Mobile Amphibious Squadron Established.
A new highly mobile amphibious squadron has been
established as part of the Atlantic Fleet’s Amphibious Force.
Spearheading the squadron, designated Amphibious Squadron
10, is the carrier USS Boxer (CVS‐21). Although an ASW
support carrier, Boxer will function as an amphibious assault
ship while serving with PhibRon 10.
In addition to Boxer, PhibRon 10 will have four high‐speed
dock landing ships, all of which have helicopter landing
platforms. Reassigned from the four existing amphibious
squadrons, these ships are USS Hermitage (LSD‐34), Fort Snelling (LSD‐30), Plymouth Rock (LSD‐
29) and Spiegel Grove (LSD‐32).
Creation of the new squadron will give the Amphibious Force a fast highly mobile squadron
capable of putting into operation the fast landing force concept and the technique of vertical
Establishment of PhibRon 10 doesn’t change the major command structure of the Amphibious
Force. But other organizational changes took place at the same time. These involved the
disestablishment of seven commands and the reassignment of several ships. They include the
o Disestablishment of Landing Ship Flotilla 2, composed of LST Squadrons 2 and 4,
LCU Squadron 2, and LCU Divisions 21, 22, and 23.
o Reassignment of the Flotilla’s 14 LST‐type ships to the other four Amphibious
Squadrons and transfer of the six LCUs to Boat Unit 2.
o Changes in titles and designations from Commander Amphibious Squadrons and
Commander Transport Amphibious Squadron 2, 4, 6 and 8 to Commander
Amphibious Squadron 2, 4, 6 and 8.
o Shifting of USS Krishna (ARL‐38) and Kleinsmith (APD 134) from disestablished
Landing Ship Flotilla to Commander Amphibious Squadrons.
o Transfer of USS Rankin (AKA 103) from Amphibious Squadron 8 to Amphibious
Squadron 4. AH January 1959
Over One Thousand Selected for Master and Senior Chief
In January 1959, over 1000 Chief Petty Officers had been selected for
advancement to the new pay grades of E8 and E9. 1073 CPOs were
advanced to Senior Chief Petty Officer and Master Chief Petty Officer.
149 master chiefs and 924 senior chiefs were selected.
The Aviation Machinist’s Mate rate had the most advanced with eight
selected for E9 and sixty‐one for E8. Five women were advanced to
senior chief—two for yeoman and one each for storekeeper, personnel
man, and aerographer. There were no female selections for E9.
The selections were made after each chief passed a written advancement test and had their
service record screened by a selection board.
Number Selected Number Selected
Rating E8 E9 Rating E8 E9
Aerographer’s Mate (AG) 6 1 Interior Communications Technician (IC) 13 2
Air Controlman (AC) 9 1 Journalist (JO) 2 1
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (AB) 9 1 Lithographer (LI) 1 1
Aviation Electrician’s Mate (AE) 21 3 Machine Accountant (MA) 3 1
Aviation Electronics Technician (AT) 39 5 Machinery Repairman (MR) 7 1
Aviation Fire Control Technician (AQ) 5 1 Machinist’s Mate (MM) 47 7
Aviation Guided Missileman (GF) 2 1 Mineman (MN) 2 1
Aviation Machinist’s Mate (AD) 61 8 Molder (ML) 1 1
Aviation Ordnanceman (AO) 15 2 Musician (MU) 4 1
Aviation Storekeeper (AK) 8 1 Nuclear Weapons Man (NW) 3 1
Aviation Structural Mechanic (AM) 34 5 Opticalman (OM) 1 1
Boatswain’s Mate (BM) 40 7 Parachute Rigger (PR) 4 1
Boilermaker (BR) 3 0 Patternmaker (PM) 1 1
Boilerman (BT) 28 4 Personnel Man (PN) 15 2
Builder (BU) 5 1 Photographer’s Mate (PH) 7 1
Commissaryman (CS) 32 4 Photographic Intelligenceman (PT) 1 1
Communications Technician (CT) 15 2 Quartermaster (QM) 14 2
Construction Electrician (CE) 3 1 Radarman (RD) 23 4
Construction Mechanic (CM) 3 1 Radioman (RM) 47 8
Damage Controlman (DC) 10 1 Shipfitter (SF) 22 3
Dental Technician (DT) 6 1 Ship’s Serviceman (SH) 14 3
Disbursing clerk (DK) 6 1 Signalman (SM) 13 2
Draftsman (DM) 2 1 Sonarman (SO) 13 2
Electrician’s Mate (EM) 38 6 Steel Worker (SW) 1 1
Electronics Technician (ET) 30 4 Steward (SD) 16 2
Engineman (EN) 37 5 Storekeeper (SK) 27 4
Equipment Operator (EO) 5 1 Surveyor (SV) 1 1
Fire Control Technician (FT) 16 2 Torpedoman’s Mate (TM) 12 2
Guided Missileman (GS) 2 1 Tradevman (TD) 5 1
Gunner’s Mate (GM) 26 4 Utilities Man (UT) 2 1
Hospital Corpsman (HM) 42 6 Yeoman (YN) 42 6
Instrumentman (IM) 0 1
The first selections for Senior and Master Chief Petty Officer
Short Sleeve Shirts Approved for Enlisted Men E‐6 and Below
A change to Navy Uniform Regulations in spring of 1959 authorized enlisted men
below chief petty officer to wear a white cotton short‐sleeve shirt in lieu of a
white jumper. The change also allowed enlisted men to wear short‐sleeve
dungaree (chambray) shirts.
The new enlisted tropical white long uniform included of a white hat, a short
sleeve shirt with rating badge (or group rate mark for non rated men), undress
white trousers with a white web belt with brass buckle and black shoes with black
Enlisted men were also authorized to modify chambray shirts by cutting and
hemming the sleeves to measure 9 inches from shoulder seam to lower hem.
This change formally approved a process that had been going on in the fleet for
years. It was not uncommon to see Sailors that worked in the engine room or that served in
tropical environments to have “converted” short sleeve chambray shirts.
Three uniform changes, affecting chiefs, Waves and officers, have been approved by the
Secretary of the Navy.
Male CPOs will be wearing metal rank insignia on their shirt collars by 1 July. The devices will be
worn on both shirt collar points of the khaki, tropical white, tropical khaki, and blue flannel
The collar device is a miniature of the CPO garrison cap device which is to be the size which
could be fitted into a 15/16 –inch circle. It will not be issued by the Navy and will not be stocked
in the Navy Supply System. But it will be available at the Navy Exchanges in the near future.
Cost will be nominal.
Also adopted is a new women’s summer uniform for wear by officers and enlisted personnel. It
will be made of a light blue and white striped, corded dacron/cotton fabric consisting of a shirt
and short‐sleeve jacket with a garrison cap and hat cover to match.
The present day gray seersucker dress will be discontinued when sufficient quantities of the
new uniform become available.
The third change eliminates tan gloves for wear by officers with the Service Dress Khaki
uniform. AH May 1959
New Work Shoe Adopted
The Navy has adopted a new water, oil, and wear resistant utility for Fleet‐wide use.
Know as the Fleet Shoe, the new item was developed by the Clothing and Textile Division of the
Naval supply Research and Development facility at Brooklyn, N.Y., with the cooperation of the
National Bureau of Standards as well as leather, shoe and allied chemical industries. It is
expected to replace the standard high‐topped General Purpose Shoe, the flesh‐out
“boondocker” of CB shoe and the Flight Deck Shoe.
The ankle‐high “chukka” style footgear has silicone‐treated upper leather that takes a brilliant
shine. Non‐marking heel and soles, made of specially compounded synthetic rubber, are highly
resistant to abrasion—even on the sanded flight decks of the newest aircraft carriers….AH July
School for CPOs Studies Problems of Leadership
The first class of 60 top CPOs form the Naval Air Training Command started classes earlier this
year at CNATRA’s newly formed Chief Petty Officer Leadership School at Pensacola, Fla.
The school, which trains Chiefs in both theoretical and practical phases of positive leadership,
will serve the entire Naval Air Training Command. It is administered by the Chief of Naval air
Technical Training, Memphis, Tenn., and logistic support is furnished by NAS Pensacola, Fla.
CDR Robert L. Ashcraft, USN, who graduated from Navy flight training in 1942, is the Officer‐in‐
S.P. Gray, BUCS, USN, is the school’s leading chief and senior instructor. Gray’s world‐wide
duties have often found him acting a construction officer on independent duty.
School administrative work rests with R.F. Watson, ADC, USN. In 1958 he won the Pensacola
Navy League Council’s Leadership Award.
Test Evaluation is the task of W.M. Opava, ADC, USN, holder of the Commandant’s Award for
performance of duty at the Barksdale Air Force NCO Academy.
Other instructors assigned to the Navy school are R.G. Growe, PHC, USN; R.J. Frazier, AEC, USN;
R.A. Breed, AEC, USN; and John S. Rogers, RMC (SS), USN.
Student instruction includes military law, moral leadership, supervision and management,
communicative skills and public speaking, world affairs, and physical training. Formal
instruction by the staff is supplemented by military and civilian guest speakers. AH August 1959
USS Providence Back in the Fleet as CL‐6
USS Providence, the former CL‐82, is now back in commission as a
guided missile light cruiser. She returned to active duty, as CLG‐6 in
ceremonies at the Boston Naval Shipyard, Charlestown, Mass.
The present Providence, third ship of the Fleet to be the name, was built
at Quincy, Mass., in 1944. She saw active service from 1945 to 1949, at
which time she was assigned to the Reserve Fleet. Conversion of the
15,000‐ton cruiser began in June 1957, and sea trials were completed on 20 June 1959.
Providence is armed with Terrier, a supersonic antiaircraft weapon capable of intercepting
enemy aircraft under all weather condition. Other armament includes one 6‐inch turret and on
5‐inch mount. The Terrier launcher was installed in February of this year (1959).
The launching system carries the “birds” in a fully ready position in below‐deck magazines. In
operation, the missiles are automatically selected and loaded onto the launcher, pointed in the
direction called for by the fire control system and launched at an exact pre‐ computed instant
to hit their target at the most desirable range.
Providence has a crew of about 70 officers and 1000 Bluejackets. AH August 1959
George Washington Launched
The first of nine fleet ballistic missile submarines that have been
authorized to date was launched in June. This nuclear‐powered, Polaris‐
missile launcher has been designated SSB(N) 598 and has been named
USS George Washington.
She is 380 feet long and displaces about 5400 tons light and 6700
George Washington has 16 vertical tubes for firing the solid‐fueled 1500‐
mile Polaris missiles from the ocean depths or on the surface. She is also
fitted with a conventional torpedo‐firing system for attacking surface
ships or enemy submarines. This ballistic missile sub will also be
equipped with SINS (Ships Inertial Navigation System).
George Washington is scheduled to be commissioned in December and will become operational
in 1960, when the solid‐propellant, inertially‐guided Polaris is also scheduled to become
operational. AH August 1959
USS Kiowa ATF‐72 Recovers Space Monkeys
On 29 May 1959, USS Kiowa ATF‐72 recovered the Space
Monkeys, Able and Baker, after their 1500 mile journey through
space in the nose‐cone of a Jupiter missile. The monkeys were
part of an experiment investigating the effects of manned space
flight. It was also the beginning of the Navy’s support in
recovering spacecraft for NASA.
USS Kiowa AT‐72 was commissioned in June 1943 and operated
in the Atlantic Theater of Operations during WWII. Kiowa was
present during the D‐Day Invasion at Normandy escorting LSTs to the beach. She also rescued
crew members of the USS Glennon DD‐840 which was damaged and had run aground off the
invasion beaches. AH September 1959
Twenty Ships for OPTEVFOR
The Navy established an Operational and Test Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR) to
centralize and strengthen the Navy’s research and development program. Rear
Admiral William D. Irwin, USN, was named to lead the new organization.
OPTEVFOR mission was to coordinate all test and evaluation projects and to
have operational control over twenty experimental ships including USS Norton
Sound AVM‐1, USS Sarsfield EDD‐837 and USS Bays AGSS‐318. Four air
development squadrons located in the Atlantic and Pacific were also part of OPTEVFOR. AH
U.S. Fleet visits Great Lakes for First Time in 142 Years
In June 1959, Operation Inland Seas got underway. Task Force 47
under the command of RADM Edmund B. Taylor, Commander
Destroyer Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, became the first U.S. armed
fleet to enter the Great Lakes in 142 years. Task 47 was comprised
of ten thousand navy men including 7500 Sailors, 1000 midshipmen,
and 1500 marines. Task Force 47 operated with ships from Canada
and Great Britain.
The Task Force transited to the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence
Seaway which was formally opened by President Eisenhower and
Queen Elizabeth II on 26 June 1959. The presence of a U.S. armed
Fleet in the Great Lakes was the first since the Rush‐Bagot Agreement of 1817 was signed
between the United States and Canada. The agreement provided for the demilitarization of the
Task 47 consisted of twenty‐eight ships which included the USS Macon CA‐132, USS Willis A.
Lee DL‐ 4, USS Sablefish SS‐303, USS Corsair SS‐435, USS Torsk SS‐423, and USS Quillback SS‐
The amphibious group consisted of seven ships –USS Donner LSD‐20, USS San Marcos LSD‐25,
USS Cambria APA‐36, USS Oglethorpe AKA‐100, USS Kleinsmith APD‐134, USS Terrebonne
Parish LST‐1156, and USS Suffolk County LST‐1173.
The destroyer force was made up of ships from DESRON10 and DESRON 22, including their
flagships USS Forrest Sherman DD‐931, USS DuPont DD‐941. The other thirteen destroyers were
USS Haynsworth DD‐700, USS Henley DD‐762, USS Ault DD‐698, USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. DD‐
850, USS Willard Keith DD‐775, USS Putnam DD‐757, USS Charles H. Roan DD‐853, USS Samuel
B. Roberts DD‐823, USS Forrest Royal DD‐872, USS Waldron DD‐699, USS Charles R. Ware DD‐
865, USS Warrington DD‐843, USS John W. Weeks DD‐701.
During Operation Inland Seas ships of Task 47 made port calls in many U.S cities that had never
hosted a U.S. Navy ship. The operation ended in August 1959 when the last ships of Task 47
transited the St. Lawrence Seaway to the open Atlantic Ocean. AH September 1959
FADM William D. Leahy, USN (1875‐1959)
Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN died on 20 July 1959 at Bethesda
Naval Hospital. He was born in Hampton, Iowa on May 6, 1875. FADM
Leahy was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1897. He served
in the Spanish American War aboard USS Oregon. He later served in
World War I and World War II. In January 1937, Leahy became Chief of
He retired from active duty in August 1939 and became Governor of
Puerto Rico from September 1939 through August 1940. In August 1940,
after the fall of France, he became U.S. Ambassador to Vichy France.
In July 1942, Leahy was recalled to active duty as Chief of Staff to the Commander and Chief of
the Army and Navy—the President of the United States. In December 1944, he became the first
Fleet Admiral in the U.S. Navy as well as the first person to hold five‐star rank in the U.S. Armed
Forces. Leahy remained in his post, serving two Presidents, until he resigned in 1949. He
remained on active duty until he died in 1959 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
FADM William F. Halsey, Jr., USN (1882‐1959)
FADM Halsey died on August 18, 1959. William Frederick Halsey, Jr., was
born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on 30 October 1882, the son of Captain
William F. Halsey, USN. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1904
and spent his early service years in battleships and torpedo craft. During
World War I he commanded USS Shaw DD‐68. Between world wars, he
served as Naval Attaché to Germany and commanded destroyers and
destroyer squadrons. He earned aviator wings at the age of 52 and then
commanded the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. Halsey spent World War II in
the Pacific and led Fleets and Task Forces in nearly every campaign. Halsey was promoted to
Fleet Admiral in December 1945. He retired in 1947 and died on 20 August 1959.
Navy’s Own Flag
After 184 years without one, the Navy has adopted a flag of its own.
By Executive Order, President Eisenhower earlier this year approved
the flat’s design, which was submitted by the secretary of the Navy.
The order describes the flag as: “Of dark blue material, with yellow
fringe, two‐and‐one‐half inches wide, in the center . . . is a device
three feet on in over‐all, consisting of the inner pictorial portion of the
seal of the Department of the Navy, in its proper colors within a
circular yellow rope edging, all two‐feet‐five‐inches in diameter above a yellow scroll inscribed
‘United States Navy’ in dark blue letters.” The flag’s over‐all dimensions are four‐feet‐six‐inches
fly. Before the new flag was adopted the only banner flown by the Navy during ceremonial
parade and display occasions was the U.S. Infantry Flag (the blue battalion flag used to denote
infantry units in landing forces). It was frequently used with the organizational flag of the
Marine Corps. The new flag of the Navy will now take its place alongside the flags of the Army,
Air Force and Marine Corps. AH October 1959
Chow 21 Hours a Day on USS Shangri La CVA‐38
A new system of feeding the crew aboard the aircraft carrier USS
Shangri La was implemented in 1959. The new system was designed to
save the ship 315 man days each day by eliminating chow lines for the
over 2500 men assigned to the ship. Prior the change, chow was
served for six hours a day—2 hours for each meal. The average wait
time in a chow line for enlisted men was one hour. The new system
improved the quality of the food. Smaller quantities of food could be
prepared that allowed cooks to better control the quality of the food.
Bakery products were fresher since they were baked more often
during the day. Drinking cups had time to cool down eliminating the
need for ice. AH November 1959
Biggest Blimp Yet
Airship Airborne Early Warning Squadron One (ZW‐1) based
at NAS Lakehurst, N.J., is carrying out some of its AEW
detection and tracking missions these days in the biggest
blimp ever built.
First airship designed strictly for AEW duties, the ZPG‐3W is
403 feet long, 118 feet high, and contains one and a half
million cubic feet of helium in her cotton neoprene
The huge blimp carries a crew of 25 on one‐to‐two day
patrol missions as part of the AEW network of the North American air Defense command. She’s
armed with a new radar detection system, the APS 70, which receives signals from the largest
antenna ever lofted by any aircraft.
ZPG‐3W is powered by two 1500‐hp engines, nearly twice as powerful as those used in her
predecessors. She is the first of four of her type scheduled to be in operation with ZW‐1 by
next January. AH December 1959
The new roll‐on roll‐off shipping technique applied to the
transfer of vehicles between ships at sea has proved highly
successful during a recent joint Army‐Navy test.
Taking part in this operation was USNS Comet (T‐AK 269), which
is assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service and the
Army’s radically new lighter, Lt. Col. John U. D. Page.
During these first roll‐on roll‐off tests, Comet and the shallow‐
draft Page maneuvered into a stern‐to‐stern position and were
linked together by a special hinged ramp. Vehicles from Comet
were then driven onto Page’s “flattop” deck.
During the actual operations, however, Page would carry the vehicles to the beach and lower
her bow ramp, permitting the vehicles to roll off toward their destinations. This phase of the
roll‐on roll‐off operations had previously been tested and was omitted from the recent deep‐
Comet is the first military ship to be built which employs the roll‐on roll‐off principle. She is 499
feet long and can accommodate loaded vehicles ranging in size from jeeps to huge semi‐
trailers. AH December 1959