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So now it was back to San Pedro again for the final touches, and then we'd be off. This stay saw the
Ship's Dance in Long Beach become a foamy reality, and a party which will always be remembered as a
good one. lt was also in San Pedro that Chief McClure was transferred to shore duty-along with his s-ide-
kick, "Sweetpea" Parrent. We hated to see "Mac" go, and "Sweetpea' had a brand of humor all his own.
From San Pedro we went to Pearl Harbor where we went through mining exercises, giving the
Minemen a chance to do their stuff. lt was also in Pearl Harbor that Gunner Siler and Mineman, Second
Class, Follet came aboard. Pearl didn't seem like such good liberty after the States, although on the way
back it did look a lot better, didn't it?
From Pearl l-larbor we made the long jump over to Ulithi, lt was warm all the way. lt was during
this time that Van Paris, Knoss, and Williams joined the Gunner's gang as strikers. Then, when we left
Ulithi, l guess none will forget that long line of destroyers and small craft, and the way they looked through
the slanting rain and choppy seas-we were told we were on our way to Okinawa for the big show.
Remember the way we started firing as soon as we got to Okinawa in March? We fired nearly every
night from then until May 3rd, and we never had a single major casualty on any piece of ordnance and
fire control gear aboard. That's a little something we can be proud of, too. '
lt was also during these days that we all got to know each other a little better than before, I guess.
The long hours on watch were spent talking future hopes and past events-and about the girl at home, and
most of all, about home itself. A pot of "joe" and a couple of men-this meant a good bull session was on
the way-a good way to pass the time.
lt's no use putting down my impression of the night of May 3rd, and our fight-l guess we all had
pretty much the same idea-lt was terrible. Most of us witnessed acts of courage and bravery and sacrifice
which we shall never forget-nor the men who perpetrated them. lt was at dawn on May 4th when we
realized that we'd have to say so long forever to Long, Turner, Hendrickson, Olmeda, Good, Armand,
Folett, and Zaloga. They'd shoved off on the long cruise.
Although they may destroy this ship, the will never destroy the memories we hold in our minds of
the ship and the men who manned her. So in the years to come-when our thoughts drift backto this year
and the night of May 3rd-let's drink a silent toast to those we left on Zamami Shima in Kerama Retto.
A long time ago another American sailor said, "The price of liberty is paid in brave men's blood!"
lt's still true.
Edmond Hall. GM3fc
THE "C6R" GANG
This little essay is being written with the idea in mind that in all the morrows it may be referred to as
evidence 'for the unity of mankind.
One early morning, at Treasure Island, a group of some 300 men, the crew of the U.S.S. Aaron Ward,
were congregated, Most of these men knew very little about the Navy, but felt sure that eventually they
would be able to do their bit. That same morning these men came into contact with a man that will always
be remembered and respected. lt was soon learned that this man was Lt. Oomdr. Nuepert, the Executive
Officer of the Aaron Ward. l know l couldn't say too much in expressing every man's good feelings towards
Mr. 'Nuepert lwon't say any more on this subject, because l'm sure that there will be space set aside to
inform you of this man.
Time marches on!
So the crew of the Aaron Ward was formed. At present all hands are in a mill, wondering and
attempting to predict the outcome. So far, sfo good.
At this point l'd like to mention Ransom, Oden, and Shores-all good friends of mine, yes-but still
well-liked by every one in the deck force, Take Ransom. l-le's one man that will always be remembered
for his triple personality-a great pointer, a specialist in the art of Hboatswaining , and a terrific man on
the beach. l-le's just one fine example of the type of man that makes up the Deck Force.
Yesterday the Aaron Ward was commissioned. A very proud and memorable day for all of us, l'm
sure. This was a day that will remain in all hands' minds forever. Their feelings can be eXD1'eSSed bY
visualizing an explorer discovering a gold mine. By now every man had contacted his shvrpmates and was
pleased with the results.
-I 27 1-”