Showing posts with label Navy Destroyer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Navy Destroyer. Show all posts

Monday, April 23, 2012

Only 61 survived USS Hobson

N.J. soldiers who endured a naval catastrophe spill their stories of survival 60 years later
Published: Sunday, April 22, 2012

By Kevin Manahan
The Star-Ledger

On a Saturday afternoon in April 1952, two days before his ship would leave for duty during the Korean War, Joseph Torrisi dashed off a two-page letter to his older sister, Rose, on embossed U.S. Navy stationery. A three-cent stamp brought it from Charleston, S.C., to the 400-room Hotel Douglas in Newark, where she was living at the time.

A week earlier, he had sent a note to his mom in Bloomfield, proudly announcing he had found, in Charleston, a Catholic church and, more miraculously, a restaurant that served homemade ravioli.

In tidy penmanship that would have made his grammar-school nuns beam, the 32-year-old wrote that he was spending more money than he had planned, but he wasn’t sweating it. Thanks to a payday aboard ship, he would be flush when he reached Spain, France, Italy, Sicily and Greece.

His destroyer, the USS Hobson, was scheduled to visit 20 Mediterranean ports — a cushy assignment welcomed by Torrisi, a career Navy man who, curiously, disliked life on the sea.

"The next time I write will be from some place I haven’t been to," he told his sister.

But he never made it.

Five days after his final letter arrived in New Jersey, Joseph Torrisi was asleep in his lower-tier bunk at 10:21 p.m., when, during a deadly war-games blunder, the Hobson was sliced in two by the 40,000-ton Wasp, a U.S. aircraft carrier.

Seven hundred miles from the Azores, in cold, turbulent North Atlantic seas three miles deep, the Hobson sank in four minutes or less, taking 176 men with her. Only 61 survived.
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Friday, July 31, 2009

Navy Destroyer named after Medal of Honor Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham

FILE - This undated family photo shows U.S. Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, who died April 22, 2004, after sustaining a head injury from a shrapnel wound, April 14, 2004, in Iraq. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. A Navy destroyer will be christened in his honor Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009, at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. (AP Photo/The Wellsville Daily Reporter, courtesy Dunham family, File)

Warship honors Marine who died protecting comrades

BATH, Maine — Marines flushing out Iraqi insurgents after an ambush came upon a column of vehicles. A van with a father and son. A pickup truck. A tractor. A BMW with a couple of sheiks. And a Toyota Land Cruiser with four young men, all of them insurgents.

As Marines began searching the vehicles, the driver of the Land Cruiser jumped out and attacked Cpl. Jason Dunham. The two men tumbled onto the dirt road. Two Marines ran up to assist but Dunham cried out, "No, no, no, watch his hand!"

A grenade exploded, rocking the narrow street.

Dunham, 22, of Scio, N.Y., mortally wounded as he saved his comrades that day, will be honored Saturday at the christening of the Navy's newest destroyer, the USS Jason Dunham. The young corporal who threw his Kevlar helmet and his body onto the grenade became the first Marine since the Vietnam War to receive the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor.

His mother, Deb Dunham, said she can't think of a greater tribute.
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Warship honors Marine who died protecting comrades