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1957

On 1 January 1957 USS NEWPORT NEWS (CA148) was still undergoing its regular yard overhaul in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Rear Admiral William D. Irvin assumed command of CRUDIVTWO during ceremonies aboard NEWPORT NEWS on 14 January. Captain W.S. Post, Jr., relieved Captain Whelchel as CO on 17 January. Departing from the shipyard on 4 February, NEWPORT NEWS sailed for the Norfolk Naval Operating Base(NOB) for a short stay before proceeding to Guantanamo Bay on the 12th of February for a refresher training cruise. During the Caribbean cruise the ship visited the ports of San Juan, PR, Kingston, Jamaica, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The ship returned to Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 4 April for minor alterations.

On 25 April the ship sailed from the shipyard for Norfolk with 200 dependents aboard marking her second such cruise. From 25 April to 5 May, NEWPORT NEWS remained in Norfolk during a leave and upkeep period and made preparations for her Mediterranean cruise. 1957 was to be the year NEWPORT NEWS reversed the pattern which she had followed in preceding years and operated during the first half in Atlantic waters. USS NEWPORT NEWS sailed for the Mediterranean on 6 May 1957 to serve with the Sixth Fleet. During the period of 24- 27 September the ship participated in Operation "Deepwater" - the first complete and balanced Marine Air-Ground Task Force employed either in Europe or in support of NATO, and the first major test of an amphibious assault by vertical envelopment in the Mediterranean.

While in the Mediterranean, the ship visited ports in Spain, France, Italy, and Greece. NEWPORT NEWS was relieved as a unit of the Sixth Fleet at Suda Bay, Crete, by USS ALBANY on 7 October and arrived at her home port of Norfolk on 22 October. RADM Wm.D. Irvin was relieved as Commander Cruiser Division TWO by RADM M.F.D. Flaherty during ceremonies aboard NEWPORT NEWS on 28 October. NEWPORT NEWS remained in Norfolk during a period of leave and upkeep until 18 November, at which time she departed to conduct individual ship exercises in the Virginia Capes Operating area, returning to NOB on the 27 of November. She sailed again on 2 December to conduct a test of a constant tension refueling rig and returned again on 3 December.

With Commander Task Force 88, Commander Cruiser Division TWO, embarked, NEWPORT NEWS departed Norfolk on 6 December and steamed northward to participate in an assignment known officially as Operation "Friendship". After refueling at Argentia, Newfoundland, she arrived on station in the North Atlantic to act as one of the lifeguard ships for President Eisenhower's flight to the NATO Conference in Paris, France. For her action in Operation Friendship she received the following message from President Eisenhower: "You have my appreciation for taking station up here in the North Atlantic to guard my flight. I hope that you will be home for a Merry Christmas. Good luck and God speed." The ship returned to Norfolk on 25 December where she stayed during the remainder of the year.

 

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