I have actually heard from several shipmates and an 'across-the-pier' shipmate... Hugh J. Doyle, CDR/USN (Ret.) who saw my old post on the "Mates' Search" board. He was an Ensign Gunnery Officer on USS Montross (APA-212) which deployed to WESTPAC with the Weiss in 1968. He related a story about our crossing from San Diego to Pearl Harbor which I had all but forgotten! Isn't the internet great!
Great to hear from an old "across-the-pier shipmate"! I don't recall the refueling incident, but I vividly recall the Sunday before we pulled in to Pearl, on the way across.
We had a bunch of old guys called "Convoy Commodores" on board for the San Diego-to-Pearl leg. They were old retired Captains that the Navy kept on "retainer" in case they ever would be needed to command wartime convoys again (what a boondoggle!) Our USN Commodore (PHIBRON 9) wanted to put on a show for the old guys, so he had all five ships form up in a column and put on a "firepower demonstration". We cranked out a couple hundred rounds of 40mm at some balloons, but you guys were the star of the show! You had a "real" gun, and you had a fantail full of depth charges. As your finale, you made a high speed run from astern the formation, about a thousand yards to starboard.
Abeam each ship, you rolled a depth charge. It was great stuff until the third drop: it went off almost as soon as it hit the water! We all witnessed the strange sight of WEISS with her transom clear of the water, with both screws spinning in the air. I don't really know the details of what happened aboard WEISS, but we heard that both your stern tubes were blown in, and that you flooded both shaft alleys. We always thought you guys did it on purpose, just to get a few more days in Pearl!
As the song goes: "Those were the days, my friend......." Hugh.
Last modified on: Sat, Mar 22, 1997.