DD 567 (Fletcher class)
We are seeking information on the USS Watts and her crews. Files and photos may be E-mailed to us and we will incorporate them into these pages.
I was stationed on the U.S.S. Watts (DD-567) from September 1952 until June 1956. What many folks don't realize is that when there seventeen year old kid joins the Navy and is assigned sea duty, that ship becomes his Mother, Educator, Boss and protector. In almost four years aboard the Watts, I grew up a little.
While on board, we started out in "Gitmo" Cuba for a shake down cruise, then back to Norfolk for awhile, after which we were sent with the 6th. fleet over to the "Med" and Northern Europe. Ports of call included Gibraltar, Italy, Greece, and Turkey. While in Greece, our Sonar dome was damaged and we had to put in at Portsmouth England for repairs, which was an interesting liberty port as there was a great deal of history to this community that went all the way back to the wooden sailing vessels days. Once we departed Portsmouth, we steamed to Plymouth England for more liberty. Then on to Northern Europe to such places as Norway, Germany, Brussels Belgium and on St. Patrick's Day we sailed into Dublin Ireland and had a grand time while there don't you know.
Then it was back home to Norfolk, VA for some refitting. In 1954 the Navy decided our squadron should be transferred to Long Beach, CA and we set sail for the Panama Cannel. Once in Long Beach we made preparations to hook up with the seventh fleet for a WestPak tour of the Hawaiian Islands, Midway Island, Yakasuka, Sasabo and Kobe Japan, also Manila and Subic Bay in the Philippines and a short stay in Formosa after which we returned to our home port.
Looking back on that tour of duty, I realized that I had gone half way around the world before my twenty first birthday. Needless to say that I enjoyed my active duty tour and continued my association with the Navy in the reserves for another eight years. However, because I was in the process of cross-training into another rate, and that rate didn't exist at a surface division reserve unit, I had to finish up my thirty two carrier with the Air Force to qualify for retirement. But I never forgot the Watts and what it did for me in providing me with some education, a salary and some maturity over and above meeting some very interesting people.
March 17, 2005
I was on this ship as part of the regular crew from Aug 62 until it was mothballed at Bremerton in Feb 1965. At that time the ship was in the reserve training fleet. We had about 1/3 of a regular crew.
Periodically we would get a reserve unit doing their 2 weeks active duty. We took them out for a week, put in at a port for the weekend (San Francisco, Long Beach, San Diego, once to Eureka, once up the inland passage to Ketchikan and Juneau, and once over to Hawaii). The next week we sailed back to our home port of Tacoma. Once a month we also had a local reserve crew come aboard, and we would go someplace nearby: Victoria or Vancouver, Seattle, Port Angeles, Nanaimo.
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