USS Duncan (DDR - 874)

" Galloping Ghost of the Korean Coast ".

USS Duncan {The Early Years: 1945-49} Documents

Courtesy of former USS Duncan Crewmember Joe Retcho.

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USS Duncan DD-874 commissioning day printed Invitation, February 25, 1945.

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Invitation (page2)

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Invitation (page3)

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Invitation (page4)

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USS Duncan's very first published "Plan Of The Day!"

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Letters Home
From Seaman Richard Grubb

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Letter One (Undated) to his mother Ella Fae Gamble

Dear Mother,

You haven't heard from me for so long, you probably think I've forgotten about you, well I haven't. I have a lot of time to think about you and the rest of you all. I hope you're ok, and getting along fine. As for me, I am well and fine, things are going along as well as expected.

This is Sunday evening and you're probably all in church by now, See! I think about you a lot, the old town, the beautiful fields, they're probably threshing wheat by this time, bringing the crops. Sometimes I think this is all part of a bad dream and some day I'll wake up and find myself in a new clean bedroom, a soft soft bed, clean sheets, with the sun shinning bright in the window of a new morning when the fellows would all be home, and the world will be free once again from all those who tried to make this a world of slavery.

Here's wishing you luck and may God Bless.all of you!

Your son,


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Letter Two (December 8, 1945)

Dear Folks,

We arrived in Shanghai the 4th of December and that is where we are right now.This is a rough place, the people are really poor, they'll kill just for a pair of shoes, Each sailor is cautioned about going ashore by himself, so we stay in groups all the time. They really have nice junk here that they sell for souvineers, but I don't care much for it. How is Florida by now? Was everything alright when you got there? Man, give me anywhere in the USA and I'll be satisfied. A fellow doesn't realize just what he had till he's been away from it for awhile and I'm not kiddin!

In your letters you keep asking about that storm at Okinawa. Well we got warning that it was coming, so we pulled up our anchor that morning and went about 25 miles off the coast. That way we weren't in the middle of it, but I'm telling you, when you see waves 50 and 60 feet coming at you for four days, and each one looks like she's gonna capsize the ship, then is when you ask forgiveness for all your sins and start praying, and I'm not kiddin either. We didn't lose a man in that storm but I'm very sorry to say that there were a few ships that didn't get though it. Four days after the storm we went back in and it was really a wreck, ships grounded high and dry. We also lost alot of mail over there when the post office left it's foundation and departed elsewhere, where I don't know.

But getting back to more pleasant subjects I'm swell, except for a longing for the USA. Ha! We were in the Third Fleet for awhile but, now we're in the 7th with Task Force 73 patrolling in the Yellow Sea and the coast of China.

There's all sorts of rumors going around that the Duncan is going back to the states sometime in February, but we don't know for sure.

Tuesday, December 120, we leave here for Okinawa to pick up the mail for Task Force 73 and bring it back up heree, the ships take turns going after the mail, when we were in the Yellow Sea, and didn't get mail for 1 1/2 months, but when we did get it, there was plenty for everybody and I'm not kiddin!

I got a letter from Gramma today. She says its quite cold in PA right now, but I know they enjoy it. I was sure shocked about Mr. Hershey dying, but I probably knew it before you did, as we got the news over the radio first hand, October 1945.

I'm not very good at writing letters so I'l close. Love to all,

Richard Owen Grubb

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Letter Three (April 19, 1946)

Dear Folks, (to Grubbs)

Just a line to let you know that I'm alright and thinking of you always. Just got back from HOnolulu on liberty. It's really swell but nothing like the states I can assure you. How is the job situation around that part of the country. I'll be looking for a job very soon as I'm elegible for discharge June 2, or 38 days from now, if you look at it by counting the days.

Hold on to your hats because I'm going to let you in on a secret. The ship is going back to the states on Monday, April 22, in other words we'll be in the states by the time you get this letter. I've been waiting to tell you that for a very long time. We're pulling into San Diego, CA on April 28 and as they're only goin to keep 70 men aboard here, I may see you before June 2, although I doubt it very much.

We came to Pearl Harbor from Japan about two weeks ago. It sure was a rough trip. I don't know if you read anything about the tidal waves that hit the Pacific about 3 weeks ago, but if you did there is no use me explaining about them. WEll anyway we were about half way between Japan and Pearl Harbor when they hit us. I'm not kidding, they caused a lot of trouble.

I'm writing this letter in the carpenters ship about 10:00 pm and believe it or not I even have music to go with it: one of my best buddies from York, PA is over there playing a guitar and he can really play.

Must close; hoping to see you very soon, give my regards to all.



A Plankowner's Story
by LTJG (CIC) George W. Schwert, 1945-46
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Courtesy of former USS Duncan Crewmember George W. Schwert.
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USS Duncan Muster Logs, February 1945
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Courtesy of former USS Duncan Crewmember Terry Snyder's research via the National Archives.
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USS Duncan 1949 Crew Muster Logs
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Courtesy of former USS Duncan Crewmember Oscar DeSilver's research and obtained for the Duncan Website
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Valiant Service in three Pacific Conflicts

World War II, Korea and Vietnam

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Created: Sunday, July 27, 1997
Last update: Thursday, April 13, 2000

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