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    Chung-Hoon Commemorates Sigsbee Attack



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Abigayle Lutz 

    Carrier Strike Group Three (CSG 3)

    Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) commemorated the attack on the World War II-era destroyer USS Sigsbee (DD 502) during a ceremony in the Gulf of Oman, April 15.

    The ceremony, held on the ship’s fo’c’sle, included the parading of the colors, remarks from Chung-Hoon’s commanding officer, a reading of a poem written by a Sigsbee Sailor, and 23 bells for each fallen Sailor of Sigsbee.

    “It’s incredible to think of the moments that define a crew and their ship. For USS Sigsbee, that moment was on April 14, 1945,” said Cmdr. Brent Jackson, commanding officer of Chung-Hoon. “Out of that tragic attack, – [the] heroic achievement for the crew of Sigsbee bore a lifetime of tradition and heralded examples to which we today enact in a small way while serving aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon, named after Sigsbee’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Gordon Pai'ea Chung-Hoon.”

    The day of the attack, Sigsbee was struck aft of her number five gun by a Japanese suicide plane, putting the port engine out of commission. The starboard engine could only power the ship at a top speed of five knots, steering was gone, and the ship began to take on heavy water.

    Cmdr. Chung-Hoon continued to direct anti-aircraft fire while simultaneously directing damage control efforts to combat the flooding. His efforts, and those of the crew, allowed Sigsbee to be towed to Guam for repairs.

    For his actions, Cmdr. Chung-Hoon was awarded the Navy Cross and Silver Star.

    “It is that moment in time, that day in April of 1945, [that] those Sigsbee Sailors strengthened the very fabric of the American spirit by demonstrating the resolve, passion, and determination that has been a hallmark of our Navy since its formation,” said Jackson.

    Chief Gunner’s Mate Sean Reynolds read a poem written by Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Al J. Pohl, a survivor of the attack on Sigsbee.

    “The fact that it was a gunner’s mate that wrote the poem made it even more special to me,” said Reynolds. “It was such an honor to be a part of the ceremony to honor the Sailors of Sigsbee. Where we are today is all due to the men and women that have answered the call long before us to do what needed to be done.”

    The 23 bells were rung for the following fallen Sigsbee Sailors: Lt. George G. Hart; Ensign Dick M. Lykes; Seaman 1st Class Burton J. Adams; Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Guy V. Amburgey; Ship Fitter 1st Class Clayton R. Bryant; Coxswain Robert L. Cheety; Fireman 1st Class Carleton C. Cox Jr.; Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Joseph W. Freeman Jr.; Seaman 2nd Class Callis C. Gwynn; Seaman 1st Class Joe Hagston; Seaman 1st Class Joseph L. Heflin; Fireman 1st Class Edwin C. Hoover; Seaman 2nd Class William O. Hudson; Seaman 2nd Class Gerard P. Keller; Ship’s Cook 3rd Class Sterling J. LeBlanc;
    Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Edwin F. McGraw; Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Earnest P. Mellum; Fireman 1st Class Sherman L. Millirans; Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Lawrence E. Mueller; Seaman 2nd Class Clair E. Musser; Seaman 1st Class Anthony D. Sox; Seaman 2nd Class Robert F. Wright and Fireman 1st Class Rogers B. Young.

    “Sailors of Sigsbee, on behalf of the USS Chung-Hoon, we look to you today, and many other days throughout the year, and say thank you,” said Jackson. “Thank you for your example of courage and heroism. You are not forgotten. Thank you and Imua e na Koa Kai.”

    Sigsbee eventually arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, June 7, 1945 to have a new 60-foot stern installed. After the repairs, Sigsbee sailed out of Pearl Harbor on Sept. 18, 1945 and arrived in Philadelphia on Oct. 22, 1945. Sigsbee then sailed to Charleston, South Carolina in preparation for deactivation. The ship was decommissioned on March 31, 1974.

    Chung-Hoon is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.

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    Date Taken: 04.15.2019
    Date Posted: 04.20.2019 08:30
    Story ID: 318895

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