CHAPTER CHATTER

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

The first time the McCord came under fire was on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Wonsan harbor around 1 P.M., sailors were setting on the fan tail enjoying the smooth water, warm sun when a shell landed roughly 30 yards off the starboard fantail.  Needless to say, everyone scattered and the ship went to GQ and flank speed.  While getting away, we heard the sound of a 16 inch shell fired from a battleship out on the sea.  With the carrier task forces, we served as screening vessels for anti-sub defense and would also serve as plane guard when the carriers launched their planes.  The McCord was called upon to rescue a pilot whose plane went into the sea.  The Fletcher class destroyers were famous for having excessive bow spray, combine the spray with the extremely cold temperatures and you can imagine the problem of ice forming everywhere, including on your clothes. A major task for the ship was serving on the bomb line.  We had been on line for over two weeks and were released at 8 a.m. to return to Sasebo, however, around 1 p.m. we were ordered to rearm, replenish, and refuel and return to the bomb line.  We stayed there for over another two week period.  The ship usually had two mounts active and would when necessary man all 5 5 inch mounts. The McCord picked up a squad of Turkish commandoes from behind enemy lines and returned them safely to their base.  While in the Korean War area, the Mc Cord operated in both the Sea of Japan, and the Yellow Sea

          The McCord returned to the states, in August, 1953.   The route taken involved going through the Suez Canal, Mediterranean Sea, then across the Atlantic Ocean.  During

my two world cruises, I was fortunate to visit 19 different countries. Shortly after returning, I transferred to the USS Laffey, DD 724, a Sumner class destroyer.  The Laffey went through the same exercises and drills which the McCord performed prior to its time in Korea.  Much sea time.  Traveled the same route to Japan in January, 1954.  While in Korea sailed with the same task forces, but did not fire a shot in anger.  Took and passed the test for 2nd class petty officer, and as such was 2nd in command of the quartermaster gang under the chief.  Had the responsibility of maintaining the nautical charts and publications for the ship.  On the Laffey was the Master helmsman, serving during general quarters, ship to ship transfer of fuel, supplies and mail, entering and leaving ports.  Was the helmsman during the transit of the Panama Canal.

          Was discharged at 1 p.m., July 13, 1955. Returned to Parkersburg, worked a year, was married and in August, 1956 enrolled At West Virginia University where I finished in 3 years a 4 year degree in Industrial Management.  Was employed in June, 1959 by American Viscose, Rayon manufacturer as the first college graduate as Shift Foreman. I spent 31 years in manufacturing with
American Viscose, FMC Corporation and Avtex Fibers, and when I closed the Avtex plant was the Executive V P of Manufacturing and Human Resources.  In October, 1990 was selected by Warren County to be their Asst. County Manager. I retired from that position in October, 1999. mine and still try to play, just slower.  Our family has enjoyed going to Emerald Isle, NC for the past 22 years, same house, beautiful beach.