USS POCONO (AGC-16)
(AGC-16), an amphibious force flagship, was laid down 30
November 1944 and launched 25 January 1945 by the North Carolina Shipbuilding
Co., Wilmington, N. C., sponsored by Miss Mary V. Carmines of Messick, acquired
by the Navy 15 February 1945; towed to Boston for fitting out; and commissioned
29 December 1945, Captain H. A. Sailor in command.
departed Boston 18 March 1946 for Key West, Fla en route to
Guantanamo Bay for shakedown. The ship the. proceeded to Washington, D.C., via
Norfolk, and arrived in the nation's capital 7 May.
During the next few years, she operated
off the Atlantic coast from Newfoundland to Trinidad. Early in 1948, she was
flagship of Admiral W. H. P. Blandy, Commander Atlantic Fleet.
decommissioned at Norfolk 19 June 1949 and moved to Bayonne,
N.J., where she entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
recommissioned 18 August 1951 to serve as flagship for
Commander, Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet. She operated in this capacity in
the Caribbean and off the East Coast of the U.S. until 1956.
On 31 October 1956, during the Suez
Crisis, the Commander-in-Chief, Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and
Mediterranean, embarked in Pocono, and
remained on board until 13 December.
In September 1957 Pocono served as flagship for a 38-ship amphibious task force in
NATO exercise Deepwater off the coast of Turkey.
In early 1958 Pocono served as flagship for operation Packard X, an Atlantic
Fleet amphibious exercise at Onslow Beach, N.C. On 23 June 1958 she departed
the U.S. bound for the Mediterranean. She was diverted to Beirut, Lebanon,
where she controlled the landing that assisted that nation. During her three
month stay in Beirut, she performed such functions as air control and command
communications. Because of the Beirut Crisis the regular six-month
Mediterranean deployment was extended to nine months, with Pocono returning to Norfolk 20 March 1959.
On 11 January 1960 Pocono again departed Norfolk for the Mediterranean where she
participated in four amphibious landing exercises, including a joint NATO
landing at Porto Scudo, Sardinia, before returning to Norfolk 14 June. She
participated in Caribbean landing exercises in July 1960 and February 1961.
On 11 April 1961 she departed for the
Mediterranean, and participated in several amphibious landings, including a
joint NATO landing at Saros Gulf, Turkey, before returning to Norfolk 12
After an extensive overhaul she departed
10 April 1962 for the Caribbean, and 23 July for the Mediterranean. When the
Cuban Crisis arose, Pocono was
recalled to the United States. She carried the flag of Commander, Amphibious
Forces, Atlantic, and remained in operational readiness in Norfolk.
For the rest of 1962, 1963, and through
most of 1964 Pocono remained in the
U.S. In early 1964 she participated in two landing exercises at Onslow Beach,
N.C. On 11 October she deployed for Steelpike I, which included an assault
with helicopter landings at Huelva Bay, Spain. She returned to Norfolk 25
departed Norfolk 21 May 1965 enroute to Santo Domingo,
Dominican Republic to aid in the peace-keeping operation there. She provided
the platform from which Vice
Admiral McCain directed the naval forces'
support of this operation.
From late 1965 through early 1968 Pocono participated in further operations in the Caribbean and off
the east coast of the U.S., returning to Norfolk 24 February 1968.
[Note: The above USS POCONO (AGC-16) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS POCONO (AGC-16), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]