+14 Hudson History Page 4
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USS HUDSON DD475
HISTORY PAGE #4

Thanks to Thomas F. Reilly, Philadelphia PA for the following HUDSON HISTORY.

Page 4
WORLD WAR II - USS HUDSON DD475 continued.....

Guam has a fine harbor at Apra which our submarines were now using for refitting after their war patrols, instead of making the long trek back to Pearl Harbor. The entire ship's company would leave the sub when she returned from patrol and another would supervise the overhaul while alongside a sub tender. The crew from patrol would move enmass to Camp Dealey, on the eastern side of the island, for rest and rehabilitation. Dealey had a number of quonsett huts at the water's edge, and a great swimming hole inside the reefs, which had been made by using explosives. Officers and men had their own retreats and this wonderful change in living did a lot to keep our submariners from going to pieces. The destroyers, and we pickets in particular, didn't have this type of facility but I was invited by some of my submariner friends for a memorable weekend at Camp Dealey. About eight of the submarines were about to make a deployment into the Yellow Sea, the first of its kind and one fraught with all kinds of hazards, so there were no holds barred.

In June of 145, a severe typhoon hit one our Task Forces in the vicinity of the Philippines. Three destroyers were lost, all low on fuel and unable to replenish due to weather. They had deballasted all salt water from their tanks in order to refuel and were consequently in a top heavy condition. Unfortunately there was a very heavy loss of life. After this typhoon, a carrier came into Apra with excessive damage to her flight deck. The cruiser Pittsburg also entered minus her bow. A tug had gone to sea and returned, towing the hundred odd feet of bow, which she referred to on the voice radio as a "suburb of Pittsburg!"

Our periods in port were great opportunities to see old friends and listen to their sea stories. In Guam I ran into an old shipmate from my first ship, the cruiser Chester, named Shady Gober, the center gun captain of my turret and coxswain while I was his division officer. Shady in those Chester days never left the ship and never wore shoes, except for inspections; his toes were tattooed and he had a rooster tattooed on one heel; the rooster was supposed to be insurance against drowning. He was typical of the old timers the Navy had before the war. His uniform was always spotless and he wore his white hat, no baseball caps then, down on the level with his eye brows. I haven't seen too many of his type in recent years, I'm sorry to say. Shady invited me to dinner in the tremendous CPO club which had about two hundred members of which he was the senior Chief Petty Officer. He gave me a few cats eyes he had found on the beach and we had a great time reminiscing. We had put an "Ell on my turret when Shady was cracking the whip on the center gun. While in Hawaii I think the choice comment attributed to Shady was that he wanted to go back to the States where a "lei was a lay"!

After repairs were completed in Guam we never returned to picket duty. Now it was midJune of 145 and we had control of the air. We made one trip to Eniwetok with Fullam, the squadron flagship, Commodore Joe Daniels embarked. Daniels loved to fish as much as I and it was interesting Hudson was usually assigned an anchorage berth next to the flagship. Very frequently, as soon as we anchored, Joe would head our way in his Gig and pick me up for a fishing trip along one of the coral rimmed lagoons in the many deserted atolls we used during the war. One day he needed a hasp for securing the heavy wire leader to his line and I provided what he required, but mine was a bit old and rusty. However, he reluctantly used it, and then proceeded to hook a tremendous fish which he played for quite a while before he lost it. Imagine my chagrin when we found out that the hasp I had provided had given away. I could have crawled under the floor boards, I was so embarrassed.

It was in early July while in Ulithi, one of the largest atolls used by our Navy during the war, that Hudson went alongside an anchored oiler to refuel. While backing away, the communications messenger came running to me with a dispatch telling me of Pam's early arrival. She was expected in about three weeks. I was amazed, continued backing and came within a short distance of hitting a ship astern. The boatswains mate of the watch, an old timer and 11plankowner" was one of the best men aboard but not the most astute. When he digested the fact that the Captain had a brand new daughter the wheels began to grind as he was mentally counting the months back to our overhaul in San Francisco. He said, "Gee, Captain, you certainly didn't waste any time, did you."

Later in August, I was to be relieved by Ray Zoeller, in the class of 139. The squadron was in Eniwetok when he arrived. I had been out with Doug Syverson for a day in his submarine. While aboard we learned of the first atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima. I was relieved in August and flew back via Pearl Harbor to San Francisco. Meantime, the second bomb had been dropped on Nagasaki. Our plane was over San Francisco when we had the word t he Japanese had surrendered.

You have heard the stories of how wild San Francisco was on VJ day and I believe much of what you heard is true. I stayed at the Clift Hotel and called the Bureau of Personnel asking for my orders, which came in about a week. I was being ordered to the Naval Academy after thirty days leave. I then flew East from San Francisco.

THE END


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