TANKER NECHES ARRIVES AT TOKYO
TO FUEL HALSEY'S
MILLER, ENSIGN, U.S.N.
"REQUEST PERMISSION TO FUEL YOUR WHITE HORSE BEFORE
YOUR SCHEDULED RIDE."
ComThirdFleet: "AFFIRM X USE STERN METHOD."
The above exchange of messages took place on August 11th off northern
Honshu where the USS Neches (AO47), pride of the tanker fleet, was fueling
Admiral W. F. Halsey's Third Fleet. The fleet all tensely yet jubilantly
Unites States reply to the Japanese surrender offer.
Today Commander H. G. Hansen, USNR, and his officers and crew are the
proudest men in the tanker fleet. They are the 11th major fleet unit and
the first tanker to put into Tokyo Bay, August 29, four days before the
surrender ceremonies, and have anchored in company with Admiral Halsey's
flagship and other selected ships of the United States and British Navies.
For a time it looked like the Neches would lose out on her special
assignment. Following the exchange of messages with Admiral Halsey she
had to return to port to reload. However, the same luck that followed her
through nearly every major campaign from Guadalcanal to Okinawa carried
her on to Tokyo. It was natural that one of the first tankers in the China
Sea, the first tanker at Iwo Jima and the first tanker to shoot down a suicide
plane at Okinawa should be the representative of the tanker fleet at the
surrender of Japan
On rejoining Rear Admiral D. B. Beary's logistic support group the Neches
lost no time in requesting assignment to the coveted duty at Tokyo . Rear
Admiral Beary thrilled every man aboard when he replied, "BE PREPARED TO
PROCEED ON A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT THIS AFTERNOON IN REGARDS TO
FUELING ADMIRAL HALSEY'S WHITE HORSE BY THE STERN METHOD."
Then with the entire logistic group of dozens of ships listening in he sent us
on our way with, "GOODBYE X GOOD LUCK X YOU ARE OUR REPRESENTATIVE
AT THE SURRENDER X WE WONT BE THERE X BE SURE TO TELL US ALL
ABOUT IT WHEN YOU COME BACK."
"WILCO X WE WILL DO OUR BEST." Replied the Neches.
Rear Admiral Beary: "MAKE SURE THAT HALSEY'S HORSE IS PROPERLY FUELED
100% BY THE STERN
X WE'LL BLOW HER UP."
To those unfamiliar
with navy fueling at sea methods it should be pointed
out that the common method is the "alongside", one in which ships to be
fueled come alongside the tanker. In the seldom used "stern" method the
ship being fueled lies astern of the
With the fueling of Admiral Halsey's white horse already a tanker legend, the
crew of the Neches have lost no time in painting a proud new insignia on
her bridge - a frightened buck-toothed white horse being chased by a
winged oil can, obviously about to
make contact by the "stern method."