( Rear Admiral Ret. )
Early in 1962 she tested her missiles and antisubmarine weaponry in the Pacific missile range. Exercises and experiments continued in preparation for deployment to the western Pacific., She sailed 19 November 1962 on is her first WestPac tour of duty with the Seventh Fleet task group.
She arrived at Yokosuka, Japan, 6 December 1962 and within a week was on station with the 7th Fleet task group, taking up her part in the schedule of readiness training and exercises which have made the 7th Fleet a potent force working for peace in the Far East.
The crew of the McCormick tested her modified Tartar missiles with surface to surface electronics in telemetering ‘warheads’ during the Cuban Missile Crises. Our target was a mockup of a PT boat made of floats and chicken wire. The target had a seagull for a Captain. The McCormick came home with a broom on her stick after 5 days of tests in the PMR (Pacific Missile Range ) — clean sweep! We Missile Technicians worked 20 to 22 hours a day for those 5 days. We came home asleep on the deck. We were getting ready to head for Cuba if necessary.
We rode out a typhoon somewhere near Japan. I was on the bridge when we were taking 55 degree rolls. I couldn’t help wondering how far she could lean over. I really felt sorry for the guys that got seasick. I had after steering watch during that period. It was quite a ride way back on the fantail.
We did joint operations with the Australian Navy near the Philippines. Those guys were quite good and very crazy.
The stories I could tell about our captain at the time. He was a good head who liked a good time. I believe he got in a spot of trouble for buzzing subs with the gig in the Philippines. Rumor had it that the reason he was the Captain was because he lost a bet while serving in Washington. More the better for us.
Concerning the Sacramento trip, the McCormick wasn’t really supposed to go. I believe a DLG was supposed to make that cruise, but I can’t remember which one. That ship backed her screws into an anchor chain and couldn’t make the trip. I was getting another ‘C’ school in Vallejo, CA. When I got my orders to return, imagine my surprise to be going to Sacramento! Things that make you go “huh?” Stories, stories, and more stories. I am sure we all have them. It was a great tour and I would not trade it for anything.
I put the McCormick into a hard (45 degree) left rudder (from after steering) at 27 knots during breakfast, while we were in a convoy – in the middle of 3 ships. That story has an excuse, but I did not get called on the carpet for it. I think a junior bridge officer did get into a little trouble though.
1962 – 1964
I was aboard the USS Lynde McCormick in 1962 when the USS Lynde McCormick was the navy host ship for the world’s fair in Seattle. The space needle restaurant was not turning yet. The USS Lynde McCormick which was tied up to the sea wall in downtown Seattle. I wasn’t old enough to drink, legally.
CDR Cornwall was captain at the time and I was an SFM3. SF1 Delmar Sheets was in charge of SF shop. SFP2 Percy Sewer, Harold, FN Lear, FN Smith, MR3Starke, Abernathy and Roscoe West, were some of the shipmates in R Division.
We went from San Diego to Seattle, and then from Seattle to San Francisco to go to Hunters Point for yard work. After that we went to San Diego, and then we took our first WestPac cruise in November of 1962. After the WestPac cruise, I was transferred to the USS Oklahoma City CLG5 in Long Beach which was being outfitted for 7th Fleet Flag.
The USS Lynde McCormick under CDR Cornwall had the best moral in the navy. I sailed on six different ships and then I went to the nuclear fleet under Admiral Rickover. I was one of 64 sailors who, as NDT Specialist/Instructor, was the start of the Sub Safe program in 1967. No US subs have gone down since we went into operation in 1968. The best job I had in the navy was making sure that ships built in US yards would be sea worthy and would bring their crews home safely.