Recommissioning and Mediterranean Cruises

With the Cold War in progress and the start of the Korean War, a larger Navy was needed. Many Fletcher class destroyers were taken out of reserve and placed on active duty. On 6 April 1951 the USS BRAINE -DD630 was recommissioned at the Charleston Navy Yard. Commander Charleston Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet and Commander Sub Group ONE arrived on board and after inspection, addressed the ship’s company and guests. The new commanding officer, CDR Eugene D. Laminman read his orders and assumed command and the first watch was set. The first post-war crew consisted mainly of Naval Reserve Officers and Petty Officers, with some experienced regular Navy personnel transferred from other ships in the active fleet. Seamen and firemen apprentices came directly from boot camp. The personnel were quartered aboard the destroyer tender USS ARCADIA - AD23 until the ship was retrofitted.

After sea trials in the Atlantic, the BRAINE proceeded directly to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for a shakedown cruise, conducting exercises and training with the Fleet Training Command in the Caribbean. In October 1951 she returned to duty in U.S. coastal waters in Newport, Rhode Island, the home port of Destroyer Squadron 18. The BRAINE entered the Boston Navy Yard for modifications. New radar was installed on a tri-pod mast and a commodore’s cabin constructed on the superstructure forward of the No. 1 stack.

The BRAINE departed Newport in April 1952 for a tour of duty in the Mediterranean Sea. As a component of the Sixth Fleet, she made ports of call to Gibraltar; Cagliari, Sardina; Cannes, France; Taranto, Italy; Catania, Sicily; Trieste, FTT; Venice, Italy; Golfe Juan, France; Rhodes, Greece; Izmir, Turkey; Augusta Bay, Sicily; Bari, Italy; Split, Yugoslavia; Monaco; Villefranche, France and Lisbon, Portugal. In May 1952 CDR Doyen Klein, USN assumed command of the BRAINE.

While operating in the Mediterranean in the summer of 1952, the BRAINE participated with other Sixth Fleet components and NATO in three training exercise maneuvers, USEX VII - and Italian and United States Anti-submarine Warfare exercise; BEHIVE II - an allied amphibious landing exercise at Malta; and MEDLANDEX XIX - an amphibious assault exercise on the Island of Crete. While in Split, Yugoslavia the BRAINE escorted the aircraft carrier USS CORAL SEA - CVA43 with Marshal Tito on board. The carrier put on a display of striking naval air power for the Yugoslav chief.

The 1952 cruise was not without disaster. During a darkened ship maneuver while crossing the Atlantic, the aircraft carrier USS WASP - CV18 collided with the minesweeper USS HOBSON resulting in the sinking of the HOBSON with heavy loss of lives. A second tragedy occurred on board the BRAINE. While exercising a man-overboard drill at sea, Fireman Apprentice Michael D. Haughey was lost in a motor whale boat accident.

In late October, the BRAINE returned to Boston Navy Yard for needed maintenance and repair. At that time extensive changes in armament took place. The K-guns, torpedo tubes, 20mm and 40mm anti-aircraft mounts were removed. The forward 40mm guns were replaced with hedge hogs. The No. 3 - 5"38 gun mount was removed and replaced by twin 3-50 gun mounts. The midships 40mm mounts were replaced with twin 3-50 mounts.

She joined the Sixth Fleet again in May 1953 for another cruise to the Mediterranean. On 25 July 1953, CDR James H. Elsom, USN assumed command. The BRAINE made ports of call to Greece, Sicily, Italy, Spain, and Gibraltar. In October she returned for a yard period in the Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston. In late October the BRAINE returned to the United States coastal waters participating in anti-submarine warfare exercises in Key West, Florida and in plane guard duty with the Naval Air Training Squadrons at Pensacola Naval Air Station. She conducted further training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She returned to Newport. Hurricane Carol slammed into Newport pinning the BRAINE against the dock. After minor repairs preparing for her reassignment to the Pacific Fleet, the BRAINE departed Newport in November 1954 for San Diego.

BACK