Laurence V

(DDG-4: dp. 3,370: l. 437'; b. 47'; dr. 20'; s. 35 k.; cpl. 3.54: a. "Tartar" guided missiles, 2 5", ASW rocket launcher, 6 torpedo launchers; cl. Charles F. Adams)

Lawrence ( DDG-4 ), a guided missile destroyer was laid down 27 October 1958 by New York Shipbuilding Corp.. Camden, N.J.; launched 27 February 1960: sponsored by Mrs. Fernie C. Hubbard, great-great-granddaughter of Capt. James Lawrence: and commissioned 6 January 1962, Comdr. Thomas W. Walsh in command.

Shortly after a Great Lakes shakedown cruise, Lawrence departed Norfolk 22 October 1962 to take up station during the Cuban Missile Quarantine. Surprised at the firm stand taken by the United States, Russia agreed to dismantle her of offensive weapons, thereby averting an atomic crisis. While on her patrol in the Caribbean, the guided missile destroyer investigated-four foreign merchant tankers to verify their cargo. Following additional exercises with the nuclear carrier Enterprise, Lawrence returned to Norfolk 6 December.

Sailing 6 February 1963, she steamed to the Mediterranean on her first 6th Fleet deployment. After 4 months of operations in Europe she returned to Norfolk 1 July, and for the rest of the year engaged in training exercises along the Atlantic coast. During 1964, Lawrence made another Mediterranean cruise ( April-August ), performing support and antisubmarine operations and joining in exercises with British and French navies. She returned to Norfolk and operated along the coast until 20 November when she entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for regular overhaul.

Lawrence completed overhaul 27 April 1965 and commenced refresher training out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On 30 July she returned to Norfolk to make preparations for a forthcoming 6th Fleet deployment. The guided missile destroyer departed Norfolk 24 August 1965, visited numerous Mediterranean ports, and participated in vital training and readiness exercises with the 6th Fleet before returning to her home port 17 December 1966.

Through the first half of 1966 Lawrence alternated time in port in Norfolk with diverse exercises in the Caribbean and off the Atlantic coast. On 7 June she embarked midshipmen from Annapolis, Md., for their annual summer cruise. For the next 6 weeks these future naval officers received valuable training and at sea experience.

On 3 August Lawrence got underway for a North Atlantic cruise. After operating with ships of other NATO countries, she returned to Norfolk 5 September. On the 27th of the same month, she departed for another 6th Fleet deployment. On 22 November, Lawrence went to the aid of a sinking merchantman, New Meadow off the coast of Crete. Survivors were taken aboard a French command ship, and the American destroyer remained by the stricken vessel to lend assistance until the following afternoon. After a valuable 4 months, Lawrence returned to Norfolk 1 February 1967.

From 12 June to 3 August she again conducted midshipmen training in the Atlantic and Caribbean. The remainder of the year was spent on various exercises in the Caribbean and in port in Norfolk in preparation for a Mediterranean deployment which commenced 10 January 1968. Arriving in the Mediterranean 20 January, she relieved Tattnall (DDG-19) and then steamed for Naples. Departing Naples 30 January, she conducted at-sea operations throughout the Mediterranean until relieved by MacDonough (DLG-8) on 4 May. The same day, she commenced her voyage home arriving at Norfolk 19 May. She commenced overhaul 1 July at Norfolk Navy Yard and remained in the yards until 10 January 1969. Lawrence then spent her time conducting refresher training and local operations.