USS Radford DD 446
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 15:12:25 -0600
Download WestPac 1962.msg
From: "Mike Casey" [Mike.Casey@Merrick.com]
Subject: WestPac 1962
I was on the USS Radford DD 446.
We were home ported in Pearl Harbor.
We operated with the Bennington on the 1962 WestPac cruise.
I remember, in mid Pacific, watching Bennington take green water on the flight deck. Our sisters, Fletcher, Phillip and the rest of the tin cans were just disappearing when they went into the troughs. I was talking to a Bennington sailor later on the beach, and commented that it was a pretty rough crossing. He said, "Oh, was it? I didn't notice."
Two or three months into the deployment, we were operating somewhere off Japan. One night we barely missed being run over by the Bennington. It was cloudy and Bennington and eight destroyers were all at darken ship. A quartermaster that was on the bridge told me that the OOD gave an order for a change of coarse. Good thing our captain was awake in his sea cabin. Suddenly he was on the bridge. "Belay that! I have the con!" He quickly corrected the collision coarse, got us turned us away from the Bennington and we all got to hear revelli the next morning. The guy on the after lookout said everything went blacker than it already was, and he was looking up at a wall of steel.
We operated in the South China Sea on that cruise with a United Nations Armada. There were a lot of DDs, DEs and some even smaller Ausies. I think the Ausies called theirs corvettes. It was pretty impressive seeing three carriers operating together, USS Bennington, HMAS Melbourne and an English carriier HMS Ark Royal (I think). If any of the Bennington guys know for sure what that English carrier was, let me know.