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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Stribling

 

Cornelius Kinchiloe Stribling was born at Pendleton, S.C., on 22 September 1796. He was appointed midshipman on 18 June 1812, the day the United States declared war on Great Britain. During the War of 1812, he served in Macedonian from 1 January 1813 to April 1814 and in Mohawk from then until April 1815. While assigned to Mohawk on Lake Ontario, Midshipman Stribling participated in the blockade of Kingston in the summer and fall of 1814.

 

Soon after the end of the war, he returned to Macedonian and, in 1815, participated in the capture of two Algerine ships, a frigate and a brig, by Commodore Stephen Decatur's squadron. In October of 1815, Stribling was transferred to Constellation and returned home in that frigate at the end of 1817. On 1 April 1818, he was promoted to lieutenant and served successively in Hornet, Peacock, John Adams, and again in Constellation, during the campaigns against pirates in the West Indies. In 1823, he was given command of two barges along the coast of Cuba and with them captured buccaneer schooner Pilot after a running fight.

 

During the Mexican War, Stribling was attached to ship-of-the-line Ohio and took part in operations against the coastal towns of Lower California and western Mexico. From 1851 to 1853, he served as Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy. On 1 August 1853, he became Captain Stribling. From 1854 to 1855, he commanded San Jacinto and, between 1857 and 1859, he was Commandant at the Pensacola Navy Yard.

 

After two years as Commander of the East India Squadron, Capt. Stribling returned home in 1861 to find the Union rent asunder by the Civil War. He forsook the land of his birth, South Carolina, to support the Union cause. Under the provisions of the Act of Congress, effective 21 December 1861, his long service required that he be placed upon the retired list. That action and a promotion to the rank of Commodore took place on 2 August 1862.

 

However, the exigencies of war soon brought him back to active duty. He commanded the Philadelphia Navy Yard until 23 September 1864, when he was ordered to assume command of the East Gulf Blockading Squadron. He held this post for the duration of the war. On 6 August 1866, he was appointed to the Lighthouse Board and remained with that organization until 18 September 1871, having served as president of the board from 15 March 1869. Rear Admiral Stribling died at Martinsburg, W. Va., on 17 January 1880.

 

II

 

(DD-867: dp. 2,425; l. 390'6"; b. 40'10"; dr. 18'6"; s. 34.6 k. (tl.); cpl. 345; a. 6 5", 10 40mm., 10 21" tt., 2 dct., 6 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.); cl. Gearing)

 

The second Stribling (DD-867) was laid down on IB January 1945 by the Bethlehem Steel Co., at Staten Island, N.Y.; launched on 8 June 1945; sponsored by Mrs. W. Hunter Powell; and commissioned on 29 September 1945, Comdr. J. D. Buckeley in command.

 

Stribling shook down out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; then reported for duty at the Fleet Sonar School at Key West, Fla. In 1948, she embarked upon the first of a career-long series of deployments to the Mediterranean Sea. Between 1948 and 1953, Stribling spent a portion of each year in the “middle sea.” During the 1948 cruise, she flew the United Nations flag while on Palestine Patrol. In 1949, she became the first American ship to visit a Spanish port since the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. While deployed with the 6th Fleet again in 1950, she visited a number of northern European ports.

 

On 23 August 1953, Stribling set sail from Norfolk for the Panama Canal and duty with the Pacific Fleet. She reached Yokosuka on 3 October and, after a brief upkeep period, commenced Korean War operations. The destroyer operated intermittently with the carriers of Task Force (TF) 77 in the Sea of Japan and with TF 95, the United Nations Escort and Blockading Force, along the west coast of Korea and in the Yellow Sea. When not patrolling with TF 95 or TF 77, Stribling trained and visited Far Eastern ports for liberty. In March 1954, she continued her voyage around the world. On the 19th, she put into Port Said, Egypt, and then sailed through the Mediterranean, visiting the sunny liberty ports along the way. On 10 April, she completed her circumnavigation of the globe at Norfolk.

 

Over the next six years, Stribling resumed her schedule of 6th Fleet deployments alternated with tours of duty with the 2d Fleet in the western Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. Constant training and exercises, both American and NATO, characterized the bulk of her activities during that period. She was in the Mediterranean in 1958 during the Lebanon crisis and stood by to lend a hand until it was resolved.

 

The period from June 1960 to April 1966 brought significant changes to Stribling. From June 1960 until April 1966, she was modified extensively at the Charleston Naval Shipyard under the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) program. After refresher training out of Guantanamo Bay and participation in NATO exercise "Lime Jug," Stribling stood watch during the recovery of astronaut, John Glenn, in February of 1962. In August, she deployed to the 6th Fleet, but spent at least a third of that tour in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf, operating with the Middle East Force. She exercised with units of the Saudi Arabian and Iranian navies and visited many new ports, notably Djibouti in French Somaliland, Kharg Island in Iran, and Aden. Stribling's next two deployments were also with the Middle East Force. In the spring of 1966, the destroyer received a Drone Antisubmarine Helicopter (DASH) system and, by 4 May 1966, completed DASH qualification.

 

Stribling continued alternating between 6th and 2d Fleet assignments until 1969. In February and March of 1967, she participated in Polaris missile firing tests on the Atlantic test range. On 30 January 1969, Stribling put to sea from Mayport, Fla., to make her second voyage to the Far East. Heading via the Panama Canal, San Diego, and Pearl Harbor, the destroyer made for Yokosuka, Japan, and then operations off the coast of Vietnam. Stribling's duties included bombardments on the gunline, search and rescue missions usually for downed carrier pilots, and Positive Identification Radar Advisory Zone (PIRAZ) duty. The latter assignment involved riding “shotgun” for larger PIRAZ ships armed with more sophisticated radar and target designation systems.

 

That summer, Stribling plane-guarded for the carriers operating on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin. When not operating in the combat zone, she put into Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Hong Kong; and Subic Bay in the Philippines, for liberty, upkeep, and provisions. On 2 August 1969, Stribling cleared the combat zone to return home. On her way, she stopped at Kure and Yokosuka, Japan; Pearl Harbor; San Diego; and Panama. On 17 September 1969, she reentered Mayport.

 

Upon her return from Vietnam, Stribling resumed her routine of Mediterranean deployments and Atlantic seaboard duty. She made two deployments to the 6th Fleet, one from August 1970 to March 1971 and the other from February until September 1972. The first was an active tour of duty, encompassing as it did the Jordanian crisis of 1970. With Syrian elements and left-wing Jordanians attempting to topple King Hussein from his throne, the 6th Fleet was mobilized to maintain a striking force poised in the eastern Mediterranean. Operating in much the same manner as she did in Vietnam in 1969, she cruised along the coast of Syria on Bravo Station in the antiaircraft screen for the 6th Fleet until the crisis abated. On 22 October, Stribling pursued an unidentified nuclear submarine, stalking her quarry for almost 48 hours.

 

Stribling's second deployment since returning from Vietnam was far more routine. It was given over to normal operations and exercises with other units of the fleet and with units of foreign navies. In March of 1973, she sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and up through the Indian Ocean to rejoin the Middle East Force. Since her return to the United States from that last deployment, Stribling has operated with the 2d Fleet in the western Atlantic. She has left the area only once in that time, during September and October 1974, to participate in exercise “Northern Merger.” That cruise took her to the Netherlands and England for port visits. In mid-October 1974, she resumed her eastern seaboard operations and, as of March 1975, was still so employed.

 

Stribling earned two battle stars during the Vietnam War.