who had been to the PI
before had planned a little party for me in Olongapo doing what sailors
do on liberty.
To everyone’s chagrin
our Captain (Commander Werdelman) would only grant base liberty. We were
restricted. The man had no sense of fun. Of course he was right all
along. Olongapo was the wickedest place on the planet. He didn't want any
of us getting in trouble , and you sure could there.
Well, to get on with the
story, the seven of us, Bobinger
BT2, Dale BTFN, Palmafi MM3, Kirby MMFN, Thompson MMFN, Marney BT2,
and me BTFN went to the EM club and proceeded to get clubbed on that
great ol', ice cold, San Miguel. We began formulating a plan to get off
the base and decided to take taxis to the edge of the jungle then hike
across it to SIN
After a couple of more
brewskies we IMPLEMENTED the Plan!
There we were , dropped off
by the taxis at the edge of that sweltering, bug, snake, and yes, head
hunter infested (so we were told later) jungle in our nice clean pressed
tropical whites that became bath towels upon leaving the air conditioned
We took the plunge into the
jungle and 100 yards in Marney
had second thoughts and bailed. The only one with a brain!
It seemed as though we walked
for an hour, slipping and falling along the way in the mud and goo,
swatting endless bugs, then came upon a savana about 100 yards wide. We
waited in the jungle to see if a patrol drove by. We had been paralleling
the road the whole time and didn't know it. There was a patrol and when
they passed we made a mad dash across the savana to the jungle on the
other side. I slipped, immediately got up and ran like hell. When I got
to the other side Kirby
asked me where my glasses were. I lost them taking a
header. I am totally lost without them. I wanted to go
back to look for them but the others wouldn't let me.
We walked another fifteen
minutes until the jungle met the road. There were two more obstacles, a
tall chain link fence and that patrol. We timed the patrol and they drove
by every twenty minutes.(two Marines in a pickup truck). Plenty of time
to get over that fence.
When the patrol was out of
sight we hit that fence and started climbing. Bobinger and Dale got over and out of sight,
the rest of us on top when Murphy’s Law went into effect. The
patrol forgot something at the outpost and returned to get it and
catching us on top of that fence.
They ordered us down and into
the in back of the pickup. All but Palmafi
grabbed on to the tailgate as if he were getting into the truck and the
Marines got into the cab and started driving, Palmafi trotting behind the
truck and bailing into a culvert when the truck turned a corner. The two
Marines never saw him.
Palmafi, we later learned, got
over the fence and met up with Bobinger
and Dale. Much to
our delight the Marines were furious when they discovered a
"prisoner" was missing.
We were taken back to the
base and held in a holding cell until the ships Master at Arms came for
When Bobinger, Dale, Palmafi
returned to the ship later that night we learned that they had made their
way to a house and the owners cleaned them up and sent them on their way.
We were all interviewed by
the XO before captains mass. Me last. The XO (Lt. Commander Smith ) asked
everyone about the fourth man and they said there was one but he was from
another ship and just looking for adventure. They didn't know who he was.
When I was asked, I said, There wasn't a forth man". Thompson was called in by the
XO and the XO said to him, "Hargraves doesn't seem to think there's
a fourth man". Thompson
replies, "Hargraves lost his glasses in the jungle and can't see
without them". I had gotten another pair
of glasses by this time and the XO asked for my
glasses. He put them on and said, "I think your right
We were all given three days
A year and a half later upon
returning to the ship after a stay in the Chelsea Naval Hospital near
Boston, the XO, now Captain Smith
called me to his office, welcoming me back and talking briefly. Upon
leaving he said to me, "Oh, one
last thing, who was that fourth man". Palmaffi had been out of the
navy for some time so I told him. He said, " I knew it all
We both laughed.
BT3 Barry Harwick
I found your site a will back and
decided to check in.
I was aboard from Oct. 69 till
Sept. 71. I was a BT 3 in the forward fire room.
I have worked in power plants ever
since I got out and know I am an operator for CILCO in the Canton area
of ILL. Soon to be A.E.S. as they are buying the CILCO Utility Co.
Hope to send some photos when I get a scanner.
I got aboard in SUBIC BAY and got
off in SUBIC also and discharged in San
Francisco in Oct. 71.
SM2 Greg Bradley
My name is Gregory Bradley SM2. I
served on the Tucker from
1968 to 1971. I remember some of the things we did on leave over there
and I sure had a good time. I wouldn't trade one experience for anything.
Well, maybe a couple. "Zeke"
Stafford contacted me by
phone the other night and put me on to ya'll and I'm sure glad he did.
If anybody is interested and needs
any information I have a cruise book for the first half of the 1968-1970
cruise. It's worn from looking through it but still readable. My memory
isn't that good. I remember some of these names. I'll be in touch,
of that you can be sure.
SKMC Donald Sprawls
After reporting on board I found
out the ship was changing home ports to Yokosuka, Japan
in July 1968. The ship passed the Operation Readiness Inspection (ORI)
with flying colors. Time passed quickly. A quick ten days of leave to Texas and we were
WESTPAC bound. Numerous loses in first division prevented me from
transferring to Supply Division to strike for storekeeper.
While on a port visit to Sasebo, Japan the North Koreans shot
down one of our EC121 planes. We left immediately for the Sea of Japan with the USS Dale. The Dale
experienced engine problems and we where "first" on station.
That was some cold weather. Round the clock searching for the remains of
the plane and any survivors. We recovered two casualties, which we
returned to Sasebo
on 21 April 1969. Prior to this we made history when we rendezvoused with
destroyer VODOKHNOVENNYY on 18 April. First time since World War II that
the two navies had effected a rendezvous in the Pacific. Shortly after we
had eighteen new arrivals on board and I was transferred to Supply
Division to strike for storekeeper.
August 8, 1969, we crossed the
equator and became shell backs. Talk about hazing and the likes. My butt
was so black and blue
I could hardly sit. CSSN Estes and I lead the attack on shell backs
the day prior. We paid for it.
I met and married Kazuko Toma prior
to return to CONUS. The ship left for a six month deployment May 1971 and
I left the ship
I did 26 years in the Navy
retiring in May 1994 as a Master Chief. I am working for a contractor,
referred to as beltway bandits, doing the same stuff I did in the Navy.
Kazuko and I live in Virginia
Beach, Va. Our
5111 Rugby Rd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23464-7955
FTG2 Wayne F. Tanner, USNR
My name is Wayne F. Tanner and I
served aboard the Henry W. Tucker
from October 1968 until we arrived in San Diego in August of 1970. I received
orders to the Tucker out of FT "A" school. Flying to Yacoda Air
Base, then Clark Air Base, and a bus ride from Clark through Bataan to Subic, I finally caught up with the ship.
My first three days at sea had to
be my worst. After those three days, I developed my sea legs.
I arrived as a FT striker and was
discharged as an FTG2. I remember many good times on the Tucker. Fried
rice in Yokosuka (maybe a few other things), Subic, the heat in Vietnam,
the cold in Korea, taking on stores, ammo, and fuel in the middle of the
night, Bangkok, Taiwan, Singapore, cookouts, smokers, and many many more
I extended three months to ride the
ship back to San Diego.
I was discharged on arrival and headed back home to Pa. In all these years I've only been
in contact with two crewman - Frank
Beam the postal clerk and Gil Bowles a fellow FT. I would enjoy hearing from
any crew members I served with.
RD2 Lee Finlay
I served aboard the Tucker from Jul. 1964 till Jul.
1967. The whole time in Westpac ... with the exception of the last 3
months....playing games in San
Diego. I came aboard as a RDSN and left as a RD2
... even though I passed the E1 test, not enough time left.
My first liberty was in Yoko ... I
stayed aboard ... going to be true to my "True Love" ... next
port was in Kaoshung ... went ashore and had a ball. I do remember
the Chief talking about them making whiskey out of fermented boar piss.
During my time on her I threw Ens. Smathers (father was
senator from Florida)
out of CIC for clearing the marks (tracking of junks)off of the repeater.
Went drinking with Rynkowski
(RDSN) and Proposki
RD3 a lot. Our officer was LTJG Calhoun (sp) .... neat guy
... liked him ... one of the few officers.
Our sisters ships Rupertus, Mckinze, Small. We
specialized in Gunfire support ... fired on the VC on shore. Don't
remember what the Rupertus
did ... she carried DESRON 3. The Small
had to do with the space recovery missions. Mckinze had my very best friend on it ... James
Gosnell (RD3) on it ... we went through Class A school and were assigned
on sister ships .
Any of this you want to use ... do
so... I am more than interested in doing the ships reunion thing.... I
now work for Raytheon in Waco
TX but "Have gun
Hewitt, TX. 76643
RD1 James L. Barrett
I first joined the Naval
Reserve in 1950 and was called to active duty following graduation from
high school in 1952.
Soon I was on the way to Korea
aboard a CVE and two years later reassigned to an old W.W.II destroyer
From there I reported to the H.W. Tucker as a RD1 and served
aboard from Aug 56 to Mar 58. She was a great ship with a superb CIC
team. Destroyer Division 32 included the USS Rupertus (DD-851), USS Leonard F. Mason (DD-852), USS George
K. Mackenzie (DD-836) and we deployed as a unit.
I made two deployments and
during the first the trip from Pearl Harbor to Midway
Island and then on to Japan was
a memorable experience. The weather enroute was terrible and we suffered
some hull damage. When the Division arrived in Yokosuka
we steamed into a waiting drydock for repairs.
The ship visited all the usual
Far East ports and conducted ASW
exercises during the early part of the cruise. For the latter part the
Division spent about three months on Formosa Patrol operating out of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. We alternated with
two ships on patrol and two in port with about an eight day cycle in each
place. Good liberty, but lousy weather most of the time in the Formosa
The second cruise in 1957 to
the Far East took us first to Brisbane, Australia via Pago Pago. Crossing the equator was a
fun time and I was glad to already be a Shellback. Leaving Brisbane we sailed for Subic Bay, PI via Manus Island. I left the ship before the
deployment was over with orders to instructor's school and then on to
instructor duty at the Radarman Class A school at Treasure Island, San
After leaving the Tucker I served at many commands,
both ashore and at sea. In 1964 I received a commission and retired with
the rank of Commander in December 1982.
I was aboard her 1954 to 55
while we were attached to DESDIV. 32 I was assigned to her after we put
the USS Quincy CA 71 into
moth balls in Bremerton
The pictures Dave Richards sent you from the
cruse book of 56 shows the Tucker
in high seas with her bow out of the water. I
have the next picture with her bow and both 5"
turrets under water. By the way we were coming along side the Boxer, and it was an emergency
refueling as we were on the edge of a typhoon. We had been out for
several weeks on Formosa Patrol and were running low
on fuel so we got permission to get toped off from the
Boxer. Also the helmsman
on duty that day got a special commendation for
the traffic job he did keeping the old girl out of the
hanger deck of the Boxer.
I can't remember his real name but we all called him Red because of his
bright red hair. I'm the guy in the white tee shirt standing just outside
of the wheelhouse on the flying bridge . I was telephone talker on
special fuel & anchor detail. One minute I could see the complete
flight deck and all the planes the next I was looking up at the bottom of
the plane elevator on her side.
RD2 Frank Carroll
I served on the Tucker from
September '63 till January '66. I came on board as RD3 and made RD2 about
a year later. Many fond memories.
I joined the tucker in Boston while she
was undergoing FRAM, still remember 11/22/63 when the "old man"
came over the PA system and announced President Kennedy had been killed.
The entire Boston
yard came to a standstill and it's the only time in my
life I saw grown men crying, not navy men, but the Boston navy yard
workers who were almost all Irish Catholics that idolized JFK.
We then went through the
Panama Canal to San Diego
and after sea trials I spent the rest of my tour in Westpac. One of the
highlights of that cruise was when we crossed the equator on June 5th
1965, on our way to Singapore.
Some of the Radarmen I served
with during that time were: Chief
McAlpine, Nick Horcajo RD1, (?) Watson RD1, Reed Martin RD2, ? Minier
RD2, Nick Ruthart RD2, Mike Hart RD2, Wayne Firestone RD3, Glen Mehalick
RD3, Hugh Hatton RD3, Lee Finlay RDSN, and a whole bunch
of radarman strikers that came aboard the last couple of months I was
aboard (I was involuntarily extended 4 months) and the Navy was building
up forces for Viet Nam.
We were in the Tonkin Gulf
when the "incident" that put the US
big time occurred. It was a couple of years before I realized the
significance of that night. It seems the last six months of my duty on
the Tucker was spent in the Gulf with no shore leave. I now think the
Navy wanted to isolate everyone that was present for the "Tonkin
Gulf Incident" for as long as possible, so they wouldn't tell anyone
what really happened that night (nothing). None of us were aware of the
anti war sentiment back home. Any old shipmates out there
that reads this and want to contact me, feel free to
After I found this site I dug
out my old papers, and found that I had a copy of the ship's "plan
of the day" for the crossing of the equator. I could send a copy to
anyone that wanted it, but I don't have a scanner (yet), so it would have
to be "snail mail".
EM2 Michael Sagristano
This is Michael Sagristano
EM-2. I served aboard the proud ship Henry
W. Tucker from May 1965 until April 1968. I must say those
were the most exciting years of my life. I believe the Tucker was the
first to be used in shore bombardment of the war (which we did plenty of
during those years), as well as our SAR duties in the Tonkin Gulf.
I have heard from two other
shipmates: Harry Salesbury
and Tom Walker
(both EMs). It would be great to see
them and others I have served with. I think that we played hard on
liberty, and worked hard aboard, and that's what made us a great crew.
Never forget the job we did as "Tuck's Tavern". "The
Hueys" loved the snacks and "JP5" we sent up to them.
Tucker, thanks for the memories.
Michael (SAG) Sagristano
313 Oakland Avenue
Miller Place, NY 11764
SM3 Frank Murphy
I was reading the name of the
captains that were on the Tucker.
I was on the Tucker from Sept 58 to April 61.
After CDR Irwin was captain we had a CDR Hanson as the CO. We left
in May 60 for Yokosuka
as homeport. We were at sea more than we were in port. The CO was the gun
boss on the USS Ranger
before he came to our ship. He was a very good CO.
I have a cruise book for the 1959
tour in the far east. It brings make memories of the good and bad times I
had aboard the Tucker.
Wont trade them for anything.
Served on the Tucker from
June 63 to Aug, 65. First lived in barracks in Boston as ship was going thru FRAM -
then went thru
the canal to Long Beach & San Diego. Off to the
home port in Japan
- remember the Tonkin Gulf Incident very well as I was a phone talker on
repair 5 the Captain's talker said to break out all gear this was not a
drill. I checked everything from sea dye marker to the flashlight in our
Mae West life jacket.
But, other than that some
really good times. Hong Kong---Singapore---Subic
Bay---Kaoshung, Taiwan (the best liberty of
all) etc etc. etc.
Again would like to hear from
other shipmates. also, would like to copy a cruise book from that era as
mine sunk many years ago. (along with hundreds of photos)
Jim 2J'S & NANCY J.
919 Lighthouse Dr.
Storm Lake, IA 50588
GMG3 Danny Smith
I reported aboard her in
April 68, as a seaman apprentice, in Long Beach. I had more fun on her than
many of my five ships. I have many stories to tell about her, but some
sailor things should be kept to the crew.
She had the best. I made seaman and
GMG3 on board her. I remember reporting aboard her after a bad ten days
in the transient
barracks at Long
Beach. The crew was as friendly as one could
expect. They made me a Boats striker for the first week aboard, when the
First Class Gunner's Mate Larry
Finton came looking for strikers, it didn't take any
begging for me to strike.
I made seaman before we reached our
homeport of YOKO, and 7 months later GMG3. Mount 52, was my gun mount and
I spent many of hours taking care of her, and Mount Captaining her in
combat. I left the Tucker
in July 1969.
Danny E. Smith GMC USNR
San Angelo, TX 76901
Burrel W. Fortenberry
My name is Burrel W. Fortenberry
and I served on the Henry W. Tucker
from the Fall of 1950 to the early Spring of 1954 as a Machinist Mate. I
was in the picture sent by Rudy Freyman and I have since made contact
I have a picture or two that I will
send as soon as we learn how to send photos via email!! I have a good
story to tell about at least one of the pictures.
Burrel W. Fortenberry
Rt. 2, Box 192A
Maysville, OK. 73057
Robert C. Andrews MMCM (SS)
I joined the Navy in August, 1946. I served on the Tucker from December, 1947to
when I was transfered to the USS ROGERS DDR876 to go to Eniwetok to the Atomic Bomb Test.
I served on other surface ships and in 1961 went
Nuclear Power and then served on both fast attack and Polaris submarines.
I retired June, 1976.
2710 W. Manor Pl. # 406
Seattle WA. 98199
BM3 Jerry W. Dierks
After all these years I finally found
others who served aboard the Tucker
the same time that I did.
I reported aboard in early spring of 1967
and left in 1968 when I received orders to report to the USS New Jersey (BB-62). While on
the Tucker I was assigned to WD Div. I still remember the "Have Gun
Will Travel" theme every time we pulled away from UNREPS.
Now days I am working for Equilon Enterprises
LLC ( a joint venture between
Texaco & Shell) as a heavy crane operator. This is
my 30th. year with Texaco, and with any luck I'll be able to retire in 2
EM3 Thomas F. Walker
I served on the Henry
W Tucker from November, 1964 to November, 1967.
MM3 John R. Nickett
I was aboard the Tucker from 1971 to 1973. Just
before she was decommissioned I got out of the Navy.
Found this web site and was totally
ecstatic the letters from past shipmates have brought tears of joy to
this old sailors eyes.
I'm doing fine have spent the last
26 years working coast to coast as a journeyman tool & die maker.
Would love to hear from anyone who
remembers me. I would like to find MM1
Verle Craft And BT2
Clarence Roberts if anyone knows.
John R. Nickett.
277 Collier Ave
Battle Creek MI. 49017
GMGC Larry Finton USN (Ret.)
I reported aboard the Henry W. in November of 1967,
highlined from an oiler, when I saw they were sending over 55 gallon
drums of F17111 hydraulic oil, I knew there was problems with the gun mounts.
turned out that we were on the gun line so long firing
that the hydraulic lines were over heating and cracking at the flanges.
The Shipfitters did a fantastic job brazing those lines to keep us
I was on board for two years,
transfered in December of 1969. While on board Tucker we were homeported in Yokosuka, we had
some great times on liberty and some tough work underway that crew was in
the top 1% in both categories. In my twenty years of service and eight
Destroyers , Henry W. Tucker
is the best.
I retired July 1980 from Spruance
FIT Team in Pascagoula,
Mississippi. Worked at
FMC/NOD Minneapolis for six years as a gun/missile launcher tech rep. I
currently work at a Mississippi Gulf Coast Casino (y'all come down and
see us) Larry D. Finton GMGC(RET) USN
Larry D Finton
15068 Coggins Cove
Saucier, MS 39574
FTG2 Daryl G. Layser
I served onboard the Henry Tucker from 1971 until the
end of 1973. I was a Fire Control Technician, an FTG2 when I left. I
enjoyed some of the best years of my life with a great crew.
The Tucker went to the Pacific twice on my tour and made
several stops off the coast of Viet Nam. I remember a lot of
NGFS and the great ports we used to pull into, it was a great learning
which I'll never forget.
I was discharged in the spring of
1974 at Coronado Island and headed back to Myerstown, PA.
I am married and have 3 girls, ages
4, 7 and 10 yrs. I work at the Lebanon
VA medical center in the
A reunion would be a great idea if
we could muster enough people. I found this web site by accident, because
a friend of mine was interested in his ship the USS Floyd Parks DD884. I think it
would be great to get together and talk about the old days. This web site
already brought back memories and I will be checking
Some of the guys I worked with as I
recall were, Gil Bowles, Jim
Fehl, John Ciardelli, John Evangelista and Tom Nelson, all FT's. The
gunners mates I remembered were Tom
Petit, Terry Carbaugh and Jim McConnel.
Daryl G. Layser
140 N. College St.
Myerstown, PA. 17067
My name is C.D. Driver, served on the Henry W. Tucker from 1951-54.
All my navy time was spent on the Tucker. I was transfered from the USS Leonard F Mason to a tanker
waiting on the Tucker to
refuel and was transfered by hi-line to the Tucker.
We spent a lot of time along the Korean Coast.
16363 Cowan Rd # 30
Moody, TX 76557
FTG3 Harlan Lippincott
I went aboard Tucker in Yokosuka
in early '65 as an FT SA. I had just completed Mk37 Gun Director, Mk25
Radar and Mk1A Computer "C" schools and had absolutely no idea
what was going on.
Fortunately, FTG3 Paul Becker was my Petty
Officer and he taught me the "must know" stuff about
the Mk25 system pretty quick. Lt Nawrocki was the Weapons
Officer (I ended up buying a used car from him). His favorite expression
was "If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have joined." That
one came back to
haunt him more than once.
Smathers (John John) was the WG Division Officer. By the
time he made Lt(jg) he had learned to let GM1 Sharnhost (I never was sure how to spell it)
run the guns while John John slewed the Gun Director around.
I'm not sure what Lt Ellis' job was (CIC?,
Engineering?) but I remember him coming to GQ in a beret and carrying a
Tommy Gun (I think he headed the Boarding Party).
I hung out with SM3 P M Jones ("his damn
self") and fondly remember the folk songs and guitar of Bruce Bender (also a Sonarman).
Back in the World, Phil Jones
and I attended each other's weddings.
I was aboard Tucker when she became the first US Navy vessel to
fire her guns in anger since the Korean War. Code name "Willow",
"Have Guns, Will Travel". How many remember the Paladin knight
on the ends of the rangefinders? We did a lot of 5" gunfire support
as well as our share of SARSTA in the Gulf. One night, in the PO Club in Subic, I found myself at a table with a couple of
Marines. They asked our call sign and
when I told them "Willow",
they decided that they were going to buy all the "Sam Magoo" as
had lobbed some 5" "Willie Peter" into a gang of Cong that
had them pinned down.
In addition to Yokosuka,
we visited Subic Bay, Hong Kong and Singapore. En route to Singapore,
we crossed the Equator and I got my Shellback card (which I still have,
When I went aboard, Capt. Wilcox was the CO and I
was a SA. When I left Tucker in 1967(and the Navy) in Long Beach, The Old Man was Capt. Williams and I was an
I have often said of my Navy experiences
that I wouldn't want to do it again, but I wouldn't have missed it for
Now, almost 35 years later, my daughter,
Sabrina, is a SA in Pensacola
beginning her "A" school at Cory Station. I'd love to hear from
any of my old shipmates. Whatever happened to Larry Bohmbach?
1106 Hera Ct.
Lafayette, CO 80026
Clifford W. (Pete) Kinson
My name is Clifford W. Kinson (Pete). I
reported aboard the Tucker at Yokosuka
in May 1962 where she was home ported at the time. I came fresh from ET
school after graduation at Treasure
Island Calif. I
served under Commanding Officers Werdelman
In my early days aboard Tucker before the
build up I remember we mostly steamed with the carriers of WestPac in
support of Air Ops. (and a busy Ship she was). At the time I couldn't
even tell you where Viet
Nam was but boy was that to change.
Occasionally we had a break by being
assigned to the Taiwan Patrol and once even spent a week or so in Hong Kong as Communications ship. (that’s a
whole story in itself). In July 63 (or there abouts) we left West Pac and
returned to the US where we ventured thru the Canal to the East Coast and
on up to Charlestown Naval Shipyards where we would spend the next year
as Tucker went thru the FRAM program. When she emerged she had an
entirely different look.
The Helio deck was added for the new DASH
systems plus the ASROC tubes amidships and all the latest in electronics
gear. I can remember the day we going out on one of the first shakedown
cruises and as we were returning to dock we were under the command of a
harbor pilot. We were all at our docking stations and we were coming in
pretty hot. Something went wrong on the bridge with communications to the
engine room and she failed to back down at the proper time. As the
collision alarms went off we slammed
in to the pier at a pretty good clip. She received her
first battle scar that day with a pretty good dent in her bow. Shortly
after we returned to the West Coast. Spent several weeks in under way
training then returned to West Pac to an entirely different situation. Southeast Asia was starting to escalate and we all
know where it went from there.
I left the Tucker in 1965 and was
assigned to FAAWTRACEN at Damneck
Va where I was discharged
C. W. "Pete" Kinson
400 SW Gordon Apt. 124
Burleson, TX 76028
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