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Article from "Pacific Shield" Honolulu, HI Magazine December 1991
By PAC (ret) Dennis Hubbard
( Dennis was contacted in August 1999 and the following is add to his story. "PAC stands for Chief Public Affairs Specialist. By the way I was the main organizer for the Taney's 50th anniversary marker dedication and other events in Honolulu in 1991-- EMail me @ USCGA1@AOL.COM" )
A TANEY Man Can't forget Sunday December 7, 1941
"At 7:55 a.m. the alarm went off sounding general
quarters and I started cursing because we
had been having so many drills" recalledChuck Sellentin, who was a 17 year old fireman
aboard the TANEY Dec. 7, 1941, He had left his parent's small farm in Belden, Neb., less
than a year earlier. Sellentin recalled a shipmate who came sliding down the railing into the
engine room and yelled "This drill is for real. The Oklahoma is turning over! You can see the
smoke coming from Pearl Harbor"
Sellentin ran up the ladder to his general
quarters station which was on the main deck below
the bridge. "I could hear all the excitement, and about that time I saw Japanese planes flying
high overhead" said Sellentin.
"The next thing I heard was the shooting of
our guns. That particular moment still stands out in
my mind because the reverberation shattered all the glass windows in the nearby warehouse,"
he said . "some of it came tinkling down on the ship". Latter that morning while manning his
general quarters station, Sellentin saw Japanese planes coming toward the ship. "One of those
planes came in so low I thought I saw the pilot waving," recalls Selletin.
This was just one of many recollections that
16 former TANEY and retold to each other, and
to active duty Coast Guard members and the media during the TANEY reunion held in
Honolulu Oct. 24-28.
A special highlight of the reunion took place
Oct. 25 when the former crew members and their
wives were honored guest at the dedication of a TANEY historical marker. The marker,
which includes a painting depicting the TANEY docked at Pier 6 as its crewmen fired on
enemy aircraft, will serve to commemorate her actions on Dec 7, 1941.
The 16 Pearl Harbor survivors were joined by
approximately 50 other former crew members
who served aboard TANEY at various times during the cutter's 50-year career.
During the dedication ceremony, principal speaker
and Pearl Harbor survivor Willis
Partridge gave a stirring account of what happened when enemy planes appeared that
morning. "At about 9 a.m., we could see planes very high and we could see they were
Japanese. They were out of range of our guns although we fired at them. I think we broke up
their formation," Partridge said.
Partridge was n 18-year-old signalman third
class at the time. Pointing to the west, he said
"five Japanese planes came toward us from that direction. They looked like they were coming
in for a glide-bombing run on our ship or the power plant just to the northeast of Pier 6. Our
gun crews fired everything we had at them including coffee cups." We didn't see didn't see
how any of them got through our barrage. But the Japanese pilots must have concurred
because they skedaddled and never came back," Partridge added.
Launched in 1936, TANEY was one of 101 ships
stationed near Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7,
1941, when the US fleet was attacked without warning by the Empire of Japan. Until she was
decommissioned Dec. 7, 1986, the TANEY was the last of those 101 ships still in active
service. The battleship USS Arizona, resting on the floor of the harbor, however, still remains
on record as "commissioned" as a memorial to the men who died.
In addition to attending the historical marker
dedication, the reunion members and their wives
were treated to a cruise and buffet lunch aboard the modernized 378 -foot Coast Guard
Cutter Rush. After the ceremony they toured the Hawaii Maritime Center, and the Arizona
Earlier in the week, 12 reunion crewmen paid
a visit to Honolulu Mayor Frank Fas's office
where he issued a proclamation declaring Oct. 25, 1991, as "Coast Guard Taney Day" in
Several years latter the plaque was moved to
the Maritime Museum because of vandalism.
The rededication ceremony was attended by Vern Toler and two other ex TANEY crewmen
on Sunday the 7th of December 1996
The following is copied from the booklet provided at the (cover
page 1 with the TANEY Shield)
"Decommissioning Ceremony, December 7, 1986 Portsmouth Virginia "
(page 2) Program
1200 Open house
1300 Secure open house
1350 Crew muster, all guest seated
1400 Arrival of official party
MKC Alphanso R. Payne, USCGC TANEY
LCDR M.A. Robinett Executive Officer, USCGC TANEY
Mr. Jesse Pond Pearl Harbor Survivors Association
Wreath laying ceremony
Dr. Robert L. Scheina Coast Guard Historian
Mr. Chris T. Delaporte City of Baltimore Dept. of Recreations & Parks
RADM B. F. Hollingsworth Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District
CDR Winston G. Churchill Commanding Officer, USCGC TANEY
Reading of decommissioning orders
Reports from department heads
Ship's company lay ashore
Bells are Struck
Colors are struck
Commanding Officer departs
Commanding Officer reports decommissioning to District Commander
(Special note during this ceremony there was not a dry eye from crew
members and former crew
members, The US Coast Guard made a video tape of the event.)
(Page 3 Picture of command pennant)
Central to our ceremony today will be the striking (lowering) of the commission pennant. The Pennant, which is visible on the main mast aft of the stacks, is the symbol of a commissioned Coast Guard vessel.
According to Naval Customs, Traditions and Usage, the commission pennant is a reduced version of the "pennon" used by every noble family in the Middle Ages, and on which were emblazoned the arms of the bearer. These streamers, sometimes of great size and length, were flown on board ships in which the owners were embarked. The pennant today is standardized in size, but nonetheless represents the personal insignia of the officer appointed to command the ship.
The Coast Guard pennant and ensign were established by Congress in 1799 to distinguish ships of the Revenue Marine. Both bear 16 strips for the states in the Union. The pennant also carries 13 stars.
The ship's company departing ashore, striking the bells and lowering the colors symbolize and end to 50 years of gallant devoted service by TANEY.
(Page 4. Picture of Taney.)
Roger Brooke TANEY (1777-1864)
Born March 17, 1777, the son of a prosperous tobacco
grower in Calvent County, Maryland, Taney for whom the Coast Guard Cutter
is named, was admitted to the bar at Annapolis in 1799. He served
in the Maryland House of Delegates before settling down to practice law
in Frederick, Maryland. In 1806. he married Anne Key, sister of Frances
Scott Key. In 1827, he was appointed Attorney General of Maryland.
Jackson named him Attorney General of the United States in 1831. In
1833, Jackson nominated him as Secretary of the Treasury, where he served
as Acting Secretary until Congress rejected his appointment in 1834.
He was then nominated by Jackson as an Associated Justice of the
U.S. Supreme Court. Chief justice John Marshall died in 1835, and Jackson
nominated Taney to Succeed him as Chief Justice. He was sworn in
as the fifth Chief justice of the U.S. in March 1836.
Most remembered for his majority decision in the Dread Scott case, his thinking however, ran counter to the dominant historical trends of his time and he had enduring influence on the substance and evolution of American Constitutional law. He died in Washington D.C. on October 12, 1864, and is buried in Frederick, Maryland where his home, 'Taney House' is a state landmark.
(page 5 with picture of Adm. Hollingsworth)
Rear Admiral Bobby F. Hollingsworth. Commander Fifth Coast Guard District.
Rear Admiral Bobby F. Hollingsworth assumed command
of the Fifth Coast Guard District on May 8, 1986. He also serves as Deputy
Commander, Maritime Defense Zone, Sector Five. His previous assignment
was Commander, Second Coast Guard District in St. Louis, Missouri.
He was promoted to flag rank in May 1982 and appointed as Chief of the Coast Guard's Office of Marine Environment and Systems at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters. During the assignment he was the program director for the Gooiest Guard's Port and Environmental Safety, Marine Environmental Response and Waterways Management programs. Prior to that he was the Deputy Chief of the Office of Operations.
While at Headquarters Rear Admiral Hollingsworth was the United States Representative to the Marine Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and was chairman of the United States Delegation to a major international conference of liability and compensation for damage in connection with the carriage of oil and hazardous substances by sea.
His sea service includes a tour as commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter CAPE UPRIGHT, as executive officer of the Coast Guard Cutter McCULLOCH, and was a deck watch officer aboard the Cutter INGHAM. While a junior officer he commander Coast Guard LORAN Station Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands.
Rear Admiral Hollingsworth completed graduate studies in communications engineering at the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, California, where he graduated in 1962. He has held a number of important tele-communications assignments, including duty as Chief of the Telecommunications Management Division at Coast Guard Headquarters. While in that assignment during 1978-79, he was the United States Representative to the International Maritime Organization Subcommittee on Radiocomminications.
A native of South Irvine, Kentucky, Rear Admiral Hollingsworth graduated from high school in Delray Beach, Florida. He attended the University of Florida prior to attending the Coast Guard Academy as aa member of the class of 1955.
He is married to the former Patricia Marac-Aurele of New London, Connecticut. They have a son Matthew and two married daughters, Alicia Bowden and Denise DeFranco.
(Page 6 with picture of Com. Churchill.)
Commanding Officer Winston G. Churchill United States Coast Guard
Joined the Coast Guard in 1958 and served on ocean station ships and buoy
tenders in both Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. He attained the ration
of Chief Quartermaster before assignment to Officer Candidate School in
1967. Commander CHURCHILL has served on twelve cutters including command
of CAPE STARR and Executive Officer of the cutters VALIANT and JARAVIS.
Ashore, Commander CHURCHILL has been assigned to the fourteenth District, Headquarters, and Pacific Area. He has served four tours of duty with the Navy: Fleet Training Group, Pearl Harbor, Naval Material Command, USS PHARRIS, and most recently as Liaison Officer to Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Commander CHURCHILL is a graduate of Chaminade College of Honolulu and the Armed Forces Staff College. He is married to the former Merri Lynne Stevenson, a Navy Reservist and daughter of a career Marine.
Commander CHURCHILL assumed command of TANEY on 16 May 1986.
(page 7 Picture of Com. Robinett)
Executive Officer Michael A. Robinett, United States Coast Guard.
Lieutenant Commander ROBINETT graduated from the
Coast Guard Academy in 1973. He served aboard the CGC BOUTWELL
(WHEC - 719) in Seattle WA as a Student Engineer and Damage Control
Assistant. From 1975 to 1977 he was assigned to the Naval Engineering Branch
of the Eleventh CG District Office. Lieutenant Commander ROBINETT served
as engineer Officer of the CGC VENTUROUS (WMEC-625) in San Pedro CA from
1977 to 1979. After attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor MI,
he earned a Masters Degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
in 1981. While assigned to the staff at the Fifth CG District Officer,
Lieutenant Commander ROBINETT was the Naval Engineering Project Officer
for the introduction of the 270' WMECs to the Coast Guard fleet.
He reported to the TANEY in 1985.
He is married to the former Sandra L. Sether of Ledyard CT. They have two sons, Jason and Matthew.
(page 8-9 Contains picture of TANEY and list of CO's., this list will also be in 7 bells section)
COMMANDING OFFICERS USCGC TANEY (WASHEC 37) 1936-1986
Name & Rank
June 136 - October 1940 CDR EUGENE A COFFIN RADM (RET)
November 1940-July 1941 CDR GEORGE B. GELLY CAPT (RET)
August 1941-August 1942 CDR LOUIS B. OLSON RADM (RET)
August 1942 - February 1943 CDR GEORGE B. GELLY CAPT (RET)
March 1943 - March 1944 CAPT HENRY C. PERKINS RADM (RET)
April 1944 - October 1944 CDR HENRY J. WUENSCH RADM (RET)
November 1944 - August 1945 CDR GEORAGE D. SYNON RADM (RET)
September 1945 - October 1947 CDR CARL G. BOWMAN CAPT (RET)
November 1947 - July 1949 CAPT CLARENCE C. PADEN CAPT (RET)
August 1949 - November 1949 LCDR GEORGE STEDMAN CAPT (RET)
November 1949 - July 1950 CAPT EDWIN J. ROLAND ADM (RET)
August 1950 - November 1951 CAPT GEORGE H. MILLER RADM (RET)
December 1951 - January 1953 CAPT GEORGE D. SYNON RADM (RET)
February 1953 - September 1954 CAPT HENRY A. MEYER CAPT (RET)
November 1954 - February 1956 CAPT ALBERT J. CARPENTER CAPT (RET)
March 1956 - May 1957 CAPT JAMES A. ALGER Jr. RADM (RET)
June 1957 - June 1959 CAPT WILLIAM W. CHILDRESS RADM (RET)
July 1959 - July 1961 CAPT FRANK V. HELMER RADM (RET)
August 1961 - June 1963 CAPT FREDERICK J. STATTS CAPT (RET)
July 1963 - June 1965 CAPT ROBERT D. BRODIE IV CAPT (RET)
July 1965 - March 1968 CAPT SHERMAN K. FRICK CAPT (RET)
April 1968 - April 1969 CAPT R. E. YOUNG CAPT (RET)
April 1969 - June 1971 CAPT R. E. OGIN CAPT (RET)
July 1971 - August 1974 CAPT WALTAER E. PAULSEN CAPT (RET)
September 1974 - July 1976 CDR JOSEPH J. WICKS CAPT (RET)
August 1976 - July 1978 CDR EUGAENE E. MORAN CAPT (RET)
August 1978 - July 1980 CDR JOHN W. LOCKWOOD CAPT
July 1980 - May 1982 CDR JIMMIE H. HOBAUGH CAPT
May 1982 - August 1984 CDR RICHARD J. BEAVER CDR (RET)
August 1984 - May 1986 CDR ROBERT L. HOYT CDR (RET)
May 1986 - Prenent
CDR WINSTON G. CHURCHILL CDR
(page 10-11 has late picture of TANEY)
Length overall 327 ft
Beam 41 ft
Draft 12 ft. 6 in.
Displacement 2700 tons
Top Speed 20 knots
Cursing range 8270 nautical miles
Fuel capacity 158,326 gallons
Fresh water capacity 24,950 gallons
two 400 psi B&W boilers
geared turban, twin screws
Armament one 5"/38 gun two 50-cal machine guns
Personnel allowance 12 officers,
117 enlisted men
Christened June 3, 1936
Commissioned October 24, 1936
Arrived First Home port
World War 2 Pacific Convoy Duty May 1941 - January 1944
World War 2 Atlantic Convoy Duty May 1944 - October 1944
World War 2
Flagship for Commander April
1945 - September 1945
Naval Forces, Ryukyus
Home port Alameda, California April 1946
Korean War Support Ship 1950-1953
Host to French President Charles de Gaulle 27 April 1960
Vietnam War Operation Market Time April 1969 - February 1970
Arrived new Home port Norfolk, Virginia February 1972
Home port changed to Portsmouth, Virginia September 1976
(Page 12 & 13 with old picture of TANEY)
United States Coast Guard Cutter TANEY (WHEC 37)
TANEY was one of seven Secretary Class cutters designed to meet the changing needs of the Coast Guard as the country emerged from Prohibition. Named after Secretary of the Treasury and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roger "B. Taney, she was constructed at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and commissioned on October 24, 1936
At the time, TANEY and her sister ships were the Coast Guard's largest ships of the line. Their early days were spent controlling the flow of contraband, mostly opium, up through passages in the Caribbean. Their economical design gave them the advantages of extended patrol time plus an improved platform for search and rescue operations.
One of the more memorable periods in TANEY'S history began at 7:55 am, on the quite Sunday morning of December 7, 1941. It was on this day that a swarm of Japanese bombers reduced the pride of American naval might into a smoldering mass of burning metal. Of the 101 vessels present in Pearl Harbor that day, only two remained commissioned: the USS ARIZONA, as a memorial, and the CGC TANEY. In the course of the battle, TANEY was credited with fighting off a force of five enemy aircraft, apparently intent on destroying the Honolulu Power Plant.
TANEY went on to serve in both the Atlantic and Pacific
Theaters during World War 2. In 1944 TANEY, was assigned convoy duty, protecting
the merchant fleet as they crossed the U-boat infested North Atlantic.
It was here that the Secretary Class cutters won additional praise for
their design, which provided an excellent platform for gunfire support
and boat operations. Their hotel accommodations, superior to those
of destroyers, allowed more room for survivors of those ships unfortunate
enough to fall victim to a U-boat attract.
After the war, TANEY resumed her peacetime duties, to include manning Ocean Stations November and Victor in the Pacific. This continued until TANEY was called to serve her country by supplying communications and meteorological support to U.S. forces in Korea.
In the fall of 1969, TANEY was assigned to Coast Guard Squadron Three, headquarters in Subic Bay, Philippines. She served a 10-month tour of duty on 'Operation Marketime' once again providing gunfire support and boarding the many junks and sampans which plied the Republic and Vietnam coast daily. TANEY returned from the Philippines and left Alameda, Calif., in 1972 for her present homeport.
TANEY's peacetime duties involved law enforcement, search and rescue, and training for Academy Cadets, and Office Candidates. Her law enforcement activities included enforcing the Magnuson Fisheries Conservation Management Act (better known as the '200-mile limit') and patrolling the Caribbean passages, interdicting contraband before it reached the United States. One of here more recant patrols included the seizure of the M/V SEA MAID 1, which when boarded, was towing a barge loaded with 80-tons of marijuana.
Gunfire support...weather observation...searach and rescue...law enforacement...training platform...TANEY has been called upon to perform a number of different missions since her commissioning fifty years ago. In each of these cases, TANEY has remained ready to perform those task assigned. TANEY has been , in the true spirit of the phrase---Simper Paratus (Always Ready).
(page's 14-18 Crew Roster. This list will also be in chapter 7 bells.)
CDR Winston G. Churchill Commanding Officer
LCDR M. A. Robinett Executive Officer
CWO2 Anthony P. Shea
YNC Preston Harrell
SSC Paul C. Tamayo
HS1 Gerald P. Gerstel
SK1 Robert E. Jones
SS1 Mario G. Padilla
SS1 Romeo S. Bombase
SS2 Irineo B. Punsalon
SS3 Tyresse L. Williams
SS3 Charles R. Johnson
SS3 James M. Ellison
SS3 Robert P. Bielli
SK3 Floyd A. Bradley
SN Samuel J. Pruit 3d
Melvin L. Bouboulis
LtJG Brian J. Merrill
Damage Control Assistant
ENS Kenneth J. Reynolds
CWO2 Joseph M. Gale
Main Propulsion Assistant
MKCS John M Bariley MK3 Donald E. Thrift
EMC Yu P. Aldrich MK3 John J. Whener Jr.
MKC Aaron Jones Jr. EM3 James E. Ross
MKC Alphonso R. Payne EM3 Keith P. Albrain
DCC Harvey R. Taylor DC3 Roger E. Hoopkins
MK1 Abraham P. Arispe FNMK Michael T. Marshall
MK1 Michael T. Chunn FN Joseph Budwitis
MK1 Patrick L. Clayton FN Lance W. Hendrix
DC1 Melvin L. Grayson FN Robert W. Mays
DC1 Harlen D. Webb FN Michael E. Swilley
EM1 John D. Lawson FN Edward A. Wadley
MK2 Thomas C. Blick FN Mark T. Weinel
MK2 John M. Dailey FN Derrick T. Williams
MK2 James R. Huguley Jr. FN William H. Collison
MK2 Robert C. Moyer FN Dannie E. Gray
DC2 Monte J. Hackbarath FN Robert M. Colston
MK3 Timonthy R. Calvert FN Trevor L. Milkins
MK3 Stephen J. Carson FA William W. Jones
MK3 Robert P. Odell FA Steven Berg
Thomas c. Riggs
LtJG Thomas W. Jones
Assistand OPS Officer
LtJG Christopher P. Scraba
Educational Services Officer
Electronics Maintenance Officer
QMC Steven M. Tucker
ETC William L. Benson
RAD1 Johnny Moore
QM1 S. J. Plaszynski
RM1 Scott P. Wallace
ET2 Mark P. Anderson
ET2 Leslie H. Dawson
ET2 Bret D. Kelly
RM2 W. D. Meredith
RD2 Richard A. Sines
QM3 Patrick A. Culver
QM3 Gregory S. Tanner
RM3 Ted H. Harrell
RM3 Michael D. McSwain
RD3 Charles B. Lair
RD3 Eric R. Bernhisel
RD3 Phillio G. Pichowsky
RD3 James J. Waldron
RD3 W. R. Miltier
SMQM John B. Rud
Vincent A. Aquino
LtJG Jeffery S. Bauer
BMC Russel L. Moses
GMC Thomas J. Owens
BM1 Burton T. Monroe
BM3 John B. Poling
GM3 Coy W. Plumline
SNGM Bradley J. Lacy
SN Jerry C. Besecker
SN Roberat E. Brown
SN Timothy W. Caroway
SN Darnell C. Davis
SN Bret L. Geibel
SN Marvin M. Herndon
SN Neal R. Jones
SN G. A. McIntire
SN Brian K. McLaughlin
SN Thomas E. Mogush Sr.
SN Robert L. Pease
SN Harald A. Reyes
SN Scott M. Sorenson
SN Alfred Villanueva
SN James R. Creel
SN David C. McCloskey
SN James D. Reid
SN George E. Brannen
SA Joseph C. Carter
SA Byron W. Harbert
SA Bradley A. Howard
SA Daniel E. Jackson
SA Brad J. Keiserman
SA James R. Lea
SA Scott A. Ludes
SA J. E. Nelson
SA Monte L. Thomas
SA Sean Thornton
SA Andrew J. White
SR Jeremiah J.Carroll 3d
Excepts of Letter from Commanding Officer, CGC TANEY, To Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District, Reporting Activities of December 7-20 1941
1. "When antiaircraft fire was first observed over Pearl Harbor on December 7th, general quarters were sounded ... The anti-aircraft battery as well as other guns were ready to fire ... within four minutes ... Between 0901 and 0902 and between 0915 and 0918 opened fire on scattering formations of enemy aircraft at high altitude passing over the harbor from west to east, using #4 and #5 guns ... At 1158 a formation of five enemy planes approached the vessel directly from the south southwest over the harbor entrance on what appeared to be a glide bombing attack on the power plant which is located north of vessel's berth at Pier Six, Honolulu. Fire was opened with #4 and #5 guns and #3, #4, #5 and #6 50/Cal. machine guns after planes were in range. planes were rocked by fire and swerved up and away"
2. "Proceeded to sea at 0546, 8 December, and commenced patrol of vicinity of Honolulu Harbor entrance ..."
3. "Decryption of three attack follows:
2043. 10 December, 1941 ... Sound contact was made ... Rate of charge of range indicated that submarine was running away. Completed approach and dropped three charges with 1000 yards spread. ... A very strong odor of fuel oil was noticed after the attract. ...
1703, 11 December, 1941. ... Dropped six charges using Y gun on an urgent approach at full speed on a sound contact made while a cruiser was leaving Pearl Harbor and within torpedo range.
0940, 14 December, 1941. Dropped five charges on an excellent contact with range closing fast from dead ahead. This was the best contact made, solid and definite and all hands were convinced that result would be obtained. ... "
L. B. Olson
(Page 19 contains Logo of Pearl Harbor Survivors Association)
We, officers and enlisted personnel, all survivors of the infamous attack on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, bank ourselves together for the purpose of promoting and promulgating the obligations of citizenship and patriotism, and to aid in protecting out Nation, as laymen, from all her enemies whether from within or without.
"Bless us O Lord, as we gather here in Thy name in remembrance of our shipmates and comrades who served our country, and to promote the defense of our American ideals and heritage. Guide and direct us in our deliberations that they may give glory and honor to Thee and be for the Good oa all mankind in Thy Holy Name, --- Amen"
Remember Pearl Harbor --- Keep America Alert!
(the back page contains a Proclamation from the Mayor of Honolulu. )
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR * CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU
WHEREAS, the United States Coast Guard Cutter TANEY became a familiar sight in and around the Hawaiian Islands and other islands in the mid-Pacific beginning in 1936 when she was newly commission; and
WHEREAS, the ship was moored at Honolulu Harbor's Pier 6 when Japanese planes attacked the nearby power plant on December 7, 1941; and
WHEREAS, her crew immediately went into action to protect the plant and the City during the surprise raid on Oahu; and
WHEREAS, TANEYeventually saw duty in waters off North Africa, as an amphibious flagship at landings in Okinawa, in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and in the Caribbean Sea where she deterred drug smuggling; and
WHEREAS, this gallant and historic ship capped its brilliant career while American observed the 45th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941; and
WHEREAS, during this 50th anniversary of TANEY'S actions against the enemy planes, a historical marker will be dedicated at Pier 6 on October 25, 1991,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FRANK F. FASI, Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, do hereby proclaim October 25, 1991, as
COAST GUARD CUTTER TANEY DAY
in the City and County of Honolulu, pay special honor to the officers and crew who served on her during her distinguished half-century of active duty, and express deep gratitude for her role in protecting our nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City and County of Honolulu to be affixed.
Done this 24th day of October, 1991 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
s/Frank F. Fasi, Mayor
City and County of Honolulu
Monday December 8 1986 THE VIRGINA-PILOT page D3 &
(Picture of Corinne Taney under Chapter 5 bells)
Story copied by Vern Toler
"Corinne Taney Marks, who christened the Taney in 1936 holds the flag removed from the stern at the ship's decommission.
Coast Guard cutter ends long career.
By BRUCE TAYLOR SEEMAN ... Staff Writer
PORTSMOUTH --- A bell rang eight times, a memorial wreath was lowered from the ship's deck into the water, and a flag at the stern was folded and presented to the woman who christened the ship 50 years ago.
The woman cried, and 125 crewmen marched down the ships gangway one last time, saluting goodbye. After 50 years of fighting wars, assisting ships in distress and chasing lawbreakers, the active life of the Coast Guard Cutter Taney was over.
After the decommissioning ceremony ended Sunday afternoon and a crowd of about 500 people filtered towards a nearby reception an alumnus turned toward the 327-foot ship and looked at its empty decks.
"I'm gonna take one last look at this old lady," said Bill Marlowe of La Grange, Ill, a member of its first crew when it was commissioned in Philadelphia in 1937.
Pete Peterson of Satellite Beach, Fla., one of Marlowe's shipmates, remembered the excitement of being assigned to a spanking new ship 50 years ago. " She looks like she's ready for 50 more" he said.
The decommissioning was a proud day for past and current crew members and their families, who listened to Coast Guard officials review the adventures and accomplishments of a ship that sailed all corners of the world.
Minutes after the ceremony Marlowe and Peterson took time out to introduce themselves to Corinne Taney Marks, the woman who christened the ship in June 1936 by bashing a bottle of champagne on its bow.
Marks, of St. Michaels, Md., is the 72-year-old great-grandniece of Roger B. Taney, a secretary of the Treasury and chief justice of the United States for whom the ship was named.
"It's wonderful'" she said, holding the ship's flag after it was taken from its mast and given to her by the crew. "The Taney has survived and so have I. I couldn't help it --- I shed a few little tears."
Best; known for its survival of Pearl Harbor and the attack of Okinawa in World War 2, The Taney also served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. In the past half-century its crews also have run rescue missions and collected weather data in the Pacific.
Its age, maintenance cost and operation limitations let to its decommissioning along with other ships in the Secretary Class. With the Taney out of service, only the Ingham remains among the sister ships.
Later this month, the Taney will be sailed to Baltimore harbor where it will become a permanent maritime museum. Federal legislation passed earlier this year enabled it to be docked in Maryland. Roger B. Taney's native state.
"This is far from the retirement of a normal ship. Taney will not be lost to the history books. It will be with us for many years to come." said Rear Adm. Bobby F.. Hollingsworth, commander of the Coast Guards 5th District.
In Baltimore, the Taney will be moored near another floating museum, the 189 -year-old U.S. ;frigate Constellation, the first ship commissioned by the U. S. Navy.
"They both know life and death, and the value life." Hollingswosrth said. "They'll both have much to share on quiet nights in Baltimore."
copied by Vern Toler from Honolulu Star-BulletenFriday, October 25, 1991 Page A-5
Men who served on cutter to mark Dec. 7 role today by Phil Mayer, Star-Bulletin
The Coast Guard couldn't wait. At Honolulu Harbor's Pier 6 today, 16 men who served aboard the Coast Guard cutter Taney on Dec. 7, 1941 will take part in ceremonies.
It was gunfire from the Taney that probably kept downtown Honolulu and the nearby Hawaiian Electric Co. plant from being bombed as World War 2 began.
Today, a marker will be placed where the Taney was tied up that day. It operated from that berth during the war's first year.
Only two of those 16 men, Nemesio Maracos, 80, who was chief steward, and crewman Peter Elliot, 71, life in Honolulu.
The principal speaker at today's ceremonies is Willis Partridge, 68, of Tacoma, Wash. He retired from the Coast Guard in 1968 as commander after 23 years of service.
Today's ceremony comes more than six weeks before the anniversary of that morning when the Taney went to war.
"We; wanted to make sure the ceremonies honoring the Taney and her crewmen, didn't get; lost in all the other observances that area going to be closer to the 50th anniversary," said Coast Guard spokesman Dennis Hubbard.
"We're the smallest (service) so we've got to be very practical," Partridge says he and many crewmen and surviving dependents who came to Honolulu for the ceremonious area enthusiastic about the scheduling.
"This way, we'll avoid the crush of people that are sure to crowd the hotels and Pearl Harbor just before and after Dec., 7 " he said. " I think this is very smart."
Partridge, a retired bank executive, was a 19-year-old signalman at the time of the attack.
The 327-foot Taney was one of 101 ships stationed in or near Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7.
At 7:30 a.m. Dec;. 7 Partridge was on watch as a quartermaster checking crewmen as they left and returned to the ship.
He was told to go to the radio room where a message had been received from the Navy destroyer USS Ward. That ship became the first to engage a Japanese vessel as a prelude to the attack.
Partridge said the message "told us that the Ward had been depth charging a submarine at sea outside Pearl Harbor since midnight."
"He (the officer on duty) immediately ordered me to recall the ship's officers and men that were ashore -- we knew where they were; and could phone them -- and not permit anyone else to go ashore."
"The ships gunners were told to prepare their weapons for action and riggers were told to take down the awnings that had been sheltering the deck."
"At about 8 a.m. we could see smoke rising from the direction of Pearl Harbor although we had no idea what had happened."
"At about 9 a.m. we saw planes -- very high -- That we could see were Japanese. They were out of range of our guns although we fired at them and I think we broke up their formations.
By about noon the Taney "was really at war." Partridge recalled.
"Five Japanese planes that were so low we could see their pilots in their cockpits approached us -- and downtown Honolulu -- from the sea. They were sort of gliding as though they were about ready to drop bombs.
"I think their principal target was that power plant, which was being guarded by soldiers armed only with rifles."
No one aboard the Taney was hurt nor was the ship damaged.
The Next day, The Taney dropped 24 depth charges
where its officers though there might be Japanese submarines off Pearl
Harbor. And for the rest of the war's first year, it was on patrol so frequently
that the Taney wan in port only "a couple of hours at any one time, "Partridge
Late in 1942, The Taney was sent to Boston where it was refitted for use as an admiral's Flagship.
The Taney went on to serve in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. And it remained on duty though the Vietnam War.
Ironically, it was decommissioned on Dec. 7, 1986, 45 years after it first went to war.
(note. article had a picture of Peter Elliot inserted.
The Taney went to Boston in 1944 not 1942)
The Observer-Dispatch-15a Sunday, December 7, 1969
(Picture of TANEY with Caption and story, copied by vern)
The U.S. Coast Guard Taney, shown during a recent cruise, holds the distinction of being the last in service of the 101 fighting ships present when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7. 1941. The ship is presently in Vietnamese waters providing naval gunfire support to infantry. (AP)
She's Not in Sneakers
Little Old Lady Bores in Where Fight's Hottest
WASHINGTON (A.P.) -- Twenty-eight years ago
the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Taney was docked in Honolulu Harbor a short
distance from Aloha Tower. It was Sunday and the next day she was to put
to sea for gunnery drill.
She sailed at dawn Monday but into a shooting war.
Today, unscarred by three wars, the scrappy old lady is still fighting and holds the distinction of being the last in service of 101 fighting ships present when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.
Presently in Vietnamese waters providing naval gunfire support to infantry and interdicting enemy coastal routes, the 327-foot cutter, now commanded by Capt. Robert E. Ogin, Minneapolis, Minn., has a dramatic history of fighting-Japanese subs and kamikaze planes in the Pacific and German U-Boat packs and Stuka bombers in the Atlantic.
On that fateful morning 28 years ago recalls retired Adm. Louis B. Olsen of Coral Gabbles, Fla, then skipper of the Taney, "We were not caught by surprise" when planes swooped in.
Major fighting ships, including battleships, cruisers and destroyers, were sunk or severely damaged. Nearly 200 Navy and Army planes were destroyed .
The cost to Japan: 48 planes and three submarines.
Retired Capt. John P. Latimer of Newport News, VA., explaining how the Taney escaped said she and the destroyer Ward were alternating patrol duty at the entrance to Pearl Harbor and the Ward was to notify the Taney if a submarine contact were made. In the early morning hours, the Ward had a firm contact.
"I remember I was called by a young quartermaster named Partridge," Latimer said in a telephone interview. "I felt it was a drill"
Latimer, the assistant gunnery officer, recalls that outside the harbor was a ship flying a flag with white, red and blue vertical strips, meaning it could be either Dutch or Free French. There had been talk that the Japanese were going to take an island held by the Free French in Indonesia, he said. " I saw two Japanese bombers drop bombs for near-misses," he continued, "and I thought they had a lot of guts to bomb a ship entering a neutral harbor."
About this time, "two Japanese planes flew over a small Naval transport and dropped what looked like 250-pound bombs," he said.
"I asked if we should commence firing as now we could see firing at Pearl Harbor. I was told "if you area are they're Jap go ahead'."
The Taney opened up on planes and a short time later, Latimer continued, "drove off three groups of aircraft which appeared to be making a bomb run on the Honolulu Power Plant directly behind us."
At dawn the Taney put to sea where Latimer feels certain that in the next few days she sank two submarines -- one a mile from the Pearl Harbor entrance and one i deep water about seven and one away. 150
The Taney shifted to the Atlantic in 1944 for convoy duty and there had her battles with German dive bombers and torpedo planes and with U-boats.
The peak of her fighting in World War 2 was reached at Okinawa where she was under attack nearly 250 times by not less then 1,400 Japanese fighters, bombers and suicide craft, Coast Guard records show.
She was commended for shooting down a twin-engine bomber just moments before it would have crashed into a freighter and during one attack shot down four kamikaze planes.
During the Korean War the Taney crew less hazardous duty, manning an ocean station providing rescue service, communications and weather information.
And the little ship's incredible luck in battle has, in a sense, extended to the 23 officers who have commanded her -- of them attained the rank of rear admiral or higher.
The TANEY memorial that was placed in the park in Honolulu was vandalized so the memorial was transferred to the Hawaii Maritime Center.
The memorial was rededicated and TANEY crewmen were invited to the ceremonies.
below is a historical handout referring to xeroxed pictures, poor quality
for the internet but if someone wants the pictures I will be glad to xerox
them and send them on to you, below is the text of the hand out. s/vern
Guide to Historical Material
Following are reproduced pages from the U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS " "Guide to Honolulu Harbor" dated July 1941
The first page is a key that cross-references numbers on the charts to actual piers in the harbor. Look at his carefully and you will see that Pier 4 bears the number 5 on the charts and photo reproductions, and pier 6 pares the number 8 on the charts and photos.
The second page is an aerial view of Honolulu Harbor taken from the slopes of the Punchbowl early summer of 1941. This depicts a skyline similar to that that which might have been seen by an attacking Japanese pilot approaching the waterfront from the north on 7 Dec.. 1941.
The next three pages show a 1941 War Department chart and two 1941 photos of the Honolulu waterfront. On the morning of 7 December 1941, the CGC RELLANCE was moored at Pier 4, Shown on the chart with an encircled number 8. According to information in the log ot CGC TANEY, it appears that the ship was moored bow toward the power plaint. Note that the Hawaii Maritime Center is located on Pear 7, denoted on the chart with an encircled number 9.
BULK FREIGHT STORAGE
In the rear of pier 34 there are three covered concert silos located on
land owned by the Oahu Railway & Land Co. and leased to the Pacific
Bridge Co. These silos are operated by the Pacific Bridge Co. for
the storage of bulk cement, which is transferred between ship and storage
by pipe line. Each silo is 75 feet in diameter and 20 feet high
and has a capacity of 4,000 tons. The Pacific Bridge Co. is now building
a forth silo of the same capacity in the general location and is installing
a bagging plant.
Immediately in the rear of pier 17 and adjacent thereto are four molasses storage tanks which have a capacity of 20, 000 tons and are of much importance to the commerce of the port.
(the following is a copy the program that was used for the rededication of the TANEY memorial.)
December 7, 1941 CGC TANEY Memorial Dedication
Celebrating the US Coast Guard's Defense of Honolulu Harbor
Against Aircraft of the Japanese Imperial Navy
A celebration of history sponsored by the United States Coast Guard, The Coast Guard Foundation, BHP, and the Hawaii Maritime Center. Held on the Foot of Pier 7, Honolulu Harbor, 2:30 pm on the 7th of December 1995.
Welcome and Introduction of Special Visitors CAPT Dennis Egan - CO Base Honolulu
Hula Dance of Aloha Ms Debbie Vitale & Friends
Introduction of Guest Speaker CAPT Egan
Guest Speaker "In Defense of the Harbor" RADM Howard Gehring
Introduction of Director CG Foundation
and Director of Hawaii Maritime Center CAPT Egan
Unveiling of CGC TANEY Memorial
RADM Gehring assisted by Mr. Larry
Doheny, and RADM Koslovsky
Blessing of the Memorial
Chaplain James Puttler
(Chaplain Putter blesses Memorial and
TANEY VIP Vets place wreath at memorial)
Dedication & Celebration
VIP party joins Foundation & Brake bottle on
the TANEY rock celebration starts after .
the bottle breaks.
Aloha and Words of Recognition
Capt Egan recognized those responsible for .
the event and assists RADM Gehring in . presentation special momenitos to VIP Vets
Reception at Hawaii Maritime Center
Light pupus & Punch refreshment
USCGC ROGER B. TANEY -- DEFENDER OF HONOLULU HARBOR 7 DECEMBER 1941
A historical synopsis from original WW2 records by CAPTAIN DENNIS M. EGAN USCG
When the Japanese attacked on 7th of December 1941, three Coast Guard ships were moored in Honolulu harbor and one was on patrol just to the west of Barber's Point Lighthouse. They were:
Coast Guard Cutter TANEY,
a 327 ft. high endurance cutter moored at Pier 6.
Coast Guard Cutter RELIANCE, a 125 ft cutter moored at Pier 4.
Coast Guard Patrol Boat CG-8 an 83 ft patrol boat moored at Pier 4.
Coast Guard Cutter TIGER, a 125 ft cutter underway near Barber's Pat. Light.
On the morning of December 7th, The Coast Guard Cutter TIGER, was conducting offshore operations near the Barbers Point Lighted Buoy, In the words of the Commanding Officer of CGC TIGER, Lt. W. J. Massoni, "At 0745 we were fired upon by what appeared to be shells from an offshore vessel beyond the horizon. About the same time bombs were dropped within an area of 100 yards about the TIGER from planes flying at a high altitude and several of the planes approached from the direction of Pearl Harbor, (my) crew at General Quarters maning antiaircraft batteries. Planes that were flying low were identified as Japanese with the red ball insignia. Machine gun burst were heard from planes but did not affect the TIGER, At 0820 TIGER was proceeding for designated war time station off entrance to Honolulu Harbor arriving there at 0920. There appeared to be spasmodic air attacks upon the city of Honolulu and Pearl Harbor as viewed from this station maintained. During this attack the TIGER suffered no hits or casualties but approximately 16 shells and bombs dropped within 100 yards distance about the ship"
Despite it being Sunday morning, the readiness of the Coast Guard Cutters was impressive. For instance, in the words of the Commanding Officer of the CGC TANEY, "When anti-aircraft fire was first observed over Pearl Harbor on December 7th, general quarters were sounded and all officers not on board ordered to return. The anti-aircraft battery as wess as all other guns were ready to fire with their full crew and three officers at their stations within four minutes. The remaining officers, with one exception, were onboard less than ten minutes later. Steam was oradered and vessel was ready to get underway" Between 0901 and 0918 the CGC TANEY opened fire on scattered formations w of Japanese planes with 3"guns.
The crew of CG-8 swiftly mounted its machine gun, provided all small arms and ammunition availaable, and wound up engines ready for getting underway within minutes of the air raid sirens. In the words of the Officer in Charage of CG-8, BM1 Boyd C. Maddox "Aat approximately 0900 was sent out by orders of Base Operaations Officer to Sand Island, T.H. At 0905 while contacting former Lighthouse Dock at Sand Island, picking up Depot Keeper, one Bomb burst to the stern of the CG-8, on mud flat across channel from Piers 31 and 32, Honolulu. Then continuning while enroute farom Sand Island to Pier 4, observed one bomb explode aabout fifty yards east of #6 main channel buoy, Honolulu Harbor entrance, and only a few yards southeast of gate boom control to Honolulu Harbor. While underway, proceeding top speed to Pier r, this vessel was aattacked by machine gunfire from plane, with no hits on crew or vessel. Bullets came within twenty feet off starboard bow. ... During this air attack every member present of the crew of this vessel did his duty in a quick and egara manner and showed couraage and willingness to meet any emergency that might come" CG-8 was to last throughout the way and ultimately under the command of Ensign Richard S. Peer was awarded the bronze star medal for distinguished combat action on D Day at Normandy.
The Commanding Officer of the CGC TANEY noted that, "At 1135, we opened fire with #3 gun on a small formation of enemy planes which had passed over the city from north to south and were almost overhead at the time of firing. One of the planes appeared to drop a bomb on Sand Island. No report was heard but dust and smoke were observed as the bomb bounced into the mud flats"
At 11:58 as a wave of five Japanese aircraft attempted a a glide bombing or strafing attack on Honolulu's main power plant, both the CGC TANEY at pier 6 and the CGC RELIANCE at Pier 4 furiously engaged their 3" guns creating a wall of anti-aircraft shrapnel. The CGC TANEY also defended with four 50 caliber machine guns when the planes were in range. In the words of the Commanding Officer of the CGC TANEY CDR. L. B. Olsen, "No direct hits by the 3" guns were definitely seen but planes were rocked by the fire and swerved up and away. Several 50/Cal. tracers appeared to pierce wing and tail structure of on plane. No bombs or machine gun bullets were received aboard nor observed falling near-by. 54 rounds of 3" shrapnel were expended and about 25o rounds of 50/Cal. ammunition ... A fairly satisfactory volume of fire was obtained but it was not as great as would have been desirable, due to interference with loading from splinter shielding at that particular angle of fire ... The officers and crew bore themselves well although most members of the crew had no training except drill and had never seen anything above a 50 caliber fired."
The attack on the power plant didn't last long. The CGC RELIANCE ceased fire by 1210, the planes being out of range. Had the Japanese been successful at knocking out Honolulu's main power plant, the ensuring days and nights would have been even more chaotic than they were, and undoubtedly more lives would have been lost.
In recognizing the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter
TANEY as the Defender of Honolulu Harbor". we in no way wish to diminish
the contributions of the CGC RELIANCE, the CGC TIGER,, or CG-8. Rather
we use the memory of the CGC TANEY, ;whose Commanding Officer was the Senior
Coast Guard Officer Present Afloat (SOPA), to symbolize our respects for
all of the Coast Guard cutters and their crews that valiantly pitted their
small ships against the enemy, and boldly defended Honolulu Harbor to the
best of their ability on that fateful day if infamy, December 7, 1941.
(the following are excerpts of the Obituary of Alfred C. Haese,Green Bay, WI November 17, 1995 copied by vern)
"Alfred C. Haese, of ... Greenleaf, died Wednesday, November 15, 1995,
at home following a lengthy battle with cancer, He was born Jan 29, 1926.
....Al enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in February 1943 during World War
2 and served aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Taney. He saw combat in the
North Atlantic and throughout the Pacific. He was a gunner, fighting off
Kamikaze attacks at Okinawa and was among the first force to enter Japan
in 1945 and free American P.O.W.'s. In 1993 he was the host and organizer
for the Taney reunion held in Green Bay, It was the last time he
saw his old shipmates. This year he was too ill to join them in Baltimore,
The Taney, the last fighting ship that survived the Pearl Harbor attack,
in now afloat at the Maritime Museum, As one of his shipmates said this
year "We cheated death at Okinawa and everyday for the last fifty years
have been a gift" Al has now rejoined his crew"
(the following is copied by vern from 'TIN CAN SAILOR" vol. 11 #2 May 1986)
Picture ... Okinawa, 1945 C.G. TANEY W-37
by Warren Hartman
USS TANEY C.G. was built in 1936 along with 6 other
(clones, sister ships) of her hull design, for law enforcement work with
the U.S. Coast Guard, under Federal Treasury Dept. The original plans were
of a U.S. Navy gunboat but specifications were increased to suit further
needs, and an advance designed ship was born. Her length of 330 feet
and 2700 tons put TANEY in the destroyer class, but was short on speed,
at 20 knots, and no torpedoes. Tremendous 12000 horse power, through
twin turbines gave her stamina and endurance for salvage work, still having
the original steam plant today which gives cursing range of 8300 miles.
Her hull is 1/2 inch plate, which is unique in itself. Sister ships are
listed as follows: USS HAMILTON, SUNK 29-1-42; (JAN 29, 1942)
USS SPENCER, retired as an engineering school: USS CAMPBELL, decommissioned 4-82; USS DUANE Portland, ME, USS INGHAM, Portsmouth, VA; USS BIBB, New Bed ford MA, leaving yet another treasury class cutter in active service this date. In Aug. of 1941 the U.S. Coast Guard was adopted by the U.S. Navy. The TANEY and six others, consisting of P.C. 400 P.C. 403. the USS RELIANCE, USS TIGER, USS WALNUT, and the USS KUKUI all went into the shipyard at Pearl Harbor for upgrading of armament within the next five months since naval intelligence was alerted of impending disaster. TANEY's armament was quadrupled, which made it necessary to remove two of her four whale boats, and also add ten 20-man life rafts for survival supplement.
At this time, TANEY's inside hull was spray-galvanized as an experimental process to lengthen the hull life. In 1980 the hull was drill tested in dry-dock and wear was minimal. This process is now an accepted standard, in some military ships;
Out of 100 war ships in the Pearl Harbor attack, the USS ARIZONA (a national shrine), and TANEY remain in commission today, and USS TANEY is the only ship still in continual active duty. She served well in three wars including Korea and Vietnam as antisubmarine escort, amphibious flagship to the Pacific and Atlantic, and on several occasions, was awarded the big "E" for efficiency by Bureau of ships, U.S, Navy, a coveted award!
The good years of 1940 and 1941 faded too soon, and war came December 7th,, TANEY, then only five years old, was attached to the Destroyer Division 80, when O.O.D. Lt. Erickson, ships flight officer, was notified that the destroyer, USS WARD fired shots at 0720 sinking a sub off Pearl Harbor approach, and probably were the first shots of World War 2.
Commandeer Olson, now Rear Adm. retired Admiral,
recalled all ship's personnel, and battle stations were manned and in action
at 0755 hours when attack came.
The first wave lasted perhaps 50 minutes and withdrew with the second attack following even heavier. Her 5" guns could not elevate sufficiently to be of value, but her four 3" anti-aircraft and a50 cal M.G. laid down a deadly barrage which, in one case, diverted bombing of Oahu's power plant, but out of range of the holocaust.
TANEY was as sea 88 days out of the first 100 days of WW2 and though slower than destroyers, proved efficient as anti-sub hunter. Her sister ships all proved efficient in the battle of the Wolf Packs in the Atlantic Theater. In; 1943, TANEY was sent back to Alameda after logging 1/4 million miles of South Pacific convoy and support duty for general upgrading and overhaul.
Once again her armament was increased to four 5"38 and four 3"38 A.A., two 40 MM, two 40 MM, and six 20 MM, four 50 cal. M.G.. Two depth charge racks, six K-guns and termed the heaviest armed ship afloat for her tonnage; truly a gunboat.
In 1943 rescue attempts were denied TANEY by fleet commander when a supply ship ran aground on Canton Island. It was rightfully remembered that the USS HAMILTON C.G., was torpedoed and sunk in the Aleutians, Febaruaary of 1942, while taking a stricken ship in tow.
Mascot Stogie was still aboard at this time through all the action. Listening to "Tokyo Rose" was amusing but the song "White Christmas" tore our hearts out.
In; 1943 TANEY shook the warm South Pacific water from her hull and was sent to the Atlantic Theater to help subdue Hitler's sub-wolf packs that marauder shipping. Luck at that station held, and numerous enemy torpedo attacks failed. It is logged that Commander Hunt called her indestructible, which is valid to this day.
For a two week period in February of 1943, the USS SPENCER and CAMBELL (clones), convoyed in the stormy Atlantic along with five British and Canadians destroyers. Seven merchant ships were lost, but they sank two "U" boats, one by ramming. Wolf packs were on the incline, but defeat; was inevitable.
TANEY was the flagship for Task Force 66 in the Escort faro Convoy UGS-38 in; the Mediterranean in April of 1944 when USS FECHTELER DE-157 and USS LANDSALE DD-426 were sunk by German submarine and air attacks. TANEY did some fast footwork herself to side step some torpedoes which sizzled close. TANEY road out a hurricane in 1945 in the South Pacific which sank 7 ships. But, her hardest battle for survival came when she returned home in the Pacific in late 1944, and joined up with Adm. Halsey's Third Fleet. In February 1945 the Iwo Jima assault started, and into April found TANEY deep in kamikaze attacks. 3,000 sacrificial sorties were flown against the U.S. Navy. The cost was 34 vessels sunk, 369 damaged, 4,900 sailors killed and 4,700 wounded.
Sleep was a rare commodity and for days on end crews were at battle stations. She had 119 General Quarters calls between April 11 and May 26, but suffered no major damage! TANEY received a commendation from the attack force commander for inflilctiling heavy losses on the enemy.
In order to supply steam for instant high speeds, super-heaters designed only for intermittent use, were on the line days at a time, making engine room life unbearable. To make things worse, there were days, weeks and months at sea with constant throbbing and rolling of ship land hot decks under a cloudless sky. Rain squalls were a welcome sight. Nights of moonlight splendor would lull uss into a false sense of serenity and a sick gut feeling was always present awating the unknown.
Five years of peace was short, and in 1950 TANEY was again; drafted, rearmed and sent to Korea for wartime assignments, gunfire support, and reconnaissance off the coast of Korea with our Navy for three years, until peace once again came. then the TANEY went to Alameda home port and disarmament again, and up to Alaska on fisheries and weather surveillance.
Almost 16 years of peace followed, when for the third time the Navy requisitioned the Coast Guard H.E.C. cutters for Vietnam duty to perform interdiction of enemy troops and supplies, landing support, destruction of beach installations, and logistics; her home port being Subic Bay, Philippines. For the third time TANEY put on her war paint and arms and headed for Asia.
Captain Olson (Dec. 7th Skipper) now retired Rear Admiral, when asked about his former ships longevity, quipped, "When I commanded TANEY we always felt that even if we came under the full brunt of enemy attract, we could somehow save the ship. She was well worth saving. I'm sure her present officers and crew feel the same way. She may out live us all. Surely her spirit will".
In March of 1970, USS TANEY C.G. received a heroes welcome after returning from South China Seas as she sailed under the Frisco Bay bridge. For the third time, she underwent wartime disarmament and back to peacetime duties, her home port once again Alameda.
Today, TANEY has a peacetime crew of only 16 officers and 126 enlisted men, far short of her 250 wartime complement.
On December 7, 1981 exactly 40 years to the date and hour, she steamed up the Potomac River to Washington D.C. to mark the 40th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, Thousands attended, besides former crew members and guest, complete with red carpets!
Today she is berthed at Portsmouth, Virginia and continues peacetime duties, assisted by larger and newer sister ships of the "Secretary Class)
Presently, the USS TANEY C.G. and the "secretary class" ship's largest peacetime challenge is being part of the task force, halting influx of narcotics to America. Report back, (scuttle butt) from former crew members who attended the Washington, D. C. 40th Pearl Harbor Anniversary came that the ROGER B. TANEY will be decommissioned in 1991 and possible retire to Pearl Harbor as a naval museum, alongside her big brother the USS ARIZONA.
A more fitting end to a great ship is unimaginable. We will crew her to her final resting place where it all began. At least that 's my fantasy. We'll all be retired by then ... but wouldn't it be a great! Aloha.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Of the 101 fighting ships in Pearl Harbor on December
7, 1941, the Coast Guard Cutter TANEY (W-37) is the only ship still in
Member Warren Hartman has written a book about his ship TANEY. Many of the TANEY crew are members of Tin Can Sailors. This column is dedicated to TANEY and her crew once members of the U.S. Navy destroyer force. It is an interesting story that merited being shared. She will be Decommissioned this year.
(Note from web master vern: the above article also contained specs
of the TANEY but it is also included in earlier parts of this chapter.)
CPO Patrick James McGreevy
McGreevy died in Mississippi after a short
bout with cancer on July 14, 1999. He was stationed in Hawaii,
New Jersey, South Carolina, Oregon, Florida, and Mississippi with
two tours in Vietnam. Most of his career was spent in serch and
rescue and buoy tenders.
by: Yvonne McGreevy (Anailipo@aol.com)
Carl G. Bowman
Gilbert Bowman, USCG Retired. A stellar Coast Guard
icon. He exemplified the old Coast Guard, where his qualifications
included a license to operate any ship, of any tonnage, on any
ocean. He covered all aspects as a sailor and aviator. As skipper of
the Taney he took part in the initial occupation of Japan.
Captained the icebreaker Mackinaw, sailed the Eagle. Even after
retirement he taught what the Coast Guard then knew best,
seamanship. His students in the California training ship Golden Bear
claimed he was larger than life, a real pro. Historical vessels were
his forte. He captained the cranky square rigged Star of India, the
oldest iron-hulled sailing vessel still afloat as well as the ancient
steam yacht Medea, both vintage San Diego Maritime Museum
vessels. There was no historical replica, brig, barque or junk that
he had not put to sea in. He was also Coast Guard aviator No. 25,
and flew every aircraft in the Coast Guard inventory. He showed
the same dedication there - with ocean rescues, sometimes in
perilous conditions and precarious aircraft - to quote the San
Diego Union-Tribune, April 15, 1999 obituary. Fair winds and
following seas, Captain. From a former crewmember aviation
08/01/99 Submitted by: Arnie Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org)
LTJG Brian J. Whetstine, USCGR, 36, of Springfield, Ore. passed
away Oct. 11, 1996.
Born in Eugene, Ore., he was a freelance writer researching a story on airshows when the
two-seat Czechoslovakian "L 19" Dolfin jet trainer in which he was a passenger crashed in a
field west of Tillamook Airport, Ore. The plane was practicing for an airshow scheduled for
the following day. Also killed in the crash was the pilot, CDR John H. Matlock, USN(Ret.),
45, of Tillamook, Ore. LTJG Whetstine was the author of The Roger B.: The History of the
USCGC Taney (WHEC-37) published in 1993 and two articles on the USCG and Army
posthumously published in the Navy Times (Nov. 18, 1996). A CG Reservist since July 1991,
he also served in the U.S. Army from 1980-1984, and was a member of the Group Astoria,
Ore. Operations department, where he served as a SAR Mission Controller and Group Duty
Officer. He is survived by his wife, Tamara May of Springfield; his parents, James Whetstine
& Martha Thomas; brothers Mike and Chris Whetstine; a sister, Rebecca Whetstine. A
memorial service was held at Buell Chapel in Springfield, Ore. on Sunday, Oct. 20, 1996.
U. S. Coast Guard Squadron Three - Fourth Deployment.
The Fourth Deployment of High Endurance Coast Guard Cutters to Vietnam.
Fourth Deployment Cutters
USCGC Spencer (WHEC 36)
11 February 1969 - 30 September 1969
USCGC Mendota(WHEC 69)
28 February 1969 - 3 November 1969
USCGC Sebago (WHEC 42)
2 March 1969 - 16 November 1969
USCGC Taney(WHEC 37)
14 May 1969 - 3 April 1970
USCGC Klamath(WHEC 66)
7 July 1969 - 3 April 1970
<email@example.com>Send suggestions, sea stories, and photo contributions to:
Copied from “the Quarterdeck Log” Vol. 12, No. 3. CG Combat Veterans Association.
Remembering Arthur W. Green CGCVA Photographer & WW2 Veteran
Arthur W. Green, 84, prize-winning photojournalist of WW2 died 15 August 1997, after a long bout with leukemia, according to his son, Russell Green of Santa Barbara, California. He served aboard the CG-manned USS Menges (DE-320) and other Coast Guard vessels during WW2. He was our Associations official Photographer. A recent episode of “Coast Guard” featured an interview with Art from 1996 and much of his WW2 photography.
On 9 November (which would have been Art’s 85th birthday), a memorial service was held for Art at the Chapel of Roses, Oak Hill Memorial Park, San Jose, California. Among the 30 or so attendees were CGCVA MEMBERS Bill Figone and Edwin Anderson. During the eulogy, it was mentioned that of the 100 “best” photographs of WW2, three were Art Green’s. Art is survived by Russell & Lbolya Green of Santa Barbara CA.
(The following appeared in the Destroyer Escort Historical Foundation
Quarterly of December 1994) Horrors of war have been pictured in
many forms. Combat scenes by artists and illustrators are rated works
of art. Portrayal of early warfare was by pen and pencil sketches,
followed by painters, and during the Civil War came the still photographers,
later motion picture. Their ranks swelled as the home front market for
battle reports intensified and the media requirements increased with the
march of civilization. Pictorial representation supplemented written
battle reports. Throughout the years, the appetite for historic combat
scenes became various Art Green, the former United Press lensman who signed
up with the Coast Guard shortly after photographing the capture of the
Nazi saboteurs arriving by U-boat on Long Island’s coast, was one of those
“artists” who captured, with hi trusty camera some of the most memorable
actions of WW2.
Born in Niagra Falls, Art grew up in New York working for UP. After enlisting in the Coast Guard in Dec. 1943. Almost immediately he went to sea in the USS Menges. Official USCG PHOTOGRAPHERS WERE NOT ASSIGNED BATTLE STATIONS. They were on 24-hour duty and the 4x5 Speed Graphic was Art’s battle station.
Copied from "Alameda County Weekender, The Morning News, Saturday, May 14, 1966" A USCGC TANEY story with lots of great pictures, copied by Vern Toler for the TANEY web page quote marks for whole story will be omitted.
Story title "If the Russians Permit … A Big Birthday Party will be held in Alameda Next Weekend."
Next Friday at 2pm. one of the most unusual celebrations ever held on the Pacific Coast will get under way at Alameda's Government Island, on board the U. S. Coast Guard Cutter TANEY. That is - it will if the Russians permit. How that happens to be the case that for the past several days, the TANEY has been shepherding that segment of the Russian fishing fleet that has been cruising about just off the Marin coast, and since the TANEY is a demon for duty, it is quite possible the celebration will have to be delayed. In any event, occasion for the celebration is the ship's birthday -- her 30th -- an unusual age for a vessel with such a distinguished record of combat and sea patrol service, especially since she is still so very much on active duty. As to how distinguished that record is, few things could show it more than the face that of its former commanding officers, no less than 12 have attained the rank of admiral, five of them still being on active duty including none other than Admiral Edwin J. Roland, USCG Commandant of the Coast Guard, the nation's oldest sea-going service. Inevitably, things being as they are in the country today, a substantial number of the ship's former commanders will be unable to attend. But those who can't will feel a deep regret. For, as seamen know, a ship is a living thing that speaks to those that man her, from commander to mess boy, and if she is a good ship like the TANEY, seen above as she prepared to sail on combat duty in World War 2 --and, by the way her steel-throated guns were among the very first to speak to the enemy in 1941 -- see pages 2-12---two pictures
Page 2--- The motto of the Coast Guard --- Semper Paratus-- is well exemplified by the TANEY. Her complement of men is always prepared. Last week, for example, when the order came to get out and hounding the Russians, she sailed right now -- so fast that even her operations officer, Lt. Jg Edward V McGuire, among those on leave, had to be sent out to her. That speed of response is traditional --a matter well indicated by the fact that within four minutes of the time the Japanese began to get an answer from American guns in the attract on Pearl Harbor, The TANEY's 3-inch guns and 50 caliber machine-guns had opened fire. Not only that, but within 10 minutes o the attack, all hands were on board and she was ready for sea where she began to hunt and attack the Japanese miniature subs seeking to enter the harbor. From then on, except for brief periods in port, she was in constant service, either in the North Atlantic or the Pacific, At Okinawa, where she is on e of the ships under the lowering skies (above)=, she was attacked some 250 times. In all, better than 1, 400 Japanese aircraft tried to sink her. In combat here and elsewhere, her guns alone were solely responsible for shooting down four planes and they assisted in the destruction of many others. And in peacetime, she is not the less ready, as the picture below shows when she was hurrying to the aid of the Angelo Petri, (see 5 Bells page 5-3) a disabled wine tanker wallowing in a stormy sea just three and a half miles off San Francisco's Ocean Beach on a February day in 1960
Page 3 two pictures---
Whether in war or peace, a scene frequently enacted on the bridge of the TANEY when the ship is under way is a duplicate of the one above. The men area, from left: Navigator Lt. Jg Edward V. McGuire, of New Jersey; Quartermaster 1/c Dennis E. Horick, of North Quincy, Mass.; Chief
Quartermaster Clarence E. Dowden, of Los Angeles; Helmsman Robert L. Peterson, of Grasston, Minn, and officer of the Deck Ensign Martin C. Hoppe, of Baldwin N.Y. While the men and equipment on the bridge from the brain of the vessel its central nervous system is the radiogram and message center below. The men on duty there are: Seaman T.E. Leveroos, of Superior, Wis.,; radioman 1/c J.A. Thomas, of Taylor, Mich.; Chief Radioman W.B. Bliss, of Oakland; Radioman 1'c James C. Dvorak, of Casper, Wyo.; and Radioman 1/c J. A. Lombardy, of Anaconda, Mont.
Page 4 two pictures
While the ship's company has to be prepared to act immediately in a major emergency, the kind is usually meets is of a minor nature -- major though it may be to those directly involved. A common one is like that of the disabled-fishing vessel the TANEY has in tow, above. In fact, during most of the time the ship is on Ocean Station duty, as much of her service has been lately, it seems as if life might be rather on the monotones side. Not so. Even though the three week period is spent cursing aback and forth in an area 10 miles square, there is plenty l to do. The sip provides weather observation for transmission to the mainland, furnishes navigational positions to transoceanic aircraft, gets oceanographic data, as well as stands by for emergency aid to any ship or plane in distress. For a well-trained crew like the TANEY's these tasks are performed almost automatically. Nonetheless, between work and drill there it is further reduced by the hobbies which most members of the ship's company have. One hobbyist is Lt. Comdr. G. K. Greiner, of Westport, Conn., engineer officer and amateur radio operator, who enjoys talking to other "hams" as he is doing, left, The TANEY's Amateur call letters, by the way: are KL7ENV/mm
Page 5. ???
Picture of the TANEY at sea during WW2 and picture of "sick bay" with the following caption :
The TANEY doesn't have to refuel at sea now as it dit (above), in the North Atlantic on one of its runs to Bizerte, North Africa, on anti-submarine convoy duty in 1944. But basically the same techniques have to be used on not very uncommon type of emergency - that involving the transfer of a sick or injured person from one ship to another at sea. Today, for her Ocean Station assignments the TANEY does not have a medical officer on board. The skills of men like Hospitalman 1/c Phillip M. Peterson, of Washington Island, Wis;, checking the blood pressure of Gunner's mate 1/c Norman L Mills, of Milpitas, in the TANEY's sickbay (left) are considered adequate for the needs of the ship's complement of 13 officers and 133 men. But when the TANEY goes on long cruises - she has made 24 in equatorial waters - a medical officer is included.
Page 7 two pictures with the following caption'
While the work of the ship in accomplishing its mission or training its crew is being carried out on deck, other equally important work is going on below. Some of it involves paper work, the keeping of records and the checking of supplies -- like that being performed in the office of Ship's Clerk W. J. Lange (left, above) of Columbus, Neb. Those assisting him are Seaman H. J. Manriquez, of Los Angeles; Yeoman 1/c H.A. Fregetto, of Iron River, Mich., and Storekeeper 1/c G. D. Schott, of Colfax, Wash. What they do is, in effect, double checked and supplemented trough inspection on the order of that being carried out in the scene below, wherein Master Chief Boatswainsmate S. B. Sink, of Groton, Conn. (right) and Boatsmainsmate 3/c J.D. Goode, of Fresno, inspect the TANEY's eight inch nylon towing hauser.
Page 8 two pictures with the following caption.
It isn't all work on the TANEY, however. Sometimes on Ocean Station when there is a warm calm day, a swim call is held and the men have the experience of diving into water that is rather more than two miles deep. But even on an occasion like that, the is apt to be a training edge to it -- thanks to the use of "Oscar" whose white hit is being given the proper dress by Seaman W. M. Page (below), of Fresno, for the benefit of the ship's skipper, Captain Sherman K. Frick, of Alameda. And how Oscar is involved in the training appears in his record of having been reported overboard and rescued more times than anyone can count.
Page 9 missing
Page 10 two pictures with the following caption:
Cleanliness may be next to godliness, as an old saying goes, but on the TANEY cleanliness takes precedence, so far as any visitor can tell. Above, the ship's messcooks line up for inspection by Master-at-Arms Vaosa Tuitasi, of American Samoa, and Hospitalman 1/c Peterson before serving a meal. The messcooks are R. L. Hunt, of Owasso, Mich., J. V. Kirk, of International Falls, Minn., J. Lucas, of San Francisco, and S. R. Nielsen, of North Minneapolis, Minn. The emphasis on cleanliness applies equally through the ship and is fully reflected in the appearance of its men. The washing and depressing of their clothing - carried on in the scene below by Fireman B. H. Shepard, of El Cajon, and Seaman S. H. Coyle, of San Diego - is a full time job that goes on whether at sea or in port. For a ship with such a long and distinguished record is occasionally - and sometimes without a great deal of warning - visited by men whose records fully as long and distinguished. Ant then of course, there are other occasions of a very different, but still important kink when it is necessary to present a spic and span appearance
Page 11. two Pictures, caption below;
For example, General Charles de Gaulle, President of France, is certainly one of the most distinguished men of our time in many respects other than his current unpopularity in various quarters of the United States today. Ant this great Frenchman, whose book on modern warfare in the early 1930's contributed greatly to the fall of France in World War 2 - thanks to hitler's recognition of De Gaulle's genius by making the book required reading for his officers -- was delighted to be given a tour of San Francisco Bay on the TANEY during his visit in April 1960. Above, de Gaulle is seen as he inspected the honor guard on the ship's decks. As for other occasions mentioned on page 10 that indicate why there is no letdown, even in port, regarding the personal appearance for the men, the picture below of the arrival of the TANEY in Honolulu for Search and rescue Exercise is self-explanatory.
Page 12. Two Pictures, caption below.
The TANEY, nearest of the three ships lined up (above) at the U.S. Coast Guard Base, Government Island, in considerably modified in appearance from the way she looked in wartime. But there is no question that if occasion arose, she would rove as redoubtable as she did in World War 2, or during the Korean War when she served as a support ship for three years. And there also is no doubt that in the normal course of events she should be on her vital work for many years more. The steel in her is of the best. There is no possibility of metal fatigue for decades, at least. As everyone will see who visits her during "Open House" next Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., she is a truly stout ship, as well as a historic one that is certain to become even more so. Just how historic she already is, space limititations have made it possible only to suggest. A book would be required to do the job properly. But on that score, we wish to say that when the day comes for the TANEY to be retired, she should not be broken up for scrap. Instead, she should be preserved as a memorial to the United States Coast Guard and the invaluable service of its men have performed for the country, both in peace and in war. And where she should be preserved on that day - which we trust will be distant - is in Alameda where she has been homeported for the past 20 years. That would be the just thing - a most appropriate characteristic since Secretary of the Treasury, Roger B. Taney, for whom she is named, attained his ultimate distinction with 20 years service as Chief justice of the United States. And it would be a most welcome thing to the City of Alameda which has long regarded the presence of the U.S. Coast Guard Base at Government Island a a great honor - a point will illustrated by the seen below in which Alameda mayor William S. Godfrey and Vice mayor George A. Rose are seen with Captain Frick during an offical visit they recently paid the TANEY
...Sibley S. Morrill, Editor, The
Letter Dated 1 June 2000 from the Balitimore Maritime Museum:
The Coast Guard Cutter TANEY is not a ship that is well known by most Americans, but for fifty years of American History TANEY was there. From Pearl Harabor to Okinawa, from the war in Vietnam to the wsar on drugs, from the searach for Amelia Erhart to U-boat hunting in the Mediterrane, TANEY was there.
Today, the ship and this history are alive and open to all. With new exhibits and education programs, TANEY continues to serve.
This year the ship will host a brand new Vietnam War exhipit to mark the 25th anniversary of the end of that conflict, opening with a full schedule of activities on Memorial Day Weekend. TANEY also will feature a film festival in August, World War 2 weekend in October and Pearl Harabor Day remembrances on December 7th.
The Baltimore Maritime Museum has also launched a capital campaign to undertake much needed restoration projects on the ships deck and hull with the goal of dry-docking the ship in the winter of 2001-2002.
This year thousands of students will take parat in education programs on board the TANEY, where they will llearn history as well as the appicaations of math and science to the ship's systems, operation and navigation. Many of these students will have the chance to sleep in the crews quaraters and eat in the mess deck to experience life aboard the ship.
All of this is possible because ofthe support of people who believe that this ship is stil on an important mission - keeping history alive for new generations to experience and remember.
We hope that you will consider making a contribution to support this
effort. We need your help to meet the challange of preserving this
great ship. We thank you in advande for your generosity. s/Bill
Smith, Chairman, Baltimore Maritime Museum. s/John
Kellett, Director Baltimore Maritime Museum
802 South Caroline Street. Baltimore, Maryland 21231 Phone 410-396-3453 <http.www.baltomaritimemuseum.org>
BALTIMORE MARITIME MUSEUM NEWS Volume 1, Issue 1, March 2000
TANEY REUNION COMES TO BALTIMORE!
This year the TANEY Association will hold it's annual reunion in Baltimore
from October 12-15. The Museum will host the reunion participants
throughout their stay. There will be an association meeting, a greakfant,
and a lunch searved aboard the
TANEY as well as some of the TANEY's former crew will relive old memories by bunki;ng on the ship. The other reunion attendees will be staying at the Mount Vernon Hotel, where the Banquet will be held. This will be a great opportunty to meet crew members, collect oral history, recruit volunteers and solicit support for ship preservation projects. Also in the planning stages are a memorial service, a color guarad for the banquet and a Saturday trip to our nation's capital. Museum staff is working closely with reunion organizers to make this the best gathering ever.
RESTSORATION AND MAINTENANCE
On board TANEY, several projects have been accomplished over the winter, and are underway for spring. The Wardreoom deck ahs been recently been retiled. New ventalation systems are being installed to help with cooling during TANEY's busy summer season, Looking toward the future, several grant proposals have been submitted and are inprogress to acquire funding for deck restoration, and a TANEY haul out.
The following report was featured in the Coast Guard Magazine near the end of the war, The Taney name was censored but added by the person coping the story. No author mentioned and the person who typed the copy singed it as **SK** this copy made by vern_toler July 2000
BATTLE REPORT FROM A COMBAT CUTTER
‘CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! ‘ALL HANDS, MAN YOUR BATTLE STATIONS! On the ‘double,’ sail – ‘CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!...”
Note of interest in 1943 the alarms were replaced with electronic alarms, but the “fire bell type remained in place also. vern_toler.
The soul-piercing din of the general alarm is throttled abruptly. Grim-faced men in all parts of the ship leave off whatever they are doing and move with quite purpose to their assigned duties. Others, red-eyed from lack of sleep, tumble hastily from their bunks and proceed with directness through the seeming confusion. There is no shouting, no lost motion. Each man knows his job and does it. In a matter of seconds after the last echoes of the general alarm have died away, an all-pervading silence settles over the ship. The growl of the blowers has stopped: and the ship is buttoned up. A clipped report reaches the Captain, “All batteries manned and ready, sir!”
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter censored has gone to General Quarters.
READY FOR BATTLE
In the space of six weeks, this is exactly the one hundred and twenty-fifth
time the ship has made ready for battle against a cruel and ruthless enemy.
This morning, the crew is tired – dog-tired. Since early afternoon of the day before, the ship’s company has spent eleven hours at battle stations. Throughout the night, the Jap has thrown his aircraft in raid after succeeding raid against our forces in this area. During the night he has sought to neutralize our shore-based aircraft and to wear down the defenses in our ships: for, with the coming of day, he means to strike with his newest and latest of mad-dog weapons – the suicide plane!
But this trim cutter knows what to expect. Her gunners are combat-wise and battle – tested. Already she proudly displays on the wings of her bridge three small Japanese flags, each of, which has been given the right to wear for the destruction of one enemy plane. She has assisted her comrades in other ships to account for many more. She is ready, --- she will give a good account of herself.
In the lookout buckets, the lookouts carefully scan the sky through their binoculars. Indeed, every pair of eyes on the topside, not occupied to some other equally vital purpose, is shifting uneasily about the murky sky.
There is not long to wait.
Within a matter of seconds after the guns are reported “ready” there is a shout from a lookout.
“Aircraft, two seven zero! Position angle, forty!”
No, it cannot be an enemy plane. Why, the ship has been at General Quarters for less than one minute! No general alert has been ordered. The other ships in this vicinity show no signs of being ready for an immediate attack. Nor are they.
It is a Nip! And he has succeeded where ninty-nine our of a hundred others fail. He has reached his objective completely undetected!!
The measured accents of the Gunnery Officer sound stone cold and unhurried over the P.A. system.
“All guns pick up aircraft bearing two seven zero, position angle forty!”
THIS IS IT
For the space of a hurried heartbeat there is a pause, as identification is made doubly certain by tight-lipped officers on the Fire-control Bridge.
Throughout the ship the thought is flashed: THIS IS IT! And each man in his heart knows it to be so. There is no sensation in battle quite the same. That fanatic little man, in that plane in the sky has just one purpose, --- to bring that plane hurtling down in flame and explodes against this ship, It is an evil thrill which once experienced is never forgotten.
“Commence firing! “ The order is repeated at the guns.
The chips are down. From this point on, the guns’ crews take charge.
Main battery and heavy machine guns open fire simultaneously. The Jap is estimated to be well under three thousand yards. He can distinguished plainly now. A “ZEKE” --- no doubt about it.
It appears he is heading directly for this ship. He has not yet nosed over but his intent seems quite clear.
On the bridge, the Captain mutters a curse. The guns are not getting on target soon enough this morning, it seems. Nothing short of perfection seems to please him. Are the crews too tired? That plane is closing fast! It must be hoped the light machine guns will do better.
Ah! That was something it! A burst from the main battery rocked the ZEKE visibly. He won’t take many of those. Now the tracers are in front of him. Much better! The gunners are forgiven already. But they have simply got to get into that plane before he noses down for the death ride.
It seems he has started over. No, he is changing course. Our fire is too much for him. He must be hit. He swerves somewhat to his left and starts down. There can be no mistake – he is going for a helpless merchant ship anchored nearby.
The scene on the decks of the merchant is all too easily imagined. Observers scurry for safety of the nearest shelter and her armed guard makes valiant effort to get her idle guns firing. Her master ruefully speculates on the bomb load the Jap is carrying and whether he will be able to save his ship. What will the casualties be? What of his precious cargo so vital to our troops on shore?
In the CUTTER, despite the momentary impatience of her Captain, the gunners have really gone to work. The automatic weapons have found their mark and desperate enemy is hit repeatedly. But on, on, on he comes!
How does he do it?
Unless he can be knocked out of control within a second or two he will surely crash his target.
And then “WE GOT HIM”
The cry seems to spring spontaneously from a hundred throats, as the maddened Jap careens crazily for a split second, loses control, and plunges into the sea, not fifty yards from the ship he meant to kill!
REPORT TO ADMIRAL
Seconds latter the brief but vital report is communicated to the Admiral,
“ (censored) splashed one bogey”
Another little flag on her bridge!
It is gratifying to all hands. Mutual congratulations are in order. This is a fighting ship.
To the long list of vessels this Cutter has saved and aided, in
the days before and after Pearl Harbor, one more name is added: That of
the Victory ship across the way. With undeniable pride can these
Coast Guardsmen say, “If it were not for us you wouldn’t be here!”
The thought was best expressed in a message from the master himself. The Captain read it to the crew with obvious satisfaction somewhat later in the morning. It said simply ‘THANKS, FOR SAVING OUR FANNIES.”
This U.S. Coast Guard Cutter is well known to mariners who sail Pacific waters. During the years immediately prior to the outbreak of the present war she ranged on distant cruses to our most remote possessions in the Pacific. As the war progressed, the need for these sturdy, spacious cutters as task force flagships for use in the campaign against German submarines in the Atlantic became more pronounced: and the Cutter was assigned to that duty.
BACK TO THE PACIFIC
In the fall of 1944, the ship proceeded to the Boston Navy Yard for
refitting and all hands thrilled to the news that she was once again to
return to the Pacific Shortly thereafter, command was turned over to the
present Commanding Office, Commander George D. Synon,
USCG’ Extensive replacements in personnel were effected: and
, to those who remained, specialized training was given in order better
to fit them for the performance of new duties.
After a short shakedown, the ship proceeded to Pearl Harbor by way of the Panama Canal. She was at least ready to take on board her new flag officer and his staff and to re-commence active operations in the Pacific.
These operations were to start sooner and with a vigor that none of her company would have believed likely just a few short weeks before.
Her fires night at the present objective was a memorable one. She eased up to her berth during daylight and dropped her hook in company with a host of other shipping of all the dissimilar classes that served to sustain a present-day amphibious operation. On deck, idlers speculated as by the mass of material that had been concentrated in so confined an area. Others, fascinated, watched the unceasing bombardment of enemy-held positions by the big guns of our capital ships. As night fell, tracer fire winked in the distance and brilliant flares from the big guns illuminated the battle area on shore. The rumble of distant shell fire was continuos. The enemy was resisting viciously and burst from his artillery were plainly visible from our potions seaward.
NEED FOR REST
Towards midnight, however, the need for sleep supervened and those of
the crew who were not o watch sought their bunks. The ready guns’
crews and the lookouts remained at their stations, ready and vigilant,
although lowering skies gave promise of little, if any, air activity this
The Jap, however, had other ideas.
Shortly before dawn, the alert was signaled and we knew the enemy was on his way. Lights went off throughout the anchorage and guns’ crews moved to their stations. For those of the ship’s company who had never undergone an air raid, this was indeed an epic moment.
Down to the southeast, the thud of heavy ack-ack could be heard and high altitude bursts were already discernible in the gloom of dawn. There seemed to be a single Jap plane, and he was flying high. As he moved toward the ships, search-light beams nervously fingered the clouds in an effort to pick him up. Finally one light caught him and then, rapidly he was picked up by a second and a third, as he moved, transfixed in gray-white illumination, across the sky.
The long-range anti-aircraft guns opened fire and with a roar but the enemy adroitly maneuvered out of the criss-cross of light into a cloud and was lost to view.
For a few moments, the firing subsided. And then, in rapid series of burst, one ship opened fire with her main batteries. The burst were closely grouped. Another ship, and still another, commenced firing in the same general direction, as though to confirm the existence of the target no one then could see.
Unspoken agreement that the enemy was there, however, appeared to spread throughout the fleet. Within moments, main and secondary A/A batteries of every ship present bleached forth in flame and smoke against the unseen antagonist.
The spectacle was unbelievable! The eastern sky, from a solid pattern of tracer fire. The sky was bright as day. The total volume of fire-power was terrific. No plane, it seemed, could pierce that lethal wall and live.
As rapidly as it waxed, the firing waned. Except for sporadic
tracer fire, here and there, and an occasionally single round from a heavier
gun, the fire had stopped.
But the memory of this awful scene which had just been witnessed for the first time was not one that would soon be forgotten. This manifestation of the collective fire power of several hundred tightly-grouped ships was too awe-inspiring and breath-taking for belief. Only once again, during the stay of the cutter at this anchorage, were the assembled ships to cut loose in such volume. At this moment, there was a collected here the greatest assembly of amphibious war craft ever massed in so small an area; and it is not likely that the total volume of fire attained at this time had ever been surpassed under similar condition.
By now it was evident the “snooper” had merely intended to investigate the state of our defenses, and he did not return. Within a few minutes, however a burst of tracer fire to the northward, followed by a short but heavy concentration of fire from shipping in that immediate vicinity, indicated the Nips to be still with us.
MACHINE GUN FIRE
Suddenly, the sustained “rat-tat-tat-tat” of light machine gun
fire opened up about three or four thousand yards on our starboard bow.
The trajectory of its fire was unbelievably low and it seemed doubtful
to green observers that the picket craft, for such it was that did the
firing, could have had a live target. Doubts were quickly dispelled.
The picket was immediately joined by a dozen other ships in spewing out
a cone of tracer fire, somewhere near the apox. of which could be detected
the barest suggestion of a movement. It was still quite dark, and
some artificial means of illumination appeared necessary to observers on
the bridge if the target were to be picked up.
But such was not the case with the sharp-eyed gunners at the forward heavy machine gun mount. They had opened fire! As the deadly arc of the Cutter’s fire joined that of the other ships that were firing, the target came quickly into view. It was a twin engine bomber moving in very fast at an altitude of not more than two hundred feet. He was in a shallow glide that seemed calculated to fetch him up somewhere in the general vicinity of this ship, although this thought was not appreciated until later. The observers on deck watched the Jap with a detached unbelief that what they saw was actually happening. Here was a large aircraft, travelling at great speed, heading directly into this mass of shipping. What was to be the outcome?
The answer was not long in coming. The exhaust from the Gaps engines was now plainly visible. He could not be more than a hundred feet off the water; and he was still keeping ahead of much of the tracer fire. There was a heavy cruiser anchored just ahead of us. could the plane make it? All eyes watched in helpless fascination. No, he is hit, Down --- out of control --- and into the drink. It was all over that quickly. The bomber crashed harmlessly some four hundred yards ahead of this cutter and a great cheer went up from our people on deck. Where not her guns firing? Did she not own a piece of this first enemy to be destroyed? One excited little seaman passed the word the it was this cutter, herself, who splashed that plane. The rejoined, by a steady and well seasoned Chief Petty Officer, had not yet been forgotten; “if that’s so, we’ll never hear the end of it.” ***
Since her momentous first night at the objective, the ship has accumulated in the space of few short weeks a measure of battle experience that would require many long months another less active theaters of the war. She has undergone the assaults of torpedo and dive bomber and of every weird form of attack of which the Jap is capable. She has narrowly escaped and averted disaster to herself but has sometimes seen her comrades in arms nearby receive killing blows from the maddened foe.
During one period of duty at an isolated location she has waited out numerous night-long attacks while the Japs threw everything in the book at the lighter forces with which she was ten in company, helpless to do more than listen to the crash of bomb and din of battle about her.
During one hectic morning, the “Kamikaze Boys” Attacked the cutter and thew ships that were with her simultaneously from three different directions. In hardly more than it takes to tell, seven jap pilots were observed to join their “Honorable Ancestors.” When the smoke of combat had cleared, another small Gap Ensign was scheduled to join the others already proudly emblazoned on our bridge and all hands were congratulation one another on the effectiveness of her gunfire in contributing to the destruction of several other o the enemy which were downed that morning.
These successes have not been without a price, However. How many of our ships have been sent to the bottom, and how many have been left beached and burning cannot of course be related at the present time. But let it surface to say that the number is ridiculously small in comparison with the great numbers of aircraft the enemy has sent against us.
The moments of elation which accompany success against the fanatic Jap
are alloyed with the sorrow and regret which attended his occasional successes.
One incident will serve to demonstrate the sense of personal loss felt
by the officers and crew on the day a massive Japanese bomber succeeded
in making his way through our fighters and reached his target.
On this particular day, the enemy appeared high out of the clouds and our combat air patrol was right behind him. It was apparent that in a very few seconds he would be a dead duck but it seemed likely that he could reach the ships before the “CAP” splashed him. Realizing this, the “cap” got off his tail and all ships opened a heavy and deadly fire. There were very few ships present and the Cutter had by far the greatest firepower of any; and, for this reason, a sense of responsibility toward the others was felt by every officer and man
As the Japanese bomber roared down, it seemed for a few moments that he had selected the Cutter for his target, as indeed was the case; for we had opened fire with our main battery almost as soon a the nip emerged from the clouds and she presented an importuned and convenient target
But the Cutter was not destined for disaster this day. As one Jap bored in, he spotted a target much more to his liking and one that presented less likelihood of knocking him out of the air before he ever reached the collision point.
As He approached the ships more closely, the big bomber entered a veritable shower of fire. He seemed to be making easily 300 knots. When the tracers pinked him. Small specks of flame could be seen here and there about his wings and fuselage. For a fateful moment heavy machine gun tracers from the cutter seemed to enter his right engine and to glance off in a dozen different directions, It was difficult to tell what effect the fire was having upon him, so unfavorable were conditions of light and visibility. In any event, it did not seem that he could long withstand the effects of the fire that was directed at him.
Nor could he. That right engine commenced to smoke and it obviously dragged him to the right. He lost altitude and it seemed certain he would crash in an open space of water astern the ship. But fate would not have it so. With what must have been fanatic purpose and determination, the Pilot wrenched his controls hard over, and the big bomber righted herself in the final crucial instant. With a blinding flash and deafening roar she crashed into a helpless ship. A cloud of flame enveloped the after body of the vessel and the firing ceased. Silence that could be cut with a knife for one short moment prevailed on the cutters decks.
And then, Immediately in realization that there was yet work to be done, a few brief orders were issued and seconds latter a boat was ready to depart from our gangway. Doctors, Pharmacist Mates and a Priest were on their way to the stricken ship. Signals flashed from the Cutters bridge to a nearby tug and in short order, the latter was alongside purring tons on water over the burning vessel. Meanwhile our officers and crew, unable to do more, gazed in ironic regret at the poor ship they thought they had “saved”. ***
The rigors of warfare and the lurking consciousness of death and disaster have no means dampened the normally high spirits of the crew. Although all hands anxiously await the end of the war and the day their ship will be retired to the more enjoyable pursuits of peace, moral is good. Every man on board is conscious of a degree of seasoning and high training that he did not possess before. Each feels a sense of his own importance in one large team that is the ship. Each realizes that he has been tried, but not found wanting; and from this knowledge springs a feeling of pride both in himself and his ship.
As might be supposed, eating, sleeping, bathing and recreation are dictated by conditions. Yet, despite the almost constant tension the health of all on board has been exceptionally good. Discipline is rigid; but it is fair and the crew is not subjected to the many petty annoyances that plague an idle ship. A fine spirit of cooperation exists between all hands, between officers and crew, and between ship and staff personnel, The fires of battle have welded the manpower into a highly coordinated fighting machine. ***
Much of the stuffiness of military life has been eliminated aboard the
ship. Only essential drills and instructions are given but when drills
are conducted a deadly seriousness attends, for the crew has come to know
their very lives may depend upon the efficiency to which they attain.
Men “sleep in” following long night hours at battle stations. A weekly
inspection is held only to safeguard the health and efficiency of the crew
and to insure that the ship is keep battle fit and sanitary. Spit
and polish, Paint and palaver, and inspection politics have no place aboard
the (censored). The grim realities of war have eliminated all but the really
important details of operation.
Although free hours are scarce, recreation has not been overlooked. Movies are shown several times each week but, it must be admitted, they are all too frequently interrupted by the raucous clang of the General Alarm. Mimeographed ships paper with the latest world news is distributed daily during morning chow call. Religious services are held at frequent intervals. And mail, that most important of morale builders, has been coming in regularly. In addition, the photographers mate keeps a constant flow of news stories and pictures about the men headed towards hometown papers. It may be tough, but the folks back home are hearing about it.
This is a “ship’s side” account of the operations Tokyo is calling “The Battle for Japan” and how one ship of the fighting Coast Guard is staking it. Rest Assured that when the Tumult dies and the smoke of the final battle clears, a new chapter will have been written in the annals of famous Coast Guard Cutters. It may well be that the Cutter which participated in the first Engagement of this war, on that fateful December Day in peaceful Honolulu Harbor, will also help deliver the final punishing salvo against the enemy, until then, to this Cutter has gone the distinction of being the first of the Coast Guard Cutters Prideful to report “Splashed One Bogey”.
IF ANYONE KNOWS THE AUTHOR PLEASE INFORM WEBMASTER SO PROPER CREDIT CAN BE GIVEN.
(copy of handout when you board the CGC Taney copied by vern_toler)
CGC TANEY (WHEC-37) SLECTED HIGHLIGHTS.
Built at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard 1935-36
Commissioned October 24, 1936, as ROGER B. TANEY, Named after former Acting Secretary of Treasury in Andrew Jackson's administration and former Chief Supreme Court Justice who was a native of Maryland and married the sister of Francis Scott Key.
One of seven Treasury Class ships built. All were named after former Secretaries of the Treasury. The sister ships were: BIB, CAMPBELL, DUANE, HAMILTON, INGHAM, and SPENCER.
A High Endurance Cutter (WHEC). "W" is the designation for Coast Guard surface vessels. A cutter is a vessel 65 feet or more in length that can accommodate a crew for extended deployment.
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988.
Only survivor still afloat of the 101 warships that were present and fought during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. TANEY was tied up at Pier 6 in Honolulu and was ready ;to fire within 4 minutes of the attract. It was the last active ship at that battle to be decommissioned, (Only the battleship ARIZONA remains in commission)
Displacement" 2,700 tons
Length: 327 feet
Beam: 41 feet.
Main engines: 2 Westinghouse double - reduction geared turbines.
Main boilers: 2 Babcock & Wilcox sectional expressed, air encased, superheat (oil fired).
Propellers: Twin 3 blade.
Performance: Max. speed: 20 knots Cursing Range: 8,270 nautical miles
Fuel Capacity: 135,52o gallons.
Year Officers/Warrant Enlisted Total
1941 21 200 221
1945 26 226 252
1986 12 117 129
Armament (Guns/Antisubmarine Warfare):
Current: 5"/38 (1)
1940: 5"/51 (2) 3"/50 ANTIAIRCRAFT (4); DEPTH CHARGES: "Y" GUNS
1944: 5"/38 (4);S 20 mm/80 ANTIAIRCRAFT (4) HEDGEHOGS MARK 44 TORPEDOES (4)
1945: 5"/38 (2) 40 mm/60 ANTIAIRCRAFT (4) 20 mm/80 ANTIAIRCRAFT (4) HEDGEHOGS; MARK 44 TORPEDOES (4)
(Note: some of the above dates and armament may be
in error s/vern_toler)
Copy of the TANEY Vietnam Tour Book scaned and provided by Garret Conklin
at present linked to "Fred's Place" http://www.fredsplace.org/books/taney/
“National Register of Historic Places”
(This is copied by Vern Toler from NPS (form 10-900a) date of report unknown author unknown)
USCGC TANEY WHEC- 37 is a High Endurance Cutter of the Treasury (or
Secretary, or Bibb, or 327 Class, currently bertha at the former Bethlehem
Steel Key Highway facility in Baltimore, Maryland, prior to its permanent
display as a US Coast Guard historic ship museum in the planned new facility
of the Baltimore Maritime Museum. A major attraction of the city’s
redeveloped Inner Harbor. One of four sister ships built simultaneously
in one dry-dock at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in 1935-36, Taney; was
commissioned on October 24, 1936as Roger B. Taney WPG-37 of the seven-ship
class which were named for Secretaries of the Treasury. Her sister
ships were George M. Bibb, George W. Campbell, William J. Duane, Alexander
Hamilton, Samuel D. Ingham, and John C. Spencer. Ingham, which was
still in active service as of December 1987, is the only surviving member
of the class. *2 The Treasury Class, costing $2,468,460 each, comprised
the largest and most heavily armed Coast Guard warships until the delivery
of their successors, the twelve-ship Hamilton Class, beginning in 1967.
General Characteristics Taney *3
Displacement (tons): 2,350 (1936); 2,750 full load.
(1945); 2,700 (1986)
Length: 327’ overall; 308 waterline
Beam 41’2” maximum
Draft: 12’6” mean (1936-1986); 15’ naxamyn (1945)
Main Engines: 2 Westinghouse double-reduction geared turbines.
Main Boilers: 2 Babcock & Wilcox sectional express, air-encased, 400 psi, 200 degree F. Superheat.
Standard Horsepower: 5,250 (1936) 6,200 (1945)
Propellers: Twin 3 blades.
Maximum Speed: 19.5 knots (1945) 20 knots (1986)
Cruising Range: 8,270 nautical miles.
Fuel Oil Capacity: 136,520 gallons; 135,800 gallons (1986)
Complement: 12 officers, 4 warrant officers, 107 enlisted (1936)
16 officers, 5 warrant officers, 200 enlisted (1941)
24 officers, 2 warrant officers, 226 enlisted (1945)
12 officers/warrant officers, 117 enlisted (1986)
Guns: 2 5”/51 cal. (single), 2 6-pounder, 1 1-pounder (1936)
2 5”/51 cal (single), 4 3”/50 (single) (1940)
3 5”/38 (single turrets), 4 20mm/80 (single) (1944)
2 5”/38 (single turrets) 6 40mm/60 (twin), 4 20mm/80 (single) (1945)
1 5”/38 (single turret) 2 40mm/60 (twin) – later [*} see continuation sheet deleted in favor of 2 50 cal. Machine guns (single)
Warfare (ASW); Beginning in early 1940’s Y-guns and depth-charges racks, later deleted in favor of antisubmarine projectiles (“hedgehog”) and 4 mark 44 torpedoes in 2 Mark 32 launchers
Aircraft: Grumman JF-1 (1937-41)
The armament of the Treasury Class varied during World War II. All except TANEY were rearmed with 2 or 3 5”/38 cal. Guns in open mounts, and various combinations of 40 and 20mm antiaircraft guns, plus depth charges. During her service in the European theater, TANEY was outfitted with a unique experimental main armament of 4 5’/38 guns in single turrets, giving her a distinct destroyer-like appearance (except for torpedo tubes), “ an arrangement which proved unsuccessful. *4
Possessing a remarkable degree of integrity, especially with regards to interior configuration and original propulsion machinery, TANEY today very closely resembles the typical large Coast Guard cutter of the late 1930’- early 1940’s, the main exception being her armament: a single 5” bow turret in place of the array of guns in open mounts. Of course TANEY was subject to modifications of varying degree during her half century of active service, including conversions during and just after World War II. These changes were significant episodes in the history of her class, and do not adversely affect her present degree of integrity. Study of post-World War II photographs of TANEY shows that ongoing modifications to the superstructure, deckhouses, masts, and armament were usually subtle, reflecting the evolution of electronic equipment and mission requirements. Briefly in the 1970’s a large spherical storm warning radome was mounted above the bridge, similar to that on some contemporary French and Dutch naval vessels. *5
Within the ship, overall impression is unquestionably one of a high degree of integrity. Interior spaces are intact, complete with all of the equipment in use at the time of de-commissioning (except that state-of-the-art cryptographic equipment was replaced with earlier models) and above all, the original main propulsion machinery is intact. Electrical circuitry is maintained, and electronic equipment is or will be fully functional. Fascinating details of fifty; years of service include the original red, white, and blue pointed ships mailbox mounted on a bulkhead, a leather mailbag, the latest captain’s hard hat, a full complement of medical books and (emptied) medicine containers in the dispensary, and a scrapbook containing copies of the ship’s thermofaxed newsletter, “The Taney Tattler,” and contemporary newspaper clippings and other souvenirs of TANEY’s March 1938 “colonization” voyage. Affixed to interior spaces are small plaques listing names of contemporary lighthearted approach to crew moral is the colorful pop art paint scheme, look like giant soda pop cans. The result is a pleasing representation of life aboard a Coast Guard ship from 1936 to 1986
Modifications for TANEY’s role as a; museum ship are minimal. They include viewing windows cut into some doors, and wide blue deck stripe which visitors will follow on their tour of the ship. Maintenance is of a very high standard, comparable to that given to the other vessels administered by the Baltimore Maritime Museum: USS TORSKE SS-423, a National Historic Landmark (under the Warships Associated with World War II in the Pacific Theme,) and Lightship Chesapeake,, a unit of the National Park System formerly displayed in Washington, D.C.
Recapitulation of the aspects of Taney’s integrity:
1. Location: no direct association with Maryland or Baltimore; indirect
association lies in the ship’s name, that of an emanate native of Maryland
and resident of Baltimore.
2. Design: retains topside design integrity despite ongoing modifications to deckhouse, superstructure, masts, armament, and electronic equipment; internal design integrity is totally intact.
3. Setting: maintained in the water.
4. Materials: the physical elements that were combined in TANEY’s historic design and construction have been maintained, except for such minor changes as viewing windows cut into some interior doors.
5. Workmanship: materials are renewed in-kind.
6. Feeling: TANEY indeed evokes its historic qualities; its significant physical characteristics – such as hull and propulsion machinery – remain, or have been renewed – such as the deck configuration, and the traditional Coast Guard paint scheme for ocean-going ships, other than buoy tenders: white with a black-over-buff funnel, along with modern ‘COAST GUARD” side lettering, official seal, and oblique blue and orange recognition striping. (During World War II TANEY was painted un-camouflage gray.) *6
7. Association: as a ship which was on active duty to 1986, TANEY’s presence in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor constitutes both a period and accurate waterfront setting.
*1. See construction photograph reproduced in the US Coast Guard Calendar for 1985, published by the US Naval Institute, Annapolis, Md.
*2. Roger Brooke Taney (1777-1864), served 1831-1864)) as Attorney General, Acting Secretary of War, Secretary of the Treasury, and Chief Justice f the United States. Born on a tobacco plantation in Calvert County, he moved to Frederick in 1801, and to Baltimore in 1832, where he was a prominent member of the bar. One of President Andrew Jackson’s chief advisers during the “Bank War,” he succeeded John Marshall as Chief Justice in 1836. He was married to Anne Key, sister of Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star Spangled Banner.” As a distinguished Marylander, it is fitting that TANEY’s namesake ship will be permanently displayed in the “Old Line State.”
The Treasury Class bore the full names of their namesakes only briefly. In May-June 1937 names were shortened to surnames only. Alexander Hamilton resumed her full name only two weeks before being lost in action in January 1942. See Robert L. Scheina, US Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II. (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1982, pp. 13-14.
*3 1936-45 characteristics from Scheina, Cutters. p. 13; later figures from various sources.
*4. Ibid., and see photographs and sketches, pp. 15-20 (Taney, 19); the quotation is from Paul H. Silverstone, US Warships of World War ii (London: Ian Allan Ltd., 1965), p. 370; and see Historic Photograph No.2.
*5. Compare Photographs Nos. 3-6 with Historic Photograph No. 1.
*6. For Taney in gray paint, see Historic Photograph No. 2; the current Coast Guard paint scheme is illustrated in Photographs No. 5-6
(Special note: Many pictures of the CG Cutter Taney will be found in the Taney web-page under the chapter “5 Bells” and a picture and story of Dome will be found under Chapter “4 Bells)
The following is copied by Vern Toler from NPS Form 10-900 titled “War in the Pacific Ship Study, Federal Agency Nomination”
Classification Public-Federal (U.S. Coast Guard) property listing: None, but see “Warships Associated with World War II in the Pacific National Historic Landmark Theme Study, Harry Butowsky, 1985
Taney’s first major overhaul was at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in December 1940, followed by another overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in the spring of 1941. During one or both of these overhauls, the original armament was changed, the antiquated six-pounder and one-pounder guns being replaced with modern three-inch antiaircraft guns, and depth charge equipment was installed. Soon these weapons would be put to combat use.
Taney’s premier claim to fame, but by no means her only qualification for National Historic Landmark status, is that she was the last surviving warship to have been present at the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Taney was berthed at Pier Six in Honolulu Harbor when the attack began at about 7:55 A.M. and officers not on board were ordered to return to the ship. Within four minutes all guns were ready to fire, and Taney was soon ready to get underway. Without orders from higher authority Taney began firing at Japanese planes passing over the harbor at high altitude, using her new three-inch guns. A second and third group of planes drew Taney's fire, the latter a formation of five which flew in over the harbor entrance, probably to bomb the power plant. This group was close enough so that 50-caliber machine guns were used as well as the three-inches. The planes swerved up and away. *4
The next morning Taney began patrolling off the entrance to Honolulu Harbor. Between the 8th and 14th seven sound contacts were made, and at least three depth charges attacks took place. The most notable was on the 10th, which produced an oil slick. This alone did not prove that an enemy submarine had been hit, and Taney did not receive credit for a sinking. In January there were two more six-day patrol cruises, which included three more depth charge attacks. The attack on the 17th produced a periscope “feathering,” but again, no definitive results. *5
The final chapter of the “colonization” story began on January 22, when Taney and USS Perry (DD-340/DMS-17), escorted S.S. Barbara Olson from Honolulu to Canton Island. On the 29th Taney made a depth charge attack with unknown results. The ships reached Canton Island the next day. Taney patrolled until February 7, and sent a working party to assist in unloading the merchantman. The miniature convoy proceeded to Enderbury Island, where Taney assisted in landing operations. The American flag was hauled down, the four Department of the Interior “colonists” embarked, and the Taney destroyed buildings on the island with gunfire. Reaching Jarvis Island on the 10th, the sad procedure was repeated. Again the US flag was taken down, all buildings and equipment were burned, and the four colonists embarked for Honolulu. Taney and Barbara Olson moored in Palmyra Island Harbor on the 12th. From the 15th until the 25th Taney patrolled off Canton Island. She returned to Honolulu on March 5. The United States last colonization effort on earth was history. *6
From March 19 to
April 18 Taney patrolled off Pearl Harbor and Honolulu Harbor on six-day cruises, A major technological advance began on the 18th when the Force Commander’s stateroom was converted into a radar room. Work on the radar and depth charge projector installations continued through the month as crew members attended radar school ashore. Taney was now ready for modern warfare. But for almost two more years there was to be no combat action for Taney, which continued operations under Commander, SeaForce, Hawaiian Sea Frontier, along with the 125-foot cutters Reliance (WCG-150) and Tiger (WGC-152) *7
added for www search engines USCGC RELIANCE == USCGC TIGER =
USCGC BIBB, USCGC CAMPBELL, USCGC DUANE, USCGC INGHAM, USCGC SPENCER, USCGC HAMILTON. End.
In early 1944 Taney assumed a new role, that of ocean convoy escort, belatedly joining sister ships Bibb, WPG-31, Campbell WPG-32 Dyane WPG –33, Ingham WPG-35 and Spencer WPG-36 and Alexander Hamilton WPG-34 which was lost off Iceland on January 29, 1942 suffering twenty-six dead. It was in this role that the Treasury Class achieved its greatest collective fame, particularly in the Battle of the North Atlantic: “The Secretary Class cutters –0 built primarily not to strike a blow at an enemy but to be able to live through all foul conditions at sea – “were tough and could be kept going in the rough Northern waters, And there was no rest for them” A Navy officer observed. “they are better sea boats than destroyers, and lend themselves better to boat operations and rescues. In connection with picking up people, their hospital accommodations are superior to those of destroyers.” *8
The Treasury Class cutters were among the many types of ships from many Allied navies who collectively won the Battle of the North Atlantic. On December 15, 1942 Ingham sank U-626; on February 22, 1943 Campbell and the Polish destroyer Burza rammed and sunk U-606; and on April 17, 1943 Duane and Spencer sank U-175. *9
From Honolulu, Taney sailed to the Boston Naval Shipyard, where from March 14-29, 1944, combat information centers (CIC) were installed. From Hampton Roads, Virginia, she sailed on April 3 as flagship of Task Force 66 (TF-66) , escorting convoy UGS-38, bound for the Mediterranean. UGS-38 WAS COMPOSED OF 85 MERCHANT SHIPS, 2 us Navy tankers, Duane, and 24 small craft – 10 LCI(L) and 14 YMS. The Atlantic crossing was uneventful. The “Med” was to be another matter. *10
Since mid-1943 there had been two type of convoys from the United States to the Mediterranean. “Fast convoys” composed of transports and tanker, designated “UGF” outbound and “GUF” homebound; they sailed from or to New York or Norfolk at 25-day intervals from May to September, 1943, and at 27-day intervals from Norfolk from May 1944 until the end of the war in Europe. The fast convoys suffered no losses. “Slow convoys” were designated “UGS” outbound and “GUS” homebound: they sailed at 10-day intervals from Norfolk beginning in July 1943. The large UGS convoys were the “Principal means of supplying Allied armies in the Italian campaign, or building up for the invasion of Southern France, and of carrying material to India and Russia.”
Until March 1944, American ocean escort groups had been relieved at Gibraltar by other escort groups which took the USG convoys to their Mediterranean destinations. The relieving ships were mostly British, but American ships were included. This procedure changed just as Taney arrived on the scene. Starting with UGS-36, which passed Gibraltar on March 30, the U.S. escort groups continued with their convoys to Bizerte, Tunisia, before being relieved. There was an advantage to not changing escorts at a time when the German Air Force == The Luftwaffe == was extremely active in the western Mediterranean. Also more American escorts were available by this time, and Royal Navy ships were needed elsewhere. *11
Beginning in April, the Luftwaffe, “destruction or diminution of” the UGS “convoys was of such vital importance that “he” used all resources that he could spare from the Italian and Russian fronts and all the tactical ingenuity he could muster. These efforts long persisted, despite heavy losses and lack of success.” About 140 German planes based in France were used in the attacks, which, because of recent improvement in Allied antiaircraft fire, occurred only at night or in twilight. The Germans were well aware of the approaching of Allied convoys. In order to avoid mine fields in their approach to Gibraltar, convoys had to pass the Strait in daylight, and their progress could be seen by Axis coast watchers. Beginning at Alboran Island, north of Mellila, Spanish Morocco, long-range German planes tracked each convoy, reporting its course, speed, and strength.
The very elaborate tactics used by the Luftwaffe to attract the convoys were to be countered by providing each convoy with a sufficient number of escort vessels well trained in antiaircraft fire, with their main batteries under radar control and firing proximity-fused shells, and by providing both the escorts and the merchantmen with smoke-pots which produced a dense white chemical smoke. Reinforcing the ocean escort were at least one Allied antiaircraft cruiser and one American destroyer. In addition, radar installations on the Algerian coast could track approaching German planes, and Allied aircraft (Bristol Beau-fighters, with British, American , and French crews) were vectored to intercept the attacking bombers. As a result of these defensive measures, convoys UGS-36 and –37 suffered only one ship each damaged by single aerial torpedoes. *12
But a far different fate awaited UGS-38, which entered the Mediterranean
on April 16. Commander William H. Duvall in Taney headed an escort
group f 12 destroyer escorts (DE) reinforced by a Dutch antiaircraft cruiser,
HNMS Heemskerck, USS Landsdale DD-426, and 2 fast minesweepers, USS Speed
AM-116 , and USS Sustain (A-119). Sshortly after sunset on the 20th, UGS –38 was attacked 3 miles off Cape Bengut (42 miles east of Algiers), the notorious “Torpedo Junction” for UGS convoys. At the time of the attack, UGS-38 was deployed in 10 columns, with 3 British submarines, which had joined it at Gibraltar in column on the port beam. Because the convoy was close to land on the starboard side several escort ships were not in position. Some escorts, Taney included, were victimized by radar jamming.
The first wave of 9 Junkers JU-88 torpedo planes damaged 3 merchantmen and sand S.S. Paul Hamilton, which was transporting U.S. Army Airforce personnel and High explosives. The ship was blown to bits, and all 580 aboard killed. The second wave of 7 JU-88 sank another merchant ship, and damaged one. TANEY reported torpedo wakes close by, but was not hit. The third wave of 5 Heinkel 111s torpedoed Lansdale, which quickly sank, killing 47 men. TANEY and other escorts fired at the attackers, with limited success, a few German planes being shot down or dammed. One merchant sank the next day, but the other damaged ships reached Algiers. On the 22nd the convoy escort was relieved off Bizerte. Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison’s official U.S. Naval history succinctly states that, “This attack onUSG-38 marked high water for the Luftwaffe in the history of Mediterranean convoys. *13
On May 1, TANEY left Bizerte in escort of GUS-38, which was victimized
by German submarines, just before their withdrawal from the Mediterranean.
Two escorts were torpedoed, but revenge was exacted when U-371 was sunk
on May 4. TANEY reached New York on May 21. On June 12 TANEY,
as convoy guide, led UGS-45 out of Hampton Roads, reaching Bizerte on July
1, after an uneventful voyage. On the 10th GUS-45 out of Hampton
Roads, reaching Bizerte on July 1, after an uneventful voyage.
On the 10th GUS-45 departed Bizerte. On several occasions TANEY provide
medical treatment for patients from the other ships in the convoy, which
reached New York n the 20th. In August TANEY trained at Casco Bay,
Maine, and then led UGS-52 from Hampton Roads to Bizerte, arriving September
11. This trip was also uneventful,
As was the return voyage of GUS-52, which reached New York on October 6. By August the German airbases in the South of France were under heavy Allied air attacks in preparation for the August 15 landings – Operation ANVIL, where DUANE was flagship for 8TH Amphibious Force and 3rd Infantry Division, in her new role as an Amphibious Force Flagship (ACG).
After the invasion the Luftwaffe could no longer attack Mediterranean convoys. The Battle of the Mediterranean had been won; German submarines and torpedo bombers were gone. *14
For the rest of the war, the Treasury Class would serve as AGCs DUANE was first to be converted, in early 1944, followed by SPENCER in mid-year, then INGHAM, TANEY, BIBB, and finally in early 1945 CAMPBELL. In this mode, the Treasury Class’ command and control capabilities were greatly improved by the fitting of 35 radio receivers and 25 transmitters. Additional masts were added, and the superstructure expanded. Armament, particularly 40mm and 20mm antiaircraft guns, was put in its final wartime configuration. TANEY’S main battery was reduced to 2 5-inch guns. The complement swelled to about 250, double the original figure of 1936. TANEY’s conversion occurred at the Boston Naval Shipyard, October 10, 1944 to January 19, 1945. *15 Now it was back to the Pacific to do her part in achieving victory over Japan.
On February 22, 1945 TANEY arrived at Pearl Harbor, reporting
to Rear Admiral Calvin Cobb, USN., prospective
Commanding Officer, Naval Forces, Ryukyu’s (GTG 99.1). Sailing
with Cobb aboard, TANEY proceeded with Task Force 51.8 to the Hagushi Landing
Beaches, Okinawa, arriving during air alerts on April 11. There,
Operation ICEBERG, the invasion of the Ryukyu Islands, had begun on April
1. (Also present at Okinawa, April 23 to August, was BIBB, flagship
for Task Group 52.2, Commander Mine Flotilla.) TANEY’s role was to conduct
combat information center duties, maintaining complete radar and air coverage,
receiving and evaluating information on all enemy and allied activities,
and issuing orders by visual and electronic means. She also provided
medical treatment to casualties from other ships. TANEY,
‘s position, exposed to air attack from the north, resulted in her experiencing a disproportionate share of combat action. Other threats included suicide boats and midget submarines, and on one occasion TANEY was shelled by shore batteries. *16 The greatest enemy threat was Operation TEN-GO, the massed air attack on the American amphibious forces, both by kamikaze suicide planes and conventional bombers. *17 Still another hazard were the great Pacific typhoons which wreaked havoc on U.S. ships. TANEY’s initiation into the horrors of the Okinawa Campaign was immediate. On April 12 she shot down a “Betty” bomber which crossed her bow. In the first 45 days one station, TANEY was called to general quarters 119 times, which the crews being kept at battle stations up to 9 hours at a time. During that 45-day period, TANEY was credited with downing 4 kamikazes, and scoring many assists. On June 26 a Japanese floatplane flew low over TANEY and circled the ship, but was shot down by naval gunfire and shore batteries. On July 22 a ship near TANEY was bombed. hostilities continued even after VJ-Day (August 15), when TANEY supported follow Pearl Harbor survivor Pennsylvania (BB-38) as three planes attacked. *18
On August 29 Admiral Cobb departed, and on September 9, TANEY sailed for Wakayama, Japan, sending a working party ashore on the 12th. On the 17th TANEY survived another typhoon and was one of the few ships in the anchorage which stayed in their berths. Her service in the Occupation of Japan completed, TANEY left Wakayama on October 14, reaching San Francisco on 29th, having contributed to victory in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Pacific. *19
Along with her sisters TANEY was reconverted after the war to cutter configuration. Her conversion was at Charleston, South Carolina, Naval Shipyard, beginning November 29, 1945. Taney’s main armament was reduced to the forward 5-inch gun turret; the secondary battery was the twin 40mm mounted behind the turret. In later years, the 40mm guns were removed and single 50-caliber machine guns installed. Antisubmarine weapons mounted at various times after World War II included “hedgehog” and torpedoes. *20
In April 1946 TANEY reported to her new home port in San Francisco Bay, Alameda, where, until her departure in 1972, she was the only Treasury Class cutter based on the West Coast. The primary mission of the class through the mid-1970’s was to serve as Ocean Station vessels – weather ships. An Ocean Station was a 210 – square mile of ocean far from land, where a cutter spent three weeks cruising plus a week in transit. There the expanding international air routes. TANEY alternated between Ocean Stations November and Victor in the Pacific, and from l972-77 served on similar duty in the Atlantic while homeport at Norfolk. She was the primary vessel assigned to Ocean Station Hotel off the New Jersey coast from 1973-77. During this period, TANEY mounted a large, spherical radome above the bridge, housing storm search radar. By 1977 weather satellites and improvement aerial navigation systems made the Ocean Station program unnecessary, and on September 30, TANEY closed out the last manned U.S.. station, ending almost four decades of Coast Guard participation in this tedious, but vital duty. *21
TANEY and her sisters, while on Ocean Station patrol, where of course assigned to search and rescue missions. They also participated in military readiness training with the Navy, conducted fishery patrols and training cruises (for U.s. Coast Guard Academy Cadets and Reserve Officer Candidates), and international drug smuggling. Fishery patrols, a traditional Coast Guard activity, vastly increased in magnitude and responsibility, not to mention expense, with the passage of the Fisheries Conservation Management Act – the “200 – mile limit.” Although the lack of spare parts for their aging machinery made them increasing difficult to operate and maintain, there was no shortage of work for the TANEY and her sisters It is ironic that her very last duty was one for which the class was designed, to counter narcotics smuggling. Originally the target was opium from Asia; later it would be heroin, marijuana, and cocaine. In her final years of active duty, TANEY patrolled Caribbean passages, interdicting illegal drug traffic. In 1985 she seized a vessel which was towing a barge loaded with a record eighty tons of marijuana, valued at $140,000,000. *22
But the traditional peacetime tasks of the Coast Guard were not the only ones performed by TANEY after World War II. During the Korean War, 1950-53, she served in a support capacity, providing communications and weather services to the U.S. forces in Korea, as well as performing search and rescue duties on the air routes to Korea and in the Formosa Strait.
In April 1969 TANEY was assigned to Coast Guard Squadron three for a ten-month deployment to Operation MARKET TIME off the Vietnamese coast. MARKET TIME was the program to interdict the flow of enemy men and material to South Vietnam from the Communist North. During the tour of duty, while based at Subic Bay, Philippines, TANEY steamed over 52,000 miles, inspecting over 1,000 vessels. As a shore bombardment ship she fired more than 3,400 five-inch shells at enemy positions. One such mission lasted five hours. Also, TANEY’s medical staff treated almost 6,000 Vietnamese villagers. Her service was recognized by the Republic of Vietnam with the award of the Vietnamese Presidential Unit Citation. In February 1970, almost twenty-five years after she last saw combat at Okinawa, TANEY RETURNED TO Alameda. “Queen of the Pacific,” the unofficial flagship of the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area commander, was home from her third Pacific war. *23
A unique honor occurred on April 27, 1960 when TANEY , as the senior U.S. ship present, hosted French President Charles de Gaulle on his tour of San Francisco Bay.
In 1976 TANEY’s homeport was shifted a short distance from Norfolk to Portsmouth, Virginia. There, on December 7, 1986, after more than fifty years on active duty, TANEY was decommissioned, appropriately on Pearl Harbor Day. Shortly before that event, she had ended her final cruise in Baltimore, where she was welcomed as a future museum ship, and memorial to her sisters (of which only INGHAM, herself nearing the end of a distinguished career, survives), and all the ships of the U.S. Coast Guard *24
Her half century of wide-ranging service, most notably including Pearl Harbor, the vital Mediterranean convoys, the ultimate Pacific victory at Okinawa, the defense of South Vietnam, plus her long association with technological advances of American civil aviation, meteorology, and communications, make U.S.C.G.C. TANEY (WHEC-37) eminently qualified to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and be designated a National Historic Landmark under Criteria A,. C, and Criteria Consideration (Exception) G. TANEY embodies, with a remarkably high degree of integrity, the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, and method of construction of a distinguished, long-serving class of warship; and over a fifty-year period, TANEY’s exploits in her assigned duties represent the ocean-going responsibilities of the Coast Guard and its contributions to the American people and to the world.
*1. An envelope containing ten small photographs taken aboard TANEY in 1936-37, including a view of the ship transiting the Panama Canal, comprises the Oscar C. Peterson Collection, Box 4. USCGC TANEY File, Office of the Coast Guard Historian, USCG Headquarters, Washington, D.C. here after cited as TANEY file, USCG HQ.
2. Irvine C. Gardner, “Crusoes of Canton Island: Life on a Tiny Pacific
Atoll that Has Flashed in World Importance, “ The National Geographic Magazine,
June 1938, pp 749-66; a scrapbook containing contemporary newspaper clippings
relating to this endeavor is still on TANEY: see also copies of the ship’s
thermofaxed newsletter, “The Taney Tattler,” in the scrapbook and in TANEY
File, USCG HQ. Upon crossing the Equator, the traditional ceremony was
held, during which the veteran Equator-crosses, the “shellbacks,” initiated
first timers, the despised “polliwogs,” into the esteemed “Order of the
Shellbacks.” Two collection of photographs. Also in the TANEY
File, USCG HQ, is a scrapbook, “Taney South Pacific Cruise May 20 to June
For more details of the establishment of Pan Am’s seaplane bases, in philatelic con -----D. Grahm “Postal ------- French Colonies in the South Pacific, 1941
Linn’s Stamp News, August 31, 1987m pp. 24-25 and “Postal History: WW II in the Pacific. The Line Islands,” IDIB ., September 26, 1987, pp. 8-9; and John Woolford, “Gilbert & Ellice, “ SCOTT STAMP MONTHLY January 1988, pp. 66-68.
*3 CGC TANEY History Fact Sheet for TANEY Shipmates Reunion 30 Oct 1987, p. 2 copy in TANEY File, USCG HQ.
*4. Action Report December 7-20 1941, Ckom L.B. Olsen to Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District, At Sea, Pacific Ocean, 22 Dec. 1941. And USCGC TANEY; WPG-37 History Date, p. 1 Public Information Div., USCG HQ, Copies TANEY File, USCG HQ,.
*5 TANEY history Date pp. 1-2, 3.
*6 IBID p. 2
*7 IBID., p. 3 citing “History of Coast Guard 14th District.” On November 1`, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt placed the Coast Guard under control of the Department of The Navy. Some personnel and cutters had been serving with the Navy since the spring of that year, TANEY since July 1. See Howard V. L Broomfield, The Compact History of the United States Coast Guard. The Military History of the United States, gen. Ed., R. Ernest Dupuy (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., p. 169.
*8 Broomfield, Compact history, pp 170, 173, 190-94 (quotation, 192); quotation of Capt. A. G. Shepard, USN in Scheina, Cutters, p, 14
*9 Scheina, Cutters, pp. 14-15; Arthur A. Aronson, “The Burxa was a Destroyer, US Naval Institute Proceedings, January 1958, Vol. 84, 18-30; and see Edwin P. Hoyt, The U.-Boat Wars, (New York: Arbor House, 1984) including SPENCER, p, 177.
*10 TANEY History Data p. 3.
*11. Samuel Eliot Morison, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, 15 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1960-62), vol. Xz; The Atlantic Battle Won May 1943-May 1945. (1962) pp 249-51 264 quotation, 264
*12 ibid., pp. 251 264-67 (quotation, 264)
*13 IBID., pp 251, 268, (quotation); TANEY history Data, pp 3-5
*14 TANEY History Data, pp 5-6 Morison, World War ii, X, pp. 264 273, Scheina, Cutters, p. 14.
*15 Sscheina, Cutters, p. 14. Silverstone, US Warships, pp 368-73, Taney History Data p. 6
*16 TANEY History Data, pp 6-7 Scheina, Cutters, p. 14. For an overall account of the Okinawa naval campaign see Morison, vol. XIV: Victory in the Pacific 1945 Part II World War II.
*17 In addition to Morison, World War II, XIV, Part II,
see Edwin P. Hoyt, The Kamikazes, (New York: Arbor House, 1983), chaps.
24-26; and Denis Warner and Peggy Warner with Sadao Seno, The Sacred Warriors:
Japan’s Suicide Legions, (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.,
*18 TANEY History Date, pp. 7-8
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 10:23:58 -0600
From: "Hall, RuthAnn, TC" <RHall@times-call.com>
Journey By Erica Flores The Daily
Times-Call LOVELAND - When Wiley Hickey
was just 18 years old, he bade farewell to family and friends and headed to
Port Townsend, Wash., for Coast Guard boot camp. Two months later, in
October 1941, he traded assignments with a fellow sailor and headed out
across the Pacific to the sleepy islands of Hawaii. Little did Hickey know
that his quest to get as far away as possible - what he called "cutting the
apron strings" - would lead to his involvement in one of the most infamous
battles in military history. Dec. 7, 1941, was the day Japan attacked Pearl
Harbor and the day the U.S. officially got involved in World War II. Hickey
was aboard the USCGC Taney, a 327-foot Coast Guard cutter that had been used
to maintain weather stations on islands throughout the South Pacific.
Hickey worked as a cook, one of the only jobs available to a rookie, and had
never fired a gun before. The Taney was docked in Pier 6 at Honolulu
Harbor, about 6 miles away from Pearl Harbor, during the attack. Hickey
said he can remember the siren sounding at about 8 a.m., alerting the crew
to a swarm of Japanese airplanes. The rest of that day, he said, is
something of a blur. He remembers helping men to reload their guns and
replace their barrels. And he remembers the sound of bombs being dropped,
the terrifying moment of silence afterward, and the unimaginable relief when
the weapons splashed into the ocean and out of range of the ship. History
can fill in the rest. Apparently, the ship observed the attack over Pearl
Harbor but received no orders to move. That changed just after 9 a.m. when
the second wave of Japanese planes began their final approach toward the
harbor. The Taney fired on the enemy aircraft with 3-inch guns and
50-caliber machine guns. Amazingly, no one aboard the Taney was hurt, and
the ship was not damaged during the attack. Hickey served in the Coast
Guard for about four years, and although the attack was almost 60 years ago,
he said that he still feels bitterness. "They had a different mentality
than we did," Hickey said. "We were trying to stay alive. But they
accomplished immortality if they died for their emperor." The Taney went on
to serve in both the Atlantic and the Pacific and remained on duty through
the Vietnam War. The ship was decommissioned on Dec. 7, 1986, 45 years
after it first went to war, and was designated a National Historic Landmark
in 1988. Today, the Taney is the only ship of the 101 involved in the
battle that is still afloat. Hickey, 79, is one of just 22 men still living
of the 145 who served on the Taney during the battle. And Dec. 7, 1941, is
the stuff of legends and blockbuster movies. But despite the magnitude of
what happened that day, Hickey remains somewhat meek about his place in
history. "I wouldn't give up that experience - it changed the world. But I
don't feel like I really did anything," Hickey said.
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