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Captain’s Report



From: Commanding Officer, USS MANSFIELD (DD-728)
To: Commander Task Group 7.3

Subj: Operational Phase Report for HARDTACK

Ref: (a) CTG 7.3 INSTRUCTION 03401.1A
(b) CO, USS MANSFIELD (DD-728) conf ltr 050 of 17 May 58 (WAHOO)

Encl: (1) Report of the Operational Phase, Operation HARDTACK
(2) Recommended Weather Balloon Launching Procedure

1. Reference (a) requires a report of the operational phase of HARDTACK; to include an abstract, comments, recommendations and a summary arising therefrom. Reference (b), a report on event WAHOO was submitted under separate cover.

2. Enclosure (1) is submitted herewith, reporting on items noted by reference (a) for the operational phase of HARDTACK. The following is an abstract of the operation for the period from 11 May to 10 June 1958.

a. USS MANSFIELD arrived at Eniwetok Proving Grounds on 11 May 1958 from Long Beach, via Pearl Harbor, taking 11 days in transit. From 11 May to 16 May MANSFIELD was engaged in the operational training exercise WAHOO (reference (b)). Two daytime practices were held on successive days and the exercise itself was held on 16 May. 17 May was devoted to stocking aerological supplies from USS PARKS (DD-884) in DESDIV 11 during the morning and practicing launching of Rawin Balloons, firing of parachute projectiles and HASP rockets for training and practice tracking purposes in the afternoon. MANSFIELD departed Eniwetok the same day for weather station BRAVO where Rawin soundings were taken satisfactorily until 22 May. MANSFIELD returned to Eniwetok on 22 May, replenished fuel and aerological supplies, and was assigned to SAR duties. During this period no SAR incident occurred and liberty was made available to all hands. Between 27 May and 4 June MANSFIELD again was assigned weather station BRAVO experienceng little difficulty in its assigned mission. From 5 t0 7 June MANSFIELD was assigned SAR duties at Eniwetok with the possibility of being assigned as the observing destroyer for exercise UMBRELLA; however, MANSFIELD was sent to Station DELTA PRIME ouside Bikini for further Rawin soundings on 8 June and remained there through 10 June, being autorized to anchor in Bikini at discretion on non-shot days.

3. From the standpoint of planning, it is evident that a great deal of thought and energy went into coordination the activities of Naval units participating Operation HARDTACK. As a result of experience gained and details that have arisen, the following comments and recommendations are submitted:

a. Comments.

(1) RAWIN. RAWIN data prior to arrival at EPG was non-existent. Very little was know as to what was expected, until USS PARKS personnel reported aboard to transfer their RAWIN material, and the Assistant Force Aerologist brought aboard the doctrine.

(a) Recommend that a weather balloon launching procedure be promulgated for study by DD’s prior to their arrival at EPG. (Enclosure (1), para. 1 and 2 and enclosure (2)).

(2) LOKI Rockets. Personnel on board were not familiar with LOKI rockets, stowage or use prior to conferring with USS PARKS personnel.

(a) Recommend that LOKI information be promulgated for study by DD’s prior to their arrival at EPG. (Enclosure (2), para. 1).

(3) Water Transportation. Boat pool facilities at Bikini were excellent. Boat facilities at Eniwetok were inadequate due primarily to distances involved and facilities available to do the job. Officers and men were required to use hours, and in some cases a good part of the day to do minor jobs that required transportation about the harbor. Transportation for liberty parties, due to the required transfer at ELMER Island, and the infrequency of scheduled trips made liberty an arduous detail. Consequently, liberty parties seldom were of a maximum number. Many man-hours of work among ship’s company and high paid civilian help ashore were lost due to lack of more prompt and reliable boat transportation.

(a) Recommend in future operations of HARDTACK nature that more boats and boat personnel be made available. (Enclosure (1), para. 4.c. and 5.b.).

(4) Maintenance. In-port ship’s maintenance periods were no available during the period of this report.

(a) Recommend a 3 day in-port upkeep and maintenance period for the purpose of working on equipment and ship’s hull areas that cannot be accomplished during either expected or scheduled operating periods. (Enclosure 2, para. 5 concerning sonar gear, MK37 radar and machinery).

(5) Logistics. An increase of 25% monetary allowance on provisions was provided; however, certain improvements in quality of food were not available.

(a) Recommend boneless beef by special cuts be authorized for forces afloat in order to better utilize the additional allowance. (Enclosure (1), para. 5.a).

(6) Communications. Difficulty was experienced in the transmission and receipt of high priority traffic.

(a) Recommend that use of alternate and simultaneous frequencies be employed. (enclosure (1), para. 7.).

(7) Security. Access badges were initially requested on a “need-to-know” basis. Later, all commissioned officers were issued access badges.

(a) recommend CTG 7.3 INSTRUCTION 05512.1A be revised to reflect the situation whereby all commissioned officers require an access badge, or that requirements for access to certain areas ashore be revised. (Enclosure (1), para. 8.).

4. Operation HARDTACK has been a training period for all hands, particularly event WAHOO, as noted by paragraph 2(4)(d) of reference (b). As reflected by comments and notes submitted herewith all hands gained a great deal of first hand experience and knowledge.


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