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Subject: I remember the Fullam
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 22:46:56 -0700
From: "Rodger Dana" lodger@adelphia.net
To: Bob Ross

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 at Seattle.
Rodger Dana
visit www.NAFTS.com

Subject: Mike Plessl DD474
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 16:17:09 EDT
From: Mplessl@aol.com
To: Bob Ross

Hi, Bob ...
Mike Plessl, RM2c, USS Fullam proud plank-owner ... left the ship in Kodiak Oct 13, '45 (day before my 21st birthday) ... early returnee because I had just reenlisted and was homeward-bound for a 90 day leave ...

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 ...

Mike Plessl

Mike Plessl, click image for larger view.

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:
William" Bill " Ellerman,
Bill W. Enos,
Paul T.Beyer and wife Joanne,
John R. Glencross and wife,
Edward Fletcher,
Sig Migden,
Garrett C. Lynch,
Mike Plessl.
and Don Hewson,
(-- Thanks to Mike Plessl for giving the missing name)

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
was spent looking up the good and the bad times. As a matter of fact Migden and Fletcher were never entered into the log as being crew members. Navy Records!!!!!##&^**$#%^&&^% and a couple I can't mention in here.

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
our work stations in the aft engine room,and at my old gun station
during G.Q.. Migden, Plessl Enos and myself (Fletcher) went to the
casino and Enos and Migden did the gambling. Plessl walked around and
enjoyed the sights while Fletch stayed behind Migden and brought him
good luck. For that Migden bought me dinner.

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
2000. No plans have been set up at this time.

If I get any new Email addresses I will send them along.

Best to you and yours
Ed Fletcher

Mike Plessl, click image for larger view.

Thanks to Ed (Fletch) Fletcher

Visit Ed Fletchers Photo Page

Subject: Fullam 474
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 19:57:57 EDT
From: DocLinR@aol.com
To: Bob Ross
July. 4, 2000
Dear Bob Ross:

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.
He does not have an e-mail address but you can e-mail through my address and I will make sure he gets it or write him at the address, I added to my last e-mail. He does not have any addresses for any other crew members. I did find a large picture of him (taken 44-45), I need to reduce it and then I'll make sure you get a copy of it.
Happy 4th of July!!

Daughter of a sailor,
Linda Rice

Subject: Fullam Joe Obara: Dads Diary
Date: Sat, 2 Dec 2000 07:08:21 EST
From: Joe Obara - WAVEWUVER@aol.com
To: Bob Ross
My dad maintained a brief diary of the ports of call for the Fullam. After reading the History of the Fullam, I noticed it made no mention of landing in Honshu, Japan on September 7, 1945, after the close of hostilities.

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.

Joe Obara

Subject: USS FULLAM's Ship Bell
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 20:42:41 -0700
From: Joseph Glosek
My name is Joseph Glosek, and I'am from the class of 1973, Artesia High School. Our class just had it's reunion in Long Beach Calif. I was looking thru old paper's to bring to the reunion when I came upon an old news-paper story about our "Victory Bell". I hope enjoy reading it, and perhaps you could share it with everyone at your reunion in April.


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.
It all begin with a football game last Saturday night, Artesia High School beating Norwalk High School, 26-15.

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."

-----Larry Lane-------

Your bell paid the toll for Artesia's victory that night.

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!!!!!!!

Joseph Glosek
Mesa, Az
P.S.:-- Artesia High School is located in Lakewood, Calif.

Subject: Paul K. Gilbert/ Fullam
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2001 06:26:37 -0400
From: "North Lander" north2nh@hotmail.com
To: Bob Ross
Good Morning Bob,
I surfed over your web site and found it very interesting. I also became addicted to the internet, and found it a great distraction from many issues in my life I had no control over. I also made many family web pages (I was actually a webaholic, for awhile) I feel it is an artistic way of expressing ourselves. Unfortunately I have not been able to go online much this summer. However I am finally finding the time to update some old pages, and hope to make a web page in memory of my brother Paul. I have found some papers from my mothers old clippings etc. A letter from a District Naval Chaplin "Paul G. Linaweaver" Did you by chance know him? I also found the obituary of Paul, stating Paul was a 'First Class firemen', and that he received 6 stars for engagememts in major battles. He joined the service in 1942 and was killed in 1946. I wonder if his name could be included on that Fullam crew list, or is that list only for officers and captains? I am enclosing the information I found.

Barbera Gilbert

Click image for larger view.