CHAPTER CHATTER

The Official Newsletter of the
Shenandoah Valley Chapter #313
Korean War Veterans Association
Volume 13, Issue 02
Paul E. Bombardier,  Editor
February, 2020

Member Bio - David E. Clark

U. S. Navy Enlisted from Parkers-burg, WV. Service period July 13, 1952 until July13, 1955.

Discharged as 2nd Class Quarter-master. Spouse, Beverly.     .                                           

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My Military History.  July 1952 – July 1955

Upon graduating from Parkersburg High School, enlisted in the U. S. Navy at 17 years of age and turned 18 at the Bainbridge Training Center.  Upon graduating from Bainbridge, traveled by train, bus, and ferry to the largest naval station in the world, Norfolk, VA.  From the naval base, I was transferred to the USS Mc Cord, DD 534, a Fletcher class destroyer.  The Mc Cord had 5 5 inch 38 mounts, 40 mm and 20 mm mounts, hedge hogs and depth torpedoes.  I was assigned to the 2nd Division deck force, where I stayed for two months.  I, then transferred to the Quartermaster gang and began to develop the necessary skills to become a signalman, navigator. 

          During the fall of 1952, the Mc Cord spent an extensive time at sea developing a fighting team.   

       Our Captain sent us to General Quarters at all hours of the day or night, doing the required drills to become an effective fighting ship.  My General Quarters station was in the after 5 inch mount.   On leaving Norfolk in early January,1953, we sailed down the east coast, went through the Panama Canal, then to San Diego for 3 days,  Departing the states we next stopped at Pearl Harbor, again for 3 days.  On the Friday night we   the Base Commander’s residence where a colorful outdoor party was in progress. Midway Island was our last stop before we reached Sasebo, Japan.  Sasebo became our home away from Norfolk.

          As the junior quartermaster striker, I was tasked with changing all of the ships chronometers when we crossed a time zone.  This was done at 2 a. m.  Up and down ladders going to each compartment where the chronometers were in use.  Before coming back to the states, I passed and received my 3rd class petty officer rating.

          On the first night out of Sasebo around 3:45 a.m., the ship went to General Quarters due to two unidentified bogies.  After, they flew away, the ship was released from GQ.  The McCord followed the normal routine for destroyers in Korea, it served with task force 77, task force 95, spent considerable time on the bomb line providing necessary fire support for the UN ground forces, served as a decoy drawing shore fire which was answered by a 16 inch shell from a battleship out over the horizon, also spent two weeks on the Formosa patrol.