+13 DD474 Autumn 2000 NewsLetter
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USS FULLAM DD474
NEWS LETTERS

Northern Solomons - Bougainville - Bismarck Archipelago
Marianas - Western Caroline Islands - two Jima - Okinawa


AUTUMN 2000 NEWSLETTER

AUTUMN
October 2000

Avast Shipmates;

Mike Plessl and I are endeavoring to keep our mailing list as current as possible so please find enclosed a self-addressed postcard. The purpose of this card is for each of you to check the appropriate box stating your choice and returning it to me. Also, I would greatly appreciate any comments you may have concerning these newsletters, perhaps your health status, and any other information you would like to pass along. If you do not return this card, I can only assume you do not wish to continue receiving the FULLAM NEWSLETTER and thus you will be removed from our mailing list. So please take a moment to use this card and return it to me? Many thanks!

I am sorry to report the loss of three of our shipmates since my last letter. They are and the dates of their death - Franklin Boyd, 12/28/99, Walter Dudutis, 7/4/00, and Peter Boychuck, 8/20/00. our sincerest sympathies to their respective families. Also, the last two letters mailed to Larry Newton's Canary Islands address were returned.

Believe it or not, three lost shipmates reported aboard and have been added to our roster; their names and addresses are as follows:

Louis Bryda       90 County Rd.     Huntington, Ma.     01050
William Herber    505 Locust St.    La Porte City, Ia.  50651
Robert Moates     5500 S. 660 Rd.   Quapaw, Ok.         74363

I have two roster corrections. Mrs. William Modrell is now located at 815 S. 216 St., #4-310, Des Moines, Wa. 98198. Herb Foedisch's phone number is 415-925-9536.

To those members of Tin Can Sailors who receive their quarterly bulletins, you have no doubt read the published histories of many destroyers. As a result of these, Sig Migden talked to Ed Peltin and Sig is in the process of preparing a history of the FULLAM for the TCS bulletin after receiving Peltin's approval and encouragement. Hopefully, it may make the next issue or, at least, the following one.

Over the past several weeks I have been reading a large book titled, "The Sea War in Korea"; this book was originally published in 1957 and republished last year. On page 405 of this book I came across a most familiar name; here follows a portion of that page:

"In early July, 1951, Captain W.L. Anderson, USN, was CTG 95.2, embarked in USS BLUE (DD744). While discussing the effectiveness of the ships' gunfire with the captains of the BLUE (Cdr. R.S. Burdick) and the USS FRANK E. EVANS (DD754), Cdr. G.L. Christie,, it was brought out that ??????????"

Surely there cannot be two USN officers with the exact same name, so this has to be our first Executive Officer and plankowner. I believe he was just a Lt. at that time and was the exec until he was transferred off the ship on December 3, 1943. At the same time James Carey (on our current roster) was transferred . After Christie left, John Wier became our new exec as I am sure he certainly remembers; he's also on our current roster.

Speaking of Jim Carey, a former FULLAM yeoman, several years ago he sent me a portfolio of some of his experiences aboard the ship which I recently found in my files. I would like to pass along a few as follows:

"Underway at last for the shakedown and training cruise. Surely the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station on the southeast coast of Cuba must be a big and interesting place. How the water is smooth and look at those ???? are they dolphins or are they porpoises, swimming and playing in the bow waves and some actually cross in front of the bow without seeming effort.

Back in Boston. For how long? Not too long. Shore Patrol duty in Scollay Square. Each ship had to furnish its share, depending on its complement. The yeoman, assigned by the Shore Patrol to the area in the vicinity of the Old Howard Theater, was not in the least enthusiastic and was happy to finish the shift with a minimum of difficulty.

The crew of a sister ship was granted leave. No leave for the crew of the FULLAM. How come? Who knows. When will we return to Boston? Ever? It's time to shove off ?? but where is everyone? How many are absent? That many? Wow! The absentees rejoined the ship at various stops all the way through the Canal, and even at San Diego. And always the Captain's Mast. The yeoman had plenty of unhappy work.

A date to be remembered ?? August 22, 1943. That was the date on which King Neptune appeared and held court on the deck of the FULLAM. His visit was related to the proximity of the ship to the Equator. It wasn't easy to pay homage to his Highness. The approach to his throne was via a chute containing various and sundry fragrant vegetables suspended in solution. His Highness seemed to be in urgent, need of liposuction procedure in the area of his abdomen. After some time and due consideration, his Highness King Neptune decided that each of his FULLAM subjects, being as old and as experienced as some of his sea turtles, would accordingly from that date on be considered as SHELLBACKS.

It wasn't particularly like the Riviera, but the water in that portion of the placid Pacific was pleasantly proper for a swim. Practically everyone who could be spared, and who could swim, enjoyed the water exercise in this remote harbor. There was to be no skinny dipping. As hardly anyone had the foresight to pack a Jantzen in his seabag, a variety of under and outer garments were put to use. Someone was sitting up in the crow's nest. Is he up in the ship's crow's nest repairing the ship's radar? No. He is not repairing the radar. He has a rifle and is on the lookout for sharks while the sailors are frolicking in the water. SHARK LOOKOUT? That's right. Forget the pasttime of paddling in the Pacific. See the yeoman make waves in his hurry back to the ship ?no doubt to catch up on his paper work.

It isn't always necessary to sail all the to Honolulu for rest and recreation. There's a supply of beer aboard. All ashore whose going ashore, except the watch. Everyone is allowed two beers. Just present the paper chit and enjoy the beer. Who is in charge of the chits? The Chief arranged for the chits to be prepared. He explained that somehow the beer always seems to run out before the chits run out. It's surprising the effect two beers can have. It must be the result of not imbibing in these many weeks. Then again the chits didn't show "non-transferable'. And the Chief did say the chits never seem to run out."

These are really great and I saved a few more for my next letter. Jim has quite a way with words.

I found another item in my files and I cannot remember if I ever included it in a previous newsletter or not; if I already have, then just excuse it as a "senior moment". Anyway it refers to what occurred with the ship in the late '50's which ultimately resulted in its being sunk as a target in 162.

"FULLAM was used as an unmanned target vessel at two underwater detonations, shots WAHOO and UMBRELLA, of Operation HARDTACK 1, an atmospheric nuclear test series conducted at Bikini and Eniwetok Atolls and Johnston Island from April 28 to August 18, 1958. She was within the base surge and the area of contaminated water following both WAHOO on May 16, 1958, and UMBRELLA on June 9, 1958. On June 11, 1958, the highest reading on the ship was 0.145 r/hour.

On June 22, 1958, following UMBRELLA, USS CHOWANAC (ATF 100) began to tow FULLAM to Pearl Harbor, arriving there on July 11, 1958. As of January 1959, she was in the Inactive Service Craft Facility at Pearl Harbor. Beginning on June 22, 1959, she was towed to Norfolk, Va., for assignment to Miscellaneous Services, apparently at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. According to press reports, she was to be repaired for later tests. The repairs began in 1960."

In case some of you are not aware, there is a book entitled "Fletcher Class Destoyers" that includes several pictures of the FULLAM plus a detailed drawing of it after our overhaul in late 1944 at Bethlehem Steel in San Francisco. The author is Alan Raven and was originally published in 1986 ? ISBN 0?87021?193?5. If interested, suggest you check your local library or bookseller.

In talking with Robert Moates, one of our newly located shipmates, he advised that he came aboard the FULLAM at Adak; at the time he was only 17. He stayed aboard until May, 1946, and was one of the last crew members to leave the ship. I asked him to write and let us known what it was like those last few months in San Diego and what he did. Hopefully, he'll let me know so I can include his experiences in my next letter. How about it, Robert?

In each issue of the Tin Can Sailors bulletin (perhaps, magazine would describe it better) summaries of the various destroyer reunions are listed giving the location, attendance, activities, etc. I'm always astounded by the attendance at many of these reunions as they show 150?200 people but then I remember that many destroyers, including a few Fletchers, were continually upgraded and stayed in service through the Korean and Viet Nam wars. Consequently, they have a

It isn't always necessary to sail all the to Honolulu for rest and recreation. There's a supply of beer aboard. All ashore whose going ashore, except the watch. Everyone is allowed two beers. Just present the paper chit and enjoy the beer. Who is in charge of the chits? The Chief arranged for the chits to be prepared. He explained that somehow the beer always seems to run out before the chits run out. It's surprising the effect two beers can have. It must be the result of not imbibing in these many weeks. Then again the chits didn't show "non-transferable'. And the Chief did say the chits never seem to run out."

These are really great and I saved a few more for my next letter. Jim has quite a way with words.

I found another item in my files and I cannot remember if I ever included it in a previous newsletter or not; if I already have, then just excuse it as a "senior moment". Anyway it refers to what occurred with the ship in the late '50's which ultimately resulted in its being sunk as a target in 162.

"FULLAM was used as an unmanned target vessel at two underwater detonations, shots WAHOO and UMBRELLA, of Operation HARDTACK 1, an atmospheric nuclear test series conducted at Bikini and Eniwetok Atolls and Johnston Island from April 28 to August 18, 1958. She was within the base surge and the area of contaminated water following both WAHOO on May 16, 1958, and UMBRELLA on June 9, 1958. On June 11, 1958, the highest reading on the ship was 0.145 r/hour.

On June 22, 1958, following UMBRELLA, USS CHOWANAC (ATF 100) began to tow FULLAM to Pearl Harbor, arriving there on July 11, 1958. As of January 1959, she was in the Inactive Service Craft Facility at Pearl Harbor. Beginning on June 22, 1959, she was towed to Norfolk, Va., for assignment to Miscellaneous Services, apparently at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. According to press reports, she was to be repaired for later tests. The repairs began in 1960."

In case some of you are not aware, there is a book entitled "Fletcher Class Destoyers" that includes several pictures of the FULLAM plus a detailed drawing of it after our overhaul in late 1944 at Bethlehem Steel in San Francisco. The author is Alan Raven and was originally published in 1986 ? ISBN 0-87021-193-5. If interested, suggest you check your local library or bookseller.

In talking with Robert Moates, one of our newly located shipmates, he advised that he came aboard the FULLAM at Adak; at the time he was only 17. He stayed aboard until May, 1946, and was one of the last crew members to leave the ship. I asked him to write and let us known what it was like those last few months in San Diego and what he did. Hopefully, he'll let me know so I can include his experiences in my next letter. How about it, Robert?

In each issue of the Tin Can Sailors bulletin (perhaps, magazine would describe it better) summaries of the various destroyer reunions are listed giving the location, attendance, activities, etc. I'm always astounded by the attendance at many of these reunions as they show 150-200 people but then I remember that many destroyers, including a few Fletchers, were continually upgraded and stayed in service through the Korean and Viet Nam wars. Consequently, they have a much larger and younger number of former crewmembers still around. Destroyers like the FULLAM were strictly WW 2 and needless to say the number of shipmates still around are dwindling day by day.

Good news! Mike Plessl, Joe DeSisto, and Bill Demarco are planning a mini-reunion at South Yarmouth, Ma., for October 27-29. Mike sent the information to all the shipmates in the Northeast and requested I pass the information along to others in this letter. It will be held at the All Seasons Motel, 1199 Main Street (Route 28), South Yarmouth, Ma., 02664. Everyone is responsible for their own reservations so call the motel at 800-527-0359. Also, for any further information you can call Joe at 781-893-4865, Bill at 781-289-1596 or Mike at 914-462-2684. I strongly recommend your attending if you can possibly do so!

Please remember to mail the enclosed postcard back to me as soon as possible. We're sure hoping for a 100% response!

Your old shipmate,

Paul "P.T." Beyer

P.S. After finishing this letter, I always have my wife proofread it and she usually finds plenty of errors; most of which are too late to correct. She was a secretary (now an Executive Administrative Assistant) for many years and informed me that I was continually not abbreviating the States correctly on addresses; she said I was using the old-fashioned way. Anyway I sincerely apologize and henceforth will use MA, WA, IA, etc and also eliminate the comma. (period?)


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