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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Veterans and jobs

June 22, 2012

Veterans jobs info link to monster.com

The vets coming home after serving their country will need all the job search help they can get.  Nowadays with all the means of communication available it’s easier than ever to make contact, but landing that job is something else.  A lot of useful information can be found HERE at monster.com.  This is just one resource as the internet has all sorts of job help information for both the vet and those doing the hiring.  Welcome home and good luck!

Download the full report

Download the press release

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Click the above banner to be taken to a VA site with job interview tips.

Above is a link to a site by the VA with some job search and interview tips as well as many other useful resources.

 

Some of my work history

When I got out of the Navy at the end of October 1973, I had a hard time finding work right away.  I came home to a wife and child with another child on the way, so my lifestyle was pretty much shaped for me.  Sure, even with a family to care for, you’re still sort of restless after 4 years away from civilian life.  I can see why a lot of guys that came home without any immediate responsibility fell into some bad habits and lifestyle choices.  It’s easier than you may think to do so!  By Christmas of ’73 I had run through all my US Savings Bonds I had collected during the last 4 years.  I still hadn’t found a job, so to pay the rent and have a christmas I went out and painted scenes on windows for businesses with water based paints for about $25 a pop.  That’s a hard way to make a living!

Hire a vet logoShortly after New Years ’74 somebody said “Hey, you should go see Mr. Howell down at the state unemployment office.”  Mr. Howell was supposedly the “go to” guy for vets at the time here in Vancouver, WA.  He got me a swing-shift position at a saw mill over in North Portland.  I wasn’t about to turn anything down, so I went for it.  It’s the middle of winter and I’m working outside (under cover) running the saw or palletizing the little pieces of alder to be shipped to a furniture company in California.  Not the most pleasant work, but I stuck with it.  After about a month the night foreman comes into the lunch room during a break and tell us a bunch of us are going to be laid off.

So, it’s back to downtown Vancouver to see Mr Howell again.  This is right around the first of February and my son will be born in a few days, so I really need some work.  This time he sends me over to the VA hospital here in town to see about an opening they have in the Building Management Department at Barnes Veterans Hospital.  I go to meet with them and land a gig in Read the rest of this entry »


Gunline records

June 20, 2012

The other day I was looking around the forum at the site “The Veterans Association of Sailors of the Vietnam War”  ( http://vasvw.org ).  I found that the National Archives now has the gunline records for every ship involved in NGFS.  The Combat Naval Gunfire Support File (CONGA), 3/1966 – 1/1973 contains a record for every naval gun fire mission during that period of the Vietnam War.  Each record contains the date, time, target coordinates, rounds expended, etc.

DE-1067 gunline records

Click for detailed view.

Some comments about the table.  I’m not sure how to read the mission start and end times.  At first I thought they were regular military time with hours, mins, secs, but then there were some starting with “29”.  I suspect they are some sort of minute counts.  With some simple math you can figure out how long some of the missions were.  Yeah, I remember some of those 5 hour periods at General Quarters!  Note that I color coded the left column so you can easily see the months of April, June and July.  These 70 missions are not totally inclusive of all of our time on the gunline.  There were many times we were there, but no ordnance was expended, meaning that no report was filed to show in these records.  There were the times that we were there acting as a decoy or running interference for the guided missile light cruiser USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5), while they pounded inland targets with their 5″/38 and 6″/47 guns.  Note that we fired a total of 4043 rounds.  Another concern is the last column that shows range to target in thousands of yards.  Those numbers cannot be right.  I saw some other ships records displayed this way, too.  I suspect the zero on the end needs to be dropped or maybe was intended to have a decimal point preceding the zero.  Anyway, drop the zero and the distances will make sense, as I recall.  Maybe a weapons guy can confirm this. Read the rest of this entry »