This story is written primarily as a memory book for those who served aboard the Stephen Potter, their spouses and their children and grandchildren, so they may have a better idea of the part we played in helping to preserve the nation's freedom.

It is dedicated in memory of all those shipmates who have passed on to their reward, and ,we think fittingly, to the first skipper of the Potter, the late Comdr. Charles H. Crichton, USN, to whom so many of us owe so much. The lives of a group of young men, officers in their early and mid 20s, crew members mostly a couple of years younger, few with shipboard experience, in 1943 were entrusted to Captain Crichton's leadership, given the task of manning a warship in time of war.

As we look back, it was providential that Captain Crichton was the one sent to lead and guide us and eventually make the Potter into a creditable fighting ship. With his calm mid-western twang , he was a wise, patient, skilled teacher - a father figure we all needed.

That we acquitted ourselves rather well during adversity and inflicted not a little damage upon America's enemy at the start of our major offensive in the Pacific War, can largely be attributed to Captain Crichton's keen, unfaltering ability as a commanding officer. Alone, his remarkable skill in seamanship was a gift of inestimable value to the well-being of our crew on a work-horse ship of the line. He was beloved and unforgettable to who served under him.

----WFM 1999

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