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Destroyer Division 38

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USS Gillespie Shipmate Stories
Gizmo’s Misadventure

         USS Gillespie’s own Bruce Foxworthy sent in this amusing anecdote, and related that this occurred in late November of 1945.  Bruce says that in talking to other Gillespie shipmates who missed this byplay, apparently he was in just the right place at the right time to witness what transpired, and remembers it quite clearly.
          “Our return to San Diego after the war was a proud occasion, made more memorable by our ship’s mascot, Gizmo, a little mixed breed terrier.  When the Gillespie and another destroyer steamed into the harbor, both were dressed out with every flag and pennant flying in the breeze, and every off duty sailor lining the rails in his dress uniform.  Other ships we passed saluted us with their steam whistles.  On our assigned pier, a Navy band played a lively march.  At the edge of the pier stood officers’ families and four uniformed Salvation Army ladies with their cart for serving donuts and coffee.
          Captain Ogle brought our 348-foot ship alongside the pier as neatly as if it were a small boat.  Mooring lines were smartly passed and secured, and a gangway quickly rigged while the bo’sun hastily piped the Captain ashore.  The Skipper trotted down the gangway and into the arms of his beautiful wife, Kitty, as their two little boys, dressed in suits and ties, hugged daddy’s legs.  It was a moving, unforgettable moment.
          Suddenly, little Gizmo sprinted down the gangway between the legs of debarking officers.  He dashed to the nearest Salvation Army lady, and apparently mistaking her sturdy leg for a tree, hoisted his leg and took his time in filling her sensible black shoe.  The poor lady toughed it out with eyes clamped and fists clenched, refusing to break ranks during the ceremonies.  Not until after Gizmo had left and the band stopped playing did the fine lady stomp off in the direction of a warehouse, leaving a wet footprint with every other step along the way.”


USS Gillespie Mascot, Gizmo