THE 1970s - THE
In the opening days of 1970 USS Greene was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for refresher training. On January 14, 1970, USS Greene left Guantanamo Bay, Cuba conducted Naval Gun Fire Support (NGFS) exercises at Culebra, Puerto Rico and returned to Norfolk, Virginia on January 20, 1970. USS Greene departed for her fourteenth Mediterranean cruise on March 5, 1970. USS Greene passed through the Straits of Gibraltar ending a rough voyage across the Atlantic and starting six months of U.S. and NATO exercises and port visits. On April 28, 1970, USS Greene left Augusta Bay, Sicily for operations with the NATO Naval On Call Force Mediterranean in exercise "First Step". This was the first activation of this force which involved naval units of the United Kingdom, Turkey, Greece and Italy.
On June 8, 1970, USS Greene celebrated her 25th Anniversary since her commissioning in 1945. On June 16, 1970, while refueling, USS Greene lost steering control and collided with the starboard side of USS Waccamaw (AO-109). Neither ship incurred extensive damage and USS Greene continued her cruise. Ports of call during this cruise included: Cannes, France; Piraeus Harbor, Greece; Valletta, Malta; Augusta Bay, Sicily; Naples, Italy and Antalya, Turkey. She transited the Sea of Maramara and the Dandanelles on August 3, 1970. USS Greene left Naples, Italy on September 2, 1970, and transited to Tangier, Morocco. She joined Destroyer Squadron 32 units west of Gibraltar and having completed her Mediterranean tour transited back to the Destroyer-Submarine Piers in Norfolk, Virginia and arrived home on September 16, 1970.
USS Greene was dry-docked at Norfolk Naval Shipyard on March 15, 1971, for major repairs to the sonar transducer, hull and machinery. She remained for an extended upkeep and maintenance period and shipyard overhaul until June 15, 1971. On July 1, 1971, USS Greene shifted from Destroyer Squadron 32 to Destroyer Squadron 36 and then in October 1971 she shifted to Destroyer Squadron 2. On September 16, 1971, USS Greene participated in Operation "Royal Knight" a North Atlantic NATO exercise. Surface units from West Germany, Norway, United Kingdom and Netherlands coordinated their efforts in intensive anti-submarine and anti-air warfare exercises. Upon completion of the exercise USS Greene enjoyed port visits in Kristiansand, Norway and Hamburg, Germany. USS Greene returned to Norfolk, Virginia on October 22, 1971.
USS Greene departed Norfolk, Virginia on December 1, 1971, to begin what would be her last Mediterranean Sea deployment. She continued to Naples, Italy where the ship celebrated Christmas. New Years was celebrated in Palma, Mallorca, Spain. USS Greene participated in National Week Operations with NATO forces and visited ports in Greece and Turkey. The ship returned to home port in Norfolk, Virginia on June 29, 1972.
USS Greene was decommissioned on August 31, 1972, in Norfolk, Virginia. The decommissioning of any ship is always a nostalgic occasion that produces many emotional sensations. USS Greene had seen the passing of many nautical miles beneath her keel, and she had gained a fleet reputation for excellence because of the many fine officers and men who had given so much of themselves in her behalf. She had served the United States Navy well, but she would be missed and remembered by many.