U. S. S. MANSFIELD (DD728) DEPLOYMENT STORY
U. S. S. MANSFIELD left Long Beach, California for WESTPAC on 17 July 1959 under the command of Commander B. D. Gaw, U. S. Navy and with COMDESRON NINE, Captain C. M. HENDERSON, U. S. Navy embarked.
Enroute to WESTPAC, MANSFIELD had a two day stopover at Pearl Harbor where the first of the DESDIV 91 softball competition was begun. This inter-divisional spirit displayed itself throughout the cruise as the four hour Midway fuel saw two games played.
DD-728 steamed happily into Yokosuka, Japan on 4 August, looking forward to voyage repairs and availability alongside U.S.S. PRAIRIE (AD-15) and recreation in the nearby cities of Yokohoma, Kamakura and Tokyo.
Upon completion of the availability, MANSFIELD left for the Philippines area for TG 77 Fast Carrier Task Force operations with U.S.S. HANCOCK (CVA19) and U.S.S. LEXINGTON (CVA34). It was during these operations that MANSFIELD received notification of the Green "E" award for excellence in Operations and Communications and proudly (and promptly) displayed the coveted Green "E" on all Operations Department spaces.
Shortly following this period of operations, U.S.S. MANSFIELD with DESDIV 91 steamed into Subic Bay for 7 days availability at Ships Repair Facility Subic to put her back into shape for the forthcoming Formosa Straits operation with TF 72. During our Subic stay, President Eisenhower's people-to-people program received a boost when this ship's Recreation Counsel conceived the idea of painting the St. Joseph's mission in nearby Olongapo. The idea caught hod with the entire body of officers and crew, and before it was done, a 21 room school had the inside completely painted and a new set of athletic equipment was donated to the school. In a party given by St. Joseph's for the painting participants, the nine year old mistress of ceremonies said, "Welcome officers and crew of U.S.S. MANSFIELD, the greatest ship in the U.S. Navy".
Also during our Subic trip a DESDIV 91 Olympiad was held featuring softball, basketball, volleyball, arm wrestling, and track, which boosted spirits despite the Philippine heat. Side trips of wild boar hunting were also popular with the crew - if somewhat unpopular with the wild boars.
Our stay ended in Subic Bay, MANSFIELD left for the Formosa Straits to join TF 72. During our stay in the Straits area, much training was accomplished in all departments and ship visited Kaohsiung, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Hong Kong was the paradise for Christmas shoppers, sightseers, camera bugs, and clothes houses: and ended 7 days later with the billfolds depleted and a very contented crew.
MANSFIELD rejoined TF 72 for two more weeks operations before being relieved on October 30th. U.S.S. MANSFIELD (DD728) then headed north for Sasebo and a week's voyage repairs and final liberty before heading for CONUS.
DD-728 will arrive in Long Beach on Thanksgiving Day, having fulfilled her part of the SEVENTH Fleet Mission. She will return as a completely trained and ready unit, ready to assist whenever and wherever she is needed, and ready to do her part and more if asked.
DESDIV 91 DEPLOYMENT STORY
DESDIV 91 backed away from pier seven, Long Beach, amid the final farewells of wives, children, parents and friends to begin another deployment to the Western Pacific. Although many hearts were saddened by the prospect of the months to be spent away from loved ones, all were looking forward to the challenge of operating as a part of the "first team", the mighty Seventh Fleet.
Excitement was not long in coming upon DESDIV91. Three days out of Long Beach am emergency message was received from a USNS ship, the MAUMEE, that a crew member was suffering from what seemed to be acute appendicitis and no doctor was on board. Captain C. M. HENDERSON, COMDESRON NINE, immediately dispatched USS BENNER with Dr. R. E. MILLER aboard to assist. Arriving on the scene, Dr. MILLER took the situation in hand, The patient's symptoms were relieved and the MAUMEE was able to proceed to port with the patient reasonably comfortable.
A good portion to the crossing was devoted to routine drills to "sharpen" the various departments on the ship and keep an edge on the talents that quickly slip away if not practiced.
DESDIV 91 arrived in Yokosuka, Japan on 4 August for an arrival availability alongside USS PRAIRIE, COMDESFLOT ONE's flagship. all ships took advantage of the time to accomplish necessary repair work and to fill the shopping lists that all married men and most single men bring to Japan.
Departing Yokosuka, DESDIV91 took advantage of the availability of USS BREAM (SS243) for several days of antisubmarine warfare training. After this they joined with USS LEXINGTON (CVA16) to operate as a portion of a fast carrier task group. The task group joined with other units of SEVENTH FLEET for a combined air defense and striking exercise nick-named "TALL DOG".
With "TALL DOG" successfully completed, the division headed for Subic Bay and another repair period, however, increasing tension in the Eastern portion of the globe made it necessary for DESDIV 91 to forego the opportunities for repairs and return to sea with USS HANCOCK (CVA19) as part of another carrier task group. After a short period of operations DESDIV 91 was allowed to return to Subic Bay and a well deserved availability alongside USS FRONTIER. While in Subic the Uss MANSFIELD, flagship of COMDESRON NINE, was notified that she had been awarded the green "E" for excellence in operations for the year ending 30 July 1959. The division held what is know as the DESDIV 91 Olympiad, a series of athletic events between the ships of the division. The winner and holder of the division trophy for the year was USS DE HAVEN.
MANSFIELD and DE HAVEN also scored heavily in the area of human relations while there. DE HAVEN repainted the inside of the Protestant Mission Church in Olongapo. The MANSFIELD, under the able direction of LTJG W. H. SHOWERS, completely repainted the inside of the Catholic Mission School. On the last day of the ship's stay in stay in Subic a program of appreciation was given by the teachers and students of St. Josephs Catholic Mission School for the MANSFIELD. All hands were sure it was a worthwhile job when a little sixth grade girl introduced the program with these words: "Welcome officers and men of the USS MANSFIELD, the greatest ship in the U. S. Navy".
From Subic Bay DESDIV91 proceeded to Kaohsiung, Formosa to take a turn as watchdogs on the outermost frontier of freedom, the Formosa Patrol. Though the duty is monotonous and certainly not the exciting life most would picture, it is a necessary function of a destroyers existence and serves to illustrate one of the many functions that a destroyer can reasonably perform. While serving as part of the patrol each ship was given time off for a trip to Hong Kong, one of the most interesting and exotic cities of the East where East meets West and just about any other section of the world.
Having completed duty with Task Force 72, the division went to Sasebo, Japan for a final availability and then back to Long Beach - Thanksgiving was more meaningful for many this year than usual.
The destroyers of DESDIV 91 ran the gamut from ASW to carrier operations to the routine of patrol. All of these functions are only part of a days work for these destroyers and their able crews. If one name could be given them we would say "Thy name is versatility".
|This letter is an actual verbatim copy of the original|
U.S.S. mANSFIELD (DD-728)
c/o FLEET POST OFFICE
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
23 November 1959
As MANSFIELD's 1959 Far east cruise draws to a close and we steam happily towards Long Beach and our homes, I thought that this would be an appropriate time to acquaint you with our course of events during the past few months.
To this end, I am enclosing th deployment story of MANSFIELD and that of Destroyer Division 91, the division to which MANSFIELD is attached: also, a photograph of the U.S.S. MANSFIELD (DD-728), the ship on which your Navy man proudly serves. It is hoped that these stories will give you a better understanding of the U.S. Navy's and MANSFIELD's position and function in the Far East.
It has not been an overly long cruise, and the crew of U.S.S. MANSFIELD (DD-728) has had the opportunity to see many interesting and new places. We have enjoyed our association together and the realization that we are doing a job for our country. But we look forward to a long period in the States, during which time each and every one of us will have ample time to see our loved ones.
In closing, I should like to take this opportunity to convey my very bes wishes to you for the holiday seasons that lie ahead.