NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE FILES
Happy New Year!
As I type this, it is the last day of 1999, or, the last day of the 1900's; simpler than getting involved in whether it's the start of a new "millennium" or not. Putting it another way, we can say that we have lived through 75-80% of this century which should be something to be grateful for.--
I got to wondering as to where we were on the nights of December 31, 1943, and December 31, 1944, so I checked the FULLAM logs. On the former we were "Anchored in berth 17, Port Purvis, Florida Island, in 23 fathoms of water with 75 fathoms of chain to the port anchor. BRAINE moored alongside to port, number 4 boiler and number 2 generator in use for auxiliary purposes. Ships present include various units of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and various harbor craft." on the latter we were "Moored starboard side to BENNETT in berth 20-X, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, T.H., with 6 manila lines, 3 parts each, in nest with HYMAN and YOSEMITE. Number 4 boiler and number 2 generator in use for auxiliary purposes. Ships present include various units of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Allied vessels, and small craft." I think the ship was in Bremerton on December 31, 1945, but I was already discharged and at home.
I have some good news and some bad news to report. The good news is that
thanks to Tin Can Sailors and John Barton, respectively, we found two
shipmates. One is Vincent DiMaio, former radarman, and the other is Homer
"Whitey" Iredale, ship's cook - how could we ever forget "Whitey"? Their
The bad news to report is the loss of two shipmates. Dimaio advised that Louis Dion passed away in 1989, and, we learned that Walter Jarosz passed away in 1998. If any of you are aware of the death of other shipmates, please let me know so that I can pass this information on.
I also have an address change for Leo Collins along with congratulations to he and his new bride on their marriage December 5. That's great, Leo, from one who's been there!
Included in this letter, you will find a copy of an "Ode to the FULLAM" that Mike Plessl authored and had it printed with a picture of the ship. It is printed on a light tan cardboard that makes it very suitable for framing; mine is hanging alongside my other FULLAM mementoes and it really adds to them. He is most willing to send-one to any shipmate who so requests plus a small donation to help defray the mailing costs. Mike has dedicated his ode to one of our good shipmates, the late Frank Purdy.
In my last letter I quoted a memory from Garrett Lynch concerning his delivering a injured shipmate named Cressman to the PRESIDENT JACKSON while we were patrolling off Empress Augusta Bay. I looked over the log and here follows this occurrence as reported:
UNITED STATES SHIP USS FULLAM DD474 Tuesday 28 December 1943
Also, as a result of Garrett's memory, I received a poignant letter from Charley Jones. I wrote Charley asking if I could include it in this letter; receiving no response, I hopefully assume it was alright so here follows Charley's letter:
"The last news letter really brought back old memories. The story that Garrett Lynch told was very interesting and detailed. The reason it brought memories is because I caused the accident. Garrett couldn't have known how the accident happened because he wasn't there at the time it actually happened.
We were called to GQ. My battle station was in the #3 5-inch gun as pointer. My job was to get into my seat and lower the barrel as quickly as possible. Just as I started lowering the barrel so the muzzle cover could be taken off, Cressman walked under the barrel and broke his back. Someone yelled at me inside the gun and told me what happened. I jumped out of the gun and told Cressman that I couldn't see him at all and that I was very sorry. He replied, 'Chuck, it wasn't your fault. I wasn't looking when I passed under the gun and it hit my shoulder'.
When they finally took him away with a large lump on his back, I went to the side of the ship and threw-up my last meal overboard. It may not have been my fault, but I sure felt responsible.
Paul, if you ever hear how he turned out, I would be interested to know about it. I have never heard from or seen him since the accident."
If by any chance any of you have heard what eventually happened to Cressman, please let Charley or me know. It was certainly one of those wartime accidents that could have happened to any one of us.
Now for Baton Rouge and a mini-reunion in 2000! I contacted the Holiday Inn South (where we stayed in '94) and have some information regarding rates and the best time. The best rates, $59-63 per night, are available on weekends, and the best weekend next April is the 28-30. The weekend just prior is Easter and the weekends before that are already booked; they do have plenty of space available so far for the 28-30 period. Anyway, let me know your thoughts on this and, if OK, we'll see you then; it's up to those attending to make their own reservation with the motel. Their number is 225-924-7021. I sure would like to see a good number of you.
Meanwhile have a great 2000!
P.S. I received a machine for Christmas that I can use to send and receive
E-mail; nothing else like internet. I have been in contact with several shipmates so it really works great.
Hope to hear from you!
God! We were young; and also quite dumb
Seventeen, eighteen, a few twentyone
Eighty young Sailors in Peacoats and Dress Blues
Huddling alone, rembering our cues.
Salute aft to the Colors, then the OD
Thirty five months we cruised the Pacific
Seven campaigns all blended together
Some of us aged, others did not
The Fullam! The Fullam! Proud Ship of the Line
By Mike Plessl, RM2c, USN (1942-1949)