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History of the USS Henry W. Tucker - DDR 875

Section Four 1960 ~ 1964

Taiwan Patrol Crisis in Laos FRAM Conversion Tonkin Gulf Incident

Last Updated: October 19, 2009



8 January 1960 -- CDR R. M. HANSON, USN, relieved CDR K.S. IRWIN and became the TUCKER's tenth commanding officer.

In early 1960, Destroyer Squadron 3 was designated to become a semi-permanent member of the U.S. 7th Fleet WESTPAC, home ported in Yokosuka, Japan. This was to be the first (of three) extended stays in WESTPAC with Yokosuka as TUCKER's homeport. This first one would be for 31 months, and then returning to CONUS for 12 months and a complete rebuild (FRAM), and then back to Yokosuka for another 26 months. The third extended WESTPAC tour for 26 months was in the 1968-1970 period.


A SAM-2 missile shot down an Air Force U2 pilot, Francis Gary Powers on 1 May 1960, while he was making a reconnaissance flight over the Soviet Union. Powers was tried in the Soviet Union and sentenced to 10 years in prison; in 1962 he was exchanged for the Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.

On 3 May 1960, TUCKER, as a member of DESRON 3, steamed out of Long Beach with six of the seven sister members of the squadron. The squadron flagship was USS James E. Keyes (DD 787), the DESDIV 32 flagship was USS Rupertus (DD 851), and with USS Higbee (DDR 806), USS Eversole (DD 789), USS Leonard F. Mason (DD 852), and USS George K. MacKenzie (DD 836). USS Orleck (DD 886) was in San Diego, and got underway independently to meet up with the remainder of the squadron. This deployment for TUCKER, was to last for more than two and a half years, as she was changing her homeport from Long Beach to Yokosuka, Japan. Note: Only TUCKER and HIGBEE were the DDR configuration. Shown is the 1960 DESRON 3 patch. DESRON 3 was further divided into two divisions. DESDIV 31 consisted of HIGBEE, ORLECK, EVERSOLE and KEYES. DESDIV 32 consisted of TUCKER, RUPERTUS, MASON and MACKENZIE. One of TUCKER's new missions with her intelligence gathering gear was to be part of the U2 support and protection program. New flights had been originating from locations in WESTPAC. Because of the U2 shoot down over the Soviet Union, a decision had to be made whether to continue these surveillance flights. While TUCKER was underway, heading for WESTPAC, the U2 flights were ordered to continue. Therefore the mission and equipment on TUCKER could then be used as intended. The squadron arrived in Pearl harbor under foggy conditions at 0600. That day, 9 May the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" newspaper headline read "ALOHA, DIVISIONS 31 AND 32!" Included were file pictures of the destroyers, and a story line that said "1890 MEN ON 7 SHIPS VISIT HAWAII FOR TWO DAYS ON WAY TO FAR EAST" Leaving Hawaii, at 0700 of 11 May, TUCKER and the other destroyers participated in gunnery practice before continuing west. The squadron arriving at Midway Island on the morning of 14 May for refueling only stayed about 4 hours. The squadron steaming in formation crossed the International Dateline, and retarded the clocks. The ships gained an extra Wednesday. The various destroyers took turns breaking off formation for torpedo firing practice. The entire squa dron arrived in Yokosuka on 21 May after an eighteen-day transit of the Pacific.



TUCKER tied up outboard of ORLECK at 0900 at buoy D4. The nest of 8 ships were USS Piedmont (AD 17), USS James E. Keyes (DD 787), USS Orleck (DD 886), TUCKER, USS Eversole (DD 789), USS Quapaw (ATF 110), LCU (1475), and LCU (1476). All were receiving services from PIEDMONT.

This relief map highlights Tokyo bay, Tokyo, Yokohama, and Yokosuka, along with the most prominent and recognized landmark in all of Japan, Mount Fuji. This was to be the new home for TUCKER for more than half of the next thirteen years. It is said that if you see Mount Fuji on the last day of your stay in Japan, you will return.

While in Yokosuka, TUCKER was outfitted with very sophisticated, at least for 1960, Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) equipment, including the ULQ-1 recording and data analyzing gear for all received radar/radio signals. Also, this new ECM equipment was able to do Simulation, meaning TUCKER could make radar false echoes, causing ships to appear where there were none, and Jamming, causing ships to disappear from the radar screen. This ECM and recording equipment was housed in a small box-like room called the tactical deception hut on the deck behind the aft stack.



To operate the new systems properly, TUCKER had "guests" aboard. Two Air Force Majors came aboard in Yokosuka and went along for the ride as "advisors". This chart shows the Yokosuka Naval Base where TUCKER and the rest of DESRON 3 would be berthed when in their "new" home. Following these two weeks of availability in Yokosuka, TUCKER plunged into the routine of 7th Fleet operations and attained a tempo of operations that was not to relax for the duration of her stay. TUCKER got underway on 4 June for Taiwan Patrol with her division by heading southward toward the Taiwan straits and Kaohsiung. TUCKER and HIGBEE who had the special gear installed as DDR's, began taking turns on Patrol with their DESDIV 31 and DESDIV 32 partners. Each ship on Taiwan Patrol would steam to their designated station, zones 1, 2, 3 and 4. On station, they would traverse their own typical 20-mile elliptical route in the straits. TUCKER would have a larger route on the southern end of the straits, which would take them on a loop more southerly that included the Chinese island of Hainan. This patrol duty would last for about a week to 10 days before TUCKER would return to Kaohsiung for maintenance and a little R&R. President Dwight D. Eisenhower on a visit to Manila, embarked on USS Saint Paul (CA 73) on 17 June 1960 for a trip from the Philippines to Taiwan. SAINT PAUL had prepared a presidential stateroom on board for the occasion. Heading for Taipei, Taiwan, SAINT PAUL with the President aboard passed through the Formosa straits. TUCKER was assigned as forward escort, and while in the vicinity of Quemoy and Matsu, observed massive shelling of the islands by the Communist Chinese. After this trip through the Taiwan straits, the President arrived at Taipei, and met with Generalisimo Chiang Kai-shek. TUCKER then returned to her Taiwan Patrol duties. This special patrol allowed intelligence gathering for any aircraft, SAM (Surface to Air Missile) site, or radar facility within a couple hundred miles from the coast. Supporting ground stations could then use TUCKER's information to triangulate exact locations of radar and SAM site electronic signatures. TUCKER also operated in support of OPERATION SNOW WHITE. This operation was for direct surveillance support for the beginning of U2 spy flights, from Taiwan, which flew missions mostly over the People's Republic of China. Beginning in late 1959. A total of 30 Taiwanese pilots had been trained in the US by the CIA for piloting U2 aircraft, and they began surviellance flights from their home country in late 1959. The Taiwanese pilots were called the "Black Cat Squadron" and participated in an on-going operation code-named PROJECT RAZOR". Although 102 flights originated from Taiwan over a period of 15 years, the first Taiwanese flight to be shot down did not occur until 1962. TUCKER when on-station acted as early warning of radar tracking sites, missiles, and aircraft in the vicinity. On 8 August, TUCKER left the Taiwan Straits to flee a typhoon, before returning on 11 August After 5 more days of Taiwan Patrol, TUCKER made Hong Kong a port of call on 16 August 1960. Then TUCKER returned for more duty in the Straits of Formosa. After two more weeks of patrol, TUCKER took liberty and upkeep time in Kaohsiung. During this stay in Kaohsiung, The TUCKER fast pitch softball team beat the MAAG (Military Assistance Advisory Group) team stationed there three times. Once more, TUCKER went back to Taiwan Patrol, spending 29 days at sea, before TUCKER returned to her



homeport of Yokosuka on 24 September 1960. Leaving Yokosuka in early October, TUCKER joined Coral Sea (CV 43) for plane guard operations. It was business as usual until 17 October when CORAL SEA launched an A4D aircraft that immediately plunged over the side. No pilot recovery attempt was possible. From 11 November until 19 November, TUCKER participated in the amphibious exercise OPERATION PACKBOARD off Okinawa. OPERATION PACKBOARD was a training maneuver emphasizing jungle warfare and anti-guerrilla operations. This exercise in northern Okinawa by elements of the 7th Fleet and the 3rd Marine Division revealed the helicopter to be a successful weapon against guerrilla forces and a useful means of supplying troops in jungle terrain. On 16 November, TUCKER rendezvoused with USS Platte (AO 24) for mail call and refueling. DESDIV 32 joined destroyers of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force for allied anti-submarine warfare training on 5 December 1960. Despite heavy weather the exercise was conducted and proved extremely beneficial to TUCKER's state of training. And respect for the seagoing prowess of TUCKER's Japanese hosts was measurably increased. The exercise was interrupted by a downed plane report east of Kyushu. Both American and Japanese ships joined in a massive search. The Air Force F-100 pilot was located on the second day by USS Castor (AKS 1), but too late.

Upon return to Yokosuka on 10 December, preparations were made for a candy cane Christmas. The barrels of Mount 51 were elevated and a half of a truck tire was inserted in each barrel. The ship moored to TUCKER's port side is USS Orleck (DD 886). The added Red and white wrappings made the candy canes. J. Freeman BM3 was TUCKER's highly successful, and very appropriate 1960 Santa Claus, The Japanese orphans brought aboard for the Christma s party were treated to gifts handed out by Santa and the kids loved him.





In December 1960, Royal Lao troops under rightist command stormed Vientiane. Kong Le, his troops and Souvanna fled to the Pathet Lao-controlled Plain of Jars. The communist world and some nonaligned nations like India now upheld Souvanna as Lao rightful Prime Minister. The United States and the West recognized a new military-controlled Vientiane government, technically under another prince Boun Oum, as Prime Minister.

By December 31, 1960, tension in Laos worsened. Forces earmarked to support operations in defense of mainland Southeast Asia against Communist aggression in Southeast Asia, were placed on DEFCON 2 (the defense condition immediate ly below outbreak of war). Three naval task groups, including the two strike carriers USS Lexington (CVS 16) and USS Coral Sea (CV 43) were ordered to depart Okinawa immediately for operations in the South China Sea. The TUCKER crew worked furiously all night to load stores, fuel, and ammo preparing to quickly get underway. Leaving Yokosuka, she headed for the carrier group in support, heading for the coastal waters of China at battle stations. In a short time, TUCKER was assigned once again as a plane guard during flight operations for USS Coral Sea (CV 43). An A4D exploded on 6 January 1961 as it hit the carrier CORAL SEA's deck, careened into men and planes and exploded again as the aircraft bounced over the side. The next day, an A4D lost control and hit the water in an inverted attitude. USS Rupertus (DD 851) recovered a wing tank. On 11 January, a third A4D crashed into the water and no recovery was made. Rescue attempts were made, but men and aircraft were all lost at sea. Following a week of high alert, the forces were returned to DEFCON 3 on 16 January 1961, and ordered to remain no more than four hours steaming distance away. Eventually, on February 25, DEFCON 4 (normal operations) was re-established.


John F. Kennedy took office on 21 January as the 35th President of the United States.

In March 1961, TUCKER made an unscheduled four-day stop in Subic Bay because of sonar problems. TUCKER then rejoined USS Midway (CVA 41) in time to make a scheduled Hong Kong visit. This Hong Kong visit was cut short when on 19 March 1961, TUCKER became involved in an emergency sortie triggered by another Laotian crisis in Southeast Asia. This time it was the armed conflict between The North Vietnamese and the Pathet Lao forces. Again, TUCKER operated as plane guard and surveillance for the carriers LEXINGTON and CORAL SEA. On 15 May 1961, Richard Baker FT2 had a serious problem with his appendix. The Doctor on the CORAL SEA and the TUCKER Hospital Corpsman, Cliff "Doc" Helms HMC recommended the highline transfer take place for surgery that night, But TUCKER was on the edge of fairly rough seas due to a nearby typhoon at the time, making the night time highline transfer at sea even more treacherous. Baker was high lined to CORAL SEA for surgery the following morning. TUCKER returned to Yokosuka shortly after 1 June. This marked the first anniversary of TUCKER's stay in the Western Pacific as a permanent member of the SEVENTH Fleet. After a few days stay, TUCKER got underway again and changed parent carriers, this time, USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31). TUCKER, after a few days of



operations in the South China Sea, was involved in a search and rescue mission, which might have developed into a major disaster. Acting on a report that the Philippine ship DE LA PAZ with more than 100 people on board was sinking near Macclesfield Bank. Macclesfield Bank is due east from the Philippine Island of Luzon and half way to the Vietnamese coastline. The task group proceeded at high speed in steadily mounting seas to the reported position despite knowledge of another embryo tropical depression gaining strength within 50 miles of the position. The merchant ship UNION PIONEER rescued more than 90 persons but reported that "37" persons may still be in the water. Bucking 40 to 50 knot winds and heavy seas, the search was conducted throughout the night of 23 June to no avail only to learn that UNION PIONEER had in fact recovered all survivors. After departure from rescue operations, TUCKER joined USS Saint Paul (CA 73) and proceeded north to Hokkaido. While SAINT PAUL entered Otaru, TUCKER anchored in the southern Hokkaido city of Hakodate for her first Japanese port visit since arriving in WESTPAC 14 months before. Hakodate, a city of 250,000 people rarely visited by U.S. Navy Ships, opened its arms to TUCKER. For five days, TUCKER sailors relished the exclusiveness of a city's hospitality and left with a deeper appreciation of the Japanese people, their culture, and the supposedly inscrutable East. One day later, along with USS Higbee (DD 806), TUCKER made a leisurely trip to Sasebo. 25 August 1961 -- CDR E. H. WERDELMAN, USN relieved CDR R. M. HANSON and became the TUCKER's eleventh commanding officer. While TUCKER was in Sasebo on 8 September, Larry D. Stromme EM3 was electrocuted in the Chief's quarters. This occurred when he forgot to unplug a toaster he was working on before he cut the power cord. October 1961, in the course of a strenuous operational schedule, TUCKER exercised with the carriers USS Coral Sea (CV 43), USS Midway (CVA 41), USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31), and USS Ranger (CVA 61). She battled through Typhoon Nancy the first few days of October, evaded Typhoon Tilda on October 10 and 11, and rode out Typhoon Violet , October 29 and 30, within a period of five weeks. TUCKER was also an active participant in two large exercises, OPERATION WARMUP, was an amphibious lan ding exercise near Okinawa. TUCKER also participated with TASK GROUP 70.4 in OPERATION BASE HIT. OPERATION BASE HIT was a large air operations exercise in the North Philippine Sea, which took place in mid-November. The carriers BON HOMME RICHARD, LEXINGTON and CORAL SEA, along with destroyers from DESVIV 32, DESDIV 231 and DESDIV 232 practiced simulated coordinated air attacks. Later in November, TUCKER, operated with TASK GROUP 77.7, and visited Okinawa. TUCKER returned to Yokosuka on 3 December and spent a month in her homeport for the holidays.




After the holiday period on 2 January 1962, TUCKER departed Yokosuka escorting USS Lexington (CVS 16). After visiting both Sasebo and Okinawa, TUCKER returned to Yokosuka on 29 January 1962. February 21 1962 found TUCKER visiting Subic Bay, and then upon getting underway, took shore bombardment practice at the Tabones Islet impact area near Subic. She then arrived on 24 February in Hong Kong, only to have developments in Vietnam interrupt her visit and force an early departure. By direction of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, units of the U.S. Military were combined into the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, on February 8,

1962. The announcement of this new command, centered in Saigon, required nearby Naval units to go on alert.

During the first week of March 1962, TUCKER was operating with the USS Ranger (CVA 61). One morning, just before dawn, TUCKER was on station in front of RANGER, just off her starboard bow. STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE - While the ship is at sea, engine room and fire room crew alternate their pumps every day. This is normally done between 0400 and 0500 hrs. While changing over pumps in the after engine room a series of events took place which caused the after fire room boilers to run low on water making it impossible for them to make steam. Because of the inability to make steam, this caused the loss of power to the port shaft and caused the after engine room generator to be knocked off line. In an attempt to remedy the situation, the forward engine room began to cross connect condensate & steam sending it aft. This caused a drain on system and the forward engine room could not meet the demands for the boilers on line. The steam pressure dropped in all engineering spaces and in doing so the forward engine room generator was knocked off line as well as the loss of power to the starboard shaft. This photo demonstrates the relative size difference between an aircraft carrier and a destroyer. What followed were a total loss of steam to all engineering spaces, and a total loss of electricity throughout the ship. STANDARD CONFIGURATION - When a ship loses electrical power, the Emergency Generator automatically kicks in. As luck would have it the Emergency Generator failed to start. TUCKER was now "Dead in the Water" without power, and almost invisible in the predawn darkness. This made it virtually impossible to communicate with the carrier or to sound any alarms. To add to the gravity of the situation, RANGER was closing in fast on TUCKER. It is unknown if RANGER saw TUCKER dead in the water or not. The carrier passed within 50 yards of TUCKER to the portside. After a short period of time the cause of the problem was determined, the boilers were relit and TUCKER was underway again. This all occurred with better than three quarters of the crew asleep. Only a handful of the crew, mostly those on the bridge, saw what a close call it was. TUCKER celebrated her seventeenth year as a member of the U.S. 7th Fleet on 12 March 1962. TUCKER was actually assigned to the 7th Fleet in August of 1 945. TUCKER arrived back in Yokosuka on 15 March. TUCKER departed Yokosuka on 23 March, accompanied by USS Leonard F. Mason (DD 852). TUCKER proceeded to an area just off Chinhae, Korea for a three-day joint anti-submarine warfare operation with the Navy of the Republic of Korea. During this operation, TUCKER fired the hedge hogs, and the ROK Navy fired some of their depth charges. As part of the exercise, a highline transfer was done. While this was happening, a wave came over the side and about twenty members of the crew were knocked to the deck. The Koreans got a chuckle out of this.



For many of the crew, this was the first time they had ever trained with a foreign Navy, and the experience was considered invaluable. After departing the Chinhae area, TUCKER and MASON made a stop in Sasebo, and then returned to Yokosuka. TUCKER departed Yokosuka on 13 April 1962, still operating with MASON, and accompanying USS Lexington (CVS 16). The three ships arrived in Kobe Japan. Kobe is one of Japan's largest cities. TUCKER had an open house for the people of Kobe, and about 2000 Japanese showed up to visit the ship. At this time, some of TUCKER's crewmembers donated blood to the local blood bank. TUCKER and LEXINGTON departed Kobe on 16 April for a week of operations at sea. TUCKER arrived back in Yokosuka on 24 April 1962. For 10 long hard days, the crew chipped, cleaned, scrubbed, painted, dismantled, reassembled, and made preparations for the most detailed of all Navy inspections, a check of the ship's material condition and fitness for further service by a Board of Inspection and Survey. This Board was composed of hull, ordinance, engineering, and electronics experts (Most of them were Admirals). The 2 day inspection took place on 4 May 1962. The board not only declared TUCKER fit for rehabilitation and modernization, but was awarded such high marks in the various material divisions, that TUCKER is ranked in the upper 10 percent of all destroyers in the fleet. After the inspection, TUCKER remained in Yokosuka for 2 weeks as she was restored to a "ready for sea" condition. Ready again, on 21 May 1962 TUCKER along with USS Leonard F. Mason (DD 852) and USS Higbee (DDR 806) departed Yokosuka and steamed for Sasebo, Japan. TUCKER arrived in Sasebo, Japan on 23 May 1962 and tied up to the pier behind USS Pictor (AF 54). The next day TUCKER moved to the refueling pier. While taking on fuel a valve did not get closed. Fuel oil filled one of the 3" gun tubs and oil ran over the hatch lips down to the deck, over the starboard side and into the bay. Most everyone had to help clean up the mess. Leaving Sasebo on 24 May, TUCKER joined USS Midway (CVA 41) and other destroyers, USS George K. MacKenzie (DD 836), USS Rupertus (DD 851), USS Leonard F. Mason (DD 852) and USS Higbee (DDR 806) for 2 weeks of replenishment and refueling at sea operations. TUCKER arrived in Hong Kong harbor on 12 June 1962 for a few days of R&R. Departing Hong Kong, TUCKER spent the next 10 days at sea. TUCKER (left) and RUPERTUS (right) refuel from USS Midway (CVA 41) on 25 June. At this time, TUCKER participated in an annual firing for qualifications as a Naval Gunfire Support Ship in the Tabones Islet impact area near Subic Bay. In this exercise, a small aircraft came down the port side from bow to stern towing a target sleeve. The 3" guns opened fire and snapped the cable, which sent the sleeve fluttering to the water. The airplane made a second and third pass. Each time, the 3" guns hit the cable. The pilot informed TUCKER he had no more target sleeves, and the test was necessarily completed. Then TUCKER moved into position for shore bombardment. The drill consisted of traversing the firing location at various speeds. There was a large circle of white painted rocks with one in the center. TUCKER received a grade of EXCELLENT.



TUCKER tied up in Subic Bay 29 June 1962 for what was to be 5 days of liberty, only to get underway. Orders were received along with USS George K. MacKenzie (DD 836) to escort USS Valley Forge (LPH 8) to Laos. Once at sea, the ships steamed south at flank speed. The corner was turned on 1 July and the three ships entered the Gulf of Siam.


President Kennedy ordered U.S. forces deployed to Thailand on 15 May, both to reassure Thailand of the U.S. commitment to its defense and to discourage further Communist advances on the Southeast Asian Peninsula. The US Marines had established a presence in Northeast Thailand to protect Thailand from the North Vietnamese intrusion into Laos, and the west side of the Mekong River. Thailand was a member of the SEATO alliance, and allowed the establishment of this airstrip and the contingent of Marines. While the Marines were strengthening their posture in northeastern Thailand, U.S. officials were reporting definite progress in the negotiations being held in Geneva and Vientiane. Encouraged by these signs and hoping to influence the Geneva talks even further. President Kennedy ordered major elements of the U.S. combat forces withdrawn from Thailand on 29 June. This evacuation from Laos was ordered by President Kennedy to try to stabilize the pro west government and to remove an obstacle to peace in the region.

TUCKER, MACKENZIE, and VALLEY FORGE anchored off the coast of Thailand, while the VALLEY FORGE conducted a helicopter evacuation of 300 Marines and equipment. One of the final helicopters returning had a mechanical problem and went into the water. All personnel were rescued, but the ships remained in the area until it sank. This was to ensure that the helicopter would not fall into unfriendly hands. The return trip to Subic Bay was at a much more leisurely pace. TUCKER and MACKENZIE departed Subic Bay on 9 July 1962 for a rendezvous with USS Midway (CVA 41) near Okinawa. On 13 July, TUCKER, RUPERTUS and MASON entered Buckner Bay for a two-day stop, after which TUCKER participated in six more days of operations at sea. Then TUCKER and MASON broke off. MASON's tour was completed, so she headed back to CONUS. TUCKER visited Iwakuni Japan for three days R&R starting 21 July. In early October TUCKER, while operating with MIDWAY, was on hand when USS Kitty Hawk (CVA 63) arrived. KITTY HAWK was the most modern and formidable air striking force with which TUCKER had ever operated. KITTY HAWK, the newest attack carrier of the US Navy was on her first assigned overseas deployment. KITTY HAWK joined the U.S. 7th Fleet on 7 October 1962, relieving USS Midway (CVA 41) as the flagship. Relieved from carrier duty, TUCKER made her last port of call in Hong Kong for a week. The crew was allowed to purchase items and store them on the ship for transport back to the United States. Prior to this, some ammo had been off-loaded, allowing one of the ammo storage areas to be used for this purpose. TUCKER then returned to Yokosuka. The TUCKER crew enjoyed the unique sights of Beppu.



In the first week of October 1962, TUCKER and USS Rupertus (DD 851) visited the port of Beppu, Japan, located on Kyushu Island. After a few days in Beppu, TUCKER and RUPERTUS proceeded to the port of Kagoshima located just south of Beppu also on Kyushu Island. These visits were referred to as "Good Will Tours". Prior to leaving Yokosuka, TUCKER welcomed aboard several members of a U.S. Marine Band stationed in Yokosuka so they could participate in local parades in these ports. While in Beppu and Kagoshima, the ships held open house, hosting several hundred civilian and dignitaries while shipmates spent liberty in ports seldom visited by U.S. warships.


The crisis began on 14 October 1962 when U.S. reconnaissance imagery revealing Soviet nuclear missile installations on the island were shown to U.S. President John F. Kennedy and ended fourteen days later on 28 October 1962, when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev announced that the installations would be dismantled.

Shortly after leaving Kagoshima on 15 October, TUCKER and RUPERTUS were ordered to quickly change course and relieve USS Buckley (DDR 808) and USS Turner Joy (DD 951) who were assigned to TG 36.2. The crew widely speculated that this had something to do with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Rumors were flying fast. A sonar contact had been picked up of an unidentified sub days earlier. The sub was tentatively identified as a USSR type "W" submarine. Once, again, all hands found themselves involved in maintaining the ready posture of the 7th Fleet. Once the sub surfaced, it identified itself via flashing light as a Soviet ship. TUCKER took a position approximately 300 yards to the starboard side of the sub while RUPERTUS maintained a station approximately the same distance on the sub's port side. The sub continued on a northerly course and never submerged. It may have been experiencing engineering problems. Many crewmembers took advantage of this, taking pictures and movies and in general were surprised to see a Russian sub this close up. The shadowing lasted approximately two and a half days and for the most part this was uneventful. The submarine was moving north, probably back to Vladivostok, the Russia n seaport. At one point, the submarine sent a message that if either ship crossed her bow, she would open fire. This continued for those two and a half days. The waters were getting colder and rougher. Waves began breaking over the bow. On 18 October, TUCKER and RUPERTUS were relieved and joined USS Kitty Hawk (CVA 63). KITTY HAWK was also on full alert and had been shadowing TUCKER and RUPERTUS. After only two more days the two destroyers were relieved and returned to Yokosuka. The morning of 2 November 1962, USS Henry W. Tucker (DDR 875) and USS George K. MacKenzie (DD 836) backed away from the pier at Yokosuka with a band playing. Loved ones, tears in their eyes, stood and watched.

Ships that have been assigned outside the United States continuously for 270 or more days practice flying the homeward bound pennant. It is flown in place of the normal commission pennant at the time the ship gets underway to proceed to a United States port. Once out to sea, it is secured until the day of arrival in the United States. The pennant is about 200 times longer than its width at the hoist. The homeward bound pennant consists of white stars on a blue field at the hoist, and is divided red over white at the fly. It has one star for the ship's first nine months continuously outside the United States, plus another star for each additional six months. Thirty-one months represents 4 stars. The length of the pennant is one foot for each member of the crew who has been on duty outside the United States for nine months or more, not to exceed the length of the ship itself.


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As TUCKER turned and headed out of Tokyo bay, the "Homeward Bound" pennant, attached to the mast, was set free from the tie-down at the stern light. The flying pennant reached from the main mast, all the way to the stern. TUCKER and MACKENZIE stopped for refueling at Midway Island. There was time for swim call on the beach, and a softball game between TUCKER and MACKENZIE. TUCKER won the game. On 9 November, they arrived in Pearl Harbor for the weekend. Finally, flying the homeward bound pennant again, TUCKER entered the familiar waters of San Diego's harbor. She was home after 31 months in WESTPAC, arrived in San Diego to a pier with family members cheering. After less than 2 weeks in San Diego, on 26 November, TUCKER departed San Diego for the journey to Boston. The destroyer stopped at anchor for 2 days in Acapulco Mexico. There was a cruise ship at anchor nearby, and water skiers were passing close by TUCKER. The following day, there was some excitement on the fantail. While at anchor in Acapulco harbor, James McAlpine RDCA was fishing off the fantail, and managed to catch this sailfish. After fighting it with the help of a few other crewmen and a little ingenuity, the sailfish was hoisted to the deck. Soon later there was the appearance of a few hungry sharks. Those that saw this spectacle couldn't help but remember the water skiers from yesterday!

TUCKER anchored outside the mouth of the Panama Canal on 4 December 1962, waiting for a long line of vessels to take their turn passing through the canal. Liberty in Balboa, the entrance to the canal on the Pacific side was short. The next morning on 5 December 1962, TUCKER began the 8-hour passage through the Panama Canal. This photo was taken aboard TUCKER inside one of the locks of the Panama Canal in December of 1962.

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This information about the Panama Canal has been taken from the TUCKER Plan of the day for Sunday 2 December 1962.

The Panama Canal is a lock a nd lake type canal traversing the Isthmus of Panama joining the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The canal itself is about 44 miles long. During the transit of the Canal the ship will pass from salt water to fresh water and back to salt water. A system of l cks and o pumps must be used during the transit to raise or lower the ship (depending on whether transit is from Pacific to Atlantic or the opposite) from sea level of one ocean to the other. (Sea level in the Atlantic is not the same as sea level in the Pacific). IOWA class battleships have passed through the canal with a clearance of 4 inches. The IOWA class BB had a full load displacement of 57000 tons ­ or about 20 times that of TUCKER. The large aircraft carriers of today can not pass through the canal, but instead must go around Cape Horn, adding many days steaming time from Atlantic to Pacific. The canal is 109 feet 4 inches wide. Vessels with maximum draft of 35 feet can pass through the canal. The Panama Canal Zone is governed and operated by a federally appointed Governor. In times of Emergency, the final authority over operation of the Canal is the Commanding General, U.S. Army, Caribbean. Here are some miscellaneous regulations, about transit of the Panama Canal. 1. Police whistles will not be used when rendering honors. 2. Pilot and other canal personnel on board during transit will be furnished meals without charge. 3. The ship's boat will remain ready for lowering on short notice at all times. 4. Line handlers may be required and should be designated and ready to go at all times. 5. In case of fire on board, the ship will sound repeatedly 5 prolonged blasts (4-6 seconds) on the whistle. 6. Oil pollution Act is in effect at all times. No pumping of bilges. 7. Ships will not blow tubes during transit.

After 5 more days at sea, traveling north in the Caribbean and Atlantic, TUCKER arrived at the Naval Weapons Station in Earle New Jersey on 10 December 1962 to off-load ammo. The trident-shaped pier complex (shown in the picture) extends 2.2 miles into Sandy Hook Bay New Jersey and comprises 2.9 miles of piertrestle length. On 13 December 1962, TUCKER and arrived at her new home in Boston harbor, at the Charlestown Naval Shipyard. It was a very cold day, with steamy vapor coming off the surface of the warmer water, something the crew had not seen for quite a long time. TUCKER was now ready to commence the next chapter of her already storied history.

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FRAM MK I - Developed primarily for the Gearing class destroyers, it was a complete reconstruction of the ship. FRAM MK I included the rebuilding of the superstructure, rehabilitating the engines and electronics and installing ASROC, DASH, SQS-23 Sonar System. Also installed were new air-search SPS-40 radar, SPS-10 surface search radar, and two triple MK 32 torpedo launchers. FRAM MK I required that the destroyer lose one of it's forward twin 5-inch/38 cal. gun mounts. FRAM MK I extended the life of TUCKER by 10 years.

The TUCKER crew was reduced in size, and moved into the second floor of a Charlestown Shipyard barracks. The crew of USS Leonard F. Mason (DD 852) occupied the first floor. Later, TUCKER crew moved to their own barracks that were nicer accommodations above the base cafeteria. This was to become the crew's new home for the next ten months. 8 January 1963--LCDR P. E. SMITH, USN relieved CDR E. H. WERDELMAN and became the TUCKER's twelfth commanding officer. (During FRAM)

By the fiscal year 1959, there remained 44 original GEARING class destroyers that had not been converted into either dedicated submarine warfare destroyers (DDE), hunter-killer destroyers (DDK), radar picket destroyers (DDR) or for specialized research. Further, several GEARINGs were simply not completed with their various parts going to other GEARINGs damaged in the course of operations. The longer length GEARING class made excellent candidates for the FRAM program and while only 49 of all variants of GEARING class destroyers were scheduled for FRAM, that number eventually grew to include 80 vessels of the 98 commissioned. Of the remaining 18, 15 vessels received the MK 2 modernization. TUCKER was one of the FRAM Mark 1 ships. As is the case of most projects of this scale there was no hard and fast rule of exactly what each ship received during the overhaul as changes were made throughout the years that the modernization was carried out. Mark I, usually referred to as FRAM I, was inte nded to extend the useful life of the ships by 10 years with a complete rehabilitation of all shipboard components in hull, machinery, ASW sensors and weapons systems. This group was restricted to Gearing Class units and included the addition of such syste ms as DASH, ASROC, SQS-23 SONAR, VDS and Mark 32 torpedo tubes. One of the forward 5"/38 twin guns (Mount 52) was removed during the rebuild. Mark II, usually referred to as FRAM II, was planned to extend each ship's life by 5 years. It was a less aggressive upgrade and was used on the Sumner Class, DDR's and DDE's (3 of which were Fletcher Class). The overhaul included the addition of the DASH system but retained all three 5"/38 mounts and the addition of the Mark 32 torpedo tubes and VDS (Variable Depth Sonar).

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This photo shows LCDR P. E. Smith with the Yard Commander and worker placing a coin under the mast as it is being installed. The coin is a half dollar piece, probably a Franklin Half Dollar coin.


This ancient custom of "stepping the mast," by placing coins under the step or bottom of a ship's mast during construction, dates from antiquity. One belief from Greek Mythology is that should the ship be wrecked during passage, the coins would ensure payment of the crew's wages for their return home. Since at least the construction of USS Constitution, this tradition has been passed on as a symbol of good luck for U.S. Navy ships.

15 March 1963 was the official date TUCKER was re-designated DD 875 as she began this period of extensive rehabilitation and modernization. In the following months, while TUCKER was in the final stages of the FRAM conversion, the ship earned an EXCELLENT reputation as a ship that is "smart, ship shape, and on the ball". TUCKER also received the DASH Drone Helicopter complete with the DASH helo hanger. The picture shows A Gyrodyne QH-50C UAV departing the U.S. Navy Destroyer, USS Hazelwood (DD 531), on an antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) training mission, armed with two MK-44 acoustic homing torpedoes. The QH-50C UAV was guided by a human pilot to the target area using the Ship's Radar system. The pilot was the sonar operator located on the launching ship. Target Acquisition was achieved using the ship's AN/SQS-23 Sonar system. The FRAM MK 1 for TUCKER included the ASROC. The ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) was the U.S. Navy's main ship-borne standoff anti-submarine weapon from the mid-1950s to the 1980s. In June 1963, the ASROC was designated as RUR-5A. In 1965 the MK 46 lightweight torpedo replaced the MK 44 as the conventional ASROC payload. The SPS-40 Air search radar and the SPS-10 surface search radars were also installed at the shipyard. At the time, the SPS-40 was the most advanced (solid state and digital electronics) and accurate long distance (more than 250 nautical miles) radar in general Navy service. It became the preferred Air Search radar for Naval ships for the next 30 years.

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TUCKER personnel maintained their outstanding reputation by consistently ranking number 1 among all the FRAM ships undergoing overhaul in Boston. This was evidenced by weekly material inspection by shipyard officers. Some of the crew witnessed the commissioning of the new guided missile cruiser USS Harry E. Yarnell (DLG 17) on 2 February 1963, while in the Charlestown Navy shipyard. The USS CONSTITUTION "Old Iron sides" moored at the gate of the Charlestown Naval Shipyard was a daily sight for TUCKER crew, as they would pass it on their way out of the shipyard and into Boston for liberty. The USS CONSTITUTION is the oldest commissioned ship in the US Navy. Annually, in association with the 4th of July festivities, the ship (towed by tugboat) makes a tour of the Boston harbor area. TUCKER crew began to "grow" as new sailors came aboard. The ship's complement grew from 5 Officers and 140 men to 12 Officers and 224 men by the time the yard period came to an end. 23 September 1963-- CDR B. C. WILCOX, Jr., USN relieved LCDR P. E. SMITH and became the TUCKER's thirteenth commanding officer. TUCKER's first sea trial finally came in October. TUCKER departed the shipyard out to sea, and the day was spent doing various maneuvers at different speeds. One such maneuver was called a "crash back". The ship, at flank speed, would be brought to full astern, until the ship would come to a full stop. TUCKER returned to the shipyard around 1900 hours, and while making the approach to the pier, the order is given to reverse one of the screws. The engine rooms (forward and aft) normally receive numerous changes of speed. This is done using what are called Standard Bells. (This is Standard Operating Procedure for entering and leaving port.) During this time the right Indicator broke loose from the handle for the Starboard Shaft on the Bridge Engine Order Telegraph, but the handle remained functional. The Engine Order Telegraph receiver in the Forward Engine room remained at 2/3 Ahead. As the ship was approaching the pier rather fast, the Bridge ordered both shafts Full Astern. The order was answered by the After Engine Room (Port Shaft crew), but because of the malfunction, the Forward Engine room crew continued to proceed at 2/3 Ahead. It was at this time the Bridge noticed the problem but by that time it was too late to stop the ship from hitting the pier. The pier sustained minor damage, but TUCKER had to go back into dry dock to repair damages to the sonar dome. This repair took more than a week. A hearing into the situation was held shortly after TUCKER tied up. It was determined not to be anyone's fault, strictly a mechanical failure. This full investigation took place immediately and nobody left his assigned sea detail until it was completed, which was near 2400 hours. A pin holding the handle on the engine order telegraph had sheared off when the handle was moved from forward to back. By the time the engine room got the message, via sound powered phone, and the screw was reversed, TUCKER had already hit the pier.

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While TUCKER was in the Charlestown Naval Shipyard in the afternoon 22 November 1963, the bad news came about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas. Vice President L. B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President. TUCKER was still in the yard at the time, and the crew was still berthed in the base barracks or other military housing. The order came quickly for the duty crew to place the TUCKER flag at halfmast. Word spread fast about the events in Dallas, and any sense of normal operations were suspended while the news was unfolding on TV. The people of the metropolitan area of Charlestown and Boston were just as shocked. Some businesses closed, and others went through the motions of being in business, but all kept their attention to the fast breaking national news. We would all quickly learn that it was the same everywhere in the country.

The remainder of the year was used to put the final touches on TUCKER, and to allow leave periods for the crew to celebrate the holidays with their families. The coming of the New Year promised to be an exciting new adventure for all aboard this ship with refurbished propulsion, new weapons, and the latest in communications and electronic detection systems.

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TUCKER departed Boston on 7 January 1964, having completed the 13-month FRAM overhaul, a new ship from the main deck up and possessing some of the most advanced weapons systems afloat. She stopped at the Earle New Jersey ammo supply depot to re-arm, then continued south. TUCKER arrived at Norfolk about noon the following day. She stayed overnight, long enough to take on fuel and stores. Getting underway early in the morning of the 9th, she continuing to the Panama Canal. TUCKER was enroute for a little over 4 days. The weather along the way was uncharacteristically cool and rough. TUCKER arrived at the Atlantic entrance at Cristobal Canal Zone in the evening of 13 January 1964. TUCKER entered the first lock of the Panama Canal on 14 January, heading back to the familiar waters of the Pacific to rejoin the Seventh Fleet.


For quite some time, there existed a nationalistic feeling from many Panamanians that the United States treated the Canal as exclusively their own. On 9 January students took to the streets for three days, clashing with local police to protest that the Panamanians were not given enough say about the affairs of the Canal. The US Military in Panama was on high alert at this time. One such particular was that the flag of Panama was only flown at one location along the canal. Although the unrest seemed to be over by the time TUCKER arrived at the canal, tensions were still in the air, and shore liberty for US Military personnel was severely restricted.

TUCKER anchored out for the evening at the northwest entrance to the canal. The next morning she entered the Gatun Lock to begin the 8-hour trip to the Pacific side. She was lifted through three locks to the artificially created Gatun Lake by one of the world's largest earthen dams. Near the south end of the canal, the continental divide was crossed after which TUCKER passed through three more locks, lowering her down to the Pacific Ocean side of the canal. TUCKER stopped overnight at the pier at Rodman Naval Station at Balboa. Liberty that night was only allowed at the Naval Station club and recreation facilities. The following day, TUCKER took on fuel and stores for her continued journey. That same afternoon, TUCKER's softball team played a game against the team from USS George K. Mackenzie (DD 836). MACKENZIE was also heading back to the west coast after undergoing FRAM modernization at the Brooklyn Naval shipyard. After a rocky start, TUCKER's softball team easily won the game. Departing the canal early in the morning of 16 January on the way northwest to Long Beach, TUCKER, steaming independently, made a three-day visit to Acapulco Mexico. Arriving in Acapulco's harbor on January 19, TUCKER stayed for three days. This photo of TUCKER anchored in Acapulco Bay, was taken from an Acapulco hillside. During this visit to Acapulco, many local citizens visited the ship as guests of some of the crewmembers.

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The trip north on the Pacific side was much more calm, warm and sunny. This allowed topside work to be done, and even a bit of sunbathing. TUCKER arrived in Long Beach on 28 January 1964. More new crew additions and returns from classroom training and leave periods filled the next 4 weeks. Although Long Beach was the new homeport for TUCKER, she began her refresher training out of San Diego. 24 February 1964 marked the beginning of refresher training for the next six weeks. Training covered all phases of destroyer operations, which was completed on 3 April 1964. TUCKER would head out to the San Diego training area on Monday, Typically stopping at the San Clemente Island anchorage area overnight. The training with other ships then would continue the next day. They would train all week, arriving back in San Diego on Friday for a liberty weekend. This cycle of training would begin again on the following Monday morning.

During this refresher training, TUCKER made rendezvous

with USS Ernest G. Small (DDR 838) to transfer by highline aboard another new TUCKER sailor. In early May, TUCKER transferred from her training port to Long Beach. During her stay in San Diego and then Long Beach, the final polish was put to men and machines during four months of refresher training and exercises. The training, besides the usual ship maneuvers, UNREPS, and various drills, the equipment, weapons, and electronics were all expected to be kept in tip-top shape. The heavy Monday thru Friday schedule made the crew bone weary, and liberty was a welcome respite. When the call came, TUCKER was ready for WESTPAC, as a unit of Destroyer Squadron 3, the new " Asiatic Squadron", to be home ported in Yokosuka, Japan for two years. TUCKER, USS Rupertus (DD 851), USS Orleck (DD 886), and USS George K. Mackenzie (DD 836) became the re -formed DESDIV 32. TUCKER participated in a 4 day ASW exercise with ORLECK, RUPERTUS, MACKENZIE, and USS Ernest G. Small (DD 838) on 13 April 1964. Each ship, in turn, became guide; in a columnar (1000 yard separation) night operation under darken ship conditions. Some time in late April, TUCKER took part in a search and rescue effort to find evidence of two fighter jets that had collided in midair. In May, TUCKER hosted a dependent's cruise for family members. This is usually the last scheduled home event before an extended overseas deployment. TUCKER spent her final few days alongside the destroyer tender USS Isle Royale (AD 29) for last minute boiler and other repairs before deployment. Final preparations completed, TUCKER and MACKENZIE left for their new home on 23 May 1964. About 1 day before arriving in Pearl Harbor, the Captain of MACKENZIE who had rank over TUCKER, stopped for swim call. The two ships stopped, lowered their motor whale boats, and men armed with M1 rifles patrolled for sharks. This picture left shows TUCKER's swim call with the "Shark Patrol" at ready. The rope net was draped over the side, and many sailors participated. Most were surprised at how warm the water was so far out into the Pacific. TUCKER and MACKENZIE stopped for a threeday visit to Pearl Harbor Hawaii on 1 June. Shown is the patch TUCKER used for this WESTPAC deployment. There was a contest on board to design the patch. Ross Scott SOG3 won the design contest and received $25.

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The two destroyers then made a refueling stop at Midway Island, and arrived in Yokosuka on June 13 for another WESTPAC tour, as a unit of Destroyer Squadron 3, the new Asiatic squadron. There was a chance to get settled, but not for long. On 30 June 1964 TUCKER undertook her first operation as a forward unit of the U. S. 7th Fleet, on patrol duty in the Taiwan Straits. Just before getting underway, LCDR Harry W. Kinsley Jr. was assigned as TUCKER's new Executive Officer. Taiwan Patrol consisted of alternating four days on patrol and three days in port for a month. Kaohsiung was the favorite port of many, who remember Ox-drawn carts, "Nancy's," pedicabs, a memorable ship's party and painting the Red Cross sponsored Kaohsiung orphanage.

TUCKER returned to Yokosuka on 4 August, only to be ordered to get underway unexpectedly the following morning.


In early 1964, the Navy was given orders to focus more attention on the coast of North Vietnam using its longstanding OPERATION DESOTO PATROL. The Desoto Patrol employed destroyers, specially fitted out to detect opponent's radio and radar signals in intelligence gathering missions outside the internationally recognized territorial waters and along the coasts of the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, and North Vietnam. In the afternoon of 2 August, in the Tonkin gulf, the Communists dispatched three Soviet-built P4 motor torpedo boats against USS Maddox (DD 731). Three torpedoes were launched, one each, from the P-4s. The MADDOX made an evasive maneuver and two of the torpedoes passed within 200 yards. As MADDOX fired back at the torpedo boats with her 5-inch guns, a direct hit sank one of the boats. In the meantime, the carrier USS Ticonderoga (CV 14) who was departing Hong Kong at the time, directed four crusader jets to the scene. Only one round from enemy deck guns hit the destroyer; it lodged in the MADDOX superstructure. The North Vietnamese naval vessels were not so fortunate. Shellfire from MADDOX hit the attackers. Then F-8 Crusader jets dispatched from the aircraft carrier TICONDEROGA strafed all three P-4s and left one boat dead in the water and on fire. The action over, MADDOX steamed toward the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin and supporting naval forces. The USS Turner Joy (DD 951) was ordered to join USS Maddox (DD 731) on 4 August, which had been fired on by three North Vietnamese torpedo boats two days before. On 6 August, TURNER JOY and MADDOX believed themselves to be engaged by North Vietnamese vessels in a foul-weather night action lasting two and a half hours. After two hours of melee wit hout contact, Captain Herrick of the MADDOX gave the order for both vessels to steam away from the Gulf of Tonkin. TUCKER headed for the Tonkin Gulf along with other ships of the 7th Fleet but had to sail into the teeth of Typhoon Kathy while on the way. Waves up to 35 feet high crashed over the bow, pounded the forward gun mount, and splashed as high as the pilothouse. The crew did a masterful job of navigating through the tail end of this vicious storm. TUCKER first made for Subic Bay for a quick retrofit of her ECM gear. An access hole was cut in the starboard side bulkhead just aft of the bridge. TUCKER took on fuel, took on stores, the yard workers swarmed all over the signalmen's shack, running antennas and their cables and putting in new racks. Then a few "special" CT's (Communication Technicians) came aboard with silver suitcases, and

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took over the shack for the duration of this mission. They ate in the shack; they slept in the shack; and spoke to no one of the crew. They were on board to monitor North Vietnamese radio traffic, radar locations and signatures for use in possible future air strikes. On 9 August, the crew, at general quarters, entered the gulf watching intently, via the surface and air search radars, and the sonar, for any sign of hostile activity. TURNER JOY and MADDOX had long departed the Tonkin Gulf, and TUCKER did not know what to expect. The surface search radar and the sonar revealed suspicious echoes, but after evaluating the passive sonar "ears", these were interpreted as a school of fish and a flock of hungry sea gulls. This, then, was the determinative start, the beginning of the intensified war effort in Vietnam. And it was the beginning of TUCKER's continuous weeks at sea and continuous months away from her homeport. The fall of 1964 was spent almost continuously on special operations in the South China Sea, with some upkeep time in Subic Bay, Philippines. At sea operations were with TASK GROUP 77.5, steaming with USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14), USS Joseph Strauss (DDG 16), and USS Orleck (DD 886).

In Mid-October, TUCKER returned to Subic Bay for some much-needed repairs. A scheduled one-week stay stretched to almost three-weeks as spare parts needed were not available and needed to be flown in. At this time, while in

Subic, three sailors from South Korea, LTJG Chun Sik Song, Chung Won GM2, and Chun Sol, FT2 came aboard for training to gain some of the professional knowledge their young Navy needed. They stood watch alongside the crew and of course imparted much knowledge about their own Navy customs and traditions. Subic, the port TUCKER came to visit often with the mixed feelings of delight, for some, disappointment for others. The crew experienced beautiful tropical weather, Binictican golf course, the skeet range, Grande Island, and of course, Olongapo, which can only be described by the eye of the beholder. During this visit, TUCKER was host ship to the HMS Dido (F 104), a British destroyer, with fun and close rapport for all. A softball game was organized between the DIDO and TUCKER. Unfortunately, the TUCKER team lost the game. On 27 October, TUCKER again got underway to resume operations in the South China Sea. After four more weeks of at-sea operations, TUCKER was given a break, and she made a short visit to Hong Kong. This was the first time most of the crew visited Hong Kong. It was a time to have custom tailored clothes made, a time to visit Victoria Peak, eat a great dinner at the Aberdeen floating restaurant and see the unique sights Tiger Balm Gardens. Of course, the holiday season was not far off, and much Christmas shopping was done. This photo was taken of the Tiger Balm Gardens hillside in Hong Kong in November 1964. After 3 days in Hong Kong, TUCKER participated in a very impressive CINCPACFLT weapons demonstration near the Philippines with four aircraft carriers, about 12 destroyers, two cruisers, and a few submarines. This show was a demonstration for Washington's Navy Brass. The aircraft from the carriers put on quite a show.

Finally, TUCKER headed back home for Yokosuka. The weather turned much cooler as TUCKER headed north with quite choppy seas on the way home. Arriving on 3 December, the crew spent a month of holiday leave period interspersed with various exercises and Administrative and NTPI inspections. This time, TUCKER was back in

Yokosuka for a longer period. TUCKER initially was moored to the outboard of the destroyer tender USS Markab (AD 21). During this holiday period, as each of the ships would take their turn at repairs from MARKAB, the ships would change position. The stack was variously 2 to 4 ships including USS Orleck (DD 886), USS Leonard F. Mason (DD 852), USS Higbe (DD 806), USS Ernest G Small (DD 838) and USS Joseph Strauss (DDG 16). The senior ship in port was the flagship of the 7th fleet, USS Oklahoma City (CLG 5). Embarked in OKLAHOMA CITY as SOPA was Captain H. A. Seymour. Other ships present in Yokosuka were the supply ship USS Mars (AFS 1), and, along with various other Coast Guard and yard craft.

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Yokosuka is the 7th Fleet's gateway to Japan; Tokyo, and Mt. Fuji, skiing at Nikko, Leave in Kyoto or Yokohama, "Thieves Alley" - a variety of activities to satisfy all interests, including more Christmas shopping for family and friends back home. A regular holiday occurrence for TUCKER when she celebrated the holidays in a foreign land was the orphan's party. This time, fifty orphans from a home in Yokohama joined the crew on Christmas Eve for refreshments entertainment and presents. Alonzo V. Smith GMGSN made a great Santa Clause, and the TUCKER 6-piece "combo" provided the music. Many of the officers and crew pitched in their time and legwork to decorate, secure presents, and to assure a good time for all. Also, during this holiday period, the TUCKER athletic teams fared well against other ships berthed in Yokosuka. TUCKER had teams participating in basketball, bowling, and boxing.

To continue the History of USS Henry W. Tucker (DD 875), select History years 1965-1969.

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