U.S.S. McKean Sea Stories

Dana E. Prouty went to Boot Camp in Great Lakes, Ill, Sept - Nov 65'. Right out of boot camp he was flown to Clark AFB and then taken to Subic Bay to join the crew of the McKean. His station was the forward gun whale boat. They went to Viet Nam and did shore bombing. One time they were so close you could see the leaves on the trees and throw a rock and hit the beach. During one of these shore bombings there was a little excitement when a fire broke out in the forward Magazine. They got the fire put out and all was well. During underway replenishments, the crew used to get wet when it rained and the Chief Corpsman would give them a shot of brandy in their coffee. If they felt they weren't quite wet enough, they would spray each other with a saltwater hose to ensure a good shot of the brandy.

They pulled up to the pier in Hawaii, and the skipper was coming in a little fast, considering he had to paralell park the McKean, and shut her down not knowing the rope had been thown and caught. That nylon rope was stretched so tight that it got real thin. People were running in all directions not knowing if it was going to snap or if the ship was going to pull the pier down. There was a buddy by the name of Calcutt ( not sure if spelling is correct) that just loved the beach and one time when they were trying to dock in San Francisco this guy Calcutt got pretty frustrated. He had good reason. The Monkey's fist (line) kept falling short of the crew trying to cach it. It was repeatedly thrown to no avail. Calcut got so impatient that he jumped out to catch it and fell over the edge. My husband( Dana) reached out and grabbed him by the seat of his pants and hauled him back in. Calcutt had the line in his hand......

Another time in Hong Kong, this guy Calcutt rode in the boat out to the bouy to tie up the ship. The guy in the boat took off leaving Calcutt and another guy out on the bouy. They were so anxious to get to the beach that they jumped in that water and swam to the ship. The water was filthy, terds and dead dogs floating in it. These are a few incidence that took place while aboard the McKean (Nov 65'-Jul66') Some of the guys mentioned as serving with him duing this time are BM1 Mott commonly refered to as Pappy, BM1 Calcutt, 2 brothers from Texas one was a radarman and one was signalmen, last name Kristofferson, E.L. and O.K. as they were called. Bill Gaddie, who my husband used to go home with on a 3-day weekend to Blackfoot, Idaho from Long Beach. They would go about 100 miles per hour the whole way, especially through Nevada, in time to get there, say hi, drink a beer and then head back to the ship. Fletcher from Texas, Galoway from Florida and O'dell from Nevada. There was also a guy by the name of Henry Click who went from a GM2 to a seaman when he "forgot" to come back to the ship while in San Francisco. Henry was a big Indian who could fire a 30 caliber BAR with one hand.

email Dana E. Prouty at: aqha@clarissa.means.net