Saluting the courage of the sailors and families of USS Cole, DDG 67.

Recalling two of Gearing's several stops at Aden...


Arlie Harman (Ltjg 55-58) sent these shots of Aden harbor. They were mailed to him by a former engineering officer of USS McCard DD-822. He had taken them while on a fuel stop during the 1957 Med.-Red Sea cruise. Arlie comments,"The Gearing is the one on the left. The one on the right I am almost certain is the USS Hailey DD-556, a Fletcher class. Note the two single 5/38s one the after main deck and one on the after 01 level. While the Gearing has a twin 5/38 on the after main deck. Both of us have tropical canvas rigged. Also note the "bum boat" between the two ships. It appears as though some sort of transaction may be taking place off the fantail of the Gearing - camel saddles, carpets, quasi cowboy boots, copper geegaws and strange looking fruits seem to be some of the standard wares that I recall. Also rotgut booze after dark. I recall the sad face of one of our deck seaman one night when I casually walked up beside him after observing a hurried transaction over the fantail and "discovered" a bottle of hooch stowed behind the B/T gear and made the suggestion that one could get in a lot of trouble if such a thing were found in the possession of a crew member and perhaps he would be doing someone a big favor by just dropping it over the side. I think he almost cried. Now days, any approaching bum boat would probably be shot. The second photo shows the stationary fueling float (the covered one to the right). The hose is supported by the line of the floats in the water and ends up at the raft along side the Hailey. It was the messenger line attached to the raft and hose line that the swimmer towed out to us and wanted us to tie it up along side. The floating fueling station is on the starboard side of the Hailey. From there, we hoisted the stub end of the hose into the fueling trunk. Note the floating drydock in the middle of photo 2 in the background."

Recalled by Don Provost (Ltjg 64-67): "On 16 September 1965 USS Gearing entered the harbor at Aden, Yemen. We were on a Middle East assignment just as the Cole was, but then the entire Middle East force consisted of 2 DDs and the admiral's flagship, a converted seaplane tender, the Duxbury Bay, AVP 38. We were on our way to the Persian Gulf. Aden was an unscheduled stop for us because a crew member had to be put ashore and flown to the Navy hospital at Naples for treatment. We were told to watch for trouble because Aden was (even then) known for terrorism and anti-American sentiment. The ship's doctor and the patient had to dress in civilian clothes and go incognito with the British consulate staff to the airport. (Yemen was a British protectorate then and the British withdrew not long after.) We took some extra time to refuel, mooring exactly as Cole did (maybe at the same fuel dock in the middle of the harbor.) We departed after only a few hours. I believe the Doc and recovered-patient rejoined us at Bahrein couple of weeks later."

View of Aden from DD-710's
deck on 16 September 1965.