TALES

TALES

Web sites, even those in honor of a proud ship, cannot be all serious. This section is where I hope to put interesting stories, some serious, some funny and others downright weird, about incidents that occured involving the Aggie-Maru.


The Case of the Cardboard Missiles


How many remember the Russian trawler in the Tonkin Gulf? In 1965 we were cruising and radar picked up a contact off our beam that was on the same course and doing the same speed. Every time we changed course or speed the contact would also. It was a Russian trawler. The Skipper passed the word to shut down all electronics. We went virtually dead in the water. After several hours the trawler got closer. One of the Boatswain's Mates, I think Little, BM1, got an idea. They started collecting cardboard. They passed out ice cream to empty those cylindrical containers. Night time came and there was a lot of activity on the fantail, in the dark. When the sun rose the next morning there were two cardboard, painted white, missiles on the loader trainer on the fantail. You could see the Russian crew members looking us over with binoculars. Every time I think of this I imagine Russian sailors looking up the silhouette of our ship in their books, which don't show us having missiles.

=Contributed by Dick Wass


AGGIE AND TSM-PMS

Months before Typhoon Joan, the Captain called me into his office for a talk. The Captain wanted a maintenance schedule set up for all topside equipment (we were talking about a new job billet) because at that time no one would service same, except when the ship went in for overhaul work.

The new billet was TSM - Topside Maintenance, with a PMS - Planned Maintenance Schedule. The area of responsibility was from the bow to the stern and main deck to the bridge - all water tight hatches and all fire fighting equipment, plus anything that would be affected by saltwater spray that would make it hard to open or use. Another first for the Aggie.

Top Side Maintenance

I believe without the maintenance work that was ordered by the Captain prior to the storm most of the water tight main deck hatches would have leaked and caused severe flooding of the ship and the end of the Aggie and crew, for the size of the storm we went through.

If my memory serves me right about the typhoon damage to the ship, we had over 1.3 million dollars of damage above main deck. We lost all of our communication transmitting equipment above deck; that kept us from notifying anyone about our position and ship condition.

Aggie lost most of the fire fighting hydrants on main deck, tore the depth charge launcher off the fantail, and so much other equipment the list would be over two pages long.

As we were heading into Subic Bay, about twenty miles out, Navy jets had to fly over to identify us as we had no way of letting them know who we were and that we were on our way into the dock for repair; the only communication we had were the signal lights on the bridge.

As if the above was not enough, as we were alongside a repair ship in Subic Bay, we had a fire down in the engine room. This fire was so big and bad, we were pulled away from the dock and other ships by tugboats until our crew put out the fire. If the Aggie was going to blow up, at least we would not take out any others.

FIRE IN THE HOLE!

After we arrived back in San Diego my enlistment was over and soon I was on my way to the airport for my flight to Home Sweet Home of New Orleans. Walking up to the ticket counter to check in, I looked at my ticket and started to get very worried. After all that I had been through in the past few months, I did not think I would be able to get on the plane because my flight number out of San Diego was 826!

=Contributed by Joe Hayes


NOTES FROM 1962-1963 CRUISE BOOK
"It has been a long hard cruise, even for a destroyerman, but nevertheless we have had our humorous moments.

"The theft of the ship's wheel in Pearl Harbor didn't seem too funny to some, but most of the crew thought it a great joke. And seeing the assorted bandages, black eyes and bruises - souvenier of Block Arena - was humorous in it's own way. Will we ever forget the Aggie sailor who chased a man right up to the quarterdeck of his ship?

"We were probably the first U.S. Navy ship ever to leave Keelung flying a rebel flag while the Chaplain was busy lighting off fire-crackers. And the Supply Officer's immortal words that Christmas Day still ring throughout the ship ---"So help me, Jose!"

"The basketball and softball games and the ship's bowling league satisfied the athletic inclinations of most of us, but there were a few who would hunt up the nearest golf course. Usually they would begin and end at the 19th hole.

"The "Shadow of Officer's Country," alias Lamont Cranston, did his best to liven up the cruise. Stealing hats, pillows and mattresses; leaving his calling card in the form of a can of louse powder or a "disappearing" picture, the Shadow certainly must have had the power to cloud men's minds.

"In Japan, the X.O. appointed himself guide to show a group of officers the sights of Kamakura. Unfortunately, Japanese roads being what they are and Kamakura being in the opposite direction, the group ended up in Yokohama. Just a slight plotting error.

"The continuous schedule changes furnished a bit of humor, as it was never possible to say what would happen next or where we would be. Refuelling, replenishment and highline operations were usually complete surprises and really kept us jumping.

"There were many other incidents which kept us smiling and brightened our days. Bringing stores aboard by bum-boat; Charlie Grant as a luau waiter at the Yoko CPO Club; Arab and Big John with their raffles and anchor pools; LTJG Boden as Santa Claus and our Father Time, Chief Schow, and New Year Babe, ENS Burrow. To all we are indebted for helping making the days pass quickly and the hard work seem a little easier."

=Contributed by Earl Akers
on behalf of the cruise book staff

MEMORIES OF SUBIC - 1974

Subj: Memories at Subic 1974.
Date: 4/12/99 10:39:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From: doubledutch@integrityol.com (Kimberly Cleavenger)
To: DDAggie826@aol.com

Hello Sir,

I served on the U.S.S. Whipple DE-1062 as a radioman. During our 1974-75 Westpac we did a little steaming with the Agerholm and were tied up along side of her in Subic. What really impressed us "Whipple" sailors was that the old "Aggie" looked the way a real destroyer should. She definatelay was the "Saltiest" ship in the Navy.

The Whipple was moored along the pier with the Agerholm tied up along side of us, when Agerholms quarterdeck anounced "Agerholm Arriving". We turned around to take a look at Aggies C.O. and were really awed by this man. He was a commander, short in stature, sporting tatoos on both forearms, smoking a little stub of a cigar. When Aggies C.O. crossed our quarterdeck we just looked at one another and said "THAT MAN IS A REAL STEAMER AND ALL NAVY!!" It was only fitting for the "OLD AGGIE" being the saltiest ship in the Navy, having the saltiest Commanding Officer. The "Aggie" and her C.O. made a big impression on a certain 19 year old radioman when it comes to "Faithfull Service and Duty" to ones country.

Agerholm was "ALL NAVY"!!!
Mike "SLUSHFUND" Cleavenger,
former Whipple radioman


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