Gearing Class Destroyer
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
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.
Laid down by
Federal Shipbuilding, Newark NJ. April 25 1945.
Launched November 24 1945 and commissioned July 12
Stricken October 1 1979.
Sold to Taiwan December 17 1980, renamed ROCS Yun
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.
My Duties with USS Hamner
Jun 1977 - May 1979
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).
Burris and I
continue to remain very close and we regularly keep in touch via
cel phone, e-mail and Facebook