This particular page has been neglected for a while. There are simple
reasons for this neglect: nearly everyone of
us have full-time jobs and the time we
donate is done freely and, we enjoy it.
Nevertheless, some history about how all of this came about is in
order, as well as where we are now and where we are headed (which is
Richard McMichael (Seattle Washington) started these pages as a way to preserve
the memories of the ships he served on:
USS McGinty DE 365, USS Edmonds DE 406
, USS Uhlmann DD 687,
USS Theodore E. Chandler DD 717, and
USS Hull DD 945.
That was in the Fall of 1996.
There were many contributors to the site by the time I stumbled on these pages
in early 1997, looking for information on the ship I served on,
the USS Whipple (FF-1062).
What fascinated me about Destroyers Online was two simple things:
One, I sent an E-mail to Mr.. McMichael - and he responded.
He further encouraged me to send in whatever I hoped to see in the beginning's
of a web-site for the Whipple and; Two, the easy navigation of
Shortly thereafter, I became enamored with the net and all of the
potential it held. It would soon become very apparent that the net had
the ability to reunite two people from diverse backgrounds who shared a very
special two days aboard Whipple.
In the Spring of 1997, I submitted (and Rich McMichael posted) an essay
of mine that was published in a college Honors Journal in 1988. Sitting
in my dresser drawer and on floppy for 9 years, I felt it was a good
story to put up on the internet. It was an essay of
Whipple's rescue of 410 Vietnamese refugee's
in high seas and heavy winds in August, 1978. A few months after
the essay went up on the net, Richard
Chen who was 14 years old at the time of the rescue - and was searching the
internet for the ship that rescued him - contacted me. I sent Richard a
number of photographs from the rescue in the mail. Richard showed these
to the Wing Luke Museum in downtown
Seattle. The next thing I know, I'm being invited to Seattle
as a guest speaker - with Richard - to share our stories.
Our re-uniting was the focus of considerable media attention:
Seattle Times, Detroit Free Press and a host of T.V. & Radio.
I felt extremely fortunate to meet with Richard after 20 years. There
were many other shipmates aboard Whipple who had
more prominent roles during the
rescue; I simply tried to convey my feeling that the crew as a whole
felt extremely fortunate to execute one of the under-reported aspects of
Destroyer life: Aid to vessels in distress on the high seas.
And this is just one story. At Destroyers Online, we have numerous
examples of fellow shipmates who have re-kindled friendships after many
years. Some of these shipmates have discovered that long-lost shipmates
are a short drive from each other.
In the Summer of 1997, Brad Davis came to our site looking for the ship
his Grandfather served on, the U.S.S. Hazelwood
(DD-531). Because of health reasons, Brad was never able to
serve, but he had a wealth of information on his Grandfathers service
and the Hazelwood in general. Brad quickly became involved and for
several years was our point of contact for the
Fletcher class Destroyers. (Brad is currently on leave.)
In late 1998, Destroyers Online was fortunate to acquire the services
of our first officer, Dave Seay (LCDR-ret). Dave got the
Sumner class Destroyers up and running.
Some of the things he has initiated for the Sumner's is where Destroyers Online
is headed: Automation.
Jack Atkinson used to handle the Charles Adams
class and the two Bronstein Frigates, but Jack
is retiring from Boeing and will be moving back east. He may return to help out
when he gets situated in his new home; we wish him well.
Our motto at Destroyers Online: To reflect highly on the Navy,
the ships and their crews. Anything that does not fall into that
simple theme, we usually will not put up. Sometimes, a sailor
will write in explaining that his Petty Officer, Officer
or Captain was a real --- ---- you get the idea. He
probably was, but he's probably a trial Lawyer now specializing in slander
suits. So, we try to keep it clean. Pictures? Same thing!
Often, a fellow shipmate will send in picture(s) of a group of sailors on
liberty in some foreign port with their "Girlfriends" in attendance. We
usually will not put these up. Why? The sailor who sent it in might not
object to his picture up on the net, however, there
may be other sailors [in the picture] who would.
Beyond any of these examples, it's pretty much open season.
Dave Seay is on the cutting edge (as he is fond of reminding
us .... :). What Dave has done for the Sumner class
is fabulous. When he first came to Destroyers Online,
the Sumner's were languishing for lack of attention.
Dave came onboard and quickly automated the
"Crew Locator" function for the class. This has
become a very popular way of getting shipmates listed in a
Some of us html "Neanderthals" (which includes me) are uncomfortable with
the "Box method" ("Forms") of communicating. Like others in this medium,
I feel they are impersonal and I don't care for them. However,
with the amount of people visiting this site, "Forms" will probably be
a bigger part of the experience. The Forms are also key to opening up
Imagine: selecting a "Form" and being able to search an entire database
for a ship, the name of a particular sailor - or All of the sailors
for a particular ship, or all of the photographs for a particular
ship; and having this data processed into a web-page designed to your
With new systems we will deploy, we will be able to bring these
capabilities to you. (The goal is further automation without loosing
the "personal touch.")
We are also providing a way you can help support the site. From Amazon.com,
we have deployed a "donation" area, titled "Help Support Destroyers Online."
(See below.) All of us donate our time and do it as a labor of love. We do
have expenses - Server costs - so anything you would like to contribute
we appreciate the support. Anything donated above our costs will be distributed
in such a way that we can all order a pizza . . . . :)
So, Destroyers Online will continue to grow in capability. We are
interested in this medium for the same reasons you are: to collect,
preserve and display historical information about the ships,
their crews and the U.S. Navy. Nearly all of us have served (or is close
to someone who did) and we enjoy hearing from "our fellow shipmates" and
the varied experiences they have to tell.
We sincerely enjoy this endeavor and hope that we can contribute to a subject
we know you hold special too.