USS Whitehurst Logo by: Pat Stephens, Webmaster, DESA

Memories of Viet Nam

Gene R. Davis SN/CSN



The Da Nang I remember was a dirt road with small buildings on either side. The "base", if I remember correctly, was small with only 3 to 5 South Viet Nam ships.  Our duties were to teach the South Viet Nam crews patrol work.  THAT was a joke.  We went out with one behind us.  After passing an island, the Viet Namese ship just disappeared.  We went back to search and found it hiding, using the island as a shield.  THEY DIDN'T WANT TO GO OUT THAT DAY AND DIDN'T!  It was fun and games with lots of memories.

I remember the "Jellyfish Hits" off the beach near Da Nang.  I was one of the few who didn't get stung.  On board later, many crewmen were in front of the wash basins, skivvies down, "privates" hanging over the basins, groaning as they applied baking soda to their wounds.  Yup! Lots of Memories.

Don't know why the Captain put out guards at the two or three beach parties we had, as we were NOT allowed to fire, even if fired upon.  I always volunteered for the gun party and was always turned down. Asked the Captain once.  He said, "I was the only one in the crew who'd be crazy enough to shoot".

Once we ran low on food supplies.  All we had was Strawberry Ice Cream Bars.  Boson's mate Cox, I, and another were SCUBA divers.  The Captain asked if we could get some reef fish.  "Sure!"  He began cruising the edges of the reef.  Finally saw a large turtle.  All three of us were about to jump in when Cox yelled, "stop"!  A GIANT JELLY FISH, the Portuguese Man o' War.

We rendezvoused with the supply ship the next day.  High Lining chow over, box after box of Strawberry Ice Cream Bars, followed eventually by real food.  Yup. Lots of memories.  Of me mostly, always in trouble.  

The Whitehurst never fired a shot in the time we were there except for practice.  We couldn't hit a barn if we were along side of it.  Plane drags (towed "drones") were another matter.  We won medals on that.  Ditto on subs.  Big E.  During ship to "ship" practice, (55 gallon drum target) we shot holes in the sea.  Couldn't even make the drum rock. Finally the Captain called for rifles.  Zilch!  The officers used hand guns, REAL CLOSE.  Ditto on the zilch.  Captain got peeved, ordered us to ram.  Wounded it.  The only hit we made.  On planes and subs, great, but God help us if we hadda run into a bung boat with a bb gun on board.

During the Viet Nam time, the Whitehurst crew was almost all reservists.  52 or 54 regulars total.  All in all a good crew.

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