Captain Herbert Fox Rommel Jr USN Ret

27th Oct 1915 - 10th June 2007

Herb's Naval Career - and the ships he served on - was researched from his Oral History given to the Newport Naval War College in 2002; from public sources on the Internet; family rememberances and from a silver napkin ring he had all his life on which he engraved each posting he received.

Full histories of each ship are included. By cross referencing his War College history we have been able to identify when Herb was aboard each ship and these sections of a ship history are identified with red text if you want to skip ahead.

USS HERBERT  (DD-160) - Seaman - 1934-1937

(DD-160: dp. 1,090, 1. 314'5", b. 31'8", dr. 9'4", s. 35 k. cpl. 124; a. 4 4", 3 3", 12 21" tt.; cl. Wickes )

Herbert (DD-160) was launched 8 May 1919 by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden. N.J., sponsored by Mrs. Benjamin Micon, daughter of the late Hilary A. Herbert; and commissioned 21 November 1919, Lt. Comdr. E. A. Logan in command.

After shakedown in South Atlantic waters, Herbert trained in the Caribbean until 1 May 1920, returning there 20 July with the Atlantic Fleet destroyer squadron. Herbert participated in torpedo practices, antiaircraft drills, and short range battle practice along the east coast. She decommissioned at Philadelphia 27 June 1922.

Herbert recommissioned 1 May l930 and joined the Scouting Fleet at Newport, R.I. For the next 4 years she operated in both East and West Coast waters, playing important roles in annual fleet problems and battle practice. From 16 January 1935 until August 1939, Herbert served as a training ship for naval reserves and midshipmen. As war swept across Europe, she sailed to Portugal via the Azores 2 October-1939 and remained there until July 1940.

Returning to the States, the destroyer underwent overhaul and 10 October reported to New London for sound school training. Herbert's training kept pace with the steadily intensifying war in Europe as she spent most of 1941 in battle practice, torpedo drills, and antisubmarine work.

With America's entry into the war, Herbert operated as a convoy escort along the American coast from Key West north to,Halifax and Iceland. Guiding virtually defenseless merchant ships through coastal and Caribbean waters infested with U-boats, Herbert carried out frequent depth-charge attacks on marauding submarines. From April through June 1943 she visited Gibraltar and North Africa, as the build-up for the invasion of Sicily intensified. A hunter killer patrol followed. After a second HUK patrol, Herbert escorted a convoy from Bermuda to Casablanca, returning to Charleston 22 November 1943 for conversion to a high-speed transport.

Herbert now APD-22 sailed for the Pacific, reaching San Diego for amphibious training and continuing on to Cape Sudest New Guinea, via Pearl Harbor 23 March 1944. She disembarked troops for the initial invasion at Humboldt Bay, New Guinea, 22 April and then spent a month on convoy escort duty before landing troops for the invasion of Biak Island 27 May.

April Fool 1935 Cover from USS Herbert

This Cover was cancelled aboard the USS HERBERT on April Fool's Day in 1935. This cover is credited to John Coulthard of Modesto, CA where he was active as USCS member # 802. Herb was member #175 and probably aboard at the same time.

At the time this cover was cancelled she was a training ship for naval reserves and midshipmen.

Landings at Warsai in the Cape Sansapor Area 30 July followed further patrol and escort duty, and 15 September found Herbert off Morotai. Troops landed under naval cover to secure the airfield which was within easy striking distance of the Philippines, next major step in the island-hopping war across the Pacific. On 17 October, 2 days before the initial landings at Leyte Gulf, Herbert landed Rangers on Homonhon Island which controlled the entrance to the Gulf. The destroyer remained in the Philippines, under almost constant Japanese air attack, throughout the rest of 1944; and, in January 1945, landed support troops at Lingayen Gulf.

From the Philippines Herbert moved north for escort duty to Iwo Jima, returning to Leyte 1S March 1945 to prepare for the invasion of Okinawa, the largest amphibious operation of the Pacific war. Arriving Okinawa 31 March, the day before the initial landings, Herbert took up patrol and escort duties. Suicidal kamikaze attacks wounded ships all around her, but Herbert remained untouched. After two runs escorting convoys from back staging areas up to Okinawa, the destroyer headed home, reaching San Diego 19 June. Herbert decommissioned at San Diego 25 September 1945 and was sold for scrap to the Boston Metal Co. of Baltimore 23 May 1946

She received six battle stars for World War II service


USS Oklahoma   (BB-37) - Ensign -
Commanding No 4 Turret Division - 1940-1941

displacement. 27,500; length. 583'; beam. 95'3"; draft. 28'6"; speed. 20.5 k.; complement. 864; armament. 10 14", 20 5", 4 21" tt.; class. Nevada

Oklahoma (BB-37) was laid down 26 October 1912 by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.; launched 23 March 1914; sponsored by Miss Lorena J. Cruce, and commissioned at Philadelphia 2 May 1916, Captain Roger Welles in command.

Joining the Atlantic Fleet with Norfolk her home port, Oklahoma trained on the eastern seaboard until sailing 13 August 1918 with sister ship Nevada to join in the task of protecting Allied convoys in European waters. In December she was par t of the escort as President Woodrow Wilson arrived in France, departing the 14th for New York and winter fleet exercises in Cuban waters. She returned to Brest 15 June 1919 to escort President Wilson in George Washington home from his secon d visit to France, returning to New York 8 July.

A part of the Atlantic Fleet for the next two years, Oklahoma was overhauled, trained, and twice voyaged to South America's west coast; early in 1921 for combined exercises with the Pacific Fleet, and later that year for the Peruvian Centennial. Sh e then joined the Pacific Fleet for six years highlighted by the cruise of the Battle Fleet to Australia and New Zealand in 1925. Joining the Scouting Fleet in early 1927, Oklahoma continued intensive exercises during that summer's Midshipmen Cruis e, voyaging to the East Coast to embark midshipmen, carrying them through the Panama Canal to San Francisco, and returning by the way of Cuba and Haiti.

Modernized at Philadelphia between September 1927 and July 1929, Oklahoma rejoined the Scouting Fleet for exercises in the Caribbean, and returned to the west coast in June 1930 for fleet operations through spring 1936. That summer she carried mids hipmen on a European training cruise, visiting northern ports. The cruise was interrupted with the outbreak of civil war in Spain, as Oklahoma sped to Bilbao, arriving 24 July 1936 to rescue American citizens and other refugees whom she carried to Gibraltar and French ports. She returned to Norfolk 11 September, and to the West Coast 24 October.

Oklahoma's Pacific Fleet operations during the next four years included joint operations with the Army and the training of reservists.

She was based at Pearl Harbor from 6 December 1940 for patrols and exercises, and was moored in Battleship Row 7 December 1941, when the Japanese attacked. Outboard alongside Maryland Oklahoma took 3 torpedo hits almost immediately after the first Japanese bombs fell. As she began to capsize, 2 more torpedoes struck home, and her men were strafed as they abandoned ship. Within 2O minutes after the attack began, she had swung over until halted by her masts touching bottom, her starboard side above water, and a part of her keel clear.

OKLAHOMA is the ship burning and rolled - on the right.  There is a high chance that Herb is in this picture either in the water or in one of the launches. The USS MARYLAND (left) is spraying firehoses on the water to direct burning oil away from their ship. Many of her guns are manned by crew from the OKLAHOMA who - alerted by Herb's famous "This is a real air raid - this is no BULLSHIT" over the Tannoy remained in the fight, clambering aboard the MARYLAND and manning her anti-aircraft batteries - many before the MARYLAND men.

Asked in 2002 if he suffered from Post Traumatic Stess Herb offered - "No - I thought war was like this all the time". If he was ever scared? - "No - only once - conning the WILKES through a typhoon in 1945 - if a bullet had your name on it there was not a lot you could do about it - but the thought of hitting another ship in a typhoon in zero visibility really scared me"

Twenty officers and 395 enlisted men were either killed or missing, 32 others wounded, and many were trapped within the capsized hull, to be saved by heroic rescue efforts. Such an effort was that of Julio DeCastro, a civilian yard worker who organized the team which saved 32 Oklahoma sailors.

The difficult savage job began in March 1943, and Oklahoma entered dry dock 28 December. Decommissioning 1 September 1944, Oklahoma was stripped of guns and superstructure, and sold 5 December 1946 to Moore Drydock Co., Oakland, Calif. Ok lahoma parted her tow line and sank 17 May 1947 540 miles out, bound from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco.

Oklahoma received 1 battle star for World War II service.

Commissary Officer / Navigator / Executive Officer - 1942-1944

DD-380: dp. 1850; l. 341'5"; b. 35'6"; dr. 10'4" s. 40k.; cpl. 158; a. 4 5", 16 21" tt.; cl. Gridley

The second Gridley was launched at the Fore River plant of Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, Mass., 1 December 1936; sponsored by Mrs. Lewis Xuddy III, daughter of Captain Gridley; and commissioned 24 June 1937, Comdr. Leroy W. Busbey, Jr., in command.

Gridley fitted out at Boston Navy Yard, and conducted shakedown in the Caribbean area until 27 October 1938, visiting Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Venezuela. She then underwent alterations at the Boston Navy Yard until 13 June 1938, when she departed that port, transited the Panama Canal, and entered San Diego harbor 5 July 1938. Joining Destroyer Division 11, Gridley spent the next months in tactical maneuvers off the coast of California, and 4 January 1939 departed with the Battle Force for combined maneuvers in the Caribbean. She participated in Fleet Problem 20 with the Fleet off Cuba and Haiti, after which she returned to Boston for repairs.

The destroyer again sailed into San Diego 13 July 1939 and became flagship of Division 11. She conducted maneuvers off California until 2 April 1940, when Gridley and other ships of the fleet conducted Fleet Problem 21 in Hawaiian waters. Subsequently, Gridley operated out of Hawaii.

Gridley, cleared Pearl Harbor 28 November 1941 as part of the antisubmarine screen for famed carrier Enterprise, flagship of Admiral Halsey, and after a stop at Wake Island, reversed course for Pearl Harbor. The Task Force was approaching that base on the morning of 7 December when the astounding message heralding the beginning of the war was received: "Air raid on Pearl Harbor, this is no drill." Gridely entered the harbor next day to help protect against renewed attack, and during the next 5 months was occupied escorting transports and repair vessels to and from Pearl Harbor and South Pacific ports. Her last such voyage was completed 27 May 1942 and 5 June she arrived at Kodiak, Alaska, with cruiser Nashville. In the Alaskan theater, Gridley escorted transports and patrolled the Japanese-held islands of Kiska and Attu, assisting in the bombardment of Kiska 7 August 1942. She acted during this period as flagship for famous destroyerman Comdr. Frederick Moosbrugger.

Departing Dutch Harbor 25 September 1942, Gridley joined the Saratoga task force in Hawaiian waters and later Performed escort missions for both combatant and non combatant ships in the Fijis and New Hebrides. In December 1942 she escorted oiler Cimarron out of Noumea to fueling rendezvous with the carrier task forces supporting the bitter fighting in the Solomons. Shifting her base of operations to Purvis Bay, in the Solomons, 13 July, Gridley guarded the high-speed transports which rescued survivors from Helena in Parasco Bay 16 July 1943, and teamed with destroyer Maury to escort infantry landing craft from Guadalcanal for the landings on Tambatuni, New Georgia. She bombarded shore installations near the invasion beaches 25 July and screened the ships supporting the landing, In company with six other destroyers she destroyed Japanese landing barges in Vella Gulf l0 August, and screened Saratoga during air operations in the Solomons until 25 August.

Gridley returned to Pearl Harbor with escort carriers Suwanee and Long Island 4 September 1943 and then departed for San Diego, where she remained for repairs 11 September to 26 October 1943. The Gilbert Islands were her next destination, and Gridley left Pearl Harbor once more 10 November 1943 for Makin Island. She assisted in the bombardment of that island, screened aircraft carriers, and then conducted independent patrol in the area until setting course for Hawaii 1 December.

Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher's Carrier Task Force 58 departed Pearl Harbor 18 January 1944 for the great offensive in the Marshalls, with Gridley again acting as screening ship for Saratoga. Gridley guarded the carrier during the crucial strikes against WotJe and Eniwetok, and 8 March sailed for the New Hebrides with carriers Yorktown, Princeton, and Langley, assisting them in support of the developing New Guinea offensive. The veteran destroyer sailed with the Hornet task force 7 June 1944 to take part in the invasion of the Marianas, where the carriers pounded Saipan, Rota, and Guam. In all these operations Gridley and her sister destroyers rendered invaluable service protecting the carriers against air and submarine attack.

Gridley was with American forces in the pivotal Battle of the Philippine Sea 19 to 20 June 1944, when four massive waves of Japanese torpedo bombers and escorting fighters were decimated by fleet air and surface units. Gridley's antiaircraft fire helped to protect the aircraft carriers, with the result that Japanese air strength was virtually ended with this battle.

Gridley departed Eniwetok Atoll 30 June 1944 bound with the carriers for strikes on Iwo Jima, Guam, Yap, Ulithi, and the Volcano Islands. She supported directly the American landings on Peleliu 15 September 1944. shooting down at least one Japanese attack plane. After screening the carriers in attacks on Okinawa and Formosa, Gridley joined the mounting American forces for the invasion of the Philippines. While protecting the large ships off Luzon 28 October 1944 she and destroyer Helm detected and sank Japanese submarine I-4 with a series of devastating depth charge attacks. In the succeeding days, Gridley fought off Japanese suicide planes and returned to Ulithi with damaged carriers Franklin and Belleau Wood 2 November.

Gridley was soon at sea again, however, clearing Ulithi 5 November with the fast carrier task force for the Leyte operation. She later joined a group of escort carriers and served as a bombardment and patrol ship during the landings in Lingayen Gulf until 10 February 1945.

After stopping again at Ulithi, Gridley escorted battleship Mississippi en route to Pearl Harbor, and then sailed via San Diego and the Panama Canal for New York, where she arrived 30 March 1945. She entered the New York Navy Yard next day for much needed repairs, and after finishing her overhaul departed the United States 22 June for the Mediterranean. Gridley spent the next 7 months in passenger. freight and convoy operations between Casablanca, Oran, Naples, and Marseilles.

Subsequently, Gridley returned to New York in February 1946 and then sailed on the 20th of that month for Hawaii She embarked military passengers and cargo at the Panama Canal and San Diego before arriving at Pearl Harbor 16 March for inactivation. Gridley decommissioned at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard 18 April 1946 and was sold for scrapping 20 August 1947.

Gridley was awarded 10 battle stars for service in World War II.

USS WILKES   DD-441 - Command - 1945

 (DD-441: dp. 1,630; l. 348'3", b. 35'4"; dr. 10'2" s. 35 k.; cpl. 239; a. 4 5", 10 21" tt., 2 act., 1 dep., 12 .50-car. mg.; cl. Gleaves)

The third Wilkes (DD-441) was laid down on 1 November 1939 by the Boston Navy Yard, launched on 31 May 1940; sponsored by Mrs. Bessie Wilkes Styer; and commissioned on 22 April 1941, Lt. Comdr. J. D. Kelsey in command.

Wilkes was ready for sea on 1 June 1941 and then conducted shakedown training off the New England coast. The destroyer arrived in Bermuda on 24 August and helped to screen North Carolina (BB-55) and Washington (BB-56) on their shakedown cruises in the Caribbean. She departed Bermuda on 9 September and, two days later, arrived back in Boston for a brief availability, setting sail on 25 September for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and four days of training. Wilkes left Cuban waters and, on 2 October, arrived at Hampton Roads, Va., three days later. During the remainder of October, Wilkes visited Gravesend Bay, N.Y., Casco Bay, Maine; and Provincetown, Mass.

On 2 November, the destroyer arrived at Argentia, Newfoundland, briefly escorted Yukon ( AF-9), and made rendezvous with Salinas (AO-19), which had just survived two torpedo hits, and escorted the damaged oiler to Cape Sable, Nova Scotia.

On 28 November, Wilkes departed Cape Sable escorting Convoy HX-162. During the destroyer's passage to Iceland, Japanese naval aircraft attacked the Pacific Fleet's base at Pearl Harbor, pushing the United States into full participation in World War II. The convoy reached its destination the next day, and Wilkes spent the rest of December escorting convoys from Argentia, Newfoundland, to HvalfJordur and ReykJavik, Iceland. Wilkes returned to Boston where she refueled, took on provisions, and remained through the holiday season.

On New Year's Day 1942, the destroyer got underway and the following day arrived at Casco Bay, Maine, where she conducted exercise runs. On 5 January, Wilkes departed Casco Bay in company with Madison (DD-425), Roper (DD-147), and Sturtevant (DD-240), bound for Argentia, Newfoundland. She arrived two days later and, on the 10th, made rendezvous with Convoy HX-169, accompanying it for the next eight days. On 18 January, she was relieved as escort, and she set course for Ireland with Madison, Roper, and Sturtevant. Three days later, she moored at Londonderry. On 25 January, Wilkes got underway and soon made contact with Convoy ON-59, taking station and relieving the British escort vessels. She arrived at Boston on 8 February, requiring docking.

On 12 February 1942, Wilkes received orders to depart Boston on 15 February and to proceed to Casco Bay, Maine, on a routine "milk run" in company with Truxton (DD-229) and to join Pollux (AKS-2) en route. Truxtun was delayed, so Wilkes went ahead and met Pollux according to schedule on 15 February; Truxtun joined up the following day.

While en route to Argentia, Newfoundland, at about 0350 on 18 February 1942, Wilkes commanding officer was awakened by the navigator and informed that the ship was believed to be northward of the plotted track. Visibility was poor, and weather conditions prevented obtaining radio direction finder bearings. Continuous fathometer soundings were taken, and all were in excess of 30 fathoms except one sounding of 15 fathoms which was obtained just prior to grounding. The signal, "Emergency stop," to warn the other vessels was immediately given by searchlight, and the message. "Wilkes aground do not know which side" was broadcast on the TBS. The words, "Wilkes aground," were also broadcast on the distress frequency. However, no message was received from Pollux or Truxtun until after these ships had also grounded. Wilkes found herself stranded to port of Pollux, Truxtun to starboard. About 0700, Wilkes succeeded in backing clear of the beach. After seeing that Pollux had received help from George E. Badger (DD-196), she left the scene. However, Pollux and Truxtun were totally lost, along with the 205 men who went down with them. The casualty list from the two lost ships was the Atlantic Fleet's largest list of the war up to that time.

No deaths occurred on Wilkes. She remained at Argentia for six days before beginning a voyage to Boston for repairs.

On 1 April 1942, Wilkes was assigned to Task Force (TF) 21 at the Boston Navy Yard where she conducted post repair trials and underwent a three-day availability. On 6 April, Wilkes got underway for Casco Bay, Maine, escorting Augusta (CA-31).

On the 8th, the destroyer sighted the British oil tanker SS Davila. One minute later, the two ships collided Davila's bow struck Wilkes on the port side abreast of her number one fireroom. After the two ships separated, the destroyer returned to Boston where she entered the navy yard for restricted availability which continued until 3 June. The next day, she conducted post-repair trials.

Following gunnery and antiaircraft practice and antisubmarine exercises at Casco Bay, Wilkes made a short escort mission screening Convoy BX-26. Three days later, she got underway for New York in company with Buck (DD-420) and Swanson (DD-443) arrived the following day, and anchored at the New York Navy Yard. On 1 July 1942, the destroyer sailed for Little Placentia Harbor, Newfoundland, where she performed escort and patrol duty before returning to New York where she remained until the 12th.

The next day, Wilkes got underway and joined Convoy AS-4, nine ships of American, British, Norwegian, and Dutch registry. On the 16th, the second ship of the first column of the convoy, SS Fairport was torpedoed forward and aft and sank. Survivors got clear in four boats and several rafts. Kearny (DD-432) made depth charge attacks and rescued the survivors while Wilkes continued a sound search and released nine depth charges with no visible results.

At 1600 on 17 July, the destroyer made an underwater sound contact. Three minutes later, she delivered a modified "intermediate depth charge attack." Large amounts of air were seen to emerge at the scene of the attack in the center of which appeared the bow of a submarine, which then rolled over and disappeared, apparently out of control. At 1614, Wilkes delivered a deep attack, including three 600-pound charges at the scene of the air blows. More air broke the surface, and the whole area was covered with dark brown liquid and oil.

Three days later, Wilkes was detached from the formation and proceeded to Trinidad, where she refueled before sailing for the Virginia capes and arrived at Norfolk on 25 July. The destroyer then made two coastal runs to New York before getting underway from that port on 19 August and steaming for Halifax harbor, Nova Scotia, where she arrived on 21 August. She remained moored off Greenoch until 5 September. At that time, she proceeded to sea to escort USAT Siboney to New York. She then spent the remainder of September conducting various exercises in Casco Bay, Maine.

Wilkes sailed for Virginia on 30 September 1942 and, two days later, arrived at Hampton Roads. For the greater part of October, the destroyer conducted various drills and maneuvers, including amphibious operations with TF 33. On 24 October, Wilkes got underway from Norfolk and took station in a convoy steaming for North Africa.

On 8 November 1942, Wilkes participated in the assault on Fedhala, French Morocco. Operating with TF 34, she was assigned duty as a control vessel during the first phase and as a fire support vessel during the second. The ship made radar contact on the surface, and a short while later her fire control party reported a dark object in the water. Wilkes dropped a standard nine-charge pattern. Thereafter, sound conditions were unfavorable due to the depth charge turbulence which was extreme in the shallow water 40 fathoms. After 16 minutes, the search was abandoned. No casualties or hits resulted from enemy action.

The next day, while steaming off Fedhala Point, Wilkes sighted a French destroyer emerging from Casablanca. She left her patrol station and proceeded toward the enemy ship. However, the shore battery on Pointe d'Oukach opened fire, and Wilkes was forced to discontinue her chase as the destroyer retreated back to Casablanca.

On 11 November, Wilkes received news that Casablanca had capitulated; and the destroyer then resumed patrolling the area around the convoy anchorage. At 1958, a rocket burst near the convoy area; and, one minute later, Winooski (AO-38) reported being torpedoed. At 2000, Joseph Hewes (AP-50) reported the same fate and sank in less than one hour. Bristol (DD-453) illuminated to open fire on a surfaced submarine and also made a depth charge attack with negative results.

The next day, Wilkes escorted Augusta into Casablanca. She then returned toward the patrol area and resumed patrolling her assigned station. Wilkes picked up a submarine contact at 2300 yards and made a shallow depth charge attack, expending four 300-pound and two 600-pound charges without success. Wilkes then abandoned her search and continued her patrol. Little more than an hour later, two shins in the convoy anchorage area were torpedoed. A U-boat hit a third ship after 26 more minutes had passed. The convoy was ordered to weigh anchor and proceed to sea. Wilkes got underway and took station in the convoy's antisubmarine screen off its starboard bow. The convoy changed base course 20 degrees every 15 minutes for almost two hours to avoid detection.

On 15 November 1942, Electra (AK-21), a cargo ship in another convoy, was torpedoed. Wilkes made a submarine contact at 1800 yards and made a depth charge attack with negative results. The destroyer then screened the damaged ship as she was being towed into Casablanca.

Two days later Wilkes rejoined the convoy as it steamed homeward and, on 30 November 1942, arrived at Norfolk. She spent the month of December conducting short escort and patrol missions in waters in New York and Casco Bay, Maine.

Wilkes began the new year 1943 with two voyages from New York to Casablanca and back, taking place between 14 January and 14 February and between 6 March and 5 April. The destroyer then made runs between New York and Norfolk through 14 May 1943.

The next day, she got underway escorting a convoy to the Panama Canal and arrived on 21 May at Cristobal, Canal Zone. Four days later, Wilkes returned to Hampton Roads. From 29 May through 9 June, the destroyer visited ports along the northeast coast of the United States and then devoted the remainder of 1943 escorting convoys to North Africa, making three round trips from 10 June until Christmas Day when she returned to New York.

On 7 January 1944, Wilkes got underway for the Canal Zone along with Swanson (DD-443) and Marshall (DD-676) transited the canal and arrived at Balboa on 12 January. A week later, Wilkes escorted troop-laden SS Mormacdove, via the Galapagos Bora Bora, and Noumea to Milne Bay, New Guinea, where they arrived on 20 February 1944. Five days later, the destroyer got underway for Cape Gloucester, New Britain, made rendezvous with an LST convoy en route, and escorted them to Borgen Bay, Cape Gloucester, Megin Island, Cape Cretin, and the Tami Islands.

On 1 March 1944, Wilkes was anchored in Oro Bay, Buna, New Guinea. Two days later, she embarked American Army troops, complete with equipment, and got underway with eight other destroyers and three high-speed transports and sailed for Los Negros Island of the Admiralty group in order to reinforce elements of the 1st Cavalry Division who were then holding the beachhead.

On 4 March, Wilkes arrived off Hayne Harbor, Los Negros Island, and disembarked all troops and equipment without incident. The destroyer remained there to operate as a fire support ship and received on board casualties evacuated from the combat areas. The next day, Wilkes bombarded Lemondrol Creek, just south of Momote air strip, and targets on the western end of Hayne Harbor. She continued performing such duty through 7 March when Wilkes proceeded to Seeadler Harbor, at Manus Island, Admiralty Group, to assist in the landings there.

After a two-day round trip to Cape Sudest and a brief patrol in Seeadler Harbor, Wilkes returned to Cape Sudest on 24 March for availability. On 9 April, she steamed back to Seeadler Harbor to escort a convoy from Los Negros Island to LanFemak Bay, New Guinea. On the 11th, the destroyer anchored in Oro Bay and underwent availability.

Wilkes arrived at Cape Cretin on 17 April and took on board Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger, Commander, Sixth Army, and his staff for transportation to combat areas to observe the landings in the Wakde-Sarmi area of New Guinea. Three days later, Wilkes made rendezvous with TF 77 and took station as a radar picket. On 22 April 1944, the destroyer participated in the landings at Tanahmerah Bay, New Guinea, and, after the troops had gone ashore, continued operations in that area.

 D day for the landings at Wakde Island was 17 May 1944. Wilkes contributed fire support and served in the antisubmarine screen. On 26 May, after refueling and repair, the destroyer proceeded toward Biak Island and participated in the landings there.

On 5 June, Wilkes helped to escort a convoy consisting of nine LST's, three LCI's, four LCT's and escorts through the dangerous waters between the Schouten Islands. The destroyer then continued operations in the Humboldt Bay area and spent the latter part of June bombarding targets ashore on Aitape and Toem, New Guinea. During July, Wilkes participated in the landings at Noemfoor Island on the 1st and at Cape Sansapor on the 30th.

On 19 August, Wilkes departed the New Guinea area and set a course for the Marshall Islands, arriving at Eniwetok on 25 August. Three days later, she joined TF 38 and acted as a screen while the mighty flattops launched air strikes on Iwo Jima, Chichi Jima, Saipan, Yap, Ulithi, Peleliu, and Formosa. On 14 October, Wilkes accompanied the task force to the Philippines and that day made strikes against Luzon. She also screened them during a raid on Leyte on the 17th and during an attack against Samar Island on the 24th.

The next day, the destroyer as part of Task Group (TG) 38.4 acted as a communication link between two task groups en route to intercept the Japanese Northern Force off Cape Engano. On the 26th, Wilkes and Swanson (DD-443) were detached and proceeded to Ulithi Atoll for upkeep and repairs.

On 3 November, Wilkes got underway with Nicholson (DD-442) for Apra Harbor, Guam, and arrived there the next day. After a brief round trip to Manus, Admiralty Islands, Wilkes and Nicholson escorted Convoy GE-29 to Eniwetok, arriving on 26 November.

Wilkes set sail for Pearl Harbor on 1 December and arrived seven days later. On the 15th, the destroyer arrived at the Puget Sound Navy Yard. Two days later, she entered Todd's Pacific Shipbuilding Co. yard at Seattle for an overhaul.

On 28 January 1945 after completing her availability and post-repair trials Wilkes made rendezvous with Franklin ( CV-13) and proceeded to San Francisco. Three days later, she was underway again with Franklin for Pearl Harbor where she arrived on 13 February. She then conducted routine operations and participated in various exercises and drills with Shangri-La (CV-38).

On 9 March, Wilkes got underway in company with New Mexico (BB-40) and Nicholson for Ulithi, Caroline Islands. After a brief refueling at Eniwetok, the destroyer arrived on 19 March at Ulithi. Three days later, she formed in the van of De Grase (AP-164) and proceeded to Guam. While en route, Wilkes rescued four survivors of a PBM which had run out of fuel. On 26 March, she entered Apra Harbor, Guam, and was drydocked for repairs to the underwater sound equipment. On 1 April, Wilkes proceeded singly to Saipan. This was the first of two consecutive trips which lasted until 27 April.

At that time, Wilkes received orders to escort a six-ship convoy to Okinawa and arrived at Hagushi anchorage on 1 May. Three days later, she sighted a red flare fired from a downed PBM. Wilkes took PBM 93 V464 under tow to Kerama Retto and resumed patrol duty. On 6 May, the destroyer was ordered to return to Kerama Retto for limited availability and logistics. Four days later, she got underway and patrolled off the southern entrance to Kerama Retto. Between 12 and 22 May, Wilkes covered carriers for routine flight operations and strikes on Nansei Shoto.

On 22 May 1945, Wilkes escorted Makin Island (CVE-93) to Kerama Retto for provisions and ammunition replenishment. They departed the following day and, after making mail deliveries, Wilkes returned to her patrol station covering the carrier strikes on Nansei Shoto.

On 24 June, Wilkes and her task unit set course for Leyte and arrived at San Pedro Bay three days later. That day, she sailed for Ulithi, and she arrived there on 30 June for limited availability.

Wilkes sortied from Ulithi on 9 July 1945 and spent more than a month supporting TF 38. On 15 August, Wilkes received an official notice telling her that Japan had capitulated. Five days later, Wilkes was anchored at Ulithi Atoll, Caroline Islands, undergoing voyage repairs and routine upkeep. On 24 August, Wilkes got underway as part of the autisubmarine screen with Task Unit 30.8.9 patrolling off the Mariana and Bonin Islands.

Wilkes proceeded to Okinawa, arriving on 3 September. She then made rendezvous with TG 70.6 on the 7th in the Yellow Sea. On the 10th, the destroyer set her course for the outer transport anchorage at Jinsen (now Inchon), Korea, and arrived the next day. Three days later, she conducted fueling exercises, then spent the remainder of September and October, through the 20th, in the Ito-Jinsen area, delivering passengers and undergoing availability.

On 21 October 1945, Wilkes got underway from Jinsen, bound for the Marianas, and arrived at Saipan on the 27th. That same day, she pushed on toward Hawaii and reached Pearl Harbor on 4 November. Three days later, she headed for the west coast of the United States and arrived at San Diego on the 13th. Wilkes departed the west coast on 16 November transited the Panama Canal, and reached Charleston S.C., on 2 December.

The destroyer reported for duty in the Inactive Fleet, Atlantic, on 3 December. She was moored in the navy yard from 4 to 31 December undergoing preservation. Wilkes was placed out of commission, in reserve, on 4 March 1946. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 16 September 1968, and she was sold to the Southern Scrap Material Co., Ltd., New Orleans, on 29 June 1972.

Wilkes received 10 battle stars for her World War II service.



GENERAL LINE SCHOOL - Newport - 1946

In 1945 Herb applied for a full time commission in the US Navy which he received.  He then went to school from 1945 to 1946 to "brush up on the bits about being an officer I didn't learn during the war"

USS BURKE   (DE-215 / APD 65) - Command - 1947 - 1948

Born in Bismarck, N. Dak., 24 January 1905, John Edward Burke graduated from the Academy in 1928. In 1941 he was attached to the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy Department. Lieutenant Commander Burke was killed in action 15 November 1942 in the Pacific.

 (DE-215: dp. 1400; l. 306'; b. 36'10"; dr. 13'6"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 21" TT.; cl. Buckley)

Burke (DE-215) was launched 3 April 1943 by Philadelphia Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. John E. Burke widow of Lieutenant Commander Burke; and commissioned 20 August 1943, Lieutenant Commander E. K. Winn, USNR, in command.

Between 11 November 1943 and 25 January 1945 Burke served with the Atlantic Fleet and completed nine round trip voyages escorting Atlantic convoys to North Africa and Europe. On 25 January 1945 she reported to Sullivan's Dry Dock and Repair Corp., Brooklyn, N. Y., and commenced conversion to a high speed transport. Her classification was changed to APD-65, 24 January 1945.

On 1 May 1945 Burke having completed her conversion reported to the Pacific Fleet. After exercising with underwater demolition teams in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands, the ship proceeded to Okinawa, arriving 27 June. She served on picket duty off Ie Shima during her brief stay (27-30 June).

On 30 June Burke departed for Legaspi, Luzon, Philippine Islands, where she trained with amphibious units. After the cessation of hostilities the ship acted as an escort for the occupation forces. On 26 October she left Tokyo Bay, Japan, for the Philippine Islands, where she performed various transport operations until 27 November. Burke returned to Norfolk 30 December 1945.

Serving as a unit of Transport Division 121, Burke operated out of Norfolk between January 1946 and April 1949, serving as Division flagship at intervals. The vessel accompanied the Division on periodic voyages to the Caribbean for tactical exercises with Marine units and operated off the Virginia coast with task units holding anti-submarine warfare and underwater demolition exercises.

On 3 May 1948 Burke assisted in extinguishing hold fires In the SS Shellbar off the Virginia coast. From June through October 1948 she made several cruises with reserve personnel on board, steaming along the New England coast and in the Caribbean. She then participated in fleet exercises from Norfolk to Argentia, Newfoundland, and return (1-20 November 1948).

Herb - "So here I was - this big shot destroyer skipper sent to a little ship like the BURKE - but I enjoyed it"

Burke arrived 16 April 1949 at Charleston, S. C., reporting to the Charleston Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet, for inactivation. She was placed out of commission in reserve 22 June 1949.

Burke received one battle star for her World War II service.


In 1949 Herb attended the Naval War College at Newport for a year.  He wrote a paper:

"Relations between the US and Russia and the implications for US Foreign Policy".

(So did everyone else!)


In 1950 Herb was briefly on staff at the General Line School teaching Strategy, Tactics and Maneuvering Board.  Then he was ordered to...

USS HAYNSWORTH  (DD-700) - Command - 1950 - 1952

 (DD-700: dp. 2,200, l. 376'6", b. 40', dr. 15'8", s. 34 k.; cpl. 336; a. 6 5", 16 40mm., 20 20mm., 2 dct., 6 dcp., 5 21" tt.; cl. Allen M. Sumner)

Haynsworth(DD-700) was launched 15 April 1944 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Kearny, N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. Haynsworth, widow of Comdr. Haynsworth; and commissioned 22 June 1944, Comdr. Robert Brodie, Jr., in command.

After shakedown in the Caribbean Haynsworth departed New York 20 September escorting Queen Mary with Prime Minister Winston Churchill on board. Rendezvousing with British escorts, she returned to New York and sailed 26 September via the Canal Zone and San Pedro, arriving Pearl Harbor 20 October. Haynsworth sailed 16 December for Ulithi and joined Vice Admiral J. S. McCain's Fast Carrier Task Force 3S for the final assaults on the Japanese. During the next 3 months she operated with the 3d and 5th Fleets as part of the screen for the Fast Carrier Task Force; the primary mission being to conduct air strikes against strategic Japanese positions along the China coast, and Formosa, and to harass enemy shipping during the landings at Luzon 9 January 1945.

The day after the invasion was launched, Task Force 38 moved into the South China Sea and conducted raids on the China coast and Indochina, doing much damage to the enemy. Launching one final raid against Okinawa, Haynsworth retired to Ulithi 26 January. She sortied 10 February with Admiral Marc Mitscher's Fast Carrier Force 58 for strikes against airfields, factories, and shipping in the Tokyo area. Heavy fighter sweeps were launched 16 February to cover the airfields around Tokyo Bay. Despite heavy weather with low ceiling, most of the target areas were effectively neutralized. During the afternoon three Japanese picket boats that had evaded detection in thick fog were spotted by Haynsworth and promptly sunk, taking 12 prisoners. In addition to damaging aircraft frame and engine plants, a number of ships and small craft were attacked and sunk in Tokyo Bay, the biggest prize being the 10,600-ton Yamashro Maru.

As the Pacific war approached its climax, Haynsworth again sailed from Ulithi for further strikes against Japan. Massive air attacks were launched against airfields on Kyushu and ships in the Inland Sea 18 and 19 March, indicting heavy damage on the dwindling Japanese air and sea power. After participating in the bombardment of enemy shore positions on Minami Daito Shima 28 March, she sailed for Okinawa. Landings were made on the Japanese fortress April, with Task Force 58 providing support, and Haynsworth frequently aiding in the destruction of enemy aircraft during the many attacks,, when "the fleet had come to stay." Only after she was crashed by a kamikaze 6 April did she have to retire to Mare Island via Ulithi for repairs.

After repairs Haynsworth had duty at Treasure Island, Calif., as a training ship from 17 July to 5 September. After several months of operations at Pearl Harbor, she sailed for the east coast 14 January 1946, reaching Boston 26 April for a year in the Reserve Fleet. Returning to active service in March 1947, Haynsworth based her operations from Algiers, La., conducting reserve training cruises in the Gulf and in the Caribbean until the summer of 1949.

Haynsworth sailed 6 September 1949 for her first duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, returning to Norfolk 7 February 1950. She arrived Charleston 10 days later, decommissioned there 19 May and joined the Reserve Fleet.

With the expansion of operations due to the Korean War, Haynsworth recommissioned at Charleston 22 September 1950, Comdr.. Herbert F. Rommel in command. Following training and operations along the East Coast and in the Caribbean she sailed 3 September 1951 for duty in the Mediterranean.  The tour finished in 1952.

After more operations on the East Coast and in the Caribbean, and a Midshipman cruise to the North Atlantic, Haynsworth sailed from Norfolk 2 November 1953 for a round-the-world cruise. While in the Pacific she was assigned duty for 4 months in the Far East with the 7th Fleet, a vital peace keeping force in that part of the world. Haynsworth returned to Norfolk 4 June 1954 to resume her support of the 6th fleet. In 1956 with the Suez crisis still unsettled, Navy units stood by in the eastern Mediterranean and evacuated U.S. nationals from Egypt. Haynsworth aided the Navy's preparedness in the event of any conflict. Between 1956 and 1960 she made five deployments to the Mediterranean, supporting the Navy's peacekeeping role and keeping a watchful eye on the troubled spots of the free world. In 1959 Haynsworth took part in the historic "Operation Inland Seas," commemorating the opening of the mighty St. Lawrence Seaway, steaming up the St. Lawrence to Montreal.

Late in 1961 while in the Mediterranean, Haynsworth delivered emergency food rations to flood-ravaged Africa; and on 3 October 1962, she stood off Cape Canaveral as a rescue ship and witnessed the take off of astronaut Comdr. Walter Schirra on his historic six-orbital night. Later that month, under much more serious circumstances, she hastened to the Caribbean and participated in the naval quarantine of Cuba, effectively checking the Communists threat to the security of the Western Hemisphere.

In February 1963 Haynsworth deployed to the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden for operations with the 6th Fleet. After returning to Norfolk, she embarked midshipmen for an Atlantic cruise from 1 August to 10 September; then underwent overhaul at New Orleans, La., and Orange, Tex., before arriving Galveston 28 February 1964 to begin duty as a Naval Reserve training ship.

Assigned to Reserve Destroyer Squadron 34, Haynsworth since that time has operated out of Galveston while providing valuable on board training facilities for hundreds of Naval Reservists. Manned by a nucleus crew, she has steamed to ports along the Gulf and Atlantic coast,, and numerous training cruises have carried her into the Caribbean. Into mid-1967 she has continued to bolster the strength of the Navy and the Nation through intense, skilled. and effective training which maintains the caliber and readiness of the Naval Reserve.

Haynsworth received three battle stars for World War II service.


Serving as Administrative Assistant to Admiral Burke - deputy director for the Strategy Division, North American Continental Defense Team, Herb decided to not play the rather forced "navy workaholic game" and paid more attention to his family.  Herb recognized that this probably cost him flag rank but he decided to put his family first.

USS WORCESTER  (CL-144) - Executive Officer - 1954 - 1955

The second USS Worcester (CL-144) was laid down on 29 January 1945 at Camden, New Jersey, by the New York Shipbuilding and Drydock Corp.; launched on 4 February 1947; sponsored by Miss Gloria Ann Sullivan, the daughter of Mayor and Mrs. F. G. Sullivan of Worcester, Mass.; and commissioned at the Philadelphia Naval Base on 26 June 1948, Capt. T. B. Dugan in command.

Combining destroyer maneuverability with cruiser size and given a main battery that could deal not only with surface targets but with aircraft as well, Worcester embodied many of the lessons learned during World War II. She and her sister ship, Roanoke (CL-145), epitomized the hard-hitting dual-purpose cruiser.

The light cruiser was named after two previous ships of that name, honoring Worcester, Massachusetts.

Worcester, assigned to Cruiser Division (CruDiv) 10, spent the first year of her commissioned service completing her fitting out, conducting shakedown training off the eastern seaboard of the United States, and undergoing availability and type training. In the summer of 1949, she participated in her first large-scale training exercises in Guantanamo Bay and visited Kingston, Jamaica. Late in the summer, she sailed for the Mediterranean, departing Newport, Rhode Island, on 6 September 1949 and reaching Gibraltar 10 days later. She made her first deployment with the 6th Fleet in the ensuing months, visiting Malta; Bizerte, Tunisia; Golfe-Juan, France; Argostoli and Phaleron Bay, Greece; Iskenderum, Turkey; Trieste and Venice, Italy; and Gibraltar. During that 6th Fleet deployment, she engaged in exercises and maneuvers with fast carrier task forces, including the carrier Leyte (CV-32) and the heavy cruiser Des Moines (CA-134). She returned to Norfolk on 10 December.

Worcester operated off the eastern seaboard, ranging from Newport to Norfolk and south to Puerto Rico, with visits in between to Philadelphia, before she began her second 6th Fleet deployment in the spring of 1950. She departed Norfolk on 3 May, arrived at Lisbon on the 13th, and entered the Mediterranean soon thereafter.

In between her cycles of drills and exercises in the "Med," Worcester visited Augusta, Sicily; Bizerte; Genoa and La Spezia, Italy; and Golfe Juan, on the southern coast of France, before she put into Phaleron Bay on 20 July. However, she was there only a week before she received orders to sail for the Far East. While the light cruiser and her consorts had been operating in the Mediterranean, war had broken out in Korea on 25 June. Accordingly, Worcester departed Phaleron Bay on 27 July, in company with Destroyer Division (DesDiv) 21—Fred T. Berry (DDE-858), Keppler (DDE-765), Norris (DDE-959), and McCaffrey (DDE-860). Reaching Port Said, Egypt, on the morning of the 29th, Worcester transited the Suez Canal that afternoon.

Reaching Colombo for provisions and fuel, Worcester and her escorts tarried there from 7 August to 9 August before pushing on toward the Malacca Strait. They then proceeded through the Bashi Channel to Buckner Bay, Okinawa, where they arrived on 19 August. En route, the American warships had been diverted through the Bashi Channel to be available to counter any invasion attempt by the communist Chinese of Formosa.

After fueling from Navasota (AO-106), Worcester departed Buckner Bay on the 20th and set a course for Keelung, Formosa, to join the Formosa Patrol.

Joining that force on the 21st, Worcester remained at anchor at Keelung from the 22d through the 26th. She got underway on the 27th to add her potentially powerful antiaircraft "punch" to the screen of Task Force (TF) 77—the fast carrier task force consisting of Philippine Sea (CV-47) and Valley Forge (CV-45), then operating in the Yellow Sea off the coast of Korea.

The following day, the light cruiser—steaming in company with Norris (DDE-859)—joined TF 77 and proceeded into the Yellow Sea for operations against enemy targets located in central and southwestern Korea. Each day in ensuing days, the carriers launched their strikes against North Korean ground targets while the screen provided protection in case of any attempts by the communist North Korean air forces to interrupt the operation. Her helicopter also performed plane-guard duty, standing by in the air to rescue any ditched pilots from the waters nearby.

On 4 September, Worcester's radar picked up an unidentified contact at 1331. The combat air patrol— four Vought F4U Corsairs from Valley Forge—soon reported the stranger as being a twin-engined bomber with a pointed nose, a single tailfin, and high inverted gull wings. It also bore red star markings. At 1345, the 4FU's vectored to the "bogey" by Fletcher (DDE-445), unceremoniously splashed the stranger 49 miles away.

The following day, Worcester went to general quarters at 1108 and commenced maneuvering at 20 knots to avoid possible attack when her radar picked up an unidentified plane closing the formation from the east. Three minutes later, the cruiser fired three rounds of 6 inch projectiles in the direction of the intruder to warn her—it turned out to be a British Short Sunderland flying boat on patrol. At 2143, Worcester secured from battle stations and resumed her cruising with TF 77.

There was one more day of flight operations off the Korean coast, 6 September, before Worcester transferred her helicopter to Philippine Sea to clear the ship for a practice antiaircraft firing. The cruiser later recovered the "chopper" before heading for Sasebo, Japan, for replenishment of fuel, ammunition, stores, and provisions.

Worcester remained at Sasebo from 7 September to 10 September and got underway at 0532 on 11 September, again with TF 77, and proceeded to the operation area in the Yellow Sea to support a large-scale amphibious assault by United Nations (UN) forces against enemy forces in the Inchon and Seoul areas of Korea.

Worcester subsequently supported the Inchon landing —the daring stroke aimed at outflanking the North Korean invaders by a strategic landing behind their lines in South Korea masterminded by General Douglas MacArthur. Worcester screened the fast carrier task forces as their planes dropped lethal loads on North Korean targets ashore until she was detached on the 20th to conduct a shore bombardment mission as part of TG 95.2 in the vicinity of Pohang Dong. Proceeding to the objective via the straits north of the Quelpart Islands and west of Tsushima, the light cruiser rendezvoused with Helena (CA-75) three miles off the east coast of Korea and 12 miles north of Pohang Dong.

Over the ensuing days, Worcester patrolled off the coast with TG 95.2. She relieved Helena in her fire support duties at 0600 on the 24th, freeing the heavy cruiser to proceed to Sasebo. While her own helicopter was aloft providing antisubmarine screening, Worcester commenced firing at 0805, shelling nine North Korean troop concentrations ashore. Directed by Korean Military Advisory Group (KMAG) personnel ashore, Worcester delivered call-fire throughout the day with pinpoint accuracy at troop concentrations and command posts. Relieved by Samuel N. Moore (DD-747) as fire support ship, Worcester patrolled in company with Brush (DD-745) to seaward of the fire support area for the night.

Worcester returned the following day and resumed her fire support duties, adding to the troubles of the already beaten and retreating North Korean forces. Throughout the 25th, Worcester—using KMAG spotting from shore—delivered fire support for the advancing UN forces, breaking up communist troop concentrations with her precise 6 inch fire. As the ship's war diary at one point recorded: "Spotter reported troops dispersed. KMAG reported that all firing has been very effective and instrumental in enemy retreat."

Worcester spent the night hours on the 25th and into the 26th patrolling eight miles of a stretch of coast between Yonghae and Utchin. The rapid advance of the UN forces on the 26th obviated fire support from Worcester's guns; but the cruiser received word that Brush had hit a mine off Tanchon, North Korea, at 1220. While Samuel N. Moore took over the on-call fire support duties in the vicinity, Worcester bent on 27 knots and went to Brush's aid.

The cruisermen found Brush down by the bow with a 3-degree port list. There were five dead and 30 injured. At 0101 on the 27th, Worcester commenced taking on board the more seriously wounded of the destroyer's company via highline transfer, eventually receiving 15 stretcher cases—all men suffering from burns—by 0228. The cruiser then altered course for Japan and, later that day, took on board four more stretcher patients, six ambulatory patients, and a corpse. At that time, two hospitalmen—who had been transferred from Worcester to Brush to tend the wounded on the destroyer—returned to the cruiser.

Proceeding in company with the crippled Brush, Bolster (ARS-38), and De Haven (DD-727), Worcester headed for Sasebo and reached port late on the afternoon of the 29th. As she was being made fast to her buoy in Sasebo harbor, Worcester received a warm message from the destroyer that she had aided: "With us you are not only big league but world champions. The kindness consideration and eagerness to help of Worcester's ship's company will never be forgotten by the Brush."

The stay in Sasebo, however, proved a short one for Worcester, because she got underway on the 30th to return to Korean waters to resume her fire support and interdiction duties. At 0600 on 1 October, Worcester joined the blockading force off the east coast of Korea, south of the 41st parallel, ready to render gunfire support for UN troops advancing against North Korean forces. As she patrolled off the coast, Worcester launched her helicopter to conduct antisubmarine and antimine patrols and frequently stationed lookouts in the bows of the ship, their eyes peeled for mines. Periodically, the screening destroyers found and destroyed mines drifting nearby. Recent encounters with the horned spheres had resulted in all operations being carried on at the 100 fathom (180 m) curve, which meant maximum gun range for the ships if call-fire was required.

Worcester—having served as flagship for TG 95.2, Rear Admiral C. C. Hartman embarked—arrived back at Sasebo for replenishment on 8 October and fueled there before disembarking Rear Admiral Hartman. While still at Sasebo, Worcester became a flagship again the next day when Rear Admiral Allan E. Smith, Commander, TF 95, came on board with his staff and broke his flag in the light cruiser. At 1248 on the 10th, Worcester got underway to return to the east coast of Korea—this time to screen minesweeping operations at the important port of Wonsan and to support the advance of the 3d Republic of Korea (ROK) Army Division.

Early on the 11th, the operation became truly an international one, when the British destroyer HMS Cockade, the Australian destroyer HMAS Warramunga, and the Canadian destroyer HMCS Athabaskan joined Worcester's group which already included the British light cruiser HMS Ceylon and the heavy cruiser Helena besides the American warships Rochester (CA-124), Harold J. Thomas (DDR-833), and Maddox (DD-731). On the 12th, the battleship Missouri (BB-63) joined, bringing her heavy guns to the unit.

While Missouri's helicopter searched the projected bombardment track for mines, the UN force formed up for battle. At 1150, when a shell from an unobserved shore battery fell 5,000 yards (4.6 km) short of the group, it apparently signalled the beginning. Worcester hoisted the blue and white UN flag to the foretruck and commenced firing at exactly noon on 12 October. For almost the next 90-odd minutes, Worcester's 6 inch (152 mm) guns hammered at iron works and railroad tunnels in the vicinity. The next day, she extended her target list to include railroad marshalling yards, tearing up sections of track and blasting rolling stock.

Over the next few days, Worcester and the ships in company with her proceeded to rain destruction on targets of opportunity near Wonsan—targets that ranged from railroad marshalling yards to rolling stock and adjacent warehouse areas. Also, on 16 October, in an action reminiscent of the "Battle of the Pips" in World War II, Worcester, Helena, and accompanying destroyers fired at unidentified radar contacts—"blips" on the radar screens that approached from the northward. They (the contacts) were probably two flocks of geese.

After returning to Sasebo, Worcester returned briefly to Wonsan to transfer mail, passengers, and her helicopter unit to Rochester on 21 October, before she sailed from Wonsan at 1723 on that day, in company with Helena and screened by Southerland (DD-743) and English (DD-696). Joined later by Collett (DD-730), Worcester parted company with the others and, escorted only by Collett, headed for Sasebo where, upon arrival, Rear Admiral Smith disembarked and shifted his flag to the destroyer tender Dixie (AD-14).

Worcester completed the transfer of helicopter personnel, spares, and equipment to Fleet Activities, Sasebo, and, at 1701 on 23 October, headed for Yokosuka. She reached that port at 0823 on the 25th. After replenishment, liberty for her crew, and the cleaning of two boilers, the light cruiser left the Far East on 27 October, bound for Pearl Harbor. The day after she sailed, Worcester received a dispatch from Admiral C. Turner Joy, Commander, Naval Forces, Far East, which said: "Upon the Worcester's departure from the Far East I wish to extend a hearty 'well done' to the entire ship's company. Your rapid deployment from the European station to the Far East, followed by your immediate and most effective participation in the Korean effort, clearly demonstrates that your status of war readiness was excellent."

Returning to Philadelphia on 21 November—via Pearl Harbor and the Panama Canal—Worcester later spent six days at Norfolk, 23 November to 29 November, before she was overhauled at the Boston Naval Shipyard from 1 December 1950 to 20 March 1951. After another brief period at Norfolk from 22 March to 30 March, the light cruiser operated at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on refresher training for nearly a month before she headed back to Norfolk. Departing that port on 15 May, Worcester headed for the Mediterranean and her third deployment to the 6th Fleet.

Worcester conducted four more 6th Fleet "Med" deployments into the mid-1950s and twice visited northern European ports. During that time, she participated in fleet maneuvers and exercises and paid good-will calls on many ports—ranging from Bergen, Norway; to Copenhagen, Denmark; to Dublin, Ireland; and Portsmouth, England. Between her foreign deployments were operations closer to home: local operations out of eastern seaboard ports like Boston and Norfolk. In addition, the ship also plied the warmer waters of the Caribbean and West Indies, ranging from Guantanamo Bay to Kingston, Jamaica.

Transferred from the Atlantic to the Pacific Fleet in January of 1956, Worcester made two more deployments to operate with the 7th Fleet, visiting such highly frequented ports as Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan; Hong Kong; Manila; as well as the Japanese ports of Hakodate, Nagasaki, Shimoda, Yokohama, and Kobe. Returning each time to her home port at Long Beach, California, the ship conducted local operations between her cruises in Oriental waters.

On 2 September 1958, Worcester departed Long Beach and steamed for the Mare Island Naval Shipyard to commence the inactivation process. Decommissioned at Mare Island on 19 December 1958 and simultaneously placed in reserve, Worcester was subsequently berthed at San Francisco and. later, at Bremerton, Washington, before she was struck from the Navy list on 1 December 1970. Sold to Zidell Explorations, Inc., of Portland, Oregon, on 5 July 1972, the revolutionary light cruiser that never had a chance to prove herself in her designed role was subsequently broken up for scrap.

Approximately 200 tons of her armor plate was sent to the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, west of Chicago, and the armor is being used for absorption shielding in the particle accelerator and experiment lines.

NAVAL WAR COLLEGE - NEWPORT - Staff - 1956-1960

In 1956 through 1960 Herb taught at the Naval War College at Newport

He spent a year in the Correspondence Course department and two teaching on the Naval Command Course. Herb may have clashed with Captain Kimmel (son of the Admiral commanding Pearl Harbor - 7 Dec 1941) and this possibly put the final seal on any chance of making Admiral. Herb considered Admiral Kimmel criminally negligent for what happened at Pearl Harbor.

Herb was acting director of the War College for two months.

USS AMPHION (AR13) - Command - 1961

(AR-13: dp. 17,600 (f.); 1. 492'; b. 69'6"; dr. 26'6" (max.); s. 16.5 k.; cpl. 921; a. 2 5", 8 40mm., 22 20mm.; cl. Amphion)

The second Amphion (AR-13) was laid down on 20 September 1944 at Tampa, Fla., by the Tampa Shipbuilding Co., Inc.; launched on 15 May 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Howard D. Orem, the wife of Capt. Howard D. Orem, the aide and flag secretary to Admiral Ernest J. King; and commissioned at her builder's yard on 30 January 1946, Capt. Noble W. Abrahams in command.

Designed and built to carry out a primary mission of making emergency and routine repairs to ships of the fleet during periods of technical availability, Amphion was equipped with a wide variety of repair shops: shipfitter, carpentry, pipe and copper, sheet metal, welding, canvas, watch, optical, foundry—in short, facilities that employed skilled artificers capable of repairing hardware from precision watches to heavy machinery and hulls. "These shops are limited in what they can do," boasts an early history of Amphion, "only by the size of their equipment." Her modern engineering plant could generate enough electricity for not only herself but ships moored alongside undergoing repairs. Her distilling plant could produce water for herself and for other vessels.

Following shakedown in the Chesapeake Bay area and availability at her builder's yard, Amphion joined the Atlantic Fleet's service force and was homeported at Norfolk, Va. Operating at and out of Norfolk and Newport, R.I., for the first decade of her service, she provided her vital repair services principally on the east coast of the United States. She also deployed to Bermuda on occasion, as well as to bases in Newfoundland and the Caribbean, carrying out port visits to such places as Ciudad Trujillo, the Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

During the summers of 1957 and 1958 Amphion deployed to the Mediterranean, servicing ships of the 6th Fleet and visiting ports in France, Greece, Crete, Sicily, and the Balearic Islands. Through the 1960s she operated along the Atlantic coast of the United States. In 1965, she supported naval contingency operations off the Dominican Republic; and, in 1968, she visited ports in Scotland and England.

Amphion departed Norfolk for the last time under the stars and stripes on 18 August 1971. After visiting Recife, Brazil (29 to 31 August), and Mombasa, Kenya (18 to 22 September), the repair ship reached her destination, Bandar Abbas, Iran, on 28 September. Decommissioned on 2 October 1971, Amphion was turned over to the Imperial Iranian Navy on that day. Renamed Chah Bahar to honor an Iranian port on the Gulf of Oman, the ship was first commanded in Iranian service by Lt. Comdr. Arabshahi and based at Bandar Abbas. Purchased outright on 1 March 1977, Amphion's name was stricken from the Navy list. Chah Bahar remained in service with the Iranian Navy into 1985.

USS HYADES (AF-28) - Command (at same time as AMPHION!) - 1961


(AF-28: dp. 7,700 It.; l. 468'9"; b. 63'; dr. 25'11"; s. 16 k.; cpl. 252; a. 1 5", 4 3"; cl. Hyades; T. C2-S-E1)

Hyades (AF-28), ex.-Iberville, was launched under Maritime Commission contract by Gulf Shipbuilding Co., Chickasaw, Ala., 12 June 1943; sponsored by Mrs. L. R. Sanford; and commissioned at Bethlehem Steel, Baltimore, after conversion, 1 August 1944; Comdr. M. C. Wheyland in command.

Hyades got underway 11 September 1944 for Trinidad and the Panama Canal, escorted by destroyer Warrington. In the Caribbean the ships encountered a severe hurricane ; by 13 September Warrington was foundering. The heavy weather had separated the two ships; when the destroyer went down, Hyades proceeded to her last known position to pick up survivors. She rescued 61 'before proceeding to Panama, where she arrived119 September.

The refrigerator ship steamed to Majuro to supply the fleet with foodstuffs 10 October, touching at Kwajalein, Eniwetok, and other bases before returning to San Francisco. Underway again 1 December 1944, the ship made two more voyages to the advance bases and the Philippines with stores, returning to Seattle from the second cruise 13 April 1945. 'She continued on this duty, so vital to the support of our huge Pacific fleet, until well after the surrender of Japan. In addition to supplying ships she brought food and supplies to many shore bases.

In 1946 Hyades brought supplies to American ground troops in China, spending March at Tsingtao and April at Hong Kong. In 1947 she continued to support the efforts to protect American interests and establish democracy in that troubled country, spending several months at Shanghai. Thereafter operating out of San Francisco, Hyades became a familiar sight to the various occupation groups and island outposts in the Pacific.

The ship sailed through the Panama Canal to Norfolk to join the Atlantic Fleet, arriving 14 June 1948. She departed for her first cruise to the Mediterranean 12 July 1948, during which she operated with the fast Carrier forces serving as a mobile replenishment ship. During this troubled period, 1948-1955, U.S. fleet units did much to protect freedom in the area, notably in Greece and Turkey ; Hyades brought supplies and showed the flag in many Mediterranean ports, including Piraeus, Naples, Valencia, and Gibraltar.

As tension mounted in the Mediterranean in early 1956, Hyades replenished destroyers patrolling the eastern Mediterranean, returning to Norfolk 28 February. She later rendezvoused with powerful fleet units in July, including Iowa, New Jersey, Des Moines, and Macon, as American naval power moved in to prevent the widening of the Suez crisis. In April of 1957 the ship replenished carrier Lake Champlain during moves to support the threatened government of Jordan and took part in an important NATO fleet exercise during September-October in northern European waters.

In the years that followed, Hyades continued to support the 6th Fleet in its cold war operations, keeping the peace in the Mediterranean. During August-September 1958, she visited Crete and Turkey when the latter country was threatened. In 1959, she sailed 11 May for fleet replenishment in response to the heightened Berlin crisis, effectively showing American might and determination. The veteran stores ship returned twice more to the Mediterranean in 1959, and again in 1960 and 1961.  Herb was in command of the AMPHION when the new commander of the HYADES had a heart attack prior to joining ship.  The Navy decided to "hold" his appointment till he recovered and so Herb commanded the HYADES at the same time as the AMPHION till he recovered.  Herb claims the somewhat unique distinction of commanding two deep draft navy ships similtaneously!

Hyades responded quickly in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, arriving at Guantanamo Bay 22 October to evacuate dependents as the introduction of offensive missiles forced a naval quarantine of the island. After the safe evacuation, the ship returned to the quarantine line for underway replenishment of the ships patrolling off Cuba. After the easing of the situation in December, Hyades entered Home Bros. Shipyard in Newport News, Va., for the installation of a helicopter deck aft to increase her versatility and replenishment capabilities.

During 1963 the ship cruised with the 6th Fleet in July and August. In 1964 she took part in Operation Springboard in the Caribbean, returning to Norfolk 1 February 1964. Hyades continued to serve the Fleet through the mid 1960's and in the Fall of 1967 was based at Norfolk, Va.

CINCLANTFLEET - Staff - 1962

Director of Logistics Plans during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

At the end of 1963 Herb was "humphed" - or forced to retire as part of a navy staff reduction measure.  Herb appealed the decision as his file was not correctly up to date and did not include merits and commendations earned earlier in his career.  Damned if he did and damned if he didn't he finally sued the navy, won, lost on appeal and won on appeal again.  For postings he was offered:




during the call from the detail officer. Herb kept quiet till the officer admitted he was kidding and offered Herb Professor of Naval Science at Villanova or Commanding Officer Washington.  Herb took.....

NAVAL STATION WASHINGTON - Commander - 1963-1966

With Wife Mary during service in Washington.  Herb's children remember rowing their dinghy around the Presidential Yacht SEQUOIA and JFK visiting the yacht.  It was during his command and because of Lady Bird Johnston's "Beautify America" campaign that Herb made US headlines.

Herb planted 150 acres of trees to screen the rifle range on the banks of the Potomac. The problem was it was near Christmas and many of the trees were cute little Christmas trees and Herb was concerned that they might start to disappear. Herb - posted a sign:

"Anyone caught tampering with, or removing these trees will be shot immediately - by authority of the CO" .

There it MIGHT have ended - except a newspaper photographer published a picture which the wire services picked up and it ended up published coast to coast. Herb came under some pressure because locals were writing to the Pentagon to complain that the sign was "not in the Christmas spirit". He had to issue a press release pointing out that it had been meant as a joke and that the guards were not actually armed.



NAVAL STATION NEWPORT - Chief of Staff - 1967-1969

Retirement Parade - 1969

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