He was the finest man I have had the privilege to serve under. He was Ship's Secretary, in the Captain's Office when I met him in late October, 1962, and then, a Yeoman Master Chief Petty Officer. I served alongside him for two years, and he taught me how to wear my 'Sea Legs', and he taught me well.
Sometime in January, after returning to CONUS, from WestPac, Chief Alexander received orders to Limited Duty Officer (LDO) school, and was detached from Hancock. I never saw him again, but fate had it otherwise, I was to HEAR about him later, after being separated from Active Duty myself.
Sometime in 1967, when visiting my uncle who served in Oriskany, I was paging through his Cruise Book '66, and just casually was looking over the IN MEMORIAM pages, when I saw the name of my Chief at the top of the casualty list! He was then LTJG Dewey L. Alexander, having been commissioned O2 after graduating form LDO School.
You have no idea how this news hit me at the time, I was totally in shock. I still am saddened to think of him losing his life that way, but he was a true blue Navy man to the core. Knowing him as I did, no one could dispute my thoughts about him.
During your stay here at Jake's 'Yankee Station' - USS Hancock Memorial, please be mindful of this good Sailor, and his sacrifice, and know that this is the reason why I put this Website up, and will try my best to continue keeping it up till I, myself, go to meet him once again on the 'Other Side'.
LTJG Alexander gave his life because he loved the Navy and his fellow shipmates. On October 26, 1966, while in Oriskany (CVA-34), he was killed while fighting to save his ship and those he served with from the terrible explosions and fire that swept through the ship that day.
He was a true Sailor, and one I will never forget. His face and his passion for duty made an everlasting impression on my mind, that I will carry with me to the end of my days..
On February 24, 2008, I received an Email sent to this Website from his daughter Karen Lee Alexander - I had been hoping for many years to have a member of his family come forward and let me know their thoughts about this Website and the Dedication I made in LTJGf Dewey Alexander's honor. You can only imagine my reaction to hearing from Karen. Her words are below:
Name: Karen Lee Alexander, Daughter of Dewey Lee Alexander
24 February 2008
"Dear Jake, My daughter Renee found your website a few years ago; I myself do not use a computer without assistance, hence my delay in correspondence. Speaking for my family, I wish to Thank-you deeply for the tribute that you have created for my Father. We were deeply moved by it, and proud to see your testimony. Although we have not been to the Wall yet; we have been to the traveling Wall twice. We also each have a copy of the book "FIRE On The Hangar Deck, Ordeal of the Oriskany".
In the course of life, I have met many Men who have served on the Oriskany; but never met anyone who knew my Dad.
Once again, I Thank you with all my heart and Bless you."
Karen Lee Alexander