Upon completion of her annual upkeep period at U. S. Naval Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan, on January 7, WADDELL got underway for the Republic of Vietnam. After a day's training in the operating areas off Okinawa on 9 January and a brief stop for fuel in Kao-hsiung, Taiwan on 11 January, WADDELL proceeded directly to I Corps, RVN, arriving 14 January.
After firing only two missions in support of the 101st Airborne Division in I Corps, the ship was diverted to the IV Corps area to fire in support of the 9th and 7th ARVN Divisions from 17-30 January.
WADDELL departed the gunline on 30 January and after a brief stop for fuel at Buckner Bay, Okinawa on 2 February, arrived in Yokosuka, Japan on 4 February. After a period of upkeep, the ship once again headed south for the RVN on 22 February with a brief two-day stop in Kao-hsiung on the 25th and 26th of February.
She arrived in RVN on 1 March and remained in II Corps for one week and fired 12 night harassment missions in support of Task Force Couth. On 7 March, WADDELL moved to IV Corps and fired 41 missions in support of the 7th and 9th ARVN Divisions in the Mekong Delta. WADDELL departed IV corps on 19 March, then was assigned to the First Australian Task Force spotter in II Corps and fired 12 missions in the period 20 - 23 March.
On 23 March, WADDELL departed the gunline for Hong Kong and shore leave during the period 25 - 31 March. She was back on the gunline in I Corps on 1 April and then went to the IV Corps area to fire in support of the 9th ARVN Division in the Mekong Delta and the 21st ARVN Division in the Gulf of Siam. She fired 11 missions from 3 to 8 April. Upon moving to II Corps, WADDELL fired in support of the 101st Airborne Division in Operation Sheridan and the 2nd Battalion, 44th ARVN Regiment until 16 April and accumulated 15 missions.
On 16 April, WADDELL was diverted to join the newly organized Task Force 71 in the Sea of Japan off North Korea as a result of the Navy EC-121 incident. Departing the gunline on 17 April at 22 knots, she refueled at Buckner Bay and joined Task Force 71 in the Tsushima Straits on 20 April. She escorted the carriers USS TICONDEROGA (CVA 14) and USS RANGER (CVA 61) in the Sea of Japan until detached on 27 April. From there WADDELL proceeded to Yokosuka arriving on the afternoon of 28 April.
WADDELL departed Yokosuka on 12 May for RVN arriving 18 May after a fuel stop at Subic Bay, Philippine Islands. She supported the 5th Mobile Strike Force on Phu Quoc Island in the Gulf of Siam. Nine missions were fired against VC base camps and infiltration points in support of Operation Javelin. Completing this operation on 23 May, WADDELL was again assigned to the Mekong Delta area in support of the 9th and 7th ARVN Divisions. She fired 19 missions against VC bunkers, structures, AA sites and supply routes. On the morning of 1 June she was detached to proceed to Singapore.
WADDELL detoured to cross the equator at 00 00' N, 105 25 E at 022000H June. She arrived in Singapore on the morning of 3 June, and remained there until 7 June. At this time, she proceeded to Yankee Station and joined Task Group 77.4 on 10 June. WADDELL escorted USS ENTERPRISE (CVA (N) 65) during strike operations until 16 June and during the carrier's transit to Subic Bay. On 17 June, WADDELL was detached from Task Group 77.4 and after a fuel stop in Buckner Bay on 20 June, headed for Yokosuka, arriving 22 June.
In Yokosuka on 8 July, CDR Peter K. CULLINS relieved CDR Lyle O. ARMEL as Commanding Officer. On 11 July, WADDELL got underway and set course for RVN. After a brief fuel stop at Buckner Bay, she arrived in the I Corps area on 16 July. She remained in the area between Cape Batangan and the DMZ until 4 August and fired 40 missions in support of the First Marine Division, the 2nd ROK Marines, the First Air Calvary Division, the 26th Marine Regiment, and the 173rd Airborne Division. Waddell moved south to II Corps on 5 August in the vicinity of Qui Nhon to fire 12 missions in support of the 44th and 47th ARVN Regiments and the 30th ROK Regiment.
The ship departed the gunline on 11 August, spent a brief period in the Yankee Station ASW training area and arrived in Hong Kong on 13 August. After departing Honk Kong on 18 August, WADDELL proceeded to Yokosuka via Buckner Bay, Okinawa and arrived on 23 August.
WADDELL departed Yokosuka to join Task Force 71 on 2 September. She joined USS BON HOME RICHARD (CVA 31) as a part of Task Group 71.5 in Sasebo, Japan on 4 September. Upon receiving permission from CTG 71.5, WADDELL got underway the evening of 7 September to conduct ASW training with the USS POMODON (SS 486) off the S. E. coast of Kyushu. She returned to Sasebo on 9 September and for the remainder of her stay was required to maintain a high state of readiness as the mission of Task Group 71.5 was to be prepared to respond to any aggressive acts by North Korea or China in the Sea of Japan.
WADDELL sortied with Task Group 71.5 on 13 September and proceeded to Buckner Bay, where CO, BON HOMME RICHARD, turned over Task Group 71.0 to Commander Task Group 71.6, CO, USS ORISKANY (CVA 34) on 15 September. Assuming command of Oriskany's screen, WADDELL returned to Sasebo as part of Task Group 71.6, and arrived on 18 September. WADDELL departed Sasebo the evening of 24 September and arrived in Yokosuka on 26 September.
After receiving her annual Administrative Inspection, WADDELL departed Yokosuka on 3 October to escort Task Group 71.3 and the carrier USS CONSTELLATION (CVA 64) from Okinawa to Sasebo. On station as a radar picket, WADDELL arrived in Sasebo ahead of the Task Group on 7 October and after refueling, proceeded to RVN.
While passing to the west of the Ryuku Island chain, WADDELL received a message diverting her to a position between Guam and Okinawa in the northern Philippine Sea to assume surveillance of a Soviet Task Group. She met the Task Group the night of 8 October south east of Okinawa and proceeded with it until the night of 9 October at which time she was detached. WADDELL then proceeded to Subic Bay, arriving 12 October.
WADDELL departed Subic Bay on 13 October but shortly thereafter, received a message notifying her that all her 5/54 caliber ammunition had been reclassified as unserviceable as a result of a bore explosion which had occurred on another ship. WADDELL returned to Subic and with an all-hands effort, exchanged all the ammunition for serviceable rounds at the Naval Magazine, Subic.
WADDELL departed Subic and arrived in II Corps area, RVN, on 15 October where she fired 3 missions in support of ROK Marine Division in Operation Dong Bo. After proceeding to I Corps on 18 October, she fired 21 missions in support of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade, the 2nd ARVN Division, and the First Marine Division. She then departed the gunline and arrived in Yokosuka on 4 November.
WADDELL left Yokosuka on 12 November to join Task Group 71.4 and the carrier USS HANCOCK (CVA 19) near Okinawa. After proceeding with the Task Group to Sasebo, arriving 15 November, WADDELL was detached to return to Yokosuka for her annual Operational Readiness Inspection on 21 November. With this inspection completed, WADDELL commenced her planned restricted availability with SRF Yokosuka, which lasted through the end of the year.
It had been a long busy year and WADDELL had earned a rest, with 207 Days at sea and 158 days in port during 1969, of which 122 days were in her home port of Yokosuka, Japan, for an overall operating temp of 57%. For her performance during the year, she was awarded the green "E" for excellence in the Operations Department, the red "E" for Engineering excellence, and the Destroyer Squadron THREE Battle Efficiency Award as the most outstanding ship in an outstanding Squadron.
|1 - 6 Jan:||Annual upkeep at U. S. Naval Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan.|
|7 -14 Jan:||Enroute to RVN gunline with fule stop at Kao-hsiung.|
|15-30 Jan:||NGFS in RVN|
|31 Jan - 4 Feb:||Enroute to Yokosuka with fuel stop at Buckner Bay, Okinawa|
|22 - 28 Feb:||Enroute to gunline with two-day fuel stop in Kao-hsiung.|
|1-23 March:||NGFS in RVN|
|24-25 March:||Enroute to Hong Kong|
|26-31 March:||Inport Hong Kong|
|1 April:||Enroute gunline, RVN|
|2-26 April:||NGFS in RVN|
|17-27 April:||Attached to TF 71 in Sea of Japan off North Korea as a result of U. S. Navy EC-121 incident|
|28 April:||Enroute Yokosuka, Japan|
|29 April - 12 May:||Inport Yokosuka for upkeep|
|13-18 May:||Enroute RVN with brief fuel stop at Subic Bay, Philippines|
|19-31 May:||NGFS in RVN|
|1-2 June:||Enroute to Singapore|
|3-7 June:||Inport Singapore|
|8-10 June:||Enroute Yankee Station|
|11-16 June:||Attached TG 77.4 as escort for USS ENTERPRISE (CVA(N) 65)|
|17-21 June:||Detached TG 77.4, Enroute Yokosuka|
|22 June-10 July:||Inport Yokosuka for upkeep CDR Lyle O. ARMEL relived by CDR Peter K. CULLINS as Commanding officer on 8 July|
|11-15 July:||Enroute RVN with fuel stop at Bucker Bay|
|16 July-10 Aug:||NGFS in RVN|
|11-12 Aug:||Enroute Hong Kong via Yankee Station|
|13-17 Aug:||Inport Hong Kong|
|18-22 Aug:||Enroute to Yokosuka via Buckner Bay|
|23 Aug - 1 Sep:||Inport Yokosuka|
|3-4 Sep:||Enroute to Sasebo, Japan to joint TG 71.5|
|5-23 Sep:||Attached to TG 71.5 providing escort services for USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA 31) and USS ORISKANY (CVA 34). Also conducted ASW training with the USS POMODON (SS 486) on 8 and 9 September|
|24-25 Sep:||Enroute from Sasebo to Yokosuka|
|26 Sep - 2 Oct:||Inport Yokosuka; conducted annual Administrative Inspection|
|3-7 Oct:||Attached to TG 71.3 escorting USS CONSTELLATION (CVA 64) from Okinawa to Sasebo|
|8 Oct:||Detached TG 71.3 and proceeding to gunline, RVN when diverted to conduct surveillance of Soviet Task Group in the North Philippine Sea|
|9-14 Oct:||Detached from surveillance activities and enroute to RVN via Subic Bay|