USS Turner DD-648
Page 3

Officers of the USS Turner DD-648 on commissioning day April 15, 1943.
1. Lt. Carlton Rees
2. Lt. Arthur Alexander
3. Lt. Cmdr. Henry S. Wygant Jr. (Captain)
4. Lt. Warren Winslow
5. Lt. (j.g.) J.E. Flanagan
6. Lt. Thomas Porter
7. Lt. W.A. Payne
8. Lt. Farren Turner
9. Lt. Howell Murray
10. Lt. (j.g) E.W. Hampton
(None of these men survived the sinking of the USS Turner. There were only 2 surviving officers,
Ens. John J. Clemens and Ens. Addison LeBoutillier.)
(Photo courtesy of David L. Merrill, U.S.N.)
Radioman 1st Class USS Turner DD-648

"New York, Jan. 3 Texan Survives Destroyer Blast,
Radio Man First Class David L. Merrill, 21, of Henrietta, Texas Drinks coffee at the Sandy Hook, New Jersey
Coast Guard station after his rescue from a US Destroyer that exploded and sank near the entrance to the
Lower New York Bay today. He still wears the life belt in which he has abandoned the stricken ship."

This photo appeared in the New York Times and the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram.
In David's book, "A Ship Named Turner", he wrote the following.
"There were some people from the Red Cross in the room. They had their own cameraman and a cloth bag.
On the bag in large black letters were the words, SURVIVORS NEEDS SUPPLIED BY AMERICAN RED CROSS.
They put the bag in front of a crew member, take his picture, get his name and address, then take the bag and go on to someone else. They were interested in my picture because I was still wearing my life jacket and this fact was mentioned in the paper, under the picture. The bag in front of me is the one from the American Red Cross. Their photographer was at the end of the table and as soon as they took their picture, they got their bag and left. After taking about twenty or thirty pictures, the photographer, the man with the pad of paper and pencil, and the bag all left the building together."

(*Note: When I spoke to David sixty years later he had not forgotten about this and it still made him angry.)

David Ledrick Merrill passed away on Dec. 27, 2005 in Arlington, Texas.
(Photo courtesy of David L. Merrill, U.S.N.)
Radioman 1st Class, USS Turner DD-648

January 3, 1944 Crew members are served breakfast at Fort Hancock after being rescued from USS Turner DD-648. Second from left is 20mm gunner Coxswain James C. O'Connor.

Survivors from USS Turner DD-648.

Radioman 1st Class David L. Merrill (left) and Ensign John J. Clemens (right) at the USS Turner memorial
service Sunday January 16, 1944 US Naval Receiving Station Brooklyn, New York. Members of the Annapolis choir are seen in the background.
(Photo courtesy of David L. Merrill, U.S.N.)
Radioman 1st Class, USS Turner DD-648

Page 3
Page published May 17, 2004