The USS Upshur (Who went to Nam by ship?)

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The USS Upshur (Who went to Nam by ship?)

Postby Moring » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:36 pm

Willie, and I went to Vietnam by ship, the USS Upshur. We left San Diego, CA on March/9/1967, and arrived in DA Nang Harbor about 3/28/1967.
Most of the marines I had come to know in Nam, came by Air. Very few by ship, that I know of. Just curious if anyone on the site here came by ship, or maybe even on the USS Upshur with me, and Willie.

SF
Alva
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Re: The USS Upshur

Postby pat » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:42 pm

Alva
I went by a merchant marine ship called Johny Walker, about 2500 marines and 500 army. It took about 2-3 weeks to get there, stopped in Oky. for refuel for one day and to Danang.
went off the ship by nets on the side of the ship into Mike boats which took us to land. I left Dec.6th 67 I believe and I came home around Jan.25-68 so I believe they did count the
days on the water. Alva I am still working on a deal to buy something in phoenix, will know next week.
pat
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Re: The USS Upshur

Postby Moring » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:38 pm

Hello Pat
We too had a combination of US Army, and marines. We stopped in Oki for about eight hours. Me, and some fellow marines went into Naha, and had a few beers. Then on to Da Nang.
Boy! being on a ship with the name " Johnny Walker" you must have had a pretty happy crew.
We never had to clime over the nets when we reached Da Nang. We got there at dark, and the next morning, we disembarked onto landing barges. After reaching the shore, we loaded onto a convoy that took us to the Air Strip. From there, we flew by C-130 to Phu Bi.

Pat did you see the 'Sea Bat' that the Navy had captured? And did you get your 'Shellback Card,' for crossing the Equator? Willie still has his.

Let me know how your AZ plans turnout.


SF
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Re: The USS Upshur

Postby pat » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:38 pm

Alva
I remember turning our clothes around but don't rember a card,how long was your trip I'm not sure how long it took us to get there.
s/f
Pat
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67/68
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Re: The USS Upshur

Postby willie » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:59 pm

Wow Alva, we were on our sea cruise 43 years ago. Thing's I remember most about that ship was one, the smell. I couldn't wait to get up on the outside deck for some fresh air. Below deck always had that smell ships get. Throw in how many guys were getting sick and you get my meaning. The sleeping quarters had racks about 10 high. If you had the bottom rack and somebody above you hurled, ah a bonus..Watch out for the splatter.
Then the messhall. I remember sitting about 6 to a table. Same metal trays we were used to. But when the ship would move so would the food. Left and right. Good thing they had a snack bar, where I got most of my food..
There wasn't a whole lot to do during the day, some working parties. Can't really remember.
It got so boring aboard that I actually wanted to get to Danang and get off.
We pulled into the harbor late at night. We looked outside and you could see some type of gunfire, big guns..
They gave us a card, something about the dragon of Neptune, has to do with crossing some line out at sea. I still have it..
Pat you still looking for property in Arizona?? Probably some good deals out there now.
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Re: The USS Upshur

Postby pat » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:21 am

yes, there are some good deals out there but I have to sell my lot in Mn. I got a deal working now with someone who is interested in my property. he is going to check it out this week and get back to me. the trade would be for a lot in Surprise Az. its near Alva house.
pat
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67/68
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Re: The USS Upshur

Postby Moring » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:20 pm

Hello Pat
Yes, Surprise is close to me, and it is a very nice area. It's not down in the heavy part of the city, but is on the outskirts, a good sense of freedom, and fresh air.
I don't remember having to put our clothes on backwards. The 'Sea Bat' was a joke. They would have a box as if something was trapped inside. Some gullible green-horn like myself, would become very fascinated watching the box. As you leaned down to get a closer look, some guy behind you with a broom would slam you in the butt.

Willie,
I do remember the smell, and a lot of guys getting 'Sea Sick'. Its funny, I never did get sick. I do remember the tight racks though, and watching our meals slide from one side to the other, especially, the liquids as they tilted on the edge of a glass, or cup almost ready to spill, then the ship would roll bact in the other diriction. I think during the day there would be times that we would fall out on the top-deck and do exercises. Of course, come Hell, or High waters, the Corps never goes without a good day of PT. But remember, we were Real Warriors then, OOOOORRRRRAAAAAA! and KILL, KILL,KILL
Today it's " Ohhhhhhhh Ahhhhhhhhh, MY BACK, and PILL, PILL,PILL.

SF
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Re: The USS Upshur (Who went to Nam by ship?)

Postby Fasst1 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:36 pm

Alva,
Looks like you an Wille beat me by a day. We shipped out of San Diego on the USS General LeRoy Eltinge on Pearl Harbor Day, 1967. Arrived in DaNang on New Year's Day 1967. We stopped in Naha City on Christmas Eve and they let all 2,200 Marines off the ship in utilities OVERNIGHT, with the curfew suspended for anyone wearing utilities. We all received $20 in cash, and that was it. First drunk of my life and if some Army First Sergeant that found me in a restaurant broke hadn't stuck five bucks in a cab driver's hand and told him to take me to the ship I would have missed the troop movement. We shipped out of Naha at 1300 on Christmas Day. Lost three Marines before we ever got to Nam. Two were killed by taxis in Naha City and one who had reported back aboard and was accounted for was never seen again after we were at sea. The general consensus was he fell overboard. They never even considered a rescue mission because no one had a clue when or where it happened. I don't even like to think about the smell and living areas on that sucker. Suffice it to say I agree with everything you and Willie have said, and I too never got seasick. The closest I came to getting sick was from the stench of others who did.

Semper Fi,
Danny

PS My butt was sore for a week after my intiation into the Domain of the Golden Dragon.

me
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Re: The USS Upshur (Who went to Nam by ship?)

Postby Moring » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:56 pm

Hello Danny
Getting twenty dollars in Naha wasn't bad in those day. A guy could really pull a good party on that much. I forget how much we had, but we only got to spend eight hours in Naha. Did you drink any Saki? I never did get to try any. I remember coming back from Nam. We were bused from Kadina AFB way out to some Marine Base where we spent a couple of days being processed. Then back on the buses to Kadina, and home. When you mentioned about the one marine that 'fell off of the ship, it reminded me of that scene in the movie " Flags Of Our Father's" where the one guy falls from the ship, and then they say they the convoy couldn't stop to pick him up, which made sense. I was hoping that we would stop in Hawaii, but they announced on the intercom that we were about five hundred miles of the cost of Hawaii.
Well, I am glad that we made it over to Nam, served our time ,and were able to return home.

SF
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Re: The USS Upshur (Who went to Nam by ship?)

Postby willie » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:55 pm

I got to know one of the seamen on board the Upshur. I remember him telling me that they would pick up the troops in San Diego, stop in Okinowa , on to Danang,drop off the troops, then they would sail to some exotic place and get liberty. Then do it all over again. Seemed like pretty good duty to me..Kinda like a taxi service.
Speaking of losing men, when I was on the Repose in May of 67 the ship went to subic bay for repairs. They put the ship in dry dock which looks like a gigantic swimming pool with the water let out. When we had liberty we had to walk down a narrow gangway, navy term, all the way to the bottom of the dry dock. It was a loooooong way down. It was kinda scary because you only had this little shakey rail to hang on to. Coming back from liberty in Alongapo City most guys were juiced. Late night one of the troops fell off the gangway on his way back up..That was the scuddle butt going around the next day.
Alongapo was like TJ or hotel street in Hawaii. I can remember going into the bars and these local bands playing American songs and singing them in English, but they couldn't converse in English.
Anybody have any liberty spots that were memorable?
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Re: The USS Upshur (Who went to Nam by ship?)

Postby Moring » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:42 pm

Willie, I remember beautiful Alongapo City, and Sheet River, Monkey meet, and "YOU NO BUTTERFLY ME GI. The the Jeepnies with all their flamboyant beauty, and the Filipinos High Class bands, All playing their' favorite song" Black Is Black" again, and again, and again, while I set back sipping my nice cold San Miguel , or Black Lable beer. I think they used the water out of the Alongapo River to process their beer. I used to get so snookered, that I don't even remember asking the Officer Of The Day "Permission To Come Aboard, Sir!" I don't even remember the Gang-Plank, or sometimes the ship. Thank God for Marine Buddies.
Hong Kong was even worse. There the Hospital Ship I was on anchored out in the middle of the harbor. Little boats would pick us up, and take us to the shore, and in the evening would bring us back. When coming back, you would have to wait until the water raised the little boat up about 8ft to the Ship's stears, then you quickly step on to the stears before the water dropped the little boat back down. If you missed, into the harbor you went, and caught between the two crafts. So, I say again, Thank God for Marine Buddies.

Ah! those were the days!
SF
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Re: The USS Upshur (Who went to Nam by ship?)

Postby Fasst1 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:29 pm

Willie,
I snickered a little when I saw you discussing Hotel Street in Honolulu. I spent many a day there, but we called it Shit Street! I wonder if we were on the Repose at the same time in May of 1967 I was on it the last 10-12 days of May. The only way you could have been there when I was not would have been earlier in the month, since it sure wasn't anywhere but off the coast of DaNang when I was on it.

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Re: The USS Upshur (Who went to Nam by ship?)

Postby willie » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:39 pm

Danny,
I was on the Repose at the end of May and into June. I have a few pictures taken while on board. I'll try and email them to you. You were gone when we sailed to Subic Bay.When I was almost ready to be discharged they gave me a job, running the elevator from the flight deck down to surgery. Some not so pleasant memories of that.
When I was stationed at Pearl harbor I worked in the brig unit. Shit street was off limits, especially to us. The gunny would tell us, you get caught on hotel street you'll be on the other side of the bars.
Hawaii was great duty, but liberty was expensive. You could blow your $$ in one night.
I hadn't heard from any of the guys from the brig unit since I left in 68. Last month one of them emailed me. He sent me some old pictures that brought back some good memories.
You never know who you'll pop up from your past..
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Re: The USS Upshur (Who went to Nam by ship?)

Postby willie » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:50 pm

Alva,
I laughed when I read what you said about them playing, Black is Black. I can hear them now..How about walking of the base at Subic Bay and the little kids attacking you with shoe polish. They'd throw the paste on your shoes then ask if you wanted a shine. The jeepies looked like something out of disneyland..
One night we were in a club and there were all the branches of service in there. One of the guys had spent all his money on one of the bar flies and when he was broke she found another sucker with some money to spend. Surprise, a brawl broke out..
One thing the told us before going on liberty, don't go anywhere out side of the main street in town. You might not come back..
Too bad all our extra curricular activities wern't included in our SRB.. Where we could revisit them... Excluding office hours of course.
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Re: The USS Upshur (Who went to Nam by ship?)

Postby Moring » Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:12 pm

Willie
We were some Really Wild, Adventurous, and Crazy guys back then. Maybe that's why we were Marines!


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