Sam shares some emails in 2005
(please feel free to reply)
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From: (DRC) Save Address | Headers
To : <>
CC :
Date : Sat, 1 Oct 2005 12:42:10 -0400


Hello Sam,

What a magnificent job you have done building this web site, I know it
must have taken many,many hours of devotion and energy and it certainly
shows,you can be very proud of it.

I have a problem that you may be able to help me out with,I hope. I have
prostate and larynx cancer and since I was in Saigon in 1964 on a port
of call the Providence made in january of that year I filed a claim
which myself as well as any crew member of the Providence is entitled to
if they have one of these health problems due to exposure to agent
orange. The VA denied this claim because I had no physical proof that I
ever set foot ashore, which I of course did,I mean, any 20 year old with
money in his pockets and with raging hormones was going to do what the
protocol of youth dictate if for no other reason.

I was a musician attached to flag and it would have been impossible for
me not to have gone ashore to play at different functions in
Saigon,after all, this was one of the main purposes of the band, in this
port and every port we called on. Since that was over forty years ago I
can't remember all the details of the visit and I am trying to research
the events through the S&S and the national library for news articles
that might pertain to the band playing in Saigon,I'm not having much
luck finding any Saigon newspapers from this period. One of the
difficulties i'm having is the exact dates we were there, all references
I have been able to turn up is that we were indeed there for three days
in january of 64 delivering a 38 ton care package for PROJECT HANDCLASP
but no dates, which is strange to me,so if you could help fill in these
dates i'm sure it be of great help in my research.

Sam, I am sure that I am not the only one from the Providence the VA has
dumped this on, they have the ability to reach into their in- house
files and verify that we went ashore through other crew members who are
registered with the VA and were Providence and flag crew that made up
the same units, after all, the VA can get information that we can't
possibly get due to the privacy act.

There is one other thing that perhaps you can shed some light on. There
is a photo of the Providence tied up at Cape St Jacques at the mouth of
the Saigon River and I have no recollection of this call,although I
thought I remembered us sailing up the Mekong twice, time sometimes does
funny things.

I do vividly remember the night the alarm went off in the missile house
and your commander came running hell bent through the compartment with
nothing on but his skivvies, that was a scary moment to me.

Once again I'll thank you for putting together your sight, i'm sure many
of us have gotten much enjoyment from it.

david courson
newark ohio

From: LARRY HAUSE <> Save Address | Headers
To : <>
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Date : Sun, 2 Oct 2005 13:53:54 -0700 (PDT)
Subject : crew


My name is Larry Hause. I am presently helping to take care of a man who says he was on the U.S.S. Providence in late December, 1944. He said he was always in his whites because of the amount of distinguished visitors that were constantly boarding.

He has very good memories of the ship and when his tour was over, they offered him a commission, but told them he just wanted to return home. His name is John Mostellak. He is presently living here in Shippensburg, Pa, and I was wondering where I could go to see if there are any pictures of the crew at that time that I might be able to surprise him with some pictures? If you have any links that I could go to and find out that would be of great importance. He is now 79 years old and time is getting very important for him. He lost his wife a few years ago and he is by himself.

If you have any ideas, I would appreciate it greatly.

Thank you for you time and your site.
Larry N. Hause
Ret Army

From: LARRY HAUSE <> Save Address | Headers
To : <>
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Date : Mon, 3 Oct 2005 15:48:59 -0700 (PDT)
Subject : Thanks


Thank you for your quick reply. I had already looked at the site you sent me and printed out some of the many pictures in other sites and history.

I talked to John Mostellak this afternoon and tried to get a full history on his experience during this time.

John siad that he came in for a 2 year tour in the Navy and that he left Norfolk at about 03:00 a.m. on or around the 22nd of December, 1944. He said there were about 3500 soldiers aboard at the time. He was sent on board for training on how to fire the big guns and other duties as necessary. He was only on the Providence for about 5-6 months. He said normally it only took about 10 or so days to cross, but this time it took about 21 days because they had to zig-zag to avoid German u-boats. He was let off at Bazerdi?,Africa and there he was put on guard duty until he was again back on the preovidence and sailed to Palermo,Italy, where he was on Seaman Guard Duty. Then he was taken aboard the Missouri shortly after Mc Arthur had signed the surrender of the Japanese and he got to put his hands on the table that was still on the bow of the ship where the historic moment took place. From there,after a 3 day tour and training on the guns of the Missouri, he was then let off at Istanbul where he got on to a Liberty ship going to Banbridge, Md where he then finished his time. They wanted him to go for Petty Officer, but he knew they would be going to Korea. He said no thanks and went back home. He said since he was never listed as part of the crew on the Providence, he never received any citations or normal ribbons given to crew. This is about all I have found out, and that he was very proud to be there.
Thank You,
Larry N. Hause
Ret Army

From: "Bradfield, Brad" <> Save Address | Headers
To : <>
CC :
Date : Tue, 04 Oct 2005 11:08:18 -0500


Hello Sam - -

I wanted to drop you a note about the helo crash on the helo deck of the Providence off the coast of Vietnam in 1972. I was an ET on the USS Kansas City (AOR-3) and we were unrepping one of the carriers and her small boys at the time. There were six carriers in WESTPAC at that time (or on their way), and I forget which one it was off the top of my head, but don't believe it was the Midway. As a pretty junior ET, I got saddled with the fantail watch during all unreps, which was very boring. As I understood it later, RADM Robinson was in a meeting with the CAG on the carrier, while the Providence shadowed our course and speed maybe three miles off our port beam (West??). Late in the evening, the carrier called away flight quarters and the helo carrying the Admiral and his staff headed for the Providence. I watched the helo until she got lost in the lights of the Providence, and very shortly after that the carrier called away their crash/SAR helo. I recall that the message traffic that we saw later and what was published in Pacific Stars and Stripes said the helo crew, or part of it, survived, while the Admiral and most or all of his staff aboard drowned. RADM Robinson was the only Navy Admiral killed in Vietnam. The bowling alley/rec center on the 32nd Street base in San Diego is named for RADM Robinson.


ETC Brad Bradfield, USN (Ret)

From: sam []
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 5:34 AM
To: Bradfield, Brad

Thanks Brad for the info. Our activities in the year of 1972 were
historic. It all signaled the end of the Vietnam War.


From: "Bradfield, Brad" <> Save Address | Headers
To : <>
CC :
Date : Wed, 05 Oct 2005 06:55:19 -0500

Yes it was. I went to WESTPAC on Kansas City in 1971 (May to November).
We were due to go back in June 1972, but got called back early, on a
week's notice, right after the Easter Offensive started. We transited
non-stop from Long Beach to Subic in twelve days, which was record time
for a ship of our class, spent a couple days in Subic and immediately
headed for Yankee Station. In our first two line swings (May and June)
we passed more fuel and stores than we had the entire 1971 WESTPAC.
Quite a year, and I'll always be proud to say I served.