Date: Sun, 9 Feb 2003 18:17:19 EST
Subject: WDE VANCE 487
Joe Betters; Sorry that the two years served aboard the Vance are entitled "The Forgotten Years." I'll share some memories of 50 years ago. Please understand that I have only memories, no journal to refer to.
I reported aboard the Vance in Green Cove Springs Fla. on or about June 1, 1952. The ship was in the process of coming out of "Mothballs." I'm not certain if I was aboard for the commissioning process. I believe it was in June we departed Florida to Philadelphia Navy Yard. On the trip north we experienced the "Shakedown Process". We stopped at Norfolk, VA. The trip was under our own power. We were in "Philly" for about three months. Some of the WW II equipment was removed, I believe the torpedo tubes were one of the WWII pieces of equipment as were a number of other items. A "Towing Bit" was a large device welded to the deck aft of the rear 3 inch 50 mm gun tub (which I later was assigned to as a "Pointer" later.)The period in Philly was the "summer from Hell". It was hot, we were in dryadic which prevented any air to reach us. Yard workers worked very loudly with their pneumatic chipping tools which made the noise almost unbearable. We left Philly headed south We made a brief stopover at the shipyard in Curtis Bay, Maryland. We proceeded south via the inland waterway. We proceeded to the Panama Canal. I recall the trip south and the trip through the Canal as very scenic and memorable.