Subject: I remember the Fullam
I was a crew member of the USS Chowanoc, ATF 100, in August 1958, when we towed the USS Fullam from Eniwetok Lagoon, Marshall Islands to Pearl Harbor.
The Fullam was from the Reserve Fleet, & had been used as a target ship for 2 underwater nuclear explosions during Operation Hardtack 2. She was moored near ground-zero, and was equipped with a wash-down system powered by a large portable pump mounted on her deck. I saw her take terrible blows during those 2 tests, didn't think she would survive.
I also recall that she began to go bow-down on the way to Pearl, and our Damage Control/Salvage gang had to go to her and patch a leak before resuming the tow.
Someone in the Atomic Sailors told me that they read in some documents that Fullam was scheduled to be scrapped, but was sunk instead because of the possibility of being radioactive.
There was another destroyer used in that test series, USS Killen DD593. She was towed to Pearl at the same time by ATF 107,USS Munsee. Killen was sunk off Puerto Rico, and there was some Press last month(Sept) about the suspicion that it was radioactive.
Have a nice reunion. I will host the NAFTS national reunion next September
Subject: Mike Plessl DD474
Hi, Bob ...
WOW ... 21 years old; single, living in the Bronx NY; a year's pay plus $800 reenlistment bonus & travel pay ($2000 in all) ... just rarin' to go!!! ...
Had to go to Pier 92 in Manhnattan late in December to pick up 2 months pay which had accrued since Oct ... that was the MOTHER of ALL leaves..
Picture was taken aboard the USS J P Kennedy (DD850) on our commissioning shakedown cruise to Gitmo ... the home away from home - home port for all Destroyer Men ...I loved it ...
Hope you have no troubles with the picture ...
Reunion 2000 Information
Subject: Fullam MINI reunion 4/28-29
Date: Fri, 5 May 2000 09:48:50 -0400
From: "edward j fletcher"
To: "Bob Ross"
A MINI reunion --(It was a very small reunion)-- was held at Baton Rouge April 28 & 29. It was held at the Holiday Inn S..
We had nine men and two wives:
We spent most of the time just sitting around and discussing old times.
Paul Beyer brought the Fullam logs with him so a great deal of time
We spent a lot of time aboard the USS Kidd that is there as a monument of World War Two. They also have a museum there that is realy a great place for everyone to visit. Lots of models of ships and memorabilia. The ship has just about every area open to the public.
Migden and Fletcher took pictures of ourselfs in our old bunks and at
There are no plans on another reunion. Fletcher and Migden are going to try to have a just Florida mini reunion at the end of this year
If I get any new Email addresses I will send them along.
Best to you and yours
Subject: Fullam 474
I just got back from the farm. Dad (Robert [Bob] R. Moates) gave me the information that you requested. He was a Seaman 1st class (second division) and acting coxswain. He drove the long boats to shore.
Dad boarded the ship in Feb, 45 (just before the Iwo Jima assault.)
He was still 16 at the time, the next month, (March 12th), he turned 17
so he probably was the youngest man aboard.
Daughter of a sailor,
Subject: Fullam Joe Obara: Dads Diary
After the campaign at Okinawa, the Fullam proceeded to Guam and Eniwetok and then headed for Adak, Island in the Aleutians. From Adak the Fullam went to northern Honshu, Japan entering Mutsu Bay and then returned to Adak. The Fullam went on to Kodiak and Ketchikan and finally to Puget Sound in Washington.
Subject: USS FULLAM's Ship Bell
Los Angeles Times; Thurs.,Sept 28, 1972
"Victory Celebration Takes It's Toll on Artesia High's Bell"
Here's a story about a victory bell that just doesn't ring true.
That in itself was unusual, expecially when it is noted that in the past five seasons football victories for Artesia have averaged the same frequency as Christmases-one a year.
Overwhemed with a win in the season opener, members of the football team returned to the Artesia campus. There they carried out a traditional, but infrequent, ceremony: ringing the victory bell.
"Players so Excited" "It happened so fast," recalls Principal Stanley Steddom. "The players were so excited. They rang the bell and they rang it-about eight times in all.
"And then they rang it again. This time, it fell apart."
Steddom said the bell was once the ship's bell on the U.S.S. Fullam, a destroyer.
Former Artesia Principal Bill Atkins, now principal at El Dorado High School negotiated with the Department of the Navy for a victory bell in 1961, and the Navy responded with the Fullam's bell.
"It was a loan of sorts," said Steddom. No one is sure whether the bell can be repaired or whether the school will have to look for a new one. "Maybe we could ask the Navy for a new bell," he said. "But they'd probably want to negotiate an exchange."
It's a problem which could be compounded this weekend - especially if Artesia wins again.
"What would we do if we didn't have the bell fixed and didn't have a replacement?" Steddom asked. "We would probably take the pieces out, lay them out on the field, and bang away on them."
Hope you enjoyed the story. On behalf of all the students who enjoyed the bell, I would like to thank all the shipmates of the best destroyer ever to sail with the US Navy; THE USS FULLAM DD-474.....
Enjoy your Reunion!!!!!!!
Subject: Paul K. Gilbert/ Fullam
Click image for larger view.