|USS FRED T. BERRY
SHIP'S HISTORY ADDENDA
|From Wally Ramberg, SN, 1949 - 1952
"If I remember correctly, the following incident happened in early 1952. Generally, refueling exercises go fairly well but not so in this case. I was a phone talker on the after refueling station on the 0-1 deck. As we approached up the starboard side of the tanker, word was passed for all hands to take cover as the tanker was going to pass a line with a line throwing gun. Many of us took cover in or behind the 40MM gun tub. The rod came over but ricocheted off the radio mast and entered the gun tub, striking GM3 Ted Matatek in the head. The rod entered the back of his head and was protruding out over his eye. I reported this to the bridge and all lines were severed immediately. We then began a 300 mile speed run to the Naval Hospital at Newport where a boat was to be standing by to transfer Gunners Mate Matatek to the hospital. Upon arrival at Newport, the Captain brought the ship to within 600 yds of the shore and we waited for the hospital boat to appear. After a long wait with no boat appearing, the captain ordered the motor whaleboat to be lowered to the rail and Gunners Mate Matatek was put aboard. The boat, along with a very angry captain, then delivered the patient to the hospital and returned to the ship. I believe the captain took the boat right up to the admiral's porch. To this day I don't know what the outcome of the incident was and whether or not Gunners Mate Matatek survived.
The reason that no boat came to the ship? They couldn't locate a bow hook!!
As related by MM1, Chuck Metcalfe, that speed run was entered in the ship's log as the required yearly speed run. When the oil king checked the fuel tanks, we had 7% fuel on board!!
(From the Webmaster. Does anyone know what happened to GM3, Ted Matatek?)
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