FAMILY-GRAM NUMBER TWO
The purpose of this family-gram is to keep the families and friends of the USS JOHN R. PERREY informed concerning the activities concerning the ship, past, present and future as well as to let you know of matters concerning the careers, health, and welfare of the men who serve aboard her.
WHAT WE HAVE DONE, WHERE WE ARE, WHAT WE ARE DOING, AND WHERE WE ARE GOING
Although the pace has been fast and heavy since commissioning (we have steamed over 21,000 miles), the JOHN R. PERRY and its crew have received many fine comments and commendations for performance and appearance.
On 1 August, we departed Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and shakedown training, for Northern Europe. Thirteen days later we arrived in Bergen, Norway, for a three day visit. From there we set sail for Copenhagen, Denmark, and thence Stockholm, Sweden. We returned via the Kiel Canal (Germany) and English Channel to Charleston, South Carolina. While in Scandinavia the ship was visited by many foreign dignitaries who were most impressed by the design and features of the JOHN R. PERRY. Noteworthy among the comments were ones related to the alertness, pride, and interest shown by the crew and officers in literally “showing their ship off.” Exchange dinners were a regular feature in each port, with foreign sailors as our guests dining “American style” on board while members of the crew ate dishes on the various ships stationed in our ports of call.
Upon our return on 5 September after a total deployment of three months, we underwent a three week yard period. During this time the al Board of Inspection and Survey conducted Final Acceptance Trials. This board, headed by Rear Admiral F. D. McCORKLE, USN, put the ship through its paces testing every piece of equipment and inspecting every item on board. It’s final report, “that this is the finest ship ever trialed by this board” is a tribute to the building yards, Avondale Marine Ways, Incorporated, of Avondale, Louisiana, and to the officers and men who strived so hard to give the ship it’s fine appearance and to maintain its equipment in outstanding condition. As a result of these trials the following messages were received:
From: the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Arleigh BURKE, USN :
HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS AND WELL DONE TO ALL HANDS FOR EXEMPLARY PERFORMANCE OF DUTY. YOUR HIGH STANDARD OF READINESS WILL MAKE AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTATION TO THE EFFECTIVENESS OF OUR FLEET.
From: Commander Destroyer Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Rear Admiral E. B. Taylor, USN :
YOUR HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL FINAL ACCEPTANCE TRIALS, SMART APPEARANCE OF CREW, OBVIOUS HIGH STANDARD OF MAINTENANCE AND THE EXCELLENT MORALE OF YOUR CREW WHICH PROMPED THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF INSPECTION AND SURVEY TO COMMENT THAT YOURS IS THE FINEST SHIP HE HAS TRIALED ARE NOTED WITH GREAT PLEASURES. YOURS IS A FINE EXAMPLE FOR OTHERS TO FOLLOW. CONGRATULATIONS AND A WELL DONE TO THE YOUNGEST MEMBER OF THE ATTLANTIC DESTROYER FORCE.
In addition I have given each member of the ship’s company a letter of commendation for his effort and skill in making this fine showing possible during the Final Acceptance Trials.
From Charleston we again voyaged to Guantanamo Bay to conduct standardization trials. JOHN R. PERRY, being the second ship of a new class, had little data available to her concerning maneuvering characteristics, and to compile such was the purpose of this trip. Once again we showed our true colors and completed these trials in a record-breaking three days, thus enabling our return to the U.S. one week early. From Guantanamo we were scheduled to return to Charleston to complete the overhaul period. However due to the number or repair items undertaken by the ship’s force, and because major repairs had been held to a minimum due to excellent maintenance by the crew, we were permitted to sail for our home pore of Key West, where once and for all we would be able to settle down with our families.
Currently we are acting as a school ship for the Fleet Sonar School at Key West, taking students to sea on a daily basis to practice with live submarines. However, periodically short cruises are scheduled as a break from routine. On 5-8 February we are scheduled to visit Tampa, Florida, as part of the Gasparilla Pirate Festival. It is our hope also to schedule a dependent’s cruise sometime after the first of the year.
We’ve had a busy couple of months since our last Family-Gram in preparing for the heavy workload completed. The following personnel reported aboard ship since July:
Richard D. PRITCHARD, seaman, from USS FORESTALL (CVA 59)
Frank E. STOWE, commissaryman seaman apprentice, from USS MILLS (DER 383)
Paul A. PATRY, boilerman third class, from USS POWER (DD 839)
Lloyd A. DUMMIT, fireman apprentice, from Naval Receiving Station, Norfolk, Virginia
Ensign Abram A. BRASSINGTON, from Commander Destroyer Flotilla FOUR
Ensign John M. BELL, from Officer Candidate School, Newport, Rhode Island
The following named man reenlisted on board since our last Family-Gram:
Bruce D. DLECHL, radioman third class, for four (4) years
ADVANCEMENT IN RATING
The following personnel who participated in the Navy-wide examinations for advancement in rating, given in August, will be advanced, effective 16 December:
Clifford C. CHAPMAN, to be advanced to Quartermaster Third Class
Charles T. GREY, to be advanced to Sonarman Third Class
Thomas P. HEALY, to be advanced to I.C. Electrician Third Class
Gary A. HILL, to be advanced to Radarman Third Class.
Jack D. PAULSEN to be advanced to Electrician’s Mate Third Class
Thomas R. PETERSON, to be advanced to Fire Control Technician Third Class
Allen SCHNEIDER, to be advanced to Enginemen Third Class
Carlyle J. TURMAM, to be advanced to Personnelman Third Class
Maynard T. WITZEL, to be advanced to Boilerman Third Class
Thomas P. FRAIOLI, to be advanced to Radarman Second Class
James M. FRANKLIN, to be advanced to Electronics Technician Second Class
Robert F. HARRIS, to be advanced to Electrician’s Mate Second Class
Tony L. HAYNES, to be advanced to Radarman Second Class
Marshall C. MIHALEK, to be advanced to I.C. Electrician Second Class
Harold E. PICHON, to be advanced to Electrician’s Mate Second Class
Peter J. STADLER, to be advanced to Engineman Second Class
Victor L. VICHLACH, to be advanced to Gunner’s Mate Second Class
DeWitt A. WILSON, to be advanced to Engineman Second Class
Harry F. AMEND, to be advanced to Personnelman First Class
Roy LUMEN, to be advanced to Engineman First Class
Victor W. WALLS, to be advanced to Storekeeper First Class
LTJG Dean R. SACKETT, selected for promotion to Lieutenant
LTJG Raymond B. STATHAM, selected for promotion to Lieutenant
LTJG Leo H. SWEENEY, selected for promotion to Lieutenant
Our Christmas leave period begins on 21 December, and many of us will be afforded an opportunity to be home for at least one of the holidays. For those who can not make it this time, the ship will try it’s best to make the holidays as gay and home-like as possible. Full course Christmas dinners will be served and the ship will be decorated in holiday fashion.
We hope this Family-Gram will help keep you informed of what is going on aboard our ship. We also hope you have enjoyed it and welcome any suggestions to improve it. Look for our next Family-Gram; it will be around again soon.
I wish you a MERRY CHRISTMSAS and a JOYFUL NEW YEAR from all of us here aboard ship.