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.
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!
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
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...
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
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
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.
Liberty Call! Liberty Call! -
Who went ashore in Hawaii and didn't end up
at Coco's in Honolulu?
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/
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
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 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.
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!
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
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
Click Here or Here for CD-Rom for a Larger View
A more unusual Treasure is Mike's
Click Here or Here or CD-Rom for a Larger View
Shipmate's Personal 'Serendipity Pages - Please make a Port Call there!
- Tony Rucker, AK3, USN (Retired)
- The Richard A. Kirsch Middle Years Gallery
- Richard A. Kirsch has shared with us a bit of his own Serendipity
- Laird Le sent a picture
of a Unique Hancock Decal from his father's luggage, which he used when he left Saigon in 1975 during the Evacuation
- The Late Doc Andy Gibbons, S1/c, USNR (Retired) has donated his WWII YMCA Prayer Book.... many of you WWII and Korean War Veterans remember this
little Prayer book that they gave all combatants during this time. Visit here for More of Hancock Serendipity from
- Gary 'Ozzie' Osborne, PH3, USN (Retired) sent the Yeoman a photo from his old copy of "All Hands" to show that Hancock finally allowed
PO3's and up the right to keep Civies onboard ship...
- Scott Finley Gallery in the Name of his father, Jim Finley,
AD3, USN, '57-'59 sent us several Chow Menus from 1957, one is an Independents
Day Menu and another is a Thanksgiving Day Menu, which no doubt fit well into our 'Icons of the Past' - We are
proud to provide these little bits of the Hancock Experience here! - Thanks Scott Finley! - Jake
- Your Contribution here
- You can use the Upload Center to send images and Stories and then don't forget to remind the Yeoman you sent
Catch the Spirit, Shipmates - make sure you
visit the following areas - you will be moved!!
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.