THE  SCUTTLEBUTT

 

The Newsletter of the

USS Buchanan (DDG-14) Association

 

Spring, 2007

 

Vol. IX.  No. 1    http://www.uss-buchanan-ddg14.org    Editor: David B. Malone

______________________________________________________________________________

 

Our next Ship wide reunion is scheduled for March 12 - 16, 2008 at the Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside, San Diego, California.

 

All crew members, families and persons who have the common interest of the USS Buchanan-DDG 14 are welcome.

 

Come join the fun reuniting and network with old friends, renewing new and old acquaintances. .Sharing those old sea stories in the hospitality room, touring the city and naval base to bring back old memories, and again just having fun and enjoying the company of old friends.

 

Visit the web site at http://www.uss-buchanan-ddg14.org and click on Reunions then 2008 reunion for more detail of the up and coming reunion.  See you all there.

 

Tim Nightingale

 

TREASURER’S REPORT

 

PAID MEMBERS (72)

Acosta, Javier; Alexander, Ted; Andrew, Randy; Backer, Bill; Baile, Bruce; Bartleson, Don; Batterman, Bill; Beinke, Phil; Bomar, Rick; Borg, Gene; Boyle, Tim; Brinley, Bill; Browning, Rob & Marian; Boyle, Tim; Bussey, Robert Cabahug, Jaime; Cadia, John; Casmier, Dave; Clark, Jere; Connell, Dan; Craig, Tom; Crosser, Tom; Daisley, Dick; Doran, Paul; Egge, Dennis; England, Carl; Falkenhan, Marc; Fitzroy, John; Gant, Charlie; George, David; Gilbert, Joe; Glidewell, Mel; Gloyd, Elmer; Gray, Bill; Heffernan, Michael; Henley, Ron; Hubner, Leon; Jones, Bobby; Kane, Ken; Kern, Tom; King, Michael; Kupec, Cole; Larsen, Jerry; Looney, Glenn; Malone, Dave; Marak, Ron; Martelly, Pete; McDonald, John; Mezori, George; Myers, Dean; Nightingale, Tim; Norrod, Michael; Parks, Bill; Probus, Ed; Proctor, Lou; Re, Joe; Ridley, Ray; Rivenes, John; Rudisill, Terry; Sena, Pat; Sheridan, Tom; Smeltzer, Steve; Snyder, Tom; Stroud, Mike; Taylor, Jim; Thacher, Phil; Ursich, Al; Walla, Bob; Walsh, William; Wihera, Victor; Wood, Ken; Yarbrough, Dave; Zimmermann, Dick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW MEMBERS SINCE FEBRUARY 2007

John McDonald                 GMG3            1966 - 67

 

 

TREASURER’S REPORT

 Balance 28 Feb 2007

$4,038.24

 Dues

154.00

 Ship store sales

58.80

 Ship store expenses

-14.15

 Balance 30 June 2007

$4,236.89

 

 

UPCOMING ARTICLE TO BE PUBLISHED

Hello to all:

I am happy to report that after all this time, my article concerning the events of May 8-10 1972 during the cruiser-destroyer attacks on the Do Son peninsula and Haiphong will be published by Naval Institute Press in the August 2007 issue of Naval History Magazine. Naval History Magazine is the most prestigious naval history magazine in the world and of course I am very excited that the magazine staff decided to publish this story.

Over the last two and one-half years, I have been asked many times by participants in these battles and friends when the article would be published and finally, I have the answer!!!

This magazine will go on sale at the end of June and is available several ways:

1.  You can become a member of Naval Institute by going to their website to obtain the relevant membership information:

http://www.usni.org/magazines/navalhistory/archive/index.asp

Depending on the membership selected, you will receive Naval Institute Proceedings and/or Naval History Magazine.

2.  Naval History Magazine is also sold by many major bookstore chains, however, I would recommend that you call the bookstores near you and find out if they carry this magazine. Some do, some do not.

3.  You can call Naval Institute directly at 1-800-233-8764 and order single issues. If you do this, you should call during the first week of June 2007, not before, and put in your order. You can order multiple copies if you desire.

    I have also created a website to honor Rear Admiral R.C. Robinson, Captain Ted Taylor and Commander John Leaver who lost their lives on May 8, 1972 as of course many of you remember. You can visit this website at:

http://www.rear-admiral-rc-robinson.com/index.html

I also want to thank so many of you for helping me research this story for without your assistance and insight, it would have been impossible to reconstruct what happened over those three days in a factual manner. It is for you and your families that I have written this article and it is my utmost hope that it honors you and your shipmates.

Finally, for those of you that are members of your ship's website, please let the webmaster and other shipmates know of this upcoming Naval History Magazine issue so that they get the word. I am sure that there are many who are interested if they just could be informed and if you could assist me in this I would very much appreciate the effort.

Best wishes,

John Robinson

NEW SHIPPING RATES FOR THE SHIP’S STORE

New shipping rates for mail orders from the Ship’s Store are in effect.  Postages rates for the Post Office have gone up, but we’ve actually made our rates more reasonable.  The below chart now applies to all orders placed with the Ship’s Store.

$0.00 - 30.00 -   $4.05

$30.01- 40.00 -  $5.70

$40.01 & over  - $6.40

Orders from the Ship’s Store may be placed by visiting the Ship’s Store web page at http://www.members.aol.com/shipstore1/store.htm , or by going to http://www.uss-buchanan-ddg14.org/ and clicking on the link for the Ship’s Store.

A QUESTION FROM A FORMER SHIPMATE

 

Hi Dean is there anyway you can make some sort of posting to guys who served on the Buchanan? What I'm trying to find out is if it was on the Buchanan that we guys were ordered topside and a plane came over and sprayed us with something. I'm not sure if was the Buchanan or the Berkeley and this is maybe the only way I can get this info. I served on the Buchanan part of 1965 until Aug 1966. I appreciate anything you can do to help.

 

Vic Wihera

 

INTERESTING WEBSITE

 

Received from Rob Browning.  An interesting website for reconnecting Navy Veterans.

 

http://navy.togetherweserved.com/usn/index.jsp

 

NOW ON THE BUCHANAN...

Moments in the life of USS Buchanan (DDG-14), taken from the ship’s annual reports.

                                                        

Thirty Six years ago... 1971

On 11 May, Commander Greff was ordered to Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Pacific Fleet Staff on Temporary Additional Duty Orders for a period of about three weeks. Shortly after he returned on 2 June the ship received notification of its shift from DESRON 15 to DESRON 31 which became effective on 15 June.

 

Thirty years ago…1977

20 April, BUCHANAN departed Pearl Harbor and rejoined the transit task group enroute Subic Bay, RP. The transit training exercises continued until the evening of 23 April, when BUCHANAN went alongside USS SHASTA (AE 33) for a night replenishment.  Steam pressure in the after engineering plant was lost while alongside, necessitating an emergency breakaway. Difficulty was experienced in releasing the span wire between the two ships, and it was cut by SHASTA deck personnel. Trailing aft, the cable became wound around the port shaft, damaging the rope guard and necessitation the locking of the shaft. Repeated attempts by Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) personnel for SHASTA were unsuccessful in removing the cable at sea, resulting in BUCHANAN's being detached from the task group for independent transit to Guam for repairs.

 

 

Twenty Five years ago…1982

Friends and family lined the pier on March 23 as BUCHANAN moored to pier one, at the Naval Station, 32nd Street, San Diego, California for the first time in over six months. Together again, fathers and husbands went ashore knowing that the next thirty-nine days would be spent in BUCHANAN's homeport for upkeep.

 

 

Eighteen years ago…1989

On 20 May, BUCHANAN was back on station in the North Arabian Sea and on 27 May the ship was enroute to the Persian Gulf for a port visit in the state of Bahrain. After her stay in Bahrain, BUCHANAN alternated assignments between northern AAW Picket Station and Earnest Will Missions (Merchant Escort Operations) in the Straits of Hormuz.

 

SEA STORY OF THE QUARTER

The Passing of a Great Gray Lady

You could hardly tell ‘it’ had once been a ship. They were now calling ‘it’ a target hulk, and it floated lifelessly in the water, with rust chewing the hull, the decks, and whatever was left of the superstructure. There was no sign of a living thing anywhere aboard.

But years ago, she was painted and polished. Back in those days, she was a proud warship of the US Navy, a modern guided missile destroyer, USS BUCHANAN (DDG-14). She was alive back then, with over 300 men constantly moving and tending machinery that breathed life into the ship.

The men worked and sweated and laughed together. They ate meals and watched movies and played card games and trained together.

And sometimes, they went to war.

Back when the ship was living and breathing, you could watch from the bridge and see her forward gun mount train to starboard, elevate its barrel a little, and fire off a round with a big KA-BOOM. Then you could hear that distinctive PING of the brass shell casing ejected onto her deck. Back then, the signal bridge was teeming with activity as Signalmen ran flags up and down the halyards, and operated the searchlights that blinked out messages to other ships in company. Now there was no movement on the signal bridge.

The pilothouse was also alive back then, crawling with OODs and JOODs, lookouts, Quartermasters, Bos’ns Mates, helmsmen and others. I remember taking the ship to station many times, with our forced draft blowers howling that beautiful song that only they can scream while the ship is racing through the water at 25 knots with spray coming up over the foc’sle on each downward plunge of her bow. On the hulk now, nothing moved in the pilothouse.

Back in the old days in CIC, radarscopes and plotting boards were lit up and alive with contacts, while Radarmen reported them and tracked the contacts carefully. Back then the wardroom, down a couple of levels below CIC, was alive with laughter at movies and comrades sharing their talk over meals that were probably better than what many of us had ever had before, or since, but about which we complained endlessly. Now the wardroom was silent and empty, just as lifeless as the rest of the hulk. I could go through each of the other spaces on the ship with similar stories, how the mess decks were humming and alive before, but now were nothing. And how the firerooms and enginerooms were vibrant back then, but now sat quiet and dead. But you get the idea.

While the hulk floated lifelessly, SH-60 LAMPS helos began firing Hellfire missiles, and several struck the ship with great explosions. But the ship kept floating! Then Harpoon missiles were fired from F-111 and P-3 aircraft, as well as from a surface ship, and again there were many hits and explosions. But the ship kept floating! A laser-guided bomb scored a direct hit with another massive explosion. But the ship kept floating! A submarine-launched torpedo missed. The ship continued to float all night long while those charged with sending her to the bottom pondered what to do next.

The next morning at first light, a team of Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel boarded the still-floating ship, and spent a couple of hours placing charges in several spaces. It was now the 14th of June, 2000. It was no longer the 13th, the day all the missiles and bombs started flying - the day she was supposed to go down. Shortly after the EOD crew left the ship, there were several more explosions, this time deep within her hull. Her bow settled down into the water, lifting her stern up and well clear of the surface.

This hulk which had once been a sleek modern guided missile destroyer held that position for a few seconds, so that you could clearly see the 14 painted on her stern, now proudly matching the new day on the calendar whose page had just turned. Knowing the time was now right, she then slid gracefully beneath the waves.

 [Editor’s Note: The story’s title and many of the details describing the sinking came from Robert J. Burnz, a retired Chief Missile Fire Control Technician who witnessed the evolution and sent a most touching letter reporting it to the USS BUCHANAN Association.]