CHAPTER XXXIX

ELEVENTH MEDITERRANEAN SEA DEPLOYMENT

CV’s & CVN’s OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA

LOCAL TRAINING OPERATIONS off the Virginia Capes and Cherry Point

(October 1988 to March 1989)

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) responded during Iran 1 April incident in which USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) struck an Iranian mine in international waters - Iraq and Iran War, Cuba and Panama Canal shakedown cruise (March to May 1989) USS Coral Sea (CV-43) responded to a call for assistance from USS Iowa (BB-61) operating in the Caribbean Sea due to an explosion in the battleship's number two gun turret in which 47 crewmembers were killed 19 April 1989.

 (29 September 1987 to 31 May 1989)

Part 1 – (29 September 1987 to 16 April 1988)

Part 2 – (17 April to 31 December 1988)

Part 3 – (1 January to 31 May 1989)

 

 

    “On 18 April 1988, the United States retaliated against Iran following the 1 April incident in which USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) struck an Iranian mine in international waters. The retaliation involved both surface and air units. Carrier Air Wing 11 squadrons from USS Enterprise (CVN-65) were the major aviation participants while deployed in the North Arabian Sea” (Ref. 362F).    

 

    “Iranian and Iraqi attack’s on shipping in the Persian Gulf were becoming so frequent, that the Kuwaitis requested U.S. assistance and Operation Earnest Will, designed to maintain freedom of navigation within that body of water, was initiated. At the outset, 11 Kuwaiti tankers were “re-flagged,” the Middle East Force escorting the first ships through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf to Kuwait, and then returning outbound, beginning on 22 July 1987” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “The action lasted all day, 0730–1900 on 18 April 1988. Throughout the battle, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) steamed to the south of Jāsk, Iran, in company with Truxtun. SAG Bravo began action apparently catching the Iranians by surprise, as great commotion ensued on the rig, men running about with small arms, shouting and gesticulating and manning at least one of three ZSU-23-2 23 mm guns emplaced on the rig’s three-tiered southernmost deck. The destroyers broadcast a warning in English and Farsi, granting the Iranians a five-minute reprieve before they opened fire, just enough time for about 29 of the estimated 60 men on board to scramble onto two tugs and escape. USS Merrill (DD-976) and USS Lynde McCormick (DDG-8) then opened up, firing 133 5-inch rounds using proximity fuses for air bursts above the platform, a retaliatory raid against Rostam, another Iranian rig, on 19 October 1987, having required more ammunition but failed to disable the strong concrete and steel supports.

 

    The Americans learned their lesson and against Sassan air bursts worked well, devastating the vulnerable upper works of the structure. Despite fierce resistance by the remaining Iranians, who returned fire with one of the three ZSU-23-2s, not a single hit was scored against either destroyer.  Four AH-1 Cobra gunships then cleared the way for a vertical assault from 150 marines from Marine Contingency Air Ground TF 2-88, embarked on board dock landing ship USS Trenton (LPD-14), who rappelled down ropes from hovering C-46s. After securing the rig, any facilities that had “weathered” the battle were blown by demolitions.

 

     At one point one of the tugs radioed the U.S. ships, requesting permission to return and evacuate about 30 Iranians, and the request was granted, the Americans holding fire for approximately 45 minutes during the process. Radio traffic indicated at least one Iranian killed and another wounded, though additional casualties may have been inflicted.  Commodore Perkins also noted: “We believe that Sassan was a communications and surveillance station…We found weapons, ammunition and communications gear.” Referring to the seizure of the rig, he added “It was a textbook example of how a combined Navy-Marine Corps operation ought to go.” The weapons were of the type utilized by the Iranians in their speedboat raids.

 

     Off Bandar Abbas, USS Wainwright (CG-28), USS Bagley (DD-386) and USS Simpson (FFG-56) shelled the Sirri oil platform, but found themselves challenged by Iranian La Combattante II Kaman class missile boat Joshan. The Americans warned her to stand clear, but Joshan disregarded the warning and fired a Harpoon. Wainwright turned her bow into the missile and fired chaff, the missile locking onto the ensuing fog cloud 100 feet off the starboard beam, a near miss. The cruiser retaliated with a salvo of six Standards and then a Harpoon, practically blasting Joshan out of the water. Streaking to the latter’s aid was an Iranian F-4 Phantom II, but as the aircraft closed the ship, Wainwright damaged it with another couple of Standards, the F-4 crew retiring homeward.  Another pair of Phantom IIs out of Bandar Abbas, and one flying from Bandar Būshehr, a coastal station further north, also were detected, but after being tracked by Lynde McCormick’s radar, retired.

 

     Meanwhile, the Americans decided to cease action, believing to have made their point, but the Iranians continued by sending Saam-class frigate Sahand across the Gulf to attack U.A.E. oil platforms. A pair of A-6Es from VA-95 flying surface CAP for Joseph Strauss spotted Sahand but were almost immediately attacked by the Iranians. After avoiding SAMs launched from the ship, the Intruder crews responded with two Harpoons, two WE-IIs, four AGM-123s, three Mk 82 LGBs, 18 Mk 20s and 18 Mk 83s. Joseph Strauss finished Sahand off with another Harpoon, the fires burning furiously on her decks eventually reaching her magazines and touching off explosions leading to her sinking.

 

    An Iranian speedboat flotilla of five Swedish-built Boghammers attacked Murbaric Oil Platform, an American-flagged supply ship and a Panamanian-flagged ship, but was turned back by a pair of Intruders from Enterprise, the A-6Es sinking one of the Boghammers and “damaging several others.”

 

    Late in the afternoon, two AH-1Ts from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA)-167, embarked in Trenton, were ordered toward Wainwright to identify “hostile surface contacts.” As Warrior 1-1 was being towed off the helo landing spot, preparing to secure for the evening, Warrior 1-2, Aircraft No. 34 (BuNo 161018), Captain Kenneth W. Hill, USMC, and Captain Stephen C. Leslie, USMC, responded to a call from the cruiser’s CIC to identify a contact. Closing, Warrior 1-2 suddenly reported “being locked up” and dropped from Wainwright’s radar. An immediate CSAR failed to reveal either wreckage or survivors. Hill and Leslie were both later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for their heroism throughout the action.

 

     When the fighting erupted, Sabalan, one of the original targets, was underway, but being apparently warned by radio, came about, fleeing at high speed into Bandar Abbas, hiding by anchoring between a pair of tankers. At 1700, however, the Iranians committed their naval reserve, Sabalan clearing Bandar Abbas. As she did so, Sabalan was spotted by several A-6Es from VA-95 and fired three SAMs at the Intruders, their crews deftly avoiding the missiles. The aircrews responded by dropping a 500 lb Mk 82 LGB down the frigate’s stack, which detonated with devastating force in her engineering spaces, stopping Sabalan dead in the water.

 

    Although Rear Admiral Less requested permission to finish off Sabalan, Admiral Crowe and Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, monitoring the operation from the “Pentagon War Room,” ended the battle, Admiral Crowe saying to the Secretary: “We’ve shed enough blood today.”

 

    The attack on Raksh was also cancelled, due to the success of the strikes against Sassan and Sirri. The battle group commander later commented that intelligence support, largely provided by or disseminated by Enterprise, proved to be “the most crucial factor” in U.S. success. The “decisiveness” demonstrated by the U.S. naval forces “stunned” the Iranians, and in combination with the attrition of the long war and recent Iraqi victories, proved instrumental in driving Teheran to seek a compromise peace” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “On 21 April 1988, CNO Admiral C.A.H. Trost, referred to the sailors and marines who participated in Praying Mantis, saying in part “Your actions have sent a clear message of resolve to those nations that may choose to challenge the right of free navigation of international waters” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) remained “on hold” south of Jāsk, continuing to launch CAP, SUCAP and SST sorties into the Strait of Hormuz with occasional F-14A photographic reconnaissance into the southern Persian Gulf from 19 to 22 April 1988, on the latter date completing an Earnest Will mission “with no incidents.” With tensions still high in the region, abetted by the televised funeral (on 21 April) of 44 Iranian sailors killed during the battle, amid crowds of mourners chanting against the U.S. and the Iraqis, Enterprise aircrews maintained a high mission tempo” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “Planes from USS Enterprise (CVN-65) flew CAP, SUCAP and ASW missions supporting the outchop of a surface action group (SAG) from the Persian Gulf on 24 April 1988 and recorded no Iranian reaction to the movement. Two days later, Enterprise conducted another Earnest Will mission in support of four inbound tankers and their three” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) exercised with the French Clemenceau CVBG, including “Sledgehammer” operations, a Silkworm missile attack simulation and aerial gunnery from 28 to 29 April 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “The first “feet wet” Iranian maritime aerial patrol since the U.S. retaliation on 18 April 1988, occurred when an USS Enterprise (CVN-65) F-14A intercepted an Iranian C-130 over the Gulf of Oman, on 30 April 1988. For the most part, April proved to be the busiest month of 1988, with 1,522 day and 439 night aircraft launches, and 1,297 day and 665 night recoveries” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “In April 1988, USS Coral Sea (CV-43) conducted a brief yard period and then made an excursion north to Halifax, Nova Scotia occupied the spring and early summer. Coral Sea continued her award winning diplomatic endeavors with a Sunset Parade, open house, Hangar bay dance and hundreds of individual tours for thousands of Nova Scotians. A “Fourth of July performance of the Nova Scotia Music Tattoo at the Scotian Center was dedicated to the ship with over 300 crew members receiving complimentary tickets” (Ref. 1275ZA12).

 

     “Following the visit to Halifax by May 1988, USS Coral Sea (CV-43) put to sea and passed her first Operational Propulsion Plant Exam in five years” (Ref. 1275ZA13).

 

     “USS Coral Sea (CV-43) conducted a short Restricted Availability following her five year Operational Propulsion Plant Exam (Ref. 1275ZA14).

 

     “Upon conclusion of Restricted Availability, USS Coral Sea (CV-43) departed Norfolk, Virginia for carried out local operations that included Sea Trials, Carrier Qualifications and Work-ups in the VaCapes and Cherry Point operating areas which took up the rest of 1988 (Ref. 43 & 1275ZA15).

 

     “USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) participated in Dragon Hammer 1-88 Phases I–III in the Mediterranean, Aegean, Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas, beginning on 1 May 1988. Involving sizeable NATO air, land and naval forces, Dragon Hammer 1-88 included scenarios to defend the Italy and Turkey from a simulated Warsaw Pact attack” (Ref. 383B).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) completed an Earnest Will mission on 1 May 1988, supporting two outbound tankers and their two escorts, as well as hosting a visit by Ambassador Montgomery and the Omani CNO. The next day the carrier completed another Earnest Will mission, supporting three inbound tankers and two escorts” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “Department of Defense Inspector GEN June G. Brown inspected the crew as a microcosm of the operational Navy over the 1st and 2nd May 1988” (Ref. 383B).

 

     “Russian aerial monitoring of the ship and her operations renewed with the interception of a May flying out of the Gulf of Aden on 4 May 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “On 6 May 1988, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) conducted an Earnest Will mission, supporting two tankers and their two escorts” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “Catapult No. 1 logged its 96,000th shot aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65) on 7 May 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

 

The catapult crew of the aircraft carrier USS America (CV-66) are shrouded in smoke from the catapults, while [three] F-14A Tomcats [from VF-33 "Starfighters" and VF-102 "Diamondbacks"] await their turn for launching. Photo US DoD. Photo and text from Carriers: The Men and The Machines, by David Miller and Lindsay Peacock. Location unknown. Date unknown (most likely mid- to late-1980s). NS026686. Presented by Robert Hurst. This photo (top) has been widely circulated and discussed.

Many have questioned its authenticity. It is usually said that "this is an actual fly-by during deployment of the Nuclear Aircraft Carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74). The pilot was grounded for 30 days, but he likes the picture and thinks it was worth it. Yikes!" In fact, the photo is real, but the usual caption is totally wrong. The aircraft carrier is USS America (CV-66) and the photo was taken in 1988, when construction of John C. Stennis had not yet begun. The pilot was CDR Dale O. Snodgrass, and he was not grounded. Retired Captain Snodgrass wrote in 1998: "I am amazed that after nine years this photo is being scrutinized with such fervor. The photo is in fact real. It was taken during a dependent's day airshow aboard the America in the summer of 1988. I was Executive Officer of VF-33, the Captain of the America was JJ Coonan. It was of my opening pass in the F-14 demo. [...] This photo indeed has a surrealistic quality. I believe it is due to the focal length of the camera used. There is no doubt that this pass was an aggressive low level maneuver, however, it was briefed to the Airwing Commander who happened to be Captain JL Johnson. Currently he is the Chief of Naval Operations. In fact the officer standing on the flight [deck] with his hands behind his back adjacent the LSO platform is CNO." The photos were taken by Sean E. Dunn, who served aboard America from May 1987 to December 1989. Visit Sean's web site to read his story and see more photos from that day. Presented by Jack Treutle. http://www.f14flybyphoto.com / http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/026658.jpg

 

     “On 8 May 1988, USS America (CV-66) with CVW-1 embarked arrived NOB, Norfolk, Virginia, with Captain James A. (Jim) Lair, NAVCAD, as Commanding Officer, ending her fourth Southern Atlantic, operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet in the Vestfjord before making a port visit to Le Harve, France. Squadrons: VF-102, F-14A; VF-33, F-14A; VFA-82, FA-18C; VFA-86, FA-18C; VA-85, A-6E / KA-6D; VAW-123, E-2C; HS-11, SH-3H and VS-32, S-3A. Reclassified CV-66 - "Multi-purpose Aircraft Carrier" on 30 June 1975 while at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, entering Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 27 November 1974, upon return from her North Sea deployment on 12 October 1974; making three Vietnam Combat cruises during the Vietnam Conflict/War operating with the 7th Fleet (receiving five battle stars). Her 22nd deployment since her commission at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia on 23 January 1965, with Captain Lawrence Heyworth, Jr., in command (8 February to 8 May 1989)” (Ref. 1-America, 72 & 76, 324 & 824).

 

     “Rear Admiral Less visited USS Enterprise (CVN-65) on 10 May 1988, to present Combat Action Awards to men of VA-95 who had distinguished themselves during Praying Mantis” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) completed her last Earnest Will mission of the deployment on 13 May 1988, her planes intercepting an Iranian P-3F over the Gulf of Oman. The next day, several F-14As flew into the Strait of Hormuz to assess the aftermath of a “large-scale” Iranian attack on tankers southwest of Lārak Island” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “Andrew Ingram of VA-72 led two Corsair IIs ashore to operate from the Turkish airfield at Eskisehir from the 9 to 14 May 1988. Six diesel subs from different nations (in addition to one U.S. boat) proved to be “formidable opponents” to USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)” (Ref. 383B).

 

     “USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) participated in Dragon Hammer 1-88 Phases I–III in the Mediterranean, Aegean, Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas from 1 to 14 May 1988. Involving sizeable NATO air, land and naval forces, Dragon Hammer 1-88 included scenarios to defend the Italy and Turkey from a simulated Warsaw Pact attack. Dwight D. Eisenhower's aviators matched their skills against Belgian General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons, British Sea Harriers from aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (R-06), Italian Starfighters and Turkish Phantom IIs and Northrop F-5 Tiger IIs, bombing Italian ranges as far apart as Capo Frasca, Capo Teulada, Pachino and Solenzara, as well as the Turkish range at Konya. In addition, two Intruders and a pair of Corsair IIs experienced the unique opportunity of reseeding a minefield just west of the Strait of Messina with eight MK-52 mines during Damsel Fair, one of the few aerial minelaying operations accomplished since the Vietnam War. LCDR J.” (Ref. 383B).

 

     “As the Iranians continued to test American resolve, planes from USS Enterprise (CVN-65) intercepted an Iranian C-130 on 16 May 1988 and a P-3F the next day” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was relieved by USS Forrestal (CV-59) from 18 to 20 May 1988, and as she egressed from the area, the carrier continued to be monitored by the Iranians, another P-3F being intercepted by an F-14A in the vicinity of the southern coast of Iran on 19 May 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “On 19 May 1988, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) commenced advance phase training off the Virginia capes” (Ref. 549).

 

     “From 19 April through 19 May 1988, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) conducted advance phase training off the Virginia capes” (Ref. 549).

 

     “Guided missile frigate USS Jack Williams (FFG-24) distinguished herself against the Iranian fleet in the targeting role during Praying Mantis, utilizing her embarked SH-2Fs, HSL-32 Det 2, the first U.S. helos in the region with two door-mounted M-60 machine guns, infrared detection system and a missile detection and jamming system. As the Iranians took reprisals, carrying out two days of attacks against neutral merchant ships attempting to sail in the southern Persian Gulf, Enterprise conducted a SAG escort mission, sending A-6Es and A-7Es into the Strait of Hormuz in support of Jack Williams, which was protecting ships on 20 May 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “Rear Admiral “Snuffy” Smith, ComCarGru-6, visited USS Enterprise (CVN-65) to complete the “turnover” as the ship prepared to leave the region; coming about from the region at 1515, 21 May 1988; the carrier then headed across the Indian Ocean and chopped to the 7th Fleet. While in the Indian Ocean, she had the opportunity to track an Indian Kilo class submarine” (Ref. 362F).    

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) commenced participation in INDUSA XI, a PassEx with the Indonesians consisting of low level aerial runs over Sumatra on 25 May 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) participated in INDUSA XI, a PassEx with the Indonesians consisting of low level aerial runs over Sumatra from 25 to 27 May 1988, during which her planes also tracked an Indonesian Type 209 class submarine” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) hosted groups of Indonesian and Malaysian visitors on board as she transited the Malacca Strait on 28 May 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) entered the South China Sea on 29 May 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) commenced participation in Poopdeck, a multi-force exercise in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Spanish McDonnell Douglas AV-8A Matadors flying from aircraft carrier Dédalo (R-01) [the former small carrier Cabot (CVL-28/AVT-3)] provided naval air opposition on 30 May 1988” (Ref. 383B).

 

     “As USS Enterprise (CVN-65) crossed the South China Sea, she noted no “Soviet reaction,” either from planes based at Cam Rahn Bay or from an AGI stationed in the vicinity of the Spratley Islands from 29 to 31 May 1988. On the 31st, the ship also conducted carrier qualifications for VRC-50” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) made a port call at NAS Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines, the first liberty for the crew in 75 days from 1 to 4 June 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “Standing out of Subic Bay, Philippines on 5 to 6 June 1988, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) steamed toward Hong Kong. An S-3A from VS-21, however, crashed immediately after being launched, killing three of the four crewmembers: Commander Robert Anderson, squadron CO, and Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 2nd Class David Stentrom, whose bodies were recovered; Lieutenant (jg) Charles Roy, lost at sea; and Lieutenant (jg), who escaped with “minimal injuries.” The ship’s motor whaleboat was launched and utilized during the recovery of the fourth crewmember and the SAR swimmers” (Ref. 362G).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) pulled in for a port call at Hong Kong on 6 June 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) operated with Tunisian F-5s and ground troops in an amphibious exercise off Cap Serrat and the range at Ras Engelah during Phiblex ’88 from 7 to 8 June 1988” (Ref. 383B).

 

     “Following battle group training off the Virginia capes and the Bahamas starting 8 June 1988, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) headed for home” (Ref. 549).

 

     “Greenpeace flagship Sirius interfered with USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) during the carrier’s second visit of the deployment to Palma de Mallorca, the activists repeatedly positioning their Zodiac boats between the ship and her anchorage on 9 June 1988. When a Zodiac rammed the carrier's anchor, however, the carrier’s crew countered with Operation Waterfall, aiming salt water hoses from her weather deck to drive off the troublemakers. While European media seized upon the incident to criticize the ship’s arrival as an example of U.S. abuse of nuclear power, the crew took it in stride, one wag declaring: “next time they will pick on someone their own size!”” (Ref. 383B).

 

    USS Enterprise (CVN-65) made a port call at Hong Kong from 6 to 10 June 1988, sailing for the northern latitudes” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) conducted an ASW exercise from 12 to 13 June 1988 and DACT with the USAF and the Japanese on 3 June 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) commenced Phiblex ’88, operating with Tunisian F-5s and ground troops in an amphibious exercise off Cap Serrat and the range at Ras Engelah on 7 June 1988” (Ref. 383B).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) anchored off Pusan, Republic of Korea from 14 to 17 June 1988, before she sailed for home” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) conducted ASW exercises and flight operations, transiting the Tsugaru Strait from 18 to 19 June 1988, and conducted a weapons exercise against a Japanese SAG” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “Fog cancelled flight operations from 19 to 20 June 1988 and USS Enterprise (CVN-65) chopped to the 3rd Fleet on 20 June 1988. No sooner did the fog clear, however, than a Bear D was intercepted as it transited northeast from Petropavlovsk” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “Soviet air activity close to USS Enterprise (CVN-65), including Backfires from Alekseyevka and Badgers from Petropavlovsk, became “moderately heavy” despite intermittent fog from 21 to 22 June 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “Captain Lloyd Edward Allen, Jr. assumed command of USS Coral Sea (CV-43), on 22 June 1988, and would be the last Commanding Officer, relieving Captain Bruce Barton Bremner, 36th Commanding Officer, serving from 23 February 1987 to 22 June 1988” (Ref. 34 & 35A).

 

     “Captain O’ Hearn reported to USS Coral Sea (CV-43) in December 1987 as Executive Officer, relieving Captain Dennis V. Mcginn as Executive Officer and Hearn was advanced to Captain in June 1988” (Ref. 1275ZA5).

 

     “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) returned to Norfolk, Virginia on 25 June 1988” (Ref. 549).

 

     “USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) participated in Poopdeck, a multi-force exercise in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Spanish McDonnell Douglas AV-8A Matadors flying from aircraft carrier Dédalo (R-01) [the former small carrier Cabot (CVL-28/AVT-3)] provided naval air opposition from 30 May to 3 June 1988” (Ref. 383B).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CV-43) was cited for dumping medical wastes off North Carolina coast in July 1988” (Ref. 34).

 

     “On 2 July 1988, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) with CVW-11, Rear Admiral R.G. Zeller, ComCruDesGru-3 (CCDG-3) and Captain James B. Perkins, III, Commodore, ComDesRon-9 (CDS-9) embarked arrived Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, disembarking CVW-11 operating out of her assigned home base in Calif., with Captain Robert J. Spane as Commanding Officer, ending her 12th “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Northern and Western Pacific, participating in ReadiEx 87-4B, a battle group exercise testing her ability to respond to “mines, small boats, terrorist planes” and Chinese Silkworm SSMs, while escorting/supporting convoys in a simulated Persian Gulf environment and PassEx with the Singaporean forces, on her 15th & 16th Indian Ocean voyage, on her fourth voyage in the Arabian Sea, while planes from CVW-11 flew into the Gulf of Oman, Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf, on her first aerial Arabian/Persian Gulf deployment in support of Operation Earnest Will, designed to maintain freedom of navigation within the Persian Gulf, assigned to escort reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers in the Arabian Gulf while stationed in the North Arabian Sea in April 1988 on her third North Arabian Sea deployment, following the 1 April incident in which USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) struck an Iranian mine in international waters, while the United States retaliated against Iran on 18 April 1988, positioning both surface and air units in the area, followed by participation in Operation Praying Mantis, becoming the Anti-air Warfare Commander for the “measured response” adopted by the U.S., aimed at attacking Sassan, as well as two other Iranian oil platforms, Sirri and Raksh. President Reagan and Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr., Chairman, JCS, issued rules of engagement, that allowed the Americans to defend themselves should Iranian planes or warships challenge them and will participate in INDUSA XI, a PassEx with the Indonesians consisting of low level aerial runs over Sumatra. On 23 June 1988, Enterprise conducted a weapon exercise with USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in the Gulf of Alaska, the latter steaming 400 NM northeast of the Enterprise. The weather proved “very bad,” with “quick deterioration,” ice fog, fog, heavy winds and high seas. Vice Admiral Fetterman was on board Enterprise on 26 June 1988, while VA-95 and VAW-135 flew off to NAS Whidbey Island, Wash. Enterprise welcomed almost 1,100 Tigers on board while moored at Seattle, Washington 28 June 1988. Clearing Seattle, Washington on 29 June 1988, Enterprise held an air show while en route to her home port, with a “Steel Beach Picnic” on the 30th. Enterprise airwing began its fly off on 1 July 1988. Her 21st Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission November 25, 1961 with Captain V. P. de Poix in command (5 January to 2 July 1988)” (Ref. 1-Enterprise, 72, 76 & 362F).

 

     “USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) commenced Juniper Falconry, a bilateral exercise over the desert on 12 July 1988” (Ref. 383B).

 

     “USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) participated in Juniper Falconry, a bilateral exercise over the desert from 12 to 14 July 1988” (Ref. 383B).

 

     “Israeli Minister of Defense Rabin visited USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) on 19 July 1988” (Ref. 383B).

 

     “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) with CVW-3 embarked departed Norfolk, Virginia 2 August 1988, with Captain Hugh D. Wisely in command, on her 12th Mediterranean Sea deployment (13th voyage), operating with the United States Sixth Fleet (6th Fleet) participating in National Week ’88, Sea Wind off the coast of Alexandria, Display Determination ’88, exercises off the Tunisian coast, operating with naval and air elements of the Tunisian armed forces, a shooting match between the U.S. and Libyan aircraft developed resulting in the elimination of both of Libya's MiG-23s; African Eagle ’88, a combined USN, USAF and Moroccan exercise off the north Moroccan coast and Exercise Juniper Hawk with Israeli forces; steaming through the North Atlantic, operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet to the Mediterranean Sea. Prior to her deployment returned to Norfolk, Virginia on 25 June 1988, conducted battle group training off the Virginia capes and the Bahamas starting 8 June 1988, conducted advance phase training off the Virginia capes, from 19 April through 19 May 1988, enjoyed a three-day port visit to Port Everglades, Florida, following the Bonefish incident, spending February through March of 1988 preparing for the upcoming Mediterranean Sea deployment conducting carquals off the Virginia capes when on 25 March 1988, Gypsy 203, a VF-32 F-14 (BuNo 159441) crashed at 2135 after failing to gain proper airspeed off the catapult of USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67). Dusty Dog 614, flown by Lieutenant Andrew T. Macyko and Lieutenant (j.g.) Rodger T. “Rusty” Shepko, with Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operators 2d Class Roger Anderson as first crewman and Fred Setzer as rescue swimmer, located Lieutenant Nicholas A. Filippone, and petty officer Setzer went into the water to assist him; the HS-7 helo hoisted the NFO on board at 2154. The Sea King then illuminated Lieutenant Michael J. Nichols’s position as it headed for the ship (landing at 2156), enabling the carrier’s starboard motor whaleboat to pick up the pilot at 2158 and bring him on board at 2207. Both Nichols and Filippone received treatment for hypothermia, and were listed as “conscious, alert, and stable” by the end of the first watch. During phase training evolutions, on 24 April 1988, the submarine Bonefish, while “pursuing” John F. Kennedy and her battle group in exercises about 160 miles east of Cape Canaveral, Florida, suffered a major fire and a series of explosions that ripped through the boat, killing three sailors and forcing the men to abandon ship. The guided missile frigate Carr (FFG-52), sensing danger in a routine transmission from the sub, sped to the scene. John F. Kennedy learned of the catastrophe via radio when 42 nautical miles away at 1718, and immediately began assembling medical teams on the flight deck to be transported to Carr. John F. Kennedy launched the first SH-3H at 1740, two at 1744, and a fourth at 1827, and began recovering the first helicopter transporting Bonefish sailors at 1844; she launched the fifth helo ten minutes later. John F. Kennedy continued flight operations with her helicopters into the second dog watch, and began bringing on board the first casualties at 2205, heading for Mayport early in the mid watch on 25 April 1988, flying the survivors ashore to NAS Mayport by helo, retaining only Lieutenant (j.g.) William B. Swift, one of the submarines’s injured officers, for further treatment. Carr’s providential preparation for rescue work had enabled her to be ready to act as on-scene commander as soon as she arrived. Over the ensuing hours, as smoke issued from the hatches of the stricken Bonefish, Carr coordinated the work of the quintet of Sea Kings from HS-7 that “blanketed the…area all working as a cohesive team” to remove people from the burning submarine, in addition to a fixed-wing jet and her own motor whaleboat in the rescue of the 89 surviving crewmen, HS-7 helicopters employing rescue swimmers to attach rescue slings and calm anxious survivors. Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (Light) (HSL) 44, Detachment 4, in Carr, utilizing their SH-60B Seahawk, evacuated ten men and pulled two from the water. John F. Kennedy assisted with the rescue and embarked many Bonefish crewmen; 23 sailors suffering from respiratory injuries received care in the ship’s inpatient ward. The carrier returned to the scene the following day to conduct further SAR operations as Bonefish was ultimately taken in tow and returned to her homeport of Charleston, South Carolina. “This complex evolution,” an HS-7 chronicler declared later, “was a textbook rescue because of the professionalism and ‘can do’ attitude exhibited by the team” of John F. Kennedy, Carr, and HS-7. After a brief carrier qualification period from 21 to 25 January 1988, John F. Kennedy held a change of command ceremony on 29 January, when Captain Hugh D. Wisely relieved Captain Moriarty after a brief carrier qualification period from 21 to 25 January 1988, underwent a technical availability that concluded on 11 January 1988 upon conclusion of refresher training, returning to Norfolk on 17 December 1987, remaining there to close out 1987, concluding refresher training, returning to sea for refresher training on 4 December 1987, returning to Norfolk on 24 November 1987, just in time for Thanksgiving, concluding refresher training and a week of underway filming, conducted refresher training and a week of underway filming, departing for the Virginia capes and conducted an ISE on 16 November 1987, commencing an upkeep period that lasted until November 1987, during which time American Broadcasting Company (ABC) film crews came on board to film the motion picture “Supercarrier,” weighing anchor and proceeded home to Norfolk on another two-day Tiger Cruise on 15 September 1987, arriving Portland, Maine on 10 September 1987, sailing from Boston on 9 September 1987 for Portland, Maine, moored at Boston on 3 September 1987, where she hosted over 130,000 visitors in two and a half days of visiting, and Rear Admiral John R. McNamara. (ChC) Chief of Chaplains conducted a John F. Kennedy Memorial Mass, set course for Boston, after catapult certification trials on 28 August, carried out sea trials off the Virginia capes on 17 August 1987. John F. Kennedy completed restricted availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 17 August 1987; commenced restricted availability at on 1 May 1987; focusing her attention on the upcoming CarQuals and a restricted availability that would follow following a month-long leave and upkeep period; made her Southern Atlantic voyage on her tenth Mediterranean Sea deployment with the 6th Fleet; ending her second North Atlantic deployment on her first Central and Eastern Atlantic Ocean deployment operating with the USLANTCOM (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet participating in Exercise United Effort and a NATO exercise Ocean Safari; ending her ninth Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet participating in National Week XXXI and Daily Double, and stand by operations for the potential evacuation of American citizens from Beirut, in the wake of Israeli forces entering Lebanon in Operation Peace for Galilee on her first Indian Ocean and North Arabian Sea deployment with the 7th Fleet, hosting the first visit aboard a United States ship by a Somali head of state, and achieved its 150,000th arrested landing, arriving home via the Suez Canal, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea on her second canal transit; hosting the first visit aboard a United States ship by a Somali head of state, and achieved its 150,000th arrested landing (4 January to 14 July 1982); reclassified CV-67 on 1 December 1974; ending her second Caribbean Sea deployment, on her North Atlantic voyage operating under the direction of the 2nd Fleet participating in ReadiEx 1-82 near Puerto Rico; ending her Caribbean Sea voyage to conduct her operation readiness inspection ORI operating under the direction of the 2nd Fleet, which was slated to be a two-week training cruise in the Caribbean, on her second Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet, and her North Atlantic voyage participating in NATO exercises; ending her Shakedown cruise out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in the Caribbean Sea operating with the USLANTCOM (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet. She will under go her 16th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since she was commissioned on 7 September 1968” (Ref. 72, 76, 380 & 549).

 

USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) with CVW-3 (AC)

(2 August 1988 to 1 February 1989)

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

          ROLE

 AIRCRAFT DESIGN

     NICK NAME &

   PRIMARY ROLE

  TAIL

 CODE

 Modex

   AIRCRAFT

 DESIGNATION

VF-14

Top Hatters -                Fighter Squadron

Grumman - Tomcat -

Jet Fighter

AC100

F-14A

VF-32

Swordsmen -                Fighter Squadron

Grumman - Tomcat -

Jet Fighter

AC200

F-14A

VA-75

Sunday Panchers -                         Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber - Tanker

AC500

A-6E / KA-6D

VMA(AW)-533

Hawks -

Marine Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber

AC540

A-6E

VAW-126

Seahawks -                          Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

Grumman - Hawkeye - Electronics

600-603

E-2C

VAQ-130

Zappers -                     Carrier Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron

Grumman - Prowler - Jet Attack Bomber - Special electronic installation

604-607

EA-6B

HS-7

Dusty Dogs - Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King -

Anti-submarine

610

SH-3H

VS-22

Checkmates -                   Carrier Air Anti-Submarine Squadron

Lockheed - S-3 Viking -

Anti-Submarine

700

S-3A

 

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) recovered CVW-3 (VF-14 and VF-32, VA-75, VS-22, VMA-533, VAQ-130, VAW-126, and HS-7) between 2 and 4 August 1988” (Ref. 549).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) remained in port at Naval Air Station, Alameda, California from 3 July to 9 August 1988” (Ref. 329B-1988).

 

     “Following standdown, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) with COMNAVAIRPAC 3-M Assist Visit Team embarked departed Naval Air Station, Alameda, California on 10 August 1988, to conduct Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) CQ’s for active duty training (ACDUTRA) of CVWR-30, CSOVT and Ammo backload on 10 August 1988” (Ref. 329B-1988 & 362F).

 

    “Mediterranean-bound, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), part of Task Group 24.4, turns to port, preparing to launch a Grumman F-14 Tomcat from her number one catapult, on 12 August 1988” (Ref. 549).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) transited the Strait of Gibraltar as she began the mid watch on 14 August 1988” (Ref. 549).

 

     “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) recorded her 270,000th arrested landing on 14 August 1988, the last day of that period of work” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “On 16 August 1988, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) relieved USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) just west of Corsica” (Ref. 549).

 

    “By the time Operation Earnest Will ended on 16 August 1990, 490 missions involving 649 merchant ships would be completed. The training acted as a precursor for USS Enterprise (CVN-65), shortly to be involved in Earnest Will” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “After transiting the Strait of Messina, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) participated in National Week ’88” (Ref. 549).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) Ammo backload conducted from 19 to 21 August 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “Promoting voter registration, Reverend Jesse Jackson visited the ship on the 20th, and USS Enterprise (CVN-65) offloaded 813 pallets of ammunition the next two days on two 12 hour underway replenishments” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) Ammo backload conducted from 19 to 21 August 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “Captain R. J. Spane made his 1,000th arrested landing on board USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in an A-7E while she was steaming off the southern California operating area on 24 August 1988” (Ref. 329B-1988 & 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) with COMNAVAIRPAC 3-M Assist Visit Team embarked returned to Naval Air Station, Alameda, California on 24 August 1988, conducting Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) CQ’s for active duty training (ACDUTRA) of CVWR-30, CSOVT and Ammo backload on 10 August 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) made a port call at Naples from 21 to 25 August 1988, where John F. Kennedy’s crewmen pooled their resources to repair a home for unwed mothers” (Ref. 549).

 

    “USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) with CVW-8 embarked departed Norfolk, Virginia 25 August 1988, with Capt. Dayton W. Ritt in command, on her first Northern Atlantic deployment, on her Shakedown Cruise operating with the United States Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet in support of Teamwork '88. She will under go her first t Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 25 October 1986, with Capt. Paul W. Parcells named as the Prospective Commanding Officer, and christened by Mrs. Barbara Lehman, wife of Secretary Lehman” (Ref. 72, 84A & 384).

 

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) with CVW-8 (AJ)

(25 August to 11 October 1988)

Shakedown Cruise

Teamwork '88

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-41

Black Aces -

Fighter Squadron

Grumman - Tomcat -

Jet Fighter

AJ100

F-14A

VF-84

Jolly Rogers -

Fighter Squadron

Grumman - Tomcat -

Jet Fighter

AJ200

F-14A

VFA-15

Valions - Strike

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas -

Hornet

Jet Strike Fighter

AJ300

F/A-18A

VFA-87

Golden Warriors -

Strike Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas -

Hornet

Jet Strike Fighter

AJ400

F/A-18A

VA-35

Black Panthers -

Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber

AJ500

A-6E

VA-36

Roadrunners -

Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber

530

A-6E

VAW-124

Bear Aces - Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

Grumman - Hawkeye - Electronics

600

E-2C

HS-9

Sea Griffins - Helicopter

Anti-Submarine Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King -

Anti-submarine

610

SH-3H

VAQ-141

Shadowhawks - Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron

Grumman - Prowler - Jet Attack Bomber - Special electronic installation

620

EA-6B

VS-24

Scouts - Air Anti-Submarine Squadron

Lockheed - S-3 Viking -

Anti-Submarine

700

S-3A

F/A-18 Hornet, F-14 Tomcat, EA-6B Prowler, S-3 Viking and E-2C Hawkeye

 

    “USS South Carolina (CGN-37) joined USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) as part of her task force” (Ref. 84A).

 

    “On 25 August 1988, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) returned to sea for four days, and then paused with a port visit to Alexandria” (Ref. 549).     

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) held her Annual Dependent’s Day Cruise on 26 August 1988, when she hosted over 2,400 guests, DVs and entertainers as well as 5 baands and a USO Show provide entertainment, along with CVW-11 air show, tours and provided a picnic lunch in the hanger bay” (Ref. 329B-1988 & 362F).

 

    “USS South Carolina (CGN-37) joined USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) as part of her task force” (Ref. 84A). 

 

    “On 29 August 1988, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) collides with an anchored coal ship while entering the harbor to dock at Norfolk Naval Station when wind and current push the carrier off course at Hampton Roads, Va. Damage is minor to both ships” (Ref. 84A).

 

    “Secretary of the Navy William L. Ball and VADM Richard M. Dunleavy, Commander Naval Forces Atlantic, flew out to USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) as she stood up Chesapeake Bay to greet the crew upon their return to Norfolk, Va. on 29 August 1988” (Ref. 84A). 

 

    “At 0820, on 29 August 1988, while entering the harbor to dock at Norfolk Naval Station, the wind and current pushed the carrier off course at Hampton Roads, Va., USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) collided with an anchored coal ship, the 897-foot Spanish bulk carrier Urdulitz of 53,728 gross tons, The carrier began to come left 10º rudder to 225º and drop from five to three knots, which was not enough to compensate for the wind, which swept in from 150º at 20 knots, or the current, which flowed from 240º at 1.5 knots. The elements collectively brought the ship about 400 yards right of her intended track.  The Spanish vessel lay anchored at Berth Z, Anchorage A, adjacent to the Entrance Reach Channel, waiting to gain access to the coal loading piers at Lamberts Point, Norfolk. A total of 38 Spaniards were on board; 36 crewmembers and two additional people. Several hundred “Tigers”–male dependents of the crew– were on board Dwight D. Eisenhower, having embarked two days previously at Bermuda.

 

    Dwight D. Eisenhower slammed into the bow of Urdulitz between the aircraft carrier’s Nos 1 and 2 aircraft elevators. Although CAPT Gary L. Beck ordered all stop, the mighty ship still had way and caught Urdulitz’s bow under the overhang of the flight deck, dragging the merchantman along 175 feet of the carrier’s starboard side and altogether almost 1,000 yards out of their berth before coming to a halt. Both ships remained joined until 13 minutes later, when they drifted apart. Although there were no reported injuries on board either vessel, the accident resulted in an estimated $2 million damage to the aircraft carrier and $317,128.00 damage to Urdulitz” (Ref. 383B).

 

     “On 29 August 1988, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) with CVW-7 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia, with Captain Gary Laurence Beck, as Commanding Officer, ending her fifth Mediterranean Sea deployment, operating with the United States Sixth Fleet (6th Fleet) in support of Dragon Hammer 1-88 Phases I–III in the Mediterranean, Aegean, Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas, involving sizeable NATO air, land and naval forces (Dragon Hammer 1-88 included scenarios to defend the Italy and Turkey from a simulated Warsaw Pact attack), reseeding a minefield just west of the Strait of Messina with eight MK-52 mines during Damsel Fair, one of the few aerial minelaying operations accomplished since the Vietnam War, Poopdeck, a multi-force exercise in the eastern Mediterranean, Phiblex ’88 the ship operated with Tunisian F-5s and ground troops in an amphibious exercise off Cap Serrat and the range at Ras Engelah and Juniper Falconry, a bilateral exercise over the desert; steaming through the North Atlantic, operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet to the Mediterranean Sea. Dwight D. Eisenhower transited the Strait of Gibraltar and entered the Mediterranean Sea on 12 March 1988. Due to the terrorist threat while the ship passed through the narrow chokepoint her crew manned their stations at “full bore,” with gunners standing ready at .50 cal. machine gun mounts to defend the carrier against small suicide craft. While deployed to the Med in ensuing weeks, the ship would participate in exercises with Belgian, British, Dutch, French, West German, Israeli, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Tunisian and Turkish forces. Certain allied vessels were integrated into the carrier’s battle group, including Greek destroyer Kanaris (D-212), Turkish destroyer Anittepe (D-347) and submarine Batiray (S-349). Soviet ships monitored the exercises and in some instances stood into danger by maneuvering close aboard, among them aircraft carrier Baku and guided missile destroyers Vitse Admiral Kulakov and Komsomolets Ukrainy. VS-31 Vikings tracked one Charlie II, one Echo II, two Soviet Mod Echo II, one Foxtrot and one Victor I class submarines. CVW-7 deployed 10 aircraft (four Tomcats, two Intruders and four Corsair IIs) ashore to Hyeres, France, to fly coordinated strikes and dissimilar air combat training with 10 French Super Etendards and three Crusaders from Landivisiau from 10 to 18 April 1988. The climatic culmination of the exercise pitted 20 American planes against 10 French Air Force Mirage 2000s, who defended their airfield near Dijon against a simulated strike which the Americans flew daringly through the Alps. Department of Defense Inspector GEN June G. Brown inspected the crew as a microcosm of the operational Navy over the 1st and 2nd May 1988. Dwight D. Eisenhower participated in Dragon Hammer 1-88 Phases I–III in the Mediterranean, Aegean, Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas from 1 to 14 May 1988. Involving sizeable NATO air, land and naval forces, Dragon Hammer 1-88 included scenarios to defend the Italy and Turkey from a simulated Warsaw Pact attack. Six diesel subs from different nations (in addition to one U.S. boat) proved to be “formidable opponents” to Dwight D. Eisenhower. Dwight D. Eisenhower's aviators matched their skills against Belgian General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons, British Sea Harriers from aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (R-06), Italian Starfighters and Turkish Phantom IIs and Northrop F-5 Tiger IIs, bombing Italian ranges as far apart as Capo Frasca, Capo Teulada, Pachino and Solenzara, as well as the Turkish range at Konya. In addition, two Intruders and a pair of Corsair IIs experienced the unique opportunity of reseeding a minefield just west of the Strait of Messina with eight MK-52 mines during Damsel Fair, one of the few aerial minelaying operations accomplished since the Vietnam War. LCDR J. Andrew Ingram of VA-72 led two Corsair IIs ashore to operate from the Turkish airfield at Eskisehir from 9 to 14 May 1988. Dwight D. Eisenhower participated in Poopdeck, a multi-force exercise in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Spanish McDonnell Douglas AV-8A Matadors flying from aircraft carrier Dédalo (R-01) [the former small carrier Cabot (CVL-28/AVT-3)] provided naval air opposition from 30 May to 3 June 1988. During Phiblex ’88 the ship operated with Tunisian F-5s and ground troops in an amphibious exercise off Cap Serrat and the range at Ras Engelah from 7 to 8 June 1988. Greenpeace flagship Sirius interfered with Dwight D. Eisenhower during the carrier’s second visit of the deployment to Palma de Mallorca, the activists repeatedly positioning their Zodiac boats between the ship and her anchorage on 9 June 1988. When a Zodiac rammed the carrier's anchor, however, the carrier’s crew countered with Operation Waterfall, aiming salt water hoses from her weather deck to drive off the troublemakers. While European media seized upon the incident to criticize the ship’s arrival as an example of U.S. abuse of nuclear power, the crew took it in stride, one wag declaring: “next time they will pick on someone their own size!” The ship participated in Juniper Falconry, a bilateral exercise over the desert from 12 to 14 July 1988. Israeli Minister of Defense Rabin visited the ship on 19 July 1988. USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) relieved Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Mediterranean Sea, one day after the latter departed Cannes, France on 16 August 1988 and a few days later, passed through the Strait of Gibraltar and entered the Atlantic on 19 August 1988. While heading home steaming through the Atlantic operating with the United States Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleetshe assumed the role of battle group oilier and replenished 10 ships in just six days, an exhausting schedule. Secretary of the Navy William L. Ball and VADM Richard M. Dunleavy, Commander Naval Forces Atlantic, flew out to the ship as she stood up Chesapeake Bay to greet the crew upon their return to Norfolk, Va. on 29 August 1988. At 0820, on 29 August 1988, while entering the harbor to dock at Norfolk Naval Station, the wind and current pushed the carrier off course at Hampton Roads, Va., Dwight D. Eisenhower collided with an anchored coal ship, the 897-foot Spanish bulk carrier Urdulitz of 53,728 gross tons, The carrier began to come left 10º rudder to 225º and drop from five to three knots, which was not enough to compensate for the wind, which swept in from 150º at 20 knots, or the current, which flowed from 240º at 1.5 knots. The elements collectively brought the ship about 400 yards right of her intended track.  The Spanish vessel lay anchored at Berth Z, Anchorage A, adjacent to the Entrance Reach Channel, waiting to gain access to the coal loading piers at Lamberts Point, Norfolk. A total of 38 Spaniards were on board; 36 crewmembers and two additional people. Several hundred “Tigers”–male dependents of the crew– were on board Dwight D. Eisenhower, having embarked two days previously at Bermuda. Dwight D. Eisenhower slammed into the bow of Urdulitz between the aircraft carrier’s Nos 1 and 2 aircraft elevators. Although CAPT Gary L. Beck ordered all stop, the mighty ship still had way and caught Urdulitz’s bow under the overhang of the flight deck, dragging the merchantman along 175 feet of the carrier’s starboard side and altogether almost 1,000 yards out of their berth before coming to a halt. Both ships remained joined until 13 minutes later, when they drifted apart. Although there were no reported injuries on board either vessel, the accident resulted in an estimated $2 million damage to the aircraft carrier and $317,128.00 damage to Urdulitz. Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered damage to her starboard side between 50–65 feet above the waterline, along the underside of the flight deck. The ship’s wounds extended from about midpoint between Nos 1 and 2 aircraft elevators, aft to a point about midway under the flight deck level of the island superstructure. The impact smashed and tore away walkways and safety nets from the underside of the flight deck, together with extensively damaging the captain’s cabin, and dislodged 23 inflatable life rafts from their stowed positions into the water, though the Coast Guard recovered a number of them. Damage to Urdulitz’s hull was confined to the bow above the waterline; the collision crushed and tore the forecastle bulwark and deck for about 12 feet aft of the stem on the centerline, and pushed in and holed the bow into the forecastle. The Spaniards repaired their ship at the Bazan de Construcciones Navales Militaires shipyard at El Ferrol, Spain, from 22–30 September 1988. As a result of her time out of service Naviera Vizcaina S.A. of Bilbao, Spain, the owners, incurred an additional $341,587 in losses. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the navigation team’s “delayed and insufficient action” to correct Dwight D. Eisenhower’s deviation from her intended track due to their inexperience in piloting the huge ship through the restricted channel, and failure to compensate for the wind and tide, were the principal causes of the collision. In defense of the men involved, however, the Board also noted that noise from orders, three radio channels, internal vessel telephones, flight operations, conversations between dozens of people on and entering and leaving the pilothouse–from the navigation team to Tigers to media representatives–lookout reports, visual bearing reports and additional sounds impeded operations and generated confusion, providing a glimpse at the dangerous life on board ships of war even during peacetime. Ports of call included: Cannes, France and Palma de Mallorca. USS Stump (DD-978) joined Dwight D. Eisenhower as part of her task force. Squadrons: VF-143, Pukin' Dogs, Fighter Squadron, F-14A; VF-142, Ghostriders, Fighter Squadron, F-14A; VA-46, Clansmen, Attack Squadron, A7-E; VA-72, Blue Hawks, Attack Squadron, A7-E;  VA-34, Blue Blasters, Attack Squadron, A-6E / A6-E/KA-6D; VAQ-132, Patriots, Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron, EA-6B; VAW-121, Bluetails, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron, E-2C and VAQ-140, Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron, EA-6B; HS-5, Night Dippers, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron, SH-3H and VS-31, Top Cats, Air Anti-Submarine Squadron, S-3A. Her 11th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission on 18 October 1977, Captain William E. Ramsey in command (29 February to 29 August 1988)” (Ref. 44, 72, 76, 84A, 383, 383B & 1269).

 

    “From 4 to 8 September 1988, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) conducted Sea Wind off the coast of Alexandria, as efforts to further cooperation between the Egyptian and U.S. governments saw 6th Fleet elements exercising with the Egyptian Navy and Air Force. During the evolution, both forces conducted simulated low-level strikes into Wadi Natrun, ASW training with Egyptian Romeo-class submarines, dissimilar air combat training with Egyptian F-16, Mirages, and Fishbeds, electronic warfare training with Egyptian EW/GCI sites, and cross-training Egyptian/U.S. E-2C aircrew” (Ref. 549).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) remained in port at Naval Air Station, Alameda, California from 25 August to 9 September 1988” (Ref. 329B-1988).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) departed Naval Air Station, Alameda, California on 10 September 1988, to conduct Underway Material Inspection (UMI) and Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). UMI INSURV consists of operating demonstrations of all engineering, combat systems, D.C., Deck and Air Department Equipment. Final Phase includes pierside teardown and inspection of machinery components” (Ref. 329B-1988).

 

    “Following Sea Wind, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) visited Toulon, beginning on 13 September 1988” (Ref. 549).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) returned to Naval Air Station, Alameda, California on 14 September 1988, conducting Underway Material Inspection (UMI) and Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) from 10 to 14 September 1988. UMI INSURV consisted of operating demonstrations of all engineering, combat systems, D.C., Deck and Air Department Equipment. The final Phase included pierside teardown and inspection of machinery components” (Ref. 329B-1988).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) sailed to participate in Display Determination ’88 commencing on 22 September 1988, maneuvers that involved war-at-sea exercises, overland low-level simulated strikes, and air-to-air engagements” (Ref. 549).

 

     “USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) suffered damage to her starboard side between 50–65 feet above the waterline, along the underside of the flight deck. The ship’s wounds extended from about midpoint between Nos 1 and 2 aircraft elevators, aft to a point about midway under the flight deck level of the island superstructure. The impact smashed and tore away walkways and safety nets from the underside of the flight deck, together with extensively damaging the captain’s cabin, and dislodged 23 inflatable life rafts from their stowed positions into the water, though the Coast Guard recovered a number of them. Damage to Urdulitz’s hull was confined to the bow above the waterline; the collision crushed and tore the forecastle bulwark and deck for about 12 feet aft of the stem on the centerline, and pushed in and holed the bow into the forecastle. The Spaniards repaired their ship at the Bazan de Construcciones Navales Militaires shipyard at El Ferrol, Spain, from 22 to 30 September 1988” (Ref. 383B).

 

    “Based upon its findings concerning the Urdulitz incident, the Navy assigned Captain Joseph J. Dantone, Jr. who relieved Captain Gary L. Beck as commanding officer of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) on 27 September 1988” (Ref. 383B).

 

    “As a result of her time out of service Naviera Vizcaina S.A. of Bilbao, Spain, the owners, incurred an additional $341,587 in losses. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the navigation team’s “delayed and insufficient action” to correct Dwight D. Eisenhower’s deviation from her intended track due to their inexperience in piloting the huge ship through the restricted channel, and failure to compensate for the wind and tide, were the principal causes of the collision. In defense of the men involved, however, the Board also noted that noise from orders, three radio channels, internal vessel telephones, flight operations, conversations between dozens of people on and entering and leaving the pilothouse–from the navigation team to Tigers to media representatives–lookout reports, visual bearing reports and additional sounds impeded operations and generated confusion, providing a glimpse at the dangerous life on board ships of war even during peacetime” (Ref. 383B).

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) remained in port at Naval Air Station, Alameda, California from 15 to 31 September 1988” (Ref. 329B-1988).

 

    “During 1988, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) airwing, CVW-11 had accumulated 20,903 flight hours, the ship also transitioning E-2C support from AN/USM-247 VAST to AN/USM-467 RadCom” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) commenced Selective Restricted Availability (SRA) moored at Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, “early work” beginning on 16 September, while SRA began on 1 October 1988” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) underwent Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia on 3 October 1988” (Ref. 76).

 

    “MCPON visited USS Enterprise (CVN-65) on 7 October 1988” (Ref. 329B-1988).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) sailed to participate in Display Determination ’88 from 22 September to 10 October 1988, maneuvers that involved war-at-sea exercises, overland low-level simulated strikes, and air-to-air engagements” (Ref. 549).

 

     “On 11 October 1988, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) with CVW-8 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia, with Capt. Dayton W. Ritt in command, ending her first Northern Atlantic deployment, on her Shakedown Cruise operating with the United States Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet in support of Teamwork '88. Ports of call include: Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Squadrons: VF-41 (F-14A); VF-84 (F-14A); VFA-15 (F/A-18A); VFA-87 (F/A-18A); VA-35 (A-6E); VA-36 (A-6E); VAW-124 (E-2C); VAQ-141 (EA-6B); VS-24 (S-3A) and HS-9 (SH-3H). USS South Carolina (CGN-37) joined USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) as part of her task force. Her first t Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 25 October 1986, with Capt. Paul W. Parcells named as the Prospective Commanding Officer, and christened by Mrs. Barbara Lehman, wife of Secretary Lehman” (Ref. 72, 84A & 384).   

 

    “Following Display Determination ’88, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) visited Antalya, Turkey from 10 to 17 October 1988” (Ref. 549).

 

    “The 21st Annual Big "E" Golf Tournament was held on 21 October 1988” (Ref. 329B-1988).

 

    “Navy League of Oakland holds going away dinner for Captain and Mrs. Spane CO/Spouce of USS Enterprise (CVN-65) at Athenian Nile Club was held on 22 October 1988” (Ref. 329B-1988).

 

    “Farewell tea and welcome for Mrs. Spane/Rittenour, CO’S Spouces of USS Enterprise (CVN-65) held at RADM Rogers' home, Naval Air Station, Alameda, California on 23 October 1988” (Ref. 329B-1988).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) made a port call at Tunis, Tunisia from 21 to 24 October 1988” (Ref. 549).

 

    “Ship's Officers of USS Enterprise (CVN-65) hold a Farewell Dinner for Captain and Mrs. Spane held at Scott 's Restaurant, Oakland, California on 26 October 1988” (Ref. 329B-1988).

 

    “From 24 to 26 October 1988, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) participated in exercises off the Tunisian coast, operating with naval and air elements of the Tunisian armed forces conducting war-at-sea strikes, simulated overland strikes at the Ras Engelah range, and defensive air combat training with Tunisian Northrop F-5’s” (Ref. 549).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) made a port call at Palma (28 October-4 November)” (Ref. 549).

 

    “Captain Harry T. Rittenour assumed command during a change of command ceremony in Hangar Bay 1 aboard USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) on 28 October 1988, relieving Captain Robert J. Spane, 11th Commanding Officer, serving from 27 January 1986 to 28 October 1988. Large scale projects throughout the ship included hangar bay resurfacing, craning of static display aircraft onboard, painting of elevators with logos, placernent of bunting around island, etc. VADM Fetterman, USN, CDMNUVAIRF'AC was the guest speaker at the reception for crew and guests. Guests included: Mayor of A1ameda, various local area active duty and retired admirals, several CVW-11 squadron CO 'S, C'OMCRUDESGRRU 3 (RADM Strasser), and approximately 300 guests” (Ref. 329B-1988).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) re-visited Naples (14-18 November 1988)” (Ref. 549).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) returned to a slate of active operations that included exercises, on 22 November 1988, with the French carrier Foch. The joint French and U.S. Navy exercise consisted of long-range targeting scenarios, followed by a war-at-sea strike. The two carriers’ air wings also conducted dissimilar air combat training concurrent with the war-at-sea strike” (Ref. 549).

 

    “On 23 November 1988, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) anchored at Marseille, celebrating Thanksgiving there; families back home, meanwhile, viewed the premier of a cable video production “Young Peacekeepers,” a documentary that focused on the young men working on John F. Kennedy’s flight deck” (Ref. 549).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) departed Marseille on 27 November 1988 to participate in African Eagle ’88” (Ref. 549).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) participated in African Eagle ’88 from 1 to 10 December 1988, a combined USN, USAF and Moroccan exercise off the north Moroccan coast that featured simulated low-level strikes against several inland targets, war-at-sea strikes against Moroccan patrol boats, and dissimilar air combat training against USAF F-16 and Moroccan Mirages” (Ref. 549).

 

    “Following African Eagle ’88, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) anchored at Palma on 15 December 1988” (Ref. 549).

 

    “USS South Carolina (CGN-37) joined USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) as part of her task force” (Ref. 84A).

 

    “On 20 December 1988, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) headed for Cannes (Ref. 549).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) arrived Cannes on the morning of 23 December 1988” (Ref. 549).

 

     “USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) with CVW-8 embarked departed Norfolk, Virginia 20 December 1988, with Capt. Dayton W. Ritt in command, on her first Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet, steaming through the Atlantic, operating with the United States Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet, en route to the Med in support of Dragon Hammer, National Week and Juniper Stallion. She will under go her second Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 25 October 1986, with Capt. Paul W. Parcells named as the Prospective Commanding Officer, and christened by Mrs. Barbara Lehman, wife of Secretary Lehman” (Ref. 72, 84A & 384).

 

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) with CVW-8 (AJ)

(20 December 1988 to 30 June 1989)

Dragon Hammer, National Week and Juniper Stallion

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-41

Black Aces -

Fighter Squadron

Grumman - Tomcat -

Jet Fighter

AJ100

F-14A

VF-84

Jolly Rogers -

Fighter Squadron

Grumman - Tomcat -

Jet Fighter

AJ200

F-14A

 

VFA-15

Valions - Strike

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas -

Hornet - Jet Strike Fighter

AJ300

F/A-18A

VFA-87

Golden Warriors -

Strike Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas -

Hornet - Jet Strike Fighter

AJ400

F/A-18A

VA-35

Black Panthers -

Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber

AJ500

A-6E

VA-36

Roadrunners -

Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber

530

A-6E

VAW-124

Bear Aces - Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

Grumman - Hawkeye - Electronics

600

E-2C

HS-9

Sea Griffins - Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King -

Anti-submarine

610

SH-3H

VAQ-141

Shadowhawks - Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron

Grumman - Prowler - Jet Attack Bomber - Special electronic installation

620

EA-6B

VS-24

Scouts - Air Anti-Submarine Squadron

Lockheed - S-3 Viking -

Anti-Submarine

700

S-3A

Maiden deployment with the first 10-squadron air wing, CVW-8

F/A-18 Hornet, F-14 Tomcat, EA-6B Prowler, S-3 Viking and E-2C Hawkeye

 

    “USS South Carolina (CGN-37) joined USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) as part of her task force” (Ref. 84A).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) celebrated Christmas and New Year’s Eve at Cannes” (Ref. 549).

 

    “Following the visit to Halifax, USS Coral Sea (CV-43) put to sea and passed her first Operational Propulsion Plant Exam in five years” (Ref. 1275ZA13).

 

     “USS Coral Sea (CV-43) conducted a short Restricted Availability following her five year Operational Propulsion Plant Exam” (Ref. 1275ZA14).

 

     “Upon conclusion of Restricted Availability, USS Coral Sea (CV-43) departed Norfolk, Virginia for Sea Trials, Carrier Qualifications and Work-ups which took up the rest of 1988” (Ref. 1275ZA15).

 

CHAPTER XXXIX

ELEVENTH MEDITERRANEAN SEA DEPLOYMENT

CV’s & CVN’s OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA

LOCAL TRAINING OPERATIONS off the Virginia Capes and Cherry Point

(October 1988 to March 1989)

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) responded during Iran 1 April incident in which USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) struck an Iranian mine in international waters - Iraq and Iran War, Cuba and Panama Canal shakedown cruise (March to May 1989) USS Coral Sea (CV-43) responded to a call for assistance from USS Iowa (BB-61) operating in the Caribbean Sea due to an explosion in the battleship's number two gun turret in which 47 crewmembers were killed 19 April 1989.

 (29 September 1987 to 31 May 1989)

Part 1 – (29 September 1987 to 16 April 1988)

Part 2 – (17 April to 31 December 1988)

Part 3 – (1 January to 31 May 1989)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XXXIX

Part 2 – (17 April to 31 December 1988)

 USS CORAL SEA (CV 43)

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw, A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983)

 

A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy - Operation Evening Light And Eagle Claw -

 

Book - ISBN NO.

978-1-4276-0454-5

EBook - ISBN NO.

978-1-329-15473-5

 

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to Present)

 

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to Present)

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-19945-3

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA  Vol. I (10 July 1944 to 31 December 1975)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA Vol. I (10 July 1944 to 31 December 1975) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-54596-0

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. II (1 January 1976 to 25 August 1981)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. II (1 January 1976 to 25 August 1981) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-54790-2

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. III (20 August 1981 to 26 April 1990)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. III (20 August 1981 to 26 April 1990) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-55111-4