USS Shelton (DD-790)






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 SHP; General Electric Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 36.8 Knots, Range 4500 NM@ 20 Knots
Crew 336.
Laid down by Todd Shipyards, Seattle. May 31 1945.
Launched March 8 1946 and commissioned June 21 1946.
Decommissioned (?).
Stricken March 31 1973.
Sold to Taiwan April 18 1973, renamed Lao Yang.   Decommissioned by Taiwan on Mar 6, 1999 and as of Nov 2002 is to become an artificial reef.

Additional links for USS Shelton:
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/790.htm
http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/s/shelton-ii.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Shelton_(DD-790)
http://www.destroyersonline.com/usndd/info/infdg790.html
http://unitpages.military.com/unitpages/unit.do?id=200641

My Duties with USS Shelton
Oct 1965 - Oct 1966

I was an STGSN (E-3) and did my overseas processing at Treasure Island, CA.  I was then sent to Travis AFB to catch a C-135 to the Philippines Islands (PI).

The flight to PI was a picture of extremes.  C-135s
(Boeing 707) were Air Force cargo planes and not built for creature comfort.  During the flight, all of the Air Force guys, who were in short sleeves, froze.  They huddled and shivered under blankets while sailors were very comfortable in our dress blues. (notice - I did not say Cracker Jacks.  Modern Cracker Jacks and Dress Blues are completely different uniforms, but that's another story)  Then we landed at Wake Island - My first experience in the tropics - Wow!  It was hot!  But, then again, sailors prevailed.  We just rolled up our bell bottom trousers and cooled off in the surf. 

We finally arrived at Clark AFB, on Luzon Is. PI. and had a long bus ride - still in dress blues - to Subic Bay.  It was a long, hot ride, but, the driver stopped periodically for some San Miguel beer and sweet Philippine bananas.

In the '60's, Subic Bay was not yet set up to handle transit personnel.  We were billeted in what used to be a WWII POW camp.  There were no lockers, so we lived out of our sea bags hanging from our bunks.  The only running water was just a pipe that had holes every couple of feet, set over a trough. These streams of water was what one used for everything - washing, brushing teeth, etc., and the water had only one temp - cold.  Our Boy Scout summer camp wasn't all that much different, so for me, it was summer camp all over again, just hotter.

We were allowed liberty in town, but we had to be back by midnight (Cinderella Liberty)  In those days we were required to wear uniforms on liberty and the main streets of Olongapo were not paved.  Everyone came back with red clay of the streets all over their whites.  I often went to the Enlisted Club and learned to enjoy Singapore Slings.  I didn't think the bartender stirred them quite enough and used my finger to stir them up.  It was sort of embarrassing to come to morning muster with my index finger stained bright red.   I waited in transit for about 3 weeks.

The USS Shelton pulled into Subic Bay and nested alongside the, USS Piedmont.  I reported aboard on Halloween Day, Oct 31, 1965. 

Shelton left for Hong Kong and I experienced my first Typhoon.  It was scary seeing the other ships completely disappear from view behind a wave and having the ship roll so far you're not sure if it will come back upright, but we we survived just fine and pulled into Hong Kong where I found that I had won the anchor pool by picking the exact mooring time.  I had won a 4 day pass which I could use when ever I liked. Wow!

The Shelton then went to Vietnam as escort for the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard.  In Dec '65 we returned to Hong Kong for R&R over Christmas followed by two weeks as Station Ship.  After New Years 1966 we returned to Vietnam, providing coastal gunfire support along Yankee and Dixie station.

Shelton was an early FRAM and the aft 5"/38 gun mount had been removed.  During gunfire support we did not go to full GQ.  Instead, the only the gun stations were manned and condition Zulu was set forward of frame 74.  Every one else went about their regular routine.  There was almost always a sight seeing group on the fantail.  Subsequent FRAMs removed the second fwd gun mount and leaving the aft gun mount for rear protection.)

Shelton earned welfare/rec money by holding a weekly bingo game.  Numbers were announced over the 1MC so sailors on watch could play as well. We even played during gunfire support missions and folks manning the gun mounts played as well. (They once called for someone to relieve the powder passer in gun mount 52 so they could check his bingo card.)

Spring of '66 Shelton returned to San Diego.

Shelton was in and out of San Diego and in Aug '66 was part of the Sea Fair Fleet in Seattle.  I went home, using the 4 day pass I had won in the in the anchor pool in Hong Kong.

In Sept my Division Officer told me told that Shelton was planning a mini cruise to Mexico and that I would have to extend my enlistment in order to go.  Since I did not want to extend my active duty for the cruise and I was transferred to USS John A. Bole (DD-755) in Oct 1966.

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