Writings about the Dyess

  An EMail from Maurice D. Ewing


Mr. Peters--Mr. Pomeroy: 

Joe, what a genuine pleasure it was to hear from you.  Please let me thank both of you again for lending your enthusiasm, your inspiration and your technical skills to this wonderful web page.  We are building a web page at our office and I can personally attest to the Herculean effort it can sometimes be--particularly when you are committed to a first class product. 

I have been reading with great interest the comments of the crew members.  They write with heartfelt pride and fondness of their experiences on the DYESS.  I expect to some extent that is the nature with sailors--that is, I expect it is the natural inclination of a sailor to feel some deep spiritual kinship with the vessels on which they serve.  I must tell you, however, that the genuine "love" (I not sure that's the right term) and loyalty I have seen in the two DYESS crews with whom I have come in contact seems to go farther and deeper than what might be expected. 

I visited the DYESS on two occasions.  Once for the 30 anniversary celebration in 1975 and again on the occasion of the de-commissioning in 1981.  I have been aboard the ship when she was in both a "fit" condition and in a condition that was not so "fit".  The occasion I remember the most was a conversation I had with the "Chief Engineer" (forgive my lack of knowledge of proper Naval rank) at the de-commissioning.  This magnificent war ship was lying "asleep" in the Brooklyn Naval Yard awaiting a tow to Philadelphia.  But with great personal pride and total professional conviction he insisted that "...by God we could steam her out of here right now!".  I have no way of knowing whether or not that statement was technically true, but I am absolutely certain from the emotion in his voice that he was not placating some obscure civilian that he would never see again.  He and the rest of the crew left her ready for service. 

At the time I was told that the DYESS was bound for Greece in some kind of a NATO exchange.  It was explained to me that the DYESS was no longer capable of long open sea cruises, but that she might be successfully utilized in patrolling Greece's shorter shore line.  While she was leaving the US Navy service for points unknown and for a mission unknown, it was obvious to me that her last crew was committed to leave her ready to "...steam out of here right now!".  I never witnessed that kind of commitment during my years in the  Army and have seldom seen it in civilian life.  I have never forgotten the experience of that conversation nor of the deeper meaning of his comment.

I will continue to follow the exploits of the DYESS and her crew through this wonderful web page, and I commend you both for your unselfish gift.  Warmest personal regards.  MDE

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