Secret Scurvy Dogs

    Ever wonder what it was like to serve on a WWII era destroyer, that was FRAM'd (Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization program) in the 60's to meet the challenges of the Cold War period in our nations history? 

   This area of the web site is dedicated to a group of writers who served on FRAM ships that carried Gyrodyne's DASH weapon system (as seen above on the USS VOGELGESANG (DD-862)), yet these stories are not of DASH, but of interesting events that happened to these Sailors while serving in the United States Navy and of the complexities of NAVY LIFE. This group of sailors, who call themselves the Secret Scurvy Dogs Society (SSDS), have been an incredible resource to the Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation (GHHF) in performing research of the FRAM destroyers which carried Gyrodyne's QH-50 series Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH), but also in providing a sailors perspective of where DASH succeeded and where it failed. 

      If not for the continued oversight (weekly if not daily) of the SSDS concerning Gyrodyne's continuing archive recovery and many questions relating to them, the GHHF web site would not be as complete and accurate as it is.

To honor and thank the Secret Scurvy Dog Society, we are pleased to present some of their writings and adventures of Navy life.

 Click on a Picture/link below and Anchors Away!

The SSDS recently lost Lance Cpl. Shane Goldman USMC to the war in Iraq. We ask that you click here to read about Shane and remember, Freedom is not Free.

Here is an Introduction of how the SSDS came into being from a "Plank-Owner" of the Scurvy Dogs.....the Mysterious Mr. Hood.

USS Orleck

When Mr. Hood visits his old ASROC haunts, it is like old times about USS ORLECK (DD-886)

How Do you re-fuel a FRAM/Gearing class Destroyer, at Sea? What happens if something goes wrong? Read about it here.

If your boilers are out and your Steam Plant is cold, someone will have to light them off. Now there is a problem: How much fuel oil is at the bottom of the boiler? You'd better find out if you wish to keep your Round Uptakes!

What happens if a FRAM/Gearing class Destroyer tries to enter port, under a bridge when the tide is in? Why you LOWER THE MAST of course! See how that is done!

Preparing to get underway after dry docking a FRAM Destroyer isn't easy and you can't forget to seal anything, or you run the risk of Flooding the Sonar Dome.......and then you'll be in real trouble. Read here on fixing that problem!

Have you ever toured a Navy ship while docked? Well, there are always crewman on those ships to make sure all have a safe time, however, it is boring for the unlucky sailor left on board while others get to have shore leave and "experience" the local night life. Read here about what happens when one sailor activates the ASROC launcher on his ship to get even with those party boys!

FRAM destroyers did more than screen aircraft carriers, they intercepted Russian Spy Ships; some off the coast of California. Read about what happens when the USS CHEVALIER (DD-805) is required to "steam-up" fast to intercept the approaching enemy in a Cold War Encounter.

Do you wonder how the food was on a FRAM Destroyer? What happens when the food isn't so good? Read here about such an episode on the USS CHEVALIER (DD-805) when the Attack of the Rancid Rabbits occurred!

The Management of the systems on a Destroyer is a complicated thing; especially when the subject of the "Lists" is concerned. Read here about such an episode when it got really confusing aboard the USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7).

Docking a FRAM Destroyer is no easy task and when rivalries between classes of Naval ships is involved, you know its going to get interesting. Read here about how to set the Sea and Anchor Detail when the clash of the classes occurs!

Being a young man in the Navy and enjoying the adventures is one thing, but when Liberty Call is announced over the 1MC, the young man's attentions are turned to other things, like girls. But what happens when that young girl shows up, while your giving a tour of your ship to VIPs? Better think fast or the Portland Rose Festival may mark the end of your career! Read Here!

After the other ships of McKEAN' s squadron are decommissioned, the operating tempo for the ship greatly increases but there is still time to do those things that are very much in the Navy tradition; like Burying the Dead at sea. However, that doesn't mean it goes off without a hitch! Read about it here.

The FRAM'd GEARING Class destroyer was the last of the American Naval Destroyers that had manual engine control. Because of that, trying to change the direction of the ship during docking maneuvers was a real art or more of a Boiler Flat Ballet. Read here about how those throttle men did it!

When you destroyer is tied up at dock, it is a coordinated event to slip the lines and get Underway. Read here about what happens when someone decides not to cooperate!

FRAM destroyers were the last of the "manual" controlled destroyers and with that amount of control, came great responsibility and for those who could muster such greatness in the engineering spaces came the ultimate title.......of "THE OIL KING". Read here about what he did and how!

Life on a Destroyer can get pretty interesting when dealing with Nuclear Security and while both ASROC and DASH were Nuclear qualified weapon systems, that didn't mean the ship actually was caring the weapons. What if the Destroyer that docks next to you, does? Why are you being issued a side-arm? Should you load it? What was that noise in the night?  Read here about such an episode aboard the USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7) that took all of these questions which resulted, in a Shot in The Dark.

What happens when a fresh Junior Officer meets a seasoned Chief Petty Officer whom the Junior Officer is expected to lead? While inevitable friction may occur, the end result is a Junior Officer who must earn the trust of these career sailors by hard work. This process can be clearly seen in Junior Officers and Chief Petty Officers.

After a day of gunnery practice on your FRAM Destroyer, you are tired, tired and looking forward to liberty, BUT first, you need to refuel the ship. But what happens when fuel going into the fuel tanks, starts coming out of...the wardroom? You better do something about this OIL SPILL before a fire about it here as this happened on the USS CHEVALIER.

There is an obscure section of Naval Regulations, which states that if an ongoing O.O.D. (Officer of the Deck) doesn't like the situation that he is being asked to "take over", he has the absolute right to refuse to relieve. What happens IF THE SHIP IS SINKING? What HAPPENS if you are in the middle of worst TYPHOON you've ever seen? Someone better do something!

Having great liberty (shore leave) with a buddy is something to be savored, especially in the far east. Exploring the sights with camera in hand, visiting ancient temples and cemeteries, walking in directions that you hadn't walked before are all great adventures and because you have to be back to ship before midnight, you'd better make sure your buddy is with you when the whale boat takes you back.......or YOU ARE GOING TO BE IN TROUBLE!

It doesn't matter if you have 2 stars on your shoulders or not...if the Security personnel don't know you, you are going to be queried.......or on the Chevalier....maybe even barked at! You watch out, for SEAMAN CINDY!

Being the Officer Of the Deck (OOD) is an incredible responsibility, especially when navigating around treacherous waters. It is even more so when the Captain orders you to stay on course and you realize that will cause you to run aground. You wonder....."is this a test"?......"is the Captain nuts?" Either way, you have a decision to make and for one OOD, it was an Aegean Decision.

Why was Mickey Mouse on a Destroyer? 

Well, he managed to get a ride on one and of course, between bands playing, heaving seas and an intermittent wind, Mickey became the starring attraction when docking to the pier becomes difficult! Read about this Mickey Mouse Operation!

You are at Sea.

There is a war on. It is the 1973 Mid East War and your ship is in the Eastern Med on PIRAZ (Primary Identification and Radar Advisory Zone) duty. The Crew is at Condition Three wartime posture with one third of the ships crew awake and at battle stations ‘round the clock.  Radar announces a distant contact. You have permission to fire. It appears that an Attack at Dawn is underway!

Standing watch can be boring and ways to pass the time sometime range from the entertaining to the disturbing. Read here how the Bridge crew of the MacKenzie handled the boredom as there were those who tried to Quoth the Lieutenant.

Making sufficient water on a FRAM destroyer is serious business: run out of either drinking water or feed water for the boilers and your ship will come to a halt. What you need, is a WATER KING.

IF your steam plant goes down, it reflects on the entire ship EVEN though you did nothing to deserve it, you had better fix it fast because the Casualty report (CASREP) that follows might junk sink your Navy career. You'd better get that part, no matter how small...even a Bearing Race!

So, you are new on board the GEARING-class destroyer you are assigned to? Well, Let two old sea dogs acquaint you with your responsibilities.....Let's see, first you'll be assigned to a Work Center, then a a Division (WA – Weapons ASW for example), a Department, a life boat, a GQ station, a DC station, a Condition 1AS station, an Underway Watch station and finally, an inport duty section. Better check DECK LOGS to understand all this!

DESTROYER Tenders were the backbone of the destroyer fleet. They provided everything a  destroyer needed: Food, water, power, mail and of course, weapons for their weapon systems. Weapons transfers don't always go according to plan and when they don't, you may have a BAD DAY IN NEWPORT !

To keep your Anti-Submarine capabilities at the ready, practice is required. So, when you enter the area for a ASW exercise, you and your crew better be ready if you want to look good. Read hear for a great accounting of when the USS CHEVALIER (DD-805) bested a U.S. submarine by "killing" it first....and used their Drone Anti-Submarine (DASH) to do it, in ASW EXERCISE.

    While most people are interested in the weapons systems of a destroyer, what happens when the crew gets hungry?  Specifically, how do you feed a crew of a GEARING class destroyer? Are there procedures? More importantly, what was the quality of the food like? You'll find those answers here for several ships when you are Feeding a destroyer crew.

     So, your ship is pulling three duty sections down from 5, during ops in Vietnam, fatigue and sleep deprivation have started to show its ugly head, and all you can dream about is getting enough wartime, sleeping on watch is very serious and you'll find yourself being court-marshaled if you are caught.....or will you? Find out when you are caught Asleep on Watch.

Home Intro to SSDS SSDS & ORLECK Fueling a FRAM Round Uptakes Lower the Mast The Sonar Dome Rocket Launcher Cold War Rancid Rabbits The "Lists" Sea & Anchor Detail Rose Festival Bury the Dead Boiler Flat Ballet Underway The Oil King A Shot in the Dark J.O.'s and Chiefs OIL SPILL Typhoon In Trouble Seaman "Cindy" Aegean Decision A Mickey Mouse Op Attack at Dawn Quoth the Lieutenant The Water King The Bearing Race Deck Logs Bad Day In Newport ASW Exercise Feeding a DD Crew He was Our Marine Asleep on Watch

This page has been accessed Hit Counter times since Our FRAM began its' underway replenishment (UNREP) !


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The Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation (GHHF) is a private foundation incorporated in the State of Nevada as a Non-profit organization. 

GHHF is dedicated to the advancement of the education and preservation of the history of the Ships, the Men and the Company that built, operated and flew the U.S. Navy's QH-50 Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH) System and to the preservation of the history of the U.S. Army's past use of DASH.
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