Archive for the ‘1940s’ Category

Records from the National Archives

February 3, 2015

Combat Naval Gunfire Support File (CONGA)

Records About Isbell’s Naval Gunfire Support During the Vietnam War, documenting the period 3/1966 – 1/1973. (Full, fielded search page is here.) Records are from the The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

Request Your Military Service Records Online

Includes DD 214/Separation Documents, Personnel Records, and/or Medical Records

Captain Arnold J. Isbell

June 26, 2013

Captain Arnold J. Isbell was assigned command of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown near the end of World War II. It was while enroute to that assignment aboard USS Franklin that he lost his life when the Franklin came under attack near Okinawa. Captain Isbell’s name is etched in the Honolulu Memorial at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific as one of those missing in action, or lost or buried at sea in the Pacific. Below is Captain Isbell’s name and the serene setting of his permanent memorial.



Postal Items

January 6, 2010

Here are some postal items from the ship’s post office.

Contributed by Dan Davis

The Oregonian – Friday, June 14, 1947

September 8, 2009

Thanks to Richard Villelas for contributing this news article from The Oregonian, reporting on the Isbell’s visit to Portland for the 1947 Rose Festival.

Click here, or on the image below,  to read the entire article.


Jim Perino Photos – Korea 1949

September 6, 2009

Jim Perino provided these photos of the first Korea cruise.

“I Served on the Isbell from late 1948 to late in 1950. I was in the Deck force. I served when commander Johnson was the Captain. We made a cruise to Hawaii, Okinawa, Shanghai, Tsingtao, Hong Kong, Subic Bay, Manila, Cebu city, two other Philippine ports, and home to San Diego.

“We were in a Typhoon just out of Okinawa. We went to Tsingtao to take the American Counsel General and his family aboard as the Communist army was coming. We could see the gunfire flashes at night. We were off Tungsha Banks when the Chinese Army of Chang Kai Shek came down the Yangtzee river on anything that floated.

“We were in drydock in Mare Island to have our 40MMs changed to 3″ 50s when Korean war broke. Our orders were changed and we were supplied with cold weather gear and made ready for war. We went to Korea and served with Task force 99. At the end of that cruise, before the ship returned to the states I transferred to the USS New Jersey (BB-62) for her first tour in Korea.”


Ray Bright Photos

September 6, 2009

SN Ray Bright (1st Div, Coxswain) was on the Isbell from 1948-51 and served during the Korean campaign. He submitted these self-captioned photos:

“On the phone, on watch.”


“Out of uniform – No head gear!”


“Back of 2nd smoke stack.”


“Bow of ship… me on right… Vowell on left.”


Ray also wrote this poem while aboard the Isbell:


We the deck apes of the 69’er, Dizzy Izzy;
Care not if the other ships men are quizy.
We believe we do more than all of the rest;
Keeping the ship together, looking her best.
So just check our getting underway routine;
Now try find another ship that’s more keen.

Mac, getting underway sure’s a lot of work;
But every man is there, and without a shirk.
First rig-in the boom, take up the gangway;
Now do it with a zoom, we’re part underway.
First division forward, second division aft;
Be quick and smart, work fast with a laugh.

Single-up, single-up, run away with the lines;
Stand-by to cast off, forget girls and wines.
Upon the foc’sle, Chief Brower runs the show;
Fantail has Hardwick, he wouldn’t stay below.
Back to the boat davits, all youse extra men;
We must pick up both boats, and gripe ’em in.

1st div. on starboard, 2nd div. to port side;
Chop-chop ‘u sailors, Vowell says “look alive”.
Fair lead those falls, through snatch blocks;
Some man pass a stopper, make sure she locks.
Pull upon those guy lines, in she will swing;
Set her in the skids, shoe her with a fling.

Now return forward and aft, get on the ball;
Except two guys per boat, make up the falls.
Back aft your gear secured, head for below;
Forward two men by anchor, ready to let go.
Secure special detail, set watch underway;
So then begins another, deckape’s work day.


– Vowell was Boatswain Mate 3/c in charge of this detail.
– Chief Brower was in charge on the focsle.
– Hardwick was was in charge of the fantail….he was Chief but was busted back to Boatswain 2/c.
– Ray Bright was Coxswain to the motor whale boat, supply detail.

William E. Jarvis Photos

September 6, 2009

The following three photos provided by William E. Jarvis.

USS Arnold J. Isbell, USS Rupertus, USS Fechteler, USS Leonard F. Mason (circa 1949).


USS Arnold J. Isbell (Circa 1949).


Ens. Charles A. Hotchkiss, LT M. A. Medeiros, LT Clyde L. Rule, LTJG Richard J. Ferree, LTJG William J. Mullenmeister, CDR Charles R. Johnson (seated), LTJG Joe M. Landtroop, LCDR George W. Miller, LTJG Donald V. Wanee, LT Edward J. Myers. Absent Ens. W. E. Jarvis. (Circa 1949).