USS Whitehurst Logo by: Pat Stephens, Webmaster, DESA

      Whitehurst Sailors Steal a US Army Tank?
By Danny Sprague RD2

Danny Sprague, Oct 6, 2012

This incident happened in June or July of 1951. Location: Pusan Korea. The ship, USS Whitehurst DE 634, was moored at pier four. There was a USO show at the air base outside the city of Pusan. Four of us on the ship decided to go to the USO show. The show lasted until 9:45 pm and there was a curfew for all military personnel to be back at their bases by 10:00pm.

We started back to the ship but were about two to three miles from the ship. There was no way we were going to make it back aboard by 10:00pm. We were waking down a street( donít member which one) and came across a tank with its motor running and no one around it. The tank crew was in a Korean wine shop buying boss*. One sailor (canít member his name)** said that he was in a tank division during WW2 and knew how to drive the tank. We agreed to take the tank back to the ship and we made it back before curfew. When we got to the ship, the PO of the watch was a friend of ours.  He testified to the Colonel the next day that he saw the tank drive up but, due to the requirements that he make his rounds to the different guard posts, that he never saw anyone get out.

**I am not sure of the name of the driver of the tank, but I think his first or last name was Raider or Ryder. Dan
note: Aubrey Ryder was a vet who was recalled for service in Korea.  He died young from a vicious cancer in the mid 50s.
Ryder's wife, Evelyn could not recall him ever talking about this event.  mc


*Boss, a  generic term popular at the time, which referred to various goods which sailors might buy for their personal use such as candies, alcohol, etc.  mc


If any readers have input regarding this story, pleas e-mail me

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