Colonel J. A. Barton Campbell, U.S. Army Reserve (Retired)
You cannot imagine my astonishment, thumbing through the June issue, to spot a reference to the USS Leary (DD-879) in Robert Anderson’s article, “Education of a Destroyer Sailor” (pp. 48–53). My father, Commander (later Captain) James H. Campbell, U.S. Naval Academy class of 1933, commanded the Leary from 1948 to early 1950. I have a watercolor of the ship in my study that shows her in the older configuration, with twin forward turrets. A photo of the Leary taken during a Med cruise under Dad’s command shows her anchored at Venice, with St. Mark’s Square in the background. My mother always prized the photo, as she met up with Dad in Venice during the cruise that summer.
I was on board the destroyer a number of times. My sole vivid memory is of “going to sea” when the ship was slated for antiaircraft practice. The sound and sight of the 40mm guns was impressive. Regrettably, the weather was bad, and I think the towed target only made a couple of passes. But what an adventure for an eight (maybe nine) year old!
Captain John Henderson, SC, U.S. Navy (Retired)