19 May, 1969

Dear Calcaterra Friends and Relatives,

Because of recent accomplishments, it is with great pride I the performance of Calcaterra’s officers and men that I write to you at this time.


Calcaterra spent her first two weeks in February in Mayport alongside the USS YELLOWSTONE, a destroyer tender, We returned to Key West for the remainder of February for upkeep. During this period we had the pleasure of hosting the British Frigate HMS ROTHESAY. A very enjoyable time was had by all and many new friendships were created between the two ship’s companies.


During March we acted as an anti-submarine warfare training school ship for the Fleet Sonar School located here in Key West. During this time American and foreign officers came on board for realistic training in actual anti-submarine warfare operations.


Calcaterra was recently honored by being chosen to participate in an Atlantic Fleet missile exercise held for about four days in an operation area northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. This was a historic first for a DER and our performance was to be closely observed and evaluated.


Actual wartime conditions were simulated as nearly as possible within the limits of personnel and ship safety. Our two-fold mission was to provide gunfire support and most important of all, early detection and reporting of incoming enemy aircraft.


Calcaterra performed quite impressively throughout the entire exercise. In fact, the ship performed so well that REAR ADMIRAL KIDD, Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla TWELVE, congratulated and praised the ship several times during and after the exercise.


Rear Admiral KIDD personally visited Calcaterra while we were moored in Roosevelt Roads just prior to getting underway to commence the transit back to Key West. The praise from our task group commander made all of us swell with pride, making the work, sweat and lost sleep seem well worth the efforts.


Prior to our commencing the missile exercise the ship put into San Juan, Puerto Rico on 16 April. All hands had the opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves during our brief stay in this exotic tourist port of the Caribbean.


On 16 April I had the pleasure of advancing in rating 24 members of the ship’s company. Eighty-seven percent of the crew who participated in the

19 May, 1969 Page 2


advancement-in-rating examinations passed the test. I congratulate them on their personal initiative and positive contributions to the Navy, as their advancement enhances our combat readiness. This was clearly demonstrated during our recent participation in the Atlantic Fleet missile exercise.


It was my pleasure to advance I rate the following men: EM3 John J. BELL, SFP2 Robert C. BLACK, ETN3 James R. BOGARD, RM2 John M. BORO, SK3 Edward L. COLBERT, SFM3 David L. FAVREAU, RD3 Frederick E. GLICK, STG3 David A HOLMES, RD3, Clarence L. HOOKER, BT2 Michael T. HUSS, RD3 Charles A. KWAST, BM3 John W. MCDONALD, RM3 Ralph H. MCNEELY, EN3 John P. MORGAN, SK3 Robert C. MOYER, MR3 Thomas R. PLEW, SM2 Eric G. POORE, EN3 Harold L. SHERMAN, EN3 Bobby D. SMITH, EN1 Blaine C. STARNES, EN3 Ralph L THOMAS, STG3 William E. TYLER, QM2 Claude WHITE, RD3 Joseph W. WOLZ, and on 16 September, CS1 Percy L. MYATT will be advanced to Chief Commissaryman.


The 1969 Navy Relief Fund Drive is now underway in Key West. The ship’s goal is $1000. this year although our primary interest is in 100percent voluntary participation. The drive ends on 13 June and we have already achieved over 25 percent of our goal.


During the remainder of this quarter our operating schedule will continue to be full. We will be operating in and out of Key West most of May and June prior to getting underway on 20 June for a three week tender availability at Mayport, Florida. En route we will make a two day port call in Port Everglades, Florida (Fort Lauderdale) on 21 and 22 June.


It is my intent to attempt to keep you as well informed as possible concerning matters of mutual interest regarding Calcaterra. If you have any questions please feel free to correspond and I will make every effort to be of assistance to you.

Sincerely yours,

Signed (R. H. REILEY)

Lieutenant Commander, U.S. NAVY

Commanding Officer


Click here to return to MailGram index