25 YEARS OF SERVICE
In 1959, the United States Congress authorized construction of DLG-23, a LEAHY class destroyer. The ship, later named after the illustrious and aggressive Fleet Admiral William F. (Bull) Halsey, would through her successful service to her country, live up to the legacy of the man she was named for.
On the 25th of September 1959, San Francisco Naval Shipyard was awarded the contract to build DLG-23, which was to be named in honor of Fleet Admiral Halsey, who had died earlier that year. Work began on the ship in early March of 1960, with the keel being laid on August 25th of that same year. Work steadily progressed and on January 15, 1962, DLG-23 was christened "HALSEY" by two of FADM Halsey's granddaughters, Mrs. Spruance Denham and Miss Jane Halsey, with a third granddaughter, Miss Ann Halsey acting as a Maid of Honor.
On the third of February of 1963, HALSEY's prospective Commanding Officer, Captain Herbert H. Anderson, reported on board for duty.
After three years, construction was finally completed on the 8th of July in 1963 and HALSEY was commissioned on the 20th of July.
At her commissioning, then Secretary of the Navy, the honorable Fred Korth, was the principle speaker, with Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz and Mr. William F. Halsey III also speaking. The day the commissioning ceremonies took place, an almost complete total eclipse of the sun, as if to underscore that this was to be no ordinary ship.
HALSEY departed San Francisco on November 25, 1963 for ASW tests and acoustical noise surveys. Completing those tests, she arrived in her new homeport of San Diego December 11, 1963 and was honored with a "Welcome Aboard" ceremony hosted by the USS HAMNER (DD-718). HALSEY became Destroyer Squadron Seven's newest member and was placed in DESDIV 71 with the HAMNER, BUCK and POWELL.
Shortly after joining the fleet, HALSEY had occasion to prove her Anti-Air Warfare prowress when she acted as a screen commander in a special Sea Power demonstration for the Secretary of the Navy.
HALSEY participated in her first large scale fleet exercise, Union Square, over a ten day period, from September 28, 1964 to October 6. The day after returning from the exercise, HALSEY saw her first Change of Command Ceremony as Captain George W. Ringenberg relieved Captain Herbert H. Anderson. Three months after assuming command, Captain Ringenberg took HALSEY and her crew and departed home and family for her first major deployment (WESTPAC), in which she operated with the U.S. Navy's attack carrier forces, off the coast of Vietnam. In addition to duties as rescue destroyer and Anti-Submarine Warfare assignments, she employed her advanced Combat Information Center (CIC) and endurance on station, to conduct AAW operations. For her service, HALSEY earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. She returned home to San Diego in August of 1965.
Shortly after returning from her first WESTPAC, Captain G. W. Ringenburg was relieved as Commanding Officer by Captain J. J. LeBourgeois in a ceremony held on the 10th of September of that year.