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1969 - DokuWiki

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Command History for 1969

BASIC NARRATIVE

During the first month of 1969, final preparations were made for KING's upcoming deployment with the U. S. SEVENTH Fleet in the Western Pacific. an extended upkeep period in her homeport of San Diego insured all phases of KING's sophisticated weapons system and Naval Tactical Data System were ready for the six month deployment in the combat zone commencing in early February. A final missile and conventional ordnance loadout was conducted at the seal Beach Naval Weapons Station on 22 January. The underway transit time in the southern California operations area allowed final adjustments to various equipment. Families and close friends of KINGSMEN were entertained on a dependents cruise on 24 January which included helicopter operations off San Diego Harbor.

A delay in the date of deployment from the first week of February to 24 February allowed further improvements of personnel and material rediness. In accordance with Commander U. S. FIRST Fleet Quarterly Employment Schedule, KING left San Diego on 24 February bound for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with Captain L. D. CUMMINGS, Commander Destroyer Squadron FIFTEEN embarked. The transit time was utilized for exercises at General Quarters particularly in the ECM, communications and conventional gunnery areas. Arriving in Pearl Harbor on 2 March for four days, the ship received final Western Pacific operations plans and equipment and was soon enroute to Midway Island in company with the USS RADFORD (DD-466). During the Pearl Harbor stay, Admiral John McCain personally witnessed and commended KING for the exemplary appearance of her ship and personnel upon arrival. a short fueling stop at Midway Island on 8 March provided a brief exercise period for the crew before the next leg of the transit to Yokosuka, Japan.

During this particular part of the voyage KING experienced particularly rough seas causing minor damage on the weather decks and a general uncomfortable feeling for a large part of the crew. CYN3 Robert J. CRAWFORD who would have been twenty five years old, missed his birthday when 10 March was eliminated due to crossing the International Date Line. The crew welcomed the arrival in Yokosuka on 14 March. The four day stopover allowed KING sailors to tour to nearby Tokyo, Yokohama, and other Japanese attractions. Vice Admiral w. F. BRINGLE, Commander U. S. SEVENTH Fleet visited the ship on 17 March. Underway again on 18 March with RADFORD as an element of TU 71.1.2, KING was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea) proudly worn by her crew for the remainder of the cruise.

KING sailed to Sasebo, Japan on 23 March for a one week visit which combined an upkeep period with sight seeing opportunities for the crew. A short cruise along the southern coast of Japan brought KING to the bustling Japanese port of Kobe on 1 April where the frigate was the only United States Naval Ship present in the harbor. During the four day visit the U. S. sailors were welcomed throughout this thriving city and nearby Kyoto and Osaka. KING hosted a number of tours by such organizations as the Kobe Newspaper Reporters Guild, Kobe Rotary Club, Kobe Businessmens' Association, Tkuta Police Force, Boys' Town Orphanage, and a number of school groups.

Leaving Kobe on 5 April, KING sailed south for Subic Bay Naval Base, Philippine Islands. Enroute a surface-to-air TERRIER missile firing was conducted at the Okinawa test range on the eastern side of the island. Arriving in Subic on 9 April, the ship spent four days in upkeep and installed special equipment peculiar to the forthcoming mission as Strike Support Ship (SSS) and Search and Rescue (SAR) control ship in the Gulf of Tonkin of Vietnam. A UH2 helicopter and crew was brought aboard at this time.


Back to 1968

Forward to 1970


REFERENCES

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

1)
Captain G. E. Lockee, Former USS Wainwright (DLG-28) Commanding Officer