+4-4-05 Fullam Newsletter Spring 2005
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USS FULLAM (DD 474)
NEWSLETTER Spring 2005 - April 4, 2005


USS FULLAM (DD 474) Northern Solomons - Bougainville - Bismarck Archipelago Marianas - Western Caroline Islands - Iwo Jima - Okinawa


Spring - April 4, 2005

Dear shipmates:
Recently, I read an article in Naval History magazine about this year marking the 60th anniversary of the invasion of Okinawa. One part of this article I felt should be included in this letter; consequently, I cut it out and here it is:

The three month+ battle for OKihawa in spring 1945 was an epic struggle. It pitted the U.S. Fifth Fleet - Qne of the mightiest armadas the world has seen - against thousands of Japanese kamikaze suicide aircraft, flown by young volumeers intent on crashing into U.S. ships for the glory of their emperor and the survival of their country.

Strategic planners in both Washington and Tokyo anticipated that the Okinawa campaign would forecast the tactics and slaughter to be expected on an even larger scale when the Allies finally invaded the Japanese home islands. Yet, the battle for Okinawa had its own protracted horrors. The fighting ashore became a grinding battle of attrition that claimed an average of 3,000 lives each day, among the antagonists as well as the native Okinawans. In the simultaneous air-sea combat waged offshore, the Japanese sought to prove their disciplined suicide pilots could defeat the technological superiority of the U.S. fleet. At the end of the 90-day ordeal, the fleet prevailed, maintaining its 'round-the-clock support to the Tenth Army ashore, even while sustaining the loss of more sailors and ships than in any other conflict in the Navy's history. Reviewing the losses, Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, commanding the Fifth Fleet, described the battle for Okinawa as "a bloody, hellish prelude to the invasion of Japan."

Okinawa cost 36 ships sunk, 368 damaged, 4,900 men killed or drowned, 4,800 wounded, and 763 aircraft lost.

From this I must admit a feeling of relief as the war ended before we would have definitely been a part of the invasion force to take Japan. We were most fortunate to have been spared at Okinawa but our luck could have run out in this one. .

You may recall that we were part of the screen for a task unit of escort carriers off the southern coast of Okinawa on D-Day at Okinawa of April 1, 1945. I have included a copy of the ship's log for this day to give you an idea of what we were doing. In perusing the logs I discovered that we did not make our first entry into Kerama Retto until April 26 when we escorted the carrier SANTEE. It was on May 4 when we escorted the SANGAMON to Kerama Retto and upon leaving to return to the task unit, we were attacked by,. I. think, three Kamakazies of which one hit the SANGAMON directly ahead of us. .The SANGAMON was so badly damaged that it was scrapped on its return to the States.


I am sorry to report the death of one of our shipmates since my last letter. Joseph Daly from Milan, NH, and, a FULLAM plankowner, died March 10 after a long illness according to a nephew who called me; Joe had no children and was a widower for several years.
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Believe it or not, another shipmate has been located! His name is Warren Edwards who was an officer in the C-division and one of my bosses. He resides at 1286 Mt. Hermon Rd., Scotts Valley, CA, 95066; phone 831-335-3321.
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Here are two address changes. Louis Bryda is now at 8825 Farm Road - 52; Walnut Grove, MO, 65770.
Wayne Rabideau moved to 6121 Golf View, Cass City, MI, 48726-9018.
One of these days I'll try and print a new up-to-date roster; certainly miss Mike Plessl as he always came through regularly with a new one.
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About a month ago Sig Migden sent me the following E-mail that is worth passing along; quite a coincidence: .

"P. T. Today I was having a snack in the mall when a young man came over to my table and asked what the USS FULLAM meant on my cap. He said he was a tourist from Ireland and his name was Fullam. I explained to him that it referred to an American warship in the destroyer class and that these were named after former naval men. Fullam was a Rear Admiral who passed away many years ago. We chatted a little while longer, he thanked me, and will look into any relationship when he gets back to Ireland with Admiral Fullam."
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Here's a little tidbit that I gleaned from my local newspaper recently. Remember when we went to Japan with the Task Force under Admiral Frank Fletcher to receive the surrender of the Northern Japanese Forces in Ominato Bay at the extreme northern end of the island of Honshu? The naval base there was at Aomori and guess the major city in that area:

"TOKYO - Japan created what engineers here call the world's longest overland tunnel, when railway workers blasted through a final layer of rock Sunday.

The 16.4-mile Hakkoda Tunnel will become part of a new bullet train line under construction to link Tokyo with Aomori about 360 miles to the north"'
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Maybe I have mentioned this before but, in case I haven't, I'll repeat it anyway. We all had ideas that several FULLAM crew members went ashore in Japan while we were anchored there. To dispel this myth on our first reunion in Baton Rouge in 1988, Don Hewson, Bruno Cantamessa and I had a very pleasurable dinner one evening with Captain Boyd and his wife, Ruth. During the evening I asked him point blank about these rumors and he assured me that no one, But on one, including himself nor Captain Daniels went ashore from the FULLAM. That settled it once and for all!

Your old shipmate,
/s/ "P.J."
Paul "P.T." Beyer


NAVPERS-134 (REV. 1-44)
DECK LOG-REMARKS SHEET
UNITED STATES SHIP FULLAM (DD474)
Sunday 1 April 1945


0 to 4: steaming in company with Task Unit 52.1.3. OTC and Guide in station (1,500), is ComCarDiv 22 in SUWANEE. ComScreen is CDS 45 in FUlLAM. Formation steaming in area South of Okinawa Jima. Formation in cruising disposition 5R oriented on axis 000(T). FULLAM in station No. 1 of eight ship anti-submarine screen. Formation course 230(T) and (pgc); 228o (psc). Base speed 14 knots. FULLAM in condition of readiness II. Boilers No. 1 and 3 in use. 0019 Formation changed course to 245(T) and (pgc); 243(psc) by turn movement. 0025 'Formation camnenced. zig-zagging in accordance with plan No.6 (USF 10A). 0220 Formation ceased zig-zagging and resumed base course. 0235 Formation resumed zig-zaggtng in accordance with plan No.6 (USF 10A). 0316 Formation ceased zig-zagging and resumed base course. 0325 Formation changed course to 001(T) and (pgc); 358(psc), screen reorientated on course.
T.D. WILSON, Lieut., USN

4 to 8: steaming as before. 0417 Formation changed course to 345(T) and (pgc); 343 (psc), screen reoriented accordingly. 0420 Formation changed zig-zagging in accordance with plan No-6 (USF10A). 0430 Lighted fires under Boilers No.2 and 4. 0455 Let fires die out under Boilers No. 2 and 4. 0459 formation ceased zig-zagging and resumed base course. 0513 Formation changed course 075T and (pgc); 073(pcs) and screen reoriented accordingly. 0520 Set Condition of Readiness I for dawn alert. 0543 Formation changed course to 085T and (pgc); 081 (pcs). 0604 formation changed course to 026(T) and (pgc); 023(psc), screen reoriented accordingly. 0630 Formation changed speed to 16 knots. 0634 Set Condition of Readiness I Easy. 0647 Formation changed course to 310(T) and (pgc); 303(psc), screen reoriented accordingly. 0700 Formation changed course to 130(T) and (pgc); 126(psc), screen reoriented. 0706 Formation changed course to 080(T)' and (pgc); 076(psc), screen reoriented. 0710 formation changed speed. to 15 knots. 0713 STEAMER BAY escorted by HELM and BUTLER, departed formation. 0720 Formation chaqged course to 260T and (pgc); 265(psc), screen reoriented. 0730 Formation changed speed to 14 knots. 0744 Formation changed course to 300 (T) and (pgc); 294(psc), screen reoriented. 0758 Formation changed; course to, 080(T) and (pgc); 079 (psc). screen reoriented.
W. J. MATHEWS, Ensign, USNR.

8 to12: Steaming as before. 0800 Mustered crew on station, no absentees. 0805 Formation changed course to 060(T) and (pgc); 059.5(psc). 0814 SAGAMON along with SEDERSTROM, FLEMING, TISDALE, EISELE, and JOHN C. BUTLER joined formation. Formed special cruising disposition with circular screen. FULLAM took station 1, (5000). Formation changed course to 030(T) and (pgc); 030(psc). 0820 Formation changed speed to standard speed of 15 knots. 0830 Formation changed course to 205(T) and (pgc); 214(psc). 0905 Formation changed course to 060(T) and (pgc); 059.5(psc) to recover aircraft. 0938. Formation changed course to 150(T) and (pgc) 150, (psc)., 1000 Formation changed course to 060(T) and (pgc); 059(psc), to launch aircraft. l031 Formation changed course to 190(T) and (pgc); 199(psc). 1100 Formation changed course to 060(T) and (pgc); 059.5(psc) to launch aircraft. 1107 Formation changed speed to 12 knots. 1129 Formation changed course to 2l0(T) and (pgc); 220 (psc) and changed speed to 17 knots. GUEST alongside our starboard quarter to pass mail. 1151 Passing completed, GUEST away from alongside. 1159 Fomation changed course to 060(T)and (pgc); 059.5(psc).1l59 Made rqutine inspection of magazines and smokeless powder samples, conditions normal..
W. J. SMITH, Jr, Enisgn, USNR

12 to 16: Steaming as before. 1202 Formation changed speed to 12 knots. 1215 Formation changed course to 240(T) and (pgc); 247.5(psc); changed speed to 17 knots. l24l Formation changed' course to 280(T) and (pgc).282(psc). 1245 Lighted fires under Boilers No.2 and 4. 1259 Formation changed course to 060(T) and (pgc); 059 (psc). 1301 Formation changed speed to 12 knots. 1320 Formation changed course to 050(T) and (pgc); 050(psc). 1334 Formation changed course to 280 (T) and (pgc); 282(psc). formation speed changed to 18 knots. 1340 Let fires die out under Boilers No.2 and 4. 1357 Formation changed course to 050(T) and (pgc); 049(psc). 1358 Formation changed speed to 12 knots. 1403 Formation changed course to 280(T) and (pf.1c); 278(psc). 1404 Formation speed changed to 18 knots. 1457 Formation changed course to 050(T) and (pgc); 048(psc). 1500 Formation changed speed to 12 knots. 1543 Formation changed course to 340(T) and (pgc); 338(psc). Formation speed changed to 15 knots. 1555 Formation changed course to 050(T) and (pgc); 048(psc). Formation speed changed to 12 knots
W. J. MATHEWS, Ensign, USNR.

16 to 20: Steaming as before. 1605 Formation changed course to 340(T) and, (pgc), 336(psc). 1608 Formation changed speed to 15 knots. 1619 Formation changed speed to 12 knots. 1635 Formation changed course to 020(T) and (pgc), 017(psc). 1645 Formation changed course to 200(T) and (pgc); 205(psc). 1655 Formation changed speed to 15 knots. 1703 Formation changed course to 050(T) and (pgc); 047(psc). 1707 Formation changed speed to 12 knots. 1710 Formation changed course to 060(T) and (pgc); 059(psc). 1714 Formation changed course to 200(T) and (pgc); 205 (psc). 1716 Formation changed speed to 14 knots. 1740 Formation changed course to 240(T) and (pgc); 247 (psc). 1756 Formation changed course to 060(T)and (pgc); 059(psc). 1807 Formation changed course to 240(T) and (pgc); 247(psc). 1835 Formation changed course to 060(T) and (pgc); 059 (pac). 1842 Formation changed course to 070(T) and (pgc); 068(psc). 1850 Set Condition of Readiness I for evening alert. 1908 Formation changed course to 140(T) and (pgc); 136(psc). 1916 Formation changed course to 090(T) and (pgc); 087.5(psc). 1923 Formation changed course to 180 (T) and (pgc); 185(psc). 1933 Formation changed course to 270(T) and (pgc); 282(psc). 1946 Formation changed course to 320(T) and (pgc); 320(psc). 1956 Formation changed course to 010(T) and (pgc); 008(psc).
W. J. MATHEWS, Ensign, USNR.

20 to 24: Steaming as before. 2014 Formation changed course to 050(T) and (pgc); 050(psc). 2026 Formation changed course to 060(T) and (pgc); 059.5(psc). Set Condition of Readiness I. 2049 Formation changed course to 100(T) and (pgc); 093(psc). 2055 Formation changed course to 060(T) and (pgc); 059.5(psc). 2110 Formation changed course to 100(T) and (pgc); 098(psc). 2400 Formation changed course to 180(T) and (pgc); 178(T) (pcs)
W.J. MATHEWS, Ensign, USNR.


APPROVED
/S/ G. M. BOYD, Lieut-Comrd, USN

EXAMINED,
W. W. WATKINS,
Lieut, U.S.N.R., NAVIGATOR.


TO BE FORWARDED DIRECT TO THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL AT THE END OF EACH MONTH


Just a reminder, I have copies of the ship's logs for each day from December 1, 1943 through March 31, 1946. I also have the Administrative logs from March 2, 1943, (the ship's commissioning date) through November 30, 1943, but these give little if much daily information. If there is any information you would like from these, just let me know and I will try and obtain it for you.

Again, if you have any memories of your time aboard the 'FULLAM, please jot them down and send them to me for this newsletter. Needless to say, there are times when I am rather hard pressed for items; they would be most appreciated.

Will include Arch Kellems letter in the next newsletter.
P.T.


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