Recently people have been joining me on my Sunday Walks in Downtown Albany. Typically, I walk in Albany when I'm scheduled as a tour guide on the USS Slater. A slide show and a map are detailed at this blog entry. I plan on walking on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. You can contact me at:

More on the USS SLATER (

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

06/24/2012 - USS Amsterdam

USS Astroia (left) and USS Amsterdam (Right) - San Diego Reserve Fleet 1970
When I begin a tour I typically ask visitors if they were in the Navy; had family members in the Navy; or any association with the Navy.  On this visit I had a relative of Mrs. William E. Hasenfuss who sponsored the USS Amsterdam CL-101.  A ship sponsor is the person who breaks a champagne bottle on the bow of  a ship when it is launched.  Mrs. Hasenfuss was a gold star mother from Amsterdam, NY.  Her son was in the Army Air Force, and he was killed at Hickam Field, Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Many years ago (in 1970) I happen to do a little legal requisition work on the USS Amsterdam a few weeks before the ship was scrapped. When a ship is scheduled for disposal, active sailors and museum ships are given an opportunity to obtain spare parts. Some of the repair parts for the USS Slater are obtained in a similar fashion. 

I remember that the USS Amsterdam was a gold mine.  My interest was the  5" / 38 Cal Gun Mounts.  Even though the mounts were over twenty five years old, they were in excellent condition.  We stripped quite a collection of spare parts.

About six months later my ship (USS Henry W. Tucker) was deployed to Vietnam.  I was experiencing problems with my fuse setter and I was able to trade (navy slang - cumshaw) a breech block and recoil rod from the USS Amsterdam with the  Naval Ordnance Systems Support Office in Subic for priority repairs. As far as I know these spares from the USS Amsterdam helped three Navy Destroyers deployed to Vietnam.

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