| Recollection of Capt. Harold David McKee by Navigation Officer of the USS Jamestown AGTR-3 - Horace Stracener |
I have many stories about the Captain of the USS Jamestown. The very last night he was to be the Captain was the most memorable. His relief had been aboard for some time and Captain McKee was to be relieved of responsibility the very next day in Hong Kong. I was Navigator. As we passed the China coast a Chicom ship came out, shined lights on the Jamestown and "arrested" uf for being in their coastal waters. It was exciting and very scary. David radioed to Dixie Station for instructions. We were, of course, unarmed, and the Chicom ship had it's big guns pointing at us. What a night. We were all on the bridge for the whold night. I was at the radar screen and the Captain was on the radio telephone.
To make matters worse, there were more than 500 junks and other small fishing boats all around us. Captain McKee kept his cool but I was certain he was as scared as I was. And just one more day as Captain of the USS Jamestown. We just kept going at our flank speed of 10.7 knots for what seemed like days. In a matter of a few hours and at approximately 5:00am we came to the mouth of the Hong Kong harbor.
Well, I pointed out to the Captain that we must wait till 7;00am at high tide to enter the harbor. "Wait, Hell," he responded, and ordered me to take the ship into the harbor. Well, we kicked up some mud, but we made it in and all was well and the Captain was relieved that day at noon.
USS JAMESTOWN AGTR-3
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