Logo by: Pat Stephens, Webmaster, DESA


Dave Harlan's Memories of the Whitehurst Recommissioning Crew


One of the luckiest or most fortunate things that happened to the Whitehurst was the crew. Their were four groups.

1.I don't know how many, but I believe they emptied the brig in Jacksonville, of the non aviation folks.  Most of these men were skilled, and probably shouldn't have been there in the first place. Like RM3 George  Webster. 

2.A lot of the crew were either on, or about to go on, shore duty and just got caught, like ETC Alva Lloyd.

3.The third group, quite large if I remember correctly, were inactive reservists who got called back on short notice, some with only three days, such as QMQ1 Al Crawford, QMQ2 Roy Hasty, BMG2 J. F. McDermott,  QMQ3 Denardis, and RD1 E. J.  Mueller

4.The fourth Group were just out of the Great Lakes boot camp.

We had a strange collection of officers when the ship was activated.  Captain Evans was put in a very precarious position, and consequently, was very cautious.

LTJG Hart was the first Chief Engineer.  In the two and a half months he was aboard, I doubt  he got more than two hours sleep a day.  He had been the Chief Engineer on a major oil company's tanker.  He was a basket case by the time we reached San Diego.

WE were fortunate to get John Soltes as a replacement.  John was a mustang who made Commander during WWII, but was reduced to Ensign when the war was over in 1945.  To my way of thinking, he was the best officer aboard.

LTJG Cramm was the original Communications Officer, but he only lasted a month since he got deathly seasick when the lines were singled up.  He got transferred to the London Embassy. I replaced Cramm as Communications Officer, not because I knew anything about communications, but because I was the only officer, available for the job, who didn't get seasick.

Lt. McClintock, Bill, was rough talker etc, but his performance and knowledge were invaluable to that ship.  He went to bat for the crew many times... they never realized that.  He was one of the best officers aboard.  He was probably the biggest and only help I got when I took over communications.  He had been a Captain on an AMS when he came aboard.

I could go on and on, but I won't.

WWII Era | Korea War & '50s | Viet Nam & 60s |  Reunions | All Links Page  Search & Rescue

Memorial | Poetry  | Enemy Below | Taps List | Photos/Armament | History | Crews Index | Home