Letter to the Editor

A gallant lady

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Dear Editor,

I read the piece in the March 5 Gazette on the "Fighting McCooks." Since I was at Normandy June 6, 1944, I remember the destroyer McCook and two other destroyers that I cannot recall their names. The destroyer McCook and the other two saved the day on Omaha Beach on Normandy. One of them was sunk by mines. I believe McCook ran aground but still kept up a hail of fire on the enemy from 5-inch guns. I believe the tide came in and refloated her.

Ronald Cumming


EDITOR'S NOTE: Records show the USS McCook was the second ship named after Roderick S. McCook, one of the "Fighting McCooks," who was an officer in the Union Navy during the Civil War. Her keel was laid in May 1941 in Seattle. She was nearly knocked out of action just before D Day during an air raid in England, but heroic efforts by repair crews had her back in service in time for the invasion. By 6:16 a.m. June 6, 1944, the McCook had destroyed her assigned targets (three pillboxes, 13 machine gun nests and three shore guns), and by the end of the "longest day," she had added to her tally seven pillboxes, eight gun emplacements and 10 stone houses which housed enemy machine guns and snipers. She was converted to a fast mine sweeper and spent the post-war years clearing mines from areas around Okinawa and Japan. She was decommissioned in 1949 and broken up for scrap in 1973.

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