USS Francis Hammond 2017 Reunion

June 26, 2017

The reunion was held in Branson, MO June 15-18.  A good time was had by all.  The above video tribute was assembled by Bob Collins.  It was shown at the reunion with “period” music, but had to be stripped for YouTube use to avoid copyright infringement, so no audio with this.  Was great to reconnect with old shipmates after almost 45 years.  Below are photos of just the DE crew and one of all the attendees, DE and FF crews.

DE crew only.  Back row L to R: Jerry Anderson, Jeff Zavada, Scott Gillespie, Dennis Clevenger and Harold Nichols.  Front row: Bobby Daniels, James Bunce, Raymond “Marv” Martin, Dave Seiffert and LTjg Kent Grealish.  Believe it or not all 10 of us were on board together at some point during 1972-73.

 

All 27 attendees, DE & FF crews.

 

Radar Gang 2017 L to R: Bobby “Stubby” Daniel, Jeff “Zee” Zavada, Marv “The Saint” Martin, Dennis “DC” Clevenger and Scott Gillespie.

 


Tonkin Gulf Operations 1972

May 28, 2017
DE-1067 locations

Click for close up view of locations.

Here are some of our locations as documented in the Deck Logs also found on this site.  You can look at a date, then look in the appropriate deck log for info as well as find out more details by looking up that date in the Gunline Records.

 


Signal Gang 1972

May 28, 2017
DE-1067 Signalman gang

L to R: Larry Brix w/ long glass, William Morgan, Ron Neighbors seated on deck, cross legged on desk not a Sig’s, second from right Bossman Steve Buerman, and Phil (Ben) DiBenedetto. Taken forward of the Mack. The weight station is below a half deck down. The plexiglass board behind us was where we wrote the names of each ship and their call sign that was in our proximity in the gulf with grease pencil for quick reference.

I recently received this photo from William Morgan of the signal gang off the coast of VietNam in 1972.  We don’t need no stinking sunscreen!  Good times!


Deck Logs

September 9, 2016

A shipmate recently forwarded to me copies of some of our deck logs for some dates during 1972.  He had acquired these through either the National Archives or the Naval History and Heritage Command.  Deck logs are the Navy’s way of documenting ships movements, weather conditions, musters, gunfire, casualties (both material and personnel), readiness status and any other notable occurrences.  The entries during a watch are signed by the OOD at the end of his watch on the bridge. Included here are only for a few select dates.  A couple of them are title pages only, but are included to give an idea of where (lat/long) we were at a certain time period.  The latitude and longitude logged on any page can be plugged into Google Earth to see our location at a certain time.  The only editing I did to them is on 2 occasions where casualties/injuries were logged with the crew members social security number, so I obscured those for their security.  The handwriting is hard to read on some of these, but will give some insight to just what we were doing during that memorable summer of ’72.

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April 8, 1972 April 15, 1972 April 16, 1972
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April 17, 18, 19 May 1, 1972  June 21, 1972

USS Francis Hammond DE/FF 1067 Reunion in 2017

November 14, 2015

USS Francis Hammond DE/FF 1067 Reunion planned for 2017.  Mark your calendars for June 15-18 2017.  The reunion is to be held in Branson, MO at the Radisson Hotel.  You can find more info HERE or contact Jeff Holt HERE.

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LIBERTY CALL: Olongapo City

February 21, 2012
Olongapo - Looking up Magsaysay Blvd.

Looking up Magsaysay Blvd from near the bridge.

Well, what can you say about the City of Olongapo on the island of Luzon in the Philippines? When I was in high school, I had a couple of friends who were older and had joined the Navy right after they graduated. When home on leave they would tell stories of a place in the West Pacific that you just couldn’t believe. You sort of blew it off as over-excited storytelling and tell yourself that there just can’t be any place on earth like this. Then, you get there and realize they were pretty accurate in their descriptions of this small Philippine city that appeared to pretty much survive on the money spent by soldiers, sailors and airmen looking to cut loose.

Whether you just spent months at sea or crawling through a jungle you need some sort of way to just relax for awhile and have some fun. I’m guessing that in 1972 the average age of enlisted military personnel was probably in their early 20’s. There were those who enlisted after high school and were sent to the fleet immediately after boot camp. So many who had never stepped foot into a bar, tavern or night club were allowed to do so here. This was where many young men could test their endurance and capacity for consuming alcohol among other substances, since many weren’t of legal age stateside. When off-base you were still

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