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5 Sailors Lost At Sea After Destroyer,
 USS Daly, Rolls 65 Degrees

 6th Crewman Fatally Injured in Sudden Mishap off Virginia Capes

 Excerpts of story taken from Evening Bulletin, 5 February 1960, Philadelphia, PA.


Norfolk, VA. February 5, 1960

The USS Daly, a veteran Destroyer of WWII and the Korean Era racing at full speed toward a date with the mothball fleet rolled sharply after being struck by a combination of two gigantic waves.

Ten sailors some caught without warning as they took motion pictures of the destroyer’s wake through the rough water at 30 knots were swept overboard as the ship experienced a 65-degree roll.

One man was killed aboard the Daly as his arm was severed during the mishap. Rescue ships were responsible for saving 5 of the sailors.

The Daly picked up three of the survivors; the tanker Alabama rescued two others. Five others were missing in the icy Atlantic waters. Survivors estimated the swells to be 20 feet high.

A first hand report from Apprentice Seaman David Formichella 19, of Summit, NJ, stated, “ All of a sudden everyone started yelling and I could see them sliding off the deck under the lifeline into the water”.

“The next thing I knew I was there in the water with them”.

Formichella and John Buzzi, 33, Damage Controlman, First Class of Barrington, RI managed to make their way to one of the life rafts swept overboard at the same time. The raft partially inflated, but only after Buzzi cut through a canvas protective cover attached to the raft.

Tells Of Praying -

“If we hadn’t got to that raft, I don’t think we could have lasted much longer”, said Formichella, “The only thing we did was pray”.

Formichella and Buzzi were immediately transferred from the Alabama to the Coast Guard Cutter Marion and brought to Norfolk. They were both admitted to the Portsmouth Naval Hospital for treatment.

One of the three other sailors rescued by the Daly was Ralvin Souders, 26 of Bethlehem, PA, said he was jerked away from the ventilator which he had grabbed when the ship hit the swell.

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Thought It Was The End

“I was positive it was the end when the water swept me overboard” Souders said’.

Another survivor was Gary Hollingese 19, of Murry Hill, NJ and Larry R. Holland of Joy, TX.

Ships and planes continued searching the Atlantic 200 miles off Virginia’s Cape Henry throughout the night without spotting any of the other sailors.

The Daly and two other destroyers based at Newport, RI, the Young and the Cotton were headed for the mothball fleet in Hampton Roads. The full speed run was to determine whether any repairs were needed before the ships joined the reserve fleet.

Full Power Run –

The Commander K.C. Gummerson of Middletown, RI, reported by radio this morning that,” the full power run had been underway for an hour and 40 minutes when the ship took an unexpected 65 degree roll to starboard. The roll was caused by an abnormal swell”. The time was 3:40 PM.

Prior to that the Daly reported the average roll had been 10 degrees with the maximum of 23 degrees.

The Navy identified the missing men as:

N.A. Calaluca, Beacon, NY
R.A. Carlson, West Haven, CT
C.E.Ellis, Madison IN
P.J. Harvey, Lodi, NJ
J.J. Neberz, Crystal Lake , NJ

The man killed aboard ship:

D.A. Dale, Kenmore, NY

The Daly was decommissioned 2 May 1960 and placed in the reserve fleet.

She was sold for, scrap in 1967.


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