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


Page last updated: 10 May 2015



1966 - 1973

1966     1967     1968     1969     1970     1971     1972     1973




1966

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.
18 Jan - 27 Sep
-
At Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
01 Feb
-
Rating Exam for E4 personnel.
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?"
08 Mar - 27 Sep

-
Events are being researched.
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.


1967

16 (??) Jan
-
USS 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.
29 Jan

-
Underway
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 USS Massey and USS Davis rendezvous with USS Liberty.


1205 LITTLE ROCK detached from TG 60.1 close with USS Liberty.


1340 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
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. (Picture)
13 - 26 Nov
-
Naples, Italy
27 - 30 Nov
-
Taranto, Italy
01 - 24 Dec
-
???
25 Dec
-
Christmas in Gaeta


1968

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. 


-
Other dignitaries on board included: Admiral John S. McCain and General D.A. Burchinal, USAF.


-
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.
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
17 - 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


1969

01 - 03 Jan
-
At Gaeta, Italy.
04 Jan
-
At sea


-
Arrive 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, as well as 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.


2000 ANCHORED AS BEFORE.


2036 PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF MONACO ARRIVED FOR FORMAL DINNER PARTY.


-
COMSIXTHFLT ARRIVED.  COMMANDING OFFICER ARRIVED.


2255 PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF MONACO DEPARTED.


-
COMSIXTHFLT DEPARTED.  COMMANDING OFFICER DEPARTED.
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 - 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
30 Aug -
General Recall Bill is put in effect with plans to get underway at 2000 hrs

-
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.

-
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. 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.
04 Nov -
At sea - Operations Eastern Mediterranean to NW Crete

-
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 1400 Bob Hope USO Tour perform 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


1970

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 Genoa.
13 Jan -
Depart Villefranche


Under-Secretary of the Navy John W. Warner aboard for transit to Genoa.

-
Arrive Genoa, Italy.
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 the "Tall Lady" USS Columbus CG-12 .
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 spends 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
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 offers 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 Jul

-
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  - underway to Porto Scudo, Sardinia and to 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
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
Tugs bring Springfield alongside LITTLE ROCK.
22 Aug
-
In port Gaeta, Italy.  CDO: LCDR Cohen, BM: Pasquale Guido


0201 Flag Com Guard shifted to U.S.S. Springfield CLG-7


1000 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.


1971

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 - Arrive 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.


-
Ship open for visitors. Some 2000 people visit LITTLE ROCK.
13 - 16 Jul
-
At sea - Op Area W369D to Puerto Rico Op Areas 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 Jul

Underway from Roosevelt Roads, PR to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
25 Jul

Arrive 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 received a passing score on Battle Problem.
03 Aug
0630 E-4 Examinations


1100 Underway


1850 Anchor - Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
04 Aug

0930 Underway


-
Hi-Line and Gunfire Support Exercises


1730 Return to port
05 Aug

-
E-5 Exams


1210 Underway


-
Refueling exercise with USS Furer DEG 6


1830 Return to port
06 Aug

0630 Underway


1030 Conduct  DC and Engineering Drills, followed by AA Acquisition and Tracking Drills


1800 Return to port. Moor portside to Pier V or B
12 Aug
-
QMSN Roy C. Weaver is is appointed "Qualified Steersman".
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.


-
Depart Culebra Island
17 - 19 Aug

At sea - Underway for Newport, RI
20 Aug
0900 Arrive Newport, RI, berth at 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.


-
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.
15 Sep
-
Wives Club holds its first bake sale. Profits 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, RI
25 Oct - 30 Nov
-
At Newport, RI


-
On 15 Nov USS LITTLE ROCK Wives Club held an on-board Bake Sale. Profits go towards refurbishing the ship's Chapel. (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 DLG-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 Dec
-
INCHOP to Mediterranean.
10 - 16 Dec
-
At sea. Conducted operations with USS Springfield Flagship 6th Fleet (VADM Gerald E. Miller).
14 Dec

-
Note: 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!


1972

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.
?? Feb
-
At anchor, Augusta Bay.
?? Feb
-
LITTLE ROCK sponsors Motor Whale Boat Race. Each boat skippered by Supply Officer, and crewed by Supply Department personnel. LITTLE ROCK places third out of nine boats.
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 Apr
-
Arrive Norfolk, VA.
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.
15 Jun
-
Enlisted Wives Club, under the direction of Mrs. Mary Higgins hold a Bake Sale.
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
01 Sep
-
Roy C. Weaver, QM3 qualifies as a "steersman" and is appointed "Master Helmsman".
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
-
LITTLE ROCK at sea
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
-
Underway
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!


1973

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.


-
The July 1973 issue of "All Hands" reported that in late January the new"Sea Breeze Club" opened in Gaeta, Italy.


-
The same issue of "All Hands" reported that in mid-February a Navy Exchange was opened in Gaeta.
?? Jan
-
LITTLE ROCK sailor  PO1 Guadalupe Gaitan is selcted Newport Saior of the Year.
20 Feb -
"All Hands" meeting for crew and wives at Personnel Development Center, Bldg. 80, Newport Naval Base to discuss upcoming deployment to Gaeta, Italy (new Home Port).
?? 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 20 year Navy veteran Petty Officer First Class (Retired) Paul Howard HOLLENBECK. (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 sends “What Rock?” in reply.
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 -
Underway
26 Oct -
Arab-Israeli War ends.
27 Oct -
At sea. Duty Section IV.


-
First Aid Training for: 2nd, L, Boats, SF2, and S1 Divisions.
06 - 07 Nov
-
Gaeta, Italy for 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 (1973) 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
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
23 Nov

Italian government announces strict energy conservation measures, including a ban on driving on Sundays and Italian holidays. Gasoline rationing is reduced by 50%. US Navy cooperates with thiseffort completely.
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!



Notes:



1.

Date shown for ports generally indicate arrival date.

2.
Port stays are typically 3-5 days.

3.
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."

4.
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.

5.
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."

6.
For a more detailed description of the racial incidents on board LITTLE ROCK, refer to Captain Cullins' Oral History.

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