Hubbard crew members served with pride in World War II,
Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War Era


cold war


Cold War

         Hubbard departed San Diego 11 August 1954 on the first of nine additional Far East tours with the 7th Fleet. She joined other units of the Seventh Fleet from 6 February to 13 February of 1956 in moving in under Chinese Communist artillery defenses to cover the evacuation of Chinese Nationalists from untenable positions on the Tachen Islands. In October to November 1956 she diverted from Australia to the Dewline in the Northern Pacific to serve as picket patrol during the Suez Crisis. From time to time Hubbard patrolled the Taiwan Straits. In 1959 or 1960 the HUBBARD participated in a classified project out of Oahu, Hawaii for a period of about five months. At the time the U.S. was trying various methods of gathering intelligence data. One method involved photographing areas of interest in Russia. Then the vehicle carrying the camera would discharge its camera or film over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. As the "package" was parachuted to the ocean Air Force Planes would try to snag it while still in the air. If this failed, HUBBARD, and other ships in the division were on station to pick up the material when it landed in the ocean. In June 1960 she was off Guam guarding the flight of President Eisenhower's aircraft during his Far East visit.

       On May 14, 1955, the United States conducted an underwater nuclear test approximately 500 miles southwest of San Diego, California. The activities surrounding the detonation were conducted under the name of "Operation WIGWAM".

     The test in WIGWAM was a 30 kiloton nuclear device suspended by a cable 2000 feet deep. The purpose of the test was to learn what effects an undersea nuclear explosion would have on underwater and surface vessels (and their personnel). Hubbard took part in this test.


This article was previously published in the Hubbard Herald and Tin Can Sailor. It is being added to the Hubbard site with the author's permission.




By Dick Newell SH3



USS HARRY E. HUBBARD (DD-748) 1955-57


      Its Thanksgiving again and I'm sitting here enjoying the warmth of the fire place in my southern California beach house while reflecting on past years, particularly that Thanksgiving Day we shared together at sea fifty two years ago!

      We were part of DesDiv 32, a group of four destroyers including USS HUBBARD DD748, USS SMALL DD838, USS WALKE DD723 and USS O'BRIEN DD725 . We were participating in the 1955-56 WestPac cruise and assigned to patrolling the straights of Formosa in the China Sea. Our Thanksgiving Day that year (1955) was anything but normal. The Hubbard along with her crew had been caught in the middle of a hurricane for many days and we were suffering hour after hour of green water cascading over the ship's bridge. The fresh grey paint that had been applied to the decks only days before was being washed off in sheets turning the steel into rust before our eyes. Life line stanchions near amidships were bent over at a 90 degree angle to the deck just from the force of the water. The bos'n mate and deck crew had rigged extra cables to secure the Captain's gig in tight but for awhile even the davits that held it secure seemed to be in jeopardy, particularly when the ship occasionally rolled over in excess of 55 degrees. Many of the officers and men were on all four, heaving their guts out from days of extended sea sickness caused by the relentless pounding, pitching and swaying of the ship as we fought to keep our bow into the sea. One poor ensign on his first cruise couldn't even keep the soda crackers down and stood his watch being tossed around the bridge with a "bucket" in his hand.

      Food was certainly not something to even think about on that day as the mess decks had to be secured. Not even the cook could get in to that space as the massive kettles, knives, dishes and other equipment were breaking loose and being violently strewn about. Finally, somewhere around mid day the storm subsided for a few hours and finally some one passed the word over the intercom that for those interested, bread, slices of white bread, would be passed out at the entrance to the galley in the ship's main passageway. As I bounced off the bulkhead working my way forward from the safety of the amidships passageway I observed one of the cooks standing with several loaves of bread under one arm while using his other arm to wedge himself securely into the hatch.

     I took three slices of bread, stuck them into the pocket of my foul weather jacket and said "thanks", then slowly, using both hands, worked my way aft bouncing off the bulkheads as I went. Ultimately finding a dry spot topside on the 01 deck behind the second stack, I plopped down, protected from the spray of water flying past me on both sides. As I sat there and thought about my blessings I watched aft at the huge torrent of blue-green water being kicked up from our screws as the ship worked its way slowly through the tumultuous waves created by the hurricane. For a short while I enjoyed the heat radiating from the stack, marveled at the forces of nature and enjoyed with great relish each bite of that bread. Sure there was a little lint on it and perhaps a little tobacco debris mixed in from the bottom of the pocket but there were also a few beams of sunlight starting to filter through the clouds and the world suddenly seemed good.

     Here it is 50+ years later and folks wonder why I walk around with a smile on my old face while enjoying every morsel of food on my plate.

I thank the Lord for my many gifts and wish each of you a dry, warm and safe holiday.....


Former Commanding Officer Gerald Carney and Operations Officer Richard Trimble are seen here at the Chattanooga Reunion in 1997.  Capt. Trimble died in December 2007.