McCaffery after FRAM II - December 1961

History of the McCaffery - 1962


On 1 January 1962, USS McCaffery was moored at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Commanding officer - CDR K.F. Gillette

Also, on 1 January 1962, McCaffery became part of Destroyer Squadron 16, and Mayport, Florida became her home port.

With the FRAM II overhaul completed, McCaffery got underway for her new home port of Mayport, Florida, and her new assignment with DESRON 16. Arriving at Mayport on 9 January, McCaffery spent a week of upkeep before departing for Guantanamo Bay and five weeks of refresher training. On 22 February, McCaffery visited San Juan, Puerto Rico, and then proceeded to Mayport, arriving on 26 February. She was sent to dry dock at Rawls Brothers Shipyard at Jacksonville to replace the protective paint on the sonar dome. After a brief period of upkeep, McCaffery got underway on 18 April for the Mediterrean escorting Independence (CVA-62).

The Mediterrean deployment emphasized anti-air and anti-submarine warfare training coordinated with Independence and Greek ships of the NATO forces. After a ten day crossing of the Atlantic, McCaffery arrived at Barcelona, Spain, on 28 April. After a period for liberty in port, McCaffery departed for Cannes, France, and arrived on 18 May for a one week port visit. After a brief at-sea period, McCaffery visited Civitavecchia, Italy, a small seaport 40 miles north of Rome. She got underway on 8 June for exercises at-sea, and arrived at Port Golfe-Juan, France (near Cannes) on 13 June. After a brief visit, McCaffery made a three-day visit at Piraeus, Greece, the seaport of nearby Athens.

McCaffery got underway from Piraeus, headed for Port Said, and entered the Seuz Canal on 23 June. When McCaffery departed the Gulf of Suez, she proceeded to the port of Aquaba, at the northern end of the Gulf of Aquaba, for a three-day port visit (25 to 27 June). The next stop in the Red Sea was Port Sudan, Sudan, and arrived there on 29 June. After a short stay in port, McCaffery got underway for Aden. After a brief visit at Aden, McCaffery got underway for the Persian Gulf, and escorted the Iranian minesweeper IIS Simorgh toward Iran. While enroute, LTJG R.W. Raymond setup a radio link for crew members to phone home from the Persian Gulf.

During the time in the Persian Gulf, McCaffery moored at Bahrain (13 - 20 July), had a one-day stopover at Dos Island, and then returned to Aden for fuel (25 July). After a brief visit at Massawa, Eritrea (27 - 30 July), McCaffery passed through the Suez Canal (3 - 4 August) and moored at Pireaus (6 - 8 August). McCaffery then got underway for exercises in gunfire support and ASW, and arrived at Naples (17 August) for a two-week tender availability.

On 1 September, McCaffery got underway for joint ASW operations with Greek ships and submarines. A brief visit was made at Kavalla, Greece (9 - 10 September) before returning to Naples (15 - 17 September). McCaffery and DESRON 16 departed Naples, spent a few days in the area, and then began the journey home, arriving at Mayport on 2 October. Most of the month of October was spent in port for upkeep and leave.

On 22 October, President Kennedy announced the discovery of Soviet missile bases in Cuba, and established a naval quarantine around Cuba. With twenty percent of the crew on leave, McCaffery suddenly became part of this Quarantine Operation. On 24 October, McCaffery rendezvoused with COMCRUDEESFLOT 6. On 25 October, McCaffery investigated a contact which was identified as the British merchant ship SS Sulaco bound for Kingston, Jamaica. This was the first of many sightings and identifications of foreign ships while on station. On another occasion, McCaffery identified the Russian merchant ship Karl Marx, and trailed her for several days as the Communist ship approached Cuba.

On 6 November, McCaffery moored at Key West. She got underway the next day for Mayport, and arrived on 8 November. On 15 November, McCaffery was back on station in the Quarantine Operation. On 21 November, McCaffery returned to Mayport, and remained until 27 November, when she was at sea with Lexington (CVA-16), for a day of tracking exercises. McCaffery moored at Mayport on 28 November.

December was spent with upkeep, plane guard duties, tender availibility, and leave for crew members during the holidays.

McCaffery was moored at Mayport, Florida on 31 December 1962.

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