Letter to shipmates from the Davidson's
Commanding Officer

Dear Davidson Veterans and Spouses:

It has been more than thirty years since I commanded the Davidson, and being your commanding officer has been one of the highlights of my Naval career. The first time I observed the Davidson steaming into Pearl Harbor, I was overwhelmed by the sight of this magnificent Man of War. I was eagerly looking forward to serving on board as her captain. The USS Davidson became my home away from home for the next two years, and I shall never forget the outstanding ship's company which made my job so rewarding. There is no question that a ship's crew determines a ship's reputation, and we certainly had the very best of both. All hands on board Davidson always performed to the very best of their ability, and I was always very proud of each and every one of you. From our shipyard overhaul period, our refresher training at Pearl Harbor, and our overseas deployment to the Western Pacific off the coast of Vietnam, the Davidson's exemplary performance of duty made our ship the pride and joy of Destroyer Squadron 11. All of the battle efficiency E's that the ship proudly displayed were a credit to the outstanding sailors that served aboard her, primarily because of their devotion to duty and their hard work under extreme pressure.

In closing, thanks for all the wonderful memories. I wish all of you
and your loved ones fair winds and following seas in the years that lie ahead.

All of you certainly deserve congratulations for a job well done. I was very privileged to have had the opportunity to serve as your skipper for two years in the early 70's, and I would be remiss if I did not also thank Robert Schippers for all that he has done to keep the Davidson foremost in our thoughts through all these years.

Warmest regards,
Dick Smith


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