The History of the McCaffery - 1952


On 1 January 1952, McCaffery was moored at Newport, Rhode Island. Commanding Officer - CDR C.A. Sander


On 6 January, McCaffery loaded 16 tons of provisions. On the 7th, while moored, crewmen made provisions to take a motor launch alongside. Due to the heavy weather, the launch began taking on water in the forward compartment and was swamped. Submersible pumps were rigged, and the launch was pumped out. On 9 January, McCaffery got underway through Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, the Cape Code Canal, and anchored in Rockland Harbor, Rockland, Maine. On 11 January, McCaffery conducted drag tests, and ran a measured mile course at various speeds from 14 to 33 knots. During one of these speed trial runs, McCaffery warned the trawler SS Breeze in the area that she was on a collision course with McCaffery. There were no acknowledgements from the trawler, and McCaffery made an emergency turn to port to avoid a collision. McCaffery returned to the anchorage that day. The next day she got underway for Newport, and began operations in and out of port in the Newport area.

McCaffery got underway for New York and moored there on 15 February. After a two-day port stay, McCaffery was underway for the Virginia Capes to conduct ASW exercises with USS Sea Leopard (SS-482) and several destroyers. On 22 February, McCaffery returned to Newport. She continued to operate in the Newport area for a few days, then gradually steamed in a southerly direction, and arrived at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on 7 March. On 12 March, McCaffery got underway with USS Mindoro (CVE-120) to serve as plane guard during air operations. McCaffery assisted in the rescue of three airmen whose plane had crashed in the sea. All airmen were picked up by helicopter and returned to MINDORO. McCaffery left the area to steam north for the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and arrived on 19 March. After two weeks were spent in the Yard, McCaffery traveled to Newport, and arrived on 31 March.

On 19 April, McCaffery got underway for Tangier, Morocco, and arrived on May 4. On 9 May, McCaffery left Tangier for Augusta, Sicily, and arrived there on 14 May. On 19 May, McCaffery got underway for Marseille, France, and operated in the general area. When operations were complete, McCaffery got underway for Naples, Italy, and moored there on 6 June. On 9 June, McCaffery got underway for Gibraltar, and arrived on 17 June. She stayed only long enough to replenish and refuel, then got underway for the Azores Islands, and anchored in the inner harbor of Ponta Delgada, Azores on 22 June. After a two-day port stay, McCaffery got underway for Newport, Rhode Island, arrived on 27 June, and moored to a buoy in Narragansett Bay.

On 1 July McCaffery moored alongside USS ARCADIA (AD-23) for an inspection of propellers and struts by divers from the tender. The result of the inspection showed that the propellers and struts were clean, but all zinc plating did not meet BuShips standards. On 15 July McCaffery got underway for Rockland, Maine, and McCaffery arrived at Rockland on 16 July. She returned to Newport on the 18 July.

On 7 August, CDR C.A. Sander was relieved by CDR G.R. Muse as commanding officer of McCAFFERY.

On 26 August, McCaffery got underway for Edinburgh, Scotland, to become part of a NATO exercise named Mainbrace. This exercise was conducted over twelve days between September 14-25, 1952, and involved nine navies: United States Navy, the British Royal Navy, French Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Danish Navy, Royal Norwegian Navy, Portuguese Navy, Royal Netherlands Navy, and Belgian Naval Force. Its objective was to convince Denmark and Norway that those nations could be defended against attack from the Soviet Union. The exercise featured simulated carrier air strikes against "enemy" formation attacking NATO's northern flank near Bodo, Norway, naval air attacks against aggressors near Kiel Canal, Germany, anti-submarine and anti-ship operations, and U.S. marines landing in Denmark.

Eighty thousand men, over 200 ships (59 from the U.S. Navy), and 1,000 aircraft participated in Mainbrace. The New York Times' military reporter Hanson W. Baldwin described this NATO naval force as being the "largest and most powerful fleet that has cruised in the North Sea since World War I."

On 11 September, McCaffery arrived Rosyth, Scotland, and moored to a buoy in the Firth of Forth, Scotland. (Firth -- a narrow arm of the sea which we call an inlet or bay. -- EDM.) On 15 September, McCaffery got underway to participate in exercise Mainbrace as part of Task Force 171. McCaffery returned to the Firth of Forth on 19 September for a short port-stay. On 23 September, McCaffery got underway to participate in the final operations of the Task Group in exercise Mainbrace, and on 25 September, McCaffery moored at Boulogne, France, on the northern tip of the English Channel. On 27 September, 44 orphans came aboard as guests of the crew for a party. On 29 September, McCaffery got underway for the return voyage to Newport, Rhode Island. She moored to a buoy on 11 October in Narragansett Bay.

On 15 October, the crew was mustered in mass formation on the forecastle while the CDR Muse administered the oath of allegiance to H.E. Huff, SN, and a BM2 (name not mentioned) who re-enlisted for six full years. Rating badges were presented to those successfully completing exams for advancement in rate. On 20 October, McCaffery was at sea with the USS WRIGHT (CVL-49) for one day. She continued operating in and out of port in the Newport operating area until 27 November, when she moored at Fall River, Massachusetts. She remained there until 13 December when she moved to Newport.

On 31 December, McCaffery was moored at Newport, Rhode Island.

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