Emails and Comments from Website Visitors
USCGC Raritan was built at Defoe in 1939 as the plaque stated on her mess deck. It is a small point but for the sake of accuracy, Raritan and Saugatuck were 110 feet, not 90 feet overall as noted in the history portion of this site. I was a Quartermaster aboard her from 1965 through 1968 and spent many enjoyable hours and some not so enjoyable at her big destroyer wheel. She could roll 53 degrees and come back. On numerous occasions, I watched through the bridge windows as she buried her entire bow under green water to the superstructure and come up for more. She was a remarkable ship to handle particularly when in towing ops and an excellent ice breaker with her 9 tons of concrete in her forefoot. As testiment to this, in the winter of 68, a naval architech by the name of Alexander ffom Canada came aboard for a week of tests of a contraption that was called the AlexBow. It was a small barge with a highway snow plow mounted on the front that was supposed to break ice by cutting and lifting it to the sides. All of these studies were to determine the shape of the bow of the ship that would eventually sail across Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific. We repaired a lot of broken cables and welded the plow in several places but never got it to work. After five days of frustration in below zero weather in Green Bay, Captain Pierce suggested we try breaking some ice without the AlexBow in front of us. N.A. Alexander was astonished at her performance in 12 inches of ice. As it turned out, the bow of the Manhatten that later made that historic passage is an exact copy of the Raritan's bow enlarged. DeFoe indeed knew their stuff and withstood the test of time. Thanks to Defoe on several occasions, I am here to tell this story.
April 11, 2003
I was fortunate enough to pickup Hobart in Bay City. I can only reiterate the sentiments of all that served in DDGs, "they were fine vessels". Although, I do seem to recall that the fluorescent lights seemed to come adrift in Viet Nam. BZ Mr Defoe. If only the current crop of destroyers looked as sleek. But perhaps I'm biased.
Feb. 13, 2002
This is virtually inconsequential I would guess, but I found evidence that a yacht I once owned was refitted by Defoe in 1936. The yacht was the 'Mettamar' originally built by New York Yacht Launch & Engine in NY in 1930. Her original length was 93' but the documentation indicated that the boat was lengthened to 100' by Defoe in 1936. The Mettamar was built for R.E. Olds (Oldsmobile fame) and named after his wife, Metta Olds. I stupidly sold this boat in the mid-70's and have lost track of her.
It is my current hobby to find out anything about this boat and contemporaneous history of yachts so I was most interested in your web page. I hope you dig up as much history as possible about the history of the fine company your ancestry founded. I wonder if there were records that survived somewhere that might chronicle this history? Have you found any treasure troves of yacht building history that might be interesting?
Jan. 28, 2002
Mr. Defoe, thank you for putting this site on the net. I have a site for my old ship, USS Cook APD 130 (DE-714) which was built and launched in August of 1944 by your fine company. She was striken from the Naval Register in November of 1969. The information on the ships construction techniques and photos are well received. The Cook was a west coast ship, which rotated with the USS Weiss APD 135 on West Pac Cruises. She served her Country proudly during the Cuban Missle Crisis blockade of 1962 and the Viet Nam war era.
Dec. 13, 2001
I am with http://navyrelics.com and have information about the USS Lynde McCormick DDG-8:
The USS Lynde McCormick DDG-8 was sunk by Harpoon missles & bombs on Friday 2/23/01. The McCormick was berthed in the vacinity of San Francisco prior to being sunk. The McCormick had previously undergone radical conversion to a civilian power barge but was never finished. The McCormick was painted green and carried the designation CPM 4908. CPM stood for Consolidated Power & Minerals, the company who had done the partial conversion.
We were quite familiar with the civilian project and the McCormick. Sorry to see her go!
Nate & Steve, The NavyRelics.com Guys!
Feb. 27, 2001
David.. I tried to leave a comment on your regular site but there is a problem in getting comments away,I just wanted to say that I visited the Defoe shipyard in 1965 . The H.M.A.S. Perth was in the last stages of construction and there were two others under way for the Australian Navy. I was the ships photographer at the time and covered the journey to Boston for the commissioning. In fact the picture of the Perth in your gallery is one of mine taken during speed trials on the Lake, enjoyed your site I still have a lot of pictures of the ship on its journey down the Sea-way. As you are probably aware the Perth decommissioned to-day in Sydney Australia cruising over one million miles in her lifetime .. Regards Rick Reynolds
Fri, 15 Oct 1999
What an interesting and informative web site you have here. I'm so pleased that you left a message on our HMAS Perth site, otherwise I may not have found yours for many moons.
As you probably well know, I've been in contact with Dianne and through her, Bill & Mildred for some months now. We were very pleased to receive their video, and our members were pleasantly surprised when we played it at our decommissioning reunion Dinner Dance on Saturday 2nd October.
The "fine old lady of the RAN", HMAS PERTH, is to decommission on Friday next - October 15th at 10:30am Sydney time. This will be a very sad moment for those of us who have been privileged to have served in her - no doubt many a tear will be shed.
She is still the finest ship in the Royal Australian Navy (until next Friday), and the Navy will have to go far to replace her. The next HMAS PERTH is to be commissioned in 2004, and will be an "ANZAC" class frigate.
Pllease excuse me for going on so much about PERTH, but she is worth it.
Your site here has given me a good view of the history of the Defoe Shipbuilding Company which holds a special place in our hearts. I will have a link to your site on mine today.
Thank you so much for an extremely interesting site.
Secretary, HMAS Perth National Association
Monday 8th October 1999
Just read your great site online, in fact more then once. I am new at the "on line" scene so please forgive my mistakes.
I am the founder and historian of the USS WEISS APD135 [DE 719] Association that was built at DEFOE and commisioned 7-7-45. We started our Association in 1995 and I wrote letters to people in Bay City to try to get information on DEFOE and the WEISS but no luck.
We are proud of our ship and know you will be also when you receive a copy of the ships history that I will send you if you send me a mail address.
The WEISS was in and out of commision from 1945 to 1970. Should you have any information that can be copied please let me know and I can pay for the expense.
USS WEISS APD 135 ASSOCIATION Inc.
Dear Mr. Defoe,
I came upon you website. Terrific. I have a book that is just being published by the Naval Institute Press called "The Buckley-Class Destroyer Escorts" (you can check it out on Amazon.com, if you wish). I discuss the DEs built by Defoe and include details of all of those of the Buckley-Class constructed by Defoe. You might find it useful. Below is a list of the 30 DEs built by Defoe. I did not include the APD numbers for those converted, but if you would like any additional information about these ships, I have plenty and would be happy to send it along. These "long-hulled" DEs by the way were 306 feet long overall (I think you have another number in your history.) Some of these ships served all the way through the Vietnam war.
Earl V. Johnson 702
Rudderow-class converted into Crosley-class APDs:
Donald W. Wolf 713
Walter X. Young 715
Don O. Woods 721
Beverly W. Reid 722
Contract cancellations before construction began:
Unnamed 996 to 1005 cancelled 09/15/43
I really like your webpage about Defoe Shipbuilding. I work at Bay3TV in Bay City, a small local TV station. I recently did an interview with Bill Defoe when he was here for the PCSA gathering. It turned out very nicely and he was fantastic.
Anyway, I was looking for some pictures to use for the beginning of the interview and I was glad to find your page. I am hoping you don't mind if I use some of the pictures from your site of Defoe's ships! (:
I was doing some work for a book I am writing when I stumbled across your site. I was stationed on the Voge (FF-1047) until her decommissioning. I have attached a picture. I will look at home to see if I can locate the picture I took of her in Philly. Naval Shipyard after her decommissioning.
T.J. Welsh - LT. USN(ret)
P.S. I work at a shipyard now. http://www.atlanticmarine.com