History of the McCaffery - 1969


On 1 January 1969, USS McCaffery was in the Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, South Carolina.
Commanding Officer - CDR W.W. Jordan, Jr.

On 16 January, McCaffery's four month overhaul was completed, and she returned to her home port at Mayport, Florida. Various exercises were conducted through February. On 3 March, Harwood (DD-861) caused damage to McCaffery while coming alongside the port side, and fouled her boat davits in McCaffery's anchor. McCaffery got underway in the middle of March for refresher training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On 8 April, McCaffery rescued a 36-foot sloop, Que Pasa, after she had lost her rudder in the Windward Passage. This incident received considerable attention since McCaffery prevented Que Pasa from drifting into Cuban waters. On 12-13 April, McCaffery made a port call at Montega Bay, Jamaica. Operational Inspection was conducted on 30 April at Guantanamo Bay with no significant discrepancies. McCaffery then proceeded to Naval Gunfire Support Area off Culebra Island, qualified as a NGFS ship, and provided training for marine spotters. McCaffery made a port call at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands on 5 May before returning to Mayport.

On 10 May, CDR A.F. Martin relieved CDR W.W. Jordan, Jr. as commanding officer of the McCaffery. CDR Martin's previous billet was Operations Officer on the staff of Commander Middle East Force.

Chronology of operations during May & June:
    18-20 May     Served as escort and communications relay for Hammerhead (SSN-663) during the visit of Vice President Agnew at Cape Kennedy.
    21-23 May     plane guard duties for Saratoga (CVA-60).
    26-27 May     Annual administrative inspection by COMDESDIV 162.
    28 May - 26 June (at Mayport)     Preparations for North Atlantic Deployment with STANAVFORLANT (Standing Naval Force Atlantic) underway

On 1 July, McCaffery relieved Versole (DD-878) as the US Navy's representative in STANAVFORLANT. This force consisted of HNLMS Vann Ness(F-804), Royal Netherlands Navy (flagship), the British frigate HMS Dido (F-104), the Canadian helicopter frigate HMCS Assiniboine (DDH-234), the Germain destroyer FGS Hamburg (D-181), and a Portuguese destroyer escort P.S. Da Silva. The commander of this force was Commodore Berend Veldkamp, Royal Netherlands Navy.

Chronology of operations during July & August:
      6-7 July     departed Norfolk & anchored in St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia
      8-11 July     exercises en route to Montreal, Canada
      14-19 July     underway for Halifax, Nova Scotia
      25 July-3 August     ASW & anti-air warfare exercises en route to Boston, Massachusetts
      8-16 August     departed Boston, refueled at St. John's, Newfoundland, and moored at Reykjavik, Iceland
      17-21 August     departed Iceland en route to Oslo, Norway
      25-28 August     Underway for Trondheim, Norway
      30 August     Observed Soviet naval maneuvers and crossed the Artic Circle
      31 August     moored at Bergen, Norway, in the Haakonsvern Naval Shipyard
      12-24 September     Underway for operations with Semmes (DDG-18), & Newport News (CA-148)
           and moored at Plymouth, England
      27 September     port-call at Campbeltown, Scotland

On 1 October, McCaffery was underway in the Irish Sea as part of operation Keypunch. She made a failed attempt to recover a DASH. On 3 October, McCaffery anchored briefly in Red Bay, Northern Ireland, then moved across the North Channel to Campbeltown, Scotland. On 8 October, NcCaffery anchored at Belfast Lough, Northern Ireland, and then got underway on 9 October for fast patrol boats exercises and man overboard drills. On 11 October, McCaffery anchored in the Mersey River shipping channel, Liverpool, England. After mooring at Bidston Dock, Birkenhead, England, the ship was flooded to port to create a 15 degree list so that a split seam, damaged in stormy and rough seas, could be welded. The welded seam was inspected on 14 October by an Iridium 192 Radiography source.

On 18 October, McCaffery got underway for Frederickshaven, Denmark, in company with two guided missile frigates of the Royal Netherlands Navy, HNLMS Isaac Sweers (F-814), and HNLMS Tjerk Hiddes (F-804). While underway, seamen were transfered from McCaffery to Tjerk Hiddes and back. McCaffery arrived at Frederikshaven, Denmark, on 21 October. McCaffery got underway on 23 October for Copenhagen, Denmark, struck an unmarked channel buoy amidships with possible damage to the starboard screw, and manuevered to avoid a collison with a local ferry. McCaffery passed through Copenhagen Jetty on 24 October, and moored at Langelinie Pier at Copenhagen.

On 29 October, McCaffery got underway for Wilhelmshaven, West Germany, and anchored at Strander-Buch, Kiel, West Germany on 30 October. On 4 November, McCaffery got underway for Rosyth, Scotland, and spent the week of 11 November in Her Majesty's Dock Yard dry dock. Underway on 24 November, McCaffery headed for Le Harve, France, conducting various exercises with STANANAVFORLANT, and moored at Le Harve on 28 November.

On 1 December, McCaffery crossed the English Channel and moored at Portland, England. She conducted ASW exercises, and moored at Portsmouth on 5 December. McCaffery was released from STANAVFORLANT on 6 December to begin the voyage home. On the cruise home, McCaffery made port-calls at Oporto, Portugal (8-10 December), Ponta Delgada, the Azores (12 December), and Bermuda (17 December). McCaffery arrived at Mayport, Florida on 20 December.

On 31 December 1969, McCaffery was moored at Mayport, Florida.

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