1973
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Ship's History 1973

During 1973 the guided missile destroyer USS BUCHANAN (DDG-14) under the command of Lieutenant Commander John R. Dalrymple, Jr., Captain Tom I. Kolstad and Lieutenant Commander James G. Roche, fulfilled the many tasks assigned to her as part of Cruiser-Destroyer Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The year began with BUCHANAN in the middle of a leave and upkeep period inport San Diego. up until 2 April 1973 she remained in San Diego in an extended tender availability to effect repairs from the previous deployment. On 3 April BUCHANAN spent her first day of the year at sea in the Southern California (SOCAL) Operating Area. This brief underway time was used for various tests and was followed by an upkeep period in San Diego until 1 May. On the second day of may BUCHANAN once again left prot in order to conduct local, one day ASW operations.

Following three more weeks of extensive upkeep in San Diego, BUCHANAN left port on 29 May for two days of local operations and sea trials followed by another three week upkeep period.

During the first week in June, BUCHANAN was visited by Inspector General, U.S. Pacific Fleet who conducted an extensive review of the ship's material condition, training and readiness programs and administrative affairs. On 9 June 1973, Captain T.I. Kolstad, USN, Commander Destroyer Squadron THIRTY ONE assumed command from Lieutenant Commander John R. Dalrymple, USN. BUCHANAN again left port on 20 June 1973 for a 24 hour period of local operations and sea trails. On 22 June 1973, Lieutenant Commander James G. Roache, USN assumed command of BUCHANAN.

In July, BUCHANAN was faced with two very important inspections. First in early July, BUCHANAN was underway for three days in order to prepare for an inspection by the President, Board of Inspection and Survey which began on 9 July. The at-sea phase of the inspection was conducted on 10 July. On 12 July, BUCHANAN began another two week upkeep period. Between 24 and 26 July, the ship made a trip to NWS, Seal Beach, California, in order to obtain her ammunition load-out for the upcoming Western Pacific deployment. Enroute back t oSan Diego, BUCHANAN stopped at San Clemente Island in order to conduct Naval Gunfire Support Training. The last two days in July were spent undergoing a Nuclear Weapons Acceptance Inspection (NWAI) in order to regain nuclear certification. The final ten days prior to the 10 August deployment were spent making last minute repairs and insuring the ship was completely ready for the long transit and demanding schedule which lay ahead.

On 10 August, BUCHANAN began her deployment. The first stop was at the BARSTUR Missile Range in Hawaii. Everything started off well with BUCHANAN successfully firing two TARTAR missiles and one ASROC exercise shot. Following a brief stop in Pearl Harbor, BUCHANAN began the transit to Subic Bay, making only two brief stops for fuel in Guam and Midway Islands. She arrived in Subic Bay on 31 August and remained in an upkeep status until she got underway on 13 September to provide escort services to USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43) in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Immediately following her escort duties, BUCHANAN headed for her first real prot of call, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Arriving on 24 September, BUCHANAN remained in an upkeep/tender availability for the next week. After this upkeep time and upon completing two days of type training in Subic Bay for what was supposed to be an upkeep period. However, the very next day, on 7 October, she was forced to leave port along with all other vessels inport and begin the first of two storm evasions she would participate in. After successful storm evasions, BUCHANAN arrived on Yankee Station to assume AAW picket duty. After having been on station only four days, on 15 October she was once again forced to conduct storm evasion tactics. On 19 October, BUCHANAN regained her AAW picket duties and remained in the Gulf of Tonkin until her 26 October transit to Subic Bay.

Once in Subic, BUCHANAN began an extended upkeep period which lasted until 26 November. During this period of time she was placed on standby notice to get underway for special operations in the Indian Ocean. Towards the end of her stay, BUCHANAN successfully had a mid-deployment 5"/54 gun mount inspection.

On 26 November BUCHANAN once again sailed out of Subic Bay, only this time in company with USS ORISKANY (CVA-43), enroute to the Indian Ocean to conduct special operations. Upon completion of the special operations on 17 December, BUCHANAN found herself enroute to Mombasa, Kenya located on the continent of Africa. On 20 December, in the middle of her tansit down in company with USS ORISKANY, she participated in the age old "Crossing-the-Line" ceremony at which time the majority of the crew made the transformation from Polywog to Shellback. Arriving inport Mombasa on 22 December, the crew hit the game preserves of Kenya during the four-day holiday visit.

Completing the trip to Africa, BUCHANAN set sail on 27 December for Singapore to leave the last memories of 1973 far away in the distant Indian Ocean.