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USS Sierra AD-18

Commissioned in 1944. "The Ship with the Helping Hands!"

Website: http://www.uss-sierra-vets.org/
Veterans: 21
Latest Activity: Jan 10, 2013

Discussion Forum

pattern for uss nautilas

Started by david mccalla Dec 24, 2009. 0 Replies

PRIDE

Started by Harry D. Polny. Last reply by Harry D. Polny Jul 14, 2009. 2 Replies

AD/AR MUSEUM SHIP

Started by Harry D. Polny. Last reply by David W Asche Jul 13, 2009. 1 Reply

Comment Wall

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Comment by Dennis R Smith on November 1, 2012 at 12:54pm

This is a message for the shipmates of Dennis R. Smith from Arab, AL.

  I am leaving this message here, just in case any of you are out there. Dennis served aboard the Sierra until June 1 ,1992., as a machinery repairman. I regret to inform you, that he passed away on August 26th, 2012. He had a sudden and fatal heart attack. As a family, we thought you should know, and are sorry we had no knowledge of how to contact most of you. -Mrs. Dennis R Smith( Julee)

Comment by Dennis Pennington on February 27, 2012 at 8:23pm

http://www.uss-sierra-vets.org/newsletters/issue-95.htm

The 2012 reunion from the newsletter.

Comment by James L. McCalla on September 17, 2010 at 7:23pm
Hi Gerald, The only officers that were at the ML school when I was there was LT Byrd and after he left there was a W4 Warrant officer, Milton Hines. Both of these officers were great people to work for. I didn’t know MLCM Quick until I came to the school in 9-68. Most of my time was on the east coast except for a 13 month tour in Korea as an adviser to the Korean Naval Shipyard Foundry, 66-67. After my time was up at the school I was transferred to the USS Sperry AS-12 at Point Loma, then back to the east coast to the Grand Canyon in Mayport FL, then back to CA. to DATC. After I retired 11-77 I went to work at Union Iron Works as a general foreman. At that time this company was in Warrensburg IL. Then to Wichita Falls TX (DANA Corp.) as a melting superintendent. Was at OSCO foundry in Jackson OH for about a year as molding foreman. They ran 10 molding machines that produced about 200 molds each in an 8 hour shift and these machines ran 24hrs a day except weekends. They melted with a 48” Copula tapping into a 50 ton channel holding furnace. The copula ran 24hrs a day also, dropping bottom at the end of the first shift on Friday. They could tap the furnace into pouring ladles while at the same time tap the copula into the holding furnace and never tip the holding furnace, this was done with air pressure. Busy place. Last job was as a field service mechanic which I did for 23 years. Retired for the second time in 05. Now am a full time servant and chauffeur for grand kids. Later
Comment by Gerald Tripp on September 16, 2010 at 8:12am
Hi James,
Some of those names sound familiar, I'm certain I remember Quick, but it seems like he was ML1st Class when I recall him. Heimbaugh sounds familiar also. The Officer in charge of the School was Lt. Owen Did you know him? I'll see if I can dig out some of my old notes to get some names. Also have some pictures, but scanning and pasting isnt my forte. Talk to you later.
Comment by James L. McCalla on September 14, 2010 at 10:57pm
Hi Gerald, you were at the ML-A school long before I got there. They told me I wasn’t smart enough to go to ML-A when I tried to get that school from boot camp. I didn’t get there until 9-68. I was an instructor at the A school about a year then spent the rest of my time as an instructor in B-school. You may have had some of the same instructors when you went through A-school that were back again in 68 when I got there. The A-school instructors were ML-1 Heimbaugh, ML-2 Langston and I. The E-9 in charge was MLCM Quick. The instructor in B-school was MLCM Devonshire. Both of the E-9’s had been there before at least once. There was another MLCM instructor at the patternmaker’s school, MLCM Callahan which was an ex-pattern maker. I came to DATC for my second and final tour of shore duty in 76 and retired 11-77. The E9 I worked for in DATC was MLCM Callahan. He also had the pattern shop where he spent most of his time. We also had a civilian in the foundry, Mr. Denbo. He was an retired MLCS and came back to work at the foundry as a civilian. The good old days!!
Comment by Gerald Tripp on September 13, 2010 at 11:22pm
Hi James, Yes, that was her name. Isnt it funny after 55 years , what you can remember, after your memory gets jogged. The name Roy Dye doesnt ring any bells. When I was aboard the Sierra she was a flagship and they said that was why she didnt go anywhere. She was a great ship, but I wanted to see the world. I retired in 1998. Settled in the same County I was born in, just across the river. Grand Haven is the County Seat for Ottawa County, Michigan. I live about 7 miles from it in a wide spot in the road called Nunica. Thought Bill was originally from Ohio, but as I thought about it, it could have been Pennslyvania. I still have my books and material from Class A Molders School. Actually I used them to form t curriculem for classes I taught. Thanks for the memories.
Comment by James L. McCalla on September 13, 2010 at 11:13am
Hi Gerald, Bill Hickey’s wife’s name was Celina. The lady that was staying with them was Bill Hickey’s aunt, can’t remember her name. Bill and I worked at a shipyard part time for awhile in Neptune Beach. I was a welder’s helper, don’t remember what Bill did. I have heard that same story about MLC McBride. I’m sure he was the same one we both knew. We had a man come to DATC that was promoted to ML1 from boot camp. His name was Paul Sims. He was a good man but don’t know how he made E6 just out of boot camp, then to shore duty as a first duty station. There was another molder you may know, ML1 Roy Dye, (not sure of the spelling). He was in charge of the foundry on the USS Everglades which was my first ship from boot camp. I was there TAD waiting for orders. One day a notice came out in the POD wanting volunteers for the USS Sierra that was going to the Mediterranean. I don’t think anyone else volunteered from the Everglades that I know of. When did you retire and what part of the country did you drop anchor? Later
Comment by Gerald Tripp on September 12, 2010 at 9:46pm
Hi James,
What a story. If I remember correctly, Bill Hickey was from Ohio, but his wife was from Louisiana. Also her sister was married to a sailor. I met them both at Norfolk. What an honor it was for you to escort him back to New Orleans and present the flag to his widow. I cant remember her name, but she was very nice. I serve on the Honor Guard at our VFW Post, so I can appreciate what you did. Chief McBride did the same thing you said when I was aboard. If I remember right (and that would be different) Chief McBride told me he came in the Navy as a Chief during WW11. Please let me know if you remember anymore stories. Thanks
Comment by James L. McCalla on September 12, 2010 at 2:52pm
Hi Gerald, Chief McBride was technically in charge of the foundry but he had been elected to become a CPO mess caterer which took a lot of his time. He would stop by the foundry and swap a few sea stories with ML1 Austin, some days we wouldn’t see him at all. I believe chief McBride retired shortly after his tour as mess caterer. Then we had MLC Charles Miller, ML1 Austin, and ML1 Dave Marcum. There were no E5’s and just us E4’s. When I transferred to the Yellowstone AD-27 ML2 Hickey was running the shop. There was an MLC aboard but he only had a few days before retiring. I was at Bill Hickeys house the night before the ship got underway for the med. We were having a cookout and having a few cool ones. He lived in a mobile home just outside the gate at Mayport. The next morning I went aboard and was told by the OOD that Bill Hickey had passed away during the night and I was to report to the personnel office ASAP. A few minutes later I had orders in hand to report to the personnel office on base. I had been volunteered to escort duty for Bill Hickey to New Orleans. Every time the train would stop I have to go to the car where his casket was and make sure it wasn’t accidentally put off the train. Also attended his funeral and presented the flag to Mrs. Hickey. Later
Comment by Gerald Tripp on September 11, 2010 at 7:50pm
Oh WOW, James you do stir some memories. I bought Chief McBrides 53 Ford from him. And Hickey was a great personal friend. He was quite a bit older and was wearing fireman stripes (with a couple of hash marks) when I left. Used to go to his house. He was married with a couple of little girls. You had one Chief , two 1st Class and three 2nd class P.O's in that small foundry ? You must have done all the hard work. Did McBride still have his little foundry over in Newport News? Great to talk to you.
 

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