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1962

Following a three and one half month yard period, during which the communication facilities were extensively revamped and office and berthing spaces were constructed to accommodate Commander SECOND FLEET and his staff, NEWPORT NEWS assumed her new duties as flagship for Vice Admiral John McNay Taylor (a former skipper of NEWPORT NEWS?) and departed Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 3APR62.

This year's midshipman cruise found the NEWPORT NEWS travelling to Newport, RI, in June and to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Portland, Maine in early July. Later, on 13Jul Captain Richard H. Bowers relieved Captain Kimmel while moored along Pier 7 at NOB.

NEWPORT NEWS left port again 3AUG for the Western Atlantic and participated in the NATO exercise -- RIPTIDE III. As flagship she participated in the naval strike exercise with units of the US, United Kingdom, France and Portugal. Upon completion of RIPTIDEII, NEWPORT NEWS, with Vice Admiral Taylor embarked acting in his capacity as Commander Striking Fleet Atlantic, began a month-long tour of Northern European ports. In the seven ports of Lisbon, Brest, Portsmouth, UK; Copenhagen, Kiel, Amsterdam and Oslo, VADM Taylor made official calls on NATO commanders. The NEWPORT NEWS returned to Norfolk in October.

 

CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS

Hardly home a month, on 22OCT the NEWPORT NEWS suddenly left Norfolk on short notice leaving part of her crew behind on leave, liberty, etc. That night the cruisermen listened to the President of the United States declare a Quarantine on the island of Cuba. For the next month, acting as flagship for VADM Alfred G. Ward, new Commander SECOND FLEET, NEWPORT NEWS operated northeast of Cuba as a roaming backup for the Walnut Line. Later in the month, the Quarantine line was revised and NEWPORT NEWS took station #5 on the new Chestnut Line. Finally, the day before Thanksgiving the NEWPORT NEWS arrived in Norfolk after the President had declared the Quarantine successful and ordered the Quarantine line disbanded after the Soviet MRBM's were dismantled and removed from Cuba. She assisted in the missile count. The heavy cruiser remained in Norfolk until the first week in January.

 

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