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HISTORY

From 25 August 1954 to 7 November 1956, LOWRY made four training cruises which included amphibious exercises off Onslow Beach, North Carolina; radar aircraft tracking, torpedo exercises and plane guard operations with carriers at Pensacola and Mayport, Florida; and Fleet battle practice and maneuvers in the Caribbean Sea while based at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During this period Commander Johnston was relieved by Commander D.C. Brega, U.S.N., on 17 December 1955. On 7 November 1956 she departed Norfolk with units of Task Force 26 which included carriers U.S.S. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (CVA-42) and U.S.S. FORRESTAL (CVA-59) for operations at sea. On 17 November she was detached from the task force and steamed independently to join Destroyer Squadron 26 for a tour of duty with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. She joined units of the Sixth Fleet off the coast of Italy on 26 November 1956 and after operations intervened by visits to Taranto and Naples, Italy; Cannes, France; and Barcelona, Spain; returned to Norfolk on 20 February 1957. She underwent overhaul in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard from 29 March to 22 May 1957, then resumed local operations out of Norfolk until late September, making two voyages as plane guard for carriers to Mayport, Florida and a liberty and recreation trip to Washington, D.C.

On 29 August 1957 while alongside for tender availability, Commander Brega was relieved of command by Commander V.M. Dickerson, U.S.N. Then on 3 September 1957, LOWRY departed Norfolk to participate in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercises (Operation STRIKEBACK) in North Atlantic waters off the coast of Scotland and visited Gourock, Scotland from 14 to 17 September 1957. She then steamed for a tour of duty with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, arriving Taranto, Italy on 7 October 1957. Other ports visited during this tour were Piraeus, Greece; Port Said, Egypt; Aden, Arabia; Basra, Iraq; and Massaw, Eritrea. She sailed from Gibraltar 13 December and returned to Norfolk, Virginia on 22 December 1957.

The LOWRY remained in Norfolk for leave and upkeep until 28 February 1958. On the 28th she went south to the Carribbean to participate in Operation Springboard. While there the LOWRY visited San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; and Fort De France. Upon the completion of the exercises on 1 April, the LOWRY returned to Norfolk for upkeep and training. On 15 May the ship went into the Norfolk Naval Shipyard at Portsmouth, Virginia for her overhaul period. After the regular overhaul period the LOWRY went south again, this time for refresher training and then on 28 October returned to Norfolk to continue with type training. The ship spent some time in Norfolk and then left to participate in DESATRDEX, which lasted two weeks. After that the LOWRY returned to Norfolk for the Christmas Holidays.

In the second week of January 1959 LOWRY departed with Destroyer Division TWO SIXTY ONE to take part in SPRINGBOARD held in the Carribbean operations area. LOWRY visited San Juan, Puerto Rico and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Following a month of type training and operations, LOWRY returned to Norfolk to continue type training in the Virginia Capes Operating Area. In the latter part of March LOWRY assissted the U.S.S. GYATT (DDG-1) in a missile demonstration for the Chief of Naval Operations. LOWRY acted as target drone launching vessel.

LOWRY joined Destroyer Squadron THIRTY TWO as a unit of Destroyer Division THREE TWENTY ONE in April 1959.

The first major fleet operation LOWRY participated in as a part of Squadron THIRTY TWO was SLAMEX, a large scale ASW exercise. LOWRY was assigned as replacement for a ship regularly assigned to Task Force ALFA. This assignment was made on short notice requiring rapid familarization with standard operating procedures of a force that had been working together as a team for over a year. LOWRY joined Task Force ALFA as a screen ship and rescue destroyer for the U.S.S. VALLEY FORGE (CVA-45), Flagship of Task Force ALFA. Commander Task Force ALFA Rear Admiral Thach, favorably commented on the effectiveness of LOWRY and her crew during the exercise.

During the remainder of the summer of 1959, LOWRY continuously engaged in major fleet exercises. The first, INTEX, consisted of a two week exercise in which units of the Second Fleet, scheduled for Med deployment, practiced Air Defense, ECM, ASW, and other exercises in order to prepare for advanced Sixth Fleet Operations.

The latter part of summer LOWRY again joined Second Fleet for major Atlantic Fleet summer exercises, LANTFLEX and LANTMIDFLEX which ran concurrently. Six first class midshipmen from the Naval Academy and college ROTC units rode LOWRY during LANTMIDFLEX.

As a part of LANTFLEX, LOWRY visited New York City in July and participated in the fleet reviews for Vice President NIXON in honor of the 350th anniversary of the Discovery of the Hudson River. A platoon of men from LOWRY helped form the Naval section of a parade along 5th Avenue.

Upon completion of the visit, LOWRY returned to fleet operations in LANTFLEX. The final two weeks of the exercise found LOWRY engaged in air defense exercises and acting as rescue destroyer for the U.S.S. ESSEX (CVA-9).

Halfway through the final two weeks, on 11 July 1959, Commander Dickerson was relieved by Commander Melvin W. Cassidy, U.S.N., while moored at Mayport, Florida.

Upon completion of LANTFLEX, LOWRY returned to Norfolk, Virginia for a tender availability in preparation for deployment to the Mediterranean. LOWRY deployed on 7 August to join the Sixth Fleet for a projected six months of fleet operations.

LOWRY was awarded the Destroyer Battle Efficiency Award for Fiscal Year 1959. The presentation of the award plaque was made in the Mediterranean by Vice Admiral Anderson, Commander Sixth Fleet, during a fleet exercise. Vice Admiral Anderson was highlined from the U.S.S. DES MOINES (CA-134) for the presentation.

During her deployment with the Sixth Fleet from 17 August 1959 until 26 February 1960, LOWRY visited Naples, Italy; Cannes, France; Istanbul, Turkey; Suda Bay, Crete; Barcelona, Spain; Malta, British Crown Colony; La Spezia, Italy; Bollensa Bay, Mallorca; and Civitavecchia, Italy.

LOWRY then entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia on 12 May 1960 to commence Fleet Rehabiltation and Modernization Overhaul, Mark II (FRAM II). Many items of equipment were either completely overhauled or replaced. Obsolete equipment was removed and replaced by the newest type ASW weapons. On 14 January 1961, the U.S.S. LOWRY, a "new" vessel, rejoined the Atlantic Fleet.

Departing Norfolk on 24 January 1961, LOWRY in company with U.S.S. STORMES (DD-780) deployed for refresher training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During the period 7-12 February 1961 LOWRY, STORMES, and the U.S.S. NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148), with Commander Cruiser Division TWO embarked, represented the United States Navy at Trinidad, West Indies at the signing of a new United States Bases Agreement.

Returning to Guantanamo via Kingston, Jamica with elements of the Jamican Regiment embarked, the LOWRY continued refresher training until 24 March 1961. Then, in company with U.S.S. DYESS (DD-880) and U.S.S. STORMES (DD-780), she moved to Key West and furnished services to the Fleet Sonar School.

After a brief period in Norfolk, LOWRY in company with the U.S.S. RICHARD E. KRAUS (DD-849), U.S.S. CHIVO (SS-341) and elements of Mine Division 102 arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina for the 1961 North Carolina Azalea Festival, 6-10 April 1961.

On 17 April the LOWRY entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard for the installation of Variable Depth Sonar (VDS). During this installation, Commander Cassidy was relieved by Commander Albert P. Carpenter, U.S.N., on 26 April 1961. The installation was completed on 12 June 1961 and LOWRY returned to the operating forces. During the remainder of 1961, LOWRY operated with elements of Task Group CHARLIE and Task Group ALFA as a semi-permanent member of the "professional" ASW Team.

The operations included visits to Mayport, Florida; Norfolk, Virginia; and New York City. While at Mayport in July, Task Group ALFA deployed to participate in the second manned National Aviation Space Agency sub-orbital flight of "Liberty Bell SEVEN" with Captain Virgil "Gus" Grissom, U.S.A.F. embarked.

In 1962 the LOWRY continued as a member of Task Group ALFA. In March of that year, while performing experimental work for the Underwater Sound Laboratory at New London, the LOWRY was caught in the infamous Ash Wednesday Storm. The ship sucessfully rode out the storm for three days, returning to New London, battered but unbowed.

LOWRY spent most of the summer of 1962 in Interim Availability at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard where several important modernizations were incorporated into her equipments. The ship was back on the line with Task Group ALFA in time to participate in the Cuban Crises Operations in the fall of 1962. The year's end found the ship in Norfolk with the crew enjoying well deserved Christmas and New Years leave.

In early 1963, the LOWRY participated in Exercise SPRINGBOARD in the Carribean where the crew relaxed in San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands on weekends. On -- February 1963, Commander Carpenter was relieved by Commander Harold M. Lamb, U.S.N. Following a short inport stay in Norfolk, the ship once again embarked on ASW operations with Task Group ALFA. Leave, upkeep and special Project Operations for the Operations Test and Evaluation Force completed the fiscal year.

July was the month for "Middies", as some 26 Midshipmen from various colleges and universities joined LOWRY as she sailed for a six week Carribean cruise. This cruise was highlighted by many hours of hard work and many memories of the libery ports visited. LOWRY sailors were rewarded in good measure for their long hours of toil as the ship visited St. Croix, Virgin Islands; Barbados, British West Indies; and Colon, Panama. However, probably the most significant or noteworthy of the LOWRY's visits was the one made to Rodman Naval Base in Panama City, Panama. It was enroute to and departing from Panama City that LOWRY set a round trip record by transitting the Panama Canal in 32 hours.