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HISTORY

Once back in Norfolk, after her Carribean cruise, LOWRY's efforts were confined to ASW operations with Task Group ALFA. Intermittent periods of upkeep in Norfolk together with Task Group operations comprised most of LOWRY's fall activities. 1963 was coming to a close and LOWRY sailed on her final cruise of the year. The weekend before Christmas found LOWRY sailors visiting the home of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Christmas was in the air and LOWRY sailors, for the most part, were at home with their families. LOWRY spent the entire holiday period in port, thus making it possible for families to be joined, regardless of the miles separating them.

Rested and relaxed after the holidays, LOWRY pulled into Norfolk Naval Shipyard for three months of hard work and overhaul. During this period LOWRY sailors chipped, scraped, and painted her entire outside while others tested, cleaned, and rebuilt her inner workings. LOWRY emerged from the shipyards on 9 April 1964 with fresh paint on her decks and new fires in her boilers. The men and the machines were ready and able for any new challenge.

Dependents joined LOWRY as she sailed out of Norfolk Harbor, and the cruise to Yorktown that morning was enjoyable to both crew members and their guests. Nonetheless, shortly after arriving in Yorktown, the dependents were put ashore and the men of the LOWRY rolled up their sleeves and turned their minds (and backs) to the task at hand; namely the reloading of all the ammunition. Once back in port, the ensuing three weeks were spent in training and preparation for Refresher Training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

May Day 1964, LOWRY sailors said good-byes to loved ones, boarded the ship and set sail for six weeks of hard work and recreation in the Carribean. Arriving in Guantanamo Bay all thoughts of home were quickly put aside as both men and machines were soon put through rigorous paces designed to see just what their capabilities were and if they could meet the high standards expected of them. LOWRY sailors were neither a disappointment in this respect, nor were they disappointed in the liberty ports. The noise of the gunfire or the heat of the engine rooms could not dampen a crewman's spirit as he walked ashore in Ocho Rios, Jamica or beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico. The visit to San Juan was a fitting climax for a successful cruise after which LOWRY sailed straight for Norfolk and home.

Shortly after returning from the Carribean, LOWRY switched from Destroyer Squadron THIRTY TWO to Destroyer Squadron TWENTY TWO, Commanded by Captain R.W. Brownite. Also, on that day, 1 July 1964, COMDESRON 22 brought his flag aboard LOWRY.

Later in the month of July, LOWRY recieved word that she had been awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" for fiscal year 1964. This announcement marked the culmination of months of specialized training, outstanding leadership, and many, many hours of hard, painstaking work. July also saw LOWRY change command again as Commander R.J. McElroy, Jr., U.S.N. relieve Commander H.M. Lamb, U.S.N. Commander Lamb had a most successful tenure as Commanding Officer in that his reign saw LOWRY maintain her prestige in her ASW prowess, and, also the winning of the Battle Efficiency "E" and the Operations Excellence Awards. LOWRY finished the summer in Norfolk, for the most part, in tender availability and upkeep, and, in readying herself for autumn's taxing operations.

Fall of 1964 was highlighted by two cruises to Bermuda (one featuring a long weekend in port) which consisted mainly of ASW exercises and Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI). The two cruises to Bermuda were seperated by a tender availability period which allowed LOWRY a chance to be at her best for her ORI. The month of December was spent in port, allowing holiday leave and liberty, and also aiding in preparing for the forthcoming deployment to SIXTH Fleet.

U.S.S. LOWRY spent the early part of 1965 inport and at sea for short periods in preparation for distant duty. On 16 February LOWRY deployed for operations with the SIXTH Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea area, returning to Norfolk, Virginia on 12 July 1965. Following an upkeep period inport, the ship sailed southward to conduct VDS tow cable tests for Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force in the vicinity of the Bahamas. During this cruise the crew enjoyed port visits in Miami, Florida and Nassau, Bahamas. During the period 13 September to 7 October, LOWRY received her Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopters (DASH) and successfully completed DASH Ship Qualification Trials. LOWRY completed her year's operating by participating in PHIBASW (1-6) from 29 November to 16 December. On 20 December 1965, Commander Oliver F. Midgette, U.S.N., relieved Commander Robert L. McElroy, U.S.N., as Commanding Officer.

In January 1966, LOWRY was in a restricted availability in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for a three week period effecting repairs to her Sonar Equipment.

On 4 March, following a month's stay in Norfolk in preparation for the forthcoming SIXTH Fleet deployment, LOWRY, together with the major portion of Destroyer Squadron TWENTY TWO, got underway for the Mediterranean. During this employment, the ship visited interesting ports including; Athens, Beruit, Istanbul, Malta, Naples, Livorno, Casablanca and the Riviera. LOWRY also participated in a review of SIXTH Fleet ships by the King of Greece and in several large exercises, among them NATO's Exercise LAFAYETTE and Project HAND-CLASP. In addition, LOWRY was privileged to host two Greek Officers and one Greek Petty Officer for an extended period as part of the NATO exchange program. The ship returned to Norfolk on 12 August 1966.

Within a month she was at sea again on her way to Key West, Florida to serve for three weeks as training ship for the Fleet Sonar School. On 6 October 1966, Commander William Hunter Grigg, U.S.N. relieved Commander Oliver F. Midgette as her Commanding Officer. Following a three week period in Boston Naval Shipyard, LOWRY on 16 November, departed Norfolk on her final trip of the year, again, to Key West for three weeks as a training ship for the Fleet Sonar School.

The U.S.S. LOWRY (DD-770), commanded by Commander William Hunter Grigg, U.S.N., operated from 1 January 1967 until 17 April 1967 under the operational control of COMSECONDFLT. LOWRY was attached to Destroyer Squadron TWENTY TWO until 20 June 1967. At that time the ship was temporarily assigned to Destroyer Squadron TWENTY SIX for administrative purposes.

The first ten days of the new year (1967) was spent in Norfolk, Virginia, LOWRY's homeport. On 2 January, Cadetes Serano Jorge Trelles Sanchez, Oscar Echendia Luna and Jaime Bouroncle Garcia (Peruvian Midshipmen) embarked for a two month training period under the Midshipman Exchange Program. Acting as LOWRY junior officers, they were given intensive training in all operational areas aboard ship; standing watches in Combat Information Center, on the Bridge and in the Engineering spaces.

Following local operations on 11-12 January, LOWRY set sail for the Carribean on 20 January to participate in Operation SPRINGBOARD 1967 and FIREX 67, arriving in the San Juan Operational Area on 23 January. FIREX 67 was an excellent theatre to display LOWRY's capability in support of ground troops. SPRINGBOARD allowed the ship to participate in some useful and educational gunfire support operations at Culebra, Puerto Rico on 26 January and at Vieqiues Island, 3 February through 5 February and the annual Operational Readiness Inspecion (ORI) on 1 February. During the time LOWRY enjoyed inport periods at San Juan on 28-29 January, and, again on 1-2 February. LOWRY participated in Operation FIREX at Vieqiues Island on 3-6 February in company with the U.S.S. NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148) and the U.S.S. LEARY (DD-879) with COMDESDIV 22 embarked therein. LOWRY and the other gunfire support exercise ships fired hundreds of rounds of ammunition on shore positions with very good effect; assisting in the training of Marine spotters. This display of naval gunfire will be remembered by all hands who participated. The Peruvian Midshipmen were on board during LOWRY's visits to San Juan, Puerto Rico, during Operation Springboard.

LOWRY departed the San Juan Operation Area on 6 February in company with LEARY. Both ships arrived in Norfolk on 9 February. From 10 February until 2 March, LOWRY was assigned a tender availability period. On 20-21 February, LOWRY was inspected by the Norfolk Sub-board of Inspection and Survey. The Peruvian Midshipmen were detached on 26 February and returned to Lima, Peru to continue their courses at the Peruvian Naval Academy. Ready for sea again on 3 March, LOWRY steamed for Key West, Florida for duties as Sonar School Ship for the Fleet Sonar School there, arriving 6 March. While on this duty LOWRY gained valuable training in her primary mission of anti-submarine warfare. She also served as standby surveillance ship under Commander, U.S. Naval Base, Key West, protecting the southern approaches to the United States. She sailed for Norfolk on 17 March, arriving there 19 March. She remained in Norfolk until 31 March when she again sailed for Key West to serve as Sonar School Ship arriving on 2 April. While in Key West, on 7 April 1967, LOWRY was honored with gifts from that city in a presentation to the Commanding Officer and Executive Officer by the Chamber of Commerce of Key West. This was in recognition of LOWRY completing her fourth tour to Key West as Sonar School Ship for the Fleet Sonar School since September 1966. LOWRY sailed from Key West on 7 April, arriving Norfolk on 10 April.

Underway again the following day, 11 April, LOWRY steamed up Chesapeake Bay for Naval Gunfire Support Exercises at Bloodsworth Island, Maryland incident to qualification of Marine spotters and for her own annual gunfire support qualifications on 12-13 April. In one day, Mount 53 alone fired over 300 rounds of ammunition. Upon completion of firing at Bloodsworth, LOWRY commenced preparation to enter the Norfolk Naval Shipyard at Portsmouth, Virginia for regular overhaul. On 13 April, LOWRY sailed for Yorktown Naval Weapons Station where she off-loaded her remaining ammunition, completing this on 14 April and sailing to Craney Island where she off-loaded the bulk of her fuel the night of 14 April. She returned to the Destroyer-Submarine Piers on the morning of 15 April to commence pre-overhaul Tender availability.

On 17 April, LOWRY changed to operational control of COMCRUDESLANT. Work began in earnest preparing the boilers for rebricking, the guns for a complete overhaul, a major modification to the radio spaces, a refurbished Combat Information Center and other alterations and essential repairs. On 8 May, LOWRY entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard. An entire new Electronics Countermeasures package was installed; including a new after deck house structure. She was drydocked from 27 May to 11 July for scraping and repainting the bottom, repairs to the rudders and shafting and sonar dome. On 20 June, LOWRY was assigned to Destroyer Squadron TWENTY SIX for the duration of the deployment of her parent Squadron TWENTY TWO to the Vietnam Theatre of operations. The ship commenced post repair trials on 13 September and officially completed the shipyard overhaul on 22 September. Re-arming with conventional and ASW weapons was accomplished on 25-26 September at Yorktown, Virginia. On 2-3 October, additional post repair acceptance trials were conducted on electronics gear in the Virginia Capes Operating Area.