Vesole DD-878 - History

Vesole DD-878 - History

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Vesole DD-878

Vesole(DD-878: dp. 2,425; 1. 390'6" b. 40'10", dr. 18'6"s. 34.5 k.; cpl. 345; a. 6 5', 16 40mm., 5 21" tt.,1 dcp. (hh.), 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Gearing)Vesole (DD-878) was laid down on 3 July 1944 at Orange, Tex., by the Consolidated Steel Corp., launched on 29 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Kay K. Vesole and commissioned on 23 April 1945, Comdr. H. E. Townsend in command.Following a short visit to Galveston, Tex., Vesole got underway on 11 May for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She completed shakedown training on 10 June and left the West Indies, bound for Norfolk Va. The ship arrived at Norfolk on the 12th and began conversion to a radar picket destroyer. The alterations were completed on 29 July, and the ship stood out of Chesapeake Bay for additional training along the east coast and in the West Indies.She concluded training on 13 August and set a course for the Panama Canal. While en route, she received word of the Japanese capitulation but continued on toward the Pacific Ocean. She transited the canal on 16 August, reported for duty with the Pacific Fleet, and continued on to San Diego, where she arrived on 24 August. On the 28th, the destroyer put to sea once again and steamed to Pearl Harbor where she joined aircraft carrier Boxer (CV-21) for the voyage to Japan.During her more than a year in the Far East, Vesole conducted numerous training evolutions, usually in company with a carrier task group-most frequently with Boxer, Lexington (CV-16), or Intrepid (CV-11). She ranged the China coast, making visits frequently at Tsingtao and Shanghai, and a]so calling at the Japanese ports of Tokyo, Kure, and Yokosuka. On two occasions during the winter of 1945 and 1946, the warship made round-trip voyages from Japan to the Marianas and back. Later in 1946, she added Okinawa and Hong Kong to her itinerary while continuing to stop at Japanese, Chinese, and Philippine ports of call. In November of 1946, she departed Tsingtao for the last time and headed home. After a stop at Guam on the 29th and a similarly brief visit to Pearl Harbor, she arrived in San Diego on 16 December.On 6 January 1947, the destroyer stood out of San Diego in company with the other units of Destroyer Division (DesDiv) 141 and headed, via the Panama Canal, back to the east coast. She made a six-day layover at Norfolk from 23 to 29 January and arrived at the New York Naval Shipyard where she began a three-month overhaul. She completed repairs on 30 April and put to sea for sea trials. In June, she conducted refresher training. Various exercises out of Newport, R.I., occupied her time until 2 September at which time she put to sea, bound for European waters.She arrived in Plymouth, England, on 11 Septemberand spent the next five months visiting such ports as Antwerp, Belgium, and Lisbon, Portugal, as well as a number of British ports. She departed Plymouth on 4 February 1948 and headed back to the United States. On St. Valentine's Day 1948, Vesole arrived back in Newport.A short, four-month period of normal operations along the east coast ensued. On 5 June, the ship once again embarked upon a voyage to western Europe, this time with Naval Academy midshipmen embarked and in company with a carrier task force built around Coral Sea ( CV-43) . Conducting all manner of training evolutions along the way, Vesole steamed to Lisbon, Portugal, and thence into the Mediterranean. The task group operated in the Mediterranean until 12 July at which time it headed for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Following another month of training in the West Indies, Vesole disembarked the midshipmen at Annapolis on 24 August and then entered the Boston Naval Shipyard for a two-month overhaul. In November, the warship began post-overhaul refresher training first in Narragansett Bay and later in the West Indies.Following five months of normal 2d Fleet operations, Vesole departed Newport on 18 April 1949 for another deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. That assignment, which consisted primarily of training duty, lasted until 17 September, when the warship pointed her bow homeward. She reentered Newport on the 25th and resumed operations along the east coast. That employment, which included both cold weather and Caribbean duty, lasted until 3 May 1950 when she got underway from Norfolk with TG 88.1 to return to the Mediterranean.Over the next five months, the destroyer visited a host of ports along the Mediterranean littoral and conducted a number of exercises in cooperation with the fast carriers as well as amphibious training and independent ship's drills. She concluded that tour of duty in the "middle sea" late in September and returned to the United States at Norfolk on 4 October.The ship began a yard overhaul almost immediately, and it lasted until 15 February 1951 at which time she began a six-week period of refresher training in the West Indies. The warship returned to Norfolk on 3 April and began preparations for another cruise to the Mediterranean. On 15 May, Vesole departed Norfolk to join the 6th Fleet. Once again, she conducted a variety of training exercises-including a multinational one, Operation "Beehive," with units of the British, French, and Italian navies-punctuated by frequent calls at ports throughout the Mediterranean. The destroyer took leave of the Mediterranean at Gibraltar on 23 September and returned to Norfolk on 6 October.Vesole resumed normal 2d Fleet operations once more. These included a major Atlantic Fleet exercise, amphibious exercises, and a convoy exercise. After a short visit to the New York Naval Shipyard for the installation of new electronic gear, she steamed back to Norfolk to prepare for another deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. She departed Norfolk on 21 April 1952 and, for the next six months, executed the normal 6th Fleet schedule of exercises and port visits. The warship left Lisbon, Portugal, on 11 October and arrived back in Norfolk on the 20th.For the next five months, Vesole underwent extensive alterations at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. She traded her 40-millimeter antiaircraft battery for six 3-inch 50-caliber rapid fire guns in dual mounts. Her aftermast was removed, and a taller mast was installed forward. In addition, she received much highly sophisticated radar, electronic, and communications equipment. She completed the alterations at the end of March 1953 and, late in April, put to sea for refresher training in the Guantanamo Bay operating area. At the conclusion of refresher training, the destroyer returned to Norfolk, arriving there on 14 June. She resumed operations out of Norfolk until sailing once again for the Mediterranean on 16 September 1953.Over the next decade, Vesole continued to alternate deployments to the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean with periods of normal operations along the east coast and in the West Indies. During her 1958 tour of duty, Vesole earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal as a unit of the contingency force established in the eastern Mediterranean during the internal crisis in Lebanon.In 1962, she earned that same award as a result of the quarantine placed on Cuba due to the siting of Russian missiles on that island. The destroyer participated actively in that operation, patrolling the area between Key West, Fla.. and Havana, Cuba. She inspected two of the Russian merchant ships charged with removing the missiles from Cuba and visually accounted for 12 of the 42 missiles. Other than for her participation in those two crises, the decade between 1953 and 1963 passed routinely with training duty along the east coast, Mediterranean deployments, overhauls, and the like.January of 1964 found her in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard undergoing a fleet rehabilitation and modernization (FRAM) overhaul to improve her antisubmarine warfare capabilities. The alterations included significant superstructure modifications and internal changes. Living compartments and messes were improved, but more importantly, she received a drone antisubmarine helicopter (DASH) hangar-for later augmentation with the helicopter itself-as well as new radar, electronic warfare equipment, and an antisubmarine rocket (ASROC) launcher.The warship completed her FRAM mod)fications late in September of 1964 and, on 7 October, departed Philadelphia for her new home port, Newport, R.I., her base for operations with the Atlantic Fleet as a unit of the Hunter/Killer Antisubmarine Warfare Group. That duty continued until late in 1965 when she embarked upon her only deployment to the Vietnam war zone. She spent late 1966 and early 1966 engaged in "Market Time" operations off the Vietnamese coast —the interdiction of enemy coastwise logistics operations-and in gunfire duties supporting the troops fighting ashore. She also served intermittently in the antisubmarine screen of the carriers operating off Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin.After upkeep at Subic Bay, she got underway with DesRon 24 to return to Newport. Steaming via the Indian Ocean, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean, Vesole arrived back in Newport on 8 April 1966.During the next six years, the warship made four deployments overseas: three with the Middle East Force in the Indian Ocean and one with NATO's Standing Naval Force in the eastern Atlantic and in European waters. After seven months of normal east coast duty, Vesole departed Newport and headed via the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal to her first tour of duty with the Middle East Force stationed in the Indian Ocean. On 29 December, she transited the Suez Canal and relieved Johnston (DD-821) at Port Sudan. That assignment consisted entirely of training evolutions and goodwill visits to East African and Persian Gulf ports. She concluded that tour of duty on 28 February 1967 when she retransited the Suez Canal and reentered the Mediterranean. She crossed the "middle sea" and the Atlantic Ocean and arrived back in Newport on 21 March.Normal operations, as far south as Jacksonville Fla., occupied her time for the remainder of the year. During the first two months of 1968, she conducted exercises in the West Indies before returning north for a yard overhaul. The warship entered the Boston Naval Shipyard on 12 April 1968 and remained there until 19 August. Following refresher training in the West Indies in September and October, Vesole returned to Newport on 7 November to prepare for her next deployment.On 6 January 1969, the destroyer stood out of Newport bound for the Netherlands and duty with NATO'sStanding Naval Force in the Atlantic. She reached Den Helder on 18 January and began her five-month tour of duty. That assignment was made up of a series of multinational fleet exercises and Foodwill visits to western European ports. On 17 May, following a NATO review in which Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain participated, she concluded her assignment in European waters and headed back to the United States. Vesole returned to the United States at Norfolk on 2 June and reentered her home port, Newport, almost a month later on 1 July. The warship remained there over six weeks, before getting underway on 19 August to proceed to her new home port, Charleston, S.C.Vesole operated out of Charleston for the remainder of the year and during the first two months of 1970. On 3 March, she left Charleston to deploy for a second time to the Indian Ocean. On this occasion, she took the long route, around the Cape of Good Hope, calling at various African ports along the way. She reported for duty with the Middle East Force at Diego Suarez on the Malagasy Republic during the second week in April. For the next six months, the destroyer plied the Indian Ocean conducting exercises-alone, with other ships of the Middle East Force, and with units of foreign navies-making port calls along the Indian Ocean littoral. She was finally relieved of that duty at Mombasa, Kenya, during the second week in August. The destroyer departed Mombasa on 14 August and again taking the Cape of Good Hope route, headed back to Charleston, where she arrived on 18 September.Vesole operated along the east coast of the United States for just over a year. During that time, she participated in tests of the Harpoon missile system and of the Poseidon missile. She planeguarded for aircraft carriers conducting 'pilot carrier qualifications and participated in a number of exercises. On 23 September 1971, she got underway from Charleston, bound ultimately for her last tour of dUty with the Middle East Force. After stops at Recife, Brazil, and several African ports, the warship arrived in Majunga in the Malagasy Republic on 29 October to report for duty. Once again, goodwill port visits and exercises highlighted her deployment. After only four months in the Indian Ocean, she was relieved by Charles P. Cecil (DD-835) at Mombasa during the second week in February 1972. On Lincoln's Birthday 1972, the destroyer began the long voyage home. Again rounding the Cape of Good Hope and crossing the Atlantic, she arrived back in Charleston on 11 March 1972. She conducted local operations out of Charleston until 5 July when she entered the Charleston Naval Shipyard for a four-month overhaul.~When Vesole emerged from the shipyard in November 1972, she began her last four years as an active ship in the Navy. Those four years brought three more overseas cruises-two with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean and one to South America for a series of UNITAS exercises with South American navies. Immediately following overhaul, the warship conducted sea trials and refresher training which continued until March of 1973. On 19 March, she returned to Charleston to begin converting her main propulsion plant to the use of Navy distillate fuel. That conversion was completed on 24 May at which time she returned to sea for trials and then for normal 2d Fleet operations. On 27 July, she departed Charleston for UNITAS XIV, a series of binational exercises conducted in cooperation with various South American navies. During that deployment, she transited the Panama Canal to operate in the Pacific with units of the Peruvian and Chilean navies. The deployment also brought exercises with the navies of Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. Vesole ended her long UNITAS voyage back at Charleston on 15 December.After the holidays, she began 11 months of duty out of Charleston. Gunnery, ASROC, and tropedo exercises predominated during that time, but she also trained with aircraft carriers. On 15 November 1974, she departed Charleston to return to the 6th Fleet in theMediterranean after a four-year hiatus. That deployment lasted until 5 May 1975 at which time she departed Rota, Spain, to return to the United States. The ship arrived back in Charleston on 15 May, and, after an availability alongside tender Sierra (AD-18), she resumed operations at sea out of Charleston. The warship remained so employed until the beginning of 1976 her last year of active service to the Navy.On 6 January 1976, Vesole departed Charleston for her final overseas deployment, fittingly enough with the 6th Fleet. She arrived in Rota, Spain, on 17 January and entered the "middle sea" on the 19th. During that deployment, she participated in Exercise "Silver Fox," conducted in the Black Sea, and constituted a unit of the contingency force dispatched to the eastern Mediterranean from 3 April to 15 May as a result of internal strife in Lebanon. Vesole concluded that deployment at Charleston on 28 July 1976. The destroyer was placed out of commission there on 1 December 1976. Her name was struck from the Navy list on that same day, and, as of January 1980, her transfer to a foreign government was still pending.Vesole earned two battle stars for her service in the Vietnam conflict.

USS Vesole (DD-878)

USS Vesole (DD-878) là một tàu khu trục lớp Gearing được Hải quân Hoa Kỳ chế tạo vào giai đoạn cuối Chiến tranh Thế giới thứ hai. Nó là chiếc tàu chiến duy nhất của Hải quân Mỹ được đặt theo tên Thiếu úy Hải quân Kay K. Vesole (1913-1943), người đã tử trận trong một vụ không kích tại Bari, Ý vào ngày 2 tháng 12 năm 1943, và được truy tặng Huân chương Chữ thập Hải quân. [1] Hoàn tất khi chiến tranh đã sắp kết thúc, con tàu tiếp tục phục vụ trong giai đoạn Chiến tranh Lạnh và Chiến tranh Việt Nam cho đến khi xuất biên chế và xóa đăng bạ năm 1976. Con tàu bị đánh chìm như một mục tiêu vào năm 1983. Vesole được tặng thưởng hai Ngôi sao Chiến trận do thành tích phục vụ trong Chiến tranh Việt Nam.

  • 2.616 tấn Anh (2.658 t) (tiêu chuẩn)
  • 3.460 tấn Anh (3.520 t) (đầy tải)
  • 2 × turbine hơi nước hộp số General Electric
  • 4 × nồi hơi
  • 2 × trục
  • công suất 60.000 shp (45.000 kW)
  • 6 × pháo 5 in (127 mm)/38 caliber trên bệ Mk 38 lưỡng dụng nòng đôi (3×2)
  • 12 × pháo phòng không Bofors 40 mm (2×4 & 2×2)
  • 11 × pháo phòng không Oerlikon 20 mm
  • 2 × đường ray thả mìn sâu
  • 6 × máy phóng mìn sâu K-gun
  • 10 × ống phóng ngư lôi21 in (533 mm)

USS Fiske (DD 842)

USS FISKE was one of the GEARING - class destroyers and the second ship in the Navy to bear the name. Decommissioned on June 6, 1980, the FISKE was transferred to the Turkish Navy the same day. Recommissioned as PIYALE PASA the ship was heavily damaged in a grounding in 1996. Subsequently decommissioned, the ship was scrapped in 1999.

General Characteristics: Awarded: 1943
Keel laid: April 9, 1945
Launched: September 8, 1945
Commissioned: November 28 1945
Decommissioned: June 6, 1980
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
FRAM I Conversion Shipyard: New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, NY
FRAM I Conversion Period: February 1964 - November 1964
Propulsion system: four boilers, General Electric geared turbines 60,000 SHP
Propellers: two
Length: 391 feet (119.2 meters)
Beam: 41 feet (12.5 meters)
Draft: 18.7 feet (5.7 meters)
Displacement: approx. 3,400 tons full load
Speed: 34 knots
Aircraft after FRAM I: two DASH drones
Armament after FRAM I: one ASROC missile launcher, two 5-inch/38 caliber twin mounts, Mk-32 ASW torpedo tubes (two triple mounts)
Crew after FRAM I: 14 officers, 260 enlisted

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS FISKE. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

USS FISKE was launched 8 September 1945 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine sponsored by Mrs. F. E. Ribbentrop and commissioned 28 November 1945, Commander C. H. Smith in command.

Joining the Atlantic Fleet, FISKE served as engineering school ship for Destroyer Force, Atlantic, out of Portland, Maine, and made three cruises to the Mediterranean for duty with the 6th Fleet from her home port at Newport prior to the outbreak of the Korean War. In addition, she took part in the regular schedule of training operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean where in 1948 she rescued 10 men from a small coastal freighter sinking in the Windward Passage.

On 3 January 1951, FISKE sailed from Newport for the Panama Canal and the Far East, reporting on 12 February to the 7th Fleet at Sasebo for duty in the Korean War. Along with screening carrier task forces, she patrolled off Korea, joined in bombarding shore targets, and escorted shipping from Japan to the action areas. Sailing westward for home, she arrived at Newport from her round-the-world cruise 8 August 1951. FISKE was decommissioned 1 April 1952 for conversion to a radar picket destroyer and was reclassified DDR 842 on 18 July 1952.

Recommissioned 25 November 1952, FISKE trained with her new equipment in preparation for her participation in the fall of 1953 in NATO Operation "Mariner," which took her north of the Arctic Circle. In 1954 she resumed her annual tours of duty in the Mediterranean, serving the carrier task forces of the 6th Fleet as radar picket. Her training operations when assigned to the 2nd Fleet for duty in the western Atlantic and Caribbean included special work in development of antisubmarine warfare, and air defense. Homeported at Mayport, Fla., from August 1960, FISKE joined in NATO exercises north of the Arctic Circle in the fall of 1960, and at the close of the year, sailed for patrol duty in the Caribbean. Two more Mediterranean cruises followed in 1961 and 1962. Between overseas voyages, she served in the western Atlantic and the Caribbean, with Cuban Missile Crisis duty with a carrier striking force in the Autumn of 1962.

FISKE underwent a second major conversion during February-November 1964. Emerging from the New York Naval Shipyard in her new FRAM I configuration, she was now a modern anti-submarine warfare ship and was again designated DD 842. Following a year of service in the U.S. and Caribbean, which included patrol work off Santo Domingo during a governmental crisis in the Dominican Republic, the destroyer began the second of her cruises around the World. This one took her to the waters off Vietnam, where she performed search and rescue, carrier escort and shore bombardment duties in March-June 1966. In 1967 FISKE steamed back to the Mediterranean, voyaging to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf during this deployment, which included a trip around Africa. Another Sixth Fleet tour took place in 1968-1969, and in mid-1970 she again operated in Northern European waters.

In 1973, though now approaching the end of her third decade, FISKE returned to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf, steaming there by way of the South Atlantic. Though transferred to the Naval Reserve Force later in that year, she was again sent to the Mediterranean in 1974. USS FISKE was placed out of commission in June 1980 and leased to Turkey. Renamed PIYALE PASA, she was an active unit of that nation's navy until the end of the Twentieth Century.

Bradley Allen Fiske was born in Lyons, New York, on 13 June 1854. He was appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of Ohio in 1870, graduating four years later and receiving his commission as a Navy Ensign in July 1875. Fiske's early service years included duty as an officer on board the steam sloops-of-war PENSACOLA and PLYMOUTH, both on the Pacific Station, and the paddle steamer POWHATAN in the Atlantic. He also received instruction in the then-young field of torpedo warfare. Promoted to Master in 1881 and Lieutenant in 1887, during much of that decade he had training ship duty in USS SARATOGA and USS MINNESOTA, served in the South Atlantic Squadron on the steam sloop BROOKLYN, and was twice assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance in Washington, D.C. As one of the Navy's most technically astute officers, in 1886-1888 he supervised the installation of ordnance on USS ATLANTA, one of the first of the Navy's modern steel warships. In 1888-1890 he was involved in the trials of USS VESUVIUS, whose large caliber compressed-air guns were then considered a promising experiment, and was in charge of installing electric lighting in the new cruiser PHILADELPHIA.

During the rest of the 1890s, Lieutenant Fiske was mainly employed at the Bureau of Ordnance and at sea, where he was an officer of the cruiser SAN FRANCISCO and the gunboats YORKTOWN and PETREL. While in the latter, he took part in the 1 May 1898 Battle of Manila Bay. Following the Spanish-American War, Fiske continued his service in Philippine waters on board the monitor MONADNOCK. Promoted to the ranks of Lieutenant Commander in 1899, Commander in 1903 and Captain in 1907, he was an Inspector of Ordnance, Executive Officer of USS YORKTOWN and the battleship MASSACHUSETTS, Commanding Officer of the monitor ARKANSAS and cruisers MINNEAPOLIS and TENNESSEE, had recruiting duty, served as Captain of the Yard at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, attended the Naval War College and was a member of the Navy's General Board and the Army-Navy Joint Board, among other assignments.

Tin Can 3rd Edition

Attention all shipmates who served on the Fiske from 1970 through 1980:

Your recollections, stories, memories, are needed to expand and complete the new 3rd edition of Fiske Tales. Gil Beyer has been compiling stories for years, but lacks many from the '70 to '80 time period.We know there are a lot of you out there with stories to tell. You tell them now to your friends and family, so now just put them on paper (or e-mail) and get them to Gil as soon as you are able.

The Tin Can Navy

To lean more about destroyers, click the link that follows to visit our sister organization, Tin Can Sailors. To see what's going on in today's navy, click the link that follows: NAVY.COM.

I am an American sailor

Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Earnest Borgnine served during WW 2 on a "Tin Can" and is a member of Tin Can Sailors. He has appeared in a short video telling the world what it means to be a United States Navy Sailor. Click HERE to see the video. Close the video window when done.

General Information about Ships

Click on Hazegray And Underway to find information from many sources.

Join the Fiske Association

Join the Association by clicking on the Join-up button off to port.

Member Dues Notice

Members who wish to pay their dues, this link will provide you with a form letter. Print the form letter and fill in the blanks. Mail it to the address shown.

Lost At Sea

We have lost contact with a number of shipmates. Please click the life-preserver to open a listing of members we'd like to contact.

Vesole DD-878 - History


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Vesole DD-878 - History

For ten years, between 1965 and 1975, three million young Americans, many of them still boys, answered their country’s call and served as soldiers, sailors, airman, and marines in Vietnam. Some were drafted, but many volunteered, and at the time the cause seemed clear: stop the spread of communism. By the late 1960’s the goal became obscure. The war fell out of favor as Americans began to question our involvement in a conflict that drained both human and financial resources and seemed to bring few tangible results. In the end Vietnam became a symbol of the limits of American power and influence. Sadly, a foreign policy and military set back became a national tragedy as the denunciation of the war at home evolved into a rejection of those who fought. Over fifty-eight thousand never returned and those who did brought back scars, both physical and emotional, that never healed. Overt ridicule gradually dissipated, only to be replaced with a callous indifference to the sacrifice these men made. It would only get worse for many of these veterans because what no one knew at the time was that they had carried back the seeds of their own destruction, seeds sown not by their enemy, but by their own country.

Known as “Operation Ranch Hand” the defoliation of Vietnam’s jungles exposed American servicemen to a toxic and deadly chemical. Spread over 3.6 million acres, Agent Orange not only killed the jungle down to the root, but by the 1980’s it was permanently disabling and killing Vietnam veterans by the tens of thousands. In 1984 Dow Chemical, Monsanto, and other chemical companies involved in the manufacture of Agent Orange agreed to a 180 million dollar class action settlement to be paid to Vietnam Veterans. However, when spread out over the hundreds of thousands of eligible vets the amount was woefully inadequate. In many cases, the money provided the means to bury them as they succumbed to the diseases caused by the toxin. In 1995 this author’s uncle, William P. Weitz, was laid to rest in Phoenix, Arizona after losing his battle with lung cancer. His part of the settlement afforded him a small box in which his cremated remains were placed and then interned in a barren, sun scorched portion of a cemetery close to his home, leaving only a few thousand dollars for his widow.

In an effort to address this deadly legacy of the war that had become an epidemic, the United States Congress passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991. Section 2 of the Act contains one of the most important aspects of the legislation. It provides for a presumption of a service related connection between the diseases and conditions identified in the Act and the spraying of Agent Orange. In other words, if one served in Vietnam, it is presumed that the cancer or other condition he or she suffered from was caused by Agent Orange. Legally this presumption is crucial. Without it, the veteran bears the burden of proving his or her condition was caused by Agent Orange. The cost alone would destroy a vet’s ability to prove his claim. Even if he or she could afford to pay the experts necessary to argue the claim, showing the direct connection would in many cases be impossible.

The Veterans Administration (VA) was directed to implement a program under the Act whereby veterans would be compensated for the effects of exposure. The VA directed that any service man or woman who “served in Vietnam” would be presumed to have been exposed for purposes of receiving compensation. In many cases the receipt of a Vietnam Service Medal was all that was required. As one might expect hundreds of thousands of claims poured in, and the VA began paying. Among those who filed claims were the sailors of the United States “Blue Water Navy.”

There were essentially two navies serving in Vietnam. The “Brown Water Navy” patrolled the rivers and inlet waterways of Vietnam, while the “Blue Water Navy” served offshore, both inside and beyond Vietnam’s twelve mile territorial limit. Many of the countless air strikes both on North Vietnam and in close air support of U.S. soldiers fighting in the south and the DMZ came from carrier based aircraft. U.S. Destroyers provided myriads of combat related services, including close artillery support for land-based operations, and transporting troops and supplies, often close to shore and under enemy fire. It is virtually inconceivable that anyone could ever doubt that the men who served in the “Blue Water Navy” fought in Vietnam. In addition to receiving the Vietnam Service Medal, many were decorated for valor. Sadly, the inconceivable occurred.

Shortly after George W. Bush took office in 2001 the VA redefined “serving in Vietnam.” In a directive issued in 2001 the VA took the position that service in Vietnam now required “foot on land.” If a veteran could not show that he or she actually set foot in-country, they would not be afforded the presumption that their medical condition or disease was caused by Agent Orange. In one bold stroke the sailors of the “Blue Water Navy” lost their ability to successfully prosecute their claims for benefits. The VA offered no study or empirical evidence for this complete reversal of policy other than the assertion that direct exposure to Agent Orange required being on land.

Not only did the VA alter its policy without any reasonable basis, but it also ignored the fact that “Blue Water” sailors were suffering and dying from the same diseases that their land-based comrades experienced. However, without the presumption afforded by the Agent Orange Act they could not prove their claims for benefits. By 2003 the benefits that “Blue Water” sailors had been receiving stopped completely. Today many are owed almost five years of back benefits that for many vets totals well into the six-figure range. The goal of the 1991 Act was to make it easier for veterans to prove their claims and receive compensation. The VA’s position flies directly in the face of that goal. But while the U.S. government found a way to punish its sailors for their service, other nations took a closer look, and their approach makes the VA’s actions toward the “Blue Water Navy” all the more disgraceful.

Sailors from Australia also served in Vietnam. As time passed Australia began to notice that veterans of its Royal Australian Navy (RAN) were dying at a rate greater than the land-based Aussies who fought in Vietnam. The conditions that were killing these men were the diseases associated with Agent Orange. Food for the RAN came directly from Australia, there was no record of a RAN ship ever being directly sprayed, and few of the sailors ever set foot on land. However, rather than conclude that members of the RAN were not exposed and thus were not entitled to benefits, the Australian government probed deeper. Australia’s investigation generated a report that explained how its sailors were exposed.

Warships require a constant supply of freshwater and that supply is replenished by distilling sea water. The sea water is fed into an evaporator where it is boiled, condensed, and then fed into holding tanks. While the process removed the salt from the water, it did not filter out the toxins associated with Agent Orange. This process routinely took place within close proximity to shore as military operations did not allow a ship to cease its mission, travel out to sea, replenish its water supply, and then return. The Australian study concluded that Agent Orange sprayed in the jungles close to shore found its way into the ocean and that when the RAN ships replenished their water supply, they unknowingly contaminated their sailors and exposed them to Agent Orange.

The VA is aware of this study, but rather than use it as a basis to help the “Blue Water Navy” sailors, it has chosen to discount the findings and deny that these men served in Vietnam for purposes of the 1991 Act. In August 2001, Jonathan Haas, a veteran who served on the U.S.S. Katmai, filed his claim for benefits under the 1991 Agent Orange Act. Consistent with their change in policy the VA rejected his claims because it was undisputed that Haas never set foot in Vietnam. Mr. Haas appealed to the Veterans Court where a three-judge panel reversed the Veterans Board decision, holding that the VA definition of service that required “foot on land” was too restrictive and was unreasonable. The Court concluded that Mr. Hass was entitled to the presumption. In most instances that would have ended the debate Mr. Haas and the other veterans could have advanced their claims with the benefit of the presumption they were rightfully entitled to claim. However, that is not what happened.

On May 8, 2008, in a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the Veterans Court and upheld the VA’s definition that “service in Vietnam” required foot on land. Admitting that they “ordinarily will not hear appeals from the Veterans Court in cases the Veterans Court remands to the Board of Veteran’s Appeals,” the Court not only made an exception, but used the exception to destroy the ability of the “Blue Water Navy” veterans to prove their Agent Orange claims. In holding that the VA’s definition was “reasonable” the Federal Circuit in effect completely discounted the sacrifices made by this branch of the U.S. military, sacrifices that they continue to suffer for today.

The “Blue Water Navy” vets are literally lost at sea, adrift on an ocean of legal technicalities and administrative burden that most if not all will never overcome if this situation is allowed to stand. Recently these veterans began to return their Vietnam Service Medals in protest of the treatment they are receiving at the hands of the very government that sent them off to war. Mr. Haas has requested an en banc review of his case before the entire panel of the Federal Circuit. That request is pending. If denied it is contemplated he will appeal to the Supreme Court. Right now the most important thing that can be done for these men is to publicize the details of their plight. At this juncture access to media outlets is crucial to educating the public as to what is transpiring, which is one reason we chose to publish this edition of the newsletter solely on this topic. Time is running out for these Vietnam veterans. Many are dying from their diseases, while others are taking their own lives as their conditions worsen and any hope for a favorable resolution diminishes. There is still a chance for America to meet its obligations to its veterans. Remember, all that is needed for wrong to prevail is for righteous people to do nothing. END OF ARTICLE.

"Legal Alert Newsletter", June 2008, a monthly publication of the Weitz Morgan Law Firm, of Austin, Texas.

Dr. Mark Weitz is a practicing attorney and an historian who has joined the Blue Water Navy fight.

Thank you Mark. Well done [BZ].

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none with charity for all with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in to bind up the nation's wounds to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2008: VNVets Blog All Rights Reserved.

Lexington Hotel 1515 Prudential Drive Jacksonville, FL 32207

Attention on Deck – All Shipmates, Families and Friends

Please report for the USS NOA Reunion in Mayport – Your Homeport.

We are returning to Jacksonville Riverwalk for your stay in the Lexington Hotel (once the Wyndham Hotel). Your hotel has beautiful spacious rooms and our Hospitality Room is perfect for you all to reconnect and YES, we can have beer, wine, drinks and food in our room.

You reunion will be full of exciting tours, especially Mayport Base.

We want to thank everyone who attended our last reunion in Philadelphia – town full of history, great tours and yes, the famed Philly sandwich. A special thanks to Larry and Pam Robbins, Robert and Dorothy Matlock for hosting the reunion.

This year’s reunion will be coordinated by John & Beverly LaMonica, Paul Macko and John & Cathy Griffin.

Our search for your fellow shipmates continues, so if there is someone you have thought of, we will try and find them. Please let Karen Barrie or Chris Waugh know and the search will begin. Please remember to bring your photos, USS NOA letters, and cruise books to share so everyone can continues to enjoy those memories.

The USS NOA Reunions is successful by your continue participation and we look forward to seeing you and your families in Jacksonville – Mayport, Florida.

Best Regards,
–Robert L. Barrie
–President of the USS NOA Reunion Association

Vesole DD-878 - History

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Covers :: Military :: WWII :: Navy
Naval:WW2: Navy 1955 Subase Coco Solo, CZ.Price: $7.00

Item #n160
Armed Guard, SS Yaka to Stockton, Ca, 1945 Censored Postcard w/Blackouts.Price: $35.00

Item #n2023
USS Puffer SS-268 to Conn, 1943 Censored. Postmarked days after her 1st war patrol.Price: $50.00

Item #n2024
WW2: Third Amphibious Force, Toyko Bay, 2 Sept 1945, Censored.Price: $25.00

Item #n2088
WW2: USS Copahee ACV-12 to Port Orhard, Wa 1942 Censored.Price: $10.00

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WW2: USS Bogue ACV-9 to Seattle, Wa 1943 Censored.Price: $8.00

Item #n2198
WW2: USS Bogue ACV-9 to Seattle, Wa 1942 Censored.Price: $8.00

Item #n2199
WW2: USS Vesole DD-878, 1946 Japan Occupation Fleet to Seattle, Wa.Price: $20.00

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WW2: USS Perkins DD-877, 1946 Japan Occupation Fleet to Seattle, Wa.Price: $20.00

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WW2: USS Hyman DD-732, 1947 Japan Occupation Fleet to Seattle, Wa.Price: $20.00

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WW2: USS Bordelon DD-881, 1946 Japan Occupation Fleet to Seattle, Wa.Price: $20.00

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WW2: USS Dyess DD-880, 1946 Japan Occupation Fleet to Seattle, Wa.Price: $20.00

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WW2: USS Damato DD-871, 1946 Japan Occupation Fleet to Seattle, Wa.Price: $20.00

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WW2: USS Hanson DD-832, 1946 Japan Occupation Fleet to Seattle, Wa.Price: $20.00

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WW2: USS Rogers DD-876, 1946 Japan Occupation Fleet to Seattle, Wa.Price: $20.00

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WW2: USS Higbee DD-806, 1946 Japan Occupation Fleet to Seattle, Wa.Price: $20.00

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WW2: USS Dennis J. Buckley DD-808, 1946 Japan Occupation Fleet to Seattle, Wa.Price: $20.00

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WW2: USS Thomas DE-102, 1946 Japan Occupation Fleet to Seattle, Wa.Price: $20.00

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WW2: USS Turner DD-834, 1946 Japan Occupation Fleet to Seattle, Wa.Price: $20.00

Item #n2655
WW2: USS Leary DD-879, 1946 Japan Occupation Fleet to Seattle, Wa.Price: $20.00

Item #n2658

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Vesole DD-878 - History

  • June 2021 Added the Summer 2021 newsletter on the newsletter page.
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  • June 2018 Added the Summer 2018 newsletter on the newsletter page.
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  • January 2018 Added the Winter 2017-2018 newsletter on the newsletter page.
  • November 2017 Updated In Memoriam. Added the 2017 Reunion photos.
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Watch the video: WW2 US Navy ship USS Leary DD-879 - WW2 USNAVY Buque USS Leary DD-879 (May 2022).