Archive for the ‘1960s’ Category

Ship Portraits

September 6, 2009

These images were supplied by Don Scott at

Don writes:
“With collecting as my hobby for the past 42 years have placed over 8500 8×10 photos on disc that I have scanned (all 8×10 official US Navy), filled in more by commands and museum. I had the opportunity to get really unusual and tremendous amount of views. Miscellaneous, insignia, missile shots, accidents, etc while in the navy, a lot that the Navy don’t pass out. I have the following on disc:
– battleships-cruisers
– carriers-aircraft – 2 cd disc with 6100 images
– destroyers
– ships in general – no subs or aircraft
– other – includes merchants, civ, auxiliaries and misc info
– submarines – 2 cd disc with 6,000 images
– sub welcomes (over 200)
I’m working up now one with ship welcomes and photos on same disc – have hundreds already done – will take a while.

Any of these are $25.”
Contact Don at



1960 Cruise Book

September 6, 2009

1960 Cruise Book

Contributed by Bill Rhodes

Isbell Coming Alongside USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)

September 5, 2009

These photos were taken by Howard Freeman in 1965 or ’66 from the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63).



A Personal Letter from Al Martinez to His Mother, 1966

September 5, 2009

Contributed by Al Martinez (64-68), regarding USS Arnold J. Isbell letter of commendation for action in the Vietnam war

Onboard the USS Arnold J. Isbell,
On duty, Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam
15 March 1966, Tuesday


Yesterday was a big day here for us again. The North Viet’s shot down a sea plane while it was attempting to rescue downed pilots. A plane from the (USS) Ranger went into the scene to protect them from junks, but, it got blown out of the air by heavy grown fire. Help was called for by the other planes & the (USS) Berkley & (USS) Isbell rushed to the area.

Before long, four A4’s & three Helos were also called, and the rescue of 6 pilots was made, two men were still missing.


A Sea Story, by Robert Brazauskas

September 5, 2009

I served aboard as an STG3 from March 1965 till Aug 1966. There is an interesting story that occurred during that time period that you may be interested in.

During our West Pac tour 65-66, we spent the first month or so shore bombarding with the aid of A1 spotters. This occurred down south. I remember our Thanksgiving dinner was postponed until December 9th because on Thanksgiving we were at General Quarters (shore bombarding VC villages). We spent Christmas and New Years Eve in Da Nang. We had to bring the ship out at night, the marines were having difficulties with sniper fire at night. This was before Tet. We were in DESRON13.


A Sea Story, by Mike Eckard

September 5, 2009

I remember vividly the incident related by Robert Brazauskas.

My GQ station was in the ECM equipment shack above the DASH hanger. We were standing outside the door, talking to the two gunners mates who were manning the two aft .50 caliber machine guns, while cruising around looking for survivors. The Berkeley was behind us. Suddenly we saw air bursts and splashes in the water around the Berkeley. We jumped back inside and closed the door. As I remember we made three passes between the island and the mainland, firing at batteries on both sides. There were several secondary explosions due to our gun fire. I also remember that it was too shallow to turn around between the island and the mainland so we would swing out to sea, turn around, and then run back through. I believe we shot nearly 300 rounds during this skirmish. I heard the our Captain had been a gunnery officer on a cruiser during Korea, and that this was the first time he had seen action since then. I also understood that COMDESRON13 had to order us out of there. Of course I was only a lowly SA so I can’t say for sure exactly what happened. Just what I saw and heard. I had only been the Navy since August of 1965 (boot camp).

I went on two more cruises aboard the USS Duncan DDR-874 before leaving the Navy in 1969 at the end of my four year hitch.

Three cruises in four years. Between Northern SAR, GFS along SVN, and operation Sea Dragon, I saw a lot more action than I ever bargained for, but I wouldn’t trade those years on Tin Cans for anything.

Mike Eckard

FRAM Conversion for USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887) and Arnold J. Isbell (DD-869), 1961

September 5, 2009

The USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887) and the Arnold J. Isbell (DD-869), the fifth and sixth ships to undergo FRAM conversion (note superstructure), 1961.