The History of USS Norris
Our Namesake: Benjamin White NORRIS was born at Callao, Peru, 15 May 1907. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps reserve 15 May 1919. He completed flight training on 6 May 1938, and was promoted to Major on 16 May 1942. He was division commander of the Marine Scout bombing squadron 241 of the Marine Aircraft Group 22.
He was killed in action 4 June 1942 during the Battle of Midway while leading a group of eleven planes on a search attack mission on a Japanese aircraft carrier Major Norris failed to return with his squadron from this mission and is listed as “missing in action”. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross of his heroism.
Hull number: 859 Builder: Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Sand Pedro, Ca. Keel laid:29 August 1944 (NORRIS was the 27th of 98 ships) Launched: 25 February 1945 (NORRIS was the 19th of 98 ships) Commissioned: 9 June 1945 (NORRIS was the 29th of 98 ships) Displacement: 2,425 Tons Length: 390 feet 6 inches
Weapons: At 1945
6 5”38 w/ mk37 directors 6 depth charge projectors (K-guns) 2 tracks of depth charges (stern tracks)
1 Hedgehog depth charge battery
After 1960 FRAM II
2 Triple MK32 torpedo tubes 2 Dash (drone anti-submarine helicopter) Machinery: 4 Boilers Temperature: 850 degree F 2 sets DeLaval Double reduction 2 450 volt 3 phrase, AC (400kw) 2 120 volt emergency (100kw) 2 4 blade propellers 12’6” diameter Fuel Oil: 1945: 739 Tons 1966: 650 tons Diesel Fuel: 1945: 26.5 tons 1966: 26.5 tons
Complement: 1945: Officers 22 Enlisted: 345
1957: Officers 14 Enlisted: 190 1967: Officers: 17 Enlisted: 251 1970: Officers: 8 Enlisted: 183 Decommissioned:4 December 1970
CDR. T.A. NISEWANER, USN 06/09/45 - 03/17/46 CDR. L.C. HEINZ, USN 03/17/46 - 08/01/47 CDR. S.S. DAUNIS, USN 08/01/47 - 11/26/49 CDR J.L.P. McCALLUM, USN 11/26/49 - 07/26/51 CDR. A.A. RICHARDS, USN 07/26/51 - 12/01/52 CDR. E.B. FIORINI, USN 12/01/52 - 11/20/53 CDR. R.S. GUY, USN 11/20/53 - 06/16/55 CDR. F.B. TUCKER, USN 06/16/55 - 08/01/57 CDR. R.D. ERDMAN, USN 08/01/57 - 07/28/59 CDR. J.J. LeBOURGEOIS, USN 07/28/59 - 04/03/61 CDR. J.H. FITZGEREL, USN04/03/61 - 07/28/61 CDR. D.J. REINSTRA, USN 07/28/61 - 08/01/63 CDR. K.J. COLE, USN 08/01/63 - 07/10/65 CDR. J.A. PIATEK, USN 07/10/65 - 07/08/66 CDR. R.F. MASSIMI, USN 07/08/66 - 12/07/68 CDR. W.J. LONGHI, USN 12/07/68 - 05/14/70 CDR. J.T. McQUESTEN, USN 05/14/70 - 09/25/70 LCDR G.F. HORNA, USN 09/25/70 - 12/04/70
Though built too late to see action in World War II, the USS NORRIS is nonetheless a well-traveled ship. Since 1945 she has seen service in the Pacific, Asiatic, Atlantic, and Mediterranean areas, and actively participated in the Korean conflict.
The keel for this 2400-ton destroyer was laid on 29 August 1944 in the yards of the Bethlehem Steel Co. San Pedro, California. At the launching on 25 February 1945,
Mrs. Charles Browning served as sponsor by proxy for Mrs. Benjamin Norris, widow of the ship's namesake.
The new addition to the U.S. Fleet was named for the late Major Benjamin W. Norris, USMC, division commander of the Marine Scout bombing squadron. He was born in 1907 at Callao, Peru, and was appointed a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1929. He was killed on 4 June 1942 during the Battle of Midway while leading a group of eleven planes on a search attack mission on a Japanese aircraft carrier. Major Norris failed to return with his squadron from this mission and is listed as "missing in action". Three more months of outfitting, testing and checking were required before the NORRIS was ready to take to the seas. Finally, on 9 June 1945, Commander T.A. Nisewaner, USN received command of the NORRIS and the commission pennant was "Two Blocked."
Following commissioning, the new destroyer sailed into the Pacific and commenced an extensive shakedown program while sailing off Southern California and conducting firing exercises along the coasts of San Clemente Island. An engineering casualty forced the early return of the ship to the building yard, and it was there that she greeted the end of hostilities.
15 SEPTEMBER 1945 TO 17 DECEMBER 1945
By 15 September 1945 the NORRIS was again ready for sea and sailed from San Pedro Harbor to take up a new role as a training ship for the PreCommissioning Training Center at Treasure Island to San Clemente Island. The next three months were spent with the new and the old trainees, developing them into a well organized and skilled crew for destroyers yet to hoist the commission pennant. This was short lived for these crews were no longer needed due to orders for new ships were cancelled and ships that were on order were delivered incomplete. At the end of this duty she steamed to Pearl Harbor, where she arrived on 17 December 1945
17 December 1945 to 16 March 1946
NORRIS found herself in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii conducting readiness exercises and replenishing for assignment to Task Force 74 along the Korean and Chinese coasts (China Station). On her arrival off of China she assisted in guiding mine sweepers through the channel between China and Hainan Island that were clearing Japanese mines. NORRIS’s other assignment were, air rescue work, and making runs every third week between Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Article is from Osborne, William (Bill) F. January-June1946 RM3
Back in 1946 on our way to China we lost a fireman overboard in the dark just as we were starting a movie.
Well, our 4 ship squadron turned back and searched with no success. I had just met this sailor that day and so it made a great impression on me. There has been no record of this or him listed on the rosters. I have searched around and found his name on a Navy database which list all Navy personnel that never returned, MIA's and other reasons.
Following is the item. I remembered his full name, Allen Ross Howard, and he was from New Mexico. After all these years I was able to pin it down.. I wonder if the Norris had ever lost any other crewmen over its life span.
HOWARD, ALLEN R 7870345 USNR F2C 02/01/1946
17 March 1946 to 21 February 1947
On 17 March 1946, Commander Luther C. Heinz, USN, assumed command. In May NORRIS was reassigned to Task Force 71; Here she was to intervene in privateering, smuggling, and illegal fishing all along the Korean coast. Plus she participated in various ASW and A.A.F. exercises during this time. She then sailed to Tsingtao, where she conducted operations in and out of the port until 26 December 1946. On that date the NORRIS left on a short goodwill tour to Hong Kong with a stop off at Kilurn, Formosa. From Hong Kong the ship sailed to Shanghai where preparations were made for the long awaited voyage home.
On 28 January 1947 the homeward bound pennant was hoisted and the NORRIS got underway for San Diego, California.
PORTS OF CALL
PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII, KIIRUN, FORMOSA , SHANGHAI, CHINA
TSINGTAO, CHINA (home port),TAKU, CHINA, JINSEN KOREA,
WOOSUNG, CHINA, FORMOSA, PUSAN, KOREA ,GUAM
The following officers were attached to the Norris on 25 December 1946:
Luther C. Heinz Commander Commanding Officer
Kenneth M. Miller Lieutenant Executive Officer
Darrell E. Beason Lieutenant J.G. First Lieutenant
Harry C. Gee Ensign Engineering Officer
John A. Sickel Ensign Communications Officer
Thomas F. McGann Ensign Asst. First Lieutenant
Philip M. Lainer Ensign Gunnery officer
Lynn A. Davenport Ensign Asst. Gunnery Officer
William Beck, Jr. Ensign CIC Officer
Richard E. Agnos Ensign Supply Officer
Frank Woytowich GM 2 submitted the above names
28 JANUARY 1947 TO 1 MAY 1947
On 28 January 1947 the homeward bound pennant was hoisted and the NORRIS got underway for San Diego, California, arriving on 22 February. During April the ship conducted exercises off the Southern California coast.
Apr.1-1947 0000hrs. Steaming enroute from San Diego to Pearl Harbor in company with USS NORRIS (DD-859) as Task Unit 19.2.7. NORRIS in antisubmarine screen stationed 2,000 yards ahead. OTC and CTU is COMCARDIV 3 in SHANGRI-LA.1
April 5 1947 0843hrs. SB2C, Buno. 83445, piloted by ENS BENSON, with SUTTER, ARM2, crashed in take off about a thousand yards off the starboard bow, bearing 091oT. USS NORRIS (DD-859), plane guard, dispatched to pick up personnel.1
0855hrs. USS NORRIS picked up ENS S. T. BENSON and ARM2 SUTTER, and resumed screening position. Position of crash Lat. 25-26N, Long. 147-16W.1
1025hrs. USS NORRIS (DD-859) dispatched from screen position to pick up pilot.1
1335hrs. USS NORRIS (DD-859) resumed formation after abandoning search for ENS K. R. JOHNSON, pilot of SB2C Buno. 83513, that crashed into the sea
April 7 1947 0619hrs. USS NORRIS (DD-859) recovered pilot and passenger; no injuries.
1 MAY 1947 TO 12 AUGUST 1947
NORRIS sailed to Bremerton, Washington and a three-month overhaul in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The Berry, McCaffery, Norris and the Harwood were all put in the same drydock for the same repairs. During this period, on 1 August, Commander Stanley S. Daunis, USN, relieved Commander Luther C. Heinz, USN, as the skipper of the Norris.
From: Vincent Crimaudo ‘46-’47 S1/c
13 AUGUST 1947 TO 1 DECEMBER 1947
Visited Bangor, Wash., Portownsend, British Columbia,San Francisco CA., and in October participated in a Rehearsal and simulated shore bombardment.
2 DECEMBER 1947 TO 16 JULY 1948
In company with the remaining ships of Destroyer Division 151, the FRED L. BERRY, McCAFFERY, and HARW000, the NORRIS departed San Diego on 2 December 1947 for another tour with the Seventh Fleet in China. Enroute to division stopped over in Pearl Harbor for three weeks antisubmarine work, and arrived in Tsingtao, China on 8 January 1948. Continuous periods of type training and intertype exercises, broken by trips to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Amey, Chusan, Archipelage, and Okinawa, occupied the NORRIS until 16 July. On 16 July 1948 NORRIS was on her way home, with one other stop on the way. This time NORRIS, along with the other ships of the division were to sink a LST that was involved in the Bikini Operation.
PORTS OF CALL
Shainghai China, Hong Kong China, Taingtao China, Chusan, Kwajalei, Amey, Guam, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
26 AUGUST 1948 TO 27 MAY 1949
Following a five-week period of leave and recreation in San Diego, the Norris took up her duties with the First Task Fleet operating in the San Diego area. In company with her China duty consorts the Norris entered the Maro Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California for refitting and alterations. While in the yard, the division was renumbered Destroyer Division 221 in anticipation of transfer to the Atlantic.
28 MAY 1949 to 2 OCTOBER 1949
The division steamed out of the Golden Gate with brand new silhouettes. Hedgehogs had replaced the No. 2 gun mounts and stub masts had been fitted aft of the second stack. The Norris was now ready for special antisubmarine assignments. NORRIS operated along the west coast until the 23rd of August 1949, on this date she departed for reassignment to the east coast via the Panama Canal. She arrived in Newport, R.I. on the 11th of September. She was now part of the Atlantic fleet.
2 October 1949 to 4 July 1950
During this time NORRIS operated from the North Atlantic to the Caribbean. While in the Caribbean, she participated in joint maneuvers with Army, Air Force and Naval troops in amphibious/airborne invasion of Vieques Island. Among the other ships were USS BERRY (DDE 858), USS McCAFFERY (DDE 860), USS HARWOOD (DDE 861).
NOVEMBER 26 1949
Commander J,L.P, McCallum, USN, came aboard as commanding officer.
The Norris's 1950 operations included antisubmarine "hunter-killer" exercises Porirex and Caribex, which were large fleet maneuvers off Puerto Rico and in Caribbean waters. She participated in joint maneuvers with Army, Air force and Naval troops in the Amphibious/Airborne invasion of Vieques Island and various training, operational and routine assignments until the end of June.
MARCH 4 1950
Norris was reclassified as a DDE.
JULY 5 1950 TO AUGUST 15 1950
On 5 July 1950 the Norris departed from her homeport in Newport, Rhode Island, for Norfolk and deployment to the Mediterranean Fleet with Destroyer Division 21 and the carrier Midway. Upon arrival in Greece, the Norris was ordered to proceed via the Suez Canal and Columbo, Ceylon for duty in the Far East and assignment to Destroyer Division 61 "The Ghost Patrol".
AUGUST 1950 TO FEBRUARY 1951
She was attached to the U.S. Seventh Fleet, operating in Formosan and Korean Waters.
OCTOBER 1 1950 TO OCTOBER 7 1950
The Norris departed Keelung for patrol and hit a typhoon in the South China Sea. She had to abort this patrol and pull into Hong Kong to ride out the storm.
EARLY DECEMBER 1950
Norris was stationed on gunfire support at Hungnam to protect the shrinking perimeter as the United Nations forces were being withdrawn. She also ran blockade patrols and conducted shore bombardments. During one of these patrols she received orders to leave the formation and investigate a Chinese junk sighted approximately forty miles off the Korean Coast north of the 38th parallel. The 21 exhausted and frostbitten South Koreans found aboard the junk were transferred to the Norris and transported to Pusan, South Korea for medical treatment and shelter.
DECEMBER 25 1950 (morning)
Norris was the last to leave Hungnam Harbor. On this deployment, while acting as sonar guard for the USS Missouri. Norris was now known as the "Little Mo"
LATE 1950, EARLY 1951
In late 1950 the USS Norris was in the Med with a peace time crew, about 270 men. The ship was ordered to Korea via the Suez Canal. The early days in Korea are well known. Mid December 1951 the ship went Sasebo, Japan for stores and fuel. Sometime between Dec. 29, 1950 and Jan. 02, 1951 a group of about twenty straight out booth camp went aboard. The writer was in this group. We had gone from Great Lakes to San Francisco by train. From San Francisco to Yokohama by troop ship then to Sasebo by train. We boarded the Norris a three AM. At five AM the Norris and the rest of the fleet got underway to go back to Korean waters. Douglas Raymond Simpson. DC 2
Arrival in New Port, RI from Korea
We believed the “859” to be the first ship to return to the Atlantic after serving in Korea. On our return trip we stopped in Hawaii. Our Supply Officer, also paymaster, lived on the west coast. He received permission to take leave from Hawaii on the condition that he would be in New Port when the Norris arrived. Many of the crew had left money on the books, believing that it would be available in New Port. He was not there. Most of the crew had little money left after the stop in Panama. Most of the crew went ashore that first night mad as hell and broke. There was free beer that night in many bars for the Norris crew. Remember the Blue Moon.
Douglas Raymond Simpson. DC 2
MARCH 1951- JULY 31 1951
The Norris returned to Newport, Rhode Island in early March 1951, and in early April moved to the Boston Naval Shipyards for a long overdue overhaul. Every department was soon feeling the affects of a "face-lifting". For the crew, the yard period meant liberty in one of our nations oldest and most historic cities. But most important, the lull meant leave, the dream inspired by many months overseas.
During this period the NORRIS entertained many visitors, made new friendships with men of the Greek and Dutch Navies.A ship's party was held at the Showboat;
Transferred some men off and received others on.
Also there were men to he commended. On April 27, J.L.P. McCallum, COP, USN, commanding officer was awarded the Bronze Star(Gold Star in lieu of second award). On May 29, the same commendation was awarded to LCDR Eric Ischinger, Executive Officer. Various other awards were made on later dates -
In July the yard period ended, and two trial runs were made to Rockland, Maine for experimental purposes and Commander Albert A..Richards, USN, former commanding officer of the USS COOLBAUGH (DD247), relieved Commander J.L.P. McCallum as commanding officer of the Norris.
JULY 31 1951 TO SEPTEMBER 20 1951
The Norris was again available. On July 31 in company with the Fred T. Berry (DDE858) and USS McCaffery(DDE 860), the Norris proceeded to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, via Norfolk, for a six week underway training period. This period contained just about everything in the book, and probably a few items not listed, but the Norris earned her 'Satifactory.' While in Guantanamo, a trip to Portau Prince, Haiti was made over the Labor Day weekend, and a stopover in Charlotte Amalie, St.Thomas V.I. on the return trip home. On September 20, Newport was again in sight.
SEPTEMBER 20 1951 TO JANUARY 15 1952
After several weeks in and out of Newport, the NORRIS was assigned to the USS SAIPAN (CVL 48) a part of the LANTFLEX 52 Operation. After thirty days of drills and steady steaming, the Norris returned to Newport for the holidays which offered the crew leave on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years..
PORTS OF CALL
GIBRALTAR YOKOSUKA, JAPAN COLOMBO, CEYLON PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII KEELUNG, FORMOSA PANAMA CITY, PANAMA, ATHENS, GREECE
JANUARY 15 1952 TO FEBRUARY 27 1952
The New Year saw the Norris as ready as ever, and operations got underway on 15 January as the Ship joined the USS Wright (CVL 49) and other escort units.
On 15 February, fourteen reserves were received aboard for a 10-day cruise. They not only received instruction, but also offered valuable assistance in operating the ship. During this period, a weekend was spent in New York with all hands enjoying the sights of the great city
APRIL 19 1952 TO AUGUST 26 1952
Completing this installation, the NORRIS returned to Newport, remaining there until 19 April at which time the NORRIS in company with other ships of the Division departed for the Mediterranean.
While in the Mediterranean, the Division took part in Hunter-Killer exercises and operation "BEEHIVE". The latter was in conjunction with Naval vessels of the Mediterranean Nations.. Not all the period spent in the Med was devoted to business.. Numerous ports were visited such as Tangier, Marseilles, Naples, and Gibraltar. From the viewpoint of liberty, Marseilles was the highlight. A short stay in the Azores broke the return trip to the states.
27 June The Division steamed into Narragansett Bay This cruise was followed by a two-month period in and around the Newport area. ASW exercises and the remainder in port took up part of this time.
AUGUST 26 1952 TO APRIL 19 1953
Trip to the North Atlantic.
About ten in morning on the day before we entered Southend-On-Sea, UK the Engineering office came to the ship fitter shop. He wanted a plaque to present to the museum at Southend by two the next day. Ski cut the wood plaque, a join effort produced the brass shield from a five inch shell case. Someone put the lettering on the shield with a pencil. I engraved the lettering with a hammer and a center punch. Several other pictures were made that day. One was a picture of our Engineering Officer holding the plaque. Another one of me holding the plaque. This plaque put the other plaques from the squadron to shame. Douglas Raymond Simpson. DC 2
August 1952 marked the departure of the NORRIS plus many other DESLANT units in Operation MAINBRACE. A lengthy cruise followed while crossing the Atlantic enroute to the North Sea. All naval vessels conducted exercises during the crossing in preparation for the operation.
11 September, these forces entered the port in the Firth of Forth, Scotland for several days recreation in Edinburgh, Scotland, prior to MAINBRACE. The operation took place in the North Sea in company with Naval Vessels of the NATO Nations and was concluded on 24 September.
25 September The next day, the Norris, USS MINDORO (CVE 120) and the USS FRED T. BERRY entered port in the Thames River at SouthendonSea, England for a four-day visit. During these four days all hands had the opportunity to visit London. The few hours available in London proved to be the highlight of the entire cruise.
29 September, that morning the three ships departed from Southend-on-Sea, and via the English Channel proceeded to sea. While in transit of the Channel, the remainder of Escort Destroyer
Squadron SIX joined up and the Squadron in company with the USS MINDORO commenced the return trip to the States.
12 October Newport was reached after an uneventful crossing and successful cruise.
The next several months were devoted to leave and upkeep periods plus Hunter Killer operations with USS WRIGHT (CVL 29).
30 November, Command of the USS NORRIS changed hands during this period. Commander Elmer B. Fiorini relieved Commander A.A. Richards.
During the interim period before the NORRIS' Mediteranean departure, slated for February, the ship's basketball team annexed the final leg of the Squadron's championship trophy.
PORTS OF CALL
BOSTON, MA. NORFOLK, VA. NEW YORK, NY PORT-AU-PRINCE,HAITI GITMO, CUBA ST.THOMAS, V.I. The TWO NATO NAVIES; FRANCE, BELGIUM, NETHERLANDS, CANADA, DENMARK, NORWAY, ENGLAND AND NEW ZEALAND. FIRTH OF FORTH, SCOTLAND SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, ENGLAND
FEBRUARY 3, 1953 TO APRIL 12, 1953
3 February 1953, Escort Destroyer Squadron SIX in company with the USS WRIGHT (CVL 49), steamed past Brenton Reef Lightship and headed east to join the SIXTH Fleet. After eighteen days, the Norris dropped anchor off Golfe Juan on the French Riviera, There was a fine opportunity for sightseeing, and the crew visited Cannes, Nice, and Monte Carlo, while ski enthusiasts found the Maritime Alps of Valberg and Auron very accommodating.. A highly successful shipboard party was given for a group of orphan children during our stay on the Riviera by an enthusiastic Welfare Committee.
The ports touched during the Squadron's three-month tour with the SIXTH Fleet included Naples, Bougie (French Algeria) and Toulori. Besides the usual training operations, the NORRIS took part in operation RENDEVOUS when she was joined by British and Italian destroyers. RENDEVOUS carried the group as Far East as Crete.
Transit of the Straits of Messina was affected upon our return westward, and Mount Etna and the Isle of Stromboli were left to port and starboard succession. The end of the cruise was neared, and the NORRIS paused at Gibraltar before sailing for the Azores enroute to Newport. Gibraltar afforded a much-needed chance for exercise, and softball games filled the weekend. Captain Florin led his officers to a decisive victory over the Chiefs in a spirited game.
Easter services were held at San Miguel, Azores Island. The crew ran an intra--ship track meet for the townspeople's amusement, which ended hilariously as the line parted in a tug-of-war finale.
The remainder of the crossing utilized the chance for general drills;
12 April 1953 The NORRIS entered Narragansett Bay with a well-trained and closely coordinated crew from their Mediterranean experience.
APRIL 13 1953 TO JANUARY 4 1954
The summer of 1953 was spent in the US Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia for the normal yard overhaul period. There was a brief pause at Newport following the yard period in which the ship was able to gather itself arid familiarize itself with the new equipment and changes the overhaul period has accomplished.
With the last deep breath, the NORRIS steamed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and plunged into an intensive refresher-training course, which drew the utmost in effort and application from all hands. Their endeavors were well rewarded as the NORRIS emerged from the cruise a seasoned and efficient ship--tops in the Division.
The highlight of the Caribbean tour was the shore bombardment at Culebra, which afforded the ship concrete proof of its gunnery and communication readiness. Though the NORRIS' stay at Guantanamo Bay was severe in its concentration of training, two weekends of respite from battle preparation were enjoyed at Kingston, Jamaica, and Portau - Prince, Haiti.
The "Little Mo" participated in a mock invasion of Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, with various amphibious and auxiliary units of the Atlantic Fleet for five days following the Culebra shoot. Upon detachment from this operation, the NORRIS and McCAFFERY steamed to Newport, holding tactical maneuvers enroute.
12 November 1953, The NORRIS moored in Narragansett Bay.
20 November 1953, Captain Fiorini was relieved by Commander Robert S. Guy, USN, who reported to the NORRIS from Key West, Florida.
During the latter part of November and the first part of December, the NORRIS went alongside the MARKAB (AD 21) for her scheduled tender period.
6 December 1953, OESFLOTSIX conducted an Administrative Inspection and pronounced the NORRIS ready in all respects for Sixth Fleet Duty. With the Tender period over and the Admin Inspection under her belt, she proudly steamed up the bay
12 December 1953, she moored at State Pier, Fall River, Massachusetts for the coming holiday season. Her crew was looking forward with great anticipation to a leave and upkeep period, which they well deserved.
4 January 1954, the Norris left Fall River, and proceeded to her assigned mooring in lower Narragansett Bay from which she sortied on 5 January for duty outside the continental limits of the U.S.
Once again the DDE859 was bound for Mediterranean Sixth Fleet Duty. CORTOESOIV 61, USS FRED T. BERRY, USS McCAFFERY, and USS NORRIS with DESFLOTSIX embarked in the USS McCAFFERY became part of Task Force 27.Two which rendezvoused off Norfolk for the Atlantic Crossing. SOPA was COMBATCRULANT aboard the USS ALBANY CAV 12.
20 January 1954, the NORRIS moored in Algiers taking up her rightful position with Sixth Fleet as an ambassador of good will and NATO's right arm. A short stop in Augusta Bay, Sicily followed, after which the NORRIS alone became Task Force 65 deployed to Phaleron, Greece.
9 February 1954, following a short operation involving Plane guard and various training exercises, she became Task Force 64 which was to operate in the Adriatic Sea until 19 March. While there, she visited Trieste, Venice, Ban, and
Brindisiall fine liberty ports enjoyed by her crew.
MARCH 20 1954 TO MAY 26 1954
With her tour of the Adriatic duty completed, The "Little Mo" steamed into Naples, Italy on 20 March for a week long tender availability with the USS TIDEWATER (AD 31). Naples marked the half waypoint for NORRIS' Med Tour number FOUR.
After Napoli came more Fleet operations with a sufficient amount of plane guard and ISE to keep her crew in trim, between times, recreational liberty was held in Alicante, Sapin, San Remo, Cannes, and Genoa.
17 May 1954, the Norris passed Gibraltar to starboard, which was a welcome sight for all hands. On her return crossing of the Atlantic, NORRIS had the distinction of completely demolishing a small drone with her 40MM battery a notable fete for the gunners.
26 May 1954 Newport is sighted. The long cruise was at an end.
During June, the crew enjoyed a deserved leave period while NORRIS enjoyed a needed tender period in preparation for duty with HUKLANT to begin on 28 June 1954.
Compartment sounding log (Jan. 51 thru Aug. 54)
One of the duties of the crew of the shipfitter shop was to take water sounding of the lower remote compartments. At night at sea this was done very four hours. In port it was done daily. A log was kept of these soundings. The day before I left the ship I counted fifty four different ports entered in the log between Jan. 1951 and August 1954.
JUNE 29 1954 TO OCTOBER 20 1954
HUKLANT operations started at a fast pace with the USS NORRIS, USS McCAFFERY and USS FRED T. BERRY operating with the USS ANTIETAM (CVS 36) as an effective antisubmarine force. The summer's operations included a two-week Midshipman cruise during which the USS MISSISSIPPI (AG 128) demonstrated the use of guided missiles to destroy high altitude bombers. During this period the NORRIS also swept the squadron championship in softball.
OCTOBER 20, 1954 TO FEBRUARY 13, 1955
20 October saw the NORRIS, McCAFFERY, and BERRY teamed with the USS LEYTE (CVS 32) for LANTFLEX 54. This was the largest peacetime naval operation ever conducted and included amphibious, surface and antisubmarine phases.
while the sub was attempting to fire torpedoes at the attach force. Damage to the Norris included three 10 foot gashes on her forward hullwhich caused flooding in the chain locker and two storage compartments. Damage to the sub; the sail was split. Norris proceed to the Norfolk shipyard for repairs. The sub went to Philly.
FEBRUARY 14, 1955 T0 NOVEMBER 1956
04 February 1955 the Norris departed with the Leyte for operation SPRINGBOARD 5.5 in the Caribbean and some welcome relief from winter weather. Kingston, Jamaica, San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands were visited and enjoyed by the crew on liberty. During this operation gunnery received an excellent for their gun firing at Culibra.
28 March 1955 saw the NORRIS back in Newport for an upkeep and leave period during which one week was spent in Boston prior to departing on 2 May 1955 to aid in escorting the Nelm Reliefs of the Mediterranean. During this operation the NORRIS participated in NEW BROOM III, a NATO exercise and spent a week in Lisbon Portugal.
04 June 1955 the NORRIS was back in Newport.
16 June 1955 command of the ship changed hands when Commander Frederick B. Tucker relieved Commander Robert S Guy in an impressive ceremony.
The latter part of July and the first two weeks in August were spent on Hunter-Killer evaluation on high speed submarines. While returning from these exercises it was learned that the ship's hard work had been rewarded with the Navy E for Battle Efficiency in its squadron during the fiscal year 1955.
9 August 1955 Rear Admiral J..C. Danials, USN, COMDESLANT presented the ships "E' in an impressive ceremony before all hands.
Dec.1955 B-R-R-R-R-R was the immediate expression of the two crew members, Photo of the USS Norris as they "turned to" to begin task of unfreezing guns on bow of ship. The entire exterior of the Norris was encased in ice.
NORRIS Takes a 3 week patrol to the North Atlantic during the Suez Crisis.
Operating with DESTROYER SQUADRON 24 in a TRAINING CRUISE TO SOUTH AMERICA. NORRIS WAS INVOLVED WITH VARIOUS LATIN AMERICAN NAVIES IN ANTI SUBMARINE EXERCISES. DURING THIS PERIOD NORRIS VISITED
PORTS OF CALL
LaGUERA, VENEZUELA; RECIFE, BRAZIL; RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL; PUNTA DEL ESTE, URUGUAY; MONTIVDEO, URUGUAY; MAR DEL PLATA, ARGENTINE; BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINE; SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO; GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA, PANAMA
1957 South America tour for good-will and training
Jan. 04Left Newport, RI ( CONUS ) Jan. 08Arrived Gitmo, Cuba Jan. 09Departed Gitmo Jan. 12 Arrived La Guira, Venezuela Jan. 21 Departed La Guira. Jan. 22Fueled at Port-o-Spain, Trinidad Jan. 25Pollywog revolt and pollywog watches Jan. 26Crossed equator; King Neptune’s court Feb. 02Arrived Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Feb. 03 - 06Tours of city, Sugar-loaf Mt., Copa-cabana, waterfalls and mountains, Corcavado (massive statue of Christ overlooking city). Feb. 07- 10Anti-sub training with Brazil Navy. Feb.11Depart Rio. Feb. 15Arrived Montevideo, Uraguay Feb. 18Depart Montevideo; short cruise to Punta del Este on Maldonado Bay. Feb. 21Return to Montevideo Feb. 22Full-dress ship! Feb. 23Depart Montevideo (my birthday). Feb. 24Arrived Mar del Plata, Argentina Feb. 26Norris crew treated to massive BBQ (Asado ?) at Calumet Farms: a U.S.-owned ranch that raised race horses. Mar. 01Depart Mar del Plata Mar. 02Arrived Buenos Aires, Argentina Mar. 03- 05Anti-sub training with Argentine Navy. Mar. 06Depart Buenos Aires Mar. 10Refueling stop overnight in Recife, Brazil. (No-one allowed liberty, reprtedly due to extreme VD infection ). Mar. 11Depart Recife Mar. 13 Cross Equator – northbound. Mar. 21Arrive Newport (CONUS).
1957 Caribbean Cruise
Apr. 11Depart Newport Apr. 15Anchored off Island of Vieques Shore bombardment training. Apr. 23Anchored off Panama (Unknown activity) Apr. 27Arrived Coco Solo Navy Base, Panama Apr. 28Liberty trip by Panama Canal train to Panama City (Balboa statue, Gatun Lake, Panama Hotel). Apr. 29Departed Coco Solo. May 04Arrive Newport.
1957 Mediterranean Cruise
AUGUST 1957 TO DECEMBER 1958 ???
Norris was again in the Mediterranean, This was her 4th deployment to the Med. While on this deployment she also spent time in the Red Sea Crossing the Equator Aug. 12Depart Newport Aug. 21Arrive Gibraltar for refueling Aug. 22Depart Gibraltar. Aug. 31Anchored at Pireaus, Greece (near Athens) Sept. 03Depart Pireaus Sept. 05Transit Suez Canal Sept. 08Anchored at Aden (then a British Crown Colony. This is where the U.S.S. Cole was bombed and many shipmates died from suicide squad. We all saw the Cole refurbished and back in fighting form in Norfolk last year during our tour of the Navy base.) Sept.11Depart Aden, BCC Sept.15Arrived at Masawa, Ethiopia (or maybe Eritrea. These borders were and still are in dispute by warring factions.) Liberty tour to Asmara in the high mountains. Travel was by a school bus type vehicle but on rails driven by a center cog-rail. Protection front and rear by armed guards.) Sept.19Depart Masawa Sept.22Arrived Port Sudan, Sudan Sept.25Depart Port Sudan. Sept.26Returned to Masawa Oct. 01Depart Masawa Oct. 07Transit Suez Canal northbound. Oct.10Arrive Toronto, Italy- Training with Italian Navy
Liberty tours to Rome and the Vatican.
Oct. 22Depart Toronto Oct. 24 – 31Patrol in the Eastern Med. doing sonar listening and ECM (electronic counter measures) monitoring. Mostly running on one screw. Nov. 01Arrived Rhodes, Greece Nov. 04Depart Rhodes Nov. 09Arrived Salonica, Greece Nov. 12Depart Salonica Nov. 16Arrived Naples, Italy Nov. 19- 22 Operate ASW off Naples. Nov. 23Depart Naples Nov. 26Arrived Pireaus, Greece Dec.02- 03 At sea Dec.03Return to Pireaus Dec. 07Depart Pireaus Dec.10Detached from Carrier force; headed toward Gibraltar. Dec.13Fueled at Gibraltar Dec.17Fueled from ( Solamonie ?? ) Dec. 21Arrived Newport (Melville)
Some of the crew actually kissed the deck of the pier as we returned home to the first good hamburgers in nearly five months.
Most of the crew took Christmas leaves and scattered nation-wide to be with families before returning for the next adventures of 1958.
Diary entries summarized by Rich DeVries, on board Sept. 1956 – Jan. 1959.
PORTS OF CALL
GIBRALTAR; CANNES FRANCE; NAPLES, ITALY; RHODES, GREECE; PIREAUS, GREECE; PORT SAID, EGYPT; MASAWA, ETHIOPIA; ADEN, YEMEN; SALONIKA, GREECE; PORT SUDAN, SUDAN;
APRIL 1959 TO NOVEMBER 1959
Assigned to TF BRAVO, an experimental Anti-submarine development group
April 04 Norfolk, VA
April 10 Brooklyn Naval Yard
June 30 Quebec, Canada
September 19 Dependents cruise
MARCH 1960 TO AUGUST 1960
Duties with the 6th Fleet
March 08 San Juan, Puerto Rico
March 13 St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
March 21 Moored at Norfolk, VA
April 11 Naval Ammunition Depot in Earl
June 20 Rota, Spain -
July 02 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
July 08 Barcelona, Spain
July 21 Naples, Italy
July 29 Niece, France
August 03 La Spezia Harbor
August 06 Naples, Italy
August 20 Gibraltar
Bob McFeeley RD2 1958 to 1961
AUGUST 1960 TO MARCH 1961
On the evening of 15 January, 1961, the Norris was returning from operations at sea, probably off the Virginia Capes. We were a part of a Carrier Task Force which most likely was the Valley Forge and both divisions of destroyers of which the Norris was a part. In the late afternoon, the task force was redirected to assist Texas Tower #4 which was reporting increased shaking during stormy conditions. The tower was located about 85 mi southeast of New York City in 185 ft of water.
As the task force approached the tower, Norris and others acquired the tower on radar. At about 8mi distance, the tower disappeared from radar as it collapsed into the sea at about 1920. Nobody could approach closer than about a mile because of uncertainty of the exact location of the tower and the unknown condition of the tower at or just below the survace. No survivors were located in the stormy seas.
The storm subsided overnight. With calm seas the next day, Norris recovered one body, but was unsuccessful in attempting to recover another. No one survived from the tower of the 28 men on board.
I discussed this scenario with Herman Carter, a RD2 in my division at the reunion and the above contains recollections from both of us. Where we differed, I left detail out. Information of the Texas towers can be found at: www.texastower.com/history_new.htm
Thomas Overly LT 60-63
An Account of the Texas Tower
From Girard Kelly IC3
On the evening of Jan 15, 1961. The Norris was returning from operations at sea, probably off the Virginia Capes. We were part of the carrier task group working with I believed to be the Wasp. According to the radiomen ; the wasp called on the Destroyer formation and told them that they were monitoring the distress frequency and calls from The Texas Tower # 4.
The tower was located about 85 mi. southeast of NYC in 185 ft. of water. The Wasp released The Norris and I don't remember her name ; another Destroyer to investigate. I remember that the sea was very high and it was cold. A short time later the tower disappeared from radar. It was already getting dark. According to reports there were 28 people on the tower. Apparently; the net says that we were with in 8 miles when it went down. I don't believe that because I can remember steaming about Three to Four hours in heavy seas at over 20 to 25 knots. It was really rough and the wind was coming broad side with the bow going under. When we arrived at the scene, they put on the search lights, and you could see a lot of debris floating in the water all over the place. I did not know till I just look at the net; that they stayed a mile or so away from where the Tower went down because they didn't know if anything was protruding at the surface and did not want to hit it. I know they search all night with the lights. By morning; the seas claim down some and at first light, we seen the first body in the water. I was standing on the starboard side, where the hatch comes out on the main deck by the IC room; behind the forward breaks. That's when the first body was spotted. I clearly remember that this person was face down in the water, with a black and white colored jacket or shirt on. No life jacket. The ship came to a complete stop and was
really rolling in the seas to a point to be concerned. From the bow they tied a rope to one of the crew and lash him down so he wouldn't go over the side. He threw a graffling hook at this body a couple times missing it. Another attemp, he hit the body in the back and it sank. According to the net
After that we found another body, in uniform, they put a swimmer over the side to get him. Turn out to be a US Air Force E-9. According to the net they p utthe body in a frozen food locker. I remember they put him in the storage area behind the forward gun mount. No other bodies were ever found and all 28 guys were gone. The next day they trans fered the body to the Wasp
January 16 Texas Tower #4
By THOMAS M. SMITH, SMC
The day of Texas Tower #4, I was on watch on the signal bridge and over the bridge wing radio-telephone, I could hear the Wasp call the formation and said they were monitoring the distress frequency and that Wasp picked up a distress call from the tower. Wasp released two destroyers to investigate. As I remember it was only a very short time that Texas Tower #4 had disappeared from radar.
All remaining ships then turned about and proceeded at best speed to the area.
It was dark, cold, raining and high seas with saltwater spray coming over the bow. As we got close to the area extra lookouts were posted and all destroyers turned on their signal searchlights to comb the heavy seas. With the wind, rain, saltwater spray and the pitching the searchlights only reflected from the water in the air. Visibility was almost zilch. Any debris sighted was passed over while searching for survivors. All ships searched all night and recovered nothing. Shortly after dawn NORRIS DD-859 spotted a body and as we approached a deck ape up forward heaved a grappling hitting him in the back causing him to sink. Approx an hour later another body was seen and as we approached the skipper had a rescue swimmer go over the side and retrieved a U S Air Force E-9. We put him in a stokes stretcher and placed him in the frozen food locker near the galley. Weather conditions precluded sending the body to Wasp at this time. No further events and no other bodies were found by any other ships.
Bob McFeeley RD2 1958 to 1961
FEBRUARY 13, 1961 to MARCH 7, 1961
San Juan Cruise
March 6 - Earl, NJ
March Fram II Conversion Philadelphia PA
Bob McFeeley RD2 1958 to 1961
I, Wayland L. Sturtevant, have a medallion that says FRAM II MAST 1961 and that was done in Philadelphia.
MARCH 1961 TO DECEMBER 1961
JULY 1962 TO FEBRUARY 1963
July 1962, and NORRIS returned to the shipyard once again for major overhaul under the FRAM program after which she was again designated a Destroyer on
August 7 1962, General Purpose (DD). New weapons installed included a Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter system; Mark 25 and Mark 32 Torpedo Tubes; and a host of electronic warfare devices.
After a brief tour to Montego Bay to participate in the Jamaican Independence celebration and to support the Mercury Program launch.
Fall of 1962, NORRIS was called on to act in the Cuban Quarantine operation. During the crisis, NORRIS conducted surveillance operations.
FEBRUARY 6 1963 TO JULY 7 1963
NORRIS deployed to the Mediterranean once more in February 1963 and was sent to patrol the Red Sea during the Yemen Crisis returning to the U.S. via Cobh, Ireland in July 1963.
July 1963 to August 1963
The ship was in dry-dock Boston Navy shipyard July 1963 to August 1963
AUGUST 1963 TO OCTOBER 1 1964
August 1963 A experimental wire guided torpedo system was installed on NORRIS at the Boston Naval Shipyard. The rest of this period was spent testing and evaluating this system.
OCTOBER 1 1964 TO 18 JANUARY 1965
The Norris was in Beirut in '65 and picked up some intelligence guys to film the Egyptian MIG bases while we were in the Suez. We went to Aqaba, and I think it was there we picked up the Ambassador to Iran and went to Bandar Abbas to give the Shah some minesweepers.
John Denton 64-66 STG2
I HARDLY SLEPT LAST NIGHT THINKING AND AT TIMES DREAMING OF THE TOUR IN THE USS NORRIS OUR SPLIT TOUR OF THE MED AND GULF.THE TRANSIT OF THE CANAL,THE INTERCEPTION AND TEMPORARY ENCOUNTER IN THE STRAITS OF HORMUZ, RECENTLY REPEATED TO TWO DESTROYERS,WAITING FOR THE TIDE TO COME IN SO THAT WE COULD CROSS THE BAR INTO THE TIGRESS AND EUPHRATES RIVERS TO PICK UP THE AMBASSADOR TO IRAN AND 9 MEMBERS OF HIS STAFF.THE YELLOW SNAKES OF THE GULF, WHEN WE BROKE OUT THE RIFLES FROM THE ARMORY AND HAD SMALL ARM PRACTICE SHOOTING AT THEM,MAN THAT WAS SOME FORTY THREE YEAR AGO.I REMEMBER HAVING TO ACT AS AMBASSADOR MYERS AIDE WHILE VISITING NINE DIFFERENT PORTS IN IRAN SPENDING MY DAYS WITH HIM AND HIS STAFF AND THEN SPENDING THE NIGHTS TO ARRIVE AT ANOTHER PORT TO VISIT USING CHART THAT WERE MARKED WITH A WARNING THAT THE NAVIGATIONAL AIDS WERE LACKING AND THAT THE COAST LINE CAN BE THREE MILES IN ERROR.I REMEMBER USING THE MOTOR WHALE BOAT TO TAKE SOUNDINGS WITH A LEAD LINE TO GET THE SHIP AS CLOSE TO LAND AS POSSIBLE,USING RADAR RANGES AND BEARINGS ON A FLASHING RED LIGHT THAT TURNED OUT TO BE A TEMPORARY WARNING LIGHT FOR A OBSTRUCTION IN THE ROAD ASHORE.LIBERTY WAS SCARCE AND THE TRIP WAS LONG AND SLOW TO CONSERVE FUEL.IT WAS HOT AND WE USED THE FIRE HOSE TO COOL THE STEAMING HOT STEEL DECKS.I WAS WARNED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT, I SHOULD SAY ADVISED,SO I HAD TO IMPROVISE, REMEMBER BINGO ON THE FANTAIL,I HAVE SOME OLD PICTURE SOME WHERE,BUT WHERE,REMEMBER GOING FISHING IN THE MOTOR WHALE BOAT WITH TWO BEERS PER MAN.WE BROKE NO RULES OR REGULATIONS WE JUST BENT THEM. UNIFORM WAS CUT AWAY DUNGAREES TEE SHIRT AND BALL CAP.SAVED A LOT OF FRESH WATER IN THE LAUNDRY.
Capt. John Piatek
JANUARY 18 1965 TO AUGUST 19 1965
Deployed again to the Mediterranean 1 October 1964–18 January 1965 and 19 August–7 December 1965, Norris served in Polaris support operations as a missile tracking ship
DECEMBER 8 1965 TO APRIL 15 1966
Served in Polaris Support Operations as a Missile Tracking Ship 1
APRIL 16 1966 TO JULY 07 1966
1 to 15 April 1966, and in the primary recovery force for Gemini X, 12 to 23 July.
July 24 1966 to January 1967
Intensified operations in Vietnam called her with other ships of Destroyer Squadron 20 and they left Newport 4 October for Panama and Yokosuka, arriving 10 November. As they had in Korea, her guns supported troops ashore, first driving back Viet Cong attempting to overrun Vung Tau 21 November. After four months on the gunline giving major service in the struggle to keep South Vietnam free, Norris completed a circumnavigation by returning via Suez to Newport 25 April 1967. Following east coast and Caribbean operations
Conducting ASW exercises in Key West. The ship would leave port every morning and return every night. (How could any snipe forget having to light off and secure a boiler everyday in the Key West heat). The NORRIS steamed for Newport to the Boston Naval Shipyard for repairs on Labor Day, and was there until January. The ship was in dry dock and a hole was cut into the hull under #4 boiler in the after fire room.
JULY 12 1966 TO DECEMBER 13 1968
The following info is from my log that I kept from 6-12-66 till got off 12-13-68. Here goes
7-7-66 Escort Newport to Bermuda Yacht races July 12 to July 16 in Bermuda, arrived in Newport July 20-66,
August 8-66 underway for Gemini X recovery zone. August 12-66 refueled in Bermuda, arrived Newport
August 17-66, August 21-66 Operations to prepare for Westpac deployment. Sept.3-66.Arrived Newport
Oct. 04-66 underway for Westpac. I have all the ports of call if your missing some. Returned to Newport April 25 67.
June 6-67 underway for operation with USS Forrestal in Caribbean sea, June 10-66 refueled Roosevelt Roads P.R.,
June 16-66 arrived in St. Thomas June 17-66 underway for Newport with a brief stop in Va. for gunnery exercises.
July 21-66 arrived Newport. July 02-67 underway for Key West Fla. July 05-67 arrived Key West.
July 15-67 underway for Newport. Arrived July 23-67.July 28-67 underway for New Jersey to off load ammo before going to the shipyard. Returned to Newport August 21-67. Leaving August 30-67 for 5 months in Boston Naval shipyard.
January 13-68 released from Boston underway for Jersey to get ammo back. Arrive in Newport January 16-68. January 24-68 underway for Key West. Arriving January 29-68. February 1-68 underway for Gitmo Cuba, arriving February 03-68 for shake down exercises. March 01-68 underway for Montego Bay, Jamaica for R&R during Gitmo Training. March 4 68 back at Gitmo. March 18-68 underway for gun shooting exercises in Colebra P.R. Arrived March 20-68. Departed for Newport on March 23-68. Arriving March 26-68, as you know we left for the Med on March 29-68 returning to Newport on October 12-68, we departed November 14-68 for ops exercises at Cape Haderas. November 20-68 we went to Davisville R.I. returned to Newport on December 02 68. I left the Norris on December 13-68 for transition school and separation .I know the Norris was going back to the Med in early 69, I got discharged in Feb of 69, so I left for transition school.
Ron LeBlanc 66-67
JULY 12 1966 TO JULY 23 1966
Norris took part with the primary recovery forces for Gemini X
JULY 24 1966 TO OCTOBER 3 1966
I reported aboard her in the early summer of 1966 and she was in the yards at boston. I am unable to recall the exact date I reported. I beleive she came out late summer and we did some drills and exercises in any event in Oct 66 we got underway for the westpac cruise.
Bill Fountain 66-67 MM3
OCTOBER 4 1966 TO APRIL 25 1967
Norris departed Newport R.I. with 5 otherships of Deron 24 for their deployment TO VIETNAM. WITH THE TRANSIT OF THE PAMAMA CANAL INTO THE PACIFIC OCEAN NORRIS MADE PORT IN VARIOUS PORTS OF CALL;TAKING ON LAST MINUTE SUPPLIES AND ADDITIONAL ARMAMENT. ARRIVING OFF THE COAST OF VIETNAM ON THE 21ST. OF NOVEMBER, SHE ANSWERED A CALL FOR GUNFIRE SUPPORT AGAINST AN ENEMY ENCAMPMENT ON THE BEACH OF THE III CORPS AREA. WHILE ON THIS MISSION SHE RECEIVED COUNTER FIRE FROM THE BEACH AT WHICH TIME IT WAS SILENCED. IN THE FOLLOWING WEEKS NORRIS WILL HAVE FIRED 6,200 ROUNDS OF 5"38 AMMO.
DURING THIS PERIOD HER GUNFIRE GAVE SUPPORT IN THE RESCUE OF A UDT UNIT, ALLOWED A PBR CREW TO AVOID AN AMBUSH, PREVENTED A FRIENDLY HAMLET FROM BEING TAKEN OVER, AND HELPED AVOID A LARGE ENEMY BUILD UP IN THE RUNG SAT AREA. AFTER ALMOST A MONTH OFF THE COAST OF VIETNAM, NORRIS PUT INTO SUBIC BAY FOR CHRISTMAS. WHILE IN PORT, MOUNTS 51 AND 53 WAS REBARRLED BY SHIPS COMPANY AND YARD PESONINAL; ALONG WITH LONG OVER DUE REPAIRS.
DEPARTING SUBIC BAY FOR HONG KONG TO ACT AS SOPA (ADMIN) ON THE 31ST. OF DECEMBER,SHE RELIEVED THE U.S.S. UHLMAN DD 687 AS SOPA. SPENDING 12 DAYS IN HONG KONG BEFORE RETURNING TO THE GUN LINE; AFTER BEING RELIEVED BY THE U.S.S. MULLANY DD 528 ARRIVING OFF THE COAST OF VIETNAM I CORPS AREA NORRIS WAS ASSIGNED TO ESCORT CONVORYS UP THE COAST ROAD FROM DA NANG TO HUE.
THE 29TH OF JANUARY NORRIS WAS IN YOKOSUKA JAPAN AT THE SHIP REPAIR FACILITY, AGAIN UNDER GOING REPAIR AND UP KEEP BY BOTH THE SHIP YARD MED. CRUISE AND SHIPS COMPANY AFTER SPENDING TWO WEEKS IN JAPAN. NORRIS WAS AGAIN ASSIGNED GUN FIRE SUPPORT IN THE II AND III CORPS AREAS. DURING THIS TIME SHE FIRED ANOTHER 1,200 ROUNDS OF 5"3B AMMO. BUT THIS TIME SHE SUSTAINED SEVERE STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO THE AFTER COMPARTMENTS OF THE SHIP DUE TO THE CONCUSSION OF HER OWN GUNS.
ON MARCH 3RD NORRIS FIRED HER WEAPONS FOR THE LAST TIME ON THIS DEPLOYMENT, AS SHE WAS RELIEVED BY THE U.S.S. CECIL DD 85. DURING THE TIME NORRIS SERVED OFF OF VIETNAM SHE HAD FIRED OVER 8,200 ROUNDS OF 5"38 AMMO. AND WAS ASSIGNED DERVERCE DUTIES. SHE SERVED IN SUCH PLACES AS VUNG TAU, PHOUC HAl, CAN 610, HAM TRNG, RUNG SAT, MUI HO TRAM, HUE AND TAM QUAN. ONCE RELIEVED OF GUN FIRE SUPPORT SHE THEN TOOK OVER PLANE GUARD DUTIES ON YANKEE STATION.
THE 9TH OF MARCH NORRIS DEPARTED THE COMBAT AREA FOR HER TRIP HOME. ON THE WAY BACK SHE DIPPED BELOW THE EQUATOR AT LONGITUDE 105 27 deg.
PORTS OF CALL
NAVAL STATION CANAL ZONE PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII YOKOSUKA, JAPAN SUBIC BAY PHILIPPINES HONG KONG, CHINA BUCKNER BAY, OKINAWA SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA COCHIN, INDIA ADEN, SAUDI ARABIA PORT SUEZ, EGYPT PIRAEUS, GREECE NAPLES, ITALY BARCELONA, SPAIN GIBRALTAR PONTA DEL GADA, AZORES
BITS OF INFORMATION VIETNAM DEPLOYMENT
NORRISMEN: Conducted transactions in 12 different currencies
Consumed more than 10,000 pounds of potatoes
Ate 1,400 loavesof bread per week
Ate 149,000 meals
Payroll exceeded $667,000.00
Handled more than 30,000 messages a month
NORRIS: Steamed 42,369.8 miles
Used 2,836,668 gal. of fuel
Fuel cost 200,000.00
( At 15 knots gets 36 yards per gal.)
Fired over 345 tons of ammunition
Cost of ammunition was $801,519.00
25TH OF APRIL AT 1137HRS
Norris tied up in Newport, RI
APRIL 26 1967 TO APRIL 28 1968
EAST COAST AND CARIBBEAN OPERATIONS
APRIL 29 1968 TO THE FALL OF 1968
I reported on board the Norris the first week in January 1968, we were still in the yards in Boston, then we went back to Newport, stayed there a week orso and then off to wonderful Gitmo, with stops at NAD Earle for ammo and a week in Key West for sonar refresher training. We came back from Gitmo the end of March, it was fun watching the guys in the deck division walking into the Px in Newport, the end of March, with dark tans.
We left for the med about the middle of April 1968 with the first stop being Malaga, Spain for the official turn over. From there we went to various places, Naples, Athens and Kavalla Greece, Riposto Sicily, Ismir, Turkey, a week in the Black Sea, Malta and who can forget all the many times
we pulled into Suda Bay, Crete. Someone joked that that was our second home port. We were suppose to leave in September but the ship that was to replace the USS Charles P. Cecil had problems. The COMDESDIV 202 was on the Cecil and I remember his message to us and the USS Myles C. Fox "COMDESDIV 202 came over together, COMDESDIV 202 will go home together", we spent another month in the med but at least we got to spend some time in Palma Spain on the Costa Del Sol, we even got to stand a Captains inspection indress blues in the hot Spanish sun.
Then back to Palma Spain for "turn over" and then home, after we left control of the 6th fleet, Capt. Massimi had the cooks do steaks for 24 hours, anyway you wanted them, not that bad.
We came back to the states in company of a bunch of other Destroyers and a tanker, about a day out from the states they sent around a message asking if anyone taking leave wanted to temp transfer to a ship going near where they lived, this was Norfolk and Mayport, Fla. We came in on a Saturday morning in about the middle of October, we stayed in Newport for a while, saw the new tender, USS Puget Sound come in, all 3 ships in the division were tied up together, they swung us around in
the harbor and we tied up along side the Puget Sound.
We left the day after election day in November for ASW and prospective officers training and like Mr. Barry said, we had a bad leak in the salt water induction and we had to break off and head for the floating dry dock in Davisville, RI. I was discharged while the Norris was in Davisville, a 3
day early out, I minor problem, the day I was suppose to leave the Doc (HM1) told me that when I had taken my physical on the tender in Newport, someone forgot to sign a page!. I went to sick call in Davisville, me in dungarees and everyone else in fatigues, Davisville was home to the Sea Bee's, I
pleaded my case to the Doctor, he asked me how I felt, "just fine sir", he wished me good luck and signed off what was needed.
I caught a ride down to Jamaica, NY, just in time to find out that the Long Island Rail Road had gone out on a "wildcat" strike. It took me a while to get a train going to where I had to go.
John Smale (Millman) RM3 1/68 to 11/68
FALL OF 1968 TO MAY 8 1969
As I recall, we returned to our berth in Newport, R.I. from the Med in October of 1968, and lay alongside, more or less, until getting underway for the Caribbean,, in January of 1969, visiting, San Juan P.R., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Aruba, among other places; then returning to Newport briefly in the Spring of 1969, before getting underway for the Med again in April of 1969, to join the 6th Fleet, where we remained until late November, early December of 1969, before returning to Newport.
QM3 Charles Van Patten, aboard NORRIS 1-68 to 3-1970
Nov. 1968 I came aboard the ship was in floating drydock in Davisville Rhode Island having just returned from a cruise (may have been Vietnam) Dec. Back to Newport.
Next few months some short trips out of Newport chasing the Russian trawlers around.
April 1969 left for the Med for 9 months deployment.
PAUL DESTEFANO DC3 1968 - 1970
I, Bob Barry, was the OPS officer on Norris from Jan 68 to Aug 69. If memory serves - we returned from the Med in Oct 68 and had a 30 day standown. We got underway in Nov for ASW exercises with Desron 2. We had a leak in the Seawater induction valve and spent Christmas in a floating drydock at Quonset Point. We were back underway in Jan and fired at Bloodsworth Island as training for naval gunfire spotters. We then did some planeguard for carrier quals in the VACapes area. We then prepeared for our next Med deployment.
5 December 1969 to 8 June 1970
I went on board in early December 1969 or so and we went underway in February to Puerto Rico and Vieques for Destroyer School Officers Gun-fire training. On the way back it was noticed that firing the aft-twin mount had produced cracks in the deck. When we pulled in the Norris basically went into what I think was called "cadre status"(?) and we never operated again while I was on board (until June 15.)
Mike McCormack, FTG-2
On 14 May, COMMANDER J.T. McQUESTEN, USN assumed command of the NORRIS.
9 June 1970 to 3 December 1970
City of Newport, R.I. gives public honor to the NORRIS, for it’s 25th Anniversary, and pays tribute to the memory of the heroic person for whom she was named for, Major Benjamin White NORRIS, USMC.CAPTAIN T.A. NISEWANER, (Ret) accepts honors. The 9th of June 1970 was proclaimed as USS NORRIS DAY.
On June 17th, The Newport Daily News published an additional commemoration of the Battle of Midway, where Major NORRIS lost his life.
LIEUTENANT COMMANDER G.F. HORNA is given command of the NORRIS on the 25th of September.
June 10, 1970
June 17, 1970
DECEMBER 4, 1970
Lowering the Ensign
The last colors that was on her was given (by the longest on board at the time she was decommissioned.) to MM1 Wm. Shealey...The last ensign was given to Robert Loy STG3.... And the last jack that was on her was given to myself. STG2 Wm. Brett.
Info from Bill Brett
FEBRUARY 1, 1974
Norris was stricken from the Navy
MEDALS, AWARDS AND RIBBONS
American CampaignAsiatic Pacific Campaign World War II VictoryNavy Occupation China Service National Defense 1Bronze star Korean Service Navy Expeditionary United Nations Service Armed Forces Expeditionary Vietnam Campaign 1 Bronze star
JULY 1 1974
Transferred to Turkey, renamed the, TCG Kocatepe
Kocatepe was sold to "HAS" (HURDASAN ANONIM SIRKETI) and scraped