CALL FOR ARTICLES
of the hardest parts of keeping the communication going is generating
articles and information for the newsletters. From time to time shipmates
have offered up short bios and such but in general this has been a one man
show. That one man is running out of things to say, though I am sure that
will be a surprise to his wife!
can help!!! Write about yourself, our ship or the Navy. Send it to email@example.com
(plain text and MS Word). So
long as it is a positive, proper addition to the site and the USS England
effort, it will appear here. Many of you have a lot to say so here is your
chance to contribute. Opinion pieces, biographies, sea stories, ideas and
more are wanted. Please assist, your shipmates would like to hear from you.
For the past half-year or so the USS England has had to take a back seat to
work and other priority items. I apologize for the lapse and I want you to
know that we’re now going to get caught up! There
is a huge backlog of items to put on the site. These are stored neatly in
plastic bins and will start appearing on this web site.
It is asked that if you have items you’d like to photograph and
place on the site, you wait until late summer to make arrangements to send
them in. By then the queue
should be empty or at least caught up!
additions include Terry Hazel's
Guide for Propulsion Machinery from 1963 and Precommissioning
Crew Welcome Aboard Letter, Donald Russet's USS
England Brass Plaque, a USS
England Matchbook Cover, Early
USS England Postcard, and a Brand
New USS England Lighter. Look for the USS England Model Project to get
going again as well as other additions shipmates have sent in.
lot of shipmates have stopped in and entered their data as On
Line Crew. We are nearly 1000 strong now!
Over the next several months you’ll see a ramping up of event
planning and web site growth.
As you know as part of our 2001 reunion we voted on a location and time
frame for our next reunion. Our second reunion will be held June 12-15, 2003
in San Diego. We will be using Military Locator and Reunion Services again
to book reservations and assist in planning the event. It will be at the The Handlery Hotel and Resort.
also need your help. Think about what types of events would
|The USS England Forum was retired
interested in and at the final banquet, what would you like to do? We’ll
have a survey ready shortly for you to fill out and return so that we can
ensure the reunion is what all of you want it to be! Feel free to discuss
the topic in the On
again be calling on people to speak! Please consider this to be an
official call for speakers! Volunteer now!!! If you can help out, please
let Dennis O’Brien (firstname.lastname@example.org)
know so we can make this reunion the best!
will be a business meeting at this reunion where we will decide the future
of our efforts, just as we did in 2001. To be a part of that decision you
must be present at that meeting. So, make plans to be with us in 2003 so we
can plan our future! The 2003
Reunion Page will contain updates as the become available.
up as On Line Crew to be
kept up to date!
2001 Operation King was announced and since then hundreds of letters have
flooded the Navy. The goal is to return the England name to the seas. As you
know in 1944 Admiral Halsey himself expressed his desire that there always
be an England when he sent a message in which he described the exploits of DE-635
as "a matter of great pride to the whole South Pacific Team." He
continued to say, "May there all
ways be an England. Well done and congratulations to all hands."
Soon after the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral E. J. King promised "There'll
always be an ENGLAND in the United States Navy."
attack on September 11, 2001 and all that has followed has left this a much
lower priority for many of us and certainly for the Navy. However, it is perhaps now that history and heroes are most
important. John Charles England
died in the horror of another surprise attack that threw our great country
into war and DE-635 USS England played a key role in ending that war. These
are powerful symbols that would undoubtedly inspire a fine crew to carry out
their duties as only American can. As we did on our beloved USS England
dedication to our ship has enabled her history to continue. We must return
the name England to the seas. Details of the steps you can take to help make
this happen can be found on the Operation
King Page. I know that the Secretary of the Navy has noticed the
letters! Please send yours!!! Thank
you to everyone who has written as part of Operation King and encouraged
others to do so.
Mathias sent in this URL http://www.subicbaypi.com/index.htm
for old Subic Bay Naval Base.
|The USS England Forum was
retired on 02/03/07.
check out our On
Line Forum! It is a great place to communicate plan for our future.
It is a much better way to find shipmates and “talk” than the Deck
Log since it offers search capabilities and threaded discussion. If you
have not joined the forums and posted yet, please do so now.
A Sailor's Experience Aboard The USS Yorktown and USS England
"Yorktown's Sinking Put Him Aboard Navy's Top Sub-Killer"
in World War Two came through the combined skills and efforts of countless
men and women. Though rarely receiving public recognition for their critical
performance - - those who maintained, fueled and armed aircraft, who kept
carrier catapults running smoothly, who toiled in the fumes of the power
plants of great ships will never be forgotten by the fellow crewmen, pilots
and commanders who depended on them. Dwight DeHaven, guest speaker at the
the Golden Gate Wing's February meeting is one of those unsung heroes.
was already aboard the Yorktown when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He'd
joined the Navy out of high school, his father telling him when he'd cut
enough fence posts from the cedar trees on the farm, he could go ahead and
Dwight quickly learned the responsibilities of the Yorktown 's nine boilers
and all the pipes which made up the power plant of the aircraft carrier.
Dwight had aimed to be a tail gunner until he witnessed two TBD torpedo
planes collide in midair during landing practice, killing all six crewmen.
Setting aside his dream of flight operations, Dwight said, "I'll be a
good white hat sailor and stay down below."
USS Yorktown CV-5
actually his second change of heart about a Navy career. Dwight had
requested submarine school until he watched a sub scrape off its conning
tower as it passed under another ship's keel.
of 1941 found DeHaven and the Yorktown cruising the waters of the
Atlantic Ocean, on the lookout for German raiders which had been attacking
British cargo ships. In five 40-day cruises, the Yorktown 's crew traveled
25,000 miles between North and South America and the coast of Africa.
says he really enjoyed the times he had smoke watch, in the crow's nest over
the Yorktown 's stack. He was able to watch flight operations
from that perch, and that was something he could have done all day long. He
remembers well the day he was up there while on a training run and one of
the biplanes overshot the arresting gear. The pilot had jammed the throttle
forward, hanging the plane on its prop as it rose up past the carrier's
island. DeHaven says the wingtip of the biplane passed so close he could
have reached out and touched it.
convoy work the Yorktown performed, DeHaven said they had a
"mid-ocean" rendezvous with British troop ships. "We were in
sight of Bishop Rock, forty miles west of Land's End when the two convoys of
ships threaded through each other." Before the convoys had lost sight
of each other over the horizon, DeHaven witnessed the blast and smoke of
British ammo ship that blew up.
November of 1941, the Yorktown was overdue for an overhaul, with the
brickwork falling out of its boilers. While the aircraft carrier was dry
docked in Norfolk, Virginia, Dwight and his fellow crew members went into
Washington, D.C. It was December 7th, 1941, and as traffic snarled in the
city, DeHaven was stuck in the car in front of the Japanese Embassy. There
on the Embassy front steps, he and his buddies watched for thirty minutes as
the Japanese staff hauled papers out of the building and burned them on the
sailed for the West coast, then convoyed Marines to Samoa before coming into
Pearl Harbor in February, 1942. DeHaven says as Yorktown passed
through the channel toward Ford Island, "We couldn't believe the
devastation. There were battleships on the bottom, the Oklahoma was upside
down. We were in our dress whites, lining the flight deck. There wasn't a
word spoken on the ship."
Battle of the Coral Sea, May 6th-8th, the Yorktown was blooded in
combat, her planes sending the light Japanese carrier Shoho to the
bottom. As the Yorktown 's planes were recovered, DeHaven says three
Zeros got into the landing pattern. When spotted and fired on, two of them
flew off. "The third one crossed the carrier's bow. Then a kid on the
fantail with a 20mm gun shot him down. Another kid in a Wildcat had flown
through the flak after the Zero...and then flew past the carrier, shaking
his fist at the gunner" for taking away his sure victory.
did take hit - - a Japanese bomb hit her and plunged the engine room into
darkness. DeHaven remembers, ..."it was darker than the inside of a
black cat." Dwight had been up on a catwalk resetting the governors on
the boilers when the lights went out and the lantern was knocked from his
hand. "I jumped out into the middle of the room where I knew I wouldn't
knew other bombs had exploded near the Yorktown , and when the ship
returned to Pearl Harbor, he watched as the ship was dry-docked. "As
the water was pumped out, I could see cat's-whiskers of oil springing out of
the hull where shrapnel from the bombs had pierced holes." DeHaven was
one of the engineers who performed around the clock to make Yorktown seaworthy
again. He stood watch on the boiler of a pineapple train providing power to
the ship while she was patched up. In less than 48 hours, repairs that
normally would have taken months were made, and Yorktown was back in
the water, steaming to join the Enterprise and Hornet off
USS Yorktown getting repairs at Pear
Harbor after the Battle of Coral Sea.
USS Yorktown CV5 listing heavily prior to sinking on June 7,
1942 during the Battle of Midway.
took three bombs in the Battle of Midway, the most damaging one penetrating
the flight, hangar and second decks and exploding in the funnel uptakes,
leaving Yorktown dead in the water. She had gotten under speed when
four torpedoes were launched by planes from the Japanese carrier Hiryu
- - two missed but two hit. Soon, the carrier was listing 20 degrees and the
captain ordered the ship abandoned.
went over the side on a rope, lowering himself into the water. He was just
about to be picked up by a destroyer when Japanese planes returned and the
destroyer steamed away to make itself less vulnerable. An hour later the
destroyer Benham plucked DeHaven from the oily water and he got a
was among the engineers who returned to Yorktown to see if she could
be saved. Dwight had thought the ship could be counter-flooded and towed
stern first, beached in the lagoon at Midway and repaired. The decision was
made to scuttle her, and destroyers fired more shells into the hull, but Yorktown
only went down when a Japanese sub hit her with two more torpedoes.
December 1942 to May of '43, DeHaven served on the England , a
destroyer which sunk six Japanese subs in a twelve day period, mostly by
catching them at night while they were surfaced, recharging batteries. England
was awarded a Presidential Citation for these actions. Today, the Navy
still recognizes excellence in anti-submarine warfare with its "England
Philippines, England sneaked "Carlson's Raiders" onto the
island, and DeHaven witnessed his first kamikaze attack when a Japanese
plane hit a transport ship. He also saw Dick Bong shoot down another enemy
plane, turning it into a fireball that Bong's P-38 flew through. DeHaven
says a great cheer went up among the sailors on ships in the bay when Bong
concluded his display with a vertical victory roll.
USS England DE635
was Iwo Jima, and then the England rode out a typhoon on its way to
Okinawa, where DeHaven says "that's where the war really got
personal." As the Task Force approached the island, a battleship opened
up with its 16-inch guns. "We could see the shells as they passed over
us. They looked like VW bugs going through the air."
picket duty only 300 miles from Kyushu, the England sweated out
kamikaze attacks. For DeHaven that meant, "two to three days at a time
in the engine room, getting out only to grab a sandwich from the galley.
We'd turn the stern of the ship to planes that attacked us. We'd have a
minute and a half to maneuver, and we'd make a sharp turn at the last minute
(to avoid the kamikaze)." One plane that dived on England had
its wing strike the aft deck before hitting the water. Its bomb blew after
the destroyer had passed at 24-25 knots. Two others kamikazes dived and
missed, before one struck the ship with full fury.
wingtip hit a boat davit. The pilot may have already been dead, because a
gunner saw the pilot slumped forward in the cockpit. The plane turned into
superstructure and exploded, making it impossible for the captain to get off
the flying bridge. He swung down off the barrel of one of the number-2
and his mates got down on the engine room floor plates until the worst of
the ship's shuddering was over. He checked out the damage topside, then
began assessing the damage below, aided by flashlights he'd had taped
pointing up and down each ladder. After his Yorktown experience,
"Flashlight Dwight" didn't want to be caught in the dark.
DeHaven and the England the war was over. He helped nurse the
destroyer back through the Panama Canal, but had to pass through a hurricane
on the way, making patches to the superstructure in heavy seas. England was
therefore brought back to Philadelphia, where she was decommissioned.