Make your own free website on


At the commencement of the deployment, our experience at Pearl Harbor foretold a highly successful and enjoyable cruise ahead. During the layover caused by the "Cuban Crisis," we not only enjoyed excellent liberty and recreation but managed to complete a good percentage of our required training exercises culminating in winning the second gunnery "E" for each of our mounts and directors.

The operational highlight of our cruise was undoubtedly the cold weather landing exercise "Darkmoon" in Korea. Along with a variety of embarked detachments, we acted as the advance reconnaissance unit and then as the primary control ship on "R" and "D" days. This exercise gave us invaluable experience under adverse conditions. The minimum temperature encountered was 9 degrees F!

Our stay at Pearl Harbor and our visits to Kobe and Hong Kong were certainly the highlights of our liberties and sightseeing opportunities. The Kobe visit and the Amphibious Force 21st Birthday Open House at Yokosuka gave us the chance to actively participate in the people-to-people program.

The entire cruise proved to be a smooth one. We were blessed with a minimum of foul weather, a good itinerary of ports, only a few minor material casualties and met all commitments on schedule and in a highly competent manner. Certainly our material reliability and operational readiness reached a high level.

While we have had a long separation from home and loved ones, we have realized that our being ready with the Seventh Fleet has had a real and significant influence in maintaining world peace.

I am sure that all of us will look back on this cruise of the Tortuga with fond memories.

G.M. Hayes
Commanding Officer

(Cruise Book Cover)

Drue sent this cruise book to me many months ago & due
to my limited free time have just got around to posting it.
Thanks Drue for the memories and for your patience.