Command History for 1967


Recently returned from a Western Pacific deployment, the start of the new year, 1 - 24 January, was spent in an upkeep period in San Diego. 24 January KING commenced preparation for a missile shoot, 6 - 10 February. Departing San Diego the 6th of February for the Pacific Missile Range, she successfully fired four HT missiles at drone targets. This period was also utilized as a training period for new personnel reporting on board after the deployment. Exercises were conducted in ASW, Engineering, Gunnery and Damage Control during this period.

On 10 February after returning to San Diego, The KING's crew participated in the new dental prevention program which involved fluoride treatments. The second week of February advancement in rating examinations were given which resulted in the subsequent advancement of seventy percent (70%) of the personnel participating. During this period instructors from the Nuclear Weapons Training Center at North Island also conducted a 949 course.

The latter part of February again found the ship engaged in local operations off the coast of southern California. She conducted various general drills and exercises. KING returned to San Diego 1 March to prepare for the annual Navy Technical Proficiency Inspection and Supply Inspection. These were satisfactorily conducted 2 - 4 March. On 3 March the ship was presented with the Battle Efficiency Award for the year 1966 by Commander Destroyer Squadron FIFTEEN. King went to sea the week of 6 March for general drills and training particular to her mission as an AAW unit. Returning to port 9 March KING acted as host ship for 4 days for the German training ship DEUTSCHLAND.

On 20 March the ship got underway for Seal Beach, California to offload ammunition for an upcoming drydock period. She returned to San Diego 22 March for a Restricted Availability period whereupon the work for the upcoming drydock period was outlined. During this period KING was also given a Technical Standardization Inspection by DASA inspectors and passed satisfactorily.

During the period 18 April - 18 May the ship was in Drydock #1, San Diego for general repairs. An Administrative Inspection of the USS WAINWRIGHT (DLG-28) was conducted by KING 27 - 28 April, and on 18 May KING went out for sea trials. Returning to port the same day the ship remained in San Diego for two weeks with the exception of two days at Seal Beach for onloading missiles and ammunition.

During the period 1 - 2 June KING conducted an Administrative Inspection of the USS CHEVALIER (DD-805). On 5 June KING got underway for Portland, Oregon and the annual Rose Festival. In Portland KING acted as flagship for Commander FIRST Fleet, VADM Bernard ROEDER. Eight First Class Midshipmen also reported aboard for two months training during this period.

The ship departed Portland 12 June enroute to San Diego with a two-night stop in San Francisco. KING remained in San Diego for the weekend after arrival 16 June, getting underway 19 June for Comptuex 13-67 which included an opposed sortie by the USS RATON (AGSS-270). The remainder of the week at sea consisted of general drills. The ship returned to port the 23rd and remained in San Diego until 26 June.

Following this in-port period the ship returned to sea on 26 June and proceeded to the Pacific Missile Range. She successfully fired a total of seven missiles at low altitude, high speed closing drone targets, but even more important, several of these were fired at Condition III. Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla ELEVEN'S Appendix III to Final Report (at-sea phase) Anti-Shipping Cruise Missile Project (U) June - August 1967 Refers.

KING, as flagship for Commander Destroyer Squadron FIFTEEN, Captain C. E. McMULLEN, got underway 10 July for Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and the Centennial Naval Assembly, Pacific in company with the USS VANCOUVER (LPD-2), USS CHEVALIER (DD-805), and USS BLACK (DD-666). This transit was utilized as a training period and numerous drills for all ships were conducted enroute. The group arrived 14 July at Esquimalt, B. C., Canada. Units present included the Japanese Training Squadron, composed of four destroyer types, as well as the Canadian host ships. The tri-nation flotilla got underway 20 July for Vancouver arriving late that same afternoon. Departing Canada 25 July, KING returned to San Diego and remained until 17 August. Significant activities included a briefing in the Wardroom for junior officers by a BUPERS team and an Administrative Inspection of the USS DALE (DLG-19) 8 - 9 August by KING.

The ship again went to sea 17 August for competitive gunfire exercises at San Clemente Island. KING returned to San Diego the 18th of August and remained there until 19 September. This time was used as a leave and upkeep period prior to deployment. Instructors from the Nuclear Weapons Training Center, North Island, were on board and conducted a 949 course during this period. 28 - 31 August an NTPI was successfully conducted on board. Sandwiched between these two events was the pre-deployment ordnance review at which time KING was declared ready for deployment. KING communications capability was also enhanced during this period with the installation of additional equipment.

KING departed CONUS 19 September enroute Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and subsequent deployment to WESTPAC. The day prior to departure on the day of deployment the ship participated in Comptuex 14A67, a test of the NTDS Model III program. Ships in company on sailing included the USS WILTSIE (DD-716), USS HAMNER (DD-718), USS MASON (DD-852), USS ORLECK (DD-556) and USS BUCK (DD-761). SOPA and OTC for the transit was Commander Destroyer Squadron THREE, Captain Howard KUBEL, embarked in KING. All ships conducted numerous maneuvering, ECM and Communication drill as well as other training exercises. The ships arrived in Pearl Harbor 23 September and remained until the 28th. This time was used as an upkeep period. Departing Pearl Harbor 28 September, enroute Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, via Guam, Marianas Islands, many of the same drills were conducted. The ship chopped to control of Commander SEVENTH Fleet on 5 October and with a brief fueling stop in Guam on 7 October arrived Subic Bay the 11th.

The week in Subic Bay was spent in upkeep and for the installation of equipment peculiar to the ship's forthcoming mission as a Search and rescue control ship in the Tonkin Gulf. Additionally, a UH2 helicopter was brought aboard with her assigned crew. Extensive Type training was planned but Typhoon Carla forced cancellation.

The ship departed Subic on 18 October in company with USS WILTSIE for the Tonkin Gulf via DaNang, Republic of Vietnam, for briefings and anti-PT boat training. On 21 October KING relieved USS COONTZ (DLG-9) as CTE and assumed duties as North SAR ship. COMDESRON THREE embarked relieved as CTU 77.0.1.

KING was relieved on 25 October by USS FOX (DLG-33) and subsequently assumed duties as CTE (South SAR ship). She was relieved by USS PRATT (DLG-13) on 12 November as South SAR ship and then relieved FOX as North SAR ship again, remaining on station until 17 November. During the period 21 October - 17 November KING was directly responsible for the rescue of four downed airmen and one PRATT crewman who was washed overboard on 12 November. Three of the rescued airmen, with the dates picked up in parentheses, were as follows: CAPT Martin SCOTT, USAF, (24 OCT), Captain Fleming HOBBS, USAF, (17 NOV), and Major Ray ROSS, USAF, (17 NOV). The name of the other airman, a Navy Pilot, and the name of the PRATT crewman is unavailable. In addition to these rescues KING participated in a number of other SAR efforts.

Upon being relieved by COONTZ on 17 November KING proceeded to Yokosuka, Japan with a brief stop in Subic to offload her embarked helo and crew. The ship arrived in Yokosuka on 23 November and remained until 7 December for upkeep and repair.

On 7 December KING was underway from Yokosuka, arriving in Subic Bay the 11th. Underway 12 December the ship proceeded to the Tabones firing range and completed a number of her competetive gunfire exercises for the year. Departing Subic 14 December, KING proceeded to the Tonkin Gulf and relieved COONTZ as CTE and COMDESRON THREE embarked relieved as CTU 77.0.1 On 29 December KING directed a SAR effort which resulted in the pickup of LT John DOWD, USN, and LTJG Garth K. FLINT, USN, whose Phantom jet went down within sight of land.

KING's primary function during her deployment was Search and Rescue; however, an equally important and inter-related function was that she pioneered the Strike and Support Ship concept. As air strike support ship, KING provided support of U. S. Navy and Air Force strike efforts over North Vietnam by actively following strike aircraft over the target area, issuing MIG warnings and advising of impending border violations, providing advisory control to the 7th Air Force CAP when MIG's threatened their strike aircraft, exercising positive control of NAVY MIGCAP, providing assistance if Navy aircraft required emergency in-flight refueling by guiding them to a tanker as well as acting as a backup control of BARCAP. KING was additionally required to maintain a complete picture of the entire air story in the Tonkin Gulf in the event she was directed to assume duties as PIRAZ.

On 14 February 1968, KING was presented the Meritorious Unit Commendation for the period 12 June to 11 December 1966 for meritorious achievement while participating in support of combat operations in Southeast Asia as PIRAZ ship.


A large number of our Cruiser-Destroyer Force units are deploying to the Western Pacific and more specifically to the Tonkin Gulf with inadequate advance preparation for key watch personnel due to the unavailability of a consolidated source of information on the threats they may expect and the methods the individual ship's commander has available to evaluate and take appropriate action. These threats include conventional PT boats, surface-to-surface missiles, missile-launching PT boats and coastal defense guns.

Insofar as recognizing the characteristics one might reasonably expect to find in the early stages of development for any of the above threats, KING found there were a multitude of publications and instructions which covered them. However, there was no single source to refer key watch personnel to and digging out the bits and pieces was both unnecessarily time consuming and difficult. Enclosure (2), USS KING INSTRUCTION 003300.3 is the embodiment of all these potential threats and their characteristics. It is recommended that a similar document be prepared and made available throughout the Force prior to deployment to better acquaint all units with the threats they may expect.

Back to 1966

Forward to 1968


PIRAZ – An Unclassified Summary of PIRAZ (1968) 1)

Captain G. E. Lockee, Former USS Wainwright (DLG-28) Commanding Officer