|USS FRED T. BERRY
SHIP'S HISTORY ADDENDA
CRISIS IN 1960
|Over the years our Navy has experienced many crises. Most have occurred
during historic battles, serious accidents or, maybe, severe storms. They have impacted
many lives and most have been documented time and time again. Many have produced heroes
that have been written up in our history books and many have been immortalized in movies.
Some crises, regrettably, have gone unrecorded and the details of those events have been
forgotten over the years. One of those forgotten crises will be related in the following
paragraph. It involved the health and well being of all aboard the USS FRED T. BERRY and
maybe one or two of our shipmates will remember the event. It played out as follows:
It happened during the fall of 1960 as the ship was at sea training to maintain its readiness to carry out its assigned mission. It involved a logistical problem that occasionally occurs despite all the efforts of the supply department to maintain a condition of complete readiness. Well into the cruise it came evident that a glitch had occurred and the ship had not taken on an adequate supply of necessary materials to complete the entire cruise. Since the ship was soon to replenish from a fleet tanker it was decided to communicate the problem to the tanker and see if they could supply us with the needed material. While alongside the tanker, the signal bridge was instructed to flash a message to the signal bridge on the tanker. Our man carried out his order with precision and impressive professionalism. There seemed to be some confusion on the other ship when they received the message and their signalman disappeared inside the bridge for a moment and reappeared again. He held up an example of the item we needed and pointed to it with his other hand. Our man nodded in the affirmative and their man returned the nod that he understood. The crew of our ship was watching with great concern and anticipation. The situation on our ship was getting critical and should the tanker not have a surplus of the material in their inventory, completion of our mission might be in doubt. All eyes were on the signal bridge of the tanker. There was a collective sigh of relief when the tanker signaled back that they could help us out. Our line handlers never looked so sharp as they brought the large canvas sack across the open water and deposited it on our deck.
Thus, a very serious crisis was averted and we continued our mission in the true tradition of the Navy. For the remains of the day and cruise we were, again, a sharp crew, ready to take on the world if necessary. The question occasionally came up as to what would have happened if the tanker couldn't have accommodated us. An adequate, coherent answer could never be found though. Oh yes, what was the subject of all this concern? We had just about run out of toilet paper and thus ended the greatest crisis the "Fighting Freddy" experienced in 1960.
*The following are details that I wasn't aware of. The above chronicle was sent to Ed Teagle, (FT2, 59-61), for verification of its accuracy and he sent the following e-mail. It has been transcribed here.
"Sure, I remember this incident. As a matter of fact I am laughing just thinking about it. The only thing I can add is that, prior to the resolution to the problem that you wrote about, there was an earlier attempt to provide some temporary 'relief' to the TP problem.
As I recall, either the USS NORRIS (DDE859) or USS MCCAFFERY (DDE860) was to be observed for a gunnery exercise. Some other FT's and I were hi-lined over to be observers. As we were getting ready to be hi-lined over, the exec came to us and asked us to bring back some TP.
Over we went, did the gunnery exercise, and tried to get the TP. It seems that I recall we only got a half dozen or dozen rolls, and some of these we took off the TP holders in the head. The problem then was that the only way we had to bring them back was stuffed into our dungaree pockets or the life jackets! We must have been a sight to see with white rolls of TP sticking out all over as we got hi-lined back aboard.
Thanks for the memory"
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