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We Daly veterans of the Korean era served always within the long shadows cast by you World War II sailors. We found pock - marks on the topside bulkheads - scars from the battles fought while most of us were still in our teens. We heard bits and pieces here and there - tales from the south pacific - stories written by your courage and your tenacity - stories written during weary hours at battle stations - stories of rescue and of victorious battles and of moments of grief. We came to know in the years following Korea what we had mostly sensed during night watches on the bridge with green dots glowing and sonar’s “ping- ping- pinging” or from the fantail watching the moon bobble like a bright cork on the horizon. We came to know the USS Daly was indeed a scrapper, a fighting ship that you men had served with honor during years of deadly challenges.

We took pride in serving on the USS Daly (519), escorting the ammo ships to the combat area, running with the carriers, waiting for planes to come back to nest. But it was you men who pulled dangerous round- the- clock vigils for days on end on the little gray fighter – the brave little destroyer that distinguished herself time and again from New Guinea to Iwo Jima. You are the ones who rode the Daly into those fierce battles in 1943, ‘44 and ‘45. It was you who rescued 168 men off the Brownson, eleven off the Bismarck Sea, and in numerous other ways assisted sister ships in distress. It was you who grieved the loss of three shipmates the day you splashed a suicide plane into the water inches from the Daly’s port side. Yes, you are the ones whose bravery inspired us and made us proud to be Tin Can sailors. We only served inside the long shadows of your courageous sacrifices; even so we revere the name Daly because we know the honor that you brought to that little ship.

 Now those who helped bring the little champion out of mothballs in 1951 to again serve in whatever way she was asked in defense of freedom, humbly yet proudly salute you all and all your comrades who no longer answer to muster. To you brave men one and all, we who followed in your wake express our gratitude for your valorous service and sacrifices on behalf of freedom for all of us. May the salty winds blow gently and the waves whisper quietly, and may you know only smooth sailing for the rest of your days until at last the foaming tides take you safely home.


Tribute Written by Weldon Payne – Page Design by Hal Boyer



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