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On 4 January 1956 the ship steamed for a tour of duty in the Mediterranean as flagship of Vice Admiral Ralph A. Ofstie, Commander Sixth Fleet. Vice Admiral Ofstie was relieved on board by VADM Harry Donald Felt on 12 April in Barcelona, Spain. Commander Sixth Fleet transferred his flag to the USS Salem on 21 May at Gibraltar. The ship returned to Norfolk, Va. May 29, 1956.

The Ship visited the city of NEWPORT NEWS over the 4th of July holiday leaving Norfolk 2 July and returning 5 July. During the trip from Norfolk to NEWPORT NEWS 250 dependents took part in the first dependents' cruise in the history of the ship. From 16 July to 24 August, she participated in Midshipman Cruise Charlie as flagship of Commander Cruiser Division TWO. Visits were made at New Orleans, Louisiana, Balboa, Canal Zone, and Guantanamo Bay. While transitting the Panama Canal, Rear Admiral Ira H. Nunn relieved Rear Admiral E.R. McLean, Jr. as Commander Cruiser Division TWO. On 19 September she entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for overhaul, remaining at Norfolk through December 1956. Commander Cruiser Division TWO transferred to the USS Des Moines on 20 September and his staff returned aboard on 1 November 1956.


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