USS Cony Chronology
|Note from Roger::: I have a copy of a photo that has writing on it that says. USS Coy entering Espirito Santo, New Hebrides Islands. Floating Drydock at rear is the one where we made emergency repairs after bomb damage. So I don't know for sure which is correct Espirito Santo or Port Purvis (maybe both?)|
10/1/1943 Evacuation of Kolombagara10/27/1943 Wed. Troops land on Mono and Stirling Islands in the Treasury Island Group, Solomon Islands; pre-invasion bombardment and covering for the landings are provided by United States naval vessels and aircraft. United States naval vessels damaged: Destroyer CONY (DD-508), by horizontal bomber, off Treasury Islands, 07 d. 23' S., 155 d. 27 ' E. LST 399 and LST 485, by coastal mortar, Solomon Islands area, 07 d. 25' S., 155 d. 34' E.
October 27th, 1943: The following is a first hand account of the attack on the Cony as described in the Journal of rear gunner Stanley Baranowski, sent to me by his granddaughter Valentina Baranowsk.
Oct. 27, 1943
Oct. 27, 1943
Oct. 27, 1943
|Mario Earl Balistreri S2/C||Benard Barney S2/C||Howard William Bunting S1/C||Claude Ballentine Denton S1/C|
|Herman Matthew Johnson StM2/C||Charles Francis McClosky SF1/C||Benjamin Clay Mott GM1/C||Harry Edward Nelson S2/C|
(Per Don Paul of North Easton, Massachusetts who is the son of now deceased Pierre Paul (EM2) that other destroyer was the USS Philip DD-498). Aided by American fighter aircraft, Cony and her sister splashed 12 of the enemy planes, but Cony received two bomb hits on her main deck, and these with a near miss killed 8 of her men, wounded 10, and caused considerable damage. She was towed into Port Purvis for emergency repairs, and sailed on to Mare Island for a complete overhaul.3/27/44 Returning to Port Purvis 27 March 1944, Cony patrolled along the southwest coast of Bougainville, hunting Japanese barges and submarines, and giving fire support to troops ashore in the Empress Augusta Bay area. She sailed from Port Purvis 4 May for Majuro and Pearl Harbor where she joined the screen of a transport group bound for Eniwetok and the Saipan landings on 15 June. Cony screened the transports as they unloaded and carried out antisubmarine patrol until 14 July, when she sailed to replenish at Eniwetok. Six days later she sailed for preinvasion bombardment on Tinian, remaining to patrol in the antisubmarine screen when the landings themselves began on 24 July.
5/13/44 Commander Harry D. Johnston, USN, was relieved as Commanding Officer of the Cony by Lieutenant Commandor Allen W. Moore, USN. She then joined in the Marianas Campaign and acted as anti-submarine patrol vessel at Saipan, Tinian and Guam. Later during reconnaissance at Loyto, she helped rid Southern Surigao Straits of Japanese Fleet units trying to break up our landing operations inthe Philippines. (per material from Robert Barry)
3/8/2006 I received an inquiry from Anthony Tully (author of the book “Shattered Sword” The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway) asking for first hand accounts of the battle of Surigao Straits and the Japanese destroyer the Asagumo. This is a reply that I received from Raymond L. Quinn.
In response to your inquiry about the battle of Surigao Straits, in the Philippines . I remember it well and I think in a folder that I kept I have an article from Life Magazine which describes that battle. I think that I will be attending the reunion to be held in June in Buffalo and I intend to bring the folder, and maybe a copy of a diary that I kept for about 2 years on the Cony. I will try to relate some of the details of that naval battle
The navy had advance notice of the approach of the Japanese task force into the Surigao Sea through the Surigao straits. The torpedo boats were set up under the cover of the shore line on either side of the straits. They were to make torpedo runs on the Japanese fleet as they entered the straits, which they did, causing some confusion and destruction to the Japanese ships. We were in a formation which was described later as crossing the T. As my battle station was first loader on sky 44 which was located port side of the number two stack I had a clear view of the happenings although the whole battle took place in the dark of night. We were up in the front line and I didn't think too much of it until the Japs put up star shells and the whole ocean around us was alive with shrapnel hitting the water. That made me consider the shells going over us and those hitting near us. One thing I will always remember is that one Jap battleship was firing over us and she evidently had a worn barrel as there was one shell of the group going over us that was spinning end for end and making a thud=thud noise. The destroyers were then ordered to commence their torpedo runs and we picked up speed. We had our torpedo tubes trained out but it seems that the battleship we were running at sand before we got within range to release the torpedoes, so we didn't release any torpedoes. We made a run at flank speed through the Jap remaining ships, with all of our guns firing and rejoined our big stuff as screens. We got the word later that the Jap fleet had all been destroyed that night. There was plenty said about out having radar and the Japanese having to depend on visual contact. All the big ships were firing over us, both ours and the Japanese. No picnic is how I always will remember.
You can forward this information to the people who are doing the History of the Battle of Surigao Straits and I plan to be around for a little while to answer and questions that they may have.
Raymond L. Quinn, Sk3c, USS Cony (DD508)
Note from Roger, Ray Quinn passed away Feb. 17th, 2007
This is another account I received from Russ Poe
I was present in the main battery gun director during the battle. When daylight came, we came up to the Asagumo which was a floating wreck. We put several 5-inch rounds into her which finished her off. In the distance we could see swimmers (probable crew survivors) making for the island. Word came up from the bridge to put some rounds into their midst, which we did. In today's world, this probably would be considered an atrocity. Most likely, if they had gotten ashore, they would have been a problem for the Filipinos who most likely would have killed them with their bolos.
This is what I remember. Vincent Courtright, who was our radar range operator, may have some recollections of this incident.
Russ Poe FC1 42-45
And another from Tom Clark
Thank you for the E mail I was the 40MM director on the port side of the #2 stack just above him for he was my loader he mentioned the projectiles going over us it was like a freight train rumbling over head we did go out to the two vessels burning from stem to stern a great battle but I need no more of it.
From Dick Bonheim
I am doing research for former crew members of the USS Robinson DD562. A submarine contact incident took place on the night 14-15 June 1944 off Saipan.
USS Robinson member recalls dropping of depth charges. In the midst of the run remembers being called off the contact to return to escort duties and being replaced on the run by another DD. Trying to determine if The Cony was indeed that ship on station that night. There is a strong possibility that Japanese voices were heard indicating that the vessel may have surfaced. IJN records indicate that one Submarine designated I-5 as unaccounted for. Acknowledging this event would be greatly appreciated. Please include a telephone # so I might respond.
My # is 254-547-6337. I live in Copperas Cove, TX adjacent to Fort Hood. I'm retired AF/Army ..... but please don't let that get in your way!!!!!!!!! Thank you for your service to "our" country!
The email was responded to by Bob Beauparlant.
I was on the Cony and that was our ship. The Cony was part of the task force group on the way to Saipan and had a submarine contact. We made 5 runs and dropped 46 charges. Then an oil slick was seen on the surface of the water so we knew we had gotten the sub. On June 15 we picked up a Jap Survivor (merchant seaman) out of the water.
My battle station was in the director. My rate was Fire Controlman 3rd class.
My Phone Number is: 906 - 863 - 6082 Hope this helps you and looking forward to hearing from you.
Then this insert as quoted by Jack Smith and passed to me from Dick Bonheim:
I was a signalman on the USS Cony and recall that night---we may have been the destroyer dispatched to relieve the Robinson that night. I do know that we picked a Japanese sailor out of the water that night and held him until morning or possibly for several days and turned him over to the Senior Officer Present Afloat (SOPA) at Saipan for their interviewing him for possible information. Never heard anything further about the incident as far as I can recall.---We had a Boatswains Mate 1/C aboard who resembled the prisoner and he took a lot of ribbing about the incident. I don't recall the BM1?c name but do know he was from San Antonio Texas---perhaps others will recall his name. My name is EJSmith telephone number (412)-221-2897 (home and office phone) if you need to contact me. Best time is 9:00AM to 11:00AM & 2:00 to 5:00PM Monday thru Friday.
Note from Roger Rieman
Dick Bonheim, who was not a USS Robinson shipmate, but did extensive research on the sinking of a certain Japanese submarine enroute to the invasion of Saipan in June of 1944 of which the USS Robinson and the USS Cony took part. This was a part in a book that he published in 2002 titled "Heroes".
Over the years, Dick and I have kept in contact and have exchanged information of the histories of the Fletcher class, mostly in the WWII era.
Dick was invited to attend the USS Robinson reunion this last September 2006, in San Antonio. He contacted me and asked me to write a message to the crew of the Robinson which I did in the form of a tribute. When Dick attended the reunion, he read my tribute.
When I re-read the tribute, I can't help but feel that there must be "thousands" of our shipmates that feel that kinship, not only to their own vessel, but to all who served in the wars. A common bond that cannot be broken.
You can read the tribute to the USS Robinson from the USS Cony by clicking the button.
Outstanding coverage of Cony's participation in the war from 1944 to 1946.
8/24/1944 Cony returned to Guadalcanal 24 August 1944 to prepare for the assault on the Palau Islands. She screened carriers as they launched air raids supporting the landings on Peleliu between 15 and 30 September, then put in to Manus to replenish. The destroyer put to sea once more 12 October, screening and providing fire support for underwater demolition teams and bombardment groups in Leyte Gulf between 19 and 21 October as the landings began. As Japanese forces entered Leyte Gulf on 24 October to begin the Battle of Surigao Strait phase of the epic Battle for Leyte Gulf, Cony took her station with the battleships and cruisers in the battleline, joining in the furious firing of the night action, and pursuing and constantly dueling with Japanese destroyer Asagumo, finally sunk in the morning of 25 October with the aid of fire from another destroyer and two cruisers.11/16/1944 To read the exciting battle of Ormoc Bay which included Cony click the button:
After voyaging to Manus for replenishment, Cony returned to Leyte Gulf for patrol duties 16 November 1944. On the nights of 29-30 November and 1-2 December she joined in sweeps of Ormoc Bay, hunting Japanese shipping. Targets were few, but her group sent a barge to the bottom on their second foray, and bombarded enemy positions on the shores of the bay in preparation for the landings in Ormoc Bay a few days later. Cony put in to Kossol Roads from 4 to 10 December, then sailed to screen carriers providing air cover for attack groups passing from Leyte to Mindoro, returning to Kossol Roads 19 December.12/23/1944 Cony arrived at Manus 23 December 1944 and sailed 8 days later to screen transports to the Lingayen Gulf landings on 9 January 1945. She cleared the Gulf 11 January to screen empty transports and cargo ships to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, and then took up patrol duty in Lingayen Gulf. The destroyer covered the reconnaissance and sweeping of Baler Bay between 26 February and 10 March, and stood by to provide fire support during the landings on Caballo Island in Manila Bay on 27 March. She bombarded Parang between 14 and 19 April, and patrolled in Davao Gulf early in May. On 7 June she sailed from Subic Bay to cover the landings at Brunei Bay, Borneo, on 9 June, and sailed on a fire support mission aiding minesweeping operations and underwater demolition teams near Balikpapan, Borneo, from 13 June to 2 July.3/1/1945 Task unit consisting of destroyer Cony (DD-508), destroyer escort Formoe (DE-509), minesweepers Sentry (AM-299) and Salute (AM-294) and two infantry landing craft (LCI), begin minesweeping and reconnaissance of Baler Bay and Casiguran Sound, Luzon, to investigate a possible fleet anchorage and determine composition of Japanese forces in the vicinity. Army scouts and interpreters are embarked for use ashore.3/21/1945 The Cony joined Commander Cruisers, Seventh Fleet, and participated in the landings on Caballo Island, near Corregidor Island. During April she engaged in the amphibious landings on Mindanno, after which she proceeded to Subic Bay. It was here on April 29, 1945, that Commander Allen W. Moore, USN, was relieved as Commanding Officer of the Cony by Lieutennant Commander T. C. Siegmund, USN. (per Robert Barry) 3/27/1945 One battalion of army troops (Second Battalion, 151st Infantry, 38th Division), supported by destroyers Conway (DD-507) and Cony (DD-508) and three rocket-equipped motor torpedo boats, lands on Caballo Island near Corregidor, preceded by an air strike.6/7/1945 The Cony reported to the Distant Covering Force, underway from Subic Bay for Borneo minesweeping and support operations. She engaged in several anti-aircraft actions during this operation, but with no damage to the vessel, although she narrowliy escaped being sunk in a surprise moonlight torpedo attack. Upon returning to Leyto, the Cony was transferred to the Seventh Amphibious Force for duty, where she carried out minor support missions at Sarangani Bay in Philippine mop-up operations by the 24th Division, before the end of hostilities with the Japanese.
The Cony is credited with five battle stars for her participation in: the consolidation of the Southern Solomons: New Georgia - Vella LaVella Campaign: Treasury -Bougainvillo Campaign: Mariana Campaign, and the assult and occupation of Palau Island. In addition she is credited with two stars for her participation in the Philippino Liboration. (prepared November 10 1949, by Press Section, First Naval District Public Information Office) Donated by Robert Barry.7/11/1945 Returning to San Pedro Bay, Cony sailed on 11 July 1945 to escort transports to landings at Saragani Ray, Mindanao, providing fire support to the forces ashore until 13 July. Through August, she made an escort voyage between Leyte and Ulithi, and on 8 September, arrived in the approaches of the Yangtze River to act as navigational ship during minesweeping operations. Between 29 September and 6 October, she called at Shanghai, then sailed to investigate the compliance with the surrender terms of Japanese troops on Raffles Island in the Chusan Archipelago just off the China coast south of Shanghai. After making a mail run to Okinawa, she served as harbor entrance control ship at Shanghai until 19 November, when she sailed to Taiwan to serve as navigational ship for minesweeping operations in the Taiwan Straits. She sailed for home from Shanghai 20 December, and after calling at San Diego and New York, arrived at Charleston, S.C., 13 March 1946.1/1/1947 USS Cony inactivated (Decomissioned) and assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
11/17/1949 The following Navy News release, introduction, J.F.K.Speach, and linked page of the 1949 crew was donated by Bob Barry LTJG 63-65
USS Cony Famous World War II Destroyer, to be Re-Commissioned in Boston November 17, 1949
The World War II destroyer USS Cony, which saw action as Flagship for the Commander of the Navy's Third Amphibious Force during Pacific campaigns and later laid in "mothballs" as part of the Navy's "Zipper Fleet," will be re-commissioned in Boston on November 17, 1949, as an experimental destroyer. Named for Joseph S. Cony, Civil war naval hero from Eastport, Maine, the USS Cony is a 2050-ton Fletcher class destroyer, built at Bath Iron Works Corporation, Bath, Maine, and originally completed in October 1942. The Cony left Boston in December 1942 for the South Pacific area, where she fought until the end of World War II, during which time she earned battle stars for participation in operations against the Solomon Islands; New Georgia-Vella-Levella operation the Cony was flagship for the late Vice-Admiral Theodore S. Wilkinson, USN, Commander of the Third Amphibious Force.On January 1, 1947, the Cony was inactivated and became a part of the Reserve Fleet. She is being re-commissioned as an experimental destroyer and will specialize in anti-submarine warfare operations
The Following is the Commissioning Cermony
Captain R. Watt, Jr., USN reads order to commission USS Cony
Ship is placed in commission. Ensign, Jack, and Commission Pennant are hoisted as Band plays the National Anthem.
Address by the Honorable John F. Kennedy
Address by the Commanding Officer
First Watch set
Added Feb. 2013, the original Program, indeed worth looking at and saving.
This is a scanned text searchable pdf file of the actual Commissioning program from 1949.
This Commissioning Program was received from the U.S.S. Little Rock Association. It was from the naval memorabilia collection of Mr. Walter A. Nebiker, SN1/C, USS Little Rock CL92, 1947-48 passed on to me from Art Tilley.
Next is John F. Kennedy's introduction by Captain R.M. Watt, JR. Commander, Boston Naval Shipyard at the Commissioning of the USS Cony DDE-508 Thursday November 17, 1949
We are extremely fortunate today to have as our guest of honor a young man who has packed a perfectly incredible amount of life, action fighting, and useful and effective pubic service into the short span of 32 years.
Assured of a life of ease and luxury if he had cared to follow it, he chose instead to throw himself in where the going was toughest. He has worked and fought faithfully and well in war and in peace for the Untied States and for the welfare of the average citizen.
As a boy at Harvard, he dug in and graduated with high honors. He then graduated from the London School of Economics.
In September 1941, without waiting for Pearl Harbor, he joined the Navy and became a PT boat sailor. He ended up a full Lieutenant wearing the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism in action and saving the lives of several of his men. He also wears the Purple Heart and other ribbons.
Somehow, along the way, he has found time to be a successful journalist, a successful author, and an indefatigable worker for charity, civic projects, and improved housing.
Today, we of the Boston Naval Shipyard family give him an especially warm welcome, not for these worldly honors and achievements, but because in these difficult days of the new weapons and changing techniques of warefare he has proven himself a staunch friend of the Navy in general of Boston Naval Shipyard in particular. All of us who work here know that he one of the truest and best friends that Boston Naval Shipyard has ever had.
I am proud and happy to present to you Congressman John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
Here is Congressman J.F. Kennedy's speech for the Cony's re-commissioning.
It is a great honor for me to join with you today in recommissioning the USS Cony as an experimental destroyer.
The Cony, like many of us here today, is a veteran of the last war. She rendered distinguished service in the Solomon Islands Campaign, the hardest and the most dangerous duty that destroyers encountered in the Pacific. The Cony won her battle stars in some of the Great actions of World War II.
The Cony was built in
Bangor, Maine, (Bath Iron Works, Bath Maine as noted above in (Navy News release of Cony re-commissioning on 11/9/1949) she was named for Joseph S. Cony, of Eastport, Maine and her new Commander Lt Commander John B. Mutty, who also hails from Bangor. A ship with that strong connection with the state of Maine, the State which has in the past sent great sailors and great ships down to the sea, is fortunate.
I believe that it is a good symbol that there are many members of the crew from the other New England states which border on the great Atlantic Ocean, and I am particularly pleased to see that there are some men from Bunker Hill.
Joseph Cony served with distinction in the war between the states specializing in amphibian landings along the southern coast. His commanding officer once wrote of him “the manner in which my orders were carried out is highly creditable to Mr. Cony, who is, I beg leave to state, a good officer and seaman."
The Cony as you can see had a complete renovation. Her original superstructure has been replaced, has been given all of the latest equipment for her new role in anti-submarine warfare.
As submariners have become more effective, the job of the submarine hunter has become more difficult, more complicated. I know that in the difficult days to come the USS Cony of the Fletcher Class, newly commissioned anti-submarine destroyer, will continue to carry on the highest tradition of the United States Navy.
To see the roster of the officers and crew that manned the Cony after her re-commissioning in 1949
3/26/1949 Cony was reclassified DDE-508 and was converted to an escort destroyer, specially equipped for antisubmarine warfare, and recommissioned 17 November 1949.
5/14/1951 After training and operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean, she sailed from her home-port, Norfolk, on a cruise round the world, during which she operated in the Korean war zone from 18 June to 28 October, returning home by way of the Suez Canal, and arriving at Norfolk 20 December 1951.
September 1953, she again cleared on a distant deployment, taking part in North Atlantic Treaty Organization Operation "Mariner," then exercising with the Royal Navy in antisubmarine operations off Northern Ireland before continuing to a tour of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.
In 1955 and 1957, she again served in the Mediterranean, and in September and October 1957, joined in NATO antisubmarine exercises in the English Channel. Local operations and cruises to the Caribbean marked 1958, and in 1959 and 1960, Cony joined TF Alfa, an experimental tactical group concentrating on antisubmarine warfare, in its operations along the east coast. With this group, she visited Quebec City, Canada, in June 1960.
.NOTE ! If you served aboard the Cony when she participated in the Communist China Spring Offensive or Summer / Fall offensive from June of 1951 through October of 1951 you may be eligible for a metal.
Check it out at : http://www.history.navy.mil/medals/kormedal/korea-c.htm11/15/1951 The following is from an email that I received from Robert F. White (XO, 51-54)
1951 - ? to about 15 November - Gunfire support Korea. Captain Joe Dodson. RFW duty Ops Officer & eventually XO.
1951 - About 15 Nov - enroute in division, Korea to Norfolk, with port calls in Singapore; Aden; La Spezia; Gibraltar (where attached to carrier task force enroute to Norfolk (through hurricane at sea). Arrive Norfolk, about 24 December.
1951 - 1952 The following are excerpts from a letter that was addressed to Ken Cox from Wm. Poindexter Moore, Jr. (dated 4/12/08)
It was my pleasure to serve on the CONY during her tour of duty during the Korean War. I was commissioned only at the end of WWII and was assigned in mine sweeps to prepare for the invasion of Japan. Fortunately President Truman ordered "the bomb"
to be dropped which ended the Navy's operations for all purposes.
After completing our tour in Japan and another year in the Philippines before being released, I paid little attention to the Navy until the Korean War broke out. At that time I was working for the L S Foreign Service of the U S Dept of State in Finland. Although my position exempted me from being recalled, I volunteered to serve again and soon afterwards received orders to report to the CONY in Norfolk, VA. We sailed shortly afterwards on what turned out to be an around the world cruise. Our Captain was Cmd. Joseph A. Dodson, Jr. who graduated from the U S Naval Academy in the class of 1937. Cdr. Dodson was a native of Maysville, KY and I learned from the Alumni Office at the Academy, he died of natural causes in 1993 at the age of 76 years. During this tour in the years of 1951 - 1952, we had some interesting times. We spent time in Korean waters engaged in normal shore bombardment as directed in support of military operations on shore. Perhaps some of the crew might be attendance who were on the CONY at that time. Undoubtedly they will remember slipping in and out of Wonsan Harbor. Perhaps someone might also remember an unusual assignment we received sometime during the summer months.
We were ordered to assist the U S Marine Corps in an intelligence gathering effort in northern Korean coastal port of Swatow, or something like that. My memory is not so good after 50 years. I am now in my early 80s but certain aspects of that endeavor stand out pretty clear in my memory. We moved in within five miles of the coast and our MWB then undertook to tow two sanpans under the cover of darkness into the beach. Each sanpan held six to eight Marines. One of U S Marines and the other South Korean Marines. As 1st Lt, it was my duty to command the MWB. Accompanying me was our Chief Boatswain Mate, a Radio Operator, a Gunner's Mate and of course, a Coxswain.
We visited the ship's armory before boarding the MWB and armed ourselves as if we were making an invasion. I selected a BAR., Our machine shop outfitted us or with a metal radar reflector so they could direct us by radio into the harbor where we were to let the Marines proceed on their own to do their thing. We were ordered to drop back and await their return from their intelligence gathering mission. As you might imagine, we waited anxiously in the darkness when our radio communications with the Marines was lost. There was some shooting ashore but we were unaware what was happening.
After waiting until almost dawn and with no Marines showing up, we reluctantly begin to move back out to sea hoping not to be discovered by any North Korean patrol boats. Fortunately the CONY moved in to sight soon after sun up and we were picked up. After such a long time awake, we turned in and it was not until sometime that afternoon when I awoke and went out on deck did I learn that we had picked up some of the Marines who had managed to escape after being shot up. Unfortunately three of them were killed Their bodies were brought back aboard the CONY and I remember them being buried at sea. It was quite an impressive ceremony. Overall, our tour in Korean waters was perhaps less exciting than that of other ships but we did what we were ordered to do. Incidentally, I never could figure out why the Navy sent a DDE to Korean waters. Although they had removed our number two 5" gun mount and replaced it with a Weapon "Able" mount, they never provided us with any such rockets. None of us would have known what to do with one even if it was on board because none of us had been trained to operate it. I ended up being the Gunnery Officer so I know what I am writing about.
Finally we were given orders to proceed back to the states via the Mediterranean. I remember that we sailed south after leaving Singapore to cross the Equator. Us "pollywogs" got the royal treatment and it was in keeping with navy traditions with King Neptune being piped aboard. It was all in great fun.' On the way home, we unexpectedly received orders to proceed up into the Persian Gulf. We stopped to take on fuel at Aden, the same spot where a U S Navy ship was bombed two or three years ago. We then proceeded up thru the Straits of Hormuz into the Gulf. We tied up at Bahrain Island, There were two docks that could accommodate four ten thousand ton tankers. Today tankers hold 500 thousand tons! This was at the beginning of the Anglo-Iranian Petroleum Company disagreement. Oil was selling around $5 per barrel. We were the only U S Navy ships available to make a show of strength, There were no U S ships in either the Indians Ocean or elsewhere close by. Goodness knows how many ships we have dispatched to that part of the world since then. I also remember that when we passed thru the Suez Canal we moved thru at about 12 knots-at battle stations! when the usual speed is 3 or 4 knots.(This is to keep from losing the sand and filling in the canal) As I remember, we made stops at Spezia in Italy, Marseille, France and Gibraltar, we made it back to Norfolk in time for Christmas.
1952 The USS Cony won the Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet Effiency "E" in 1952.
Memories of Korea by Wayne Clements. This is how the Cony 'captured' a North Korean and held him as a POW for several days. In the fall of 1952 we were assigned to blockade duty along the East Coast of North Korea. When we left Sasebo for our northern patrol we often had a sampan aboard along with two South Korean officers. Somewhere along the coast at night, under darkened ship conditions, we would stopand lower a motor whaleboat. Theofficers, dressed as peasants, would depart in the whaleboat with an armed crew and their sampan in tow. Obviously their duty was to gather intelligence behind enemy lines. I often wondered if any of them ever made it back toSouth Korea.
Winter comes quickly to Korea and it was probably October when we spotted a sampan several miles off the coast. Weclosed and stopped a few hundfred feet away. A man wearing a loincloth was sitting in the boat and shaking from the cold. Captain Dodson ordered the whaleboat, with an armed crew, lowered for a closer look.There were no mines under the sampan, so our very cold 'captive' was brought aboard and the sampan was sunk.. Our Korean officers questioned him. He was about 14 years old and the only remaining older male in his village. Because food was scarce, he decided to paddle out to sea to die. Fortunately for him, the Cony changed his plans. The whaleboat crew that rescued him"adopted" him. He got woolen blues and joined our mess. I recall that he had never seen an orange and did not know how to peel it. Although we had a huge language barrier, his smiles showed his gratutude. After we put our 'spies' ashore, we had a rendezvous with the cruiser Helena. Our young prisoner of was was high lined to the cruiser and probably ended up in a South Korean POW camp.
1953 - August 27- Captain William Manning relieved by Captain Don Dertien.
CONY underway 16 September for NATO exercise Operation Mariner as part of DesDiv 21. Sept. 29 crossed Arctic Circle in Straits of Denmark; all crew members now "Bluenoses".
1953- Oct. 5: Arrived at Plymouth, England.
October 10:, CONY attached to RN AS School Londonderry, Northern Ireland for joint ASW exercises with RN and RAF.
Nov. 3, Ordered to Sixth Fleet, arriving Suda Bay, Crete. Departing Nov. 4. Attached to Fast Carrier Task Force.
Nov. 4 - Nov. 10 Fleet Exercise.
Nov. 10 - 16, At La Spezia, Italy for shore leave.
Nov. 16 - 21, Fleet Exercise
Nov. 21 - 29, Toulon, France
Nov. 29, at sea enroute Taranto, Italy, for ASW exercises with Italian fleet.
Nov. 30 - Dec. 4, Taranto, Italy
Dec. 5 -10, Naples, Italy
Dec. 10 - 19, Fleet Exercise (December 10, in Gibralter dry dock for repairs to the sonar Dome).
Dec. 19 - 28, shore leave in Golfe Juan, France
Dec. 28 - Jan. 4, 1954 at Leghorn, Italy, for shore leave.
Jan 4 - 8 exercising with Sixth Fleet.
Jan 9 - 18, at Cartagena, Spain.
Jan. 19 - 23, steaming for Trieste.
Jan. 24 enroute Norfolk, with refueling stop at Gibraltar on 29 January.
1954, Feb. 8, Arrived Norfolk.
April 26 - Captain White transferred to CO USN&MC Training Center, Jackson MI.
Note from Roger: Some of the dates and material from the above came from Bob Auchincloss Ensign / LTjg 1953 - 1954.
Message from Robert F. White LCDR 52-53. I have a copy of the CONY's cruise book for the period 9/53 to 2/54. It contains pictures of the crew, by division, and a number of shots taken during the cruise. Would this be of help in any way?
Late 1950's I am including the text from a blog of Si Daugherty LTJG (1958 - 1960) mostly because I have never heard a better or more detailed description of what it is like to have sailed the North Atlantic. Although my period of time was in the early 60's and one time in particular was in the winter time when the deck force had to chip ice off so that we wouldn't become more top heavy. Anyway here is an excerpt from Si's blog.
The Cony was part of what in the late 1950's was called Task Force Alpha. Our squadron would go out to Point Pete in the Atlantic with a carrier and some of our subs (that was Task Force Alpha), winter and summer, calm or storm. We would be on station for two weeks and then be replaced by Task Force Bravo, and then back again to replace them. The point was that we would be in position to intercept Russian submarines should they try to approach. No boomers yet. The early Cold War. We spent our time doing ASW exercises, plane guarding the carrier aircraft, and just plain survivng in the North Atlantic. At that point, we had a couple of nuclear boats but most submarines were diesel pig-boats.
Survivng in the North Atlantic in a smallish sort of ship is an event in itself. I can remember the Cony crawling up one side of a wave. The screws straining to push it up the mountain of water. At the top, the sonar would be out of water and we could hear it scream. Then down the other side. The flat bottom of the bow would slam against the water as she fell forward. As the screws came up out of the water, they would race in the air. And then at the bottom, green water looming overhead and washing over the bridge. We ate sandwiches and drank coffee. Eating at a table was impossible. Normal sleeping meant ending up on the floor. I spread myself out face down on my bunk with my arms and legs spread-eagled as much as I could to keep my center of gravity as low as possible and to hold on in my sleep as best I could. No one ventured outside unless there was an emergency and then only with safety lines. And we survived. Cony did not lose anyone. Mother Nature is a cruel, mean bitch and we beat her.
Plane guarding meant being stationed close in front of and behind the carrier in case an aircraft had to go down in takeoff or landing.
We would replenish our fuel and supplies by high-lining. That meant steaming about ten or twenty feet beside the carrier or a huge transport and pass oil, supplies, people across suspended by a rope. And the ships had to go fast for better stability. Water would race and boil between the ships. I highlined to the carrier one time to go home when our Dan was born. It is a memorable event. The Bos'n thought it amusing to almost dunk the new JG. Great seamanship, no spills and no accidents.
September of 1955 she visited several popular ports while serving in the Mediterranean, and in September and October 1957, joined in NATO antisubmarine exercises in the English Channel.1957 Robert A. Bogardus took Command of the USS Cony. For those from that time period and wondered whatever happened to him, I have found this information.
Click on this link Robert Bogardus Also if you would like to look at a Christmas Dinner Menu for the time period that Commander Bogardus was aboard click on this link Christmas Menu 1958 In April 1958 Cony joined Task Force "ALFA" for operations in improving and developing ASW tactics. She remained with "ALFA" until January 1962 with the exception of shipyard periods and refresher training.7/1/1959 The following is added per Bill McCabe Midshipman on cruise in summer of 1959.7/1/59 - 8/14/59 CONY exercised off the East Coast as part of an ASW task group, participating in NROTC Midshipman Cruise LANTMIDASWEX 3-59.
During this period she made a week port call to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in July and a week port call to Bermuda in early August, berthing at the U.S. Naval Air Station Annex at the southwestern end of the island. During this period her commanding officer was CDR B.E. Glendinning, USN
1956 Newspaper article from 12/16/05 on one of our own USS Cony shipmates Navy Seal Durwood Hunter White SM2 56-59. Click
1/17/1961 THE BAY OF PIGS
1961, an unsuccessful invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles, supported by the U.S. government. On Apr. 17, 1961, an armed force of about 1,500 Cuban exiles landed in the Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) on the south coast of Cuba. Trained since May, 1960, in Guatemala by members of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with the approval of the Eisenhower administration, and supplied with arms by the U.S. government, the rebels intended to foment an insurrection in Cuba and overthrow the Communist regime of Fidel Castro. The Cuban army easily defeated the rebels and by Apr. 20, most were either killed or captured. The invasion provoked anti-U.S. demonstrations in Latin America and Europe and further embittered U.S.-Cuban relations. Poorly planned and executed, the invasion subjected President Kennedy to severe criticism at home. Cuban exile leader José Miró Cardona, president of the U.S.-based National Revolutionary Council, blamed the failure on the CIA and the refusal of Kennedy to authorize air support for the invasion. In Dec., 1962, Castro released 1,113 captured rebels in exchange for $53 million in food and medicine raised by private donations in the United States.
The U.S. Navy Memorial Log Entry for David A. Barker
Since 1977, I have represented veterans in their claims before the Department of Veteran Affairs.
To lesser extent, the Social Security Administration, the military and naval services.
As most sailors, my Navy experience will live with me throughout my lifetime. In my experience as a Veterans Service Officer, I do realize we have a tendency to remember the best of times and forget those days of struggle and woe.
I wish to leave my thoughts of our involvement in the infamous Bay of Pigs, Cuba incident. I served aboard the USS Cony DDE 508. We were one of seven destroyers of DESRON 28, Task Group Alpha serving with the USS Essex CV-9 and the USS San Marcos LSD-25, in the actual waters off the coast of southern Cuba. The event was from Monday, April 17th to Friday April 21, 1961. But not just another workweek.
To see history of Desron 28 click Here.
This story is true; but it almost falls into a "sea story" category. We were not given any indication, of any change in our normal "out to sea" for ASW exercises. We all expected to be out for our normal two weeks and return for two weeks in port. As our DESRON was two in two out. When the ship Quartermasters were ordered to no longer log our position and no longer to use the sextant. We all became suspicious.
Our Captain (CDR. Frank Dunham) who with our XO (Lt. Jack Wilson) did all of the readings and logs. None of the crew had access to any logs or equipment to allow us to figure out where we were. We did know for sure we were not in our usual patrol areas and it was getting hot, in temperature as well as pressure. Neither the Captain nor the XO spoke of what was going on. When we asked we only received a smile. Fortunately for the Cony sailors we had two outstanding leaders, both were very crew oriented. The smiles were seemingly sincere; but we understood.
The seven destroyers were chosen to go into the bay , they were the Bache, Beale, Cony, Conway, Eaton, Murray and the Waller. The Essex and San Marcos remained further at sea. At this time, I was a leading seaman and in charge of the side cleaners. We were instructed to go over the side and paint off the five of our hull number. We became the 08 rather than 508. We then painted off the name Cony on the stern. Then our Commission pennant and U.S. Flag were removed; there was no longer any question of what we were going to do. We still didn't know where or why. We had unknown (to us) civilians come aboard, VIA our motor whaleboat. Although I was a member of the boat crew, we were not to speak to them at any time, for any reason.
As documented by author Peter Wyden in his book THE BAY OF PIGS, THE UNTOLD STORY (Simon & Schuster 1978), our ships did meet some resistance. It is further documented in the VFW Magazine (September 1993), "a whaleboat carrying sailors heavily armed with Browning automatic rifles, from the Cony, was beached at one stage. While rescuing Brigade survivors, it was fired on by a Cuban helicopter." Actual small arms fire struck the Cony. A round from a Cuban artillery piece was fired over the bow of at least one of the destroyers. We went to GQ. It seemed as if GQ lasted for the entire five days, but I am sure we had breaks in the time or at least went to a relaxed battle condition.
Several times during the invasion we were certain we were at war with Cuba. However we were unaware that the President of the United States had altered the plans of the invasion. Of course we sailors, other than the Captain and XO had no idea of where we were, or what we were doing. In an amusing fact, it is a lot of what we experience today, from the layman's perspective. While underway to our port, we were instructed by the Captain, not to discuss any event we had observed or heard about. After our return to port, one of the crew members of the USS Conway had written a poem of the Bay of Pigs, the poem was briskly distributed throughout the DESRON and retrieved just about as quick. We were again instructed not to discuss the events with anyone.
When I first read the book BAY OF PIGS: THE UNTOLD STORY, I called Captain Dunham and asked him if we could finally discuss that event. The skipper told me we were now declassified and could tell the world. For the first time in my life in 1978 I told family and friends, not one seemed impressed at all. Too little, too late.
Wayne: I have more good news for you. Besides every Cony sailor in the Bay of Pigs earning the Navy Expedition Medal. Your records were not burned in the fire in St. Louis unless you joined either the Army or Air Force. There indeed was a fire at the National Personnel Record Center in 1973.
Many Army and Air Force records were burned. However many were reconstructed and many were not damaged severely.
There were no Navy, USMC or Coast Guard records involved. Now you may ask how do I know these facts. In the past 25 years I have represented multiple thousands of veterans in their claims with the VA and fortunately with a very high success rate. We assist veterans in obtaining their rightful entitlements and benefits from the VA, military and naval services.
I have authored three books in the Library of Congress they are: In Search of the Truth for Vietnam Veterans, The Combat Veteran From World War II to the Present and Desert Storm the Untold Story. The first two are supposed to go on the Ohio AMVETS web site in the near future. However they are free to anyone who requests copies. The first two listed are over 165,000 each distributed over the past ten years.
Formerly I was employed by the Veterans Service Commission in Columbus Ohio.
I served as the Senior Veterans Service Officer until I retired. Our main thrust was assisting veterans in VA benefits and Social Security. Prior to my moving to the AMVETS (American Veterans). many veterans came to me to assist them in discharge upgrades and correction to military records. Now the AMVETS do not do discharge upgrades; but, we do assist veterans in correcting their military and naval records. The AMVETS do not do Social Security hearings either, as we do not have the time required. I think the Bay of Pigs is an issue beyond comprehension for nearly all other veterans, as they are all stuck in their own grooves and do not realize what affects them today is what we did in April 1961. We were the very first American force to walk (steam) away and leave our souls behind. When we were ordered to leave the Bay of Pigs and leave behind the Brigade 2506 we had been committed to those fine people. If you recall we were all upset and bothered by those tragic events. Remember the poem from the Conway about the Bay of Pigs? It did not take the Skipper long to get those out of circulation! Remember when a GM# on our ship talked about it while in a bar on the beach and the SP's brought him back? Spooky. We were the first of the modern day to do a spook operation.
This set the stage for Vietnam, commit, fight and leave unfinished. This in no way can be blamed on any of us that were in the Bay of Pigs; or our commanding officers; this is the responsibility of the same man who led us into the depths of Vietnam. Mr. Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense, who called off the air support AFTER we had had already gone into the total support of Brigade 2506. We even had leaders of the Brigade on the Cony. Gunners Mate Stokes and others cleaned their weapons. We carried them on our 26' motor whale boat like a taxi service and then left them stranded,
based on Mr McNamara's change of mind after the event was totally in motion. If you want to place a face to my name go into the Navy Memorial on line, it is: lonesailor.org then go to the Nay Log and type in Barker, David there are two listed at this time, my middle initial is A. My comments of the Bay of Pigs are recorded on that site as well.
If I can be of assistance to you or any other Cony sailor from any period I will do all within my ability to assist. We are really brothers to the highest degree possible in my book! If you wish to share this with any Cony sailor feel free to do so.
Sincerely, David A. Barker 59-61
4/10/1961 From Tin Can Sailors website on Bay of Pigs Invasion and Cuban Missile Crisis:
You may be eligible for a medal if you participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Check it out http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq90-3.htm2/2/1962 Cdr. William H. Morgan assumed command of the USS Cony.
At the time Capt. Morgan assumed command, the Cony had 15 Officers and 240 Enlisted.6/30/1962 This is one of Captain Morgans Conygrams that he so graciously sent to family members of the Conymen donated by Gary Weaver SM3 1961-1964. Thank you Gary.
To see the Conygram
Click here to see just what the Russians were planning and how close we came to disaster.
10/27/1962 The Cuban Missile Crisis
The following is from the book "October Fury" published 2002 by CAPTAIN PETER A. HUCHTHAUSEN, U.S. Navy (Retired), served as Electronics Materials Officer and a watch officer aboard the USS Blandy when it took part in the blockade of Cuba in 1962, mere months after his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. In a distinguished career, Captain Huchthausen served as a Soviet naval analyst and as a naval attaché in Yugoslavia, Romania, and Moscow, where he met Russian submariners who had been involved in the Cuban encounter at sea. He is now a consultant and writer living in Maine.
The following is a quote from USS Cony shipmate Phil Michel SM3 63-64 in an email to me referring to the grenades dropped on Russian Sub B-59
Roger, I don't remember all the details but I will attempt to put together a few of the pieces.
The following is from Robert Barry LTJG 1963-1965 and his account from the years he was on the Cony. Thanks Bob
Robert W. Barry Chronology:
09-12 Jul: VaCapes Ops
29-13 Jul: Vacapes Ops
07 Aug-09 Sep: N.Atlantic Ops
10-12 Aug: moored in Bermuda
20-31 Aug: moored at Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Is., Azores
27-30 Sep: VaCapes Ops
08-12 Oct: VaCapes Ops
13-14 Oct: VaCapes Ops
15-17 Oct: VaCapes Ops
28-30 Oct: VaCapes Ops *****note: TDY ashore 12 Nov 1963-20 Feb 1964 1964:
24-26 Feb: VaCapes Ops
02-06 Mar: Chesapeake Bay Ops
09-28 Mar: Caribbean Ops
12-16 Mar: moored in San Juan, P.R.
20-22 Mar: anchored at St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
07-16 Apr: Onslow Bay Ops
05-15 May: VaCapes Ops
03 Jun-24 Jul: North Atlantic Cruise
18-25 Jun: moored at Cherbourg, France
* I remember in Cherbourg an open house day on the ship, and we got
about 8 visitors, of whom four came from the USS Little Rock moored nearby.
These were the days when the French president was DeGaulle.
29 Jun-03 Jul: moored at Copenhagen, Denmark
* I remember in Copenhagen an open house day on the ship, and we got
literally thousands of people coming aboard. It was the same in Aalborg.
03-06 Jul: moored at Aalborg, Denmark
09-13 Jul: anchored at Portland, England
* At Portland the Brits wanted to employ some men running shuttle boats,
so we anchored instead of moored. Hence, there was no open house there.
01 Sep-08 Oct: Key West & Guantanamo Bay Ops
03-15 Sep: moored at Key West; day exercises
22-23 Sep: moored at Key West
26 Sep-05 Oct: moored at Guantanamo Bay; day exercises
19-30 Oct: West Atlantic Ops
21-22 Oct: anchored at Bloodsworth Is., Chesapeake Bay
23-26 Oct: moored at Pier 40, New York City
23-25 Nov: VaCapes Ops
30 Nov-04 Dec: Naragansett Bay Ops (foul winter weather)*****
07 Jan-07 Feb: Caribbean Ops
12 Jan: moored at St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
13-14 Jan: anchored at Frederiksted, St. Croix, U.S.V.I.
14 Jan: anchored at St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
15-18 Jan: anchored at St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
18 Jan: anchored at St. Croix, U.S.V.I.
20 Jan: anchored at St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
22-25 Jan: moored at St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
29 Jan-04 Feb: moored at San Juan, P.R.
08 Mar-10 Apr: N.Atlantic Ops in support of Project Gemini launch
(went 32 days without seeing another USN ship)
10 Mar: moored at Bermuda
19-22 Mar: moored at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
23 Mar: Gemini launched; our mission completed after six minutes of flight
25-30 Mar: moored at Lisbon, Portugal
01 Apr: moored at Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Is., Azores
07-08 Apr: moored at Bermuda
19-23 Apr: VaCapes Ops
06-07 May: anchored in Hampton Roads to off-load ammunition and fuel
01 Jun: towed from D&S Piers to NNSY
22 Jun: towed into NNSY drydock
Sept. 1966 - June 1969 (The following is an account of
Frank Getz for his years on the Cony)
I was onboard CONY from Sep 1966 – Jun 1969 (decommissioning).
My Navy career started while she was moored in Norfolk. I went thru boot camp in Great Lakes, IL and traveled to Norfolk via train.
Upon arriving at the D&S piers, CONY was moored outboard USS CONWAY (DD-507). Being brand new at this, I went onboard CONWAY, the watch checked my orders and called for the duty YN to check me in. Well, I followed him to the forecastle, put my loaded seabag thru a hatch and went down 3 levels. He showed me my bunk and locker and departed. I started to unload my seabag into a locker. I was about finished when he came back again and said hey, you are onboard the wrong ship. You are ordered to the CONY who is moored outboard us. I loaded back up and proceeded to the CONY quarterdeck. That’s the way my career started on CONY and the Navy.
I was assigned to the deck force, as all new sailors were. In 5 July 1967 we left port for a deployment to Vietnam. I was assigned as the Captain’s phone talker (CAPT William P. St. Lawrence) on the bridge. Well, as all the other squadron ships left port, we backed out into the channel and lost all power. They had to bring tugs alongside to hold us steady for 3 hours before we got power back. The other squadron ships waited in the Chesapeake Bay for us. We finally met up with them and we were on our way to WESTPAC.
During our deployment I was assigned to gun mount 51 where I placed explosive powder into the ram for firing. While moored in Subic Bay, Philippines Petty Officer John Ferrara (EM2) was electrocuted. That was a sad day. After doing our job in Vietnam we proceeded home. We had two January 1st as we spent the day on Midway Island, with just the gooney birds. We arrived home in early 1968.
Upon return to Norfolk, we were put into reserve status. We made local deployments while embarking various reserve units and changed homeport to Philadelphia, PA until decommissioning in 1969. I was decommissioning Yeoman and as such prepared and took the final diary to the post office.
Upon leaving CONY, after 3 years onboard, I was assigned to another destroyer. Following this assignment in 1970 I went to the USS ACCOKEEK (ATA-181) (ocean going tug). ACCOKEEK (strangely enough) was ultimately assigned the task of going to Philadelphia, towing CONY to the Caribbean and ultimately fired upon and sunk by other naval forces to be part of a natural ocean reef.
YNCS Frank Getz, USN (Ret.)
Jun ‘66 – Sep ‘89
1969 ---- Matt Donahue, BT3, 68-69 mentions that a bent shaft kept Cony pierside in Philadelphia during her final months. He was part of the skeleton crew of approximately 35 men that were assigned to clean up the ship for decommissioning. They worked on the ship during the day and bunked in the shipyard barracks at night. The ship was turned over to reservists on the weekends for training purposes, so the decommissioning crew had weekends off. He referred to it as ―good duty.
7/2/1969 Cony Decomissioned per Terry Woods FTG3 68-69 and Stephen Turi ENS 1969 3/20/1970 Cony Sunk . The following description of the Cony's demise from "The Gator News April 10, 1970" published from Little Creek, VA, was donated by Earl Boyer who was an IC-2 on board the USS Plymouth Rock LSD-29 from 2/70 to 12/71.
An Atlantic Fleet amphibious task force blasted the former U.S. World War II destroyer Cony to the bottom of the Caribbean waters March 20, 1970.
The 2100-ton destroyer was the victim of a "one-sided" gun shoot.
The amphibious ships downed the ex-Cony 60 miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. The destroyer had been towed the by the fleet tug Luiseno.
Under the command of Rear Admiral Philip A. Beshany, Commander Amphibious Group Four, the amphibious cargo ships Charleston and Rankin, the dock landing ships Hermitage and Plymouth Rock, and the Walworth County formed a column astern of Admiral Beshany's flagship, the amphibious transport Francis Marion, to take the Cony under fire as soon as the tug slipped the tow line.
When the command "batteries released" was given by the admiral, the Cony was immediately engulfed in a hail of projectiles as the Francis Marion led the column into firing position.
Even the Luiseno eased into the column to contribute her bit from her single three-inch mount.
As the column completed its initial firing pass, Cony began listing heavily to starboard and seas began breaking over her forward five-inch mount. Before the formation could be repositioned, the destroyer heeled over to starboard, dipped her mast into the blue waters, majestically began a dive to the depths of the sea.
As the formation passed the last position of the sunken ship, taps and "attention to starboard" were sounded in tribute to the proud man-of-war, which served for a time as flagship for Rear Admiral T. E. Wilkinson, Commander Third Amphibious Force, during World War II.
From Admin COMASWFORLANT: It was addressed to a number of interested parties including the attachment of ships actually involved in the sinking.
"The imminent sinking of “our” ship brings to mind the pride and fond memories we have for this valiant greyhound. As you go about your notable task, we would have you remember the many fine men who sailed the good ship Cony and view your task as far more than a gunnery exercise. Sink her fast for that is the only speed she knew, and salute her stout hull as she finds her grave. Signed by former Commanding officers of the Fletcher number 508
Capt. F.C. Durham
Capt. K. R. Thiele
Cdr. W.P. St. Lawrence
Cdr. P. Smith
When the Cony DIDN'T sink! As a little trivia I am including an excerpt from a "Naval Message" to the CNO from CINCLANTFLT that was issued on Feb. 20th, 1970 about the day before (Feb. 19th, 1970) when they were going to sink the Cony.
Units assigned rendezvoused in Vacapes Oparea 9 at 190700 Feb. 70 (Feb. 20th 1970 at 0700 hours). 25-30 kt winds and 8-10 ft. seas precluded boat transver of UDT PERS to ex-Cony to emplace charges, however, decision made to conduct exercises without charge emplacement,. USS Utina made preparations and commenced ops to disconnect ex-Cony. Heavy rolling and yawing of ex-Cony caused tow wire to knock CWO Walter J. Stansell overboard from Utina. Man Recovered by USS Chilton. Man uninjured but cold. Utina Recommended cease efforts to disconnect tow. Cancelled exercise at this point.