USS Reeves (DLG 24 / CG 24):

USS Reeves (DLG 24 / CG 24):


The second REEVES (DLG-24) was laid down 1 July 1960 by the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash.; launched 12 May 1962; sponsored by Mrs. Joseph M. Reeves, Jr., daughter-in-law of Vice Adm. J. M. Reeves; and commissioned 15 May 1964; Capt. Wynne A. Stevens, Jr., in command.

Following an extended trial and shakedown period, REEVES, a guided missile frigate homeported at Long Beach, underwent availability and further training and, on 10 April 1965, departed California for her first tour with the 7th Fleet in the western Pacific. Deployed for just over 6 months, she operated primarily in support of Allied operations in the Republic of Vietnam, serving as an AAW picket, first with TG 77.3 built around aircraft carrier ORISKANY (CVA-34), then with TG 77.6 centered on aircraft carrier MIDWAY (CVA-41). Returning to Long Beach 3 November, she conducted local operations for the remainder of the year and into 1966. On 26 May, she got underway for Japan and a 2-year nonrotated tour with the 7th Fleet. Arriving at her new homeport, Yokosuka, 16 June, she departed again in July and on the 7th anchored at Danang, R.V.N. to begin another tour off that embattled coast. For the next 2 years, she regularly sailed south from Japan for air-sea rescue tours off Vietnam, compiling a total of 493 days underway, 312 of which were spent in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Rotated back to the United States in August 1968, REEVES operated out of Long Beach for the remainder of the year, participating in local operations and testing and evaluating radar systems. With the new year, 1969, however, REEVES was ordered to Bath, Maine, for overhaul and modernization. Arriving 31 March, she was placed out of commission, special, 10 April, and the extensive modification work was begun.

REEVES was recommissioned 29 August 1970 at Bath, Captain W. S. Mayer, USN, in command. She spent the period 10 September-19 November making the passage from Bath to her new home port, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The uncommonly long duration of the passage was due to frequent stops along the way at various places for additional work to be done and by a three-week refresher training period in the vicinity of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. After arriving at Pearl Harbor, REEVES engaged in numerous exercises and operations in the area around Hawaii.

June 1971 found her steaming westward for deployment in the Gulf of Tonkin. REEVES returned to Pearl Harbor 20 December 1971 and remained in the Hawaii-west coast area until September 1972, participating in various operations and exercises, notably a Midshipman cruise in July. She departed Hawaii, 18 September, headed for her second WESTPAC deployment since recommissioning, arriving in Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, 14 days later. After six months in the western Pacific, stationed off the coast of Vietnam, REEVES sailed into port at Pearl Harbor 17 March 1973. She remained in the Hawaiian Islands into 1974. She was reclassified a guided missile cruiser CG-24, on 30 June 1975.

From June 1985 to December 1986 Reeves deployed to the Western Pacific. In March 1986 she conducted a Team Spirit exercise and in September 1986 was involved in special operations off the coast of Vladivostok. From 5 to 11 November 1986 she made a historic port visit to Qingdao, China which was the first USN visit since 1949. May 1987 found her involved with yet another Team Spirit exercise. Reeves deployed to the Persian Gulf July to December 1987 during which she participated in the first of nine Earnest Will tanker reflagging operations beginning 23 July. In March 1988 she was involved again in the Team Spirit exercise.

REEVES earned three battle stars for Vietnam service.

USS Reeves was stricken from the Navy Register on November 12, 1993, at Pearl Harbor. The ship was then berthed at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility (NISMF), Pearl Harbor, HI.

On May 31, 2001, the REEVES was finally sunk as a target at 026° 26’ 53.0 South / 155° 24’ 27.0 East in 2,541 Fathoms of water.


Floating Drydocks: A Noteworthy Innovation That Changed the Course of Two Wars


Floating Drydocks had been around for a long time before World War 2. But the scope of naval warfare during World War 2 and the Cold War that would follow would test the Navy’s ability to maintain vessels in faraway locations. This is part on of the story of docks like USS Los Alamos (AFDB 7) which serviced the Polaris and Poseidon Missile submarines of the Cold War.

Looking back on the years since the LA was placed out of commission, its easy to forget that for over thirty years she served on the front lines of a different kind of conflict. But it was a need identified and filled many years before that which made her ability to fill this new role possible. This is the story of the Floating Drydocks of World War II.

Advanced Base Sectional Dock Number 3

“The fleet of floating drydocks built by the…

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Sailors, Tokyo, and Micky D’s

Sailors, Tokyo, and Micky D’s

By Mark Parcell

……We had just pulled into Tokyo Harbor that morning on USS Elliot, DD-967, and moored in the U.S. Navy port of Yokosuka on the southern end of the larger Tokyo Bay. I was lucky in that I did not have duty that day and, therefore, was able to get off of the ship almost immediately. So a cast of five made our way to the nearest train station for a trip into Tokyo. We were a bit tired after a two-week jaunt across the entire Pacific. Oahu to Tokyo is roughly 3,500 miles. Think of it this way: fill your car up with lots of gas and start out on a 3,500-mile trip and the fastest you can go is 15 mph! It would take a while, though we operated 24 hours a day…… there are no motels at sea for wayward ships! So the five of us, Jim Spencer, Raymond C. Wade, Dave Fleury, Terry Godfrey and myself, boarded a train in Yokosuka bound for Tokyo.

Our first dilemma was that the folks in Japan did not have the common courtesy of making any of the signs in English! It was all gibberish to us and we had no way of knowing where to disembark! Luckily for us, a very kind and elderly Japanese gentleman was observing us and instructed us to get off in five more stops – I will never forget his kindness. The other thing of note was that we Americans, generally, were much larger than the Japanese folks around us; we towered over them!

So, we got off of the train at the fifth stop and the first order of business was………FOOD!!! We had been at sea for two weeks and were sick of the chow, so we all had skipped breakfast on our way down the gangplank. By now it was approaching midday and we were famished. As we pondered our options we all agreed that we weren’t ready, just yet, for the local fare. We all agreed to set about looking for………….? The nearest McDonalds! By midday, we had walked quite a distance in downtown Tokyo without any luck.

As fate would have it, we spied upon two young boys, roughly nine or ten years of age, walking up the street carrying the most tremendous bag with……McDonald’s on it! We all felt like our luck was changing as they approached us. When we were feet apart, Terry Godfrey broke away from us and directly approached the boys. He immediately went into this completely goofy charade of rubbing his belly, pointing to his mouth, then pointing to their McDonald’s bag and back at his belly and mouth. This went on for several moments as we all watched with great interest on how this little game would end! The older of the two boys had a ballcap on and he watched this show with great interest and maybe even some suspicion. After he had seen enough, apparently, he pushed the ballcap back on his head and said…. “If you are looking for McDonald’s, it is down this street two blocks then left down that street for a block!” It was the plainest and clearest English I had ever heard!!!

We all howled at our companion for making such a goober of himself, but he took it all in stride, red face and all, and laughed with us! Terry was a good egg, though a bit unusual. He was a rather diminutive young man, was a showman and had an unusual talent – he had mastered the art of Magic! I do not mean the simple sleight of hands card trick; he was very, very talented. Talented to the point that major large hotels in San Diego had hired him for shows at night for various groups.

We made it to McD’s without further folly and tanked up for the rest of the day! By the way, later that same deployment, we pulled into Hong Kong and ate at an enormous McDonalds which took up an entire city block!

And that’s the way it was in March of 1981!


The Warrior’s Due

The Warrior’s Due

By Garland Davis

We were not there

To be heroes

Our sense of duty brought

Us to the Gulf of Tonkin

The war kept us there

We brought

Lightning from the skies

And thunder from the guns

Toiling and waiting

To be detached

For a long-awaited week

With the girls of Subic Bay

Who will Love us

Long time

For that is the warrior’s due.


A Bluejacket’s Memory


The Peacoat

I can think of few images that better represent an American Bluejacket more than the famous statue of a sailor in his peacoat with the collar turned up and his hands in his pockets. I remember the controversy when the Lone Sailor was first unveiled. Purists were quick to point out that the guy not only had his hands in his pockets but the buttons were undone and he generally looked a bit like a sailor on his way home that was tired of the sea. His grim expression seems to strengthen the notion that he was not the happiest person on the pier.

Yet in a moment, he captured the heart of many sailors that have left their home and served in what is best described as challenging to one’s soul and one’s physical being. Ever since man learned that a correctly designed craft could break the…

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The Centurions – A Review

The Centurions – A Review

By Garland Davis

A book I first read in 1960. A riveting story and a treatise on guerrilla warfare and counterinsurgency. The author, Jean Larteguy served as a paratrooper and later as a journalist during the French war in Vietnam.

The movie “Lost Command” starring Anthony Quinn was based on the book.

The Centurions by Jean Larteguy is a polemology of the French-Indochina War, the politics, and mindset of the people, and conditions that eventually led to American involvement in Vietnam. Although the tale of a fictional Parachute Regiment and the officers and men who embraced the “new” kind of warfare, the book tells the story of a group of French Officers who were captured at the fall of Dien Bien Phu, their imprisonment and their realization that warfare was no longer fought with great armies, static lines, or with class distinctions among the warriors but with small groups moving rapidly to engage and retreat with officers and men living and working as teams. The book tells of how they applied the new form of warfare in Algeria and Suez.

When The Centurions was first published in 1960, readers were riveted by the thrilling account of soldiers fighting for survival in hostile environments. They were equally transfixed by the chilling moral questions the novel posed: how to fight when the “age of heroics is over.” As relevant today as it was half a century ago, The Centurions is a gripping military adventure, an extended symposium on waging war in a new global order, and an essential investigation of the ethics of counterinsurgency.

Featuring a foreword by renowned military expert Robert D. Kaplan, this important wartime novel will again spark debate about controversial tactics in hot spots around the world. A book that General David Petraeus admittedly referred to and was prominent on the shelf in his office.



Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever

By Garland Davis

When you get a group of we Asia Sailors together, the conversation always turns to the Pacific and the Far East. Then there are the stories of liberties in Pusan, Chin Hae, Yokosuka, Sasebo, Kaohsiung, Keelung, Hong Kong, Subic, Vung Tau, Saigon, Subic, Pattaya, Bangkok, Singapore, Phuket, and myriad other ports.

The only conclusion one can reach is that we were infected with something while out there in Asia and the Western Pacific. Let’s face it, we have what the French author Jean Larteguy referred to as the “Yellow Fever.”

A movie character is our Icon. MM1 Jake Holman. To paraphrase his comment to the pretty round-eyed girl from New England, “Asia Sailors ain’t exactly clean-cut American boys. The clean-cut boys don’t want to be here and don’t stay in Asia.”

With retirement, some of us eventually return to the country known as the Big PX with an empty space in our hearts and a longing in our guts for San Miguel or Kirin Beer, Monkey Meat or Fried Rice, and the warmth of a laughing pretty Asian girl who would by her own admission, “Love you long time.”

Even those “clean-cut” boys who spent only a single tour or cruise out there often, right before sleep will feel the pull of the Far East and think that perhaps their life missed something.

Some of us stay out there on the far Pacific Rim. Others of us marry the Asian girl and bring her back with us. They say we went Asiatic out there and the longer we were there the deeper the infection.

But I like the term “Yellow Fever.”