John R. Pierce

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My name is Vinnie Ryan and this is the 50th anniversary of my service aboard the USS John R. Pierce as an ET (Electronic Technician). I served aboard the Pierce for almost a year during 1966-1967.

The USS John R.Pierce was the first ship I was assigned to as temporary duty straight out of ET school awaiting my next school.

Although we joked that the ship had settled down on coffee grounds next to the the pier at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we actually deployed 3 times during that year. Besides a short cruise to Newport, Rhode Island for a few days, and a PR trip up the Hudson River where we anchored so that the locals could board us for a visit, we went to Gitmo (now referred to as 'Club Gitmo') with the squadron for 2 weeks of training exercises. During the cruise south we experienced about 3 days of very high seas due to a hurricane off the coast of Cape Hatteras which was only rivaled by a later experience of being in the belly of a nuclear submarine in high seas... on the surface!

Being stationed aboard a reserve training destroyer, based in Brooklyn, New York is highly recommended for any young recruit to get indoctrinated into Navy life aboard ship (Drinking age was 18 in New York). I was very proud to serve with the crew, officers and our Captain; CDR Hall and I wish my best for them all.

I have attached a few dozen photographs from my days aboard John R. Pierce DD753. although many of them have me in them (I use to send home to Mom), there are some generic photos around the ship that you may enjoy. I don't know if these photos will be posted on the JRP website, but here is a link that you can go to where you can view or download any of them: You can also email me to request copies of any/all my photos:

Hi everyone, I would like to add my father, Robert (Bobby) Louis Hernandez to the list of deceased shipmates. My dad served onboard the Pierce from 1958-1961 as an RD3. He passed away on January 21, 1985. He lived in New York City his whole life aside from when he was in the Navy.

I grew up hearing stories from Dad about his time in the Navy. I was rather young and although I can't remember the specifics, I know he enjoyed his time in the service. He was proud to serve his country. I listened to the stories of how he traveled the world with wonder.

If anyone out there remembers my dad and especially if you have any pictures of him from his time of service I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. Please email me at

Thank you and God Bless,

Christopher R Hernandez

I was an electronics tech aboard Valley Forge, operating with Pierce in January 1955, when the SG radar aboard Pierce went out. I was sent over to help out, dropped onto the Pierce's fantail via line from the chopper. Fixed the radar and was collected in the same manner, off the fantail of the Pierce. Anybody remember the incident? Exact dates were 12-13 January 1955.

Chas. S. Chase (ET1 at that time)

I wish to add my father, Chief Benjamin W. Margot to your list of deceased shipmates. Dad passed away while on active duty as a master chief in Alameda, Ca., in 1977, shortly after a tour aboard USS Enterprise. I believe he was on the Pierce in 1966 before 2 tours of Vietnam. If anyone remembers him, please contact me at

With kind regards to all,


Hi, My name is Michi Robertson and I’m the daughter of Noah E. Brinker Jr.

I’m looking for anyone that may know or remember my father. He was on the USS John R Pierce from 1945 to 1956 I believe. He was a GM2. I grew up hearing about all the stories from his experiences in the Navy. My father had a lot of pride and respect for his country; he was a true Navy man. My father passed away on July 11, 2006. Everything about his experiences was instilled in me and I will never forget it. I’m very proud to say that my father was one of many many veterans to serve and protect our country.

I have several photos that belonged to my father that I would love to post. I don’t know who I need to contact or how to go about doing that. He has one beautiful picture of the USS John R Pierce with all the sailors on deck while they were in Venice, Italy. He also has several drawings(he was a very talented man) of when he was in Adak, Alaska working at the Dental Clinic at the US Naval Base and he has a photo where he had painted the US flag on the ship. Does anyone remember that?

I have many pictures of my father and sailors.. Some of their names are J.N. Robbins, Donnie Ford, Kenneth Broom, Melvin Hill, Donald Clark. Does anyone know of these men?

I also believe my father was a member of the USS John R Pierce DD753 Sailors Organization Inc., I have many newsletters that he had with the name THE FIERCE PIERCE.

If anyone can help me I would appreciate it. Like I said I would love to be able to post some of the pictures and drawings my dad has. You can contact me at if you have any information about my father and how I should go about posting these photos and stuff.

Thank you and God Bless,

Michi Robertson

FYI, re ship's history...

I served as a plebe midshipman aboard the Pierce during the summer of 1950. During our six week cruise we visited Portsmouth, Maine; NY,NY; Panama; and were scheduled to hit Cuba on the way back to Norfolk, but Korea broke out and we were diverted to GTMO.

It was a memorable introduction to sea going life. My memories are of a happy ship, good friendly crew, and lots of both hard work and fun times.


Capt. Edmund M. Waller, SC, USN(Ret)

[ Editor's note: For your information, Robert Littell- besides being aboard the Pierce- is a well known author. His book The Amateur was made into a movie in 1981 and his book The Company was made into a 6-part mini-series in 2007. ]

From: Robert Littell
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 12:11 PM

This is in answer to the question from B S CHAPMAN about a John R. Pierce captain named Williamson. I was a Lt. j.g. on board the Pierce from 1956 to almost 1960. Captain Williamson was the third commanding officer I served under. He was, as Mr. Chapman said, a mustang – he came up through the ranks. The biggest incident during his time as captain took place in Iskenderun, Turkey in the late 1950s. A commercial tanker holding JP4, jet fuel, for the American planes flying out of Adanna, Turkey, exploded. If I remember correctly, three sailors were killed in the explosion, the others abandoned ship to the safety of shore. The Pierce was in Rhodes when we were ordered to proceed at full speed to Iskenderun to see if we could do anything about the burning tanker. We passed north of Crete (among other things I was the ship’s navigator) and could see the flames from the tanker long before we entered the Iskenderun bay. We anchored and John Macon, the engineering officer, took the longboat around the burning tanker. When he returned, we had a war council in the ward room. John reported that some of the plates on the tanker were red hot. Most of us thought it was too risky to go alongside – after all, we had tons of explosives on board – but Captain Williamson decided to take that risk. We tied up to the burning tanker in the dark and our sailors went aboard with hoses to fight the flames. It took all night to put out the flames. At dawn the tanker was smoldering but no longer burning. We found the body of one of the dead civilian sailors and someone put a wooden cross on it. Another destroyed relieved us after a few days and we sailed to Beirut for liberty. The Pierce and Captain Williamson received many messages of congratulations from various admirals for having put out the fire. As I remember, a sailor on the destroyer that replaced us died as a result of taking two Lloyds of London insurance people down into the vast tanks that once held JP4 – he was asphyxiated, I believe. The second destroyer was replaced by the Turkish salvage vessel Imroz out of Istanbul. While we were in Beirut, we saw a newspaper with a photograph on the front page of the Imroz and the tanker – both were in the air, the result of a new explosion (probably the fumes in the enormous JP4 reservoirs on the tanker) that killed some thirty Turkish sailors on the salvage vessel.

I still own a navigation “divider” that I swiped from the bridge of the tanker (which hadn’t been touched by the flames), a memento of a great episode in DD753 history.

Bob Littell

From: Robert Littell
Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 1:20 PM

Dear Webmaster,

Can you post these three e-mails that I sent answering to people who posted comments on your web? Thank you.

Robert Littell
Former Lt. j.g. on the John R. Pierce from 1956 to almost 1960

Dear Richard Yash,

I was on the Pierce from 56 to almost 60. I was a Lt. j.g. and bridge watch officer (and communications officer) and spent most of my time on the bridge, so we must have surely known each other. To this day I remember the signalmen talking with the signalmen on various other ships by semaphore or using the light.

All the best!

Dear Richard Downey,

I was on board the Pierce at the time of the gun mount (53) explosion. I was check sighting (trying to make sure the guns were pointing at the sleeve and not the plane towing it) in mount 52 and heard the explosion over my earphones. With everyone else I raced aft to help pull wounded from the mount. Then a medic gave me some kind of cream to put on the eyelids of everyone. One of the wounded was Jack Pierce, the son of the submarine commander our ship was named for. He returned to the Pierce months later after hospital. I vividly remember hi-lining our wounded to a cruiser. We learned that one had died almost immediately. My memory is that four died in the accident - the two sailors on each gun who were loading it. The cause of the explosion was a double load - the first shell and powder load misfired but nobody noticed so they rammed a second shell and power bag into the first ones still in the gun. If you have footage I would be thrilled if you could somehow send it to me, perhaps as an attachment to an e-mail (if that is possible). I was a Lt. j.g. on the Pierce from 56 to almost 60. My name is Robert Littell. My mailing address is: "Besse" 46600 Martel, France.

All the best!

Dear David Cushion,

You're right - it was 1956. I was there - at the time I was a Lt.j.g - served on the John R. Pierce (along with Jack Pierce, the son of the submarine commander the ship was named after) from 56 to almost 60. We were in Wexford for the unveiling of the Barry statue. A few years ago I returned to Wexford - the statue is still there. I remember our photograph appeared in Life Magazine - all of us on a reviewing stand in our dress blues. We opened the ship to visitors one day (of the three days we were there) - hundreds of people, a lot of them with children, lined up to come aboard. When we sailed, there were no white sailor hats left on the ship - the sailors had given them all away to the children. When we were ten or so miles at sea, a tug boat came out of the harbor chasing us and hooting his horn. We hove to. He came alongside and the Irish on board handed up a camera that a sailor had forgotten on a table in a restaurant. It was an amazing three days!

Best wishes!

My name is Jennie. I am looking up info for my uncle on the ship he served on. His name Larry Tucker. He served on board the Pierce DD-753 from 1958-1960. Does any one remember him? He doesn't have access to a computer or have an email address, but I can relay any info any one might have or any messages to him. Hope to hear from anyone soon! My email is Thanks!

I served under old Mustang C.O. Williamson in 1958-59, and was sorry to see that he had passed. I would like to hear from anyone aboard about that time.


Dear Webmaster,

By doing a google search for my father, Kenneth G. Hylind, I came across the navsource website It was only after sharing some images that I scrolled to the bottom of the page and found a link to your site, which I did not know about.

Attached are some of the images that may be of interest to you. My father was the Commanding Officer (July 13, 1964 -March 28, 1966). If you publish them on your site we would be pleased to have you say that they were contributed by the Hylind family.

One in particular includes a drawing of the Pierce on the cover of the Christmas day menu 1964. It is signed "Sweeney." The menu is also included where there is a "Sweeney" listed. (The menu portion was not published on the navsource site) I do not see a "Sweeney" on your site, but it says "mess Deck Personnell BM1 MMAA" Christmas of 1964. My father saved his artwork among his most important papers. It shows the Pierce bathed in the light of the Christmas star. It was that kind of effort and heart that my father always admired and valued. He had great respect for those who gave thier best effort. He spoke so highly of the men who served on the Pierce, and of that spirit of excellence they embodied. According to him, they were effecient, dedicated and frequently went above and beyond their duties. I'm sure this was one such example. No doubt it reminded him of the men and spirit of the Pierce. As it says in the Welcome Aboard brochure: "They are a proud group that man destroyers"

Also not published on the navsource site was the prayer on the inside of the 1965 Christmas card. It speaks to the "heritage of work, brotherhood, and freedom of body and mind" which seems to capture the essence of the experience. As your site is more about the people, I thought you might be interested.

There also seems to be a mistake on the dates of the Commanding Officers so I have included change of command materials.

We have other photos are marked official and do not know the policy on them. If you do (know the policy that is - whether they are released for publication after so many years etc) , and you would like them please let me know.

The Hylind Family

Editor's Note: You may view the pictures mentioned above by visiting the main page and clicking on "Contributions by the Hylind Family" on the menu posted on the left.

Good Afternoon,

I would like to say thank you for contacting us.

My name is Cecil Thompson and I was aboard the Pierce from April 1962 until December 1964. Your father was my CO for around 5 months. I was transferred off the ship while on a Med Cruise. We were in Valencia Spain. I was a Radioman. I careered the Navy and was transferred to the fleet reserve in Jan 1977.

A little back ground – The USS John R Pierce Sailors Organization was formed in 1991 by former crew members. Most of the folks who formed the group were aboard in the late 40’s and early 50’s. We have held annual reunions ever since except for 2005 when we were scheduled to go to Biloxi but hurricane Katrina had other ideas.

I am the current president of the group, and messages sent to the web master are forwarded to me. (I am not the Webmaster).

The ship was sold for scrap some 35 years ago so the photos while marked “Official” can be shared but not sold. We would love to have them.

At the upcoming Norfolk reunion (65th anniversary) of the ships commissioning we are trying to put together a slide show of old photos of the ship, personnel, documents etc. Anything dealing with the Pierce would be appreciated, and rest assured we will make note the data was contributed by the Hylind Family. I will be happy to pay for any reproduction costs.

One of the things we are looking for is a 1964 cruise book or any cruise for that matter. If you have one I would be willing to have it copied.

We would love to have you attend the reunion in Norfolk. If interested I can send you the information.

Thank you so very much……

Cecil Thompson

Hi Mr. Thompson,

Thank you for your reply. It's nice to meet you. There is an official photo of my dad in his whites with what looks like a giant boom box piece of equipment draped in a dark cloth and attached to a microphone. I wonder if you were somehow involved in that technology. Did you get involved in all audio work on the ship as a radio man? (I'm sending that photo for that reason) [Editor's note: see the phot at the "Contributions by the Hylind Family" subpage link from the main menu, front page.]

I have not come across a cruise book. I'm not sure what it is. From the sound of it, it would seem to be a record of cruises. We do have two "family grams" my father wrote from September 10, 1964 and December 10, 1964 which may help reconstruct some of the history. The last was written from the Spanish port of Valencia where you transferred. I will scan them in if you don't already have them. Let me know. Did you receive the images I attached to the email that was forwarded to you?

I am relieved to know about the issue of sharing "official photos". I have scanned in the photo of the Pierce going through the Suez canal (Oct. 25 1964) at 600 dpi , because if the image is enlarged the crew can be seen. It' a really good official photo showing everyone in action. It looks like the file size was reduced when I uploaded it though. If you want higher resolution it would exceed the size that can be emailed but I can send it to you on other media. Let me know. (I think Kinkos can print onto large paper, and at the higher resolutions maybe the men at the reunion could make themselves out. - just a thought) There are also men in the background of another change of command photo. I've adjusted it so the faces that were in shadow are more recognizable.

As for the reunion, it sounds great. Is it a family event where children of all ages are invited? I have health troubles that may prevent me from going, but others from the family might want to attend with their children.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Over and out
The Hylind Family

I served aboard the JR in 1969 and 70. I was an electricians mate (EM3) and made cruises to Gitmo, Bahamas, others during my tour. If you served during that period I would enjoy hearing from you.

Ronald Fair

Dear Sir,

I have been looking through your site, and I do not see the name of my grandfather. According to my grandmother he was the Chaplain on the ship during WWII. I am not exactly sure of the dates, the think between 1943 - 1945. My grandfather died in 1998, but I know he would have liked to have been remembered for his service on that ship.

Sandy Smith ~ Westminster, MD


I served aboard the Pierce from 72 to her decommissioning. At the time she was in reserve out of Brooklyn NY. I was awarded a plank owners plaque upon her decommissioning. I would like to know if I can have my name appear on the list of crew members?

Earl J. Grillot Jr.

Thank you for your consideration.


I served aboard the USS John R. Pierce DD-753 from June 1, 1965 to August 8, 1966. I was a Shipfitter 2nd Class Petty Officer, assigned to Shipfitter / Damage Control Shop and was in charge of this group in 1966. I made the St. Lawrence Seaway cruise and a couple trips to Getmo for refresher training, as I was the firefighting and damage control instructor for the Reserve crews making two week trips with us. I live in Sheffield Lake, OH and have not seen the Ohio Plate DD-753 in Avon, OH, a city away.

Bill Davis


I saw a car in Avon Ohio today with Ohio Registration DD-753

I served on DD-786 Uss Richard B Anderson.

Are any ships crew from the Pierce living in the Ohio Area that are also on your roster?

Ed. Patrick
"ed patrick"
Plank Holder
USS Richard B Anderson

I served on the John R. Pierce DD753 from April 1953 to Jan 1956 as an RM3. After a lifetime of raising a family, following a career, and living all over the country; I ended up in Arizona (since 1979). As a recent widower with time on my hands, I decided to try and look up some old shipmates! Its only been 50 years! I have already had some correspondence with Wes Kreske, and viewed the names on the crew list. Wow! what a trip back in time!

Look forward to hearing from any of the John R's crew who I might have served with, especially anyone now living in Arizona! My E-mail add is

My God! Time flies when you are having fun!

Glad to be onboard again

Ron Vargo -

Subject: Ireland 1955?
Date: Sun, January 22, 2006 8:16 pm

Andrew Cuvo's entry dated December 2005 about Ireland in 1955 is correct. It was 1956. As the thank you note indicates in the News Letter it is the 50th anniversary of the Unveiling of the Commodore John Barry statue and would make 1956. I saved an invitation to A Celebration Dance dated Sunday, September 16th, 1956.

David J. Cushion

Subject: Ireland 1955?
From: "N. R. CORMIER"
Date: Mon, January 16, 2006 10:43 am

Having served on the John R. Pierce, as a radio operator, in the Korean Conflict, I would like to know if she is still in service and if not what have been her assignments since the 1950's.


Norman R. Cormier RM3

Subject: Ireland 1955?
Date: Mon, December 19, 2005 12:08 pm

Just read the newsletter and there is a reference to the Pierce being in Ireland in September of 1955. We were in the Philadelphia Navy Shipyard from September 1955 till early 1956. The Pierce was in Londonderry Ireland in 1954 during my time aboard. (1953-56)


In Memory of a former JR Pierce shipmate
From: "James W. Elting"
Date: Thu, December 15, 2005 10:31 am

I just want to say that your website is well done. The history of the Pierce is very interesting too. I am dropping a note to you because my older brother, Marshall Elting served on board the Pierce as Sonarman back in the early sixties. He eventually transferred over to the Minesweep group out of Charleston, SC.

One of his experiences while on the Pierce was when they were coming back from the Med, they encountered quite a storm while crossing. He and several others had the responsibility to go on deck and tie-down the depth-charges. During this task, Marshall was swept overboard but very fortunately was located and picked back up after a number of hours in the water.

Marshall is no longer with us but I can assure you that if he were alive today, he would be a very active member of your group.

James W. Elting

Nov.4,2005 Would like to hear from shipmates that served with me.
Gary Fraker <>
155 Butler Ford Rd.
Vanceboro, NC 28586 -
Sept 30,2005: I was on the pierce 1945-1946 I was a gunners mate striker 2/c. my work station was 5" battery mount #1 I have some pictures of some of the gang I would be happy to share with those who want them. I sent Wes quite a few if you want to check with him. thanks to a great crew before and after my departure
Harold Pickett <>
2414 Crescent Club Dr.
Hixson, Tn 37343 -
I was on the Pierce 1945-1946 I was a gunners mate striker 2/c my work station was 5" battery mount #1. I have pictures of some of the crew that I would be happy to send to those who might want them. This was a great ship I'm proud to have been a part of them
Harold E. Pickett <>
Hixson, Tn. 37343 -
15 Sept. 2005, Did my first reserve cruise aboard the John R.Pierce August 1965. I was 17 years old at that time. It was an honor for me to be aboard her!. Even if it was for just 2 weeks.
Jake Blume <>
2403 east 13 th. Street
Brooklyn, NY 11235 -
(9.7.05) Wes, the previous email address update is causing some confusion, so I have created yet another . Please update your records. Also, your mail is being returned with a "mailbox is full" message. Were you in the disaster area?
Larry Coplin <>
9-6-05 I served aboard JRP during July of 1965 for my two week cruise. I would love to hear from anynbody who was aboard during that St. Lawrence and Montreal and Ogdensburg period. Welcome Home Shipmates
Dennis Kemper <>
311 1/2 Hancock St
Hancock, MI 49930 -
(8.28.2005) I was aboard from June 1962 to July 1964 (left just before sea trials when leaving shipyard). Served during the Cuban Missle Crisis and brought the troops in from the Panama Canal. Was aboard when we nearly collided with the Enterprise and the AWAC went down. Rate was ETR3 and remember working with Wickline, Allen and another guy that was always getting thrown in the brig (can't remember his name now). I made a submission a couple months ago, but the email address has changed - sorry about that.
Larry Coplin <>
8-24-05 . My e-mail address has changed from to .
Thomas E LeVar <>
2540 Country Hills Rd Apt 111
Brea, Calif 92821 -
July 16 2005 I served on the Pierce from August 1962 TO August 1964. I participated in the Cuban missle crisis. I was a BT3 assigned to the forward fire room.I was promoted to BT2 before leaving the Navy Reserve in 1966.
Kenneth W. Hornschemeier <>
402 Caroline St.
New Richmond, Ohio 45157 -
Great tour of duty at NYC when the ship served as a learning vessel for reservists! July 10, 2005
Edwin L Dyer <>
Post Office Box 23
Big Bend, ca 96011 -
June 29, 2005 Wes - How do I pay dues and get Listed on this site? Jim Knight, Ltjg USNR (ret) 615-377-3376
James L Knight <>
6210 Hillsboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37215 -
I served on board from 1957 to 1959.I came abourd while the Pierce was in the yard in Philadelphia
Carl M Spencer <>
21 Skipwith Green Circle
Richmond, Va 23294 -
Served from re-commisioning in 1949 to Oct 1951, including a 'Med' cruise.
James (Jim) O'Briant <>
917 Linda Vista Way
Los Altos, CA 94024 -
June 24 2005 . New ph # 714-585-9227.
Thomas E LeVar <>
2540 Country Hills Rd apt 111
Brea, Ca 92821June -
Served on the Pierce as an ET from June 1962 to July 1964.
Larry Coplin <>
served b divison july 1962 till sept 1964
robert duvall <>
columbus , oh 43204 -
Served on the Pierce from June 1972 to June 1973
ed thompson <>
1606 brighton lane
plainfield, il 60544 -
Mr. Pierce, Im curious about an incident that happened in Cuba in 1954 and hope you can help. My grandfather was US Naval Reserve and was in Cuba when a major ship accident/fire occured. Can you tell me where I can get some more info. on this that I might read more about it? He died 2 years ago from Alzhiemers but while half unconcious one night was talking about it in great detail and scared our family because we had never heard about this. Im hopin you can help me. Sincerely Jason Sparks
Jason Sparks <>
KY -
My Dad was a gunner's mate on the Pierce at 55-56. His name is Richard J. Daley, Sr. "Dick Daley". Spent alot of time on KP, I understand. He has fond memories and crazy stories of his time there.
corinne mattero <>
Worcester, MA 01605 -
I was on board during the Cuban Missile Crisis/ Cuban Blockade and doing research I came upon this website. I am curious if there is anyone else out there who was on the Pierce at that time. Thanks
John F. Johnson <>
96 Ayer Rd.
Harvard, MA 01451 -
I was STG2 and served summer of 1970, Norfolk and Brooklyn.
Neil Young <>
10932 Mays Chapel Rd
Lutherville, MD 21093 -
I had gotten off the Frank E Evans about 6 months before it's accident. Severed on it from 1966-1968
Al Ahern (Ace) <>
P.O. Box 721928
Norman, ok 73070 -
First of all, I am former navy (USS Fletcher, DD-992). I got out in '91 after serving 6 years. Anyway, I am in the possesion of a hardback cover of the Bluejackets Manual that belonged to a G.W. Coats. S/N: 324-76-83. Rates: HSSR/SA/SOSN. He was stationed at USNRTC Great Lakes (Camp Dewey), USNTE RM SSC Bainbridge, MD, and the USS John R. Pierce (DD-753). He was from 4 1/2 N. Madison Mason City, Iowa. He enlisted on 06-05-55 @ 1530 (he wrote all of this stuff down inside the book). If this guy is still alive and if anyone knows his contact info, I'd like to send this book to him. I can be reached by E-Mail or telephone. Hm: 619-470-1220, Cell: 619-750-9097. My ship's website is I can be found posting there quite frequently. Any help would be much appreciated. Please E-Mail me. Thanks shipmates. -Rick Schroder, (Fmr) PO2, USN
Rick Schroder <>
6942 Parkside Ave.
San Diego, CA 92139 -
I was a plank owner in 1944
Richard Heckenstaller <>
Don't know whether I really qualify to use the guest log. I was a Naval Reservist who did three two week training cruises about the JRP. Learned about seasickness on an April 1965 cruise to Fort Lauderdale. We bent a prop either entering or leaving the port and had a rough ride back to NYC. We refueled at sea off Cape Hatteras which was quite an experience for a school kid.. In July of '65 the JRP was part of ResDesron 30 on a cruise up the St Lawrence. We had reached the mouth of the St. Lawrence when all six ships were turned back to search for an RCAF plane which had crashed in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence. We picked up some debris pointed out by a patrol plane, but I think it was only floats from fishing boats and that sort of thing. Don't know whether the crew of the plane was ever found or saved. We went on down (or up?)the seaway after liberty in Montreal, having some experiences like knocking down all the starbord side main deck stancheons aft of the break while backing down from the pier at Montreal and scraping the screw guard along the wall of one of the locks in the seaway. Oddly enough we also ran aground briefly approaching the pier at Ogdensburg NY with a pilot on board! We ended up anchoring in the river that night.We went through the Welland Canal into Lake Erie and left the ship at Detroit. I also did my last two week training cruise as a QM2 aboard the ship at Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1968. We didn't leave port. I think the ships company had not been jaded by reservists when I was aboard. We were treated well by all and received good training while aboard. I remember the Ship and her crew with pleasure. "Sweet Pea" Myers was QM2 and Peter Kerley and D R Price were QM3s aboard when the JRP made the cruise down the St. Lawrence. I later ended up getting an Army ROTC scholarship so I never went on active duty in the USNR. I also changed my surname about the same time I was discharged from the USNR (not running from the law! - it had been my father's adopted surname.)
Tom Dunbar <>
Columbia, SC 29033 -
Served on the John R. from 58-59 as a BT. Anyone heard from Dave Olson on the ship at the same time.
Daniel J. Stephens <>
Grand Rapids, MI -
Please update my info in the crew listing
Scott Dutton <>
245 B Craddock
San Marcos, TX 78666 -
glad to find the site
sam layne <>
harlingen, tx 78552 -
Most of us guys were reserves, sure would like to see some of you guys. I moved to ohio and retired for the navy reserve and retired from the licking county sheriff office as a (SGT) Deputy Sheriff. Any Reunions coming?
george h croom jr <>
817 crescent drive
heath, oh 43056 -
BMSA 2nd Div & QMSN, 1962-1964 Please add me to the roster, I only recognized John Bernnard on the list and perhaps 3 other names looked familer. Went from the "Fierce" Pierce to U of AZ on the GI bill and Football Scholarship (some how graduated) then USN AOCS/Flight School (some how became Unrestricted Naval Aviator) Mostly flew helicopters - 9 campagne ribbons RVN - medically seperated in 1978 as an LT. I WANT TO THANK THE OFFICERS I SERVED WITH ON THE PIERCE - I LEARNED MORE FROM THEM ABOUT BEING A GOOD NAVAL OFFICER THAN ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE NAVY!
Wm. Hughes Crumpler <>
566 Sleepy Hollow Lane
Newport, WA 99156 -
My cousin Harry "bud"Delahunt served on the Pierce in 56 -57.
Richard Futch <>
24 s. Ellington st.
Depew, NY 14043 -
Served Mar 61 to Feb 65. ETR2 Many good times in the Med and carribean. Bugged Castro a bunch.
Gerald Wickline <>
708 Sundance Trl
Wimauma, FL 33598 -
HIXSON , TN 37343 -
My dad was on the ship uss salem in 1949 and would like to get a listing of names on the ship at that time.If anyone can help me it would be greatly appreciated.
steve ward <>
boone N.C., NC 28607 -
I was told by family that this was the ship my grandfather served aboard. His name was Frank Henry Griffith from Philadelphia, and he would have been on aboard 1944-1945? If anyone remembers him, it would be nice to hear from you.
Robert Hickey <>
My name is Arthur Scarpa, I was a MM 3rd Class who rode the ship from the time it went into comission to about 9 months after WWII ended. We did duty in both Atlantic and Pacific theaters.

I would like to hear from any shipmate that rode the ship at this time, from December 29th of 1944 until about June of 1946. Some of the crew may remember me as I was the ships welder in black gang and at times I had to help the deck apes with critical welding on the top side.

Please drop me an email and I will answer you. I am now 85 years old, retired after from the US naval ship yards where I worked myself up to the highest potition as a super attendant of the structure group.

Arthur Scarpa

Some sea stories from Arthur...

When the ship crossed to the Pacific coast went to SRF San Diego for minor repairs. On the last day in port we had liberty at noon, I told Emmons to come with me to Long Beach and we would a good time visiting some of my friends.Now Emmons was not a liberty hound as he was a good family man. WE hitch hiked up with out any problems and stayed until about one AM, then started to hitch hike back.The first guy that picked us up and dropped us off at intersection where there was no traffic light. At that time the Pacific Coast Highway was just a two lanes and dark as hell, we had our dress biues on and because of gas rationing there was very little traffic. After a very long time we got in the middle of the road and a young swabbie in beat up old Chev.picked us up. We had to do something drastic as the ship was sailing to Pearl Harbor at six AM. and at time if you missed the sailing it was a General court martial.The kid wanted Four dollars to take us San Diego and we agreed to pay him when we got there.

We didn't have a dime between us . When he got to his station he told us we would have to fine another ride to the ship .Emmons grapped him by the neck and told him if he going to live he had better take us to our ship.We got to it just in time as it was just about to leave. You got to remenber Gus was six foot 180 Lbs With a very long red beard . After that Gus never made another liberty at Pearl or Japan or China never. The only time he left the ship was when he had to get on the bus at SAN Francisco to start his discharge routine,so he could go home as the war was over then.

Thanks for the Info. about the other Arthur Scarpa In MASS. I sent him a E mail asking a little Info.about himself. I asked for his middle name. I do not have a middle name. What is the Switchboard.?

Art Scarpa

P.S. I know that the Mafia on the East coast have some Scarpa's in it.

Was in G Div. 1963-67
Jean B.Rainville Jr. "Stormy" <>
Grand Rapids, Mich. -
Hope to hear from someone. G Div. 1963-67
Jean B.Rainville Jr. <>
CDR. Douglas H. Borden,jr. Succeeded Cdr. Kehoe as CO of JRP serving until just before her decommisioning in Newport, RI. in 1973. The XO of JRP took over for about a month while we were in Newport preparing for decommisioning. I was the supply officer from 1971-73 with the disbursing symbol L7255. So, there must have been A-through M before me!
Arthur C. Lee <>
22 Valley View Road
Weston, MA 02493 -
Note change of e-mail address;
Eugene DesRoches <>
72 Redwood Lane
Largo, FL 33770 -
I was on the John R Pierce 1952/1953 would like to hear from anyone. would also like to hear from anyone that remembers the lamp that I won on the anchor pool which was made from a 40mm & 50cal. casing's,it had pictures of the ship, on which the lamp was made, on it's shade.Can anyone remember, the chief machinist mate that made it, the ship it was made on, or the naval battle during which the shells were fired. There must be someone out there who's memory is better then
Hoffman Leo J <>
265 west Chubbuck. rd.
Chubbuck, ID 83202 -
RED BANK, NJ 07701 -
I was a crewmember on the USS Salem CA139 and was there the day MT. 53 exploded on the Pierce. I was in the after sky look out and we were in a column formation with Salem in the lead and Pierce at the end of the column. As we were all firing at a Drone there was a flash and smoke from the Pierce. The word was passed over the 1 MC what had happened to sent the highline stations and prepare to take on the injured. We watched in shock as the Pierce came along side with her mount 53 split open. In the 10 or 15 minutes it took for that to happen the damage control people had everything under control and had most of the people out of the mount. They were really heros in our eyes. I have video footage of the Pierce along side the Salem highlinning the injured to us. If you would like a copy for your archives I would gladly send it to you. After we took on the injured we made a speed run into France where planes were waiting to fly them to Germany to a military hospital burn center. Only one died on the Salem 8 minutes after he was aboard. The article on your web page said only 1 died. I can't imagine anyone surving that blast in the Mount I had heard 13 died but only one on the Salem. We were pretty proud of our Doctor's and corpman. Dick Downey USS Salem CA139 1954 to 1957
Richard F. Downey <>
9 Hunter Terrace
South Hadley, MA 01075 -
service on the midway from 59 to 61 in s3 div. planning to get a reunion together next year around march or april
ray bettis <>
1306 arthur ave.
des moines, ia 50316 -
I was on a 2 week reserve cruise from NY to the Carribean in January 1970. I recall my GQ assignment was the Handling Room of Gun 53. We had a powder can rip open in the hoist, and we also had a hang fire in the forward 5 inch gun. Fortunatly, all turned out well. My first close call was off the coast of Cape Hatteras. A storm came up as I was standing the Fantail Watch at Midnight. As the ocean got rough, I was knocked off my feet by a wave, and wash to the stern rail. I was glad when the 2 weeks were over. I spent 2 years active duty 1970-1972 at Navsta Boston. Now that was more like it.
Jim Kerr <jrkerr@optonline>
My father was a gunners mate 3rd class 1944-1945. His name was Joseph D. Bainbridge.
Tom Bainbridge <>
98 Oakbrook Drive
Birdsboro, Pa 19508 -
looking up old ship mates form 1962 until 1964
benrusso <>
coram, ny 11727 -
looking up old ship mates
benrusso <>
coram, ny 11727 -
As you can see, my address has changed...not all the way moved as of yet but it is close. I do not have a new phone number as of yet. Please update what I have provided. Sorry that I haven't been more attentive but things have been very hectic. Take care shipmate.
Jesse Prescott <>
865 Centerwood Road
Williston, SC 29853 -
I was MM3, nickname Plum, from Cherryvale Kansas, dates March 1970 thru Sept. 1973. Very interested in contacting as of 1973 MM1 James Tapes, a shipmate, race Negro. Anyone knowing his currrent address/phone, please contact me. Would like a reunion. Thank you.
Larry J. Plumley <>
190 S.E. Highway AA
Clinton , Mo. 64735 -
was om the midway from 59 to1961 going to the grand opening of it on the 7 of june
ray bettis <>
des moines, ia 50316 -
I served on this ship as a naval reserves at the brooklyn naval ship yard in 60,s
george.h.croom.jr. <>
817 crescent drive
heath, oh 43056 -
My father Benjamin Margot was aboard the Pierce in the early 60's in Virginia, I believe. He has since passed away in 1977. If anyone remembers him and can relate a story from that time, please feel free to email me, his only son.
Ben Margot <>
Was on board from 1956 to 1959 as Signalman third class.Would like to here from fellow shipmates.
Richard Yash <>
120 Ashley La.
Lehighton, Pa 18235 -
i served aboard the John R 1951 to 1952. during the world cruise and korean war as a RM3 It was Great ship and i will always remember the good times . the water fight we had and the initation from pollywog to shellback is one of them.also the good liberty in Japan after we went into dry dock for repairs.. I would like to hear from the shipmates that was serving aboard at that time....
edward (jack) lezotte <>
19901 huron river dr
rockwood, mi 48173 -
My father, Dave Turgeon, died on 3/18/2004. He was a signalman on the John R. Pierce during WWII. He helped "shake down" the vessel shortly after it was launched.
Mark Turgeon <>
15910 Garrett Path
Apple Valley, MN 55124 -
Although most of my experience was on land, I did experience life aboard a ship. I'm proud to say it was aboard the Fierce Pierce, a history rich in pride.
Gregory D. Pawelski <>
Wernersville, PA -
Served onboard (1970)as an YN3, attached to Sick Bay when ship was a Reserve Destroyer stationed at the old Brooklyn Naval Shipyard. The John R. Pierce was in involved in an incident with three other naval vessels off Fire Island Inlet during that summer against Long Island Fishing Boats. A battle for tuna turned into the Battle of the Atlantic.
Gregory D. Pawelski <>
Jay D. Lose <>
Served on the ship from 60-62.Was an MM2.Need help signing in.
Jim Schmider <>
401 Bessler Lake Dr.
Groveland, IL 61535 -
I want to become involved
Ronald A Merriman <>
Pittsburgh, PA. -
I was a QM1 crew member from Oct.54 to Sept.57 and tried to sign in on your site but was blocked. Can you tell me how I can sign in ?
Sam Dolan Jones Jr. <>
3021 Cool Spring Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 -
Served on the John R. for about a year. Was in the fire control and the deck gang.
Albert Ruff <>
Jackson , Michigan -
Looing for TM2 John Harper from GA, who served onboard in 1957-58-59 He reported onboard from the USS Strong DD758
TMC Cletus E Fields USN(RET) <>
230 North Drive
Mt. Carmel, IL 62863 -
Princeton, WV -
I was a DC3 aboard the USS Miday from 1961 to 1965
Ronald G Arnold <Ronald G Arnold @ Charter. Net>
RR3 Box 333
Washington, In 47501 -
I was a DC3 aboard the USS Miday from 1961 to 1965
Ronald G Arnold <Ronald G Arnold @ Charter. Net>
RR3 Box 333
Washington, In 47501 -
My father served aboard the Pierce from 1957 thu 1959. His name is Marshall Jackson. He was an ET. Found this website looking for info for him ref: reunions.
Bruce Jackson <>
Wake Forest, NC 27587 -
a gang en2 55to 56
don wenner <>
321 cleveland st .
green bay, wis 54303 -
Trying to find my father's name in roster. He passed away last year. God bless the military
SFC Walter C Scott Jr (ret) <>
45 rex Rd
Lisbon, ct 06351 - Thursday, November 13, 2003 at 08:46:46 (PST)
This was my second ship (the first one was the Samuel B Roberts DD 823). I'll never forget the Brooklyn yards. The movie Shaft was filmed during my tour. We sat on board and watched them film the car chase through the yards. Those were memorable times.
Dennis R. Bates <>
Vassar, Michigan - Tuesday, November 11, 2003 at 17:23:12 (PST)
Dennis R. Bates <>
303 N. Brady St,
Vassar, MI 48768 - Tuesday, November 11, 2003 at 17:07:41 (PST)
Served aboard the U.S.S. John R. Pierce DD753 in 1971 and 1972.
Dennis R. Bates <>
Vassar, Mi. 48768 - Tuesday, November 11, 2003 at 17:05:41 (PST)
my father in law served on the pierce during the cuban missle crisis. I was looking up information on the ship, his name is Donald Tessier
anthony edenfield
st.bernard, la 70085 - Saturday, November 01, 2003 at 10:18:30 (PST)