McCaffery at Bridgeport, Conn. - July, 1957

The History of the McCaffery - 1957


On 1 January, McCaffery was moored at Pier 1, Newport, R.I. Commanding Officer - CDR J.R. McKee

On 4 January, McCaffery got underway for a three month cruise down the east coast of South America. During the three month cruise, McCaffery would visit Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina, and participate in operations with naval ships of those nations. Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was the first stop, and arrived on 8 January. After a two-day stay, McCaffery arrived on 12 January at her first stop in South America, LaGuira, Venezuela, the port city of the capital, Caracas. On 17 January, McCaffery participated in exercises with units of the Venezuelan Navy. On 21 January, McCaffery departed for Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, BWI, and arrived the next day, where she loaded two tons of provisions.
crossing the line

McCaffery then got underway for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Wog Day occurred on 28 January, when McCaffery crossed the equator at 40° 55' W longitude, and the 'Crossing the Line' ceremony was conducted for all on-board Pollywogs. The ceremony require Wogs to crawl to the court located on the fan tail, and then stand before the court to answer charges brought against them by the Shellbacks. Wogs then knelt before King Neptune, kissed the royal baby's belly, and were taken for a royal bath. At this point, the Wogs must shout 'Shellback' three times while being dunked in the bath to be transformed into trusty Shellbacks.

Shown in the picture (L-R) Her Highness Amphitrite, Lt. Will Rich; Queen, Chief Mixture; King Neptune, ?; Royal Baby, Norton; Davy Jones, ?

On 2 February, McCaffery arrived at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On 6 February, McCaffery participated in training exercises with several ships of the Brazilian Navy.

On 13 February, McCaffery got underway for Montevideo, Uruguay, and arrived on 14 February. She remained in the area, and operated with several ships of the Uruguayan Navy. McCaffery got underway on 23 February for the overnight voyage to Puerto Belgrano Naval Base, Argentina, near Bahia Blanca. On 26 February, McCaffery got underway for Mar del Plata, Argentina, for operation Neptune with units of the Argentine Navy. On 3 March, McCaffery proceeded to Buenos Aires, Argentina for a short weekend visit. However, since it was Mardi Gras, the Argentine government formally requested the Department of Defense to delay McCaffery's departure for two days through the end of Mardi Gras. This change was granted, and on 6 March, McCaffery got underway for the return voyage home. She refueled at Recife, Brazil, on 11 March. The next morning, McCaffery got underway for the non-stop voyage to Newport, and arrived on 21 March.

McCaffery remained in the Newport area, and became part of a defensive training exercise of the Panama Canal zone. On 11 April, McCaffery got underway for Vieques Island off Puerto Rico, and arrived on 15 April. She participated in shore bombardment practice. On 19 April, McCaffery got underway for the Panama Canal Zone, and arrived on 24 April. McCaffery then became part of the exercise with a supporting role for a mock landing exercise. This exercise was completed on 1 May, and McCaffery departed for Newport, R.I. On 4 May, McCaffery arrived at Newport, and had various exercises in the Newport operating area. On 21 May, McCaffery got underway for Bermuda, and arrived on 24 May. After conducting exercises for several days, she returned to Newport on 30 May.

On 13 June, the Under Secretary of the Navy, William Franke, made an official visit to the ship. McCaffery remained at Newport until 25 June when she got underway for the operating area off Chesapeake Bay to participate in ANTISUBLANT and SLAMEX exercises, and returned to Newport on 30 June. On 1 July, McCaffery got underway for Bridgeport, Connecticut. The ship was opened for general visiting, and 1,767 visitors came aboard. She returned to Newport on 8 July.

On 12 July, CDR George J. Davis relieved CDR John R. McKee as commanding officer of McCaffery. CDR McKee left for duty at the Naval War College at Newport.

On 29 July, McCaffery began exercises in the Newport operating area for several days. On 12 August, McCaffery got underway with DESRON 24 for the Mediterranean. On 19 August, there was an appendectomy performed in the wardroom on ENS Robert Egan by LT V.C. Schlossberg (MC) and LT Malone (MC), assisted by the Chief Corpsman and several other crewmen. The operation was a complete success. On 21 August, McCaffery arrived at Gibraltar to refuel, and then got underway to rendezvous with Sixth Fleet units off Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean.

On 5 September, McCaffery was stationary in the water during an air defense operation. CDR Davis took this opportunity for swim call. Stages were rigged over the side for swimmers to climb back aboard. Also, the motor whaleboat was launched as a precaution. On 6 September, P.T. Jansen, MMSN, became the second crewmember that needed an appendectomy, and was transferred by helicopter to nearby Randolph (CV-15) for surgery. On 7 September, McCaffery and Lloyd Thomas (DD-764) departed the Sixth Fleet operations for a port call at Izmir, Turkey, and arrived on 9 September. Liberty was granted for one section of the crew at a time, and another section stood additional lookout watches in the gun tubs. This security precaution was the result of the recent Suez Crisis in 1956. On 18 September, McCaffery got underway to rejoin the Sixth Fleet.

On 2 October, McCaffery left on a voyage into the Persian Gulf. She arrived on 4 October at Port Said, Egypt, at the northern entrance of the Suez Canal. Since the canal can only handle traffic one way, McCaffery moored in the canal entrance overnight. On 5 October, she got underway south bound with a pilot aboard, and anchored in the Great Bitter Lake.

  In the picture: Arial view of Suez Canal looking south into the Bitter Lake,   and showing single-file traffic heading north through the canal.

McCaffery waited for north bound traffic to clear the southern part of the canal. After passing through the remainder of the canal, McCaffery steamed through the Gulf of Suez and into the Red Sea, on her way for a three-day port call at Port Sudan, Sudan, which began on 7 October.

Underway on 10 October, McCaffery operated as part of the Red Sea Patrol. For the third time, an appendicitis occurred to another member of the crew, and LT Schlossberg performed another successful appendectomy. The operation commenced at 2150 on J.E. Warner, SHSN, and was completed at 2355. LT Schlossberg also successfully assisted the British merchant ship THALMUS when she requested aid in treating an attempted suicide.

On 14 October, McCaffery arrived for a short stay at Aden, Yemen. On 17 October, McCaffery got underway for the Persian Gulf, steamed through the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf. On 22 October, McCaffery moored at Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia, which is an ARAMCO oil shipping port. On liberty, crew members went to the American compound, which had recreational facilities and restaurants.

On 26 October, McCaffery departed for the return trip to the Red Sea.

McCaffery entered the Red Sea 1 November, and made a five-day port call at Massawa, Eritrea. McCaffery departed on 6 November, steamed through the Red Sea, and anchored on 8 November at Suez Bay at the southern entrance of the Suez Canal. The next day an Egyptian Quarantine Officer came aboard with the pilot for transit through the canal.

When McCaffery left the canal, she anchored on 15 November in Phaleron Bay at Piraeus, which is the port city of Athens, Greece.

On 18 November, McCaffery got underway for Naples, Italy, passed through the Strait of Messina between Sicily and Italy, and arrived at Naples on 20 November. Underway again on 24 November, McCaffery rejoined the Sixth Fleet. On 27 November, she anchored at the Greek island of Rhodes. The international operation of MEDASWEX was conducted during the first week of December with Italian ships CIGNO and CENTAURO, and ships of other nations.

On 7 December, McCaffery was released from Sixth Fleet operations, and began the voyage home. After a brief refueling stop at Gibraltar, McCaffery entered the rough waters of the eastern Atlantic. For several days, she participated in a search for a downed aircraft. However, nothing was sighted.

The aircraft search used both fuel and travel time on the voyage home. To replace the spent fuel, McCaffery refueled from a tanker sent from the Azores. The replaced fuel enabled McCaffery to cruise at an increased speed for the remainder of the voyage home. McCaffery arrived at Newport on 21 December, as originally planned, to enjoy liberty and holiday leave for all hands.

On 31 December 1957, McCaffery was moored at Newport, R.I.

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