COLLISION!


The OTC signaled a course change of 175 degrees to the right, our bridge watch thought they detected the carriers target angle changing, ie coming right prior to the signal to turn. About this time the carrier also disappeared in the fog. The ODD thought the carrier pulled the old well known carrier trick of turning and then remembering to tell the small boys what he was doing. The HOBSON was still very fresh in our minds.

The OOD, Paul Bishop, used the time honored duck and follow in the wake routine which insures the carrier can't hit you. When he realized it meant a possible collision with the ship in station 2, he swung right as fast as he could in the pea soup fog, but not fast enough to avoid a collision, but enough to avoid loss of either ship. The PICKING lost their starboard bower anchor, had a little kink in the bow, we bent the port whaleboat davits and a couple of stanchions. To my knowledge the only personnel casualty was a seaman in our boatswains locker who misjudged the door combing, in his haste, and broke a toe.

Of course there was a court of inquiry in Norfolk. Captain Jack Hammer ODD Paul Bishop and CIC Evaluator, myself, were parties. No one was reprimanded, but the captain was relieved and sent to a cruiser division staff. He was relieved by CDR Thomas Eddy.

We had a cold weather ASW operation off of Labrador and mid winter Caribbean ASW exercises with port calls at San Juan PR, St Thomas, and Martinique.

During this time which brings us to February 1953, the STEPHEN POTTER was an aggressive, confident, professional master at the art and science of Anti Submarine Warfare as it then existed ...We were a proud ship.

Taken from "USS Stephen Potter - The Story of DD538" compiled and edited by Lt. Wilson F. (Bill) Minor USNR (Ret).