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US Destroyer sank one, maybe two Soviet subs

 
 
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:09 pm
Once for sure in 1951, maybe another in 1965. I served on the ship that did this as late as Jan. 1965, but departed before it encountered the Soviet submarine.
Read all about this ship and its history.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 4,608 • Replies: 24
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JoanneDorel
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 12:27 am
Wow, EB any good sea stories while part of the crew.
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 04:40 am
Actually, it was pretty tranquil the time I spent aboard her. We spent a good deal of time shooting the 5 inch guns for practice and running anti-submarine exercises. We spent four months in places like Japan, Hong Kong, the Philipines. We were in drydock getting transformed from a DDR (radar destroyer) to a DD, at which time asrock nuclear missile capability got installed. We made an exciting run, escorting the Enterprise back from Japan, going by way of Dutch Harbor (Aleutian Islands) and then hit a submerged log, severely damaging the sonar dome as we came out of Seattle. A month or two prior to my coming aboard, the McKean was refueling from a carrier in choppy water. Two men were dragged overboard as they attempted to hold the fuel line in place. They were drowned, despite the heroic efforts of the crew. They released me in San Francisco, after three years active duty. I was ecstatic to be leaving, but, I did meet some good people and have some good experiences, of which I will always be proud.
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Grand Duke
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 05:35 am
What was the justification for the sinkings? Were the Soviets just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or was it something more sinister than that? It makes you wonder what else happens that the general public never get to hear about.
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 05:55 am
It gives some pretty strong reasons in the link I provided.
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Grand Duke
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 05:58 am
Apologies. The link was blocked by my company's web server filters. I'll look it up when I get home. Cheers, Edgar.
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 06:00 am
Grand Duke: One reason given was to prevent the Soviets from sinking a carrier.
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Grand Duke
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 06:02 am
Bloody hell! Some serious stuff then?
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 05:38 pm
American sailors will tell you that during the cold war there were many incidents the news media never got wind of. Our sister ship, the Hubbard, got close to a soviet ship on one run, and the Soviets fired a shot over her bow for no apparent reason other than beliggerence. The Hubbard was ordered to hold its course and ignore the provocation.
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JoanneDorel
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 05:52 pm
Hmm, edgarblythe it seems the Navy has not really changed that much. They still try to keep secrets.
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 07:11 pm
Always have, always will. My buddies from other ships kept secrets form me and their friends, even after we had been discharged. I never had anything worthy of hiding.
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JoanneDorel
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 11:19 pm
Living in and around San Diego for so many years I have heard so many stories. Being around the Nav really has an impact. I remember Friday nights when Broadway was just a sea of bobbing white hats.

It still effect me we we were discussing whether or not to polish brass antiques in the art forum. I of course think it must be polished. One uncle was a Boatswains Mate. gotta keep that brass polished.
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 04:51 am
Oh yeah. Out of your rack in the early morning, sweep down all lower decks ladders and passageways, POLISH ALL TOPSIDE BRIGHTWORK.
I did boot camp in San Diego. We were only allowed one day to go into town, because we were their first 8 week company. I didn't have a dime, so I stayed on base.
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 11:19 am
One of the officers always grabbed his rifle, far out at sea, anytime shark fins appeared. I could never tell whether he hit any or not. As many bullets as he sent I am sure a few connected.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 12:04 pm
Our minesweeter nearly sank a submarine as well, a Danish, in summer 1970. (Actually this was really a bad mistake: both of us were following a Russian spy boat ["disguised fish trawler"], who suddenly speeded up like a patrol boat. The Danes come to the surface 50 yards away on our port site.)

There really were quite some stories from the cold war:
- passing a GDR-boat in 5 yrds distance, both boats umlighted, but both crews fully armed and ships "under war condition",
- circling with 17 landing crafts, all loaded with Leopard tanks around Russian spy ships (which were followed by the tank's guns),
- and this is really my favourite story: following again a Russian spy boat from the German Bight up to north of Scotland, we used to 'enlighten' the morning gymnstics of some 90 personal with playing the International from our outsite loudspeakers.

The funny thing is, I spoke with a friend of a friend (in Manchester), who did exactly the same thing(s) as I did in the Royal Navy: conscript, same stories, type of boat, same duties ... .
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 07:11 pm
All the "little" incidents were really fraught with danger, and apparently went on all the time.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 11:37 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
All the "little" incidents were really fraught with danger, and apparently went on all the time.


And later, I sometimes wondered, why this or that incident didn't start a new war.
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roger
 
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Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 11:46 pm
Fascinating first hand experiences. I've heard a couple myself, but all at third hand or more remote.
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 01:56 pm
A hole was blown in one of the McKean's sinking a Russian sub stories by a man I served with. He posted this message on the McKean website. This man went on to be lead sonarman after I left the Navy:

Ref. George Johnson's "story" about sinking a Russian sub off coast of Washington - Bullsh!t. I was the sonarman on the stack that night. We hit a whale and dented the dome. No breach in the hull. Contact me for the full story.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 02:16 pm
@edgarblythe,
Yeah, but it was a commie whale!
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