SUBMITTED 11 FEB 1969 by E. W. Carter, III Commanding



(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

First Fleet.

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.

b. Operations

(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 ship’s 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 ship’s 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 Navy’s 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 it’s 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. Year’s end found TOWERS engaging the enemy in that

Area with night harassing fire.

c. Special Topics

(1) Operational statistics

(a) Underway Replenishments:

JAN-1 refueling

JUL- 3 refuelings

SEP- 5 refuelings

OCT- 6 refuelings

6 rearmings

3 replenishments

Nov – 7 refuelings

6 rearmings

1 replenishment

2 vertical replenishments

Dec- 2 refuelings

1 rearming

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:

MAY 441/81

JUN 597/86

JUL 971/ 281

AUG 919/347

SEP 1189/540

OCT 1482/372

NOV 253/1047

DEC 265/779

(3) Casualties to equipment:


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

August 1968.

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

Snyder, Jr.

(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

assessment information.

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 ship’s 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

Standard Missile

(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

Commanding Officer.

(b) On 15 December, 1968, at Lat, 0, 00’ N, Long 108,18’E

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