USS TOWERS COMMAND HISTORY FOR THE YEAR 1968
SUBMITTED 11 FEB 1969 by E. W. Carter, III Commanding
Officer USS TOWERS DDG-9
DECLASSIFIED 18 MARCH 1977
(U) Chronology of Highlights:
1 January 4 May 1968
Development - Assist test of the Standard Missile: D/S 454.
6 May 29 June 1968
Restricted availability in Long Beach Naval Shipyard.
15 19 July 1968
COMTUEX 12-68; an exercise involving air, surface, and subsurface
29 July 2 August 1968
ADVANTEX 1-68; operations with USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62).
14 21 August 1968
STRIKEX 3-68; fleet exercise under operational control of Commander
5 September 1968
Departed San Diego for WESTPAC deployment.
29 September 5 October 1968
Conducted NGFS operations in company with USS NEW JERSEY
(BB-62), I Corps, South Vietnam.
6 - 14 October 1968
Conducted Sea Dragon operations in company with USS NEW JERSEY
(BB- 62), North Vietnam.
15 22 October 1968
Conducted NGFS operations in company with USS NEW JERSEY
(BB-62), I Corps, South Vietnam.
6 8 November 1968
Yankee Station operations in company with USS CONSTILLATION
( CVA- 64).
10 16 November 1968
Conducted NGFS operations in support of Amphibious Operation
DARING ENDEAVOR, I Corps, South Vietnam.
17 - 30 November 1968
NGFS operations, I Corps, South Vietnam.
22 - 24 December 1968
Yankee Station operations in company with USS INTREPID (CVS-II).
27 December - 31 December 1968
NGFS operations, IV Corps, South Vietnam.
2. (C) Basic Narrative
a. Command Organization and Relations:
(1) Commanding Officer: CDR S.T. COUNTS, USN. Commanding Officer
Through 19 July 1968. CDR E. W. CARTER , III, USN, Commanding Officer 20 July
1968 to present.
(2) Homeport: San Diego, California.
(3) Mission of Command: To operate offensively with strike forces with
hunter/killer groups, in support of amphibious assault operations and screen support forces
and convoys against submarines, air and surface threats.
(4) Composition of Command: Officers 19 , Enlisted - 319.
(1) The TOWERS spent the first four months of 1968 in the development assist
test (D/S) 454 of the standard missile with the Tartar Weapons System on the Pacific Missile Range. The primary objectives of D/S 454 included:
(a) Demonstration of SM-LA (MR) and weapons system capability at significant points of the performance envelope.
(b) Evaluation of the capability of the ships weapon systems to fire standard missile as well as Tartar missiles.
(c) Collection of data required to certify the standard missile for operational evaluation.
In the course of these test, thirty-one standard missiles were fired. There were twenty failures ,two duds, and eleven successes. The basic compatibility of standard missile to the Tartar weapon system and modifications to the Tartar weapons system to support standard missile were successfully demonstrated.
During May and June, Towers underwent restricted availability in the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for repair and modification of the ships four Westinghouse Service Turbo-Generators. Because of this unscheduled availability ,the pre-deployment refresher training period was cancelled. An intensive ISE/TYT was conducted the following month.
Towers began her sixth WESTPAC deployment on September 5. this was highlighted by a transpacific cruise in company with the Navys only active battleship, USS New Jersey (BB-62). There were brief stops at Pearl Harbor and SUBIC Bay before arriving in the I Corps TACTIAL Zone on 29 September for gunfire support. On 5 October, as escort for NEW JERSEY, Towers was assigned shore bombardment missions in Sea Dragon operations. The gunfire damage assessment for the period 30 September through 21 October was: two artillery sites, three AAA sites,43 bunkers and structures destroyed or damaged, 55 meters of trench destroyed, two
Water borne logistics craft destroyed, ten probable enemy killed in action
And 19 secondary explosions were observed. During this period, TOWERS
Rescued a Marine pilot and his gunfire spotter, when their A4F spotter
Aircraft was shot down. This rescue was effected in the waters off the DMZ.
The ship returned to Subic Bay on 23 October for a ten day upkeep
Period. The next assignment was as plane guard for the USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64) on 6 November in Yankee Station.
The schedule was interrupted when TOWERS was recalled to I Corps to
Provide gunfire support for Operation Daring Endeavor, an amphibious
And vertical assault just south of Da Nang. CO, USS TOWERS was
Assigned additional duty during this operation as Commander, Naval
Gunfire Support Unit. The operation was highly successful. TOWERS
Was commended for its role during the operation. I corps remained the
Scene of operation for TOWERS from 17 to 30 November. As a gunfire
Support ship, TOWERS provided anti-rocket protection in Da Nang Harbor
On21,22,24 and 25 November. TOWERS also provided gunfire support to the Second Brigade, Republic of Korea Marines on 23 and 26-29 November, 20 miles south of Da Nang. Gunfire damage assessment for the
Period 9-30 November, was: 14 bunkers destroyed, 87 structures destroyed
Or heavily damaged, and three enemy confirmed killed in action, and a total
Of 2,476 rounds were expended.
An upkeep period in Subic Bay from 2 13 December was followed by
Rest and recreation in Singapore. Enroute to Singapore, TOWERS traveled
South of the Equator and on 15 December received a visit from Davy Jones
And Neptunus Rex
On 20 December, the ship departed Singapore and proceeded to Yankee Station
Arriving 22 December. TOWERS assumed the role as screen commander for the
Destroyer screen operating with USS INTREPID (CVS11). After two days with INTREPID, TOWERS was sent to the West Coast of Vietnam on the Gulf of Siam
For assignment to IV Corps. Years end found TOWERS engaging the enemy in that
Area with night harassing fire.
c. Special Topics
(1) Operational statistics
(a) Underway Replenishments:
JUL- 3 refuelings
SEP- 5 refuelings
OCT- 6 refuelings
Nov 7 refuelings
2 vertical replenishments
Dec- 2 refuelings
1 vertical replenishment
(b) Ammunition expenditures for shore bombardments (5/54)
NGFS 30 September 5 October: 1267
Sea Dragon 5 - 14 October: 477
NGFS 15 - 21 October 1071
NGFS 10 30 November 2483
NGFS 27 - 31 December 309
(2) Communications: Messages sent/received:
JUL 971/ 281
(3) Casualties to equipment:
CADREPT EQUIP CASCOR
13 Jan 68 MK 474 Test Set 26 Jan 68
18 Jan 68 An/SPG 51C Radar 26 Jan 68
19 Jan 68 GMLS MK II 29 Jan 68
22 Jan 68 SQS-23 Sonar Cool Pump 30 Jan 68
24 Jan 68 2B Boiler 21 Jun 68
05 Mar 68 Motor whale boat 15 Apr 68
06 Mar 68 MK 118 Computer 11 Mar 68
09 Mar 68 1 B boiler 27 Mar 68
26 Mar 68 SRC 20 transceiver 20 May 68
23 Mar 68 2A SSTG 27 Jun 68
28 Mar 68 MK 73 director 28 Mar 68
29 Mar 68 WDE MK 1 01 Apr 68
29 Mar 68 GMLS MK 11 01 Apr 68
03 Apr 68 AN/ SPG 51C radar 05 Apr 68
05 Apr 68 AN/ SKQ 1 telemetering 12 Apr 68
05 Apr 68 GMLS MK 11 09 Apr 68
23 Apr 68 26 FT personal boat 04 Sept 68
26 Apr 68 GMLS MK 11 20 May 68
28 May 68 GMLS MK 11 06 JUN 68
29 May 68 WRC 1 transceiver 23 Jul 68
02 Jul 68 2 A boiler 12 Sep 68
02 Jul 68 GMLS MK 11 09 Jul 68
10 Jul 68 URC 9 Transceiver 27 Aug68
10 Jul 68 SPS 39 Radar 14 Aug 68
13 Jul 68 GMLS MK 11 10 Aug 68
13 Jul 68 ASROC Attack Console MK 38 MOD O 30 Aug 68
15 Jul 68 T-MK 6 Fanfare 13 Aug 68
19 Jul 68 SRA 22 Antenna Coupler 27 Aug 68
31 Jul 68 WRC 1 Transceiver 23 Aug68
01 Aug 68 MK68 Director 08 Aug68
05 Aug 68 1A Boiler 09Aug68
14 Aug 68 ULQ-6B (port) 05Sep68
14 Aug 68 ULQ-6B (stbd) 05 Sep68
17 Aug 68 UPX 1 IFF 23 Aug68
30 Aug 68 1A Boiler 30 Aug68
07 Sep 68 AN/SRN-6A 24 Sep68
08 Sep 68 AN/SQS-23 10 Sep68
17 Sep 68 AN/SQS-23 24 Sep68
17 Sep 68 2B2 Forced Draft Blower 25 Sep68
20 Sep 68 2A Boiler 24 Sep68
21 Sep 68 MK118 Computer No. 2 23 Sep 68
29 Sep 68 AN/UQC 1A 14 Oct. 68
03 Oct 68 MK 118 Computer No.3 13 Oct. 68
03 Oct 68 AL/UQC 1A 14 Oct 68
03 Oct 68 MK118 Computer NO. 3 13 Oct 68
03 Oct 68 AN/ULQ 6b (stbd) 04 Oct 68
05 Oct 68 Fwd 5/54 Mount 16 Nov 68
09 Oct 68 Aft 5/54 Mount 16 Nov 68
09 Oct 68 TSEC/KY-8 12 Oct 68
10 Oct 68 AN/SRN 6A 15 Oct 68
11 Oct 68 GMLS MK 11 MOD 0 13 Oct 68
15 Oct 68 1b Boiler 03 Nov 68
03 Nov 68 Fwd Gyro Compass MK 19 MOD 3A 07 Dec 68
06 Nov 68 AN/URC 9 01 Dec 68
10 Nov 68 AN/SRC 21 11 Nov 68
23 Nov 68 Fwd 5/54 Mount 25 Dec 68
11 Nov 68 AN/SPG 51c 10 Dec 68
13 Nov 68 1b Boiler 09 Dec 68
18 Dec 68 1b Boiler 20 Dec 68
20 Dec 68 SRC 21 UHF Transceiver ----------
22 Dec 68 R-1051 HF Receiver ----------
(5) Personnel: During 1968 there were 20 reenlistments on board and 66
Transfers for discharge.
(6) Special training: Two reserve officers of the rank of LCDR and LT, and
two enlisted personnel of rate E-7 were assigned to the TOWERS for the period 12-23
TOWERS embarked two Republic of South Vietnamese Ensigns, Va Van Tinh
And Nguyen Tan Dat for orientation and indoctrination training cruise from 1 November
To 31 December.
(7) Research and development projects: The Development/Assist Test of the
Standard missile; Project D/S 454, from January through April.
(8) Rescues: On 1 October, in the seas just south of the DMZ, TOWERS
rescued two airmen, pilot Captain James Spaith, USMC and gunfire spotter, 1st
LT U.S. Grant, USMC, after their A4F plane was shot down while on a spotter
Mission for the USS NEW JERSEY. TOWERS and NEW JERSEY were each conducting
Gunfire support missions for elements of the Third Marine Amphibious Force at this
(9) Awards, commendations or special congratulatory messages received.
(a) Subsequent to the completion of D/S 454 ( Development/
Assist Test of TARTAR missile) TOWERS received the following
Commendation dated 20 May, 1968 from Commander, Cruiser-
-Destroyer Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet:
The high order of professionalism is in keeping with the past
performance of USS TOWERS (DDG-9) and represents a worthwhile
goal for future efforts. Mason Freeman.
(b) For participation in Falling Echo 69-1, a joint continental U.S.
AA defense exercise, the following message of DTG 231600Z JUL
68 was received from 27th NORAD Division, Luke AFB, Arizona:
Navy box score in subject exercise, two first kills, one overkill .Your
participation .make a significant contribution to overall success of
of missions. Well done.
(c) For a successful surface to surface missile shoot during a fleet
Exercise, TOWERS received the following commendation dated 30
August, 1968, from Commander, First Fleet:
I was impressed by your successful missile shot against the target hull
on 17 August. The enclosed photographs were taken before and after
your bird hit the mark they speak for themselves, Good shooting:
keep up the good work. Bernard F. Roeder
(d) The following message was received from the USS NEW
JERSEY after TOWERS rescued tow USMC airmen from the
Waters off the DMZ, Vietnam on 1 October 1968:
Your expeditious approach and rescue of a downed pilot and NFGF
spotter today was truly outstanding. It is comforting to note our
shotgun not only has a steady eye, but also a quick steady hand
under emergency conditions. Well done to all hands. J. Edward
(e) The following message addressed to the TOWERS, DTG
080945Z Oct 68 was received incident to a visit by the Secretary
of the Navy to Seventh Fleet Units on 8 October 1968:
Regret I was unable to get aboard your fine ship today. However, I
have heard many complimentary comments on the outstanding
performance of TOWERS, My best wishes for a successful cruise.
Paul R. Ignatius
(f) At the completion of Operation Daring Endeavor, a combined
Amphibious/helicopter assault against Viet Cong units in I Corps,
The following message DTG 190433Z NOV 68 was received
From Commander, Amphibious Ready Group BRAVO addressed
Your overall provision of NGF in support of Operation Daring Endeavor was
nothing less than outstanding. The Marines depended on your firepower and
your performance justified their trust. Air support was extremely limited
throughout the operation and your powerful salvos necessarily had to fill the
gap several times. On D-Day, in particular, due to lack of air support, you
were called on to prep the landing zone on extremely short notice. In fact,
landing zone target coverage throughout the operation had been determined to
be 90 percent. The helos took no hostile fire, either going into or leaving the
landing zone further attesting to your accuracy and effectiveness. You have
always responded rapidly when needed despite sometimes complex com-
munications and impressed with your extremely fine performance. Regret our
spotters were unable to provide you with more complete gun damage
As CTU 76.5.1 you performed an outstanding job coordinating the efforts,
Including UNREPS, of the GFS ships. Your being closer to and always on
Top of the NGFS ships needs and problems contributed significantly to the
Ease by which the seaward phases of the operation were conducted. It has
Been a pleasure to serve with you. God speed and good hunting in your
Future operations. Captain L. Savadkin, USN
(10) Notable records or firsts: First ship on the West Coast with complete
(11) Special ceremonies
(a) On board TOWERS while in San Diego, a change of command
ceremony took place on 20 July 1968. CDR S.T. COUNTS,
USN was relieved by CDR Edward W. Carter, III, as
(b) On 15 December, 1968, at Lat, 0, 00 N, Long 108,18E
TOWERS was directed to heaveto by his Royal Majesty, Neptune
Rex, who subsequently boarded this vessel with his Royal Court
And with assistance from 42 venerable shellbacks duly initiated 307
Pollywogs into the Solemn Mysteries of the Ancient Order of the