A beach in Puerto Rico - February 1958

The History of the McCaffery - 1958


On 1 January, McCaffery was moored at Newport, R.I. Commanding officer - CDR G.J. Davis.

McCaffery remained in port until 29 January, when she began type training and exercises in the Newport operating area. On 3 February, McCaffery got underway for San Juan, Puerto Rico, and arrived on 7 February. McCaffery participated in Operation Springboard, the annual winter maneuvers in the Caribbean Sea. Part of this exercise consisted of competitive exercises of the ship's systems. On 10 February, McCaffery got underway for an exercise to calibrate the hedge hog mount by firing at a sonar tri-plane target. On 12 February, a plane towing sleeves was used for aircraft firing exercises, and several sleeves were shot down by Berry (DDE-858), Norris (DDE-859), and McCaffery. On 15 February, COMDESRON 24 conducted an inspection of the ship. On 17 February, McCaffery retrieved a downed target drone while conducting exercises.

On 20 February, McCaffery returned to San Juan, and moored alongside Everglades (AD-24). While moored, a Regulus submarine moored alongside McCaffery, which gave crew members a close look at a cruise missile.

cruise missile cruise missile

On 24 February, McCaffery continued with Operation Springboard, and anchored at Southwest Roads, south of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Later that day, she participated in an ASW exercise for a brief period, and anchored at Fortuna Bay. On 25 February, she was at sea, conducting dual ship exercises with Norris, and, when completed, anchored at East Gregerie Channel, St. Thomas. When Operation Springboard secured, McCaffery returned to Newport, and arrived on 3 March.

On 18 March, McCaffery conducted a two-day ASW exercise in the Newport operating area with Cutlass (SS-478). On 24 March, McCaffery moored to a buoy in Narragansett Bay.

On 16 April, several observers from the Office of the Secretary of the Navy came aboard McCaffery to see first-hand a DDE in an exercise assigned to evaluate a defense concept against a large scale submarine attack. On 22 April, McCaffery was in the Newport operating area to test the structural strength of the hull before the scheduled shipyard overhaul. While the ship was underway at approximately 5 knots, eleven MK6 depth charges were sequentially fired off the stern of the ship, and detonated at a shallow depth. The pictures show the detonation sequence.

McCaffery returned to port with no apparent structural damage. On 23 April, McCaffery conducted gunnery exercises in the Newport operating area, and returned to port.

On 25 April, McCaffery held a Family Day cruise in the Newport operating area.

McCaffery remained at Newport through 11 May for pre-overhaul tender available. On 12 May, McCaffery got underway for shipyard overhaul in Boston. She steamed through the Cape Cod Canal in foggy weather, and arrived the same day at Hingham Bay to off-load ammunition at Boston Harbor armory. The next day, she tied up to a pier at the Boston Naval Shipyard, South Boston Annex, and shifted to shore-based power.

On 12 June, McCaffery went into dry dock for inspection of the hull, tubes, and outboard couplings. Minor discrepancies were found and repaired. Also, both shafts were removed for normal inspection and maintenance. All of the original 40MM gun mounts were removed as part of this shipyard overhaul. On 9 July, as the dry dock was flooded, several leaks were detected, and the dry dock was pumped out to the one-foot level for repairs. After repairs were completed, the dry dock was flooded, and McCaffery was moved to a pier for further modifications.

On 18 July, CDR Thomas M. Lemon relieved CDR George J. Davis as commanding officer of McCaffery.

On 30 July, McCaffery shifted to steam and internal electrical power. On 1 August, she commenced dock trials using various RPMs on both shafts. McCaffery got underway to test engines and sonar equipment at speed of 30 knots. At this speed the main mast vibrated excessively, and she returned to port. In dry dock both shafts were removed for inspection and maintenance to correct the source of the high speed vibration. After the shafts were reinstalled, high speed sea test was conducted again, and the modified shafts performed satisfactorily. Ammunication was loaded and McCaffery returned to Newport. On 6 September, the Commander Destroyer Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, presented McCaffery the Overall Battle Efficiency ("E") for fiscal year 1958.

On 17 September, McCaffery got underway for refresher training at Guantanamo Bay. Type training included shore fire control bombardment, low visibility navigation, drone launching and recovery, and plane guard with Roosevelt (CVA-42). McCaffery made a brief visit at Port au Prince, Haiti, and returned to Guantanamo Bay a couple of days later. Refresher training continued in Cuban waters until 24 October. With training completed, McCaffery got underway for Newport, and arrived on 28 October.

On 13 November, Vice Admiral H.H.L. Propper, Commander Royal Netherlands Navy, made an official visit to McCaffery. McCaffery remainded in port until 28 November, when she got underway for ASW exercises with Task Force Bravo, which is a permanent hunter-killer group. The next day, heavy seas were encountered, and a motor whale boat became loose from its moorings. It damaged a vent and the securing stanchions on the 01 deck. A mooring line reel on the port side was carried away with the loss of three six-inch mooring lines. Several fire hose racks were also bent and broken. In addition, the racks for life boats #10 and #12 were bent and broken.

On 1 December, McCaffery was on life guard station for Wasp (CVS-18), and, on 2 December, refueled from Allagash (AO-97). McCaffery conducted advanced anti-submarine training with Dogfish (SS-350) and Sea Robin (SS-407), and then refueled from Chukawan (AO-100). On 10 December, mail was received by helicopter on the fantail, and McCaffery returned to Newport on 12 December.

On 31 December, 1958, McCaffery was moored at Newport, R.I.

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