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The 60's

Picture History of the 60's

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Operational History

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Combat Naval Gunfire Support File (CONGA), [Fixed-length Version], 3/1966 - 1/1973  A record of Hull's Vietnam Gunfire Support missions

Late winter of 1960 she completed her yard period at Long Beach Naval Shipyard.

On 11 March 1960 Commander W. B. Provost relieved Commander H. H. Ries as commanding officer.

She headed back to San Diego and after Refresher Training she headed for Bremerton, WA in early May for sonar repair and testing.   From 14 May through 11 June she was at the Naval Shipyard, Bremerton with a brief visit to Tacoma, WA.  On 14 June to 16 June she was en route to San Diego.  On 17 June she had a pre-deployment INSERV inspection.  18 June to 6 July a tender availability.

She sailed again for the Far East 7 July 1960. On this cruise, she added hunter-killer group training to regular Formosa Patrol. Hull stopped at various ports in the region before returning to San Diego 26 November 1960.

POD for 16 Apr '61 and OP Schedule for 4th Qtr FY '61 - 1st Qtr FY '62 (click to view)

Compliments of shipmate Nick Dimel SM2 '59-'62

 

Hull Notice 1300 (click to view)

Compliments of shipmate Nick Dimel SM2 '59-'62

The destroyer engaged in readiness exercises during January-August 1961, departing 31 August for another deployment to the strategic Far East. She operated off Formosa and in the South China Sea, expressing American protection of the Southeast Asian countries in the fight against Communism. After fleet operations in Hawaiian waters, she arrived San Diego 14 February 1962.

'61 WestPac Cruise Video Slide Show (Click to View)

Compliments of shipmate Neil Baliber ETN3 '59-'62

Christmas Eve '61 poem by Jim "JP" Pitts IC1 '60-'63 (Click to View)

Photo/patch courtesy of Nick Dimel SM2 '59 -'62.  Banner poem by "JP".

 

Crew Roster 09/30/62 - 10/04/62

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Crew roster courtesy of Carl Decker GMG2 '60 - '64

 

Some ten weeks of mid-winter 1962 was spent serving as the "Engineering Officers Training School" ship.

On 23 March 1962 Commander W. F. Feely relieved Commander W. B. Provost as commanding officer.

In May 1962 Hull participates in fleet exercise Operation Green Light (click to view) Compliments of shipmate Nick Dimel SM2 '59-'62

28 October 1962 - As the introduction of offensive missiles into Cuba precipitated another Cold War crisis, Hull sailed from San Diego to escort US amphibious forces (click to view ship list and video) to the Canal Zone to strengthen American defenses and show her determination to resist any intrusion into the Western Hemisphere. As the crisis abated, again attesting to the power and importance of mobile sea power, Hull returned to her regular operations out of San Diego.

In May of 1963 she sailed from San Diego to San Francisco and served as visit ship for Armed Forces Day. After returning to San Diego she again sailed in June to Portland, OR to participate as one of the several visit ships in the Rose Festival.

She sailed once more for the Far East 17 October 1963, operating out of Subic Bay through December.  She was in Hong Kong when her crew received news of the Kennedy assassination.

In April 1964 she headed for home with the JOHN R. CRAIG (DD-885), and INGERSOLL (DD-652) and finished the year operating along the West Coast with the PREBLE (DLG-15), DENNIS J. BUCKLEY (DD-808), and HANSON (DD832). 

She steamed west again in April 1965 and by June she was in the war zone on screening and  plane guard duty with the BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA-31). Later that month she and the HOEL (DDG-13) left their Tonkin Gulf station and steamed at flank speed for the successful rescue of a pilot from the CORAL SEA (CVA-43) downed off the coast of North Vietnam. In August the HULL’s long-range guns supported troops at Danang and Chulai. The following month she helped rescue a helicopter pilot from the GALVESTON (CLG-13) and soon after was homeward bound with the FLOYD B. PARKS (DD-884), and BRAINE (DD-630).

(Courtesy Tin Can Sailors, Inc.  - Used with Permission)

On 11 Mar 1964 Commander R. C. Tallent relieved Commander W. F. Feely as commanding officer.

Picture compliments of shipmate Roger Majcharzak Lt(jg) '63 - '66

The veteran destroyer returned to San Diego 10 November 1965. Hull departed San Diego 18 January 1966 for the Long Beach Naval Shipyard and an overhaul until 26 April. From 12 to 22 July she participated in Exercise "Belaying Pin" off San Diego.

On 22 Aug 1965 Commander R. E. Weeks  relieved Commander R. C. Tallent as commanding officer.

 

She again left San Diego for Vietnam in August 1966 and assumed flagship duty with  Destroyer Squadron One responding to calls for fire from ground troops in Vietcong territory. In  September, the U.S. Marines at Quang Ngai, and the HULL, HOLDER (DD-819), JOHN R. CRAIG (DD-885), and HMS ST. FRANCIS—the ex-WELLES (DD-257)—were congratulated by General William Westmoreland for their “judicious use of accurate naval gunfire” in a well coordinated and successful operation. She spent most of November through early January 1967 on the gun line. During that patrol, the HULL fought heavy seas as her crew coordinated six helicopters, a flare aircraft, and other rescue craft in the salvage of the tug SAM TAM and evacuation of six men from the vessel it was towing.

(Courtesy Tin Can Sailors, Inc. - Used with Permission)

 

 

Hull Happening Sept '66 - Compliments of shipmate Gary Blanchard BM3 '66 - '70

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On 14 Apr 1967 Commander G. A. Church relieved Commander R.E. Weeks as commanding officer.

POD 16 May 1967 - Compliments of shipmate Gary Blanchard BM3 '66 - '70

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Hull Happening July '67 - Compliments of shipmate Gary Blanchard BM3 '66 - '70

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On 17 August 1967, Hull departed San Diego for a 6 month WestPac deployment. She was the flagship of Commander Task Unit 70.8.9 for three 30-day patrols off South Vietnam. Between patrols, the destroyer visited Kaoshiung, Taiwan; Hong Kong; Chinhae, Korea; and Sasebo, Japan. The third war patrol began 21 December and ended 16 January 1967. Hull returned to San Diego in late January, arriving 11 February, for operations into the fall off the West Coast.

NEW! The following pages are from the 1967 -1968 Cruise Book. 

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Hull Happening Oct '67 - Compliments of shipmate Gary Blanchard BM3 '66 - '70

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Hull Happening Dec '67 - Compliments of shipmate Gary Blanchard BM3 '66 - '70

 

On 19 January 1968 the veteran destroyer began her third and most recent Vietnam deployment. Conducting shore bombardment missions along the south coast and in the Demilitarized Zone, Hull poured over 25,000 rounds of five-inch ammunition into enemy strongholds and destroyed or damaged over 220 structures and bunkers. On seven occasions North Vietnamese gunners in the DMZ took her under fire, but in each instance she managed to escape damage while directing a barrage of her own fire at the attacking batteries. As a result of her performance during this deployment, the ship was awarded the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation. The Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation was instituted in 1967 and awarded to Navy/Marine Corps units for valorous actions or meritorious achievement (combat or non-combat).

 

Hull Mentioned In Vigilance Magazine Mar 1968 - Compliments of Gary Blanchard BM3 '66 - '70

 

Hull Newspaper  12 Dec 1968 Compliments of Gary Blanchard BM3 '66 - '70

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Hull Happenings - Compliments of shipmate Doug Harder, FTG2 '65-'70  (click thumbnails to view)

News releases 19 Feb - 6 May 1968 (click to view) Compliments of shipmate Doug Harder, FTG2 '65-'70 

 

The following calendar of events, Feb '68 to Jul '68  is compliments of shipmate Doug Harder, FTG2 '65-'70 (click thumbnails to view)

 

On 02 May 1969 Commander F. N. Hannegan  relieved Commander G. A. Church as commanding officer. (click to view)

Booklet compliments of shipmate Gary Blanchard BM3 '66 - '70

 

By September 1969 she was back on the gun line, supporting U.S. Marines and Korean units in the Nha Trang area. Plane guard duty on Yankee Station with the CONSTELLATION (CVA-64) in 1969, a return to the Tonkin Gulf with the MANSFIELD (DD-728) and OSBORNE (DD-846) in 1970, and a stint of search and rescue duty with the STERETT (DLG-31) ended her Vietnam tour. She was relieved by the DEHAVEN (DD-727) and proceeded to Okinawa with the CORAL SEA (CVS-43), HOLLISTER (DD-788), and TUCKER (DD-875) before returning to San Diego.

(Courtesy Tin Can Sailors, Inc.  -  Used with Permission)

 

Hull Happening Nov '69 - Compliments of shipmate Gary Blanchard BM3 '66 - '70

(click thumbnails to view)

 

08 Dec 1969 HC-7 Rescue Log/see page 3 - Two Hull crew members, Couch and Haley, washed overboard along with frozen meat boxes and rescued thanks to sharpshooters keeping the sharks away. Gary recounts- I was 3rd person washed overboard but got hung up on the life line by the back of my lifejacket and was pulled back up by some of the guys in the working party.

Compliments of Gary Blanchard BM3 '66 - '70

 

 

Crew Stories and Accounts

 

Duty Off Vietnam/Hull Happenings Jan 68 - Jun 68 (click to view) An account of duty off Vietnam from 28 Aug 1965 to 13 Oct 1969. Note: May issue of Hull Happenings is missing.

Compliments of Doug Harder FTG2 '65 - '70

 


 

Lt (jg) Roger Majchrzak '63 - '66 remembers the rescue of a downed pilot from Coral Sea (CVA-43)

One story I want to share was that I was the officer in the whaleboat that picked up the pilot from the Coral Sea. There was 3-4 enlisted men with me and we were proud that we had beaten the Hoel's boat to the pilot. We had to deliver him to the Hoel because there was a doctor on board, but he appeared to be ok.

Needless to say, there was a joyous lunch in the wardroom a hour later. Half way thru, the captain gets a call from the bridge asking permission to slow to 5 knots. My bosun mates are hanging over the side of the bridge, painting in red a  symbol of a person hanging from a parachute!

 


 

 

Anecdotal Stories  (Caution - Usually told through the fog of time, perhaps a beer or two, and sometimes graciously embellished) Please, no tales intended to humiliate.

 

Where's the boom? - A story from Lt. Ken Holtel -'61 -'64

 

I do recall one time we were out shooting at aircraft towed sleeve targets and we had gone through the whole drill of reports to the bridge:  (I think Ferg Feely was the skipper and Irv Goto was the Gun Boss.)

    

    - "Director 51 locked-on and tracking" 

 

    -"Mt. 51 air action port"

 

    -"Mt. 51 check-site observer : "Mt. 51 tracking, target in site, target area clear"

 

    -"CO to Gun Boss located above the bridge in gun control "COMMENCE FIRING." 

 

    - Gun boss to mount: "Mt. 51 COMMENCE FIRING."

 

ABSOLUTE SILENCE, NOTHING HAPPENED!

 

AFTER SEVERAL GO-AROUNDS OF THE TRACTOR AIRCRAFT TOWING THE SLEEVE AND REPEATS OF NOTHING HAPPENING THE CO LOOKED UP AT IRV GOTO AND SAID IN DISGUST:  "Mr. Goto, next time I say commence firing I want to hear a big boo****om."

 

The tractor aircraft went around again and the same sequence as before and after the CO said "Commence firing" there were a few seconds of dead silence and then Irv Goto leaned over the gun-control splinter shield above the bridge and said to the CO on the bridge below in a rather sheepish voice, "boo***om."

 

Usually tractor aircraft did not like towing sleeves for us because with the rapid fire 5"/54s we shot a lot of sleeves out of the air necessitating the tractor aircraft to pull in the cable and attach another sleeve, a time consuming process that took a lot of work.  This day however, Mt. 51 was a bit non-cooperative.

 

The Crocodile Hunter - A story from Lt. Ken Holtel -'61 -'64

Ken recalls from Hull's escort duty to the 'canal' during the Cuban Missile Crisis : "I do remember a couple of MMs snuck on board two baby alligators and put them in the forward engine room bilge.  We only found one who was freed at sea after we left the canal.  Never found the other." 


Ken Kirksey SOG3  '62 - '64 Remembers....

Lou,  I've joined the Hull Association. After seeing that Cmdr  Feely (Capt. of the Hull, when I was a sonarman 3rd. in '63.) was a member, I had to send in this true and wonderful cherished memory of Capt. Feely and the assignment he sent me on personally.  While in Subic Bay in '63, I was at morning muster, when our Chief (Belville) said, "Kirksey, the Captain wants to see you now in his quarters!" The whole sonar gang looked at me all wondering what in the world had I done?  So, off I went up to his cabin.  After a nervous knock on the door, I heard "come in!" Entering there was Captain Feely just putting on his pants!  He said, "Oh Its you Kirksey...Kirksey I want you to take my gig over to the USS Oklahoma City, and you report to the Flag Admiral ."(I don't remember who Capt. Feely said the Admiral was, may have been COMCRUDESPAC?) .  " He needs a plaque painted for the front of his staff car."  This was a license looking plate that I had to letter and paint with all his information and gold stars, etc. on it.  Well, the ride across the bay was great.  I can still see the Chief on the Quarter Deck of  the Oklahoma City looking at me and the gig, wondering if he should pipe, "Hull arriving!" I reported to the Admiral, got my assignment.  The XO made sure I had all the artist brushes, paints, etc. that I needed.  Completing the job, I presented the plate to the Admiral.  He said,  "Kirksey, go back and tell your Captain that I am very well pleased!" After telling Capt. Feely the good news, he told me we were going to Hong Kong the following week and that while there, I was to have Liberty all day, every day during our stay!  Needless to say...I did!  Thank you again, Captain Feely.  Ken Kirksey.

Lou,  Thanks for the news about Capt. Feely.  Maybe he can remember the Admiral and verify the Flag ship?  I'm pretty sure it was the Oklahoma City.  I believe that visit to Hong Kong was the one when we got word that President Kennedy had been assassinated.  I remember seeing it in the "plan of the day" sheet on the Quarter Deck one morning.  Seems like we all had to muster for special instructions on how to handle ourselves on liberty if asked about it. Sure enough that night in a bar, I remember this girl began hitting on me repeatedly saying..."You crazy boysan, why you kill your President?" That still sticks in my mind today just like it was yesterday!
On a happier note, who can forget the Hull's "cruise" to Portland Oregon for the Rose Festival. That had to have been early '63?   On the way up, I believe the Columbia River girls were holding up large cardboard signs with their names and phone numbers on them.  They were on bridges we went under and on the banks and piers also!  Sweet memories!!  Then there was the time the Hull was going to be "open house ship" in San Francisco, and we "rubbed" the pier pretty hard coming in as the civilian spectators watched!  How about the time the Hull backed over a buoy chain trying to moor in the bay in Kaoshiung. The ship had a bad vibration on the way back to Yokosuka for repairs.  Lou, use what you want for printing.  You may not want the bad times, I don't know?  Thanks again!  Ken.


A NOTE FROM SHIPMATE PHIL ABRAMSON GMG3  '64-'66

We were in the yard in Long Beach in early 66 and I had stood by for GMG2 Philips as Duty GM. We were using one of the ammo mags to store the small arms from the wardroom gun locker because it was being painted.  One of our non-rated men was being kept on board for not doing his work, I don't remember his name. I am pretty sure that it was a Friday night.

We were using the base mess hall for all our meals. I broke out the M-1 and put it into Mt 53 for the stern watch, and went to chow. I believe GMG1 Burton was with me. From there we went to the club. By the time we go back to the ship I was feeling no pain. I hit my rack as soon as we got back.

I slept in the next morning. I guess it was about 1100 when we had a repel boarders drill. I went to break out the weapons and the lock had been cut. The drill was put on hold but the brow was kept secure.

Our restricted non-rated man had stolen two .45 cal pistols and 2 survival knives. NCIS and Naval Intelligence investigated and found him and the weapons in town shacked up with a couple of young girls.

He got 6, 6 and a kick. After his trial they went after me. One count of UA, Two counts of dereliction of duty (leaving the M-1 in Mt 53, and not locking it up in the morning) and I'm not sure what else. Because I had been busted before, the Capt said "And you'll stay a seaman" when he busted me again.

I got out several months later and joined the reserves. I made GMG1 but was not able to make chief. I switched to the Army Reserve and made E7 18 months later.and retired in Jan. 84.

Phil 

MAAPBA@aol.com

 

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