'My Take on the Near-Collision of the U.S.S. KAWISHIWI and the Hannah

by Gerry Hamm, AO3, G Division '74 - '75

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Hi shipmates! I was onboard the Hanna for just a year. Aug'74 'til Aug'75. I made the last WESPAC in '75. I served 20 years in the USN and retired in 1991 as an PR1..hadda change my rate.

The NEAR collision with the USS Kawishiwi on 5 April '75.. This is in reference to Bill Shipley's account of the Emergency Breakaway...

There are some conflicting stories about that.. By my recollection we were along side the Kawishiwi about 1800 or so to take on fuel and water. Oh yea the Hanna had to unrep water...

I was behind the island in the bomb farm watching the unrep. It seemed to me that the K was very close and moving back and forth in a very calm sea state.

I decided to go down to the shop.. so as I got to the front of the island I heard a horn blast from the bridge then on the IMC "Take a brace Take a brace!!" The Hanna made a hard turn to port. Next the collision alarm was sounded but there was no collision. Actually what had happened was the USS Kawishiwi had lost steering and we had an emergency breakaway. We almost had a collision. Some say our STBD aft aircraft elevator did hit the Kawishiwi. I did not see any damage though. In fact when we pulled into Subic (Actually Cubi Pt).. I went down to take a look at the damage and I saw lots of fuel spilled and a couple of dents where maybe a hose or sumpthin' hit that elevator.

Well I went down to the hangar deck and saw Bos'un mates covered in fuel. Them fellas needed to be hosed down. I did not see any injuries. Shortly the skipper passed the word on just what had happened.

Gerry Hamm, PR1, USN (Ret)

Note by Jake: Referring to whether the KAWISHIWI did or did not hit us, the Late NCCM(SW) C. R. "Corky" Johnson, USN, cleared that up by his comments here.

Submitted 4/8/07
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