During 1969, U.S.S. BUCHANAN, under the command of Commander Robert N. CONGDON, U.S. Navy and Commander Clarence H. GREFF, U.S. Navy, fulfilled the many varied tasks assigned to her as a destroyer in the Cruiser-Destroyer Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. During the past year BUCHANAN took part in normal training exercises. Also, she fulfilled a six month deployment with the SEVENTH Fleet in the Western Pacific, providing naval gunfire support, as well as surface, sub-surface, and air surveillance for the Free World Forces in Vietnam.
Shortly after the beginning of the year, 3 January, BUCHANAN began a two week tender availability with the U.S.S. DIXIE (AD-14) as a final preparation for her WESTPAC deployment. BUCHANAN successfully passed a Nuclear Technical Proficiency Inspection on 21 and 22 January and on 23 and 24 January an administrative pre-deployment inspection. From 27 January to 3 February BUCHANAN went to Long Beach Naval Shipyard for a one week restricted availability to replace a thermal expansion sleeve on a boiler.
From 3 to 7 February BUCHANAN participated in COMPUTUEX 5-69. During this period she completed NGFS qualifications and conducted various ASW and missile firing exercises.
On 18 February BUCHANAN participated in Fleet Exercise "BEHAVIOR PATTERN" off the coast of California. This fleet exercise included an opposed sortie from San Diego, various ASW and AAW exercises, gunfire support exercises and a towing exercise. From 25 February till 18 March BUCHANAN remained in port San Diego preparing for WESTPAC deployment.
On the morning of 18 March, in company with U.S.S. ROWAN (DD-782), U.S.S. CHEVALIER (DD-805), U.S.S. SOUTHERLAND (DD743), and U.S.S. BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA-31) departed San Diego enroute to the Western Pacific to support the free World Forces in Vietnam. During the transit BUCHANAN conducted daily training exercises and from 25-29 March operated out of Pearl Harbor while participating in U.S.S. BON HOMME RICHARD Operational Readiness Inspection. From Pearl Harbor BUCHANAN continued to Yokosuka, Japan crossing the International Dateline on 3 April.
After a brief stop in Yokosuka during which the crew enjoyed some rest and relaxation after the long transit, she headed toward Yankee Station as a member of TG 77.5. She had been in the combat zone only a few hours when word was received to join U.S.S. TICONDEROGA (CVA-14) in the Sea of Japan as a member of TG 71.7. After spending more than two weeks as a member of Task Force 71 we headed to Subic Bay where we had our first extended upkeep period from 30 April to 8 May.
BUCHANAN then headed to Yankee Station where she joined U.S.S. TICONDEROGA as plane guard for two and a half weeks as the TICONDEROGA's planes conducted strikes against the enemy in Vietnam.
BUCHANAN then headed to Sasebo, Japan where after a brief fuel stop in Buckner Bay, Okinawa, she spent one week of upkeep and rest and relaxation for the crew prior to a gunline period. From 18 June till 15 July BUCHANAN fired over 5,000 rounds in support of our troops in I and II Corps areas. While the majority of the time was spent in and around DaNang Harbor, in support of the 3rd marine Division, BUCHANAN also ventured south to the II Corps area to fire in support of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
After this extended gunline period BUCHANAN headed to the port of Hong Kong where she remained from 18 July to 24 July for some well deserved rest and relaxation.
From 25 July till 2 August the ship pulled into Subic Bay for a short period of upkeep and rest and relaxation. BUCHANAN then sojourned north back to Sasebo Japan where we continued our upkeep period till 16 August. on 15 August 1969, Commander Robert N. CONGDON was relieved as Commanding Officer by Commander Clarence H. GREFF. BUCHANAN then became a member of TG 71.7 and steamed in the Sea of Japan as an escort for the U.S.S. TICONDEROGA. BUCHANAN returned to Sasebo, Japan for a short upkeep period on 25 August and prepared for the long transit home until 30 August.
The ship got underway on 30 August and after a short stop in Subic Bay commenced the transit to San Diego arriving on the 18th of September.
From 18 September till 19 October, BUCHANAN remained in a leave and upkeep status. On 20 October the ship began an extensive TAV witht the U.S.S. SAMUEL GOMPERS (AD-37) which lasted till the end of the year. During this time extensive retubing and rebricking of all boilers was accomplished and the ship underwent an INSURV inspection from 24 to 26 November.