USS William C. Lawe
DD 763 (Gearing class)

Courtesey of: Mark Pyles

Builder:        Bethlehem Steel, S.F., CA. 
Laid Down:  	March 12, 1944
Launched:       May 21, 1945
Commissioned:  	December 18, 1946
Decommissioned: ?
Fate:           Stricken 10/1/83

We are seeking information on the USS William C. Lawe and her crews. Files and photos may be E-mailed to us and we will incorporate them into these pages.

The E-mail:


I became a "shell-back" when I was on the "Willie C" and I am looking for any crew member(s) from the 1965/1966 Mediterranean cruise who may have some pictures to share of that cruise.

Thank You,

Francis J. Olszta
Beloit, WI 53511


Good morning Mark,

I`m sending this message out in to the blue haze with the faint hope of help re subject: While googeling along - maritime pages - I came across your destroyer pages showing DD 763 passing through Kiel Kanal while being on the Midshipman`s cruise way back in 1964 - the identical picture of DD 763 is hanging on the wall in my nostalgic naval corner (being a navy veteran 1962 - 1966 communications)

And here is my story ref subject DD 763 USS W.C. Lawe and my questions for possible assistance: Way back in 1964 USS W. C. Lawe along with USS Summer vitited our navy station/harbour Flensburg-Mürwik Two other destroyers visited Kiel harbour attending the Kieler Woche (week) a world wide known martime event. (names and hull no. unfortunately unknown)

To cut a long story short, my immediate liason officer ordered a tdy for me onto DD 763 as an interpreter. To describe my time on DD 763 would exceed any timeframe. Fantastic simply fantastic!...! I cleary remember one particular seeman named Ralph (surname vorgotten). He introduced me to the lyrics of Bobby Bare`s Millers cave and I in return introduces Ralph and his mates to the German frauleins and of course to the German beer. By the way, Ralph called me - professor of English - and believe you me, I had a lot of translating to do - especially with the "frauleins" - and naturally on various other occassions. To repeat myself, I spent unforgetable moments as a German Navy member while being assinged to DD 763.

On that picture of DD 763 passing throught Kiel Kanal, little ol`me should be somewhere - and if my memories does not fail me - somewhere on the bridge, doing the usuall explaining and translating.

Now my questions: Could I somehow obtain the DD 763 "Ship`s patch? Would there be a chance to trace Ralph?

Thanks in advance for an answer of any kind.

Best Regards and all the best for 2006

Hans-Jürgen Stoehr


    Good morning Mark,

    Rember me? I sent that email re Willie C visiting Flensburg-Mürwik Naval Base way back in 1964. To my surprise, I found my email later on, on your destroyer page. And guess what? Two shipmates respondet to that email. One from Kansas, and one from Texas.

    With the former shipmate from Kansas, I have been exchanging email ever since. He is the one, that sent me the DD 763 ship`s batch and a crewlist 64. Unfortunately I could not identify anyone - mind you - it`s 46 years ago. We also exchanges a few naval rememberances. I sent over some cap tallys, like the "Marinestützpunkt Flensburg-Mürwik" which means: Navalbase Flensburg- Mürwik. As a matter of fact, just the other day, I sent another parcel to this guy with another few German Navy bits and pieces (i.e. Sailor´s hat, cap tallies, emblems and so forth)

    Well Mark, thanks again, for publishing my email. I did bring back plenty of positive rememberances. Have a nice day.

    Hans J. Stoehr/Germany

Many Thanks to NavSource

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