HORNE DIGITAL TELEGRAPH (10/12/04)
Oct 12, 2004 01:39 PDT
HORNE DIGITAL TELEGRAPH - VOL. 4 NO. 5
"A newsletter for veterans of The Guided Missile Cruiser USS Horne."
"You may fire when ready, Gridley."
Commodore George Dewey, 1 May 1898, at the Battle of Manila Bay during
the Spanish-American War. The American squadron entered Manila Bay and
took fire from the Spanish fleet, anchored under the guns of Cavite, for
half an hour until in the position Dewey wanted. Then Dewey addressed
his order to Charles Gridley, captain of Dewey's flagship Olympia.
THE USS HORNE WEBSITE IS 3 YEARS AND 10 MONTHS OLD
Inside This Issue:
1: WHAT'S NEW?
2: WELCOME BACK X.O.
3: NEW LIFETIME MEMBERS
4: HORNE VISIT
6: HORNE MODEL
7: 1985 BROADWAY PIER PHOTOS
8: OUR NEXT REUNION
9: HORNE DVD
1: WHAT'S NEW?
Lots of new stuff to report so let's get to it! The USS Horne Website is
now 3 years & 10 months old. There have been more than 97,000 visits to
USSHorne.net. We now have 827 shipmates listed in the online decklog.
4 HORNE SKIPPERS
94 Shipmates (11.3%) have paid up-to-date dues
85 Shipmates (10.0%) are Lifetime members.
2: WELCOME BACK XO
USSHorne.net would like to welcome Captain Gene Dvornick. Captain
Dvornick was X.O. in Horne 1975-1977 and is now listed in the Decklog if
you would like to contact him. Welcome Aboard Captain!
3: NEW LIFERS
Since we last spoke, we have added the following new Lifetime Members to
Randy Hice - FTG-3 - 1970-1972
Stanley Wolczyk - ET1- 1990-1994 - Decom
Rob Karafa - MMCS(SW/AW) - 1990-1994
THANKS TO ALL NEW LIFERS. YOUR SUPPORT IS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED.
Dues payments make USSHorne.net possible.
4: HORNE VISIT
On September 27, 2004, I had the distinct privilege of paying a visit to
Horne. As most of you know, she remains part of the Suisun Bay Reserve
Fleet (Mothball Fleet) located Northeast of San Francisco in Suisun Bay
near Benicia, California. I drove from Palm Springs to Benicia on Sunday
the 26th to met with Mr. Peter Papadakos and discuss our visit to Horne.
As I mentioned in the last newsletter, Mr. Papadakos is currently
working to restore USS Joseph P. Kennedy (DD-850)and USS Massachusetts
(BB-59) located at Battleship Cove in Massachusetts and has received
permission from the Navy to remove equipment from Horne, Jouett, Sterett
and Fox in this capacity.
Horne is currently tied up between Jouett and Sterett along with Fox.
These are the only remaining cruisers at Suisun Bay. England, Standley,
Halsey and Gridley have already been scrapped. (More on that a little
later in the newsletter.) There are also several other vessels in the
same "nest" with Horne including the USS Hoga, a very famous little tug,
whose crew performed valiantly in Pearl Harbor on 12/7/41.
Horne has been sealed with nothing more than a humidifier blowing fresh
air through her interior since 1994. But recently the Navy opened her up
to the restoration team led by Mr. Papadakos and other stripping crews.
I've been told this is a sure sign these ships will soon be headed to
The weather decks, as you might imagine, are in horrible shape. Paint is
pealed to the point where it cracks under your feet as you walk. Most
identifying marks like the "30" and markings that identify the ship as
Horne have been painted over, with the exception of the NBXW signal
flags painted on the 04 level. They remain but are quite faded. The
interior of Horne is quite another story. Some areas, particularly
passage-ways remain just as I remember them in 1991. Other areas of the
ship have been completely gutted of equipment. I don't know if this
occurred recently or following decommissioning.
Any electronic equipment that could be considered new has been removed.
But much of the older equipment remains. Some equipment has been
"demilitarized". For lacked of a better explanation, this equipment has
simply been smashed so as to render it useless to anybody who may get
their hands on it. This includes a lot of older electronics equipment,
like the Univac Computers in FWD IC/Missile Plot. Also, the missile
rails in the Missile House. Large 1 foot chunks of steel have been cut
from the rails to insure they'll never be used again.
A power barge provides electricity for a limited amount of lighting in
Horne but I was required to wear a Hardhat with an attached flashlight.
This came in handy as many areas of the ship are completely in the dark.
I toured many spaces including both fire rooms, both Engine Rooms, The
Missile Magazine, Mount 51 Machinery room, After Steering, Radio,
Bridge, C.I.C., Fwd IC/Missile Plot, A&E Berthing, Supply Berthing,
Chief's Mess, Mess Decks and Gallery.
The thing that struck me most about my visit to Horne was how quiet she
was. At times I had her all to myself while other members of the team
visited the other cruisers. I knew there would be no fans, blowers or
ventilators making noise but I expected to hear her hull creaking or
water lapping along her skin. This was not the case. Dead silence is all
you could hear. She was so quiet it reminded me of those sound proof
rooms you go into to take a hearing test. It was great to visit Horne
again, but kind of sad. She had to make room for the more efficient gas
turbine cruisers now patrolling the oceans. As the Byrds said, "To
everything, turn, turn, turn. There is a season."
There is understandably much interest in Horne's future and I will do my
best to keep apprised of her status as best as possible. Incidentally,
since my last newsletter, I was contacted by shipmates who wanted to
know which individual parts would be used on Joseph P. Kennedy so when
they visit Battleship Cove would know what to look for in order to see a
piece of Horne. I was also contacted by shipmates living in the Bay area
who want to give Horne a send off as she travels out to see one last
time (under tow) under the Golden Gate Bridge. And I've also heard from
folks who live in Texas not far from the Ship Breaking facility located
in Brownsville. They too would like to get one last glimpse of the ship
before she is broken.
What I know now is the Navy is apparently soliciting cheap tows in order
to take at least one of the four remaining cruisers to Brownsville via
the Panama Canal. Perhaps somebody reading this email will have better
sources and information than I so please, if you hear anything about
when Horne is due to be scrapped, please email me. Incidentally, the
Panama Canal has a great Webcam and I will try to get screen-captures of
Horne during that part of her Journey.
To view 100 photos of my trip to Horne, visit
Visit the Panama Canal Webcam:
Read more about the Kennedy here: http://www.ussjpkennedyjr.org/
And read more about Battleship Cover here:
5: GRIDLEY NEWS
To get a better idea of what fate has in store Horne, I've posted an
article on Ship Breaking that appears in this month's issue of Fortune
Magazine. The ship which is "featured" in the article is Horne's sister
ship Gridley. The article is interesting, the pictures are painful.
There is, however, one small piece of good news for Gridley fans. New
Destroyer Construction includes DDG-101 which will be named after
Captain Charles Gridley.
See the Forbes Ship Breaking article here:
Thanks to Chris Ellis (ETR3) 1978-1981 for sending me these scans
See the article on new construction here:
6: HORNE MODEL
On to better news! About 3 years ago I mentioned in a Horne Newsletter
that a Model was being made of Horne. Well, it took a while but that
model is now available. I don't know much about modeling but this is
what is called a RESIN KIT and from what I understand you don't put it
together with model glue. Instead you use super glue. The kit is about
19 1/2" long (1/350 scale) and is very detailed. And quite expensive.
$259.00. I contacted the company that makes it about a possible discount
for Horne crew but got no response. You would think they would be
interested in promoting their model with us, but such is apparently not
the case. Incidentally, the Model includes decals and flags so as to
transform it into one of Horne's sister ships... but it says Horne on
the box. If you are interested in purchasing this model, I recommend you
first check on ebay as I saw one there for sale for $199.00. Just search
"USS Horne". And speaking of ebay, check out my auctions. Lots of cool
stuff, especially if you're an Elvis fan or like vintate 35mm SLR
Check out the new Horne Model here:
View my ebay auctions:
7: 1985 BROADWAY PIER PHOTOS
Many of you will find these photos interesting. I found them on the Net
the other day. They were taken on April 27, 1985 while Horne was tied up
to Broadway Pier in San Diego. These photos are made available to those
who want the detail for building the above mentioned model of Horne. But
I'm sure you'll find them interesting whether you're building the model
See Horne in 1985 here:
8: OUR NEXT REUNION
As mentioned in the last Newsletter, we want to get a feel for how folks
would feel about a Reunion Cruise, perhaps as early as next year or
maybe early 2006. Well... I have good news and bad news. The good news
is it's unanimous. A Reunion Cruise appears to be very popular.
Everybody contacting me said they would be interested in such a cruise.
The Bad news is... only 6 people contacted me. We'll definitely need to
get more than six people interested before moving forward so if you
think our next cruise should be aboard a Cruise Ship, perhaps on the
Mexican Riviera, email me and let me know. I will also be putting
together a new Reunion Page on the site to start spreading the word.
The cruise would more than likely sail on the Mexican Riviera with 4 or
5 port calls, possibly in the Fall of 2005 or winter 2006. We have
checked into some of these cruises and they usually cost $500 to $800
bucks for a week long cruise. This may seem kind of expensive but when
you consider it includes your Room AND your FOOD the only other real
cost would be your transportation to San Diego and souvenirs.
9: HORNE'S DESERT STORM DVD
I have received a new batch of Horne DVDs. If you would like one, they
are $20 ea (shipping included) and include 2 hours of fully produced
shipboard action in 1990 and during the 1991 Gulf War deployment.
Missile Shoots, Guns Shoots, Torpedo and CIWS shoots too! Flight Ops and
a very historical Unrep with the USS Missouri (BB-63). You can see
sample clips from this DVD in the Horne Multimedia Section.
Order yours now or find out more here:
That's all for now... until next time... stay below the radar!