USS Hamner (DD-718)

Gearing Class Destroyer

Displacement 3460 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 390' 6"(oa) x 40' 10" x 14' 4" (Max)
Armament 6 x 5"/38AA (3x2), 12 x 40mm AA, 11 x 20mm AA, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 60,000 shaft horsepower; General Electric Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 36.8 Knots, Range 4500 NM@ 20 Knots
Crew 336
Laid down by Federal Shipbuilding, Newark NJ. April 25 1945.
Launched November 24 1945 and commissioned July 12 1946.
Decommissioned (?).
Stricken October 1 1979.
Sold to Taiwan December 17 1980, renamed ROCS Yun Yang.
Reclassified as Guided Missile Destroyer DDG-927
Decommissioned December 16 2003.
Fate Sunk by Hai Hu (SS-794) as a target off Ping Tung 0900 September 6 2005.
Additional links for USS Hamner:

My Duties with USS Hamner
Jun 1977 - May 1979

In 1977 I was living in Bellingham, WA and decided to return to the Navy under the NavVet program, however, because I had been separated from the service for quite some time and because I advanced to STG3 (E-4) and STG2 (E-5) as a reservist, I was reduced in grade to STGSN (E-3).  I thought that I would have no problem regaining my rank and accepted the reduction. 

I was assigned to the USS Hamner, a reserve ship home ported at the Reserve Center, Portland OR

I PNA'd (Passed, but Not Advanced) the STG advancement exam several times. 
I had not been aware of the "push button" programs that automatically advanced people out of school and made it all but impossible for sailors from the fleet to make rate.

My wife and kids remained in Bellingham, WA and I was a geographic bachelor living aboard.  About this same time I met Rick Burris, a QM3 and the leading QM.  I spent most of my spare time with Rick, helping him with QM duties which I found very interesting.  The QM gang was short handed and I requested to work and stand watch as a QM when my ST duties allowed and the command approved.  I fully qualified as Quartermaster of the Watch (QMOW) in 3 days! (Usually this take several weeks or more.  Rick taught me well.)

For a while I had 3 GQ stations.  Condition 1 (General Quarters) - I reported to the bridge as part of the navigation team, Condition 1AS  (General Quarters -Anti-Submarine) - I reported to Sonar Control as a sonar operator,  Condition 1AA (General Quarters - Gunfire Support) - I was the POIC (Petty Officer In Charge) of the upper handling room of gun mount 51.

I really liked my navigation duties and I officially applied to convert from STG to QM.  A few months later the Commanding Officer called me into his stateroom and told me that I had passed the exam and was finally advanced to STG3. He then told me that my conversion to QMSN had also been approved, so I had a choice - take the advancement to STG3 (E-4) or take the conversion at the lower rank of QMSN (E-3).  I told him that I would rather be a QM and he said "That's all I wanted to hear, congratulations QM3!" and he command advanced me on the spot.  I was also selected as "sailor of the quarter" with my own parking spot. (Would have been better if I had a car.)

Rick and I did it all.  Basically the Nav team was just the two of us.  When underway we were rarely away from the bridge. We slept in a hammock hung in the chart room.  We didn't realize that we were doing the work of a QM1 or QMC.  We simply did what needed to be done.

The Hamner was a close knit crew.  Where most ships might sponsor a single bowling team with a local league, Hamner had it's own league. (I was league secretary)  Each gang fielded a team with names like Screw Crew, BT Steamrollers, Cannon Cockers, Banana Bunch, etc.  Rick and I headed our own team .  We didn't finish better than third, but I was most improved handicap.

Frustrated over the lack of re-enlistment bonuses for QMs, I left active duty, but I stayed with the reserves and joined the SelRes Crew of USS Rodgers (DD-876).

Note: Rick Burris and I continue to remain very close and we regularly keep in touch via cel phone, e-mail and Facebook

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