DD 402 (Benham Class)
We are seeking information on the USS Mayrant and her crews. Files and photos may be emailed to usand we will incorporate them into this page. When enough informationhas been assembled we will then build the ship her own section.
Monday, July 4, 2005
Just found your website. I have a request. The picture of the Mayrant crew -- I would love to get a copy of the file in a higher resolution. My father is the 4th from the right on the second row. The Chief with the hat tipped to the side. My boss is a photo buff and is doing a grouping for me and I would love to us this picture as the backgound. I found your website after trivia day at work. We had a Army LTC retired and we were discussing Dog Tags, I took Dad's in with some other treasures, and they all loved them. I won the oldest award memorabila that day. One of our computer programmers is a retired AF officiers who is also a history nut, He found your website and made me promise I would write to you.
My dad was Chief Heimrick AKA the "Mad Dutchman:" or "Hambone". He was FDR, Jr's blood buddy during conflict in Italy and I have pictures and letters from a ceremony with FDR, Jr, my dad, and the Captain after that event. As I know the story, my dad and FDR, Jr. were the only AB blood types on the ship.
I was Dad's only child and born on his birthday in 1959-- six months before he retired. He kept all of his original paperwork back to ROTC certificates at Ben Harrison in 1937 and 1938. I have all his promotion certificates, training courses, etc. He left them to his only grandson in his Will. I have pictures from his service time of DD402 before and after the damage in Italy. I have tried to put a scrap book together fro all his stuff, actually, 2 books, but some items I have tried to put in order by date, don't seem to fit. Would appreciate some help.Some of it documents are iffy because there are no dates; when there are dates, it is only month and day.... no year. Would be glad to scan and share and would appreciate any help dating them.
A couple of years ago before Dad died we had to convince him he had to move into an assisted living home. During the process of closing up and selling his house, I had the very difficult task of getting rid of a 1921 Breta Machine gun with a Importation permit from the Dept of Treasury date 1946t. Apparently, FDR, Jr. allowed him to bring it home after the invasion of Sicily. Dad left to my grandson in his Will. My son was only 8 years old at the time didn't qualify for a Class III firearms license (ha-ha). We lived in Illinois at the time and they was no way Illinois was gonna let that in the state legally. We sold it someone 100 miles south from where Dad was living in Virginia. The money went into my son's college fund and the buyer is a friend of a friend. We keep in touch and when my son turns 18, he is to visit and see just what "his" machine can do. Fellow that bought it is Retired Army COL and has license for Class II and III firearms and has his own 300 acre farm with his own "range". He took it back to operational.
Dad passed away in Nov of 2002 at 81 years old. He retired from as an Ordiance inspector at Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown in 1971 on disability. The newsletter from Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, VA for Hail and Farewell from his active duty retirement in 1959 gives Dad credit for making chief in 1943 at 21 years old.
I remember all his great stories he told when we were sharing a beer or two or three. I miss him a great deal and wish I would have recorded some of his wild stories. Although outrageous at times, I realize as I get older they had to be true.
Thanks and let me know if I can share any pictures or letters with you.
I have attached a file of a picture of my Dad during his time on the Mayrant. It was a black and white that his mother had colorized.
Jennifer (Jenny) D. Heimrick Jennings
Subject: USS Mayrant (DD-402)
Good to hear from you.
I served on the USS Mayrant from 1943 to 1947 DD-402 I boarded the ship in Oran Africa as it was on its way home from beeing hit by a German Junker 88 500 lb bomb . the story of the ship was written by Quiten Renolds The book was called THE CURTAIN RISES, a story of the action in the Italian campain.
We had Franklin Roosevelt Jr. as our exc officer and Otto Scherini as our Capt. Great guys both , in fact Otto a retired Admiral now is in his 90's now and won the senior Olympics in Florida not to long ago.
I understand the Mayrant survived the Atom bomb tests in the Pacific and was towed to Guam and sunk as a breakwater, what a sad end to such a proud ship, if that is true, The ship survived a mid Atlantic hurricane for three days in waves 90 ft high even though it had a temporary patch on its side from the bomb hit.
I think I have some more history on the ship as we went to the Pacific and ended the war at Okinawa just before the war ended we were in Buckner Bay in Okinawa and we lucked out a jap plane flew over us and torpedoed the battleship Pennsavanina in the stern I hope we can preserve some of the history of that fine ship I owe my life to .
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002
From: Capt. R.A. Jaycox
I would like to ad a side note to my post on the USS Mayrant DD-402 I had thaught for years it was sunk for a breakwall at Guam Over the years I often wondered what realy happened to my old ship So I sent a E-Mail to Kwajaline Island to a high school there just by chance ,the High school had a Dive team run by a retiered Navy Chief ,, He informed me the Mayrant had been in the Atom bomb tests and had survived the blasts ,he also informed me the vessel was towed to kwajaline and test were conducted for radiation ,Later it was towed 3 or 4 miles of the coast and sunk in 11,000 ft of water , A sad fate to a proud ship.
R.A.Jaycox --x Coxswain USN
Contributed by: Capt. R.A. Jaycox
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