Captain Pauly tells the Turner Times, "My two years in command of the Turner were the best years of my 30 in the USN."
When he was relieved, it was a "very sad day". Don had spent 15 years preparing himself for destroyer command. He thought, given the chance, he could build a "can do" spirit in a good crew, excel in every task, and have a happy ship. To his credit, and the credit of the officers and men serving under him from 1966 to 1968, his expectations and dreams were right on the money. Commendatory messages poured in and COMMANDER SIXTH FLEET commented to the effect, "Send the TURNER if you want a destroyer to do it right the first time." Don's comment was, "The OUTSTANDING crew of the TURNER deserved that reputation."
Regarding the crew, the captain says they worked hard, they worked efficiently, they believed in what they were doing, they said they would be ready and they were. The Turner Times, and all of us in the TURNER Reunion Association are proud of Captain Pauly and the TURNERMEN who went to sea with him. You held up, and carried to the wire, the sterling TURNER reputation that we all had a hand in and are proud of.
After being relieved, Don commanded CORTRON EIGHT with its six "Dealey" class DEs. Next he worked for Admiral Stansfield Turner in the Pentagon.
While in this assignment he was selected for Captain. He was called away from this position to replace the Chief of Staff for Commander Cruiser Destroyer Force Seventh Fleet, embarked in the cruiser PROVIDENCE. His predecessor had been killed. Very soon, Don found himself in combat along the coast of Vietnam engaging in nightly gun duels with shore batteries and attacking coastal targets.
Due to the absence of the Admiral, in the two week period before the cease fire, Don became the Task Force Commander with 56 cruisers and destroyers.
For his performance during this period, he was recommended for and subsequently received the Legion of Merit with Combat V.
After five years as the military head of Scientific and Technical Intelligence in the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency, Captain Pauly retired. Since then, he has been employed as a program manager for Singer-Link and worked for a small defense contractor for several years, setting up a computer system which permitted the Navy to track munitions shipments. More recently, having become interested in income tax problems, he went through H & R Block training. He worked for them as a tax preparer going on to qualify as an Enrolled Agent - similar to a CPA in Income Tax.
Today Don does the taxes for over 200 regular clients in the H & R Block PREMIUM office.
We thank Captain Pauly for sharing his thoughts and experiences with us.
"I genuinely loved that ship and everyone aboard."
So says Captain Donald E. Pauly, USN Retired, about the TURNER and his TURNERMEN.