the other “me” was on the USS William M Wood
I have a very unique name. I thought I was the only one in the world. But I found out I assumed incorrectly in a very interesting way.
About two years ago, I started getting the newsletters from the USS William M Wood Association. The Association is very active, just had a great reunion in Branson…I wasn’t there.
The Wood was named after William Maxwell Wood, MD, the 1st Surgeon General of the US Navy, a hero of the War with Mexico, credited with “Saving California” for the US; also serving during the Seminole War, the second Opium War, and the Civil War.
The Willy Wood was a Destroyer, commissioned in 1945, decommissioned in 1976. The Wood served in the Caribbean, the Yellow Sea, the Black Sea, the Atlantic, Pacific and Med. The Wood was in the Med in 1956 when Israel invade the Sinai Peninsula. The Wood participated in the blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Wood protected foreign nationals during a revolution in the Dominican Republic in 1965. After being decommissioned in ’76, the Wood was used as a target ship for Harpon missiles in 1983 off the coast of Puerto Rico. It took three direct hits to sink the Wood!
In all of it’s travels….I wasn’t on it. My grandad was in WWI, my uncle was in WWII, my step-dad was in Vietnam. But I was an in-between-er.
Look at this page: there’s my name, in 1965 as a Gunner’s Mate.
Scary, ain’t it?
A few months ago, I got a call from a gent named Chuck who was looking for a gent with the same name as me, who served on the ship around 1965 as a Gunners Mate. This would make the other me born around 1945. I told Chuck I was honored, but I was 4 years old in ’65. Chuck was a gentleman, and enjoyable to speak with. I called the folks in my family tree who keep track of the branches; I looked in the family book; I sent out a few emails.
But the only person with my name that anyone knew of was me. No relatives would admit to knowing another Larry.
So, other me, if you are out there, you’re about 65…I’m sure you are smart, good-looking and have a great sense of humor…as all with our name do. There are good folks looking for you.
HE WOULD HAVE MADE A GREAT WOOD SHIPMATE, WITH WHOM I WOULD HAVE BEEN PROUD TO SERVE.
Thank you sir!!! I’m sure he would have liked that.
Interested, was on the wood 1963-64. Anthony “Tony” McCrary, boatswain’s mate, night baker. I was the one who when I baked cookies you’d have to soak them for a while before biting into one.
Tony, those sound like legendary cookies!