May 15, 1945/ USS Providence CL82 commissioned.
She served as a Flag Ship in Mediterranean waters during the next four years, with three tours of duty as an operational unit of the SIXTH fleet.
June 13, 1945/ Departed Boston for Guantonamo Bay, Cuba .....shakedown cruises.
September 2, 1945/ World War II ends with the formal
surrender of Japan aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
WORLD WAR II HISTORY COMMEMORATION (CLICK HERE)
September 4th arrived at Newport, R.I. to train carrier and cruiser crews until October 6.
November 7, 1945: Providence leaves Boston for the Mediterranean.
November 17: After a rough Atlantic crossing just over nine days Providence arrives in Palermo, Sicily.
November 21: Providence departs for Naples.
November 22: Providence arrives in Naples.
Nov. - Dec. 1945: First ports included: hollow, hungry, war torn Palermo; disheveled, bombed out Naples; expensive, but striving Marseilles; and Athens, hit hard, but refusing to take it lying down.
Most of January, February, and March was spent in Naples but were fortunate in obtaining Rome trips.
Jan-Feb 1946: Visits to Capri and Rome, Italy
March 20, 1946: Nice, France
April 1946: Turkey and Beirut, Lebanon
April 5-9th: Istanbul with the battleship MISSOURI (BB63)
May 1946: Alexandria, Egypt; Tangier, Algiers, Gibraltar
June 16, 1946: Departed the Mediterranean
June 25th: Arrived in Philadelphia
Oct. - Feb.: Departed from the Delaware Capes and participated in training exercises out of Guantanamo Bay and Norfolk, Va.
February 3: Departed Hampton Roads for the Mediterranean.
May: Departed Athens, Greece for Boston, MA. after port visits and exercises.
November: Departing Newport, R.I.
Nov. - Dec.: Operations in the Mediterranean
September 23, 1948 to January 14, 1949: Served the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean
March: Returning to Newport, Rhode Island.
June 14: Providence decommissioned at Boston, MA and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet
Direct American involvement in Vietnam began in 1955 with the arrival of the first advisors.
USS Providence CLG-6 recommissioned 17 September 1959 as a light guided missile cruiser. Capt. Kenneth L. Veth in command.
Following exercises off the west coast, she arrived at Yokosuka, Japan, in May 1962, and relieved OKLAHOMA CITY (CLG-5) as flagship of the 7th Fleet.
Departing Yokosuka in July 1964, Providence returned to Long Beach in August. In October 1964, she began exercises in the Eastern Pacific.
On August 4, 1964, the American destroyers MADDOX and TURNER JOY were attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats in the international waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.
CONSTELLATION, visiting Hong Kong on a regularly-scheduled port visit, set sail immediately and began launching strikes against North Vietnamese vessels and bases.
Aug. 4, 1964 - Aircraft from USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) drove off North Vietnamese motor torpedoboats attacking the destroyer USS Maddox, patrolling international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin. Aug. 5, 1964 - On order from President Lyndon B. Johnson, aircraft from USS Constellation (CVA 64)and USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) attacked motor torpedo boats and their supporting at five locations along the North Vietnam coast. In 64 attack sorties, these aircraft sank or seriously damaged 25 boats and destroyed a major part of their petroleum stores and storage facilities.
August 5, 1964: The Tonkin Gulf Incident: 1964......President Johnson's Message to Congress:
"Last night I announced to the American people that the North Vietnamese regime had conducted further deliberate attacks against U.S. naval vessels operating in international waters, and I had therefore directed air action against gunboats and supporting facilities used in these hostile operations. This air action has now been carried out with substantial damage to the boats and facilities. Two U.S. aircraft were lost in the action.............These latest actions of the North Vietnamese regime has given a new and grave turn to the already serious situation in southeast Asia.......
We must make it clear to all that the United States is united
in its determination to bring about the end of Communist subversion and aggression in the area.....".
The first combat troops arrived in 1965.
Providence spent the remainder of 1965 off the west coast with the 1st Fleet; participated in exercises and visited various west coast ports.
Providence deployed to WestPac 12 November 1966.
She again relieved OKLAHOMA CITY as flagship of the 7th Fleet on 1 December 1966 at Yokosuka, Japan.
Providence contributed to a major bombardment of enemy positions in Vietnam 1 April 1967.
She dueled with an enemy shore battery off the DMZ on 25 May 1967.
In July 1967, Providence provided gunfire support for amphibious operations.
She bombarded enemy storage areas south of Da Nang 10 October 1967.
During 1968, Providence provided gunfire support off Vietnam during each month except June and December.
In February 1968, during the enemy's Tet offensive, gunfire from PROVIDENCE effected an important breach in the wall of an enemy strong point at Hue.
Providence took rounds from shore around 4 July '68 and more times not recorded.
Tet, 1968 The massive enemy offensive at the lunar new year decimated the Vietcong and failed to topple the Saigon government but led to the beginning of America's military withdrawal from Vietnam.
During 1969 Providence operated with the 1st Fleet off the west coast.
Rear Admiral Rembrant C. Robinson assumes position of Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla Eleven in a special ceremony on board USS Truxtun (DLGN-35) at pier side Subic Bay.
Vietnam War on the steady decline for U.S. forces, but the U.S. Navy still had a role.
In April 1972, the U.S. 7th Fleet on Yankee Station was still busy providing support for ground forces.
Cruisers and Destroyers continued to pour rounds on invading enemy divisions.
President Richard Nixon had ordered aerial and naval bombardments to resume over North Vietnam in
response to the NVA offensive in the South.
Six carriers -- the Constellation, Kitty Hawk, Hancock, Coral Sea, Saratoga and the Midway -- all joined in Operation Freedom Train. Aircraft from these vessels struck military and logistical targets in Dong Hoi, Vinh, Thanh Hoa, Haiphong and Hanoi.
The cruiser USS Oklahoma City and three destroyers trained their guns on the Do Son Peninsula, a small strip of land guarding the approaches to Haiphong. The destroyers Joseph Strauss and Richard B. Anderson hit the Ben Hai Bridge in the northern section of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone).
NVA shore batteries on April 17th, struck the destroyer USS Buchanan , killing one sailor and wounding seven others.
On April 19th, the destroyer USS Higbee was hit by a bomb. A MiG aircraft had dropped a bomb on the vessel's stern, wounding four sailors.
On April 19th, the missile frigate USS Sterett scored one hit when it downed a MiG with a Terrier missile
near Dong Hoi. Earlier in March, she bagged two more enemy planes. FTCS J.F. (Charlie) Brown (formerly of the USS Providence) had the honor of pulling the trigger.
In May, the USS Chicago (CG-11), a cruiser patrolling off the coast of North Vietnam, spotted an unidentified aircraft. The ship immediately launched a Talos surface-to-air missile, which knocked the plane out of the sky. The Chicago was credited with shooting down a MIG. The cruiser, USS Providence also participated in this May campaign in the Tonkin Gulf.
The readiness skills and dedication of the men who maintain the boats was demonstrated on the night of May 9th, when the Duty Lifeboat Crew rescued four survivors of a downed helicopter at approximately 2200 hours off the Providence fantail in the Tonkin Gulf. Rear Admiral Rembrandt C. Robinson, his Chief of Staff, Captain Edmund B. Taylor and the Flag Secretary, Commander John M. Leaver died that night.
Raid on Haiphong Harbor (10 May, 1972) included the cruisers USS Oklahoma City, USS Providence, USS Newport News, and two destroyers USS Buchanan and USS Hanson The first multi-cruiser strike since WWII lasted about 15 minutes.
Also in May, F-4 pilot Lt. Randall J. Cunningham, today a congressman from California, together with Lt. (j.g.) William Driscoll, his electronics warfare officer, shot down five MiGs, three on May 10. Flying off the carrier USS Constellation, they became the first and only Navy aces of the Vietnam War.
Naval aviators downed 59 MiGs in Vietnam: 23 between May 6, 1972, and Jan. 12, 1973.
During this time, A-6 Intruders from the carrier USS Coral Sea dropped magnetic-acoustic sea mines around Haiphong Harbor to block the flow of supplies into North Vietnam.
From May until December 1972, no large supply ships entered the Communist harbors. Smaller boats attempting to run the blockade were intercepted by Navy ships.
Two NVA PT boats were destroyed in August by the destroyer USS Rowan and the cruiser USS Newport News while the USS Providence was engaged in a night shelling of Haiphong Harbor.
Oct. 11, 20 sailors aboard the USS Newport News were killed and 37 injured in an explosion caused by a malfunctioning 8-inch gun turret during a fire support mission.
From April through September 1972, the cruiser-destroyer group fired over 111,000 rounds. Besides
destroying vehicles, artillery, tanks, coastal logistical craft and PT boats, the barrage killed an estimated 2,000 NVA.
By mid-1972, Navy personnel in Vietnam numbered 2,340 -- after peaking at 39,265 in October 1968.
Cease-fire of January 1973.
Operation End Sweep's Task Force 78 cleared mines from North Vietnam's waters from February 6th to July 18th. Two minesweeping helicopters were lost in accidents.
Naval Forces Vietnam/Naval Advisory Group ceased activities March 29, 1973.
August 31, 1973
Decommissioning Ceremony of USS Providence
North Vietnamese tanks smashed into Saigon on April 30, 1975, and the long war ended with South Vietnam's surrender.