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Page 8 text:
Commander Dwight WADSWORTH, USN, took command of KEPPLER on 4 AUG 1966, reporting from short duty at Surface Missile System Project Office, Washington, D.C. KEPPLER is the fourth ship of its class on which the Captain has served. His other sea duty billets have included assign- ments on only one carrier and two cruisers so it might be safely stated that he considers himself qualified as a true " destroyerman " . Captain WADSWORTH, has guided KEPPLER through two successful deployments, one to SEASIA and this one to the MED NORTHERIM EUROPE. He has only the highest praise for the exploits and accomplishments of KEPPLER- MEIM who seem to have the ability to react in magnificent fashion to whatever challenge may appear. The ability of KEPPLER to live up to her motto of " READY " has made her a welcome addition to Navy Fleets around the world. Captain WADSWORTH wears the Bronze Star, with Combat ' V, The Navy Commendation Medal, with Combat ' V and the RVN Cross of Gallantry Medal as a result of KEPPLER ' s spectacular successes in Tonkin Gulf as a unit of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. Captain WADSWORTH has been relieved to return to Washington for shore duty and to spend some time with his family, consisting of his wife, Lynne, and their five children. All KEPPLERMEN wish " Charlie Oscar " Godspeed and Good Fortune for the future. CDMMATVDIIVG OFFICER CDR D. WADSWORTH i ' E XECUTIVE OFFICER CDR J. T. McOUESTEIV, JR. Commander John T. McQUESTEN, Jr., USN, relieved as Executive Officer on 5 December 1966 while KEPPLER was operating in the Tonkin Gulf as a unit of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. He reported to KEPPLER following a tour of shore duty as a member of the International Planning Staff of the NATO Military Committee, Washington, D.C. KEPPLER is the third ship of its class in which Com- mander McQUESTEN has served. Following an initial tour in destroyers, the Commander completed Naval Flight Training and served a tour as a Primary Flight Instructor in Pensacola, Florida. This tour was followed by sea duty as a Team Pilot with CARRIER AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING SQUAD- RON TWELVE in Quonset Point. Commander McQUESTEN returned to the Destroyer Navy with duty as Operations Officer, Staff COMMANDER DESTROYER DEVELOP- MENT GROUP TWO prior to serving a tour as Ope rations and Executive Officer aboard USS FRED T. BERRY (DD 858). Prior to reporting for Washington shore duty he completed a third consecutive tour of sea duty as Engineer Officer aboard USS SAN MARCOS (LSD 25). Relieved in September 1968, Commander McQUESTEN has served aboard KEPPLER through two successful deploy- ments, one to SEASIA and this one to the MED NORTHERN EUROPE. The Commander is married to LCDR Ruth B. Mc- QUESTEN, USN (W) who is currently serving as Special Services Officer, Naval Base Newport. The " Commanders " reside at 8 Faxon Green, Newport. ALL KEPPLERMEN, smile or not, wish " Number One " Godspeed and Good fortune for the future.
Page 7 text:
THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to REINHARDT JOHN KEPPLER BOATSWAIN ' S MATE FIRST CLASS UNITED STATES NAVY for service as set forth in ihe following CITATION: " For extraordinary heroism and distinguished courage above and beyond the call of duty while serving aboard the U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands, 12-13 November 1942. When a hostile torpedo plane, during a daylight air raid, crashed on the after machine-gun platform, KEPPLER promptly assisted in removal of the dead and, by his capable supervision of the wounded, un- doubtedly helped save the lives of several shipmates who otherwise might have perished. That night, when the ship ' s hangar « as set afire during the great battle off Savo Island, he bravely led a hose into the starboard side of the stricken area and there, without assistance and despite frequent hits from terrific enemy bombard- ment, eventually brought the fire iinder control. Later, although mortally wounded, he labored valiantly in the midst of bursting shells, persistently directing fire-fighting operations and adminis- tering to wounded personnel until he finally collapsed from loss of blood. His great personal valor, maintained with utter disregard of personal safety, was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country. "
Page 9 text:
SHIPS CHARACTERISTICS ' USS KEPPLER (HH liS) Built by Bethlehem Steel Company, San Francisco, California Keel Laid 23 April 1944 Commissioned 23 May 1947 Length 390 feet • 6 inches Beam 41 feet - 21 2 inches Displacement 3477 Tons Propulsion Two shafts developing 60,000 h.p. ARMAMENT 2 Twin 5 " 38 Mounts 2 Mk 25 Torpedo Tubes 2 Mk 32 Triple Torpedo Tubes 1 Mk 15 Hedgehog Projector DASH HISTORY DP USS KEPPLER (nn-7B5) Named for Reinhardt J. KEPPLER, Boatswain ' s Mate First Class, Congressional Medal of Honor winner at the battle of Savo Island, KEPPLER ' S keel was laid at the San Francisco Yard of the Bethlehem Steel Company on 23 April, 1944. She was accepted on 20 May 1947, and was commissioned on 23 May 1947 as (DDE-765). Commissioned as a general purpose destroyer, KEPPLER being assigned to Destroyer Force, Pacific Fleet, cruised to the Far East after her shakedown cruise. In 1949 KEPPLER entered the San Francisco Shipyard for major conversion. She emerged as an anti-submarine destroyer of the Lloyd THOMAS (DDE-764) class, which was an anti-submarine warfare conversion of the Gearing (DD-710) class. Deployment in the summer of 1950 included an extended cruise in the Mediterranean. However upon arrival in Greece, KEPPLER was ordered through the Suez Canal to the Far East. She then operated in the Formosan and Korean area until her return to Newport in 1951. Since that date she has deployed to the Mediterranean four times, Europe twice and South America once. In July 1958, KEPPLER became a unit of Task Group Bravo an anti-submarine Warfare Force of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. In February 1961, KEPPLER entered the New York Naval Shipyard for FRAM II modernization and rehabilitation, a program designed to extend the useful life of a World War II type vessel. She was completed in October 1961, the first of her type, as an ASW specialist. Since completion of the FRAM II overhaul, KEPPLER has undergone refresher training in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and participated in an ASW capacity in subsequent Atlantic Fleet exercises. KEPPLER took an active part in the Cuban Quarantine in the fall of 1962. In October 1966, KEPPLER deployed to the Western Pacific where she participated in Operation Sea Dragon, which prevented enemy shipping along the North Vietnam coast. She participated in coastal bombardment of North Vietnam, and rescued an Air Force pilot whose plane had been shot down. In March 1967, KEPPLER ' S forward gun mount received a direct hit by enemy fire, and the six injured crewmen were the first casualties to an Atlantic Fleet destroyer serving in Vietnam. Returning from Vietnam in May 1967 KEPPLER participated in Anti-Submarine Warfare exercises off the eastern coast of the United States. On 15 February 1968 KEPPLER departed on a Mediterranean and Northern Europe deployment returning to Newport on 14 June to prepare for overhaul in the Boston Naval Shipyard scheduled to commence 6 September 1968. Having transited both Suez and Panama Canals, having operated in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and winner of the " E " four times, KEPPLER ' S many years of service have been that of a well trained and ever ready man of war.
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