High School Wall of Honor
William Dennis Newcomb
Class of January, 1951
Research done by Claradell Shedd, class of 1953.
Duncan, converted to a radar picket destroyer during her post-shakedown overhaul, sailed from Norfolk on 2 June 1945 for the Pacific, and after touching at San Diego and Pearl Harbor, joined Cabot (CVL-28) for screening and plane guard duty during the strikes on Wake Island of 1 August. After calling at Eniwetok, she continued to Okinawa to join the 7th Fleet for patrol duty off the Chinese and Korean coasts during the landing of occupation troops at Tsingtao, Taku, and Incheon. Duncan served in the Far East on occupation duty until 25 March 1946 when she sailed for the west coast, arriving at San Diego on 28 April.
For the next year Duncan trained along the west coast, keeping high her operational skills and readiness. In May 1947 she departed San Diego for a five-month cruise to the Far East, where she visited Okinawa, Japan, and China. On her return to the States, Duncan resumed coastal operations with both aircraft and submarines. On 1 March 1948 she suffered 2 killed and 14 injured in an explosion on board. After repairs at Long Beach, California, the destroyer rejoined the fleet for training until January 1949, when she again sailed for the western Pacific, this time for eight months. Duncan was reclassified DDR-874 on 18 March 1949.
Duncan operated between San Diego and Pearl Harbor until November 1950 when she steamed into Korean waters to join the 7th Fleet. Duncan served a total of three tours off Korea during the fighting. She sailed as plane guard for carriers and as anti-submarine escort for battleships; she fired shore bombardments in support of minesweepers and to interdict enemy communications; she patrolled against North Korean minesweepers and fishing craft. Through all she added her significant contribution to the vast sea-borne support of the United Nations troops ashore.
The USS Duncan received seven battle stars for Korean war service.
The radarman was generally required to attend and complete a U.S. Navy Class "A" radar school at a designated Naval Training Centers (NTC) in the United States. Once assigned to a ship or shore station, the radarman was required to operate and maintain the installed radar and electronic warfare equipment. Radarmen were especially trained in emergency repair procedures, as vessels they were assigned to went into combat areas.
|01/29/11: Urbandale, IA. Died 03/21/11.
|Music: "Anchors Aweigh" by the U.S Navy Band
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