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1998 GUESTBOOK

3-30-1998 to 12/29/1998

Date: 30 March 1998
From: Dennis Morneau
Rank: IC2
Time Served: 1976-1979

Hi Steve..

Just found the King webpage through Mike Leonard. The web page looks great. I've already found 2 people in the IC Gang I was stationed with. I don't remember who you are, but I've lost a few brain cells since my King days.

I will contribute a story when I get a chance. Any thoughts about a reunion? Please e-mail me back so that I know this is working.

Thanks again for doing a great job on keeping the King alive for us "old" salts.

Date: 08 April 1998
From: John C. Hicks
Rank: BTFH
Time Served: 1972-1974

I was on several ships during my tour of duty, but the KING was by far the best duty I had. I remember taking her around through the Panama Canal for Decommissioning. Everyone was in great spirits but subdued by the fact that we were all going to have to leave her.

On the way we had removed a lot of insulation in the fireroom. The temperature in the fireroom was really getting up there. We had to run short watches, due to the extreme temperatures. Twice we had spontaneous fires start. Once on the #2 boiler forced draft blower, and once in a pile of rags we were using for clean-up. That was the hottest trip ever, but everyone on board was tight, and we had a lot of good times together.

B-Division was really tight, we stood together and backed up each other. The other divisions were always coming around because of our morale. I can't think of one serious problem between any two people the whole time I was on board. I don't think any of us will forget the long days spent off the gulf or the shrot days of Liberty in Subic and others. We really clicked and had a great time.

Hope to hear from some of my crew mates.

Date: 10 April 1998
From: Stephen Burns
Rank: FT3
Time Served: 1970-1973

I served in the KING when it was designated as DLG-10. I came aboard shortly after the refit from the engine room fire.

We made several West Pac cruises and visited most of the ports of call on the Pacific Rim. The most memorable of which is probably the fuel stop over in Pago Pago on our way back to Subic. It was incredibly beautiful, a mountain ringed lagoon with peaks shrouded in mist. Large dollops of rain as warm as bathwater cascading across the deck as we tied up. We got to stay thru the next day because if some minor repair. The beaches and the water were everything you read about them. All together an enjoyable time.

I can remember times in the Gulf of Tonkin, where we were essentially a navigational bouy for bombers going into North Viet Nam when the water was so calm, that the only ripples were from our wake.


I remember times in the Sea of Japan in the winter, taking fuel and mail [midship highline] it was about 20 degrees going on -30 with all the spray. Thats the only time we ever got a "rum ration", [actually grain alcohol in orange juice].

I worked with the Terrier Missle Guidance and Tracking Radars AN-SPG 50 something [memories failing in my old age]. I was able to witness a missle shoot off Pt. Mugo. That was really something to see. You here this god awful roar, theres's a flash of light and it's gone. I can remember having to hang on the side of the high radar while underway, with only a saftey belt and foot rail to hold me. It's a little scary to look down when the shipp rolled and see only wter below.

Well I've taken up enough space I guess. Hope to hear from someone.

Steve Burns

Date: 22 April 1998
From: Michael McCarthy
Rank: FT-1
Time Served: 19681972

Reading the Sea Stories of others inspired me to add to the Midway Sea Story.

As I recall we had been on a rather long cruise. I think our time in Nam was extended a couple of times but I can't remember the details. Any way, we had been away from home for a longer than usual time and everyone, including the CO [Captain Dempster Jackson] wanted to get home. Unfortunately, another ship pulled into Midway for refueling about the same time we did. Also unfortunate was the fact that the CO of the other ship was senior to our CO. In addition there was only one fueling station available. The CO of the other ship pulled rank and made the KING tie up to the pier and began refueling. He then proceeded to tie up ontboard of us. That meant we could not get underway until he had finished refueling and was underway himself. Since there was only one pilot in Midway, it meant that we would have to wait until the pilot had returned before we could get underway. It seemed that the other ship was home ported in Pearly Harbor and the CO of the ship wanted to make sure that they arrived in Pearl before the KING. I have no idea why.

Well Captain Jackson, in true KING style decided that he didn't need a pilot and as soon as the other ship was safely out of our way, he got the KING underway. We cast off a little before noon as i recall, so the guys that were over drinking beer probably weren't late at all. Captain Jack was early. If you know the Midway channel, you know that getting a 547 foot ship underway with no tugs is quite an accomplishment. Well, we churned up a lot of bottom, but Captain Jackson got us out safe and sound, as usual, amd we poured on the coal....full speed ahead for pearl.

I don't know when we passed the other ship, but we arrived in Pearl, refuled, and got underway again before they even cleared the channel. We actually passed them in the channel and Captain Jackson greeted them with several blasts from the ships whistle. Needless to say the crew waved greetings also.7

I wonder what happened to Captain Jackson. I hope the Navy had sense enough to promote him to Admiral. I

Date: May 5, 1998
From: Steve Cuddihy
Rank: BT2
Time Served: 1969-72

I remember being on watch and going up to the 01 level and getting potatoes and baking them in the outer steam drum, peeling them and deep frying them in the ball bearing cooker that we converted to a deep fryer. Also the time we got Rabbit from the Wardroom mess and fried that. It was really good after eating some of that mess deck cooking.

Also on my first cruise when the ship was on water hour we rigged up a fresh water shower in the fireroom and had showers everyday while underway. After the first cruise, we went to the yards and got all the leaks fixed when didn't go on water hours for the next three years I was on the King.

Bad times? Too many for right now.

Date: 05 May 1998
From: Lyle Brandon
Rank: MM1
Time Served: 1977-1983

There is a lot to remember about the KING of the fleet. There is Untias cruise in 80's and the tradjic loss of our 3 ship,ates also in 1980. God was that ever a frightening day. I remember it well. Freak waves, loosing fires in both boilers, emergency generators lighting off with a foot of sea water sloshing around the generator toom, a fire in aft steering, rough day

There is lots to remember in them 6 years that I was aboard.

Lyle Brandon

Date: 18 May 1998
From: Ronald D. Laughlin
Rank: seaman
Time Served: 1960-1963
E-Mail: ronald.laughlin@isd2198.mn.us

I was one of the lucky few that got to go up to washington to take her out to sea for the frist time. Capt busdard was the old man at the time. He showed us that she could back up faster the most ships could go forward.

I'm proud that I got to serve on the king of kings. I would love to have something off that old ship to put in my home to look at. Also would like to hear from someone who served the same time maybe get together and talk over old times and party like we used to do.

Rondo

Date: 10 June 1998
From: Don R. Dodson
Rank: ETR2
Time Served: 1963-1967 [on USS Coontz DLG-9]
E-Mail: dodson@vnet.net

I have read every contributors story, and I wish the COONTZ DLG-9 had such a web site.

It was back in 1966 in Tonkin Gulf I last saw the King. We were at Yankee station waiting to get releaved by USS KING and the shotgun destroyer, maybe USS RICHARD S.EDWARDS DD950 when we all got the call to action of SAR (search and rescue) All four ships steamed North toward Haipong Harbor when it was discovered the pilot went down over land.

When all four ships turned around and headed South and after about 15 minutes our Combat Air Patrol reported high speed surfac targets closing in on the formation. I was sitting on ECM GQ station at the time, and sqwaked to Upper Combat that PT Boat Skinhead Radar had been detected and gave the coordinates of the signal.

Alpha Whiskey (The Carrier) sent in aircraft and sank two boats and the third was put dead in the water. King went out and picked up North Vietnamese sailors while the Coontz pulled up along side the PT Boat dead in the water.

The Captain couldn't get the crew members of the PT boat to tie a line onto the boat for tow. Insted they pulled the plug and we watched it sink into the deep. All together there was 19 sailors captured and I understand they were later traded for US POW's.

King offloaded the sailors she rescued and put them on the Coontz. We went to Dnang to offload them but South Vietnam would not accept them as we were not officially at war. We offloaded them to an oiler that had a brig for them to cherish.

The ships crew went to the only place that would accept us, Tiawan for R&R. We had caused an international incident and would not be accepted in Hong Kong, Japan, or the Phillipines. From Tiawan, we went back to San Diego.

What ever happened to the crew of the King at that time when the crew earned R&R? Those COONTZ class ships were fine homes for thousands of sailors for many years. Best food I ever ate, maybe because it was flag for Desron 17. Steaks every Thursday, Lobster tail once a month on Fridays, lots of cow food (salads), and brunch every Sunday.

Any COONTZ readers out there or our Sister ship can E-Mail me at dodson@vnet.net. Thanks for allowing me to reflect on 4 of the best years of my life.

Respectfully

Don R. Dodson ETR2

Date: 27 June 1998
From: William Townsend
Rank:
Time Served:
E-Mail: bill8792@norcom2000.com

Served on King during WestPac tour of 1962. Cuban missile crisis occurred. We were at condition two for a long period. Encountered a typhoon that caused a 49 degree roll - thought we were going to lose her.

Showed the flag off coast of Viet Nam, Fired Terrier missile at and hit a drone for demonstration for President Kennedy who was visiting the carrier task group. Took dry dock in Long Beach, then sailed under the Golden Gate. We hosted an open house in Oakland.

Are there any DLGs on permanent display any where in the country?

Bill Townsend
Belleville, Il

Date: 18 July 1998
From: Bron Hollingshead
Rank: MR-3
Time Served: 1982-83
E-Mail: brononmaui@aol.com

Hey shipmates! What a cool website!

Especially happy to hear something from the Devore brothers. Some of the greatest fun I had back then was sending boots to the aft fireroom to get a "BT punch" from Big Scotty Devore. Great fun!

Congratulations to my LPO John Rose on your retirement.

I'm now living well on Maui. Sober 16 yrs.now.

Like to contact Harry Deaner

Date: 19 July 1998
From: Paul F. Flanders
Rank: OSSN
Time Served: 1980-1982
E-Mail:

I came aboard about the time we left on the UNITAS cruse. BM2 Beckley taught me the helm. I struck to the O-I Div and made OSSN while aboard.

The ride onboard could get very fun in a little weather but I always kept a can of oysters for the mid-watch douring a heavey storm to see who would get sick first.

The only thing I miss is not having the names of the Moonies who were in the back of a bus and moon'd a ladie and the cop pulled the bus over and wanted the hole back seat to drop there pants so the victim could ID them!!!!!!!!!!

Date: 24 July 1998
From: Mike Leonard
Time Served: 1981-84

Hi. Glad to see this site. KING was pretty much my life for 3 years. Met a lot of good guys and still run into one very now and then. I was M Division Officer and later MPA. Mostly it was an enjoyable experience but our Persian Gulf deployment in '84 was the worst! Convinced me to find another line of work...

Date: 02 August 1998
From: Clifton A. Alligood
Rank: SH2-Ships Barber
Time Served: 1968-1969
E-Mail: cliftonalligood@nivets.com

I was also on the King when we had the fire on board.

I was lying in my rack, reading, when smoke started pouring out of my a/c vent. I woke everyone up and after a couple of tries, we made it up on deck.

There is more to the story, but thats all that's importent. We were fortunate that we didn't lose more people.

Clif

Date: 03 August 1998
From: Tom Murphy
Rank:
Time Served:
E-Mail: kt-murf@uswest.net

I found a couple of pictures for the site. One is the standard photo for the crew from the helo. The other two I took after we had survived a hurricane.

We joined an exercise in Mayport, Florida and were headed to Nova Scotia when we got into some 40 ft. seas and had trouble avoiding the storm. The photos show some damage to the davit for the port side liberty boat.

The ship sustained a lot of damage. The spools that hold the line for tying to the pier were ripped off and tore holes in the bulkhead just above the main deck.

The next morning several Boatswain's Mates and Hull Technicians were on the main deck surveying the damage. The seas still had with 10 ft. swells although the weather was clear. Several freak waves hit the starboard side in succession and 4 sailors went in the water.

Only one was recovered and the other men were never found. It was very sad as most of us served with these guys for three years as part of the pre-commissioning crew.

We went back to Norfolk for repairs and did not participate in the exercise. I will never forget looking out the bridge windows heading into 40 ft. waves.

Sorry so depressing. I have many more fond memories.

tom murphy

From: Anonymous
Date: August 06, 1997

I am a retired Navy Vietnam vet and my worst day ever was May 12‚ 1969. I was stationed in the USS King DLG 10 at the time‚ and we were assigned to Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf‚ with the coast of North Vietnam in sight. We had been visited that day by the Secretary of the Navy who was on a tour of Naval units in Vietnam. His helo had departed at 13:12 that afternoon‚ so all hands were more than relieved when he was gone. It meant that we could go back to normal routine.

At 21:46 that night‚ all Hell broke loose. I was on watch at the aft Missile house when the ship shook with the force of the explosion. I looked down the passageway toward the sound and all I could see was a huge fireball racing at me. I ducked behind a bulkhead and watched it hit the missile house door and spread left and right. The heat from it was terrible. I could feel the hair burning off my hands and arms. I wasn’t able to breathe for 20 to 30 seconds‚ it seemed like days though. The light from the emergency battle lanterns hardly penetrated the smoke‚ but gave enough light to get to the ladder leading up on deck.

I thought at first we had been hit by a missile‚ but by the time I was able to get up on deck‚ general quarters had sounded and the Captain (J.D. Scull) was speaking on the PA telling us that we had experienced an explosion in the forward fireroom‚ and now we had an oil fire to fight. After being checked out by the ships corpsman‚ (I had mostly been scorched‚ no bad burns‚ but no hair left either.) I went forward to help fight the fire. It took 1 hour and about 16 minutes to finally get the fire out.

No one on that ship was untouched by the fire. Four men dead‚ Gene L. Ware BT2‚ Kenneth W. Grubb BT2‚ Martin Brown BT3‚ and Joseph B. Fischer BT3. Five more with 2nd and 3rd Degree burns‚ and most everyone else suffered smoke inhalation to some extent.

The ship was dead in the water for 26 hours ten miles from the entrance to Haiphong harbor. We were eventually towed back to Subic Bay in the Philipines for repairs.

I had many other experiences in the war and came close to death many times. But that by far was my worst day‚ ever.

Date: 13 August 1998
From: Craig Rothhammer
Rank: OS 2
Time Served: USS LUCE (DDG-38) 1979-1981
E-Mail: craigr@cnmnetwork.com

I served on a Coontz class sister ship (USS LUCE DDG-38) to the USS KING and steamed with her several times.

The one unfortunate rememberance I have of her was a tragedy at sea. I believe it happened in 1980 when the KING, LUCE & other ships and other ships already on exercises were put to sea off of the Florida coast to ride out a Hurricane. We were steaming off of the Bahamas and we took tremendous damage to our masts, arials, missile house, deck gear, etc. but the KING lost (4) men overboard.

We all executed a man overboard manuever, but in those seas it was nearly impossible. I later read the dispatches as I logged them in CIC which I believe stated that four men went topside to survey the damage and a wave swept them over the side. Only one man was recovered by another destroyer as I recall. It really brought home the hazardous duty we all faced every day.

The more cynical members in OI Division noted that we were in the Bermuda Triangle and questioned the Navy's policy of putting ships to sea in heavy weather. The entire squadron later held a rememberance ceremony at Mayport Fla.

Nice web page, keep up the good work.

Date: 01 September 1998
From: David Darley
Time Served: 1976-1980

I JOINED THE KING'S PRE-COM UNIT IN NORFOLK IN 1976. THE SHIP WAS STILL IN PASCAGOULA, MISS BEING REFURBISHED AT THE TIME. IT EVENTUALLY WAS TOWED TO THE PORTSMOUTH, VA. YARDS AND CONTINUED TO BE REFITTED THERE.

WE STAYED IN THE BARRACKS AT THE PORTSMOUTH BASE FOR A LONG TIME, SOMETIMES STAYING ON A FLOATING BARRACKS BARGE BESIDE THE SHIP WHEN WE HAD DUTY. IT WAS A PARTY TIME IN THOSE YEARS. THE MILITARY WAS WINDING DOWN FROM THE VIET NAM WAR, AND EVERYONE STILL HAD THAT LAID-BACK LATE SIXTIES/EARLY SEVENTIES ATTITUDE. I GUESS THE MILITARY WASN'T AT IT'S HIGHEST STATE OF READINESS AT THAT TIME, BUT WE HAD ALOT OF FUN.

AS AN OPERATIONS SPECIALIST WE WORKED IN COMBAT INFORMATION CENTER. WE USED THE EQUIPMENT THAT VIDEO GAMES WERE FIRST DEVELOPED FROM AND ACTUALLY HAD VIDEO GAME PROGRAMS LOADED ON TO OUR COMPUTERS. WE PLAYED THEM ON THE RADAR CONSOLES.

WHEN I WAS IN THE NAVY I COULDN'T WAIT TO GET OUT. BUT, LOOKING BACK, THER ISN'T ANYTHING I WOULD TRADE FOR THAT EXPERIENCE OR THE FRIENDS I MADE, WHO WERE AND CONTINUE TO BE THE CLOSEST ONES I HAVE HAD IN MY LIFE.

MORE TO COME...

Date: 08 September 1998
From: Terry L. Winters
Time Served: 1970-1972

I GLAD TO SEE THAT THIS WEB SITE IS NOW OUT THERE.

I SERVED 28 YEARS IN THE NAVY AND DLG 10 WAS BY FAR MY FAVORITE SHIP. GLAD TO SEE THAT SOMEONE IS TAKING AN INTEREST IN THE OLD GIRL.

MY FAVORITE STORY IS IN 1971 WHEN WE WERE HEADED BACK FROM THE PACIFIC AND STOPPED OFF AT MIDWAY TO REFUEL. THE CO ALLOWED EVERYONE BUT THE DUTY SECTION TO GO OVER AND HAVE A COUPLE OF BEERS. THEY TOLD US TO BE BACK BY NOON AND OF COURSE ME AND 2 OTHER GUYS WERE LATE.

THEY WERE GETTING READY TO THROW OFF NR#1 LINE WHEN WE CAME RUNNING BACK UP THE PIER. THE CO WAS QUITE HAPPY WITH US. HE REMINDED ME OF IT EVERYTIME HE SAW US ON THE REST OF THE TRIP BACK TO SAN DIEGO.

HOPE EVERYONE IS DOING WELL AND SURE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM ANYONE WHO SERVED ON KING....

Date: 26 October 1998
From: Todd Lee Russ
Rank: E4
Time Served: 1960-1964

Hello, my dad served on the King!!! (I believe the years I have listed are correct!!) He often told stories of the Navy to us as kids. Now, I am engaged to an "Navy boy" His name is James Frederick and he is stationed at Cecil Field. He is part of VFA 106 where he is a third class.

Anyway, just was doing some research for my dad, and thought I would share a small story. I am sure he would love to hear from anyone who served with him. We currently live in Altoona, PA. Todd is retired from CONRAIL now and enjoys time on his potoon boat on Lake Raystown :)

Date: 2 November 1998
From: Larry L. Stamper
Rank: BM3
Time Served: 1964-1965

The USS KING was the best duty I had in 5 years that I spent in the service.

Date: 2 November 1998
From: Pete Mondello
Rank: MM3 [Forward Engine Room]
Time Served: 1968-1970

HEY STEVEN!

FOUND YOUR SITE ON THE USS KING DLG 10, SUPER NICE!

I was using a new Search Engine called Web Ferret. As I used this amazing tool, I proceded to have some fun.

Being new to the Computer World and with a brand new computer. I typed in USS KING DLG 10 and WALA!- SHAZAM! A spark of something arose. Can it be, is some one out there--could it be a shipmate with a forgotten name and/or face from the past.

Saying to myself, let me see what can happen in these next few moments. The name USS KING DLG 10, lines up five or six time in a row, one under another, layering a small section at the top of the list of my search page.

Still in awe at what I had found. I moved at a smooth slow rate, which I'm highly capable of doing. I opened up the first site. Like opening a gift of something special, from a real wealth friend are relative. Hoping for the gift to be of great value.

It was exceptionally valued, in so far as bringing back memories . It brought back, instant memories of a group of young men I shared a plethora of unknowns, with!

After almost 30yrs. now from walking her decks, viewing her two screws, churn miles of Pacific Water off Her Fan Tail.

There is still, one night in particular,that hangs tears in my eyes. That's the night the anonymous shipmate was writing about. If my memory hasn't falled me. The fire was in the after fire room. I was on duty that night in the forward engine room. When a voice cried FIRE! FIRE! over the Box.

Steven, I know I know you ---I didn't get a King year book, so there is no pictures for me to browse through.

Well Thanks for all Work, GOD BLESS.

You can E-mail me at mondello@ih2000.net

Date: 24 December 1998
From: John Watts
Rank: E4 Operations Specialist Petty Officer - OI Division
Time Served: 1976-1979

Hi:

I'm a former USS King (DDG-41) crewmember, '76-'79, re-commissioning crew in fact. Thanks for the site, this is something I wanted to do but never got to it, you're doing a great job.

I just wish more people would show up here. I served with David Darley, from your sea stories page and will someday bore the skivvies off you with my sea story.

Now that there is a web page has there been any scuttle butt about a reunion? That's something I've wanted to do, maybe not manage or sponsor one but most certainly attend. I would be willing to help out if there's some serious interest in putting together a reunion committee.

I have lots of pictures but I don't have access to a scanner. I could send them to you to scan but, I would want them back. Any suggestions on how to handle this.

John Watts
Operations Specialist Petty Officer - E4
OI Division

Date: 29 December 1998
From: David Howard Stevens
Rank:
Time Served: 1969-1970

Hi my name is Scott Stevens.

I am sending this on behalf of my father David Howard Stevens. I know he will get a real kick out of getting an email from you.

Dad served on the USS KING around 1969-70 maybe earlier I am not sure. Please get in contact with my father.

DAVID STEVENS

Stodd@powerup.comau

27 Dialba Cres
TINGALPA
BRISBANE QLD AUSTRALIA

Yours aye
Scott Stevens

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