Hamner (DD 718) - Naval Cruise Book

 - Class of 1958

Page 6 of 96

 

Hamner (DD 718) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1958 Edition, Page 6 of 96
Page 6 of 96



Hamner (DD 718) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1958 Edition, Page 5
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Page 6 text:

lllll Bl! ll!! Bl! YARD OVERHAUL The best place to start this story is where some of us first saw the HAM- NER. She was a sad "fighting lady" straddling some fifty keel blocks at the bottom of drydock 45:2 in Long Beach Naval Shipyard with only the bridge, funnels, and mast structure showing above the drydock's high ocean retaining walls. Her exterior was amassed with scaffolding, power, steam and water lines, pieces of machinery, large and small tool boxes and various slow moving workmen with an assortment of numbered and colored tin hats. ln her decks, gaping holes aired the main engineering spaces at their worst moments with the machinery opened up for either inspection or maintenance-and the remainder of the spaces covered with grime, greasy rags, tools, chain hoists, and even dirtier members of the black gang. Above decks the roar from dozens of chipping hammers, scaling guns, crawl- ers, etc. drowned out all conversation and maintained the noise level not only intolerable but, at times, unbearable. Mount 33 was off to the shop for repairs as was the torpedo mount, and the mast, like mother hubbard's cupboard, was bare for the lack of electronic gear. The bottom had just been sand blasted and primed, and by the smell alone it was easy to detect that thenew anti-fouling plastic coat was being applied. One of the big bronze propellers was still in the shop having the nicks and chips of the last two years ground out, and 210 fathoms of M" anchor chain lay in neat rows on the drydock floor shining of new black paint and awaiting replacement in confines of the dark chain locker. To us, the HAMNER looked more a cold, miserable, unkempt ghost than the warm, taut, clean ship we had expected to see, but we knew it was to be our job, making no mistake about it, to bring the HAMNER into condition again for her Septem- ber deployment to WestPac. lf our first view of the HAMNER was shocking, the following sights of the crew and it's conditions were no better. The living compartments were in sham- bles. Cables and ventilation tubes reduced the available space in each hatch, and in place of the usual steel ladders, a wooden ladder could be found if one was to be found at all. Bunks were for the most part down and littered about the com- partments, and the steel lockers, many of them torn open or warped, were in bad condition. Bulkheads were in sad need of paint, any kind, and the decks either had the remanents of six coats of grey or had long since been worn down to bare metal. The crew had to ride buses to all their meals with the HAMNER'S mess hall and galley out of commission. Laundry service wasn't bad, but with heavy work going on all the time, the men wore the oldest and most worn clothing they owned with the hat, for the most part, an unheard of item. Where yard painting was going on, any personal gear left out generally received enough paint to make it's owner quite distressed and angry. The HAMNER, sitting high and dry, became an oven on those hot May days in Long Beach. I Of the crew, half came slowly trickling in from boot camp or other duty stations, all new to the ways of the HAMNER and not able to be of much assistance at this time. Those of the old crew were basically tired. The ship had, in February, rust completed an eight month tour of WestPac, and the old timers were not the least bit inspired or enthralled with the thought of working long hours patching up the HAMNER for another tour come September. Leave and liberty came first with these men, especially for those who were married. Each had family relations which needed to be patched up or strengthened more than did the HAMNER. Fortunately for most, this could be taken care of just by having the man of the house HOME!!! The situation wasn't made any better by having the HAMNER spend three of the six months allowed stateside at Long Beach, some 100 miles from the home port of San Diego. However, the undeniable fact that the HAMNER could have undergone overhaul in San Francisco or Bremer- ton kept the married men from complaining more. For the bachelors, Long Beach was much better than San Diego simply because there existed here a lower boy- grrl ratio, and San Francisco, WOW, if we could have gotten there!!!!! At any rate, married or single, old or new, at 1100 each Friday, the HAMNER became almost completely devoid of personnel, having only enough for the weekend cold iron and sentry watches plus one duty officer. ln athletics, the HAMNER'S Sta! V050 again in softball games, pistol matches and the biweekly meeting ofthe wardroom officers on the golfing green.

Page 5 text:

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Page 7 text:

Slowly, the weeks of the yard and ship's company work began to show progress. The ship was floated off the keel blocks May 17th and moved dead stick along- side the CHANDLER at Pier Two. By now, most of the exterior of the ship had been entirely chipped, primed and grey painted by the gunnery and operations personnel. Below decks, as fast as the crew could mask off a compartment, the yard painter sprayed everything and anything in it. We all had plenty of oppor- tunity to observe the efficiency of the yard workers, reaching it's peak at 1645 each day for the crossing of the gangway movement, so the less said about this the better. Dock trials came on the 27th with the HAMNER passing all tests for being able to steam while tied up alongside the pier. By this time the crew was messing aboard again, and the living compartments were beginning to look much better. On Tuesday, lune 4th, the ship went out for engineering trials with a dense fog limiting the speed to 15 knots. The final electronics trials were run on the 11th, and by the following Monday the ship was finished with the shipyard -no more money-no more time. Somewhat bewildered in just what had or had not been accomplished in the yards, how long we could expect the repaired equip- ment to operate and the momentous amount of work still to be done, an unsteady crew took the HAMNER out on her own. The HAMNER didn't get out of sight of the pier before the evaporators started giving trouble, serious trouble that was to plague us for many months and become a subject dear to each man. During the first week out of the yard, the HAMNER ran sonar calibrations at sea, finished up her topside painting while anchored in the outer Long Beach Harbor with no liberty and loaded ammunition at Seal Beach before sailing from Long Beach first west, directly in the trough of the seas to stabilize our shaky sea legs, then south, the direction we wanted to go in the first place and finally east, to make up for our going west, to arrive at buoy 25, San Diego Harbor in time for 1300 liberty call, Friday, 21 June. Home at lastllll ' ' 1 ' "S-1. -'4-S-.. ., 3. .pi-.,.:.g4-....:.1:f4,-f-.x,:g-11+'.w-.14 . fr ,s,vu9'-xx.. -.x X -3-2 -

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