The Fighting Hannah

The Hancock Mystique: Icons of the Past

Evidence of 'The Hancock Mystique'

Much of the Hancock Mystique is wrapped up in the personalities of those known as Ships Company. We all came to this ship - this microcosm of humanity - from many walks of life, from the back woods of Louisiana; the North Woods of Wisconsin; the Islands of Hawaii; Corpus Christi, Texas and even from Ireland and other non-traditional places. Each one of us brought with us our very own bit of the world, and with this diversity, formed what your Yeoman calls the "Hancock Mystique."

With this Mystique, we touched each other's lives in a most unusual and special way. It was a wonderful experience, to see so many different types of individuals come together to form a fine tuned machine, we called the Crew, which I am sure all would agree, was the Heartbeat of the Hannah.
I could not imagine our ship being much else than just another ship amid the Navy's many, without this feeling of connectivity. I was proud to be a part of it. I know you are too!

Many of you can remember coming aboard the Quarterdeck and seeing the Sign in the Hangar Bay near the Fire Control Station - "Welcome Aboard - USS HANCOCK.." - that in itself has become a part of the "Hancock Mystique": And an "Icon of the Past" - to see it again conjures up memories and emotions only a HANCOCK Sailor knows and understands.

Crew of S-1 Division's Cooks, Bakers and Storekeepers - WWII

Some brought with them, their music, their instruments, their voices, their faiths.. others brought with them, their poetry, their stories, their loves; the very substance of their souls. There were no secrets among us that we could keep hidden for very long. Even if we tried, the friendship and brotherhood we molded usually became the catalyst that brought out our uniqueness for all to see and even enjoy. The thing that began as a part of our personal uniqueness, turned out to be the Spirit of Oneness that drove us, which bonded us together. We were, after all, a Crew!

The First SB2C Ordnance Crew - October 15, 1944

I have chosen to call this page "Hancock "Icons of the Past" because this page is dedicated to the diversity that made up our Crew. We may have seemed at times, to not congeal because of those personal differences, but in time we learned to work together, bringing together our various differences and inserting them in the Fine Tuned Machine that the Fighting Hannah was. Because of this desire for Oneness, we learned to

appreciate each other's differences which became the Hancock Mystique. I think it's a good word to describe the Hancock Experience. It's as "Unique" as was our Crew. A mysterious congeniality; a certain ambiance that made us different from any other Crew. The More I get Emails from my visits who served aboard, especially those in the CAG (Air Groups), the same things is said by all, "On other ships that I served, you'd not find the congeniality among the Crew that was nearly universal on the Hancock, and why my own time aboard was something very Special to me..."

Navy Flat Hat

On these pages, I wish to place some things donated by our Crew, that may tweak memories of the Hancock Mystique that made us so unique. Perhaps it's a matchbook...

A match book from the Fighting Hannah

purchased in the Ship's Store, along with some cigs; maybe one grew tired of striking matches and wished something carrying a greater impact upon their world, such as the famous 'Zippo' lighter, bearing the Hancock Patch...

Match book & Zippo courtesy of Tony Rucker

Please Read an Important Message by clicking on the Lighter

Your Yeoman acquired this Zippo from Ebay - it belonged to the late Capt William R. Stuyvesant who served aboard HANCOCK as Communications Officer. Click the Lighter to visit Capt Stuyvesant's Career Data Page at the National Naval Aviation Museum

Click Photo of Lighter to see Capt. Stuyvesant's Off-Site Flight Log. Click Image for Larger View

No one could go very far on ship, without seeing one of these, or hearing the familiar 'click' when the thumb would snap the lid back in place. The Zippo, to many a military man, became an icon. It is fitting to place it here on our "Icons of the Past" Page, for it is a strong part of our common experience in the Navy, and especially aboard the Hannah.

How many of you have saved your uniform or the familiar shoulder patch? I still have one. Dennis Milliken sent me this picture so we could be reminded that we bore the proud name of Hancock wherever we roamed.

Hancock Shoulder Patch

Liberty Call! Liberty Call! -
Who went ashore in Hawaii and didn't end up at Coco's in Honolulu?

1960's matchcover, front
Coffee Shop : Hawaii : Illustration : Promotional Card
These appear also in our Icons of the Past Gallery
Images used by permission by Arkiva Tropika

Click Image for Larger Fiew  
These are Historical "Tags" of Coco's on Oahu, Hawaii

While Shipmates John Davis, Bob McKay and Jake were there Hawaii (1962-1964), Coco's was a familiar hangout and these Matchcovers remind us of those days. We're sure you will remember this place as well.

Being Ship's company of the Hancock carried with it a sense of pride and accomplishment! Those who were able to bear the Centurion Patch surely must feel a great sense of pride...

CWO3 Wayne Erven of he Hancock Association volunteered to comment on the Centurian Patch:

"Jake, that is a CENTURIAN Patch, is a Patch given to award ONE HUNDRED traps. There are also 200, 300 and so on. I believe that when 100,000 or other significant numbers were reached, a big cake cutting, and photo shoot, was done. Maybe an article in the ship's paper.....


Remember the Military Pay Certificate /aka/ MPC's?

Who can forget the Military Pay Certificate? Most of us Vietnam Era Veterans remember them quite well !
(We spent a lot of them in the Bars and 'other salty places' across Southeast Asia!)

Our Shipmate, the late Andy Gibbons (1944 and onboard during Magic Carpet) recently donated another bit of Navy Memorabilia which none of us can ever forget. We received these "Little Gifts" from Uncle Sam as soon as we got settled in at Boot Camp. Who can forget the "Bluejackets' Manual" or "This is YOUR NAVY"? - You can see that our Shipmate, Andy Gibbons, penciled in his name and his 'Home of Record' on the cover...

Memorabilia Shipmates? We've got it here and then some! If you have your own piece of this wonderful Hancock Mystique, your Yeoman encourages you to share it with the rest of us. Please send it to us, and we will display it where it will be shared with the rest of the Crew!

Click the picture for a larger view

Hannah - Our Town - Returns from WestPac 3 Oct 1958

No matter what it was, the Hancock was always showing her Pride in an unusual way, like on 3 October 1958, as she returned State-side from WestPac, she again strutted her "Stuff" with 'Our Town' emblazoned on her Flight Deck.. placing this moment into the Annals of "Hancock True Serendipity" Some of you will remember this return home.

The 'Fighting Hannah' Battle Patch   Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club Patch - The Hannah is a Charter Member!

 Who can forget the Hancock Patch?

   Or the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club?

The Navy probably consumes more Coffee than any other Service..
Who remembers the many Cups we all kept as personal Treasures?
This cup belongs to
James Pruitt, /aka/ "Mr. Chevy" - who lost possession of the cup for many years until a Shipmate who had the cup looked him up and returned it. Read about this interesting and happy story here. Return using the back Button. It will take at least 2 clicks of the Back Button to get back here.

Not sure who donated this image... if it's you write the Yeoman

All are now part of the 'Hancock Mystique'
Not sure who donated this Plaque... if it's you
Contact the Yeoman.

This Ship's Clock came from the USS Hancock and was salvaged when she was being "Retired"
It was sent to the Yeoman by one of our Shipmates who kept it safe over the years. It still ticks on,
keeping pretty good time.. however, it does need a Qualified Quartermaster to wind it weekly!





Dennis F. Milliken, QM3

No doubt our Website XO and Historian, Dennis Milliken had the unusual opportunity to wind this clock every week using a key similar to the one displayed here, being a Quartermaster 3rd having this duty.

Too bad the clock can't speak for itself and tell us what compartment it looked out over since Commissioning. It is another part of the Hancock Mystique which we all remember.

It is made of Bakelite and probably was original equipment in 1943, as Bakelite was a material similar to plastic, which saved the use of metal during the war years. It was manufactured by the Chelsea Clock Company of Boston, not far from Quincy where the Hancock was laid down and eventually launched. The face of the clock reads, "U.S. Government" just below the Style and still runs.

The donor wished to remain anonymous but told the Yeoman that it was taken from the ship in Long Beach during the breaking down of the Ship in 1976. He also stated he'd like it donated to a Museum where all could enjoy it. The Yeoman believes this is the best way presently to do so. In time, it will go to a worthy Essex Class Museum which has a Hancock Room.

Operations "Eagle Pull" and "Frequent Wind" Patch


On the Hancock's last cruise in 1975, she was engaged in the Evacuation of Laos/Cambodia and South Vietnam - during which time, they issued a Patch which both Crew and Air Group (CVW-21) could wear. The above is a photo representation of that patch, and it will bring back memories of that time in the Hancock's History as well as that time in the history of the United States which was not a particular time we are proud of as a nation, but we Hancock Crew regard it no less than any other poignant time in our history.

It matters not whether the Government felt the war worth continuing or not; what matters is that WE did our jobs and did them right, and we did.

The Hancock's motto was, "Can do - do now" and this continued with us until she was decommissioned. Today, her crew still makes a big splash in the world via the USS Hancock CV/CVA-19 Association, and also on these Websites which commemorate the U.S.S. Hancock and her able Crew and Air Groups.

We're always glad when our Shipmates donate Memorabilia for display here in the Hancock "Icons of the Past" Pages. To do so, contact the Yeoman in Admin Department.

Some of you will wish to add your own Treasures to these pages; to share with our visitors that special item that has been a part of your own personal Hancock Experience. Chances are, it was also a part of the rest of us.

Your Yeoman Jake invites you to send whatever it is you wish to share. You can either attach a graphic file of it to an E-Mail, as did Tony Rucker who sent us the Match Book and Zippo above, or via the Surface Mails. The Yeoman's address is at the bottom on this page if you choose to do so via the former.

Since this Gallery will grow large in time, I have opted to place each of your contributions of Hancock Serendipity on their own page, and give you the credit. Send only those things you feel all will enjoy. If you require the item to be returned, make sure you send with return postage, and be sure to insure it. We can't be responsible for any loss you may have due to the present circumstances of the United States Postal Service, or any Common Carrier these days, so when in doubt, send pictures, or insure! Insure it with a high enough amount, that the Carrier will think twice before they lose it or damage it. If it's breakable, be sure to pack it well using bubble wrap, or some other good packing material.

Before I forget, I'd like to say Thanks for what you send, and also for your Service on the Fighting Hannah. Please make sure you visit the Crew's Award Page. Also our regular Donations Page as the cost of keeping this Website continues to rise. Please help us keep your memories by supporting the Website.

Notice to the Reader:  If you were a Hancock crew member during her 25 years under commission with the Fleet, and would like to send the Yeoman something that would be considered an "Icon of the Past" or other interesting item (photo or other) please either attach it to and Email ().

Our Shipmate, Mike Anderson sent in several very nice pictures of treasures he kept over the years from his USS HANCOCK experience...


Everyone remembers the familiar
Hancock Ashtray
Here or Here for CD-Rom for a Larger View


A more unusual Treasure is Mike's Wrist Band

Here or Here or CD-Rom for a Larger View

Shipmate's Personal 'Serendipity Pages - Please make a Port Call there!

Catch the Spirit, Shipmates - make sure you visit the following areas - you will be moved!!

 A Poem by LCDR Garvey

The 'Official Hancock CV/CVA-19 Poem - 1945 by Lt. George 'Hector' Rodgers - Fighting Squadron 6 - Originally submitted by 'Hector' who called himself an "Overpaid Sailor" - and contributed to this Site by Capt Herschel Pahl, USN (Ret), our WWII Representative and Author of 'Point Option' - a wonderful Epic seen through the eyes of a Naval Aviator, during the War in the Pacific. You can visit his Book Site by clicking Here.

Catch the Launch to the Hancock Galleries

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