USS Soley (DD-707) - 1955–1970


Soley operated along the east coast until being deployed to the Mediterranean from July 1956 to February 1957 and again from July to December 1957. She was participating in "Springboard 58", the annual Caribbean exercise, during January 1958 when she and Barton (DD-722) rescued the crew of SS St. Eleftiero which later sank. Soley was deployed to the Mediterranean from October 1958 to April 1959; While In the Eastern Mediterranean in December 1958, Soley responded to a distress message reporting a fire on board the Panamanian tanker Mirador in Iskenderun Bay, Turkey. During this incident, on December 30, John L. King, DC2, lost his life while fighting the fire.

After proceeding to Beirut on January 12, Soley was called upon to respond to another fire in Mirador. During this deployment, port calls were made in Gibraltar, Golf Juan, Malta, Cartagena, Athens, Beirut, Genoa, San Remo, Marseilles, Barcelona, and Rota, Spain. A royal welcome awaited Destroyer Squadron TWO when they returned to Norfolk, VA on April 9, with Commander Destroyer Flotilla FOUR embarked. The remainder of April and early May 1959 were spent alongside the piers in Norfolk, VA.

On May 8 Soley began a two-week operation with USS Essex and USS Saratoga off the Florida Coast returning to Norfolk, VA in mid-May. Soley then participated in INTEX exercises in the South Atlantic with a visit to Mayport, Florida for the Memorial Day weekend. The ship returned to the Norfolk, VA area in early June to participate in TRAMIDLEX, an amphibious exercise involving midshipmen. During this period Soley was involved in a collision with a whale which severely damaged her sonar dome, requiring replacement at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard beginning on July 1st.

On August 15 CDR Richard Flournoy, Jr. assumed duties as Commanding Officer of Soley. CDR Flournoy entered the Navy through the V-S program in January 1942 and received his Navy "Wings" in 1943. In addition to flight duties he served on cruisers, destroyers, and staff assignments.

On September 11 Commander Destroyer Flotilla FOUR presented Soley with the Battle Efficiency "E" for 1959. This was the second consecutive year that Soley received this award. At the same time the ship received the DESLANT Operations Department "E" and the Communications "C" for excellence.

The remainder of 1959 was devoted to Hunter-Killer ASW operations along the Atlantic Coast until December when the ship returned to Norfolk, VA for the holiday period.

Soley was again deployed from September 1961 to March 1962; and from 29 March to 4 September 1963. In 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis, she served with the quarantine forces off Cuba from October to December.

On 1 March 1964, Soley's homeport was changed from Norfolk, VA to Charleston, South Carolina; and, on 1 April, she was assigned duty as a Naval Reserve Training ship. She served in this capacity until being decommissioned on 13 February 1970. Soley was struck from the Navy list on 1 July 1970 and sunk as a training target off of South Carolina's coast, concluding Soley's long career with military honors.

Soley received one battle star for service in Korea.

Read more about this topic:  USS Soley (DD-707)

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