USS LEONARD F MASON DD-852
GUESTBOOK
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This is what this website is all about.
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From a proud Navy Brat, Marie,
has said it all in her ‘Thank you’
for this 4th of July 2002.
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Edward F. Sugrue OSCM, USN, Ret.
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~ Husband ~
~ Father ~
~ Grand-Father ~
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.We love you
and miss you

Thank you Marie, to your mother
and all of Edward's family members.
Please accept our deepest sympathy
We wish you all the very best and God bless.


From the Officers and Crews of USS LEONARD F. MASON DD-852
Especially the Officers and Crews of 1964-1964

July 4, 2002

I would first like to say ‘Thank you’!

I received numerous emails in regards to the passing of my father, OSCM Edward F. Sugrue, USN Ret. I was extremely overwhelmed in reading all of your kind thoughts and kind words about my Dad. He definitely was a great friend and mentor to us all. Some emails were from people that did not even know my father but sent their condolences along. That was something I did not expect but it showed me how strong the Navy bond is. Being a true ‘Navy Brat’ myself, I know the feeling of kinship amongst your own even if you’ve never met the other person.

I am sorry that I did not respond earlier to your emails. On top of life being hectic after my father’s passing, I was also 9 months pregnant at the time. My father had hoped that he would make it to see the baby but unfortunately, that did not happen. The baby was due May 20, but she decided to wait awhile and out she came on June 1. We were scheduled to induce labor on May 15 as my dad had taken a sudden health dive and I wanted him to see his grandchild but that was canceled as he passed a couple days prior to that. In a way, I think he did that on purpose as he was against me inducing labor to begin with. He always looked after me and definitely did not want me to do anything that was on behalf of him that he thought could endanger the baby or me or that wasn't the natural course of life. I am an only child and this was his first grandchild. However, he was still a grandfather to her even before she entered this world and will always be.

This time has been bittersweet for my family. One regret I do carry is that my daughter will never know her grandfather in person as we all were able to. He will definitely live on through all the teachings and stories that I will pass down to her but I would have wished he could have been here in person to do so himself. I cherish all the memories I have of my dad with all my heart. He was my world. In my adult life, he became my best friend as well. I depended a lot on my dad for his advice, knowledge, and leadership that it scares me that he is no longer with us to direct me in life. Every decision I make, I think of what my dad would do first and that’s the way I choose to go.

For those of you who knew him while stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, the USS Midway is scheduled to be here (San Diego) next year as a museum. I remember as a child running around the Midway and jumping hurdles down the corridors. It would have been nice if my dad could have seen her once again. Most of my life was spent in Japan and it will be bittersweet again to see the Midway arrive, as it will remind me of my dad and my true home all those years ago. 

As soon as my daughter is able to travel, my mother and I will be making a trip to Arlington National Cemetery. My father will be placed there with full military honors. My dad was a Navy guy all the way through and I wouldn’t want him anywhere else. 

Again, thank you all. I have kept all your emails and someday will read them to my daughter so she knows how many lives her grandfather touched so positively. 

He was and always will be my hero.

Sincerely,

Marie Sugrue

(Daughter of OSCM Edward Sugrue, USN Ret.)

marie10@cox.net

I am proud of this one and please read all 4 e-mails from this beautiful young lady. If you know anything and haven't got in touch with her at this e-mail address KAF68@aol.com (as soon as possbile).    ~~Webmaster~~

E-mail #1  Tue 2/13/01 4:46 PM
Hello.  I believe that my Dad served on the Leonard F. Mason in the early Sixties.  He passed away in 1982, at age 36, from cancer. I was too young to know to ask him questions about his time in the Navy. I would like to learn all that I can to be able to tell my children about how their Grandfather served our country. How would I go about finding out if or when my Dad served on the ship?  Thank you for your help.  Kim 



E-mail #2  Wed 2/14/01 8:48 AM
Mr. Henriott, 
His name was Charles G. Fontenot.  I believe he would have served in 1963-64, not quite sure.  Thank you for any information or leads you may be able to find. 
Kim


E-mail #3  Thu 2/15/01 6:18 PM
Mr. Henriott, 
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the help you have given me.  I am overwhelmed by the responses and kindness of the other men that served on my Father's ship.  I believe with all of the information I have received , I will be able to continue my research with ease. I pray that the LORD will bless you for the kindness you have shown.   Kim Fontenot 


E-mail #4  Fri 2/16/01 7:51 AM
Mr. Henriott, 
Again, thank you for your help.  I am going to check out the links that you sent to me now.  - I received 9 responses to my email!  I thanked them all and even received a second response and a lot of very helpful info. I will continue my search and will be in touch when I finish.  Thanks again!   Kim

Dear Paul, 

I just got on-line Dec. 3, and I'm really enjoying myself. I live 
in a small developement and we just got a local carrier. That's what comes of living in the boondocks, I guess. The first thing I did when I got on-line was to look at the ship's web page. You did such a wonderful job. I hate to admit it, but the first five times I scanned it I cried. I appreciate it more than I can say. Joy has been at the hospital a lot lately also. Our oldest sister, Ada has been very ill and the family has gathered in. I wasn't able to make the trip until now, but I just got word today that she is much better and the doctor is allowing her to go home in a day or two. We are very thankful for that. Thank you so much for your e-mail. I'm always thrilled when one of the ship's crewmembers contact us. Let's keep in touch.

Thanks for the web site addresses. I haven't had time to browse them yet, but be assured I will. But you mustn't mind that...I cry at everything to do with our ship and our brothers who have passed. I think you deserve a resounding round of applause for the wonderful job you've done on these web sites. I think you are truly gifted. These sites are a labor of love and believe me, that love is returned a hundredfold. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Lauretta 


Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998   From:    Michael L. Pfafflin
Subject: Bagpipe Music?

Paul,   Your pages look very good. One request we have is that you might include the attached "Scotland the Brave" bagpipe and drums tune as a choice. It was part of the trademark of our favorite Mason Captain, Captain Ralph Graham. The other part of his trademark was a fancy royal blue flag with the large gold letters H I I Y A. We served under Captain Graham for the first part of our two year Westpac duty in DesRon 3, which began with the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and included many, many hours of solo, round the clock shore bombardment later on the Vietnam Coast before the massive buildup of ground troops. The H I I Y A flag was flown and the Scottish music was played everytime we broke away other ships at sea after re-fueling, re-arming, re-storing, etc. As David Howard mentioned to me in a recent e-mail, "Captain Graham got us through some very dangerous times". David Howard found the tune at: http://www3.islandnet.com/~btaylor/scotmidi.htm , which you may want to visit. The tune was a great moral booster and is very sentimental to those who served under Captain Graham during that period of time. Of course, the decision is yours, Paul. Thanks.

MP 

This request was full-filled on 3 August 1998 - Webmaster



Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998   From: David L Clark   To: phenriott
Subject: Great Web Page

Hi Paul, I just took a peek at the web page, boy do you make great things with the music and the waving flags. I was transferred to the Mason from the Owen DD 536 around Jan 1956 and was released from active duty in June 1956. I don't remember many of the members of the crew by name, I remember that one of the QM crew got married while I was on board. There was also a trip out to Catalina, California one day with the Disney bunch on board and we were to take on a token amount of fuel. The tanker started pumping fuel before the hoses were attached and we got the fuel all over the side of the ship and boy was the Skipper upset. After 10 years in the Navy Reserve I was talked in to taking a Commission in the California Guard and retired as a Major in 1990. I also retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department with 30 Years. I now live on an airport in Yelm, Washington.

Dave Clark 


Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998   To: phenriott   From: lfmason 
Subject: Memorial

Hi Paul, It's me again. My Brother Neal was over today and I showed him your webpage. He was very impressed. It turned out great! Thank You. Joy 


Dear Paul,

When I was in MASON, I became LT; I relieved LT Bill Fritz as Gunnery Officer, and was subsequently relieved by LTJG Don Knepper. The CO when I reported aboard was J. H. "Big Red" Rayburn. He was relieved in May 1956 by CDR John S. Weiler. The XO throughout my tour was Tom Kelly. LT Ed Lipchak was Engineer Officer when I reported aboard; I became DCA while (then) ENS Eleazar Ruiz went to Damage Control School in Treasure Island. Ed's place as Engineer was taken by LT Isidoro Maggay. LT Don Pommer was Operations Officer; his place was taken by LT Carl Huyette. LTJG George Hespelt was Electronics Repair Officer - George was the most dedicated officer with whom I ever served. He disliked the Navy intensely; he could hardly wait to get out. Still, he put in twenty-hour days in his last week in the Navy, and didn't detach until 1500 on his final day of duty to make sure that MASON was ready in all respects for her electronics ORI. He really lived the ideals of integrity, sense of duty, and loyalty to the ship. Four stars for George Hespelt. LTJG Dave Barkkarie was Comm Officer, and LTJG Fred Hunt was CIC Officer. As I had mentioned, LTJG Fritz was Gun Boss, LTJG Hubert McCahey was First Lieutenant, LTJG Leo Moll was ASW Officer, and ENS (later LTJG) Doug Marshall was First Division Officer; ENS Don Knepper was Navigator, and LTJG Rod Larson was Suply Officer.For our 1956 deployment, Carl Huyette took over from Don Pommer, Don Knepper became First Lieutenant, Doug Marshall became ASW Officer, LTJG Bill Lockhart became Supply Officer, ENS Doug Blatt became Comm Officer, ENS Jay Parker Compau became Second Division Officer, and ENS Fred Hundhammer became OC Division Officer. The Gunnery Department CPO's were Chief Sonarman Bill Stowe, BMC Al Williams, and GMGC Phil Piper. Chief Piper left us in 1957 to go to a DDE in Pearl. He retired there, and became a Treasury Agent. Chief Stowe went ashore in San Diego, retired physically from the Navy there, and became a Post Office employee. He has since died. Phil Piper, at last reports, had become a Hawaiian cowboy - perhaps the Parker Ranch?

And that's a start. 

I have two cruise books for the period that I was aboard (January 1955 - June 1957), and would be glad to give these to you or to another shipmate who may want them. They are of great interest to me, but no one else in my family seems to have much need for them. The only criticism that I have - and as Mount Captain of Mt 52, I certainly hope that you share my concerns - is that for most of her three decades of service, MASON was not gunned as the ship's specs list it. In late 1950, she was regunned with rapid-fire 3"/50's, Mk 56 GFCS, and 2 Mk 63 GFCS as backup; certainly, by the time that I came aboard in early 1955, she was so equipped. When I left, we were being equipped with Mk 38 ASW torpedoes to supplement the hedgehog system and the depth charges. Best of luck with getting the information. 

Frederic J. "Joe" Thomas



Dear Paul,

Your outstanding web site and the comments of Fredric Thomas have brought back many memories. I reported aboard the Mason as a new ensign in December 1952, served briefly as electronics/ecm officer, spent several months as first lieutenant and most of my time as gunnery officer. Bill Fritz relieved me in November 1955.

At the time of my reporting aboard, the ships' compliment was about 220 including 22 officers of which 11 were ensigns. The armament was much as described by Fredric Thomas plus 5 torpedo tubes. Notable events over the three years included enduring 9 typhoons, the selection of the ship by the Naval Ordnance Testing Center (N.O.T.S.) for the testing of the mk38 asw homing torpedo, and the selection by N.O.T.S. for the original testing and development of the R.A.T. missile system in 1955. This became the ASROC saw missile system. Among the noted visitors during these tests was General Omar Bradley of WW II fame.

To the best of my memory after 45+ years, officers and their duties during the 1952-55 period were:

dates? name rank duties

53-54 D.C Deane, Cdr. captain 
54-? J.H. Rayburn, Cdr captain 
52-53 Herman Meyer, Lt/Lcdr executive officer
53-55 C.J. Casserly, Lcdr executive officer 
55-? Tom Kelly, Lcdr executive officer 
52-53 Ed Boehm, Lt operations officer
54-? Don Pommer, Lt operations officer 
51-54 Jim Lowther, Ens/Ltjg communication/operations off. 
52-53 J. Redfern, Ltjg navigator 
52-53 Fred Sargent, Ens/Ltjg communications officer 
51-53 Bob Woodbury, Ens communications dept 
52-53 Ed Krakow, Ens communications dept 
54-? Gordon McNellis, Ens communications dept 
54-? Bruce Prickett, Ens communications dept 
55-? Don Knepper, Ens communications dept 
55-? Dave Barkarrie(sp?), Ens communication dept
53-54 G.R. Murray, Ltjg gunnery officer 
52 C.E. Miller, Ens/Ltjg first lt., gunnery officer 
55-? Bill Fritz, Lt gunnery officer 
51-54 Cecil Hart, Ens/Ljg asw officer / first lt 
53-? Hugh McCahey, Ens/Ltjg first lieutenant 
?-54 "Spike" Swanson, Ens asw officer 
53-54 S. McCall, Ens asw officer 
53-? Leo Moll, Ens/Ltjg torpedo off/ asw 
55-? Doug Marshall, Ens 1st or 2nd division off 
55-? Elizar Ruiz, Ens 1st or 2nd division off 
51-53 "Frenchy" LaRue, Lt engineering officer
53-55 George ?, Lt engineering officer 
51-54 Jack Eichstedt, Ens/Ltjg asst.engineering off
54-? Ed Lipshak, Ltjg asst. engineering officer 
52-53 Donald McGregor, Ens/Ltjg? electrical officer
54-? George Hespelt, Ens electrical officer 
53-55 W.F. Stover, Ltjg supply officer 
55-? Rod Larson, Ltjg supply officer

Hopefully, the above will fill in a few blank spots on the roster. At least three were left out whose faces I can visualize but can not remember their names. The ship had a great hard working crew during my years aboard and I was proud to have served with them and particularly with those in the gunnery department.

With thanks for your work on the web site and regards,

C.E. Miller 



Dear Paul,

Thanks for the email acknowledging my log in of the other day. I just sent you a longer email with my remembrance of the officers aboard. 

You might be interested in knowing that you were a legend among the gunner's mates when I was aboard. They used to talk about the gunner's mate that left the Navy and received a warrant officer's commission in the Army. 

Regards,

Chuck Miller 



Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998  From: MR ROGER E EKMAN 
Subject: Thank you

Hi Paul, I went through the entire website and noted the roster page. No problems. I still can not enjoy the music, but that is because my PC does not have the capability. Keep up the good work. 
Best regards, Roger 



Date: Sat, 01 Aug 1998   To: phenriott  From: lfmason 
Subject: Family Page

Hi Paul,  Words cannot express my feelings when I look at what you have done. I gave the page number to Edith's children. Her daughter Rhonda said she sat and cried, knowing her Mother would have have loved it. I also gave it to her son David. Every time any one comes over, I bring it up and show it to them. Needless to say I have printed out many copies for those who do not have access to a computer. We, (all who have seen it) give you a special Mason award, you have done an excellant job. So we are sending you a great big MASON HUG. 
Love Your good friend Joy
P.S. I love how you put Mom and Daddy's picture on the Memorial. 


Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998

Hi Paul, Just got home at 3 am. My brother in law is terminal. Very sick. I stayed with my sis until he was some better and resting. Thought I would e mail you back. Wanted to tell you Larry was over and I showed him your page. He loved it. He is bringing his wife over Sunday to see it. Just showed it to a niece tonight. And sent your URL to another niece in Ky. She in turn is giving the address to all her brothers and sisters so they could see it. She said her Mother {Edith} would have just loved it. 



Date: Sun, 02 Aug 1998

Hi Paul,  When I thought it couldn't get any better, it did. I think the guestbook is a wonderful addition. I have been sending everyone I know the address for the Mason webpage. I am so proud of the work you have done. I also have some good news. Chief Petty Officer, Stephen A. Lane, a navy veteran of 21 years was assigned to the "Mighty Mason's" 9th Annual Reunion. [Lima, Oh.] He had served on several Destroyers. U.S.S. Cone DD866, U.S.S. Stineker DD863, & the U.S.S. Voglesang DD862. We made him an honorary member of the Mason Clan. He met someone very special during that reunion. My daughter, Rachelle. As of yesterday, he is no longer a "honorary member." They were married. Now he is part of the Mason Clan. 
Keep up the good work. Love, Joy 

The Officers and Crews of the Mason wish the newly weds the very best and many happy years of marriage. Webmaster



Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998   From: sheldon litton   To: phenriott
Subject: mason website

Paul:

I have really enjoyed going through to website pages. You have done a fantastic job of laying out the mason website. The hiiya flag really looks good. Keep up the good work, we may not always say so but we do appreciate the hard work.

Sheldon



Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998   From: "F. Joseph Thomas" 
To: lfmason   CC: phenriott 
Subject: 1955-56 and 1956-57 MASON Cruise Books

Dear Mrs. Johnson,

My cruise books went out today by Priority Mail, so you should receive them on Thursday or Friday. It's my pleasure to have been able to contribute some small thing to the museum; the ship gave me a lot. It's funny; I went off to a completely different part of the Navy (Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving), and I never saw Mason again. I did see a couple of my old shipmates (Captain Weiler and Chief Gunner's Mate Piper) in Hawaii, and one in Japan (Chief Boatswain's Mate Coen Bright), but no others. As a matter of fact, it was only when my son, Richard, who is a Medical Corps Captain on active duty, spotted the MASON Web Site that I realized how long it had been since I'd had anything to do with the ship. Through the web site, I was put in touch with Chris Jorgenson, my old gunnery yeoman - who is, I suspect, still paralyzed with primal terror by the very thought of Chief Bright. (He wasn't a Chief then, but he was a very dominant figure in the First Division.) 

The years do go by - my wife still remembers many of the people from MASON very fondly. It was a very difficult time for her; when our second son, Bill, was born, we were preparing to deploy on extremely short notice. Bill arrived, fortunately for me, three weeks early. It was fortunate because I was still there, and I got to take her to the hospital for his birth, and even to get a glimpse of him; the following morning, we sailed for WESPAC, and I was gone for six months. Well, maybe it wasn't all fun, but it's a part of a good life and a full one.

It's very easy to talk at length on e-mail. I wouldn't worry about it.

Your friend,

Joe Thomas 

Joe, ~~  The Officers and Crews of the USS Leonard F. Mason thank you for your wonderful donation to the museum. If there are any other shipmates that would like to give to the museum. Just send your donation to Joyce. She will love you and thank you I am sure. ~~ The Webmaster



Thu, 03 Sep 1998   From: Joyce Johnson  To: phenriott
Subject: Signed USS Oakland Guestbook 

Hi Paul, I'm Lauretta and I've heard you and wanted to introduce myself and say hello. Just dropped in on Dick & Joy from Florida and she showed me your most wonderful net pages. I am more impressed than I can say. I won't be able to make it to the reunion this year and now that I've seen your work, I'm more sorry for that than before because I'd love to meet you...maybe next year. Anyhow, Joy said she had gotten some inquiries about the reunion book we had available for last year. I had offered to make them available this year, but as I did not get a response, I assumed there was no call for them. However, if you would care to insert this in one of your informational pages, anyone who wants a book, please let Joy know and we will have some more made up and either mail them out or have them on hand next year. Cost will probably be $10 plus $4 shipping and handling. Again I want to say what a wonderful job you've done and I know our whole family appreciates the time, talent and effort ! you've expended on behalf of this project. 

Lauretta J. Mason-Evans


Sat, 5 Sep 1998   To: phenriott   From: lfmason <lfmason

Hi Paul, I just love showing off what you have done on the Mason Page. Lauretta just loved it. And by the way, I do love what you did with the medals. You did great. I am very proud of it and am proud of you for doing all the work. Love Joy



Tue, 15 Dec 1998 20:22:01 Miami University

I was searching the web, and I typed my name in which is Hillary Mason and I thought it was weird that someone in history had the same name as me. Of course mine is spelled differently and I am a girl, but I still found that amusing. You did a nice job on your web page. I think you should defenitly add on to it with historical information. Hillary Mason 

Tue, 15 Dec 1998 20:35:35 Miami University

Mr. Henriott This is Hillary Mason again, and I looked through more of your web pages and I am really impressed with your work. I am in college and not really into history that much, but it was fun to look at pictures and read about people from the past. You obviously put a lot of time and effort into this website and I just wanted to let you know that you did a great job. Hillary Mason 



Subject: WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE!

Tonight was my first visit to your/our website. You have created a masterpiece. I can't wait to share this site with my kids, and parents who are now 84 years old. 

I am a former crew member on the Mason DD-852, 1960-63. I served on the bridge as a QM3. What memories, ran aground on Formosan patrol in the Taiwan Straits, I was the Quartermaster on watch, wrote the ships log on this incident, navigator was court martialed and Captain lost his command, Bay of Pigs in Cuba, etc.

This was a spiritual experience reliving the pictures and great music to accompany each web page. I am proud to be an American and proud that I had the honor to serve my country aboard the Leonard F. Mason DD-852!!!

God bless America!

Dave Crosson Shingle Springs (suburb of Sacramento) California


Sun, 18 Jul 1999 08:51:21 -0500 
From: Janice Wigley Subject: tears

I came across your page while trying to find information about an ancestor named Foster Mason. Your page is beautiful and the love shines through. Janice Wigley janw208@yahoo.com



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This Web Page was created by and
is maintained by Paul D. Henriott
If you have NEW addresses or comments,
email me at phenriott at rtcol com
Last updated 15 June 2005