THIRD “WESTPAC” DEPLOYMENT

U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA

Iran History

Gulf of Tonkin Incident/Vietnam Conflict/War Begins

(3 April 1963 to 6 December 1964)

CHAPTER XIX

 

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVW-15 embarked (tail code NL) departed Naval Air Station, Alameda, California 3 April 1963, with Captain Charles Eugene Roemer, as Commanding Officer, on her third “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet (25 January 1960 to Present) and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East, visiting Sydney, Australia, traveling through the Coral Sea and Tasman Sea to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea during World War II (8 May 1942). Prior to her deployment she conducted local operations off the California coast upon completion of overhaul period at Hunters Point Naval Ship Yard, San Francisco, Ca. (8 September 1962 to 21 December 1962), proceeded by local operations with Captain Elder, Robert M. in command in San Francisco Bay on 23 July 1962, completing her 1st & 2nd Vietnam Expeditionary Force (VEF) deployments during her 1st & 2nd “WestPac,” (first CVA in the Bering Sea during 12 December 1961 to 17 July 1962 deployment). She will undergo her third foreign water deployment since her visit to Vancouver, B.C. (18 to 22 March 1960) when she deployed from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington upon completion of sea trials and a post-overhaul inspection and survey evaluation, commencing once recommissioned, following SCB 110A conversion (16 April 1957 to 25 January 1960), decommissioned on 24 April 1957, completing nine tours of duty in the Mediterranean Sea operating with the 6th Fleet (7 June 1948 to 13 August 1956); reclassified hull classification symbol CVA-43 on 1 October 1952. She will undergo her 14th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission on 1 October 1947” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea, 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure, 34, 35, 43 and 72).

 

USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43) with CVG-15 (NL)

(3 April to 25 November 1963) 

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)

Pacific & 7th

3rd WestPac

Southern Indian Ocean

CVW-15 (*1)

NL

3 Apr 1963

25 Nov 1963

Australia

14th FWFD

237-days

 

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-151

Vigilanties -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell - Demon -    Jet- All weather Fighter

NL100

F3H-2 (F-3B)

VA-152

Friendlies -                Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyraider -Attack

NL200

AD-6 (A-1H)

VA-153

Blue Tail Flies -

Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyhawk -

Jet Attack Bomber

Drone director

NL300

A4D-2 (A-4B)

VF-154

Black Knights -

Fighter Squadron

Vought - Crusader -

Jet Fighter - All weather operation

NL400

F8U-2N (F-8D)

VA-155

Silver Foxes -

Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyhawk -            Jet Attack Bomber

Drone director

NL500

A4D-2 (A-4B)

VAH-2

Royal Rampants -

Heavy Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skywarrior -  Jet Attack Bomber

NL600

A3D-2 (A-3B)

VAW-13 Det. D

Zappers - Carrier Airborne Early Warning

Douglas - Skyraider -

Attack

VR710

AD-5Q (EA-1F)

VAW-11          Det. D

Early Elevens/Roosters/ Scouts - Carrier Airborne Early Warning

Grumman - Hawkeye -

“Willy Fudd”

RR700

WF-2 (E-1B)

*VFP-63 Det. D

Eyes of the Fleet

Vought - Crusader -

Jet Fighter - Reconnaissance

PP900

RF-8A

HU-1 Det. D

Pacific Fleet Angels - Helicopter Utility Squadron

Kaman - Seasprite - Transport (Utility)

UP00

UH-2A

(1*) CVG-15 redesignated CVW-15 on 20 December 1963

*VFP or VF(P) - Light Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (Light) or Light Photographic Squadron

Ref. 34, 35, 39, 41 and 76

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) crosses Equator and International Date Line same time, en route Australia on 25 April 1963, appropriate ceremonies were held as more than 3,000 sailors became “Golden Shellbacks” (Ref. 34 & 1275U8).

 

     “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) arrived Sidney, Australia for a week port visit on 29 April 1963 to participate with the Australians in their 21st annual celebration of the Battle of the Coral Sea” (Ref. 34 & 1275U9).

 

    “In 1963, the 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron received F-105 Thunderchiefs to replace the F-100s and moved to Yokota Air Base, Japan in May 1964” (Ref. 174A).

 

 

An E-1B Tracer, BuNo 148907, assigned to VAW-11 "Ealy Eleven" Det. D (top), and an A-1H/J Skyraider assigned to VA-152 "Friendlies" (bottom), photographed at the Royal Australian Navy Air Station, HMAS Albatross, near Nowra, about 100 miles south of Sydney, Australia, (probably in May) 1963. Both VA-152 and VAW-11 Det. D were part of Carrier Air Group (CVG) 15, deployed to WestPac aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)—see also NS024344—.Photos by Kimberley Dunstan, Royal Australian Navy (Ret.). NS024370 113k. http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024370.jpg

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) pulled in for a port call at Sydney, Australia on 29 April 1963, to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea on 2 May. While in port, she will give the citizens of Sydney a chance to observe the ship in action when with the catapulting of a Grumman C-1A Trader while moored at Wooloomooloo Dock is scheduled while in port” (Ref. 34 and 43).

 

 

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) visited Sydney, Australia, in May 1963, marking the 21st anniversary of the battle for which she was named (sometimes also referred in Australia as the "Battle for Australia"). Carrier Air Group (CVG) 15 deployed with Coral Sea and included the following squadrons: VF-151 "Vigilantes," F-3B Demons; VA-152 "Friendlies," A-1H & A-1J Skyraiders; VA-153 "Blue Tail Flies," A-4C Skyhawks; VF-154 "Black Knights," F-8D Crusaders; VA-155 "Silver Foxes," A-4B Skyhawks; VAH-2 "Royal Rampants," A-3B Skywarriors; VAW-11 Det. D "Early Eleven," E-1B Tracers; VFP-63 Det. D "Eyes of the Fleet," RF-8A Crusaders; and HU-1 Det. D "Pacific Fleet Angels," UH-2A Sea Sprites. NS024372 133k. Submitted by Kimberley Dunstan, Royal Australian Navy (Ret.), courtesy of Ron Sofge & the USS Coral Sea Tribute Site. http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024372.jpg

 

 

NS024372a 124k. Submitted by Kimberley Dunstan, Royal Australian Navy (Ret.), USN photo courtesy of the USS Coral Sea Tribute Site http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024372a.jpg

 

 

NS024372b 138k Submitted by Kimberley Dunstan, Royal Australian Navy (Ret.), courtesy of Leslie Withrow & the USS Coral Sea Tribute Site http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024372b.jpg

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) spent a two-week visit to Sydney, Australia, commencing 29 April to 13 May 1963, to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea on 2 May. While in port, she gave the citizens of Sydney a chance to observe the ship in action when she catapulted a Grumman C-1A Trader while moored at Wooloomooloo Dock” (Ref. 34 and 43).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) supplied 256,000 gallons of water to drought in Hong Kong on 3 June 1963” (Ref. 34).

 

    “In 1963, USS Midway (CVA-41) underwent dry-dock at Newport News Shipyard, Va.” (Ref. 1081Z9).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) continued its role as a research and development platform. On 13 June 1963, Lt. Cmdr. Randall K. Billins and Lt. Cmdr. Robert S. Chew Jr., of Naval Air Test Center Patuxent River, Md., piloting an F-4A Phantom II and an F-8D Crusader respectively, made the first fully automatic carrier landings with production equipment on board Midway off the California coast. The landings, made "hands off" with both flight controls and throttles ooperated automatically by signals from the ship, highlighted almost 10 years of research and development and followed by almost six years the first such carrier landings made with test equipment” (Ref. Ref. 1-Midway & 72).

 

 

USS Midway (CVA-41) underway on 20 June 1963, with F-3 Demon, F-4B Phantom II and F-8 Crusader jet fighters on her flight deck. The two Crusaders parked furthest forward are from Fighter Squadron 24 (VF-24). Photographed by PH1 J.D. Osborne. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 97632). NS024123. NHC.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024123.jpg

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) with Commander, Carrier Air Grup Two (CVG-2) embarked departed Naval Air Station, Alameda, California 8 November 1963, with Captain Charles Eugene Roemer, as Commanding Officer, on her fifth “WestPac” deployment, operating with the Pacific Fleet and the 7th Fleet. She will under go her fifth deployment since her first recommission upon completion of SCB-110 (August 1955 to 30 September 1957), decommissioning in August 1955 upon completion of her World Cruise for a five month SCB-110 modernization that included new innovations such as an enclosed bow and an angled flight deck to be installed at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton Washington; redesignated CVA-41 on 1 October 1952. She will under go her 18th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II” (Ref. 1-Midway & 72).

 

USS Midway (CVA-41) with CVG-2 (M/NE)

(8 November 1963 to 26 May 1964)

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Midway (CVA-41) – 1st & 7th

5th WestPac

CVG-2

CVW-2

(*1)

M        NE

8 Nov 1963

26 May 1964

Western Pacific

18th FWFD

201-days

 

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-21

Free Lancers -           Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

10x-

11x

F-4B

VA-22

Fighting Redcocks -                     Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyhawk -

Jet Attack Bomber

221-

23x

A-4C

VA-23

Black Knights -                     Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyhawk -

Jet Attack Bomber

335-

34x

A-4E

VF-24

Black Knights -           Fighter Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

451-

46x

F-8C

VA-25

Fist of the Fleet -                     Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyraider -   Attack Fighter

571-

58x

A-1H & A-1J

VAH-8

Fireballers -               Heavy Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skywarrior -   Jet Attack Bomber

69x-

69x

A-3B

VAW-11 Det. A

Eyes of the Fleet -      Light Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron

Grumman - Traacer -

“Willy Fudd”

78x-

78x

E-1B

VFP-63 Det. A

Early Eleven -

Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

Vought - Crusader -

Jet Fighter Reconnaissance

96x-

96x

RF-8A

HU-1 Det. A

Pacific Fleet Angels -           Helicopter Utility Squadron

Kaman - Seasprite - Transport (Utility)

(UP)

xx

UH-2A

 (*1) CVG-2 (M) redesignated CVW-2 on 20 December 1963. CVG-2 was also redesignated its tail code from M to NE – (M – Sep. 1, 1948 to Dec. 20, 1963)

 

     “USS Robison (DDG-12) and USS Parsons (DDG-33) joined up with USS Midway (CVA-41) as part of her task force” (Reef. 84A).

 

     “Captain Pierre Numa Charbonnet, Jr. assumed command of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), on 16 February 1964, relieving Captain Charles Eugene Roemer, 17th Commanding Officer, serving from 13 February 1963 to 16 February 1964” (Ref. 35A).

 

 

"En route to her third WestPac deployment [3 April–25 November 1963] USS Coral Sea makes a stop at Sydney, Australia to be the only U.S. Navy carrier in the annual observance of the Battle of the Coral Sea". Quoted from Naval Aviation News, June 1963 issue. Official US Navy photo. (Appears to have been taken before 1963.). NS024344 105k. Robert Hurst.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024344.jpg

 

    “On 25 November 1963, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVW-15 embarked (tail code NL) arrived Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, with Captain Charles Eugene Roemer, as Commanding Officer, ending her third “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet (25 January 1960 to Present) and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East, Coral Sea crosses Equator and International Date Line same time, en route Australia on 22 April 1963, spending a two-week visit to Sydney, Australia, commencing on 29 April to 13 May 1963, to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea on 2 May and while in port,  Coral Sea gave the citizens of Sydney a chance to observe the ship in action when she catapulted a Grumman C-1A Trader while moored at Wooloomooloo Dock, departing Sydney, Coral Sea supplied 256,000 gallons of water to drought in Hong Kong on 3 June 1963, traveling through the Coral Sea and Tasman Sea to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea during World War II (8 May 1942). Ports of call include: Pearl Harbor, Hi.; Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia. It is on Australia's south-east coast, on the Tasman Sea; Guam, an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean, with the island's capital is Hagåtña (formerly Agaña). Guam is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands; Leyte Pier, NAS Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines, U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, a bay forming part of Luzon Sea on the west coast of the island of Luzon in Zambales, Philippines, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila Bay and is a major ship-repair, supply, and rest and recreation facility of the United States Navy located in Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines; Manila, Republic of Philippines, the capital city of the Philippines, is one of the sixteen cities (along with the municipality of Pateros) that comprise the national capital region called Metro Manila, located on the eastern shore of Manila Bay and is bordered by the cities of Navotas and Caloocan to the north; Quezon City to the northeast; San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east and Makati to the southeast, and Pasay to the south; Hong Kong, situated on China's south coast and, enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea; Sydney, Austrilla; Yokosuka, Japan, a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, covering an area of 100.7 km² and is the 11th most populous city in Greater Tokyo, 12th in the Kantō region; Okinawa Island (沖縄本島, Okinawa-hontō?, alternatively 沖縄島 Okinawa-jima - Okinawan: 沖縄/うちなー Uchinaa or 地下/じじ jiji; Kunigami: ふちなー Huchináa) is the largest of the Okinawa Islands and the Ryukyu (Nansei) Islands of Japan. The island has an area of 1,201.03 square kilometers (463.72 sq mi). It is roughly 640 kilometres (400 mi) south of the rest of Japan. The city of Naha, the capital of Okinawa Prefecture, is located there; Beppu, Japan, a city in Ōita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan, at the west end of Beppu Bay; Iwakuni, a city located in Yamaguchi, Japan; and Sasebo, a city in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. Squadrons: VF-151, F3H-2 (F-3B); VA-152, AD-6 (A-1H); VA-153, A4D-2 (A-4B); VF-154, FF8U-2N (F-8D); VA-155, A4D-2 (A-4B); VAH-2, A3D-2 (A-3B); VAW-13 Det. D, AD-5Q (EA-1F); VAW-11 Det. D, WF-2 (E-1B); VFP-63 Det. D, F8U-1P (RF-8A) and HU-1 Det. D, HUP-3 (UH-25C). Coral Sea completed her 1st & 2nd Vietnam Expeditionary Force (VEF) deployments during her 1st & 2nd “WestPac,” (first CVA in the Bering Sea during 12 December 1961 to 17 July 1962 deployment). Her third foreign water deployment since her visit to Vancouver, B.C. (18 to 22 March 1960) when she deployed from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington upon completion of sea trials and a post-overhaul inspection and survey evaluation, commencing once recommissioned, following SCB 110A conversion (16 April 1957 to 25 January 1960); decommissioned on 24 April 1957, completing nine tours of duty in the Mediterranean Sea operating with the 6th Fleet (7 June 1948 to 13 August 1956); reclassified hull classification symbol CVA-43 on 1 October 1952. Ports of call include Sydney, Australia and Hong Kong. Her 14th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission on 1 October 1947 (3 April to 25 November 1963)” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea, 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure, 34, 35 and 72).

 

 03/04/63 - 25/11/63

 AWARD OR CITATION

 AWARD DATES

  “WESTPAC”

 None Reported

 N/A

 3rd

Reference 34 and 35 reflect Chart info.

 

    “On 5 January 1964, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) was seaward again for operations. During that at-sea period, she held joint operations with the carrier USS Oriskany (CVA-34)” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk and 72).

 

    “USS Hancock (CVA-19) commenced overhaul and modernization, installing new ordnance system, hull repairs, and aluminum decking for her flight deck, 16 January 1964 at Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard” Ref. 1-Hancock, 30 & 72).

 

    “Captain Whitney Wright, NAVCAD, assumed command during a change of command ceremony aboard USS Midway (CVA-41) on 25 January 1964, relieving Captain Leroy Eugene Harris, USNA ‘37, 22nd Commanding Officer, serving from January 25, 1963 to January 25, 1964” (Ref. 1178-G). 

 

    “Until 1964 command of Task Force 77 rotated between the deployed carrier division commanders; from 1964 Carrier Group Five was permanent deployed to the Western Pacific as CTF 77, homeported at Naval Air Station Cubi Point in the Philippines” (Ref. [4] of 1093).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) returned to Yokosuka, Japan on 10 February 1964 for a two-week upkeep period. Because of inclement weather before entering port, many airplanes due to be launched to nearby NAS Atsugi for maintenance was left on board” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 12 February 1964, more than 20 planes were catapulted off USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) while she was moored in an unusual demonstration of the flexibility of the carrier and her aircraft” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

     Captain Pierre Numa Charbonnet, Jr. assumed command of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), on 16 February 1964, relieving Captain Charles Eugene Roemer, 17th Commanding Officer, serving from 13 February 1963 to 16 February 1964” (Ref. 35A).

 

    “Departing Taiwan, in June 1964, with stops at Hong Kong, Okinawa in the Sea of Japan and Pearl Harbor Hawaii behind her, USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) joined ships of other SEATO navies in amphibious exercises and then visited the Philippines, where in July 1964 she was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" (Ref. 1-Valley Forge & 72).

 

    “On 16 February 1964, an A3J aircraft crashes aboard the USS Hornet (CVS-12) while operating in the Pacific before the barricade could be rigged, killing the pilot and injuring two crew members” (Ref. 84A).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) made a port call at Hong Kong on 20 February 1964 and hosted many visitors aboard the ship” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 26 February 1964, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) departed Hong Kong, hosting many visitors aboard the ship during her sixth day port call. More than 300,000 gallons of fresh water was donated to the British government for use in the drought stricken colony” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “In late February, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) headed south again to Taiwan — this time to participate in the amphibious Exercise Back Pack. During the exercise, Vice Adm. J. F. D. Bush, Royal Navy, British Naval Attack to Washington, visited and was given a ride in the F-4B Phantom II jet. As in Big Dipper, Kitty Hawk aircraft provided air support and aerial reconnaissance for the 7th Fleet Marines assaulting the beach” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “Following Back Pack, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) spent a week at Sasebo followed by an Easter weekend visit to Buckner Bay, Okinawa (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Ranger (CVA-61) underwent Refresher Training out of Alameda commencing on 25 March 1964” (Ref. 1-Ranger & 72).

 

    “USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) entered the Indian Ocean on 4 April 1964 with the ‘Concord Squadron,’ composed of Bon Homme Richard, USS Shelton (DD 790), USS Blue (DD 744), USS Frank Knox (DD 742), and the fleet oiler USS Hassayampa (AO 145)” (Ref. 1-Bon Homme and 72).

 

    “On 6 April 1964, Rear Adm. Thomas Winfield South III was relieved by Rear Adm. William F. Bringle as commander Carrier Division Seven aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). Adm. Bringle was well known to the old hands aboard Kitty Hawk as he had previously served as her first commanding officer” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) made a port call at Hong Kong on 10 April 1964” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “After departing Hong Kong on 17 April 1964, Capt. John ‘L’ Butts, Jr., relieved Capt. Horace H. Epes, Jr., as commanding officer of USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) cleared Pearl Harbor on 4 May 1964 for what began as another peaceful tour of duty in the Far East. The first three months of that deployment brought normal operations, training and port calls” (Ref. 1-Ticonderoga).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) then conducted operations in the South China Sea until she departed that area to arrive at Yokosuka, Japan on 6 May 1964 for a three-day stay” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk and 72).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) departed Yokosuka, Japan and engaged in joint operations with HMS Victorious on 10 and 11 May 1964” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “During USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) third deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, on 13 May 1964, the world's first nuclear-powered task force was formed when USS Long Beach (CGN-9) and USS Bainbridge (CGN-7) joined Enterprise” (Ref. 1-Enterprise).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) was again engaged in special operations in the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam commencing on 18 May 1964” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk and 72).

 

    “On 26 May 1964, USS Midway (CVA-41) with Commander, Carrier Air Grup Two (CVG-2) embarked arrived Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, with Captain Whitney Wright, NAVCAD, relieving Captain Leroy Eugene Harris, USNA ‘37, as Commanding Officer, ending her fifth “WestPac” deployment, operating with the Pacific Fleet and the 7th Fleet. Captain Whitney Wright, NAVCAD, assumed command during a change of command ceremony aboard Midway on 25 January 1964, relieving Captain Leroy Eugene Harris, USNA ‘37, 22nd Commanding Officer, serving from January 25, 1963 - January 25, 1964. During an underway replenishment, Midway’s number 3 aircraft elevator is hit and lifted by a large wave. Parts of the wave also wash over the elevator almost washing several crewmembers into the sea. A subsequent large wave lifts the elevator again and breaks it from its guides. As a result the cables snap and the elevator falls into the sea. Midway got a new elevator in June 1964 during a yard period at Hunters Point Shipyard at San Francisco, Calif. Ports of calls include: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Leyte Pier, NAS Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines, U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, a bay forming part of Luzon Sea on the west coast of the island of Luzon in Zambales, Philippines, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila Bay and is a major ship-repair, supply, and rest and recreation facility of the United States Navy located in Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines; Hong Kong, B.C.C., situated on China's south coast and, enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea; Sasebo, a city in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan; Beppu, Japan, a city in Ōita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan, at the west end of Beppu Bay; Iwakuni, a city located in Yamaguchi, Japan and Yokosuka, Japan, a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, covering an area of 100.7 km² and is the 11th most populous city in Greater Tokyo, 12th in the Kantō region. CVG-2 (M) redesignated CVW-2 on 20 December 1963. CVG-2 was also redesignated its tail code from M to NE – (M – Sep. 1, 1948 to Dec. 20, 1963). Squadrons: VF-21, F-4B; VA-22, A-4C; VA-23, A-4E; VF-24, F-8C; VA-25, A-1H & A-1J; VAH-8, A-3B; VAW-11 Det. A; E-1B; VFP-63 Det. A, RF-8A (F8U-1P) and HU-1 Det. A, UH-2A. USS Robison (DDG-12) and USS Parsons (DDG-33) joined up with Midway as part of her task force. Her fifth deployment since her first recommission upon completion of SCB-110 (August 1955 to 30 September 1957), decommissioning in August 1955 upon completion of her World Cruise for a five month SCB-110 modernization that included new innovations such as an enclosed bow and an angled flight deck to be installed at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton Washington; redesignated CVA-41 on 1 October 1952. Her 18th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II (8 November 1963 to 26 May 1964)” (Ref. 1-Midway, 72 & 84A).

 

 08/11/63 to 08/11/64

AWARD OR CITATION

AWARD DATES

WEST COAST

National Defense Service Medal

Vietnam

Jan 1961 to Aug 1974

5th WestPac

Ref. 1081 & 1081/C

 

    “USS Hancock (CVA-19) celebrated her 20th birthday 2 June 1964 while visiting San Diego, Ca. and made a training cruise to Hawaii” (Ref. 1-Hancock & 72).

 

    “From December 1963 to June 1964, USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) conducted training exercises off California” (Ref. 1-Kearsarge & 72).

 

    “While conducting photo reconnaissance flights over Communist Laotian territory, two aircraft from USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) were downed by ground fire. Cmdr. D.W. Lynn, Executive Officer of VF-111, went down under communist fire on 7 June, but was rescued and returned to the ship on the 8th. Also at this time, Lt. C.F. Klusmann of the VFP-63 detachment aboard Kitty Hawk was shot down and captured by communist forces in Laos” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Constellation (CVA-64) with CVW-14 embarked (CVG air groups had been redesignated CVW air wings on 20 December 1963) relieved USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) on station in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam 8 June 1964, and commenced flying armed photoreconnaissance missions over Laos”(Ref. 1-Constellation and 72).

 

    “During the period between 18 May and 10 June 1964, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) was engaged in special operations in the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 12 June 1964, USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) suffers a major propulsion system casualty while participating in an exercise160 miles southwest of Sasebo, Japan. The casualty results in the loss of 50 percent propulsion capability” (Ref. 84A).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) pilots arrived Yokosuka, Japan on 14 June 1964 after 36 continuous days at sea” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 15 June 1964, in an impressive Change of Command ceremony aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), Vice Adm. Thomas H. Moorer was relieved by Vice Adm. Roy L. Johnson as commander Seventh Fleet. Almost two years earlier, in October 1962, Adm. Moorer had assumed command of the Seventh Fleet in a ceremony also held onboard Kitty Hawk” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Ranger (CVA-61) underwent refresher training out of Alameda on 25 March 1964, interrupted by an operational cruise to Hawaii from 19 June to 10 July” (Ref. 1-Ranger & 72).

 

    “On 29 June 1964, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) pilots departed Yokosuka, Japan for operations south of Japan” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “Departing Taiwan, in June 1964, with stops at Hong Kong, Okinawa in the Sea of Japan and Pearl Harbor Hawaii behind her, USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) joined ships of other SEATO navies in amphibious exercises and then visited the Philippines, where in July 1964 she was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" (Ref. 1-Valley Forge & 72).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) returned to Yokosuka, Japan on 5 July 1964 to make final preparations for the return trip to the United States” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) departed Yokosuka, Japan on 7 July 1964 for her return to the United States, leaving a day early to avoid a threatening typhoon” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Constellation (CVA-64) with CVW-14 embarked flew armed photo-reconnaissance missions over Laos from 8 June 1964 to 13 July 1964 when she arrived for a upkeep period at Subic Bay, R.P” (Ref. 1-Constellation and 72).

 

    “USS Constellation (CVA-64) with CVW-14 embarked departed Subic Bay, R.P., reaching Hong Kong for a port visit 27 July 1964” (Ref. 1-Constellation and 72).

 

    “Having spent only a few days in port since her arrival on 27 July 1964, USS Constellation (CVA-64) with CVW-14 embarked departed Hong Kong on 2 August 1964, following an attack by three North Vietnamese torpedo boats on the destroyer Maddox (DD-731) on 2 August 1964 and returned to the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 1-Constellation and 72).

 

    “Arriving Yokosuka, Japan on 30 July 1964, USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) was dispatched to the South China Sea, following the North Vietnamese patrol boat attack on U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. While U.S. Navy planes destroyed North Vietnam oil and supply depots, Kearsarge provided antisubmarine protection for the 7th Fleet. The decisiveness of American action persuaded the communists to delay their objectives for the time being” (Ref. 1-Kearsarge and 72).

 

    “On 31 July 1964, the world's first nuclear-powered task force consisting of USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65), USS Long Beach (CGN 9) and USS Bainbridge (CGN 7) was designated Task Force One and, leaving Gibraltar, sailed on Operation Sea Orbit, an historic 65-day, 30,216-mile voyage around the world, accomplished without a single refueling or replenishment” (Ref. 1-Enterprise).

 

    “On 2 August 1964, North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked destroyer USS Maddox (DD-731) in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 1-Valley Forge and 72).

 

    “On 2 August 1964, USS Maddox, a U.S. Navy destroyer on electronic intelligence patrol operating in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin, reported being attacked by units of the North Vietnamese Navy. Within minutes of her receipt of the message, USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) dispatched four, rocket-armed F8E Crusaders to the destroyer's assistance. Upon arrival, the Crusaders launched Zuni rockets and strafed the North Vietnamese craft with their 20-millimeter cannons. Ticonderoga airmen teamed up with Maddox gunners to thwart the North Vietnamese attack, leaving one boat dead in the water and damaging the other two” (Ref. 1-Ticonderoga and 72).

 

    “On 4 August 1964, USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) received urgent requests from USS Turner Joy (DD-951), by then on patrol with Maddox, for air support in resisting what the destroyer alleged to be another torpedo boat foray.

 

That day, USS Constellation (CVA-64) launched F-4B Phantom IIs to join aircraft from USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) in providing air cover over the American surface ships, and Turner Joy directed them. The Navy surface and air team believed it had sunk two boats and damaged another pair” (Ref. 1-Constellation and 72).

 

    “President Lyndon B. Johnson responded with a reprisal to what he felt at the time to be two unprovoked attacks on American sea power and on 5 August 1964 (Gulf of Tonkin incident), ordered retaliatory air strikes on selected North Vietnamese motor torpedo boat bases” (Ref. 1-Ticonderoga and 72).

 

    “As USS Ranger (CVA-61) steamed from the western seaboard on 5 August 1964, both USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) and USS Constellation (CVA-64) launched 60 retaliatory air strikes (sorties) against North Vietnamese oil facility and naval vessels, resulting in the loss of two aviators assigned to CVW-14, one killed in action (KIA) and the other taken as a prisoner of war (POW) (Connie and CVW-14 were awarded a Navy Unit Commendation (NUC) for the early August operations). Those attacks reportedly resulted in the destruction of 25 PT-type boats, severe damage to the bases, and almost complete razing of the oil storage depot. The strikes lasted for four hours. Constellation lost an A-1H Skyraider, whose pilot, Lt. j.g. Richard A. Sather, became the first Navy pilot to be killed in Vietnam, and an A-4E Skyhawk, flown by Lt. J.G. Everett Alvarez who became the first Navy POW.

 

    For her quick reaction and successful combat actions on those three occasions, Ticonderoga received the Navy Unit Commendation” (Ref. 1-Ticonderoga, Constellation and 72).

 

    “Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf resolution on 7 August 1964, authorizing President Johnson to ‘take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the United States .... [and] to assist any member or protocol state" of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). This resolution passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 416 to 0 and in the Senate by 88 to 2’ (Ref. 1-Constellation and 72).

 

    “USS Ranger (CVA-61) made an 8-hour stop in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 10 August 1964, then hurried on to Subic Bay, thence to Yokosuka, Japan” (Ref. 1-Ranger and 72).

 

    “On 10 August 1964, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) with CVG-11 embarked departed San Diego, Calif., on a three-day trip to Bangor, Wash.” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “While en route to Bangor, Wash. on 12 August 1964, the icebreaker USS Staten Island (AGB-5) towed the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) for several hours off Newport, Ore., to test this capability” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) pilots spent two days at Bangor, Wash. off loading ammunition and departed on 15 August 1964, for the one day trip to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash. During this short inland sea cruise, local dignitaries and their families were invited aboard” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 16 August 1964, an open house was conducted at Bremerton during which approximately 25,000 people streamed aboard. This was the largest crowd to visit USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) pilots in a single day” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 4 September 1964, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) moved into Dry Dock Number 6, the world's largest dry dock, and thus provided the first full capacity load for this dry dock” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “In September 1964, while USS Ranger (CVA-61) was on “Yankee Station” off Vietnam, she suffered a Boiler explosion that would take 51 days to repair” (Ref. 84A).

 

    “After a return visit to Japan in September 1964, USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) resumed normal operations in the South China Sea until winding up the deployment late in the year” (Ref. 1-Ticonderoga).

 

    “While operating in the South China Sea, A rocket motor used to boost aircraft explodes killing one, injuring three on 11 September 1964 onboard USS Constellation (CVA-64)” (Ref. 84A).

 

    “After almost three months in his prison camp, Lt. Klusmann from VFP-63 detachment attached to CVG-11 aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) during her second “WestPac” deployment, managed his escape and was returned to the United States in mid-September 1964, having been shot down and captured by Communist forces in Laos” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “Rear Admiral Marshall William White assumed command of Carrier Division Five on 24 September 1964, where he stayed until relieving Rear William Floyd Bringle, USN” (Ref. 1179-S & 1179-T).

 

    “While in port Yokosuka, Japan on 17 October 1964, USS Ranger (CVA-61) became flagship of Rear Admiral Miller who commanded Fast Carrier Task Force 77 (Ref. 1-Ranger and 72).

 

    “Operating with the 7th Fleet while flagship of Rear Admiral Miller who commanded Fast Carrier Task Force 77, USS Ranger (CVA-61) continued its role of steady watchfulness to keep open the sea lanes for the Allies and stop communist infiltration by sea commencing on 17 October 1964” (Ref. 1-Ranger and 72).

 

    “USS Princeton (LPH-5) joined the Pacific Fleet's Ready Group in operations against North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces” (Ref. 1-Princeton and 72).

 

    “USS Princeton (LPH-5) combat operations were interrupted in November 1964 for flood relief work” (Ref. 1-Princeton and 72).

 

    “USS Yorktown (CVS-10) conducted normal operations 1 January to 22 October 1964” (Ref. 1-Yorktown & 72).

 

    “USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) made two round-trip voyages to Okinawa carrying marines and aircraft upon conclusion of her first combat cruise on 5 November 1964 and before her second combat cruise of the Vietnam Conflict/War in the fall of 1965, concluding her sixth and seventh Sea of Japan voyage; making her fourth deployment in the Sea of Japan on her fourth Korea Combat cruise and fifth “Westpac” deployment and sixth and seventh voyage in foreign waters since she reclassified an amphibious assault carrier and redesignated as LPH-8 on 1 July 1961” (Ref. 1-Valley Forge and 72).

 

    “Another period of operations in the Hawaiian Islands delayed USS Yorktown (CVS-10) arrival in Japan until 3 December 1964” (Ref. 1-Yorktown and 72).

 

    “Captain James Michael O'Brien, USNA '43, assumed command during a change of command ceremony aboard USS Midway (CVA-41) on 19 December 1964, relieving Captain Whitney Wright, NAVCAD, 23rd Commanding Officer, serving from January 25, 1964 - December 19, 1964” (Ref. 1178-G).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XIX

 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.

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EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-55111-4