NEWSLETTER Spring 2006 - April 12, 2006
Spring - April 12, 2006
I don't know what the weather is like in your area, but, spring has certainly sprung around here - the trees are blooming, the flowers are coming up, the robins are chirping, and it's great to be alive. However, it has been pretty dry so hoping for some timely moisture.
I finally put together a new mailing list which is included in this letter; if you see any mistakes please let me know. You will note some changes already as Vinnie DiMaio's address has been changed, and, I've added Richard Schwass, the son of Earl Schwass who passed away in 2001. This list totals 93 names of which 73 are shipmates, 8 are widows, 8 are sons or daughters, and 4 are "friends".
Recently, I received some E-mails from the Adairsville, Georgia, Depot museum in regards to Captain Boyd who was a native son and apparently from a family of military people. She advised that his uncle was an aide to General Pershing in WW 1 and I assume several were prominent in the Civil War. Anyway, she would appreciate any comments from us regarding his service as our captain of the FULLAM. Just address them to the Adairsville Depot museum; it's a pretty small town so this address is sufficient.
Max Yergin sent me several pieces of material he had been saving, and, one article was quite interesting. Amazing what you learn after 60 plus years! Here follows this article:
Ten feet from the point of collision on the NOA, the navy disclosed today, was stored five tons of the navy's highest explosive.
The two ships were part of the fleet maneuvering in the early morning preparatory to the initial shore bombardment of Peleliu and Anguar Island. In the blackout, the destroyer's bow struck the NOA's starboard side.
After dawn, when all personnel were accounted for aboard the destroyer, and it appeared that the NOA, lying badly crippled in the water, was not going down, Lieutenant Commander H. Wallace Bond and a salvage party of 30 personnel returned to her. The party put up a heroic but losing fight to save the vessel.
Sometimes, what you are unaware of pays off!
I just finished reading a new book titled, "Clash of the Carriers", by Barrett Tillman; it's sub-title is "The True Story of the MARIANAS TURKEY SHOOT of World War II". Primarily, it is mostly about the carriers and the exploits of their Air Groups but there were some items I should like to quote; you recall we were part of the screen for Task Force 58.7 which consisted of battleshIps and cruisers under the command of Admiral Lee. Here are the ones I picked out:
"Steaming alongside 'SODAK', keeping station at twenty-two knots, was HUDSON, conned by Lieutenant Commander Richard R. Pratt, class of 1936.,When one of the raiders penetrated the outer screen, everybody in range opened fire. Inevitably some of the rounds intended for Japanese aircraft impacted American ships. HUDSON's port 40mm mount took a direct hit, killing two sailors and jamming primary steering. Pratt quickly passed control to the aft steering room, and the veteran' can' maintained station". Perhaps, Bob Ross can fill us in on this event which is certainly new to us.
"In pondering the shambles of the nighttime recovery, HORNET's Captain Bill Sample commented, I have been flying for something over twenty-one years now, and I've never seen such a hectic night before, and hope to never see one again. Our planes were crashing through the barriers almost as rapidly as we could get them repaired and up again; going into the catwalks, and landing in the water around us. Our ships were winding in an out in quest of an elusive wind or picking up survivors, with the urgency of time pressing on us throughout the entire operation, as every minute might mean another plane out of gas and into the water; it was certainly weird, confusing, and most hectic experience". Those of you on deck really had a ringside seat to this!
"Throughout the day, the cockeyed optimists in flag country hoped for a chance to finish off some limping Japanese ships. Even Spruance caught the spirit. At midmorning he directed Lee's battle line to take up the chase, supported by BUNKER HILL and WASP, detached from Montgomery's group. However, Lee could not hope to press ahead with any chance of overhauling some cripples. He needed to refuel his destroyers along the way, a task that consumed most of three hours stretching into early afternoon. At a regulation twelve to fourteen knots, the process only allowed Ozawa -- who had no cripples - to add to his lead". Had things worked out differently, we had a chance to participate in a major surface engagement!
Actually, we were in some pretty good company when you consider that the battleships were the WASHINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA, IOWA, NEW JERSEY, INDIANA, SOUTH DAKOTA, and ALABAMA and the cruisers were the NEW ORLEANS, SAN FRANCISCO, MINNEAPOLIS, and WICHITA. I think we would have come through in good shape.
Bill DiMarco is still planning a Cape Cod mini-reunion this fall and I'll include all the details in my summer letter.
I sincerely hope you all have a great summer!
Your old shipmate,
P.S. I could sure use some memories or other good ideas from you all for this letter; anything would be appreciated.
If you were aboard when the Hudson was hit, I'd appreciate anything about it to inckude it in my next letter. Many Thanks.
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