"Now hear this. Now hear this. Man overboard, starboard side. This is no drill". I don't remember
the rest of the announcement, but I think it was to have all hands lay topside to their fair weather muster stations; not
only to have a number of searchers, but also to determine who was missing.
Cool, I thought to myself as I headed topside with my new buddies; Barstrom, Dinderman, Myers, Wentworth, et al. My
first Med Cruise, 1960. We'll give this guy the business for falling off the ship when they haul him back aboard. Spirits
were high. This should be fun. I know there were cameras brought out to record that inglorious moment, also.
Hundreds of pairs of eyes scanned the grey rough ocean, under a grey rough sky. Where's he at?? Why don't we see him??
How far away could he be?? That's a lot of water out there. It's been a long time. We're giving up??
He was never found, but his untied life jacket was. He died.
I'm sure his name was announced at a memorial service. I don't remember it, and it's not on the Memorial Page, and
since this was pre-Viet Nam, it's not on a wall in Washington. I've never forgotten the incident.
At the last Memorial Day at my church, the Pastor asked all the veterans to stand and be recognized. The Pastor said
that not only those who had given their lives in service of their country in time of war should be honored, but also those
who were willing to give their lives in peacetime should be honored, also. I thought of that young man, then.
While driving to Florida on vacation in October, my wife got me talking about Navy days; boot camp, electronics school
at Great Lakes, and of course, the USS Newport News. She asked me if I was ever in any danger. I thought of this young man,
again, and told her the story. It could have happened to any one of us.
I was showing my USS Newport News model, over the holidays, to my grandchildren. One of them asked if anyone had ever
drowned. I thought of that young man, again.
I know it will stay with me, forever.
Williams, J L ETR2 OE Div '59-'62
my name is lonny neiman and i was on the newport news when we lost shipmate
terrence francis mcgee. i thought we secured from g-q and he jumped out onto the net
that was hanging from mount-55 right after we secured from g-q that net hangs out over
the water and a wave came up swept him overboard. i was in mount 53 at that time. i
thought he was in 7th division.
Terrence F. McGee, was from the 7th division, which was my division also. It was a gray day, we were
in general quarters earlier that day. Later after g-q we washed the life jackets & hung the canvas jacket
on a line to dry. We got word that we were heading to earthquake stricken Agadir Morocco. The word was
past to rig the ship for bad weather, that's when Terry went out onto the wire net ( net hangs out over the
water) next to gun turret #55. We yelled to Terry to get a life jacket on but just then a wave (swell) pull
Terry over the side. We ran over to the life line for the life ring to throw to Terry last time we saw Terry he
was trying to get the life ring, we also threw a smoke bomb. The watch on the fan tail didn't know what
happened until the word was past ("Now hear this. Now hear this. Man overboard, starboard side. This is
not a drill"). He was lost & never more found.
One day I asked why Terrence F. McGee wasn't on the Memorial page with the rest of our fallen shipmates.
I then heard from Willy Williams, he said we have to come up with dates of when it happened. You might
say why did it take me so long to remember Terry McGee. (I had to leave the USS Newport News because
my dad had a stroke while I was at home on leave, 3 months my dad past away he was 46 yrs. old I was
devastated for a long time). I came up with the date March 12th 1960, cause I still have the letter I wrote
my girl friend (my wife now). So with the effort of myself Louis J. Fricano, Willy Williams, David Meyers, 2
other shipmates. I am so glad that we got Terry F. McGee on the Memorial page now he can rest in peace
with our other shipmates & never more be forgotten.
Louis J. Fricano SN 7th Division 1960