I checked on board the USS WALLER (DD-466) right before she was getting ready to steam into the North Atlantic, into the Mediterranean and through the Suez Canal and into the Indian Ocean.I was immediately assigned to the Ship’s office because I had won the designation off the last advancement exam. I didn’t do well enough to get the promotion but I did well enough to be designated and that kept me off the mess decks and out of first division. One of my last assignements on the Wright was to handle all discharge and reenlistment papers. It was a very complicated procedure and I was one of the few that could do it. So when I got on board the Waller that’s what they had me do. I did several discharges, transfers to fleet reserve, and retirements as well as reenlistments. I enjoyed that. The ship spent most of its time underway. We were at sea an awful lot. You get used to it after awhile and it’s really easy to relax and just roll with the waves. One thing that was very different about this destroyer and the USS Wright. The Wright was a huge vessel and took waves well. The destroyer rolled, tossed and turned. It took some time to get over the sea sickness, but once it happend you were just fine. There were only 3 of us working in the office. A second class Personnelman, a 3rd class Yeoman and a disbursing clerk – he paid the crew, etc. The office was very small and very cramped. We had to take turns using the typewriter. WE had old underwood 5’s. I still miss them.

When the Waller was at full steam she’d hit 35 knots easy! That was pretty fast and she left quite a wake behind her. It was fun to stand on the fantail (back end) and watch the wake.

We hit the North Atlantic in November and the seas were rough. We came into Gibraltar and had a couple days ashore. We then hit out into the Mediterranean and into the Suez Canal. One of my best memories was the three days we spent anchored in the Great Bitter Lake, about half way down the canal. The south bound traffic, us anchored and let teh north bound traffic pass through. For 3 days we sat there and fished and watched movies at night on the fantail and ate fresh baked bread at midnight because I was friends with the night baker. We’d cut the whole loaf in half and fill it with jelly and peanut butter and it would melt and drip and still makes my mouth water. Because of me, he had to cook a couple extra loaves every night for the crew. While there and on the rest of the cruise the song, “Black is Black” by Los Bravos, was the number one hit. I heard that song in every language you can imagine. It was really funny. I wish I had some of the recordings. “Walk Away Rene” was another one that played in many different languages. “96 tears,” “I’m your puppett,” and “The Pied Piper” were popular around the world. When we were around other ships, like the Brittish Destroyer, we’d be expected to wear our Whites. But it was 100 degrees, so we just wore T-shirts with them. I believe this picture is while we were anchored with other ships in the Great Bitter Lake. It might be at Port Suez, the southern exit of the Suez Canal. I can’t remember.

We had port stops in Masawa, Ethiopia. It was the major port for Asmara. We were the first Navy Warship in port there since WWII. It was quite an event. Halle Sallase, sent his royal band to meet us. I can’t find the picture of that. Darn!! I had one at one time. I can’t find any pictures of our four days there. I sent lots of pictures home but they seemed to get lost and I never saw them again. I also collected currency from most of the places we stopped. I did that my whole time in the Navy. It was an easy way to get souveneers that were particular to the place that we visited. Besides, when I got back from liberty I always had a little money left. Here are the places we stopped on this cruise s best as I can remember; Gibraltar, Iskenderon,Turkey, Beirut, Lebenon, Port Said, Port Suez, Asmara, Ethiopia, Abaddon, Iran. Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia, Basra, Iraq, Manama in the Bahrein Islands. We also spent three weeks in the ship yards in Valetta, Malta because when we went into the Suez Canal a second time, the Office of the Deck miscalculated the entrance and overshot it and nearly ran the ship aground. He ripped off the forward sonar dome and we had to get the ship up out of water to replace it. The only spot to do that was in Malta. I got to know “The Gut” pretty well. We took a trip to the main city of Asmara and I wore my whites and was real proud of my new prescription sunglasses the navy gave me because I served as a lookout during General Quarters (Battle Stations). I wore them everywhere.

It was a very interesting time of my life and I enjoyed the cruise a lot. I didn’t get to see as much as I should have. I always remember how close I was to the Holy Land but had no interest in those days of seeing it. We did a stint in the Persian Gulf and stopped in the Bahrein Islands and the when our tour was up, we headed back north up the Suez Canal and had a change of command. We were more than anything just to serve as a visible presence of the US Navy in the area. 1966 and 1967 was a very tense time there. In April 1967 our squadron was relieved by a group of ships which included The Uss Liberty.  On June 8,1967 she was attacked by Israeli Air Force and Israeli Torpedo boats.  The combined sea and air attack killed 34 crew and wounded 170. We just missed it!

The trip back across the North Atlantic was very eventful. I wish I could find some of the pictures I took that showed the ship at nearly a 45 degree roll in the rough seas. We had refueling details that were extremely dangerous and highlined passengers back and forth from the tenders and other destroyers. I had some great times on the High Line Detail. But we arrived back in Norfolk, at the End of April. I was promoted to PN3, Third Class Petty Officer, (Third class personnelman) on 16 April 1967. For some reason the folks on the Waller liked me more than those on the WRight and thought I should reeinlist. I wasn’t interested in that, until they offered me hometown shore duty in Omaha, Nebraska fora  guaranteed tour of 5 years as a TAR (Training and Administration of Reserves).  Iworked through all the details and was released from active duty on June 1, 1967. I wasn’t scheduled to get out until July 1st, but the Commanding officer decided to give me a 30 day early out so I could head home and report into the Naval & Marine Corp Reserve Training Center, in Omaha, Nebraska. I knew it well. I had delivered the papers at Fort Omaha when I was 12 years old.