USS Estes History in Photos - 1962


Submitted by Frank Bailie

Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 4/04/07

My old friend, "J. R." Cutter, doesn't like his first & middle names. He is now a ret Lcdr who lives on nearby Bainbridge Island, WA. We are both from Mass. & were AG1 fellow instructors at the Navy Weather school NAS Lakehurst, NJ. I was a Ltjg at NAS Whiting Field (just east of Pensacola) at the time. The following is an article that I wrote for AEROGRAPH, the newsletter for the Naval Weather Service Association.

USS Estes, AGC-12, with ComPhibGru-3 embarked was heading north from San Diego to conduct inter service exercises with Fort Lewis, WA Army units. LT J.R Cutter was the MetOceano-Assistant Intelligence Officer in the staff. Although trailing the storm with moderate winds Estes was forced to reduce speed to 12 knots as it rolled substantially from the effects of 20 to 25 foot port beam swells. The storm rushed eastward at 30 knots. Downed trees & various other damage was evident as Estes moved south to an Anchorage off of Tacoma.

By this time the storm had passed & weather was much improved. Soon the crew was listening to President Kennedy announce the quarantine of Cuba.

Hurry up orders found the PhibGru-3 staff loading aboard USAF a/c & returning to San Diego where they embarked in USS Eldorado, AGC-11 which headed south along the Mexican coast to transit the Panama Canal & join the quarantine Task Force. History tells us that the Russians backed down, avoiding what could have been a nuclear war.

October of 1962 was a stormy month in more ways than one.

Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 9/5/07

Estes Missed Going to Cuba in '62

My old buddy was the Flag Met Officer on Estes in 1962 when they followed a really bad storm up the coast & then into Tacoma where they got word of the Cuba blockade & the Flag Unit including my buddy caught a hop from McChord AFB (in Tacoma outskirts) to San Diego where they embarked in El Dorado & headed for Cuba via the Panama Canal.


Submitted by Brand M. Duc

Brand M. Duc  Radioman  1961-1963 - - Submitted 3/21/06

I was a radioman aboard the Estes from 1961 to 1963.  Went aboard in summer of ’61, while the ship was in dry docks in Long Beach.  Then went to North Island, in San Diego.  While aboard we went to the World’s Fair in Seattle and the Rose Festival in Portland, OR.  Went to Wespac in 1962 and returned in Sept, 1963, when I was discharged.  Still have some photos and memories of being stationed aboard her.

Send any photos of the Estes, or life and times while aboard.

We prefer digital images, but can accept original photographs or documents. Originals will be returned unless you indicate otherwise. We will make our best efforts in returning things safely, since we use public carriers to return items, i.e. US Postal Service, we cannot guarantee safe returns. We would feel more comfortable if you had items scanned into digital images.

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