Officer's Country


Here, we will dedicate to the Officers of this great ship,
a place of their own to share photos, stories, and biographies.

Some of the writings are exerpts from the book "Good Times, Bad Times"

Introduction by Lt. Joe Friend

Joe FriendSince I was aboard the DYESS from age 22 to 25, and memory being highly selective in any event, I have only the best of memories from those three years. We consistently talked about how much longer we had to serve; to become a "short-timer" was devoutly to be wished. But, at least in my case, I was deluging myself into believing that I was at heart a civilian that could not wait to get away from military life. Although my attitude was clearly that of a free spirit consistent with my age, my experiences aboard were so varied and so completely different from anything I had experienced before that, in retrospect both immediate and subsequent, those three years were among the richest in my life, particularly following four quite rich years of growing up at college.

The opportunity and reality of seeing a good bit of the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and other geography was exciting and one that I would never have had otherwise. Years later, when Joan and I went to France and Italy, I took her to some of the places I had seen. We saw Florence and Rome and relived some of the stories I had told her for many years.

In the fifties, the dollar was at it's outrageous peak in value; the economics of Southern Europe were barely coming out of the war. I remember vividly the experience of Toranto, Italy which had always been a benighted place, but after the British bombed the Italian Navy to smithereens and the harbor was crowded with sunken hulks and the shore areas completely destroyed, it was still evident in 1956 that the city had not recovered. The buildings along the harbor had been rebuilt with rubble. One or two mine-sweepers were Med-moored, with huge electrical cables running aft from the ships onto the dock where they were connected to provide electricity to the city. I placed a call to the United States, and it took all day to get through. Everywhere, you could eat and drink for practically nothing. We were treated, at least superficially, as monied gentlemen.

Steaming under the stars at ten knots in calm weather was one of the most beautiful and peaceful things that I recall. Sitting in a chair outside After Officers' Quarters and taking in a beautiful, peaceful sky could easily lead you to believe, as I probably did, that everything was alright in the world.

- Lt. Joe Friend

ENS Gafoof!

Good: The fine shipmates she had and the seaworthiness of a fine ship.

Bad: Those 45 degree rolls she would take in those nightmarish storms in the Atlantic...
Batten down those Hatches!

Capt. Edward Gibson
Good:  Shore leave in the Mediterranean with side trips to Rome. Cheese omelets in the Ward Room. Capt. Ed Gibson and his leadership and Friendship.

Bad: The Suicide of a young Ensign (Bill Tighe) who killed himself while we were at Guantamano Bay Cuba.....

Cdr. STan Henderson (1954)
Cdr. John Dacey
Bad:  Paying reparations at the bar in Palma after sampling Barcelona Martinis and my subsequent visit with Admiral Brown sixth Fleet Cmdr. Regarding "Officers Conduct ashore.  Hauling fellow Officers back to the ship after a night at the Guatanamo Officers Club, Cuba......The Safaris into Algerias and the Casbah of Tangier to rescue the Supply Officer....Crossing the Atlantic in a Hurricane when all the ships in the convoy were advised to operate independently and   "Save The Ship"........

Lt. Blackhurst &
ENS Brown, 1953

Lt. Edward R. Peters, 1954

Lt. G. Wilson, 53-56

If you have any information regarding Officers of the DYESS, Feel free to Email them to Joe Peters so we may include them here.
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