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PM3 Henry Warren Tucker
1919 - 1942

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our ship was named in honor of  PM3 Henry Warren Tucker of York, Alabama, USNR. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for heroism during the Battle of the Coral Sea, 7 May 1942.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker was called to active duty in July, 1941, and reported to the Naval Hospital at Pensacola, Florida.

On 15 January 1942, Tucker reported aboard the tanker USS Neosho (AO-23) for duty. The Neosho had survived the Pearl Harbor attack despite being berthed on "Battleship Row."

During the opening phase of the Battle of the Coral Sea, Japanese naval forces launched an all-out aerial attack on what they believed was the main U.S. battle force. What the Japanese found instead was the Neosho and destroyer USS Sims (DD-409) waiting at a refueling rendezvous.

Facing a 60-plane attack, the fate of the two American ships was never in doubt. The Sims exploded and sank immediately with a loss of almost the entire crew. Despite its cargo of burning aviation gas and fuel oil. the Neosho managed to remain afloat for awhile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For his actions during the sinking of the Neosho, Tucker was awarded the Navy Cross. The citation reads as follows:

"For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of  his professionalism following the attack on the USS Neosho by enemy Japanese aerial forces on 7 May 1942.

"With complete disregard for his own life, Tucker swam between the various life rafts carrying tannic acid in his hands to treat the burns of the injured men.

"He hazarded the dangers of exposure and exhaustion to continue his task, helping the injured to boats but refusing a place for himself.

"Tucker was subsequently reported as missing in action and it is believed he lost his life in his loyal and courageous devotion to duty.

His valorous actions enhance and sustain the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

U.S. Department of the Navy
(1942)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memories

 

Memories – 1    Memories – 2    Memories – 3     Memories - 4

 

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.

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SF2 Thomas J. Taylor (Plankowner)

Email:  katchme101@gateway.net

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 Tucker.

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 for refueling.

On the way to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, (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 the Yangtse River. Then came back to the States to Mare Island, CA for drydocking.

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 decontamination.

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

(423)693-8567

Fair Winds and Following Seas: Thomas J. Taylor

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LT. G. Donald Fisher, SC, USNR (Ret.)

Email: cdfisher@earthlink.net

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.

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 FT2  Kay Walden

Email: lkayw@tctc.com

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.

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SK3 Terry Williams, USNR

Email: jtwill@swbell.net

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 Island )

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 requests.

I currently live in Spring, TX,  a suburb of Houston, where I'm an insurance agent.

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FCC(SW) Jerry Golabowski, USNR

Email: k3uod@hotmail.com

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 there.

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).

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George Rogers

Email: georog@mis.com

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 morning."

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 that?"

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 out?

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".

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MR1 Frank Grochowski AKA "Ski"

Email: Dunoon@juno.com

     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 love.

     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 politically correct.

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Harold Zimmerman

Email:  hlhzimm@adelphia.net

     Kay 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?

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Robert Tate

Email: bob543@peoplepc.com

     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.

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YN 3 Paul W. Machart

Email: pwm41@gra.midco.net

     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.

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Dave Richards

Email: DRICH671@aol.com

     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 her.

     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).

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STG2 Bruce Bender

Email:  bender.company@comcast.net

     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 Grogg, 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.

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Errol Samuelson

Email: sdprthd@aol.com

     The picture of the UNREP you had on the web site brought back one of my most harrowing experiences on the Tucker.

     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

Email: pbs@lewiston.com

     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 pbs@lewiston.com

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 GM2 Eugene A. Roll  (original crew)

Email: 7rolls@garden.net

 

     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 coast.

     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.

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 ET2 Carl Mulcahy

Email: carl.mulcahy@worldnet.att.net

     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, Australia (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.

Carl Mulcahy

10287 County Road 2468

Terrell, TX  75160

214-514-9528

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 BT3 James D. Rawlins

Email: rawlinsjames@aol.com

    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 (Ohio) Whirlpool Divisions maintenance department. 

    Thank you James D. Rawlins. Please contact me if you wish.

****

 BT3 Bill Lawrence

Email: Rubill98@aol.com

   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

(805) 929-9066

****

 Rudy Freyman

Rudy Freyman

PO Box 84

Yankeetown, FL 34498

352-447-4534

****

BT3 James W. Siler, Jr.

E-mail: jwsilerbtc@earthlink.net

     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

Email: jcg@biotech.ufl.edu

   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

Email: Tmclau50@aol.com

     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 made.

     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 season.

T.J. McLaughlin.

****

LTJG Mitch Beauchamp

Email: mitch@psbs.com

   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 there.

****

FN Cecil (Mike) Dale

Mike Dale

4811 Serene Shores Drive

Gainesville, GA  30504

(770) 534-9610

****

S1/C Al Riss

Email: Marksrtcop@aol.com

      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 there.

     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 away.

     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 :

Al Riss

606 Century Dr.

Winter Haven, FL 33881

 

Note:  Al Riss has passed away.  See Memorial List.

****

EM2 Harry Salesberry

Email: hsalesberry@cox.net

     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 hard".

    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

Email: Tejas1936@aol.com

     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 1973. 

     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. Conn 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

Email: varmaster@yahoo.com

 

     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 CITY.

     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 EM Club.

     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 did. 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 us.

     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 Thompson"!

     We were all given three days extra duty.

     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 along".

     We both laughed.

****

BT3 Barry Harwick

Email: dulcie@gateway.net

    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

Email: gregory.j.bradley@exxonmobil.com

    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

Email: DSpra10060@aol.com

    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 the USSR 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

in Thailand August 1971.

     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 address is:

5111 Rugby Rd.

Virginia Beach, VA 23464-7955

(757) 467-4134

****

FTG2 Wayne F. Tanner, USNR

E-mail: tanner@innernet.net

    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 things.

    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

Email: lee_finlay@goquest.com

    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 will travel".

Lee Finlay

107 Devonshire

Hewitt, TX. 76643

****

RD1 James L. Barrett

Email: Jbarrett33@aol.com

 

     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 escort.

     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 Straits.

     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 Francisco.

     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.

****

Larry Duggins

Email: shalaka3@cox.net

     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 when Korea was over.

     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

Email: frank-f-carroll-iii@msn.com

     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 into Nam 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 do so.

     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

Email: oldsag@optonline.net

Hello Shipmates!!

     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

Email: femurphy@mail.ev1.net

     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.

****

Jim Julius

Email: lhju@webtv.net

     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)

     Thanks again, Jim     2J'S & NANCY J.

Jim Julius

919 Lighthouse Dr.

Storm Lake, IA 50588

****

GMG3 Danny Smith

Email: DGUNNERS1@prodigy.net

     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

3306 Webster

San Angelo, TX  76901

915-947-1770

****

Burrel W. Fortenberry

Email: burway@wilnet1.com

    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 with him.

    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

(405) 867-4260

****

Robert C. Andrews MMCM (SS) Ret.

Email: RAnd784799@nc.rr.com

I joined the Navy in August, 1946. I served on the Tucker from December, 1947to February, 1948

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.

R.C. Andrews

2710 W. Manor Pl. # 406

Seattle WA. 98199

(206) 284-2436

****

BM3 Jerry W. Dierks

Email: Dierksjuli@aol.com

   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 more years.

****

EM3 Thomas F. Walker

Email: bits@eburg.com

I served on the Henry W Tucker from November, 1964 to November, 1967.

****

MM3 John R. Nickett

Email: jnickett@charter.net

    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.)

Email: storm87@webtv.net

    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. It

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 firing.

    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

228-539-1814

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FTG2 Daryl G. Layser

Email: laysers@comcast.net

    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 experience,

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 boiler plant.

    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

frequently.

    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

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C.D. Driver

Email: Bobbiedriv@aol.com

   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.

C.D. Driver

16363 Cowan Rd # 30

Moody, TX 76557

Phone 254-853-2327

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FTG3 Harlan Lippincott

Email: lippincott10@comcast.net

   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.

   Ens 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 Willow 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, somewhere).

   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 FTG3.

   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 the world.

   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?

Harlan Lippincott

1106 Hera Ct.

Lafayette, CO 80026

303-665-2548

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Clifford W. (Pete) Kinson

Email: pkinson@flash.net

   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 and Wilcox.

   In my early days aboard Tucker before the Viet Nam 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 June 1967.

C. W. "Pete" Kinson

400 SW Gordon Apt. 124

Burleson, TX 76028

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Memories – 1    Memories – 2    Memories – 3     Memories - 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Henry W. Tucker
DD 875