USS Whitehurst Logo by: Pat Stephens, Webmaster, DESA

Dick Fernandez, CS1, USN. (Ret)

Dick Fernandez

 Barbara Fernandez

Dick Fernandez Boot Camp 1948

Dick Fernandez Ship's Cook

I entered the Navy in June, 1948 at the age of 17.  At that time it was called a Kiddy Car Cruise.  You signed up for 4 years, served 3 years, and got credit for 4.   

I did boot camp at Great Lakes, Ill.  After graduation I was sent to S. Weymouth, MA Lighter Than Airbase (LTA).  The locals called this base the Country Club.  I was transferred from there in March, 1950 to NAS Quonset Point, RI for reassignment.  In September, 1950 I was transferred to the USS Scout AM296, which was in Lake Charles, TX and helped put it into commission.  The Scout was home-ported in Charleston, SC.  I reenlisted while aboard her in May, 1951 and was transferred in November, 1953 to USN #103 Argentia, Newfoundland.  I served there until August, 1955 and was then transferred to shore duty at NAS Quonset Point, RI again.  I reenlisted here in 1957.  I also met and married my first wife, Joan.  I transferred in August, 1957 to UNS #824 Kwajalein Marshall Islands in the South Pacific.   

In September, 1959 I was transferred to the USS Whitehurst DE634.  She was a reserve training ship while I was aboard her at Pier 91 in Seattle, WA.  We had a drill with the reserves one weekend per month and a two week cruise in July of each year.  We had a Lt. for a skipper when the nuclear crew was aboard.  There were about 40 to 45 in the nuclear crew.  We could wear civilian clothes to work and changed into our work uniforms once on board.  Of course, this was not allowed when the reserves were aboard.  I was transferred in October, 1961 to USNTC Great Lakes, IL.  I went from the Whitehurst cooking for 40 to 45 to Great Lakes cooking for 12,000.  I reenlisted in October, 1962 and served there until November 1962.   

I was then transferred to the USS Willis A. Lee DL4 until June, 1966.  I transferred from there to the USS Yosemite AD19 until being piped ashore in January, 1968 at Newport, RI.  I was transferred to Fleet Reserve and was finally discharged in March, 1968.   

There’s more…………

I went to work right away as a sales rep for a corrugated box company.  I retired from there after 26 years and moved to Florida in 1994.  My wife became ill and passed away in 1999.  I met and married my present wife, Barb, in 2001.  We just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary at the Willis A. Lee DL4 reunion in Baton Rouge, LA.   

At the present time I cook a hot meal for 40 to 50 unfortunate people at our church every Monday and work part time at a golf course three days a week.  We enjoy traveling and always manage to keep active.

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