The Seaweed

USS Champlin DD-601  

Spring 2002

Ship's Bell Photo

Old Geezers

Jim Robertson sends this along via e-mail: "Geezers" are easy to spot:

* "At sporting events, during the playing of the National Anthem, Old Geezers hold their caps over their hearts and sing without embarrassment. They know the words and believe in them. Old Geezers remember the Depression, World War II, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Normandy and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, The Cold War, the Jet Age and the Moon Landing, not to mention Vietnam.

* "If you bump into an Old Geezer on the sidewalk, he will apologize. If you pass an Old Geezer on the street, he will nod or tip his cap to a lady. Old Geezers trust strangers and are courtly to women. Old Geezers hold the door for the next person and always, when walking, make certain the lady is on the inside for protection.

* "Old Geezers get embarrassed if someone curses in front of women and children and they don't like filth on TV or in movies. Old Geezers have moral courage. They seldom brag unless it's about their grandchildren.

* "It's the Old Geezers who know our great country is protected, not by politicians or police, but by the young men and women in the military serving their country.

* "This country needs Old Geezers with our decent values. We are needed now more than ever. Thank God for Old Geezers!"

Also in this issue:

Old 1
Invasion Of Southern 1
A Depth Charge Mate 1
Meeting with a Tin 2
Kappes 2
Simerly 2
Simerly Recalls (cont.) 3
Remembering 3
Remembering Dee 3
Remembering Gerald 4
Stephen 4
Champlin 5
Ship's 5
Gone to 5
Changing 5
Lou Gilerts Kitchen 5
Stephen Champlin (cont.) 5
Stephen Champlin (cont.) 6
Thanks and 6
Pulitzer 6 Reunion 6

Invasion of Southern France

Joe Black, SoM3c writes, "Thank you for another fine edition of the Seaweed. The various shipmates memories are very interesting and enjoyable, bringing back many good memories of our time on the best ship in the WWII US Navy.

"My memories of 'Operation Dragoon' are that we were outfitted with radar jamming equipment and sent in ahead of the invasion force to act as guide for the task force. After our main job of guiding the force we joined in the bombardment.

Because the invasion force was in a bay during the unloading and bombarding the invasion force commander ordered the ships back to open sea during the night so we would not be targets for E-boats, miniature submarines and torpedo planes.

"It was during this nightly evacuation that the torpedo plane attacked the convoy just as Steve Anastasion stated and as I recall ordered tracking by full radar control and we fired only three salvos from the forward two mounts with third salvo hitting the plane.

"Other memories of that operation are that we trapped an E-boat behind an island, fired at it and hit its pyrotechnic locker making it look like a Fourth of July fireworks.

"Also our division ship USS Neilds was close ashore bombarding when they came under fire from a 12" railroad gun that bracketed her but did not receive a direct hit and her Captain ordered full astern while our Captain Fleck ordered 'flank speed ahead and make smoke' as we would pass in front of the Neilds as she was backing and protect her.

"We also engaged and knocked out a pillbox fortification on the island.

"Keep up the good work and try to get more good memories."

A Depth Charge Mate

Richard Berman, TM3c sends along the following poem:

"I'm known aboard ship as a Torpedoman,
A distinguished and respected rate;
But I'm really not a Torpedoman,
I'm only a Depth Charge Mate

"I never get the praise or glory,
Given a Torpedoman on a firing run;
For I'm always aft on the fantail,
'Tween my racks and number four gun.

"And I'm never on the director,
The brains behind a run;
I'm back with my ash cans,
While the Torpedomen have the fun.

"Still a depth charge mate's essential
To win this war and see us thru;
For who else can menace the subs,
If it isn't the depth charge crew.

"There's times when I'm called on,
And my cans and I lead the play;
So I just go along tor the ride, waiting,
For the time when I'll have my day.

        (continued on page 2)

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