USS MULLINNIX DD-944
The Mullinnix returned from the 3 month Unitas cruise to South America in December 1967 and spent a couple months in Norfolk at the D&S piers. Jim Fisher thinks that in the spring of 1968 The Mullinnix went up to New England for the American Cup Races.
On March 4, 1968, MULLINNIX entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for repair and modifications to her engineering plant, communications systems, and weapons systems. MULLINNIX remained in the shipyard until 16 September. Later that year, while undergoing training at GTMO (Guantanamo Bay), MULLINNIX received a message to cease all drills and proceed at best possible speed on a search and rescue mission about 150 miles from GTMO to take under tow the USS TULLULAH which was adrift in the seas. MULLINNIX joined up with TULLULAH just before dark and towed her back to GTMO. This foreshadowed a similar event in GTMO in 1973, when MULLINNIX was again asked to help a vessel in distress, this time the tug MISSY. MISSY was towing a dredge and a barge. The barge broke loose in heavy seas and, without any radar, the MISSY was in trouble. MULLINNIX closed in on MISSY and led her back to the safety of GTMO harbor.
She sailed to Culebra (?) for a shake down cruise and to fire the guns in the fall of 68. Jim Fisher remembers riding out a hurricane off of Cape Hatteras in 1968.
MULLINNIX returned to Norfolk on November 27, 1968 for the holidays. The holidays passed by too quickly and trouble in a far off land was the cause for the MUX to once again get underway. On her way to Vietnam the Mullinnix went through the Panama Canal again (since the fall of 1967 during the Unitas cruise to South America). She hit San Diego and escorted the USS Ranger over to Pearl. She left Pearl and headed to the gun line in Vietnam. On February 20, 1969, MUX was off the coast of Vietnam providing naval gunfire support to U.S. ground forces in the Republic of South Vietnam.
30 October 1968 Mux Familygram (PDF)
27 November 1968 Mux Familygram (PDF)
Tony Durrett remembers the following (2002): In late 68 or early 69 we rode out a hurricane off Cape Hatterras that to this day I don't know how we lived through it. During the storm we turned Mt 51 around so that the waves would hit the back of the Gun mount because the gun shield leaked so badly, after the storm the back plate of the gun mount was caved in due to the force of the waves coming over the bow. I still remember going up through the forward compartments and climbing up into the gun mount from the carrier room and using the manual crank to turn her around. After getting it tuned around, instead of going back down through the carrier room I tried to time the waves and go out of the gun mount and back down the deck to the forward brake. I got half way and a wave carried me the rest of the way but I made it inside the brake before the next wave. The officer on the bridge (I don't remember who it was), called me to the bridge, I guess just to see if I was still on board. He let me know in no uncertain terms just how stupid that stunt was. I guess its true what they say "young and dumb".
I'm sure everyone you hear from has similar remembrances of the "Mighty Mux" and if they sat down to write them all down they would end up with a full length novel. Anyway, its good to hear from you and see that there are still people who remember and care about the Mullinnix.
President Johnson Won't Run Again
Nixon Wins Over Humphrey
Rowan and Martin's Laughin (22 January 1968 - 14 May 73)
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© 2006 by Frank Wood, All rights reserved.