COMMANDER COASTAL DIVISION 12
FLEET POST OFFICE
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA 96610

 

1 December 1968

 

T H E  S W I F T  F A M I L Y  L I N E

 

Dear Families and Friends:

        It is a pleasure to greet each of you again through the "Swift Family Line", and to let you know of the many and varied activities of the Swifties.

        Everybody talks about the weather, and that subject has indeed been prevalent in I Corps. The Northeast monsoon began on 12 October and has made some rough riding for the boats on patrol, but in typical Swift fashion they have "weathered" it well.

        During the past two months the men of the Swift's have done an outstanding job, keeping the enemy on the defensive by accurate gunfire support and by aggressively pursuing the Market Time mission of Coastal Surveillance.

        Swifts of Coastal Division Twelve have performed additional duties during the past two months while supporting four major land operations by blocking seaward escape routes and providing Naval Gunfire support to the units on the beach.

        In late October, the alertness of the crew of PCF-139, with LTJG James M. NEVELN, Officer in Charge - QM3 Lawrence C. KUENTZEL, RD3 Gregory B. THACKER, EN3 Charles E. REUTER, BM3 Fred R. COOPER, GMGSN William A. PUBLICOVER, pleasantly surprised an Air Force pilot by plucking him from the water of the South China Sea only four minutes after he had ejected from his disabled jet.

        The outstanding caliber of the men in Swift is evidence by the following men who have received awards and commendations from previous commands:

NAME AWARD FOR SERVICE ON
LTJG William C. COLEMAN Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V" OinC Assault Craft Division THIRTEEN
LTJG Daniel SALINAS, II Letter of Commendation USS SOUTHERLAND (DD-743)
LT Robert D. PACEK Meritorious Unit Commendation USS NAVARRO (APA-215)
EN3 Eddie P. KAJIOKA Meritorious Unit Commendation USS ELDORADO (AGC-11)
GMG2 Robert C. STIVERS Navy Achievement Medal with Combat "V" USS ST. FRANCIS RIVER (LSMR-525)
QM2 James E. STEWART Meritorious Unit Commendation USS CURRENT (ARS-22)
EN3 Charles E. Reuter Meritorious Unit Commendation USS PRESERVER (ARS-8)
RD3 John D. PRICE Meritorious Unit Commendation USS MORTON (DD-948)

        Be assured that recognition is being accorded here for the outstanding job the men on Swifts are doing. However current, policy precludes naming the name and the awards recommended until final approval is received from higher authority.

        CONGRATULATIONS to the men of Coastal Division TWELVE who are climbing the advancement ladder.

NAME NEW RATE EFFECTIVE DATE
QM2 James W. BARNHART QM1 16 OCTOBER 1968
BMSN John G. CRUSE BM3 16 OCTOBER 1968
SN Martin R. PANCHO BM3 16 OCTOBER 1968
QM2 Martin W. RICE QM1 16 OCTOBER 1968
RDSN Harold T. CARTER RD3 16 OCTOBER 1968
QM3 Gary E. ROSENBERGER QM2 16 OCTOBER 1968
QM2 Billy R. WHITE QM1 16 OCTOBER 1968
RM2 Edward J. CHIMERA RM1 16 OCTOBER 1968
YN2 Robert W. SMITH YN1 16 OCTOBER 1968
EN3 Edwin M. BENJAMIN EN2 16 OCTOBER 1968
RD3 Joseph E. MUHARSKY RD2 16 OCTOBER 1968
EN3 David HENSLEY EN2 16 NOVEMBER 1968
RDSN Jerome R. SULLIVAN RD3 16 NOVEMBER 1968
RD3 Carl E. THACKER RD2 16 NOVEMBER 1968
BM3 Jackie L. WILLIAMS BM2 16 NOVEMBER 1968
RDSN Steve R. DONOHUE RD3 16 NOVEMBER 1968
RDSN Howard A. MCNINCH RD3 16 NOVEMBER 1968
GMGSN Larry F. WRIGHT GMG3 16 DECEMBER 1968
GMGSN William A. PUBLICOVER GMG3 16 DECEMBER 1968
GMGSN Jack C. BATCHELLER GMG3 16 DECEMBER 1968
EN2 Landon E. MAREWITH EN1 16 DECEMBER 1968
GMG3 Gary G. GOUDIE GMG2 16 JANUARY 1970
GMGSN Thomas H. KLEMASH GMG3 16 JANUARY 1970
GMGSN Thomas M. ALLEN GMG3 16 JANUARY 1970
GMGSN William C. CREEK GMG3 16 JANUARY 1970
GMGSN Mickey T. MCGEE GMG3 16 FEBRUARY 1970
GMG3 David A. RILEY GMG2 16 FEBRUARY 1970
EN1 William E. WATKINS ENC 16 MARCH 1970

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

       I thought you might be interested in the following actual letter which was written by a Bosun's Mate who served in World War I to his son serving in World War II. Though many of the thoughts have special meaning only to those of us who man the Navy's ships and boats, the heart felt message can be shared by all.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dear Son,

        From the tone of your last letter and from the turn of international events, I conclude that you shall, before long, be on the high seas. I imagine that you are possessed by the feeling of nervous expectancy at the prospect. Living on the ocean is going to be a new experience for you. Ship life demands the ability to live among many men in close and restricted quarters, harmoniously. it requires a practice of self-effacement and patience. then there is the sea itself in all its might and glory! The sea can be so calm and serene beneath a sky of blue, spotted with irregular shaped clouds of white, like ships sailing in its vastness. On other days, under dull leaden skies, loosed of pent-up emotions, it humanizes itself into an angry superman and swells and froths until it is spent. A scene of unmanageable power, and man's effort to cope with so formidable an adversary is indeed puny.

        Each man of the crew has certain duties to perform which, taken altogether comprise "Ships work". His faithfulness and diligence in discharging these tasks marks his proficiency as a sailor man. Each sailor's responsibility properly carried out helps to maintain the life and health of every man aboard.

There is no more invigorating life than that on the sea. In the morning when the bosun's mate pipes all hands and the master at arms slips his stick on the bottom of the hammock of the late sleepers and calls out "hit the deck", you had better snap. Go on the topside barefooted and let the salt water from the deck hose swish around your toes, breathe deeply and call yourself a man. Walk forward where the stem splits the swells and throw your chest into the wind and pray to God to keep you a man.

At the ebb of the day when the twilight falls about the mast and the sun has sizzled out of sight beyond the last horizon, as night unfolds its ebondrape of darkness until its hem rests upon the sea, go aft along the deck and watch the wake of the ship as it closes in behind the hull, and stretches back as far as the eye can see, then think of home. of your mother, and me.

Don't allow the outward roughness of some of your associates to quench your flame on gentility. The criterion of a man is his stability. hardness without tenderness is a sign of weakness of character. The path of least resistance is to go with the crowd, and leads to degeneration. The man whose courage permits him to live according to his convictions blazes a trail to honor and the respect of all men. Maintain a sense of humor, for without it you are lost like a rudderless ship in a storm. Develop a sense of Justice toward your shipmates and you gain the respect of all. Forever be charitable in your thoughts of others. Live cleanly in the mind and body and your eyes, the windows of your soul, shall mark you as a man's man among men.

Be jealous of your record as a Navy man! Be jealous of the record of your ship and its crew, for that ship and that crew are the best in the whole Navy, and that Navy is the best in all the world.

 

With love from your Dad                

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

        Each of you have my sincere appreciation for your continued support of your man in the Swifts and for your understanding of the difficult task he faces. there are many factors which go into making a fine unit, not the least of which is the devoted following of the wives and families of the men who man the boats.

        May I take this opportunity to wish each of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

Sincerely,                                                       

K B MCGHEE                   

Kenneth B. MCGHEE                                         
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy                 
Commander Coastal Division TWELVE          

 

 

Return to the Family Lines

This page was last updated on: January 01, 2014 at 01:46 PM