Miscellaneous Info And Scuttlebut

The Ship's Goodies 

Question: When a ship is de-commissioned, where are the ship's valuables sent?

Answer: (provided by William Murray, Captain, USN, Ret.) - Sometimes a city, the ship's namesake, claims the bell and silver, otherwise the Navy has storage space for each de-commissioned ship and stores various keepsake items there. At least that is the way it used to be. When I was in the Pentagon, the Navy had a large building at the Washington Gun Factory, at the Navy Yard, where all valuable items were stored. A friend of mine was the officer-in-charge, and he worried continuously that someone would steal the items. Don't know what the situation is now but suspect it hasn't changed.  

The Ship's Bell 

Below info from USS Leahy 1993 De-Commissioning booklet...


When a baptism is held aboard a vessel, the ship's bell is inverted and used as a baptismal font. Traditionally, the name of the person baptized is then etched in the ship's bell. Four names are etched in Leahy's bell:

Brian Duane Zingler 13 OCT 1972
Colin Patrick Powers 11 FEB 1973
Christopher Patrick Powers 11 FEB 1973
Mathew Kelly 18 JUL 1982


Just got these photos of the ship's bell from the Naval History and Heritage Command. There are three names inscribed at the bottom and one near the top honoring onboard baptisms. These names are also listed in the decommissioning program but with some errors.

The four names (shown correctly on Leahy's bell) are:

Brian Duane Zingler                13 OCT 1972
Colin Patrick Powers                11 FEB 1973
Christopher Thomas Powers    11 FEB 1973
Matthew Kelly                           18 JUL 1982

There is a DC3 D. Zingler in the 1970-71 cruise book. He is also mentioned
in the Leahy guestbook. Odds are that this is his son. The two Powers boys
are the sons of LCDR Tom Powers who was Weapons Officer in 1973. Matthew
Kelly is the son of LCDR John Kelly who was Weapons Officer in 1982.

More history!


[Info provided by Clay Stabler - USS Leahy Missile Officer 1974-1976]

Additional Note: Although not etched on the "Ship's Bell" - another baptism was recorded in 1973 - Kevin Hite, son of PN2 Harold Hite.

Stepping The Mast

Below info from USS Leahy 1993 De-Commissioning booklet...


The ancient custom of placing coins under the step of a mast when building a vessel dates from antiquity. This is a very old superstition, possibly a survival of the old Roman custom of placing coins in the mouths of the dead to pay their way to Charon for transportation across the river Styx. If a ship met with mishap at sea, this ensured the way of all aboard was paid.
Leahy's mast was most recently stepped with 3 silver dollars on December 4. 1987 when a new forward mast was put in place during the New Threat Upgrade overhaul. BM3 Patrick W. Howlett (then SR Howlett), the youngest crewmember aboard, placed the coins under the mast in a traditional ceremony in Long Beach Naval Shipyard. One coin is dated 1875, the year of FADM Leahy's birth. One is dated 1987, the year the new mast was put in place. The significance of the third, dated 1972, is unknown. These three coins are on display in the reception area.

A great story from LCDR Jaszkowski about the coins placed under Leahyís forward mast:

When we were decommissioning the ship, it was important to me to recover the coins from under the mast for posterity and as a significant piece of the shipís history. I asked the HTís to get a torch and go looking for them. They did and reported back from time to time that they were not having any luck. I didnít go look, but they reported that they cut a number of holes and groped around for the coins with no luck. We were pretty certain that they were there, we just didnít know where. FCCS Ridgel was on his second tour aboard Leahy and knew that coins had been placed at the step of the mast when the new mast was set in place as part of the New Threat Upgrade. Apparently the new 48E radar was much heavier than the original and required a portion of the foremast to be replaced by a beefier one. However, after considerable search, we were coming up empty handed.

As part of decommissioning, all sorts of things turn up as lockers and storage compartments are cleaned out. At one point a scrapbook came across my desk with various newspaper articles in it. One caught my attention immediately. It was a photo and story about the ceremony in which coins were put at the step of the mast during the New Treat Upgrade yard period. The news story contained a photo and the names of the people involved. It gave the name and hometown of the sailor who was selected to have the honor to place the coins. The article said he was selected because he was the youngest sailor onboard.

With this scant lead I called directory assistance for the town listed as the sailorís hometown. Remember this was pre-internet and research was not possible on the level it is today. The hometown was a small town somewhere in the upper mid-west. Michigan, Wisconsin, something like that. There was a family in that town with the same last name, so I placed a call. I introduced myself and said that I was looking for a person of the same last name who was a sailor on USS Leahy. As luck would have it, the voice on the line said that he knew who I was talking about. No it wasnít him, but his son. Then he offered, he doesnít live here anymore, but he is visiting home right now from out of state, would you like to talk to him?

We had a short conversation wherein he told me about the ceremony and that there were three coins. One had been placed there when the ship was commissioned. It had been removed and saved to put back when the new mast was ready to go in. He said that a second coin was added at that time. Then he said that the Master Chief of the command (that predated the Command Master Chief Program I believe) whipped out a coin and added a third from his pocket and they were sealed in.

He then told me where to look. I got a couple of the HTís on the line that had been digging around up there to talk to him. After hanging up the HTís headed up to look for the coins and it seemed in no time they returned with all three coins. They said that they made one cut and reached in and the coins were there.

I never knew for sure but assumed the 1875 silver trade dollar was the original. FADM Leahy was born in the year it was minted. One coin was from 1987, and I assumed that was from the year the NTU mast was set and the coins re-placed. The third coin is an Eisenhower from 1972 and I assumed that was the one the Master Chief added.

Info provided by CDR Mark Jaszkowski, USN (Ret.) - (USS Leahy's last CO)

Malta Water Taxi

    Image provided by Johnnie Noles

Leahy FC Radars

     (Click on photo at left)   

Info provided by Jerry Gay and Ken Deshaies

AN/SPG-55 Radar

The Main Link:

Above info link provided by Paul Richmond

Leahy Ship Model

(Click on any below image to enlarge)  


USS Leahy Monogram Model photos provided by Barry Fallon


Completed Revell model donated by Ken Bellock - photo Ken Deshaies


Above Monogram model photos provided by Mike Connors.



Leahy Holiday Cards

(Click on any below image to enlarge)


Item provided by Ben Siebels


Item provided by Geldon Harper

Leahy Tie Pin

(Click on image to enlarge)

USS Leahy tie pin awarded to employee
Bob Johansen of Bath Iron Works.
Bob started out in the Pipe Shop and now
is currently in the Purchasing Dept. at BIW.

Image provided by his son - Jim Johansen

Bath Iron Works

Leahy Class Builder

6 November 2010....

I still work at Bath Iron Works today (for 44 yrs now) Leahy Class - Yarnell, Gridley, Worden, England and a host of others came thru BIW for major overhauls in the 70's. I worked aboard each one as a cleaner, painter, laborer, and worked my way up thru the ranks to Dept. 45 Expeditor / Coordinator, and finally Technical Asst. to Ship Supt. These were the wonderful years where we took these work-horses and gave them new life and energy. The overhauls were so intense that the ships were actually DE-COMMISSIONED and when completed, they were RE-COMMISSIONED!

Thanks for the memories&..

Dennis A. Youland
Woolwich, Maine

A Navy "Well Done" to Dennis and ALL the BIW shipyard workers for their efforts in making the Leahy Class a resounding success.......

Leahy Belt Buckles

(Click on images to enlarge)


USS Leahy belt buckles L-R provided by:
Mike Ryan, Ken Deshaies, Tony  La Tourette


Hurricane Iwa 1982

The Leahy went to Hawaii for Thanksgiving 1982. We were delayed pulling into port for a couple days due to this hurricane. Like the Goldsborough (DDG-20), we had to ride out the storm and it was quite a ride. When we finally pulled into Pearl, there was major storm damage. We heard stories of the guy that was killed and the other washed overboard that is in the newspaper clipping (link below). Just wondering what others remember about hurricane Iwa.

Ref: http://www.ussgoldsborough.com/memorabilia/

Info provided by Brian Ackerman (1981-1985)

1965 Med Cruise Info

During the 1965 med cruise the call sign was "WWDL". The DJ's were: Sullivan, D.R. Waters, R.G. Wade, D.N. Hutson, W.M. Carr, L.D. Donnell, J.P. Officer in charge was Ens J.M. Reade IV, USN.

Info provided by Siegfried (Kraut) Zeveckas (1965-1967)

Ships Trophies??

I wonder what ever happend to the various ships trophies, as in the ones the ship won in sporting events etc.??

Tony La Tourette (acpaint1@cox.net)