Sent to us by Richard May


Hello - In your narrative of the ship's history you might add an interesting anecdote in which Wilhoite was a close witness to the Dawn of the Space Age.


On the night of October 7, 1957 while performing its radar picket duties in the Gulf of Alaska, Wilhoite radar men detected the launch vehicle for the first Russian Sputnik although we had no idea what it was when it appeared on our screens, I seem to recall I was the watch officer in CIC during the incident.


It got us pretty excited because of its extreme velocity never before observed and then it disappeared.  We hurriedly reported this phenomenon to the beach, and in short order were told, in effect, to shut up and just keep reporting.....probably a love letter from the CIA!  Later, the news came out.


Hope this adds to the pleasure of your website.


Richard H. May (LTjg USNR, 1957-59)

Served on USS Wilhoite June 1957 - June 1958