Dennis J. Buckley DD/DDR - 808

(Gearing Class)

This is the history I have of the Dennis J. Buckley. The information came
from one of our shipmates spending many hours going through records
in Washington D.C. 
Thank you so much Harold Ferguson for compiling
this information and sharing it with us. I hope this will help you remember
the time line when you aboard the best ship and served with the finest
officers in the Navy.


1948 1949 1950 1951 1952
1953 1954 1955 1956 1957
1958 1959 1960 1961 1962
1963 1964 1965 1966 1967


The name Dennis J. Buckley was assigned to DE-553 but her construction was canceled 10 June 1944 prior to launching.

Dennis J. Buckley (DD-808) was launched 20 December 1944 by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath,
Maine sponsored by Mrs. D. J. Buckley, mother of Fireman First Class Buckley; and commissioned 2 March 1945, Commander K. C. Walpole in command.

RMSN W.T Harris wrote of the day as follows:

"I still remember the cold, cloudy, misty day we put the Buckley in commission in Boston. Buckley's mother and wife were there. I felt sorry for them. After some words were said the Captain told the First Lt. to "Set the watch". Cold chills went all over me. For an 18 yr. old I was excited and scared to death. Next to Norfolk for stores and then to Cuba."

She was reclassified DDR-808, 18 March 1949.

Dennis Joseph Buckley, Jr.
Born 22 April 1920 in Holyoke, MA, Dennis Joseph Buckley, Jr., enlisted in the Navy 30 September 1940. Fireman First Class Buckley was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for displaying exceptional courage in attempting to board and salvage a blockade runner which had been intercepted by his ship Eberle (DD-430) on 10 March 1943. The explosion of demolition charges planted by the blockade runner's crew took his life.

1945 - 1947

With conversion partially completed, the ship was assigned to Commander Fleet Operational Training, Atlantic Fleet, and on April 27, 1945, she left the Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusett, for her shakedown cruise in the water! off Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The D. J. BUCKlEY cruised in this area, undergoing intensive war-reparatory exercises and drills, until June 2nd when she returned to Boston.

Upon arrival at her destination on the 7th of June, the vessel proceeded to the Boston Navy Yard for post-shakedown availability where, among other alterations and repairs, a 40 millimeter quad was substituted for the #2 torpedo mount.

With yard period ended, on June 25th the DD808 departed from the III Boston Navy Yard and entered
upon training exercises in the waters off Casco Bay, Maine. On July 1, 1945, the ship was assigned to Task Force 69 as Flagship. Other units of the force consisted of the USS HENRY W. TUCKER, USS EDWARD H. ALLEN, USS TWEEDY, USS LCS(L)1, USS LCS(L) 5, USS LCS(L) 6, USS LSM 455, USS WYOMING, and USS BREMERTON. Operations under Task Force 69 consisted of conducting various training and experimental exercises in the Casco Bay area and DD808 participated in these until August 11th. On that date Commander Task Force 69 shifted his flag from the D.J. BUCKLEY to the USS WYOMING and the day following, the "808" departed for Boston, Massachusetts, arriving the same day. While in the Boston Navy Yard having additional equipment installed on August 14th, 1945, the DD 808 received word of the Japanese surrender and that hostilities would cease.

On August 21st the ship departed from Boston and returned to Casco Bay where she rejoined Task Force 69 and continued operations in those waters until October 25th when she proceeded to Providence, Rhode Island, for the observance of Navy. On October 30th the DD 808 reported to Commander Destroyer Squadron EIGHT for duty and passage to the Pacific Ocean and de- parted for Norfolk, Virginia. The following day she arrived at the Naval Operating Base, Norfolk, where she remained until November 7th. On that date she weighed anchor for the Panama Canal as a unit of Destroyer Squadron EIGHT.

            The squadron arrived at Coco Solo, Canal Zone, on November 11th and the next day made transit of the Panama Canal. The 15th they were underway for San Diego, California, with the DENNIS J. BUCKLEY as flagship of Destroyer Division 16; the other ships being USS LEARY, USS BORDELON, and USS DYESS. They arrived at San Diego on November 20th and three days later were underway for Pearl Harbor, T. H., arriving on the 28th.

On December 6, 1945 the D.J. BUCKLEY got underway from Pearl Harbor for Port Allen; Kauai, for participation in Victory Bond sales. She arrived there on the 7th and the following day the ship was opened to the residents of Kauai for general visiting and inspection.

The destroyer was underway again on December 9th and made rendezvous with other ship of Destroyer Division 15,16, and 17 with their destination Tokyo, Japan. Following delay caused by bad weather enroute, the group arrived at Tokyo Bay on December 22nd. After refueling from a tanker, the DD 808 moored to the side of USS BENNER (DD-807) at the #6 berth in Yokosuka KO. The end of 1945 found the destroyer attached to Task Force 5, composed of the USS BOXER (CV_2l), (flagship), USS ANTIETAM (CV-36) and Destroyer Squadron 10, in Yokosuka KO. She operated in the Marianas and visited Manila, Philippine Islands, before returning to San Diego 13 April 1946.


The D. J. BUCKLEY remained in the western Pacific operating in the Guam-Saipan area until February 3, 1946, Dade a voyage to Manila, P.I., United States via Saipan, Eniwetok, and Pearl Harbor. She arrived at San Diego, California, April 13, 1946 and stayed in that area until January 6, 1947 when she weighed anchor for Pearl Harbor once more.


The destroyer arrived at Hawaii on January 12th and three days later was underway for the western Pacific again. On this tour of duty she made port ag Guan on January 24th; Hong Kong, China, on the 30th; Okinawa on February 15th; Tsingtao, China, on March 3rd; Saipan on April 7th; Pagan Island the following day; Guam on the 10th; and the 17th of April found her at Shanghai, China, where she conducted exercises until April 25, 1947. On that date she got underway for Okinawa.

            The vessel operated in the vicinity of Buckner Bay, Okinawa, until the middle of May when she sailed for China once more, arriving at Tsingtao May 17th. She anchored at Chinwangato on June 13th; Taku the following day, returned to Chinwangtao on the 15th. Takao on the 13th; and anchored off the Yangtze River entrance on July 15th.  The ship was at Shanghai once more on July 17th and Tsingtao on the 25th and then proceeded to Okinawa August 8th. She arrived at Buckner Bay on August 11th and remained until the 23rd when she participated in exercises in the Yellow Sea, making port at Tsingtao on August 29th. Yokosuka, Japan, was the final port of call (September 18-23) and the D.J. BUCKLEY returned to Pearl Harbor on October 1, 1947. Underway the following day for San Diego, California, she reached her destination on the 8th and remained in West Coast waters until October 1, 1948. On that date she sailed once more for Hawaii.


The DENNIS J. BUCKLEY arrived at Pearl Harbor on October 10, 2948 and four days later, with eleven other vessels of Task Force 38, proceeded to Tsingtao, China. Following six weeks of operations in the vicinity of Tsingtao during the evacuation of civilian personnel, the USS D.J. BUCKLEY, USS TARAWA (CV-40), and USS HAWKINS (DD-873) were detached from Task Force 38 to report to the Mediterranean Fleet. While enroute, the three ships made short operational visits in Hong Kong and Singapore, China; Colonbo, Ceylon; Bahrein and Jidda, Saudi Arabia; Port Said, Egypt; and Athens, Greece. From Athens, the three ships proceeded to Istanbul, Turkey, in company with Task Force 128. The visit in Istanbul was followed by a short stay in Crete where orders were received to proceed to New York via Gibraltar. The groups passed through the Straits of Gibraltar on February 12, 1949 and arrived in New York ten days later. She returned to New York 22 February 1949 completing a round-the-world cruise.



The BUCKLEY stayed at New York through the remainder of the month and on March 1st got underway for San Diego, California, via the Panama Canal. She Dade transit on the Canal on March 7th and arrived at the west Coast port on the 16th, On May 10, 1949 the ship was back at Balboa, Panama, and after another passage of the Panama Canal, operated for a short tine in Caribbean waters. She then operated out of various ports on the East Coast from Norfolk, Virginia to Argentina, Newfoundland, participating in operational exercises and activities.


Between November 15, 1949 and March 15, 1950 the USS DENNIS J. BUCKLEY , was overhauled at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia. After a two week period of Refresher Training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the ship sailed for Newport, Rhode Island where it spent two weeks before leaving on April 15, 1950 for duty with the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. She returned to her homeport, Newport, on October 6,1950 for local and Caribbean operations.


December 10, 1950, found the Buckley in a Naval Shipyard again, this time at Boston where she remained until February 10, 1951. From the Naval Shipyard the Buckley went to Guantanamo Bay for refresher training until March 25, 1951. After a period in Newport, between April 1, and April 25, the Buckley departed for a tour of duty in Northern Europe, visiting Plymouth Liverpool, and Weymouth, England; Bremerhaven, Gernnny; Antwerp, Belgium; and Cork and London Derry, Ireland. The Buckley returned to Newport on October 10 and remained in that area until reporting to the Naval Shipyard,  Boston on December 5, 1951 for a major shipyard overhaul. At this time her light anti-aircraft armament was converted to 3"/50 guns. This overhaul and modernization period was followed by the customary training period at Guantanamo Bay.


On March 29, 1952, the ship returned to Newport for one week and .l~ departed on April 5th for duty in the Mediterranean with the U.S. Sixth Fleet, r not to return to Newport until October 10, 1952. On this Sixth Fleet tour r the Buckley visited Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Greece, and North Africa.


    Between October 10th 1952 and January 15, 1953 the Buckley performed duties , in the Newport area as a Gunnery School Ship and as an Engineering School Ship for Officers assigned to destroyers in the Atlantic Fleet. April 6th ~ found the Buckley enroute to the Sixth Fleet again. This time the ship  visited Castellon, Spain; LaSpezia and Genoa Italy; Palerno, Sicily; Isle of Rhodes, Gulf Juan, France; Tangier, North Africa; and Malta. The ship was drydocked at Malta, for replacement of the sonar dome. While at Tangiers, the BUCKLEY acted as host ship at an international yatching regatta involving many of the Mediterranean countries. Returning to Newport on October 26, 1953 the BUCKLEY moored alongside the destroyer tender YOSEMITE for upkeep.

On November 24, 1953 the BUCKLEY reported to the Naval Shipyard at Philadelphia for a regular overhaul. During this period many habitability improvement were completed and a new model (AN/S S-8), air search radar installed.


On April 15, 1954, with the overhaul completed, the BUCKLEY departed  Philadelphia enroute Guantanamo Bay for refresher training. Upon completion of refresher training the BUCKLEY returned to Newport on June 13, 1954. During July 1954 the BUCK LEY acted as the Engineering School Ship for Atlantic Fleet destroyer for her second time.

On August 31 1954, while nested alongside. the USS YELLOWSTONE in Narragansett Bay, the BUCKLEY was damaged by hurricane "Carol." Storm damage repairs were accomplished at the Naval Shipyard, Boston, and on 15 September 1954, in company with the USS DORCH (DD-679) and USS HARWOOD (DDE-86l) the Buckley departed as a temporarily assigned unit of Destroyer Division 262, via Argentina, Newfoundland, for duty in the Mediterranean with the U.S. Sixth Fleet.

While in the Mediterranean the ship visited the ports of Algiers, Algeria; Naples, La Spezia, Venice, and Bari, Italy; Cannes, France, Instanbul, Turkey; Salonika, Greece; Gibralter; and Tarrangona, Spain. The BUCKLEY returned to its homeport, Newport, Rhode Island, on 2 January 1955


After an upkeep period alongside the USS MARKAB (AD-2l) the BUCKLEY as a unit of Task Group 89.3 Surface Barrier Group, from 12-26 March participated in an Air Defense Barrier Patrol Exercises in the North Atlantic.

During April 1955 the DENNIS J. BUCKLEY engaged in type exercises and a two week training cruise in the Newport area for Naval Reservist. On May 6,1955, Destroyer Division 102 moored together for the first time. The Division consisting of the USS DENNIS J. BUCKIEY (DDR-808), USS FECHTELER (DDR-870), USS EVERETT F. LARSON (DDR-830), USS BENNER (DDR-807), moored together at Newport.

During the period 31 May to 3 August 1955 Destroyer Division 102 was assigned to Commander Midshipman Cruising Force (CTF 40) for a Midshipman Summer Cruise. Destroyer Division 102 participated in the first cruise of the Summer of 1955, "Cruise Able."

"Cruise Able" trained both the U.S. Naval Academy and NROTC Midshipmen and was a part of the summer training prescribed by the Chief of Naval Operations

Commander Battleship-Cruiser Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, commanded the Midshipman Practice Squadron (CTF 40.1) that conducted Cruise Able. On this cruise the D.J. BUCKLEY visited Malaga, Spain; Plymouth, England; and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

On August 4 Destroyer Division 102 returned to the homeport, Newport. Until 24 October the ships participated in type training and type exercises or upkeep except for the period 19-26 September when the USS D.J. BUCKLEY and USS FECHTELER participated in a Celebration of the 275th Anniversary of the founding of Bristol, R.I.

On 1 October a change in administrative organization assigned the USS BUCKLEY to Destroyer Flotilla Six vice Flotilla Two. From 24 October until 17 November Destroyer Division 102 was assigned to the Destroyer Air Defense Training Group (TG 83.8) for a training exercise to improve destroyer air defense capability and readiness. Commander Destroyer Flotilla Six (RADM Frank Virden) conducted this exercise off Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico. .The weekends of 4-6 November and 11-13 November

were spent by the USS BUCKLEY in Houston, Texas and Ford Everglades, Florida, respectively.

The four ships of Destroyer Division 102 arrived back in their home port on 18 November for a period of leave and upkeep.

Upon arrival, the Division went alongside the new destroyer pier, Destroyer Pier ONE in Narragansett Bay and participated in the Opening Day ceremonies at that pier.

On 20 November several ships, including the BUCKLEY, received hull damage when unexpected and unusual high winds and rough seas buffeted the destroyers together.



The BUCKLEY remained alongside Pier ONE until 3 January 1956, when she got underway for the Boston Naval Shipyard for a regularly scheduled availability commencing on 5 January. While at the Boston Naval Shipyard a major ship alteration (ShipAlt 908) was accomplished.

On 1 May 1956, the BUCKLEY departed the Boston Naval Shipyard.

After a two weeks RFS period, the ship underwent a refresher training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from 14 May to 14 June.

On 17 June the BUCKLEY officially became a unit of CRUDESPAC.

After transiting the Panama Canal, the ship spent four days in Balboa, Canal Zone, and arrived in Long Beach, California, on 28 June.

The ship left for the Western Pacific on 9 July and after stopping at Pearl Harbor and Midway Island, arrived in Yokosuka, Japan, on 2 August.

In Yokosuka, the ship joined her new Division, Destroyer Division 191. Three days later the Division was underway for a week visit in Hong Kong, B.C.C. and then on to the Formosa Patrol for a month and a half. While on patrol on the 24th of August, BUCKLEY was directed to proceed to search for a Navy PSM Patrol Plane which had been shot down off Shanghai by the Chinese Communist. On the following day the ship sighted wreckage and two empty inflated life rafts. At the end of the day the body of one of the sixteen crewmen aboard the PSM was picked up. The ship was then relieved by another Destroyer and proceeded back to duties on patrol off Formosa. On September 24th, DESDIV 191 was back in Yokosuka for a two week upkeep period. On October 5th, the Division was one again underway this time for Long Beach, arriving on October 21th. From this date until 1 Decenber, the ship went through a period of leave and upkeep.


The months of December January, February and March. were months of operation and availability in the Long Beach area. 1 April, saw the BUCKLEY on plane guard duty and ASW training off of San Diego until 27 May when the Operational Readiness Inspection began. The month of June was taken up with availability and upkeep and on 25 June, the BUCKLEY in company with DesDiv 191 weighed anchor for Pearl Harbor, Midway and points east on her second cruise to WestPac.

Eighteen days later, on 13 July, the ship arrived in Yokosuka Harbor, Japan and went alongside the HAMUL for availability. 1 August was the beginning of 4 months of intensive underway training and operations, Which sent the Buckley to many parts of the Orient and saw her win many honors. Gunnery exercises in the first weeks of August won new E's for the five- inch mounts and director.

On 17 August, the ship left Sasebo, Japan for 23 consecutive days of exercis6B at sea with the carrier Princeton, the expedition cut into the Taiwan Patrol. It wasn't until 10 September, that the Buckley arrived at Kaohsiung, Formosa only to begin avoiding action of a typhoon until being relieved and sent on her way to Hong Kong, where she arrived 23 September. A week of gift buying, liberty and the Buckley was off again for Japan and more operations.

In October, the Buckley served as flagship for ComDesFlot WestPac,

Rear Admiral Horacio Rivero, Jr., during Seventh Fleet task force operations and received a visit by highline from the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Arleigh Burke, Who toured the ship and spoke to the crew. This

was the high point of the cruise and after a few more stops in Japan, the Buckley headed west for the long trip to Long Beach where she arrived 6 December 1957.

Places visited included Yokosuka, Nagoya, and Sasebo in Japan; Kaohsiung, Formosa; Hong Kong, D.C.C.; Midway and Pearl Harbor.



The week of 6-31 January were spent in preparation for a 3 month overhaul period in the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. A board of Inspection and Survey inspected the ship on 15-16 January and a rough outline of the work to be accomplished was established. The BUCKIEY entered Berth 32 of the Shipyard on 31 January and remained until 15 April when she underwent her first engineering sea trials. The second sea trials for electronics was successfully accomplished on 25 April and on 5 May, the BUCKLEY became once again an operating unit of COMCRUDESPAC. During the tine in the yard it was suggested that the BUCKLEY be changed from DESDIV 191 to DESDIV 192 and with the CNO's approval, on 1 March, she became a unit of DESDIV 192.

Two weeks of local operations brought the ship to May 16 and the opening of the ship to hundreds of visitors in San Pedro, California in observance of Armed Forces Day. Hardly had the last visitor left the ship than the BUCKLEY was underway for six weeks of intensive underway training under COMFLETRAGRU at San Diego. This lasted until the end of June with a one week break, 1-6 June, for tender availability.

June 30 the D.J. BUCKLEY joined with TF16 under COMFIRSTFLT to participated in the big EAST PAC EXERCISE BLUEBOLT. This lasted twelve days involving over two dozen ships including destroyers and cruisers and led the BUCKLEY over several thousand miles of ocean off the California coast.

One of the most enjoyable parts of the exercise was where the BUCKLEY was tied up at pier 9 in Oakland and open to general visiting for 3 days. The BUCKLEY finally arrived back home to Long Beach on 11 July where she began making preparations for an other WESTPAC cruise on 16 August.

Departure for WESTPAC having been delayed one week, 23 August 1958 found DENNIS J. BUCKLEY departing Long Beach for Yokosuka, Japan via PeDr1 Harbor and Midway Island. After a brief stay in Yokosuka the DENNIS J. BUCKLEY was ordered to proceed to Kaohsiung, Taiwan to operate as part of Task Force 72.

While a part of TF 72, DENNIS J. BUCKIEY played a key role in the Quemoy resupply effort, performing varied tasks and upon departure fram the area on 27 October 58 earned a "Well Done" from Commander Taiwan Patrol Force.

On 29 October 1958, DENNIS J. BUCKLEY joined and operated with the Fast Carrier Task Group composed of USS MIDWAY and the other ships of Destroyer Division 192. During operations with this Task Group, DENNIS J. BUCKLEY visited Buckner Bay, Okinawa and spent a 12 day visit in Sasebo, Japan between 17-29 November 1958, undergoing tender availability alongside USS AJAX and a short period in drydock. Various training was conducted and emphasis was placed on maintaining DENNIS J. BUCKLEY in a high state of readiness.

On 15 December 1958 DENNIS J. BUCKIEY was detached from operations with the Fast Carrier Group and entered Yokosuka, Japan for a normal tender avai1abiity alongside USS PIEDMONT over the Christmas holiday period.

After a well deserved 14 days in Yokosuka, Japan, the 29th of December found DENNIS J. BUCKLEY headed out to sea once again. She conducted various gunnery exercises and along with the other ships of Destroyer Division 192, after a 2 day stopover at Naha, Okinawa, pulled into the enchanting port of Hong Kong, B.C.C., on 5 January 1959.

 Local operations engaged Dennis J. Buckley until 23 August 1958 when she again sailed for the Far East where she joined TF 72 to resupply Nationalist Chinese holding the Quemoy Islands against the threat of Communist seizure.


With much sorrow the DENNIS J. BUCKLEY departed Hong Kong, D.C.C., on 10 January 1959. This period at sea found Destroyer Division 192 participating in ASW and various gunnery exercises. DENNIS J. BUCKLEY arrived Subic Bay, Phillippine Islands on 12 January to refuel and she departed for Brisbane, Australia on 15 January. On 19 January 1959, DENNIS J. BUCKLEY, in company with Destroyer Division 192, crossed the equator into Southern waters and King Neptune came aboard to give the lowly “Polywogs" a befitting greeting.

Arriving at Manus island for fuel on 20 January, she departed on 21 January with her bow headed south for the much anticipated visit to Australia. DENNIS J. BUCKLEY, in company with Destroyer Division 192, found an exceedingly warm welcome awaiting as she steamed up the river to Brisbane, Australia on the morning of 26 January 1959. General visiting was the order of the day for our three day visit in Brisbane.

The 29th of January found the DENNIS J. BUCKIEY at sea still southbound for Sydney, Australia. Arriving on the 30th of January DENNIS, J. BUCKIEY remained in "the world's greatest liberty port" for four glorious

days in which the friendly Australian people' came from all walks of life to visit the four American Warships.

On the morning of 3 February, Destroyer Division 192 sadly departed Sydney. Many hearts were left behind with vows to return. The men now realize why Australia is considered the "the world's best".

The next four days were spent at sea enroute to Wellington, New Zealand, where the Division arrived together in Wellington on the 6th of February.

The morning of 8 February found Destroyer Division 192 pointed north for a fuel stop in American Samoa on 12 and 13 February. Three days were then spent in Pearl Harbor, and then on the morning 27 February 1959, that much anticipated day had finally arrived "Home" in Long Beach, California. Then ship immediately commenced her 30 day leave period.

The leave period completed, DENNIS J. BUCKLEY once more commenced her training cycle in April 1959 in preparation for her next "WESTPAC" cruise. -This included schooling for the officers and crew, underway training off the coast from San Diego to Long Beach, and a complete regatta of all exercises. She was assigned a tender availability period from 13 April 1959 to 24 April 1959 receiving services from the USS FRONTIER (AD-25).

The week of 27 April to 1 May 1959 DENNIS J BUCKIEY operated off the coast of San Diego, California as Sonar School Ship for students from the San Diego Fleet Sonar Training School.

After spending the weekend in her home port of Long Beach, California DENNIS J. BUCKLEY once again put to sea to train men of the fleet. This time she had aboard fifteen members of the U.S. Reserve Navy and fifteen enlisted men from the Greek Navy. Underway training for this group included Gunnery, ASW, and Operations Exercises.

The following two week period, from 9 May to 24 May 1959, were spent in an upkeep period in long Beach, California in preparation for the quarterly material and administration inspection.

On the morning of 25 May DENNIS J. BUCKIEY once again put to sea on a very important mission. This time she was to play a key role in Operation "'TWIN PEAKS". This was an amphibious assault exercise conducted off the Coast of Southern California, and, as usual, DENNIS J. BUCKLEY performed her important role with expert precision.

Returning home to Long Beach late Saturday evening she spent one day at rest and returned to sea Monday, 1 June 1959 for a Week of plane guard duty with the USS HANCOCK (CVJ\19) off the coast of Northern California.

During the months of June and July, DENNIS J. BUCKLEY played host to Midshipmen and reservists for their summer training cruises. Special emphasis was placed on type training, ASW, helo control, and operating with a fast carrier force.

On 22 July 1959, DENNIS J. BUCKLEY came alongside USS FRONTIER (AD-25) for a 2 week tender availability period. On 8 August she shifted berths to the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for one week to complete the more technical repairs.

With a fresh coat of paint and her equipment in top shape she headed for sea on Monday, 17 August with Destroyer Squadron 19 and USS KEARSARGE (CVS33) for a week's training in ASW and helo control. She put in Long Beach on Friday, 21 August for the weekend and returned to sea 24 &ugust for another week of training

On the morning of 14 September DENNIS J. BUCKLEY, in company with Destroyer Division 192, Departed Long Beach for San Diego where she conducted her Operational Readiness Inspection with the assistance of USS CWWELL (DD547). .

On Friday, 25 September 1959, BUCKLEY went alongside the tender USS HAMUL (AD20) for a two week availability for her final preparations for the forthcoming deployment to the Western Pacific on 15 October.

At 1100 on 14 October 1959 LCDR William A. SIMCOX relieved CDR H. C. LOWE as Commanding Officer. The officers and crew were paraded in full dress uniform to bid CDR. LOWE farewell and to welcome LCDR. SIMCOX.

At 0900 on the 15th of October 1959 all lines were cast off and DENNIS J. BUCKLEY, in formation with Destroyer Division 192 put her nose westward for a 5 month cruise in the Far East. She made a one day stop off at Pearl Harbor on the 21st of October and made a fuel stop at Midway Island on the 25th.

She arrived in Yokosuka, Japan on the 3rd of November 1959 and commenced a 14 day tender availability period with the USS PRAIRIE (AD-15) to complete her voyage repairs.

With the completion of her voyage repairs, on Wednesday, 18 November she put to sea, headed for White Beach, Okinawa, where she participated in an "Operational Suitability Test" with the Air Arm of the U.S. Navy. The test completed, BUCKLEY headed South for her important task of patrolling the Formosan Straits.

Operating from the port of Kaohsuing, Taiwan, BUCKLEY spent 3 weeks at sea in the Formosan Straits and then was ordered to Hong Kong, B.G.C., for a five day rest period over New Years.



On 2 January 1960 BUCKLEY got underway from Hong Kong and returned to Taiwan for one more day of patrol duty. Then, she proceeded to Subic Bay, P.I., where she joined the rest of Destroyer Division 192 in a highly needed, one week SRF repair period.

She departed Subic Bay independently on 14 January and proceed South to Bacolod, Negros Occidental, Republic of the Philippines. BUCKLEY was the first U.S. Warship to visit Bacolod since the Philippines became an Independent Nation and her Qfficers and crew proceeded to make lasting friendships not only for the Navy but for the United States. General visiting was held the entire three dry stay.

Departing Bacolod on 19 January BUCKLEY headed north for Subic Bay where she joined the other ships of Destroyer Division 192 and proceed to rendezvous with the USS KEARSARGE (CVS33) where she participated in a two and one half week HUK Operation.

The evening of 7 February Destroyer Division 192 was detached from KEARSARGE and proceed to Kobe, Japan, via Buckner Bay, for a 14 day availability with USS FRONTIER (AD25) for repairs preparatory to her homeward voyage.

At 1700 on Wednesday, 24 February 1960, the sea detail was set and BUCKLEY, in formation with Des Div 192, set an easterly course for Long Beach, California.

Making a six hour fuel stop at Midway Island on the first of March, Destroyer Division 192 arrived in Pearl Harbor on 4 March, Having refueled and taken provisions aboard, Des Div 192 got underway for the last leg of the homeward journey at 1100 on the 5th of March.

There were many happy hearts on the morning of 11 March 1960 as BUCKLEY pulled in at Long Beach, California. Dependents, relatives, and friends swarmed aboard and a large portion of the crew departed on leave and transfer. BUCKLEY remained in Long Beach for a leave and upkeep period until the 11th of April.

At 0800 on the morning of the llth, BUCKLEY got underway in company with the WILKINSON, MC KEAN and SMALL to rendezvous with the USS ORISKANY (CV A- 34) for a five day Anti-Air Warfare Exercise. Upon being detached from the exercise, the engineers gave us all the steam they could muster, and the "Steamin' Demon” made a full-power run back to Long Beach, arriving at 1900 on the 15th of April.

After spending the weekend in port, the BUCKLEY got underway again the morning of the 18th with the CUSHING. That afternoon we rendezvoused with the ORISKANY for plane-guard duty during a 4 day weapons training exercise.

Upon completion of' underway replenishment on the morning of the 23rd, we joined the USS ASTABULA (AO-5l) and the USS BOYD (DD 544) while participating in a Strikex, until our return to Long Beach on the 28th of April.

From the 1st to the 15th of May the BUCKLEY participated in several ASW and Gunnery exercises, and on the 16th returned to the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for her regular overhaul. During this period BUCKLEY had installed the latest in search radar and communications gear, as well as equipment to extend the sonar detection range. These new installations enabled the BUCKLEY to better perform her primary mission of early detection and warning as well as aircr:.ft control.

Upon leaving the yard on 24 August 1960 the BUCKLEY went immediately into underway training at San Diego under the supervision of Fleet Training Group.

After the successful completion of this on 24 October the BUCKLEY returned to Long Beach, and then went to sea for evaluation of the new SPS 37 radar.

During the month of December the BUCKLEY participated in ASW exercises, earning a well done in communications and ASW proficiency.

On 10 December 1960 the BUCKLEY returned to Long Beach for a well earned leave and upkeep period until 15 January 1961



            The BUCKLEY participated in local operations out of Long Beach till the 13th of February at which time the Buckley commenced a two-week leave period prior to deploying to West Pac.


            On the 27th of February at which time the BUCKLEY bid farewell to their families and sweethearts as they got underway for a seven-month WESTPAC cruise.


            After two weeks at sea the BUCKLEY stopped at Pearl Harbor for the 6th of March then continued to Yokosuka, Japan with a short stop at Midway Island on the 10th. On the .17th of March the Buckley arrived at Yokosuka, Japan where she remained till the 4th of April, giving the men of the BUCKLEY a well-deserved rest in that exotic, port of call.


            On the 4th the BUCKLEY got underway for independent operations in the Yokosuka operating areas. The l4th and l5th were spent observing aircraft bombardment of Tori Shima Island. On the l8th the BUCKLEY moored in Hong Kong B.C.C.C. for four days of relaxation and gift buying. On the 22nd of April 1961 the BUCKLEY got underway for exercise PONY EXPRESS off the coast of Borneo in the South China Sea. This three-week exercise involved four ships from the U.S., Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.


            On the 13th of May the BUCKLEY moored at Subic Bay P. I. After a well-deserved week in port, the BUCKLEY participated in a three day U.S. – Philippino ASW, exercise. Then another week of tropical rest in Subic Bay fo11owed by a week of operations in the Okinawa area.


            On the 10th of June, a DESDIV 192 administrative inspection was given the BUCKLEY by the USS PRICHETT DD-561 followed by a Commodore’s personnel and Material inspection on the 12th.


            On the 13th of June the BUCKLEY got underway to join TG77.6 for exercises with the USS TICONDEROGA. The 28th of June found the BUCKLEY tied up in Sasebo, Japan, one of the favorite liberty ports of BUCKLEY men.


            On the 6th of July the BUCKLEY got underway for four weeks of operations in the Inland Sea making stops at Beppu and Kure Japan. The 29th of July found the BUCKLEY once again in Subic Bay for repairs to the hull. After two weeks in Subic Bay the BUCKLEY headed for Eastern metropolis of Hong Kong.


            With BUCKLEY pocketbooks depleted after a week in Hong Kong, the BUCKLEY got underway for Yokosuka on the 26th of August. After 2 days in Yokosuka the BUCKLEY got underway for HOME on the 1st of September 1961. On route to CONUS the BUCKLEY backtracked from Midway to pick up an injured seaman from a Greek freighter. By the time BUCKLEY got back to Midway with the injured seaman, the rest of the Division was 48 hours ahead of them. We took off after them and snuck by them into Long Beach. Finally on the 15th of September the crew of the BUCKLEY once again returned home to their loved ones. The following month of leave and upkeep was most welcome and deserved.

            The week of 20 to 27 October found the BUCKLEY participating in Operation COVERED WAGON in which the BUCKLEY received a well, done for her part in the AAWEX - STRIKEX operations. After four weeks of local operations the BUCKLEY joined twenty other ships for operation BLACK BEAR from the 24th of November till the 1st of December.  After a week of gunnery operations from the 2ed to the 8th of December, the BUCKLEY returned to Long Beach for a month of leave and upkeep.


             Operation "AIR GUN",  2 to l0th January found the BUCKLEY to be an ardent participant. From this operation the ship put into Long Beach for upkeep which terminated on the 28. Following this period the BUCKLEY undertook a short period of anti-submarine warfare exercises, lasting until February 1st.

            After a short period of liberty the BUCKLEY commenced AAWEX Operations, which were pleasantly followed by liberty call in San Francisco, during 10th and llth February.  Departing from San Francisco on the 12th, the BUCKLEY headed for home and there remained for a week of upkeep.  The balance of the month was divided between sea, 19th to 21st for Flotilla gunnery week and a brief tender period from the 22ed to the 28th.

            Nearly the entire month of March found the gallant greyhound in the yard for restricted availability for turbine repairs immediately thereafter, 23 March trials were conducted. After two days in port the BUCKLEY was engaged in a busy schedule: 26 March through the 1st of April consisted of NTDS exercises and type training, from the 2nd to the 5th, and one week of upkeep from the 7th to the 15th. NTDS operations were again the care of BUCKLEY efforts through the 29th. The BUCKLEY moored alongside the USS FRONTIER for two weeks of tender availability after having spent a week at sea participating in ASW exercises.

            After a productive tender period, the, BUCKLEY participated in its last major exercise before deployment to WESTPAC, i.e. Operation "PORK BARREL" Strike, extending from the 14th through the 22nd. The ship's final upkeep period before WESTPAC lasted from 23 May to 6 June. 7 June saw the BUCKLEY steaming to WESTPAC via Pearl Harbor, which was to be the ship’s final port of call before WESTPAC.

            On the 15th of June sailed into Pearl Harbor where we remained until the 25th. During this period the men of the BUCKLEY partook of the tropical pleasures available in Hawaii, while at the same time participating in important pre-Western conferences and briefings. From the 25th to the 9th of July the BUCKLEY performed plane guard duty for the USS ORISKANY while proceeding to Japan. Iwakuni, Japan was the first WESTPAC 1iberty where all new hands got a sampling of the delightful Japanese way of life. Getting underway on 13 July, the BUCKLEY participated in various exercises before entering Yokosuka for an upkeep period on the 23rd leaving  Yokosuka on the 5th of August, the BUCKLEY steamed south toward the Philippines where we spent two days on liberty. On the l3th and 14th of August the BUCKLEY provided Shore bombardment support and services for the 3rd Marine Division off the cost of Subic Bay. While continuing to Provide plane guard services for the ORISKANY, the BUCKLEY proceeded with her toward Sasebo, staying there from 27 August to 5 September. On the 6th the BUCKLEY along with the USS SMALL and USS TURNER JOY commenced operating with the USS BON HOMME RICHARD providing various plane guard and, rescue services. On the 17th the task group pulled into Beppu, Japan, a popular Japanese resort, famed for its hot spring and mineral baths. Getting underway on the 20th, the task group proceeded to Hong Kong, BCC conducting gunnery and ASW exercises enroute. Hong Kong provided an opportunity for the men of the BUCKLEY to purchase many bargains in the duty free port. The 9th of October found the Buckley enroute to Yokosuka for a tender period.

USS Buckley Ship Log from 13 Oct to 15 Oct 1962 provided by George Estey

Saturday 13 October 1962 

    Steaming in company with task Group 77.4 composed of USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA31) USS Turner Joy (DD 951), USS Ernest G. Small (DDR 838), USS Black (DD 666) and this ship enroute from Hong Kong B.C.C. to Yokosuka, Japan in accordance with CTG 77.4 letter of instruction serial 0245 of 30 September 1962. This ship in station one of a four ship concentric screen on circle four. Guide is USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31) in station 0. Guide bears 180o, distance 4000 yards. Base course 035, base speed 25 Knots. SOPA and OTC is commending Officer USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31). Boiler number 2 and 3 and generators 1 and 2 are in use. Conditions of readiness IV and material condition Yoke are set.

R. D. Coley
          LTJG   USN

            Steaming as before. 0432 c/c to 032, c/s to 27 knots, proceeding to station for electronic counter measure exercise. 0655 c/c to 035, c/s to 25 knots, on station, guide bearing 180, distance five miles. 0703 Formation c/s to 20 knots. 0745 Mustered the crew at quarters, Absentees: none.

                                                                                                  W. R. Calvert
                                                                                                  LTJG     USN

            Steaming as before. 0800 Mustered the crew at quarters. Absentees: none. 0926 Made daily inspection of magazines and smokeless powder samples; condition normal.

                                                                                                     W. F Denison
                                                                                                      LT       USN

            Steaming as before. 1455 Stationed the helicopter detail. 1501 Transfer completed. Received U. S. Mail. Secured the helicopter detail. Maneuvering on various courses and speeds to conduct sonar performance figures.

                                                                                                        D. D. Judd
                                                                                                        LTJG   USN

            Steaming as before. 1559 Completed sonar calibration. 1619 c/s to 27 knots. Proceeding on various courses at various speeds to investigate unidentified submarine contact bearing 077.50T

                                                                                                        R. D. Coley
                                                                                                        LTJG    USN

Steaming as before. 1827 Formation c/c to 110. 1932 Formation c/c to 050.

                                                                                              W. R. Calvert
                                                                                                        LTJG     USN

    Steaming as before, on various courses at various speeds while investigating unidentified submarine contact. 2054 Set condition 1AS on the bridge, in sonar and CIC. 2100 USS Turner Joy (DD951) reported sonar contact. 2114 Ship has sonar contact. Datum bears 175T, distance 1300 yards. Ship’s position 31-42.2’N 135-54’E. 2115 Ship maneuvering on various courses at various speeds while conducting hold-down tactics on unidentified submarine.

                   D. D. Judd
                             LTJG   USN

Sunday 14 October 1962

    Steaming in company with TG 36.2, composed of USS Turner Joy (DD951), USS Ernest G Small (DDR 838), USS Black (DD666) and this ship, while conducting hold-down tactics on unidentified submarine off the south coast of  Japan accordance with CTG 77.4 massage DTG 131330Z and CTF 36 massage DTD 131324Z SOPA, OTC and COMDESRON 19 in Turner Joy (DD 951). Boilers two and three and s/s generators one and two on the line. Engineering plant split. Material condition YOKE, condition of readiness IV and modified condition 1AS set. Ship is darken except for navigation lights.

                    W. R. Calvert
                    LTJG    USN

            Steaming as before conducting hold-down tactics on unidentified submarine. 0730 Mustered the crew on station. Absentee 

D. D. Jud

            Steaming as before conducting hold-down tactics on unidentified submarine. 0915 Submarine surfaced. Ship position: 31-09.4’N 136-12.9’E. Observed connin
g tower and snorkel. Submarine decks awash. Tentatively identified as USSR type “w” submarine. 0921 Submarine submerged. Conducting hold-down tactics. 0939 Made daily inspection of magazines and smokeless powder samples; condition normal. 1138 Lookout reported sighting periscope. 1147 Periscope in sight. Ship position: 31-04’N, 136-12.9’E.

W. R. Calvert

            Steaming as before conducting hold-down tactics on unidentified submarine. 1344 Submarine came to snorkel depth. Submerged immediately. 1348 Submarine came to surface with sail out of water. 1350 Submarine submerged.

D. D. Judd

            Steaming as before conducting hold-down tactics on unidentified submarine. 1609 Set Zebra throughout the ship except for berthing spaces. 1800 Submarine came to surface, bearing 237T, distance 2130 yards. Ships position 30-41.3’N 136-25.7’E. 1805 Submarine illuminated by aircraft. Submarine flying white flag with red emblems. Took station port beam of Turner Joy (DD 951) distance 1500 yards. 1816 Submarine identified itself via flashing light as Soviet ship. 1835 Aircraft illuminated submarine

W. R. Calvert

            Steaming as before

                             D. D. Judd
                             LTJG   USN

Monday 15 October 1962

              Steaming in company with TG 36.2 composed of USS Turner Joy (DD 951), USS Ernest G. Small (DDR 838), USS Black (DD 666) and this ship, while following Soviet submarine off the South coast of Japan in accordance with CTG 77.4 message DTG 36 message DTG 131324Z. SOPA, OTC and CAD is COMDESRON 19 in USS Turner Joy (DD 951). Boiler two and three and s/s generators one and two on the line. Plant is split. Material condition ZEBRA, condition of readiness IIAS set with condition of readiness 1AS set on the bridge, in sonar and CIC. No guns are manned. 0237 Relieved of submarine contact by USS Ruppertus (DD 851) and USS Henry W. Tucker (DDR 875). 0244 Secured from condition 1AS. Set condition of readiness IV and material condition Yoke. 0252 Maneuvering on various courses at various speeds to take station number two in column open order at double standard distance. Guide is USS Turner Joy (DD 951). When on station, guide will bear 044, distance 1000 yards. 0340 On station. 0348 Formation c/c to 045T.

W. R. Calvert
- End of Log -                                                            

The remainder of October and November the BUCKLEY operated in the sea of Japan area with DESDIV 191 and the BON HOMME RICHARD. Ports visited during this period included Sasebo, Iwakuni and Yokosuka. On the 7th of December, the BUCKLEY got underway for CONUS sailing with destroyers of Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla THREE and the USS TOPEKA. After experiencing such heavy weather on the way, the BUCKLEY sailed into Long Beach on the 21st of December and commenced a very welcome and needed 30 day leave and upkeep period.


            Following an enjoyable leave and upkeep period, BUCKLEY began preparations for her pre-FRAM INSURV inspection. Age and 3 years out of the yard had taken their toll, as evidenced by the results of the pre-INSURV inspection conducted on 7 January. Fortunately, the schedule permitted a good deal of inport time, allowing for the much-needed pre-preparation prior to March 18, the date of INSURV. Efforts were interrupted during January by a COMTUEX with CORAL SEA, and in February by 4 days of type training and 2 days as ASW school ship. By the 1st of March the momentum was beginning to build, and by INSURV time the crew of BUCKLEY stood confident that they had accomplished what others considered impossible. The ship indeed ready and was declared "satisfactory for war" by the Sub-Board of Inspection and Survey, San Francisco, on 19 March.

            No sooner had the results of INSURV been announced than the Staff of DESDIV 192 boarded BUCKLEY for an Administrative inspection. This inspection, too, was passed with high marks, and 808 began preparations to return to sea after her extended fruitful inport period.

            The month of April, BUCKLEY was at sea on 3 separate occasions. The first week found her participating in type-training with other ships of 191. During the 11th and 12th she participated in project operations, assisting with SUBROC tests. The month ended with BUCKLEY acting as gunnery school ship.

            During May BUCKLEY continued with typical East-Pac operations, acting as gunnery school ship during 13th through the 17th.  On 20 May she left Long Beach to plane guard for KITTY HAWK, but was called back by COMCRU-DESFLOT THREE due to a condition in #3 boiler. this return to port was the first missed commitment for BUCKLEY in over 3 years of operations. During those 3 years, the seemingly tireless lady took the place of many less durable DDs. The remainder of May was spent in port, effecting repairs on the ailing boiler. On 29 May BUCKLEY received a clean bill of health following sea trials and an inspection by COMCRUDESPAC Logistic Representative.

            In June, 808 plane guarded for BENNINGTON, acted as submarine target ship and as gunnery school ship. While inport, the proud crew of the BUCKLEY was afforded an opportunity to show off their ship while acting as visit ship, Long Beach.

            Most or July passed alongside the USS FRONTIER for a much needed tender availability. Tile availability was in lieu of a yard period and BUCKIEY's crew put forth much effort to make tile substitution acceptable. On 22 July BUCKLEY went to sea for the only time that month to conduct a COMTUEX. She returned to Long Beach on 25 July and remained inport the rest of the month.

            August produced a p1easant surprise for the men of the BUCKLEY. The old destroyer’s reliability was tested when she was ordered to escort the ORISKANY to Pearl Harbor. On 1 August she departed CONUS, having been given 3 days advance notice. The trip across was pleasant and uneventful.

            After a short. stay in Pearl and severa1 days of plane guarding in Hawaiian waters, BUCKLEY said, “Aloha” to the ORISKANY and headed home on 12 August, arriving on the 17th. On the 28th and 29th, she assisted in special operations, and on 31 August the dependents of the BUCKLEY sailors were given an opportunity to sample life at sea.

            By September, BUCKLEY began to look ahead to the long promised, oft delayed FRAM conversion, scheduled, for 6 December. The anticipation did not prevent participation in plane guard operations with MIDWAY or acting as visit ship during the Fisherman’s Fiesta at San Pedro. Visitors came aboard by the thousands and remarked at the outstanding appearance of the ship.

            October provided considerable opportunity for men of BUCKLEY to excel. Night plane guarding for the MIDWAY, exercise Flying Moor, and a COMTUEX rounded out a busy month in which BUCKLEY learned the FRAM conversion had again been delayed. The new date was established as 3 February, location Bremerton, Washington.

            November opened. with a COMTUEX which ended on the 6th. The remainder of the month was spent in port for upkeep. During this period all hands worked to ensure BUCKLEY would enter her FRAM yard as the best looking destroyer to enter this program.

            December was an extended leave and upkeep period and marked the end of' a successful year of operations. It also virtually ended the life of' BUCKLEY as a DDR. The New Year would mean a trip north to Bremerton and then a 9 month conversion. It would also mean the relief of CDR L. G.. WEAR, commanding officer of BUCKLEY for the previous 2 years. It was with mixed emotions then that the men of BUCKLEY welcomed the New Year. '!here was . the satisfaction in knowing they had served aboard a fine ship, and the knowledge that their ship was going to be made into a better ship, equipped with the latest ASW and electronic equipment. There was nostalgia in knowing that many would be transferred and old friends separated.


            On 6 January BUCKLEY departed Long Beach for Bangor, Washington, to off-load ammunition. January 10 found BUCKLEY moored at Bremerton, Washington, to begin a period of nine months in FRAM MK I conversion. During this period, the crew was subjected to a high degree of transience, which resulted in a relatively new complement. 

            The USS Dennis J. Buckley was reclassified DD 808 April 1, 1964 to June 2, 1973.

            On 27 June, LCDR Robert H. Brown, us relieved Richard Morin, USN as Commanding Officer.

            September was a period of sea tria1s, and final testing of the ship's equipment. The first sea trials commenced on 16 September. CDR James S. GARDNER re1ieved CDR Robert H. BROWN as Commanding Officer on 28 September.

            October was a period of increased activity, all hands 1ooking forward to the completion of FRAM and our trip south to the ship's new homeport of San Diego; the month included intense reparation for INSURV inspection in November.

            On 3 November, BUCKLEY successfully completed her JNSURV tria1s, and prepared to meet her shake down requirements. BUCKLEY departed Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 12 November for Bangor, Washington, to load ammunition.

            November 14-18 commenced a period of operation in Carr Inlet, Nabob Bay, and Bangor, Washington area, conducting sonar calibration tests and having her acoustic signature recorded. DENNIS J. BUCKLEY, now DD 808, moored at San Diego on 21 November as an operational member of Destroyer Squadron ONE and a unit of Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Nine.

            December 1964 was a period of ho1iday leave and upkeep and preparation for impending Refresher Training.


            The beginning of 1965 saw DENNIS J. BUCKLEY newly out of FRAM I conversion in her new homeport, San Diego, California. In January

BUCKLEY successfully comp1eted her ASROC ship's qualification trials, thus adding one more weapon to her arsanu1 of new weapons.

            February and ear1y March were spent in refresher training, readying BUCKLEY for deployment. By the end of March, BUCKLEY had comp1eted her Navy Weapons Acceptance Inspection and was designated a nuclear capable destroyer. Also at this time she comp1eted a pre-deployment inspection that assured readiness for her scnedu1ed deployment to WESTPAC.

            Apri1 was a busy month, with underway training exercises. On 12 April, BUCKLEY began final preparations for deployment. Finally on 27 Apri1, BUCKLEY got underway from San Diego enroute to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, thence on to Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, arriving there 18 May. On 23 May, after having broken the pennant of Commander Destroyer Squadron ONE, Captain S. Lothrop, USN, the ship put to sea for duty off the coast of the Repub1ic of Vietnam.

            The month of June was spent almost entirely on picket duty in the South China Sea. Upon completion of her picket duties BUCKLEY spent a week on plane guard duty for the USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA 31). Soon thereafter the BUCKLEY proceeded to the coast of South Vietnam near the Mouth of the Saigon River, where on 2 Ju1y she conducted her first shore bombardment mission against Viet Cong targets in the Rung Sat Special Zone. This occasion marked the first time that a Seventh Fleet destroyer utilized a forward zone air spotter in the conduct of NGFS in the Rung Sat Special Zone at the mouth of the Saigon River. The remainder of Ju1y was spent in operating with BON HOMME RICHARD and shore bombardment missions against targets in various provinces of South Vietnam. During this time, BUCKLEY expended 1372 rounds of 5"/38 caliber ammunition against 68 targets along the coastal area.

            On 29 July, after completing many days of shore bombardment, the BUCKLEY stopped at Poule Condore Island in the South China Sea for a day of rest and relaxation. After more shore bombardment missions on 6 and 7 August in the Tien Giang Tactical area and Vinh Binh Province, respectively, where she expended 574 rounds against 11 targets, BUCKLEY set her course for Yokosuka, Japan, arriving there on 17 August. After remaining in Yokosuka for two weeks of maintenance and upkeep BUCKLEY departed on 31 August for the Japanese port of Sasebo, arriving there 2 September. On 7 September BUCKLEY proceeded once more to the coast of Vietnam and more shore bombardment missions on 14, 15, 18 and 19 September in Bien Hoa, Vihn Binh, and Kien Hoa Provinces, expending 597 rounds against 27 targets. For the next two weeks, BUCKLEY's primary duty again was plane guarding for BON HOMME RICHARD, after which, on 2 October, she returned to Subic Bay in the Philippines for a tender availabi1ity. Having been in port on1y s1ight1y more than four hours the ship departed on special operations in the South Chin Sea, after which, on 9 October, she was detached to proceed to the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong

            On 11 October, BUCKLEY moored in Hong Kong, getting underway again on 15 October enroute to Subic Bay. On 21 October, after inport repairs BUCKLEY departed Subic Bay enroute to Guam, where she fueled on 25 October, staying on1y a few hours. On 31 October, the ship put in to Midway for additional fuel and got underway again enroute to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where she arrived on 3 November, having been away from United States soil for over six months.

            Finally, on 4 November, BUCKLEY departed on the last leg of her voyage, arriving in San Diego on 10 November.

            From 10 November until 10 December, BUCKLEY remained in port at San Diego for an extended period of leave, liberty, and tender availability. On 10 December, the ship got underway for 5 days of plane guard operations with USS KEARSARGE (CVS 33). On 15 December she returned to port, having completed her plane guard duties and an active year as a fighting unit of the U. S. Navy.



  1 JANUARY Moored, Pier 5, U. S. Naval Station, San Diego, California
17 JANUARY Underway for exercises with USS MIDWAY (CVA 41) off San Francisco 
16 FEBRUARY Naval Gunfire Support Qualifications off San Clemente Island, California
12 MAY First Prize for small combatants NEY Award 
16 MAY Departed San Diego for goodwill visit to Acapulco, Mexico. 
  6 JULY Change of Command. CDR George V. EIDSON, USN, relieved CDR James S. GARDNER, USN, as Commanding Officer
  8 JULY Participated in Fleet Exercise Operation BELAYING PIN off San Diego 
17 AUGUST Underway in company with Commander Destroyer Squadron ONE with USS HULL (DD 945), USS HANSON (DD 830) for WESTPAC deployment with U.S. SEVENTH FLEET via Pearl Harbor, Midway, Guam and Subic Bay
13 SEPTEMBER Commenced NGFS in IV Corps Area, South Vietnam 
  5 NOVEMBER Assigned duties as SOPA ADMIN Hong Kong, B. C. C.
30 NOVEMBER Taiwan Patrol Operations 
19 DECEMBER Commenced NGFS in III Corps area, South Vietnam 


            1 January 1966 found the USS DENNIS J. BUCKLEY moored at Pier 5, U. S. Naval Station, San Diego, Ca1ifornia, with the officers and men completing their holiday leave period. On 17 January BUCKLEY got underway for the San Francisco training area where she assigned plane guard duties for the USS MIDWAY (CVA 41).

            From 16 February to 23 March, BUCKLEY participated in local operations and type training off San Diego. During this time BUCKLEY commenced her Naval Gunfire Support qualification exercises at San Clemente Island, California.

            On 18 April, two Japanese midshipmen, Mitsuga Fusimura and Minoru Narita reported on board for indoctrination and training in the ship's DASH system. Although BUCKLEY was outfitted for DASH during her MARK I FRAM conversion at Puget Sound Navel Shipyard, she had not carried drone units until this year. During qualification exercises the DASH team passed all phases with high marks, and became a functioning unit enhancing the ASW capability of the ship.

            On 23 April the DENNIS J. BUCKLEY was the visit ship at Broadway Pier, San Diego. During this period BUCKLEY entertained over 650 enthusiastic visitors who were given a tour of the ship, souvenir photographs and a brief ship's history pamphlet.

            The General Mess of BUCKLEY was shown to be one of the finest in The Fleet when, on 12 May, she was awarded first prize for small combatants in the annual NEY Awards. The comment is always heard that BUCKLEY is an outstanding "feeder." In Winning the NEY Award in her class, BUC1LEY was judged best over 54 other ships in Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Pacific.

            As flag ship for Commander Destroyer Squadron ONE, DENNIS J. BUCKLEY in company with USS HANSON (DD 832), USS UHLMANN (DD 687) and USS JOHN S. MC CAIN (DL 3), departed San Diego for a goodwill visit to Acapulco, Mexico. While enroute BUCKLEY exercised daily at General Quarters and other drills in preparation for the forthcoming Operational Readiness Inspection.

            With ship's company manning the rail and the USS JOHN S. MG CAIN firing a 21 gun salute, the naval vessels proudly entered THE harbor of Acapulco on 20 May. After four days of rest and recreation the ships departed Acapulco and commenced their Operational Readiness Inspections. After a brief stop for fuel at Manzanilla, Mexico, BUCKLEY returned to her homeport of San Diego on 28 May.

            For the month of June BUCKLEY was assigned duties as ASW Training School Ship. During this period ASW Students were able to receive valuable "on-the-job-training" from B1JCKLEY's well trained ASW Team while operating with the USS ROCK (AGSS 274). Additional gun firing exercises were held during the month and BUCKLEY completed her qualification for naval gunfire support.

            On 13 June, First-Class Midshipman Lawrence E Eddingfield, Peter J. Kerr, W. K. Perry Jr., and David G. Petree reported on board for a month of shipboard training.

            At 1030, 6 July 1966, Commander George V. Edison, USN, relieved Commander James S, Gardner, USN, as Commanding Officer, USS DENNIS J. BUCKLEY. The Change of COMMAND Ceremony took place onboard while the BUCKLEY was moored at Pier 1, U. S. Naval Station with the crew and many guests in attendance.

            The ship’s first commitment under her new Commanding Officer was the First Fleet Exercise, Operation BELAYING PIN, which included over 40 ships from the Long Beach-San Diego area. During Operation BELAYING PIN, BUCKLEY participated in ASW, gunnery, plane guard and many other evolutions. For her outstanding anti-aircraft accuracy the Commanding Officer was presented the with a trophy by Commander Cruiser- Destroyer Flotilla SEVEN.

            On the morning of 11 August, USS HANSON (DD 832), USS HULL (DD 945), and USS DENNIS J. BUCKLEY (DD 808), under the tactical Command of CAPT Brian MC Cauley, Commander Destroyer Squadron ONE, proceeded to sea for the start of a six month WESTPAC deployment.

            After fuel stops at Pearl Harbor, Midway, Guam, and Subic Bay, BUCKLEY arrived on the morning of 13 September for her first Naval Gunfire Support mission in the IV Corps Area, South Vietnam. With the aid of an air-borne U.S. Army spotter, BUCKLEY was able to maintain an accurate and deadly barrage of fire on targets ranging from sampans to enemy bunkers and supply routes. BUCKLEY had many long hours filled with hard but rewarding work. At the time BUCKLEY left the IV Corps Area for Kaohsiung, she had fired over 3,100 rounds of 5"/38 projectiles.

            On 20 October, BUCKLEY, after a tender availability in Kaohsiung, departed Taiwan to take station in the Tonkin Gulf. She commenced her plane guard duties with the USS ORISKANY (CVA 34), changing to the USS CONSTELLATION (CVA 64) and USS ROOSEVELT (CVA 42) after the ORISKANY suffered a severe fire below her main decks.

            BUCKLEY departed the combat zone on 5 November steaming for the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong where she assumed the duties of SOFA ADMIN Hong Kong. While in Hong Kong, Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Force, U. S. Pacific Fleet Admiral W. A. Baumberger, visited BUCKLEY for a brief period discussing various developments within the Destroyer Force and answering questions from BUCKLEY’s officers and men.

            After a brief upkeep period in Kaohsiung Taiwan, BUCKLEY commenced her patrol of the Taiwan Straits on 1 December. Upon departure from the Taiwan Patrol BUCKLEY got underway for the III Corps Area, South Vietnam, where she continued her naval gunfire support. It was during this period that BUCKLEY supported several land operations and was presented a Letter of Appreciation by LT COLONEL LE DUC DAT, Province Chief, Phuoc Tuy Sector of the III Corps Tactical Zone, for her outstanding performance in the III Corps Zone. At the close of the year DENNIS J. BUCKLEY was continuing her active support of the Seventh Fleet commitments to the war effort by her naval gunfire support in the South Vietnam area.


Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California 96601


February 11 Returned to Homeport San Diego after completion 6 month WESTPAC Cruise.

March 3 LCDR R. T. COLLEY relieved LCDR HEISINGER as Executive Officer.

May 4 Conducted ASROC Weapons Test for Canadian Government

June 6 -July 19 In drydock at San Francisco Naval Shipyard, Mare Island Annex.

September 9 -11 Conducted successful sea trials off Point Reyes, California.

September 18 Completed regular overhaul.

October 1 - December 1 Conducted Refresher Training.


Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California 96601

CDR GEORGE V. EIDSON,               USN,              Commanding Officer
LCDR Richard T. COLLEY,                USN,              Executive Officer
LT Alan D. ZABROCKI,                     USNR,            Engineering Officer
LT Richard D. HILL,                            USN,              Operations Officer
LT William W. KDKJ,                          USNR,           Weapons Officer
LT Richard F. WORNSON,                USN,              MPA Officer
LTJG Hunter L. KENNEDY,               USNR,           Supply Officer
ENS PERRY                                                              Prospective Supply Officer
LTJG Peter B. GESKLL,                     USNR,           DASH/ASW Officer
LTJG Gary P. MOREY,                      USN,              EMO
ENS Jerome P. BURKETT,                USN,              Communications Officer
ENS/LTJG Jesse H. GREEN,             USNR,            Ass't CIC Officer
ENS/LTJG Christopher R. MULLEN. USNR.           CIC Officer
ENS Robert A. COOKE,                   USNR,            Gunnery Officer
ENS Robert O. KRATOVIL,             USNR,             1st Lieutenant
ENS Alan H. CARPIEN,                    USNR,             Ass’t ASW


            New Years 1967 found the USS BUCKLEY (DD 808) on Naval Gunfire Support Station in the III Corp Area off the coast of the Republic of South Vietnam. Continuous, round the clock, gunfire support was provided to U. S. and Allied forces in the III Corps Area. Just prior to departure from NGFS Station a captured enemy weapon was presented to the Commanding Officer by Lieutenant Colonel LIEDUC DAC with a letter of appreciation for the rapid response to call fire and accurate barrages which succeeded in breaking up enemy force concentrations. Not until 22 January did the ship arrive in Yokosuka, Japan in order to prepare for the journey home after six long months in WESTPAC. During this brief stop the DENNIS J. BUCKLEY spent two days in Drydock #2 at Yokosuka, Japan making temporary repairs prior to departing for her home port. The trip home was made in company with the USS HULL (DD 945). (Commander Destroyer Squadron ONE embarked) and the USS HANSON (DD 832). ,

            On 4 February the formation arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and wasted no time, leaving for San Diego on the next day. February 11 ended the odyssey of the DENNIS J. BUCKLEY back at the San Diego, California Naval Station, moored to the quaywall between piers 6 and 8. At that time began an extended period of leave and liberty, as well as the pursuance of knowledge for those lucky enough to receive a quota for various schools. The period after return from WESTPAC deployment also began the preparation for a long needed yard overhaul soon to come.

            On 3 March LCDR. T. COLLEY relieved LCDR HEISING as Executive Officer.

            In April BUCKLEY was dispatched on very short notice to replace another ship in the conduct of ASROC firing tests for the Canadian Government.

As a result of this BUCKLEY was presented with a letter of appreciation from the Department of National Defense, Government of Canada for the "cooperation, skill and efficiency of the Weapons Team".

            Final preparation and inspections for the yard period occupied most of the month of May until the twenty-second, when the DENNIS J. BUCKLEY proceeded to the San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard, Mare Island, Vallejo, California. Thus began several months of hard but satisfactory work for the officers and men, including six weeks in drydock (6 June – 19 July), replacement of the gun mounts and extensive hull and engineering work.

            On 9 September to 11 September the DENNIS J. BUCKLEY conducted sea trials off Point Reyes, California. On 18 September at 1800 she left San Francisco and passed under the Golden Gate Bridge on her way back to San Diego and the arduous period of Refresher Training.

            Starting 3 October and ending on 1 December, the ship worked overtime on readiness qualifications and battle problems, coming out of Refresher Training, Anti-Submarine Warfaire, and Gun Fire Support Training in fine shape.