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Quartermaster W. F."Bill" Mackey's 1968 WESTPAC diary

LOWRY departed Norfolk on 9 April 1968 with a full wartime complement of officers and men and proceeded via the Panama Canal to the Western Pacific for combat operations in the Tonkin Gulf and South China Sea.

(Vietnam Cruise) Deployment

9 April---Departed Norfolk, Virginia

10-13 April---At sea, headed for Panama Canal

14 April---Transiting the Panama Canal (Easter)

15-18 April---At sea, headed for Manzanillo, Mexico

19 April---Arrived and refueled in Manzanillo, Mexico

20-21 April---At sea, headed for San Diego, California

23-24 April---In port, San Diego, CA

>25 April---Departed San Diego, CA

26-30 April---At sea, headed for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

1 May---Arrived Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

2-4 May---In port, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

5 May---Departed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

6-7 May---At sea, headed for MidwayIsland

8 May--Arrived Midway Island, received Commander R. L. Blanding on board. Departed Midway Island

8 May---At 2317 hours, crossed the International Dateline on my watch

9 May---"Cancelled" lost this day crossing the International Dateline

10-13 May---At sea, headed for Guam

14 May---At sea, change of command ceremony, Cdr. W. H. Grigg is relieved by Cdr. R. L. Blanding as Captain of the U.S.S. Lowry I made last reports to Captain Grigg & first reports to Captain Blanding

15 May---Arrived Guam

16 May---Departed Guam, operational excercise with "Nuke" sub

17 May---At sea

18 May---At sea, U.S.S. Furse (DD882) while on highline staion collided with us, port side of Lowry. The Furse has the Commodore on board.

19 May---At sea, transit through the San Bernandino Straits, a ferry cut between the Lowry the Furse almost had a second collision with the Furse.

20 May---Arrived Subic Bay, Phillipines & we have steamed about 11,690 since departing Norfolk

21 May---In port, Subic Bay commencing repairs

22 May---In port, Subic Bay defeated the officers in a softball game

23 May---In port, Subic Bay I attended synoptic weather school

24 May---In port, Subic Bay I was duty driver for Captain Blanding

25 May---My 22nd Birthday, departed Subic Bay,Phillipines for the gunline

26 May---During the 2000-2400 watch the Lowry crossed into the Combat Zone

27 May---Just off the coast of South Vietnam, now we're on port & starboard watches

28 May---Anchored, off the coast of Phan Thiet, Vietnam, fired 102 rounds of 5 inch this morning

29 May---At sea, Swift Boat came alongside with repair parts

30 May---Anchored until underway to oiler to refuel, fired today

31 May---Anchored until underway to ammo ship to rearm, fired today

1 June---New duty for me, CPO mess Duty, fired today

2-5 June---Anchored & firing off Phan Thiet, South Vietnam

6 June---At sea, refueled & rearmed

7-23 June---Diary blank--still on CPO mess duty, can't get up to the bridge to see what's going on

24 June---Arrived Pusan, Korea

25-26 June---In port, Pusan, Korea

27 June---Departed Pusan, Korea and arrived in Sasebo, Japan

28 June-5 July---In port, Sasebo, Japan

6 July---Departed Sasebo, Japan

7 July---Commenced "Plane Guard Duty" with the U.S.S. America (CVA66)

8-14 July---"Plane Guard Duty" with the carrier America

15 July---Ceased CPO mess duty, back in the Quartermaster gang again, still on Plane Guard Duty

16-28 July---Plane Guard Duty, America

29 July-3 August---Diary blank, no entries

4 August---Arrived subic Bay, Phillipines

5-9 August---Diary blank

10 August---Arrived in Hong Kong Harbor moored in harbor

11-15 August---In port, Hong Kong

16 August---Departed Hong Kong

17 August---Diary blank

18 August---Commenced "Operation Sea Dragon" with U.S.S. Boston (CAG1)

19 August---U.S.S. Boston (CAG1) departed, U.S.S. Berkeley (DDG15) arrived on station for "Operation Sea Dragon"

20-31 August---"Operation Sea Dragon"

1 September---Departed "Operation Sea Dragon--Shotgun" headed for the U.S.S. America

2-5 September---Plane Guard Duty with the America

6 September---Plane Guard Duty with the U.S.S. Intrepid

7 September---Departed Gulf of Tonkin enroute to Subic Bay, Phillipines on one shaft only, starboard.........

8 September---At sea, headed for Subic Bay

9 September---Arrived Subic Bay for repairs

10-13 September---In port, Subic Bay

14 September---Departed Subic Bay to tow a minesweeper in that lost it's rudder....

15-16 September---Diary blank

17-19 September---Plane Guard Duty with U.S.S. Intrepid

20 September---Departed U.S.S. Intrepid enroute to Bankok, Thailand

21-23 September---At sea, enroute to Bankok, Thailand

24 September---Arrived Bankok, Thailand 3 hour Sea & Anchor Detail up the Bankok River until we moored in the middle of the river

25-27 September---Moored to bouys in the Bankok River

28 September---Departed Bankok, I had helm all the way out to the sea...Whatta Bitch with the river pushing & watercraft getting in our way

29 September---At sea, headed for the gunline

30 September---On the gunline in IV Corps, which is the Mekong Delta/Siagon area--operating with the S.E.A.L. Team as our spotters

31 September-4 October---Naval gun fire support (NGFS)

5 October---Still at NGFS, to date the ship has fired 6,101 rounds of 5 inch projectiles

6-9 October---Still at NGFS

10 October---Fired the last 5 inch round at 0130 hours, refueled at 0400 hours, enroute to Yokosuka, Japan via Buckner Bay, Okinawa

11 October---At sea

12 October---Arrived Buckner Bay, Okinawa & departed same at 2030 hours, enroute to Yokosuka, Japan

13 October---At sea

14 October---Arrived Yokosuka, Japan

15 October---I made QM3 & sewed my crow on

15-17 October---In port, Yokosuka, Japan

18 October---Departed Yokosuka headed for Norfolk, Vrginia with a few stops along the way !

19-20 October---At sea, enroute Midway Island

21 October-4 November---Diary blank

5 November---Arrived in San Francisco, California

6-14 November---Diary Blank

15 November---Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) in Manzanillo, Mexico

16 November---Refueled at Manzanillo, Mexico & departed for Acapulco, Mexico

17 November---At sea, enroute to liberty in Acapulco, Mexico

18 November---Arrived & anchored in Acapulco Bay

19-21 November---Anchored in the bay

22 November---Departed Acapulco Bay enroute to the Panama Canal Zone

23 November---Transit the Panama Canal I had the helm all the way through and the pilot was "off the wall"

24 November---At sea, passing through Windward Passage

25-26 November---At sea, next stop is Homeport Norfolk

27 November---Arrived Norfolk, Virginia

28 November---I was seperated from active duty and departed the U.S.S. Lowry for Fort Liquordale, Florida.........

I hope you enjoyed reliving this cruise with me. The Lowry and all her crew will always be a very fond memory of my youth...............

Quartermaster Bill Mackey