Thursday, June 08, 2017


Please print and mail to a shipmate !

Here is an added note about the reunion from our DEar FF Leader (Mike Goodwin) ...
"We have an Irish Pub booked for our 
"Passing of the Shire" Plaque. 

The place is Molly Maguires Restaurant & Pub. We will be in a private room on the third floor with a cash bar, two bathrooms and an outside deck area. They are very excited to have us there and looking forward to sponsoring the Plaque. They also are waving the room fees for us. Plus she wants to have there media guy there to take pictures and post on there Web site.
The day will be the 22nd, Tuesday, at Five.
This should be a really Awesome time for all of us !!!! 
You can check the place out at"

DEar Leader  (Mike Goodwin)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

REUNION 2017 - AUGUST heads up

WE are piggybacking our reunion with the TIN CAN SAILORS (  Make your plans through them.  Those of us who arrive a day or two early will hold some meetings and meals to talk over IRISH SONG business and there will be independent time in the course of the TIN CAN SAILORS meals and tours to meet some more.  THIS SOLVES so many logistical problems of challenging our membership to make all the arrangements and keep records for all the reunion attendees and the logistics.

NOTE-  you do NOT have to be a TIN CAN SAILOR member to sign up for this. But it is a GREAT newspaper and organization at only about $35/year.

HERE IS THE PDF with registration INFO -- 
AUG 20-24 - Valley Forge, PA

in a PDF format you can print out

Share this blog post with any shipmates you know by email or print it out and share it. Thanks.

Information packets will not be ready until April. If you would like to be put on the mailing list, please call the office at 1-800-223-5535 or email and we will mail one when they are complete. Come join in the fun!

Friday, March 10, 2017


All of our AGENT ORANGE resources for presenting the VA with documentation are located at the following link.....................  (you can always get to this BLOG by LATEST NEWS link on our website at ussocallahan dot org.)

Additional Location of MORE resources ......

PRIOR POST. ..............................

Agent Orange - blue water navy

Recently - there is a greater interest in assigning AO claims to the BLUE WATER Navy. We have some sailors who could use the VA help given their current conditions.  Here are some LINKS to help you sort out your exposure for  claims.  Several of our crew are now on the list for VA health benefits, having had some help from the documents and links provided.



LETTER of EXPLANATION (Veteran support letter)
BLUE WATER AWARENESS for AO (offered by USS Bainbridge's Mike Yates

Agent Orange claims ease
for shipboard sailors - 

There may be some USS O'Callahan sailors who served in these units as well. This link was contributed by Joseph Allen. One sailor had earlier asked if the deck log of O'Callahan might show of his temporary assignment to a PBR and shore activity that would verify his exposure to agent orange. I am not sure if those logs would show the unit assigned but the logs are housed in naval archives in Washington D.C.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Post Reunion 2016 - Report

Here is a LINK to the final report, including the financial report at the fund raiser follow up to clear off the books and bring us back to a modest stash for store stock and such.

Post Reunion Fund Raiser

NOTES OF INTEREST from conversations:

In talking with Capt. Heidt ( former XO, LCdr.) it was explained that the yard time in Sasebo (which I think followed the January cease fire)  was NOT about a BENT shaft or sand from the ocean bottom gumming up the bearings or the screw.  Here is how it went down.

The ship was scheduled for yard time in Sasebo to take care of an unfinished sonar modification that happened in the yards in Long Beach early in 1972.  We had that done in the yards in short order. Maybe five days?  We then filled the dry dock back up and left in the evening. Not even out of the bay yet, the shaft and bearings began to misbehave.  XO went immediately to the engine room - to the shaft bearings where the EO showed him the problem. They opened a pit cock to see the bearings at work and sand and water were spewing out. XO called the CO and called for immediate shut down. A tug brought us back to Sasebo to the Dry-dock  in the dark.

We had to order a bearing to replace the bad one. This bearing had no access to the exterior of the ship so it had no possibility of ever being fouled by sand from the ocean bottom.  We ordered a bearing which took awhile and we had maybe another 10 plus days in Sasebo.  The engineers determined the bearing was OK so long as we were in water after the ?Feb '72 long beach yard time. Sand from SANDBLASTING the shaft had not been removed out of the shaft channel but had settled into place as long as it was dry from being sealed in.  With the RE-ENTRY To a dry-dock and then RE-FLOATING later with fresh bilge water, the sand was shifted into the bearings and RUINED them.  SO it was NOT from going in too close for NGFS - we were frequently within a mile of the coast and sometimes received mortar fire at that close range.  And the shaft was not replaced. It was just fine.

ANOTHER INTERESTING INSIGHT: The night of the closest counter-battery and taking a hit.  It all happened ---- as told from various points on  ship at the time --- and one round in particular came very close to the port side of the ship before exploding.  XO said he rushed down there right after the hit which the engine room reported. William Worthington was on watch there.  They tore back the insulation to the hull at the point of impact and noted a lot of push in points and fragment indentations from the inside point of view.  It was VERY CLOSE to a steam super heater unit.  Had it penetrated, Bill and all the engineering crew in that compartment would have become cooked sailors.
.................... Fran (Bill's wife) won a special painting by an artist friend of mine who used his marine artist skills and attention to detail to paint the moment in the engine room just after the hit.  It is titled: "The fraction of a second following the port side hit by enemy counterbattery when the lights flickered out in the engine room and before the watch could report the damage topside"  The Artist, Roy Allen is blind, so the scene is accurate for that fraction of a second. The canvas is of course, completey --- BLACK.  These are the kinds of scenes Roy can paint with accuracy.

There is another painting - TOPSIDE - "Making an NGFS run toward the beach on a moonless, cloudy night with no lights showing topside to avoid enemy detection, and three seconds before a splash off the starboard bow from incoming battery"  This painting was won by Martha Mazza, (wife of Gene), for telling one of the best stories of how old sailors make poor listeners. It was a story that followed one about "Blind Roy's" grandparents and the missing wife in the passenger seat after leaving church -- such that he wondered if the rapture had already happened and why was he still here because he was much more deserving to go ahead than she was".    Martha's story involved Gene driving off and leaving her at a gas station miles from nowhere with no phone ... as he drove on down the road -- talking to a non-existent passenger who was supposed to be asleep in the back seat.

ANOTHER CLARIFICATION from the Sea Tales:  There was a massive storm in the 80's and some of the younger shipmates were in this episode.  Apparently there was a huge gathering of the fleet and a photo op was coming up but also a storm.  USS O'Callahan was taking a pounding. Lost an antenna that folded over the bridge down to the ASROC.  The CO sent a crew out to cut away the antenna before it did any more damage. They were all tied together and to fixed positions on the ship.  A massive wave came over the bow at one point and at least two and maybe four sailors nearly washed overboard.  Some of the vets at the reunion remembered they actually LOST the sailors. It was clarified later that they did not lose them but it was a very close thing.   People remembered the event and recalled the team taking cover behind the ASROC - and then one or two running out on a line to chop on the antenna and then run back for the next wave. But one wave caught them out of sync and nearly washed them overboard. The key word is "NEARLY".  whew.  The CO at the time had some very choice words for the Admiral who did not release O'Callahan to seek a better track out of the storm's way.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

REUNION News Release - OCT 2016

News Release
USS O’Callahan DE-1051 Reunion
September 2013

Contact: Vic Campbell  850 994 6120 --

Veterans of USS O’Callahan will enjoy Pensacola for a reunion October 5-10 in Pensacola.  

USS O”Callahan was named for a recipient of the Medal of Honor in WWII, Fr. Joseph O’Callahan who was one of the chaplains aboard USS Franklin, which was bombed near the end of the war with a loss of over 800 dead. Fr. O’Callahan’s actions among the crew to organize and dispose of exploding ordnance on deck saved the lives of many sailors.  A film clip of him, and still photos of his giving last rites to a sailor on the deck of the Franklin is one of the most recognizable scenes of the Pacific War.  That sailor was interviewed by a USS O’Callahan shipmate and it exists on youtube. (Search me3tv, franklin). Yes, Bob Blanchard survived !

One of the key events for the reunion is to be a memorial service at Pensacola's Veteran’s Park at 10AM on October 7 (Friday).  The veterans will honor their namesake, Fr. O’Callahan and all the dead of the USS Franklin and the  more recent passing of fellow shipmates. The chaplain from NAS Pensacola and an honor guard will participate.  The O’Callahan veterans invite those who wish to honor the Chaplain Corps, the USS Franklin, the USS O’Callahan and the US Navy, our veterans and our Nation are welcome to join us at the ceremony. Following the ceremony everyone is welcome to celebrate with them at McGuire’s.

The vessel served in the the US Navy fleet from 1968 - 1988 and was decommissioned.  The hull was then leased to the Pakistan Navy for about five years after which it was scrapped.

In its history the ship made three Vietnam deployments where it served primarily as gunfire support for troops ashore.  In later years it was involved in many West Pac (and Rim Pac)  deployments and maritime activities in the service of American interests.  The veterans will be enjoying the Pensacola Naval Air Museum and other area attractions while staying at the Ashton, Inn on Navy Boulevard.  The group will be using Beach Bum Trolleys for transportation and tours and the crew welcomes any who wish pay tour and meal fees to join them. The ship’s website with more information is

ocallahan seal-card2.jpg   Vietnam024.jpg

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The reunion is coming up in OCTOBER !  Please get your registrations in for the tours and be sure to call the hotel and get your rooms booked (no up front payment required). All the instructions are on the main page at   Several have confirmed with checks the last week. We hope there will be more.  A couple of shipmates had to bow out due to health or work schedules. IF you pay up front for tours and have to bow out there will be a full refund. Also if you have paid already and a given day of trolley tours is cancelled out for low participation - or if your own plan changes - that will be refunded as well.

Just now - five or six shipmates will be going to MOBILE, AL to see the USS ALABAMA battleship on THURSDAY. They will go in private cars and people can carpool. I see no need to rent a car for that.  A shipmate in Mobile, DAVID JERNIGAN and his wife, Sally, will meet the group with a limo to tour you around to key sites and the ship before you all car pool back to Pensacola for the Banquet that night.  Actually some who are driving in from the West are going to stay in Mobile on Wed. Night and tour Mobile Thursday with this group. Sunday and the Dolphin Tour and beach worship service and picnic are a Trolley item also and we hope to have enough willing to do that. IF not that might get cancelled and pre paids will be refunded. That is of course yet to be seen.

Here is Sally Jernigan's tour ticket from USS ALABAMA the FIRST YEAR the museum opened. She was a student then and it was a school field trip.   
On FRIDAY  (after a brief city trolley tour) we will hold a 10 AM memorial and remembrance service at the Pensacola Veterans Memorial. Here is a DRONE view of that area.  At this service we hope to have several distinguished shipmates say some words followed by an address from Fr. McLaughlin of the US Naval Air Chapel. An honor guard of sailors will be present. After this, we will retire to McGuire's Irish Pub for lunch and bagpipes and green beer and a USS O'Callahan presentation to the pub to perpetuate the "legend of the USS O'Callahan".  

Monday, September 05, 2016

Collection of O'Callahan Archives

The FOLLOWING LINK will provide you with hours of entertainment to go back over some of the Archives pulled from the files of Vic Campbell.  Many of the documents are informative about the 1971-73 period (Including a ship brochure with a roster of officers)  but included are notes and rosters from past reunions. Shipmates MAY be able to locate each other this way.  There is no indication on these rosters whether shipmates are deceased or if they have moved. They are simply historical record. It may help jog your memory as you try to reconnect with some history.  Most of the files are PDF files - a standard document format for the web.


I am posting this in advance of the Pensacola Reunion in October 2016.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

SHIP PRINTS - graphic by Bill Scroggins

Our shipmate, Bill Scroggins made up graphics of USS O'Callahan in both lamps and pre-lamps configuration and provided the files for you.  For a donation to the ship's fund - you can get a zip file downloaded to your computer. take those files to any good printer and you'll have a quality print to frame and put on your wall. Impress the Army guys.  The files were formerly on a "store" site called payloadz. It is no longer available to us because of costs.  I am now using GO Spaces. The zip file has both JPG and BMP file types. I think the BMP files are what you want the professional printer to use but they will all fit in about 12 megabytes. We will make the files easily available at the reunion as well.     I had the side view and the cutaway view mounted in a single frame - the outer hull version on the top. They are about 20 inches long but framed in kelley Green. AweSOME!


Thursday, July 28, 2016


We will have an extra day of tours available but this is a sample of  timelines for some of the tours. This one was set up for USS Gregory which is one week after our reunion in Pensacola.  You can see a little more detail in this. I will work with Beachbum Trolleys to get our page on their site up and visible for everyone.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Print and Fill out and Mail In
July 31 modified OCT 6 to PENSACOLA tours - NOT MOBILE

Here is what you are downloading to print

USS O’Callahan Reunion Schedule and Sign Up
Arrive October 5 - Tours Oct 6-9 -  Close and depart October 10
Be ready for All Tour Days to start at 8am Highlighted Items on Daily list are Included in Fee
Some days - evening meals are on your own. Fast Food and Fine Dining and tourist areas are plentiful. Some attending will have private cars for these nearby venues.