|U.S.S. Allen M. Sumner DD-692|
The Cruise Book
The Official Ship's Log
The photo collection of Gary Vogel
The movies of Roy Varcoe
On Saturday, 1 February 1958, with Captain B. B. Cheatham embarked flying the command pennant of COMDESRON 16, and under the command of Commander C. J. Beers, USS Allen M.Sumner departed Norfolk, Virginia. As the destroyer longest in continuous commission of all destroyers US Fleet, she was enroute to the Mediterranean to serve her regular tour of duty as a unit of the famous Sixth Fleet, then under the command of Vice Admiral Charles R. (Cat) Brown. SUMNER had regularly filled such an assignment since inception of Task Force 60 (later changed to Sixth Fleet). So while it was a new adventure to many of the crew members, it was 'old hat' to her -- the latest chapter in a long and proud saga of adventurous assignments.
After eleven days of following the routine at sea for modern warships -- fueling and replenishment, upkeep and maintenance -- and blessed by exceptionally fine weather for a midwinter crossing even though we did stay well South, we made the Straits of Gibraltar and 'chopped' to command of Sixth Fleet. But newcomers and camera bugs were disappointed as the transit of the Straits was accomplished in darkness and their view of that world-famous landmark was to be delayed.
First stop - lonely Pollensa Bay, in the northeast corner of the island of Mallorca, largest of the Balearic Islands Group, under the flag of Spain. Here only long enough to dirty the chain and anchor, and accept turnover of special information and materials, Sixth Fleet instructions and OpPlans, etc., from the squadron of destroyers we were relieving, and we were underway again, bound for Genoa, Italy, ETA Tuesday, 18 February.
To follow the rest of the story, view the pages of the Cruise Book and enjoy a voyage with the Allen M.
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