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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,
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.
210 S. Sunset Blvd.
Gulf Breeze, FL. 32561
Charles M. (Chuck) Ruth
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.
James J. Bloedorn,
LCDR, USN Ret.
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.
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,
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
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
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
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
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.
RM3 Walt Arnold
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
Every day I spent on the Tucker I enjoyed please
include my name on your roster.
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.]
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
As far as liberty, we got to Sasebo,
Kaohsiung, Subic Bay ("one thousand pictures
equal one word"), Hong Kong, Bangkok
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
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
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!!
EN2 James G. Williams
My name is James G. Williams and I served aboard the Tucker from May, 1968, thru April
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.
MM3 Ronnie Miller
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
Noel W. Bragg
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
Glenn R. Lane RM3
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
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)
David A. Clayton
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.
I was on the Tucker on Feb. 1960 - Nov. 1962. We were
on a WestPac. cruise home port Yokosuka,
were there for 31 months.
I was in supply as ship barber.
Robert A. Ayello
I served on board The "Happy Hank" from
April 19,1967 until April 1970.
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
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.
6396 Phillip Ct.
Springfield, VA 22152-2800
Tel. No. 703-644-6255
Leo Dale Leaser
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
From there we went to China,
Formosa, Philippines, Hawaii,
Guam, Okinawa, Pegan, Eniwetok, Midway and Wake
1514 Phyllis Court
Irving, TX 75060
Charles Monroe, SSCS (Ret.)
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.
Bill Spencer, SMCS USNR (Ret.)
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
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
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
Franklin B. (Frank) Brooks
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 email@example.com 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.
46 Kemper Ln.
DeFuniak Springs, Fl. 32433
Toll free outside Florida
Thomas L. (Snake) Nazworth, BTCM
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.
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
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.]
I served on the "steamin' T" from 1/59 until
5/61. My first ship. Went aboard as a SA, left as a CS3.
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
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
Philip R. Costlow
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.
Erik B. Mezger
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Edwin Zupinski, MMC, Ret.
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.
4918 Lanett Drive
Pensacola, FL 32526-1769
Peter Mockapetris, BTCS Ret.
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
Warren L. Story, CAPT USN Ret.
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
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,
I would love to hear from any fellow shipmates. (903) 983-0022.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
MM2 Eugene Harris
I boarded The Tucker
just out of boot camp Mid January 1947, left the ship as a MM2 August
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
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
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.
1700 Royal Crest Drive
Lodi, CA 95242-3844
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
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.
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
I served aboard the Tucker as a SO2 from 1962-63.
720 Whitehall Ct.
Schaumburg IL. 60194
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".
2329 Centreview Trail
Macedon, NY 14502
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!
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
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
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
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
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,
After 40 years of separation, I hope contact can now
be maintained. What a treasure.
Herb Lycke, USN Ret.
I served on the Tucker
from 64-66 as an ICC.
Dillon Terry, PN1 Ret.
I reported aboard USS
Henry W. Tucker on Dec 71in San Diego and made her last
Westpac and transferred to USS Midway
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,
Ron "Dave" Davis
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,
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
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
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.
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.
I served aboard the Tucker from 1957 to
1958 as a RM3.
Donald G. Hooper
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
Here is the Cruise Log extracted from the 1955 Cruise
Book of the Tucker:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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
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
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
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,
Have a 20’ inboard boat and love to go fishing.
7954 Yellow Springs Road
Frederick, MD 21702
I was onboard 1957-1959. I was a BT2 in
the aft fireroom.
3171 N Beechwood St.
Orange, CA. 92865
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
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
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
Would like to here from any shipmate who
may remember me after all these years.
960 Edith Dr.
Charles T. Sica
Doug Jernigan, STGC, USN Ret.
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
SN Melchor (Mike) Abubo, Deck Force, 1971
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.
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.
5161 La Luna Dr.
La Palma, CA 90623-2004
Virgil E. Graves
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
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.
834 G Ave
Nevada, IA 50201
Mark A. Brooks
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.
for the privilege of serving in your Navy for 4 years.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
HTC James C. Waite, Ret.
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
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!
Apartado Postal 4002-1
Charles Jewkes, BTSN
Charles Jewkes BMSN 1971 to 1973, Wife Tanya married
28 years. We kicked butt over there, Take care Chas.
2131 Trinity St.
Mojave Ca. 93501
Dennis Dragotta, RM3
I served aboard the USS Tucker from 71-73.
Macomb TWP, MI 48044
"Bob" Ewald, FT2
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
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