During World War II, a specially designed destroyer was built to protect transports in convoys, these lighter destroyers were designated DE's, developed for anti-submarine patrols. Some were 290 foot long with a 35 foot beam and 1436 tons. (light) Main battery were 3-3 inch/50 plus 2- 40 mm and 9-20 mm and depth charges, no torpedo tubes. Some DEs, had two 5 inch mounts and a set of three torpedo tubes. little variance in size and tonnage.
DIARY OF GEORGE R. DAWSON FC1/c
George R. Dawson FC1/c
FOR THE YEARS 21 JAN 43 thru 17 NOV 45
U.S. NAVY WORLD WAR II
Would like to thank FRANK FRAZITTA EM/2c for permitting me to use his notes that I used along with mine to compose this Diary.
I enlisted in the U.S. NAVY in November1942 and arrived at U.S. NAVAL TRAINING STATION AT GREAT LAKES on 21 Jan 1943 for twelve week Recruit Training (Boot Camp).
After graduation I was promoted to SEAMAN 2/c and was enrolled in the FIRE CONTROL SCHOOL at Great Lakes for 16 weeks of intensified training which included Electronics, Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Optical, Mechanical, Gunnery, Weather, Torpedo Ship to air firing, Ship to shore firing, Ship to ship firing, etc. Upon graduation was transferred to San Diego for twelve weeks of specialized training at the FIRECONTROL TECHNICIAN SERVICE SCHOOL at the U.S. Navy Repair Base. Graduated with a FC3/c rate
Attached to USS WISEMAN (DE667) at the Destroyer Escort Training School in Norfolk Va. and Virginia Beach. On completion we were transferred to our ship in New Orleans, La.
Went on board the USS WISEMAN, which was just being completed by the shipyard workers. I started checking all of our FIRECONTROL Circuits for shorts or grounds. Made sure all guns reacted to the instruments properly. December through March,1944 Made many trial runs up and down the Mississippi. Checked our Engines and finally went into the Gulf of Mexico for speed trials.
Our ship was officially Commissioned into the U.S. NAVY with elaborate ceremonies. The District Admiral was there along with the ship builders. The U.S. NAVY BAND played. Good deal. The following weeks were spent loading up with supplies and ammunition plus final construction checks. We then left for our trip to Bermuda for shakedown cruise. We practiced all types of maneuvers, refueling, firing our guns, torpedo runs, shelling shore targets and airplane sleeves.
Left Bermuda for good old USA and Boston. Checked to see if our ship could take a constant high speed run. We increased to 28 knots. No problem.
Arrived Boston Navy Yard. Workers came on board to correct any damages or new changes that may have occurred while on shakedown. Installed new equipment and repaired some of the Firecontrol Equipment. Remove Torpedo Tubes off of Boat Deck.
May 23, 1944
Loaded ammunition, refueled and shove off at 3:30AM and proceeded to rendezvous at sea with Task Force 64 at a spot off the coast of Norfolk. This was a Convoy bound from USA to the Mediterranean area.
May 29, 1944
Dick Dawson's birthday. Went to General Quarters when we detected a submarine with our underwater sound gear. We called in for additional help and must have chased it away for the time being. There was no damage to the rest of the Convoy.
We saw land this morning for the first time since we left Boston. It turned out to be the Straits of Gibraltar, and Spain, which was on our left and the shores of Africa was on our right. Naturally we saw the "Rock of Gibraltar" which was owned by the British. Also this day turned out to be "D" day for the invasion of Normandy, French. We then hugged the coast line of Africa to cut down the amount of attacks from the Germans and Italians.
Arrive at Karouba and Bizerte, Africa, left the convoy of ships and anchored in the Bay.
We had liberty on shore. I hitched a ride to Bizerte which was a mass of ruins. The Red Cross Bldg was open and we got a cup of coffee and a doughnut for 5 francs (10 cents). Could not figure out why we had to pay for anything in a Red Cross Bldg? From Bizerte we hitched a ride to Ferrysville which was about 22 miles away. Most of the people were very poor and money meant nothing to them. They would rather trade for our mattress cover, cigarettes, combs, etc.
Went to Tunis, Tunisia which was about 67 miles from Karouba. Population was about 22,000 or so. The place was a strange war torn city. It could be compared to a city in the USA back around the 1800's. Very filthy place to live in. Children ran around barefoot and in rags, some naked. I do not believe that the majority of the people took no baths or washed. Most of the people had crud, dirt and grime built up on their skin so that it became part of their skin. Much Black market here. I sold a pack of cigarettes for 40 francs (80 cents) and in turn they sold it to another person for much more. Will always remember the old buggy seats and the famous (of infamous) CASBA. Also how the barbers cut your hair only with a straight razor. When the French made love in the city they would just back off of the sidewalk five to ten feet, and just made love. Riley and I went to a Frenchman's house, which was very large, for a chicken dinner for 50 cents. We did not know this but after having a meal at a Frenchman's house they were suppose to furnish you with their daughter. In this case a 15 year old came walking out. Boy the Germans were sort of mean.
June 16-20, 1944
For some reason I pulled down Shore Patrol duty again in Bazerte. This was some experience. Was with a British MP patrolling a section of downtown. We were involved in arresting many military and civilian personnel. Had to shoot some Arabs who were slicing up one of our sailors. Also kept military personnel from going into houses of ill repute. These were off limits plus were loaded with sexual disease. This part was tough because you got into many fights and arrests.
Shipped out of Bizerte and took a large Convoy back to USA.
July 8, 1944
As we approached USA we split the Convoy up into two sections. We took our section into Norfolk and then proceeded to New York.
July 10, 1944
Sighted land and it was good old New York. Anchored out in the Bay and unloaded our ammunition before proceeding into Dry Dock. This was standard procedure - they do not allow a ship in Dry Dock with ammunition aboard.
July 11, 1944
Went into Brooklyn Navy yard for repairs and supplies. Replaced our 1.1 mm Guns on the boat deck with 40mm Guns. Installed special communication equipment for monitoring German U-boat transmissions. Made some changes on my Firecontrol Electronic equipment.
Took liberty into New York City with Chief Wray Johnson and two other Chiefs. Had a good time. Stayed sober as usual.
July 21, 1944
Shoved off and sailed up to Casco Bay, Maine. Beautiful Country.
July 24, 1944
Went out to sea for maneuvers, gun firing practice and refueling procedures
July 27-29, 1944
Took liberty into Portland, Maine Very lovely place. Very high prices.
July 30, 1944
Left Portland for Norfolk, Va.
July 31, 1944
Arrived in Norfolk, Va. Place has not changed much. Strictly a Navy town- No kidding.
August 2, 1944
Left Norfolk, Va. and went to sea to pick up a large Convoy to escort to the European Theater of operations.
August 10-23, 1944
Still underway and this trip kept us busy with runs on German Suds. Was in general quarters for long periods of time. Not much sleep. During one night had a sub contact and received orders to fire our K guns while we were making a sharp right angle turn. If we would have fired them there would have been one less ship sailing and I would not be typing this, for we would have been blown sky high. Fortunately the man in charge of the depth charges did not respond. Two days later we were having a GQ drill and had a sub contact at the same time. We fired quite a few depth charges but did not score.
August 22, 1944
Took Convoy into Bizerte, Africa and anchored outside the city. Most of out troops were heading for Sicily, Italy or Southern France. Guess who pulled Shore Patrol Duty the first day in? Me!
August 25, 1944
Left for USA with a Convoy and when we reached the Atlantic we had many sub contacts until we got closer to Boston. No kills.
September 19, 1944
Arrived in Boston safe and sound.
September 20 to October 5, 1944 Ship went into Dry-dock and underwent many repairs and mechanical changes. Edna came up to Boston to be with me while this was going on. Obtained permission to stay ashore with her. Stayed at the Minerva Hotel which was close to the Boston Commons, I think.
October 5, 1944
Left for Portland, Main for sub maneuvers.
October 8, 1944
Left Portland for Norfolk, Va.
October 12, 1944
Arrived Norfolk Navy Yard.
October 13, 1944
Left Norfolk and picked up another large Convoy to escort overseas.
October 15, 1944
Had many sub contacts which subsided when we reached the Straits.
November 2, 1944
Dropped off Convoy at Bizerte again.
Left Bizerte, Africa and sailed to Palermo, Sicily. It took about 7 hours. Passed the Island of Malta plus other smaller islands. Arrived there and tied up to a local bombed out Dock behind a large British Cruiser. The town was really shelled. General Patton went through here like a dose of salts. He did one heck of a job. When we went on liberty in town the residents had small children steal articles such as money belts, rings, watches, etc. from us while we were walking along the sidewalk. The people were starved. They were even killing some of us to get our money belt. It was so bad that after every meal we would put our garbage cans out on the dock. In one of them we would put out garbage from our main meal and the other can we put our desert garbage. The townspeople would line up for miles and they would be allowed one handful a piece out of each can.
November 6, 1944
Left Palermo, Sicily to pick up a large convoy and escort them back to the states. We sailed passed the Azores and were somewhere between them and Bermuda, when we ran into a vicious hurricane. We ordered the Convoy to disperse so that they would not collide with each other during the storm. We were about out of fuel during the first part of the storm and called for a Navy tanker to refuel us using the rear approach.
We could not refuel side by side because of the fear of being thrown together. In this method the tanker would drop a fuel line off the rear with floats attached. We the approached and fished for it from our bow using grappling hooks. The men had to be tied down to the various sections of the bow so they would not be washed overboard. We finally took on enough fuel to permit us to get into the eye of it. We then refueled normally (side by side). After this the hurricane picked up again. It was so strong that it put a hole in the bottom of the ship. "Right were we stored our Beer". (Tough luck). I was on the wheel at the time of this storm and it was no fun trying to steer the ship. Many times it would be picked up in mid air and thrown down. The ship would drop off a 40 foot wave and also was rolling 180 degrees from side to side. After the storm we regrouped the Convoy and headed them back toward the USA. I think there were only about 60 or 70 ships left.
We spent Thanksgiving after this but most of the food was gone. When we were half way from Bermuda to the USA we were detached and we were sent to the US Navy Yard at Charleston, SC On the way back we sailed passed Cape Hatters which is always rough due to shallow waters.
December 1, 1944
Arrived at the Navy base in Charleston, SC and went into Dry-dock for repairs. While in Dry-dock the Navy decided to convert our ship into a combination FIGHTING SHIP AND ELECTRIC POWER SHIP We were the first one in the history of the Navy. We were also told that we were heading for the Pacific War Theater of Operations to fight the Japs. Lots of long faces. But we were able to go home on leave for twelve days. Wonderful! While we were on leave they changed our generators so they could put out higher voltages for shore installations. Also they installed two large reels of wire so they could be played out into the water. We tested our new equipment by sailing up the river to the cites Electric Power Plant. We then floated our cable over to the plant and for a short time, we supplied Electric Power to the City. It worked!
Left the US Navy Base at Charleston to sail toward the Pacific.
January 12, 1945
Passed by Palm Beach and Miami, Florida on our way to the Gulf of Mexico.
January 13, 1945
Passed by Cuba.
January 14, 1945
Now in Caribbean Sea.
January 16, 1945
Arrived at Balboa, Panama Canal Zone, and passed through the Cannel and stopped overnight in Panama. I was one of the few who was allowed to go ashore. Guess what ! As patrol person from our ship. Wow! the town was wide open. Had a scary time trying to keep G.I's from going into a four story apt of ill repute. The place was loaded with various diseases.
January 17, 1945
Left Panama, sailed into the Pacific Ocean and hugged the coast of Central America sailing North to San Diego.
January 19, 1945
January 21, 1945
Sailed off the coast of Mexico.
January 25, 1945
Arrived at San Diego Navel Base in California. Had liberty and visited my wife's Aunt with a Sea Bag full of laundry. What a Heel I was! She was wonderful and washed it all for me. the next day went to Tijuana, Mexico. What a town! Had some Tequila to drink which is a Mexican Cactus juice drink. - That stuff would clean out pipes.
January 27, 1945
Left San Diego for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Arrived Pearl Harbor Navy Base, Hawaii. The Japs did a lot of damage to the Navel Installations. Sunken ships were still waiting to be salvaged. Had liberty in Honolulu and saw everything there including the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. "painted pink". The beaches were covered with barbed wire. Also went shopping and bought my wife a hula skirt made out of grass!!!!!plus some other things for her. Did not have to do shore patrol duty.
February 6-9, 1945
Since fighting the Japs was an altogether different type of warfare to learn. We went to sea to practice firing on robot planes and sleeves, some shore targets, etc.
February 10-28, 1945
Practiced fighting with submarines and backed up Aircraft Carriers when pilots missed the flight deck when landing.
March 1, 1945
Was called back to Pearl Harbor for special Secret Orders.
March 2, 1945
Left Pearl Harbor for Eniwetox Atoll in the Marshall Island Group, South Pacific.
March 5 1945
Crossed the 180th Meridian at 1820 hours and we are now qualified as a "Golden Dragon".
March 7 1945
Arrived Eniwetox in the Marshall Island group. These islands were crescent shaoed and in the center of the group was an excellent place for from 50 to 100 ships to anchor protected from the large waves of the Pacific ocean. We made some repairs to our ship, took on supplies and refueled.
March 10, 1945
Left Eniwetox and sailed for Ulithi Islands in the Carolina Islands Group. We escorted a small Convoy. We passed close to Truk Island, which was Jap held. Later we heard a broadcast from Jap held Yap island that that we were bombing Truk Island.
March 12, 1945
Arrived at Ulithi Islands in the Carolina Island group. There was a large task force with approx. 5 to 6 Carriers, Cruisers, Battleships, Destroyers, Destroyer Escorts, Troop Ships Supply ships, Tankers, etc- etc. They were going to attack another part of the Philippines.
March 14 or ?, 1945
Left Ulithi and sailed for Leyte, Philippines where General McArthur landed. The place was loaded with ships, Troop concentrations, etc. We stayed 4 or 5 days until we received orders to head for Manila which was now under attack by our forces. We had to cruise through narrow channels in which both sides were lined with Japs. We stayed in "General Quarters" day and night. We sailed south of Leyte and north to Mindanao Island, passed by the islands of Cebu and Negros. On the way we passed over the DEEPEST WATERS IN THE WORLD. We then sailed through Subic Bay and into the China sea. Had to pass between Batton and Corregidor. We then went into Manila Bay. There we found over 100 ships sunk all around us with Japs hiding in each one. Manila was still under attack. We waited about a week and sneaked into what was left of Pier #1, manila.
April 6, 1945
The concrete pier was a shambles. The holes were so large that we had to use 2x12x20 planks to cross over them to get to shore. All of the other piers were destroyed completely.
April 7-13, 1945
There were a lot of dead Jap laying around on shore and on sunken ships. The stench was terrible. The Army had no time to bury them because they were to busy fighting the Japs. The Filipinos are very friendly to us and they were very willing and hard-working people. We encountered quite a challenge running our Electric Cables from our ship to shore. We had to keep guns with us to keep the Japs from destroying our Cable. One was killed and another wounded trying to defuse a Jap land mine which was installed near our ship. We also caught two Japs working on our Power Lines disguised as Filipinos and working along with them. Of course they did not live long. The Army guarding their "Step Down Transformer" had to kill about 23 Jap and capture four. All of them had Hand Grenades and were attempting to destroy the transformer along with McArthur's Headquarters which was nearby.
During the nights the Jap’s were trying to attach underwater mines to the hull of our ship. This kept us busy during the night to. After all, we were going to supply vital electric power to key points in and around the city. We finally connected our Power lines to the Army lines at a pole on shore. After inspections by the Army Engineers, our Engineering Officer, Lt. Boger, and our Chief Electrician Chief Barrett-- We paralleled our generators with a small power plant in the city and supplied it with 13,000 Volts.
April 13, 1945
On this day "NAVAL HISTORY WAS MADE" in that it was the first time Electrical Power had floated ashore from a Navy Fighting Ship designed specifically for that purpose.
June 14 to November, 1945
When we first went on liberty, you had to take your pistol with you because the Japs were all over the place. We found Banks that had been bombed out and inside we found there was Jap invasion Currency. Here is something funny--- much of the Invasion currency was not only for the Philippines but for many other British and American held Islands. And the best of this was--- they had Invasion currency for "America" . They certainly were sure of themselves? There were some small and dingy bars and restaurants and you had to watch out for poison drinks and food. Naturally I drank some drinks that turned out to be "Wood Alcohol" and they rushed me to the Army hospital and then back to the ship and was laid up for a week.
Black market flourishes everywhere. Many G.I's received 60 cents for a pack of cigarettes, five dollars pens went for fifteen dollars. While here we heard that Germany surrendered. We were happy but knew we had a job beating the Japs. Had to go into the hospital again for an infection in both arm pits. They use the new drug Penicillin. Cleared it up in no time. We heard that Luzon and Mindanao is pretty well cleared up and Okinawa has fallen. Aussies invaded Borneo. One day we heard that there was a big bomb dropped on Japan. This was the beginning of the end for the Japs. GOOD NEWS FOR US. Then on the great day of August 15, 1945 Japan surrendered. All night bells rang, horns blew, sirens screamed and flares were shot up. We then started to go over our ship and get ready for new men that would come on board to replace us. Happy-Happy. Won't be long now.
November 2, 1945
This was a great day. All men with required points could go home in 25 days. I had enough points so I was eligible.
November 4, 1945
Our personnel Records were made up but we were told that we would have to wait for replacements. That held me up.
November 7, 1945
Took some time out and visited various sites in and around Manila and said goodbye to various friends.
November 11, 1945
Out of the clear blue some of us were told to get ready to leave the next day. HAPPY DAY! We hated to leave our shipmates after being with them so long. When you depend on each other for your life you become very close friends. Very tearful farewells. The next day we climbed into our small power boat and went out into the bay and boarded an APA ship which was heading home. It had one engine shot out but we did not care-- lets go! We took a million years to reach near San Francisco. We could not land due to overcrowded docks. We were directed to go to Portland, Oregon. After another million days we arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River and started up the river to Portland. We arrived there and headed for the docks. The river current was very swift so we took a pilot aboard to take us into the dock. He literally did just that. On the dock were Red Cross girls, Navy Band, the Mayor, girls, celebrities, big welcome home signs, etc. etc. So what do you think that we did? We headed toward the dock and the Pilot misjudged the current of the river and we sailed head on into the dock. The big Overhead Straddle Cranes took off down the Pier along with the Red Cross, the girls, the Mayor, the Navy Band, etc. We hit the Dock right in the middle and did we ever stop. This is one way to get HOME! Stayed in the Navy barracks for one week and took a train for Toledo, Ohio for discharge.
I was put in charge of a large group of men going home. Now some of these men had been prisoners of War for four or five years. All these men were in one railroad car. As we traveled across the country we had to stop in small towns for coal, etc. Sometimes our car would be straddled in the center of a main street. Pedestrians would have to walk through our car to go from point A to point B. Now there were stores in these towns that would sell Beer and Ice. The men would jump out and buy some and put in a big tub of ice. Of course since I was in charge I prevented this Ha-Ha. Also some of these pedestrians were young girls. Boy did I have my hands full trying to keep them separated.
If they get into trouble they couldn't be discharged. Woke up one night and found myself in a bucket of ICE. WE finally arrived in Toledo and then I went HOME-HOME. Forgot to tell you. We stopped in Chicago for 5 hrs. and I told the men to stay on the train. I had to do something and when I came back they had went to downtown Chicago. YIPPEE. I was really scared but they came back, all but four of them. When the train started pulling out of the station they came running down and jumped on. They were all good guys.
Harry R. Elert RDM 3/c
I came aboard the Wiseman sometime after Christmas of 1945 as a seaman 1/c (Radar Striker). At this time the Wiseman was supplying power for a large electric dredge in the inner harbor of the island of Guam. Things were pretty routine for a while until one day there was a storm and somehow a fire started in the Enclosure housing of the electric cables. One of the electricians mates jumped in to put out the fire and got quite a jolt which charred his feet pretty badly. He was sent to a hospital ashore and we later heard he was sent back to the states. Not to long after this we disconnected from the dredge and after getting a new Captain (A Full Commander) we took a short trip down to the Island of Truk in the Carolinas. We had to wait for a P.C. to guide us into the harbor as their still were minefields around I don't know why we were there but we spent a few days there trading for rifles and such with the Japanese P.O.W.'s. We were not allowed ashore, after a few days we returned to Guam.
We got word that we were taking the Wiseman back to the states. A short time after leaving Guam we ran into a wicked typhoon with 100 M.P.H winds and very heavy seas the ship was battened down and no one was allowed on deck. The waves were huge and we'd go up one and crash through the next one with water coming right up the bridge. When the stern came out of the water the screws would vibrate the whole ship. At the same time we were listing 57 degrees to port and starboard.
After the typhoon clamed down some, we had to pull into the harbor at Eniwetak Island for repairs, we had lost all our radio aerials and some of the rigging on the mast had to be secured. After Eniwetak we went to Pearl Harbor to off load the cable reels. Stayed only one night and with my luck had duty so was not able to go ashore. We left Pearl Harbor the next day and we emptied all the ammo magazines and deep sixed it.
When we got to San Diego we tied up to a long pier at a base being used to put ships into the mothball fleet. There we saw many DE's and other ships that were tied up side by side with the bows to the pier. There were also Clusters of other ships tied together throughout the bay. The rest of our time after returning to the states was spent getting the Wiseman and some of the others ready for Mothballing.
Sometime during the period above I passed the test and made Rdm3/c. In July of 1946 I was sent back to Great Lakes and discharged from active service to the inactive Naval Reserve. I thought that was it but shortly after the Korean War started the Navy started recalling reservists to fill spots on some of the ships. Got a call to report to Naval Reserve in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and was told to get my affairs in order and would receive orders within 30 days. I waited but never heard anything till I was discharged from the Reserve in June 1954. Always figured the orders must have fallen behind some filing cabinet but did not disturb them with any questions.
Diary Of Henry Fuqua 1950-51
Henry Fuqua In Masan, Korea 1951
HENRY FUQUA DIARY 1950
Aug. 07- Received orders for active duty
Aug. 14- Took physical and shipped to receiving station in Seattle
Aug. 22- Ordered to duty on USS Wiseman DE 667 at San Diego, Ca.
Departed with family to Portland
Aug. 29- Flew from Portland to San Diego. Reported aboard the USS Klondike
Sep 07- Wiseman out of dry dock.
Sep 09- Moved aboard USS Wiseman.
Sep 11- Wiseman Commissioned.
Oct 16- 1930 Hours Left San Diego.
Oct 22- 0830 Arrived at Pearl Harbor.
Oct 28- 1630 Left Pearl Harbor.
Oct 31- 0800 Arrived at Midway
1500 Left Midway
2400 Crossed Date Line;Skipping Wed, Nov. 04
Nov 07- 0930 Arrived at Yokosuka, Japan.
Nov 12- Started Beard.
Nov 13- Left Yokosuka.
Nov. 17- 1600 Arrived at Yokosuka.
Nov 20- 0600 Left Yokosuka.
Nov 22- 0300 Arrived at Yokosuka.
Nov 25- 1115 Left Yokosuka for Masan, Korea.
Nov 27- 1530 Arrived at Masan, Korea.
Dec 04- 0700 Left Masan.
1530 Arrived at Sasebo, Japan.
Dec 12- 0700 Left Sasebo
1600 Arrived at Masan, Korea.
Jul 10- 1300 Hours Left Masan, cruised to entrance of Bay and returned to Masan
Jul 13- 1500 Left Masan
1800 Arrived at Pusan, Korea
2030 Left Pusan
Jul 14- 0800 Arrived at Sasebo
Jul 18- 0700 Left Sasebo
1600 Arrived at Masan
Jul 22- 0600 Left Masan
Jul 23- 1730 Arrived in Yokosuka
Jul 27- 1630 Left Yokosuka- in transit for the United States
Sep 01- 1715 Crossed over the Date line
0600 Arrived at Midway
0930 Left Midway
Sep 03- 1730 Arrived at Pearl Harbor
Sep 05- 1600 Left Pearl Harbor
Sep 11- 0900 Arrived at San Diego
Oct 09- Left San Diego
Oct 10- Arrived at Port Chicago, Ca.
Oct 11- Arrived at Mare Island, Ca.
Dec 04- Transferred to Receiving Station on Treasure Island, Ca.
Dec 06- Started processing for release from Active Duty
Dec 11- Released to Inactive Duty
Ennis Brady's Tour on the USS Wiseman De667
Destroyer Division 9 in Honolulu
Stops Briefly En Route To Far
Pearl Harbor played host to four ships today with the arrival of escort Squadron Nine Which will Stay here for two days before departing for the far eastern waters.
The squadron Which is composed of Escort division 91 is enroute to the far east to relieve Escort Division 92 which is the other half of squadron 9.
Skippered by Commander E.C.Ogle U.SN of Coronado,California.The squadron is starting its fourth tour in the far east Since the outbreak of the Korean hostilities and the recommissioning of the vessels in 1950 and 1952.
The squadron is made up of the escort vessels Lewis, William Seiverling, Ulvert M. Moore and the Wiseman. The Lewis is the flagship of the squadron.
While on their last tour in the far east which started in August 1954 and ended last December all four escort vessels patrolled waters on the east coast of Korea and visited the ports of Hong Kong, Sasebo,Nagasaki,Yokosuka,Okinawa and ports on the coast of Korea.
Commander Ogle reported to his duty station in September of last year after serving with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington.
The Lewis is skippered by Lieutenant Commander C.C.Roberts,The Seiverling By Lieutenant Commander H.M. Winner The Moore by Lieutenant Commander R.F. Fitzgerald and the Wiseman by Lieutenant Commander J.D. Schnepp....
USS WISEMAN DE 667
8-20-1956 to 3-1-1957
From The Dairy of John Strohmaier Jr.FP3/c
We steamed from San Diego for the Far East. Our first port was Pearl Harbor.
Wiseman arrived at Pearl Harbor. All hands were ordered top side to stand at Attention and to salute the USS Arizona which lay at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.
We took on provisions and fuel and sailed the next day for Kwajalein in the Marshall Is.
August 31, 1956
When we arrived in the Marshalls the water was a beautiful blue and it surprised me that the islands were so flat.
August 31, 1956
We then sailed for Auckland .New Zealand on the way we crossed the equator.Sept.2, 1956
We held a ceremony called King Neptunes Court. All the crew that had crossed over the equator before were called Shellbacks.. All the crew that had not been over the equator were called pollywogs. Court was held to initiate the pollywogs. (See Equator Photo's)
Sept. 8, 1956
Arrived at Auckland Sept.8, it was like a early spring morning at home, cool with a few scattered high clouds. When we tied up to a dock it was not far from town as I could see building close by. I believe every one in Auckland knew we were there. Not many American ships went that far south after the second WW.
When the ship arrived in New Zealand we were low on supplies so the supply officer really loaded up. He must have gotten good buys because we had steak two time a day for weeks. It was the first time I had ever saw a kiwi fruit.
Sept. 10, 1956
We sailed for Australia. We were suppose to go to Brisbane where the Olympics were due to start, but just before we arrived we changed coarse, picked up a pilot and sailed for Townsville. Maybe it was a good thing because tin can sailors were not known for there good behavior.
Sept. 15, 1956
When we arrived in Townsville Sept.15 I had the duty that day and night so I could not leave the ship. The Capt. let those who had the duty the night before go ashore the next morning for two hours to site see and pick up a few things. We were to sail at 10:00. I bought some Canbury chocolate it was suppose to be some of the best in the world. Why candy? Well I guess because most of the crew were just kids in their late teens or early twenties.
Sept. 16, 1956
We were sailing for Darwin, in Northern Australia. We were to sail though the Great Barrier Reef where few US ships had sailed. The water was beautiful in places and we were to keep most of our water tight doors secured for precautions. One evening as we were sailing though the reef a ferry full of people crossed astern of us moving away from the main land and I never did ever figure out where they were going because it seemed like we were so far from every thing. As we sailed north though the reef it seem like we were never far from shore. The water looked pretty and clear.
Sept. 20, 1956
When we arrived in Darwin Sept, 20, we tied to a pier right near the town. We were to spend one night there, a night I shall never forget. We were to join up with a British Cruiser the New Castle and some British Frigates. There was a Australian Aircraft Carrier ,New Zealand Frigates, and four Pakistan Frigates, and the four American Destroyer Escorts. About 10,000 sailors. Most of the ships were anchor in the bay. Darwin at that time looked like it had about 2000 inhabitants. It was a very small town. There was quite a few aborigines in town.
Sept. 21, 1956
We left Darwin.
We would be on maneuvers with other ships leaving Darwin with us , the British Cruiser Newcastle and a couple British Frigates, New Zealand Frigates, Pakistan Frigates, and two Australian Carriers. I believe they called it Operation Albatross.
Sept. 22, 1956
We had left Darwin, Australia and were now on maneuvers Sept. 22 with the Queens ships.
I do not know the exact route up though the Islands we passed to get to Singapore but I remember going close by the Is. of Bali.
Sept. 28, 1956
Arrived in Singapore Sept. 28 we tied up next to a British Frigate that was tied to the dock at a British Naval Base out side of Singapore.
We had left San Diego over one month ago and had been at sea most of that time. It was showing on most of the men ,they were getting short tempered and restless.
Oct. 2, 1956
The Wiseman set to sea the Oct.2 and we sailed for Manila in the Philippines. We were operating in the Indian ocean and the word came down to tie every thing down because we were heading into a typhoon.
The ships usually cruised at 17 knots. As night I felt the seas became more and more violent and the ship would pitch and roll. First the bow of the ship would go under the water and the stern would be out of the water and you hear the screws of the ship turning as they were out of the water. As the ship settle slightly waiting for the next wave the bow would start to rise and then it would be completely out of the water and the stern would be under the water. As the bow fell back into the water the ship would shake and shiver and make a terrible noise like someone slamming a big sledge against the ship . This would go on and on for days until we moved out of the storm.
We did spend one night at anchor at Bangkok. We could not go ashore because the communist were some where in the region and they did not want us caught ashore.
Oct. 18, 1956
Arrived in Subic Bay in the Philippines
Where we went to a naval ship yard for repairs.
The Wiseman sailed for Manila.
We left Manila for more maneuvers.
The Wiseman returned to Manila and the end of Operation Albatross.
The Wiseman left Manila and arrived in Subic Bay for major repairs. The repairs were done by Philippine workers at the US Naval Base.
Repairs finished we sailed for Manila to pick up some Naval Reserves and left Manila and sailed for Legaspi. While I was in the Philippines in 1956 a Japanese soldier from WW2 finally surrendered. He was hiding on one of these Islands for 12 years.
Nov. 10, 1956
We visited the town of Legaspi on Nov.10 we were the first US warship to arrive since the 2nd WW, There were two young ladies from the US teaching school there and they were the only American there.
Nov.12, 1956 and arrived in Subic Bay Nov.13.
Left Legaspi sail for Subic Bay
Nov. 13, 1956
Arrived in Subic Bay
We again departed from Subic Bay for gunnery practice.
Nov. 17, 1956
Arrived in Manila
We departed Manila and arrived in Subic Bay again.
The Wiseman departed from Subic Bay at 08:00 to sea and had to return when she blew a boiler.She returned to Subic Bay at 16:00 on the same day for repairs which would take until the 10th of Dec. to complete.
On Dec. 10
The Wiseman sailed for Hong Kong
Dec, 12, 1956
Arrived in Hong Kong to become the US Naval Station Ship for 45 days
Jan. 22, 1957
Leaving Hong Kong on Jan.22, 1957 we headed for Japan. Not to far from Hong Kong we sailed into another typhoon. The sea was very rough and the ship was rolling violently.
Jan. 27, 1957
As we approached Yokosuka Jan.27 I could see all the caves the Japanese had dug into the hill side for defense of country. It would not been an easy job removing them from those tunnels. There were so many caves you could see from the ship you could not count them. The Wiseman tied up at 8:30 the 27 of Jan.
At 08:00 hours we under way steaming for San Diego. Steaming from Japan we would make two stops on the way home.
Feb. 7, 1957
At Midway Island on Feb.7 to refuel.
The Wiseman again was underway. On Midway is where LT. JG. Osborne Wiseman was shot down at the Battle of Midway. The USS Wiseman was named in the honor of LT. Wiseman. It is a very small Island in the Pacific Ocean about half way between Japan and the US.
Feb. 11, 1957
Refueled at Pearl Harbor.
Feb. 12, 1957
Wiseman steamed for San Diego our home port. Feb. 18, 1957 Arrived in San Diego on Feb.18, we tied up at the Naval Training Station. In a few days I had my orders to report to the separation center at the Destroyer Base in San Diego. It would take about three days to process me for a discharge. Each morning we reported for muster at the Parade Field. The Parade Field was surrounded by personal building. There were hundreds of sailors four deep on both sides of the Field They called us to attention and then marched in twenty to thirty men dressed in civilian clothes Their clothes did not match. Some of them had flashy pants of one color and a .flashy shirt of another. Their hair was cut short and they looked ridiculous.
At first I could not figure out what was happening. It did not take long to figure out these . guys where getting Dishonorable Discharges. A high ranking officer read off each ones name and what kind of discharge he was receiving. The officer then gave us a command . ABOUT FACE. We turned are backs to them. They were being humiliated. I thought to myself they must feel awful. Well maybe some of them did and I suppose some had no feelings. On Mar.1,1957 I had my Discharge papers and I was on my way home. My Navy career was over.
USS Wiseman DE 667 -1962
Rough Sea's near Guam -Nov.1962
To get the full flavor of a Typhoon you have to be aboard a Destroyer Escort.
Starboard Side of 667 Taking on wave- Picture taken from Aft 3'' Gun Mount
Fantail of 667 Out of water and going under water
DE 667 Rolling to Port DE 667 Taking on a huge wave
The Era of Growing Conflict, 1959-1965
U.S. Navy Direct Support
As a result of President Kennedy's decision in November 1961 to expand the use of American support units in South Vietnam, in "limited partnership" with the South Vietnamese Armed Forces, the U.S. Navy deployed major fleet units to the increasingly hostile region. Beginning in December 1961, Seventh Fleet and Vietnamese Navy units conducted combined surface and air patrol operations from the 17th parallel eastward to the Paracel Islands. The purpose of the patrols was to train the South Vietnamese Sea Force in open sea deployments and to determine the extent of any waterborne infiltration of munitions from North Vietnam. Aided in their surveillance mission by Martin SP-5B Marlin seaplanes based on Taiwan, five minesweepers of Minesweeping Division 73 carried out the first patrols. Faster and more seaworthy destroyer escort ships soon relieved the minesweepers on patrol.
Seeking to verify any Communist infiltration of arms and supplies from Cambodia into the Ca Mau Peninsula and adjacent areas, U.S. and South Vietnamese naval forces mounted a similar effort in the Gulf of Siam. Training the Vietnamese Navy in blue-water surveillance operations also became a goal in this area. Destroyer escorts Wiseman (DE 667) and Walton (DE 361) initiated the combined patrol when they steamed into the gulf on 27 February 1962.
For the next three months, U.S. ships' radar vectored South Vietnamese ships toward suspicious contacts for boarding and search. Nonetheless, the gulf's shallow waters precluded combined operations by U.S. and Vietnamese ships, thus allowing little opportunity for training. At the same time, the forces found no appreciable infiltration. Accordingly, U.S. participation in the gulf patrol was ended on 21 May, when the ships of Escort Division 72 departed South Vietnamese waters for their scheduled return to the United States.
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