1970 Command Narrative

1970 was to be a year of change in the U. S. Navy.  In addition to the famous Z-Grams, the activities of the Navy's largest force, the Seventh Fleet, underwent a remarkable evolution as a result of new forces in world events, particularly the rise of Soviet sea power and the U. S. Domestic pressure to reduce defense spending and overseas presence.  As usual, WADDELL was in on the action.

WADDELL began the year in her homeport, Yokosuka, Japan, completing her six week planned restricted availability with Ship Repair Facility Yokosuka.  On 2 January she was boarded by a team of technicians from the Naval Ship Missile System Engineering Station (NSMSES), Port Heuneme, California, and commenced her Missile Ship Qualification Trials (SQT).  After completing the in port phase of the SQT concurrently with other work in the restricted availability, WADDELL got underway on 9 January for the Okinawa OPAREAS.  She arrived in Buckner Bay on 11 January.  After a pre-firing brief WADDELL got underway the morning of 12 January for the firing phase of SQT.  After firing her missiles she remained in the Okinawa OPAREAS for type training including ASW training, anti-air gunnery and electronics warfare exercises, as well as another night in Buckner Bay on 13 January.  On 15 January the ship departed the Okinawa OPAREAS and arrived in Yokosuka the morning of 17 January.

Upon completion of upkeep on 29 January, WADDELL got underway for Subic Bay, Philippines.  During this transit she passed through the Taiwan Straits and acted as a patrol ship in the recently reorganized Taiwan Patrol, (TG 72.1).  The policy of using transiting ships as a patrol unit had been implemented in response to the reduced number of destroyers in WESTPAC which ad caused the end of assigning units exclusively to the patrol.  After a day in Subic Bay on 3 February and missile and gunnery exercises in the Subic OPAREAS, the ship departed on 4 February for Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS) duty in the Republic of Vietnam.  Completion of a 20 knot economy trial during this transit, combined with the numerous other exercises conducted earlier in the year, brought WADDELL up to a combat readiness rating of C-1 in training, a status which she would maintain for all but a few weeks of the remainder of the year.

From 6 to 11 February WADDELL operated in the I Corps area near the demilitarized zone, firing 31 missions in support of the ARVN XXIV Corps.  On the 12th we reported to II Corp for 14 missions in support of the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade and the Republic of Korea Capital Division.  These missions lasted until 15 February when the ship returned to I Corps.  WADDELL completed this gunline tour with 63 missions supporting the ARVN XXIV Corps and the U. S. America Division between 15 and 27 February.

WADDELL reported to Yankee Station the morning of 28 February for escort duty with USS CONSTELLATION enroute to Sasebo.  However, the carrier's schedule was changed during the transit, and on 4 March she headed for Yokosuka, while WADDELL detached to proceed to Sasebo.  Upon passing Okinawa the Task Group had changed to TG 71.3,  the Sea of Japan contingency of force, and WADDELL remained part of this organization, even though detached from the main body.

WADDELL's crew enjoyed the sights of Sasebo from 5 to 12 March.  On 10 March Captain H.F. WENZEL, who had just assumed duties as Commander Destroyer Division 32, embarked.  On the morning of 13 March the ship departed for Hong Kong.

However, a schedule change was imminent.  As WADDELL was leaving Sasebo, a U. S. Navy Market Time Patrol aircraft spotted a North Vietnamese trawler, of the type used in infiltration of South Vietnam, near the southern tip of Vietnam.  On 14 March WADDELL was ordered to proceed to intercept the trawler.  Late on the night of the 15th, after a 20 knot run from the vicinity of Okinawa, WADDELL followed the trawler until it entered Communist Chinese territorial waters on the afternoon of the 16th.  The ship then received orders to proceed south for for more NGFS duty.

Arriving in II Corps the morning of 17 March, the ship fired two missions in support of 47th ARVN Regiment.  This was to the WADDELL's last NGFS duty during her two year deployment.  On the 18th she received orders to proceed to Hong Kong, and leaving in the early morning of 19 March, she arrived in Hong Kong on the morning of the 20th.

The ship's company had its usual enjoyable stay in the Crown Colony until 25 March, when it was time to head for home.  After a brief fuel stop in Buckner Bay, Okinawa on 27 March, and cancellation of scheduled anti-air gunnery exercises due to poor flying weather, the ship reached Yokosuka the afternoon of 29 March, exactly two months after her departure.

WADDELL was scheduled for a three week upkeep, but another test of her readiness for unexpected situations was in the offing.  During the week of 6 April Russian ships began sortieing from Soviet ports around the world for Exercise OKEAN.  At 1800 Sunday, 12 April Commodore WENZEL received orders to get underway in WADDELL as soon as possible to assume command of the U. S. Surface Surveillance Forces (TG 72.0) for the Pacific Ocean portion of the exercise.  WADDELL's engineers had the plant back together by the morning of the 13th and the last load of fresh provisions arrived at noon, as she was singling up her lines.  After a 21 knot transit she made Buckner Bay for fuel and a briefing by CTF 72 staff early in the morning of 15 April.  WADDELL was headed south to intercept the first large group of Soviet Ships, which had passed between Okinawa and Kyushu the previous night.  She caught them about midway between Guam and the Philippines.  From then until 8 May she conducted surveillance of numerous Soviet ships, including a Cruiser, Destroyers, Destroyer Escorts, Patrol Escorts, Submarines, Oilers, Tenders, and many other types.  The area of operations included the whole Philippine Sea from Guam to Honshu and from the Bonins to Okinawa.  On 8 May the last of the Soviets finally went home and WADDELL was detached to proceed to Subic Bay.

After a short exercise of opportunity with a U.S. Submarine near Okinawa, WADDELL arrived in Subic Bay the morning of 11 May.  After Vital repairs to some of its electronics equipment, the ship was underway on 15 May for Yankee station.  On this transit WADDELL added a new word to the lexicon of Naval operational terms, CHURNOPS.

On 14 April an oiler had sprung a leak in the South China Sea, and a large oil slick was moving toward the Philippines.  WADDELL was assigned to attempt to break the slick up by churning, passing through it at high speeds, making sharp turns.  Fortunately for beach lovers in the Philippines, as well as WADDELL's side cleaners, the slick was largely dissipated by the time she arrived, and after a few passes through it the ship was able to proceed to Yankee station.  The CHURNOPS technique had not had sufficient test to assess its effectiveness.

The next assignment was to have less happy results.  As she approached Yankee station WADDELL was diverted to assist in a search and rescue effort for a Navy Aircraft with three crewmen which was believed lost while approaching Danang from Yankee station.  After searching with three other ships and several aircraft through the night of 16 May and the morning of the 17th, WADDELL found the crash site, and recovered the remains of one of the crew.  The other two crewmen were never found.  The SAR commander detached WADDELL to deliver the crewman's body and a large amount of crash debris to Danang on the evening of the 17th.

The ship reported to Yankee station 18 May and commenced escort duties for USS CORAL SEA  in TG 77.5.  On the 25th COMDESDIV 32 shifted his pennant from WADDELL to USS G. K. MACKENZIE.  On 26 May a training period commenced for all Yankee station destroyers.  The destroyers alternated exercises in the training area, with escorting the carriers during flying hours.  WADDELL got in a great deal of training in Damage Control, ASW, Communications, Anti-Air warfare and seamanship during this period, which lasted until the 29th.  Due to a complex schedule of training services and exercise participants the destroyers did not always end up with their parent carriers during this period.  It happened that WADDELL was with USS SHANGRI-LA on the morning of the 27th when one of its A-4 Skyhawks had a malfunction while refueling in flight.  The pilot bailed out immediately and WADDELL was detached to find him.  This was quickly done despite the early morning darkness and the fact that the pilot was about ten miles away when he bailed out.  WADDELL had him aboard in less than an hour, and after a good breakfast and some medicinal brandy, he was heloed back to the SHANGRI-LA uninjured and with a new appreciation of the usefulness of destroyers.

With the training period completed, WADDELL was assigned to USS AMERICA in TG 77.3 for the remainder of her Yankee station tour, which passed without incident.

On the evening of 2 June the ship was detached, and after the usual Taiwan Patrol duty and brief fuel stop in Buckner Bay she arrived on 8 June in Kobe, Japan for the crew's long awaited visit to the Japanese Worlds Fair, EXPO - 70, in nearby Osaka.  On the 11th she sailed for Yokosuka.  With only twenty-three days upkeep in the last four and a half months, she arrived in Yokosuka on 12 June for much needed repairs.

This upkeep lasted until 22 June, on the 23rd the ship sailed for Sasebo to join TU 71.0.4.  She stayed in Sasebo, 24 and 25 June, and then sortied into the Sea of Japan on the 26th.  Sea of Japan operations lasted until 30 June, and WADDELL returned to Sasebo on 1 July.  Although scheduled to leave on the 3rd, WADDELL remained in Sasebo until 5 July to avoid a typhoon which was moving up the east side of Kyushu.  On the 5th she sailed for Yokosuka in company with USS GEORGE K. MACKENZIE, which had put into Sasebo to avoid the storm.  The ships arrived in Yokosuka on 7 July, and WADDELL commenced her last upkeep of the deployment.

On 29 July WADDELL sailed from Yokosuka with the other ships of Destroyer Squadron 3.  Only USS MAHAN remained to leave in September.  This date marked the end of the era of the Asiatic Squadron, which had seen a Destroyer Squadron homeported in Japan since the 1940's.  On 1 August WADDELL changed operational control to Commander First Fleet, after two years in the Western Pacific.

The squadron moored in Pearl Harbor the afternoon of 6 August and was underway again on the 9th.  On 15 August the squadron arrived in its new homeport, San Diego, and began its post deployment upkeep.

On 16 September the ship got underway for operation in the OPAREAS off San Diego, including type training, plane guarding for the USS RANGER and SW exercises with students from the Fleet ASW School, San Diego.  She then returned to San Diego for another long upkeep, 25 September until 23 October.  On 24 October she got underway for a dependents cruise in the San Diego vicinity.

From 25 to 29 October WADDELL conducted more training in the San Diego OPAREAS, and regained her qualification for Naval Gunfire Support operations, which had automatically lapsed when she left WESTPAC.  On 2 November WADDELL departed San Diego enroute to Port Hueneme to assist in range instrumentation tests at the Santa Cruz Acoustic Range Facility.  With the tests completed the ship proceeded, on 5 November, for a liberty weekend in San Francisco. 

A sudden schedule change required the ship to make thirty knots upon her departure from San Francisco the morning of 9 November, in order to rendezvous with USS TICONDEROGA the morning of the tenth.  After one day of plane guarding and two days of type training WADDELL returned to San Diego on 13 November for one day before resuming plane guard duties for TICONDEROGA 14-16 November.  She then had upkeep in San Diego from 17 to 29 November, and participated in Composite Training Unit Exercise 22-20 from 30 November to 3 December.  She then remained in San Diego until 10 December, when another contingent of ASW school students came aboard for one day of operations off San Diego.  The rest of the year passed uneventfully in San Diego as the ship prepared for her regular overhaul scheduled to commence 5 February 1971.

*      After this narrative was made up it was announced that WADDELL had received the "E" awards for excellence in missilery, gunnery, anti-submarine warfare, operations, and engineering for calendar year 1970 and had been awarded the battle efficiency "E" for Destroyer Squadron THREE for calendar year 1970.

25 June 1971
Commanding Officer USS Waddell DDG-24

Narratives by Department


During 1970 WADDELL was twice called upon to perform intelligence gathering missions. The first of these missions took place on 14 March when WADDELL was diverted from transit to Hong Kong, B. C. C. to relieve USS BENNER (DD-807) which had under surveillance a suspected North Vietnamese infiltration trawler of the SL-4, Lo Dieu class.

During the surveillance which was conducted in the South China Sea, 23-16"/117-50E, WADDELL closed to within 200 yards of either side of the trawler, photographing beam, quarter, and stern aspects. Upon completion of close approaches, WADDELL opened to 3000 yards astern of the trawler, remaining there until reaching a position sixteen miles from the island of Hinan. At this point, WADDELL turned northeast to parallel the coastline while the trawler continued deeper into Chinese waters. Fifteen minutes later visual contact was lost with the trawler approximately five miles from the coast. During the surveillance the trawler maintained an average speed of ten knots on a heading of 335 T until reaching territorial waters at which time she was last tracked on course 012 T.

WADDELL's second intelligence gathering mission came a month later and was far more extensive. On 13 April 1970, WADDELL was ordered to get underway from Yokosuka and begin surveillance of a Soviet naval task group heading toward the Philippine Sea. This, as it developed, was the Pacific segment of the world-wide naval exercise "OKEAN".

WADDELL first made contact with a Soviet naval vossel on the morning of 15 April and was in contact with part or all of the Soviet task group from that time until 8 May, when surveillance was terminated with the Soviet task group apparently returning to their home port of Vladivostok. At various times during the surveillance period, WADDELL was jointed by USS CALIENTE (AO-53), USS BRADLY (DE-1041), AND USS JOHN R. PERRY (DE-1034), all under the operational control of COMDESDIV 32, embarked in WADDELL.

At one time or another WADDELL observed 19 different vessels as part of the task group including eight combatants. All 19 of these vessels were approached and photographed at least once during the surveillance period. In addition, a small boat transfer, several gunnery exercises, over twenty underway refuelings, and overflights by Rear aircraft were observed.  



trouble free operation throughout the year. During the TAV at the end of the year, the Tender's repair shop noted that WADDELL's teletypes were in the best condition of any ship they had seen.

HF transmitters were the biggest problem. Although they were kept operating most of the year, they required constant maintenance. The AM/WRT 2 transmitters were particularly burdensome, due largely to heat failure.

The AN/SRC-20, AN/SRC-21, and AM/URC-9 series of UHF transceivers reliability was improved significantly over previous years, with overall down time reduced to about 15%. The AN/GRC-27 UHF transceivers were fairly reliable, with only two CASREPTS during the year.

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during the year, except as a back-up receiver for the AN/WLR-1E.

Radar Equipment

The AN/SPS-10F surface search radar continued to be one of the ship's most reliable electronics equipments. It required only minimal corrective maintenance.

The AN/SPS 40 air search radar on the other hand was very unreliable. It operated only marginally for the first few months of the year, worked very well during May and June, was marginal from July to October and inoperative for all of November and December.

The ship's IFF system was reliable during the first half of the year, but was either marginal or totally inoperative from August through December. The main cause of this failure was believed to be lack of air conditioning in the IFF room, causing widespread heat failures in the IFF system as well as in the radar switchboards. The system is scheduled for a complete overhaul during ROH, as well as, air conditioning. This system received more work, both by ship's force and repair activities than any other electronic equipment during the year.

Several radar repeaters were plagued with various problems throughout the year. The AN/SPA 50 was down for all but three months. The five AN/SPE-4 repeaters were up most of the time, but will still be replaced by AN/SPA-25's during the yard period. The AN/SPA-31 height finding repeater was also down most of the year, and will be replaced by an AN/SPA-41.


The AN/URN-20 TAGAN was highly unreliable. As with the IFF, ventillation was the most serious problem. The TAGAN will receive a complete overhaul during the yard period, and the TAGAN room will be air-conditioned.


The teletype and crypto systems were highly reliable, and provided

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The Soviet ship's observed were:

Sverdlov Class CL 834
Kotlin Class DD 418

DD 403

Rigs Class DE 810

DE 807

PCE 857

PCE 856

PCE 855

AS 965

AR 28

AT 170

AO Komsomolets Primorja

AO Pevek

AO Polyarkik

AO Yegorlik

AGSC Anadir

AGSC Zapolare

AGI Izmarital

Lentgra Class AGI CS - 34



Location of Operation Date Operation
Yokosuka 1 Jan to 9 Jan UPK
Enr Buckner Bay 9 Jan to 11 Jan1 U/W
Buckner Bay 11 Jan to 12 Jan Refuel
OPAREA HR 12 Jan to 13 Jan EXEC.
Buckner Bay 13 Jan to 14 Jan Refuel
Enr Yokosuka 14 Jan to 17 Jan U/W
Yokosuka 17 Jan to 29 Jan UPK
Enr Buckner Bay 29 Jan to 31 Jan U/W
Buckner Bay 31 Jan to 31 Jan Refuel
Enr Subic Bay 31 Jan to 3 Feb U/W
Subic Bay 3 Feb to 4 Feb Refuel/Rearm
Enr Da Nang 4 Feb to 6 Feb U/W
Da Nang 6 Feb to 6 Feb Received personnel
DMZ RVN 6 Feb to 27 Feb CPS
Enr Yankee Station 27 Feb to 28 Feb U/W
Yankee Station 28 Feb to 1 Mar CVA Ops
Enr Sasebo 1 Mar to 5 Mar U/W
Sasebo 5 Mar to 13 Mar UPK
Enr II Corps 13 Mar to 17 Mar U/W
II Corps 17 Mar to 18 Mar GFS
Enr Hong Kong 18 Mar to 20 Mar U/W
Hong Kong 20 Mar to 25 Mar Port visit
Enr Buckner Bay 25 Mar to 27 Mar U/W
Buckner Bay 27 Mar to 27 Mar Refuel
Enr Yokosuka 27 Mar to 29 Mar U/W
Yokosuka 29 Mar to 13 Apr UPK
Enr Buckner Bay 13 Apr to 15 Apr U/W
Buckner Bay 15 Apr to 15 Apr Refuel
Enr Philippine Sea 15 Apr to 16 Apr U/W
Philippine Sea 16 Apr to 8 May Special Ops
Enr Subic Bay 8 May to 11 May U/W
Subic Bay 11 May to 15 May UPK
Enr Yankee Station 15 May to 17 May U/W
Yankee Station 17 May to 2 Jun CVA Ops
Enr Buckner Bay 2 Jun to 5 Jun U/W
Buckner Bay 5 Jun to 6 Jun Refuel
Enr Kobe 6 Jun to 8 Jun U/W
Kobe 8 Jun to 11 Jun Port visit
Enr Yokosuka 11 Jun to 12 Jun U/W
Yokosuka 12 Jun to 22 Jun UPK
Enr Sasebo 22 Jun to 24 Jun U/W
Sasebo 24 Jun to 26 Jun Refuel
Enr Sea of Japan 26 Jun to 26 Jun U/W
Sea of Japan 26 Jun to 1 July Special Ops
Enr Sasebo 1 Jul to 1 Jul U/W
Sasebo 1 Jul to 5 Jul UPK
Enr Yokosuka 5 Jul to 7 Jul U/W
Yokosuka 7 Jul to 29 Jul UPK
Enr Pearl Harbor 29 Jul to 6 Aug U/W
Pearl Harbor 6 Aug to 9 Aug Refuel
Enr San Diego 9 Aug to 15 Aug U/W
San Diego 15 Aug to 16 Sep UPK
Enr SOCAL OPAREA 16 Sep to 16 Sep CVA Ops
SOCAL OPAREA 16 Sep to 24 Sep EXEL
Enr San Diego 24 Sep to 24 Sep U/W
San Diego 24 Sep to 26 Oct UPK
Enr SOCAL OPAREA 26 Oct to 26 Oct U/W
SOCAL OPAREA 26 Oct to 30 Oct EXEL
Enr San Diego 30 Oct to 30 Oct U/W
San Diego 30 Oct to 2 Nov UPK
Enr Port Hueneme 2 Nov to 3 Nov U/W
Port Hueneme 3 Nov to 5 Nov Port visit
Enr San Francisco 5 Nov to 6 Nov U/W
San Francisco 6 Nov to 9 Nov Port visit
Enr SOCAL OPAREA 9 Nov to 10 Nov U/W
SOCAL OPAREA 10 Nov to 13 Nov CVA Ops
Enr San Diego 13 Nov to 13 Nov U/W
San Diego 13 Nov to 14 Nov Port visit
Enr SOCAL OPAREA 14 Nov to 14 Nov U/W
SOCAL OPAREA 14 Nov to 16 Nov CVA Ops
Enr San Diego 16 Nov to 16 Nov U/W
San Diego 16 Nov to 30 Nov UPK
Enr SOCAL OPAREA 30 Nov to 30 Nov U/W
socal oparea 30 Nov to 4 Dec ASW, UNREP, EXEL
Enr San Diego 4 Dec to 4 Dec U/W
San Diego 4 Dec to 10 Dec UPK
Enr ASW OPAREA 10 Dec to 10 Dec U/W
ASW OPAREA 10 Dec to 10 Dec ASW
Enr San Diego 10 Dec to 10 Dec U/W
San Diego 10 Dec to 31 Dec UPK

Total miles steamed ..........................45,500




1. Tempo of Operations for 1970   49.8%
2. Days underway   182
3. Days in homeport   147
4. Days in port not homeport   36
5. Days on NGFS Duty   22
6. NGFS Missions fired   110
7. 5"/54 ammunition fired in NGFS 5,463 rds
8. Replenishments: AO's 19
    AE's 16
    AF/AFS's 1
    Total 36




1.  Complement (as of 31 December 1970):

a.  Officers


 b.  Enlisted


c.  Total

2.  Re-enlistments:  

a.  First term re-enlistment percentages


1.  Distribution according to rate and rating:  1 - FTM2, 6 - FTM3, 1 - SD3, 3 - TN, 1- RM3, 1 - EM2, 1 - ET1,1 - ETM2, 1 - D03, 1 - MM2, 1 - CMG5, 1 - EM3, 1 - SFP2, 1 - STO3, 1 - FTG2, 1 - EM2, 1 - IO3,    ?????  (CK THESE) Total


b.  Career re-enlistment percentages


1.  Distribution according to rate and rating:  2, FTMC, 1 - B01, ?????????

3.  Transfers and receipts:  

a.  Enlisted:

1.  Transfered for separation


2.  Other regular transfers


3.  Receipts in 1970


4.  Separated on board


b.  Officers:


1.  Transfered for separation


2.  Other regular transfers


3.  Receipts


4.  Legal matters:


a.  Summary Court Martials (approved by Superviosry Authority


b.  Non-Judicial Punishment Actions