McCaffery in Kiel Canal, Germany - June 1964

History of the McCaffery - 1964


On 1 January 1964, McCaffery was moored at Mayport, Florida. Commanding officer - CDR G.H. Kaffer.

McCaffery got underway on 1 February for Key West after spending most of January in port. On 4 February, sonar school students came aboard for training exercises. Mccaffery returned to Mayport on 7 February. A short period of upkeep ended when McCaffery got underway on 17 February for San Juan, Puerto Rico for operation Springboard 64. McCaffery arrived on 20 February, spent a few days in port, and then got underway for the operating area off Puerto Rico for various drills, and returned to San Juan on 28 February. After a short visit to St. Thomas Island, McCaffery returned to San Juan to off-load a torpedo, and then she returned to Mayport on 8 March. Most of March was spent operating at sea and in port, and then she got underway for Key West, arriving on 7 April. Operations continued for a week in and out of port. On 13 April, McCaffery proceeded to the Grand Bahamas, and patrolled eight miles off the coast of Cuba. McCaffery returned to Mayport on 19 April. While at Mayport, Rear Admiral C.K. Dunkin held an inspection of the ship topside and below decks on 28 May.

In company with DESRON 16, McCaffery arrived at Annapolis on 3 June to embark fifty midshipmen from the Naval Academy for LANTMIDTRARON 64, their summer training cruise. On 4 June, McCaffery got underway with the task group including Essex (CV-9), Little Rock (CLG-4), as well as the ships of DESRON 16 (Bigelow (DD-942), C.R. Ware (DD-865), W.C. Lawe (DD-763), Zellars (DD-777), A.M. Sumner (DD-692), Harwood (DD-861), and Forrest Royal (DD-872). Exercises were conducted for the midshipmen's training which included ECM drills, gunnery, and seamanship exercises. After passing through the English Channel on 22 June, McCaffery, Bigelow, Sumner, and Lawe departed the task group, and entered the North Sea. The group sailed up the Elbe River, entered the Kiel Canal, and arrived at Keil, Germany on 24 June. CDR Kaffer commented on the trip through the Kiel Canal, "We spent a very long day transiting the Kiel Canal. It was strange sailing through the German countryside, passing little colorful German towns and farm lands. We were sent to Kiel for 'Kiel Week' navy regattas. There were 55 warships at Kiel from 9 nations, and they all brought their Academy midshipmen to compete in sailing competition against each other. Bigelow and McCaffery represented the United States." Highlights of the stay in Kiel included world-class regattas, hospitality of the various navies, and tours of the ancient Germanic seaport.

McCaffery moored next to Bigelow (DD-942) in Kiel, Germany - June 1964
Photo taken from Belgian Minesweeper, G. Truffant (M 908)
click on image to see a larger version

On 29 June, McCaffery got underway for Stockholm, Sweden, and arrived on 1 July. The sights and Scandinavain hospitality in and around Stockholm included a 4th of July celebration hosted by the U.S. Embassy. On 6 July, McCaffery departed Stockholm for Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She sailed back through the Kiel Canal to the Elbe River, and arrived at Rotterdam on 6 July. This was the last European stop of the midshipmen cruise. On 13 July, McCaffery got underway from Rotterdam for the voyage home, and rejoined the other ships in the task group. McCaffery arrived at Norfolk on 24 July, and disembarked the midshipmen. She then got underway for Mayport, and arrived on 25 July.

On 22 August, McCaffery was at sea in the Gulf of Mexico conducting casualty and gunnery exercises, and served as plane guard for Lexington (CVA-16). McCaffery moored at Key West on 28 August, and on 30 August, a U.S. tug came alongside to remove the air search antenna. On 1 September, McCaffery was moored at Key West, and returned to Mayport on 5 September. On 8 September, McCaffery got underway to avoid hurricane DORA. From 12 September thru 22 September, McCaffery participated in operation CANUS-SLAMEX. On 23 September, she returned to Mayport.

On 6 October, McCaffery got underway for the Virginia Capes to conduct exercises with: Little Rock (CLG-4), John Adams (SSBN-620), Sea Lepard (SS-483), and several destroyers, including Lawrence (DDG-4). Various exercises were conducted including surface raider and MK 44-1 torpedo firing. On 26 October, McCaffery joined Saratoga (CVA-60), and several other destroyers for exercises, and returned to Mayport on 31 October.

On 7 November, F.Z. Hensley, MMFN, was standing in the mess line when two CO2 inflatible lifeboats fell on his shoulders from #2 and #4 lifeboat storage rack. He was transfered to the Naval Hospital at Jacksonville with a crushed sternum. McCaffery remained at Mayport through 13 December.

On 14 December, McCaffery got underway for Charleston, South Carolina, and arrived on 15 December. En route, she conducted sonar self-noise and vibration survey. On arrival at Charleston, she off-loaded ammunition, and moored at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. On 22 December, two tugs assisted McCaffery to enter dry dock.

On 31 December 1964, McCaffery rested on keel blocks in dry dock at the Charleston Naval Shipyard.

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