McCaffery at Gibraltar

The History of the McCaffery - 1950


On 1 January, McCaffery was moored at Davisville, Rhode Island. Commanding officer - CDR E.H. McDowell

On 3 January, she got underway for the Bermuda operating area, and conducted steering casualty drills, fire drills, GQ, and ASW exercises with Destroyer Squadron 22. On 6 January, McCaffery attempted to conduct towing exercises with USS Norris (DD-859). The tow line parted and the exercise was called off. On 7 January, USS Wright (CVL-49) reported a man overboard. McCaffery proceeded to the area for a search. She observed several life buoys and a raft in the water, but no sign of the sailor. There was no further report. The squadron then steamed south and east toward Bermuda, British West Indies. On 12 January, she was standing off Hamilton Harbor and later that day entered the Bermuda Channel to moor alongside USS Norris in Port Royal Harbor. She remained in port for four days, and got underway on the 16th for exercises in the area until 1 February. She then steamed for Newport, Rhode Island, and arrived on 3 February, and remained there until 22 February. Then she got underway for Hampton Roads, Virginia, and remained in the area until 1 March.

On 1 March, McCaffery got underway for Puerto Rico, and arrived in the area on 4 March. She conducted exercises until 10 March, when she anchored off Vieques Island, which is located off the east coast of Puerto Rico. She got underway on 12 March for Newport, and arrived on 24 March. McCaffery operated in the Newport area until 11 May. McCaffery got underway for the Virginia Capes, remained two days. She then returned to the Newport operating area for additional exercises. On 29 March the ship's log shows an entry that the publication JANE'S FIGHTINGSHIPS said McCAFFERY was reclassified as a DDE.

On 29 March the ship's log shows an entry that the publication, JANE'S FIGHTINGSHIPS, announced that McCaffery was reclassified as a DDE.

On 11 June, in Newport, 24 Reserve enlisted personnel and five Reserve officers reported aboard for a scheduled cruise from 11 June to 24 June. On 13 June McCaffery got underway for Brooklyn, New York, and arrived on 16 June. Liberty was granted to the Reservists until 18 June. McCaffery got underway again on 19 June to continue cruise exercises with airships, aircraft, submarines, and other naval vessels carrying Reservists. Other ships in the exercise were USS Fred T. Berry (DDE-858), USS Norris (DDE-859), and USS Harwood (DDE-861). When the operations and cruise were successfully completed, McCaffery returned to Newport, Rhode Island, and disembarked the Reservists. In late June, McCaffery received orders to cancel an Independence Day visit to Belfast, Maine, and make hurried preparations to leave for the Mediterranean area.

On 3 July, McCaffery received about 50 personnel, mostly Seamen and Firemen, from the USS Lloyd Thomas (DDE-746), and transferred approximately the same number of various rates to the receiving station for further transfer to the Lloyd Thomas. On 5 July, McCaffery got underway for Norfolk, Virginia, and moored at Hampton Roads on 6 July. The next day, McCaffery moved to Norfolk to receive more personnel from various ships. On 10 July, as part of DESDIV 21, McCaffery got underway for the Mediterrean in company with the USS Midway (CVB-41).

McCaffery arrived at Gibraltar on 20 July. After a two-day port stay, she got underway for Athens, Greece. On 27 July, McCaffery anchored at Pireas, Greece in Phaleron Bay, which is the seaport of Athens, Greece. After refueling, she got underway with the light cruiser USS Worchester (CL-144) for the Suez Canal, and anchored in the outer harbor, Port Said, on 29 July. On 30 July, with the pilot aboard, McCaffery passed through the Suez Canal.

On 1 August, the Task Group steamed through the Red Sea, and conducted CIC and communications exercises during the transit. The Task Group then passed through the Gulf of Aden, continued into the Arabian Sea, and arrived at Colombo, Ceylon on 7 August. On 8 August, ship's officers and the United States Ambassador to Ceylon were entertained by the Royal Ceylon Volunteer Navy. After refueling and taking on provisions, the Task Group steamed east in the Indian Ocean, and passed through the Singapore Strait on 13 August. The Task Group proceeded into the South China Sea, and conducted CIC, gunnery, and communication exercises. Orders were received from COMMANDER SEVENTH FLEET that directed CTG 167.3 to proceed to Buckner Bay, Okinawa via the Formosa Strait in order to conduct a sweep of the Strait. It was felt that a Communist invasion of Formosa was imminent. Ships in task force were: USS Worchester (CL-144); USS Fred T. Berry (DDE-858); USS Norris (DDE-859); AND USS Keppler (DDE-765).

On 19 August, McCaffery arrived at Buckner Bay, Okinawa, fueled from the USS Navasota (A0-106), and loaded provisions from USS Piedmont (AD-17). In accordance with COMSEVENTHFLT orders, she departed 21 August en route to the Formosa Strait in company with Navasota, Norris, and Keppler. Upon arrival on 22 August at Keelung Harbor, on the northern tip of Formosa (Taiwan), McCaffery received Task Group files from USS Maddox (DD-731). McCaffery then proceeded to South Formosa Patrol Station off the China coast. On station, she relieved USS Eversole (DD-736) and assumed patrol duty. An unidentified aircraft approached the ship, dropped a yellow flare about 10 miles off, and then retired over the China coast. McCaffery was relieved by Keppler on 25 August, and anchored at Keelung Harbor for two days. While waiting to be fueled from Navasota, a lightning bolt struck the after stub mast, and destroyed the DAU antenna. No damage resulted to the equipment other than complete destruction of the antenna. On 27 August McCaffery returned to South Patrol Station.

On 31 August, McCaffery returned to Keelung Harbor and remained in the harbor until 3 September. On 4 September, McCaffery proceeded to the Northern Patrol Station to join CTG 72, became part of the screen of the USS St. Paul (CA-73) and USS Juneau (CLAA-119), and made a sweep of the Formosa Strait. On 5 September McCaffery commenced 40MM and 20MM firing practice at a drift target to train new personnel in surface gunnery. McCaffery refueled, then became part of the screen for various ships of the Task Group as they refueled. On 9 September, McCaffery entered Keelung Harbor to load stores from USS Uvalde (AKA-88). She departed the next day to relieve Fred T. Berry (DD-858) on the Southern Patrol Station. McCaffery, along with other units of Destroyer Division 21, kept continuous patrol of the Formosa Strait. She was stationed as plane plane guard for flight operations, and provided rescue of any downed pilots forced to ditch in the wintry waters of the Sea of Japan. The Destroyer Division was constantly engaged in the disposal of enemy mines. When McCaffery was not actually on patrol, she was in Keelung Harbor for replenishment.

On 1 October, CDR E.H. McDowell was relieved by CDR C.A. Sander as commanding officer of McCAFFERY.

In Keelung Harbor on 10 October, McCaffery was in full dress decoration in honor of Chinese National Independence Day. On 29 October, McCaffery departed Keelung Harbor with USS Juneau (CLAA-119) and USS Norris (DDE-859) for Sasebo, Japan. Upon arrival on 31 October, McCaffery moored alongside USS J.A. Bole (DD-755), and reported to CTF 77 and CTG 77.2 for duty. She then shifted berths to tie up alongside USS Hector (AR-7) for scheduled tender availability. McCaffery remained moored at Sasebo until 5 November.

McCaffery got underway in company with USS Norris (DDE-859) and USS Southerland (DD-743) en route to a rendezvous position off the Korean Coast in the Sea of Japan. She rendezvoused with TG 77.3 on 7 November, and continued steaming with TG 77.3 while the carriers conducted air strikes against enemy troops and bridges in Korea. Included in the Task Group were USS Missouri (BB-63); USS Valley Forge (CV-45); USS Leyte (CV-32); USS Princeton (CV-37); USS Philippine Sea (CV-47); and USS Bataan (CVL-29). McCaffery's duties in the Task Group were: plane guard during launching and recovery air operations, life guard station, screening operations, and sonar searches while TF 77 continued heavy attacks against Korea. In addition to guarding the "heavies", McCaffery also received and transferred mail, freight, and high-line transfers of personnel. McCaffery was underway for 51 days without a port call (6 November - 26 December) off the North Korean coast in the Sea of Japan.

Refueling and replenishment, including GSK and ship's store stock, were often conducted at sea. On 12 November, the WAR DAIRY reported that USS Buck (DD-761) and USS Thomason (DD-760) were involved in a collision, and were escorted to Wonsan by USS Chevalier (DDR-605) and USS Chandler (DD-717). The Command History reported that McCaffery participated in the evacuation of Hungnam (date unknown). Both cities are on the east coast of North Korea.

On 19 November, McCaffery conducted burial services for bodies recovered from a sunken tug. On 21 November, McCaffery left the screen of the Task Group to sink a floating mine with heavy machine gun and rifle fire. On 27 November, lookouts spotted debris in the water of a plane believed to be a type F4U about one mile distant. Visibility had decreased due to a snow storm as McCaffery approached the crash site. Pieces of the wreckage were recovered, but the pilot could not be found. Heavy weather, including typhoons "Ossia" and "Ruby", caused cancellation of patrolling operations on several occasions. On 28 November, McCaffery came alongside USS Missouri (BB-63) to receive freight consigned to Commander TENTH ARMY CORPS. McCaffery proceeded independently to Wonsan, Korea, to rendezvous with USS Dipnda (ADA-59), and to offload the freight for further transfer to the Army. After the mission was completed, she rejoined the Task Force. On 29 November, she went alongside USS Graffias (AF-29) to load provisions, and later that day, went alongside USS Pollux (AKS-4) to receive GSK items and ship's stores.

On 4 December, while steaming in the Sea of Japan, several Seamen were injured while fueling from USS Cacapon (AO-2). S.M. Koontz, SN; D.P. McGroth, TMSN; and C.L. Pilling, TMSN, had manned the after fuel hose when a wave washed over the deck, carrying away a large fender which hit the men and threw them against the bulkhead. The crewmen received contusions and/or lacerations to various parts of their bodies. On 5 December, one MK-9 depth charge was lost overboard in 350 fathoms of water when a steel retaining strip was carried away in heavy seas.

McCaffery carried out her duties and operated with TF 77 until 25 December, when the Division joined TG 70.9. The Task Group then departed the area for Sasebo, Japan, arrived on 26 December, and McCaffery moored alongside USS Hector (AR-7) for scheduled availability. In accordance with SOPA, Sasebo, Japan, McCaffery held dawn alerts each morning 45 minutes before sunrise and lasted until sunrise.

On 31 December, McCaffery was moored at Sasebo, Japan.

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