1972

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Wives

1972-73 was an eventful WestPac for the Towers and crew, one in which I had personal experience in that I was onboard as an FTM2.  The Towers was under enemy fire on numerious occassions during this period, usually as a result of being on Operation Linebacker duties off the shores of North Vietnam.

It was not uncommon to be at sea (underway) for up to 45 days during this time, alternating between being on the gunline off the DMZ providing Naval Gunfire Support, pulling 'plane guard' for the USS Ranger and other carriers, performing Search & Rescue Support in the northern parts of the Gulf of Tonkin, and Operation Linebacker duties off the coast of Hiaphong in North Vietnam.

At times we would underway-replenish ammo one night, fuel the next evening, then food stores the next, and then start the cycle again with ammo.  When on Operation Linebacker our 'run' into the target area was at night, darkened ship, high speed to get within range and unleash a 100 or so rounds of 5" and then slip back into the night, and then perhaps do it again in a few hours. (sonar would count the number of splashes of 175mm rounds that were fired at us and our other 3 or 4 accompaning destroyers, sometimes as many as 500 splashes would be reported).

It was a busy time, during which the Towers was our home, the crew our family, the other destroyers our friends; but for the most part we were in hostile waters and always fairly exhausted.  This was not a pleasure cruise but a working one; we were asked to perform the job for which we were trained, and the Towers and crew performed it very well.

Dennis Brantly, USS Towers ('70 - '73)

 

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