History of the McCaffery - 1965


On 1 January 1965, McCaffery rested on keel blocks in dry dock at the Charleston Naval Shipyard at Charleston, South Carolina. Commanding officer - CDR G.H. Kaffer.

On 8 February, McCaffery was moved out of dry dock to a mooring. On 3 March, she got underway for the required sea trials after a dry dock period. On 17 March, ammunition was loaded aboard, and McCaffery got underway the next day for Mayport, and arrived on 19 March.

On 12 April, McCaffery got underway for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. While underway, several drills were conducted idcluding: general quarters, man overboard, firing exercises, and hedgehog calibration. On 14 April, McCaffery sighted a small sailing craft approximately three miles away signaling as if in distress. McCaffery closed for possible assistance, and learned the craft, Evelyn, was lost and en route to Long Island. McCaffery provided the crew with provisions and directions. She then resumed steaming to Guantanamo Bay, and arrived on 15 April.

On 17 April, McCaffery got underway for surface surveillance operations. During the day, general quarters was sounded when a fire was reported below decks. It was discovered that paint was burning on a bulkhead adjacent to a compartment where welding had been done. The fire was controlled and McCaffery returned to port. When she got underway the next day, a steam leak occurred in the high pressure turbine unit of number one engine, and McCaffery returned to port.

From 20 April thru 10 May, McCaffery operated in and out of port, conducting various exercises with sonar students. Included in the exercises were battle problems, man overboard and casualty drills, tests of the water wash-down system, and gunnery practice with an air sleeve. On 10 May, McCaffery operated with Ingram (DD-694), and N.K. Perry (DD-883). While tracking a F4U aircraft, it crashed into the sea 1000 yards off the starboard bow and sank. An unopened and trailing chute was spotted, but the search for the pilot was negative.

On 14 May, McCaffery got underway for Montego Bay, Jamaica, and arrived the next day. After returning to Guantanamo Bay, McCaffery operated in and out of port, and also conducted exercises at Culebra Island and the San Juan area through 4 June. McCaffery returned to Mayport on 6 June.

On 21 June, McCaffery got underway for the area off the Virginia Capes for exercises with the Forrestal (CVA-59). On 1 July, McCaffery conducted a firing exercise with a MK 44-1 practice torpedo, and retrieved it. McCaffery returned to Mayport on 2 July, and remained in port through 31 July.

On 24 July, CDR A.F. Hodge relieved CDR G.H. Kaffer as commanding officer of McCaffery.

On 2 August, McCaffery got underway for the operating area off Jacksonville. On 4 August, the A.M. Sumner (DD-692), made a torpedo run on McCaffery, firing torpedos at a range of 4700 yards. McCaffery recovered the torpedos. Various exercises continued with Trumpetfish (SS-425), and Tirante (SS-420). On 13 August, McCaffery returned to Mayport. She got underway on 15 August to serve as a sonar school ship. She operated in and out port while conducting exercises for fleet sonar students until 21 August. On 13 September, McCaffery returned to the operating area off Jacksonville to conduct ASW exercises.

McCaffery was moored at Mayport on 28 September when Rear Admiral Colbert, COMCRUDESFLOT 6, came aboard with members of his inspection party from USS Bigelow, DD-942, for administrative and personnel inspection.

On 14 October, McCaffery got underway for an extended Mediterrean deployment. This deployment involved stops at Rota, Spain (23 October), Souda Bay, Crete (28 October), and a transit of the Suez Canal (31 October). McCaffery then steamed the length of the Red Sea, stopped at Djibouti, French Somaliland (4 November), and proceeded to Bandar Abbas, Iran for a brief stop (November 10-12). She got underway to participate in MIDLINK VIII, operating with HMS Nubian (FF-131), IIS Naghdi (F-26), and HMS Astute (SS-47). A port stop was made at Jask, Iran (15 November). As part of the ongoing exercises, McCaffery simulated a Communist merchant ship in distress. Crew members from HMS Nubian became a boarding party, and proceeded to simulate salvaging the ship, and took McCaffery under tow. When the exercise was completed, McCaffery moored at Kharg Island, Iran (18 November)

The next port stop for McCaffery was Khor Kaliya Harbor, Bahrain (November 20-29), and, during this stay, the ruler of Bahrain made an official visit to McCaffery. When McCaffery got underway, she steamed to Mukulla, Aden (5 December), and then visited the port of Aden (December 8-10). From there McCaffery visited Hodeidah, Yemen (December 11-14). During this port visit, Captain Hodge made an official visit to the American Charge d' Affairs, and they then called on the Governor of Hodeidah. McCaffery then visited Jidda, Saudi Arabia (December 16-20). While at anchor there, a fire occurred in a compartment below the anchor windlass room. An explosion occurred in the bosun's paint locker, which warped a bulkhead and damaged water tight doors and hatches.

When McCaffery departed Jidda, she visited Massawa, Eritrea (December 21-26). Captain Hodge made a call on the Governor of Massawa, and the Governor returned to the ship with the Captain. When McCaffery departed Massawa, she steamed north in the Red Sea, transited the Suez Canal, and arrived at Beirut, Lebanon on 31 December.

On 31 December 1965, McCaffery was at the port of Beirut, Lebanon.

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