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HISTORY

The last day of January, LOWRY departed Philadelphia for Norfolk to embark a reserve crew for her first two week underway reserve training cruise. Departing Norfolk in company with the U.S.S. WILLARD KEITH (DD-775), LOWRY encountered a storm and extremely rough seas off Cape Hatteras that battered the ship severely, left the bridge without glass in it’s windows, and several of the crew with minor injuries and severe “Mal de Mer”. Steering causalities incurred as a result of the storm were repaired during a brief stop at Mayport, whereupon she continued to Andros Island to provide services there for Andros. A long weekend of liberty in Port Everglades gave the crew an opportunity to recuperate before the return voyage to Norfolk. On the morning of 12 February, prior to entering port, a change of command ceremony was held on board for the first time in almost two years. Commander F.C. Casewell relieved Commander R.L. Blanding, who departed the ship that afternoon in Norfolk for duty with COMCARDIV TWO.

The following day, LOWRY returned to Philadelphia for a few weeks of upkeep. The new Commanding Officer took advantage of this opportunity to pay his official respects to the Chief of Staff, Fourth Naval District, Commanding Officer, Naval Station Philadelphia, and Commanding Officer, Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia. In the later part of February, LOWRY embarked her own assigned reserve crew for her first monthly weekend drill. The reserve crew proved to be both talented and very compatible with the nucleus crew as they worked together under the careful scrutiny of COMRESDESDIV FOUR ND, who was also embarked.

The first of March, LOWRY departed for Yorktown Naval Weapons Station to load ammunition and provide services for PHIBLANT in the training of spotters for Naval Gunfire Support exercises, in which she engaged for the next several days. Salt water contamination of fuel oil forced a brief, unscheduled visit to Craney Island to refuel, before getting underway for Newport and operations in the Narragansett Bay Area. During this period, a successful anti-air gunnery exercise was accomplished, mutual services were provided for the submarine U.S.S. DOGFISH (SS-350), and dual ship anti-submarine warfare attacks were conducted in conjunction with the U.S.S. ZELLARS (DD-777). The latter operation included several very successful torpedo launches and recoveries. On Friday, 13 March, LOWRY returned to her homeport to disembark reserves and enjoy a very brief visit. One week later, she was underway for the monthly reserve weekend, to be concluded in Norfolk with the beginning of a four week tender availability with the U.S.S. TIDEWATER (AD-31).

While alongside the TIDEWATER, some valuable repairs were effected and the easy availability of training and refresher courses was put to good use. Easter services were celebrated on board the last Sunday in March. During a storm on 2 April, LOWRY’s ancient and oft maligned motor whaleboat suffered serious water damage necessitating an exchange for a new boat with the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. On 15 April, Captain D.H. ZWEMKE, COMDESRON THIRTY, arrived on board to complete the annual administrative inspection and broke his flag on board. After completing an outstanding inspection, LOWRY was proud to be chosen flagship for the squadron by the Commodore. After loading ammunition, the reserve crew was embarked for the return to Philadelphia that weekend. Upon arrival, they joined the nucleus crew in presenting a most impressive appearance for the Commodore’s Personnel Inspection.

For the next seven weeks, LOWRY spent an uncommonly long period of upkeep in homeport that was put to good use in preparation for a successful INSURV Inspection held from 1-3 June. The May reserve drill weekend was held in port to facilitate preparations for a two week cruise with her own reserve crew embarked. On June 13, LOWRY’s selected reserve crew was embarked and got underway on 16 June, to participate in training with the U.S.S. CHARLES S. SPERRY (DD-697), the U.S.S. HANK (DD-702), and the U.S.S. ROBERT K. HUNTINGTON (DD-781). During this period, several fueling stops were made in Newport along with preparations to facilitate ASW research tests under the control of DESTROYER DEVELOPMENT GROUP TWO. After a day of operations with the submarine U.S.S. DOGFISH (SS-350), all four ships proceeded through the heavy fog that persisted throughout the two week operations to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for liberty that was enthusiastically received by nucleus and reserve crew, and officers alike. Returning from Halifax to operations in the Narraganssett Bay area, LOWRY was again plagued by fog. On the night of 25 June, a swift transfer of a seriously ill seaman from the HANK to the care of the medical officer on board the LOWRY was executed successfully despite visibility limited to a hundred feet by the fog. After an anchorage at Harbor of Refuge in the mouth of Delaware Bay, the ship returned to Philadelphia on 28 June to debark the reserve crew.

For the Fourth of July, LOWRY was honored as the visit ship for Firecracker Weekend in Wilmington, Delaware. There the officers and crew were generously hosted by the Optimist Club and the American Legion while the ship played host to several thousand visitors during two days of full dress and visitation. The Governor of Delaware, the Honorable Fritz Peterson, paid an official call upon the captain and toured LOWRY.

A long awaited dependent’s cruise on 18 July, was cancelled by minor engineering problems, which were corrected in time for the ship to get underway on the following day for a tender availability in Norfolk with the U.S.S. SIERRA (AD-18). The disappointment of the dependents was alleviated somewhat by a picnic held on board by the excellent cooks of LOWRY. Upon completion of a most successful TAV, LOWRY embarked her reserve crew for the return to Philadelphia and during the transit engaged in anti-air gunnery and engineering casualty control drills. She arrived back in homeport on 16 August.

On 19 September, representatives of the Naval Reserve Training Command were on board to observe the underway drill weekend. They were witness to a surface gunnery exercise and were less than enthusiastic participants in a very successful high line transfer. At this time, LOWRY’s Supply Officer conned the ship to victory in an informal competition organized by the Reserve Commodore in precision anchorage by less experienced watchstanders.

On 28 September, LOWRY, with COMRESDESRON THIRTY embarked, and the U.S.S. HANK (DD-702), got underway for three days of independent operations. After Burial at Sea Ceremonies for two retired petty officers, surface gunnery and VDS exercises were completed and further ASW research tests were conducted for DESTROYER DEVELOPMENT GROUP TWO.

The October reserve drill weekend was held in port due to severe weather conditions; but when the weather showed signs of some improvement a few days later, LOWRY got underway for Port Everglades, Florida. There she was host ship for Navy Day on 27 October. Over a thousand people toured the ship in one day and the crew was rewarded with several days of liberty in a warm port. LOWRY returned to Philadelphia on 30 October for a few weeks of upkeep.

On 21 November, with reserve crew embarked, LOWRY completed a successful competitive full power run that was its’ own reward to a hard working engineering plant and department. After spending Thanksgiving at home, the ship got underway the following Monday, 30 November, for Norfolk and another tender availability with the U.S.S. SIERRA (AD-18). LOWRY made her first transit of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and the Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk. Upon arrival, she was visited by Vice Admiral LASTE, of the Spanish Navy, who was inspecting FRAM II destroyers.