Barney Goodwin, RM2, NAVCOMMSTA SF
U.S.S. HANCOCK (CV-19 vs U.S.S. KAWISHIWI AO-146
Emergency Breakaway and Collision

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"I was the Radioman on duty in the HICOM room at NAVCOMMSTA San Francisco (NPG) in Stockton CA when this happened. HICOM was an open emergency frequency radio net established after the Pueblo incident.

For a duty radioman, it meant listing to static from an unsquelched wall speaker all shift. The importance of that radio net was realized that night.

I was listening to the static and the tic-toc of WWV's time clock tones, when I heard

"Any station this net, this is the USS HANCOCK, collision, break!"

The message had urgency in the voice and did not use the 2-letter, coded daily call sign used in that day. I picked up the switchboard handset, pressed the transmit button and acknowledged,

"This is Toreador, go ahead with your traffic!"

By this time I had the watch chief and others in the room (a small room no larger than a walk in closet). I had patched the transmission into CINCPACFLT in Honolulu who then took over the transmission exchange.

Other than log entries and followup paperwork in the front office, our job was done. I would read about the Hancock's collision with an oiler a couple of days later in the local newspaper. For a radioman working a noisy, boring duty, it underscored the importance of staying alert and listening for what may be a faint voice amidst the ever droning static. It also showed how a ship's radio distress had bounced past NAVCOMMSTA HONO in the atmosphere to the west coast of the U.S. and had to be patched by secure line back to Hono."

Barney Goodwin, RM2, USN

More Information in the EBA and Collision with KAWISHIWI AO-146 can be found on the Welcome Page.


Submitted 8/20/2014
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