|WESTPAC 1960 " All engines back two-thirds." The last line
had just been taken in and the HOPEWELL was easing out of her berth at the San Diego Naval
Station, setting upon a new WESTPAC cruise. To many it was the start of an adventure; but
to all it was the beginning of a long separation from family and friends and home. With
Commander Destroyer Division ONE HUNDRED FIFTY TWO, Capt. O. D. Mac Millan., embarked, and
in company with the destroyers UHLMANN (DD-687), BROWN (DD-546) and ROGERS (DDR-876) we
set a course for our stepping off point, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
||Our departure from Pearl Harbor on 8 August marked the start of the
hard work phase of the deployment. Underway with the Attack Carrier HANCOCK (CVA-19) we
worked under a tight schedule of drills and more drills as we headed for Guam, in the
Marianas Islands, the next stop in our track westward. Each day was marked by tactics and
flight operations. Before we left "the States" we had been warned that the
Seventh Fleet is a fast moving unit that maintains a top readiness condition .... schedule
be damned ; this was our first taste of it.
|On 24 August we arrived in Subic Bay, in the Philippines. As you
might imagine (the Philippines in August) it was hot! But we were glad to be there for the
rest the ship and the crew needed and the cooling effect " San Miguel Beer ". On
I September we were underway again to rejoin the HANCOCK for a fleet-wide readiness
exercise, Exercise " Square Knot ". By 7 September we were back in Subic Bay,
only to get underway again on the 12th, this time for Buckner Bay, Okinawa. After a two
day stop-over. we were underway again, this time for Sasebo, Japan.
On 26 September we arrived in Japan. Japan offers a world of things for "
white hats". During the first stop-over the crew had a chance to taste some of them:
trips to Nagasaki, to Japanese-style report hotels, trips in suicide taxi cabs and
spending sprees at the fabulous ship's store afloat. Part of the time in Sasebo, HOPEWELL
spent in dry dock undergoing repairs.
|No two people will agree about the next phase of our cruise. On 12
October the ships of Destroyer Division ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-TWO relieved the ships of DESDIV
I I as the " Formosa Patrol" group. From then until 21 November (with a few days
off in Hong Kong) HOPEWELL operated in an out of Kaohsiung, Formosa, maintaining a patrol
of the Formosa Straits. Most of the time the seas were rough under a 35-45 knot wind ;
usually the routine was dull and monotonous. To some it was the most restful part of the
trip ; to others it was sickening ; to the radio shack it was the most demanding.
||19 December through 27 December was spent in Sasebo. On the 25th,
just as Americans everywhere around the world we took time out for a king-sized Christmas
Dinner, We may have been half way around the world from where the custom started, but as
far as food went, we didn't miss a thing.
In Sasebo, the crew took time out from shopping, which turned out
to be each man's primary mission of the time, in order to celebrate Christmas. To help
make this a truly merry Christmas, the crew invited some thirty-five mentally retarded
Japanese children to the party. Days before the party, presents were bought, and wrapped,
and the ship decorated. The children, the crew .... everybody .... enjoyed Christmas : the
children, because someone made them laugh and showed they cared ; ourselves, because in
giving, in playing Santa (FATOUT), and in singing about Christmas, we found the true
meaning of Christmas.
||Shortly after setting underway from Sasebo for a quick run to
Yokosuka, Japan, a report was received of a Japanese fishing boat in distress somewhere in
the general vicinity. HOPEWELL was sent out to assist in the search that had been going on
for the past hours. In the early hours after dawn of the next day the boat, the MIFUKU
MARU #5 was found, its
|crew of seven Japanese rescued, and the boat taken in tow until a
Japanese Coast Guard Ship arrived to take over. For this "well done" messages
were received from CTF77, Commander Naval Forces Japan, the Japanese Maritime Shipping
Board, and Commander Seventh Fleet.
||From 2 January to 7 January HOPEWELL, together with UHLMANN,
participated in an ASW exercise .... the last exercise of the WESTPAC cruise, And that's
the story of this Cruise. Ahead of us now is a few more days in Yokosuka, and the long
|This is, to many, the worst part of the trip. Ask any man how many
days to go, and he'll tell you; some can even tell you the hours. It will be good to be