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Terrence F. McGee Memorial

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For those who died so close to us
And ne'er returned to love at home
To those whom most knew but a bit
But live with us forever more.

Terrence F. McGee
Died  Mar. 12, 1960

Terrence F. McGee
You Are Not Forgotten

The following is a copy of the Deck Log reporting the loss. The [Newport] News had been diverted off it's schedule to respond to the scene of an earthquake at Agadir, Morocco, on the Atlantic side. We were headed for Thessalonika, Greece, and according to the Deck Log -

Saturday 12 March 1960


Steaming as before. 0809 Made daily inspection of magazines and smokeless powder samples; conditions normal. 1000 Exercised crew at General Quarters. C/C to 114. 1051 C/S to 17.5 knots. 1100 Secured from General Quarters. 1108 Man overboard, starboard side. Engines ordered to maneuvering status. Commenced maneuvering at various courses and speeds to search area in vicinity of life rings and smoke floats at latitude 36-13.7 N, longitude 18-16.5 E. 1113 Flight Quarters. 1118 Identity of man overboard established as MC GEE, T. F., 532 06 30, SN, USN. Launched helicopter HU-66 with pilot LTJG O'NEIL, USNR, and crew member to conduct search in vicinity of life rings and smoke floats. 1135 Recovered foul weather jacket identified as belonging to MC GEE, T. F., SN, USN. 1154 Visibility decreased to one (1) mile because of heavy rain showers. 1159 Recovered helicopter on main deck aft.

Signed and titled - L. I. FISHER, LTJG, USNR


Steaming as before. Maneuvering at various courses and speeds in man overboard search. 1418 Discontinued the search for MC GEE, T. F., 532 06 30, SN, USN. Man assumed dead due to drowning caused by large wave washing man overboard while rigging ship for heavy weather. C/C to 094. 1424 C/S to 19 knots. C/S to 20 knots. 1500 Advanced all clocks one (1) hour to conform with -2 Bravo zone time.

Signed and titled - L. T. KOZLOV, LTJG, USN

"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.

Lonny Neiman

    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


Photo of Memorial Service for Terry McGee

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