Hamner (DD 718) - Naval Cruise Book

 - Class of 1958

Page 9 of 96

 

Hamner (DD 718) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1958 Edition, Page 9 of 96
Page 9 of 96



Hamner (DD 718) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1958 Edition, Page 8
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Page 9 text:

gard gunnery officer, Lieutenant Henry Rawlings HAMNER, fixed his gaze on the fast approaching, bomb laden kamikaze aircraft bent on sinking his ship. As the planes closed within range he directed the battery fire and kept track of each plane as one by one almost all dropped out, disappeared or exploded before the roar of the five inch and 4Omm,' the orange-red streaming tracers and the rapid exploding of shells. However, there was one plane which, no matter how many guns Lt. HAMNER brought to bear on, refused to go down, coming in, badly damaged, through the dense clouds of smoke and flak toward the vague silhouette of the director and crashing - - - To commemorate Lt. HAMNER'S valiant efforts to defend his ship and to perpetuate his name on the rolls of the Fleet, hull 54718, under construction at the Federal Ship Building and Dry Dock Com- pany at Port Newark, New lersey, was officially titled USS HAMNER in his honor and launched on 24 November 1945. Commissioned on 12 July 1946, the HAMNER was ordered to duty with the Pacific Fleet in December after her shakedown cruise at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and post commissioning repairs at Brooklyn Naval Shipyard. The next eleven years of full activity passed as indicated in the table below: San Diego WestPac Cruises Operating Yard Overhauls .an 47-Sep 47 Oct 47-Feb 48 Mar 48-lun 48 Bremerton Nov 48-lun 49 lul 48-Nov 48 Dec 49-Mar 50 Mare Island .iul 50-Mar 51 Sep 49-Nov 49 lul 51-Aug 51 Long Beach Oct 51-May 52 Apr 50-Jun 50 lun 52-Sep 52 Long Beach tan 53-Aug 53 Apr 54-Sep 54 Jlun 55-Dec 55 Jul 56-Feb 57 To the Honolulu, Apr 51-Jun 51 Oct 52-Dec 52 Oct 53-Mar 54 lan 55- May 55 Sept 53 Long Beach Sep 54-Jan 55 Long Beach Mar 57-lun 57 Long Beach lan 56-lun 56 HAMNER ports like Yokosuka, Kobe, Sasebo, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Keelung, Buckner Bay, Midway, Guam and Subic Bay are old stuff with most in the schedule at sometime during the six to eight month tour of the Western Pacific. Other ports such as Manila, Shanghai, Nagasaki and Atami were made only on a few cruises. During the first tours, the HAMNER operated mainly out of Tsingtao, China prior to the closing of the Bamboo Curtain, and since the commencement of Korean hostilities a two to four week tour of picket patrol duty in the rough shallow waters of the Straits of Taiwan has been a thorn in every destroyer's schedule. Only on the eighth cruise did the HAMNER have the opportunity to dip below the equator to visit Australia for a taste ot her excellent ports and beautiful women. Untried to date by the HAMNER are the fine ports of Europe and South America which only a cruise to the Mediterrean or around the Horn will allow the HAMNER to chalk up. Unforseeable as yet, these opportunities may still be over the horizon in the dawn of cruises to come. As for combat, the HAMNER, of course, missed the big war, but she was "on the way" with the rest of DESDIV lll at the first call during the outbreak of the Korean War. Defeat and tragedy filled the air on her arrival as she assisted in the evacuation of Yondok and the defense of Pohang. With the turning of the tide of battle in September, the HAMNER assisted in the landing at lnchon and watched the rapid progress of the Eighth Army into North Korea. Shocked and stunned at the sudden reversal of fortunes during the tragic winter of 1951-52, the HAMNER participated in the evacuation from Hungnam the core of our ground forces and their valuable equipment from the grip ofa tightly closing trap. During her succeeding fourth and fifth cruises the HAMNER, up to the cessation of hostilities on 27 July 1953, spent much time on the Bombline giving fire support to forces ashore or screening larger bombardment ships as they roamed up and down the Korean coastline. For her part in various combat missions, occupations, or other maneuvers, the HAMNER has been awarded the China Service Medal, the Navy Occupation Medal with Asiatic Clasp, the Korean Service Medal and five combat stars, the World War ll Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. From her record it is easy to see that HAMNER spends most of her time at sea. To elaborate, 45fK, of her time is spent enroute to, from or in the Western Pacific area with the SEVENTH Fleet, and 10'K, more can be attributed to other cruises, such as the 1949 NROTC summer cruise to Panama via the Galapagos Islands or to overnight operating near San Diego. For the crew, time in port but still away from liberty, sweethearts and families in San Diego must be counted as an additional 12fK, for shipyard over- hauls and 1O'K, for duty days spent swinging around a buoy. The summation indicates that, through the eleven commissioned years, the crews of the HAMNER have averaged only twenty days out of each hundred on liberty in the home port of San Diego. With the advent ofthe jet airplane and taster, more maneuvera- ble submarines, newer, better, more expensive and generally heavier equipment is installed at every bi-annual yard overhaul. Since commissioning, the radars have been completely replaced, the 40mm mounts uprooted and three inch fifties put in their places, a new fire control system added, better sonar equipment installed, the old single posted mast gone in favor of the tripod, better messing facilities added and many other alterations effected in the effort to keep the destroyer navy abreast of the times. So this was the HAMNER as we met her, in the middle of her fifth full overhaul and in the last quarter of her eleventh year of naval service. Some citizens remark that in view of modern sci- entific advances, the HAMNER is too old for effective battle serv- ice. True, the newer Forrest Sherman class destroyers will eventu- ally take the place of the HAMNER and her 2250 ton sisters, but not until well into the next decade. Until then, the backbone of the destroyer navy will continue to be ships like the HAMNER. As Dunkirk, Midway, the Battle of the Atlantic, and Hungnam have all proved, a scientifically modern navy on paper or in construc- tion can never, in battle, substitute for ships in existence, present at the scene, and manned by men with the training, the will and the courage to fight them with every means available. This is the reason the HAMNER is currently in commission and the answer to why we are aboard her! 5 N- . QQ: rgxtxxvs-Qs-ef wfzfiff' -"- X ' ' -. 1 -...gn-S-X-:..va.::----f.-7.,.J: N-,1..f,...1 - . 1'c.- -ag.--ws' I ' -1 Exe .. ---QNFQ-.Tx

Page 8 text:

THE HISTORY Before progressing further with the story of this cruise, let us reminisce of the origin of the name "HAlVlNER" on the navy's roll of honor, the birth and construction of destroyer hull :QE718 and the ensuing eleven years since commissioning. Working rapidly during the passing months of World War ll, naval architects and designers sought to blueprint for shipyard production a new type of destroyer which would incorporate many recent battle proven features considered vitalto the rapidly modernizing navy and still maintain the high speed-low weight-medium range charac- teristics of the typical destroyer. The end result became the Geary Class, 2250 ton, long hull destroyer, and, to be built in accordance with these plans, the keel of hull il:718, authorized in luly 1942, was finally laid in April 1945. While these first keel beams were being laid, far across the Pa- cific off the coast of Okinawa a weary sleepless destroyer waited at General Quarters for another life and death struggle with the kami- kaze aircraft which had been plaguing the fleet with a suicidial reign of terror and fiery death. From the forward director a young hag-



Page 10 text:

UNDERWAY TRAINING AND SEATTLE SEA FAIR During July 1957 the HAMNER spent three weeks in what is known as underway training to bring the training level of her battle organization up to Pacific Fleet standards. Gunnery, ClC, damage control, and ASW teams were sent to various shore schools during the first week for basic indoctrination and practice while the Fleet Training Group observers thoroughly checked over the ship's ad- ministrative and material condition. The next two weeks were filled with shore bombardment at San Clemente Island, surface and air gunnery exercises, single and dual ship ASW attacks, tactical ma- neuvers and numerous engineering and damage control casualty drills, each made all the more difficult by two outbreaks of the flu striking down roughly twenty men each time. With the final battle problem on Saturday, the 27th ending our training, we had barely one week of upkeep before starting out on our trip to the Seattle Sea Fair. Leaving San Diego on Saturday, 2 August, the HAMNER pro- ceeded in company with the USS LOS ANGELES CA 123 and the seven other ships of DESRON 11 along the Pacific Coast toward the Straits of Jaun de Fuca and Seattle. Off Astoria, Oregon, the HAMNER fired twelve salvos at one of two taget LSlL's with one possible hit and then watched from the sidelines as the LOS AN- GELES and DESDIV 112 sank the two LSlL's. Arriving in Seattle on Wednesday under disappointingly cloudy skies but with good view of the beautiful Northwest woodlands the squadron paraded in column past the waterfront to mark our entry into the city's annual SEA FAIR. Mooring at Pier 91, five days of early liberty gave us ample opportunity to participate in the street dances, dinners, cocktail parties and Sea Fair Balls, to venture out for sightseeing and to take in the famed annual Gold Cup speedboat races on Lake Washington. While we were out seeing Seattle, the Seattlites in- spected the fleet units which were open each day for general visiting. Even with the good liberty .we still had plenty of problems aboard. To mention a few, the Commodore held a personnel inspection on Friday, an electric flash, caused by a poor high powered cable connection, imposed partial temporary blindness to five of our men, and the air ejector condenser for the main evaporators had to be completely retubed before leavingport. The ships left Seattle be- hind early Monday morning, 11 August, well satisfied with their visit, slowed down enough for air defense exercises in the cloudy weather off San Francisco and then set sights for 1300 liberty call Thursday in San Diego. Wk gfi,:,,5E,,U',e,kWl,..2.LEH ,we iw -f , ,.. 5 g 2,911 T., t,... fiitc

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