DD 790 (Gearing class)
We are seeking information on the USS Shelton and her crews. Files and photos may be E-mailed to us and we will incorporate them into these pages.
I was A plank owner On the shelton in 1946. Now I`m 78 years old and Think about my duty on the Shelton often and would really like to hear from any shipmate that served from 1946 thru 1949
I was aboard the Shelton for my last cruise to Westpac, in 1959. After leaving the navy, I graduated from college, had a great career as an aerospace engineer, and was president of a mid-sized hi-tech company for ten years. But really, I will always be a tin can sailor.
We left San Diego in Feb. of ’59. Soon after leaving Midway, we ran into, what was by far, the worst typhoon of my six-year naval stint. To lighten ship, the torpedomen shot all the torpedoes; the gunner’s mates rolled all the depth charges; and the captain considered cutting of the 40mm gun tubs with welding torches. After-Steering was taking water through a damaged hatch. The part of the deck house housing the post office was damaged to the extent that all mail and records were carried away. To further lighten ship, queues were formed to pass ammunition and stores to the side for deep-sixing. The sailors in the queues were tied together by line and had to be rotated every fifteen minutes or so, because of the freezing water coming over the bow and gunnels. A similar typhoon at the end of WWII had sunk three destroyers. The wind was coming from astern and the captain hesitated to turn the ship, lest the wind capsize it. But finally, as we were approaching the coast of Communist China, during a slight lull in the storm, the captain brought the ship around until the wind was on our starboard bow. We arrived in Yokosuka with considerable damage.
The names of the rated sonarmen, besides me, were Merk, Ferch, and Van Winkle—all SO3.
Subject: U.S.S Shelton DD-790
I was on the signal bridge the day we (or should I say the Providence CLG-6) was fired on. As a Sonar Technician we did not use Sonar in shallow water. So we were placed either in a gunnery crew or where needed. After several ships were hit by bombs or mines the Navy decided to train some men as red eye sentries. I was one of these men.
Sm3 R. Daniels was on the signal bridge also. We were watching the action when we heard the sound of a shell pass over us. The Providence CLG-6 was launching a Helicopter. we noticed a spout of water rise up lifting the Helicopter a little. I called down to the Gunnery Officer, I believe it was Lt. D. (Redeye) Carter on the Jp-5 and informed him that the Providence was under fire from Tiger Island (Hon Co) at this time another shell flew over and another water spout rose up under the Helicopter taking off. Which of course was a little further from the Providence now. The turrets turned around to face the island and opened fire with a deafening sound.
On this cruise we fired 18,954 rounds.
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 1997
I REPORTED ABOARD THE SHELTON IN 1950 AND REMAINED ABOARD UNTIL THE FALL OF 1956.
THE SHELTON HAS AN EXCELLENT COMBAT RECORD. SHE WAS SERIOUSLY DAMAGED BY SHORE BATTERIES NEAR HUNGNAM, KOREA. RECEIVING ONE HIT, STARBOARD SIDE FWD AT THE WATER LINE. ANOTHER ROUND REMOVED THE AFT THREE INCH GUN TUB. NUMEROUS AIR BURSTS MADE THE FAINTAIL AREA LOOK LIKE A SIEVE.SEVERAL DEPTH CHARGES WERE BLOWN APART. THE MOST SERIOUS OF THE WOUNDED WAS A JR OFFICER WHO RECEIVED A HEAD WOUND. OUR DOCTOR, WHOM I BELIEVE WAS A THIRD CLASS CORPSMAN COULD NOT STOP THE BLEEDING. HOWEVER, HE KEPT HIM ALIVE UNTIL WE COULD CONTACT AN AUSSIE DD WHO PROVIDED A DR. TO SAVE HIS LIFE. WE ENTERED DRY DOCK IN SASEBO, JAPAN FOR TEMPORARY REPAIRS FOR OUR RETURN TO SAN DIEGO.
IF MEMORY SERVES ALL OF DESDIV 31 SHELTON, HIGBEE, Shelton AND KEYES RECEIVED DAMAGE DURING THE CONFLICT. SHELTON WAS AWARDED NAVY OCCUPATION MEDAL (ASIA), CHINIA SERVICE MEDAL, KOREAN SERVICE MEDAL (SIX STARS), UNITED NATIONS SERVICE MEDAL, AND KOREAN PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION.
STUART N. CALDWELL, LCDR, ( RET. 1972, 25 YEARS SERVICE)
From: "R. Keoppell"
I was surfing on the web and ran into your page. I am a member of the Shelton. To start off with, I have a roster from the 1996 reunion in San Diego. The last reunion was held in Long Island, NY and I do not have a roster update from that one. If you can use more things I have, you will be welcome to it. I do not have a good scanner, but the one I have may do OK. I also have news clippings and the ships logs of the time it was hit by shore fire in Korea. This was put together by another person so we would have to have permssion from him to copy it. I can probably get other information from other crew members that I am in contact with. Please advise me on the information you would like to have. Also if this information is in the proper form.
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