BETHLEHEM STEEL SHIPYARD SAN FRANCISCO, CA


In early September, 1943, the makings' of what in a few weeks would become the ship's crew of the STEPHEN POTTER first laid eyes on each other at what amounted to a temporary barracks in buildings left over from the 1939 San Francisco World's Fair on Treasure Island, a spit of land built up opposite the Oakland‑San Francisco Bay bridge. Enlisted personnel and two officers, Lt. (J.G) Art McDearmid, who was in charge, and Ens. Roy Bellin, made up the pre‑commissioning detail housed at Treasure Island.

Other ship's officers as they reported worked between Treasure Island and standing watches in the temporary ship's office as the new vessel was being outfitted at the Bethlehem. They found private housing in the city.

McDearmid recalls getting a dressing down by Lt. Jimmy Vellis, the executive officer, because Art had let one of the enlisted men keep his tailor‑mades on for a Saturday morning inspection at T.I. "He just wanted to get a fast start on liberty," says McDearmid, adding: "He really was the best dressed in the lineup. But Jimmy was not impressed.'

Finally what McDearmid calls "D‑Day," ‑‑departure from T.I. to the crew's new home on board the ship arrived. All hands were accounted for, and even one sailor not on the list who said he had been told to report. We took him and he stayed with us for the duration.

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