CDR Don Sheppard passed away on 15 February, 2004. As LCDR, Don was the Isbell’s Executive Officer from 1970-71. LT Jim Dillon was Isbell’s Weps Officer under Don and passes along these comments about him:
“Don Sheppard left Isbell while we were in Singapore (November 1971). He went on the the US Naval postgraduate School at Monterey and then became logistics officer on the staff of US Naval Forces Europe. After that he had a tour as CO of his own destroyer before he retired in about 1978. He had entered the Navy as a seaman in 1948, and 30 years was the limit at the
“Don’s book, “Riverine: A Brown-Water Sailor in the Delta” – which dealt with “Game Warden” operations up the Bassac River has become a classic that has been studied by everyone at the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Naval War College and by every nation in the world that has any pretense or hope of ever projecting naval power during the past quarter century.
“When Don was working “Game Warden” up the Bassac River he forced the medical people to submit false reports because he did not want to be removed from command as a consequence of the repeated wounds that would have mandated his removal. Later as XO of the USS ARNOLD J. ISBELL (DD-869) he inspired us all. I do not have to tell you that Don Sheppard and John Kerry were two peas in a pod in every way that was important.
“We do not have Don Sheppard or anyone like him anymore, and I fear that our nation is not capable of producing another Don Sheppard in these days of “Force Protection” considerations.
“After leaving the U.S. Navy Don became vice president of E-Rail, the U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese shipping company E-Rail served as the liason between Japanese merchant vessels and U.S. and Canadian railways.”
During his naval career Don earned the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with Combat V, Three Bronze Stars for valor, two Purple Hearts, two Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry, a Vietnamese Honor Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation.
Don last made his home in Huntington Beach, CA.
(Images taken from his book jackets.)
Books by Don Sheppard: