USS FULLAM (DD 474)
NEWSLETTER Autumn 2005 - October 15, 2005
USS FULLAM (DD 474) Northern Solomons - Bougainville - Bismarck Archipelago Marianas - Western Caroline Islands - Iwo Jima - Okinawa
FULLAM Nes Letter - Autumn - October 14, 2005
Sorry for the delay this time but thanks to a bad cold and an.arthritic finger, I just could nof find the energy to sit and put this letter together, but here goes.
I guess the big news since my last.letter has to be hurricanes Katrina and Rita. One of our good shipmates involved in both of these was Garrett Lynch, and, via E-mail he provided me with several messages regarding the situations as he lived through them.
Thus, here follows his messages:
Dated September 3, 2005:
"I appreciate your concern. The USS KIDD is still seaworthy. In fact, the old girl is serving her country right now as a barracks ship. Some of the out-of-town line crews who are repairing the downed electric lines in the area are sleeping on board, as there isn't any room in the hotels/motels due to the misplaced persons from New Orleans.
There are approximately 65,000 refugees in Baton Raton now, living in city, state, and church buildings with more expected to arrive soon. It is so bad as lawless gangs from New Orleans are roaming the streets at night. The police are armed with shotguns in the downtown area trying to take back control. The city of Baton Rouge only suffered loss of light and power and many trees blown down. Some areas of the city are just getting back power. I lost a few shingles and the mess in the yard took two days to clean up. I finished replacing the shingIes yesterday.
Dated September 5, 2005:
"We now have 200,000 refugees here. Things are bad from the increase in population, the stores are running out of supplies, traffic has gotten worse and some of the stores are closing at sundown due to the increase in shoplifting .
This is not whining or complaining, I'm just reporting the facts. WE are still counting our blessings.
Dated September 28, 2005
Since the USS KIDD is shut down with so many evacuees living right across the street in the Civic Center; .and all the steets are: closed, we cannot bring in any income; hopefully the utility company will give us a break on the utility bill since some of their out-of-town line crews are living on board.
Also, the National Guard is on board, too, so it seems funny to see all those soldiers sitting around on deck. This is the first time Baton Rouge has been occupied since the Civil War.
The KIDD is keeping Some tall company too. The AMERICAN QUEEN, the largest steamboat on the Mississippi, is tied-up alongside while the 5th United States Court of Appeals and the Louisiana Supreme Court uses the vessel as a Court house until their court houses in New Orleans can be repaired.
Since our daughter and family live only about 10 miles from the Gulf, they stayed with us when Rita was coming. While the storm was winding down, my son-in-law and I went to their town before the authorities closed all of the roads to check on their house. Fortunately, the flood waters stopped only a block from their house; did have some damage and lost power. We hooked up his generator to keep the freezer running and came back to Baton Rouge.
Our neighborhood is full of evacuees. One neighbor has 25 people, all relatives with them. Another neighbor has 3 people and another 8 people; our 3 have gone home. I had a repeat like Katrina from Rita - a few Iost shingles and tree limbs down. We are very thankful for our good fortune.
If there are any other shipmates involved in either of these disasters, please let me know so. that I may include your experiences in my next letter.
As most of you know, and many of us have been aboard, the USS KIDD is one of the very few Fletcher-class destroyers still around. In addition, it is probably in the best condition than any of the others, thanks to the efforts of Garrett Lynch and his fellow workers who maintain it. Consequently, due to the additional expense and Ioss of income to the KIDD, I think it is only right and proper that a fellow Fletcher, namely, the USS FULLAM, help out. Thus, since our treasury is in excellent shape, thanks to the fine generosity of many of you, I plan on sending a check in the amount of $250 to. Garrett to present to the KIDD.
One of these days I plan on including a new mailing list for you all. Mike Plessl used to keep these up-to-date and no problem. I would like to emphasize that this is the list to whom are currently receiving the quarterly newsletter. I get the feeling that some are confusing this with the ship's actual crew roster of which I have many covering various periods in the ship's life. If you have any particular name, I can look it up and advise as to when he was aboard.
I am including with this letter a copy of the ship's log for Decemper 3, 1943, covering the three watches, 1600-1890, 1800-2000, and 2000-2100, I think this could bring back a few memories of our many runs between Guadalcanal and Bougainville and some of the dangers involved. Anyway, we always came through safely!
I recently asked Wayne Watkins how he and Captain Boyd got together again on the FULLAM after being shipmates on the MCCALL early in the war; here's his reply:
Yes, Capt. Boyd's transfer to the FULLAM as well as mine could have been arranged. Capt. Daniels, I believe he was in the Bureau of Naval Personnel at the time. I believe he also arranged for me to be his Navigator on the cruiser SALEM. I always felt also, that he was grateful to Capt. Boyd for being CO of the FULLAM. It was a joy ride for the Commadore.
I have another letter from Wayne listing all of the ships and shore stations he served in which I will include in my next letter. Again, I would appreciate hearing from any of you who stayed in the Navy and what ships or shore facilities you served in during your career.
Since my next newsletter will not go forth until after the holidays, here's wishing each of you and your entire families, a Very Merry Christmas and Most Prosperous and Healthy New.Year.
Your old. shipmate,
Paul "P.T. Beyer
P.S. Bill DeMarco is planning a Cape Cod reunion November 4 - 6! He will be sending cards with all the info.
UNITED STATES SHIP- FULLAM (DD474) Friday (Day) 3 (Date) December (Mouth) . 1943
SHIPS LOG Friday December 3, 1943
Zone description -11
Position 0800 --------- 1200 ---------- 2000 -
Lat. 08-26.0S ------ 08-03-OS
Long 156-21.9E ------ 155-52.7E
Steaming as before, base course 310° T, 296° psc, base speed 9 knots, patroling station at 12 knots. 1645 base speed changed to 8 knots, base course chaged to 322° T, 307°psc. 1702 unidentified plane reported. 1714 fighter director reports plane as friendly.
T. D. WIlSON, Lieut.(jg), USN.
Steaming as before on base course 322° T, 307° psc, formation speed 8 knots, patroling station at 12 knots. 1842 all hands to General Quarters, set material condition "Affirm". 1900 lighted fires under boiler number one. 1903 lghted fires under boiler number three. 1906 SC radar contact, enemy plane bearing 299° T, distant thirty-three miles. 1938 enemy planes have disappeared from SC radar screen. 1941 secured from General Quarters set condition of readiness I-Easy and material condition "Affirm" (modified). 1945 enemy planes reported by SC radar as follows: bearing 335° T, distant thirty miles; bearing 045° T, distant twenty-five miles; and bearing 310° T distant fifty-nine miles, all targets closing. 1948 gunfire observed from shore batteries on Mono Island. 1950 enemy plane reported by SC radar bearing 136° T, dlistance nineteen miles. 1951 All' hands to General Quarlers, set material. condition "Affirm". 1953 enemy planes reported by SC radar closing from all.directions. 1953 Screen ordered to close main body by O.T.C. 1954 enemy planes overhead, ships of screen open fire. with 5 inch and automatic weapon batteries. 1956 two marker flares dropped by enemy planes near center of formation.
B. D. Coleman, Lieut. USNR
Steaming as before on various courses at various speeds, individual ships in formation taking avoiding action while engaged with enemy planes overhead. 2010 flares dropped off port bow, distant five miles. 2016 second wave of enemy planes attacking formation, all ships in screen opening fire. 2017 bomb dropped in wake 300 yards astern. 2020 maneuvering radically to avoid torpedo, which passes down starboard side, close aboard. 2033 enemy aircraft shot down in flames by BENNETT on starboard quarter. 2034 FULLAM shoots down plane in flames on port beam. 2038 third enemy plane shot down in flames by BENNETT on port beam. 2050 Enemy planes retire to north, all ships of screen report conditions normal and no casualties due to enemy action. One LST reports being hit glancing blows by dud torpedo which failed to explode. 2052 Comdesron Twenty-three covering this force to'north reports conditions normal and area clear of enemy planes.. 2109 night fighters arrive on station over formation. 2120 enemy plane reported by fighter director. bearing 145° T, distant 13 miles, night fighter directed to intercept enemy. 220$ set material condition "Affirm" (modified). 2210 flare sighted ahead, distant about five miles, set material condition "Affirm". 2310 secured from General Quarters, set condition of readiness I-Easy and material condition "Affirm" (modified). 2321 SC radar reports enemy plane bearing 298° T, distant 12 miles, all hands to :Gerieral Quarters, set material condition "Affirm". 2330 fighter director reports area clear of enemy planes, secured from General Quarters, set condition of' readiness I-Easy and material condition "Affirm" (modified).
B. D. COLEMAN, Lieut., USNR.
Approved W. KELLY, Commander., U.S. Navy
Examined: G. L. CHRISTIE, Lieut. Comdr., U.S. Navy Navigator.
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