Writings about the Dyess

  A Letter from the daughter of Lt Col A.J. Dyess, Connor Dyess
   



 

This addition to the DYESS Web Site is probably the most meaningful
and the most pride evoking of any addition thus far.

It is a letter written by the daughter of Lt. Col. Jimmie Dyess to the creators of this site, namely Joe Peters, who made it happen. We thank her for her acknowledgement, and for her support, for without her father and her family, absolutely none of this would even be remotely possible. It is truly an honor to present this letter here, word for word.

 

Joe.

It is an honor to become a small part of the USS Dyess web page. As Lieutenant Colonel Dyess's daughter and only child, I have had a close and ongoing relationship with the USS Dyess. I was eight when my father was killed and within a year, I had traveled to Orange, Texas for the christening of the ship. In the meantime, my father had earned the Medal of Honor, the Navy had decided to name a destroyer in his honor and the construction was underway.

I represented the family in the summer of 1953, when there was a ceremony in Savannah. By this time I was a new high school graduate. In 1975, my husband, Perry, my two children, McCoy and Serena, and I (as well as a number of other family members) visited the Brooklyn Naval Yard for the 30th anniversary of the commissioning. There was a grand series of events and we enjoyed our visits with many of the members of the crew.

Through the years, various members of the USS Dyess crew have kept me informed about key events and, of course, I read about the USS Dyess when she was involved in historic moments. For instance, there was a major story in 1967 when the USS Dyess was the last warship to sail through the Suez canal before it was closed down for more than ten years by the Egyptians. This was the time of the Six Day War between Israel and a number of Arab states. I also remember the excitement when the Dyess sailed through the Bosporous and made a cruise through the Black Sea.

My husband, Major General Perry M Smith, and I settled down in my home town in 1990. Both of us had been brought up in military families so it was, for each of us, our 40th move. We are very happy in Augusta and don't plan to move again. Our first granddaughter arrived on October 17 1995. Named Dyess McCoy Verfurth, she is named after her great grandfather. Hence the Dyess name lives on in the family.

For those having a chance to visit Augusta may I suggest that you visit Riverwalk near the Raddison Hotel downtown. There is a hero's walk that prominently highlights the heroism of Daddy in war and peace. Also, the new Jimmie Dyess parkway will soon be completed. This parkway will connect the main gate at the big army base, Fort Gordon, to I-20. As you approach Augusta from the west, the first major sign you will see is the Jimmie Dyess Parkway.

Thank you for keeping my father's name alive by keeping the USS Dyess family together and active.

        God Bless You All.

        Connor Dyess Smith

A salute to you ma'm, and a heartfelt Thank You as well,

from all the crew and members of the USS Dyess legacy.

 
 
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