(Unclassified upon removal of enclosure)
Ser: 01/001
17 Feb 1967

OPNAV Report 5750-1

From: Commanding Officer, USS TOWERS (DDG-9)
To: Chief of Naval Operations (Op-09B9)

Subj: Command History, USS Towers (DDG-9); submission of (U)

Ref: (a) OPNAV INST 5750.12


Encl: (1) Ship’s History, USS Towers (DDG-9) for period 1 Jan 1966
to 31 Dec 1966

  1. In accordance with references (a) and (b), enclosure (1) is submitted.

/s/ S.T. Counts
S.T. Counts

Copy to:

OP09BH 3/18/77


Chronology of Highlights (C)

4 June – Deployed for WESTPAC
2-17 July – Expended 3,266 rounds in Naval Gunfire Support, South Vietnam
6 July – Commander Stanley T. COUNTS, USN relieved Commander Harmon C.
PENNY, USN as Commanding Officer

    1. Aug – Assigned to TU 77.0.1 AAW Picket/SAR DD Unit, Gulf of Tonkin
    2. Oct – Assigned to TU 77.0.1 AAW Picket/SAR DD Unit, Gulf of Tonkin
    3 Dec – Arrived in San Diego after six month deployment

    Operations (C)

    The month of January 1966 was a quiet one in San Diego for TOWERS with many of the crew on holiday leave during the first part of the month. Upkeep of the ship and preparation for upcoming exercises occupied the crew the rest of the time. From 31 January to 6 February TOWERS participated in the joint U.S. – Canadian “Operation Buttonhook,” an ASW exercise encompassing the entire west coast of the United States and Canada. Later in the month the ship was again underway for COMPTUEX 4-66, an ASW exercise off of San Diego. March was spent at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for a repair availability.

    In preparation for her upcoming Search and Rescue mission in WESTPAC, TOWERS participated in “Operation GRAY GHOST” off the coat of California, April 12-22. Here the crew trained in PT Boats, air control intercept and Anti-air warfare exercises to become proficient in their role as one of the two northernmost ships in the Gulf of Tonkin – always in danger of attack by North Vietnam based MIG’s.

    “GRAY GHOST” was followed by another in-port period until 16 May when the ship got underway for COMPTUEX 15-66, lasting four days. On 4 June TOWERS with COMDESDIV 72, CAPT J.K. LESLIE, USN embarked, deployed for WESTPAC in company with USS BUCK and USS WILTSIE with brief stops at Pearl Harbor, Midway and Guam. After a short period in Subic Bay, during which COMDESDIV 72 shifted his flag to BUCK as TOWERS joined TG 70.8.9 on 1 July off the III and IV Corps area and Rung Sat special zone and participated in Naval Gunfire Support Operations. During this period on 6 July 1966 CDR S.T. COUNTS Relieved CDR H. C. PENNY as Commanding Officer. Ordered to return to Subic Bay, the crew divided the period 20 to 25 July between liberty and type training around Luzon, P.I. While in Subic COMDESRON SEVEN Shifted his flag to TOWERS and TOWERS proceeded with WILTSIE to Danang, South Viet-Nam for counter PT Boat training, arriving on Northern SAR Patrol on 1 August.

    Enclosure (1)
    -1- SECRET


    TOWERS remained on station for thirty days with COMDESRON SEVEN, CAPT R.R. LAW embarked at CTU 77.0.1 and CTE; TE consisted of TOWERS and WILTSIE. During this period, operations often took the ship within visual range of the area around Haiphong Harbor and the North Vietnam coast. After a month on station, TOWERS and WILTSIE were relieved on Northern SAR by USS HOEL (DDG-13) and USS GURKE (DD-783) and proceeded to Hong Kong for 5 days of well deserved liberty from 4 to 8 September. Proceeding from the British Crown Colony, the ship headed for Subic Bay for a tender availability alongside USS Bryce Canyon (AD-36) where the ship made ready for another long patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin. Following four days of type training around Luzon, TOWERS with COMDESRON SEVEN embarked, and WILTSIE proceeded to Northern SAR station, again with a brief stop at Danang. TOWERS and WILTSIE became TE 77.01.1 for the previous patrol, although air activities were somewhat less, due to poor flying conditions much of the month. TOWERS and WILTSIE were relieved as TE on 31 October by USS HOEL (DDG-13) and USS Southerland (DD-743). The ship returned to Subic Bay a last time on 3 November where COMDESRON SEVEN departed to his normal flag ship, USS HALSEY (DLG-23) and COMDESDIV SEVENTY-TWO, CDR J. E. FINNERAN, USN broke his flag. En route to EASTPAC on 13 November, TOWERS stopped at Yokosuka between 16 and 21 November where she was visited by her type Commander, COMCRUDESPAC, RADM W. H. BAUMBERGER. On the return crossing in company with USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64), USS BUCK (DD-761), USS PRITCHETT (DD-561), USS WILTSIE (DD-716) and USS FRANK KNOX (DD-742), the task group ran into several days of heavy weather resulting in some damage to the CVA and the DD's. TOWERS experienced only minor storm damage. TOWERS arrived in her homeport, San Diego, on 3 December and the crew commenced holiday leave with their families.

    Enclosure (1)



    Special Topics

    1. a. Operational Statistics: During naval gunfire support missions in South Viet-Nam from 2 to 17 July, the ship expended 3266 rounds of five inch ammunition in two weeks. The following confirmed damage was done:

    17 structures destroyed
    118 structures damaged
    3 sampans destroyed
    11 Viet Cong personnel killed
    1 bridge destroyed

    1. (CONF) Performance of Material and Weapons and Engineering Performance:

    The following casualties occurred:


    011032Z Jun #1B S/S GEN 021142Z Jul 190
    101306Z Jul Mt. 52 210534Z Jul 251
    120836Z Jul AN/SPS-39 210620Z Jul 209
    260202Z Jul AN/SQS-23 151138Z Aug 456
    041026Z Aug AN/SPG-51B 091336Z Aug 140
    081218Z Aug Steering Gear 120624Z Aug -
    181312Z Aug Mt. 51 221034Z Aug 88
    161214Z Aug Feed Pump 020846Z Oct -
    190330Z Sep #2B Boiler 210428Z Sep -
    211400Z Sep AN/SPG-51B 271410Z Oct 120
    030910Z Sep AN/GRC-27 161230Z Oct 264
    040350Z Oct AN/SPS-39 051534Z Oct 35
    100158Z Oct AN/URC-32 230140Z Oct 240

    1. (UNCL) Major Conversions and Modifications: None

    1. (UNCL) Port and Base Developments: Not Applicable

    1. (UNCL) Development in Command and Control Systems: None

    1. (UNCL) Development in Tactics and Doctrines: None

    -3- SECRET


    1. (S) Summary of Major Intelligence Collected: Intelligence collected on SAR was of an ECM nature. Twelve master EOB sights were confirmed. One emission of an unknown nature was recorded and forwarded to ELINT center for further evaluation. Pictures and video tape recordings of all signals were made. PACOM ELINT CENTER awarded Towers a "Well Done" for the month of August and a "Very Good" for October.

    1. (U) Communications: During the period January-December 1966 the following number of messages were sent/received, and daily averages are given:


    January 30 365 12.8
    February 249 482 26.0
    March ---- 451 14.5
    April 105 885 33.0
    May 40 529 18.3
    June 190 630 27.3
    July 150 1067 37.2
    August 484 2493 99.2
    September 201 1182 46.1
    October 505 1848 76.0
    November 142 851 33.1
    December 53 370 13.3

    The above does not include traffic received routed for "info".

    1. (U) Supply and Logistics: During 1966, TOWERS went alongside for 32 underway refuelings and 16 underway replenishments.

    1. (U) Major Policy and Planning Developments: Not Applicable

    1. (U) Casualties of Men and Equipment: No personnel casualties were incurred.
    For CASREPTS see subpara b.

    1. (U) Personnel: During 1966 there were three first-term enlistments, five career reenlistments and fifty-none discharges. Manning level is adequate.

    -4- SECRET
    1. (U) Medical and Dental Activities: Not Applicable

    1. (U) Activities of the Chaplain: Not Applicable

    1. (U) Community Relations and Civic Action: Not Applicable

    1. (U) Foreign Agreements: Not Applicable

    1. (U) Reservist Special Training: None

    1. (U) Research and Development Projects: None

    1. (C) Rescues: TOWERS took part in 8 SAR missions in the Northern Gulf of Tonkin during the month of August, including 3 rescues behind enemy lines. All rescues utilized SAR helicopters controlled by the TOWERS.

    6 Aug - A USAF pilot was rescued by an HU-16, 69 miles from TOWERS.

    7 Aug - Two USAF pilots were rescued by HU-16 helo behind the enemy-held island
    of CAC BA.

    8 Aug - A downed USAF pilot could not be found. It was concluded that he been
    blown up with his plane.

    11 Aug - A Navy pilot was rescued by SH3A helo, 49 miles from TOWERS.
    The helo had to land on water.

    12 Aug - Two USAF pilots were rescued in pitch darkness by a UH-2 helo from USS
    KING. TOWERS did the spotting with a light and helped locate the men in
    the water.

    13 Aug - A Navy pilot was rescued by SH3A helo behind CAC BA.

    21 Aug - A USAF pilot was rescued when he 'punched out' directly over TOWERS
    and his plane crashed within sight of the ship. He was out of the water before
    his boots could get soaked.

    31 Aug - A Navy pilot was pulled out of Haiphong Harbor by SH3A helo before the
    enemy could reach him. In October a Navy pilot was rescued by a helo from
    USS KING while TOWERS controlled helo stood by. Rescue was within
    sight of both ships.

    -5- SECRET


    1. (U) Awards, Communications , and Special Congratulatory Messages:
    The following message was received from the Senior Army Advisor of IV
    Corps area, South Vietnam: "Operations Dan Chi 241 is almost completed.
    Support necessary by NGFS has been completed. We gratefully appreciate
    your excellent and especially accurate NGFS and supported division has
    expressed sincere appreciation in making this operation a success. Again,
    many thanks. "

    1. (U) Results of Oceanographic of Port Surveys: Not applicable.

    1. (U) Notable Records or "First": None.

    1. (U) Articles and Radio or Television Programs Relating to the Command:
    The thrilling rescue in Haiphong Harbor of a downed pilot, LCDR Thomas
    TUCKER, made U.S. newspapers all over the country. Date of rescue 31
    August 1966.

    1. (U) Distinguished Visitors: During October, Mr Jim LUCAS, Pulitzer Prize
    winning journalist, and member of Scripps Howard Staff, came aboard
    TOWERS to view the action on Northern SAR Station. He observed the rescue
    of a downed pilot by helicopter from USS KING. Copies of his articles which
    appeared in the Washington Daily News are attached. In November,
    the officers in the wardroom and the CPO's and the Leading Petty Officers in
    the Crew's Mess.

    1. (U) Special Ceremonies: None.