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S. S. FITCH
Hpril - October 1953
Edl+or ........................ ENS. Alla
Bus. Mgr. ............ Frank J. Ca
Hisiorian ...... Noel M. Rose
May I2 - I3 I
May I4 - I8
Moly 23 - June 2
June 9 - I6 I
June 24- 30
July 8- I2
July 3I -Aug.3I
Aug.A3 - 6
Aug. 7- II Q
Aug. I2 - I6 I
Augg 22 - 24
Aug. 26 - 3I
Sepf. 5 - I4
Sept 2I - 25
Sepia 25 - 29 I
OcI'. I0 - I2 Q
Lieutenant William lVI. NEWELL, Executive
Olhcer of the USS FITCH, began his present
eighteen years of service aboard the USS CHES-
TER CCA 271 in December, 1935 as a Seaman
second-class. Leaving the CHESTER in 194-3 as
Chief Electricians Mate, Lt. Newell served as
leading petty oflicer of the Engineering Group, Re-
ceiving Station, Noumea, New Caledonia, where
he was recommended for Warrant Electricians
After attending General Electric's Turbo- Elec-
tric School in Syracuse, N. Y. Mr. Newell was
commissioned as Ensign and served aboard the
USS DARBY QDE 2181 and the USS BURDO
In 1948 lVIr. Newell attended Cornell Univer-
sity after which he was assigned as Engineering
Ofiicer of the USS .I. C. OWENS CDD 7761. From
there lVIr. Newell attended General Line School in
Monterey, Calif. for nine months, after which he
was assigned to the FITCH as Executive Officer.
Lieutenant Commander William E. UNDER-
WOOD, Commanding Ofiicer of the USS FITCH
CDMS 251 was born in Marion, Alabama. His
formal introduction to the Navy was at the
United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, from
which he graduated on 19 December 1941. In
October 1946, after a year of graduate work
in Ordnance Engineering at Annapolis and a year
at the University of California, he was awarded
a Masteris degree in applied physics.
Captain UNDERWOOD served aboard the
USS VINCENNES QCA4-41 and the USS MOBILE
QCL631 during World War II. After completion
of his post graduate training he was assigned to
the Staff of Commander Operational Development
Force and in 1947 he was assigned to duty as
Executive Ofiicer of the USS WITEK KEDD 84-81.
Prior to his present command, LCDR, UN-
DERWOOD was executive officer of the U. S.
Naval Ordnance Unit at Key West, Florida.
llllll ENGINEERS They got us there
Ist Row: Audet, Joseph R.,
Dyson, Paul H., Huber, Shel-
don C., Carlherg, Jesse M.,
Martin, Francis X., Hender-
son, William H., Cheyney, Jr.,
Harry P. 2nd Row: Engle-
man, Lyle M., Doherty,
James W., Anderson, William
S., Hasch, Michael T., Bur-
dick, Gordon S., Nestor,
George R., Luizer, Edward
L. 3rd Row: Tyson, Robert
O., Gregory, Billie E., Fisher,
Raymond D., Erickson, Du-
ane L., Sacht, Arthur W.,
Carlile, James M,
Ensign David G. Harkrider, Lt. Roy
M. Chipley, Ens. John T. Hickey.
lst Row Thomass Harold
W Johnson Nels J Scraggs
John C Austin Curtis P
K1Jowsk1 Joseph E Bond
Jimmie F 2nd Row Premo
Robert E Whitney Lewis C
Jr Angle John R Bauer
Albert G. J Paul Allen
B. Front: Sakel Daniel M
Ist Row: Dahlheim, William
J., Jr., Riggins, John C., Jr.,
Tepper, Daniel E., Zuck,
James E., Loveland, Lynn S.,
Hughes, John L, Front: Col-
well, Clyde J.
5 QQ ,444 ss-
Ist Row: Perry, James A.,
Abla, Lewis fnl, Ewan, Al-
bert V., Calhoun, "J" "W",
Maryjasik, Jr., John A. 2nd
Row: Dahlheim, Robert L.
Taylor, James E., Stone,
George I., Kaeser, Joseph Hf,
Campagnala, Jr., Mauro J.,
Giordano, Lewis A. 3rd Row:
Gervais, Leon A., Penn, Le-
Roy N., Gajewski, Jr., Con-
rad R., Pomeroy, James D.,
Nordstrom, George E.,Numm-
sen, Edward H.
X 1 .J 9?
- '45 1
. .,,., Z fu.
lst Row: Klein, G. G., Wel
born, G. D., Unkel, W. C.
Ahlstrom, N, E., Smalley, J
R. 2nd Row: Douthett, M
D., Duck, E. G., Bagby, E
C., Lumbert, G. H., 0'Con
nor, A. L., Kinkor, D. L.
RU NN E I
Ltjg. Harry H. Ste plrenson, Ltjg-Rfldefick J-Dar'
ling, Ens, Patrick D. Kenan, EHS. Allan C-
. 1 , 'i .-
' ' if K W-I - Al
FV' . J , 'L -fu . x ' f,
f "f" A
Ist Row: Jatko, Edward J.,
Werner, George L., Steven-
son, Mickiell T., Ens. Kenan,
Hackler, Harold L., Livick,
Richard L. 2nd Row: Hag-
gerty, Anthony R., Prohuska,
James F., Obrymski, Paul
T., Whitmire, William G.,
Ardito, Vito A., Morgan,
Thomas E., Burns, Charles,
Jr. 3rd Row: Swank, Donald
E., Miller, Ralph H., Green,
George W., Giffone, Anthony
V., Gloetzner, Charles A.,
Jackson, Robert H.
Ist Row: Bonacci, Anthony
S., Powell, Wallace D., Low-
ery, Clyde Cnl, Gerth, David
W., Corrao, Roy S., Lane,
Neal fnJ.2nd Row: Matelko,
John R., Crockett, Donald B.,
Krager, George F., Pritchett,
Leroy fnl, Page, Phillip W.,
Johnson,J. D., Jock, Wilbur J.
I SECOND DIVISION
Ist Row: Ens. Stevenson, Mal-
lory, lr., Willie, Williams
David, Gibson, Floyd C., Mc-
Atee, Carroll R., Locklear,
Edsel. 2nd Row: Jones, Ger-
ald E., Little, Arnie, Jr.,
Graham, Harry J., Duffy,
John R., German, Porter.
3rd Row: Jones, Willard V.,
Lewis, William H., Moore,
Ernest, McGann, Daniel W.
lst Row: Dellinger, David O.,
Hinson, Herbert H., Plott,
Ernest H., Logan, Charles
M., Duren, Romain L., 2nd
Row: Floyd, Eugene R., Rob-
erts, Leonard I., Doneyhue,
Theodore C., Nigro, Joseph
D., Cole, Kenneth R., Pi-
wowarczyk, Gene I . 3rd Row:
Booth, Levyonne M., Waas,
Charles F., Harris, William
B., Gallo, Arthur, Taylor,
.lack N., Hoover, Donald E.
SUPPLY DEPARTMENT HEADS
Ltjg. Robert .l. Freebcrg, Pratt, Edmund L.
..a..... Am. ,
H msWMamm 1vJmm
lst Row: Carlson, Harry R.
Kepler, George M., Jr., La
Rountaine, Charles L., Jr.,
2nd Row: Minor, John A.,
Egenes, LeRoy D., Richard,
Albert J., Golden, George
H., Delgado, LeRoy H.,
Heaton, Floyd A., Jr. 3rd
Row: Butler, Willie L., Rior-
dan, Rexford E., Baca, Dan-
iel P., Zuke, John A., Koen-
ig, Charles R.
OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT OFFICERS
Ens. Charles E. Spears, Ltjg. Floyd R. Single-
ton, Ltjg, John B. Backes, Ltjg. R. Blake Ire-
land. Absent: Ens. Wesley G. Schmidt,
Ist Row: Maziarz, Victor P.
Kvicala, Charles F., Roach,
Vincent F., Gaylord, James
A., Zeboski, Donald A., Ma-
han, Daniel J. 2nd Row: Les-
zcynski, Robert, Enright, Ar-
thur J., Powowarczyk, Henry
W., Ferry, Jesse A., Waring,
Norman N., Burns, Jr., Fran-
cis J., Bowles, David A. 3rd
Row: Tucker, Ervin W.,
Thorne, Edwin, Stuggings,
Burton D., Croco, Donald F.
., 'It is early dawn of February 10, 1863, and the first light is beginning to tint
the colors of the walls of the houses on Bujington Island, on the Ohio River. The
0 In crew of the USS MOOSE, Commanded by Lieutenant Commander Leroy FITCH,
0 USN, are tense and waiting. After following General fohn H. MORGAN, Army of
- 0 ily the Confederacy, sometimes referred to as MF lying guerilla MORGAN", for more
,,,.: I gy than five hundred miles up the Ohio, the men and officers of the MOOSE are
Q91 s-,"1- I 5 finally about to intercept the Confederate force in its attempt to recross the river.
1, General MORGAN is captured, a thorn in the side of the United States forces is
' removed, and Leroy FITCH has earned himself a place in American history.
K' Seventy nine years later, Mrs. H. Walter Thomas, grand-niece of Leroy FITCH
was present at the launching of the USS FITCH I DD 4621, part of the United
sf! States' answer to the Nazi submarine menace in the Atlantic and the .Iapanese
stain, spreading through the Pacific. The new ship, one of the New Bristol class,
V displacing sixteen hundred and thirty tons, and mounting four five-inch thirty-
v v V "1-Kg., . . . .
:V zvvv: elght caliber guns and hve torpedo tubes, was authorized to be built on 12 June,
1940 and was launched at the Boston Navy Yard on 14 June, 1941.
The disruption of Allied shipping by German U-Boats in the Atlantic caused
- a desperate need for destroyers that left little time for the FITCH to complete the
JZ? arduous job of fusing the "green" crew to the shiny new piece of machinery which
' 5 -.'. - Q51 was tolbecome their fighting instrument as well as their home. Her shakedown
'H cruise of Portland Maine, commencing on 5 May, 1942, over, the FITCH made
- N ,JZ several short trips to the Canal Zone, New Orleans, and Bermuda on escort duty,
, I S' :Q Then, in July 1942, under the command of Commander CROMMELIN, the still
untried ship was given the task of escorting the USS RANGER and her shipment
of planes to North Africa. From the fifth to the twelfth of November 1942, while
assigned to Task Force 34, and acting as one of the screeen ships for the carrier
' I RANGER, the FITCH took part in the landing operations at Casablanca.
I Q I fy One morning, word came in from the planes of the RANGER, "Submarine in
the vicinity". The warning provided the men of the FITCH with the chance to
: Z' show how well they had been trained in that brief shakedown period, "All hands
ll' man your Battle Stationsv, and the FITCH was set for her primary function, en-
' xii, gaging the enemy. Then, one of the bridge lookouts, Seaman 1fc BISCHOFF, won
I fggf the coveted prize of twenty hve dollars and ten days leave for being the first man
if A to sight an enemy submarine or plane. His cry of "Submarine on the starboard
4 0 0 beam" added the last element of drama that was to be the new vessel,s first taste
:i 0 0 of battle. Sonar gear was trained around and the FITCH was off, attacking with a
l ' f 9 WRX
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pattern of fourteen depth charges. Although an oil slick appeared on the surface,
the ship was credited with only a Nprobablev. But the FITCH was no longer a
green ship with a green crew. W ith action behind her, a bronze star in her European
African-Middle Eastern campaign ribbon, and a sea bag full of stories for the
folks, she set a course for home, minor repairs, and a well earned period of
liberty and recreation.
In April 1943, the FITCH, over a year old and manned by an experienced
crew, once more turned her bow away from home. This time her destination was
the North Atlantic, where she was to operate with the British home fleet. Part of
her duties at this time was to help protect the important Murmansk convoy route.
While assigned this duty, the Fabulous Fitch, as she was beginning to be called
by her crew members, took part in several raids on the German-occupied Nor-
wegian coast, and crossed the Arctic Circle over twenty times. After three grueling
months of battling ice and snow, she once more turned homeward in company
with the USS SOUTH DAKOTA and the USS ALABAMA.
After completing a yard overhaul, the FITCH, in company with the RANGER
and the cruisers AUGUSTA and TUSCALOOSA, returned to the North Atlantic to
begin several months of very exciting operations. She screened the USS RANGER
during her bombardment of 'German forces and installations near Bodo, Norway.
Nine ene-my merchant vessels were sunk during this strike and the land based
units were severely pounded. As a fitting climax to this period of operations, the
FITCH reached a point in latitude of 78 degrees and 18 minutes North, GEN-
ERALLY BELIEVED TO BE THE MOST NORTHERLY POINT EVER REACHED
BY A UNITED STATES WARSHIP UP TO THAT TIME.
After a brief yard overhaul in Boston and a training period at Casco Bay,
4Maine, the FITCH, in December of 1943, again put the States behind her..
It was at this period during the war that the famed killer groups were having
tremendous success in combating the U-Boat menace. The FITCH, now a "salty"
veteran of the Arctic Seas, was assigned to Task Group 21.14 and set out to hunt
the U-Boats under the tropical sun of Southern waters. She hunted submarines in
the South Atlantic until the twenty ninth of March, 1944 when she returned to
History was being made. The invasion of France seemed imminent and the
eager destroyer was sent to Belfast-Lough, arriving on the second of May, 1944.
Assigned to escort duties between various British ports, she impatiently awaited
orders to action. Finally, on the twenty fourth of May, the FITCH was assigned
to Task Unit 125.83 and ordered to proceed through unswept waters to within 2000
yards of the French coast in order to observe German coastal emplacements.
The night air was filled with the drone of hundreds of planes. On the
FITCH'S bridge the concussion of the bombs falling on the French Coast, fifteen
miles away, could be felt. She was leaving England and going forward to meet
history of the French coast where smoke, flames, and the criss cross pattern of
anti-aircraft fire resembled a scene from Dante's Inferno, At 0530 that morning
the destroyer steamed in at five knots, to begin a very busy morning,s work. At
1533 the FITCH opened Ere, THE FIRST SHIP T0 FIRE INTO UTAH AREA.
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In the next two hours, the FITCH, like a skilled bantam weight, weaved in and
out, making over two hundred speed 'hanges to avoid enemy- fire while showering
on the enemy over eighty percent of her ammunition. Then, disaster struck and
the gallant little ship got a chance to show her grit. The CORRY, astern of the
FITCH struck a mine, and, her' engine spaces flooded, she began to settle. Wheeling
about, the FITCH dashed to the aid of the stricken comrade ship before the
enemy guns could get the range of the crippled "sitting duckn. Two hundred
and twenty three survivors were taken aboard. As a result of those few minutes of
selfless heroism, several special comlmendations were later received. But much more
important to the crew and officers of the FITCH was the thought of the lives of
the men who had been saved.
As each invasion was undertaken by the Allies, the need for High Speed
Minesweepers became more and more obvious. On 15 November 1944, the FITCH,
who, along with many ships of her class, had been converted into a Destroyer Minef-
sweeper, had her designation changed from DD 462 to DMS 25, By 3 January,
1945, all changes and trials were completed and the old veteran but new mine-
sweeper was assigned to Mine Division 58, and with Commander Ennis W.
TAYLOR in command, left the United States, bound for Pearl Harbor. Slated ,for
duty with the Pacific Fleet in its struggle with the Iapanese Air Force of Okinawa,
the FITCH was sidetracked by fate. While practice sweeping off Ulithe, she ran
afoul of a coral pinnacle and was forced to return to Pearl Harbor for repairs. On
the tenth of August 1945, with repairs completed, the new minesweeper, with
Lieutenant Commander R. H. THOMAS on the bridge, set out for the forward area,
only to learn of the cessation of hostilities against Iapan. But the work of the
"sweepers" of the Mine Force had only begun. On the twenty eighth of August, sweep-
ing was commenced on the mine field at Okinoyoma Bank, at the entrance to Tokyo
Bay. It was here that the FITCH had the honor of being the first ship of the
Bristol class to sweep an enemy mine, later being present at the ceremonies as
General Douglas MacArthur received the unconditional surrender of the Iapanese
Empire aboard the USS MISSOURI. In December of 1945, the FITCH further
distinguished herself by setting a record for mines swept in one day,s operation,
bagging 275 of the total of 1,040 cut by the five' ships of her division. With
thoughts of home calling just over the horizon, the FITCH steamed out of Sasebo,
Iapan, bound for the United States and her first nstatesiden Christmas. After spend-
ing the holidays in San Diego, a trip through the "Big Ditch" to Norfolk for
demobilization and rehabilitation of the crew.
By March, 1946, nearly a full peacetime crew had been assembled and the
next weeks were spent in performing target towing tests for the bureau of Ships.
May, Iune, and .Iuly went by quickly in -operations between the Atlantic ports of
Norfolk, New York, and Charleston. After finally settling in Charleston, South
Carolina in November, she made a short trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and back
to Charleston for the Christmas holidays.
During the fleet maneuvers, early in 1947, the veteran minesweeper once
again proved her worth by sharing top honors in total mines cut with only one
other vessel of her class.
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September and October of 1947 found the FITCH operating along the Atlantic
coast, training prospective Mine Force Officers and engaging in maneuvers with
submarines of the Atlantic Fleet. It was while the ship was in the Naval Shipyard
at Charleston that a skeleton crew was assigned, Commander T. A. GREGG assumed
command, and certain structural changes made and new equipment added to inl-
crease the vessells fighting efficiency.
In Ianuary, 1949, having been molded into a well-coordinated team on a
freshly painted ship, the FITCH set sail for the Mediterranean Sea to take part
in fleet exercises, After visiting such ports as Gibraltar, Golfe fuan, Malta, and
Naples, the FITCH sailed for home in April. In Iuly, Commander R. H. BUCK-
LEY took command and, in September, the FITCH left Norfolk for fleet exercises
in the rough North Atlantic.
On the 15 of fuly, 1950, the FITCH once again saw a change of command with
Commander G. A. WOLF relieving Commander BUCKLEY. Shortly after, while
plane guarding ojf facksonville, Florida, the Fabulous FITCH once again made
news by rescuing a pilot off the escort carrier USS CABOT, who had crashed during
On March 20th, 1951, with an intensive period of refresher training behind
her, the FITCH left Charleston and headed east across the Atlantic for fleet exer-
cises in the Mediterranean Sea. During this cruise, the longest made by the FITCH
in peacetime, she visited such ports as Phillippeville, Monaco, Naples, Taranto,
Palermo, Athens, Genoa, Trieste, Cannes, Le Spezia, and Gibraltar, On the 18th
of August, while in Taranto, Italy, Commander WOLF was relieved by Lieutenant
Commander B. H. BRITTIN, former member of the United States Naval Mission to
Turkey. After returning from this cruise, the FITCH underwent an upkeep period
in Charleston. Following this yard period came several simulated wartime exer-
cises with units of the Atlantic Fleet, the second of which took her to the Panama If,-
Canal Zone and gave all hands an excellent chance to develop deep tans. Back
from the Canal Zone in March of 1952, the FITCH spent several weeks in Charles-
ton undergoing minor repairs and left for the U. S. Naval Mine Countermeasures --
Station, Panama City, Florida, where she took part in testing of experimental "F
torpedo evading devices being developed by the Navy.
Back from Panama City in Iune, the crew and officers of the FITCH got a
small taste of shore duty as the ship went into the Charleston Naval Shipyard for
a major overhaul period. In September, her sea trials behind her, the FITCH set
sail for Refresher Training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During this cruise, on
November 24, Lieutenant Commander William E. UNDERWOOD reported aboard, 'I I
fresh from the U. S. Naval Ordnance Unit, Key West, Florida and, on 8 December
the FITCH, now in Charelston for the holidays, saw another change of command
ceremony as Commander BRITTIN was formally relieved by Lieutenant Com-
. kascubauuz W
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I X' l f ,,, - -'f' 2 Kasbah means walled city, but it held far more meaning than that to each of
X u 0 4
- XX X' fi X XX us as we steamed into Al iers that Thursda mornin the seventh of Ma . It meant
17, ,- , Y
44 I Q adventure and the romance of far away places we'd heard of in songs and movies, and
ji X- X A. even more it meant a welcome relief from two weeks of stead steamin and one
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of humanity but never-the-less exciting and different. Its tortuous streets and
treacherous population, the windowless houses and steep stairways suggested that we
had stepped three hundred years into the past.
Of course all of Algiers was fascinatingg the veiled Moslem women who believe it
indecent to show their faces to any but their own familyg the Moslem men in their
"crazyH red fezesg the ragged, predatory kids with their international catch phrase,
"Hey Joe, you got ceegaret?"g and the Arabs who seem to delight in winding their dirty
linen about their heads to form turbans.
One of the best hotels in Algiers is the Aletti, which provided us a popular
gathering spot, serving good food, good-drinks, and good music. Then there were other
gathering spots like the Sphinx and the Rainbow which failed to favor the patron with
good food, music and drinks, but nevertheless had certain 'fattractions".
One of the most beautiful places in Algiers is the Botanical Gardens, laid out in
'elf First Tour - In the experi-
classic French style and displaying many strange trees and exotic flowers.
For those that took the all day tour, the Lunch at Monkey Brooke Inn was a
memorable occasion. Though the steaks we had, demonstrated the durability of
Algerian leather, the setting was exquisite. Cradled in the rugged Gorges of Chiffa,
the Inn provided general mess for the monkeys in the area.
Most enjoyable of all probably was just casual walking around the town,
stopping at a bar here and there, and haggling with a shopkeeper there and here.
And we all took a French lesson:
V00-LAY VOO DAHN-SAY A VEK MWAH?
Main Street Aiaccio
May 14 - May 18
AFTER Algiers, and one night in Cagliari, Sardinia,
flVlay 125 the little French town of Ajaccio was B
welcome sight,'Nestled in a quiet cove at the foot of
steep green hills, it appeared as peaceful as a sleeping
faun, guarded by the quiet snow-capped giants of the
interior. The people seemed happy. There were no "kids"
too tough for their years, roaming the streets. Even an
atempt at obliterating the MU. S. Navy Co Home" signs
had been made.
VLiberty in Ajaccio was nothing outstanding, like a
small town in the States they urolled up the sidewalks"
at nine, but it afforded a wonderful opportunity for
leisurely strolls about town and to the beaches where
some of us saw our first "Bikini', suits and the fascinat-
ing way in which the young lassies change them.
A tour up the coast revealed the rugged and varied
beauty of the island. Swimming at Sagonne, lunch at
Coraggio, and beer at the rocks of Piana, all were. high
points of the tour.
We had shared Algiers with the Macomb and Ajac-
cio we shared with the Tarawag another town and a lot
of white hats.
We said "Ajaccio is nice", but we also said, "Ah Ha,
it is our last stop before CANNES".
Small Corsican town near
Volcanic rock and azure sea
Pretty good tour
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"Dear Mom, well here I am in Cannes
That's on the French Riviera you know. Went up to
Nice last night and, uh, well, that's all for now. Love,
Cannes was good liberty, even if one didnat go to
Nice or Monte Carlo one could have a good time at
the beaches, which are the best on the Riviera. The
scenery was nice too. We got a close look at the Bikini
suits and a distant view of the Maritime Alps and adja-
cent areas. There was always something to write home
Probably the biggest attraction was Nice with its
famous Promenade des Anglaise fthe name is almost
synonomous with Rivieral and its foot-bruising cobble-
stone beaches. Nice boasts a number of small cafes that
serve an interesting variety of foods, wines, and enter-
tainment, but who said that French wines aren't strong?
There were many ships in the harbor with us, six
in our nest alone, if you want to count a submarine, so
we were never lonesome ashore for the sight of a fellow
Casino at Monte Carlo
UST fl'l9HdS Monte Carlo from Palace at MonaC0
View from Eze
mariner. Such large numbers of men enabled us to
have a choice of tours every day. The Riviera tour took
us to Monaco and Monte Carlo where we visited the
famous Casino. We had lunch in Nice and visited some
of the ancient little towns of the interior, Eze and St.
Peter, after which we stopped at the perfumerie at Grazze
to see how they turned hog fat and musk into' rare French
Though not as varied as the Riviera tour the Alpine
tour provided us with some magnificent scenery, a rest-
ful day ashore, and a few more photographs for the
A few of us and a couple of officers managed to
get to Paris for four days and a few went fishing for
two days in the Alps.
It's hard to write a letter convincing the folks that
the Navy isn't a tourists' paradise when you're on the
Riviera. Letters ring with familiar names associated with
the 'cplayground of Europe" we write of liberties filled
with peddle boats, sidewalk cafes, streets full of bicycles,
Madamoiselles, French cooking and a hundred other won-
derful new things. For every day ashore, though, there
is at least one at sea. For an account of this less glitter-
ing aspect see the next section. I
Monaco Palace Guard
There are many little cliches, bromides, aphorisms
and stock sayings in the English language but probably
the one that has been recorded most often and been
subjected to the most use and misuse is the ready little
entry HSTEAMING AS BEFORE".
Replemshmg at sea.
rf, Just what does this magic phrase mean?
It means one in three watches, four hours on and
A eight offg with ship's work, sleep and meals on the off
hours. It means that . . . but wait, if a picture is
I worth 10,000 words then here are several volumes.
After Engine Room
"You're not lucky, you're lust quiclcl"
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Ship's Office and Company
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Florenqe Cathedral Santa
Maria del Fiore
.lune 9 - June 16
On June ninth, after seven days at sea, we squeezed
into the snug little harbor of Leghorn, only to find that
we were actually in Livorno, or at least so it is called by
Leghorn is outstanding for two reasons: 1. it's near
to Florence fFirenzelg 2, it's near to Pisa. Pisa was the
closest, about twenty minutes by cab and was well worth
the trip to all who went. There we saw the leaning
tower, built in the 12th century as the bell tower fCam-
panillel for the Cathedral, Santa Maria Maggiore, which
we also saw along with the Baptistry where we listened
to its wonderful echo.
Florence was the main attraction. Some of us were
lucky enough to get there on a two day tour. We found
the city much as it is heralded, one of the cultural and
artistic centers of Europe. From our rooms in the Hotel
Majestic, we visited the Medici palace and famous Pitti
palace and museum, complete with works by Raphael and
Andrea del Sarto. The squares were show places alsog
at the Piazza Vecchio we saw Michaelangelo's David and
Benvenuto Cellini's Hermes and Medusa. The huge Cath-
edral Santa Maria del Fiores and Giobherti's doors' on
the Baptistry opposite will long live in our memories of
Italy, along with the Ponte Vecchio bridge and its jewelry
As for Leghorn, our lasting impressions are of
the bombed out buildings, Communist posters by the
thousands and of course Chianti. The snack bar and
E. M. club offered the delights of American beer, malts,
fresh milk and a good jukebox.
We've been away from home over two months, any-
thing American sounds good now. Not that foreign travel
isn't interesting but we are beginning to look forward to
that one best port, Charleston, S, C ..., homeport.
Typical Tour Bus
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June Z4 - June 30
Malta . . . rock and rock dust . . , most heavily
bombarded spot in the world . . . dumping depot for
Nazi bombers returning from Africa. It was hot, and the
first impression on steaming into Sliema creek was, "No
trees", just scrubby bushes.
We were anchored with a group of British and
Indian Corvettes and Minesweepers commanding a full
view of the city, its yellow and white stone buildings
blending into the pale yellow rock of the countryside.
In the next harbor, just fifteen minutes by bus was
Valleta, ancient walled city dating back to the time of
the Phoenicians. The wall was probably the most im-
pressive part of Valleta. Forty feet thick, it served in,
ancient days to shield the city from both sea and land
attacks, additional protection being provided on the land
side by a sixty foot moat. Also in Valleta was the
Phoenician hotel, famous for a lethal John Collins.
Just as we were beginning to get used to the im-
possible pound, shilling, crown, farthing, bob, etc., cur-
rency it was time to go, Malta wasnlt bad liberty though,
the 4'Chatteau" overlooking the sea was a good place to
dance and drink and the Maltese lace provided many with
an interesting souvenir.
- Gout IUAN 2. SAN nemo 4
San Remo Promenade
if g. -A
July 2 - July 8
July 8 - July 12
Retracing our steps from Malta we arrived at Colfe Juan, just
around the corner from Cannes on the road to Nice. A few of
us didn't stay long on the Riviera but hustled off to Paris for a
gay four days, now filling our memories with thoughts of the
Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, the Champs Elysee', the Louvre and of
course a touch of 'lHeather". The rest of us stayed to tour the
cafes, sample the wines, enjoy the nightclubs and soak up the
luxurious atmosphere of summertime in Europe's playground.
On the eighth we steamed out of Golfe Juan and arrived after
three hours in San Remo, on the Italian Riviera. San Remo was
as nice if not nicer than Golfe Juan certainly less expensive. It
was a very clean town built on the face of a hill that was
brilliant with many flowers and gardens.
Some of us saw the Harlem Globetrotters play a local team
in Monaco, a little province just over the French border.
The beaches were good, providing a variety of entertainment
and much to please the palate and much to please the eye.
San Remo is an international ,resort area, half of its 70,000
population being tourists, so naturally the American "tourist', lwith
accompanying lirel were warmly welcomed. The stay in San Remo
was a nice little breather before we shoved off for two weeks on
Our Minex Dragex exercise wasnt as tedious
as we had feared it would be. We steered straight from
San Hemo through the Straits of Messina to the
Ionian Sea where we anchored just off the Sl10rC Of
sure was a nice place to go and have a quiet drink.
Even at 10000 drachmae the drinks were cheap HOW.
We often anchored off the little Greek islands
of Zante and Qephelonias for the night Only a few
Patras. Patras wasn't much of a liberty port but it
t i N I T f
They are everywhere
weeks afterward these islands were to be torn by
earthquakes, their cities left in ruins.
The first port after Minex Dragex was Taranto,
Italy, the scene of heavy air-sea fighting in World
War II. The first thing we noticed were the hideous
jellyfish fMedusaJ that clogged the harbor and filled
up our basket strainers.
Taranto did not suffer as much war damage as
many other Italian ports and presented a spacious and
neat appearanceg however, after ten o'clock the town
died. There wasnit much to do but walk around
or take the tours. One tour went to the Grotto Albero-
bello, and was a gratuity of the Italian Navy. The
other tour went to a nearby resort which provided a
pool and a combo.
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MINEX DRAGEX July 12 - July 27
TARANTO July 27 - July 31
BRINDISI July 31 . Aug. 3
BARI Aug. 3 - Aug. 6
ANCO-NA Aug. 7 - Aug. 11
It was in Taranto that we said goodbye to Phil
s ly ,van , fl'
Kirk and Mr. Kirk bid a "sad" farewell to the Navy.
Unfortunately he missed the party that we threw for
about thirty orphans.
With only a few hours steaming we were in
Brindisi. It too was a surprisingly clean town, in fact
we found the East coast of Italy from Taranto to
Trieste a great deal more attractive than Leghorn and
We moored outboard of the Macomb with the
huge Mariner's Monument fthe crazy bottle openerj
across the harbor on our starboard beam. We were
the first American ship to call in Brindisi this year and
the people seemed quite friendly to the American
Sailor. The shops and Cafes even kept their doors
open after hours to accomodate us.
One of the nicest spots in Brindisi was the Hotel
Jolly where you could get a good Italian dinner in-
cluding the wine for a buck sixty, f1,000 lirei. The
pool was pleasant and cold.
Just a few hours K69 miles! North of Brindisi
lies the town of Bari, so we were able to cast off
and moor on the same day. We were quite a way from
town, in fact, about the only way to get to town was
by carriage or taxi, but the ride proved worth while.
Bari was a happy place. There were many little cafes
filled with laughing people and gay Italian music,
like "Botcha Me" along the bustling streets.
Only one thing detracted from the general well
beingg the water had a funny, salty taste. f?J
We had a whole day at sea underway from Bari to
Ancona, it was a good day, for that day we success-
fully towed the Macomb and made smoke.
Ancona furnished us with the activity that we
were beginning to crave. First, we could play ball
alongside the ship, even the duty section, except
those who had the watch, could play. Then there was
the big basketball game with the Ancona Club team.
They lucked out in the last half but we gave them
a good fight. Tours went to the Loreta Shrine and to
San Marino, and almost every afternoon we escorted
a bunch of Italian orphans around the ship. The town
of Ancona was good for liberty, They sold beer in
huge glass boots the shape of the Italian peninsula. It
took a pretty thirsty man to drink all the way down
to Rome . . . and there is no record of anyone
getting all the way to the straits of Messina.
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August 12, - August 16
Trieste, free city, powderkeg of Europe, and
friction point between Italy and Yugoslavia,
seemed like a little bit of home to us after we
had gotten our lines doubled up and secured.
So close that you could smell the hamburgers
frying was the Army P.X. where they had plenty
of fresh milk, malts, french fries and American
beer and there was dock liberty for the stand-
bys. We held the ship's party in the P.X. Some
of them even made it back for the second night
of the party which was as glorious as the first.
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When the P.X. grew dull there was the
Hanger Club or the Kit Kat Club or the city
sights, which included the old castle on top of
the hill and the Roman theater.
The town didn't seem too much different
from the other Italian towns we had seen. It
was a little larger, and boasted a streetcar
system but aside from that the people, currency,
and food were all familiar, all Italian, and all
good for liberty. g
For four nights the movies aboard were not
crowded, fMovies? What m0vies?J
Ellinger and Friend Sl1ip's Party
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August 17 - August 21
One of the best if not THE best liberty ports we
visited was Venice, "City of Beavers" with canals for
streets and gondolas for taxis.
We had an ideal berth, at the foot of the Grand
Canal about four hundred yards from the Palace of
the Doges lPalazzo Ducalel. Liberty parties went
ashore by gondola. .lust a few minutes walk from the
landing was the ornate Byzantine cathedral of St.
lVlark's lSan Marcel and the great square lpiazza San
Marcol ringed with many shops selling famous and
excellent Venetian glass and lacework.
There were no cars, motorcycles or bicycles in
Venice, the only methods of transportation being by
foot, gondola, or on one of the steamers lvaporettil
that plied the Grand Canal, sometimes to the dis-
illusionment of the gondola-minded tourist. For two
thousand lire 13533 a gondolier would take you up
the Grand Canal, past the famous palaces to the
Rialto bridge and return to the square via the
Bridge of Sighs.
The square of San Marco was the center of ac--
tivity in Venice . .. . an international center. There
one could see as many German, French and American
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one of the many little cafes around the square,
listening to the music, and chatting.
There was something about Venice that gave the
spirit a genuine lift as soon as one stepped ashore.
It was a happy place, unrushed, wrapt in a thousand
year history of art and culture. From the ancient,
colorful city to the modern Lido, with it's famous
beach and elegant hotels, the atmosphere was friendly
and inviting. Who could ever forget a night in Venice?
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Gai' under 'l'hose hais sailors!
August 26 to 31
Vesuvius, faithful guardian of the bay of
Naples, silently watched the USS FITCH ease
up to her anchorage and drop the hook, Before
we took the long ride to the beach we had
time for a glance at old Vesuvius, he was
pretty impressive, even without the cap of
smoke that he doffed in forty four.
The city of Naples was interesting, with its
panoramas and hills and bustling crowds of
people, but the main attractions were outside of
the city, Two hours away by steamer was the
Isle of Capri, famous for the Blue Grotto and
a rugged sort of island beauty.
"Come Ye Back to Old Sorrento" was for
most of us just a song that we had heard in
the States. After seeing that lovely little Italian
town we understood why the song was written,
and some of us concurred.
There was also Pompei, ancient city, well
preserved by the ashes of Vesuvius, to tempt the
tour goers. But best of all was Rome, the Eter-
nal City. We'll never forget the Colosseum. The
Vatican, Capitoline Hill, with the Victor Eman
ual Il monument, St. Peteris and St. Peter's in
Chains where we saw Michaelangelo's Moses.
We even tossed a coin in the fountain of Trevi,
insuring that we would return to Rome some
day, and -
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Fountains of Trevi
T Sept. 5 to Sept. 14
y Sunny Spain provided us with an interestf
i nine days ashore. Malaga and the surround
areas constitute one of the resort areas
Spain. The vineyards of Malaga are wo1
famous, producing the ruddy full-bodied Mal:
wine. The people speak '6Castilian" which if
quite like the Spanish we learned in school
near enough that We could make out a
Over a dozen of us went to Ronda, a tc
l fight, and of course all returned as gen
s afficionadosn. They don't'call it 'ibullfight
Spain, they say "the running of the bu
about 90 ki-lometers from Malaga, to see a
4 '4Corrida de los Toms",
if Prices in Spain were a lot lower than we
found them to be in France or Italy . . . and Malaga from Old Caslle
liberty was good, C"Si como no?D
' Mira Mar Hofel
Tunnel and Gardens of Castle Gilbralfero
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Sept. 21 to Sept. 25
La Spezia, was a rather pretty little
Italian town with many good restau-
rants, shops and interesting little side
We were moored close to town, so
very little of our liberty was wasted
walking to and from the ship.
La Spezia was nice, but we were
beginning to grow restless, for there
was a port, now only one month away
that promised to be best of allg Char-
leston, S. C.
Golte Juan, Fieet Landing tHow did we get here7t
Main Street, Lespezia
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lust another Italian tnwn
View of LeSpezia from Bow of Ship
Harbor ot Lespezia
Main Street, Lespezia
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We're going home, homeward bound, no words fall
easier on our ears than these. No thought is more wel-
come. Spirits brighten with each mile.
We worked hard, stood a lot of watches, turned to
a lot. We did a good job, we know that, not smugly
but proudly, we know. We got in some good liberties
They're waiting for us thereg it'll be good to see
them, It'll be good to get home, welre going home.
On April 22, 1953 we set sail from Charleston, S. C.
On October 24, 1953, six months and two days later,
we returned. We,re home.
The Lasi' LeH'er
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