1973 Command Narrative

1.  WADDELL departed San Diego 3 January 1973, a unit of Destroyer Squadron THREE, for a seven month deployment in the Western Pacific.  Major repairs were still being effected on the 5"/54 gun system so naval gunfire support qualifications were accomplished in Hawaii; WADDELL qualified on every exercise on the first attempt winning transit group honors in scores and speed.  On 27 January WADDELL arrived in Subic Bay, R.P. for her first upkeep.  During this short in-port period, WADDELL embarked COMDESRON SEVEN, Commodore D. F. MILLIGAN. 

WADDELL departed  for her first line period with COMDESRON SEVEN embarked on 1 February 1973.  Gunline commitments having been terminated as a result of the cease-fire, WADDELL was assigned to Task Unit 77.1.1 for training operations, acting also now as permanent Flagship for COMDESRON SEVEN, Officer in Tactical Command of training unit and WADDELL's new Squadron Commander as a result of a force reorganization.  WADDELL remained with 77.1.1 for twenty-three days, conducting daily gunnery and aircraft tracking exercises, underway rearming and replenishing, small boat transfers and engineering and casualty control drills. 

On 24 February WADDELL was detached from TU 77.1.1 for upkeep in Sasebo, Japan.  Upon completion of upkeep in Sasebo, WADDELL traveled to Beppu, Japan for her first liberty port visit. 

Following an enjoyable port call, WADDELL again headed for the Gulf of Tonkin on the 13th of March.  After a one day stop in Kaohsiung, Taiwan to load ASROC and debark COMDESRON SEVEN, she reported for duty with Task force 78 "END SWEEP" operations on 19 March 1973.  WADDELL remained a part of this unique Task Force for almost a month in support of the mine sweeping units. 

Detached 13 April, the ship set course for Subic Bay and a seventeen day upkeep period.  While in Subic Bay, WADDELL was visited by Rear Admiral W. R. ST GEORGE, Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Force, SEVENTH Fleet.  The purpose of this visit was to present WADDELL with her second Navy Unit Commendation; this time for services from 3 December 1971 to 1 July 1972 while participating in combat operations in Southeast Asia as a member of gunline and linebacker operations.

2.  On 5 May WADDELL drew her first carrier escort duties of the deployment, assigned to escort USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43) then USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64) including a one week break in Hong Kong.  These carrier operations consisted primarily of training flights.

3.  On 10 June WADDELL departed the Gulf of Tonkin for 20 days.  Included in this time frame was a visit to Penang, Malaysia, a liberty port, and Singapore, the last scheduled upkeep port prior to the return trip to San Diego.  Singapore proved to be a valuable port visit from the standpoint of work accomplished and renewal of friendship with Royal Navy, Australian and New Zealand colleagues.

4.  Three more weeks participation in END SWEEP were followed by visits to Keelung, Taiwan and Yokosuka, Japan.  From Yokosuka WADDELL and USS DECATUR (DDG-31) set course for the long-awaited transit home via Midway and Pearl Harbor.

5.  WADDELL arrived back in the United States on 1 August 1973.  From 1 September to 28 October, the ship was involved in readiness improvement.  Extensive schooling and training were conducted during this period.  WADDELL also received valuable training for the Engineering Department personnel in preparation for the Operational Propulsion Plant Examination (OPPE) scheduled for December.  In October, WADDELL underwent the COMCRUDESPAC Annual Supply Inspection receiving an 85.8 grade.  Later in the month, the Navy Technical Proficiency Inspection was held resulting in a high satisfactory rating. 

On 12 November, the ship got underway for 8 days of intensive engineering casualty control drills in preparation for the OPPE.  During this underway period WADDELL conducted 19 hours of ASW training and fired a successful Z-16-U, ASW exercise, recording 2 hits.  Following a two week in port period, WADDELL returned to the SOCAL OPAREA for the OPPE.  The Propulsion Examining Board recommended further repairs and training in preparation for re-examination.  The latter three weeks of December were spent in upkeep at San Diego.

22 JAN 1974
C. D. EWING
Commanding Officer, USS WADDELL (DDG-24)

Operations Schedule

1-3 JAN In port San Diego for pre-overseas movement period
3-7 JAN At sea; enroute Pearl Harbor
8-10 JAN In port; upkeep Pearl Harbor
11-13 JAN At sea; Type Training and NGFS Qualifications Pearl Harbor OPAREAS
14 JAN In port; brief stop Pearl Harbor
15 JAN Underway enroute Subic Bay via Guam
24 JAN In port; brief stop for fuel at Guam
28-31 JAN Upkeep; Subic Bay, R.P.
3-23 FEB At sea; training operations - Gulf of Tonkin
27 FEB - 8 MAR In port; upkeep Sasebo, Japan
10-12 MAR In port; visit Beppu, Japan
16 MAR In port; brief stop Kaohsiung, Taiwan
19 MAR - 13 APR At sea; Operation END SWEEP (mine counter measure) escort North Gulf of Tonkin
17 APR - 4 MAY In port; upkeep Subic Bay, R.P.
5-16 MAY At sea; screen USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43)
17-24 MAY At sea; screen USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64)
19 MAY In port; brief stop Subic Bay, R.P.
21-27 MAY In port; visit Hong Kong, BCC
28 MAY - 9 JUN In port; visit Penang, Malaysia
19-26 JUN In port; upkeep Singapore
27-30 JUN Underway for END SWEEP Escort duties via latitude 00-00
1-20 JUL END SWEEP Escort duties
20-22 JUL Enroute Yokosuka, Japan
22-31 JUL Outchop - Transit arrive San Diego
2 AUG - 1 SEP In port San Diego for post-deployment, leave and upkeep
1-30 SEP READIMP San Diego
5-30 SEP DATC availability
17-24 SEP Mobile Training Team (MTT)
1-28 OCT READIMP San Diego
1-26 OCT DATC availability
15-29 OCT Tender availability; USS DIXIE
23-24 OCT Navy Technical Proficiency Inspection
29 OCT - 4 NOV Upkeep San Diego
7-25 NOV Ship/Shop availability; USS PRAIRIE
12-18 NOV Underway MTT Phase II
19-28 NOV In port San Diego
28-29 NOV Underway Type Training
29 NOV - 4 DEC In port San Diego
5-8 DEC Operational Propulsion Plant Examination
9-14 DEC In port San Diego
15-31 DEC Holiday upkeep/leave, San Diego