Welcome to the USS Surfbird Association WEB Page Visitors Log

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Name:   Gary Duncan

city: Staunton
State: Virginia
Sent:  May 21, 2011 at 09:49:38

My dad, Virgil Duncan served on the Surfbird during WWII. The stories he told me about the brave men he served with inspires me to this day. Dad passed away in 2005. However, I know for a fact that one of the main reasons he was such a great father was because of his experiences serving in the Navy, and aboard the Surfbird.

Name:  Donald G Fletcher

City: Apple Valley
State: CA
Sent: January 27, 2011 at 16:21:47

I Was ON The Surfbird In 1952 To 1954. I Would Like To Hear From Some Of You Guys If You Remember Me. You Can Contact Me At My Email Address.

Name:  Richard Hastings 

City: Olney
State: Maryland
Sent: January 14, 2011 at 19:56:58

I was stationed aboard her tempduty Mid October 1967 - mid November 1967.
Was RM2 filled in for radiomen in Sasebo Hospital, I was stationed in SAS
1965-1968 Cruised Vietnam,Phillipines, Koala Lumpur, Malasia, (port swettenham)
Polly wag to shellback so I've got to talk to somebody from the Ships complement
who opened a can of whoop-ass on me during the initiation. We'll do this over a can of prune juice. Really, many fond memories.

Rich Hastings was RM2 and stationed at SASEBO comm Center CFAS SASEBO, JAPAN

Name:  Billy Jack Baskett  

City: Abilene
State: Texas
Sent: November 28, 2010 at 16:35:09

Hello all you old rascals. Wish I could get together with those I served with from 1951-1954. If you read this and served with me, please contact me.

Name: Susan Kelly Peterson 

City: Easton
State: Maryland
Sent:  November 1, 2010 at 11:43:28

My father, Andrew C. Kelly, served on the Surfbird in the Pacific Theatre during WWII and while he didn't talk about much when he did you could tell he was proud of his service. I remember him telling me that "his" ship was in the movie Caine Mutiny.

Name: Virgil Hoadley 

City: Simi Valley
State: CA
Sent: June 2, 2010 at 09:58:06

If you are visiting the library of the Greatest president in recent history please drop by.

Name: Edward B. Sinclair 

City: Portland
State: OR
Sent:  April 29, 2010 at 09:32:31

Was in Sasebo with MinDiv-33 Jan 1964 through August 1966 and saw Surfbird regularly.

Name: Bob Chetwynd 


State: England

 Best wishes to you all

Laura Dean Murphy 

City: Upper Marlboro
State: MD
Sent: March 29, 2010 at 10:58:19

My brother, Arthur Waddell Rush from Durham, NC, passed away on Friday, March 26, 2010. I saw in his obituary that he was a member of the crew of the USS Surfbird from 1961 through 1963 and was a charter member of the USS Surfbird Association. Arthur and his wife Elaine attended the reunion of the Surfbird in 2007. I wanted to let the organization and those who are also a part of the Assocation know about his passing. Info regarding the funeral service can be found at the funeral home's website www.ellisdjones.com.

Name:  Ellenmary Kelly-DeTore 

City: Freehold
State: NJ
Sent: March 15, 2010 at 19:14:56

Was showing my son the ship that my Dad, Andy Kelly was on During WWII, he has become interested in learning more about the War since playing War Games on his XBOX Gaming System.

Name: Jeff Crocker 

City: Gig Harbor
State: Washington
Sent: January 18, 2010 at 18:06:55

One of my fondest memories is of sunset over Siberia seen from the deck of the M/V HELENKA B... salt spray coming over her bow. Gambling on beating the ice to Wainwright, Alaska, with a full load of heavy equipment chained to her deck. Hoping we don't run out of lube oil on the return trip...her twin Detroits sucking it up.

ahhhhh...those were the days...

Name: Arthur J. Haber (Son-in-law of Stanislaus J. Sowinski) 

City: Pauma Valley California (San Diego County)
State: California
Sent: January 20, 2010 at 14:59:42

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Charlie Vandervort at the funeral and memorial services for Stanislaus J. Sowinski, Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret) on Monday, January 18, 2010, and exploring the website for the USS Surfbird Association. In addition to his illustrious naval career, including a tour of duty on the Surfbird, Stan Sowinski was an accomplished artist without equal. I'll be forwarding a link to Mr. Sowinski's website where his work, and a brief biography with photographs, can be enjoyed by all.

Name: Terimarie Kurator 

City: San Luis Obispo
State: California
Sent: November 17, 2009 at 11:17:37

My father, Joseph T. Kurator served on the Surfbird, not sure what years. He recently passed away 11/8/09. Would love to hear from anyone who knew him.

Name: Bill Klemme 

City: Anchorage
State: Alaska
Sent: November 23, 2009 at 15:05:08

Saw the helenka B coming into Anchorage port last week ,and google it to find more info on this boat,wow what a story.

Name: Robert Sewell 

City: Bremerton
State: Washington
Sent: November 11, 2009 at 21:12:21

My uncle Bill Emery was on the Surfbird at the end of WW2. He was a Cheif Electicians Mate and very proud of his service on the minesweepers. He commissoned the Tide which was sunk when it hit a mine the second day of the DDay invasion and eventually was sent to west coast and the Surfbird. My aunt and I were talking of his duty during WW2 and she mentioned the Surfbird so I looked it up. My uncle told me that it was very stressful when they were sweeping around Japan, they knew the end of the war was coming and everyone wanted to survive to see it happen. You have a nice web page....Bob Sewell

Name: Larry R. Kietzman

City: Topeka
State: Ks.
Sent: October 31, 2009 at 11:56:25

I would like to know if any of you guys serving between Dec. 1962 and Sep 1964 remember the approx. month we were in typoon (Joan) I believe off the coast of Phillipines. Blackerby Miesner, Cox, Rio, myself (on Radar Watch) were active in getting the ship safely to port. The XO Steve Ralph was sick in his rack and the Captain was also unavailable. We tied ropes around our waists and went down from CIC to check on equipment etc. I remember the Captain saying we were to get a letter in our record for this accomplishment. At that time, I was the Yeoman for my rate (notwithstanding my other duties, Radar, deck watches, shore patrol etc. and I never typed any letters. I didnt question this but felt we deserved it. Further I need to know the date we went to degauss ships in Vietnam, approx. Aug and Sep 1964. The website says 1963 as well. We went into the town of Na Trang several times if you remember. Please let me know if you can help me.  I do remember typing a letter to Sec. of Navy requesting Surfbird be given the Ex. Medal for these operations/ Why didnt we get Vietnam service medal for the shore-line degaussing work we did several times. I had secret clearance and knew we were bombing Laos at the time; I know most of you didnt know this.

Name: Charles W. Reeves

City: Lake Charles
State: LA 70601
Sent: October 17, 2009 at 11:20:22

I was pleased to see this website and the pictures.

Name: William James Whitman
City: Bennington
State: Ks.
Sent: July 6, 2009 at 22:33:59

Had a visit with two shipmaytes today. Edwin Benfore and R.L.King. Both EN-3,s on the bird. Photos will follow . Brother the BS did roll. A lot of good times were related between us. From steam jobs to blow baths!!!

Name: Bob Chetwynd
Sent:  May 20, 2009 at 16:23:41

Sir, many years ago, maybe 1964 I was serving on HMS BAROSSA a Battle class destroyer berthed in HONG KONG. We were parked alongside the USS SURFBIRD !

Surfing the web I remembered the name and here we are !!!.

I recall the broadcasts on your ships tannoy system clearly LIBERTY GUYS TO GLAMOURISE----- Prisoners muster at the sherrifs office--. It was very entertaining and has stayed in my memory ever since.

I wish you all the best and have a good reunion, you will enjoy Laughlin, my wife and I stayed there about 4 years ago -- check out the CARP in the Colorado river!!

BOB Chetwynd Lancashire England

Name: Jodi Obert
City: Centerburg
State: Ohio
Sent:  April 16, 2009 at 12:16:32

My friend, Tom White Lt. JG. Eng. Off., was aboard the USS Surfbird AM 383 during WWII. Tom is 89 years young and I'm sure he would appreciate contact with any other veterans who sailed on this ship (or would like to hear first-hand stories of WWII). Tom is in a nursing home now, but is very feisty. He is a pleasure to keep company with and I'm sure would keep you entertained with WWII stories. Please notify me and I will ask Tom's permission to release his contact information.

Name: Dewey C Williams

City: Fresno
State: Ca
Sent:  August 11, 2008 at 23:20:08

For years this ship was my #1 pic on my dream sheets. I was a QM in the Navy and retired in 82 after 22 yrs (60-82). My first choice never came up. This is a great site and it is really hard to see the old girl as she is now phisiclly anyway, glad she hasn't been scrapped as most of the ship I served on were. What more can I say but BZ on the site. Dewey C Williams QMC USN RET

Name: James Sutherlin EM-2 / DV-2
Santa Cruz
State: California
Sent:  August 4, 2008 at 01:34:31

A lot of folks have spent plenty of time setting up this web site and organizing the Surfbird Association. To them, I say, Thank You very much. It is fun to occasionally go back into the past and reminisce the old times we have had. Seems like we always remember the good times, and seem to forget the mid watches, or 8 on and 8 off, or a ship bouncing around in rough seas so bad you are wondering if she is going to break in half. Some how, we all made it thru, and now 40 years later, were wishing we could go back. I was in a Naval Reserve diving unit for 21 years after I got off active duty in 1970. In 1988 on our way to Guam for two weeks active duty, a couple of fellow reservists and myself, had our tickets changed to get to Guam via Tokyo vs Honolulu. Once in Tokyo we caught the Navy bus to Yokosuka for a couple of days. Let me tell you it was not quite the same. The beauty of the port was still there, but, with the devaluation of the dollar(even then) the clubs in town were charging over $7.00 a beer, consequently the bars were empty, but the on base EM club was packed.

Don't want to take up all this sites bandwidth with my yapping, so hope to see some of you at a reunion someday! Think I'll dig out some old pictures and post them. What ever happened to Mr Vaccaro or Senior Chief Alley?

Name: Brandon Rhoades
City: Arnold
State: PA
Sent:  July 19, 2008 20:39

LD McMaster is my grandfather. Thank You for serving the country and making America proud.

Name: Kelly Thomas

City: Conyers
State: GA
Sent:  April 4, 2008 12:02


Name: Veterans Service Officer - Jane Babcock
City: Manitowoc
State: WI
Sent:  March 31, 2008 12:02

Gentlemen I am assisting, Robert Vanover, a former crew member (1965-1967), with a Service Connected (SC) claim to VA for Diabetes. Robert was an Electricians Mate (EM) on board from late 1965 to November 1967. Do any of you remember him? Would you be willing to write "buddy" statements relating to how close you were to shore and if at any time you were on the beach Vietnam? If you would like to get in touch with him I would be happy to pass along any messages or contact information.

Thank you for your service,

Jane Babcock

County Veterans Service Officer

SFC (Ret), US Army & Army Reserve


Name: Anna Flanigan
City: Homer
Sent: 20-Dec-2007 13:29

Just wanted to send a thank you for the Surfbird hat, Bruce and Helenka B are down the Alaska Penninsula headed for Kodiak and Perryville, we're hoping he makes it home for Christmas. She got sandblasted and a new coat of paint this summer, after the old paint came off, we found USS Surfbird is still printed on her hull in raised letters, still hanging on to her origins! I'll send some new photos in the mail to Don Gillispie, Merry Christmas to all.

Name: >Bill Carter
City: Horseshoe Bay
Sent: 15-Dec-2007 11:18

The Surfbird was my first Ship. I came onboard in 1957 and departed in 1958. The skipper was George Mitchell, I was a deck hand later to work in the ship's office for YN2 Jerry Taylor.

Name: Jack White
City: Smyrna
state: Tenn.
Sent: 20-Jul-2007 07:03

Looking for AM-220 Device crew.

Name: Dennis Jacot
City: Sycamore
state: Illinois
Sent: 16-Apr-2007 03:22

Nice to see pics of old shipmates. Brings back memories of time spent saving the world from whatever we were supposed to be saving it from at the time.

Name: Thomas Dannatt
City: Greeley
state: Co.
Sent: 10-Dec-2006 18:53

I served on the Surfbird from 1960 - 1962 cooking all those wonderful meals, for you all to enjoy. If you would like to get even come to our next reunion. We all have a good time. See you there in September 2007.

Name: Grady B Carroll, Jr.
City: Prescott
state: Az
Sent: 09-May-2006 19:08

Holy crap what a flash back. I was on the Surfbird for a very short time, Jan 1964 to about March 1964. I was 17 years old barely, if anybody out there was serving at the same time give a holler. Grady

Name: Jeff Harris
City: Harlingen
state: Texas
Sent: 30-Jan-2006 18:14

My father served aboard the Surfbird during WWII. I was wondering about his rank (QM1/c) My son is in the Navy now and I'd like to present him with the surfbird picture I have and a little history on his grandfather.

Name: Ruben Batista
City: El Paso
state: Texas
Sent: 28-Jan-2006 19:57

Was on the surfbird from 1951-1952.

Name: Nikki White
City: Waynesboro
state: Virgnia
Sent: 04-Jan-2006 13:32

My grandfather was Virgil Duncan. He passed away on December 26, 2005. he served in the 40s on the surfbird. I looking for info on people he served with and especially about the history of his ship the surfbird. Please anyone feel free to e-mail me with anything. This was a part of his life he was very proud of.

Name: Elmer R. Witherow
City: Redmond
state: Oregon
Sent: 03-Nov-2005 13:42

My father, Elmer H. Witherow, served aboard the USS Surfbird from August 1966 to August 1968 with the rank of CWO4. Unfortunately, he passed away on Sept 13th, 1991 in Omaha, NE. I would appreciate if his name could be included on the ships Memorial Roster. Thanks very much for your kind consideration.

Name: Dennis Plank Kelly
<City: Rochester
state: Minnesota
Sent: 13-Aug-2005 19:22

I was on the Warbler MSC 206 at Sasebo, went onboard the Surfbird several times.Anyone know of Pete Peterson DC1 was on surfbird 69 from minnesota. Surfbird what a great name for a ship.

Name: Ginger Davis
City: Anchorage
state: Alaska
Sent: 19-Jul-2005 12:27

Very well put together and informative. This site was used to confirm a veterans association with the USS Surfbird. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your service to our country. It is an honor to be veteran.

Name: Kelly Omsberg
City: Lombard
state: Illinois
Sent: 22-May-2005 19:38

My grandfather, George Kasik, served during 59-61. Does anyone remember him? Just curious. Thanks!

Name: Art Paullus
Sent: 12-Apr-2005 14:43

Just read about the rescue of the SS Yanix in the spring (?) of 1962. I was on board the USS Stoddard when we did the final rescue. I have several photos that I can share with the USS Sunbird Association if interested. I had to go on watch at 1600 in the foreward engine room and missed the sinking, it sank after dark about 2000 before I was relieved from watch. Let me know about the photos. Art

Name: Jon Holford
City: Cork
state: Ireland
Sent: 13-Feb-2005 09:42

A great site. Greetings to Uncle Sam from an old Royal Navy Mineswiper.

Name: George Mickus RMCM Ret
City: Elk Grove
state: Ca
Sent: 07-Dec-2004 21:00

I was with Comservron three in 58 & 59 on the AJAX, HECTOR and JASON and remember the Surfbird well. You guys got a terrific web site. Really enjoyed looking at the Sasebo photos.

Name: Ed Kelly
City: Horsham
state: PA
Sent: 05-Jul-2004 07:29

My dad served on the Surfbird during 45 and 46, I believe. His name was Andrew (Andy) Kelly. He passed away in 1999 butlived a full life. Nine children and many grandchildren. A quiet, reserved man and good father. Looking for more info on whatmedals if any he should have, I can only find one and who do I contact for more information on his naval career. Thanks for my freedom, Ed Kelly

Name: Mrs.G.C.Markle

City: Louisville,Ky
How did you find us: Just logged on for Surfbird
Sent: 11-May-2004 17:52

I enjoyed our 2 year stay in Sasebo, it was a beautiful part of Japan. I enjoyed meeting the Japanese people. What a fond time for us.

Name: Tracey Ballard
City: Louisville
How did you find us: My Mom sent this information
Sent: 11-May-2004 09:28

My Father, Gilbert C. Markle served on the Surfbird and I was wondering if anyone knew him. He was killed in a motor vehicle accident in November of 1999 and never talked much about his tenure on the ship. I'd love to know more about him and what all he did. Thanks! Tracey

Name: Larry BNennetts
City: Newhall
How did you find us: Through the internet & Classmates.com
Sent: 10-Apr-2004 21:38

Hello evryone Larry Bennetts (sm3) 1961-1963 here. Hope to see all of you at the next Reunion 2005.

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