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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 - 3

 

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

 

 The entries on this page date back to 1997 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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Harry Felder

Email: BluGrsSand@aol.com

   I served aboard the USS Henry W. Tucker from Feb. 1952 until Sept. 1955. During this period of time the Tucker was home-ported at Long Beach, CA.

   We made 3 cruises to the far east. The Tucker was in Korean waters when the armistice was signed in the summer of 1953 ending the Korean War.

   I was a radarman (RD2) when I left the Navy in 1955.

Harry Felder

210 S. Sunset Blvd.

Gulf Breeze, FL. 32561

(850) 932-3734

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Charles M. (Chuck) Ruth

Email: cmruth39452@yahoo.com

   I'm Charles M. Ruth, (Chuck) I was on the Tucker '63-'65 Came on in Boston during FRAM and left in May 1965 while the ship was in Yoko.

    I retired from the Navy in1980. My last tour was as Engineer Officer on the White Plains also homeported in Yoko.

   I was an MM2 in the Forward engine room on the. She was one of 10 ships that I had duty on and was certainly the best.

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 James J. Bloedorn, LCDR, USN Ret.

Email:  JJBAZ@cs.com

I served aboard Tucker during the period '58-'60 in Operations. I'm unable to make this year's reunion. The list of COs omits the name of CDR R.(Ralph?) M.? Hanson or Hansen, who came aboard in early 1960.

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 Daniel Lionberger

Email: daniel.lionberger@verizon.net

   I boarded DD875, the U.S.S. Henry W. Tucker, in February, 1973 at the 32nd St. naval base in San Diego the day she got back from being on the gun line in Viet Nam. She sent thousands of rounds from her five-inch guns into the Mekong Delta, by one account, earning her the nickname "Hammerin’ Hank" in honor of Hank Aaron who was still hammering away at the home-run record then. However, we knew her mostly as the "Happy Hank" while I served aboard her under less strenuous conditions. I was "cherry-boy" at that time as the Tucker was my very first ship. Completing Radarman/Operations Specialist (the name change occurred while I was there) ‘A’ school at Great Lakes NTC and finishing in the top twenty of my class I earned a limited choice of assignments. Somehow I was lucky enough to gamble on the old "tin can", though my classmates warned me she was probably a "rust bucket". I might feel ambivalent about it because during the seven months I spent aboard her, three were spent as a mess-cook, doing dishes and killing cockroaches, and a good portion of the remaining four months were spent hanging over the side chipping paint. However, except for being rightfully ‘written up’ by BTC Jackson (sorry, Chief) for not getting a haircut when he told me to, and the old destroyer almost getting sunk while tied to the seawall during my quarterdeck watch, I have only good memories to support the "Happy Hank" legacy.

   The cruise-hardened C.I.C. crew that greeted me included Lt. Kauffman(?), or Lt. Kinnaly(?), an Operations Specialist Senior Chief (OSSC), OS2 Wiggins, short-timer OS3 Joe Blomberg from Missouri, and OS3 Richard "Rick" Menegay from Akron, Ohio. I also remember an OS3 named Ralph or Curt who had glasses, curly hair and a goatee and a quarterhorse cowboy whose name eludes me from Idaho or Montana but I lost the range and bearing on those guys. Soon joining us in C.I.C. were OS1 (soon to be OSC) Akers (Acres?) and an unrated Seaman from Boston, who definitely had the accent, I believe named Fleck.

   Some Oregon homeboys I remember from the "Happy Hank" were Sonarman PO3 Thomas Dewey (not positive about the name) from Waldport, Oregon and RM3 Steve Harvey of Tigard, Oregon.

   Some of my buddies were Rod Elfring whose nice Dodge Coronet SuperBee incurred some right-rear fender damage while I was driving it on a munchy run (sorry, Rod) and Frank ? (with the brown "63" Dodge pick-up) from Bakersfield, California who amused many on duty in homeport one day with his "RUN, Toto, RUN!" P.A. announcement while on quarterdeck watch. Rick ? from Huntington Beach, California, Tom A? (with the Camaro) and fellow mess-cook "Smitty" Smith, are other friends I remember, I apologize to you guys I forgot. I don’t remember any feuds though Tom A. and I rolled around on the mess deck one day before they tore us apart when I replied "Your Mama" to one of Tom’s remarks. Sorry, Tom. Actually, Tom and I were pretty good friends after that, cruising around San Diego in his Camaro, I just never mentioned his mother again.

   Besides drinking beer and playing cards, being only an OSSA - chipping paint and painting was my main naval experience in D’ego. I couldn’t believe how many paint chips could accumulate in your hair, ears, nose, boondockers, and crack of your ass; don’t ask me how. Speaking of which, I owe one heavy BM2 a kick in the butt. One day we went to work on the aft end of the front smokestack and I went up it in a bosun’s chair. The so-called Bosun’s Mate, or maybe he was a Radioman which would explain his lousy knot, tied me off halfway up the stack. I was an artist with only navy gray on my pallet when the bottom dropped out of the picture. Dropping faster than seafarers in Olongapo, I tattooed my ass on the deck or a locker top. My first instinct was to clobber the guy but reasoning got the better of me for once. I believe I did practice a string of common nautical terms on the guy. I hope he reads this, I’ve still got a sore ass.

   A refueling training-exercise north in some semi-rough seas got a little salt on this sailor when we dragged lines hand over hand along the side to pull the fuel-hose across nearly getting washed overboard in the process. This trip encouraged me because I didn’t get seasick even when some "old salts" were holding on to bowls or whatever was handy. Unfortunately, the other mess-cooks were holed-up in the head and I did all of the work. Some target practice where we formed a human chain passing five-inch rounds the length of the ship, a trip to San Francisco, and a cruise to the Puget Sound, where the smell of fir trees (nonexistent in Southern California) was a true joy to a homesick kid, to be a part of the Everett, Washington Fourth of July celebration closed out my DD875 cruise log.

   Later in the summer of 1973 a major S.N.A.F.U. happened that might have hastened the end of the U.S.N. career of the U.S.S. Henry W. Tucker. The Tucker was tied to a seawall at 32nd St. Base and I was on an afternoon quarterdeck watch when tugboats towed a guided-missile cruiser into the pier our stern was facing. No one was paying much attention to our port side and the incoming ship because our duty was to the quarterdeck and gangway on the starboard side against the seawall. We gave it a glimpse and were aware of it but it was nothing new. Next thing we were knocked off of our feet, or practically at least, when the cruiser sliced into our port aft-section. The son-of-a-gun cut right through our hull like a knife through butter. Only luck in the form of a steel girder, one of the ship’s ribs in the right place, kept us from sinking right there in homeport. One of my buddies, I think it was Fleck, was in the top bunk immediately forward of that steel beam and he was thrown from the bunk. I know he and others below would have died, except for that relatively narrow beam standing alone amidst maybe twenty feet of the bulkhead. You figure the odds. The whole aft end could have been severed and old "Henry" would have went down like a stone. I believe what really saved those guys was the old girl’s determination not to end in tragedy, to preserve her title as the "Happy Hank".

   In only a month or two we received word that our old destroyer was going to be decommissioned a few months later, in December, 1973. I was among the first to be transferred, in September of 1973 I went across the bay to the Naval Amphibious Base as the first Operations Specialist in Tacron 1, an amphibious air control squadron. Not only did I have to deal mostly with airdales, but pilots and liaison officers from the army and air force had to be reckoned with also, as if the Marine Corp. officers there weren’t bad enough. Those guys were flyboys not sailors. My new assignment was considered good duty, one year ashore and six months overseas, and I enjoyed Coronado but I missed the "real navy" that I had the thrill of knowing thanks to the Tucker. My detachment hopped ships to Subic Bay and another to Okinawa to board the Seventh Fleet flag ship, the USS Paul Revere, where we spent most of the time. On a temporary exercise on the U.S.S. Tripoli I met up again with Henry W. Tucker shipmate and fellow CIC crewmember OS3 Richard Menegay. I was on phone watch duty in Yokosuka, Japan when they piped Nixon’s resignation speech over the P.A.. Can’t say I was sorry.

   I made OS3 a few months later, one year after I left the "Happy Hank". Although my presence was only a mere seven months of the U.S.S. Henry W. Tucker’s proud twenty-eight year history in the U.S. Navy I have always been grateful and honored to be included in it. I’m pretty sure everyone who served aboard her had all their stuff in one ditty bag, no holes, when they left.

   Playboy’s comic "granny" was painted holding a torpedo on one of the U.S.S. Henry W. Tucker’s forward structures with the caption: "I may be old, but I can still deliver" …and she did.

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 RM3 Walt Arnold

Email: Shogun90@hotmail.com

   My name is Walt Arnold RM3 I reported aboard while she was still in dry dock in Long Beach in 1967 I

believe it was probably May. I was airlifted off in the Tonkin Gulf by helicopter around the Oct 1, 1967.

   Every day I spent on the Tucker I enjoyed please include my name on your roster.

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 Burr C. Wilcox, CAPT USN Ret.

Commanding Officer, Nov. 1963 to Dec. 1965

   It was a pleasure to find a date for a reunion for a ship that probably spent more engine miles in the South China Sea than any other.

   First shore bombardment by a US ship about 35 years ago and kept two SAR helos in the air all day Thanksgiving '65. I was there the whole way.

   I know the West Pac tours for DesRon 3 before 1962 were probably pleasurable than '64 and later but hardly more satisfying.

Capt. Burr C. Wilcox

6231 Bayford Rd.

Franktown, VA 23354-2327

[Note:  CAPT Wilcox has passed away.  See Memorial List.]

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 Mike McDermott

Email: pmmcd@optonline.net

   I served in TUCKER from June 68 (end of Long Beach shipyard period) thru November 1969 (Sea of Japan deployment), when I departed in Sasebo.

   During that time we transited from Long Beach to Yokosuka via Honolulu and Midway, then made Yoko our homeport. We were involved with SEA DRAGON operations off of North Vietnam in summer 1968,

Apollo VIII recovery operations in the fall of 1968 (we were a backup ship), then five more trips to the Zone, which involved naval gunfire support, plane guard for several carriers, radar picket duty in the northern sector of the South China Sea, etc.

   In April 1969 we were sent to the Sea of Japan when a US Navy EC-131 aircraft was shot down ostensibly by the North Koreans (spelled U-S-S-R) and we picked up the pieces and two bodies out of 131 men

aboard, then delivered the bodies and debris to Naval Intelligence in Sasebo.

   As far as liberty, we got to Sasebo, Kaohsiung, Subic Bay ("one thousand pictures equal one word"), Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore, as well as the traditional "Crossing The Line" ceremony in August 1969. September 1969 was a ship repair period in Yokosuka, followed by a Sea of Japan deployment -- the interesting thing there was that the nationally known columnist, Jeanne Dixon, made one of her predictions that "A US Navy ship with twelve letters in its name would be shot at and hit in the Sea of Japan" so needless to say, we were all on pins and needles until we made it back to Sasebo! And that's

when I departed.

   Two other notes of interest -- I'd heard that TUCKER had been turned over to the Brazilian Navy in 1973 and later sunk as a target in 1992. Coincidentally, I had completed a master's thesis at the Univ. of Southern

California on the history of the Brazilian Navy in the spring of 1968 prior to reporting aboard TUCKER.    You may be interested to know that its new namesake, MARCILIO DIAS, was similar to HENRY W. TUCKER -- both were enlisted men who died in the thick of battle for their ships and shipmates. Marcilio

Dias was a Brazilian Able Seaman (equivalent to an E-3) who protected the Brazilian colors on the fleet flagship during a particularly bloody and significant battle against Paraguay in the 1860s -- he literally died on the stern to protect the colors, and helped the Brazilian fleet win the decisive naval battle of the war (in fact, the last major naval battle Brazil had to fight until WWII, when its navy distinguished itself by sinking a number of German U-boats in the South Atlantic).

   And the final irony -- while I served in the TUCKER, I often said that my lifelong dream was to retire to Rio de Janeiro "for all the right reasons" --so guess what? I was down in Brazil on business in 1991 and was flying into Rio's Santos Dumont airport, the one in the middle of Rio's Guanabara Bay -- and as the airliner was on final approach, I looked out the window at the Navy fleet docks, and -- lo and behold, there was TUCKER!! She made it to Rio before I did!!

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EN2 James G. Williams

Email: jgwilliams00@hotmail.com

My name is James G. Williams and I served aboard the Tucker from May, 1968, thru April 1970.

I joined the Tucker while in drydock at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. I was in "R" Div and a member of "A" gang my entire stay aboard the Tucker.

I look forward to hearing from my old shipmates and friends that I proudly served with on the Henry W. Tucker DD875.

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MM3 Ronnie Miller

Email: barrnonejr@altavista.com

   I served on the Tucker from July 1969 to 1971. I was a MM3 in the forward engine room. I recall a lot of good times and great friends.

Ronnie Miller

Midland Texas

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Noel W. Bragg

Email: hometax@pixi.com

   I served aboard the Henry W. Tucker from Oct 58 until some time in 1961 when I transferred within the squadron to the USS Eversole DD-789.

   I went aboard a FTGSN and left a FTG2. I can remember a FTG3 named Paul Ruthven from Idaho and a FTG3 named O'Brien from Alaska. Also, my best friend was a QMSN named John Orrelle. John is retired in the Portland OR area and is proud of the fact that he can't use a computer. I remember that the FTG chief was nicknamed "Rosie" and I think that the FTG1 was named "Jim".

   I'm already stretching my poor memory. Maybe some of the shipmates can help me refresh my memory.

Noel W. Bragg

900 Fort Street Mall #1405

Honolulu HI 96813

toll free 1-800-915-0052

office 808-521-6664

fax 808-545-4285

residence 808-625-8881

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Glenn R. Lane RM3

Email: Xlent1980@cs.com

   I was a radioman on hachee nana go (Spelling?) 67-69. Still have my cruise books. Many great memories.     Will never forget the trip up near Vladivostok to search for debris from our spy plane the Koreans shot down. Or the night in Danang harbor when the cong were firing rockets across the harbor and hit an ammo

dump.

   Great liberty in Hong Kong, Subic (Olongapo), Yokosuka, Kaoshung. Thanks for the blast from the past, it's very groovy. Glenn R. Lane (RM3-ustabe)

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David A. Clayton

Email: TYLER77@email.msn.com

   My name is David A Clayton, I go by Dave. I came aboard the Tucker in San Diego around mid 73, GMG3 mount 52, it was near the end of Tucker's time.

   After spending about 2 months in port, ( San Diego ) we went out for range practice on San Clemente island. Tucker was old at this time and the top deck spilt from the pounding the 5" ( mount 51 & 52 ) guns were giving her.

   We went back to San Diego. Our new orders, take the Tucker to Bremerton, WA for a civilian open house, if I remember right it was for the 4th of July celebration. We hit one hell of a storm going up the coast. (typhoon, "worst experience of my life")

   Next orders were to decommission the Henry W Tucker at the Long Beach ship yard -- a very nasty job, I know I went through the whole job. My new orders report to the USS Dubuque LPD leaving in 3 weeks for a Westpac. That is the best I can remember. It was nice reading all the stories.

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Joseph Catalanotto

Email:  thwart99@aol.com

   I was on the Tucker on Feb. 1960 - Nov. 1962. We were on a WestPac. cruise home port Yokosuka, Japan; we were there for 31 months.

   I was in supply as ship barber.

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Robert A. Ayello

Email: RYRS@aol.com

   I served on board The "Happy Hank" from April 19,1967 until April 1970.

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David Emerson

Email: dave.emerson@att.net

   I joined Henry W. Tucker in January 1967 as the Operations Officer in Long Beach just as she was coming out of overhaul. We went down to San Diego shortly after for REFTRA where a "good time" was had by all.

   I remember one incident in San Diego where CDR Williams, the CO at the time, put me in "hack" because the anchor light did not come on at the same time that colors was sounded. It seems that the duty quartermaster only had two hands and could not hold the 1MC mike key down, blow the whistle and reach across the pilothouse to turn on the anchor lights at the same time.

   My most vivid memories and the most enjoyable, were of the times we spent operating out of our homeport in Yokosuka, Japan. We had a great crew, especially my Operations Department (of course I am prejudiced).

   I remember with deepest respect and pleasure our CO, CDR Shel Kully, and XO, LCDR Larry May. They provided stern guidance tempered with understanding. I believe most everyone on the ship sincerely enjoyed serving with them. I saw many names and stories that I recognized in the TUCKER Muster List.

   I am currently living in northern Virginia with my wife, Mila, of 32+ years. We have 4 children and 2 granddaughters.

David Emerson

6396 Phillip Ct.

Springfield, VA 22152-2800

Tel. No. 703-644-6255

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Leo Dale Leaser

Email: d.leaser@comcast.net

  I served on the Tucker from May 1949 to June 1952. I was a B.T. in #1 fireroom. My brother, Billy W. Leaser (now deceased), served with me from 1950 to 1953.

   We served with the destroyers Bush and Rupertus. We evacuated Hungnam in 1949 to Formosa at the time China came into the Korean Conflict. We served as carrier duty on the West Coast of Korea and shore bombardment on the East Coast with the Battleship Missouri (BB63).

   We also went in to challenge the Russian Navy at Vladivostok Naval Base. Our home base in Japan was Yokosuka. From there we went to China, Formosa, Philippines, Hawaii, Guam, Okinawa, Pegan, Eniwetok, Midway and Wake Island.

Leo Dale Leaser

1514 Phyllis Court

Irving, TX 75060

972/790-6866

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Charles Monroe, SSCS (Ret.)

Email: cmonroe@tgti.net

   I served on board the Tucker from 2 July 1955 through 5 January 1958, I was in the Supply Department as a SH1, I made chief along with a shipmate Dickenson MM1 on the Tucker on 16 May 1956, crossed the equator on her on 6 December 1957 and shortly after we arrived back from Brisbane, Australia I was transferred to U.S. Naval Air Station, Cabaniss Field, Corpus, Texas.

   After several other Ships and Naval Stations I retired June 1967 as a Senior Chief Ships Serviceman.

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Bill Spencer, SMCS USNR (Ret.)

Email: bill.smcs@sbcglobal.net

 

   I was aboard from Nov. 45 to April 46 for her first deployment to Japan as a radar picket ship in the southern Ryuku Is. at a place called Amami Oshima.

   We were on the flight line between Okinawa and Japan proper. Search and rescue. We were equipped with a 36" carbon arc search light and new radar to locate downed aircraft. Fortunately we were not called on. I was designated SM striker.  I had been to class A SM school at Great Lakes.

   Prior to the Tucker I was at ATB Oceanside ,Calif. I remember Capt. Barney Meyer, Ens. Corbin, Signalman Wally Auffermann, but that's all right now.

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Franklin B. (Frank) Brooks

Email: fbrooks@cfi.net

   I was a Chief Radioman when I reported aboard the Tucker in July of 1965. I arrived via Helicopter early one morning in the South China Seas. Cdr Wilcox was the C.O. and LCDR Barber was the X.O. I left the Tucker about a year later for shore duty. I was qualified as a CIC Combat Watch Officer and a deep draft underway OOD from a pervious ship.

   Just after arriving aboard, I was paged to the bridge to report to the C.O. He had my service record and noticed the qualifications. He told me to take the Conn. I did and after a few minutes running at 21 knots, we spotted a couple junk boats ahead and the skipper said to go between them, I lined up the junks and set course for them, almost immediately we could see a fishing net between them, and I advised the skipper and he said to avoid them, by them we were right on top and I did a hard right rudder to avoid them, even then our rooster tail some 16 feet high almost turned them over.

   I looked around and there was the XO with food on him from top to bottom, he asked what happened and I told him, he advised me that you never use more than standard right rudder when traveling above 16 knots. I had cleared the ward room table onto the XO. More fun.

   I remember the long days at sea and the many days trying to learn how to refuel Helo’s while they were in flight. We got it done. Port time was short but a lot of fun. The Tucker was one of the few ships that I really enjoyed being aboard, both with Wilcox and then with Williams.

   I was on the Bowling team and we had a pretty good team. The thing that surprised me was after refueling or rearming, we haul up a yellow flag with red letters HIYA and played charge over the speaker system. I was advised that HIYA was southern for Hi You All, until one night a skipper off one of the tankers advised us via radio that the last time he seen a flag like that it stood for "Hang It In You’re A—" we didn’t fly that flag anymore. Also I didn’t really know what the ships motto was until Cdr Williams relieved Cdr Wilcox, "Have Gun will Travel". And that it did.

   I can tell you a lot more stories but will keep this short, but again the Henry W. Tucker was probably the only ship that I served on that I enjoyed every day. I have looked for years in the reunion section to see if there would every be one for the Tucker and yesterday I was surprised and found one. I live about five hours from Biloxi and will do my best to be there in November.

   I would love to hear more from the sailors that served on her from 1965 through 1966, Officers, Chiefs or enlisted.

   I am a Real Estate Broker and Mortgage Broker in Crestview, Florida and hope to retire completely in about two years. My e-mail address is fbrooks@cfi.net and you can also reach me through my web page www.frankbbrooks.com and there is a picture of me that shows my age. Oh well. I have a son in the Navy, he is an E8 and is in charge of the Boneyard in Tucson, Az.

Frank Brooks

46 Kemper Ln.

DeFuniak Springs, Fl. 32433

850-892-9299.

Toll free outside Florida 1-800-239-8335

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Thomas L. (Snake) Nazworth, BTCM USN (Ret.)

Email: snakengin@netzero.net

   I served aboard the Tucker from Sept. '64 to July '66, and was the BT1 in charge of the Aft Fireroom. BT1

John King had Fwd Fireroom, MM1 Jimmy Combs had Fwd Engineroom, and MM1 Jack Brown had Aft Engineroom. Also, who could forget characters like MMC Donny Green, MMC Mac McCracken, MM1 Queen, EM1 Witkowski, and a machinery repairman that could make almost anything with a lathe, drill press and grinder, MR2 Gestalter.

   During the time I spent aboard, we conducted carrier screening, market time operation, keeping

Vietnamese junks under scrutiny against infiltration of weapons, personnel and supplies to the Viet Cong, and acting as mothership to small US boats also on market time.

   On the night of 16 May 1965, Tucker became the first US Navy ship to furnish gunfire support in Vietnam. Tucker, not only had been the first to fire, but had spent more time on NGFS missions and fired more rounds than any other destroyer assigned to the Seventh Fleet.

   Another Tucker first was becoming the first destroyer to conduct in-flight refueling of a helo at night; fueling one that had less than three minutes of fuel onboard when we made our hook-up. Of those who served during that time, who could forget the large banner that proclaimed, "TUCK'S TAVERN - GAS - EATS - OPEN ALL NIGHT."

   And never forget our fearless leaders: CAPT Smiling, CDR B.C. Wilcox, "White Glove Inspector"

CDR/CAPT J.H.D. Williams, XO's LCDR "Heavy Weather" Kinsley, and "Stay off the Starboard Side"

LCDR Barber, EO LT "What's a bearing?" Varner, and a real old shipmate of mine, LTJG Sumo Sam

Ellis. With the fine crew we had during the period I served, we were not only the best in the fleet, we were

the cleanest and best looking in the fleet!

   One last first was our 25 knot approach, to fullback, to take station on replenishment ships. I am proud to have been a small part of such a great crew and a shipmate on the USS Henry W. Tucker DD 875.

Thomas L. Nazworth

2504 Weatherford Drive

Deltona, FL 32738-8828

[Note: Tom Nazworth has passed away. See Memorial List.]

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Ted Unander

Email: Tunan@aol.com

   I served on the "steamin' T" from 1/59 until 5/61. My first ship. Went aboard as a SA, left as a CS3.

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Bill Lubitz

Email: WJLubitz@aol.com

   I served aboard in 1955 and 1956 as a second class ET. I look at my 1955-1956 cruise book often. I

served with Chief Ecoff, LT(jg) Tallet, Bill Meadows (deceased), Milne, Levings, Raber and Ruberg. Are any of those guys out there?

   The far eastern cruise was a memorable one with liberty in Yokosuka, Nagasaki, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung Subic Bay and other memorable places. We chased carriers and looked real tough on the old Formosa patrol.

   What I remember most was bad weather North of Luzon and green water over the bridge and down the forward stack. The only place one could get fresh air was behind the radio room on the 01 deck and then it was full of stack gas.

Also, I can remember the Chief being transferred on board via helicopter one dark evening. The fantail was coming out of the water and you could feel the vibration of the screws. The chief wasn't real excited about trying to hit a target bouncing up and down 20 feet and under water half the time. He made it just fine though and we all felt good about getting him on board.

   Before reporting to the Tucker, I spent about a year and one-half on the USS Frank E. Evans, DD754 and before that ET school at Treasure Island. After leaving the Tucker I spent about 6 months on the USS Bremerton CA130 before discharge in November 1956.

Bill Lubitz, ET2

W305N6947 Linda Ann Drive

Hartland, WI 53029

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Philip R. Costlow

Email: pcostlow@mindspring.com

   I served on the Tucker from Feb. 1968 to Oct. 1971. I was a MM3 in the forward engine room when I left the ship. I am planning to attend the reunion, and would like to here from any of my old friends that will be there. I live in Breaux Bridge, La.

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Erik B. Mezger

Email: e.mezger@3dag.ch

   I reported aboard USS Henry W. Tucker (DDR-875) on 23 November 1958 in Long Beach, CA straight out of OCS in Newport, Rhode Island and departed on 11 August 1961 in Yokosuka, Japan, for Release from Active Duty.

   Tucker left Long Beach for her 1959 WESTPAC deployment on 27 January 1959 and returned on 31 July 1959. With the rest of Desdiv 32, Rupertus (DD-851), Leonard F. Mason (DD-832) and George K Mac Kenzie (DD-836) we joined with USS Ranger (CVA-61) in Pearl Harbor to act as escort for Ranger's (and the Forrestal class) first cruise to WESTPAC.

   Ranger, commanded by the WWII hero, Noel Gaylor, was a showboat, and received VIP visits, in Japan, of members of the emperors family, and in the Philippines, President Garcia.

   TUCKER pulled four Air Group 14 aviators out of stormy waters on a very dark night when an AD-5W's engine failed just short of the ramp. To retrieve the aviators, Tucker had to put untrained swimmers in the water. Many more volunteered than were necessary, all were successful, and none were "Sunshine sailors". My first real lesson in the true nature of the human character, one I will never forget.

   Other than carrier escort, we had more than our share of Taiwan Patrol, ASW, Air Control and Gunfire exercises. Liberty was in Sasebo, Yokosuka, Kaoshiung, Hong Kong, Guam, Cavite, and of course that classic, Olongapo. Pretty much normal routine for those days. It was about to change.

   After an extended shipyard availability in Long Beach, rumors came up from that unimpeachable (those were the days!) Source, the Chief's wives, that TUCKER was to be homeported in Japan with the rest of DESRON 3. We then started receiving a host of mysterious visitors, including that most exotic of species, AIR Force officers. TUCKER was then fitted with an oversized radar antenna on the forward gun director, a lot of exotic recording gear in CIC and a ULQ electronic deception hut on the 01 deck.

   We departed Long Beach on 1 May 1960 for Yokosuka, our new homeport, with an volunteer crew,

the load of special gear and two Air Force Majors, Jewett and Greenfield. We deployed as an entire squadron, with eight ships. All the way across the Pacific. The Commodore had us doing squadron maneuvers as hadn't been seen since WWII. An 8 Tin-Can Corps de Ballet. It was not only beautiful, but enormous fun to drive the ship through the dance steps, with all 8 in unison. (Mostly)

   Yokosuka is still, after 40 years, the world's best home port, as a recent USNI Proceedings article has again confirmed. There is the Real Navy in "Yoko", and the rest, which is run out of Washington, D.C.

   After a few days at sea, our Air Force types started foaming at the mouth, not because they were seasick again, but because Gary Francis Powers had just gotten himself "bagged" in a U-2 over the Soviet Union. What had this to do with Tucker? Quite a lot actually, as it turned out.

   For at least the next year, TUCKER gave, on the surface at least, the appearance of going through a normal deployment, but was, in fact, doing something very different.

   TUCKER, had been assigned as the electronic support ship for "OPERATION SNOW WHITE"; the U-2 flights over Korea, Mainland China and Vietnam. With our special electronic gear, we would patrol offshore spooking "SAM and Charlie", looking for and recording SAM sites and high altitude interceptors which might bring down a U-2. They never did, at least not on our watch. The ULQ hut on the 01 deck was the other feature.

   As a result, we rarely saw our DESRON 3 or DESDIV 32 mates. Instead, we ran with every Attack Carrier that came to WESTPAC to demonstrate our electronic bag of tricks, which focused on electronic deception or false images to fool enemy radars. All this meant 75% at sea time and correspondingly uninhibited liberties. It also meant that we became one single team; TUCKER sailors. No shore patrol ever

"nailed" one of us for anything so long as there was another TUCKER sailor within earshot to take his shipmate out of harm's way. Off the street, into the taxi and a hearty "HACHI-NANAG0" (875) was all it took.

   At sea, it was the same way, pipe the call, go to stations, execute the evolution and secure. Everybody knew what to do, or found a willing hand to help when he didn't yet. It was impressive, and that impression of calm professionals doing their jobs lasts to this day. We were good, and proud to be good, at what we had to do. We did it well (And often).

   Standing on the after deck of a (not so) slowly sinking Mike Boat in the middle of Buckner Bay, Okinawa on New Years eve 1960-1961 with a dead PRC-10 on my back hoping to make it to White Beach before we went down. BM3 Jackie ("Buddha-Belly") Mason at the helm and a Motor Machinist Mate who looked

just like Jack Palance down below desperately pumping out the bilges. We just made it to the beach, hitched a ride back to TUCKER in time to "haiyaku" out of Buckner at flank speed to join LEXINGTON (CV-16) for

an emergency excursion into the Tonkin Gulf because some unmentionable was doing something unspeakable to some unpronounceable down on the Plain of Jars in Laos. As usual, the other guys got the ribbons, because officially, we were never there. Officially, we were always "just breezin' along".

Minding our own business. (some minding, some business).

   Sitting off Quemoy on 10 July 1960 watching 88,000 (8 is the Chinese Lucky number) artillery rounds go in, while out in the Taiwan Straits, President Eisenhower was whisked by in the USS Saint Paul (CA-73) aka "Snooky Poo Maru". A mile high cloud of brown dust, and the ship's movie on the fantail at full volume, over the muttering of the guns. "Peking Polly" on the radio in CIC informing us that "the men of the USS Henry W. Tucker had committed the umpteenth territorial violation of the Peoples Republic of China

sovereign waters" and listening to the heroic exploits of Comrade Wang in the war to liberate Korea from the capitalist oppressors yoke. Right out of the movies, but Polly's choice of music was very lousy, to say the very least.

   Going through Kaoshiung Harbor outer breakwater athwartships with 2 fathoms to spare at each end before a typhoon. We got liberty, while the other 3cans had to ride it out at sea. Who says being junior ship is a bad deal?

   The Great Wave off Kanagawa, just like the Hiroshige woodcut. When the ship in "Form One" ahead of you disappeared completely behind each wave, and then... and then, a giant "unusual wave" 45 degrees off the starboard quarter (and all other waves) to lay TUCKER over on her side in the trough and, heaven did help us, bring her back again. Both inclinometers bubbles chock-a-block to one side and nobody spoke for 10 minutes while we absorbed the event. The Engineer Officer, who had slept through it, wondered what everyone was talking about at dinner that night in the wardroom.

   The simple heroism of the "common" sailor. For his ship, and for his shipmate. Kelly GM3, pulling a 5" shell with a live VT fuse out of a jammed gun hoist in mount 52 and getting it over the side single-handedly before it blew us all to Kingdom come.

   A few brave men wrestling loose depth charges adrift at night on a heaving fantail awash in a following sea. And so many others; men seemingly lost in memory, yet sustaining us forever. With a "Skipper Next to God", an XO to match (Hanson and McCann) and all men responsible for each other, we were truly a band of brothers. We only sensed it then, we can be certain now. My only wish would be to see you all again.

****

Edwin Zupinski, MMC, Ret.

Email: Lisaandedwin@aol.com

   It was good to see some of my old shipmates listed, and so I would like to add my name to the Great Ship Henry W. Tucker. I was the Auxiliaries Division Chief from July 1969 till June 1973.

   I retired in September 1988 in Pensacola, Fl with my family.

Edwin Zupinski

4918 Lanett Drive

Pensacola, FL 32526-1769

(850) 457-2121

****

Peter Mockapetris, BTCS Ret.

Email: pm10897@home.com

 I was stationed onboard Tucker Jan 1972 till Dec 1973. I was a BT3 at the time and was part of the turnover crew that stayed onboard to help the Brazilians get acquainted with the ship.

   I served for twenty years and retired in July 1991 as a BTCS.

****

Warren L. Story, CAPT USN Ret.

Email: Lionstory@aol.com

   I served as CO between 1969-1971 while the ship was home ported in Yokosuka, Japan (rotating back and forth to the Gulf of Tonkin) and San Diego, CA. I look forward to hearing the Tucker news. Thanks.

Warren L. Story

HC 75 Box 604

Locust Grove, VA 22508

540-972-7906

****

Bill Bragg

Email: bcbragg@msn.com

   I served on the HWT from 1965-1967. I was a TM3. I now live in Kilgore, Texas. If you would like to contact me, you may do so at AJBADCOCK@AOL.com or 104 Horseshoe Drive Kilgore, Texas 75662. I would love to hear from any fellow shipmates. (903) 983-0022.

****

Don Martin

Email: mart979@earthlink.net

   I came aboard the Steamin' T, which was homeported in Long Beach in Aug. '57 as an RMSN and left her in Dec. '60, homeported in Yokosuka as RM2.

   My Communications Officer was Ens. Erik B. Mezger and I'm delighted to see that he is attending the reunion. Some of the other guys in the radio gang during those 3 cruises were: Wilkie Yost, Richard (Bony) Moore Bill Rhoads, Jim Rhoads (brothers), Phil Gaudet, Paul Gamble, Bob Deppen, Ronnie Turk, Bob Faulkner, Tom Byrne, Sam Thomas, Bill Miller, Dan Kucera, Pete Abel and "Shorty" Hull. Other Comm Officers were Ens. Malcolm, Ens. Peden and Ens. Mabrey. Commanding Officers were Cdr. R. L. Thienes, Cdr. K. S. Irwin and Cdr. Hanson.

****

Eddie Campbell

Email: ed_campbell@sbcglobal.net

   I reported aboard HWT, in Hawaii (where I was languishing on another tin can, whose name escapes me because I barely had time to drop my seabag and fall into a rack before being awakened and told to report across the pier to HWT). I think that was right around the 1st of July 1967. I was E-3, at the time, having come from the reserves two by six program.

   I was immediately told to report to WD Division. I was in whites and reported to the Chief, who was on the fantail hollering at the Underway Detail. He looked at me and said, "Grab that line!" So much for that set of whites.

   Within a couple of days someone noticed I could type and I was told to report to the Engineering Office where I found another sorry E-3 who couldn't type as well as I and was in constant fear. After a couple of weeks of working with him and learning the ropes, I requested a transfer back to WD because I really didn't want to screw that kid out of his job and felt I could handle the deck force better than he could. I did OK.

   I was assigned as PMS PO, given the regular job as Compartment Cleaner (for my off hours) and learned how to stand Bridge watches, which I thoroughly enjoyed because 80% of the time I was on the Helm. Helm was my assigned station for Arriving and Departing. Lee Helm was my station for UNREP. Did I skate or what? When we left Hawaii we were on the way to WESTPAC - a 6 month cruise. I could have done that the rest of my life.

   We returned home the day before Christmas 1967. I took two weeks leave and returned to Portland, OR (my hometown) to visit with family. When I got back to Long Beach, I got an apartment with three other guys, all out of the OE Division (ET's) and began taking correspondence courses for ET.

   HWT departed Long Beach July 4th 1968 for a change of home port to Yokosuka. I wasn't supposed to be on board - I was married (got married in Long Beach to a girl I'd know for 4 months - lasted 20 years but, it was a mistake) and had less that two years of duty remaining. However, somebody considered me "critical" to the mission (I suspect the 1ST Lt like to screw with me) and I went. More fun.

   In Yoko I was reassigned to the DASH gang and in August (I think) passed the E-4 exam for ET third increment. The day I got to sew on my chevron was the day I left the ship heading for Atsugi to catch a plane for Clark AFB and on to Subic to be reassigned to the USS NEW JERSEY  as an ETN3. That was mid September 1968.

   I had to sit in Subic Bay Transit Barracks for two weeks, until the NJ returned to port. If you've every been there, you know how much fun that is.

   I currently belong to the USS NEW JERSEY VETERANS. We're having our reunion 9/14 to 9/17 in Daytona Beach.

Ed & Irene Campbell

2354 Mountain View Ct.

Fairfield, CA 94533-1081

PH: 707-428-5417

FAX: 707-428-3729

****

MM2 Eugene Harris

Email: eharri13@msn.com

   I boarded The Tucker just out of boot camp Mid January 1947, left the ship as a MM2 August 1951.

   Our first voyage was to dry docks in Long Beach for repairs. from there we were sent to Eniwetok for picket duty in the atomic test there in 1948. After that China, Japan, Hong Kong and Philippine Islands.

   My enlistment way supposed to be up in Aug. 1950 but was extended for (1) Yr due to the Korea War left the ship mid August 1951.for discharge after 3 yr 8 mo 1 day aboard the Tucker.

Eugene B Harris

7043 W Honeysuckle Ln

Millington, TN 38053-3973

****

Robert Mann

Email: mann1942@pacbell.net

   I reported aboard the Tucker in San Diego in August 1951, a couple of months after completing "Boot Camp" and was transferred off in Long Beach for discharge in February 1955 as a RD1.

   I see several very familiar names of other shipmates on the list and would be proud to be added. Sorry, no good war stories to tell since most have already been told.

Robert Mann

1700 Royal Crest Drive

Lodi, CA 95242-3844

209-334-6266

****

Reeve Peterson

Email: rpeterson8692@sbcglobal.net

   I fondly remember my days on the Tucker from August 1959 to June 1961. It was a great adventure for a young man. I met the ship in Long Beach the day after it returned from a Westpac deployment. I had been temporarily assigned to the USS Pritchett (DD652?) while awaiting the arrival of the Tucker.

   I came aboard as a green ensign fresh out of NROTC and served initially as First Lieutenant. After ASW school in San Diego I was assigned as Fox Division officer.

   I remember the deployment to Westpac and being home ported in Yokosuka. We had long, cold, rough exercises in the winter off Japan then long months in the Taiwan Straits in condition 3 punctuated by visits to Kaoshung. Later we operated in the South China Sea and had many trips to Subic Bay and Hong Kong.

   I left the ship in Subic and was separated at Treasure Island in June of 1961.

   When I viewed the web site and thought about the Tucker, names of shipmates came flooding back.

Bob Zimmerman - Gunnery Officer, Pete Quint, Captain Ralph Hansen - skipper, CDR McCann - exec, Louie Duke - Operations officer, John Bandy - I think he left the ship for flight training, Fred Baird - Supply Officer, Marty Walsh - Supply Officer, FTC Marvin Rosie, Erik Mezger, ? Hartman, BMC VuCasovic (spelling?) Tom Teale, Cal Carter, Jim Poole - Second Division Officer, Don Malcolm - Engineering Officer, Ed Peden - did something in engineering, Bob Arterburn - He replaced Bob Zimmerman in the spring of 1961 as gunnery officer, LCDR Ross Thomas - the ships exec before CDR McCann, Richard Mabrey - might have been the comm. officer, BM2 Rope Yarn Morlin ( saltiest bosun I ever met), SO1 Williams, BM1 Ritchie, BM2 Carpenter (I remember him for a memorable comment about another sailor " He is just like a seagull, all he does is eat, squawk and shit". QM Orreolle (spelling?)

   I remember Captain Hansen and CDR McCann with great respect. They ran the ship competently and in a spirit of good will. Being aboard was a lot of work (long watches) but the spirit and camaraderie was high. I saw another picture of the Navy when I was highlined over to another ship to observe a gunnery exercise. The seas came up during the exercise and they deemed it dangerous to highline me back to the Tucker. I spent a week aboard another destroyer (might have been the Mackenzie). Everyone in the wardroom

was very uptight. Young ensigns were sitting at meals in dress blues and calling each other Mister. I was not impressed! I realized when you are in the Navy, the quality of your life and your career are highly dependent on the people in charge. While I liked the life aboard the Tucker, I realized that life aboard other ships might not be as good.

   Erik Mezger's email description of the great waves off Japan was interesting. I have a picture of a nearby destroyer in which a portion of the ship was out of water while going over one of those large waves.

I also remember the great roll in which we executed a sharp turn while one of those monster waves and rolled the ship 50 degrees. I was in the wardroom at the time and ended up in a pile of chairs on one side.

I think the roll shook up everybody.

Reeve D. Peterson

634 Tarento Drive

San Diego, CA 92106

(619) 222 6116

****

Mike Hooper

Email: HOOPS123@aol.com

   I served aboard the Tucker as a SO2 from 1962-63.

Mike Hooper

720 Whitehall Ct.

Schaumburg IL. 60194

847-310-9412

****

Steve Biklen

Email: Sbiklen@aol.com

   I served on the Tucker from May 1, 1967 until Christmas of 1968 as DCA  and Division Officer for R Division. It was a pleasure to see this web site and to see the names of so many shipmates including Ayello (CIC watches), Dierks (Bridge watches), Emerson (Bridge watches), and others such as Beauchamp,

Frederici, McDermott, Salesberry, Sagristano, and Walker.

   I have many fond memories of the Tucker and will never forget her call sign of "Willow".

Steve Biklen

2329 Centreview Trail

Macedon, NY 14502

315-986-7650

****

John Asmundson

Email: Carribou462@cs.com

   I would love to learn more about the men on board during 1957 through 1959. I worked in the boiler room sounding the three tanks (oil, feed & fresh water) then reporting daily to the captain.

   Sure would love to hear from some of you! 

****

John Kray

Email:  mailto:jsk5563@sbcglobal.net

   I came on board USS H.W.Tucker DD 875 in Boston in July, 1963, while the Tucker was being refurbished in drydock. We were living in the barracks at Charlestown Navy yard then, not far from the USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides".

   I was placed on the deck force for a short time, and I remember my first experience "chipping

the deck" with a "jitterbug" pneumatic tool. No one told me to use gloves! My hands were full of bleeding blisters the next day, so I was put on fire watch.

   Not too much later I heard they were starting a new "Weapons ASROC" (WA) Division, so I requested and was accepted into it, We went to several schools on the east coast to be trained in Anti-Sub warfare, (due to the cold war at that time).

   One of the craziest things that happened during that training was when they were launching the "Drone Anti-sub Helo" (DASH), off our new helo deck. We were out to sea for the test, and this remote controlled torpedo carrying helicopter took off, promptly went out of sight, and was never seen again! So the (DASH) helo hanger became WA's workspace, never to house another DASH helicopter again $$$!.

   After about 6 months of this we finally left Boston for Long Beach, and promptly ran into (my) first heavy weather. I was up on the bridge watch and one of the Bos'n mates came over and said, "the barometer's dropping and the seas are rising", I found out why they call us "tin Can sailors" that night off of Cape Hatteras.

   We went through the Panama Canal, ( when it was ours), and also stopped in Acapulco for 3 days liberty. Long Beach was filled with more training on ASROC and finally we departed for Hawaii, Midway, (where someone tried to go AWOL), and to Yokosuka, our next homeport for 2 1/2 years.

   Of course we all remember our "true loves" and the good liberty in Yoko, Subic, and Hong Kong.

I have the scars to prove it. I also got a black eye from a bar girl in Yokohama, but that's another story.

   The next 2 1/2 years were full of various operations up and down the Vietnam coast and lots of gunfire support. I remember working in Mount 52 with A.V. "Smitty" Smith, and most all of WA and WD gunners mates. It was a great experience and I only have one question, why didn't we get liberty in some of those Vietnamese ports?

   Anyway, thanks to all you guys for some good and interesting times. Hope to see you some day:

Ron Davis, Butch Solem, Billy Bragg, Bobby Jim Garner, RE Perot, V.R. Grogg, Frank "shorty torpedo" Colvin, Jim "shore patrol" Byrne, Phil Jones, Rick Cone, Fackler, Doug Jernigan,  Doug Mundschenk, Doug Rollins, "Smitty" Smith, and more I can't remember now. Thanks guys!!

****

RM2 Bill Miller

Email: bkmiller@cmspan.net

   I came aboard the U.S.S. Henry W. Tucker DDR-875 on 2 Jan 60. My previous duty was the U.S.S. Hanna DE-449. The Hanna was decommissioned in Dec 59, I was a RM2.

   I left the Tucker in Sept 60 via whale boat to the USS Boyd DD-544 in the Formosa Straits. The Tucker was heading South and the Boyd was heading North back to Yokosuka. My separation date was 6 Oct 60. Upon arrival at Yoko, SP"S met me and told me to immediately get on "that" grey bus, It took me to Atsugi Naval Air Station. There at 0200 I boarded a R4D aircraft for a flight to Alameda Naval Air Station, then by bus to Treasure Island & separation. On the way to Conus between Midway & Pearl Harbor we lost an engine. So I spent 2 days at Barbers Point while they put a new engine on the aircraft.

   Back to the great ship Henry W. Tucker. I still have very fond and vivid memories of her. My one big regret all these years has been that I didn’t ship over instead of stepping into that whale boat.

   I am so excited to see that Mr. Mezger and Don Martin have signed on to the roster. Others I remember during my time were Bob Deppen, Bob Faulkner, and Tom Byrne. I'm looking forward to communicating with Mr. Mezger and Don Martin. I have never served or worked with better people. We were a close family, truly Tuckermen.

   After 40 years of separation, I hope contact can now be maintained. What a treasure.

****

Herb Lycke, USN Ret.

Email: hlycke@yahoo.com

I served on the Tucker from 64-66 as an ICC.

****

Dillon Terry, PN1 Ret.

Email:  dctdmt03@cox.net

   I reported aboard USS Henry W. Tucker on Dec 71in San Diego and made her last Westpac and transferred to USS Midway Mar 73.

   I had 4 years previous Navy service as a PN2 but had broken service and returned to the Navy as a plain old seaman. But PNC Paul Dashner had plans for me. I would do all the pn work and he would stay in the goat locker. But i had a great bunch on guys to work with including PNSN Paul Beierschnitt, YNSN Steve Birch, SN Crover, YN3 Furman, YN1 James Gilbreath and PC3 Francisco Gonzales.

   We had one hell of a time on that last Westpac and remember MMC Zupinski listed here in this alpha list. But where are all the others - like CDR J.F. Fox, CWO2 T.E. Reeves, EW1 Nick Grasaffi (misspelled), RM3

Redboy, all my sm buddies, SN Paul Bridenbecker, GMG2 Vogelsang, MMFN Ron Blackford, BT3 Eric Henry (grew the best beard), and all the rest of the guys from this period.

   I was assigned to seven (7) ships in my 22 years in the Navy and this was the best, because we had the best bunch of shipmates on HWT. I retired in Hawaii Oct 87, but now live in Mesa, AZ.

****

Ron "Dave" Davis

Email: rdavis@or.usda.gov

   I was on the Tucker from 1964 - 1968. I caught it just after it arrived in Yokosuka for the extended deployment I was there when they fired on the USS Maddox DD 731 down in the Tonkin Gulf.

   We got underway in the middle of the night, made a refueling stop at Subic Bay and then went on to be the first ship to do combative shore bombardment since the Korean War. I was a GMM in WA Division and worked with ASROC. Since we weren't using our anti-submarine weapons I spent a lot of time doing conventional gunners mate work during GQ and at other occasions.

   I was very proud of being a Tucker Sailor and had so many friends on the ship and especially in the Division. I would like very much to make contact with BC Bragg, torpedoman; Butch Solem, GMM; Cone, torpedoman; Von R. Grogg, GMM2; "Pappy" Perot, GMM1, "Bullwhip" and "Rawhide", both GMMs, and also Petersen, torpedoman.

   I would love to have a reunion of the Tucker sailors that were on board during that 1964 to 1968 era, or even during the length of our involvement in Vietnam.

Ron "Dave" Davis.

6205 NE Birdsong Lane

Prineville, Oregon 97754

(541) 447-6323

****

Phil Jones

Email: pjones875@sbcglobal.net

   I reported aboard in January, 1964 as an SOGSA (Sonarman Seaman Apprentice), and left in December of 1966 as an STG2 (They changed it to Sonar Tech in the meantime.)

   I remember going aboard and the division officer was dismayed that I was still a seaman apprentice, and he made me take the test the following Monday. The guys in the division gave me their "cheat sheets", and I went to the library in Long Beach and gouged out the seaman's course. I took the test, and must have known something, because I was a seaman by 1300. I actually studied for E-4, and made that in the fall, just after we had gone to be homeported in Yokosuka. (I was tired of compartment cleaning) about this time we had been down to Kaoshiung (I think I spelled that right) and went back to Yokosuka for a yard period.

   I went ashore the first night, and bought a bottle of J.W. Dant at the EM club and checked it into the bar our division was frequenting at that time, and drank half the bottle that night, fully expecting to go back the next night and finish the job. At about 03:00 we were rolled out of the rack, and told that we were getting underway, we had a bum exciter motor in the sonar, so we went to the next ship in the nest and appropriated theirs. (The Motor Generator room was in the Compartment below the ops department compartment.) So we freed it up, and lugged the damned thing up three decks, back to the Tucker, and were busy installing it, as we chased the Oklahoma City out of port.

   The reason for all the hurry? The Tonkin Gulf Incident, and we were the relief of the Turner Joy and the Maddox. We went through the tail-end of a typhoon on the way to Subic, and seemed to spend most of our time submerged. Upon arrival, we fueled, took on stores, the yardbirds swarmed all over the signalmen's shack, running antennas and their cables and putting in new racks. Then a bunch of guys in tiger suits came aboard, with silver suitcases, and took over the shack for the duration. They ate in the shack, they slept in the shack, and spoke to no one in the crew.

   Because of the nature of the mission, we embarked DesRon 3. One of our bosun's, Tony Servidio had some fun at his expense, by running a line through a dogging wrench, and towing it behind him, clanking all the way. When asked by the Commodore, what it was that he was doing. Tony replied "Walking the Dog!" Sir!....

   But getting back to the guys in the Tiger Suits.. they were CT's (Communications Technicians) and it didn't take a lot of thought to understand that they were on board to monitor North Vietnamese Transmissions.. probably radar locations and signatures for use in future air strikes, and so we cruised up and down the coast for some 57 days before we were relieved. An aside to all of this was, that we always seemed to find a tanker to get fuel, but we most often "missed the boat" that had what was near and dear to all our hearts: chow and mail.

   We finally took on some stores at one of our many UNREPS at sea, but mail was a real hassle. We were so secret I guess that the Navy didn't know where we were. Finally in exasperation, the Commodore radioed the following to 7th fleet: "Send us Mail. Anybodies' mail, we will read it and forward it!" The next day on our 42nd day at sea, a chopper came over and dropped us our most recent mail, and the rest caught up with us finally during the succeeding weeks.

   In summation, we had a lot of good guys, a couple of rotten apples, but all in all a good ship, and while I'm not sure I would ship out again, I sure wouldn't have missed the experience.

****

James Kotoff

Email: JMKOTOFF@aol.com

I was on board the Tucker from 1970 to 1973.

I went aboard as a FA where i was assigned to A-gang. There I struck for Engineman and made EN3, under the supervision of men like MMC Zupinski, MR1 Grochowski, MM1 Coleman.

   With the fine leadership of these good men, helped me advance my own leadership. After leaving the Tucker I became A-gang work center supervisor aboard the USS Peoria LST-1183. Where I reenlisted. Then onto the Naval Undersea Center, Point Loma as Chief Engineer on one of the main research craft, until the expiration of my 2nd enlistment.

****

Dick Moore

Email: d_moore2@charter.net

   I served aboard the Tucker from 1957 to 1958 as a RM3.

****

Donald G. Hooper

Email: dhooper1@twmi.rr.com

   I reported on board the Tucker in Long Beach, CA in December 1953. She had just returned from the far east, and had sustained a fire on board while enroute to the US. Extensive repairs were needed, so the Tucker went into drydock for a period of about 4 months.

   She then left drydock for shakedown trials in early 1954. The ship was commanded by CDR Robert M. Ross beginning in March 1954 until I left the ship in August 1955.

   We left for the far east on 6 July 1954 and did not return until 6 February 1955. We visited the Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, and served on Formosa (Taiwan) patrol.

Here is the Cruise Log extracted from the 1955 Cruise Book of the Tucker:

July 1954

The USS Henry W. Tucker (DDR 875), under the command of Commander Robert M. Ross, USN, departed Long Beach, California on 6 July 1954 with Destroyer Division 32 enroute to Yokosuka, Japan, via Pearl Harbor and Midway, on another WESTPAC tour, arriving in the Far East on 29 July 1954 for 8 days availability alongside the USS JASON. Halfway between Midway and Yokosuka the skills of the Division Medical Officer and the TUCKER’s Chief Hospitalman and Corpsman were suddenly put to the test when an emergency appendectomy became necessary and was performed in the Wardroom of the TUCKER, a Third Class Disbursing Clerk acting as instrument handler. The complete success of the lengthy operation was evidenced by the man’s speedy recover and subsequent return to duty.

August 1954

The TUCKER got underway on 8 August to rendezvous with the Task Force in the Philippine Sea for 13 days of busy operations, including daily air operations, exercises at General Quarters, inter-ship exercises, and a visit near the Tachen Islands. After 6 days of upkeep in Subic Bay, TUCKER rejoined the Task Force for 6 more days of heavy-weather operations. It was on 26 August that the TUCKER called in just after midnight from her picket station 17 miles away from the formation, successfully rescued a 21 year old seaman who had fallen overboard from the USS PHILIPPINE SEA, after spending 65 minutes in a moderately choppy sea west of Luzon, a story later developed into a script for COMCRUDESPAC’s weekly radio program.

September 1954

After 2 days in dry dock to effect hull repairs, the TUCKER departed Subic Bay with DESDIV 32, conducting type training while en route to Japan and a brief stop at Sasebo. Passing through the Shimonoseki Straits and the Inland Sea the TUCKER came almost face to face with typhoon “JUNE” on 12 September, a meeting which subsequently cost her 11 days at Ship Repair Facility, Yokosuka, to repair hull cracks and sprung hatches. The ship then proceeded to Kaohsiung, Formosa for duty.

October 1954

Starting off with 8 days on Formosa Patrol, during which time the CINCPACFLT Combat Camera Group came aboard to film on-the-spot TV interviews of 50 personnel, the TUCKER then returned to Kaohsiung where training exercises were conducted in cooperation with several Chinese Nationalist destroyers. There followed 3 days of excellent liberty and recreation in the British colony of Hong Kong. The TUCKER returned to spend 5 more days on Formosa Patrol, during which time she neared Chinese Communist coastal waters in search of a downed Chinese Nationalist aircraft, then entered Subic Bay for 9 days of availability alongside the USS FRONTIER.

November 1954

The first 20 days of the month were spent with the Task Force in the Philippine Sea, interrupted only by a 2 day upkeep period in Subic Bay. Various types of training, General Quarters, air operations and typhoon evasion were conducted during this period. The Commanding Officer presented commendations to 9 men who were primarily responsible for a commendatory message received from the Commanding Officer of the USS NAVASOTA on 7 November praising the TUCKER’s speed and good seamanship during heavy weather refueling as “the best I have ever seen”. During the Task Force operations, the TUCKER’s radarmen received a “well done” from the Screen Commander for having initially detected the greatest number of unidentified surface and air contacts at especially long ranges. Special plane guard duty in company with USS YORKTOWN and 8 days in Subic Bay, where minor typhoon damage was repaired, completed the month of November.

December 1954

After a 2 day briefing at Okinawa, the TUCKER took part in a Fleet Exercise between Okinawa and Tsushima, after which 4 days of Hunter Killer operations were conducted until a serious steering casualty forced the vessel into Sasebo on 15 December. While in Sasebo, Commander Robert W. McElrath, former Executive Officer of the USS LOS ANGELES, relieved Captain Thomas D. McGrath as Commander Destroyer Division Thirty-two in ceremonies aboard the TUCKER. The Christmas holidays were highlighted by a party given by the crew from 15 Japanese orphans, all deaf and dumb, which included Christmas dinner, movies, a tour of the ship, and a Christmas tree with individual presents of both clothing and toys for the needy children. Additional holiday spirit was occasioned as divisions view for 48 hours liberty in a compartment decoration contest. All remaining non holidays were spent making necessary repairs during availability alongside USS JASON.

January 1955

Having welcomed in the New Year, the TUCKER got underway on 5 January in company with DESDIV 32 for 2 weeks of type training, including many observed Gunnery, Engineering, and CIC exercises, interrupted by a week-end visit to Nagasaki. Four days of voyage repair at Yokosuka concluded the TUCKER’s tour in WestPac, after which she proceeded to Long Beach via Pearl Harbor, in company with DESDIV’s 32 and 131, arriving there on 6 February, five days before entering Long Beach Naval Shipyard for her regular 3 month overhaul. In spite of evasive action against rough weather, the TUCKER was caught by 10 typhoons of various intensities, namely: Grace, Ida, June, Kathy, Lorna, Nancy, Pamela, Ruby, Sally, and Tilda. Timely action and good seamanship prevented the rougher ones, with gusts of wind exceeding 50 knots, from causing damage in excess of a few hull cracks and sprung hatches. Considered on of her hottest, roughest, yet most colorful cruises, the TUCKER visited ports in China, Japan, Formosa, Midway, Hawaii, the Philippines, and Okinawa, steaming approximately 40,000 miles and expending more than one and one half million gallons of fuel oil.

****

Doug Mundschenk

Email: dmundschenk@adelphia.net

   Served on Henry W. Tucker DD 875 from June 1965 to June 1968. Assigned to the Tucker out of sonar “A” school in Key West, FL and was flown to Yokosuka Japan where I helped tie her up as she arrived for a 2 year WESTPAC assignment.

   After I was on-board for a few months I was sent mess cooking for 90 days. Lost a lot of weight during that time. After the Maddox got shot at (or did she?) we spent most of our time in the Gulf of Tonkin. With the average water depth of the gulf being less than 100’ not many submarines were detected on my watch. Lucky us that the sonarmen were part of the deck division so we had many other fun assignments other then standing sonar watches. I do miss the aft in-haul job at mid-night to bring on ammo or fuel.

   Got to see many parts of Japan, Hong Kong, Subic Bay, Kaohsiung, Singapore, Okinawa, and Hawaii. Became a Shellback on the cruise but never did get to give it back to anyone.

   At the end of that cruise we went to Long Beach, CA for a 6-month overhaul. During that time I got to go to AN/SQS 23 sonar “C” school in San Diego. We then went through refresher training and back to WESTPAC for another 6-month cruise. By the time I was on the second cruise I was an “old salt” and finally made E-5. During the time I spent on the Tucker I made a lot of good friends. Only a few however I have been able to maintain contact with. I e-mail with Bruce Bender and Skip Meinke several time a year. Thanks to this home page I just got and e-mail from Ron Davis so things are looking better for finding old friends.

   As for what I did with myself when I got out:

Married for last 33 years to high school sweetheart Joanna. Have 3 daughters and 3 grandkids.

First job as a Navy contractor (8 years) most of time in Spain or South America.

Worked on the Henry W. Tucker when she was the Marcilio Dias DD25 of Brazil.

Last 25 years working as a defense contractor for Naval Sea System Command.

Now living in Frederick, MD.

Have a 20’ inboard boat and love to go fishing.

Doug Mundschenk

7954 Yellow Springs Road

Frederick, MD 21702

(301) 695-0654

****

Ronald Seguine

Email Nanipopi2@aol.com

   I was onboard 1957-1959. I was a BT2 in the aft fireroom.

Ronald Seguine

3171 N Beechwood St.

Orange, CA. 92865

****

Terry Carbaugh

Email: cart@pa.net

   I was assigned to the Tucker after attending Gunners Mate A School at the Great Lakes . I boarded the Tucker when it was in drydock at Long Beach Naval Shipyard as a GMGSN.

   After two WestPac cruises I was transferred as a GMG2 to the U.S.S. Hawkins DD 873 homeported form Norfolk Va. after her last WestPac cruise prior to decommissioning.

   I made her last West Pac tour. At the conclusion of that tour the war in Viet Nam ended in Feb of 73. It must of been those 17,000 rounds the old girl sent to them on that tour.

   Some of the guys I worked with as I recall were, Jerry McConnell, Tom Petit, Richard Vogelsang, James Kuba, Herbert Hert, and the FT’s Gil Bowles, Jim Fehl, John Ciardelli, John Evangelista and Tom Nelson, Dan Frye and last but not least our boss LTJG William Sullivan.

  Would like to here from any shipmate who may remember me after all these years.

Terry Carbaugh

960 Edith Dr.

Chambersburg, PA

****

Charles T. Sica

Email :stats@snet.net

ETR2 1968-70

****

Donald Vadnais

Email: Donald.Vadnais@westover.af.mil

SM4 1972-73

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Doug Jernigan, STGC, USN Ret.

Email: doug@randyyoung.net

   I was on the HWT from 1964 to 1966. I reported to the HWT in Long Beach just before deployment for two year tour homeported in Yokosuka Japan. I met my wife of 30 years in Yokosuka

   I have found memories of those times and the shipmates that made the extended times at sea bearable.

****

Melchor (Mike) Abubo

Email: Abubo1@aol.com

SN Melchor (Mike) Abubo, Deck Force, 1971

****

Gene Hall  

Email: genehall7@aol.com

   Here is my contribution for the web page. I enjoyed seeing some names who helped me decommission her and transfer her to Brazil

   I finally got my browser to bring up the HWT webpage and really enjoyed reading stories from people who served aboard my favorite destroyer. I got out my cruise book to put faces to some of the names that were familiar but fuzzy--only to find that the book listed names and showed photos but not photos with names. 

   My 15 or so months aboard old" Mother Tucker" were the most interesting in my 26 year career. Being XO in those days of affirmative action by the Navy and in charge of John Fox's new management schemes with a "Town Hall" meeting in the wardroom every day instead of 8 o'clock reports and running Blue and Gold crews in port for work days certainly stretched my imagination. The crew was one of the best I have ever served with.

   My favorite time was the last Christmas I spent on the gunline. We were up in I Corps firing some sort of harassment missions. For the entire month of December, ST1 Hodges had talked me into allowing an hour a day in the DASH hanger for choir practice for a Christmas concert he wanted to put on. As Christmas drew nearer, the whole plan escalated to become a farewell to the war as we were off for San Diego on the 27th. We were to fire until midnight and then there was a cease fire for the holiday. That afternoon, we put up the kingpost and rigged "Med-lights" to the deck to create a Christmas tree. After pulling into Danang harbor to collect our NGFS observer, LTjg "Boomer" Tilden, we took our station on the line, darkened ship and fired until midnight. 

   There were 6 destroyers assigned 2000 yds apart including our Commodore. At the stroke of midnight, we ceased fire and mustered the choir on the helo deck in helmets and gowns made of new fartsacks BTC Dinwiddie, the CMAA found for us. We spent the next hour patrolling the gunline with our Christmas tree lighted and our choir accompanied by Lt "Mouse" Strauss on his accordion patched into topside speakers singing Christmas carols. 

   The next morning we had another performance atop the pilothouse for the oiler as we topped off fuel and ammo to start home.

****

Paul Ingolio

Email: ingolio@aol.com

     I would like to have my father added to the crew roster. Paul Ingolio served aboard the USS TUCKER from April 1945 - December 1945 as a Motor Machinists Mate. 

     Also, 21 years later he was reunited with his ship at Long Beach Naval Shipyard. My dad was a pipe fitter with the shipyard and worked on the Tucker in Nov of 1966. Paul was the guest of honor for lunch

with Capt J.H.D Williams. He was given a plaque, cigarette lighter and a copy of the latest ships cruisebook. 

Tom Ingolio

5161 La Luna Dr

La Palma, CA  90623-2004

****

Virgil E. Graves 

Email: vegjag@cox-internet.com

     I served on the Tucker from 62-65. My rate was YN3 and I was assigned to W/A Div. as the gunnery yeoman. Left the ship in June with TM3 Frank Colvin. Any one having information on LTJG. S. H Ellis and John Wucinich, YN3 please contact me. Thanks.

****

David Gammon

Email: dkgammon@home.com

   I served aboard the Tucker from 1971-1973. I was an MM3 assigned to the forward engine room. I worked with some good guys and have some fond memories of my two Westpac cruises. 

   I especially remember MM1Craft and the tag-team wrestling matches we had while underway on the mid-watch. 

   After operating the distilling plant aboard the Tucker I now am a maintenance operator at the city water plant in Ames, Iowa.

Dave Gammon

834 G Ave

Nevada, IA 50201

****

Mark A. Brooks

Email: Msc123bg@aol.com

   Proudly serve on USS Henry W Tucker station San Diego Ca from 1971 to the end of 1972. Made one west pack cruise Vietnam Campaign Tet offensive to the very last day on Dec 31, 1972. President Nixon declared the war over, pulling out the troops.

   I have fond memories of the US Navy and was proud to be a sailor for my country. I thank our commander of the ship who safely navigated the crew across the Pacific and brought us safely home.

  Thank-you America for the privilege of serving in your Navy for 4 years.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

****

HTC James C. Waite, Ret.

Email: jcwaite@in-tch.com

   I reported aboard Fireman James C. Waite to the  Henry W. Tucker from 06 February 1971 to 09 January 1973.

   My duties and training allowed me to advance to Engineman 3rd and later I cross rated to Hull Maintenance Technician 3rd. My memories and experiences for that time are to many to relate in this message. I made one small, "Giant" mistake when I left the Henry W. Tucker. I left too soon. I knew the Ship was going to Australia. but found I had orders to return to the states, completing my active duty requirements for the Reserves. I just had to go Home.

   Continuing My Naval Reserve time meant Being Home in Montana. I continued to drill weekends and On April 15 1975 I reenlisted for 2 years. My career ended 23 years later and many commands under my hat. I Retired as Hull Maintenance Technician Chief   on  28 February 1993 and not one of my additional commands went to Australia.

   Bravo Zulu on this web site.

****

Bill Munz, ETN2

Email: ethylene@cryogen.com

   I served aboard the Tucker from 1968 to 1971. Captain Sheldon Kully was my first skipper and later Captain Warren Story.

   The Tucker was a good experience and I certainly enjoyed my time aboard. I do know that we seemed to have a knack for getting into the thick of it, from the EC121, (Anybody remember that we rendezvoused with the USS Banner when we arrived in Sasebo?), to Apollo recovery, to NGFS, to Sea Dragon.

   Names are coming back to me as I write this, some nicknames and some full names, Wes Morris, Pappy, FEETS, Ken Brown, PP Kraft, James Dickenson, Tom Searcy, Jeff Shipley, Charles Sica, (See he's signed in here), Smoking Lamp Haynes  Ahhhh, My motorcycle riding buddy, Ken Little, rest in peace Ken.

   I am a Process Control Engineer, I live in South America and travel worldwide consulting.

   And yes, I am still one weird duck!

Bill Munz

MCO 401

Apartado Postal 4002-1

Maraciabo, Edo. Zulia

Venezuela

****

Charles Jewkes, BTSN

Email: cjewkes1@hotmail.com

   Charles Jewkes  BMSN 1971 to 1973, Wife Tanya married 28 years. We kicked butt over there,  Take care Chas.

Charles Jewkes

2131 Trinity St.

Mojave Ca. 93501

661-824-8587

****

Dennis Dragotta, RM3

Email: dennisdnd@hotmail.com

   I served aboard the USS Tucker from 71-73.

49344 Willowood

Macomb TWPMI 48044

****

Robert "Bob" Ewald, FT2

Email: blewald@adelphia.net

I served aboard the H.W. Tucker from December 1955 until July 1958.  I was in Fox Division during that time on the secondary battery (Mk56 system).  I am still trying to find some of my shipmates, particularly Elliott B. Anderson and Walter B. Seals III.  If by any chance you happen to run across them, I would appreciate an email.

After reading of the Tucker's exploits after I left, I feel kind of cheated.  I missed all the fun.  I do remember the Formosa (Taiwan) patrols, Hong Kong, Subic Bay and of course Yokosuka, Sasebo and Tokyo.

My most harrowing experience was when in the South China Sea during a typhoon we took a 47 degree roll and nearly capsized.  That really got everyone's attention.

Sail on and Prosper.

Bob Ewald (FT2)

****

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Henry W. Tucker
DD 875