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The men of WHIPPLE: Rest in peace, rest in glory
IMHO, the story of WHIPPLE
's part in the LANGLEY-PECOS-EDSALL
fiasco remains one of the great unknown tales of heroism in the PacWar. It's a damned shame more folks don't know of that episode.
The simple little plaque on the Wall of Remembrance at the Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, TX that was dedicated by her men in honor of their ship & "brave captain" [LtCdr Eugene S. "Fish" Karpe] has never failed to impress me deeply.
Hats off to your Dad.
My father spent nearly four years aboard DD217 USS Whipple, starting in February 1941. As you mentioned, he was one of these crewman who loved the experience from beginning to end. Though he very seldom talked about the several actions they were in, he enjoyed talking about his shipboard life and the ship herself. He enjoyed his time in the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies as well as the North Atlantic where he said he loved being in the crows nest. He always believed he was the last man to see the Langley. My mother said that he had nightmares for the rest of his life about leaving sailors in the water when the Pecos went down. I know that he was sad to leave Whipple to become a plankowner on DE113, Clarence L. Evans, where he finished out the war.
Dad built a 1/96 scale Whipple in his retirement, starting with the Bluejacket kit, BuShips plans, some shipboard photos he had and his memories. He was a craftsman and very detail oriented, so his model reflects that. It's a family treasure.
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