1970 SHIP'S HISTORY NARRATIVE
During the first two weeks of 1970, KING was drydocked in Drydock #3 of the San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard (SFBNSY) for sonar repairs, screw and hull work. In addition, extensive off-ship schooling and on-board lectures for officers and men were conducted in preparation for refresher training and subsequent deployment.
On 13 January the ship was taken out of drydock and the ship's regular overhaul was continued at piers 4 & 10 of SFBNSY. During this period the crew lived in barracks 103 of the shipyard due to continuous shipyard work and closure of the crew's mess.
On 8 January, CAPTAIN EDWARD C. KLINE, JR., COMDESDIV 52, conducted an informal inspection of the ship to determine overhaul progress, 3-M procedures and refresher training preparations and was generally pleased with KING's progress.
Due to problems in the ship's forced draft blowers, engineering sea trials were delayed several times and KING received a two week extension in her shipyard overhaul. Engineering and electronic sea trials were held concurrently on both 2-3 March and 18-19 March. The ship completed her ROH period on 24 March. On that date, KING got underway for weapons loadout at Concord, remaining overnight before sailing to Port Hueneme for a missile systems test. KING completed the voyage to her home port of San Diego on the 27 th of March.
From 28 March to 13 April, KING was inport in San Diego making final preparations for the refresher training (REFTRA) which was conducted by Fleet Training Group, San Diego, Several periods of ASW team training were conducted at the ASW school. In addition, this period was utilized for a medical assist visit and quarterly medical inspection by the DESRON FIVE medical officer.
The first week of REFTRA started on 13 April with training readiness evaluations and correction of the discrepancies noted in the initial underway period. The second week of REFTRA consisted of self-observed training battle problems, exercises at general drills, three days of intensive inport training and two days of Anti-submarine warfare exercises with the USS ROBISON (DDG12) and the USS SEGUNDO (SS398).
In addition to the tasks mentioned already the first three days of REFTRA were also devoted to inport shore bombardment drills, anti-ship missile defense training and a course designed to help prepare KING for her nuclear weapons acceptance inspection. The course was conducted by a team from the Nuclear Weapons Training Center at North Island.
The last part of the week was utilized for a training battle problem, shore bombardment at San Clemente Island, anti-air gunnery exercise and engineering casualty control drills.
The fourth week of REFTRA consisted of an underway engineering damage control battle problems, air control exercises, ECM training and precision anchoring drills.
The fifth week of REFTRA, while underway in the SOCAL OP areas included exercises in aircraft control, helicopter launch and recovery, vertical replenishment, precision anchoring, ECM detection and analysis, underway replenishment and refueling, and surface gunnery. In addition, the ship conducted her mid-term battle problem and was advised of progress made during the initial half of REFTRA.
The sixth week of REFTRA began on 18 May and included exercises in NTDS tracking, ECM analysis, detection, and direction finding; helicopter in flight refueling underway replenishment; and anti-air gunnery.
On Saturday, 23 May, Commander Dempster M. JACKSON, USN relieved Commander John D. SCULL, USN as Commanding Officer of KING in ceremonies at Pier. 4 of the Naval Station, San Diego.
The seventh week of REFTRA consisted of exercises in surface and air tracking, vertical replenishment , anti-ship cruise missile defense, and the final battle problem.
The eighth and final week of REFTRA included ship’s qualification trials/ refresher training missile firing at the Pacific Missile Range. Upon her return to San Diego, KING had completed her REFTRA requirements and the crew began preparations for PMS inspection, RPS inspection, and Nuclear Weapons Acceptance Inspection which were held on 8-9 June, 11 June and 16 June respectively. These inspections were completed before the ship again got underway for a missile firing exercise conducted on the Pacific Missile Range on 16-18 June. KING completed a weapons loadout at Seal Beach on 19 June and returned to. San Diego for a command inspection given by USS ROBISON (DDG12) on 22-23 June. The next two weeks were spent in preparation for the ship’s seventh WESTPAC Deployment.
In accordance with COMFIRSTFLT quarterly employment schedule, KING left San Diego on 6 July for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in company with USS AGERHOLM (DD826), USS CHEVALIER (DD805), USS ROBISON (DDG12), and USS ROGERS (DD876). Commander Destroyer Division 52, Captain Edward C. KLINE, Jr., was SOPA and OTC for the transit which was utilized for general drills, familiarization with WESTPAC directives, and quarterly PMS inspections.
KING arrived in Pearl Harbor on 12 July and commenced two days of briefings on WESTPAC Operations, and one day of ASW training. The crew utilized the off duty time for sight seeing in the 50 th State.
KING got underway for Midway with the USS EPPERSON (DD719) on 15 July and conducted a missile firing during transit. Arriving in Midway on 18 July KING refueled and steamed independently to Subic Bay with a fuel stop at Guam. On 29 July, KING arrived in Subic Bay after transit through the San Bernadino Straits and commenced her WESTPAC loadout of weapons and communication gear. In addition, KING embarked a security team detachment and helicopter personnel in anticipation of operations in the Gulf of Tonkin.
KING departed Subic Bay on 5 August for Danang, RVN after an ammunition loadout at Nabasson Pier, Naval Magazine, Subic. The transit to Danang was utilized for gunnery exercises and participation in penetration exercise which tested the response of coastal defense, forces.
On 8 August, KING anchored in Danang Harbor for operations briefings and then got underway for night anti-PT boat training. KING then steamed north in the Gulf of Tonkin to relieve the USS COONTZ (DLG9) as NSAR ship.
The period 9-19 August was spent in the Gulf of Tonkin as CTU 77.0.1 in company with USS GURKE (DD783) and refueled from USS SACRAMENTO (AOE1) on 14 August and USS CALIENTE (A053) on 1.8 August.
During the initial assignment to NSAR, KING was hampered by TACAN casualty but was able to meet her commitments as the primary air control PLATFORM in the Northern Gulf of Tonkin. KING was also a key NTDS ship and assumed net control of the Link 11 Broadcast during part of her tour.
KING was relieved by the USS BAINBRIDGE (DLGN25) on 19 August and departed for Yokosuka, Japan via a fuel stop in Kaohsiung, Taiwan on the 21st of August.
KING arrived in Yokosuka on 24 August and personnel attended briefings on scheduled operations in the Sea of Japan. In addition, tours to the World’s Fair in Osaka and athletic activities were organized to allow the crew to relax.
After remaining in Yokosuka two days longer than originally scheduled to avoid a typhoon, KING got underway on 30 August for Sasebo, Japan in company with USS CARPENTER (DD825). Arriving on 1 September, KING relieved USS MAHAN (DLG-11) as PARPRO Picket (CTU 71.0.4). During inport periods in Sasebo KING was on 12 hour notice to get underway at all times. This increased the maintainance problems for the ship but with the help of the USS HECTOR (AR-7) much worthwhile maintenance was accomplished despite the stringent readiness requirements.
On 5-6 September, the crew held its only scheduled WESTPAC party at the Hotel BANSHORO in Sasebo. Entertainment was provided by a band, hostesses, two exotic dancers, and drinks at 15 cents apiece.
On 8 September, Vice Admiral MIZUTANI, Commandant of the Sasebo Sector of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, paid an informal visit to KING and toured various parts of the ship.
On 11 September, KING got underway for her first operations in the Sea of Japan and conducted anti-air gunnery exercises and damage control drills. Accompanied by USS CARPENTER (DD825) KING remained in the Sea of Japan until 18 September when she returned to Sasebo. During this period, KING functioned as a picket supporting the peacetime aerial reconnaissance program and provided liaison between the 5 th Air Force and Commander Task Force 71. In addition, KING and CARPENTER personnel conducted quarterly competitive damage control drills and refueled from the USS PONCHATOULA (AO148) on 17 September.
KING remained in Sasebo until 22 September when she got underway as an advance AAW Picket for the USS AMERICA (CVA-66) which conducted operations in the Sea of Japan. Performing in accordance with her usual standards, KING detected all Soviet Aircraft in her area and on several occasions vectored carrier fighter aircraft to escort Russian Aircraft in the vicinity of the carrier. KING refueled from the USS PONCHATOULA (AO-148) on 25 September and, returned to Sasebo to be relieved by the USS WAINWRIGHT (DLG-28) as CTU 71.0.4.
Obtaining a respite from the twelve hour standby required in Sasebo, KING got underway for Kaohsiung, Taiwan for a one day liberty stop; on 1 October, and a 5 day inport period in Hong Kong, B.C.C. Here the crew was able relax and take advantage of the bargains for which those parts are noted.
Typhoon IRIS was expected to hit Hong Kong during KING's visit, but did not. However the typhoon warnings and the preparations made for the typhoon caused the loss of two days of liberty for the crew.
KING transited to Subic Bay from 7-9 October and again acquired helicopter detachment and security group personnel for her second tour as NSAR in the Gulf of Tonkin where she relieved the USS BENJAMIN STODDERT (DDG-22) on the 11th of October. With all of her AAW and NTDS equipment operational, KING was again quickly established as a key AAW ship in the Tonkin Gulf operations. KING refueled from USS NAVASOTA (AO-106) on 12 October and planted a buoy at the center of the NSAR operating area to provide navigational assistance in an area where radar navigation is somewhat unreliable. Typhoon JOAN forced evacuation of the Tonkin Gulf on 15 October as KING experienced heavy seas for 4 days while evading the storm and returning to the Gulf. Heavy weather unreps were conducted with the USS WICHITA (AOR-1) on 15 and 18 October and with the USS KAWISHIWI (AO-146) on 20 and 23 October. The USS WHITE PLAINS (AFS-4) also provided vertical replenishment on 23 October.
Typhoon KATE made her presence felt on 23 October and KING with the remainder of the Yankee Team ships again moved out of the Gulf. After three days of typhoon evasion, KING returned to North SAR station on 26 October and was relieved by USS BENJAMIN STODDERT (DDG-22) on 27 October. Upon being relieved and after refueling from USS WICHITA (AOR-I), KING again departed for Sasebo, Japan via Subic Bay, where HC-7 Detachment 107 was off-loaded and Security Group personnel returned to NAVCOMMSTA Philippines.
KING departed Subic Bay on 30 October and arrived in Sasebo 2 November to relieve USS WAINWRIGHT (DLG-28) as CTU 71.0.4. USS WILTSIE (DD-716) acted as KING's shotgun during the initial November PARPRO Operations which were conducted during the period 7-11 November. On 10 November, KING conducted a FLAREX which tested the response available for air protection of the PARPRO picket ships. While inport Sasebo on 17 November, KING celebrated her 10 th anniversary in conjunction with the Commanding Officer’s Birthday. In addition, the USS OKLAHOMA CITY (CLG-5) conducted a quarterly PMS inspection on the same day.
During the final November at sea period, KING was flagship for COMDESDIV 15 Captain W. A. TEASLEY, who observed PARPRO picket operation. USS SAMPLE (DE-1048) acted as escort during the period. The task unit refueled from USS CHIPOLA (AO-63) on 14 November. The final day in the Sea of Japan proved to be the most interesting when a Russian destroyer followed KING to the Tushima Straits. KING returned to Sasebo on 27 November and got underway for Yokosuka on 30 November after being relieved as CTU 71.0.4 by USS HALSEY (DLG-23). During transit, KING passed through the Shimnoseki Straits and Bungo Suido and arrived in Yokosuka on 2 December for a four day stay.
On 6 December, KING got underway for San Diego in company with the USS SAMPLE (DE-1048). During the transit KING acted as an advanced helicopter refueling base for the evacuation of a critically ill seaman aboard the SS ATLANTIC SUNBEAM. KING was instrumental in providing medical services and supplies and, enabled the man to be delivered to a Japanese hospital some 15 hours earlier than originally anticipated.
Transit time to Midway was used for general drills and lectures on EASTPAC Operations. On Tuesday, 10 December, KING gained an extra day due to crossing the International Date. Line and utilized the day for a brief stop for fuel in Midway.
Getting underway after a 6 hour stop, KING steamed independently to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for another fuel stop on 12 December and commenced the last leg of her homeward journey. KING arrived in San Diego on 17 December and was welcomed back to the States by families and friends.
last two weeks of 1970 were spent moored to Pier 8 of the Naval Station
in San Diego with the crew enjoying the holidays with their families
after a 6 month separation.
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