USS DeHaven (DD-727):
September 15, 1952; Long Beach, California
It was Monday, sunny and clear, as the crew went to quarters
for muster. The last liberty in the States was over and at 1000
all departments reported ready for getting underway. A short
time later all lines were clear and we led the way out between
Pier 1 and the Navy Yard Mole. All hands top side took a last
look at the dummy hanging from the square-rigged sailing vessel
tied at the Pier and then contemplated their future.
The new men wondered and the old hands worried,
for the DeHaven was returning to the Western Pacific for the
third time since the start of Korean hostilities. The previous
tours had seen her visit Inchon with the famous "Sitting
Ducks", on patrol along the West Coast, working along the
Bomb-line and with Task Force 77. Her fine record was known
to all; and, even though two thirds of her crew were new, all
hands were certain this cruise would be just as successful as
the previous ones.
On clearing the breakwater the word was passed,
"Now set the Condition three watch". Old hands muttered
under their breath, and new men stumbled uncertainly to their
stations as the training began. There would be drills and more
drills before the ship would be completely battle ready, and
this was our last chance.
We joined the Los Angeles and Oriskany off of
San Diego and set our course for Pearl, the Swenson and ourselves
taking the usual destroyer screening stations. Inter-ship exercise
began, and by the time the final "proceed independently
to enter port" was received and we started into the Pearl
Harbor Channel, all hands had an idea of what would be expected
in the coming Task Force Operations.
In spite of the big heads our
training continued as we chased submarines and conducted gunnery
exercises on Kahoalawake Island. For many this was the first
time the guns were fired, but the results were surprisingly
good. We had our share of plane guard too, as we chased the
Oriskany during carrier operations.
All was not training, however, for we shared
an air-sea rescue task with the Mansfield. It involved running
at full speed all night long to participate in the down rescue
of two men who had parachuted from their Navy dive-bomber. One
man required the service of the squadron doctor, as he lay injured
on the cliff of one of the islands.
After seventeen days we took
our leave from the islands and headed westward with the Swenson
and Oriskany. More drills and training, including several new
methods of fueling, plus navigational assist to a group of air
force jets island-hopping their way to Japan, and then we were
The new men hardly had a chance to get acquainted
for 36 hours later "Duty called" and we sailed with
the rest of DESDIV 91 to take our individual post with Task
Force 95. Our "Call" took us along the South coast
of the Japanese Island, through the beautiful Shimoniseki Straits
to the Songjin-Chongjin area of the Korean east coast. Shortly
after our arrival the Captain relieved as Unit Commander and
for the next 36 days we coordinated the efforts of the several
"UN" ships in their patrol and interdiction activities.
USS Mansfield (DD-728):
On 27 June 1950, two days after the North Korean invasion of
South Korea, Mansfield steamed from Sasebo, Japan, to South
Korea to provide gunfire support and escort services. Three
months later, as flagship for DesDiv 91, she led the division
into Inchon Channel, openly inviting shore batteries to unmask
themselves. After the shore opened up upon her, Mansfield smothered
them with a 5-inch bombardment; she suffered no damage or casualties
in the action.
Two weeks after Inchon, Mansfield, while searching
for a downed Air Force B-26, struck a mine which severed the
bow below the main deck and seriously injured 27 crewmembers.
Receiving a stub bow at Subic Bay, she steamed to Naval Shipyard,
Bremerton, Washington for repairs; rejoining the U.N. Fleet
off South Korea late in 1951 for gunfire support, escort, and
shore bombardment duty.