U.S.S. Estes Commissioning Address
October 9, 1944


U.S.S. Estes AGC-12
Todd Erie Basin Shipyard
Brooklyn, New York
October 9, 1944

Commissioning Address: Capt. Bob O. Mathews, USN, Commanding:

Capt. McKittrick:, Ladies And Gentlemen:

This is a happy occasion and one we have looked forward to for some months. Much planning and painstaking effort has gone into the building of this ship, and much organizing and training have produced for her a gallant crew. Finally the U.S.S. ESTES is today delivered into our hands to develop into a fighting unit.

It is only fitting that the untiring work of those who have taken part in this project should be acknowledged and I wish to thank all concerned for their achievement. It is not possible to mention by name the thousands, all over the United States, who have worked on the ESTES or provided her equipment, but it would include all those who planned, those who supervised, and those who were engaged in its physical construction. There are, however, several groups with whom we had close contacts, and whose time or organizations were sufficiently devoted to this one ship that they stood out conspicuously. Among these being Capt. Dysart and his Field Production Group, with Lt. Comdr. O'Neil and Lt. Childs in this yard; Capt. Maher and his Central Commissioning Office Staff; Mr. Jamin, General Manager of the Todd Erie Basin Yard with Mr. Gilbride. Yard Superintendant and Mr. Taggart, Ship Superintendant. The last two deserve special word or praise for their limitless patience and good humor under an almost continuous barrage of requests for changes and improvements. They all have done a fine job of which they can be proud.

I do not forget the officers and men of the crew who have worked both here and at Newport to prepare for this moment, but I shall have time in the months to come to show them my appreciation of their efforts.

The history of the ESTES will start with what might be termed a green crew. Many of you have never been to sea and most have had but little Navy experience. You have worked and trained for several months and still are only at the beginning. Training ashore is needed and is of great value, but it is the actual perfected operation of the guns, machines, an apparatus that you must live or die with that produces a top notch crew. During the next few months increasing drills and work will be our lot, and we must accomplish in a short period of time that would normally take a much longer time to do. That is the price a peace-loving nation pays when it finally goes to war. The lack of previous training must be made up quickly. We will play hard and we will work hard so that we will be a finished, smooth-running and coordinated machine by the time we are required to meet the enemy. Everyone's life, your shipmates as well as your own, depends on your performance of your duty. You must be expert. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, therefore we will strive to strengthen the weakest links until we can rely on them all equally. Every position is vital; there are no unessential ones, and the duties of the least conspicuous to the most spectacular must be done with the same precision and thoroughness. Until we have reached this perfection we can not honestly call ourselves a Navy ship and take our place in the Fleet.

Today this structure of steel, which has so far been inanimate, receives the breath of life, which is her crew. With all hands working together, we will produce a ship which will play a major part in bringing this war to a successful conclusion. She is being manned by American men and none better exist. You have the physical, mental and moral attributes that have made the American Navy unbeatable. You have the will to win, the "Don't Give Up The Ship" spirit that beats through to final victory in every case. We have a determination here: I feel it; I can see it in your faces, and we will fight this ship so that everyone, even remotely connected with its existance will boast of the fact. Our country expects every man to do his duty, and every ship to keep its station in line. We shall not fail it.  

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