The E-mail Page #3
Subject: USS McCloy DE/FF 1038
I remember Ernie Hutchens, the engineroom LPO, already had his 20 in, all on destroyers, and still busting his ass every day. He taught me how to fix anything with no parts and no tools.
I remember Pappy Case, the first Chief that ever gave a damn about me.
I remember the North Atlantic cruise in '74 where we clocked a 55 degree roll. The shipyard in '75; living on the cold hulk in dry-dock, so cold in engineering berthing a glass of water froze on the scuttlebutt; walking a half mile to eat on a barge; eating Blind-Mans takeout sandwiches for days on end.
I remember GITMO in the summer, wiping out a main-circ pump turbine bearing in transit. We tied open the scoop injection, never slowed below 3 knots and we fixed it.
I remember making First Class. Ernie and Pappy are gone and I've got the load. There's supposed to be 25 of us in M-division. There's me, an MM2 and 9 firemen. The best damn firemen in the US Navy. At least two went on to make chief and one to master chief.
The Med cruise '76 and that damn TASS van. Always steaming in the troughs at 5 knots 'cause they got a 'squiggle'. Days on end with constant 30-40 degree rolls. Trice yourself up in your rack, or steal straps from the stokes stretchers just to get some sleep. Food spilled over every square inch of the mess decks.
I remember a mid-Atlantic storm with 60 foot seas. 2 days with 15 knots rung up and we lost 10 miles of advance. The only place you could exit the skin of the ship was the bridge wings. You look up to see the top of the wave. One wave, from horizon to horizon. A huge wall of water. Look astern and there's it's brother. We fell into a trough so hard we sheared off the after con binnacle flush with the deck, lost every lifeline and scupper and snapped the masthead off at the 10 radar platform. It dangled loose up there for days, held on by the power cable to the masthead light. The next morning we discovered a dead whale wrapped around the sonar dome.
I remember standing EOOW watches for GQ, Unrep, sea and anchor and underway. Me and the Chief Engineer standing 6 and 6. He doesn't like me to leave the hole so I sleep under the ladder in case he has a problem. This is Carter's Navy, everybody is leaving. We can barely get underway for the lack of people.
I remember the Lebanese Evacuation in '77. We're sent up near Syria as a northern ASW screen and we wipe out the forward spring bearing so badly the bearing melts to the backing and the paint on the cap catches fire. Pretty serious on a single screw ship. Me and the boys jack up the shaft, roll out the old bearing and fit a new one. The ship's DIW and Syrian gunboats are making mock firing runs on us. The squadron preacher's aboard and he prays every few hours on the 1MC that 'Brannon and his boys get that damn bearing fixed so we can get out of here'. It takes 40 hours. We never stop, we never take a break. I'll never understand why the navy gave me a medal for that. My boys did all the work.
I didn't know when I left her in '79 that I was leaving the best command I would ever serve in. I made chief right after I left. The test was a piece of cake. I'd learned it all on the McCloy. Of all the ships I served in (Orion, Gato, L.Mendel Rivers, Luce, Austin) none could ever compare to the McCloy. She became the standard that all my other commands were measured by. She was little, she was tough, she rode hard and she was always underway. She had the best officers and crew I ever served with. I went aboard in '74 a punk with an attitude and left 5 years later a professional sailor.
I remember once on the Austin, where I'm the oldest guy on the ship, with more sea time than the entire CPO mess combined, when a young, cocky sailor is complaining about the 10 degree rolls we're taking and I said "You think this is bad, let me tell about this little escort destroyer I was on........."
Subject: USS McCloy FF-1038
My new business e-mail address is " firstname.lastname@example.org". My home e-mail address is "email@example.com". Considering that position shifts are sometimes spontaneous in the defense industry, it may be better to use my home address. Again, thanks for your efforts at this site.
Dennis Conrad OTCS
Subject: USS McCloy FF-1038
I was a crewmember from 1978 to 1980. It was the most rockin' rollin' tin can in the fleet. The former CO, LCDR Vern Clark became the CNO in July 2000.
Marc S. Cutter BT2
Subject: USS McCLOY FF 1038
My name is Ken Murray, onboard from 70-72. RD3 & RDSN in that order. Had alot of fun anyway. My brother,Mike Murray HMSN, was a plank owner. I rode the "bull" back from Portugal. Mickey Gilley had nothing on that ride. I was onboard when she got the nickname "The Fightin Johnny Mac", recieved after close quarter "combat" with crewmembers of the "Rock" (USS Little Rock CLG-4). Action started in the Dixie Cup (Gitmo), continued on the cattle car, on the pier and finished onboard the "Rock". We were small but deadly. Accept all e-mails from former shipmates.
Subject: USS McCloy FF-1038
Rich Dunn OS2
Subject: USS McCloy DE-1038
Dan Welsh RM2
Subject: USS McCLOY DE-1038
After leaving McCloy, I was stationed in Beeville, TX at Chase Naval Air Station and got early out to go back to UT in Austin, Texas. I got my degree in journalism in 76.
The CO of the ship for most of my tour was LCDR Paul David Miller who went on to make admiral and was considered for Joint Chiefs of Staff as I understand. I look forward to seeing who else might be around from that time period. By the way, I lost my North Atlantic cruise book from 71-72. Do you know if there is any way to get another?
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