Welcome to the Hancock Oral History Site
And other "Salty Old Sea Stories"

Oral Histories and letters from Former Hancock Shipmates
and other Sailor's Navy Experiences and Sea Stories

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Shipmates, I have received such a good response to Oral histories by former sailors from other ships, I decided to add these to the bottom of this page, and also include them on the index to the left. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this great collection of Navy Sea-lore. Interested in enlisting? Submit your own Salty Sea Story here.

If you got here via an Internet Search and see no Index to the left, you can load the Index here.

Index Ordered by years aboard

Hancock Sea Stories

The Yeoman asks you a favor - If you enjoyed reading our Sea Stories here on this site, would you please leave your comments in our Oral History visitor's Log? It would be most appreciated by me and also by our visitors. Thanks so much. To do that, go here.

Shipmates, before we get into the Serious Business of Oral History, I do believe you all should be reminded of some very basic truths about Navy life, and the U.S.S. Hancock Association's President (2007), Wayne Erven reminds us of some facts that many of us have forgotten.. read the following: So you say you want to Join the Navy and go to Sea?

Shipmates, your Yeoman was reading in the September 1998 issue of the Hannah News, published by the USS HANCOCK CV/CVA-19 Association, an article by HM1 Bill Shipley, which caught my attention, as most exciting stories do, as the first in a series of Hancock Oral Histories by former shipmates, and I wish to include it here for all to read with amazement and interest...

A Night of Terror aboard the USS Hancock - An Account of an Emergency breakaway (USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) vs. USS Hancock CVA-19) as told by Bill Shipley, HM1, USN-Retired - See also Bills amazing story on how he saved a fellow Sailor's life Here.

Our XO, Dennis Milliken, has continued his contribution to this site wonderfully by his narrative on how Time was kept onboard the Hancock and all other Navy ships of that Era.. Read about how Hanna kept time, ALL THE TIME...

Ship's Clock
Hanna Keeps Time
by QM3 Dennis F. Milliken

My life as a Quartermaster on the Hancock
by Dennis F. Milliken, QM3, USN-Ret -
Read his curious and fascinating story of a fellow
shipmate's "encounter" with the Yeoman (me)

Jake's Yeoman's Chronicles

Jake - 1961-67These are my Navy Memoirs, shipmates, a bit deep for the 'casual' reader, but if you really wish to get into Navy life, you get it from those who lived the Adventure. Since I put up this Website, my Navy Life has been on Review. All of us have a Story; I am no different, and so I wish to share these adventures with you. We are the "Crew" - all of us - We make up the Crew like so many links in a Chain, we all hold together to hang on to the anchor...

How I won my last Air Medal - Mark Hardisty tells his exciting story of his At -Sea Rescue during final Clean up Operation's at the end of WWII in the Sea of Japan.

U.S.S. HANCOCK CV/CVA-19 Crew Members Sea Lore

An Amazing Reunion at Sea - JD Cooper tells of his humorous and interesting tale about his joyful reunion with his brother who was on a Destroyer serving along side Hannah in the Tonkin Gulf..

Recollections of a retired U.S. Navy Photographers Mate - PH1 Richard L. Baker gives us his own story of intrigue and sillyness that took place during Hannah's final days as he prepared to clean out OP Division's Photo Lab, making ready to send Hannah's Photo Lab's gear to other Ships and Commands, and his own eventual and ironic Pay-Back.

Pride we all can share

Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon

Naval Aviator's Stories

Hornet Night Barricade - A Visitor to our 'Round-down' from the future - Not many Naval Aviators have shared their important stories in this Gallery - why, I don't know, but a Shipmate sent the Yeoman this interesting "Bird's-Eye-Account" of one Pilot in the long off future (from our time aboard) - the Story is from an anonymous source but worthy of this section. The author tells about a very exciting launch and his fight to keep the bird aloft after some equipment failure - Enjoy (thank you Anonymous for this story!).

Oral Histories from Sailors & Marines serving
on other ships and Bases

Ken Groom's U.S.S. YANCEY (AKA-93) - Life aboard a Fleet Cargo Ship is shared by our Shipmate Ken Groom who served aboard the USS YANCEY during the early 50's. He has blessed us with many stories that he and his shipmates shared for their Newsletter. We sincerely hope you enjoy your Visit aboard the YANCEY. Ken, a HANCOCK Re-comm Plank Owner has also provided us with our own Hancock Middle Years Gallery. Hooyah to Ken Groom!

The Asiatic Fleet - The Fleet that did not Exist - Walter Ashe relates to us, the history of the relatively unknown 'Asiatic Fleet' in terms that have brought it's existence to light once more, wherein a Presidential Proclamation recently was made to recognize it and the men who served our Nation as members of this unique and now prestigious Fleet.

Vietnam 1967, A "Whale Tale" - An interesting and even humorous story that most Carrier Sailors will recall regarding Russian Trawlers in the Vietnam Waters during the Ten Year War in Vietnam. New Photos - Update to this Story! (2-24-12).

Mike Caffarel's Navy Boot Camp Chronicle
Life at Camp Nimitz and Camp Lawrence, San Diego, California

The Navy Chief - From the Perspective of a Sailor who remembers them well

The Sailor's Sea Bag - An Old Salt Fondly? Remembers his Sea Bag -

Michael Harris Mulraney, SGT, USMC shares his 'Boots on the Ground' perpective as a Marine in the Bush of South Vietnam during a time now long ago, but n'er forgotten by those who lived it day by day. Mike takes us back to July 1966 through November 1966 in his true tale.

A Man overboard that was not a drill and a Emergency Breakaway on the USS Neches AO-47 on Yankee Station, '67 - Shipmates Gilbert Devault and Gene Edwards tell of a hair raising experience on another Emergency Breakaway on their ship, the USS Neches AO-47 (I remember being refueled by this great WWII Oiler which was still active with the fleet at that time - Jake).

E.A. "Ed" Hughes, FTCM(SS) is the author of "I was once a Navyman" (and others). The Yeoman got to know Ed when I read his article and wanted to prepresent him on this Website, to share his story here in our Oral History Section. Enjoy getting to know Ed Hughes!

Terror on the High Seas - Typhoon Cobra and the USS Cowpens CVL-25

Although, not a Hancock Oral History, I decided to include this story all the same, since it is one of the best accounts of a large ship at sea during a Major Typhoon, and will 'rock' you, like the true event rocked that good old Aircraft Carrier, the USS Cowpens so many years ago.
USS Cowpens CVL-25 and Typhoon Cobra
Nothing can prove a Sailor's Salt more powerfully than an experience with a Major Typhoon. My own experience with two dangerous typhoons, as I related in my Navy Memoirs, was exciting but when you read this account of a horrendous storm during WWII, that the USS Cowpens CVL-25 and her crew endured, then you will know what it takes to be Sailors in the United States Navy! The picture is not exaggerated, this is an example of the list to starboard that this ship endured, and even worse rolls.

I really wish I had my own camera cocked and ready when we, ourselves were taking on some pretty heavy rolls and high seas, where the water was breaking over our bow!

"Son Tay Raid" -The Hancock was involved with other ships of Task Force 77 in what has come to be known as the 'Son Tay Prison Camp Raid into North Vietnam on 21 November 1970.

I.D. 'Inny' Cerbini tells his story how he Ran through the Queen Mary' I.D. "Inny" Cerbini former WWII Hancock Shipmate also served on the USS Baham AG-71 and the USS Duluth CL-87 and wanted to share some humorous stories with you during that time.

The 'Fighting Hannah' Battle Patch

The Official Hancock Patch

Bob Jenkin's Comments on the Hancock Patch

Read also what CWO Wayne Erven has
to say about the Hancock Patch here

1963 Far East Cruise

The LOG 19 is the official USS Hancock CVA-19 Cruise Book.

For over 32 years, Hancock was a member of the United States Naval Surface Fleet. During those years, Hancock made numerous WestPac Cruises, and each cruise was chronicled in each Log 19 Cruise book. This Memorial to the USS Hancock is here because of Log 19. She made this Website, as without it, we'd scarcely have a thing to show here. We are proud of our Ship, and proud of Log 19! We thank all those men who labored long and hard to provide us with Log 19, so that our Memories of our Coming of Age would be remembered. Nothing quite aids the memory as does Photos. Thank you, who played a great part in preserving these memories for us! See the Kudos page for more 'Thanks' and particularly those who played a major role in Log 19 '63. Make sure you visit the 'Plan of the Day' Gallery as it is a direct result of Log 19!

In 1956, the Hancock Crew decide on a New Hancock Patch-Insignia (above), and is reported in the "The Catapult" - the Ship's newspaper of the time

Click here for Membership Application

Help us keep the the Memory of our Ship Alive - Join the Association!

Please make sure you join the Hancock Association if you haven't already. Only through membership, can we keep the Association afloat, along with the Memory and Spirit of the Fighting Hannah. You can either join by visiting the USS Hancock Association Website or by copying the Membership Form on this site and mailing it to the Membership Chairman, Capt Tom Wimberly.

Thanks to the InterNet and the Information Highway, our world has become wonderfully small, and we are now all members of the Global Community, which has allowed us to function better as a "Veteran's Community" and a connected "Family" once more!

What a fantastic Historical source Naval History Websites are!! Would that I could assemble every page on the Hancock Memorial into one huge library, and I am sure that the United States Naval Institute has all of these precious bits of Naval History, and to those who served aboard her, Precious bits of Hancock History, containing names of crewmembers and other interesting happenings during those deployments.. But sad to say, to us as a whole, these names and experiences will forever be lost, and are now collecting barnacles in old men's heads or in dead men's dreams.

You can view the Vietnam War Deployment History here.

~ Jake

The Gedunk

Old Sea Stories and other Salty Tales

A Gedunk in Navy Terminology means a place to go get 'Pogy Bait' - ice cream, munchies and other sundry goodies... Sailor's are well known for having a sweet tooth, that hasn't been rotted out by all the Ale and Beer they consume in foreign ports!

I wish to provide an area here, to add some stories that will tickle your funny bone and otherwise amuse you.. I have found some things that will do just that..

If you have an amusing story, please share it with us!

While you may not be able to get yourself a Strawberry Shake here at Jake's Gedunk, you can find some 'Tasty' and some 'Not-So-Tasty'(perhaps downright 'tasteless') stories here... Enjoy!

So does Roy Deardorf who became one of Hancock's "Celebrated Skinny Dippers"...

Eugene "Gene'o" Csuti and Rusty "Short Rounds" Moede tell about their encounter with the dreaded VC Rat! Not all Vietnam was terror in the bush; it also came to your hooch !

It may be noted that since the Oral History Pages were assembled in 1995, the website has grown to become the "Hancock Memorial" and operating on it's own steam at http://www.usshancockcv19.com. And now, to the Website is an CD-ROM option, that anyone who wishes their own personal Memorial, can now possess a copy of this Website for a lasting tribute to the Ship, the Crew and their Service in the USS HANCOCK. Click the flashing NEW for more information.

Submit Your Sea Story Here

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Page last Updated 11 August 2012