History Podcasts

Wedderburn DD- 684 - History

Wedderburn DD- 684 - History


(DD-684: dp. 2,050; 1. 376'5", b. 39'7", dr. 17'9";s. 35.2 k. (tl.), cpl. 329, a. 5 5", 10 40mm., 7 20mm.,10 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct., cl. Fletcher)

Wedderburn (DD-684) was laid down on 10 January 1943 at San Francisco, Calif., by the Bethlehem Steel Co.; launched on 1 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Gertrude F. Wedderburn; and commissioned on 9 March 1944, Comdr. John L. Wilfong in command.

Following shakedown training along the west coast and post-shakedown availability back at the Bethlehem Steel Co., Wedderburn departed San Francisco on 21 June in company with Fieberling (DE-640). The two warships arrived in Pearl Harbor six days later, and Wedderburn joined Task Unit (TU) 19.3.2 with which she served briefly on plane guard and antisubmarine duty. On 1 July, the destroyer continued her voyage west to Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands where she jomed Task Force (TF) 53 for the second assault of the Marianas operation, Guam.

She stood out of Eniwetok on 17 July in company with Task Group ( TG) 53.4, the Southern Transport Group. She arrived off Guam on 22 July, the day after the initial assault on that island and, for the next three weeks, performed yeoman service protecting the invasion fleet—upon which the battle ashore depended— from the threat of Japanese submarine attack. Her service in the Marianas ended on 10 August when she shaped a course back to Eniwetok.

Wedderburn reentered the lagoon at Eniwetok on 14 August. There, she was reassigned to the antisubmarine screen of a fast carrier task group, TG 38.2, built around Intrepid (CV-11), Hancock (CV-19), Bunker Hill (CV-17), Cabot (CVL-28), and Independence (CVL-22). She sailed from Eniwetok on 29 August in company with the entire fast carrier task force to conduct a major sweep of Japanese-held islands including the Philippines, the Palaus, and Yap Island. Wedderburn screened the carrier from enemy submarine attacks while they sent their planes against targets on Mindanao and Leyte and, later, the Visayas sub-group. They also provided initial aerial bombardment for the Palau invasion and for the Morotai operation. Those missions took up almost the entire month of September, and the destroyer did not enter a "port" until the 28th when TG 38.2 arrived at Saipan. On 1 October, she and TG 88.2 moved on to recently captured Ulithi where the ships arrived the next day. Wedderburn, however, soon returned to sea. Task Force 38 rendezvoused about 375 miles west of the Marianas on 7 October to open the preliminaries to the invasion of Leyte. Wedderburn continued her antisubmarine vigil while the carriers she protected launched their aircraft first against Okinawa, then Formosa, and finally Philippine targets, striking enemy air bases on Luzon and the Visayas to give the United States dominance in the air over Leyte when the invasion began on 20 October.

Wedderburn continued to guard the fast carriers while they operated off the northeastern shore of Luzon providing distant air support for the Leyte invasion. By the 24th, it had become apparent that the Japanese planned to dispute the landing with some variety of naval force. The result was the four-phase Battle for Leyte Gulf. That same day, planes from Wedderbury protected carriers opened the battle striking at the enemy's Center Force, commanded by Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita—while it traversed the Sibuyan Sea toward the San Bernardino Strait. Late that evening, after having sunk battleship Musashi and damaged other Japanese ships, the fast carriers raced northward to take the bait offered by a force of almost planeless aircraft carriers which Vice Admiral Ozawa was using as a decoy force. Thus, Wedderburn was far north when the Surigao Strait and Samar phases were fought on the night of 24 and 25 October and the morning of the 25th, respectively. Instead, she participated in the final phase of the battle, against Ozawa's force, though her role remained one of support for the carriers—whose planes did most of the damage—which she screened against submarine attack while she rescued their downed aviators.

After the Battle for Leyte Gulf, the destroyer continued to operate off Luzon with TG 38.2 while the carriers'planes provided additional air cover for the troops fighting to capture Leyte. That duty lasted until 5 November when engine trouble forced her to set a course for Ulithi. The warship arrived at that advanced base on 10 November, quickly completed repairs, and rejoined TG 38.2 off Luzon just after mid-month. Her return however, proved brief; for, on 23 November, she received orders to return to Ulithi to join TG 38.1. At Ulithi, she conducted exercises until 10 December when she departed the atoll with TG 38.1 to support the landings on Mindoro. During that operation, TF 38 passed through the infamous typhoon of December 1944 which damaged many ships in the force and sank three. Wedderburn, however, suffered only minor damage and participated in the search for survivors of Hull (DD-350), Monaghan (DD-354), and Spenee (DD-513) though she did not engage in any actual rescue operations. The damage caused by the typhoon necessitated a return to Ulithi for repairs. The destroyer and the other ships of TF 38 entered the lagoon on Christmas Eve and remained there six days, resuming operations on 30 December 1944.

The return to sea brought TF 38 into active participation in support of the Luzon invasion of Lingayen. The fast carIrers sought to keep Japanese reinforcements—airborne, naval, and land—from entering the fray against the invading forces by keeping enemy airpower grounded and by sinking as much of his shipping as possible. Thus, Wedderburn resumed her role as guardian of the carriers while their planes made up the offensive arm of the 3d Fleet. On 3 and 4 January 1945 fast carrier aircraft hit air installations and shipping at Formosa and Okinawa. They went after targets on Luzon itself on the 6th and 7th and, on the day of the initial landings, the 9th, returned to Formosa for air suppression duty while troops were going ashore. Following that assignment, she moved through Bashi Channel with TF 38 for two weeks of air raids on Japaneseheld southern China and French Indochina which included an antishipping sweep of the South China Sea. On the return voyage, TF 38 planes struck at the Nansei Shoto, a group of islands near Okinawa, on the 21st and 22d before reentering Ulithi Lagoon on the 25th.

Soon thereafter, the 3d Fleet became the 5th Fleet when Admiral Raymond A. Spruance relieved Admiral William F. Halsey. The change in designation reflected change of command only, and all else remained substantially as it was. Wedderburn continued to provide antisubmarine protection for her task group, redesignated TG 58.2. Early on 10 February, the fast carriers again stood out of Ulithi to provide air support for the assault on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands. On 16 February they launched planes for a strike against air installations around Tokyo, the first air raid on the Japanese capital since 1942 when the Fast Carrier Task Force commander, Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher—then captain of Hornet (CV-8)—launched Lt. Col. James Doolittle's B-25 bombers on their famous raid. During the current two-day attack, the American planes made 138 sorties in which their pilots claimed to have sunk three picket boats and an escort carrier as well as to have destroyed over 700 enemy aircraft. Following the raid Wedderburn escorted the carriers south to Iwo Jima where she participated in shore bombardments and patrolled against submarines in TF 51's transport area. On 23 February, she departed Iwo Jima and rejoined TG 58.2 as it headed off north with the rest of TF 58 for another round of strikes on the Japanese home islands. Foul weather, however, forced the cancellation of those strikes; and, after a refuelling rendezvous, the carriers and their escorts reentered the lagoon at Ulithi on 4 March.

After 10 days of refueling, rearming, and repairing, TF 58 left Ulithi and shaped a course for Japan. Their first targets were the airfields on Kyushu, located within striking range of Okinawa, the 5th Fleet's next objective. The carriers launched planes on 18 March, but the enemy struck back with fighters, bombers, and kamikazes. In the ensuing battle, near misses damaged Enterprise (CV-6), Yorktown (CV-10), and Intrepid (CV-11). The next day, Franklin (CV-13) received a direct bomb hit, and the enemy scored one on Wasp (CV-18) as well. However, on a more positive side, Wedderbury gunners claimed two of the attacking enemy planes. After TF 58 sustained the damage of 18 and 19 March, it was reorganized somewhat. Wedderburn's TG 58.2 became a task group made up of damaged carriers Enterprise, Franklin, and Wasp, and gave up a number of its screening units to the similarly reformed TG 58.1.

Wedderburn was one of those escorts so reassigned and consequently remained with TF 58 while the task group of cripples retired to base. She continued to screen the carriers as they launched air strikes on Okinawa during the last week in March and the week following the 1 April landings. Throughout the entire period, the Japanese launched air attacks at them incessantly.

It was not until the 6th, however, that sighting reports made it apparent that the enemy planned a suicidal surface attack with the remnants of their fleet. Superbattleship Yamato, screened by a cruiser and eight destroyers, started south to contest the landings. The fast carriers continued to steam on station off Okinawa protected by Wedderburn and her colleagues but, on 7 April, launched a series of search and attack sorties which ultimately sent the mighty Japanese battleship to the bottom along with light cruiser Yahagi and four of the escorting destroyers.

After that scrape, TF 58 concentrated its efforts on supporting the troops ashore and defending itself and the invasion force from the final onslaught of Japanese air power. Wedderburn remained in the vicinity of the Ryukyu Islands for another 20 days until TG 58.1 headed for Ulithi on 27 April. On 18 May, the destroyer departed Ulithi to escort Missouri (BB-63) to Guam to pick up Admiral William F. Halsey who was scheduled to take command of the naval forces off Okinawa later that month. She then escorted Missouri back to the Ryukyus and reentered the fray at Okinawa at the beginning of the final week of May.

Halsey took over from Spruance on 27 May; and— now that Admiral Halsey was back in overall command —Wedderburn and her associates became units of the 3d rather than of the 5th Fleet. For the remainder of World War II, she screened various task groups of TF 38 first while they continued support for the Okinawa operation and, later that summer, when they went on their final rampage in the Japanese home islands. The Japanese capitulation on 15 August found her in the screen of TG 38.4 while the carriers were preparing for yet another air strike—one which they did not launch.

Immediately following the war, the destroyer served with the occupation forces around Tokyo Bay, escorting Japanese merchant ships, supervising mine clearing operations, and making hydrographic surveys. On 31 October, she shaped a course back to the United States. After a stop at Pearl Harbor from 9 to 13 November, she resumed her voyage and arrived at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 19 November. Following repairs at Puget Sound, she was placed out of commission in March 1946 and was berthed at San Diego.

However, in August of the same year, she returned to semi-activity when she began training naval reservists until 21 November 1950 when she was recommissioned, Comdr. Richard B. Franklin in command.

The newly recommissioned destroyer joined the Pacific Fleet Destroyer Force in January 1951; completed her reactivation work at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, and, in May, finished underway training. On 18 June, she departed the west coast for her first tour of duty in the Korean conflict. Though assigned operationally to the Blockading and Escort Force (TF 95), she also served periodically as a plane guard for the fastcarriers of TF 77 as well as on the Taiwan Strait patrol (TF 72). For the most part, though, her duties consisted of blockading the coastline of Korea and providing gunfire support for the United Nations troops operating ashore. She concluded her first tour of duty in the Far East with the Taiwan Strait patrol and returned to the United States in February 1952.

After an overhaul at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard and several weeks of training, the warship headed back to Korea in August 1952. Once again, she divided her time between blockading and gunfire support missions along the Korean coast and escort duty with the fast carriers as well as short periods with the Taiwan Strait patrol. Wedderburn concluded her second Korean War deployment and returned to San Diego in March 1953.

During the next seven months, the destroyer conducted normal west coast operations out of San Diego. The Korean conflict ended with the armistice of 27 July 1953 right near the mid-point of Wedderburr''s seven months of 1st Fleet operations. When she returned to the Far East in October, she began the first essentially peacetime deployment of her career.

In the decade between 1954 and 1964, the warship continued to alternate deployments to the western Pacific with tours of duty along the coast of southern California. For the most part, the seven tours she made to the Far East consisted of port visits and training exercises. During the 1958 deployment, she visited Sydney, Australia, in addition to her usual ports of call farther north and participated in the multinational SEATO exercise, Operation "Ocean Link." That deployment also saw her on patrol in the Taiwan Strait during the American show of force over the Quemoy and Matsu bombardment by the Chinese communists. The remainder of her deployments were more routine in nature consisting of plane guard duty with TF 77, port visits, training exercises, and periods of time with the Taiwan Strait patrol. When not in the Orient, she conducted type training, upkeep, and periodic overhauls on the west coast.

The warship departed San Diego on 5 August 1964 to begin her 11th deployment to the Far East. Four days before, the Gulf of Tonkin incident occurred, signalling a stepped-up American involvement in the strife in South Vietnam. That involvement dictated the nature of Wedderburn's 7th Fleet assignments for the remainder of her active career. During the fall of 1964 she operated off the Vietnamese coast as plane guard and escort for TF 77, duplicating her service during World War II and the Korean War. She also provided sporadic gunfire support for units ashore in the Mekong Delta area. She departed the newly established combat zone in November for a SEATO weapons demonstration and then put into Subic Bay in the Philippines for up keep.

After Christmas liberty at Yokosuka, Japan, she returned to active operations in the South China Sea in January 1965. At the conclusion of that duty, late in the month, she set course for home, arriving in San Diego on 6 February. She spent the remainder of 1965 in the eastern Pacific. After a month of post-deployment standdown followed by four weeks of local operations out of San Diego, she entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for a month-long availability. In June and July, she embarked NROTC midshipmen for their summer cruise, during which she visited San Francisco and the islands of Kauai and Oahu in Hawaii. Returning to San Diego on 4 August, the warship conducted three weeks of repairs and then resumed training operations which continued until she began preparations for another Far Eastern cruise in November.

On 7 January 1966, Wedderburn departed San Diego in company with Worden (DLG-18), Richard B. Anderson (DD-786), and Bau~ell (DD-845). After stops at Oahu, Midway, and Guam, she arrived in Subic Bay on 28 January. On 1 February, she headed for the South China Sea where she became a unit of TG 77.5 and served as escort and plane guard for the carriers until 28 February. Following a brief return to Subic Bay, she visited Sasebo, Japan, and Okinawa early in March. She returned to the Vietnam combat zone on 12 March as a unit of TG 77.7 and again served as escort and plane guard for carriers conducting air strikes in North Vietnam. She continued in that role until 2 April when she was detached and reassigned to TU 70.8.9 to conduct gunfire support missions near Danang and Quang Tri On the 6th, the warship resumed her former assignment with TG 77.7. On 24 April, she joined a different unit, TU 77.0.3, to conduct trawler surveillance in the Gulf of Tonkin. On 2 May, she returned to gunfire support duty, this time near Chu Lai, until 8 May. On that day, the destroyer resumed duty with TF 77 as a search and rescue (SAR) vessel on the southern SAR station. On 15 May, she concluded her last combat assignment of the 1966 deployment. After a week's liberty call at Hong Kong and repairs at Yokosuka, Wedderburn headed home on 3 June and arrived in San Diego 10 days later. Following local operations, the destroyer entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard on 11 August for a three-month overhaul. She completed sea trials on 20 November and resumed normal operations on the 21st.

During the first two months of 1967, Wedderburn conducted extensive refresher training exercises and, during March and early April, made preparations for overseas movement. On 8 April, she stood out of San Diego once more in company with Worden, Brush (DD-745), and Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729). She stopped at Pearl Harbor from 14 to 17 April and arrived in Yokosuka on the 27th. Three days later, she got underway for Okinawa whence she continued on to Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin where she conducted plane guard duty with TG 77.6. Five days later, she shifted to shore bombardment duty near the demilitarized zone (DMZ). That assignment lasted until 27 May when

She made repairs and embarked two NROTC midshipmen and then departed the Philippines on 10 June to return to the Gulf of Tonkin. There, she divided her time between plane guard duty for Hancock (CVA-19) and ASW exercises with Bronstein (DE-1037) and Catfish (SS-339). She visited Kaohsiung, Taiwan, from 25 June to 10 July and underwent repairs alongside Delta (AR-9). On her return to the coast of Vietnam, she rejoined TU 70.8.9 for a series of gunfire support missions in the I Corps zone of operations. Her guns helped the marines ashore complete Operation "Bear Chain," an amphibious assault by Special Landing Force "Bravo" near Quang Tri City. On 21 July, she headed back to Subic Bay for a week of repairs and upkeep.

She did not return to the Vietnamese coast for a month due to repairs to her evaporator system. However, on 20 August, she headed back to the combat zone where, on the 22d, she resumed gunfire support duty for troops in the II Corps zone. Relieved by Eaton (DD-610) on 26 August, she rejoined TF 77 in the Gulf of Tonkin and served as escort for the carriers until 3 September. She departed the Gulf of Tonkin late on the 3d and shaped a course for Okinawa, arriving there on the 7th. From there, she moved on to Yokosuka for a 10-day layover before getting underway for home on the 21st. Wedderburn reached San Diego on 6 October and began the normal post-deployment standdown. In mid November, she resumed normal operations in the southern California operating area. That routine continued until she began repairs at Long Beach on 19 April 1968. She returned to San Diego on 24 May and resumed normal operations out of her home port.

Wedderburn embarked upon the final western Pacific deployment of her career on 30 September. Steaming in company with Hornet (CVS-12), she stopped at Oahu for nine days in mid-October and then continued her voyage to Yokosuka, where she arrived on the 27th. On the 30th, she accompanied Hornet out of Yokosuka, and together, they laid course for the Tonkin Gulf. They arrived in the gulf on 3 November; but, two days later, Wedderburn became an escort for Constellation (CVA64) for two days. After that, she rejoined her old colleague, Hancock. On 17 November, a recurring sonar problem forced the destroyer to head for Subic Bay, where she remained until 9 December. She returned to duty in the Tonkin Gulf on 11 December but remained on station only until the 31st when steam leaks forced her back to Subic Bay.

She completed repairs late in January 1969 and returned to the combat zone soon thereafter. The warship remained on station, dividing her time between gunfire support, carrier escort, and Soviet trawler surveillance, until mid March. After a brief return to Subic Bay, she began her final tour of duty on the gunline on 22 March. Wedderburn served as a gunfire support ship for about a month before beginning her homeward voyage on 20 April. En route, she made stops at Yokosuka, Japan, and Buckner Bay, Okinawa; and arrived back in San Diego on 12 May. She remained in port throughout the summer of 1969 due to a casualty to her propulsion plant and, in September, received word that she was going to be decommissioned. On 1 October 1969, Wedderburn was placed out of commission at San Diego, and her name was struck from the Navy list. On 25 January 1972, she was sold to Dhon's Iron & Steel Co., Ltd., for scrapping.

Wedderburn earned seven battle stars for World War II service, four battle stars for Korean War service, and six battle stars for service in the Vietnam conflict.

Welcome to the USS Wedderburn DD-684 Guestbook Forum

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louis a buikema
Years Served: 1943-1946
My dad served as a Gunners Mate/Signalman in the
Pacific Ocean on the Destroyer U.S.S. Wederburn DD684, Group Task Force 38,
under command of Amdiral (Bull) Halsey and Admiral John McCain. He
would love to hear from anyone that served during this time.

Years Served: 1965 - 1968
I was in B division worked in both fire rooms lots of good times while aboard the Weedburner both while in the states and while in Westpac

Joel Severance
Years Served: 1966 - 1967
West Pac 1967. Served as Yeoman and #1-5 gun mount powder handler. Also during GQ as the Gun Boss phone talker. positioned on top of the bridge.

john eichler
Years Served: 1961
I was a Radioman 2/c on the Wedderburn in 1961. Love to hear from old shipmates.

Robert (Bob) Lininger
Years Served: 1958-1960
I was the ships barber aboard the Wedderburn from 1958 thru 1960, the ship made 2 trips to wespac during that time, My nickname was (daddylin), anyone serving during that time and would like to contact me my e-mail address is [email protected]

Kelly Jarboe
Years Served: 1959-1961
I reported aboard Dec. 59, was assigned to Aft. Fire room, Then Mess Cook then Fwd. Eng Room, Left the Wedderburn in 61 for Machinery Repairman Class A School in 61.

Contact Information: [email protected]

Robert (Bob) Wilks
Years Served: 1965-1969
Many good memories of Westpac and the old Wedderburn crew. I wonder how many remember the time that the ship rammed us from behind at the dock in Hawaii.I was a DC2 ad was released from the ship in the Philippines just before the final return to the states.My email is [email protected] or thru my web page which is erweartech.com. Haven't heard from anyone in years. Good luck to all.I would like to hit one of the reunions some time.

Legrand Lanier
Years Served: 68-69
I met up with the Wedderburn while she was in dry dock at Long Beach. Copp BM2 checked me in, showed me the middle bunk in 1st. Div. He showed me ALL his tattoos the next morning. I was not impressed with him or the ship and I was thousands of miles from home. The journey had begun. Today, I am an active working member of the USS Wedderburn DD-684 Association promoting reunion activity. You may contact me at [email protected] Come to the next reunion and meet the guys from WWII through Vietnam. Your friends will be there too.

Paul J. Dymek
Years Served: 1960 to 1961
I was gunners mate seaman on the Wedderburn in '60 &amp '61. Would love to talk to old mates. Chief Burns was chief in charge of gun gang.

Paul J. Dymek
Years Served: 1959 to 1960
I would love to talk to old mates. I served on the Wedderburn from 1959 to 1960. I was a gunners mate. My Email address is [email protected]

Bill Dudley BM3
Years Served: 1964
Lasting memory while aboard the Wedderburn was during refueling at sea we went alongside the USS Ponchatoula. They were alongside on the port side when we took cover for shot lines at the aft refueling station I stepped beside the 5 gun mount and it didn't have the center pin locked and and the power was still on someone in fire control spun the mount and I was crushed between the gun mount and the bulkhead. Was later transferred to Balboa Naval Hospital because of hernia I received so missed the WesPac cruise. After discharged from hospital I volunteered for VietNam and spent remainder of service on a PCF operating out of DaNang and Chu Lai

Bill Dudley
Years Served: 1964
Regarding previous post about refueling accident anyone who was on the aft refueling station. If you would please contact me at [email protected] I don't remember any particulars except stepping behind the gun mount and next thing I remember I was laying on the starboard side when it spit me out the other side and the kapok life jacket I was wearing was ripped to sheds and then remember waking up in sick bay.

Rod Barnett SH3
Years Served: 1960-1964
Very few of the Supply crew from those years ever show up on the boards, would like to hear from some of the rest of the crew.If you were aboard in 1960-64 I cut your hair , washed your clothes or sold you a candy bar out of the ships store. :D Enjoyed my time on the Wedderburn,what a great ship and good memories. [email protected]

Denman Kessle
Years Served: 6
A great ship, I was on board from September of 1963 until November of 1969. from RD3 to RD1. I just attended a reunion in Portland Oregon held September 9 - 14 2009. 40 men from 1944 until1969 attended, next reunion will be in Buffalo New York, June 2011.

Evan Scaremouch Thompson
Years Served: Sept 1955_may 1959
I was in the Aft fire room for a year or so then went to forward fire room then forward engine room,then deckforce,i love the Wedderburn ,but hated the fire rooms,i wasn't mechanically inclined,so i fought it for years. To my shipmates displeasure,but when i finally got on the deck i loved it' I believe i drove the snipes as crazy as i could. V C Vint our Exc.understood me,he was a good guy. I have a lot of tales i could share ,such as the time i was blamed for flooding officers country when we were fueling at sea,when in fact Hammond BT3 was the phone talker to the ship fueling us,and he walked away from his station as the fuel was rising in the starboard tank above the chow hall,so with no phone talker to the fueling ship,my tank ran over and into Officers country,that's just some of the things i remember,and there are many . I very proudly have 2 sons currently serving in our Navy,one just graduated from boot camp,he's in A school to be a PR,my other son is a SB 2 a SWCC who has made 2 deployments,and is getting ready to deploy again,can't say when. Evan

Roger Weisberg
Years Served: 1967 - 1969
I was on board from 1/67 to 12/68. Left in the West Pac of 68 to go to PBR school and then to VN.

H.R. (Rick) Dias, MR3
Years Served: 1967 thru 1968
I recall while off the coast of Nam the captain and MMC chief woke me up at about 3:30 AM and explained that the ship's evaporator in the Fwd engine room was down because the saline pump ( pumps waste SALT WATER overboard) needed 4 new wearing rings. I asked if the ship was dead in the water? The chief said we had about 4 hours of fresh water left. I machined 2 new impeller and 2 new pump casing wearing rings as they all watched me. (clearance .008 total between the impeller and casing rings.) I recall that the Captain held a flashlight so I could see the tool bit tool cutting the brass. I believe we had the new brass pump rings made & installed in a couple of hours. Then they had to rebuild and install the pump back online. Not sure how long it took to get the evaporator back online and working. No one wanted to be dead in the water (drifting) off the coast of Nam. Of course we would not have any fresh drinking water either. I did not like all the attention I got that morning. I was the only MR on the Wedderburn then. Needless to say going dead in the water does not help Navy officers careers. We never went dead in the water and sailed onward.

Years Served: NA
My father was Robert Lowe and served as radio operator on the Wedderburn from nov. 1950 thru mar. 1952. He passed away in 1996. Dad never had much interest in talking about his WWII and Korean War experiences, other than to warn me about the dangers of rogue waves. I would enjoy hearing from anyone who knew my dad in those difficult days.

Adrian Porras Jr
Years Served:
My father, Adrian Porras, served on the Wedderburn, during the WestPac tour, I believe. I lost him earlier this year, but I know he was extremely proud of his time on the ship.

JLD Brown
Years Served: Mid 1965 to mid 1969
I served my total naval career aboard the USS Wedderburn working in both fire rooms and advanced to BT2 before leaving. I have lots of good memories. :)

Carlos Ricoy
Years Served: 1961 to 1965
Went from ICFN to IC2 on the Wedderburn, 2 WestPac cruises, trip to Portland Rose Festival and the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, six weeks of underway training in Pearl. Worked in the Engineering Logroom most of the time and the IC gang. Showed hundreds of movies on the mess deck. Was a christian at the time but didn't live like it.

Robert E. Van Keuren
Years Served: Feb 1957 - Dec 1958
Served in Supply Department most of Feb 1957 until end of Dec 1958 as SK3. Great Ship, Captain, Officers, & Crew! On to NSD Yokosuka 1959 - 1961 SK2. RecSta T.I. 1961 - 1963 as SK2 (TAD AFPD TI). HSA Saigon 1963 - 1966 as SK1. USS NECHES (A0-47) as SK1/SKC 1966 - 1968 as SKC. NAS Moffett Field, CA, 1970 - 1971 as SKC. Catlaina Vietnam as SKCS 1971 - 1972. USS WHITE PLAINS (AFS-4) 1972 - 1974 as Supply Department Leading Chief & Command Master Chief. Coastal River Division-11, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA 1972 - 1974 as Command Master Chief & Supply Officer. July 1976 transferred to Fleet Reserve. GI BIll for AA, BA, M.Ed. Would enjoy hearing from ANYONE who served in the Weed Burner.

Robert Ray Hathaway
Years Served: 1946
Robert Ray Hathaway, Sr. died peacefully in his sleep, early this morning, 12/4/2013 in his home in West Monroe, LA. He was born 12 Nov 1925 in Louisiana. In WWII, he joined the Navy, trained at Fire Control school in San Diego, and served in the pacific aboard the USS Wedderburn (DD-684), under command of John L. Willford. After the war, he came home to marry Camille ‘Wink’ Edwards. He is survived by his wife Camille, and sons Robert, Edward and John, granddaughters Donna Hathaway and Wendy Hathaway Nevels Great-grandchildren Stephanie Nevels Walker and Chase Nevels Great-great-grandson Kyler Walker and great great grand-daughter Haleigh Stone. He is preceded in death by his parents, Elmer Hathaway and Lydia Barton Hathaway and his daughter Cynthia Hathaway, brother Courtland Hathaway and sister Gwen. A memorial service is planned for Friday Dec. 6, 2013 in West Monroe, LA at Mulhearn Funeral Home. He had no fear of death and was a good Christian man who loved his family. By Sylvia Hathaway, daughter-in-law.

i have two cruise books 1958 and 1960 if anybody wants them let me know got on a auction

USS Wedderburn (DD-684), 1944-1972

USS Wedderburn, a 2050-ton Fletcher class destroyer, was built at San Francisco, California. Commissioned in March 1944, her first combat mission was the invasion of Guam the following July. A month later, Wedderburn was assigned to escort the fast carrier task forces and operated with them through remainder of World War II. After Japan's surrender, she supported occupation activities and returned to the United States in November 1945.

Wedderburn was briefly out of service in 1946, then became a Naval Reserve training ship, a role she maintained until recommissioning in November 1950. Two Korean War tours followed in 1951-53, during which she conducted blockade, gunfire support and fleet escort missions. With the end of active hostilities, Wedderburn continued to serve with the Pacific Fleet. Over the next decade and a half, she made several deployments to the Western Pacific, including four off Vietnam in 1964-69. USS Wedderburn decommissioned in October 1969 and was sold for scrapping in January 1972.

USS Wedderburn was named in honor of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Charles F. Wedderburn, who lost his life when USS Chauncey (DD-3) was sunk during the First World War.

On a day like today. 1807: British officers of the H.M.S. Leopard boarded the U.S.S. Chesapeake after she had set sail for the Mediterranean, and demanded the right to search the ship for deserters.

1813: A British force attempted to take Craney Island, the fort there was one of the key defenses to Norfolk's inner harbor and was home to the frigate "Constellation".

1864: Union forces attempt to capture a railroad that had been supplying Petersburg from the south and extend their lines to the Appomattox River.

1864: U.S.S. Lexington, Acting Ensign Henry Booby, withstood a surprise Confederate strike on White River Station, Arkansas, and forced the attacking Confederate troops to withdraw.

1865: The Confederate raider Shenandoah fires the last shot of the Civil War in the Bering Strait.

1898: Admiral Sampson begins amphibious landing near Santiago, Cuba. Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt and Col. Leonard Wood led the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry regiment, onto the beach at Daiquiri in the Spanish American War.

1941: During Operation Barbarossa over 3 million German troops invade Russia in three parallel offensives, in what is the most powerful invasion force in history. Nineteen panzer divisions, 3,000 tanks, 2,500 aircraft, and 7,000 artillery pieces pour across a thousand-mile front as Hitler goes to war on a second front.

1942: A Japanese submarine shelled Fort Stevens, Oregon, at the mouth of the Columbia River.

1944: President Roosevelt signed the GI Bill of Rights, authorizing a broad package of benefits for World War II veterans.

1944: After a preparatory air raid on Cherbourg, in which over 1000 tons of bombs are dropped, the divisions of the US 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army) begin assaulting the city of Cherbourg. There is heavy German resistance.

Wedderburn DD- 684 - History

A great part of naval history.

You would be purchasing an exact copy of the USS Wedderburn DD 684 cruise book during this time period. Each page has been placed on a CD for years of enjoyable computer viewing. The CD comes in a plastic sleeve with a custom label. Every page has been enhanced and is readable. Rare cruise books like this sell for a hundred dollars or more when buying the actual hard copy if you can find one for sale.

This would make a great gift for yourself or someone you know who may have served aboard her. Usually only ONE person in the family has the original book. The CD makes it possible for other family members to have a copy also. You will not be disappointed we guarantee it.

Some of the items in this book are as follows:

  • Ports of Call: Pago Pago, Samoa, Sydney Australia, Manus, Subic Bay and Manila Philippines, Singapore, Kaohsiung, Hong Kong, Sasebo and Yokosuka Japan, Midway Island and Hawaii.
  • Brief History of the Ship
  • Crossing the Equator
  • Change of Command
  • Individual Crew Photos
  • Crew Roster with Names
  • Many Crew Activity Photos
  • Plus much more

Over 256 Photos plus Individual Crew Photos on Approximately 57 Pages.

Once you view this book you will know what life was like on this Destroyer during this time period.

Wedderburn DD- 684 - History

USS Wedderburn , a 2050-ton Fletcher class destroyer, was built at San Francisco, California. Commissioned in March 1944, her first combat mission was the invasion of Guam the following July. A month later, Wedderburn was assigned to escort the fast carrier task forces and operated with them through remainder of World War II. After Japan's surrender, she supported occupation activities and returned to the United States in November 1945.

Wedderburn was briefly out of service in 1946, then became a Naval Reserve training ship, a role she maintained until recommissioning in November 1950. Two Korean War tours followed in 1951-53, during which she conducted blockade, gunfire support and fleet escort missions. With the end of active hostilities, Wedderburn continued to serve with the Pacific Fleet. Over the next decade and a half, she made several deployments to the Western Pacific, including four off Vietnam in 1964-69. USS Wedderburn decommissioned in October 1969 and was sold for scrapping in January 1972.

USS Wedderburn was named in honor of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Charles F. Wedderburn, who lost his life when USS Chauncey (DD-3) was sunk during the First World War.

This page features views of USS Wedderburn (DD-684) and provides information about others that may be available from the National Archives.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Underway in San Francisco Bay, California, during the later 1940s or early 1950s.

Courtesy of Robert M. Cieri, 1982.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 114KB 740 x 585 pixels

Underway in the Pacific, February 1958.

Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 75KB 740 x 610 pixels

Photographed circa the late 1950s.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 144KB 740 x 610 pixels

Firing her 5"/38 guns at a target drone aircraft, during exercises, 21 August 1964. The ship following next astern is USS Porterfield (DD-682).
The relative positions of Wedderburn 's signal flags, with the port side red "Bravo" flag hoisted higher, indicate that the ship is firing to port. Evenly hoisted flags on Porterfield indicate that her guns are not yet trained out.
Photographed by PH2 R.D. Fennell.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 94KB 740 x 520 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system as Photo # 428-N-1107281.

Insignia: USS Wedderburn (DD-684)

Emblem that was in use in 1963.

Courtesy of Captain G.F. Swainson, USN, 1970.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 91KB 570 x 580 pixels

While the Naval Historical Center has no other views of USS Wedderburn , the National Archives appears to hold additional photographs. The following list features some of these images:

The images listed below are NOT in the Naval Historical Center's collections.
DO NOT try to obtain them using the procedures described in our page "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions.".

Reproductions of these images should be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system for pictures not held by the Naval Historical Center.


We are happy to offer a classic style 5 panel custom US Navy destroyer DD 684 USS Wedderburn embroidered hat.

For an additional (and optional) charge of $7.00, our hats can be personalized with up to 2 lines of text of 14 characters each (including spaces), such as with a veteran’s last name and rate and rank on the first line, and years of service on the second line.

Our DD 684 USS Wedderburn embroidered hat comes in two styles for your choosing. A traditional “high profile” flat bill snap back style (with an authentic green under visor on the bottom of the flat bill), or a modern “medium profile” curved bill velcro back “baseball cap” style. Both styles are “one size fits all”. Our hats are made of durable 100% cotton for breathability and comfort.

Given high embroidery demands on these “made to order” hats, please allow 4 weeks for shipment.

If you have any questions about our hat offerings, please contact us at 904-425-1204 or e-mail us at [email protected] , and we will be happy to speak to you!

Our Newsletter

Product Description

USS Wedderburn DD 684

1956 Westpac Cruise Book

Bring the Cruise Book to Life with this Multimedia Presentation

This CD will Exceed your Expectations

A great part of Naval history.

You would be purchasing an exact copy of the USS Wedderburn DD 684 cruise book during this time period. Each page has been placed on a CD for years of enjoyable computer viewing. The CD comes in a plastic sleeve with a custom label. Every page has been enhanced and is readable. Rare cruise books like this sell for a hundred dollars or more when buying the actual hard copy if you can find one for sale.

This would make a great gift for yourself or someone you know who may have served aboard her. Usually only ONE person in the family has the original book. The CD makes it possible for other family members to have a copy also. You will not be disappointed we guarantee it.

Some of the items in this book are as follows:

  • Ports of Call: Hawaii, Pago Pago, Wellington, Manus, Guam, Subic Bay Philippines, Koahsiung, Sasebo Japan, Hong Kong, Yokosuka and Midway Island.. ,
  • Brief History of the Ship
  • Divisional Group Photos with Names
  • Crossing the Equator Ceremony
  • Crew Roster (Name, Rank and Hometown)
  • Many Crew Activity Photos
  • Plus much more

Over 166 Photos on Approximately 45 Pages.

Once you view this book you will know what life was like on this Destroyer during this time period.

Additional Bonus:

  • Several Additional Images of the USS Wedderburn DD 684 (National Archives)
  • 6 Minute Audio of " Sounds of Boot Camp " in the late 50's early 60's
  • 20 Minute Audio of a " 1967 Equator Crossing " (Not this ship but the Ceremony is Traditional)
  • Other Interesting Items Include:
    • The Oath of Enlistment
    • The Sailors Creed
    • Core Values of the United States Navy
    • Military Code of Conduct
    • Navy Terminology Origins (8 Pages)
    • Examples: Scuttlebutt, Chewing the Fat, Devil to Pay,
    • Hunky-Dory and many more.

    Why a CD instead of a hard copy book?

    • The pictures will not be degraded over time.
    • Self contained CD no software to load.
    • Thumbnails, table of contents and index for easy viewing reference.
    • View as a digital flip book or watch a slide show. (You set the timing options)
    • Back ground patriotic music and Navy sounds can be turned on or off.
    • Viewing options are described in the help section.
    • Bookmark your favorite pages.
    • The quality on your screen may be better than a hard copy with the ability to magnify any page.
    • Full page viewing slide show that you control with arrow keys or mouse.
    • Designed to work on a Microsoft platform. (Not Apple or Mac) Will work with Windows 98 or above.

    Personal Comment from "Navyboy63"

    The cruise book CD is a great inexpensive way of preserving historical family heritage for yourself, children or grand children especially if you or a loved one has served aboard the ship. It is a way to get connected with the past especially if you no longer have the human connection.

    If your loved one is still with us, they might consider this to be a priceless gift. Statistics show that only 25-35% of sailors purchased their own cruise book. Many probably wished they would have. It's a nice way to show them that you care about their past and appreciate the sacrifice they and many others made for you and the FREEDOM of our country. Would also be great for school research projects or just self interest in World War II documentation.

    We never knew what life was like for a sailor in World War II until we started taking an interest in these great books. We found pictures which we never knew existed of a relative who served on the USS Essex CV 9 during World War II. He passed away at a very young age and we never got a chance to hear many of his stories. Somehow by viewing his cruise book which we never saw until recently has reconnected the family with his legacy and Naval heritage. Even if we did not find the pictures in the cruise book it was a great way to see what life was like for him. We now consider these to be family treasures. His children, grand children and great grand children can always be connected to him in some small way which they can be proud of. This is what motivates and drives us to do the research and development of these great cruise books. I hope you can experience the same thing for your family.

    Abandon Efforts

    '''Charles Foster Wedderburn''' was born in Nextel ringtones Chicago, Illinois/Chicago, Ill., on Abbey Diaz 2 October Free ringtones 1892 but grew up in Majo Mills Washington, D.C. Appointed a Mosquito ringtone midshipman at the Sabrina Martins United States Naval Academy on Nextel ringtones 7 July Abbey Diaz 1911, he graduated and received his commission on Free ringtones 5 June Majo Mills 1915. Cingular Ringtones Ensign (rank)/Ensign Wedderburn served in the christmas warning cruiser yorker honors USS Brooklyn (CA-3)/''Brooklyn'' (CA-3) from graduation to the end of 1915. In December 1915, he transferred to the sixth damon destroyer pensioners to USS Chauncey (DD-3)/''Chauncey'' (DD-3) assigned to the atherton it US Asiatic Fleet/Asiatic Fleet and based at anecdotes which Sangley Point Naval Base/Cavite in the from nanofibers Philippines. He was promoted to peddles a lieutenant (junior grade)/lieutenant (j.g.) on path century 1 July responsibility forbids 1917 and, a month later, his ship departed Cavite with orders to the coast of april replaced France. Based at they marked St. Nazaire, his ship escorted davis pushed convoys in the eastern Atlantic. While on such a mission about 110 miles west of at exhibition Gibraltar, ''Chauncey'' was involved in a fatal collision with the British merchantman, SS ''Rose'', on the night of graceful arches November 18/18&ndashwedding consultancy 19 November. The destroyer sank at about 03:17 on the morning of the 19th taking Wedderburn and 20 of his comrades to their deaths.

    results has USS Wedderburn (DD-684)/USS ''Wedderburn'' (DD-684), (jurisdiction thereof 1943&ndashcatalyst v 1969), was named in his honor.

    Where Were Navy Veterans Exposed to Asbestos?

    The use of products containing asbestos often in:

    • Engine Rooms
    • Boiler Rooms
    • Many other below-deck areas where steam pipes and valves were present

    Products containing asbestos were not only found in below-deck areas, however. Pipe insulation, adhesives, electrical cables, deck coverings, laundry and galley equipment, and valves also contained the dangerous mineral. These materials, used both aboard Navy ships and at shipyards, created asbestos exposures for anyone serving on board the ship, or involved in the ship’s construction, repair, overhaul or decommissioning. This accounts for the high rate of mesothelioma and lung cancer in Navy Veterans and shipyard workers.

    A concern for Navy Veterans is how asbestos claims might impact their benefits. Shepard Law works to get Veterans compensation from the companies that manufactured and sold asbestos products to the Navy for use on board ships. It does not impact your VA benefits, so there is no risk in pursuing asbestos compensation.

    Our Newsletter

    Product Description

    USS Wedderburn DD 684

    "Personalized" Canvas Ship Print

    (Not just a photo or poster but a work of art!)

    Every sailor loved his ship. It was his life. Where he had tremendous responsibility and lived with his closest shipmates. As one gets older his appreciation for the ship and the Navy experience gets stronger. A personalized print shows ownership, accomplishment and an emotion that never goes away. It shows your pride even if a loved one is no longer with you. Every time you walk by the print you will feel the person or the Navy experience in your heart (guaranteed) .

    The image is portrayed on the waters of the ocean or bay with a display of her crest if available. The ships name is printed on the bottom of the print. What a great canvas print to commemorate yourself or someone you know who may have served aboard her.

    The printed picture is exactly as you see it. The canvas size is 8"x10" ready for framing as it is or you can add an additional matte of your own choosing. If you would like a larger picture size (11"x 14") on a 13" X 19" canvas simply purchase this print then prior to payment purchase additional services located in the store category (Home) to the left of this page. This option is an additional $12.00. The prints are made to order. They look awesome when matted and framed.

    We PERSONALIZE the print with "Name, Rank and/or Years Served" or anything else you would like it to state (NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE). It is placed just above the ships photo. After purchasing the print simply email us or indicate in the notes section of your payment what you would like printed on it. Example:

    United States Navy Sailor
    Proudly Served Sept 1963 - Sept 1967

    This would make a nice gift and a great addition to any historic military collection. Would be fantastic for decorating the home or office wall.

    The watermark "Great Naval Images" will NOT be on your print.

    This photo is printed on Archival-Safe Acid-Free canvas using a high resolution printer and should last many years.

    Because of its unique natural woven texture canvas offers a special and distinctive look that can only be captured on canvas. The canvas print does not need glass thereby enhancing the appearance of your print, eliminating glare and reducing your overall cost.

    We guarantee you will not be disappointed with this item or your money back. In addition, We will replace the canvas print unconditionally for FREE if you damage your print. You would only be charged a nominal fee plus shipping and handling.

    Check our feedback. Customers who have purchased these prints have been very satisfied.

    Buyer pays shipping and handling. Shipping charges outside the US will vary by location.

    Be sure to add us to your !

    Thanks for looking!

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