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

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