"Everyone has seen the perspective from the ground and air, but what about the sea? Relive the Vietnam experience from the sea with 'Thunder Goes to War,' a riveting trip aboard the USS Newport News. Join the frontlines of a war that shaped a generation."
Above from AT&T Community Port when this Page was Showcased in April, 2002
A HEAVY CRUISER GOES TO WAR
The USS Newport News, CA148, [Radio Call Sign THUNDER], off Vietnam Coast, 1967. (Photo Courtesy Ron Chorley, Signalman, HMAS Perth, Royal Australian Navy)
Why "Thunder" is also called "Gray Ghost"
After Thunder had received enemy fire on several occasions, a Newport News Seaman told a NAVY TIMES reporter - We’ve been so lucky (not to be hit) that some of the guys on other ships have dubbed the News
The Gray Ghost from the East Coast
The USS NEWPORT NEWS, takes a well-deserved break from running gun battles with the North Viet coastal gun sites (Original Photographer Unknown)
Below, USS Lynde McCormick and Newport News are fired on by the North Viets Hear Captain McCarty describe this event in the sound files below (THUNDERBOLT Photos by Harry Doyle)
CLICK ON PHOTO ABOVE FOR MORE SHOTS OF THIS ACTION CLICK "BACK" TO RETURN
We were very close to shore and I was in C.I.C. (combat information center) --a very vulnerable place to be- when all of a sudden shells were going off all around the ship. They were trying to bracket the ship and zero in on us. Shrapnel landed in several places around the superstructure and elsewhere, but there was only superficial damage. The Captain personally took the helm, we cranked up to full speed, and he maneuvered the ship out of the reach of the shore batteries. I remember being very scared, but it was over quickly.
I was Gun Control Officer (CWO2 at the time) on the bridge of Lynde McCormick during the action and was trying to point out targets for counter battery fire. It was quite interesting, there was metal flying through the air and the bridge wing lookout was trying to hide behind the canvas wind screens. There were some snipes on the main deck that I noticed taking pictures of the action but I never have seen the pictures. These are the first action shots I have seen. Thomas R. Stephenson LCDR, USN (Ret.) 02/01/00
NOTE TO McCORMICK SHIPMATES: Please contact me with info of any photos taken of Newport News during this event. Thanks, Dexter.
I remember that I was climbing up the outside of my Aft Director (below left) to check on a Radar problem, when I heard the swooshing sound of the 1st enemy shell going overhead. There were 8 dogs (latches) on the outer door to the Director. I don’t remember unlatching them, but it seems I was inside the Director before the 2nd round splashed.
At a later date when we were fired on, I took the photo (above right) of a “near miss” on Thunder’s stack. A deck Seaman told me he saw a JO pick up a grapefruit-size chunk of metal and take it to the bridge. These "near misses" account for most of the running-rust on the Gray Ghost picture at top of this page. Dexter Goad MCPO, USN (Ret) 02/04/00
I didn't realize anyone had a photo of that stack. I went and looked at it when it happened but never took a pic. They just hate to admit we got hit don't they? Well now its there for all to see. I remember the shrapnel hitting the side of the ship. We could hear it pinging in after plot. It may be why I have a hard time (in the bathroom) now. My sphincter is still puckered. Steve Kennedy FTG-3, (NN 67-70) 02/05/00
Thunder's Shotgun, HMAS Perth is hit by enemy fire
CLICK ON PHOTO ABOVE FOR MORE ON PERTH ACTION ------ Newport News Sinks WIBLIC, Perth Boat picks up Viet Cong Survivors
CLICK ON PHOTO ABOVE FOR MORE ON CONG CAPTURE
Big Guns Destroy Enemy Radio Site on Second Shot (Photo by D Goad, Insert from 68 Cruise Book)