In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Mothball Fleet

A local town once hosted a mothball fleet of military ships. Eventually they were all moved, or sold for scrap. If you've never seen one, make an effort to visit, they're filled with history, which can leave for the scrappers on any given day.

When I was young, my father gathered my mother, and my brothers, for a trip to see the ship he served on during the Korean War. My memory of the event is hazy, but I always remembered how excited he was about pointing to his ship and was left with a number in the five hundreds imprinted in my mind.

A few months ago, my brother sent me an email, with the name of the destroyer, the number and links to websites with more information. The one site that really stuck in my mind was one with an honor roll of those that have passed. Finding my father's name brought back many memories and thoughts of his service.

My father told me very little about his time aboard the destroyer, but the two stories I remember will never be forgotten.

 One was of steaming up and down the coast of Korea on patrol. With the orders of not firing, unless fired upon, they would watch old artillery canons rolled from caves, the firing crews attempt to direct a shell their way and return fire back at the empty location. The crews were quick to pull their canons back into hiding, so the efforts were futile for both.

The other was sailing through a typhoon. With the danger of losing the ship, all watertight bulkheads were secured, everybody was basically trapped in their compartment and men would hang from bulkheads as they ship would almost stand on end in the giant waves. The entire event must have been horrifying, especially when you add the vomit from all the seasick sailors.

Anyway, while my father was only one sailor, many, many more served on the ship and it was only one of thousands. The stories never told will be forever untold, since most of those that served on the older ships have passed, or will in too short of a time.

Here's a photo.

And the best link:

USS Twining DD540

If you have someone in your family that served, remember, and document, what they're willing to tell. You'll never regret your effort.


  1. When I got out, I toured the states. Near San Fran I saw a mothballed fleet.
    Saw it again in the movie "Killer Elite" with James Caan an Robert Duvall where it figured prominently.
    Cool about your dad.
    I asked mine about Bastogne.
    My dad was not 'a tough guy'.
    he said he didn't remember it being that bad.
    So much for that.

    1. I think it's easier to dismiss the long hours of terror. Not that it's bad to push the thoughts aside, but the thoughts are part of the person. Without the information, it lessens the greatness even the most humble.

  2. My dad ran away and joined the Army at 15 and had just got out of boot and was in Charleston, SC, when WWI ended. I served on a Tin Can, too, USS FRANK E EVANS DD754 (pictured on my blog) and appreciate any man who is an old salt. It was a different life, for sure. I also rode out a typhoon in the South China Sea in 63. I remember hanging on the overhead and swinging a time or two myself. Fun times that tighten up the asshole like no other.

    1. Locally, we have a destroyer that's in the process of being turned into a museum. To see it close reveals how small they actually are.

      Even with moderate seas, I's sure they'll roll and pitch. In 50 foot waves, the roller coaster ride must be an unforgettable experience.

  3. I'm amazed that THIRTY-ONE people have commented at my blog. Where were they before? Odd. I'm still trying to figure out what to do.

    The only way to get comments is to say I'm leaving? That doesn't sound right....and I blame it all on Ed Bonderenka. lol

    1. People like you. That's good enough.

      As far as what to do? Follow your heart and never look back.

    2. Good writing helps.
      You both do that.