U.S.S. Walker

                Crew Today

Chief John Hurd
United States Navy


Below you will find special pages dedicated to specific crew members who served on Walker which includes their past and present photographs along with a brief biography:

Send in a past and present photograph along with a brief biography so we can add you here.


   Colin Collins  -Gary Dillon -Craig A. Herda - Rick Lund 

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Colin Collins

Personal Information:

I am Fifty one years old married and have one son. My son graduated in June of nineteen ninety one. I Don't smoke or drink, and I like to travel. My hobbies are fishing, hunting, off road bikes, sailing and working with computers. Born in San Diego I graduated from crawford H.S. June of 1967, spent 4 years in the Navy. Was released 1972 and went to work as an iron worker.

I have spent some time in schools when I had time to. Attended Edutek Professional College obtained Certificate as an ELECTRONIC TECHNICIAN. Attended City college took Electric , Air Conditioning and Refrigeration and Photography. I try to sail as much as I can mostly on weekends. I have my own yacht it’s a 35.5 Hunter sailing yacth.

I have the 25th  anniversary western pacific cruise book 5AUG 1968-28 FEB 1969 I have news for those that were on the last cruise they can file service connected compensation.

I was able to file for  (Tinnitus) ringing in my ear  (Bilateral hearing)   (Asbestosis)  also  those who were on the walker on December 5-6, 1968 was on  Mekong river  on December 7, 1968 on Vung  Gang Rrai river exposure to agent orange/ herbicides is established .  if any of the crew has diabetes type two they will be able to get service  compensation.  They have the dates and proof.   It took 2 1/2  years  to get this.

 If you need any  information  here is my phone #  619 592-3004 Email salingcaptain1@juno.com

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 Gary Dillon


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I joined the Navy July 27th, 1964, Right after High school. I served aboard the Willis A. Lee after boot camp. I came aboard the Walker as a Seaman, in December 1965 and struck for Boatswainmate in the deck force. While on the Walker, she made 2 West PAC cruises, and I left Pearl Harbor October 1967 for separation as a 2nd class Boatswainsmate. I look back on my time spent on the Walker with many fond memories, of the ship and her crew.

After separating from the Navy, I returned to W.Va. where I worked as a clerk on the B & O Railroad, and as a Stock boy in a Foodstore. (Neither was for me so I rejoined the service, Air Force this time)

I spent 9 years in the Air Force as a staff sergeant, in 2 career fields. Overseas I was in Radio Relay (Microwave Radio Maintenance) and when I would return to the states I was in GCA Radar Maintenance.

While in the AF. I spent 3 years in Tachikawa, Japan and 2 years in Izmir, Turkey.

I separated from the Air Force in April 1977 and returned to W.Va. where in 1978 I went to work for the Chessie System railroad as a radio repairman. July 1981 I was promoted to an assistant supervisor signal and comm., and transferred to Grand Rapids, Mich. From there I went to Columbus Oh, Huntington, W.Va. and finally in Feb. 1991, to my last assignment as signal supervisor at Hamlet, NC Where I  retired

I was married, divorced and married to my present wife Sharon. (Happily for 29 years.) We enjoy watching Nascar Racing. They held 2 races a year at the Rock, Rockingham, NC. Where we live. , And going to the beach.

We were fortunate enough to go to Hawaii in the spring of 1999, and tour Pearl Harbor and spend some time in Waikiki and Honolulu. We enjoyed our time there and were amazed at how much Hawaii has changed since I was stationed there.

Being retired we enjoy traveling, watching football games (NFL and NCAAF) shooting reloading among other things.

I  enjoy hearing from shipmates and hearing about there life experiences.  I have many fond memories of my time on the Walker.

Gary Dillon

BM2 65 - 67

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Craig A Herda

For the record, I served on board as a RM 3, from around the first part of '67 to the end of October when we went back to Pearl Harbor. I was onboard when we had the running gun fight with those two North Viet Nam trawlers. Just for your information concerning that engagement, I wrote to the Dept of the Navy asking about the Secretary of Navy Unit Citation that we had been recommended for that action. I received back a nice form letter informing me that it was still under review. I mean really, 47 years later? My info is as follows;

I am an Active duty Merchant Marine Officer. I am currently working as a Captain on a 240 foot PSV ship in the oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico.

I live in Micanopy, Florida just south of Gainesville, home of the University of Florida Mailing address is

Craig A Herda

16247 SE CR 225

Micanopy , FL 32667

Phone is 352-466-0770

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Rick Lund

I joined the Navy October 14, 1964 on the buddy plan with a high school friend based on my father's advice. He was a combat wounded WWII Marine Radioman veteran of the initial assault on Tarawa. Because we were both seventeen we qualified for the Kitty Cruise allowing us to get out the day before our twenty first birthdays. We went to boot camp in San Diego and I was sent to Machinist Mate school in Great Lakes (my buddy went to communications school in Pensacola). After that, my next and last assignment was the Walker, I started in the forward engine room and was then transferred aft where I spent my remaining time. I was on board in June of 65 in time for the first tour to Vietnam with stops in other ports and on just long enough to complete the second tour to Vietnam with other ports.

Because my primary interest was always drawing, I ended up doing a number of small projects for officers on board. I still have a number of drawings I completed at the time for myself and the others went to those in charge..

 I was at aft throttles during both of the collisions with the Russian Destroyers, bells were coming from the bridge as fast as we could execute them without pulling the boilers offline. At the point of collision, I found myself sitting on the deck with my hands still positioned as if on the throttles.I was proud to receive a Captains Commendation for my performance at the time.

I often stood watch with Eddy Fairbanks (EM2) and we went on shore leave a number of times. We got together last year in Tennessee where he lives. I remember, Nowicki (who visited me shortly after we were out), Brooks, Kennington, Holloway, Naputi and McKuen  among others but must admit memory fogs up a bit on other names.

Holloway and I once took extra clothes on leave in Pearl. Went to Diamond Head, changed, hiked and crawled up to the ridge and explored the caves carved out for WWII. As I remember, climbing Diamond Head was a no, no at the time.

Of course, like a lot of us, I bought some nice stereo equipment and had it shipped home(all antiques now).

Later in my Dad's life  we discovered that the day of the assault on Tarawa November 20,1943 when he was shot, one of the ships offering support fire was a brand new destroyer, The Walker. We both thought about that oddity for a long time.

 I remember going to see the XO when we got back to Pearl the last time for my shipping-over lecture and discharge papers. I went in and saluted, he said, " I am not interested in wasting time and I have a feeling you are not interested in shipping over." I agreed, we shook hands, he wished me luck on the outside and I left. I had done a number of art projects for him and he knew that was my interest which I think prompted the conversation.

I did patent drawings for a patent law firm Merchant & Gould of Minneapolis along with my Dad for ten years who taught me patent drafting before going in the Navy. I was a Big Brother with the Minneapolis office for twenty years 75-95, where I had three "little" brothers that I still have contact with and served on their board of directors for two years. In 1977 I married my wife and we are now both retired with two adult children, little to no prospects for grand-kids which we are both okay with. In 1978 I went into business for myself doing patent drawings until a couple years ago when I sold the business to a young guy I had been contracting to, he now owns it and I may start doing a few drawings for him if I am looking for something to do,  but not so far.

I carry a lot of Walker memories to this day, as they formed an important part of my life.


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