Tin Can Sailors Spotlight History of Hull (DD-945)

(Copyright 2015 Tin Can Sailors, Inc Somerset, MA. Used with permission)


Article scanned and submitted by shipmate Neil Baliber ETN3 '59-'62

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Facts and musings submitted by shipmate Doug Hisey MM2 '71-'74

Hull was scheduled to deploy in June '72 (not April as stated), but
actually deployed in April on short notice in response to the NV offensive. We
were in transit when USS Higbee DD 806 was hit.

The reason that we 'fueled underway from a light cruiser' had more to do with
trying (and failing) to keep pace with two FRAM II destroyers between San Diego
and Pearl Harbor. Fueling from the cruiser before we got to Pearl was an
embarrassment for all concerned (and a learning experience for the new CO and
Engineer). Managing fuel on a Hull class was an art and the figures in the books
were lies... big lies.

Fortunately we were more prudent on the long Pearl to Guam leg; about 19 knots
would get you there with 15% or so remaining. Then we did 25++ knots on the
short leg from Guam to Subic through the San Bernardino straights, and then from
Subic to Nam after the in-chop. Awesome fun!

Hull carried its stern mounted depth charges only as far as Subic in '72 where
they were removed before we proceeded to Nam. This was done at the direct order
of the CO. There was no possibility of using a roll-off depth charge in the
Tonkin Gulf (too shallow) but there was a distinct possibility for a stray round
or incoming to set off one or more of the depth charges in the rack. They were
never replaced... I don't know that we received authorization to remove them,
but considering what had just happened to the Higbee, everybody thought that NOT
having a few of tons of high explosives on the fantail was a very good idea.

Hull's forward gun director was fitted with a Laser Range Finding system for
evaluation late in the '72 cruise. Scuttlebutt was that we received it because
we were the 'top gun' on the line - there was probably some truth to that.
Hull's performance and the 'efficiency' of the crew certainly hit a peak during
the time of CO Quast (later Vice Admiral); hardest I ever worked, most 'fun' I
ever had.

The highlight of the '73 cruise was the rescue of the three survivors of the MV
Marpole on the way home --- the rest of the cruise was of much less significance
than earlier deployments that are not mentioned at all. Many things of note
during '73 were less-than-positive. The space might be better used to highlight
more significant events from the 66-71 timeframe.

The statement that 'several of the [8"] guns were installed on board destroyers
of the new Spruance class' is, to my knowledge, wrong. Hull is the only ship to
carry this gun - ever, so far as I know. (confirmed to be factual)LEC

And what's the deal with the SPS-40 air search radar? Hull carried this very
powerful (and temperamental) unit for about ten or twelve years during her prime
(66?-78?) and may be the only gun destroyer to mount one. I was always curious
as to why we had it, and why they took it off again after it had been installed
for over a decade??  When it was working right it could find a Bear bomber at
200+ miles ... and I got blamed for dirtying up the wave guides more than once
(whatever a waveguide was).