A Chronological History
of the U.S. Navy Cruiser
CL92 / CLG4 / CG4

Page last updated: 09 Feb 2015

1966 - 1973

1966     1967     1968     1969     1970     1971     1972     1973

12 Jan

LITTLE ROCK relieved as flagship of ComSecondFleet by USS Newport News CA148.
17 Jan
Entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA for 32 wk. repair and overhaul period.
01 Feb

Rating Exam for E4 personnel.
18 Jan - 27 Sep

At Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
03 Feb

Rating Exam for E5 personnel.
08 Feb

Rating Exam for E6 personnel.
10 Feb

Rating Exam for E7 personnel.
07 Mar

Charles de Gaulle, President of France, announces plans to withdraw France from NATO, and subsequently orders all American military forces to leave France by 01 Apr 1967. President Johnson asks US Secretary of State Dean Rusk to seek further clarification from President de Gaulle by asking whether the bodies of buried American soldiers must leave France as well. Rusk recorded in his autobiography that de Gaulle did not respond when asked, "Does your order include the bodies of American soldiers in France's cemeteries?"
28 Sep At Norfolk Naval Shipyard conducting Inclining Experiments. See NavSource Photos
29 Sep - 14 Oct

15 Oct Dependents’ Cruise for friends and relatives.
?? Oct

At Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, VA to load ammo and missiles.
17 Oct

Depart for training exercises off Virginia Capes.
?? Oct

Port Everglades, FL
30 Oct

San Juan, Puerto Rico
04 Nov

Roosevelt Roads, PR
07 - ?? Nov
Shakedown and training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

St. Thomas, VI

Montego Bay, Jamaica (R&R)

Roosevelt Roads, PR to refuel prior to returning to Norfolk
??? Dec

Returned to Norfolk, VA to prepare for deployment to Mediterranean.


16 (??) Jan

U.S.S. LITTLE ROCK departs Norfolk for duty as flagship of ComSixthFleet.
19 Jan

First U.S.S. LITTLE ROCK wives arrive in Gaeta, Italy.
20 Jan

USS Springfield CLG7 ComSixthFleet flagship departs Villefranche-sur-Mer, France as homeport changes from Villefranche to Gaeta, Italy.  (See New York Times Article)
24 Jan
LITTLE ROCK arrives at U.S. Naval Station, Rota, Spain
25 Jan

In port, Rota, Spain. U.S.S. LITTLE ROCK relieves U.S.S. Springfield CLG-7 and assumes duty as 6th Fleet Flagship to be homeported Gaeta, Italy.
26 - 28 Jan

At U.S. Naval Station, Rota, Spain.
30 Jan - 02 Feb

Casablanca, Morocco
02 Feb At anchor, Gaeta, Italy
16 Feb

LITTLE ROCK gets underway approx. 1030 hrs. Click to see a copy of the "Steaming Orders"
?? Mar At anchor, Gaeta, Italy (Picture)
10 Apr

VADM Frederick L. Ashworth COMSIXTHFLT arrives on board for the turnover of his command to VADM William I. Martin.
11 Apr Capt. John J. Mitchell relieves Capt. Oscar F. Dreyer in Gaeta
19 May Blue Angels perform first show in Europe over U.S.S. LITTLE ROCK in Gaeta.
29 May

USS SARATOGA, USS AMERICA rendezvous with USS LITTLE ROCK (VADM Martin COMSIXTH FLEET) in the Sea of Crete accompanied by the cruiser GALVESTON and 10 destroyers.
05 Jun Arab-Israeli Six Day War begins.
08 Jun

LITTLE ROCK operating in formation with USS America CVA66, USS Sherman DD931, USS Sampson DDG10, USS Thomas DD764, USS Roan DD853, and USS Lawe DD763 as part of Task Group TG 60.1.
1403 hrs. USS Liberty AGTR5 is attacked by Israeli ships and aircraft.
1719 hrs. USS Massey DD778 and USS Davis DD937 receive orders to proceed at once to USS Liberty to provide assistance.
09 Jun

0627 hrs. USS Massey and USS Davis rendezvous with USS Liberty.
1205 hrs. LITTLE ROCK detached from TG 60.1 close with USS Liberty.
1340 hrs. LITTLE ROCK arrives at USS Liberty.
Lowered #1 Utility boat to begin transfer of injured personnel from USS Liberty.
LITTLE ROCK assisted in evacuating wounded from USS Liberty. Damage control and medical assistance provided.
1423 hrs. USS LITTLE ROCK Chaplain (LCDR Bradley?) arrives on board USS Liberty.
10 Jun Lt. John Cockram and two Corpsmen transfer to USS Liberty to render assistance.
30 Jun Six Day War ends.
31 Jul

Underway from Naples, Italy. (Picture)
American Eagle becomes official ship’s seal emblem.
04 - 08 Aug

Valletta, Malta
24 - 28 Aug

LITTLE ROCK makes it's first visit to the Municipality of Monaco.
Kirk Douglas visit LITTLE ROCK.
13 - 26 Nov

Naples, Italy
27 - 30 Nov

Taranto, Italy
01 - 24 Dec
25 Dec
Christmas in Gaeta

11 - 15 Jan

Toulon, France
02 - 07 Feb

Lisbon, Portugal
07 - 12 Feb

U.S. Naval Station, Rota, Spain
12 -17 Feb

Tangier, Morocco
13 Mar

From the Plan of the Day for 13 Mar 1968:
   Duty Section: Three
   Duty Division: E
   0800 - Station the special sea and anchor detail
   0900 - Underway
   1000 - General Quarters for AAW gunnery practice and missile firing
   1030 - Commence gunnery practice
   1100 - Commence missile firing
   1300 - Flight Quarters. Prepare to launch helo
   1400 - Launch helo
   1430 - Station the replenishment detail
   1500 - Commence underway replenishment
Movie Schedule:
   Wardroom - "So This is Paris"
   CPO Mess - "The Way West"
   1st Class Mess - "Wait Until Dark"
   Crew's Mess - "Those Fantastic Flying Fools"
14 Mar

From previous day's Plan of the Day:
   "The ship expects to enter port  tomorrow at 0900." (Thursday 14 Mar)
   "Liberty will commence for sections Two and Three on arrival."
24 Apr Capt. W. F. V. Bennett relieves Capt. John C. Mitchell
11 - 12 May Athens, Greece
13 - 14 May At sea
15 - 16 May Naples, Italy
17 - 31 May Gaeta, Italy
?? Jun First USSR warship presents honors to 6th Fleet flagship in Med.
25 Jun

USS LITTLE ROCK participates in the U.S. Navy Sixth Fleet's 20th Anniversary "Power for Peace" parade of ships. Approximately 50 ships were arranged in two columns, with LITTLE ROCK steaming between them. Aboard LITTLE ROCK was General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, Supreme Allied Commander , Europe. More than half of the ships of the Sixth Fleet passed on both sides of the LITTLE ROCK with the USS Independence and the USS Shangri-La heading the formation.
Other dignitaries on board included: Admiral John S. McCain and General D.A. Burchinal, USAF.
01 - 23 Jul Gaeta, Italy (See Below)
12 Jul
LITTLE ROCK renders assistance to Italian fishing vessel Olimpia #CT 1717.
(See "Mystery Photo #7" for details.)
17 Jul Dependent's cruise. More than 1000 guests board LITTLE ROCK for a cruise around the islands of Ischia and Capri, near the Bay of Naples. During the eight hour trip the guests were treated to a concert by the Sixth Fleet Band and watched an air demonstration by aircraft from the carrier Shangri-La and a highline transfer of personnel at sea with the USS Tattnall DDG-19.
23 - 24 Jul At sea
25  - 28 Jul Valencia, Spain
29 Jul At sea
30 Jul - 02 Aug Palma, Majorca, Spain
03 - 04 Aug At sea
05 - 13 Aug Gaeta, Italy
14 Aug At Naples, Italy for change of 6th fleet command from VADM William I. Martin to VADM David C. Richardson on board USS Independence CV62.
(Click HERE for more U.S. Sixth Fleet info.)
15 - 17 Aug Gaeta, Italy
18 - 27  Aug At sea. 17 - 23 Aug conducting Exercise "Deep Furrow 68".
28 Aug - 02 Sep Gaeta, Italy
03 - 04 Sep At sea
04 - 08 Sep Izmir, Turkey
09 Sep At sea
10 - 13 Sep Athens, Greece
14 - 15 Sep At sea
16 - 19 Sep Tunis, Tunisia
19 Sep At sea
20 - 27 Sep Gaeta, Italy
27 - 30 Sep At sea
30 Sep - 02 Oct

Argostoli Bay, Greece
Annual Sixth Fleet Commanders' conference on board USS Independence CV62.
02 - 04 Oct At sea
04 - 13 Oct Naples, Italy
14 - 15 Oct Gaeta, Italy
16 - 18 Oct At sea
19 - 23 Oct U.S. Naval Station, Rota, Spain
24 - 30 Oct At sea with TF 60.1 participating in PHIBLEX 5-69.
28 Oct

USS LITTLE ROCK sails in close proximity off the starboard beam of the Soviet cruiser "Mikhail Kutuzov" (CAPT Nikolai K. Fedorov). Click HERE to see photos.
The Kutuzov a Sverdlov class cruiser is the last remaining ship of her class. She is now a museum ship in Novorossiysk on the Black Sea in southern Russia.
01 - 13 Nov Gaeta, Italy
14 Nov At sea
15 - 18 Nov Valletta, Malta
19 Nov At sea
20 - 22 Nov Taranto, Italy
23 Nov At sea
24 Nov - 04 Dec
Gaeta, Italy
28 Nov

"Wardroom Tigers" flag football team beats OI Division by a score of 38-18 to win the first "Pasta Bowl" flag football championship at Gaeta.
05 Dec At sea
06 - 09 Dec Toulon, France
10 Dec At sea
11 - 31 Dec Gaeta, Italy


01 - 03 Jan

At Gaeta, Italy.
04 Jan

At sea - Naples, Italy
05 Jan

Naples, Italy
06 - 10 Jan
Naples - At sea Ops. PHILBEX 8-69, Tyrrhenian Sea - Sardinia
11 - 13 Jan Taranto, Italy
14 - 15 Jan
Taranto - At sea
16 - 18 Jan Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
19 Jan Villefranche - At sea
20 - 26 Jan Gaeta, Italy
27  Jan Gaeta - At sea
28 - 29 Jan

At sea Ops. Tyrrhenian Sea - Sardinia
30 Jan

Casablanca, Morocco.
Governor of the City of Casablanca visits USS LITTLE ROCK
31 Jan - 02 Feb At Casablanca
03 Feb Casablanca - At sea
04 Feb

At sea - Lisbon, Portugal
04 - 07 Feb Lisbon, Portugal (Photo)
08 Feb

Lisbon, Portugal - At sea - Rota, Spain.
LITTLE ROCK stops at U.S. Naval Station, Rota Spain to pick up SK3 Ken Plain and two other new shipmates, all of whom had traveled from Naples, Italy to Rota, Spain the day before.  Ken recalls that the ship pulled into port, took on board the three new crew and pulled back out to sea after refueling.
09 Feb At sea
10 - 11 Feb At sea - Barcelona, Spain
12 - 14 Feb
Barcelona, Spain
15 Feb Barcelona, Spain - At sea
16 Feb

At sea
17 Feb - 02 Mar Gaeta, Italy
03 Mar Gaeta, Italy - At sea Ops in Ionian Sea
04 - 05 Mar

At sea - Souda Bay, Crete
06 - 07 Mar

Souda Bay, Crete - At sea
08 Mar At sea - Gaeta, Italy
09 - 12 Mar

Gaeta, Italy
13 Mar Gaeta, Italy - At Sea Ops in Tyrrhenian Sea
14 Mar

At sea
15 Mar At sea - Gaeta, Italy
16 - 26 Mar Gaeta, Italy
27 - 28 Mar

Gaeta, Italy - At sea
29 - 31 Mar La Spezia, Italy
01 Apr

La Spezia, Italy - At sea
02 Apr At sea
03 - 14 Apr Gaeta, Italy
09 Apr Some of ship's company and Admiral's staff attended papal audience in Rome.
15 Apr
Gaeta, Italy - At sea
16 - 17 Apr At sea
18 - 20 Apr Palma, Majorca, Spain
21 Apr

Palma - At sea
22 - 30 Apr At sea - Nato Exercise "Dawn Patrol"
24 Apr

Underway. CDO: LCDR Klish
0200 Rendezvous with TG 502.2. CHOP to NATO Control.
26 - 27 Apr

Visit by Admiral Thomas H. Moorer CNO
01 May At sea -  Gaeta, Italy
02 - 11 May
Gaeta, Italy - Moored to Buoy A2
12 May

Depart Gaeta
Arrive Naples, Italy
13 May Depart Naples
14 May At sea
15 - 21 May

Venice, Italy
Gen. Andrew J. Goodpaster, Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command visits LITTLE ROCK
22 - 26 May

At sea. Ops National Week III with Task Force 60
26 May

Underway for Gaeta, Italy
27 May - 02 Jun
Gaeta, Italy
30 May

LITTLE ROCK personnel participate in a Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony at the American Cemetery in Anzio, Italy. Navy Wives Club members Madge Hopple, wife of GYSGT Ronald Hopple and Betty Swing, wife of MMC K.T. Swing performed the wreath laying.
31 May - 15 Jun

6th Fleet Band on tour to Portugal.  Band concerts are scheduled to be held in Santarem, Abrantes, Leiria, Alcobaca, Caldas de Rainha, Peniche, and Tomar,
03 - 07 Jun Gaeta, Italy - At sea - Operation Olympic Express
08 Jun At sea - Rhodes, Greece
09 - 12 Jun

Rhodes, Greece
13 Jun Rhodes, Greece - At sea
14 Jun

At sea - Gaeta, Italy
15 Jun - 06 Jul Gaeta, Italy
23 Jun

Guest Cruise had 1000 guests on board for a day at sea. Activities included underway refueling from USS Elokomin AO55, an opportunity for seven different guests to be highlined to USS Sellers, and observing missile battery demonstration, and air-support demonstrations by aircraft from USS Shangrila.
07 July

Gaeta, Italy - At sea
08 - 10 Jul At Sea - Malta Missile Range - Rearm / Refuel -  Ionian Sea
11 Jul

At Sea - Op Area 9 to Principality of Monaco.
0909 Anchored in outer harbor in 35 fathoms of water.
From the Ship's Log:
12 - 14 Jul At Monaco
15 Jul Depart Monaco - At sea
16 - 18 Jul

At sea.
19 Jul

Arrive at Gaeta, Italy
19 - 29 Jul

Gaeta, Italy - Buoy A2
20 Jul - US spacecraft Apollo 11 lands on the moon.
30 Jul - 01 Aug

At sea - Transit Straits of Gibraltar.
USS LITTLE ROCK encounters four Soviet AGI "trawlers" (intelligence gathering ships).
Helo is launched to obtain photographs. LITTLE ROCK approaches within 500 yards of one AGI.
01 Aug

Arrive at U.S. Naval Station, Rota, Spain
02 - 04 Aug Rota, Spain
05 Aug

Depart Rota  -  Transit Straits of Gibraltar.
05 - 10 Aug

At sea for amphibious landing exercise PHIBLEX 2-70.
LITTLE ROCK fires 6" guns in off-shore Naval Gunfire Support Exercise off Sardinia.
10 Aug

Replenishment at sea.
11 Aug At sea - Arrive Gaeta, Italy
12 - 24 Aug

Gaeta, Italy
Ship's basketball team wins Gaeta-Formia tournament
25 Aug Depart Gaeta, Transit the Straits of Messina that evening.
26 - 28 Aug
At sea - At sea - National Week IV - Ionian Sea
29 Aug

Arrive  back at Gaeta, Italy
TWA Flight 840 (Rome-Athens-Tel Aviv) is hijacked to Damascus, Syria.
30 Aug - 03 Sep

Moored at Gaeta, Italy
On Saturday, 30 Aug General Recall Bill is put in effect with plans to get underway at 2000 hrs
30 Aug - plans to get underway delayed (changed to 1000 hrs, Sunday, 31 Aug).
31 Aug - plans to get  underway are canceled.
04 Sep

Underway from Gaeta
04 Sep - 12 Sep

At sea.
To Eastern Mediterranean Special Ops with Task Group 60.1
LITTLE ROCK maneuvers within visual range of Soviet "aviation cruiser" MOSKVA 104.
11 Sep

At sea - At sea - Refueling rendezvous
Arrive Taranto, Italy
12 Sep

Taranto, Italy
13 Sep

At Taranto.
Underway for Gaeta, Italy
Arrive Gaeta
14 - 22 Sep Gaeta, Italy
23 Sep

0001 In port, Gaeta, Italy
Embark guests for guest cruise.
0900 Underway for Ponza
Conduct exercises with USS Elokomin A0-55 and USS Sellers DDG-11.
1700 In port Gaeta. Moored to buoy A-2
24 Sep

Depart Gaeta, Italy - At sea - Bad storm.
25 - 29 Sep

At Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia
USS LITTLE ROCK is first US Navy ship to visit Dubrovnik since USS Springfield visited in 1966.
Sixth Fleet 25-piece band entertains 10,000 in Dubrovnik's 14th century Luza Square.
LITTLE ROCK basketball team wins both games of a two game tourney against a local team.
Over 3,000 guests tour LITTLE ROCK on Saturday and Sunday (27-28 Sep).
30 Sep Underway from Dubrovnik.
01 Oct

At sea
02 - 05 Oct

In port. Athens, Greece
Side trips included Delfi, Corinth and Mycenae.
06 Oct

Depart Athens
07 - 08 Oct At sea
09 - 14 Oct Gaeta, Italy
15 Oct Depart Gaeta.
16 - 20 Oct

At sea for NATO exercise "Deep Furrow 69" in eastern Med and off the coast of Turkey.
Helo crew rescues one of two crew from a downed F-4 Phantom jet from USS Kennedy. Helo crew participating in search-and-rescue effort were; Pilot LT E.G. Moninger (Short Hills, NJ), co-pilot LT(jg) R.J. Haggerton Jr. (Kingsville, TX), and crewman AE-2 Wayne Sease (Bismark, ND).
21 - 24 Oct

At sea - Operations Aegean Sea to Saros Bay, Turkey
25 Oct - 03 Nov

Planned Tender Availability Period (TAV) port call in Naples is canceled.
At sea - Operations Eastern Mediterranean to NW Crete
04 Nov

Arrive Athens, Greece
USS Kennedy CVA-67 and USS Sea Wolf SSN-575 also at Athens.
05 - 07 Nov

Athens, Greece
08 Nov

Depart Athens
10 Nov

Arrive at Naples, Italy for annual Tender Availability Period (TAV).
Destroyer-tender USS Grand Canyon AD-28 to provide TAV.
09 - 21 Nov At Naples, Italy
15 Nov

Capt. Charles E. Little relieves Capt. Walter F.V. Bennett
22 Nov Depart Naples - at sea - arrive Gaeta, Italy
23 Nov - 30 Nov

At Gaeta, Italy
Missile transfer exchange with ammunition ship USS Nitro AE-23, complicated by bad weather, requires duty and stand-by sections to work through Thanksgiving.
27 Nov

Thanksgiving Day. Family and friends invited to share Thanksgiving Dinner aboard.
30 Nov

Underway from Gaeta.
01 Dec

At sea
02 Dec

Arrive at Valletta Harbor, Malta. Fired and received a 21 gun salute.
LITTLE ROCK moored to buoy in line with other US Sixth Fleet ships. Clearance between ships 100'.
02 - 06 Dec

Valletta, Malta
Tours to the catacombs of St. Pietro, the "silent city" of Medina, and the Neolithic temple Hypogeum.
07 Dec Depart Valletta, Malta
08 Dec

At sea
09 Dec Arrive at Toulon, France
10 Dec
Depart Toulon
11 - 13 Dec At sea - Conducting operations with French Navy
14 Dec
Arrive at Gaeta, Italy
18 Dec

Bob Hope USO Tour performs at 1400 hrs. on board USS Saratoga (CVA-60) with Miss
World 1969 Austria's Eva Rueber-Staier, Hollywood stars Connie Stevens, Suzanne Charny,
the Golddiggers, Ellen Farley, and Les Brown and his "Band of Renown" while moored in
Gaeta harbor, Formia Bay, Italy. Over 6000 Sixth Fleet sailors attended the event held in the
carrier's hanger bay. (Picture)
USS Saratoga moored to buoy Alpha 1, USS LITTLE ROCK moored to buoy Alpha 2.
Other ships in harbor included five destroyers and one fleet oiler.
25 Dec

Christmas in Gaeta
26 - 31 Dec

At Gaeta


01 - 06 Jan

Gaeta, Italy
07 Jan Gaeta, Italy - At sea
08 Jan
At sea
09  Jan Arrive Villefranche, France
11 Jan

Sixth Fleet Band performs at St. Laurent-du-Var's annual Majorettes Parade.
12 Jan

Twenty-four LITTLE ROCK crew depart for U.S. Armed Forces Recreation Center in Garmisch, Germany for five days of sight-seeing and skiing. They planned to meet the ship in Gaeta.
13 Jan

Depart Villefranche
Under-Secretary of the Navy John W. Warner aboard for transit to Genoa.
Arrive Genoa, Italy same day.
15 Jan

Garmisch tour group returns to LITTLE ROCK just before midnight.
16 Jan

Depart Genoa for Gaeta, Italy.
Replenishment at sea.
17 Jan
Arrive Gaeta, Italy
19 Jan

Ship's Bosun CWO Marvin Curry departs for Naval Station, Brooklyn, NY.
21 Jan

Depart Genoa for exercises with USS Forrestal CV-59, USS F.D. Roosevelt CV-42, and USS Columbus CG-12 the "Tall Lady".
30 Jan - 06 Feb At sea - Operation "National Week V" - Ionean Sea
07 - 19 Feb Gaeta, Italy
20 - 22 Feb At sea - Op. Area 9 to Tangier, Morocco
23 - 26 Feb

Tangier, Morocco.
600 Moroccans visit LITTLE ROCK.
LITTLE ROCK crew spend two days renovating a basketball court at a Moslem high school and performing repairs at the Cheshire Foundation Homes orphanage.
27 Feb

Depart Tangier for two hour trip to Gibraltar, British Crown Colony.
Moored at Gibraltar. Weather: Sunny.
27 Feb - 02 Mar At Gibraltar.  LITTLE ROCK hosts 1400 visitors.
28 Feb

BM3 Doug Coston sends postcard of Gibraltar to his Dad. Doug reports weather is "overcast".
03 Mar


Depart Gibraltar
As LITTLE ROCK departs British Admiral sends message: "The Big Rock will never be the same without the LITTLE ROCK alongside."
Arrive Lisbon, Portugal
03 - 06 Mar Lisbon, Portugal
07 Mar Depart Lisbon, Portugal - At sea
08 Mar

Arrive at U.S. Naval Station, Rota, Spain
USS LITTLE ROCK's basketball team defeats team from submarine tender USS Holland AS-32
LITTLE ROCK departs NavSta Rota  in the afternoon, bound for Barcelona, Spain.
Transit Straits of Gibraltar
09 Mar At sea
10 Mar

Arrive Barcelona, Spain
11 - 13 Mar

At Barcelona, Spain.
Ship offered a one-day tour to the Benedictine monastery at Montserrat, and a three-day skiing tour to Andorra, Spain.
14 Mar
Depart Barcelona, Spain
15 - 16 Mar

At sea
17 Mar - 02 Apr
Gaeta, Italy
??? Mar - ??? Apr

Marseilles, France ??? (Need verification)
03 - 06 Apr

At sea - National Week VI Ops Area
07 Apr

Operating with TG 60.1
08 Apr At sea - Valletta, Malta
09 - 10 Apr

Valletta, Malta
11 - 13 Apr Tunis, Tunisia
14 Apr Depart Tunis for Gaeta, Italy.
14 - 28 Apr Gaeta, Italy
18 Apr

Bruce Bowmer OS3 (69-72) is assigned as Duty Driver by CWO4 Milam.
29 Apr

At sea.
Arrive Rapallo, Italy
30 Apr - 04 May Rapallo, Italy
?? May

Admiral Elmo Zumwalt visits LITTLE ROCK and dines with the crew.
05 - 07 May At sea with TG 60.2 Exercise TRANSITEX.
08 May

At sea. Underway replenishment.
09 - 22 May Gaeta, Italy
23 - 25 May At sea
26 - 30 May Palma, Majorca, Spain
30 - 31 May

Ciuadella, Minorca
??? Summer

Twelve (12) Midshipmen arrive by helo from USS Austin (LPD-4) for training cruise.
01 - 08 Jun

At sea - Exercise "Dawn Patrol '70"
09 - 11 Jun

Athens, Greece
12 Jun At sea - Phaleron Bay to Gulf of Laconia
13 Jun

At sea - enroute to Gaeta, Italy.
USS LITTLE ROCK (CLG4) is in a collision with the Greek destroyer Lonchi HNS D-56 in the Gulf of Laconia off Greece during NATO exercise "Dawn Patrol 70". (See Note 1.)
14 Jun

At sea - Athens, Greece to Gaeta, Italy
15 - 16 Jun

Gaeta, Italy
17 Jun

Local operations area with TG 60.1
25th Anniversary of USS LITTLE ROCK.
Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird arrives aboard by helo.
18 Jun

Gaeta, Italy
19 Jun

At sea - Valletta, Malta
20 - 26 Jun At Valletta, Malta for temporary repair to bow. (Photo)
26 - 27 Jun

At sea.
27 Jun

Arrive Gaeta, Italy with newly repaired bow. (See 13 Jun 70 above.)
27 Jun - 08 Jul

Gaeta, Italy
08 Jul

Weighed anchor and departed Gaeta for missile firing area west of Corsica.
09 Jul

Missile firing postponed because of bad weather and surface craft in the down-range area.
10 Jul

At sea - Arrived at Monaco Harbor.  Rendered and received 21 gun salute. Anchored out.
Fleet Landing was directly in front of Monte Carlo Casino and directly opposite from Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's motor-yacht "Kalizma".
11 - 14 Jul

At Monaco. 
Princess Grace and Prince Rainier visit LITTLE ROCK.
Prince Rainier opened the olympic pool and exotic gardens to the crew, free of charge.
Formal reception for 100 prominent citizens, including Jacques Cousteau on the forecastle.
14 July -  Some of LITTLE ROCK's crew joins in Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France.
15 Jul

Depart Monaco for Gaeta, Italy.
16 Jul

At sea.
17 - 28 Jul

Gaeta, Italy
29 Jul

Depart Gaeta for Valencia, Spain.
30 - 31 Jul
At sea
31 Jul

Arrive at Valencia, Spain in time for annual "Festival of Flowers".
Twelve (12) Midshipmen arrive by helo from USS Austin (LPD-4) for training cruise.
0l - 04 Aug

Valencia, Spain.
Crew visits Plaza de Toros to see three of the world's greatest bullfighter perform.
Matadors were "El Viti", "El Cordobes", and Julian Garcia.
05 - 07 Aug

At sea  - to Porto Scudo, Sardinia and Capo Teulado, Sardinia
08 Aug
Arrive Gaeta, Italy for last visit during this cruise.
16 Aug

Ship hosted an "Arrivederci" reception which was attend by nearly 400 guests of the officers and men of the LITTLE ROCK. Festivities included informal tours, an exchange of gifts with the Mayors of Gaeta and Formia, and a missile demonstration.
20 Aug

0800 hrs. USS Springfield CLG-7 arrives in Gaeta to relieve LITTLE ROCK as Flagship. A message was sent to Springfield saying, "It took three and one-half years to go full turn. Benvenuti a Gaeta."
0900 hrs tugs bring Springfield alongside LITTLE ROCK.
22 Aug

In port Gaeta, Italy
BM: Pasquale Guido
0201 hrs (Zulu)  Flag Com Guard shifted to U.S.S. Springfield CLG-7
1000 hrs (Z+1)  ComSixthFleet shifts his flag to U.S.S. Springfield. After 3 1/2 years LITTLE ROCK is relieved as US Navy's Sixth Fleet flagship.
Liberty Call. Last liberty in Gaeta for this cruise.
Plan of the Day indicates that alcoholic beverages will be accepted for transportation to CONUS between 1300 and 1400 hours by LTJG Woodard outside of compartment A-407-AE.
23 Aug

Transfer of ComSixthFleet is completed.
A flotilla of fishing boats, pleasure craft and tugboats jammed with Gaetaians embarked from city landing in the evening and circled Springfield and LITTLE ROCK with whistles sounding and flags and hands waving.
24 Aug

1100 LITTLE ROCK departs Gaeta with 26 wives and 10 children aboard.
The 300' homeward bound pennant was half the size "earned" by the LITTLE ROCK crew, however, a 600' pennant would have trailed in the ship's wake.
The Italian signal station hoisted "Good-bye".  U.S.S. LITTLE ROCK replied with "Ciao".
LITTLE ROCK signals with 10 toots of the ship's whistle when passing "Old Gaeta".
Vice Admiral Richardson transmitted "Well Done" to LITTLE ROCK.
25 - 26 Aug

At sea
27 Aug

0700  Arrive U.S. Naval Base, Rota, Spain (Picture) for refueling.
1700  Depart for CONUS (Newport, RI)
28 Aug - 03 Sep

At sea
04 Sep 1000 Arrive Newport RI.  First cruiser to be homeported in Newport.
06 Sep - 04 Oct

At Newport, RI (Pre-overhaul tender availability period.)
14 - 18 Sep

Insurv Inspection
21 - 22 Sep

Supply Dept. and Medical Dept. Inspections
 04 (06?) Oct Depart Newport, RI for US Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, VA to off load ammo.
07 - 09 Oct

Yorktown Naval Weapons Station
10 Oct

Norfolk, Virginia
11 Oct

At sea underway for Boston, MA for 6 month overhaul.
12 Oct 0830 USS LITTLE ROCK arrives in Boston, MA (Charlestown Navy Yard) (See Note 2.)
Oct - Nov

LITTLE ROCK in drydock at Charlestown Navy Yard (Boston, MA)
?? Dec - 31 Dec

LITTLE ROCK undergoing overhaul at South Boston Naval Annex (Boston, MA)
1970 Notes: (1)
There are some "reports" of a collision between LITTLE ROCK and a 'Turkish' destroyer about the same time. These appear to be erroneous reports of the same incident. The name of the Greek destroyer is Lonchi not Lonzhi or Longhi as sometimes reported.

(2) The Boston Navy Yard is on the Mystic River in Charlestown, MA.  Charlestown is just slightly northeast of downtown Boston.  The shipyard was originally called  Charlestown Navy Yard, later renamed Boston Navy Yard, and finally Boston Naval Shipyard in 1945.  Established in 1801, the shipyard was officially closed as an active naval installation on 01 Jul 1974, and the 30-acre property was transferred to the National Park Service.


01 Jan

At South Boston Naval Annex (Boston, MA) undergoing overhaul.
28 Mar

Undergoing inclining experiments. (Picture)
19 Apr Overhaul completed at Boston NSY. Returned to Fleet Readiness.
20 Apr

At sea - Newport, RI
21-27 Apr

Newport, RI
23 Apr CDR Joseph L. Dick reports aboard as Executive Officer
28 Apr

Newport, RI to Provincetown, MA
29 Apr

Provincetown, MA to Newport, RI
30 Apr - 04 May

Newport, RI
05 May

At sea - RFS / ISE Op Area
06 - 07 May

Newport, RI
08 May

At sea - Underway for US NWS, Yorktown, VA.
09 - 12 May
NWS Yorktown, VA
13 - 16 May

Norfolk, VA
17 May

At sea
18 - 26 May

At sea - Virginia Capes Op Area
27 May - 12 Jun

Newport, RI
11 Jun Capt. Gordon R. Nagler relieves Capt. Charles E. Little
12 Jun Depart Newport, RI for 10 week REFTRA and shakedown in Caribbean.
13 - 16 Jun
Underway for Caribbean.
17 - 30 Jun

Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico to Puerto Rico Op Area 7.
18 Jun

Talos missile firing goes awry with missile making a "u-turn" seconds after launch. Missile crashes into sea astern of LITTLE ROCK.
01 - 02 Jul

At sea operating in Southern Puerto Rico Op Area
02 Jul

Arrive at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
03 - 06 Jul At St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
07 - 09 Jul

Puerto Rico Op Area
10 - 12 Jul

San Juan, PR
13 - 16 Jul

At sea - Op Area W369D to Puerto Rico Op Area 7 & 8
17 - 20 Jul

Roosevelt Roads, PR
21 Jul

At sea - Op Area W329
22 Jul

At sea - Virgin Passage to Southern Area
23 Jul

N. Puerto Rico Op Area
24 - 26 Jul

Roosevelt Roads, PR to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
27 Jul - 13 Aug

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for Refresher Training.
Note: Training at Gitmo was typically conducted from 0500 to 1700 each day.
LITTLE ROCK receives a passing score on Battle Problem.
14 - 15 Aug

At sea Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Roosevelt Roads, PR
16 Aug

At Culebra Island, PR for shore bombardment training in company with USS Robert Wilson DD-847.
Conducted 12 exercises with the following scores: four 100's, seven high 90's, one 88.
Overall scores: 6" turret: 96.7,  5" mount  95.7.
ComAtlFltWeaps sends: "An outstanding performance. Seldom equaled on the Culebra Range."
COMCRUDESLANT RADM Weschler said “The impressive firing record by both the 5” and the 6” batteries denotes a craftsmanship of the highest order. Well done LITTLE ROCK.”
16 - 19 Aug

At sea - Underway for Newport, RI
20 Aug 0900 Arrive Newport, RI. Berth Pier 1, starboard side to for Habitability Renovation Program.
21 Aug - 21 Sep

Undergoing Habitability Renovations. "Hab Team" consisted of DCCS Claude Vincent,
SF2 Gary Sell, DC3 Bruce Pedrich, RM3 Joe Grieco, SN George McMahon, SA Jay Adams, SN Michael Donoghue and SN Dave Mitchell, plus other volunteers.
COMCRUDESLANT RADM Weschler said “The impressive firing record by both the 5” and the 6” batteries denotes a craftsmanship of the highest order. Well done Little Rock.”
On 20 Aug 71 LR returned to Newport RI and remained there in Tender Availability Status until 22 September 1971.
During this time, under the leadership of DCCS Claude Vincent, the “Hab Team” undertook
a ten phase renovation project which included:
     1.    Construct a walk-in Ship’s Store
     2.    Revamp the Soda Fountain
     3.    Renovate the Barber Shop
     4.    Convert the old Ship’s Store into a Smoke Shop.
     5.    Replace the old canvas bunks and space consuming lockers with 300 modular bunks
     6.    Remodel the small Mess Decks
     7.    Remodel the worn Mess Decks
     8.    Construct a Tailor Shop
     9.    Install a ship-wide Closed Circuit TV System
   10.    Remodel the Crew's Lounge
LITTLE ROCK Wives Club becomes "official". Officers are:
     President Jo Ann Robbins
     Vice-President Dawnne Benoit
     Secretary Carol Kathrein
     Treasurer Pat Jones.
Wives Club holds its first bake sale on 15 Sep. Profits will go towards Chapel refurbishment.
22 Sep

Depart Newport, RI for US Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, VA to load ammunition.
23 Sep At US NWS Yorktown, VA to load ammunition.
24 Sep

Move ship from NWS Yorktown to Norfolk, VA.
25 Sep

Depart Norfolk for Caribbean and Roosevelt Roads, PR.
26 Sep - 01 Oct

Underway for Caribbean for 4 week CNO Project C/S-68. 
LITTLE ROCK maneuvers to remain 250 miles from  Hurricane Ginger (100 mph winds).
LITTLE ROCK gets 14-16' seas in spite of traveling to avoid hurricane.
Ginger makes landfall at Morehead City, NC on 30 Sep.
02 - 07 Oct
Underway Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. Op Areas 7, 8, 9, 10 AFWR
08 - 11 Oct

At Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
13 - 21 Oct

At sea. Underway for NWS Yorktown, VA to load ammunition.
22 Oct

At NWS Yorktown, VA.
23 Oct

Underway NWS Yorktown, VA to Newport, RI.
24 Oct
Arrive Newport
25 Oct - 30 Nov


At Newport, RI
On 15 Nov USS LITTLE ROCK Wives Club held an on-board Bake Sale. Profits to go towards refurbishing the ship's Chapel. Wives Club President is Mrs. Jo Ann Robbins. (See Feb 72 below.)
LITTLE ROCK's CCTV system WCLG4 goes on line.
01 Dec Depart Newport RI for 5 month Med cruise in company with USS Harry E. Yarnell DDG-17.
02 Dec

Joined at sea by USS John F. Kennedy CVA-67, and COMDESRON TWO consisting of: USS Barney DD-711, USS Owens DD-827, and USS Leary DD-879.
09 Dec

Arrive at U.S. Naval Station, Rota, Spain for overnight layover.
10 - 16 Dec

INCHOP to Mediterranean.
At sea. Conducted operations with USS Springfield Flagship 6th Fleet (VADM Gerald E. Miller).
Note: On 14 Dec the crew of the USS Puget Sound AD-38 (at Newport, RI) gave a Christmas party for the children of LITTLE ROCK dependents. The event was video-taped and sent to the LITTLE ROCK.
17 Dec

Arrive at Naples, Italy
18 - 25 Dec

At Naples for Christmas.
Some of the crew visits Rome to hear Pope Paul VI say Mass.
Ship rigs "Med Lights".  Click HERE to see a picture of the LITTLE ROCK so rigged in Gaeta.)
26 - 28 Dec

At sea
29 - 30 Dec Malaga, Spain
31 Dec

At sea. New Year's Eve underway!


01 Jan

At sea - Russian helo hovers near LITTLE ROCK. Photo Ops!
05 Jan Underway in Mediterranean Sea. (Picture)
 12 - 17 Jan
Livorno, Italy
18 - 26 Jan

At sea. Operating with Task Group.
24 Jan

At sea. Talos missile shoot. Two missiles - two hits!
25 - 26 Jan

At sea. Operating with Task Group.
27 Jan - 04 Feb

Athens, Greece
??? Feb

FTG2 Dean Zaharis chosen as U.S.S. LITTLE ROCK "Sailor of the Month" for his work on the ship's radio station WCLG4.
05 - 11 Feb

At Sea
12 - 16 Feb

Trieste, Italy
17 Feb Three helicopters on the deck at the same time set LITTLE ROCK record.
18 - 23 Feb

At Sea
24 Feb - 08 Mar

Athens. LITTLE ROCK wives use two DC-9's to fly 500 dependents from NAS Oceana to Athens.
Athen's seven member "Orchestra Club" entertains crew and guests on fantail.
EW1 Robbins is transferred. In addition to losing a good shipmate, his wife Jo Ann Robbins will have to relinquish her position as President of the Wives Club.
09 - 13 Mar

At Sea
14 - 17 Mar
At Thessaloniki (also called "Thessalonica", or "Salonica"), Greece.
18  - 29 Mar

At Sea
30 Mar - 04 Apr

Athens, Greece.
EM1 Terrance Scribner departs for shore duty at Roosevelt Roads, PR.  EM1 Scribner is the sailor with the longest time on the LITTLE ROCK (from Apr 66 to 01 Apr 72).
05 - 14 Apr

At Sea
10 Apr received recall notice to return to CONUS to assume duties as flagship ComSecondFleet.
Recall necessitates cancelling planned visits to: Gaeta, Genoa, Villefranche and Barcelona.
15 Apr

U.S. Naval Station. Rota, Spain.
16  - 22 Apr

At sea. Underway for Norfolk, VA.
Heavy weather experienced at sea. (No hurricanes or tropical storms are recorded for Apr 72.)
22 - 23 Apr

At Norfolk, VA to relieve USS Newport News CA-148  as Flagship of COMSECONDFLEET (Vice Admiral Vincent P. de Poix). USS Newport News to deploy to Vietnam for gunline duty.
24 Apr

Depart for Newport, RI.
25 Apr - 02 May

Newport, RI.
03 - 15 May

Norfolk, VA
16 - 25 May

At Sea
26 May - 21 Jun

Newport, RI.
22 Jun

Underway for New York City, NY
22 - 26 Jun

Port call New York City. Tied up on Manhattan West Side.
Future USS LITTLE ROCK sailor Bob Mengelli GM3 (1976) visits as a Sea Scout.
The Prudential Insurance Co. presents USS LITTLE ROCK with a "Now you 'Own a Piece of the Rock'" pennant.
27 Jun - 21 Jul

Norfolk, VA
22 Jul - 10 Aug

Newport, RI.
27 Jul Capt. Robert E. Morris relieves Capt. Gordon P. Nagler at Norfolk, VA.
Ship's Company is inspected by RADM Thomas R. Weschler ComCruDesForce Atlantc Fleet.
11 - 24 Aug

Norfolk, VA
Aug 24

Depart Norfolk, VA for North Atlantic as Flagship for ComSecFlt (VADM Douglas C. Plate).
Aug 30

US Sixth Fleet Singers depart Naples for Munich, Germany to perform at Munich Olympics.
01 - 03 Sep
Liverpool, England
04 Sep

At sea
05 - 07 Sep

Cherbourg, France
05 Sep

Israeli olympians are taken hostage at Munich Olympics. Eleven olympians die in the ensuing battle.
08 Sep

09 - 11 Sep

Rotterdam (Amsterdam), Netherlands

Dutch newspapers ran the following regarding the LITTLE ROCK's arrival....

Fleet Visit

From Saturday to Tuesday, 9 September to 12 Seprember, the U.S. light-guided missile
cruiser USS Little Rock will visit the port of Rotterdam.

The ship will dock at the Lekhaven and Sunday will be open to the public up to five hours.
Monday the ship's chapel (choir?) will give a lunchtime concert at the Town Hall.

12  - 13 Sep

Participating in NATO exercise "Strong Express" (Norwegian Sea north of Norway and above the Arctic Circle), the largest NATO exercise ever held.
Other ships include USS John F. Kennedy, USS Intrepid and HMS Ark Royal.
14 Sep

Crossed Arctic Circle at 7° 49' East Longitude.  All CLG4 crew members on board at this date qualify for Blue Nose Certificate. (Above info furnished by IC2 Bob P. Jones 1971-72)
15 - 30 Sep

Participating in NATO exercise "Strong Express".
 01 - 04 Oct

Rosyth (Edinburgh), Scotland
05 Oct

At sea
06 - 08 Oct

Bergen, Norway
09 Oct

10 - 12 Oct

Hamburg, Germany via Rhine River
LITTLE ROCK hit a sandbar with damage to sonar dome (later removed). 
Greeted by loud anti-American protesters.  (As soon as the TV cameras left it was quiet.)
13 - 15 Oct

At Sea.
16 - 19 Oct

Lisbon, Portugal
20 - 25 Oct

At sea. Underway for Norfolk, VA.
26 - 31 Oct

Norfolk, VA
01 Nov - 07 Dec

Newport, RI
07 - 31 Dec

USS LITTLE ROCK at Charlestown Navy Yard (Boston, MA)
11 Dec At Boston Naval Shipyard undergoing inclining experiments. (Picture)
31 Dec

New Year's in Boston!


01 Jan - 14 May

USS LITTLE ROCK at Charlestown Navy Yard (Boston, MA) undergoing conversion from heavy fuel oil to light fuel oil, referred to as Diesel Fuel Marine or DFM.
According to the July 1973 issue of "All Hands" in late January the new"Sea Breeze Club" opened in Gaeta.
The same issue of "All Hands" reported that in mid February a Navy Exchange was opened in Gaeta.
?? Mar

Cdr. Roger O. Simon reports onboard as new XO.  (See RADM R.O. Simon's "Oral History")
15 May

Underway from Boston to Newport, RI.
15 May - 11 Aug

At Newport, RI. for work on fuel tanks.
?? Jul

MUC Robert Sisson conducts auditions for singers.... (1) soprano, (5) altos, (3) tenors and (5) basses are needed.
24 Jul
Capt. Peter K. Cullins relieves Capt. Robert E. Morris at Newport, RI
11 Aug

Underway for NWS Yorktown, VA.
12-13(?) Aug

NWS Yorktown, VA for ammo load-out.
14 Aug

At Norfolk VA to embark FltTraGrp training team from Gitmo. (Note: LITTLE ROCK did not go to Gitmo, but was headed directly to the Med.)
15 Aug

LITTLE ROCK departs Norfolk, VA for 3-year Mediterranean deployment with a crew of about 800, short of normal personnel allowance of 915.
LITTLE ROCK embarks 30 +/- pet dogs and cats heading for their new home in Gaeta in addition to the ship's crew.
17 Aug

Chaplain Donald C. LeMaster along with LITTLE ROCK crew and LITTLE ROCK Marines perform a burial at sea, with full military honors for Petty Officer First Class (Retired) Paul Howard HOLLENBECK, a 20 year Navy veteran. (Ed Sapp, BMSN 73-75 recalls "...I stood watch over the coffin by the missile launcher.")
26 Aug At U.S. Naval Station, Rota, Spain for refueling and to disembark FltTraGrp.
27 Aug (?)

LITTLE ROCK passed into the Straits of Gibraltar and receives the usual “What Ship” visual signal from the British.  Capt. Cullins replies “What Rock?”.
29 Aug

LITTLE ROCK arrives in Gaeta, Italy and berths at NATO fuel pier (Photos) outboard of USS SPRINGFIELD CLG-7 in preparation to assume her role as U.S. Sixth Fleet Flagship.
LITTLE ROCK receives about 150 personel from SPRINGFIELD and transfers about 75 personnel to SPRINGFIELD.
01 Sep
LITTLE ROCK relieves SPRINGFIELD as Flagship of U.S. Sixth Fleet and subsequently moves to an anchorage in Gaeta Harbor.
11 Sep Underway from Gaeta, Italy to Athens, Greece.
12-13 Sep
At Sea
14 Sep

Arrive Athens, Greece.
Captain's gig runs aground on uncharted concrete block in the harbor.
15 - 17 Sep Athens, Greece
18 Sep

Underway Athens to Antalya, Turkey.
18 - ?? Sep Antalya, Turkey
20 -30 Sep Participating in NATO exercise "Deep Furrow 73".
01 - 05 Oct

Istanbul, Turkey
05 Oct

Depart Istanbul
06 Oct

1973 Arab-Israeli (Yom Kippur) War begins. (See Note 3.)
LITTLE ROCK underway to join TF 60 in the Eastern Mediterranean.
USS LITTLE ROCK receives message for emergency sortie and to take station off Crete and stand by for evacuation of British nationals.
06 Oct - 07 Oct

At sea.
08 - 13 Oct LITTLE ROCK joins Task Force 60 and USS Independence
14 Oct - 05 Nov

Arab-Israeli War ends on 26 Oct .
06 - 07 Nov Gaeta, Italy (2 days)
08 - 16 Nov

At Sea.
USS LITTLE ROCK and other Sixth Fleet ships are harassed by Soviet naval vessels maneuvering close by. (Picture)
08 Nov

Racial tensions aboard USS LITTLE ROCK resulted in fighting among the crew. Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News Feb 13, 1974 reported that racial tension broke out on board LITTLE ROCK on November 8 and that blacks involved in the incident said a fair trial was impossible to get. The Navy declined comment. (See Notes 5 and 6 below.)
09 Nov

At 1500 three personnel considered to be the principal focal points of tension on board LITTLE ROCK, were transferred by helo to NSA Naples.
10 Nov

Six (seven?) more suspects transferred by helo to NSA Naples.
18 Nov

LITTLE ROCK returns to Gaeta, Italy.
18 Nov - 05 Dec
In port Gaeta, Italy
28 Nov

Italian government announces strict energy conservation measures, including a ban on driving on Sundays and Italian holidays. Gasoline rationing is reduced by 50%.
05 - 09 Dec Tunis, Tunisia.  First American ship to visit an Arab port since the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.
10 Dec

Depart Tunis for Gaeta, Italy.
Date uncertain

First U.S. military fiber optic telephone link is installed on the LITTLE ROCK.
(See Note 4.)
11 - 31 Dec

Gaeta, Italy
31 Dec

New Year's in Gaeta!


Date shown for ports generally indicate arrival date.

Port stays are typically 3-5 days.

The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War, also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to October 26, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria. The war began with a surprise joint attack by Egypt and Syria on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Egypt and Syria crossed the cease-fire lines in the Sinai and Golan Heights, respectively, which had been captured by Israel in 1967 during the Six-Day War.

The Egyptians and Syrians advanced during the first 24-48 hours, after which momentum began to swing in Israel's favor. By the second week of the war, the Syrians had been pushed entirely out of the Golan Heights. In the Sinai to the south, the Israelis struck at the "seam" between two invading Egyptian armies, crossed the Suez Canal (where the old ceasefire line had been), and cut off the Egyptian Third Army just as a United Nations cease-fire came into effect.  
(Extracted from Wikipedia).

RADM Simon relates: "
They called it the Arab-Israeli conflict of October of 1973. That spawned, and I’m quoting now from the military magazine Sea Power that said, “This conflict spawned the most severe naval crisis of the Cold War.”  The Soviet leader, Brezhnev, threatened to enforce a ceasefire with unilateral intentions.

The Soviet Union had eighty ships available, including fifty-seven combatants capable of launching at least forty cruise missiles in the first salvo.  Admiral Joe Moorer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “We would lose our ass in the Eastern Mediterranean if war broke out there.” Initially, there were forty-eight American warships against fifty-seven Soviet vessels. The American fleet consisted of the USS LITTLE ROCK, located south of Crete; four attack subs; Task Force 60, consisting of the carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt and its DD escorts; Task Force 61, with the Independence and its DDs; against the Soviet force of the Fifth Escadra, including thirteen submarines, several missile-equipped cruisers, destroyers, LSDs, minesweepers, and regular destroyers.

The Kremlin sent word to the White House that said, “Interfering with the Fifth Escadra would be met with full force”.  Soviet anti-carrier groups had been targeting the FDR, the Independence, and the LITTLE ROCK, and our amphibious task group was also under targeting.  Our DOD ordered a DEFCON Three. On October 26 the Soviets launched an intensive anti-carrier exercise using each American task group as a virtual missile target."

RADM Simon continues...."By 3 November the Soviet force consisted of ninety-five ships capable of launching eighty-eight cruise missiles in a first salvo,  approximately thirteen at each of the task groups. We now had sixty ships, including the carrier Kennedy that had just checked in. Admiral Murphy stated: “The two fleets are sitting on a pond in close proximity and the stage was now set for a war at sea.” On February 19 a Soviet official briefing on anti-carrier operations stated that the battle would be encapsulated as a ’battle of the first salvo’, meaning all Soviet ships would fire all their weapons on the order to shoot.

On 30 October, Washington authorized our carrier groups to finally leave the area and head west. Our battle groups had been very vulnerable this entire period within range of missile attacks because they had been denied freedom of maneuver by Washington. The Soviets prepared to land troops on the eastern bank of the Suez Canal. By now,  3 November, they had ninety-five ships and we had sixty."

Various sources refer to the installation of a small fiber optic link telephone system aboard the LITTLE ROCK. It would seem from the data we've accumulated that the system (a) may have been installed as early as 1973, (b) that it may have been limited to 6 stations (phones),  (c) that it was installed to verify the limited susceptibility to electro-magnetic interference from other equipment, or (d) it provided "secure" communications between the stations. There are also references to a Mr. Don Williams of the Naval Electronics Laboratory Center (NELC) in San Diego as the person heading up this project.

On Aug 10, 1974 the Washington Post reported in part "....The civilian court overseeing the military justice system blocked the courts-martial yesterday of 10 black sailors charged with rioting Nov. 8, 1973, aboard the USS LITTLE ROCK, flagship of the Mediterranean 6th Fleet."

For a more detailed description of the racial incidents on board LITTLE ROCK, refer to Captain Cullins' Oral History.

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