Upon completion of the regular overhaul in Long Beach Naval Shipyard four days underway, 12 - 15 February, were devoted to independent ship exercises to re-acquaint personnel with at sea evolutions and equipment, new and old. Ammunition was taken on baord at Seal Beach, California on 16 February 1968.
Commencing 17 February 1968 and ending on 21 February 1968, WADDELL participated in a five day FAST System evaluation with the USS HALEAKALA (AE 25) under the control of DEPCOMOP TEVPORPAC in conjunction with Project C/S-39.
Approximately 60 missiles were transferred during this evolution period in day and night time hours, fair weather and foul. WADDELL was in alongside station for twenty-six houors during this time.
Following a brief import Long Beach period, missile qualification tests commenced. WADDELL was underway for MSQT during the time frames of 26 - 29 February, 4 - 7 March and 11 - 14 March. Three missiles were fired in the period of 12 - 14 March and were all evaluated as successful.
Following MSQT, WADDELL returned to Long Beach for a two week upkeep period prior to commencing refresher training (REFTRA).
On 29 March, the ship departed Long Beach and proceeded to San Diego for a six week refresher training under the operational control of COMTRAPAC and COMFLETRAGRU San Diego.
REFTRA officially commenced 1 April with the ship in port for a week at bouy #15 in San Diego harbor. Class room facilities of ASW school and FLETRAGRU were utilized to prepare for the underway schedule to follow.
On Monday, 8 April, WADDELL commenced the underway phase of REFTRA. During April and half of May most of the days were spent at sea in the southern California (SOCAL) operating areas conducting an intensive training program. Weekend liberty was available in San Diego.
The Training was comprehensive, covering all evolutions that WADDELL would encounter in a peace or wartime environment. Areas of emphasis and evaluation included Ship Control, Navigation, CIC, Communications, Electronics, Gunnery, Missiles, Engineering, Damage Control, Casualty Control, and ASW.
The REFTRA final battle problem was successfully completed 17 May and the ship sailed for her home port of Long Beach, where on the 18th she sommenced upkeep through 2 June.
During this in port period, Pre-Deployment, Administrative, Supply, Engineering and other readiness inspections were conducted.
WADDELL participated in COMPTUEX 10-68, 3 - 7 June in company with USS BERKELEY (DDG 15), USS FECHTELER (DD 870) AND USS PRESTON (DD 795). Underway training in the SOCAL operating areas was conducted in ASW, EW, Surface Warfare and Naval Gunfire Support. Following the COMPTUEX all hands enjoyed a four day port visit in San Francisco prior to returning to Long Beach on 14 June.
Exercise "Bearer Burden", STRIKEX 2-68, was the final formal pre-deployment training for WADDELL. From 23 June through 2 July attack carrier strike group operations were conducted in the waters off the Southern California coast and at San Clemente Island. Participants in the STRIKEX included USS HANCOCK (CVA 19), USS OKLAHOMA CITY (CLG 5) and the destroyers JOSEPH STRAUSS, DECATUR, FOX, CARPENTER, JENKENS, WALKER, BRUSH, SAMUEL N. MOORE, HARRY E. HUBBARD, LEONARD F. MASON, ORLECK and BRINKLEY BASS. Major training areas included AAW, ASW, NGFS, Surface Warfare and replenishment operations.
During STRIKEX 2-68, WADDELL was also assigned the task of conducting an operational test and evaluation of the USR01 Digital Passive Receiver. (ECM equipment) From 3 - 14 July WADDELL spent her final days in Long Beach in pre-overseas movement preparation.
On 15 July WADDELL bid farewell to the pleasures of Southern California and with COMDESDIV THIRTY-TWO embarked and in company with USS ARNOLD J. ISBELL (DD 869) sailed from Long Beach harbor for the Western Pacific.
Logistics stops were made at Pearl Harbor 20 July and Midway Island 25 July. Friday, 26 July was not observed as the ship crossed the International Dateline on the final transit to Yokosuka.
Effective 1 August, WADDELL's home port became Yokosuka with her arrival in Japan on that date. The next two weeks were devoted to upkeep in Yokosuka preparing for her first operational employment in the South China Sea.
After logisitics stops in Kaohsiung and Subic, the ship entered the Vietname conflict on 26 August providing gunfire support in South Vietnam. This first tour on the Gunline was completed on 7 September after supplying support for troops in I and IV Corps and expending 974 rounds of 5"/54 caliber ammunition. WADDELL in company with USS HENRY W. TUCKER (DD 875) delivered Naval gunfire in North Vietnam 28 August as a unit of Sea Dragon Forces.
Following a five day upkeep in Subic Bay, the ship returned to the Gunline 16 September with COMDESRON THIRTEEN embarked. This tour was spent at the vicinity of the Demilitarized Zone proving support for the Third Marine Division and serving as flagship for the NGFS Task Unit Commander (CTU 70.8.9). The ship expended 4,905 rounds of ammunition in 29 days during this NGFS employment.
On 22 September WADDELL was utilized in a SAR mission while operating off the Demilitarized Zone in company with USS ST PAUL (CA 73). At about 0145 an attack bomber splashed close to WADDELL. WADDELL closed to within 5,000 yards of the mouth of the Cua Viet River, South Vietnam, in the dead of the night to rescue a downed Air Force navigator-bombardier, while ST PAUL recovered the pilot. Both pilot and co-pilot were in excellent physical condition and were returned the next day via helicopter to their base.
WADDELL departed the Demilitarized Zone area 14 October and after a fuel stop in Buckner Bay returned to home port 19 October.
November arrived and the ship was underway for a return to Vietnam Demilitarized Zone waters again in support of the Third Marines and as flagship for the NGFS Commander. After a five day port visit to Hong Kong, she arrived 13 November and remained until 1 December. This tour the Marines called for 845 rounds of ammunition.
WADDELL's primary commitment in the Vietnam War has been to Naval Gunfire Support, however, during the week of 2 - 6 December, she steamed in company with USS CORAL SEA (CVA 43) and USS RANGER (CVA 61) providing rescue destroyer services on Yankee Station for the Attack Carrier Strike Group.
On 7 December the ship commenced an independent transit from Yankee Station and on 13 December arrived in Yokosuka for upkeep extending through the end of the year.
Calendar year 1968 opened with WADDELL in the final month of a regular Shipyard overhaul at Long Beach Naval Shipyard. The Weapons Department received a significant number of major alterations during this period. In the missile system, the fire control radars were converted to AN/SPG 51C, and the capability to test TARTAR missiles and to handle missile components were removed. The ship received a load out of certified "no test" TARTAR retrofit (RIM 24C) missiles, but is now also configured to fire the more advanced medium range standard missiles (RIM 66A). The FAST (Fast Automatic Shutter Transfer) station was installed for transfer of missiles at sea. In the ASW area, an ASROC magazine was installed, and the Sonar received a major conversion to AN/SQS-23F, including TRAM (Training and Maintenance) package. In the deck area, PROBE fueling at sea stations were added at both forward and after fueling stations. Upon completion of the yard period and weapons COT (Consolidated Operability Tests) in late February, the ship got underway for SQAT (Ship's Qualification and Acceptance Trails) for the missile battery. Three missiles were fired on 12 and 14 March with three successes resulting, one a direct hit on the drone. Also during the SQAT period, WADDELL went through an extensive trial of the FAST missile transfer at sea gear with USS HALEAKALA (AE 25).
The next major evolution was Refresher Training. REFTRA was held 1 April - 17 May at San Diego. Two ASROC's and one ASW Torpedo were fired on 9 April. Upon completion of REFTRA, the ship returned to Long Beach getting underway on 3 June for COMPTUEX, during which one ASROC and one torpedo were fired. Following COMPUTEX, the participated in STRIKEX 2-68, during which WADDELL fired one torpedo on 30 June and nine TARTAR missiles, two on 29 June and seven more on 2 July. The ship returned to port on 3 July for a brief respite, prior to deployment.
On 15 July, WADDELL departed Long Beach for the last time during 1968, heading for the Western Pacific, and her new home port of Yakosuka, Japan. After stops in Pearl Harbor and Midway, she steamed into Yokosuka on 1 August.
During the remainder of 1968, WADDELL was called upon to provide Naval Gunfire Support to troops ashore in South Vietnam during the following periods: 26 August- 7 September, 16 September - 14 October and 14 November - 1 December. A brief period on operation Sea Dragon, bombarding the coast of North Vietnam was highlighted in the first gunline period, and from 1 December - 6 December.
Stack drains continue to be a problem. The existing piping system was renewed using copper-nickel pipe and the pitch of the runs increased in an attempt to improve drainage. The corrosion problem appears to be solved, however, the drains are continually clogged. Unclogging of the drains requires extensive man hours to remove and clear the piping at each fireside cleaning. Deterioration of the aluminum star fins in the upper rows of the economizers is believed to be caused by wet soot accumulated as a direct result of plugged stack drains. The area affected is the top three rows of tubes and about eighteen inches out from the economizer front.
One major casualty occured in the electric plant resulting in the loss of one ship's service generator for about a month. In September a magnetic amplifier burned up. This item is not part of the COSAL and had to be procured on contract with a five month lead time; delivery is expected in January 1969. Interim repairs were affected by the Ship Repair Facility, Yokosuka and the generator restored to full capability in October. Other than that mentioned above, the Electrical and Interior Communications equipments are in excellent condition and have operated well throughout the year.
All in all the calendar year 1968 was a good year for the Engineering Department. The shop departed Long Beach, California 15 July 1968 for a change of home port to Yokosuka, Japan. The operating schedule since then has called for approximately seventy per cent of the time underway, operating with units of the SEVENTH Fleet in South East Asia. All commitments have been made and with the maximum work being accomplished during limited upkeep periods, the Engineering plant has been maintained in excellent condition.
the antenna from rotating, water and corrosion collecting in the junction box on the antenna platform, and arcing in the coax lines which required a replacement to be manufactured by Ship Repair Facility, Yokosuka.
The AN/SRC-20 UHF receiver has been the major problem in the communications field. Frequency multiplier oscillators were difficult to obtain. WADDELL suffered several PA stage failures during 1968 and even after receipt of the parts many mechanical faults and alignment difficulties were experienced. The two new R-1051/URR receivers were installed replacing two older R-390/URR's. The operation, to date, has been very good and no corrective maintenance has been required.
The TACAN, (URN-20), when operating, has been very dependable; but when down, it has always been a major evolution to repair. Most of the problems have centered around KGM power supply, klystrons and re-transmitting of the challenge pulse. Supply support has been a problem in that the URN-20 is supported through private contract with ITT Avionics an not through Navy Supply Systems.
WADDELL operated with the YANKEE Station carrier team, a welcome change of pace. In all, WADDELL expended over 8800 rounds of ammunition at enemy positions during 1968, participated in over fifty underway replenishments to take on fuel, ammunition, stores, and twice, to transfer personnel to hospital ships for medical attention. Between the gunline periods WADDELL squeezed in trips to Subic Bay, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung and Buckner Bay.
During the year, the following traffic volume was handled:
Total Broadcast messages screened 500,000
Total Incoming Messages 7,286
Total Outgoing Messages 4,897
During the year, an additional KY-8 secure UHF voice installation was placed in operation by ship's force. We also received a KY-8/VRC-46 secure FM voice installation. In October, two R-390 HF receivers were replaced by two R-1051B's. These new receivers have significantly improved the ship's broadcast reception. In November, additional broadcast reception improvement was obtained by the installation of an amidship's long wire antenna.
During the past year the ship's training program has continued in an effective and well organized manner. The Planning Board for Training has effectively guided the training program of the ship utilizing all means available, on board and ashore, to further develope potential and practical ability.
The Plan of the Day has been utilized as an effective vehicle for the dissemination of information on training such as Damage Control, NBC Warfare and general safety. It has also been utilized to disseminate general information such as career and reenlistment incentives, shipboard regulations and other items of current interest such as the HUBBELL Pay Plan.
With the change of home port to Yokosuka, Japan, the lack of team training and individual formal training facilities have become apparent. To help alleviate this problem, shipboard training has taken on the added burden of team training in areas such as Anti-Air Warfare. An example of this was when the ship was assigned to gunfire support immediately south of the Demilitarized Zone, it participated passively in an Anti-Air Warfare exercise conducted one hundred miles north, in the Gulf of Tonkin.
To alleviate the problem resulting from the lack of off ship individual training, an increased emphasis has been placed on Damage Control and PMS/MDC training on board. The ship has obtained quotas for Damage Control and PMS/MDC courses when available ashore, as well. The combination of the theoretical knowledge gained ashore and practical knowledge gained on board ship has greatly enhanced the general proficiency level of the crew.
The electronics intelligence/ECM training facilities ashore in Yokosuka, Japan have been utilized furing each inport period. This has resulted in the maintenance of a high level of knowledge by all Radarmen on the ECM field. Kudos from the PACOMELINT Center regarding the quality of our reports are received regularly. Air services have been effectively utilized whenever the ship has transitted from Yokosuka to the South China Sea. Naha Naval Air Station has been very obliging and as a result the air controllers have maintained their qualification without difficulty.
Due to at sea assignments, certain training requirements have not been fulfilled. Some ASW, Surface to Surface and Surface to Air gunnery requirements have not been accomplished.
Although training facilities are not readily available in the Western Pacific, it has been shown that a productive training program can be established and managed. Success in this instance is dependent upon the conscientious effort by the Planning Board for Training to utilize shore school quotas to the maximum extent possible, coupled with a vigorous on board training program.
1 January - 11 February Regular Overhaul in Long Beach Naval Shipyard
12 - 15 February Independent Ship Exercises
17 - 21 February Participated in five day FAST System evaluation with USS HALEAKALA (AE 25)
26 February - 14 March Underway for Missile Qualification
15 March - 28 March Upkeep in Long Beach, California
29 March Commence Refresher Training (REFTRA)
15 April WADDELL comes under Administrative Command of Destroyer Division THIRTY-TWO
17 May Finished Refresher Training
18 May - 2 June Upkeep in Long Beach. During this period, Pre-Deployment, Administrative, Supply, Engineering and Readiness Inspections were conducted.
3-7 June Conducted COMPTUEX in SOCAL operation areas. Training in ASW, EW, Surface Warfare and Naval Gunfire Support.
8 - 12 June Import San Francisco, California
14 - 22 June Upkeep in Long Beach
23 June - 2 July Participated in STRIKEX, major training in AAW, ASW, Surface Warfare and Replensihment Operations.
3 - 14 July Upkeep prior to deployment to WESTPAC
15 July - 1 August Transit to Yokosuka, Japan with Logistic stops at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 20 July and Midway Island, 26 July.
1 August Arrived new home port, Yokosuka, Japan
26 August After logistics stops at Kaohsiung, Taiwan and Subic Bay, Philippine Islands; WADDELL entered the Vietnam conflict.
26 August - 7 September First tour of Gunline in I and IV Corps area. On 28 August fired in North Vietnam as a unit of Sea Dragon Forces.
16 September - 14 October After five days upkeep in Subic Bay, Philippine Islands returned to Gunline with Commander Destroyer Squadron THIRTEEN embarked as Naval Gunfire Support Task Unit Comander.
15-18 October Transit to Yokosuka, Japan with fuel stop at Buckner Bay, Okinawa.
19 October - 1 November Upkeep in Yokosuka, Japan
2 - 12 November Transit to Gunline with five day stop in Hong Kong
13 November - 1 December On the Gunline with Commander Destroyer Squadron THIRTEEN embarked as Naval Gunfire Support Task Unit Commander.
2-6 December Plane Guard on Yankee Station for the Attack Carrier Strike Group.
7 - 12 December Transit to Yokosuka, Japan
13-31 December Import for upkeep Yokosuka, Japan
TOTAL MILES STEAMED IN 1968 .....................56,181
1. During the past year WADDELL has been manned, for the most part, at about 90% of her Enlisted Distribution Plan as established by Enlisted Personnel Distribution Office, U.S. Pacific Fleet. There were no major problems during the first part of 1968. As the time neared in mid-July 1968 for WADDELL to change her home port from Long Beach, California to Yokosuka, Japan, a few minor problems did develop concerning the transfer of married personnel who were either not entitled to transportation of their dependents or were unable to be "command-sponsored" due to domestic problems. Some of these personnel were transferred prior to the ship's home port change, however in some cases they were replaced by personnel in the same category. Thus WADDELL was faced with the immediate problem of transferring the afore-mentioned personnel to prevent prolonged separation from their families (approximately 2 years) which, it was felt, would be disasterous for career retention, especially first termers. By September 1968 arrangements had been made with EPDOPAC for the eventual transfer of these men back to U.S. home ported ships (in no case would separation be more than 1 year). WADDELL was at 93% of EDP at the end of the calendar year1968. Generally speaking the ship has been successful in resolving personnel problems through direct liaison with EPDOPAC. There were no major problem areas concerning officer personnel. WADDELL has been utilizing the Long Range Training and Replacement Program (LORTARP) as an effective tool of officer personnel management.
(a) First Term Reenlistment Percentages - 12 1/2%
(b) Career Reenlistment Percentages - 41 2/3%
3. Transfers and Receipts:
(a) Transferred for separation - 7
(b) Other regular transfers - 196
(c) Receipts in 1968 - 214
(d) Separated on board - 42
(a) Transferred for separation - 3
(b) Other regular transfers - 11
(c) Receipts for 1968 - 15
During 1968, WADDELL personnel received numerous awards and letters of commendation. The great majority of the awards listed below were earned while serving in this command, however, some were received for performance in previous commands. Examples of the more noteworthy letters of commendation are contained in the annex section of this history. The total numbers of awards presented for the year:
32 Good Conduct Awards
11 Letters of Commendation
3 Meritorious Unit Citations
3 Navy Unit Citations
2 Navy Achievement Medals