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USS LOWRY DD-770

Page Two

E.S. MILLER
Commander, U. S. Navy,
COMMANDING  

COMMUNIQUE No. 7

U.S.S. LOWRY (DD-770)

At Sea, August, 1945.

Dear Families,

    At present, the LOWRY is at a rear area enjoying a very well deserved rest. For a period of almost five months this vessel has been steadily on the go, either underway, or standing by with the engineering plant lighted off and ready to go on a few minutes notice. During this period, the LOWRY continued to discharge her varied duties in the excellent manner in which she became noted. The months of May and June were occupied in the grimly hazardous but very successful duty of acting as Radar Picket and Fighter Director Ship at Okinawa. Our highly successful record against the Japanese Air Force shows the following total of these months:-5 planes destroyed by gunfire of this vessel alone, 5 planes destroyed by joint gunfire of this and other picket ships, and over 30 more planes destroyed by LOWRY controlled Combat Air Patrol.

    The 23rd of July, the LOWRY celebrated its first birthday, having been commission (and remained in commission, a thing uncommon for destroyers!) exactly one year. During this year, I have seen the crew of this ship, most of whom were green and untried, improving constantly, until they have emerged as a seasoned and veteran crew, capable of meeting every situation.

    Shortly after our arrival here at the rear area, the LOWRY was visited by Commodore Harrison, Commander Destroyer Squadron SIXTY. In a ceremony on August 4, Commodore Harrison presented me with the Silver Star Medal for the LOWRY's part in the Lingayen Operation. In presenting this decoration the Commodore stated, and I agree most heartily, that it represents the combined effort and ability of every man in the crew and is to be considered as much an award to them as to myself. Commodore Harrison also awarded the Purple Heart Medal to the following men for wounds received in Action May 4th, 1945:

Wade (n) EMERY, MoMM1C, USN.

Henry G. SMITH S1C, USNR.

Glenn E. HUIETT, S1c, USN.

Jimmie L. HOLBROOK GM2c, USN.

James N. PLIMMER, S2c, USNR.

Hardy C. COFFINDAFFER, S1c, USN.

Mervin L MIRE, S2c, USNR.

William J. SYBEL, S2c, USN.

Donald E. MYERS, SC3c, USNR.

Joe E. BASS, GM2c, USN.

Herbert L. McQUEEN. S1c, USNR.

Robert L. FULTON S1c,USNR.

Daniel V.McGuire,Y3c,USNR.

Gordon E. MacDonald, S1c, USNR.

Sami J. DEL MONTE F1c, USNR.

    The Commodore spoke very highly of the excellent record in all respects the the LOWRY has made.

    Unfortunately, as is so often the case, our good news is tempered with some bad. On our way to the rear area, an explosion took place in the after part of the ship, killing three men, and injuring several others, all of whom are nearly well with no permanent ill effets. The next of kin of the casualties have been notified by the Navy Department. While entirely unavoidable, the accident was made more tragic by the fact that all hands had been through so much at Okinawa and were heading for a rest and recreation period.

    Several very interesting events took place during our tour of picket duty. On one of our trips to our base for replenishment, we captured 7 Japanese soldiers who were trying to escape Okinawa in an outrigger canoe. These prisoners were turned over to Army authorities for intelligence purposes. Our last bit of Anti-Aircraft action took place during a bright moonlight night while on a "hot" picket station. Enemy air raids heckled us for six hours. We were engaged in violent maneuvers and AA firing to combat their attacks, when a providential total eclipse of the moon occurred, giving us the cover and protection of darkness that we so urgently needed. After the eclipse was over, smoke from Okinawa, 50 miles away, covered us. We had the distinct pleasure of starting a ball of fire in the engine of one invisible plane which grew until flames enveloped it and forced it to crash into the water in a mighty explosion. Through our radios we directed Black Widow night fighters to others of the raids, and had the keen satisfaction of watching the Jap planes come down in flames in the bright moonlight.

    That about brings us up to date with the news. We have enjoyed the chance for a bit of recreation and rest, while at the same time we have kept busy with the many urgent needs of the ship, repairing and cleaning and getting ready for our forthcoming duties. Whatever they may be, you can be sure that the LOWRY will tackle them in the same able and purposeful manner that she has shown in the past. Although the real action may be about over, the record every man in the crew has made out here since our arrival in the Western Pacific Area must make his family justifiably proud.

    I have received many fine letters from your families. They make me realize even more my responsibility to bring your men back safely, and that you are all behind us with our prayers and efforts to finish the war.

E. S. MILLER,

Commander, U. S. Navy,

COMMANDING

Arriving San Diego 21 October for overhaul and west coast training, Lowry left San Francisco 14 July 1946 for Kwajalein to patrol during Operation "Crossroads", the Bikini atom bomb tests. She was on station from 24 July to 10 August, when she sailed for San Diego, arriving 22 August.

Training off the west coast and in the Hawaiian Islands was broken in May 1947 when she visited Sydney Australia, for the anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea. Returning to San Diego 14 June, she decommissioned 30 June 1947 and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

Lowry recommissioned 27 December 1950, Comdr. C. H. Morrison, Jr., in command. Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet she arrived New York 30 April 1951, was overhauled at Norfolk, and in August began training exercises in the Caribbean, returning to Norfolk 15 November. On 22 January 1952 Lowry sailed, via the Panama Canal, to join the 7th Fleet, arriving Yokosuka 27 February. with TF 77, Lowry served off the east coast of Korea on shore bombardment, plane guard, and screening duty until early April, then had similar duty off the west coast of Korea with TF 95 the U.N. Blockading and Escort Force through May On 8 June, she sailed to rejoin TF 77 for gunstrike missions. Sailing via the Suez Canal and the principal Mediterranean ports, Lowry arrived Norfolk 19 August.

Between 19 August 1952 and 1 February 1954, Lowry made training cruises to the Caribbean and off Florida engaging in intensive exercises to increase her combat efficiency. She departed Norfolk 1 February for her second world cruise, arriving Yokosuka from the Panama Canal 9 March. Alter a number of simulated combat exercises including a full-scale mock invasion of Iwo Jima, she left Yokosuka 29 June for Suez, completing her second circumnavigation at Norfolk 25 August. Training along the coast and in the Caribbean prepared Lowry for her first deployment with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, for which she left Norfolk 7 November 1956, returning to Norfolk 28 February 1957 for renewed training and overhaul. She again left Norfolk 3 September for NATO "Strikeback" exercises in the North Atlantic, continuing on to the Mediterranean from which she returned to Norfolk 22 December.

Her third tour with the 6th Fleet, 7 August 1960 to 26 February 1960, was followed by a FRAM II overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, completed 14 January 1961. In June l961, Lowry Joined Antisubmarine Warfare Task Group Alfa, a special force engaged in research and development. She served in this force for the mayor part Of the next 4 years, which included such operations as the rescue of Astronaut Virgil Grissom successfully completing the second American space flight 21 July 1961, and the Naval Quarantine of Cuba which played the major role in ending the Cuban missile crisis of October November 1962.

After her fourth Mediterranean deployment, 18 February 1965 to 12 July, Lowry had the DASH system installed, then participated in a large Atlantic Fleet operational exercises. Her 1966 6th Fleet deployment, 4 March to 12 August, was followed by duty as schoolship for the Fleet Sonar School, Key West. Through most of January and February 1967, Lowry embarked several Perovian midshipmen for training under the Midshipmen Exchange Program. From 8 May through 22 September she underwent regular overhaul at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, followed by refresher training out Of the Fleet Training Center, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Lowry departed Norfolk early in April 1968 for the Panama Canal, thence for the Far East on her first 7th Fleet deployment of the Vietnam conflict. Serving off the coast of that troubled country, she performed plane guard naval gunfire support and other duties for which the versatile destroyer is well suited. Highlight of port visits was a trip to Bangkok, Thailand She arrived back at Norfolk 27 November, and continues Atlantic coast operations into 1969.

Lowry received four battle stars for World War II service, and two for Korean service.