Richard Carl Tessman

Seaman Apprentice
United States Navy
14 May 1953 - 01 October 1972
New Britain, Connecticut
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Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Richard Carl Tessman

03 May 2006

You were only 19 years old when we lost you. Over 30 years have passed but we still miss you, brother.

Jim Tessman

A Note from The Virtual Wall

USS NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148) was a heavy cruiser, with a main armament of nine 8-inch naval rifles mounted in three triple turrets and a secondary armament of twelve 5" rifles in six twin turrets. Commissioned on 29 January 1949, she served three tours in Vietnam and participated in cruiser raids on Haiphong, Than Hoa, and Vinh in North Vietnam, as well as numerous other naval gunfire missions both north and south of the DMZ.

While conducting a gunfire mission at 0100 01 Oct 1972, an 8-inch projectile in the bore of the center gun of Turret Two exploded prematurely, setting off several powder casings in the powder hoists. The explosion resulted in the death of 20 men and injury to 36 others. Quick and efficient action by the repair parties concerned confined the damage to the inside of the turret and its barbette. The cause of the explosion was subsequently determined to be a faulty auxiliary detonating fuse. The dead were

  • GMG1 Wesley H. Rose, Indianapolis, IN
  • GMG2 Tommy M. Hawker, Sutherlin, VA
  • GMG3 Charles W. Clinard, Maysfield, TX
  • BM3 William Clark, Vienna, GA
  • SN Jack S. Bergman, Baltimore, MD
  • SN Terry W. Deal, Taylorsville, NC
  • SN Joseph Grisafi, Springfield, PA (DoI 10/03/1972)
  • SN Edward R. McEleney, Medford, MA
  • SN Ralph L. Robinson, Baltimore, MD
  • SN David L. Scott, Seymour, MO
  • SA Herman C. Acker, Reserve, LA
  • SA Ronald P. Daley, Marshfield, MA
  • SA William H. Harrison, Clifton Forge, VA
  • SA Robert M. Kikkert, Munster, IN
  • SA Robert T. Moore, Philadelphia, PA
  • SA Stanley G. Pilot, Salisbury, NC
  • SA Ricky L. Rucker, Baltimore, MD
  • SA Jeffrey L. Scheller, Rahway, NJ
  • SA Richard C. Tessman, New Britain, CT
  • SR Raymond R. Davis, Shreveport, LA
NEWPORT NEWS departed the gun line for the Cubi Point Naval Station, Philippines, where temporary repairs were made to Turret Two. She returned to the South China Sea and recommenced naval gunfire missions on 21 Oct 1972, completing two additional gunline periods before returning to Norfolk (VA) on 24 December 1972.

USS NEWPORT NEWS was decommissioned on 27 July 1975.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009