USS McCaffery underway - 1946

The History of the McCaffery - 1946


On 1 January 1946, McCaffery was moored at Middle Lock, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Commanding officer - CDR B.B. Cheatham

McCaffery was undergoing training under Commander Destroyers, Pacific Fleet, which was composed of COMDESDIV 151 and COMDESDIV 152. McCaffery was attached to COMDESDIV 152 along with USS Norris (DD-859) and USS Harwood (DD-861). From 3 January through 16 January, she participated in exercises in Hawaiian waters that included tactics, AA tracking, AA firing, fighter direction, emergency drills and mail passing. On 8 January McCAFFERY was towed to the Navy Yard for installation of a main steam value previously delivered to the yard for repair. She transferred all personnel eligible for discharge through 2 March to DOMDESPAC for duty leaving 155 men on board with an adjusted allowance of 230.

On 24 January, McCaffery departed Middle Loch with USS Floyd B. Parks (DD-884), USS Norris (DD-859), and USS Harwood (DD-861)to report to Commander Seventh Fleet for duty. En route, the ship underwent intensive training in various exercises and drills while steaming in squadron formation. An alert watch was kept for floating mines. During topside movies on 1 February, a man was reported overboard by USS Norris. A careful search of the area was made by all ships manning the rails and using searchlights. The search results were negative, and when the search was abandoned, lighted ring-buoys and colored sea markers were dropped in the vicinity.

On 4 February, the formation arrived at Apra Harbor, Guam, and moored until 5 February. While there, she refueled, loaded stores, and other provisions. McCaffery received on board $6,120,000 in U.S. currency to be delivered to NavGroup China at Shanghai. She arrived at the mouth of the Yangtze River on 9 February, and was ordered to proceed to Tsingtao, China. McCaffery then proceeded to Shanghai to deliver the currency. With a Wangpoo pilot aboard, McCaffery steamed up the Yangtze River behind Harwood, and stood into Shanghai, mooring to Harwood and Barrien. Norris and Parks had left the group to proceed to Hong Kong.

On 10 February, she refueled, proceeded to Tsingtao, China, and arrived on 11 February. and remained at anchor there until 16 February. Upon arrival, she reported to CTG 71.4 for duty and was ordered to Taku, China. McCaffery got underway on 17 February, she steamed north and west in the Yellow Sea into the Gulf of Chihli, and arrived at Taku anchorage to escort USS Starlight (AP-175). She escorted the troop-laden USS Starlight until 19 February, and then made rendezvous with CTG 71.4. On this day, McCAFFERY lookouts spotted two free-floating mines which lay ahead of her track. The first was exploded, and the second sunk by 40MM gunfire. Upon departure from USS Starlight on 19 February, McCaffery made rendezvous with USS Catfish (SS-339), USS Harwood, and CDD in USS Fred T. Berry (DD-858) on 20 February. She resumed steaming, holding ASW training exercises from 0700 until 2100 daily, returning to Tsingtao on 22 February.

On 25 February, she got underway as escort for USS Bremerton for ASW training. Owing to heavy weather, McCaffery returned to Tsingtao on the 28 February. On 2 March, McCAFFERY received personnel and 131 sacks of mail for transfer to Shanghai, arriving and making the transfer on 4 March. McCaffery continued to operate between Tsingtao, Taku, and Shanghai for the month of March. On 20 March, steaming into Shanghai, the fantail talker reported that the port propeller struck the chain securing the #5 buoy to the bottom. McCaffery moored port side to USS Samuel Moore (DD-747) in the Wangpoo. The next day, J. Thomas, JR., GM2, inspected the propeller blades and found two blades bent. In port, she continued to transfer and receive personnel. On 30 March, McCaffery entered dry dock in Shanghai.

On 4 April, McCaffery left the dry dock and moored to a buoy. After loading passengers and freight on 8 April, she got underway for Tsingtao. Arriving the next day, passengers were disembarked, and 10 containers of film were transferred to a lighter. McCaffery then steamed north in the Yellow Sea to Taku arriving on the 10 April. In Taku, she off-loaded 36 cases of military liquor, a carton of plague vaccine, spare parts, and 123 bags of mail while receiving 53 bags. The passengers disembarked while others came aboard. On 11 April, McCaffery got underway for Jinsen on the west coast of Korea. She continued to operate between Shanghai, Tsingtao, Taku, and Jinsen, transporting mail, baggage, and personnel throughout April and May.

On Sunday, 19 May, McCaffery, moving up the Wangpoo to berth under control of a pilot, was involved in a collision with LCI-616, which was moored to LCI-220. The ship's log described the craft as LCS-616 (landing craft support). The official report to the Chief of Naval Operations described the craft as LCI-616) (landing craft infantry). The collision occurred while McCaffery was moving astern after alternating forward, back, port, and starboard engines to avoid the unusually heavy traffic of sampans and junks, and a barge loaded with Chinese in her track. The port depth charge rack was bent and twisted as it struck LCI-616 about 15 feet aft of the stem, and about seven feet above the waterline, causing a hole in the side plate about one foot in diameter and several smaller holes. The underlying fault for the incident was considered to be with the pilot. There were no injuries to personnel. No negligence was found on the part of the Commanding Officer, CDR B.B. Cheatham; however, he received a letter of caution. Repairs to McCAFFERY's depth charge rack were beyond the capacity of the ship's force. Availability was granted McCaffery on 2 June for engineering repairs not related to the incident. The repair ship was unable to undertake repairs to the depth charge rack at this time. Repairs would be made as soon as practical.

On 23 May, moored in Shanghai, LCM-137 collided with McCaffery's whaleboat. S2 Meyers was thrown overboard and suffered shock. No further details were given for the man or boat.

On 5 June, McCaffery was steaming southeast in the East China Sea, skirting the Philippine Sea for Guam, Marina Islands. She entered Apra Harbor on 9 June. After transferring more personnel, she got underway for Pearl Harbor. On 13 June, she maneuvered to remain in the vicinity of YTB-370 which was having mechanical trouble. McCaffery took the YTB in tow and steamed for Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. On 19 June, she cast off the tow line and prepared to enter Kwajalein Atoll where she anchored in 21 fathoms of water with 75 fathoms of chain. The disabled YTB was taken in tow by another YTB. On 21 June, N.G. Reisenberg, S2, fell over the fantail. He was recovered and treated for shock. On 23 June, McCaffery embarked several dozen personnel for transport to Pearl Harbor. Shortly thereafter, she got underway for Pearl Harbor, arrived there on 30 June, and moored in the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

On 18 July, she entered dry dock, and remained there until 20 August. She got underway on 6 September, and she moored at Guam for two days. Then she proceeded to Tsingtao. While en route to Tsingtao, her orders were changed to proceed to Shanghai, and arrived on 19 September. Two days later, McCaffery was in Hong Kong. After taking on supplies, McCAFFERY got underway in the Hong Kong area, conducted exercises and search and rescue drills until 3 October, when she was back in port. From 6 October through 31 December, McCAFFERY conducted exercises, steamed between Shanghai and Tsingtao, with periods of rest and replenishment in port.

On 31 December 1946, McCaffery was moored in the Huangpu River, the largest river in Shanghai, China.

SOURCE: USS McCAFFERY -- 1945-1974 by Edward W. (Bill) Maslak