Dec 312013

Tuesday, 1 January 1946

Moored to the BRINKLEY BASS on our starboard side,

The USS KEARNY on our port does ride.

At Pier Dog Six Charleston Navy Yard,

The O.D. does think he is quite a bard.

Fresh water and salt, electricity and steam,

Are services given this Navy team.

Com. Six Nav. Dist. is SOPA,

About us various ships of Lant Flt lay.

Entered and initialed are the weather reports,

Tis rather chilly in this southern port.

Thus we of the watch greet the New Year,

Sober, quite, unimaginative we fear.

No giggles, no girls, no dancing, no dodging

Of traffic from club to place of our lodging.

Now a wish for happiness to all we decide,

From Schweitzer, Nero, and Whiteside.

W.T. Schweitzer, Lt(jg), USNR



 Posted by at 21:11
Dec 312013

The Gearing class Destroyer in a FRAM configuration allows for various usage of the ship to benefit and generate revenue to a museum. As can be seen by the  photos taken aboard our sister ship, USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr DD 850, the sky is the limit for the educational and tourism benefit that these ships generate.

(pictures and narrative provide by Rich Angelini, Trustee for USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY DD 850)

(read the descriptions under each picture and if you wish to enlarge just click the picture)

Veterans Ceremony

Veterans Ceremony

Veterans Ceremony-This photo show the usage of the Destroyer as a platform to host official city and state Memorial Services at various times of the year. The photo shows a US Navy band in front of the JPK during the 9/11 remembrance Ceremony that unites the local community.

Veterans Ceremony 2

Veterans Ceremony 2

Veterans Ceremony- This is another photo to show the usage of the Destroyer as a platform to host official city and state Memorial Services at various times of the year.  This photo taken on the ship’s Flight deck, presents a Veterans Ceremony honoring the anniversary of the ships Decommissioning and success as a museum ship. However, this area is also utilized for Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and honoring of various veteran tributes.

Tourism and Educational Benefits

Tourism and Educational Benefits

  This photo reveals the tourism and educational benefit of a ship the size of a Destroyer. While small enough to effectively maintain, these ships are also large enough for visitors to explore and learn how these small towns of the sea operated. Intimate tours or self touring allows for the exploration and exposure to the fighting US Navy that put to sea during the Vietnam conflict. In this particular example, the Sea Cadet unit stationed aboard DD850 educates young visitors on the equipment and aspects of navigation in the ships Pilot House.



The multi-ship museum at Fall River draws sailors from WWII, Korea and Vietnam.  The KENNEDY especially attracts Vietnam sailors due to the critical role that Gearing Class Destroyers played in the Vietnam war and the fact that Vietnam era vets make up the majority of reunion attendees today.

Overnight camping

Overnight camping

This photo reveals the real revenue generator that a Gearing Class Destroyer provides, which is overnight camping with over 300 bunks aboard and after following local fire ordinances, these ships have the ability to host over 100 scouts/night at anywhere between $30 -$ 60. The Mess decks/Galley area provide seating for at least 50 with the opportunity of food services being provided aboard the ship and on-board restrooms/showers. It is a very popular attraction and revenue generator for museums.



The Mess decks/Galley area provide seating for at least 50 with the opportunity of food services being provided aboard the ship and on-board restrooms/showers. It is a very popular attraction and revenue generator for museums.

Field Days

Field Days

While not a revenue generator, the in-kind services provided by Tin Can Sailors and Destroyer volunteers is extremely valuable beyond calculation.  This group of dedicated ex-sailors live around the country and provide both financial and hands-on expertise to restore Destroyers. The last two photos show crew photos of volunteer crews aboard KENNEDY. They applied over 30 gallons of paint after preparing metal over a five day period. Along with painting, they do electrical, welding, plumbing, and other vocational skills to ensure their Tin Cans live another day. With the expertise of working on 850 for



The Destroyer plays a very important role in teaching our children history and allowing them to experience what men did to protect our country during that time in our nations’s past. It is up to us to make sure our children are told!



Jean Kennedy Smith visits the JOSEPH KENNEDY DD 850

Another Reunion

Another Reunion

Another Reunion



Cadets–The second photo reveals the community outreach to youth and the education that these ships can provide. Here the JPK Sea Cadet unit poses for a photo on her flight deck. This group utilizes the ship for training, education, participates in ceremonies, provide tours, and also support painting and other volunteer work programs. Local school groups, vocational high schools, and scouting units can also utilize this vessel for various community service and patriotic uses. By far the largest ship type that has reunions is Destroyer type vessels. Coupled with the National Destroyer Veterans Association (Tin Can Sailors) and individual ship reunion groups, this revenue generator provides a service to veterans while also hosting these large groups to generate tourism and local economic improvement. Typically, groups of 50 to 100 are common with 10-15 associations visiting KENNEDY just in the fall.

 Posted by at 16:58
Dec 202013

John Hanscom

6 photos and narrative  

“This was a great deployment. The seas were so bad that upon arrival seven of the eight destroyers in DESDIV 1 went into the Yokosuka dry-docks for hull cracks.

These photos were all taken during the Orleck WESPAC tour departing San Diego on 14 Jan. and returning 16 Jun. 1957, see the deck logs they are great reading. The ENS with me is E.D.Eppen, flying fish were everywhere.  At night the heads would glow blue-green with plankton.

The colored pix with the two small boats was no doubt in Hong Kong. Those boys would sell you vegetables, paint the hull or paint your mother whatever you desired.

On the fantail as Communications Officer and Custodian of registered Publications I was burning classified information. The “Deck Apes” were pissed, I burned the paint off the deck around and under the trash can and I can’t blame them for being upset.

The one with the Carrier in the background is somewhere off the Philippines Coast.

The small port with warehouse and snow is in Kyushu Japan, other ports were Pearl Harbor, Midway, Yokosuka, Kobe, Sasebo, Okinawa and Hong Kong.

During that six months we worked with many ships in the fleet including the following:

  • Destroyers– Perkins, Park, Craig, Eversole, Yarnell, Keyes, Shelton, Radford, Carpenter, Agerholm, Fletcher, O’Banyon and Anderson
  • Submarines–Spinax, Pickerel, Tiru and Bugara
  • Carriers–Bremerton, Philippine Sea, Hornet, Shangri La, Hancock, Bon HommeRichard Toledo and St Paul
  • Auxillaries–Pictor, Ashtabula, Kawishiwi Capapon, Hassayampa, Ajax,Vesuvius and Mt. Baker

When on liberty, Officers had to wear Civilian clothes, usually suit tie and hat. Enlisted dress uniform of the day. When ashore we all stuck out like sore thumbs. Officers to their recommended club enlisted to theirs but we all saw the same Hospital Corman upon return.

We were paid in MPC at 360 to US$1. However in Hong Kong you could exchange US dollars for Japanese Yen at 400 to 1 US dollar which if legal was great if you thought you would return to Japan. Payday at sea was a sight as the money lenders waited for their IOU’s. I found that while in Tokyo many merchants would accept a check drawn on Navy Federal S & L.  With the ship loaded with dishes and silks from Japan and suits, shirts, shoes from Hong Kong we said goodbye to Yokosuka (for the time being) set a course for a fuel stop at Midway Island they continued on home to DES Base SD.  a good time had by all.”

Jack Hanscom

Click on photo to enlarge

 Posted by at 18:35
Dec 142013
USS ORLECK engages enemy in Vietnam

USS ORLECK engages enemy in Vietnam

I am not certain how many of you know or know of Richard (Rich) Angelini.  First of all, he is a young man who is the nephew of USS ORLECK sailor Gary Angelini (October 1972-March 73).   Rich is also a Trustee on the Board of Directors of Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA (where Destroyer USS ORLECK Association did a great reunion dinner aboard the USS Massachusetts Battleship during our 2010 Newport, RI reunion and toured his ship the USS KENNEDY DD 850).  He is also one of the main catalysts behind the restoration of the KENNEDY, a Gearing Class Destroyer and sister-ship to  ORLECK.  I will take this introduction one step further and state that I believe without exception he is the foremost expert on Gearing Class destroyers in the world and is such a friend to them.  He is responsible in the DD 850 of helping to preserve the sights, sounds and memories of that time.

I just received the following  US Navy Destroyer related videos to DD850s YouTube page from him.   Rich reviewed and posted it on his website and sent it onto me.  In his review he did so with great detail trying to look into the ships.  This is what he had to report:  “The exciting part is that I am stating that the ship gun fire support sequence at video point 0:59 and then again at 9:50 is no ship other than ORLECK. The video shows her at her best firing on enemy positions with a view of her from onboard and from the air. Looks like the Navy planned to document her here as the famous color photo of her firing on the Viet Cong is from this sequence.”


Thanks Rich!

You can leave comments below.

 Posted by at 14:20
Dec 122013

USS ORLECK saves an ROK Army Battalion

The following is a copy of an article in the July 1951 issue of All Hands Magazine:


USS Orleck (DD-886) has been credited with the saving of a Republic of Korea army battalion during fighting in Korea.  Communist troops had surrounded the battalion and threatened to annihilate it.

Acting as spotters, ROK infantrymen pinpointed the destroyer’s fire toward the Communist-held area and the ship’s main batters took a heavy toll of enemy troops.  The Communist pincer movement was successfully beaten back.

Later in a similar engagement, ORLECK destroyed an additional 300 enemy troops.

 Posted by at 02:11