Dan Withers'
Diary of the 1965 WESTPAC Cruise

Below is the complete text from my personal diary, with matching photos and Deck Logs, appears on this web page.  The diary and all documents were saved from my WESTPAC Cruise of June 4, 1965 to November 21, 1965. If you were on this cruise I hope it might bring back some old memories of times long ago.

Where ever this symbol appears,
click on it to see the Deck Log for that day.

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Dan's Diary: Jun - Jul 1965

 
June 1965

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4 WX-fair, sea Calm. Got underway for WESTPAC. Left San Diego@ 09:00. Following great circle Route to Subic Bay, PI.
  5 Cloudy and cool. Seas a little rougher. Was deathly sea sick. Wanted to die. Got pills from sickbay, but couldn't keep them down.. Started ECM watches. Carried barf bucket around.
  6 Weather cloudy and cool. Unreped at 08:00. Worked on SSB Converters, then Holiday Routine. Slept in the afternoon. More ECM watches.  Seasick pills working. Felt great all day
  7 WX in morning mostly cloudy and cool Took sensitivity checks on URR-11s. Sig Gen not working properly. WX changed to rough. Must use 01 level due to rough seas. Sea getting very rough. Cannot see any other ships. In fog and rain. Feeling woozie at times. Fresh water secured all day due to evap problems. Now at 43deg lat, 143deg long. Throat is dry, need fresh water.
  8 WX- clouds broke and sun shining nice. Sea pretty rough. Not much going on. Had a lecture on electrical shock in Shop after quarters. GQ after lunch. Planned to shoot 5" guns, but didn't. Sea pretty rough. On mess decks, sometimes when ship pitches my eyeballs feel like they will pop out. Still on water hours. Sure could use a shower. Tomorrow we are 1/3 of the way to Subic Bay. Spent morning installing audio amp in Radio 1. Set clocks back.
Braine, Stoddard, Mullany  (42254 bytes) 9 WX- Nicer this morning, but rough in the afternoon. Checked receiver sensitivity on a couple of URR-11s. Unreped in nice storm. Got soaked by greenies. In evening fresh water on for shower which made the crew happy. Clean again, except laundry hasn't returned dungarees. ECM was down and helped Weigel work on it. Set back clock again.
  10 Morning WX-  cold, 49 degs, cloudy and big swells. What a day! Terrible WX later. Ship pitched and rolled all day. Some greenies on the bridge. Sprang a leak in the GC room and spent afternoon patching. Didn't change clocks. Just off the Aleutian Chain  and headed south again. About south of Kodiak. Had to use 01 level all day, and got wet anyway.
Refueling from Caliente  (59366 bytes) 11 WX-  foggy and cold, temp 49 deg. UNREP this Morning. On last load had an emergency break-a-way. Galveston moved away in hurry from other side of the USS Caliente. Afternoon WX now sunny and warmer at 13:00. Finally got UNREP completed. Set clocks back 1 hour.
jpg (32027 bytes) 13 WX nice all day, sea really calm. Yesterday was Friday, today is Sunday. Crossed the International Date Line. Holiday routine at 09:00. Worked on SPA-8 all morning. Laid in rack , wrote letters and read "Von Ryan Express".
3" - 50 guns  (47415 bytes) 14 WX- warm, high overcast. Sea calm all day. Had a slow day with all of the gear OK. Had a gunnery, (drone shoot) exercise at 15:30. Showers were on again. Maybe we get off of water hours.
  15 WX-  warmer today, partly cloudy. Put up an antenna for shop radio in morning. Worked on TEDs in afternoon. Lost another hour tonight. Off ECM watch until Condition III starts. Duty Division tonight, so went to the movie. With no clouds, moon was beautiful over the water. Two Russian planes flew over in the night.
  16   Started Condition III. P&S on ECM. 12:00-18:00 and 00:00-06:00. Now in WESTPAC under 7th Fleet. Today is Payday.
 Dave Wiegel
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17 WX- warm and cloudy. Had the 00:00-06:00 CIC watch. Was dead tired. Hit the rack at 07:30. Found out I was off watch bill. Chief Gradey was good! Worked on ECM with Dave. Beautiful afternoon. Sunny and warm with slight haze. Had GQ in the afternoon. Going to play Bingo and watch the movie tonight. Un-identified aircraft overhead today.   jpg (28533 bytes)
Burlie Streets
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18 WX- hot and overcast. Got up at 02:30 with Streets to work on a GRC-27. Hit the rack about 09:30. Up about 15:30 when there was an UNREP. Played Bingo again. Movie was Elvis Presley's "Kiss-in Cousins."
  19 WX morning overcast and 78deg at 06:30. Worked on GRC-27 again. Took shower tonight. Were about 100 miles from the southern tip of Japan. GRC went down again about 19:00.
  20   Worked on GRC until 04:00 and slept until 11:00. Went back to work on it again until about 11:30.
  21 Temp at 06:00 was 84 deg, partly cloudy. Change of schedule due to repairs needed. Puts us in about 23:00 tonight. First land sighted this morning. It sure looks good, but temp is getting hotter than Hell. Worked on GRC all day. No luck. 100 miles to Subic.
  22   What a day. Here we are at Cubi Point Naval Air Station near Olonapoh, Subic Bay, PI. There are several aircraft carriers, 8 or 9 destroyers and every other kind of ship. I saw Galveston tied around the bend. I can see it from here. Had the 12:00-16:00 watch. Wow was it hot. Rained too. Got 6 letters and 2 bills at mail call.jpg (28533 bytes)
  23   Worked on GRC-27 in the morning. Went to see Don Koehl (highs school buddy) on the Galveston. He was on a work party so I couldn't see him. USS Estes (previous duty) was on the same pier. Saw the old gang on her. Went to the Navy Exchange Restaurant with Charlie Baker.
  24   Early liberty at 12:00. Went to the Navy Exchange. Bought a camera and lenses. Went into town and looked around. Stopped at gym on the way back and watched a basketball game.
  25   On duty, had the 08:00-12:00 watch. Afternoon worked on the GRC-27 again. Wrote some letters and watched the movie.
Grande Island  (54677 bytes) 26 WX- was hot and cloudy. Went on Section 1 ships party to Grande Island. Had a great time. Full of hamburgers. Beautiful swimming and very comfortable weather. Very beautiful trees on the island.
  27   Up about 08:00. Holiday routine. Went to Grande Island again. More sunburn. Only 244 days
  28   Slow and Hot day. XO was unhappy with the ships readiness, so no liberty until 19:00. Took sensitivity checks on RED receivers.jpg (28533 bytes)
  29 Temp is 115Deg Got new ID card. Another slow day. Too hot to work. Liberty call went at 19:00 again. Showered and hit the rack at 21:00.
  30   Another Hot day. Got all the gear up and running. Mounted antenna patch panel in Radio 3.Had shore patrol from 17:00-01:30 on the drunk bus which returned offenders to their ships.
July 1965 1 Rained in afternoon, but warm. Slept in until about 09:00 Ship got underway for gunnery ops. Checked out all gear before getting underway. Spent all day about 7 miles from Subic. Had shore bombardment from 13:00 until 22:00 with time off for evening chow. URC-32 went down at 22:00 worked on it until 24:00.
  2 Warm and sunny in morning. Anti-Aircraft shoot in the morning. Shore bombardment in the afternoon.
  3 Warm and Hot. Was in OPS most of the day. Returned observers to Subic the went back out.
Holiday routine  (59618 bytes) 4   Still on OPS in the morning. Have a gun computer down so went and anchored in Subic Bay and got help. Holiday routine most of the day. Had a steak fry supper. Had to install a AM-215 on the bridge for a PRC-10.
  5   Holiday Routine in morning. Had a surface shoot and hedgehogs in the afternoon. Beautiful day with rain in the evening.
  6   Reveille at sea about 07:00. Got anchored about 17:00. After chow loaded ammunition, then liberty call. Stood by for Streets and watched the movie.
50 cal shoot (31502 bytes) 7 WX- warm and cloudy 08:00 got underway for Hong Kong. Worked on SLA-2. Had a .50 cal machine gun shoot. Another slow day. Went to evening flick.
Miss Olongopoh - '65  (31890 bytes) 8 Clear and hot in the morning. Had a lecture in the morning. Got a haircut. Aligned GRC-27 in afternoon. Had a steak fry on the fantail tonight. French Fries and Cool-aid. Miss Olongapo was there. Hong Kong tomorrow and I have the duty.
jpg (36513 bytes) 9   Arrived Hong Kong about 09:00. Liberty call went about 10:00. Had the duty so was busy bumming parts for a SPA-4. (radar repeater, not hot tub).
Hong Kong Hilton
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10   Went to the China First Club and looked over the items. Went to the tailors for a suit fitting. Walked around town with Dave.
Me at Hong Kong (28792 bytes) 11   Went in for a suit fitting. Went up to peak on tram and looked all over. Came back early.
Quarter Deck Watch  (65160 bytes) 12   Had the duty. Sat around and roasted. The temp is very hot.
Cardboard shacks
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13   Went to town and picked up the suit. Back at noon.
Big wake: steaming hard (37453 bytes) 14 WX- windy and rainy. Underway 08:00 for patrol. Left Hong Kong running from a typhoon. Have been steaming 25-30kts all day.  Sea is rough. Got sick once out of the harbor. Barfed once and felt good all day. The Captain is trying to stay ahead of the storm, but we are now on the front edge of it. Temp is still 81deg. Seemed like all of the gear had troubles today. Especially radar repeaters. Hit the rack early to relieve the boys on the repeater later. PDF file
  15   Arrived at DaNang Harbor in the morning. Several ships present. Much air traffic into DaNang Airstrip. All intense fighting is in 40mi. radius of harbor. We can see jets on air strikes and shelling from field artillery. There seemed to be a lot of confusion as to what we are to be doing. Left harbor and spent night on coastal patrol. PDF file
  16   Returned into harbor for additional orders. We could see more land shelling and air strikes. Brought aboard 3 KWM-2s and tried setting up one without any results. SWR too high. Tonight we are patrolling the harbor mouth.
Fishing boat (48871 bytes) 17   Another hot day. went into the harbor and spent the day. Worked on the KWM-2 again. Cannot get it to load. Search crew boarded a junk at 04:30. Underway at 18:00
jpg (39376 bytes) 18   Another hot day. Spent the day underway on harbor patrol to "Prevent Aggression on McNamara who is looking over the Viet Nam situation."
  19   Patrolled all day, then went about 5mi south and shore bombarded all night. Shot in many star shells, as well as 112 high explosive salvos 5 1/2 mile inland. ETs were in rack by 21:00. PDF file
Police the brass  (49871 bytes) 20   Stopped firing about 04:30. Had Holiday routine all day. Sat in the harbor all day and went out in the evening. Came back in about 21:00 and had light shore bombardment, then back to harbor patrol. PDF file
  21 WX- was cloudy all day. 06:00 temp 89deg. Cooler than usual. In and out of harbor today. Shore bombardment tonight with illumination and destruction. PDF file
  22   Sat in harbor all morning. Out in the afternoon. Heavy shore bombardment at night. Payday, most allocated for stereo up and it does nothing all day. PDF file
  23   Looked for an oiler all day.
  24   In port all day. Had a swim call at South DaNang Beach. The water was great. Had 4 guys standing by with machine guns. PDF file
Signal flags  (48218 bytes) 25   Underway looking for USS Paricutin, AE-18. Found in the evening. Operated in Darken Ship ammunition UNREP. Flew the blue and red flag with a big dog on it that says, "This Hound Never Stops."
  26 WX- was hot and rainy. Refueled and Replenished with food. Parcel Post arrived. Most of the chocolate chip cookies made it. Shore bombardment all night.
  27 WX- is hot and sunny. Holiday routine. Shore bombardment again tonight at 13 targets.jpg (28533 bytes)
Shave cream fight
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28 WX- is hot as usual. Holiday routine. GQ called at 00:30. Listened to President Johnson's speech about the Vietnam situation on the 1MC. Shot high explosive salvos all night. I slept through it.
Steak fry  (62598 bytes) 29 WX- was rain off and on all day. In harbor all morning. Underway in afternoon. Had a steak fry on the fantail. Had a very heavy shore bombardment with over 100 rounds fired.
  30 WX at 06:00 was cloudy and temp a cool 83deg. Just sat around all day as usual. Underway to south for more shore bombardment. Didn't set GQ. The duty Mount did the firing. I finished reading the "Caine Mutiney" today.
  31 WX- hot again. In port at DaNang all day. Had a field day in spaces and XO inspected. Gave illumination support to the USS Craig. She was putting out the high explosive rounds. PDF file
Press Here for Aug-Nov 1965

 


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