1953 YOKOSUKA, OCT 1953 HONG KONG, FEB 1954 OKINAWA, IWO JIMA, LONG BEACH
CAVALIER returned to Yokosuka on 31 August 1953 and after a visit to Hong Kong (6-20 October), operated from the ports of Yokosuka and Yokohama until February 1954, engaged in a series of amphibious landing exercises off Otaru, Japan, with troops of the lst Calvary Division as well as Marines. Departing Yokosuka on 3 February 1954, she engaged in Fleet Marine amphibious exercises off Kinmu Beach, Okinawa (6-10 February), returning to Yokosuka on 14 February 1954. She again departed on 13 March and after sailing via Nagoya, Japan, took part in Marine Division Amphibious Fleet exercises off Iwo Jima, and returned to Yokosuka on 31 March 1954. She departed for the United States on 4 April and arrived at Long Beach, California, 23 April 1954.
APR 1954 OPERATION RAINBOW
From 23 April 1954 to 11
January 1956, CAVALIER conducted operations along the coast of California while
based at Long Beach,
California. During this duty, on 15 July 1954, Captain W. S. Post, USN, was relieved by Captain D. A.
Harris, USN, and on 1 October 1954, with the disestablishment of
Transport Division 15, CAVALIER
became flagship of Commander Amphibious Squadron 7. As Squadron Flagship,
she took a major role in "Operation Rainbow", from 3 to 9 January
1955, for training the Amphibious
and Mine Forces concentrated in Long Beach. This
operation was unique in that its
important collateral objective was to increase
the knowledge of the general public as to
the functions and
operations of the Amphibious and Mine Forces through demonstrations, displays and Navy sponsored activities.
On 10 January 1955, she sailed for the Mare island Naval Shipyard where she underwent conversion to a Squadron size flagship through enlargement of her communication and flag spaces. Upon completion of these alterations, on 23 March 1955 she steamed to resume operations out of Long Beach, California, until 11 January 1956, when she departed as flagship of Commander Amphibious Squadron 7 for another tour of the Far East. During this period, on 17 July 1955, Captain F. M. Parker, USN, relieved Captain D. A. Harris, USN.
FEB 1956 – SEP 1956 YOKOSUKA
On 3 February 1956, CAVALIER arrived at
Yokosuka, Japan. She
sailed 11 February to take part in amphibious assault and landing exercises off Iwo Jima,
returning to Yokosuka on 23 February 1956. She remained
based at Yokosuka until September 1956, taking part in two more
amphibious operations off Iwo Jima, intervened by two visits to Hong Kong and brief
calls to the principal
ports of Japan. On 9 August 1956, Captain
L. E. Strickler took
command and relieved Captain F.M. Parker, USN. CAVALIER departed Yokosuka on 13
September and returned to Long
Beach, California, on 4 October 1956. Based at Long
Beach, she took part in landing
exercises with troops of the 5th Marines in
JAN 1957 SKI JUMP
In January of 1957, the CAVALIER participated in Operation "Ski Jump". The air-ground amphibious exercise was held off the southern coast of California near Camp Pendleton.
APR 1957 OVERHAUL
In April of 1957, the CAVALIER entered
the Mare Island Naval
Shipyard at Vallejo, California. There she received a
complete overhaul of all engines,
machinery and other equipment on board. In addition, a great deal of emphasis was placed
on renovating the crew's living
quarters and messing facilities.
Shortly after departure from Mare Island, the CAVALIER steamed to San Diego, where she entered a four-week refresher-training program. Drills and exercises such as refueling and replenishing at sea, drone firing, damage control procedures, communication and navigational problems were conducted. Upon completion of training, the CAVALIER completed a two-week amphibious refresher-training program. On 14 September 1957, Captain George Hutchinson, USN, relieved Captain L. E. Strickler, USN, as commanding officer. During the later part of 1957 a rigorous training and preparation program was adopted in an effort to ready the crew for deployment to the Western Pacific.
During 1957, the CAVALIER conducted two dependents cruises. An estimated 700 dependents were given a first hand view of the CAVALIER and her crew. In addition, the CAVALIER was host to over 1,000 civilians, including social organizations, Girl Scout and Sea Scout troops. An overhaul period at Mare island form April to June prepared the ship for an administration inspection and refresher training in San Diego in June and July.
FEB 1958 - WESTPAC, “STRONGBACK”, “HAPPY LION”, “SANDY BEACH”, TYPHOON OF MAJOR SIZE
In February 1958, the CAVALIER left Long Beach for WestPac. After picking up troops in Okinawa, she joined with approximately 170 U.S., Japanese and Philippine vessels for Operation "STRONGBACK" at Dingalan Bay, Luzon, Philippines. The CAVALIER also took part in "HAPPY LION", a joint Korean-U.S. operation witnessed by Syngman Rhee, president of the Republic of Korea; and "SANDY BEACH" where she qualified for the Assault Boat Award. She returned to the states in June 1958. (Note 2; “It was sometime during this cruise that the CAVALIER steamed through a violent storm in the South China Sea. The listing was more than 40+ degrees and effectively removed one complete boat and davit from the starboard side. Likely it was while returning to Yokusoka from the “HAPPY LION” exercise.”)
OCT 1958 – “ROCKY SHOALS”
Captain R. P. Nicholson, USN, took command of the CAVALIER in October of 1958. In November, she took part in "ROCKY SHOALS", San operation off the California coast at San Simon. The CAVALIER picked up troops from Fort Lewis, Washington for the operation.
FEB 1959 – WESTPAC, “SEA TURTLE” – JUN 1959 LONG BEACH
On 10 February 1959, the CAVALIER departed for
WestPac stopping enroute at Pearl
Harbor (18-19 February). During this four-month cruise she participated in "SEA
TURTLE", a joint U.S.-Korean operation and also conducted a dependents cruise to
Hong Kong from Manila,
Philippine Island for 300 dependents. During the week of 21 - 27 March 1959, dependents
went on a shopping spree
and their "goods" were loaded in the holes of the
CAVALIER and returned
to Manila, P.I. on 30 March 1959. Returning to
the states, the CAVALIER stopped at
Pearl Harbor on 3 June 1959 for 2
days and left on 5 June to arrive Long Beach on 13 June 1959.
JAN 1960 REFRESHER TRAINING AT SAN DIEGO, WESTPAC, “BLUE STAR”, “SEAHAWK”, “WETNET”, KOREA
Captain Warren C. Boles, USN, took command of the
CAVALIER on 23 January 1960,
during refresher training at San Diego, California. Following refresher training the CAVALIER
departed for WestPac on
16 February for a five month cruise. During this cruise, she participated in two amphibious operations. "BLUE STAR", a joint U.S.-Nationalist Chinese operation at Taiwan, was the largest peacetime operation ever conducted outside CONUS. "SEAHAWK" took place at Pohang, South Korea. This operation afforded CAVALIER
the opportunity to qualify for the Amphibious Assault Award for the third consecutive year. Also in South Korea, CAVALIER provided "WETNET" training and a tour of the ship for approximately 6000 South Korean Marines.
CAVALIER's WestPac deployment also included a dependent's cruise from Sasebo, Japan, to Hong Kong, China, after which she returned to the U.S., arriving on 25 July 1960. In gunnery exercises in WestPac and EastPac, the CAVALIER obtained qualifying scores for the White "E" (Gunnery) on three mounts. The year 1960 was also the third consecutive year for CAVALIER to achieve the Red "E" (Engineering).
OCT 1960 “MOUNT OUT”
Following a leave period, the CAVALIER
participated in ship's exercises
before participating in Operation "MOUNT OUT" at Camp Pendleton, California, in October. The
CAVALIER spent the month of
December at Todd Shipyard in San Pedro, California. On
27 December 1960, Captain Gerald L.
Cameron, USN, assumed command of the
FEB 1961 – NEW HOME PORT SAN DIEGO
During February 1961, the CAVALIER switched homeports with another ship of her class, the USS BAYFIELD. The CAVALIER left Long Beach, California and arrived in her new homeport of San Diego on 11 February, joining the forces of Amphibious Squadron THREE. In May she played a major role in Operation "GREENLIGHT", a large combined amphibious operation off Camp Pendleton. The CAVALIER had the distinction of flying the Force Commander's Flag of Vice Admiral H. A. Yeager, who witnessed the entire operation from the ship.
JUN 1961 –WESTPAC, “WARMUP”, SEP 1961 - TYPHOON NANCY
On 19 June 1961, the CAVALIER again departed her homeport for @WestPac, stopping at Pearl Harbor enroute. During this six month tour she made many trips to Japan and Okinawa, visited Hong Kong, and delivered several tons of Operation handclasp goods to the people of Taiwan. The CAVALIER also participated in operation "WARMUP" at Okinawa. It was off the coast of Japan that the CAVALIER tangled with Typhoon NANCY with her 160 MPH winds and mountainous seas. (Note 3 "on the 15th day of September 1961, aboard USSCavalier(APA-37),Latitude 30 degree 28' N Longitude 131 degree 55' E, did pass directly through the eye of the TYPOON NANCY, accompanied by 160 knot winds, 65 foot seas, and a barometer reading of 27.32. Taken from the Typhoon Eye Baller Card given to the crew. The storm however, did little serious damage.”) The CAVALIER returned to the United States on 12 December 1961.
FEB 1962 – “MOST DECORATED SHIP”
7 February 1962, Captain H. M. Easterling, USN,
relieved Captain G. L.
Cameron, USN, as Commanding Officer of the USS CAVALIER. This terminated a
well-deserved two months upkeep period and started the CAVALIER on a new
operation schedule appropriately
described as "busy". The months of March and April were
occupied by several
inspections and CAVALIER's endeavors
to attain the Gold Engineering
"E" and the Gold Assault Boat Award. Grades of
Excellent in each of these fields made possible the gold insignia now shown on the CAVALIER. These plus the Green Communication tocti with one hash mark gave foundation to Captain Easterling's statement, "We are probably the most decorated amphibious ship in the Navy today".
MAY 1962 SHIP REPAIR
May of 1962 saw the CAVALIER depart for San Francisco
and a three months yard period.
Extensive work was performed by Pacific Ship
Repair Company assisted by the Ship's force in all
departments with the most
significant improvement concerning communication gear. Successful sea trial made
possible CAVALIER's return to
San Diego on 6 August.
After a short week in port the CAVALIER commenced four weeks of arduous refresher training followed by two weeks of amphibious training under the supervision of AOTU.
OCT 1962 WESTPAC
With only two short weeks to ready the ship for WestPac the CAVALIER departed 16 October 1962 for another tour of duty under the SEVENTH Fleet.
The ship arrived in Sasebo, Japan on 28 November after several weeks at sea, interrupted by a pleasant two weeks period spent at Pearl Harbor. CAVALIER became PHIBRON THREE flagship early in December with Commodore V. M. Wildt shifting his flag from the USS GEORGE CLYMER (APA-27). With the staff aboard, 1962 was concluded with several small amphibious operations, which took the CAVALIER to Numazu, Japan, Okinawa, and Pohang, Korea where training was conducted with Korean Marines for a week.
APR 1963 - SAN DIEGO
She returned to San Diego on 30 April 1963, and spent the remainder of the year conducting battle problems and amphibious training exercises off the coast of California. In May 1963, Captain R. L. Cochrane took command of the CAVALIER.