29 July - Message received from Paul Richmond, Research/Historian Specialist, USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13/DDG-44):

Fellow Shipmates;

I've noticed that the USS Reeves has yet been placed on the list;  http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/shiplist/list.asp#D

I'm not going to ask the members of the USS Reeves why you haven't pursued the issue as asking other associations the same question has turned up zero responses.

Using the National Archives facilities to obtain deck logs and muster rolls of the USS William V. Pratt I was able to place the Pratt on "The List".

I have since been asked by members of the USS King, Coontz, and Halsey to pursue this issue as many have read what has happened to the former members of the "crew".

The William V. Pratt has lost no-less-than 40 members due to the diseases associated with Agent Orange. See; http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/diseases.asp

Upon contracting any of these horrendous diseases there is a small chance you can pass it onto your offspring.

One of the items that was brought up was if you are collecting retirement benefits and you pass away, your spouse can only collect half your pay unless you file a claim and the ship is or will be placed on the list. Some states actually care for the spouse by reducing or eliminating the taxes on your property.  This passed;  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe910

I leave Wednesday the 31st of July.30 July - Emailed Paul today, and followed up with a phone call, expressing the Association's interest in joining the project and committing support for his efforts.

24 August - Published an article in the newsletter regarding Agent Orange, and the Association's plans to get the Reeves listed with other blue water ships.

 

30 August - Paul announced his return from Washington D.C. and the forthwith transmittal of list images.

 

4 September - Received Enlisted Distribution Verification Report images and Officer Listings printed prior to Reeves departure for WESTPAC in 1966.  CAPT Wentworth was still commanding (March 1966).  An additional Officer Listing was also included for the period after CAPT Hopwood assumed command.

 

8 September - Commenced list transcription to Association Data Base.

 

12 September - Completed first enlisted crew member transciption and data base

expansion.  253 new crew names added.  499 individual members identified as AO exposure possible.  Commenced decyphering officer lists.  Exchanged lists with Paul.  Received expanded officer list.

 

16 September - completed expansion of officer lists.  Created Agent Orange web page to inform crewmembers of Association AO activities and seek further verification of disability eligibility.

 

17 September - Contacted Don Carunchio regarding Danang harbor visit.

 

18 September - Don Carunchio's response pinpointed the Danang visit on 4 or 5 July 1966.  From Don's information, the following scenario has been developed:

30 June 1966     Depart Yokosuka, enrounte Subic
3 July 1966        Arrive Subic, refueling stop & embarque HSL 163
5 July 1966        Arrive Danang harbor, anchored out.
5-6 July 1966     Crew briefings at Monkey Mountain
6 July 1966        Depart Danang, enroute Tonkin Gulf
8 July 1966        Arrive Tonkin Gulf, begin South SAR orientation
9 July 1966        Assume duties as South SAR, Tonkin Gulf

At the moment, a primary source of information is the Family Gram produced prior to CAPT Wentworth's departure.  The Family Gram is dated 10 August, after Reeves' return to Yokosuka.  In that Family Gram is a photograph of crew members standing along the starboard of the fantail, with the mountains behind Danang very visible.

The next step will be the acquisition of the deck logs for the first two weeks if July 1966.  These logs must show that the ship didn't just anchor out.  It must show that crew members went ashore.  Or, crew members who were present must provide clear testimony that exposure is much more than conjecture.

Crew members who may have been exposed to Agent Orange and may now be suffering from it's effect must be identified.  These persons are entitled to disability compensation.

First - GET REEVES ON THE BLUE WATER EXPOSURE LIST!

 

17 November - Contacted by John Pounder who served on Reeves from 1966 to 1968.  He has had prostate cancer, heart valve replacement, three stents, and now have diabetes. As gunnery assistant he never wore hearing protection firing small arms, 50 calibers, or 3inch 50s. And his hearing is severely impaired and he was denied disability on his claim.

 

17-18 November - Spoke at great length with John Pounder.  I pointed out that we needed copies of the deck logs for early July 1966 to prove that Reeves entered Danang Harbor.

 

30 November - John Pounder submitted a request for deck logs to the National Archives for the period 3-8 July 1966.

19 December - National Archives sent copies of the Reeves deck log remark sheets for the period 3-8 July 1966. 

During the period 3-5 July, Reeves proceeded from Yokosuka, Japan to Subic Bay.  COMDESRON NINE was embarked. 

Reeves arrived Subic Bay on 5 July at 0930.  She departed Subic Bay at 1723 enroute Danang Harbor.

Anchored in Danang Harbor at 0748.

Departed anchorage in Danang Harbor at 1623, proceeding to at-sea ops off the Vietnam coastline with USS Blue (DD744) in company.  Conducted night ops until 0745, returning to Danange Harbor.

Anchored in Danang Harbor at 08331.

Departed anchorage in Danang Harbor at 1535, proceeding NNE, USS Blue in company.

January 4 - Mark Wadlow <condoinmaui@gmail.com> wrote:

Michael, I believe those of us on the Reeves for 72-73 WESPAC were exposed to Agent Orange.  Remember getting up in the morning and going to the fantail to relax before watch, and seeing large amounts of an "oil" sheen all over the deck.  Being in Engineering I thought we may have had an oil leak somewhere in the boiler rooms.  Checked out - no.  Thus, my thought it was the chemical Agent Orange that drifted over our ship, and exposed us all.

 I filed a claim with VA in May 2007 for this exposure, as I now have Type II Diabetes, and no genetic markers making myself predisposed for it.  Please add me to any mailings on this subject, or adding my name to the VA list for exposure.  Thank you for what you do it is well received.

Aloha,  Mark Wadlow, Jun 72 - Jun 76 aboard Reeves in "M" Div, and "A" Gang

Mark followed up:

Michael, sorry for a short turnaround email, but wanted to respond to your request for funds for the endeavor of researching the Reeves exposure to Agent Orange to get the VA to recognize the claim.  Please let me know how I can do that, donate, and it might be a good idea to add to the web page as well.

 After completely reading the web page on Agent Orange exposure I wanted to add that we in "M" Division were the ones who made the "fresh water" for the ship.  This entailed all the testing of the water for salinity content, and when the ship went on "water hours" we in the Engine-room never lacked shower water.  We use to fill up a 1 1/2 gallon bucket from the evaporator  to take our complete shower.  Look forward to hearing back from you.

Aloha,  Mark Wadlow

February 6 – John Pounder wrote:

Thanks for the newsletter. I noticed Tony Borba (70-71) stated that Hr 543 had passed the House. It is only in committee
with a 14% chance of getting out. It would re-establish the presumption of exposure to ships that were in Vietnam territorial waters. As of today there are 172 sponsors of this bill. We need people to email their congressman to sponsor this bill.


I have our ship's log from 3-8 July 1966. It only has us anchored in DaNang 0n 7&8 July with no information about anyone going to Monkey Mtn or ashore. We definitely did that.The purpose of the anchorage was to put people ashore for briefings for our upcoming SAR duty. Perhaps if we can get as many shipmates as possible to verify this we might be able to get on the agent orange exposure list.


The log is is on legal size paper. I'll send it when I get it copied.

 

6 February – Sent snail mail letter to CAPT Dwight Agnew, who was the Weapons Officer in 1966, requesting a statement from him regarding the accuracy of the deck logs and the purpose of Reeves’ visits to Danang.  I believe he was one of the senior officers to be briefed as both WEPO and TAO at Monkey Mountain.

10 February - Deck logs received by USS Reeves Association.  Logs for 7-8 July were scanned and transcribed as evidentiary material and posting on the website.

The deck logs and a transcription can be found here:

Deck Logs

Transcription
 

16 February - Posted original deck log images as a web album to the archives.

 

12 May - Victor Maxwell began a Facebook discussion on the subject of Agent Orange and the eligibiliy list.  It can found at  https://www.facebook.com/groups/USSREEVESDLGandCG24/  A text extract can be read in this PDF document.

 

Contact me with your information:  michael@ussreeves.net

2014 USS Reeves Association. All rights reserved. Last update: 5/21a/2014