USS Putnam DD-757

USS Putnam DD-757

Stories and Letters

       USS Putnam entering Monaco Harbor in 1969
NOTE: Entries are listed with the most recent first!

Subject: Info
From: Putnam757@aol.com
Date: September 17, 2015

September 12th nine former shipmates of the USS Putnam had a reunion in Lebanon Tn. We had not seen eachother in 45 yrs. We were members of 1st division 1968 - 1970 last time we were togther was in New Orleans La. lebanon newspaper did article on us...

After 40 years, shipmates reunite | Lebanon Democrat


Subject: Info
From: Fred
Date: September 29, 2012

MustangOne - greetings. I'm attempting to locate a fella I grew up with, joined the navy with, but served on different ships. I'm somewhat sure (memory) he served on Putnam and also Haynsworth, but don't see his name listed on either ships roster. This goes back to early sixties, so time has it's effects - heck, don't even know if he's still alive? Anyway...his name is Joe Bernoski and he was an EM3 (perhaps 2nd) serving during the years 1961-1964. Anything on that name? Thanks much for any info...

Regards, Fred


Subject: USS Putnam - Boy Scout Cruise
From: Jim Bouterie
Date: May 3, 2011 12:34:30 PM EDT

I cannot remember the exact year, but it was either '71 or '72. I was a member of Boy Scout Troop 30 from Opelousas, LA. Our troop master was a friend of the ship captain. I do not know how, but we (Troop 30) were invited to go on a cruise in the Gulf of Mexico on the USS Putnam. As I recall, the ship had just arrived back from a training cruise around Cuba and was stationed at New Orleans. We came aboard in New Orleans and departed for a 4-day, 3-night cruise. For a boy of 11 years old, I was so excited about the trip that I never got out of uniform. When we first got on ship, each boy scout was assigned to a sailor. And it was the sailor's responsibility that the boy scout was safe at all times. However, me and my best friend (who's dad was the troop master) and his brother (an eagle scout) were assigned our own stateroom in the officers quarters. Later that evening, after orientation and mess, we went back to our quarters to find dress whites hanging in the lockers and our stuff on the floor. We had to get re-assigned to sailors then and bunk with the rest of the crew. I cannot remember the sailor's name that was stuck with me, but he went by the handle of Zero. He found me a bunk in the aft, two bunks away from the door to the engine room. As long as the doors were closed, I slept like a little baby. Once the doors were open, I would spring out the rack and hit my head on the rack above. While out on cruise, we were given tours of the entire ship. I loved every minute of it. On day two, they fired hand weapons and a BAR off the back of the ship. Then a floating target on three barrels was set adrift and ship got three miles from the target and fired the 38 cal. cannons at the target. I can't remember the routine, but we knew that when 2 flags went up, get ready for the cannons to fire. At the end of the cruise on the last night, we anchored off the mouth of the Mississippi and watched the sailors fish. I remember them bringing up some pretty good sized black-tip sharks. There was on very big black sailor that carried a big hammer and his job was to dispatch the sharks when they hit the deck.

I can't imagine this cruise taking place during this day and age. We were very privileged to be on the USS Putnam!

To the officers and sailors on that cruise, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I have memories of that cruise that have lasted my life time. I am almost 50 years old now and will never forget. And to all of you service men & women, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY!

Jim Bouterie


Subject: USS Putnam DD-757
From: Capt. Bill Unrue
Date:March 10, 2011 3:06:21 PM

Hi!

My name is Bill Unrue. I served on the Putnam from 1959-1963.
I wish to contact any who were on board at the Bay of Pigs. I especially would like to hear from any who recall the ship being buzzed by a Mig type aircraft. It almost took our mast off. Also anyone that has knowledge of a medal that was issued for that time.

Thanks all,
Please contact me at acaptbill@comcast.net
Vincent W. (Bill) Unrue


Subject: USS PUTNAM -1953
From: Katherine (Steele) Batty
Date:January 16, 2011 8:17:38 AM

I am researching the USS Putnam..my father was on it, as I am told in 1953. I cannot find him in any list or photo.. his name was John Malcolm Steele. If you find any info, could you pass it on? I have very little from when he was alive.. mostly him in Navy uniform...

thank you- Katherine (Steele) Batty


Subject: 1952 Midshipman Cruise
From: David A Singer
Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 12:53 PM

I checked out the history of the Putnam and see the period June 6 through August 1952 is listed as a Med Cruise. I remember being a Plebe on the Putnam during a Middie Cruise to Ireland and France that summer. It is memorable since we docked at the same wharf as the SS United States in Le Havre around 10 July 1952. It might have been her first record breaking cruise. The French were participating in their favorite outdoor post WW II activity of rioting against the American Military which had freed their country from the Nazis. It was part of the Anti American Ridgeway Riots with which the Communists welcomed that General as the first head of the then nascent NATO.

We went on a special train to Paris for R&R festooned with a banner saying 'American Express Welcomes the U S Navy to Paris". Some locals were not in a greeting mood. A small caliber bullet came through the closed window of our compartment and fell spent on the table. Since we were just finishing our first bottle of Courvoisier it didn't phase us much.

Shattered glass fell into our paper cups and we had to drink the last of the brandy through clenched teeth.

Can you check to verify where the Putnam was that summer?

David Singer, ex USN


Subject: Need Input!
From: Tom Solder
Date: Thursday, April 23, 2009 1:40 AM

Dave!

I need some help here. I've been trying to get my ducks in a row, but they just won't listen to me any more, so I think a post to the Pete's website may be in order. I've been 'talking' to George McMath and Ray Spann, trying to list all the guys in the ET gang between '66 and '69, and I still have three faces with no names. Maybe fellow shipmates from those days will help fill in the missing blanks. (Bob Blubaugh emd me a while ago and I somehow deleted his em before I could get back to him. Bob, send me 'nother, please!)
This is what I've got so far...

Russ Connelly, ET1, Robert Blubaugh, ETN2, Robert Bush (bush rat), Richard Burneskis, Greg Vasilko (squak), George McMath (the beak), Leonard Meusel, Robert Mager (thank George for THAT name!), Ray Spann, Tom Solder (pack rat), plus the 3 guys with no-names...yet, Gladys, named for his long hair, an ETR, possibly from Arkansas; a tall, lanky, guy from Arkansas; a quiet, always smiling guy who may have hung a lot with Bob Magers.

Another project that needs help is creating a list of places and DATES, also during the period of '66 to '69, which would be starting in the Portsmouth ship yard, and ending with the transfer of station to New Orleans. There's a good bit already out there on the site, but it's scattered and uncertain in places. Sooooo, anyone who can name places and dates, please post them. (I'm sure there are many other guys from different time-frames that would also like to see such a list of their own.)

Maybe the guys in other departments would like to initiate a call for names as well. For me, such digging always brings back a lot of very fond memories of 'time well spent' in my life.

Thanks for keeping the Pissy Pete website alive and well!

God Bless, and thanks!

tom solder


Subject: DD757 Deployment
From: Jim Akers
Date: Saturday, December 27, 2008 12:02 PM

I served on board Putnam from Jan. 61 to Sept. 63, including during the Bay of Pigs invasion. We were sent from Key West, Fla. to pick up survivors, along with the one other tin can, Dupont, DD941 I believe. Never hear about our exploits, supposedly we were never there. We left half our crew on the beach in Key West as we left in such a hurry. All numbers and identification were blacked out on our ship. I was overboard and picked up by the second tin can when our motor whaleboat was dropped in the water as we were headed to the beach to pick up survivors and the other ships whaleboat picked up survivors and transported them to both ships. We transported them to an island somewhere two days south of the scene and dropped them off naked so they would not be carrying anything to tie them to either of the ships involved in the rescue. Anything you can do to get recognition for ships and crew for what they did at the Bay of Pigs would be much appreciated.

Jim Akers MR2 a long time ago.
1-314 578-5696


Subject: USS PUTNAM DD757
From: oceanskiss56@hotmail.com
Date: Sunday, June 22, 2008 4:57 PM

Hello:

I'm the daughter of Robert Daffinee (Bob). I loved reading the history and also all of the letters posted about the lives aboard the Putnam. I am so saddened to read she was scrapped. Dad doesn't have a computer, so I'd like to ask anyone that remembers him to contact me. I am hopeing to put together something special for his 76th birthday in December.

I have always been captivated by his stories aboard the Putnam, and of course we always watched "The Bridges at Toko Ri". Every year dad would go to the TV screen point and say, "see there I am, Yes right there, Can't you see me?" And no of course we never could. If memory serves me, it was when Mickey Rooney was being transferred over to the Putnam. Also does anyone know of Wayne Bartrum (sp?) My older brother was given his name as a middle name. Somehow my folks have lost touch. There are a few more names mom gave me but she forgot the first names.

I would like to hear from anyone that knew my dad back then. I'm thinking that if I do recieve any emails, I can send them to dad for his next birthday.

Please feel free to contact me.

Sincerly A very Proud daughter of a USS PUTNAM service vet.

Judy Light


Subject: just checkin'... putnam
From: tsolder@comcast.net
Date: Saturday, May 24, 2008 10:04 PM

Hey, Doc!
My wife found my name on the 'net, and when I looked, here was this site! Read all the letters, and dribbled salty water on my keyboard. Need to change my email address from tsolder@bellsouth.net to tsolder@comcast.net.
Just re-read my posts, and fur the luva mike, I remembered two names I wasn't able to bring to mind when I posted back in 2000...
The first was Aubey Otis Wilson, previously called "the guy from arkansas". I still have a pic of Aubrey, his mom and I on a "trip Home", long ago. The second was Donnie's brother's name... Jerry. I think Donnie was on the deck and Jerry was in radar.
When I saw the post by Don Prybar, I saw Nowak's name and immediately remembered the trips he and I used to take to NY from Norfolk in his Porche 911... normally a 7 hour drive, we usually made it in less than 5.... Know what "brown seats means"? If you hear from him, tell him to remember all the great tapes he let me copy on my Med-Cruise Teac reel to reel recorder, and tell him I still have it! As for George McMath... I remember him well, and would like to give him a sincere apology... We had just concluded a lengthy sea trip and everyone was hurting to see their loved ones. For some stupid reason, I gave George a hard road to travel, teasing him about his wife. I've often thought of how insensitive I was, and hope he will forgive me. (Probably doesn't even remember the incident!) And yes, George, I've still got the TWO long-necked chianti bottles from that trip... but some critters have destroyed the raffia around the bases. Cork's still there, but they're both empty now. And do you remember the little bar we went to in Monte Carlo along the waterfront< La Louisianne or something? Anyhow, I still have the ceramic beer ad wall plaque the bartender gave me. Ship's bell? Hanging on my back patio. Ya, George had me pegged right... Pack Rat! Always have been, still am, but trying to quit.
God Bless all of us who once called Pissy Pete "home", including remembered names (but not limited to...) Bushrat, etn2; Bluebaugh, etr2; Gladys (due to his looong hair), etr2; Russ Connelly, fearless leader of the pack, etn1; Butram, chief for the radar guys; Seaman Wray who fell overboard trying to sneak back on board from ua liberty, and died, Gitmo? i think; Greg Vasilko, nicknamed "Squak" by the Bushrat,; and hopefully may others I may think of as time goes by.
tom


Subject: uss putnam dd 757
From: Don McGee
Date: Thursday, January 31, 2008 2:51 PM

Last year, (07) I got to feeling nostalgic and wanted to see old shipmates.. So, I went down to Jensen Beach to see Doug Waterson (shipmate in 46-47) He left the Putnam in Dec of 47 to go back home and attend college. That rascal of a Radioman is now Doctor Douglas Waterson, pastor of a Baptist Church in Jupiter. If any shipmates are that way, give him a call.
Then, I went up to the Cape Canaveral area to see my buddy from OCS, that I hadn't seen since we graduated as enswines in 1957. I found then, that he was the last Commanding Offier of the Putnam His name is Rodney Wing. Myself, I left the Navy in 49, but joined the Reserves... Then Korea... I was recalled, and in spite of some bouts of seasickness, I stayed until 1969. I was selected for OCS in 57, and retired as LCDR in 1969.
My email address is don2iris@atmc.net
(Can you believe, my daughter retired from the AIRFORCE????????)
Don McGee (RM3 while aboard the Putnam)


Subject: uss putnam dd 757
From: Homer Stinson
Date: Thursday, September 20, 2007 3:51 PM

my name is homer stinson(senior) ex crew member ,from may 7,1959-january 18 1963. i am new at this,but i want to say a little of my tour of duty,on the ole gal. please enter my memories to your page. and thanks aolt for the website,as i and my bro-n-law have had much question of our old mates. he was known as LONG EYES,from an indian o cean event. he spotted a ship at some 50 miles and at 37.5 the radar confirmed him just before the strait-jacket was issued. his name raymond stanley and he became a cook,then a p-f-c.......oh f the carrier inncident,he was the aft lookout.he said that cva was bigggg....and high! henry phillip lago ,my friend,swore in in buffalo and i in raliegh nc ,at like 2:45pm 012159,and walked out the gate together 011863. we looked back,but kept going....i do not remember the one from 60-62 but i remember sandy sanders,lago and many,as those were some years. once after leaving the red sea,i was at the helm and the con had me doing like 240 degrees,and ordered course change to 180. i confirmed 1 8 0 aye aye sir.......later he saw i wasnot steering 280...and the rest of the watch confirmed me ,so,he ordered 280,i complied,then the navigation boys came and set about the course for remedy. with the hard right rudder,capt butler came to the bridge on the double. what the problem????!!!! well the officer came up with a exercizing the navigation boys. capt said,good deal,but,next time you get an idea tell me ,..you know this ship and crew is my responsibility,and a sudden hard turn,....you scared the HELL out of me!!!!!!!! still on th helm,the capt looking at me,,,,i think he knew there was a cover up. he was nobodys fool,but he was one fine human being as well as capt.... i thank you again. i would be pleased to hear from any and all members of the putnam. i do not care for a bull session,we did enough back then yeah i remember once a sub fired a live one at us but that was his last shot for all time but that was not official""""" " but now life and friendship is the quest as this world goes to the final climax.. p o box 273 trinity nc 27370 will work. may GOD BE ALLOWED TO BLESS YOU


Subject: Boston
From: Louis Salas
Date: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:42 PM

Hi,
I was at a reunion in Boston in September of 2006 for the USS Southerland DDR 743 on which I served from December 1947 to June 1950. Returning from Rockport and a side visit to one of my son's, I had to transit through North Station to local light rail. I was wearing a USS Southerland baseball cap that solicited a remark from a transit worker that he had served on the "757" . I said"You mean the USS Putnam?" He expressed surprise that I would know the name of that ship. I told him I had served aboard her from December 1950 to July 1952. He asked how he could make a reunion and that he wanted to join the association. I gave him the information and told him I would see him in Chicago but alas, my wife and I are going through some health issues and will not be able to travel for a time. Hoping this letter is published on your website and it's seen by that friendly veteran. Maybe he would write and let me know if he joined up..............

All the best.
Louis Salas


Subject: Putnam med cruise
From: George McMath
Date: Wednesday, June 06, 2007 7:00 PM

I was on board the "Pete" from mid 1967 to Nov. 1968. I remember the so-called Mutiny in the Med, and shook hands with the gorgeous Princess Grace. I also remember Pack rat Solder. He and I got totally blasted on Chianti wine in Italy, all because he just had to have one of those four foot tall bottles as a souvenir, and the only way to get was to buy a full one. We finished all but about one ounce of that stuff ruining a dress blue jumper in the process. The red stain never did come out of the piping. I also remember almost getting arrested by the French Police for crossing the border (on Shore patrol) from Monaco. They told us to walk back down the street past a painted post and we would be back where we belonged. I think Vasilko was with me on that trip. To nail all this down, I recall tho USS Bache slipping her anchor in either Suda Bay, Crete or Rhodes, Greece. At the time, We had an Air search Repeater, Spa-8, That had fried almost every circuit in it. So, We salvaged one off the Bache with the help of a fellow from MOTU_4 by the name of Phil Iguchi. I probably learned more about electronics during that incedent tan I did in ET School. BTY, Tom Solder, Vasilko and I took the 2nd Class exam while on board and sewed on our crows the same day. In closing, does anyone remember Lt(jg) A. A. Zeddes (sic?), our EMO? You are really doing a superb job on the site. sorry for the length, but it sure was fun.

Thanks,
George McMath ETR2

Best Regards, Bill Banton, williambanton@aol.com


Subject: USS Putnam DD-757
From: Bill Banton
Date: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 2:44 PM

Dear Dave,

My name is Bill Banton. I was a SOM3/C and plank owner of the Putnam. I was in the pre commisioning detail and sailed out with her. You have a great web site. There are a couple of corrections that I would like to suggest. First during the almost end of Okinawa we were running in to the Chinese coast with the Battle cruisers Alaska and Guam. The carriers would lay back and launch airstrikes and we would get to within the range of the 12" guns, they would fire several broadsides and we would run back out to sea. `Being in the ET mantenance pool I used to wait for radio Shanghai to go off the air to know when they were xpecting us. The most notable thing we did after ythe peace was signed was to escort the Battleship New Jersey in to Toyko Bay the day after the peace was signed. Tokyo Bay was nothing but a lot of ship mast coming up from the botom, nothing floating and the city was burning rubble. I'll never forget the smell. The locals cleared a beach area and we had limited liberty there. After a few days we recevied orders to escort three hospital ships to Wakayama. We were the "show of Force". I got liberty there once andtoured the beach area. One other area. We were in two typhoons. The first underway with the third fleet. We were close to the carrier Lexington and she was taking white water over her flight deck. We were taking white water over our fire control radar antennas. The second typhoon we were at anchor at Buckner Bay in Okinawa. Captain Hilles had both of our engines turning about 10 knots to hold us in our anchorage. Several ships got washed ashore. The last thing is that before we left SanFrancisco the crew all chipped in and we bought 200 cases of beer which went in to our chain lociker, guarded by our Chief Bos'wns mate. The only time any was removed before the war was over was to swap some beer to the marines for several 30 caliber machine guns and ammunition. One of our escort duties was to sink floating mines. With the 20's and the 40's it was not easy due to the roll of the ship. With the 30 calibers mounted on the flying bridge in the signal light stanchions we could make short work of them One last item. From what i've been told , we were one of only 5 destroyers of the 100+ that started at Okinawa to make it all the way. We did our turns at RP9 , the radar post at the north end of Okinawa, Thgey use dto send out 2 destroyers and 1 LCS, that we called landing craft survivors. From dark till dawn we would count up over 150 different air sorties heading towards us and the Island. We vectored two groups of interceptors. The marines in Corsairs and the Army in P-61's. We used to keep score. The marines outshot the army about 10 to 1. I don't know if any of my ramblings make sense. We had a great crew and a wonderful skipper.

Best Regards, Bill Banton, williambanton@aol.com


Subject: USS PUTNAM Harold Winkler 1947 to 1948
From: G. Richards
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 4:58 AM

Harold Winkler was in WW2 1942 to 1945 . I am not sure if he was on the USS Putnam during that period . I know he was aboard during 1947 to 1948 . I would like to know if there are any Ship Newsletters { with pictures in it } . Harold Winkler taught physical ed & judo to whomever on board . He passed away 11-1987 in Florida . I dont know if he kept in contact with any old buddies . I was checking the Stories & Letters section and a lot of the e-mail addresses are no longer working . I would like to hear from anyone who may have info on the USS Putnam crew during 1947 to 1948 or who may have a Newsletter from that time frame { if there was one } . Good luck & God speed :)


G. Richards


Subject: Putnam
From: Bill Sipp
Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 9:36 PM

Hi,

I’ve often tried to find information about this ship as my Dad served on it from January 1945 to January 1946. He was a Ship-fitter Third Class (T) and his name was Earl Robert Sipp. Unfortunately, he is gone now but after his funeral, we found a diary that he had kept and so it was published at the end of a book that my Mom wrote to deal with her grief after his passing. There is a picture of the crew which evidently is the first crew, given the dates that I see on the web site. It’s amazing to compare his diary to the dated activities posted on Pete’s Blog!

I hope this email is still good.


Bill


Subject: USS Putnam
From: Ed Finch
Date: Thursday, October 07, 2004 12:31 PM

Sir,

As you can tell from the return address on this email, I am from Freeport (Illinois), birth place of Charles F. Putnam. In addition, I am a historian specializing in naval history (currently writing a biography of Capt. Edward L. Beach, Jr., USN--of Run Silent, Run Deep fame).

For some time I have been interested in Putnam, and have done some research on his background and life. Presently, the city of Freeport, in anticipation of the 150th anniversary of its chartering, is developing a "Walk of Fame" to recognize Freeport natives who have made a significant impact on our nation or world. Putnam is high on the list for inclusion in that honor.

It seems to several of us, including the mayor, that it would be appropriate if the city could obtain something from the USS Putnam for permanent display in the city. I realize that she was sold for scrap several years ago, but am wondering if you or any of her former crew know of the existence of her ship's bell, anchor, or some other part of her that might make for a suitable public display. Any information and/or suggestions will be appreciated.

You can respond to this email address or to my home account:
FinchAtSea@aol.com
Thanks for your time and assistance.

Dr. Edward Finch
Instructional Leader
Freeport High School
701 West Moseley Street
Freeport, IL 61032


Subject: Seeking Info
From: Hoover News
Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 9:52 AM

I was just reading news about guys who served on the Putnam. My name is Ralph E. Hoover S2C, I served from 11-6-45 to 6-20-46. Would enjoy hearing from anyone who remembers those days. I am thinking of the night in San Diago when we mustered on the forward deck to sail to New York. The officer in charge was having trouble rounding the guys up, when someone said I`m a cowboy,let me round them up, The officer throught it was me and made it difficult for me on more then one occasion.Not sure who that guy was. No hard feelings. R.H.


Subject: USS PUTNAM
From: Jimmy Masur
Date: Friday, March 14, 2003 11:03 PM

HI. THE PUTNAM WAS MY FRIST SHIP OUT OF BOOT CAMP, I CAME ABOARD NOV.4,1967. I AM SO EXCITRD TO SEE THIS SIGHT U DO NOT KNOW.I HAV ALOT OF PICTURES OF HER , EVEN THE ONE WHEN WE WENT INTO MONTE CARLO, THE FRIST SHIP OF WAR TO GO IN THERE . I HAV MOVIES OF PRINCESS GRACE, MEETING EVERY ONE. MADE TWO MED. CRUISES ON HER MANY TRIP TO BRITISH WEST ENDIES,SOUTH AMERICA, AND A FEW OTHER PLACES. WOULD BE MOST IMPORTANT TO SEE A ROSTER U MY HAVE, SOME ONE STOLE MY PATCH I WISH I COULD GET ONE,AND THERE IS GOING TO HAV A REUNION IN MY BACK YARD. I LIVE OUTSIDE OF CHARLESTON S.C , ON A ISLAND CALL ISLE OF PALMS . I GUE3SS I SHOULD TELL U HOW I AM MY NAME IS JIMMY MASUR WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF ANYONE LIVES NEAR ME,I WORKED IN THE DECK DEPT FOR AWHILE AND GOT FACINATED WITH THE DASH DECK AND CHANGED MY RATE TO AIRMAN, THE DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH ME SO I BECAME A HELSMAN, AND THEN WORKED IN THE LAUNDRY FOR ABOUT A YEAR. REMEMBER DR. HALL ? WELL GET BACK TO ME PLEASE, E-MAIL ADDRESS IS jack_rabbit119@yahoo.com hope to here from u and anything i can do for the reunion let ME KNOW AND I WILL TRY TO HELP, WILL GREAT TO HEAR FROM U, THAK-YOU FOR YOUR SITE


Subject: The Putnam
From: Todd Knupp
Date: Friday, March 14, 2003 1:55 PM

My name is Todd Knupp and my grandfather was the original radio operator on the Putnam from day 1 of service through the end of WWII. I grew up on stories of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, pulling the crew of the Twiggs from the ocean and such. I still have copies ( somewhere ) of original letters he wrote on the Putnam letterhead and I still have a copy of the newsletter they published while in Tokyo bay at the end of the war.

His name was Roger W. Winans (1908-1982 ) and he went to school at Treasure Island in SF, CA. until the day they sailed. He was the radio operator and was a back up for the 5 inch guns during combat. I would be proud if you would add his name to the others of those who served on the Putnam.

Let me know if there is any other information that might be useful to you. I think I can find the newsletter without much trouble if you would like a scan of it or something.

Thanks,

Todd Knupp


Subject: Putnam memories
From: Ktnme2@aol.com
Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 8:34 PM

With all due respect,I must correct Jmowens recollections of the damage sustained by Putnam in Palermo Sicily.

While docking stearn first,an Italian Harbor Pilot was giving the orders.When our commanding officer saw we were going too fast and would certainly ram the dock, he ordered full ahead.That's when the stearn dug into the remains of WW2.

The transfer of our commanding officer was not related to that incident because he was going by the book.

My job as Radarman in CIC gave me much exposure to the navigation and operation of the ship. On another occasion in Barcelona Spain,I was given the job of interpreter on the bridge between the skipper and Harbor Pilot while docking.It was a quite interesting experience.Putnam was the first U.S.ship in Spain since before WW2 and the reception we received was outstanding.

Thank you for this site that rekindles fond memories.

Sincerely,

Louis Salas
USS Putnam 12/50 to 7/52


Subject: Uss Putnam 757 stories 1951 to 1952 Med. cruise
From: JmowensSr@aol.com
Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 8:38 PM

The case of the missing ham. A whole ham was discovered missing form the galley which promted a ship wide investigation. A threat to cancel all liberty until the person or persons responsible confessed was issued. Finally to keep all aboard from being restricted the guilty party turned himself in. I won`t disclose any names but he is listed on the crew locater list on the web site. At any rate his punishment consisted of restriction and several hours of extry duty. On this same Med. cruise which which happened to be Her first after Her reactivation we were entering port at Palaremo Sicly. The rule was that all ships were to dock with the stern to the dock and the bow facing out to sea. Our Capt. for some unknown reason to me had us backing toward the dock at full back, when he realized we were going to ram the dock He gave full ahead from full back. At this drastic change the stern sit down deep in the water which happened to have huge chunks concrete on the bottom that were a resultof the bombing of the docks during WW2. There was a terrible noise and shaking of the ship. As soon as the skipper realized what had happened we headed back out to sea to check things out . When the engind reved up to more than 2 or 3 knots of speed the ship shook and viberated so bad untill it seemed as if it would come apart. We came back into port tied up and sent divers down to acess the damage. Both screws were badly dameged at least one and maybe both had to be replaced . The main shaft was also warped. Needless to say it was just a matter or a day or so untill we had a change of command cerermony and a new skipperp. We then steamed to at top speed of 3 knots to a British dry dock on the island of Malta for repaires.


Subject: An Old timer- USS PUTNAM DD-757
From: John Parker
Date: Sunday, October 06, 2002 7:14 AM

I enjoyed finding and reading the PUTNAM web pages today.

Our WW11 , old timers are slipping away from us at a alarming rate. I have highly valued their service stories during my 62 years here. There are a few remaining, however mentally and physically , they are quickly slipping under and those who want to hear their stories had best turn to and get on with it.

I know well an PUTNAM old timer who fought the Japs in the battles that your webpage listed. And he still has a dynamite memory of those war years.. This is my uncle, Raymond Flowers . He is a retired EM Master Chief. 30 years of service. He still lives on Juana Dr. in Millington, TN .

He has no computer. He has a phone . He dont write. He does talk alot.

Give him a growl when you can. He should go to the Charleston reunion.

John Parker
IC2 ret.
USS TRIGGER SS564


Subject: Putnam's First Gunnery Crew
From: David Smith
Date: Tuesday, April 09, 2002 1:34 PM

My late father, Labon O. Smith, served on the Putnam from its maiden voyage in 1944 until his discharge. He was an electrician, but I believe he also helped carry ammunition in battle. My mother and I are quite sure that we recognize him in the pictures of the 1946 Gunnery Crew on the web page. I am wondering if anyone either has the names of the sailors in those photos, or remembers anything about my father from those days.

Thank you.
David Smith
McLean, VA

 


Subject: Putnam
From: Marilyn Buggy
Date: Thursday, March 21, 2002 5:11 PM

My father was Joseph S. Buggy, Jr. who was the XO aboard the Putnam in the mid 1960's when she was in Norfolk. I am attempting to chronicle his military career for his children and grandchildren. In looking up ships on which he served, I came upon you site. My father died in 1987, but, I will look and see if there is any memorobilia.

Marilyn Buggy


Subject: Commander Francis A. Butler
From: Russell Fontenot
Date: Monday, January 07, 2002 9:35 PM

Thanks for this web site.I served abroad the U.S.S. Putnam from Sept of 59 to July of 61.Captain Butler came abroad the Putnam in Jan. of 1960 while was on leave.We left for the Med in Feb1960.He was a very quite man and remember him as being a fair person. He expected every man to do his job. I remember one incident that upset him.A young officer who had the con and refuse to listen to combat advising him that the carrier Forrestal was turning towards us during nighttime plane guarding which would have cut us in half. Needless to say,Captain Butler didn't sleep a wink the rest of the night. I know he had the respect of all the men .Captain Butler was abroad during the Cuban invasion. I to have good memories of the Putnam and always wonder what happen to her. Now I know.

Russell Fontenot


Subject: Roger F. Rader
From: BURADER@aol.com
Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 12:52 PM

I am looking for information concerning my brother, Roger F. Rader, who served aboard the Putnam at some time during the years he was in the Navy. He was a CIC officer during the Korea War period. He was either a Lieutenant or JG when on board. If anyone one has information about him, I would like to hear from them. He died in 1969 in Iowa. My e-mail is BURADER@aol.com, and Fax and phone (512)345-1053.


Subject: USS Putnam
From: Charles Toy
Date: Friday, November 16, 2001 12:01 PM

Some old / new information on the Putnam.

When I was on board between 1952 and 1955.

Putname was the flagship of Destroyer Squadrton 22. Her Motto was: FACTA NON VERBA

Destoryer Division 221 was: PUTNAM (DD 757) W. KEITH (DD 775) HENLEY (DD 762) and the J. C. OWENS (DD 776)

Destoryer Disvision 222 was: AULT (DD 698) WALDRON (DD 699) HAYNSWORTH ( DD 700) and the J. W. WEEK (DD 701)

Charles H. TOY


Subject: Henry P. Lago (LeGault)
From: Chris Lago
Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2001 12:53 PM

Here is a picture of my father (Click here to view). He served on the USS Putnam from 1958 - 1962. Please add it to the Putnam Website. I am currently in the Navy, EM1/SS, 15 years now, and this is something I wanted to do for my father. I have already posted his information on the site.
Thank you very much for your time.

Respectfully,
Christopher Lago


Subject: USS Putnam
From: Steve
Date: Friday, June 15, 2001 9:06 PM

I have recently been trying to find out a little about my fathers Naval career. He had command of the Putnam for several years when I was young. His name was Francis A. Butler. I believe he was a Cdr. when he was on board the Putnam. I have fond memories of the ship, because we came aboard often when the ship was in port in Norfolk. We also have the painting of the ship that was given to my father by the crew when he left the Putnam. The painting hung in our living room until my father passed away several years ago. He was always incrediably proud of that painting-he had loved that ship. I was excited to find a web site about the Putnam and would like to know if anyone knows the exact dates he had command of the ship.

Thanks
L Coates


Subject: George J. Sheldon
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2001 9:38 PM
From: SHSnowball@aol.com

I have been looking for a sailor by the name of Sheldon that was on the USS Putnam stationed in Charleston, S.C. in Jan and Feb of 1952. I have tried to contact the national achives for infomation. If you can put this on your web, there maybe someone out there that may have remembered him. If there is any response please e-mail me at shsnowball@aol.com.

Thank you for any help!


Subject:   Putnam Crew
Date:       Thursday, October 19, 2000 7:25 PM
From:      TShea1947@aol.com

I was aboard the Putnam for the Monte Carlo cruise and remember the so called mutiny.  In fact the armory that was broken into was right under my rack.  I didn't hear a thing.  Does anyone remember when the two guys got caught selling cigarettes to the black market in Naples?   I also have pictures of Princess Grace and her children. 

Just found the website after looking up info on the bombing of the USS Cole.  I must admit that I got a little choked up hearing that the old Putnam had been scrapped.  I was on the cruise to New Orleans for her transfer and always wondered what happened to her. 

Went on to USS Mitscher DDG35 until Feb 1970 when I was released.

Will write more later when I can remember more info.

Great website,   Thanks a lot

Tom Shea (SK2) 66-69  

(Note from Webmaster:  I remember all those things.  I also remember what the 2 ship servicemen looked like with the heads shaven which happened to them after they were caught but before the took them away.  The guy they were passing sea store cigarettes to came along side in a 'bum' boat and accepted the cigarettes.  He then rowed around to the quarterdeck and came aboard!  He was an agent with someone!  I'd love to have seen the looks on those two's faces when that happened!  I was also on the pier when they towed Pete away, unmanned.  Dave Seay)


Subject:     U.S.S. Putnam   DD-757
Date:         Tuesday, October 17, 2000 3:41 PM
From:      AEDeCarlo@aol.com

The Putnam was my first ship out of Disbursing School in Bayonne - approx. Feb. 1949 - It was decommissioned (can't remember the exact date) sometime before the Korean War in 1950.  Mothballed it in Charleston, S.C.  Was then put back in commission - do not know when, but it was in the movie - BRIDGES OF TOKO-RI
with William Holden, Grace Kelly, Mickey Rooney - movie was re; the Korean War.

Friend of mine that served on the Midway CV41 same time period as myself, saw the movie after we were discharged in June and July 1952.  I forgot all about the movie, went  to see it and when my destroyer appeared, I jumped out of my seat.  My girl friend took a fit, wondering what the hell was wrong. I am sure you are aware of the movie and do not care to hear this stuff, but it has been sometime since I served on her and can't remember too much.  Do remember some crewmen names, however.

I was also a hot shellman on the 5" guns.  Man, that was an experience. Red Mc Cullough  was 1st Class Gunner.   Would be glad to hear from you and perhaps you can refresh my memory- It  has been fifty (50) years you know.  Best and hope that this finds you  & yours well.  P.S. I was then transferred to the Allen Sumner DD- 692 and was discharged 7/18/52  as 2nd Cl.

DK 


Subject:     Putnam
Date:         Monday, October 02, 2000 12:58 AM
From:      Tom Solder at tsolder@bellsouth.net

I've got some great photos of Putnam when she was in the shipyards in '69 in Norfolk, when I first reported aboard, right out of ET school. One of the more impressive ones is of me standing by one of the props while she was in drydock. Will send them as soon as I can retrieve them from storage.

Oh yes, I think I've got a set of blueprints from the yard too. I was hoping someday to build a scale model of her.

Remembering one of the neat times, on one cruise we spied something in the water, and found it to be the front half of a motor whale boat. As we tried to pull it up for id, great masses of black stuff began pouring out... it had become a hang out for fish! I quickly grabbed my pole from belowdecks and started hauling them in. Several others did likewise, and the Doc ok'd them for chow, and the crew ate for a days with great relish.

Thanks for the work you've put into this site.Memories of Pissy Pete will always be somewhere in my mind, and now I have a source for bringing some of them back to the present. Thanks!

Tom Solder
tsolder@bellsouth.net


Subject:     Pissy Pete
Date:         Monday, October 02, 2000 12:47 AM
From:      Tom Solder at tsolder@bellsouth.net

During the years from about 1965 to 1969, the crew aboard Putnam came to lovingly know her as "Pissy Pete"! So many memories have returned because of the posts here, and it brings tears to my eyes.

I, too, was aboard when the Monte Carlo photo was taken, yet I'm surprised no one mentioned that our featured guest aboard that time was non other than Princess Grace Kelly!

I Think it was also the time (as another poster mentioned) some of our guys broke into the gun locker and tried to commandeer the sub tied up alongside, hoping to make a quick retreat home!

And the post remembering Aubrey Wilson, and Bernatus made me think of the two brothers, Donny and older bro ?????? (Any one remember his name?) While at Norfolk, they bought an old Stude Hawk, souped up the engine at the base shop, and tried to race her, but never got it past the start line.

Laff time? Vasilko, Me and someone else, I think a tall sn from Arkansas, dropped one of the 20 foot radio masts off the front gun mount while trying to repair a leak at the base. The new CO, a mustang, real cool guy, was walking toward us down the pier when it happened. He took one look, shook his head, and went back to the club!

Great times! So sorry to learn of the fate of one helluve ship!

Tom


Subject:     Info request
Date:         Mon, 7 Aug 2000
From:      Ronald L. Schwandt at vga@warwick.net

My name is Ron Schwandt, I am the Past Commander and present Quartermaster of Walden VFW Post 2946 and AmVets Post 2946 in New York. Recently I had an individual come to the Post requesting to join the VFW. He served from Aug. '42 to Feb '50. He had his DD214 with him but he had no decorations (absolutely "none") which would qualify him for membership in the VFW. He decided to join the AmVets. Being curious, I sent a "Request Pertaining to Military Records" to the Bureau of Naval Personnel asking for his awards and decorations. Today I received those awards (WWII Victory medal; American Campaign Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal w/clasp-Europe; and the Honorable Service Lapel Pin-"Ruptured Duck"). The Navy personnel section also indicates he served aboard the USS Putnam from 10-27-46 to 1-16-48. I seem to recall an incident somewhere around this time involving crewmen and a munitions explosion which resulted in the courts martial of several navy personnel for failing to obey a direct order. Which might possibly explain why he did not received his decorations upon discharge, even though he was honorably discharged w/ no loss of service. Do you have any info regarding this?

I would like to have a formal ceremony for this Vet whereby he would be awarded the decorations that he did not receive upon discharge from the Navy.

Any info you could supply me with would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
Ronald L. Schwandt at vga@warwick.net


Subject:     Putnam history
Date:         Mon, 17 Apr 2000 08:45:02 -0700
From:        Stan Cochran <shc2615@pacbell.net>

I was reviewing the Putnam's history on your nice website and found something I didn't understand.  It reads:

"A Mediterranean cruise took her away from Norfolk from October of 1951 through 4 June of 1952."

As a Third Class NROTC Midshipman, I boarded Putnam just before 6/4/52 and we participated in Cruise Able in a fleet of 28 ships with about 1,500 Naval Academy and NROTC midshipmen.  We visited Belfast, Northern Ireland and Le Havre, France (was in France for Bastille Day, July 14th) and then went to Guantanamo Bay.  We returned to Norfolk in early August, 1952.

All this is minor stuff, but for the record.....

Best regards,
Stan Cochran

(A note from the webmaster:  There is a good chance that the history of the 757 as listed may have errors.  It is all 'hand-me-down' info found on a variety of other websites and sources (except for the period in '96 to decom when I was on board).  If someone can find an authoritative source of history, please forward it to me.

Thanks
Dave Seay)


Subject:         Remembering The USS Putnam
Date:         Sat, 08 Apr 2000 15:15:57 -0400
From:         rayspann@bellsouth.net

I was assigned to the USS Putnam in 1969, reporting onboard just in time for the Midshipman’s cruise to the Caribbean.  Were you on the ship then?  I remember several funny incidences, but one really sticks out. Do you remember when a watch stander made a very official announcement over the ship’s intercom system concerning a “seabat” being captured on the Signal Bridge.  Instead of the Midshipmen going straight to the bridge to view the creature, they went to their compartment first to retrieve cameras from their lockers.  By the time the Midshipmen  reported to the Signal Bridge, all the “old salts” had already gathered around a cardboard box, which was lying on the deck upside down and used to restrain the seabat.  This particular box had numerous holes carved in it – ostensibly for the seabat to breathe.

As this episode unfolded, one large Boatswain’s Mate could be seen resting on a broom handle against the bulkhead.  When a daring Midshipman would lift an end to the box so his counterpart could snap a picture, both would be kneeling on the deck with their hinnies up in the air.  Well, suffice to say, Boats had a time swatting them with the broom.  He must have hit each of them 10 times before they figured out what was going on.

One other note of interest – I was recently watching the 1950’s movie entitled, “Bridges Over Toko-Ri?”  There’s a part in the movie where Mickey Rooney is being high-lined from the carrier to a destroyer.  For a fleeting moment while Mickey is swinging through the air with the greatest of ease, the destroyer’s hull number is displayed.  Guess what that number is?  You’re right, “757.”  When I pointed out this somewhat obscure fact to my wife, she said with little appreciation, “Oh” and walked away, obviously not sharing my same enthusiasm.

Raymond L. Spann, ETN3


Subject:  Putnam Stories..
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 16:09:30 -0500
From: S&K <ssmith75@ix.netcom.com> 

What a thrill to find the Putnam page!

I was aboard Putnam during '69 Med cruise.  As a matter of fact, I was on duty in CIC when the 2 MIGS "buzzed" us! I would sure like to hear from any of the "RD" crew that served during
68-69.... Some that I remember:

    RD1 Ron Klusek,NY
    RD3 "Willie" Wilson,AR
    RD2 Adam Bernatas,
    RD3 George "PIG" Roll,NC
    RD3 Roscoe Brownell
    RD3 ?    Twombley

Thanks for the memories,
RD3 Steve Smith
Roanoke, VA


Subject: Putnam stories
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 21:12:55 -0600
From: John Morrison

Although I didn't officially serve on the Putnam, I did take a two week training cruise on her, during the 2nd two weeks of August, 1970. I was a member of a Reserve squadron out of Stillwater, Okla, and was assigned to the Putnam after completing boot camp at Great Lakes.

We went to Vera Cruz, Mexico and spent a few days there. I have vague memories of spending my days swabbing decks, painting, and watching the crew fire tommyguns off the fantail. We couldn't fire the deck guns because of some kind of malfunction. I also remember a lot of the guys had their new dungarees dragging in the wake with ropes to take the stiffness out of them and fade them a little.

On the way back to New Orleans, we ran smack dab into a hurricane. It was a real bad one. I remember being on watch up on the flying bridge, and seeing the entire ship being submerged by the waves, except for the superstructure, time after time. The waves were immense. Everyone on board including the captain was so seasick they could barely stand up. Naturally I got stuck on vomit detail. It was a ghastly 3 days.

I wouldn't have given you a plugged nickel for the Putnam after I got off that cruise, but now I find that I remember those days with fondness, and feel honored to have been on a ship with such a rich history. I was saddened to find out she was scrapped.

John Morrison
Hurst, TX
jdm1intx@airmail.net


Subject:     Facta Non Verba
Date:         Mon, 27 Dec 1999 20:12:31 -060
From:        Juanita Lacy Mason <masoninc@ruraltel.net>  

My father, Robert (Red) Lacy, served on board the Putnam 1953-55.  I remember that ship well - as it was an important part of my childhood.

For many years (until it simply wore to pieces) I carried a medallion on my key chain, which pictured the destroyer
ramming a submarine.  I also remember this medallion as an embroidered badge. I would love to see this medallion
again.  I would love to purchase one if at all possible.  And most of all, I would like to know the story behind the image.

My father made the round the world cruise, returning with wonderful gifts when I was 7 years old.  I remember that a book was produced commemorating that cruise - I would love to see that book again.   Possibly someone could share pictures from that book?

I remember a number of my father's good friends who visited our home in those years.  They were very good to me and they are very fondly remembered because of their kindness to a little girl.

 My father served 20 years in the navy, serving in WWII and the Korean war.  We were blessed with being stationed in some very enjoyable and interesting bases.  My "Navy Brat" childhood was an opportunity not a burden.

I would love to hear from any shipmates who remember my father.

Sincerely,
Juanita Lacy Mason


Subject: USS PUTMAN DD 757
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 1999 12:47:11 -0500
From: Bernie Nobles <bernie_nobles@unctv.org>

Greetings from North Carolina,

  My name is William Bernard Nobles and I serverd on the putnam in 1969 as a radioman.

I was on the cruise which you had a picture of the ship coming into Monaco,and remember the incident in which the two aircraft came almost to bridge level and gave all of us a pretty good scare. I had just laid down in my rack when they sounded GQ and not a drill,which I rushed to my gq station which was the radio shack. Thanks so much for putting this info on the web,it brought back lots of good memories while we were in Monaco.

After we got back from the med I was transfered to the USS NORFOLK DL -1 ,then in Feb of 1970 got orders to go to the USS JOHN KING DDG 3,which we went to the med again and I got out of the navy august of that year.

Thanks again for the info you have provided on the web. THANKS.


Subject: USS PUTNAM DD 757
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 23:18:24 -0500
From: Webster Kenwood Burrier Jr. <lintaweb@iximd.com>

 I served on the Putnam from March 1956 until December 17,1957.While aboard the Putnam was in the Nato Operations in the NorthernAtlantic.

These operations took the ship across the Artic Circle,this crossingmade all the member's aboard members of the Royal Order of the Blue Noses.

If possible I would like to know when the saying We've Been There was adopted.

It was " FACTA NON VERBA " Fight not words.The Putnam served as the flagship, for Destroyer Squadron Twenty Two.

When she went on her around the world cruise in 1953,the Putnam was used in the Motion Picture The Bridges Toko Ri. She can be seen in the movie when they hi line actor Mickey Rooney from the carrier to the Putnam. I hope this little bit of history helps keep the name of the Putnam alive.

Sincerly

Webster K. Burrier Jr.
3002 Stillwater Court
Forest Hill, Maryland   21050


Subject: USS Putnam
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 10:32:50 -0600
From: Don Pryber (Don_Pryber@mccord.com)

I just discovered the Putnam website last evening...what a surprise!! Congratulations on your taking the initiative to create this great site. It certainly brought back some memories. If my memory is correct, I arrived aboard Putnam in July, 1968, just one month before you came aboard. As MPA under Ray Moore (Engineering Officer), I was responsible for all engineering spaces (MM's and BT's)...what an experience! Upon leaving the Putnam in early December, 1969 (the ship had already been repositioned to New Orleans for about 3 months as a reserve trainer), I was married, then sent off to Vietnam along with other officers who had also served on the Putnam (John Lisle, DCA, Rich Nowak, Communications Officer, and Davey Conrad, Dash Officer).

While incountry in Vietnam, I was stationed for the majority of time in Vung Tau, as an Advisor to the RVN. I was part of the Coastal Surveillance group headquartered in Cam Rahn Bay. Along with being responsible for off shore assets (Swift Boats and WPB's) patroling the coast to prevent interdiction of supplies to the VC and NVA, I was also involved with the riverine operations in the Basaac River, SEAL teams in the Delta, and two Black Pony air support squadrons out of Vung Tau and Can Tho. I came back to the states in early 1970, after seeing much more action then I would have liked. In any event, I returned without having suffered any injuries - either physical or emotional. In spite of the fact that I had the "opportunity" to re-up (had a choice of either London, England, at the Naval Communications Facility, or Coronado as a training instructor for Vietnam-bound Navy personnel, I chose to get out (my wife also had something to say about this decision). That seems now like an eternity ago.

Some memories of the Putnam:

On our Med cruise (January to June, 1969), three incidents "stick-out" as particularly memorable:

* While in Athens, two of our more active BT's (after consuming mass qualtities of Ouzo) were discovered in the cockpit of an Olympic Airways 707 at Athens Airport. It was never revealed how close they were to actually "firing-up" the plane, but rumor has it that they were close. I don't recall the extent of their punishment, but I do remember that CinCLANT got very much involved - much to the displeasure of Commander Reger.

* On our initial transit period from Norfolk into the Med, we were originally assigned to making one of the first sorties ever for a US Navy vessel, into the Black Sea with another ship from our squadron. This was designed to test the resolve of the Russians. For whatever reason, that order was rescinded. In its place, the Putnam was ordered to approach as close as possible to the coast of Egypt, a country then very much under Soviet influence. I was standing the bridge watch when we approached the coast at about 12 miles out. CIC announced that they had incoming aircraft approaching closing quickly from Egypt, and before I could get to the flying bridge we were overflown by two MIG's at what seemed like 50 feet above the mast. General Quarters (this is not a drill) was sounded, but clearly, if their intentions had been hostile, we would not have had a chance. The MIG's had made their second pass even before the 5" mounts had even begun to get into firing position.

So much for our modern Navy. The whole event was particularly frightening in light of the Liberty incident some months previous.

* While on one of our many stops in Naples, we needed to transfer fuel oil from one tank to another to prevent listing. I happened to be ashore at the time, but upon my return to the ship in the whaleboat, I discovered that the BT in charge had failed to secure one of the transfer lines, thus allowing approximately 1,000 gallons of crude oil to discharge into Naples harbor. Some would suggest that given the quality of the water in the harbor, that this did not necessarily detract from the cleanliness. However, once again we had an embarrassing event that was noticed by the Commander, 6th Fleet, as well as other important persons. Next to a collision at sea, this was about as bad as it gets for an MPA.

Just some recollections! Thanks again for taking the time to create a most memorable site. By the way, the photos were great, especially the one of the ship arriving into the harbor of Monaco. Having had the dubious distinction of being the Honor Guard officer (along with legal and Protestant Lay leader), I probably was standing on the Dash deck at the time the photo was taken. Again, thanks and best wishes.

Don Pryber
6018 Bentley Ave.
Willowbrook, IL 60514
(B) 847-759-5410
(H) 630-654-8520


Subject: From Putnam890
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1999 03:17:32 EDT
From: Hank Snyder at Putnam890@aol.com

A NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
PLASTER AND STONE.
I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.
I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.
NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.
WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.
FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.
THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.
THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED
A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.
WAS THIS THE HERO
OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
THE FLOOR FOR A BED?
I REALIZED THE FAMILIES
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.
SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.
THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.
I COULDN'T HELP WONDER
HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.
THE VERY THOUGHT
BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
AND STARTED TO CRY.
THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
"SANTA DON'T CRY,
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;
I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS."
THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.
I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE
ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
SO WILLING TO FIGHT.
THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA,
IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."
ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."

This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan. The following is his request. I think it is reasonable.....

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.

Bill Killillay


Subject: Shipmate
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 10:07:29 -0400
From: Raymond Spangler at UBA107@worldnet.att.net

Good Morning;

I can't tell you what a great pleasure it was find this site.

I was aboard the Putnam from 68 to 69. I started out as a deck ape and moved up to the signal bridge and became a Signalman. During my tour of duty we made a Med cruise and many trips to the Caribbean and South America. I still have my Shellback certificate hanging on the wall.

I had been looking for some of my old shipmates on the Internet when I stumbled on this site. You did a TERRIFIC job with it. I especially like the photo of her steaming into Monaco. believe it or not . I was on her at that time.

I am going to go through my photos and see if I can send you some of them.

I will be in touch. Thank you for doing such a fine job.

Regards
Raymond A. Spangler (SM3)
Philadelphia Pa.


>Subject: Shipmate
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 20:42:53 -0500
From: Bill Otto at billyomn@prodigy.net

HeyO,

I was aboard from the spring of 1952 until September 1952. The Putnam went across the Atlantic and we hit Belfast, Ireland and Le Havre, France. Some of us got R&R in Paris. Good time was had by all in Ireland and France.

We had the Commodore aboard at that time and I was his staff Radioman. I transferred to the Putnam from USS Vesole DDR-878 as it was heading for six months in the Med and my enlistment ended before her return.

When the Putnam approached Le Havre a pilot came aboard. I was the radioman on watch to get berthing instructions. They came in French. I copied them all and repeated the whole thing back to them and said is this right? The shore station responded, Oui Oui. I sent back ..--.., which we say ditty dum dum ditty. That is the international signal for repeat please. There was a pause at the other end. After the pause. The shore station sent Yes Yes. This country boy from Wisconsin didn't know Oui Oui meant Yes Yes. I ripped the message out of the typewriter. The runner ran it up to the bridge and I could hear the Captain and Pilot laughing over it.

Nice Web Page, Bill Otto RM2, USS Vesole/USS Putnam

PS: The Putnam got to the dock in Le Havre ok.


Subject: Stories on Putnam
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 12:49:54 EDT
From: Dave Carrington

Any of the ships crew remember Christmas 1967 in Monaco when we had a couple guys got drunk and tried to have an 'uprising'?  The end result was of them being taken to the brig on the carrier at Nice and numerous ship's crew under investigation for drinking on the mess decks.

Dave carrington


Subject: Putnam
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1999
From: Louis Colella

Hello,

I didn't see anything mentioned in your pages about the movie roll the Putnam participated in. If you had a copy of the "Bridges of Toko Ri" you could see her alongside the carrier (I believe it was Oriskany) as Earl Holliman and Mickey Rooney were high-lined to her. Perhaps it would bring some memories to those who served aboard her.

Louis Colella -USS Hull (DD945)

 


Subject: Putnam
Date: Thurs, 26 Aug 1999
From: Henry (Hank) Snyder

Do you remember the time, in the Med, when we ran over a drone, shot down by our overzealous Gunner's Mates, and sucked up the parachute into the main condenser circ pump in the after engine room? We had to cut it out with a knife! I still have a piece of it.

Hank


Subject: Squad Dog 66 ( Commodore Hartwig )
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 12:08:57 EDT
From: Bill Scholl

Just rereading the history of the Putnam. I find it strange that there is no mention of Commodore Hartwig, who at the time, I believe, was the only Commodore in the Navy. He was Squadron Commander of Squadron 66 and was stationed aboard the Putnam. He had a staff of two or three who were also on board. The Putnam was the only ship in the squadron with the Squad. Dog 66 emblem on her stack, signifying the Squadron Commander on board.

My memory gets is a little fuzzy but I recall a situation where we joined a group of ships with a couple Light Cruisers. We began to steam right up the middle of the group when the signal lights on the cruisers began to signal, the transmission was not the most friendly, something like " where the hell do you think you're going?". The reply was " Commodore Hartwig sends his regards, we will take our station at the head of the column."

All signal lights went blank and we steamed to the head of the column.

Regards,
Bill Scholl


Subject: USS Putnam Info
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 00:49:14 -0500
From: Bruce Obermeyer at obie@gte.net

My name is Bruce Obermeyer. My late father-in-law, Hershel Randel Flowers, served on the Putnam from her maiden voyage in 1944 until just before his discharge (he served the last few months of his tour on the James C. Owens). I have placed a link to your Home page from our family page in honor of Hershel, who died on April 18 of this year of complications following surgery for stomach cancer and was buried with full military honors at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, on Wednesday, April 21. He is survived by his wife, Patsy, his daughter, Kaye Flowers Obermeyer, and two brothers: Bill Flowers and Jerrold Goodner. He attended the reunion last year. If you need more information, please let me know. Please inform his shipmates.

Also, sit should be note that the 18-year-old Seaman Hershel Flowers was one of the sailors who entered the water the night the USS Twiggs went down and helped rescue many of the survivors.

Yours truly,

Bruce Obermeyer, formerly Captain, USAF
362nd and 361st Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadrons,
Stationed at Da Nang, RVN;  NKP, Thailand; and Ubon, Thailand
obie@gte.net
http://home1.gte.net/obie/Index.htm


Subject: USS Putnam DD 757
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 17:34:25 EST
From: Richard (Sandy) Sanders

I served aboard the Putnam from 1960 till 62 when she went in the Brooklyn Shipyard for Fram. I was aboard for a 7 month Med Cruise and we were down at Cuba for the Bay of Pigs Invasion. We picked up a bunch of the Cubans who were in the invasion and transported them.

I have some pictures of the Putnam sitting in the harbor at Monaco at night all lit up. I am trying to dig them out now. I even have some old movie film of the ship and crew going through the Suez Canal and high-lining people from another ship..

Would like to hear from you. I also have a full crew picture.

I was a 3rd class P O in Commissary

Richard (Sandy) Sanders


Subject: PUTNAM crew
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 11:22:52 +1100
From: John Shere

Thanks for the website. From way down here (Melbourne Australia) I am wondering if there is any news about Terry Adamec (firely little bugger from Niagara Falls or Albert W. Dalton (yeoman from Missouri (I think). Would like to hear from them.

My snail mail address is:
John Shere
4 Hill Court
Warranwood 3134
Victoria, Australia


From: Sea2boat@aol.com
Date: January 23, 1999
Subject: Christmas Past

(copied from the USS Putnam plan of the day, Christmas eve 1963 or 1964 author unknown)

"St. Nick Has The Duty"

Twas the night before Christmas, compartments were still
The sailors were sleeping, as most sailors will.
The seabags were hung by the lockers with care.
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The men were all peacefully dreaming in bed
As visions of liberty danced in each head.
The Chief in his skivvies, and I in my sack
Had just came from town and a quick midnite snack.

When out on the deck there arose such a roar;
I ran to the porthole to find out the score.
I stuck out my head and started to shout,
"Just what the devil is this noise all about?"
A moon made for boondocking showed with a glow:
It was pretty cold, about seven below.
What I saw looked like one of those carnival floats,
Twas a rowboat drawn smartly by four Navy goats.

In the boat was a man who seemed quiet and moody;
I knew in an instant St. Nick had the duty.
As quickly as Monday his billygoats came,
He whistled and shouted and called them by name;
"Now Perry, now Farragut, now Dewey and Jones,
What's the matter John Paul, got lead in your bones?
A little to Starb'rd, now hold it up short,
No fluffing off now, or you'll go on report!"

He was wearing dress "Reds", they fit like a charm,
Had Hash Marks that covered the length of his arm.
The Gifts to be issued were all in his pack.
His eyes they were watering, his nose caked with ice,
He wiped it with canvass, then sneezed once or twice.
He opened his mouth and started to yawn,
It looked like the Sun coming up with the dawn.

The stump of a pipe, he held tight in his teeth,
And took a small nip from a bottle beneath.
He wasn't so big, but he must have been strong.
I figured he'd been in Destroyers right long.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly Tar,
Who said "Evenin' Matey, here have a cigar."
He filled every seabag with presents galore,
And left us all leave papers, right by the door.

With "Anchors Aweigh" he climbed onto place
A broad smile was creeping all over his face.
One look at his watch and he started to frown,
"This night shift is certainly getting me down."
Then out to the Bayshore and into the night,
The rowboat was fading, the landscape was bright.
"Merry Christmas" he said, as he drove on his way,
"Now I'll finish my rounds and sack in for the day."


From: John Selph
Date: October 25, 1998
Subject: Re: Gun Firing Incident

Correct.   I was in the radio room when it happened.  As it was told to me, we were preparing for a broadside and all mounts were being controlled by the Fire Control station on the torpedo deck.  Mount 52, Fire Control master, had a hydraulic leak and was training slow - Mount 51 bypassed its stop and continued to rotate until 52 hit target position.  For some unknown reason, 52 fired seconds before 51.  When 51 fired, it fired right into the barrels of 52.   Both the nucleus crew CO and reserve crew CO received frags (minor) and the only Corpsman on board was on the main deck and took a good sized chunk in the back.  Also, couple of guys below decks got hit.  CO's sea cabin looked like a seive and the port hedgehog rack was hanging over the side (loaded) by the electrical cable!!  Wasn't a fun cruise.....

I was aboard Putnam when we took the cruise to Nassau,  played with the subs and planes in Florida. first and one of the guys shot the cable towing the target banner!!

John


From: Dave Seay
Date: Sunday, October 25, 1998
Subject: Re: Gun Firing Incident

I knew that sounded familiar. The Hyman not only damaged radio antenna, but as I heard it, shot the hell out of Mount 52 and the Captain's sea cabin.  I was on Putnam when we relieved the Hyman in New Orleans and Mount 52 had already been removed and its foundation was blanked off!  It was told that the hydraulic stop on the front of Mount 51 (or the matching steel stop on the deck) got ripped off as the gun was rotating and firing.

Dave


From: John Selph
Date: October 25, 1998
Subject: Re: Putnam Gun Firing Incident

Actually, I was talking to another Putnam shipmate the other day and realized that that incident happened aboard the USS   Hyman (the Putnam's predecessor - which probably dictated the replacement by the Putnam).  I showed my friend your website so I assume he will be checking in soon.  His name is Allen Bradley, and he was aboard as regular crew around the same time you were.

John


From: John Selph
Date: October 20, 1998
Subject: Putnam Gun Firing Incident

I was RM2 in RESCREW assigned to Putnam in New Orleans. Memory may be failing me, but I recall an incident whereas we "shot" ourselves due to a 5" gunmount malfunction during a broadside firing. Being the senior RM on duty during this occurance, I had to go "up the stick" to try and patch some of the radio antennas that were damaged. Do you recall this incident? (or am I just going nuts!!)

John



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