Historical Documentation from Crewmembers
Mullaney’s Departing Letter
CAPTAIN MULLANEY’S DEPARTING WORDS
To My Officers and Crew:
In many ways, I am disappointed in not bringing our ship back home with you. I would have experienced a certain pride in tying her up safely in a repair yard on the coast. However, I am called to continue the fight out here and in leaving you, I want each one of you to know that I am taking with me something fine and precious.
This is a very small world and especially in our calling we find ourselves crossing courses time and again. If you ever see me again, please come up and shake my hand.
There are many things I would like to say to you in this farewell note, but I believe I will let a paragraph from my action report say it for me:
“No Captain of a man of war ever had a crew who fought more valiantly against such overwhelming odds, who can measure the degree of courage of men who stand up to their guns in the face of diving planes that destroy them? Who can measure the loyalty of a crew who risked death to save the ship from sinking when all seemed lost? I desire to record that the history of our Navy was enhanced on May 11, 1945. 1 am proud to record that I know of no record of a Destroyer’s crew fighting for one hour and thirty-five minutes against overwhelming enemy aircraft attacks and destroying twenty-three planes. My crew accomplished their mission and displayed outstanding fighting abilities. I am recommending awards for the few men who displayed outstanding bravery above the deeds of their shipmates in separate correspondence. Destroyer men are good men and my officers and crew were good destroyer men.
B. J. Mullaney