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USS Pillsbury Memories
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From: Denis Lacrosse
Monday @ 08:16 AM, 6/10/2002 wrote:

Jerry et al:

I think you're correct about the height-finding RADAR and repeaters but I think the air-search RADAR was a SPS-6 (L-Band, 1200MHz). Surface search was SPS-4 (C-Band, about 5000MHz). The brushes in the antenna motor for the surface search needed frequent replacement ...usually in bad weather. I think the antenna was only well balanced when the mast was nearly plumb and the motor was over-stressed when the ship rolled severely. The repeaters we used mostly for surface RADAR were the SPA-4's. These were constant maintenance problems.

We replaced the SPS-6 with the SPS-28 (bed spring antenna) when we went into the Boston yard. The 28 was a VHF rig with large triodes for power output rather than a magnetron.

I can't remember the craps organizer but I remember shooting craps and playing a lot of poker, pinocle,whist and cribbage.

From: Jerry Vancleave

Monday @ 06:00 AM, 6/10/2002

Morning Shipmates:

You guys just keep leading me down memory lane. Some of our Pillsbury experiences (both good and bad) recently written about were long since forgotten by me. I'm really enjoying the remembering experience and glad that you guys keep dredging them up.

I'll just have to put in my two cents worth. My best remembrance of Pillsbury is how the crew (all of the crew) supported their fellow shipmates. There was a kinship between Pillsbury's crewmen that I rarely experienced during the remainder of my Navy career (all 38 years).

An example that will bring back memories to some of you that happen to be aboard back in the fall of 1956. My mother passed away while we were on station off of Newfoundland. Fortunately, there was a submarine (Triton SS-420) returning from the Mediterranean via the Azores. She was rerouted to pick me up so that I could go on emergency leave to attend my Mom's funeral. At the very last minute, before Pill's whaleboat was lowered into the water to effect my at sea transfer, one of our mess cooks (Rasche? - RD striker who eventually stayed in the galley) came up to me and shoved wad of money into my pocket. It was money the crew had collected for my emergency leave. To top that off, when I arrived home (Altus, Oklahoma), there was a $100 Western Union money order waiting for me there. Seems our Division officer (Ens Beers) had called his wife ship shore and had her send me the money. As one of you has already mentioned, those early days aboard the Pill had a very positive and lasting impact on my subsequent Navy career. I learned some leadership there that I never ever forgot. We truly had some wonderful young men aboard Pillsbury (they were all young, even the wardroom). Enough of that for now!!!

Do any of you ETs remember our electronic fit? From my memory as an RD:


Medium Range Air Search - AN/SPS-6C (Mike, I don't know whether you remember or not, but I think it was you that taught me how to tune the critter)Mike Lambert Note:No it wasn't me I was a ETR and we had the SPS-6 in ET"A" School-- I changed your AN/SPS-12 to AN/SPS-6C

Height Finder - AN/SPS-8 (I believe that on one occasion we lost the antenna [maybe not completely - wasn't it down on top of the AG shack?] due to heavy weather)

Surface Search - SG-6


AN/SPA -8 (I was the guy with the bucket lashed down near my right foot -Also remember using a bunk strap from the lifting hooks of the repeater around my back for additional support in heavy weather) Nuther note, didn't one of you ETs come up with the idea to weld pipes onto the deck plates to sit the stools in so they wouldn't topple over in heavy weather - Lambert,you should remember that one?)

VJ, or VK (Height finding repeater)Mike Lambert Note:The VL Repeater was the Height Finding Repeater

I think I remember our weapons fit:

Guns: 2-- 3"50 Cal

ASW Weapons:
1 -- Depth Charge Racks
2 -- Cradle Acoustic Torpedo Launchers 1 -- Hedgehog Array MK-15(the only one I saw during my entire career)

Later Shipmates,

RD3 Jerry Van Cleave
(CDR USN Ret.)
9057 Marmont Lane
Williamsburg, Virginia 23188

PS: Who was the little Italian guy who used to shoot craps in our compartment (OI Div)? I seemed to recall that we would lay out an empty laundry bag and shoot craps on the laundry bag.

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