GRIFFIN'S LAIR PROUDLY SALUTES THE U.S. NAVY, IT'S SAILORS AND VETERANS
May 2 - After 2 wks work, we were ready for sailing (pulled out of Frisco this day).
May 25 - Noremena, New Caledonia - after a long trip it is good to be in port.
June 4 - Left New Caledonia for new port, should be short trip, hope so anyway.
June 8 - Auckland, N.Z. - arrived O.K., Plenty of rough weather on way down, Will move on in few days.
June 12 - Left Auckland for short trip.
June 15 - Wellington, N.Z.
June 20 - Left Wellington for another short trip.
June 21 - Timaru, N.Z.
June 25 - Left Timaru, N.Z.
June 26 - Lyttleton, N.Z. from here took train to Christ Church, N.Z.
June 28 - Left Lyttleton for unknown port.
July 7 - Arrived at Guadalcanal - Got mail and got ashore seen Henderson Airfield, had cup of coffee & donuts on Field.
July 8 - Church shot himself accidently, we took him to hospital.
July 11 - Left Guadalcanal for unknown port.
July 12 - Arrived at Russell Island.
July 15 - New Georgia Group 12 Mt. To Munda.
July 16 - Sterling - Treasury Group.
July 17 - Bougainville, went ashore here - 20,000 Japanese are trapped on this island.
July 24 - Left Bougainville for unknown port.
July 25 - Green Isle left same day for Bougainville - no locks here.
July 26 - Bouganville have to leave not ready to unload us.
July31 - Green Isle Back again.
Aug. 1 - Left Green Isle
Aug. 4 - Russell Island (Aug. 6. seen Bob Hope, Francis Langford & Jerry Colone in the rain.)
Aug. 7 - Russells to Tulagia - Took on Spring water & oil.
Aug. 9 - Tulagia to Guadalcanal again left same day for S. America.
Sept. 10 - Arrived at Anafagasta Chile S.A.
Sept. 11 - Arrived at Tocapilla Chile
Sept. 17 - Left Tocapilla for Panama.
Sept. 25 - Panama City went through canal, some experience.
Sept. 29 - Guantanamo Bay Cuba - Left same day for N.Y.
Oct. 6 - N.Y. City - went home on 4 day pass.
Oct. 22 - Went to Philidelphia - hit hurricane, no sleep.
Oct. 28 - Philidelphia to N.Y.
Oct. 29 - Arrived in N.Y.C.
Oct. 30 - Left N.Y. for Belfast, Ireland.
Nov. 13 - Arrived Belfast, Ireland N.I. Ire. Is neutral arrived safe and sound had a little excitement last couple of days at sea.
Nov. 14 - Got ashore to go to hospital with a couple of the fellows.
Nov. 21 - Got ashore on Liberty had a good chance to look over the place, may get another one soon.
Nov. 22 - Pulled shore patrol on this day.
Nov. 28 - Got ashore again on Liberty met Errol Flynn's Mother and Father.
Nov. 29 - Have orders to for new destination - Livanpel (sic.) - arrived today - S. Wales England be here
overnight leave in morning.
Dec. 2 - S. Hampton Bay - came in early part of morning - not getting ashore in these ports in England, leaving this afternoon for new port.
Dec. 3 - Dover, England - White Cliffs of Dover can be seen from ship, came in early A.M. very cold out.
Dec. 5 - Antwerp, Belgium - Got in late this evening, passed parts of Holland. Seen windmills, dikes & homes, seen plenty that the Germans destroyed. Flushing, Holland - seen a large ship they had started to build before we took over, seen a lot of destruction here also, Germans took all food, vehicles, buses, we were one of the first ships to arrive here.
Dec. 7 - Went ashore on this day - town is pretty well banged up. Plenty of destruction - Germans V1 - V2 are dropped every day around us. Lucky, O. Kay so far.
Dec. 16 - Something I'll never forget. Well so far we are all alive, two of our boys got hurt when the Rex Theatre got bombed. I was in a show a block away. They still be kind of weak though, Helped them carry out 700 women & children, all dead. - Horrible sight.
Dec. 22 - Bomb hit block away from ship, killed six men. Leaving this place today, Very lucky to be alive - Thank God most that we are, We are on our way to N.Y.C. now.
Dec. 24 - Xmas Eve - we are out to sea - colder than hell out - most of the fellows in Mess Room listening to Xmas carols.
Dec. 25 - Xmas Day - we hit rough weather last night.
Jan. 1 - New Years Day - Big dinner and supper. This weather is the worst I have ever seen. The ships have been rolling four days now.
Kretchmer (DE-329) was laid down 28 June 1943, by Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas; launched 31 August 1943; and commissioned 13 December 1943, Lt. R. C. Wing in command.
Kretchmer departed Charleston, S.C., 15 February 1944, for operations in the Carribean. Based at Port-au-Spain, Trinidad, she escorted convoy to Cuba and Bermuda until sailing for Key West 2 May. Assigned to an air wing training detachment. Kretchmer operated with torpedo bombers for three weeks, before departing Charleston 8 June escorting a convoy to Europe. Sailing via Curacao, D.W.I., Kretchmer screened shipping bound for Naples in preparation for the assaults on southern France. After returning to the United States 16 July, the escort ship made one more cruise to Naples during this summer.
Between 20 September 1944 and 27 April 1945, Kretchmer sailed as an escort to five convoys from New York to United Kingdom ports. After victory in Europe, she prepared for for Pacific fleet duty arriving Pearl Harbor 5 July. Clearing Pearl Harbor 1 August, Kretchmer was enroute to the Philipines when hostilities stopped 14 August. Serving in the Far East until 1 April 1946, the destroyer escort engaged in occupation and repatriation operations, including the evacuation of Allied prisoners of war from Formosa during September 1945.
Kretchmer also served on escort duty mine patrol, and mail runs between Chinese ports. Departing Hong Kong 1 April 1946, she returned by way of the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, arriving Charleston, S. C., 29 May. Kretchmer decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Florida, 20 September 1946. Kretchmer recommissioned as DER - 329 on 22 September 1956, Lt. Comdr. C.F. Fadely in command. The radar picket arrived at Boston 18 December. Based at Newport, Rhode Island, from 1957 - 1962, she remained on picket duty. She also made cruises to northern Europe in 1958, 1961, and 1962, and in August 1961 rescued six men from foundered Icelandic fishing vessel Sleipnir. In the aftermath of the Cuban missle crisis, Kretchmer departed Newport 23 November 1962 for pickert duty off the southern coast of the United States. While operating as plane guard and screen for Essex (CVS - 9) in Key west waters, Kretchmer rescued two shrimp fishermen from disabled fishing vessel Ala, after they had been fired upon by Cuban "Mig" aircraft. On 21 February 1963, while Kretchmer was guarding Ala, a Mig - 17 made four passes at the disabled fishing craft before turning tail ahead of U.S. Marine aircraft.
The ship departed Newport, R.I., for Guam, arriving 2 August after a stopover at Pearl Harbor. One month late, Kretchmer joined other vessels off the South Vietnamese coast in Operation "Market Time," keeping coastal traffic under surveillance to prevent the shipment of Communist arms and supply to South Vietnam via sea. Her motor whaleboat came under heavy small arms fire during a roundup operation in November. No American casualties resulted and Kretchmer's search party seized a large number of suspected guerilla infiltrators.
By the end of a year of patrol, the ship had investigated some 17,000 contacts, and boarded over 1,000 small craft. On 10 December she continued "Market Time" patrol off the northwest coast of Vietnam and provided gunfire support for the Marines and Army on shore. She left Subic Bay 29 september for her homeport, Guam, where she remained through part of October. Kretchmer then departed for further radar picket escort duties off Vietnam through 1966 to 1967.
Kretchmer was decommissioned and was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 September 1973.
Petty Officer 3rd Class John T. Griffin survived WW II. He later joined the U.S. Army and was killed in action in Korea on 25 March 1951 while serving as a Paratrooper with Co. G, 2/187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team.