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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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reunions

 

 

 

2008

 

 

 

 

 

Reunion 2008

Renton (Seattle area), Washington

The 2008 reunion was held from October 1-5 at the Holiday Inn, Renton, WA.   Approximately 120 were in attendance for varying amounts of time.

The hotel staff provided us with a registration table in the lobby.  It was a popular spot on the first day as folks were checking in and greeting each other.  The hospitality room was beautiful.  The sales manager and two of her employees decorated the room in red, white and blue.  Several people brought photographs and other memorabilia.

We were happy to see many Washington and Oregon shipmates who were attending their first reunion.  We certainly hope to see them all at future reunions.  We thank Wes Sutherland (BMSN, 62-64) for providing transportation to Sam’s Club, Wal Mart and a liquor store for supplies.

Gary O’Neil (ETR3, 63-66) brought CDs of the history he and others have been compiling. They were for sale at a nominal price and he sold every one he brought.

Bob Miller (MM3, 62-65) asked people to stop by and check to see that all their information was correct on the database.  I’m not sure how many did, but we encourage everyone to do so at reunions and to notify us immediately if your address, phone number, or email address changes.

On Thursday, we went on a tour of the Museum of Flight.  It was excellent.  We’ve been to several flight museums across the country and this was by far the largest collection we’d seen.  We were divided into three groups and taken on a guided tour.  After that, we were able to explore the museum on our own, shop in the gift shop, and have lunch before returning to our hotel.

On Friday, we went to Bremerton to the USS Turner Joy, where we had our Memorial Service.  The weather was dismal and deteriorated as the day went on.  We had the service on the messdecks due to the rain.  It was a good service.  At the beginning, David Harrington (ETR2, 67-72) played Amazing Grace on his bagpipes.  It was very moving.  We had a VFW color guard.  After the service, it was decided to take the 3:00 ferry back to Seattle instead of the 5:30 ferry.  One of the buses took people back to the hotel and the other dropped some of us off at the waterfront shopping/restaurant area.  Some of us ate at Ivar’s Seafood.  Wonderful food.

On Saturday morning, we had our business meeting and raffle.  It was decided that our 2010 reunion will be in Wilmington, NC and be hosted by Chuck Hughes (SH2, 48-52) and David Harrington (ETR2, 67-72).  They’re already making plans.  It was also decided to add one day to the reunions.  The first full day will be a free day with no tours so people can visit.  The raffle was fun as usual.  Susan Reno (daughter of Melvin Stephenson, RD3, 45-56) made another Navy themed fleece throw to be auctioned off.  It brought $150.00.

The banquet was held on Saturday night.  It was an excellent buffet.  We had a live band for dancing.  The vocalist is Morgan Barokas’s (RDM3, 45-46) cousin.  Morgan’s wife Kathie got up and sang a song with her.  I didn’t know we had such talent in our group.

We thank all those who helped in any way at the reunion, especially Judy Wood, Lena Robinson, Joyce Quebedeaux who helped at the registration table.  Also, a big thank you to Chuck Ruth (MM2, 63-65) for a job well done as the emcee for the banquet.  A plaque was presented to Bob Miller for his tireless work as the crew locator.  Bob gave an acceptance speech worthy of the Emmy Awards!  He kept telling Chuck to go sit down, he wasn’t finished yet!  There are many more to thank and they all know who they are!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Henry W. Tucker
DD 875