USS LLOYD THOMAS (DD-764)
Lloyd Thomas (DD-764) was laid down by Bethlehem Steel Co.
26 March 1944; launched 5 October 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Lloyd Thomas
widow of Lieutenant (]g.) Thomas and commissioned 21 March 1947
Comdr. J. I. Cone in command.
After shakedown off San Diego and a training cruise in Hawaiian waters
the new destroyer departed the west coast 16 January 1948 tor a round-the-world training and good will voyage. In company With the mighty aircraft carrier Valley Forge (CV-45) and three other destroyers Lloyd Thomas visited Sidney
China. After Tsingtao
William C. Lawe (DD-763)
and Valley Forge proceeded westward
and Saudi Arabia transited the Suez Canal and the Straits of Gibraltar
then steamed north for calls at Bergen
England. The formation left England 13 March 1948
spent 5 days in New York City
and arrived at home port San Diego 11 June
having steamed 46
168 nautical miles during the 5-month voyage.
During the rest of 1948
the destroyer trained reserves. In 1949. after conversion to a hunter-killer type destroyer at San Francisco Navy Yard
the ship joined the Atlantic Fleet at Newport
in October and steamed north with the 2d Task Fleet for cold weather exercises in the Arctic
Returning home from the Arctic. the versatile destroyer operated between Bermuda and Puerto Rico during the first 2 months of 1950. She was redesignated DDE-764 on 4 March 1950. Following 4 months of antisubmarine exercises and a midshipmen cruise early in July
the ship departed Newport 15 July for a 5-day call at Koykavik
Iceland. Returning from Iceland in early August
she left Newport for Norfolk 6 September in company with three other destroyers. Just off Norfolk the destroyers rendezvoused with Coral Sea (CVB-43) and escorted the big carrier to the Mediterranean. After rigorous operations with the 6th Fleet and calls at Sardinia
and Golfo Juan
Lloyd Thomas and her sister destroyers departed Gibraltar 1 November to escort Midway (CVB-41) home. They arrived Norfolk 9 November and the destroyers made Newport the next day.
During the next 2 years
the ship conducted antisubmarine operations in the Caribbean and made yearly voyages to the Mediterranean. The 1952 voyage included a NATO amphibious landing on the coast of Denmark (operation "Mainbrace") and port calls in Scotland in England. During 1953 she again operated with NATO
this time in the Mediterranean
and visited Cannes and Naples.
In early 1954
Lloyd Thomas checked out the new canted-deck carrier Antietam (CVS-36) in the intricacies of antisubmarine warfare. From August to January 1955 the destroyer again operated with NATO units in the Mediterranean. Except for a quick run to Lisbon
Lloyd Thomas spent the rest of 1955 operating in home waters. The highpoint of 1956 was a summer midshipman cruise to Spain and the British Isles in company with the famous battlewagon Wisconsin (BB-64).
On 4 January 1957 the ship departed Newport with Destroyer Division 242 and submarine Batfish (SS-310) for South America to acquaint our good neighbors in Colombia
and Chile with the newest techniques in antisubmarine warfare. Returning to Newport from Chile 18 March
she conducted local operations until departing 12 August for 5 months of patrol duty in the Mediterranean and Red Seas.
She spent most of 1958 in the Caribbean
with operation "Springboard" that spring and refresher training during September and October. In 1959
besides hunter-killer training off Norfolk and a summer midshipman cruise to Quebec
Lloyd Thomas again operated with NATO in European waters. During 1960
the ship returned to the Mediterranean
spending June through September with the 6th Fleet. Between exercises she visited Palma de Majorca
From March to December 1961
Lloyd Thomas underwent a FRAM II conversion
a rehabilitation and modernization program designed to add years of service to destroyers built shortly after World War II. After leaving New York Naval Shipyard she commenced 6 weeks of refresher training at Guantanamo Bay. Redesignated DD-764 on 30 June 1962
the destroyer operated along the east coast until departing 7 September .1962 for a 6-month tour to the Mediterranean and Middle East. During her duty with the Middle East Force in January and February 1963
the ship visited Ceylon
crossed the equator
and called at the Indian Naval Base in Visakhaptnam. She arrived Newport early in March and resumed operations from her home port.
The ship returned to the Mediterranean in My 1964 for the Joint French American amphibious operation "Fairgame II." Then after a brief call at Athens
she spent June and July in the Near East
showing the flag and promoting good will in the nations bordering the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
From 10 October to 19 November 1964
Lloyd Thomas escorted 28
000 marines from Little Creek to the coast of Spain during operation "Steelpike I"
the largest peacetime amphibious operation ever conducted. "Steelpike I" demonstrated that the Navy could quickly and convincingly thwart aggression anyplace in the world.
During 1965 the destroyer
after installing new electronic gear to update her antisubmarine capabilities
trained in Guantanamo
then participated in the late summer antisubmarine operation
with the Royal Canadian Navy in the western Atlantic. On 15 February 1986 she deployed from Newport again to the Mediterranean. Here during the ensuing months she made an important contribution to the mighty 6th Fleet's influence for peace and order.
Returning to Newport 8 July
the destroyer entered drydock for 3 weeks beginning 29 July
at Bethlehem Shipyard
Boston. Resuming operations on 22 August
she was plane guard for Wasp (CVS-18) during the recovery phase of the Gemini XII operation
4 through 18 November.
On 1 March 1967 Lloyd Thomas
with the rest of Destroyer Squadron l0
departed Newport for another cruise to the Mediterranean. During this deployment the Arab Israeli tensions rose to war level; and the 6th Fleet
including Lloyd Thomas was a vital force in keeping the hostilities localized.
The ship arrived back at Newport 20 July and operated out of her home port the remainder of the year. On 7 May 1968
after a brief tour of exercises in the Caribbean
DD764 entered Boston for overhaul. Back in full fighting trim in the fall
she returned to local operations out of Newport into 1969.
[Note: The above USS LLOYD THOMAS (DD-764) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS LLOYD THOMAS (DD-764) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]