A deck log is an official USN record, but some former
sailors, like me, never even saw one while on active duty. According to the
www.history.navy.mil website, a Navy
ship's deck log is a daily chronology of certain events for administrative and
legal purposes. A deck log identifies a ship's location and movements daily. If
the ship is underway, its latitude and longitude are to be entered three times
each day in blocks provided for the purpose. [Latitude and longitude were not
seen in COLLETT's log for May 1963; perhaps the RANGER's log includes them.]
Deck logs are not narratives, and do not describe or explain a ship's
At the other end of the spectrum is a personal log, which
is quite unofficial and of course should never contain security information.
Deck Log of the USS COLLETT for 1 May to
5 May 1963
To view the deck log pages for these five days, please see
The cover page of the Deck Log Book indicates that the
book is for the month of May in 1963, however only pages for 1 May through 5 May
are included below. The commencing and ending locations for the month are given,
where according to my altas, the South China Sea is bordered on the west by
China and Vietnam, to the north by Taiwan, the east by the Philippines, and the
south by Malaysia; and the Bashi Channel is between the South China Sea and the
Philippine Sea, just north of Luzon.
According to the deck log, during these five days, the USS
COLLETT operated with the USS RANGER (CVA-61), USS SWENSON (DD-729), USS BLUE
(DD-744), USS ROBISON (DDG-12). Replenishment was from USS MAUNAKEA (AE-22) and USS KENNEBGEC (AO-36). The USS SHELTON
(DD-790), although part of DESDIV 92, was not present during these 5 days.
COLLETT was part of task group 77.7 and performed many evolutions
during these five days including general quarters, flight operations, the helo
detail, personnel transfer (via high line), (underway) refueling (from a carrier
and later an oiler), rescue destroyer station, plane guard detail, (underway)
rearming (of 5"/38 ammunition), darken ship, engineering casualty control
drills, mustering the crew at quarters (each day), and the special sea detail
(for arriving in Hong Kong).
The deck log for Thursday 2 May 1963 states that the USS
BLUE was assigned to a radar picket station on the 17th parallel (which
corresponds to the DMZ between North Vietnam and South Vietnam). These five days
in May 1963 are one of the eligible time periods for service medals for COLLETT
The following names are mentioned in the deck log for 1
May to 5 May:
W.W. Bischof, CDR (now deceased); R.D. Gilliham, LCDR (now
deceased); H.E. Harden, LTJG; J.J. Holas, LTJG; F.E. Madden, RD1-P2 (now
deceased); J.S. Millicamp, FTGSN; H.V. Morgan, LTJG; L.K. Rice, LT; H. Swan, ENS; W.A. Tarver, ENS. Of these shipmates, Lloyd
Keith Rice is the only one we have not yet located for our Crew List.
The deck log for Sunday 5 May 1963 lists the following
ships as present in Hong Kong: USS POLLUX (AKS-4), USS TWINING (DD-540), USS
MORTON (DD-940), USS EDWARDS (DD-950), USS SHELTON (DD-790), USS BLUE (DD-744),
USS ROBISON (DDG-12), USS RANGER (CVA-61).
My Personal Log for 23 April to 7 May
My own log is so sketchy for the month of May that I begin
this edited transcription on 23 April and close it on 7 May.
Tuesday, 23 Apr. - I go to sea on USS BLUE (DD-744) for
ORI [Operational Readiness Inspection]. Underway at 0730, back in port at 1645.
There were a few bright spots in the ORI, like the box lunch and the skit that
Moore did in the ET shop.
Wednesday, 24 Apr. - Fixed shorted Trunk 2 to RMS #2 on
the open bridge and corrected shorted ANGRY remote handset connection ["ANGRY"
was my nickname for the AN/GRC-27, a UHF radio transceiver; a great machine when
it worked but getting the auto tuning of the power amp to work properly was a
Thursday, 25 Apr. - Worked on CREI lesson #227 [a
correspondance course for electronics theory and application].
Friday, 26 Apr. - High pressure steam line leak, getting
underway was delayed 6 hours. Modulator tube red hot in TED 4-3 [one of the UHF
radio transmitters], replaced to fix. Underway about 1700. Steamed south at 25
knots, sea calm.
Saturday, 27 Apr. - Joined USS RANGER at 2400. I have the
2000-2400 watch [on a surface search radar repeater in CIC]. Since refueling
followed (under darken ship condition), I didn't get to sleep until 0230.
Sunday, 28 Apr. - I have the 0800-1200 watch. Replaced
starboard window for the AN/BLR-1 [In 2006, I was pretty sure this entry refers
to a plastic cover for the end of an waveguide on the ECM mast which was just
aft of the secondary conn.]. Nice and breezy. Mr. Swan [the EMO] climbed up to
have a look. TED 4-3's brushes replaced [bushes in the cooling motor for a UHF
radio transmitter]. Weather becoming hot and sticky. Now at latitude of Okinawa.
Monday, 29 Apr. - What a way to start a week. I have the
0400-0800 watch. Refueling from USS CALIENTE 0700-0730. Received an amount of
fuel equal to 104% of capacity. Excess was taken on the steam line of the mess
deck and on the port and starboard main decks. No breakfast except for cold meat
sandwiches served after all hope had died, so naturally they were delicous.
Repaired blower in mag amp controller.
I have the 1200-1600 and 0000-0400 watches. A URC [a UHF
radio receiver] blew a high voltage fuse due to a bad filter. To wash off the
spilled fuel oil, RDs saltwater wash the ECM mast at same time Snipes hose the
main deck. Attempt at an encounter was made but due to our 25 knot speed,
neither stream of water could reach the other team.
Mel Post and I, as innocent bystanders, hid until the
coast was clear.
Mail came [lowered by line from helo over the fantail].
Watched jets strafe sled while swooping down on it then pulling up to go around
again. Later watched them land at night. I had just got up for midwatch when the
words "Fire in the forward fan room" pierced the air.
I turned on the lights, woke up 6 shipmates and made
tracks out of the sleeping compartment. Gratefully the problem was minor and
over very quickly. Had Midrats.
Tuesday, 30 Apr. - Hot and sticky. Between Taiwan and
Luzon. Have the 1200-1600 watch. 33 knot full-power run. Many elect. devices
"Sail" rigged portside by the break for ventilation
purposes. $71 payday.
Wednesday, 1 May - Have the morning watch. Afternoon with
ENS Swan on gear assigned to me: AN/BLR-1, AN/URC-32, AN/GRC27, URA-8, R390, &
R390A. Have the 2nd dog watch.
Thursday, 2 May - I have the 0400-0800 watch. Chow for 10
minutes then underway replenishment from a reefer, ammo ship, and then an oiler
until 1100. Uniform: baseball cap, skivy shirt, dungaree. Still hot.
Drinking water tastes salted. Put dungaree working jacket
in ship's laundry.
Friday, 3 May - I have midwatch. Given an ECM exercise by
Mr. Delton from the BLUE. A switch in the wrong position caused 1/2 hour of work
to find. Started aligning band 7 of BLR. GRC-27 trouble. I have afternoon watch.
Solved GRC-27 trouble. Showered , ate, did some unwinding from a tedious day.
Watched jets from the RANGER. I have 2000-2400 watch. I missed my haircut
appointment. Water tastes ok today. Crew seems a little rowdy. We've been at sea
Saturday, 4 May - Aligned band 7 of BLR during afternoon
Heading for Hong Kong. Off the watch bill.
Sunday, 5 May - In Hong Kong. Aligned band 7 of BLR all
Monday, 6 May - Finished aligning band 7 of BLR. No watch
duty. Post and Harvey work on GRC.
Tuesday, 7 May - Aligned band 8 of BLR till 1200. Hit
beach at 1400 with Armstong and Milliner. Taxi to Repulse Bay for $5HK. First
time to swim in the ocean. Had T-bone steak dinner at Waltzing Matildas.