Gearing Class Destroyer
Displacement 3460 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 390' 6"(oa)
10" x 14' 4" (Max)
Armament 6 x 5"/38AA (3x2), 12 x 40mm AA, 11 x
10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; General Electric Geared
Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 36.8 Knots, Range 4500 NM@ 20 Knots
I was an STGSN
and did my overseas processing at Treasure
CA. I was then sent to Travis
to catch a C-135
the Philippines Islands (PI).
Laid down by
Shipyards, Seattle. May 31 1945.
Launched March 8 1946 and commissioned June 21
Stricken March 31 1973.
Sold to Taiwan April 18 1973, renamed Lao Yang.
Nov 2002 is to become an artificial
Duties with USS Shelton
The flight to PI was a picture of extremes. C-135s (Boeing 707) were Air Force
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
were very comfortable in our dress blues. (notice - I did not say
Cracker Jacks. Modern Cracker
Blues are completely different uniforms, but that's
another story) Then we landed at Wake Island - My
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,
Luzon Is. PI. and had a long bus ride - still in dress blues - to
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
that had holes every couple of feet, set over a trough. These
water was what one used for everything - washing, brushing teeth,
and the water had only one temp - cold. Our Boy Scout summer
wasn't all that much different, so for me, it was summer camp all
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
their whites. I often went to the Enlisted Club and learned
enjoy Singapore Slings. I didn't think the bartender stirred
quite enough and used my finger to stir them up. It was sort
embarrassing to come to morning muster with my index finger
bright red. I waited in transit for about 3 weeks.
The USS Shelton pulled into Subic Bay and nested alongside the, USS
Shelton left for Hong Kong and I experienced my first
was scary seeing the other ships completely disappear from view
a wave and having the ship roll so far you're not sure if it will
back upright, but we we survived just fine and pulled into Hong
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
I liked. Wow!
The Shelton then went to Vietnam as escort for the aircraft
Richard. In Dec '65 we returned to Hong Kong for
Christmas followed by two weeks as Station Ship. After New
1966 we returned to Vietnam, providing coastal gunfire support
Shelton was an early FRAM and
aft 5"/38 gun mount had been removed. During gunfire support
did not go to full GQ. Instead, the only the gun stations
manned and condition Zulu was set forward of frame 74. Every
else went about their regular routine. There was almost
sight seeing group on the fantail. Subsequent FRAMs
the second fwd gun mount and leaving the aft gun mount for rear
Shelton earned welfare/rec money by holding a weekly bingo
Numbers were announced over the 1MC so sailors on watch could play
well. We even played during gunfire support missions and folks
the gun mounts played as well. (They once called for someone to
the powder passer in gun mount 52 so they could check his bingo
Spring of '66 Shelton returned to San Diego.
Shelton was in and out of San Diego and in Aug '66 was part of the
Fair Fleet in Seattle. I went home, using the 4 day pass I
won in the in the anchor pool in Hong Kong.
In Sept my Division Officer told me told that Shelton was planning
mini cruise to Mexico and that I would have to extend my
order to go. Since I did not want to extend my active duty
the cruise and I was transferred to USS John A. Bole
in Oct 1966.