DE 667 (Buckley Class)
Builder: Dravo, Pittsburg
Laid Down: July 26, 1943
Launched: November 6, 1943
Commissioned: April 4, 1944
Fate: Stricken April 15, 1973
We are seeking information on the USS Wiseman and her crews. Files
and photos may be emailed to us
and we will incorporate them into this page. When enough information
has been assembled we will then build the ship her own section.
Subject: USS Wiseman DE667
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000
Mark, I am trying to locate a contact source for the USS Wiseman, DE 667
Buckley Class, I served as a Radarman 2nd Class from 11/50 to 8/53. I am
trying to find a source to see if a site is set up and if reunions have been
had etc. Your help and response would be appreciated.
Duane P Davis
402 Knob Hill Drive
Bristol, TN 37620
Subject: USS WISEMAN DE667
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999
John E. Schmalz
To: Destroyers Online / Mark Roberts
I severed on the USS WISEMAN DE667, A Buckley Class Escort, From Sept. 1951 to
Feb. 1955. I want to find an e-mail contact for anyone handling the WISEMAN or
any and all contacts.
Thank you for your kind attention to this request.
John E. Schmalz
Subject: info on USS Wiseman DE667
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997
From: robert dawson email@example.com
My father was stationed on the Wiseman from Nov. 1943 till
Nov. 1945. He has a diary of events that occurred during his stay. He also
has yearly get-to-geathers with some of his ship mates who are still
around. Is there an address I might have to mail this information and
some photos to you. Also could you tell me when and if the Wiseman page
might be done, it is on the list of ships to be detailed.
Thank you,anything you can send me back
will be a blessing.
DIARY OF GEORGE R. DAWSON FC1/c
FOR THE YEARS 21 JAN 43 thru 17 NOV 45
U.S. NAVY WORLD WAR II
Would like to thank FRANK FRAZITTA EM/2c for permitting me to use his notes that
I used along with mine to compose this Diary.
I enlisted in the U.S. NAVY in November1942 and arrived at U.S. NAVEL TRAINING
STATION AT GREAT LAKES on 21 Jan 1943 for twelve week Recruit Training (Boot Camp).
After graduation I was promoted to SEAMAN 2/c and was enrolled in the FIRECONTROL
SCHOOL at Great Lakes for 16 weeks of intensified training which included
Ship to air firing,Ship to shore firing,Ship to ship firing,etc. Upon graduation
was transferred to San Diego for twelve weeks of specialized training at the
FIRECONTROL TECHNICIAN SERVICE SCHOOL at the U.S. Navy Repair Base. Graduated
with a FC3/c rate.
Attached to USS WISEMAN (DE667) at the Destroyer Escort Training School in
Norfolk Va. and Virginia Beach. On completion we were transferred to our ship
in New Orleans,La.
Went on board the USS WISEMAN, which was just being completed by the shipyard
workers. I started checking all of our FIRECONTROL Circuits for shorts or grounds.
Made sure all guns reacted to the instruments properly. December through March,
1944 Made many trial runs up and down the Mississippi. Checked our Engines and
finally went into the Gulf of Mexico for speed trials.
Our ship was officially Commissioned into the U.S. NAVY with elaborate ceremonies.
The District Admiral was there along with the ship builders. The U.S. NAVY BAND
played. Good deal. The following weeks were spent loading up with supplies and
ammunition plus final construction checks. We then left for our trip to Bermuda
for shakedown cruise. We practiced all types of maneuvers,refueling,fireing
our guns,torpedo runs,shelling shore targets and airplane sleeves.
Left Bermuda for good old USA and Boston. Checked to see if our ship could take
a constant high speed run. We increased to 28 knots. No problem.
Arrived Boston Navy Yard. Workers came on board to correct any damages or new
changes that may have occurred while on shakedown. Installed new equipment and
repaired some of the Firecontrol Equipment. Remove Torpedo Tubes off of Boat Deck.
May 23, 1944
Loaded ammunition, refueled and shove off at 3:30AM and proceeded to rendezvous
at sea with Task Force 64 at a spot off the coast of Norfolk. This was a Convoy
bound from USA to the Mediterranean area.
May 29, 1944
Dick Dawson's birthday. Went to General Quarters when we detected a submarine
with our underwater sound gear. We called in for additional help and must have
chased it away for the time being. There was no damage to the rest of the Convoy.
We saw land this morning for the first time since we left Boston.It turned out to
be the Straits of Gibraltar, and Spain, which was on our left and the shores of
Africa was on our right. Naturally we saw the "Rock of Gibraltar" which was owned
by the British. Also this day turned out to be "D" day for the invasion of
Normandy, French. We then hugged the coast line of Africa to cut down the amount
of attacks from the Germans and Italians.
Arrive at Karouba and Bizerte, Africa, left the convoy of ships and anchored in
We had liberty on shore. I hitched a ride to Bizerte which was a mass of ruins.
The Red Cross Bldg was open and we got a cup of coffee and a doughnut for 5
francs (10 cents). Could not figure out why we had to pay for anything ina Red
Cross Bldg? From Bizerte we hitched a ride to Ferrysville which was about 22 miles
away. Most of the people were very poor and money ment nothing to them. They would
rather trade for our mattress cover,cigarettes,combs,etc.
Went to Tunis, Tunisia which was about 67 miles from Karouba. Population was about
22,000 or so. The place was a strange war torn city. It could be compared to a
city in the USA back around the 1800's. Very filthy place to live in. Children
ran around barefoot and in rags, some naked. I do not believe that the majority
of the people took no baths or washed. Most of the people had crud, dirt and grime
built up on their skin so that it became part of their skin. Much Black market
here. I sold a pack of cigarettes for 40 francs (80 cents) and in turn they sold
it to another person for much more. Will always remember the old buggy seats and
the famous (of infamous) CASBA. Also how the barbers cut your hair only with a
straight razor. When the French made love in the city they would just back off
of the sidewalk five to ten feet, and just made love. Riley and I went to a
Frenchman's house, which was very large, for a chicken dinner for 50 cents. We
did not know this but after having a meal at a Frenchman's house they were suppose
to furnish you with their daughter. In this case a 15 year old came walking out.
Boy the Germans were sort of mean.
June 16-20, 1944
For some reason I pulled down Shore Patrol duty again in Bazerte. This was some
experience. Was with a British MP patrolling a section of downtown. We were
involved in arresting many military and civilian personnel. Had to shoot some
Arabs who were slicing up one of our sailors. Also kept military personnel from
going into houses of ill repute. These were off limits plus were loaded with
sexual disease. This part was tough because you got into many fights and arrests.
Shipped out of Bizerte and took a large Convoy back to USA.
July 8, 1944
As we approached USA we split the Convoy up into two sections. We took our section
into Norfolk and then proceeded to New York.
July 10, 1944
Sighted land and it was good old New York. Anchored out in the Bay and unloaded
our ammunition before proceeding into Dry Dock. This was standard procedure -
they do not allow a ship in Dry Dock with ammunition aboard.
July 11, 1944
Went into Brooklyn Navy yard for repairs and supplies. Replaced our 1.1 mm Guns
on the boat deck with 40mm Guns. Installed special communication equipment for
monitoring German U-boat transmissions. Made some changes on my Firecontrol
Took liberty into New York City with Chief Wray Johnson and two other Chiefs.
Had a good time. Stayed sober as usual.
July 21, 1944
Shoved off and sailed up to Casco Bay, Maine. Beautiful Country.
July 24, 1944
Went out to sea for maneuvers, gun firing practice and refueling procedures
July 27-29, 1944
Took liberty into Portland, Maine Very lovely place. Very high prices.
July 30, 1944
Left Portland for Norfolk, Va.
July 31, 1944
Arrived in Norfolk, Va. Place has not changed much. Strictly a Navy town- No
August 2, 1944
Left Norfolk, Va. and went to sea to pick up a large Convoy to escort to the
European Theater of operations.
August 10-23, 1944
Still underway and thistrip kept us busy with runs on German Suds. Was in general
quarters for long periods of time. Not much sleep. During one night had a sub
contact and received orders to fire our K guns while we were making a sharp right
angle turn. If we would have fired them there would have been one less ship sailing
and I would not be typing this, for we would have been blown sky high. Fortunately
the man in charge of the depth charges did not respond. Two days later we were
having a GQ drill and had a sub contact at the same time. We fired quite a few
depth charges but did not score.
August 22, 1944
Took Convoy into Bizerte, Africa and anchored outside the city. Most of out troops
were heading for Sicily, Italy or southern Franch. Guess who pulled Shore Patrol
Duty the first day in? Me!
August 25, 1944
Left for USA with a Convoy and when we reached the Atlantic we had many sub
contacts until we got closer to Boston. No kills.
September 19, 1944
Arrived in Boston safe and sound.
September 20 to October 5, 1944
Ship went into Dry-dock and underwent many repairs and mechanical changes.
Edna came up to Boston to be with me while this was going on. Obtained
permission to stay ashore with her. Stayed at the Minerva Hotel which was
close to the Boston Commons,I think.
October 5, 1944
Left for Portland, Main for sub maneuvers.
October 8, 1944
Left Portland for Norfolk, Va.
October 12, 1944
Arrived Norfolk Navy Yard.
October 13, 1944
Left Norfolk and picked up another large Convoy to escort overseas.
October 15, 1944
Had many sub contacts which subsided when we reached the Straits.
November 2, 1944
Dropped off Convoy at Bizerte again.
Left Bizerte, Africa and sailed to Palermo, Sicily. It took about 7 hours. Passed
the Island of Malta plus other smaller islands. Arrived there and tied up to a
local bombed out Dock behind a large British Cruiser. The town was really shelled.
General Patton went through here like a dose of salts. He did one heck of a job.
When we went on liberty in town the residents had small children steal articles
such as money belts, rings, watches, etc. from us while we were walking along the
sidewalk. The people were starved. They were even killing some of us to get our
money belt. It was so bad that after every meal we would put our garbage cans out
on the dock.In one of them we would put out garbage from our main meal and the
other can we put our desert garbage. The townspeople would line up for miles and
they would be allowed one handful a piece out of each can.
November 6, 1944
Left Palermo, Sicily to pick up a large convoy and escort them back to the states.
We sailed passed the Azores and were somewhere between them and Bermuda, when we
ran into a vicious hurricane. We ordered the Convoy to disperse so that they would
not collide with each other during the storm. We were about out of fuel during the
first part of the storm and called for a Navy tankerto refuel us using the rear
approach. We could not refuel side by side because of the fear of being thrown
together. In this method the tanker would drop a fuel line off the rear with
floats attached. We the approached and fished for it from our bow using grappling
hooks. The men had to be tied down to the various sections of the bow so they
would not be washed overboard. We finally took on enough fuel to permit us to
get into the eye of it. We then refueled normally (side by side). After this
the hurricane picked up again. It was so strong that it put a hole in the bottom
of the ship. "Right were we stored our Beer". (Tough luck). I was on the wheel at
the time of this storm and it was no fun trying to steer the ship. Many times iI
would be picked up in mid air and thrown down. The ship would drop off a 40 foot
wave and also was rolling 180 degrees from side to side. After the storm we
regrouped the Convoy and headed them back toward the USA. I think there were
only about 60 or 70 ships left. We spent Thanksgiving after this but most of
the food was gone. When we were half way from Bermuda to the USA we were detached
and we were sent to the US Navy Yard at Charleston, S.C. On the way back we sailed
passed Cape Hatters which is always rough due to shallow waters.
December 1, 1944
Arrived at the Navy base in Charleston,S.C. and went into Dry-dock for repairs.
While in Dry-dock the Navy decided to convert our ship into a combination
FIGHTING SHIP AND ELECTRIC POWER SHIP We were the first one in the history of
the Navy. We were also told that we were heading for the Pacific War Theater of
Operations to fight the Japs. Lots of long faces. But we were able to go homeon
leave for twelve days. Wonderful! While we were on leave they changed our
generators so they could put out higher voltages for shore installations.
Also they installed two large reels of wire so they could be played out into
the water. We tested our new equipment by sailing up the river to the cites
Electric Power Plant. We then floated our cable over to the plant and for a
short time, we supplied Electric Power to the City. It worked!
Left the US Navy Base at Charleston to sail toward the Pacific.
January 12, 1945
Passed by Palm Beach and Miami, Florida onour way to the Gulf of Mexico.
January 13, 1945
Passed by Cuba.
January 14, 1945
Now in Caribbean Sea.
January 16, 1945
Arrived at Balboa, Panama Canal Zone, and passed through the Cannel and stopped
overnight in Panama. I was one of the few who was allowed to go ashore. Guess
what ! As patrol person from our ship. Wow! the town was wide open. Had a scary
time trying to keep G.I's from going into a four story apt of ill repute. The
place was loaded with various diseases.
January 17, 1945
Left Panama, sailed into the Pacific Ocean and hugged the coast of Central America
sailing North to San Diego.
January 19, 1945
January 21, 1945
Sailed off the coast of Mexico.
January 25, 1945
Arrived at San Diego Navel Base in California. Had liberty and visited my wife's
Aunt with a Sea Bag full of laundry. What a Heel I was! She was wonderful and
washed it all for me. the next day went to Tijuana, Mexico. What a town! Had
some Tequila to drink which is a Mexican Cactus juice drink. - That stuff would
clean out pipes.
January 27, 1945
Left San Diego for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Arrived Pearl Harbor Navy Base, Hawaii.The Japs did a lot of damage to the Navel
Installations. Sunken ships were still waiting to be salvaged. Had liberty in
Honolulu and saw everything there including the Royal Hawaiian Hotel."painted
pink". The baches were covered with barbed wire. Also went shopping and bought
my wife a hula skirt made out of grass!!!!!plus some other things for her. Did
not have to do shore patrol duty.
February 6-9, 1945
Since fighting the Japs was an altogether different type of warfare to learn. We
went to sea to practice firing on robot planes and sleeves,shelled some shore
February 10-28, 1945
Practiced fighting with submarines and backed up Aircraft Carriers when pilots
missed the flight deck when landing.
March 1, 1945
Was called back to Pearl Harbor for special Secret Orders.
March 2, 1945
Left Pearl Harbor for Eniwetox Atoll in the Marshall Island Group, South Pacific.
March 5 1945
Crossed the 180th Meridian at 1820 hours and we are now qualified as a "Golden
March 7 1945
Arrived Eniwetox in the Marshall Island group. These islands were crescent shaoed
and in the center of the group was an excellent place for from 50 to 100 ships to
anchor protected from the large waves of the Pacific ocean. We made some repairs
to our ship, took on supplies and refueled.
March 10, 1945
Left Eniwetox and sailed for Ulithi Islands in the Carolina Islands Group. We
escorted a small Convoy. Wepassed close to Truk Island, which was jap held. Later
we heard a broadcast from jap held Yap island that that we were bombing Truk
March 12, 1945
Arrived at Ulithi Islands in the Carolina Island group. There was a large task
force with approx. 5 to 6 Carriers, Cruisers, Battleships, Destroyers, Destroyer
Escorts, Troop Ships Supply ships, Tankers, etc- etc. They were going to attack
another part of the Philippines.
March 14 or ?, 1945
Left Ulithi and sailed for Leyte, Philippines where General McArthur landed. The
place was loaded with ships, Troop concentrations, etc. We stayed 4 or 5 days
until we received orders to head for Manila which was now under attack by our
forces. We had to cruise through narrow channels in which both sides were lined
with Japs. We stayed in "General Quarters" day and night. Wesailed south of Leyte
and north to Mindanao Island, passed by the islands of Cebu and Negros. On the
way we passed over the DEEPEST WATERS IN THE WORLD. We then sailed through Subic
Bay and into the China sea. Had to pass between Batton and Corregidor. We then
went into Manila Bay. There we found over 100 ships sunk all around us with japs
hiding in each one. Manila was still under attack. We waited about a week and
sneaked into what was left of Pier #1, manila.
April 6, 1945
The concrete pier was a shambles. The holes were so large that we had to use
2x12x20 planks to cross over them to get to shore. All of the other piers were
April 7-13, 1945
There were a lot of dead Jap laying around on shore and on sunken ships. The
stench was terrible. The Army had no time to bury them because they were to
busy fighting the Japs. The Filipinos are very friendly to us and they were
very willing and hard-working people. We encountered quite a challenge running
our Electric Cables from our ship to shore. We had to keep guns with us to keep
the japs from destroying our Cable. One was killed and another wounded trying to
defuse a jap land mine which was installed near our ship. We also caught two japs
working on our Power Lines disguised as Filipinos and working along with them. Of
course they did not live long. The Army guarding their "Step Down Transformer"
had to kill about 23 japs and capture four. All of them had Hand Grenades and
were attempting to destroy the transformer along with McArthur's Headquarters
which was nearby. During the nights the japs weretrying to attach underwater
mines to the hull of our ship. This kept us busy during the night to. After all,
we were going to supply vital electric power to key points in and around the city.
We finally connected our Power lines to the Army lines at a pole on shore. After
inspections by the Army Engineers, our Engineering Officer, Lt. Boger, and our
Chief Electrician Chief Barrett-- We paralleled our generators with a small power
plant in the city and supplied it with 13,000 Volts.
April 13, 1945
On this day "NAVEL HISTORY WAS MADE" in that it was the first time Electrical
Power had floated ashore from a Navy Fighting Ship designed specifically for
June 14 to November, 1945
When we first went on liberty, you had to take your pistol with you because the
japs were all over the place. We found Banks that had been bombed out and inside
we found there was Jap invasion Currency. Here is something funny--- much of the
Invasion currency was not only for the Philippines but for many other British
and American held Islands. And the best of this was--- they had Invasion currency
for "America" . They certainly were sure of themselves? There were some small
and dingy bars and restaurants and you had to watch out for poison drinks and
food. Naturally I drank some drinks that turned out to be "Wood Alcohol" and they
rushed me to the Army hospital and then back to the ship and was laid up for a
week. Black market flourishes everywhere. Many G.I's received 60 cents for a
pack of cigarettes, five dollars pens went for fifteen dollars. While here we
heard that Germany surrendered. We were happy but knew we had a job beating the
Japs. Had to go into the hospital again for an infection in both arm pits. They
use the new drug Penicillin. Cleared it up in no time. We heard that Luzon and
Mindanao is pretty well cleared up and Okinawa has fallen. Aussies invaded Borneo.
One day we heard that there was a big bomb dropped on Japan. This was the beginning
of the end for the japs. GOOD NEWS FOR US. Then on the great day of August 15,
1945 Japan surrendered. All night bells rang, horns blew, sirens screamed and
flares were shot up. We then started to go over our ship and get ready for new
men that would come on board to replace us. Happy-Happy. Won't be long now.
November 2, 1945
This was a great day. All men with required points could go home in 25 days. I
had enough points so I was eligible.
November 4, 1945
Our personnel Records were made up but we were told that we would have to wait
for replacements. That held me up.
November 7, 1945
Took some time out and visited various sites in and around Manila and said
goodbye to various friends.
November 11, 1945
Out of the clear blue some of us were told to get ready to leave the next day.
HAPPY DAY! We hated to leave our shipmates after being with them so long. When
you depend on each other for your life you become very close friends. Very
tearful farewells. The next day we climbed into our small power boat and went
out into the bay and boarded an APA ship which was heading home. It had one
engine shot out but we did not care-- lets go! We took a million years to
reach near San Francisco. We could not land due to overcrowded docks. We
were directed to go to Portland, Oregon. After another million days we
arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River and started up the river to Portland.
We arrived there and headed for the docks. The river current was very swift so we
took a pilot aboard to take us into the dock. He literally did just that. On the
dock were Red Cross girls, Navy Band, the Mayor, girls, celebrities, big welcome
home signs, etc. etc. So what do you think that we did? We headed toward the dock
and the Pilot misjudged the current of the river and we sailed head on into the
dock. The big Overhead Straddle Cranes took off down the Pier along with the Red
Cross, the girls, the Mayor, the Navy Band, etc. We hit the Dock right in the
middle and did we ever stop. This is one way to get HOME! Stayed in the Navy
barracks for one week and took a train for Toledo, Ohio for discharge. I was
put in charge of a large group of men going home. Now some of these men had
been prisoners of War for four or five years. All these men were in one railroad
car. As we traveled across the country we had to stop in small towns for coal,
etc. Sometimes our car would be straddled in the center of a main street.
Pedestrians would have to walk through our car to go from point A to point
B. Now there were stores in these towns that would sell Beer and Ice. The
men would jump out and buy some and put in a big tub of ice. Of course since
I was in charge I prevented this Ha-Ha. Also some of these pedestrians were
young girls. Boy did I have my hands full trying to keep them separated. If
they get into trouble they couldn't be discharged. Woke up one night and found
myself in a bucket of ICE. WE finally arrived in Toledo and then I went
HOME-HOME. Forgot to tell you. We stopped in Chicago for 5 hrs. and I told the
men to stay on the train. I had to do something and when I came back they had
went to downtown Chicago. YIPPEE. I was really scared but they came back, all
but four of them. When the train started pulling out of the station they came
running down and jumped on. They were all good guys.
Here are some notes that might be of Historic Interest dating back to May, 1943.
May 5, 1943
Americans bring Axis Port under fire of our big guns. U.S. Forces are 10 miles
of Bazerte, Africa Allied fleet reported sailing for Sicily.
Bizerte defeces crack under American attack. Allies will launch second front
soon. Potato prices are 73 cents to one dollar a peck. There is much Black
Market at home.
May 7, 1943
Allies in suburb of Tunis and Bizerte, Africa. Tunis is also taken and Bizerte
is within 9 miles grasp.
May 8, 1943
Invasion of Europe is expected from a dozen points after the seizure of all of
May 9, 1943
Many Axis soldiers trapped. Allies push to sea, sinking ships, captives are
pouring in. Tunis populace weep with joy. Kiska bases bombed in twelve raids.
May 10, 1943
Yanks capture 25,000 Germans including 6 Generals,(who surrendered). U.S.Air
raids shatters Italian Ports of Palermo and Messina in Sicily. Allied submarines
shell coast of Japan.
Japanese point there fleet toward India. Many Germans in Africa Korps by the
thousands give up. An attempt on Gestapo Agent Himmlers life was made.
Netherlands placed under strict law by Germans.
Revolt flares throughout Nazi Europe. 175,000 prisoners captured. Africa
completely ours now.
May 13, 1943
War's biggest raid blasts Nazi Dusenburg Center. Germans slay 40,00 Jews in
May 14, 1943
Greatest Air assault preclude invasion. Americans invade Attu and flank Kiska
in Alaska. Severe fighting ragging for Jap base as crack U.S. troops land.
May 15, 1943
Jap warlord sees Doom at Attu. 150 Yank Bonbers destroy huge Nazi Division. 21
New England men arrested in Draft law roundup.
May 17, 1943
R.A.F. bomb Nazi dams, valley is flooded by huge waves,thousands drown.Bombers
blast base 15 miles from Rome. 4,000 Netherlands Students shipped to Germany.
May 18, 1943
Americans Capture Attu.Broken dams in Ruhr Valley is out under water. Japs Torpedo
Hospital Ship, 299 are killed.
May 19, 1943
Churchill pledges unrelenting war on Japan. Allied Pincers closing onJaps in
Alaska. Talk of the King of Italy abdicating his throne.
May 20, 1943
Another war plant at home joins in strike. State Police to enforce ban on
pleasure driving. 113 German Planes destroyed in one day.
May 21, 1943
Americans plaster Italians Airfields.