USS CALCATERRA (DER 390)
Fleet Post Office
New York, 09501
April 14, 1970
Dear Calcaterra Friends and Relatives,
A great deal has happened since our last family-gram. We departed Key West on Tuesday morning the 10th of March enroute to Norfolk. The transit provided us with a good opportunity to conduct some much needed training. After arriving in the Norfolk area on Friday the 13th, we anchored to off-load ammunition and then proceeded to Craney Island to off-load most of our fuel oil. On Saturday morning we moved to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard to begin the overhaul which is scheduled to last approximately eight weeks and included approximately ½ million dollars in repairs to the ship’s hull and installed equipment as well as the installation of more modern communication and habitability equipment.
Work by the ship’s force personnel started immediately and has continued ever since. Many items had to be removed ant transported to the USS SIERRA (AD 18), a destroyer tender at the Destroyer pier in Norfolk for repairs, also much work has to be accomplished by ship’s personnel on board.
On Wednesday the 25th of March the Calcaterra entered dry-dock for the first time in over three years. We went into dry-dock number One and will remain in the dock until late April. Dry-dock number One at Norfolk Naval Shipyard has an interesting history as related in the following which was taken from a bronze plate at the head of the dock:
"The NAVY’S FIRST DRYDOCK,
Commenced 1 DEC 1827. Opened 17 JUN 1836 to admit the US 74 –Gun Ship DELAWARE, first ship to be drydocked in America. The world’s first battle tested iron clad ship the Confederate States Ship VIRGINIA, was built in this dock, 1861-1862, from the US steam frigate MERRIMAC. The early navy’s most historic ships have been repaired in this dock which has been in constant use since 1833."
We expect to have more information on our future schedule within the month. This information will be included in the next family-gram. We plan to send family-grams monthly while we are away from Key West.
Now a few notes covering personnel advancements, promotions, and activities. Three officers have been promoted from ensign to Lieutenant (junior grade). They were James W. GLASS, Supply Officer, B. David HANCOCK, Electronics Maintenance Officer, and James K. HENDERSON, First Lieutenant and Gunnery Assistant.
Results of the February advancement in rating exams were received recently. All chief petty officers who took the exams for senior and master chief petty officer passed the exam and will now undergo interviews prior to being reviewed for advancement by the Bureau of Naval Personnel. The personnel include Senior Chief Louis E. DAGNEAU, Electronic Technician Chief Walter D HARVILLE, Radioman Chief Jimmie E. HOWELL, and Boatswains Mate Chief George NUNNERY.
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The following advancements also were received. Fireman Johnny C. JOHNSON to be advanced to Engineman Third Class on 16 May 1970, and Seaman Michael P Lynch will be a designated yeoman striker. June will see the following advancements: Radarman Third Class Clarence L. HOOKER to Radarman Second Class, Radioman Seaman Kenneth E. BLAKE to Radioman Third Class and Damage Controlman Fireman James W. HURLOCK to ‘Damage Controlman Third Class, Fireman Gerald T. LAWERA to Machine Repairman Third Class, Engineman Third Class John P. MORGAN to Engineman Second Class and Radarman Third Class Harvey V. WITT to Radarman Second Class. Seaman Kevin McCOY will become a Third Class Postal Clerk on 16 August 1970. Gunners Mate (Guns) Third Class Lawrence BLALOCK will be advanced to Gunners Mate (Guns) Second Class and Seaman Frank
WILLY to Third Class yeoman on 16 October.
Sonar Technician First Class Johnny WILSON recently competed in the ALL Navy Boxing Championship and lost in the finals of the light heavyweight division to Alvis GILLESPIE by a decision.
HMC Donald MASSUD retired after 20 years service on 10 April 1970 and was piped over the side.
These have been a few of the events what have happened since we left Key West. Next month we will have some comments on changes to the mess decks, improvements in habitability and hopefully some information for you on our future schedule. Please feel free to write or contact me by telephone if I may be of any assistance.
Signed: (Howard B. Graff)
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ARRIVALS and DEPARTURES
In the past month the following men have been transferred to or from CALCATERRA.
ARRIVALS RATE FROM
Gravly, William B. FN Naval Station, Treasure Island, Cal
Carley, Dale E. FN Naval Station, Treasure Island, Cal
O’Bryant, John V. FN USS REPOSE (AS 16)
Canady, Timothy B. SA Naval Station, Key West, Fla.
Healy, Robert J. SA Naval Station, Key West, Fla.
Kilcrease, Daniel J. SM1 USS NEREUS (AS 17)
Troxell, Virgil G. ENFN NTC Great Lakes, ILL
DEMEY Gordon D. EM3 Naval Station, Argentia, Newfoundland
Bond, William W. STGSN Fleet Sonar School, Key West, Fla.
Labrador, Miguel A. TN NAS Whiting Field, Milton, Fla
Lancaster, Clyde T. HMC 2nd Marine Division, FMF Camp
Cressey, David T. YNSN Naval Station, Key West, Fla.
Meadows, Michael FA Naval Station, Key West, Fla
Aringe, George M. ENC Recruiting Station, Las Vegas, Nev.
Ruddy, John RD2 Released from active duty
McLemore, John SA NOB, Norfolk, Va.
Massud, Donald HMC Transferred to Fleet Reserve
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