FLOYD B. PARKS (DD 884) is named for Major Floyd Bruce PARKS
USMC, a Marine Aviator reported missing in action on 4 June
1942 during the defense of Midway Island against the assaults
of the Japanese Navy. Major PARKS was born in Salisbury, Missouri
and was enlisted in the Navy for two years prior to his appointment
to the United States Naval Academy in June of 1930. He was
commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine
Corps on 31 May 1934. He advanced through the ranks in the
Corps and was promoted to Major less than a month before the
Battle of Midway. Major PARKS was awarded the Navy Cross and
received a special letter of commendation from the Secretary
of the Navy; his other awards included the Purple Heart, Presidential
Unit Citation, American Defense Medal, and the Asiatic-Pacific
Area Campaign Medal.
a Gearing Class Destroyer, displaces over 3,400 tons when
fully loaded, and has an average draft of 15 feet. She has
a length of 390 feet and a width of 41 feet. Four Babcock
and Wilcox "M" type boilers, driving two geared
steam turbine engines, develop a total of 60,000 shaft horsepower.
PARKS maximum speed is 32 knots; she can steam over 6,500
nautical miles at cruising speeds.
PARKS armament includes two
5 inch 38 caliber dual purpose mounts (twin guns), six antisubmarine
warfare (ASW) torpedo tubes, one anti-submarine rocket (ASROC)
launcher, and one CHAPARRAL missile launcher. PARKS "big
punch" is controlled by intricate electronic systems
coupled with radar and sonar.
PARKS normally carries a crew
of 18 officers and 279 enlisted men.
The ship's keel was laid 30
October 1944 by the Consolidated Steel Corporation in Orange,
Texas, located on the banks of the Sabine River. Mrs. Floyd
B. PARKS, the widow of the late Major PARKS, sponsored the
ship at her launching ceremonies on 31 March 1945. CDR Morgan
SLAYTON, USN, became her first Commanding Officer. After the
commissioning ceremonies, PARKS proceed from Orange, Texas
to the TODD shipyards at Galveston, Texas for final alterations
Upon completion of alterations, PARKS proceeded to Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba for her shakedown cruise. Following shakedown she
departed Cuba and steamed to Charleston, South Carolina in
October 1945, stopping enroute to celebrate Navy Day ceremonies
conducted at Pensacola, Florida. In October 1945, PARKS received
orders to join U. S. PACIFIC FLEET and proceeded to San Diego
California via the Panama Canal. San Diego then became PARKS'
On 28 November 1945 bad fortune
struck PARKS. While entering Pearl Harbor on her first cruise
to the Far East, she ran aground off the entrance to the harbor.
She entered the naval shipyard at Pearl Harbor to repair damage
suffered in the grounding and remained in dry dock until 24
left for WESTPAC in the early part of 1946 and operated in
the Hong Kong - Hainan area. In May, CDR SLAYTON was relieved
by CDR J. B. BRANDT, USN, as Commanding Officer. In June of
1946, PARKS moved to the Shanghai area. From Shanghai, PARKS
proceeded to the Guam-Saipan area, operating there until relieved
on 28 January 1947, at which time she returned to the United
States via Pearl Harbor. On 3 October 1947, CDR Richard E.
NICHOLS, USN relieved CDR BRANDT as Commanding Officer.
PARKS proceeded to Japan in
February of 1948 for her first tour of occupational duty.
During April,. PARKS represented the United States Naval Forces
in the Far East at the funeral of President ROXAS of the Philippines
Republic. One officer and twenty-five men from PARKS marched
in the funeral procession which was held in Manila. On 30
September 1948, PARKS participated in the cold weather exercise
MICROWEX and visited Kodiak, Alaska.
In April of 1949, PARKS proceeded
to Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California for overhaul.
Upon completion of the yard period, PARKS steamed to San Diego,
where she conducted local training exercises until October
of 1949. On 16 July CDR Herbert G. CLAUDIUS, USN, relieved
CDR NICHOLS, thus becoming the fourth Commanding Officer of
PARKS. The ship left for her third tour of duty in the Far
East, arriving in Japan in November of 1949; this tour lasted
almost eight months. PARKS visited the Philippine Islands,
China, Malaya, and crossed the Equator on a voyage to the
South Seas and Singapore.
She returned to San Diego on
12 June 1950. When hostilities broke out in Korea, PARKS steamed
to Hawaii and remained in a stand-by status prepared to assist
the Naval units in the WESTPAC area. In September she returned
to San Diego and soon proceeded to San Francisco for her regular
PARKS deployed on the morning
of 19 February 1951. After a logistics stop at Pearl Harbor,
PARKS set course for non-stop trip to Sasebo, Japan. After
steaming across the International Date Line, however, she
was forced to backtrack to Midway Island with a seriously
ill seaman. After transferring the patient and fueling, PARKS
set her course once more for Sasebo. After again crossing
the 180th she was once more compelled to return to Midway
with another patient. On 7 March PARKS crossed the Date Line
for the fifth time in three days and finally arrived in Sasebo
on 13 March without further incident.
PARKS joined Fast Carrier Task
Force 77 on 17 March to assist in screening the larger ships
and commenced a month tour in support of anti-communist air
operations off the east coast of North Korea. Enroute to TF
77 a floating mine was sighted close aboard and exploded by
40 mm fire. The incident had its amusing side; the Junior
Officer of the watch, who sighted the mine, remarked only
a few minutes earlier that PARKS was "too far at sea
to have to worry about such things as mines".
After a week of upkeep in Yokosuka,
PARKS proceeded to Wonsan, North Korea, for Naval Gunfire
Support Activities. At Wonsan on 30 April 1951, PARKS encountered
gunfire from enemy shore batteries for the first time; after
a two hour battle, she silenced them. During here stay at
Wonsan she was responsible for saving the lives of two pilots
who were forced to ditch their planes in the harbor. PARKS
fired 6,569 rounds of five-inch projectiles in interdiction,
harassing the counter battery fire during her first 29 day
tour of shore bombardment duty.
PARKS returned for her second tour of shore bombardment duty
at Wonsan, she encountered increased enemy resistance. Enemy
shore batteries opened fire on the ships in the harbor six
times in six days. PARKS was straddled three times, and on
another occasion received seven near misses, but successfully
answered and silenced the enemy fire without damage to herself.
During this tour PARKS was responsible
for coordinating the rescue of six more United States pilots.
In, addition, PARKS worked with Air Force and Navy planes
designating targets for day and night bombing, rocketing and
strafing attacks, and in turn, received spotting assistance
from the aircraft.
PARKS provided a shore fire control party for several days
on Hwang To-Do Island just 3,000 yards from the enemy's shore.
Using this party and a U. S. Marine party, PARKS was spotted
onto numerous lucrative targets. At one time her illumination
and gunfire broke up an attempted invasion of Hwang To-Do
by communist sampans. PARKS provided fire support for mine
sweeps conducting close-in operations and more than once silenced
opposing enemy guns.
22 September PARKS was relieved and sailed from Wonsan with
her guns firing counter battery fire. The damage done to the
enemy at Wonsan will never be fully known, but the destruction
on warehouses, ammunition dumps, gun emplacements and railway
and highway facilities was very heavy.
PARKS spent a total of 60 days
in the enemy harbor at Wonsan participating in the longest
siege in U. S. Naval History. It is believed that she spent
more time there than any other U. S. Warship. A total of 12,307
rounds of five-inch projectiles fired at the Korean Operations.
On 15 December 1951 CDR CLAUDIUS relieved by CDR John J. FOOTE,
returned to Far Eastern waters again in May 1952. This time
her duties included shore bombardment off the North Korean
Coast line, screening units of Task Force 77, patrol duty
in the South China Sea and the Formosa area, and 35 days of
blockade duty in Wonsan harbor. PARKS returned to San Diego
in December of 1952, and on 5 January 1953 entered the U.
S. Naval Shipyard at Hunters Point, San Francisco, California.
On 11 April 1953, while still in the shipyard, CDR B. HYSONG,
USN, relieved CDR FOOTE as Commanding Officer. PARKS left
the shipyard in May and returned to San Diego, where she conducted
local exercises until her departure for WESTPAC on 7 August
arriving in Japan on 23 September, she operated in Japanese
waters until November, when she departed for patrol duty in
Formosan waters. After a brief stay in Hong Kong PARKS began
patrol duties off the North Korean coast. It was during this
patrol that PARKS struck an uncharted reef and was forced
to proceed to Sasebo, Japan to repair damage suffered to her
propellers and shafts.
1 March 1954 PARKS left the Far East for San Diego and arrived
on 21 March 1954. During her stay in the United States, PARKS
participated in local training exercises and two Pacific Fleet
training exercises; she also steamed to Seattle, Washington
for a three day visit in conjunction with the Seattle Sea
left San Diego for WESTPAC on 28 September 1954, and arrived
in Yokosuka, Japan on 21 October 1954. She conducted brief
training exercises in the Yokosuka area and then proceeded
to the Philippine Islands, where she took part in local training
exercises and patrol duties out of Subic Bay. During this
period PARKS was forced on four separate occasions to leave
the area to avoid typhoons. CDR J. F. GUSTAFERRO, USN, relieved
CDR HYSONG as Commanding Officer on 2 December 1954.
During the month of January
1955, PARKS was present in the Formosa area during the outbreak
of hostilities in the Tachen area. She was one of four destroyers
present in the area which assisted the Nationalist Chinese
in the evacuation of personnel from the troubled islands.
a rest and upkeep period in Subic Bay, the ship proceeded
to the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong for a seven day visit.
She then visited Sasebo, Japan and Yokosuka, Japan, undergoing
upkeep and repairs prior to the journey back to the United
States. She arrived in San Diego on 9 April 1955 and after
a month of leave and upkeep, proceeded to the Long Beach Naval
Shipyard, Long Beach, California for a three month regular
overhaul. When she had completed her yard period, PARKS reported
to Fleet Training Group, San Diego for underway training in
preparation for another deployment to the Far East.
PARKS departed for WESTPAC on
9 November 1955 and visited the ports of Rangoon and Singapore.
She operated with Task Force 77 until the disaster of 1 l
On that day PARKS was involved in a collision with the heavy
cruiser COLUMBUS, resulting in the loss of a 40 foot section
of her bow and death of two men. Prompt action by all hands
kept PARKS afloat and she was taken to Subic Bay for emergency
repairs. A temporary bow was devised and PARKS departed for
Long Beach Naval Shipyard, arriving in early June of 1956.
The bow of the uncompleted USS LANSDALE, sister ship to PARKS,
was taken as a replacement. In early August of 1956, PARKS
reported ready for sea.
mid November of 1956, PARKS' preparations for deployment were
interrupted by an emergency deployment during the Middle-Eastern
Crisis. She journeyed to Pearl Harbor for duty, returning
to San Diego on 6 December 1956. On 18 December CDR E. M.
COMPTON, USN relieved CDR J. F. GUSTAFERRO as Commanding Officer.
PARKS began her ninth WESTPAC
cruise on 14 January 1957. She visited the ports of Sasebo,
Okinawa, Hong Kong, and Pearl Harbor as a unit of Task Force
77 and returned to San Diego on 16 June 1957. She entered
Mare Island Shipyard on 2 August for a major overhaul, leaving
the yards in October.
Shortly after her return to
San Diego from the yards, PARKS participated in an unsuccessful
search and rescue mission for a downed commercial airliner.
After returning to San Diego, PARKS began preparations for
her tenth deployment to the Far East.
13 February 1958, PARKS departed San Diego for another WESTPAC
cruise. She visited Pearl Harbor, American Samoa, Auckland,
New Zealand and the Fijis prior to participation in three
months of special operations at Eniwetok proving grounds.
From Eniwetok-Bikini operations PARKS steamed to Japan, where
she participated in a HUK exercise and operated as plane guard
for attack carriers. In the last two and one-half months of
this deployment, PARKS visited Yokosuka, Kobe, Bappu and Hong
21 July 1958, while operating off the coast of Japan, CDR
COMPTON was relieved as Commanding Officer by CDR Walter P.
V. BENNETT, USN. The change of command was unusual in that
CDR BENNETT came aboard via helicopter on 19 July, and CDR
COMPTON left in the same manner upon being relieved. Completing
her last commitment in August, PARKS returned to San Diego.
While in the San Diego area, PARKS conducted local -training
operations and participated in "OPERATION SKYNET"
On 15 April 1959, PARKS deployed
to WESTPAC via Pearl Harbor. Ports of Call included Guam,
Kaohsiung, Subic Bay, Hong Kong, Sasebo, Nagoya and Yokosuka.
During July and August she operated as part of the HUK group
and participated in "OPERATION TALL DOG".
The Laotian crisis of 1959 found
PARKS on the spot and ready with a show of force. In addition
to this action, PARKS participated in one of the early experimental
cold weather exercises, "MICROWEX", in the Bearing
Sea, and was an active participant in the Eniwetok-Bikini
atomic testing operations of 1959. Her return to San Diego
in October of 1959 marked the completion of her eleventh WESTPAC
On 25 November 1959, PARKS commenced
her underway training; this lasted through the month of April.
On 28 May 1960, she departed the United States for another
WESTPAC tour of duty with the SEVENTH Fleet. On the trip to
Japan, PARKS steamed in company with USS ORISKANY (CVA-34).
During the six months that PARKS operated with the SEVENTH
Fleet, she visited Okinawa, Yokosuka, Sasebo, Subic Bay, Hong
Kong, Kobe and Chinhae. While operating near Chinhae in July
of 1960, PARKS participated in landing exercises with the
On 21 August 1960, while visiting
the port of Sasebo, Japan, CDR BENNETT was relieved as Commanding
Officer by CDR John W. O'NEILL, USN.
Upon completion of her last
commitment with the SEVENTH Fleet in early November, PARKS
departed WESTPAC and arrived in San Diego on the morning of
26 November in company with USS ROGERS (DDR87G). During the
trip back to the United States, a member of PARKS crew became
seriously ill. With the competent work of the division doctor
and the cooperation of all hands, the mans life was saved
after a four hour operation on the Wardroom table. Upon arrival
in San Diego, PARKS commenced a five week period of rest and
During the ensuing eight months,
PARKS operated out of San Diego and performed various tasks
and exercises designed to increase her efficiency in the next
deployment. She took part in "OPERATION GREENLIGHT",
"OPERATION TAILWIND", and a demonstration for the
American Ordnance Association.
On 31 August 1961, PARKS deployed
to WESTPAC as a unit of DESDIV ELEVEN. The first month was
spent on Taiwan Patrol operating out of Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
During the remainder of the cruise PARKS served with carriers
USS TICONDEROGA (CVA 14) and USS LEXINGTON (CVA 16). A highlight
of this tour was a search and rescue mission in which PARKS
was sent to rescue the disabled Japanese fishing vessel "NANKAI
MARU". PARKS braved high winds and rough seas to aid
the small boat. Reflecting the excellent manner in which this
SAR mission was conducted, PARKS received congratulatory messages
from Commander SEVENTH Fleet, Commander Cruiser-Destroyer
Force, U. S. Pacific Fleet, Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla
ONE, and Commander Destroyer Squadron ONE.
returned to San Diego in January 1962, and in April journeyed
to Bremerton, Washington. PARKS new home port was then officially
moved to Bremerton; this permitted crew members families to
move to Bremerton at government expense during PARKS upcoming
While in the Puget Sound area,
PARKS visited Port Townsend, Washington, Naniamo, British
Columbia to participate in community festivities. On 1 June
1962, CDR Theodore R. JOHNSON, Jr. USN, relieved CDR O'NEILL
as Commanding Officer. PARKS spent the Fourth of July holiday
in Ketchican, Alaska and participated in their celebrations.
On l August 1962, CDR JOHNSON was relieved by his Executive
Officer, LCDR Samuel R. KUBEL, USN. LCDR KUBEL remained as
Commanding Officer throughout the fleet rehabilitation and
modernization (FRAM MK 1) program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
in Bremerton, Washington.
This $4.6 million overhaul gave
PARKS the very latest in electronic equipment and revitalized
her engineering plant, thus insuring that this veteran destroyer
would have many years of effective service in her future.
Upon completion of the FRAM 1 program, PARKS home port shifted
back to San Diego, California. CDR Paul W. COBB, USN, relieved
LCDR KOBEL as Commanding Officer on l March 1963.
In October 1963, PARKS again
deployed to WESTPAC to serve with the SEVENTH Fleet as a unit
of Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla NINE. During this cruise, PARKS
operated as a unit of the Taiwan Patrol Force and the SEVENTH
Fleet Attack Carrier Strike Force. PARKS visited Hong Kong,
Kaohsuing, Korea and various ports in Japan before returning
to her home port of San Diego in April 1964.
PARKS participated in PACMIDTRARON
- 64 from June until August. The highlight of this midshipmen
training effort was a sixty mile cruise up the Sacramento
River to Sacramento, California, in company with the USS MULLANY
CDR George B. WILSON, Jr., USN, relieved CDR COBB as Commanding
Officer on 1 October 1964.
October 1964 PARKS participated in exercise "HARD NOSE",
an amphibious exercise held off the coast of Southern California.
In February 1965, prior to deploying to WESTPAC, PARK: participated
in one of the largest peace-time amphibious exercises ever
conducted, "SILVER LANCE" PARKS departed for the
Western Pacific on 4 June 1965 and visited the Philippines,
Midway, Guam, Hong Kong and Hawaii.
this deployment PARKS successfully rescued a Navy Pilot in
the Tonkin Gulf. Upon her return PARKS had a four week rest
and relaxation period, after which she went, in February 1966,
to Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California for a
three month scheduled overhaul. In March 1966 CDR WILSON was
relieved by CDR G. M. NEELY, Jr., USN, as Commanding Officer.
Upon completion of the yard period PARKS proceeded to San
Diego, where she conducted local training exercises and participated
in "EXERCISE EAGER ANGLER" before deploying to the
Western Pacific in October 1966.
PARKS deployed in October 1966,
visiting the ports of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Sasebo, Yokosuka
and Kobe, Japan; Subic Bay, Philippine Islands; and Da Nang,
R. V. N. During her 1966-1967 WESTPAC Cruise, she performed
search and rescue duties off the Coast of Vietnam, while in
the Northern sector of the Tonkin Gulf, PARKS was instrumental
in developing methods of rescuing downed pilots.
arrived in San Diego on 4 April 1967 and, after a four week
period of "R & R" and an ensuing tender availability
period, embarked 34 Midshipmen in preparation for PACMIDTRARON
67, a training squadron involving 588 Midshipmen, 16 destroyers;
and 1 submarine. PARKS visited the ports of Tacoma, Washington
and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
preparation for her next deployment, PARKS took part in FLEETEX
3-67, "MOON FESTIVAL" and "COMPTUEX-67".
In December PARKS entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, Long
Beach, California for scheduled hull repairs. PARKS
left the yards in January and participated in STRIKEX 67.
She then returned to her homeport of San Diego, and before
deployment on 27 January 1968, instigated a very unusual ceremony.
cooperation with the British Army, The Royal Navy, the British
Crown Colony of Gibraltar, and General Sir Gerald Lathbury,
the Governor of Gibraltar, PARKS presented two very rare Barbary
Rock Apes to the San Diego Zoo. Virtually every officer and
man serving on board PARKS contributed funds to cover the
cost of air transportation from Gibraltar. While press and
TV representatives covered the event, Dr. Charles R. SCHROEDER,
Director of the Zoo, and Dr. George H. POURNELLE, Curator
of Mammals, accepted the animals and made the following observations:
is known about how the Barbary Ape came to be in Gibraltar
or why. It is thought that they may have been introduced to
the region by the Moors from North Africa during their conquest
in the 6th century."
"When the British took over the rock in 1704, they found
the apes living in a more or less wild condition and have
adopted them as lucky mascots. There is a story that the animals
once `saved the day' by giving the rock's. garrison warning
of a Spanish invasion."
"There's a British tradition that when the Barbary Apes
leave Gibraltar, the days of the British in Gibraltar will
be over, and this is taken quite seriously."
PARKS made her seventeenth deployment
on 27 January 1968 in company with USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA
31), USS BUCHANAN (DDG l4), USS DENIS J. BUCKLEY (DD 808)
and USS UHLMANN (DD 687). PARKS steamed at high speeds to
Subic Bay, R.P.L, making only a two day stopover in Pearl
Harbor and a brief refueling stop in Midway Island. After
one day in Subic Bay, PARKS proceeded to Corps 11I, RVN for
Naval Gunfire Support Missions.
remained in Corps III and Corps IV for eighteen consecutive
days and expended a total of 3,039 rounds in defense of friendly
forces and US troops. The high point of this assignment came
on the evening of 23 February when PARKS repulsed an attack
by the 460th VC Company on a company of Popular Forces and
prevented US spotters posts from being overrun.
just east of the coastal town of Tam Tan, PARKS initially
took a VC observation post and a VC company massing area under
fire. When the attack commenced, spotters requested simultaneous
illumination on some targets and destructive fire on others.
One hour and 171 rounds later, the ship attacked a total of
twenty-three VC positions.
spotter stated that PARKS fire not only cut off enemy escape
but kept them pinned down and forced abandonment of three
machine guns, two ammo pouches, two sub-machine gun magazines,
and five fifty caliber machine gun magazines (two with bullet
holes in them). The spotter confirmed eleven VC killed, eight
wounded, and no friendly casualties.
During the battle, the spotter
told PARKS to "keep the illumination coming. We've seen
many VC crawling away and many being carried away."
PARKS then traveled to Yankee
Station for plane guard and rescue destroyer duties. On 19
March, while in the Gulf of Tonkin, CDR Benny J. RICARDO,
USN, relieved CDR G. M. NEELY, Jr., USN as Commanding Officer.
The change of command ceremony was held amidst the roar of
jet aircraft departing for combat missions over North Vietnam.
CDR RICARDO thus became the sixteenth Commanding Officer of
USS FLOYD B. PARKS.
PARKS' next assignment consisted
of Search and Rescue duties in the Gulf of Tonkin. The ship
then steamed to the fabulous "R & R" port of
Hong Kong, BCC, and then to an upkeep period in Kaohsiung,
Taiwan. PARKS reported for another tour on SAR station in
As a grand finale to her seventeenth
deployment PARKS returned to the "gun line" and
expended 1,134 rounds of 5"/38 caliber ammunition in
support of Corps II friendly troops.
On the morning of 9 July 1968,
USS FLOYD B. PARKS crossed the Equator, thus giving all "low
down pollywogs" aboard an opportunity to become "trusty
Shellbacks". After many memorable ceremonial rites, PARKS
visited the ports of Singapore and Iokosuka, Japan before
returning to San Diego on 11 August 1968.
an "R & R" period, PARKS conducted various operations
in Southern California waters, including ASW school ship and
Engineering School ship; these operations were sandwiched
around six days of Soviet Trawler surveillance in mid-October
1968. In late January 1969, PARKS visited Acapulco, Mexico
on a goodwill visit, then after more ASW exercises in May,
PARKS proceeded to Long Beach Naval Shipyard for a short yard
period. Fleet Exercise "Beagle Baron" in July prepared
the crew for the PARKS' eighteenth deployment which commenced
on 11 August 1969.
Stops at Hawaii and Subic Bay
readied PARKS for a 43 day at sea period consisting of two
periods each on plane guard duty and PIRAZ before proceeding
to Hong Kong on October 21. During this extended sea period
of 8 October, CDR James F. DONOVAN relieved CDR B. J. RICARDO
as Commanding Officer. Two weeks in Hong Kong as SOPA ADMIN
provided a needed respite but was the only port of call on
the cruise. Most of November and December was spent on PIRAZ
except for a 10 day tender availability in Subic Bay in early
PARKS was diverted before reaching
Subic Bay in January to fill a commitment on the gunline in
II Corps, Vietnam. After three weeks on the gunline she pulled
into Subic Bay before proceeding home via Guam and Pearl Harbor.
PARKS arrived in San Diego on 12 February 1970 after a most
rigorous and successful cruise.
remained inport San Diego until 10 June when she traveled
north to Long Beach Naval Shipyard for a regular three month
overhaul. In the yards on 31 July, PARKS celebrated the anniversary
of twenty-five years of commissioned service in the United
States Navy. Having completed a 1.3 million dollar overhaul,
she returned to San Diego on September 16 for two weeks of
independent operations in preparation for Refresher Training.
Refresher Training began on
19 October and lasted five weeks, finishing one week early
due to her outstanding performance through the cooperation
and enthusiasm of the crew. The remainder of 1970 and January
of 1971 were spent inport San Diego getting ready for the
On 5 February 1971, PARKS deployed
for her nineteenth WESTPAC cruise with Captain J.J. HERZOG,
COMDESRON ONE embarked. After brief stops in Hawaii, Midway,
Guam and Subic Bay PARKS steamed into the Tonkin Gulf on March
1 st to assume screening duties with the Ready Amphibious
Task Group CTG 76.4 during South Vietnamese strikes into Laos.
Six days later she reported for plane guard duty with USS
KITTY HAWK (CVA 63) and on the 14th of March steamed north
to join the USS TRUXTUN (DLGN 35) for PIRAZ duty.
a brief stop in Subic Bay, PARKS joined other United States,
Australian, New Zealand, British, and Philippine ships in
Manila Harbor for the beginning of a SEATO exercise on 26
March 1971. The SUBOC exercise lasted until 7 April when friendly
forces concluded an amphibious assault in the Lingayen Gulf
on northern Luzon, Philippine Islands. On 9 April PARKS became
the first United States ship to participate in Bataan Day
Memorial Cemermonies held off Corregodor Island to commemorate
those who died during the Bataan Death March in World War
PARKS got underway for a port
visit to Bangkok, Thailand after three days in Subic Bay.
From Bangkok she steamed to Da Nang Harbor to assume Naval
Gunfire Support duties in Military Region I, Vietnam and COMDESRON
ONE assumed duties as Naval Gunfire Support Commander (CTU
70.8.9). Her duties were split between a region south of Chu
Lai and the.DMZ. Spotters in both regions highly commended
PARKS for her accurate gunfire support. The gunline period
was interrupted twice for typhoon evasion and on 15 May PARKS
left for Subic Bay after being relieved by HMAS BRISBANE.
After nine days in Subic Bay
PARKS visited Kao-}isuing, Hong Kong, Sasebo, and Chi Lung
before returning to Subic Bay. These visits were interrupted
only by a brief detour for storm evasion and seven days of
plane guard duty with the USS KITTY HAWK (CVA 63) in mid-June.
In Hong Kong two of PARKS' officers got married as their fiancees
flew over with other wives and girl friends on a special CRUDESPAC
flight. On 29 June 1971 in Sasebo CDR James F. DONOVAN was
relieved by Lieutenant Command J. M. McCULLOCH, USN to become
PARKS' eighteenth Commanding Officer.
After one last storm evasion
cruise PARKS left Subic Bay with USS COCHRANE (DDG 21) for
visits to Australia and New Zealand. On the morning of 18
July almost due west of tile Palau Islands PARKS began to
shudder violently. After a brief under water investigation
it was found that one of the blades on the starboard propeller
had broken off so PARKS set a course for Guam on one propeller.
In Guam divers removed the damaged propeller and at midnight
on 22 July PARKS proceed to Pearl Harbor on one shaft in company
with USS HANSON (DD 832) and USS BUCKLEY (DD 808).
arrived in Pearl Harbor on 29 July where she received a new
propeller and at midnight 30 July began a great circle route
for San Diego. She caught up to BUCKLEY and HANSON at the
entrance to San Diego Harbor after a four day chase and arrived
home on schedule on 4 August.
In mid-September after a month
of leave and upkeep, PARKS visited San Luis Obisbo in central
California to help publicize a harbor bond issue. She got
underway four more times in October and November for ASW operations,
NGFS at San Clemente and two Project Chaser cruises to the
Pacific Missile Range. A tender availability and upkeep rounded
out 1971 inport San Diego.
During the first five months
of 1972 PARKS conducted local operations out of San Diego.
Participation in COMPTUEX 1-72, Project RICE and COMPTUEX
lUA-72 highlighted these periods at sea. Two tender periods
helped the ship for an upcoming WESTPAC cruise. It was during
the second period in late May that PARKS became the first
FRAM I destroyer to be equipped with the CHAPARRAL Missile
launcher. On 20 June 1972 PARKS departed San Diego for her
twentieth WESTPAC cruise.
After stopping in Pearl Harbor
for briefings and fuel PARKS continued westward in company
with USS TOWERS (DLG 9). Refueling in Midway the two ships
headed for Guam. As they approached Guam a message was received
directing them to join a search and rescue mission in its
effort to retrieve the crew of a B-52 which was downed in
the path of a typhoon. PARKS and TOWERS raced into Guam ahead
of one typhoon and in the wake of the one headed for the downed
crew. After a quick briefing on the emergency and topping
off their fuel tanks, the ships continued Westward at the
best possible speed to attempt a rescue. The downed crew rode
out the worst of the storm and was picked from the waters
by a US submarine the next morning.
and TOWERS arrived in Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines
on 13 July 1972. After making finale preparations PARKS headed
for South Vietnam and gunline duty. From 19 July 72 to 26
July 72 PARKS operated with Task Unit 70.8.9 providing direct
support to units of the South Vietnamese Army and Marine Corps
conducting the Military Region ONE counter-offensive operation
LAMSON 72. During this initial period on the gunline PARKS
quickly established herself as a "good asset" among
the spotters, providing accurate and responsive fire.
During the period 26 July 1972
to 28 July 1972 PARKS joined Task Unit 77.1.1 engaged in linebacker
operations in the Gulf of Tonkin in the vicinity of Cape Mui
Doc, North Vietnam.
PARKS represented 75.9 in military
region ONE in the vicinity of Quang Ngai Province between
28 JUL 72 - 19 AUG 72, 15 OCT 72, 21 OCT 72 - 25 OCT 72 and
1 DEC 72 - 7 DEC 72 supporting the 2nd ARVN Division. From
19 OCT 72 to 20 OCT 72 PARKS supported the 22nd ARVN Division
conducting operation 22-18 in Military Region TWO, Binh Dihn
Province. Between 25 OCT 72 and 6.NOV 72 she supported RF
and PF forces in Military Region ONE near Da Nang.
On 2 September 1972 PARKS returned
to military region ONE, operating as a unit of Task Group
75.9. On 6 September 1972 PARKS was directed to proceed to
military region FOUR where as CTG 75.9 representative she
provided direct support for the 21st ARVN Division conducting
the Delta Region counter offensive campaign until 30 September
10 November 1972 PARKS returned to Northern Military Region
ONE to support the 147th VNMC 369th Brigade conducting the
LAMSON 72 and Song Than 9 operations.
these gunline periods the following GDA results were reported
by air and ground spotters: KIA (confirmed) 2; structures
destroyed - 50; structures damaged - 101; fires started -
29; secondary explosions - 37; trucks damaged - 2; barges
destroyed - 2; bunkers damaged - 9; fighting positions destroyed
- 24; mortars silenced - 2; one gun emplacement destroyed;
and one bridge destroyed.
On 20 November 1972 CDR James
M. McCULLOCH was relieved as Commanding Officer, USS F. B.
PARKS (DD 884) by CDR Eugene J. ERNER, USN. The ceremony was
held in Hong Kong, B.C.C.
On the morning of 5 December
while operating in waters near Chu Lai in Military Region
ONE, PARKS received an urgent call for fire. The spotter reported
that a regional outpost was under attack by an estimated two
companies of VC/NVA. PARKS responded immediately along with
USS LAWRENCE (DLG-4) to this call and furnished VT, HE and
illumination fire for several hours. The attack was broken
off and the outpost saved. Two days later, on another mission,
a spotter reported observing 13 secondary explosions resulting
from 223 rounds of call fire delivered by PARKS. A verbal
report from a spotter indicated that a post action sweep disclosed
35 VC KIA.
Upon departure from the gunline
on 3 December 1972 PARKS was to proceed to the Gulf of Tonkin
to join TU 77.0.1 as mutual support ship. Enroute PARKS was
ordered to relieve USS BAINBRIDGE as rescue destroyer with
CTG 77.5 for an interim period of one day while the regularly
assigned destroyer was enroute. Completing that assignment
PARKS proceeded north, joining TU 77.0.1 and remained on that
station until 18 December 1972. On that day, with virtually
no notice, PARKS was ordered to proceed and join TU 77.1.1,
Linebacker, for strikes commencing that night. The sudden
change in assignments was necessitated by material casualties
and lack of flashless powder in other destroyer units.
was to remain in this assignment through 27 December 1972,
missing a scheduled Christmas visit to Singapore. During this
period PARKS and the units she was working with, received
intense hostile fire on many occasions and participated in
the strike in which USS GOLDSBOROUGH was hit. On 24 December,
while firing assigned targets, 3 secondary explosions, one
very large, and 2 secondary sustained fires were observed.
In addition FLOYD B. PARKS was recalled from retirement radial
to fire targets assigned to another unit which experienced
gun mount material casualties.
During FLOYD B. PARKS last night
with Linebacker, her assigned targets were three active CD
sites. Hostile fire from these and other CD sites commenced
prior to ships turning to firing legs.
immediately commenced fire upon coming to her firing course
and observed a secondary explosion at the location of one
of her assigned targets, a suspected large caliber gun. This
site ceased fire immediately following the observed explosion.
Shortly after taking the other assigned targets under fire
their fire had greatly diminished and ceased when FLOYD B.
PARKS came to retirement radial. Between 50-100 rounds of
counter battery, primarily air bursts were experienced by
PARKS. No material or personnel casualties were experienced.
On the morning of 27 December
1972 PARKS refueled and departed the gunline for home via
Yokosuka, Japan. Running low on fuel in transit to Yokosuka,
PARKS made a brief stop in Okinawa Jima before continuing
B. PARKS brought in 1973 in Yokosuka, Japan and after five
days inport departed for home via Midway and Pearl Harbor.
In March the word was received
USS FLOYD B. PARKS (DD-884) would be decommissioned on 2 July
1973. The ceremony was held at Quaywall 8 north, U. S. Naval
Station, San Diego, California.