Where Speed Counts

Contributed by: Dwayne J. Heitzman BTC

During the Mediterranean deployment in 1951 we were operating with the U.S.S. Roosevelt. (In actually the Kennedy, Roosevelt and either Ware or Fiske). On plane guard duty naturally, and we were bringing up the rear. Maybe two weeks prior to this our Engineering Officer LCDR Andrewson had been reassigned to the Roosevelt as the Engineering Officer and our M.PA.G.P. Hevenor moved up to Engineering Officer. I’m not positive of the separation between ships while plane guarding, but it went something like this.

Johnston [1500yds] Ware/Fiske [1500yds] Roosevelt [1500yds] Kennedy – – – – >

That put us two and a half miles to the rear of Kennedy. Our next port of destination after Flight Ops was Piraeus, Greece. The Admiral on the Carrier, upon the completion of Flight Ops. put out something to the effect of, “Whoever gets there first goes in first.” Of course, at the moment in time all the ships were at flank speed and had been for some time, and headed in the direction of Piraeus.

I know, I was on watch in the Forward Fireroom.

To shorten the story, we were tying up and just seeing smoke on the horizon……

Needless to say, LCDR Andrewson came aboard when the Roosevelt got in and accused us of all kinds of nefarious black deeds. I don’t think he was ever convinced that we were just “GOOD!”

It happened again in 1964, and I have the movies to prove it.
So that does mean the crews of the Johnston knew what they were doing.
Of course I always knew that, we were the “BEST.”

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