WestPac Cruise 1968

(Provided by Capt. Edward C Whelan, CO)
01 JAN

16 JAN

08 FEB

15 FEB

22 MAR

26 MAR


01 APR

02 APR

08 APR

10 APR

17 APR

22 APR

29 APR

02 APR

04 MAY

06 MAY

11 May

13 MAY

02 JUN

06 JUN

12 JUN

14 JUN

16 JUN

29 JUN

02 JUL

04 JUL

06 JUL

22 JUL

23 JUL

28 JUL
30 JUL

05 SEP

07 SEP

12 SEP

14 SEP

19 SEP

23 SEP

24 SEP

01 OCT
02 OCT
03 OCT
06 OCT

 10 OCT

 15 OCT

22 OCT

30 OCT

31 OCT

05 NOV








05 NOV through 31 DEC

In port, homeport, Norfolk

Underway for Caribbean, training operation SRINGBOARD

Returned to homeport, Norfolk

Commenced Restricted Availability at Des-Sub piers and in Norfolk Naval Shipyard

Completed availability, RFS

Underway from Norfolk for WESTPAC deployment with DESDIV 21 (USS Blandy (DD943),USS Borie (DD704), USS Rich (DD820), USS Steinaker (DD863) ), under command of COMDESRON 2

Transited Panama Canal, refueled at Rodman, CZ

Underway for San Diego, CA

Moored San Diego
Discovered leak through hull in after engine room, starboard side

Underway independently to Long Beach Naval Shipyard for replacement of affected hull plate

Repairs complete, underway independently for Pearl Harbor, HI

Arrived Pearl Harbor, HI  Two - day stop for refueling, provisioning and exercises

Midway Island, two hour refueling stop

 Guam, six-hour, daylight refueling stop

Rejoined DESDIV 21 just east of San Bernardino Strait, The Philippines

Moored Subic Bay, PI for five days of refueling, provisioning and maintenance

Underway from Subic Bay, PI for Tonkin Gulf

Reported for duty as escort for USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31) - some 13,000 miles from Norfolk

Departed Yankee Station, Tonkin Gulf in company with USS Bon Homme Richard for Singapore

Moored at the Royal Navy Base in Singapore

Underway from Singapore en route to Tonkin Gulf

Crossed equator, “Shellbacks” initiated the “Pollywogs”

Returned to Yankee Station, joined USS Enterprise (CVAN 65) as plane guard and escort

Escorted Enterprise to Subic, moored Subic Bay for replenishment and maintenance

In Subic, celebrated Rich’s 22nd birthday with a ship’s picnic

Underway from Subic for Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin

Alternately escorted USS Constellation (CVA 64) and USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) through the last three weeks of July.
Awarded Engineering “E”, Supply “E”

En route Kaoshiung, Taiwan

Moored Kaoshiung
Remained inport during Typhoon “Nadine”  USS Kretchmer (DER XX) alongside

En route from Kaoshiung to Da Nang, SVN  Chased by Typhoon “Nadine”

Entered Da Nang, SVN; joined SAR Group - shotgun” for USS England (DLG 22) operating offshore, North Vietnam (North SAR) Member of Task Unit to watch for unident A/C Support recovery of downed pilots  Also performed communications relay, helo refueling, special ops

After 35 days on “North SAR” relieved by USS Jenkins (DD447) Headed for Subic Bay in Typhoon “Bess”

Moored Subic Bay for maintenance & replenishment

Underway independently from Subic for Hong Kong

In port Hong Kong, BCC, for R & R, shopping    Mari Soo & girls painted ship

Departed Hong Kong for Tonkin Gulf & gun line

Gunfire support ship for I Corp (northern So. Vietnam) GFS to: RVN 1st DIV, Hue & Da Nang, US Marines, Route 1

At 1:35AM, opened fire on Viet Cong in mountains north of Da Nang First combat gunfire in Rich’s 22 year life  Continued gunfire support for eight days

Relieved on gunline by USS Wisconsin (BB 61)

Rejoined DESDIV 21, Subic Bay

En route CONUS

Emergency portcall Apra Harbor, Guam spinal meningitis case: Ship’s Serviceman Third Class George E. Hammes, Jr.

Daytime refueling stop, Midway

Weekend inport Pearl Harbor, HI for replenishment

Overnight refueling stop San Diego.  56 of 76 candidates passed fleet-wide exams/promoted

Refueling stop Rodman, CZ

Transit Panama Canal

Returned to homeport, Norfolk, VA

Some statistics:

50,958 nautical miles traveled

3,482,313 gallons of Navy Special Fuel Oil burned

169 helicopter-ship transfers (night & day)

64 ship-to-ship transfers (day & night)

Handled 149,937 naval radio messages

Sold $2,422 stamps, handled 15,189 lb. mail

Viewed 1,032 movies while eating 1,850 lb./13,203 bags of popcorn and drinking 77,321 cups of soda

 Standdown, leave and tender availability.   Thanksgiving & Christmas in homeport!





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