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  War Stories - The "Drag Race"



In 1956, DYESS was on a Mediterranean Cruise. I remember we were anchored off Cannes, in the French Riviera on a port call during this tour. Ed Gibson was skipper of DYESS and Ace Mullen was skipper of BORDELON, one of the DDRs in our Division. After an evening at the Carleton Hotel in Cannes, Ed and Ace, who were classmates at the Academy decided to have a drag race.

I was Executive Officer at the time and was on the bridge at the time. Ed came up on the bridge in a crash helmet, the appropriate attire for the event. Engineers will know that in order to go to four boiler operations with superheat, you must be able to use the steam. Ed came up with "Operation Wiggle" whereby we manned all gun turrets and had them "wiggle", that is, rotating them, to use the excessive steam we had generated. The two destroyers lined up to start the race with DYESS "wiggling" its gun turrets while the two ships were barely making headway. At the command "GO", the master switch was thrown to the turrets and the steam was diverted to the turbines.

DYESS with superheat on line took off like a bat out of hell and poor BORDELON never had a chance. As far as I know, there was never another drag race between DYESS and BORDELON or with any other destroyer.

Submitted by:Captain Oscar Hibler, 1956

An addition to the story by Norm Spencer:

The DYESS drag race. Joe, Thanks for letting me know about the drag race between the DYESS and the BORDELON. I was a crewman abord the DYESS and remember the race well. We had an engineering officer a Lt. Jettner who was a pure genius and he figured out how to get every ounce of steam out of the old girl and Hoot Gibson borrowed Stu Lewis' RM3 red helmet. After we beat hell out of the BORDELON we added insult to injury by hoisting a broom up on the halyards. I, Hoot and the Skipper of the BORDELON had a hundred dollar bet. The worst of the incident, we did it in wiew of most of the sixth fleet. Will give Hibler an email and tell him that i remember the incident.

Hope to see you in Vermont.

Submitted by: Norm Spencer, TM3, 1956, Wilton Maine.

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