DD 164 (Wickes class)
We are seeking information on the USS Crosby and her crews. Files and photos may be E-mailed to us and we will incorporate them into these pages.
I have quite a few of my dad's photo's of the
USS Crosby, APD 17/DD-164.
Courtesy of: Mark Johnson
Subject: USS Crosby (DD-164)
Here is a photo of the Crosby in 1940 or 41. She was Recommissioned in Dec. 1939 for Neutrality Patrol out of San Pedro or San Diego. In early 1943 she was in Mare Island for conversion to an APD. In Late Feb., she sailed for the Solomon Islands as APD-17. My father, MM1 John W Miller helped recommission the Crosby, and later made Chief aboard her before leaving the ship in late 1943. I hope that you can use the photo on the site.
Jack W Miller
My father Clarence E. Maxwell Jr. served aboard the Crosby during WWII. He help recommsion the boat and was aboard until the Crosby was decommisioned after the war. He passed away on 6/23/98 at the age of 82.
He wrote the following poem about the Crosby's travels during he war while on watch one night. I would like to share it with others.
A CRUISE WITH A FOUR PIPER It was in the year of '39 down San Diego way, Down at the DesBase where the old four pipers lay. The Navy said we need them, we'll have to make them do. We'll need them fast it seems, our numbers are so few. The Captain went to work, he went right down the line, The old cans got up steam, all in record time. The days were long and hard, not from choice I'm sure; But the brig was always ready, with a five day diet cure. There was one by the name of CRQSBY, also some dozens more. The one I have in mind was the old one sixty-four. With her sides painted gray and a pennant at the mast, She went out on patrol, sea duty again at last. The months wore on and on, then a year went by, Then suddenly out at Pearl things began to fly. This life that for so long had been just a bore, Had changed somewhat; the country was at war. For awhile there was doubt if the old can would go across; But the battles were tough, many ships were lost; So she was sent to the yard, her crew went on a spree. The next thing they knew they were riding an A.P.D. She cleared the dock and headed through the Gate; She headed out to sea and to an unknown fate. With a stop over at Pearl where the crippled ships lay, She got a coat of green on over her coat of gray. Headed out once more in a warm tropic breeze, She set her course South and toward the South Seas. She raced on and on making twenty knots or more, With a bone in her teeth, she was off to the war. Down through Palmyra and then across the line, Through Samoa and Fiji and in Noumea on time. On to Espiritu Santos and then Guadalcanal, The battle seemed over, except for an occasional val. "Be patient my friend", an old timer once said. "Take it easy from here, 'cause you're a long time dead." We soon found out, and it wasn't what we thought, There were Japs by the thousands, off up the slot. Up the slot at night, the next morning come back. If you're lucky, get a night in your sack. She heads up the slot, its a dark and quiet night, You hope you aren't discovered, but you see a bright light. Look up at the sky and search for a plane up there, It's there you know for sure that was a parachute flare. Then into Kula Gulf where sudden death lurks; And spend the night of the Fourth with free fireworks. With torpedoes in the night, and bombs in the day, And shells most any time, makes your hair turn gray. It lasts for days and days and days, its enough to make you crack, Heading up the Slot, and hope like hell you come back. The old ship could take it, the test was on the crew, Still on the line and the campaign nearly through. Then down to Brisbane and a much needed rest, The old can so far had stood every test. Then off to "war again, New Guinea it is this time. It makes little difference, up on the line, On and on she goes a side trip now and then, Her screws barely stop turning, she's on the go again. Faster and faster now, on up the New Guinea Coast, The crew begins to wonder if the war is over almost. Then a good word sang out like a song, She's going to Sydney, but not staying long. Off she went again to get some rest for the crew. They all Knew they needed it and the ship, she did too. It was good while it lasted but that wasn't long, Then a trip to the Philippines was the tune to another song. The wind was blowing strong, the sea very rough, She might have broken up, but the old ship was tough. One more landing to add to the list, Just another job, she never would have missed. On up the line with Ormac on the way. Next stop Mindoro outside Manilla Bay. No she's not through yet, you should have known, There's Corregedor to take before you go home. You've been hearing rumors, you hope they are true. You may go home now, maybe you are through. It's been a long time, yes two long years. You're thinking about home, you shed a few tears. You're headed out East, and hoping you are through, And go alongside a tender for repairs that are overdue. Then she's off again, this thing is getting rough, You can tell by her looks she's about had enough. It's a long, long trip you're taking in a day, Maybe if you're lucky, you won't have to stay. Finally you get out, maybe now you're through. Wrong again they say, it's Okinawa again for you. So back up there again, and then you get the dope, You can go home now, if you can get out, you hope! She's headed back East, you hope for the best, For awhile It seemed the only direction was West. You can take it easy now, or that's what you think, She may keep going and again she may sink. You take a look around, she doesn't look so hot. But she's still headed East and she is all you've got. You handle her with ease and show every care, It you don't keep her going, you can't expect to get there. Her bilges full of water and her decks covered with rust, The word right now is San Francisco or bust. The old tin can, she is going to hell, She bends in the middle with every big swell, Her bulkheads warped and her decks full of cracks, What new ships have is what she lacks. Her feed pumps groan and her generators rattle, Hope she holds out for the Market St. Battle. Her feed heater leaks 'til it looks like spray, Hope the evaps hold out, every single day. Her tanks full of holes and the watertenders shout, "The water's leaking in and the fuel is leaking out," She smokes heavy black and then heavy white, She'll throw a million sparks on a coal black night. "What's the trouble out there," hear the engine room call; "Not much," comes the answer; "The fires just went out, that's all!" Her wheel rope broke and she tried to turn around, Bring her back fast, before she runs aground. She's done seen her day, she's headed home at last, To get a working over from her keel up to her mast. With her crew run down and liberty in mind, Keep her headed East , don't lag behind. One more lap and not too fast, One more speed run, might be her last. Keep her under way and we'll get there soon, And hit the beach at Frisco in the light of the moon.
Clarence E. Maxwell, CMM, USN
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