Donald Marshall Carpenter, born in Hopbottom, Pennsylvania, on 6 March 1894, attended grade schools in Scranton and high school in McKeesport, and was appointed a midshipman from the 30th District of Pennsylvania on 11 July 1912. Graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, on 2 June 1916, “Doc” Carpenter reported to his first ship, Wyoming (Battleship No. 32) on 17 June. He was commissioned ensign on 5 July 1916.
During his World War I service in Wyoming, Carpenter received temporary promotions to lieutenant (junior grade) (3 October 1917) and lieutenant (6 February 1918); permanent promotions to those ranks followed, on 12 March 1920 and 31 March 1921, respectively. Detached from Wyoming on 16 May 1921, Carpenter reported to Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, five days later, and over the ensuing months, helped fit out the new battleship California (BB-44).
Detached from California on 8 May 1922, Carpenter was slated to join Nevada (BB-36) before her departure for the Atlantic coast, but received authorization to proceed to Pensacola, Florida, via commercial transportation, at his own expense, “for temporary duty under instruction in heavier-than-air craft.” Opting for flight training over continued service in battleships, Carpenter, authorized a month’s delay in transit, reported to NAS Pensacola on 19 June 1922.
Upon completion of flight training, Carpenter was detached from NAS Pensacola on 3 April 1923; he also married Clara Moreno the same day (a union that ultimately produced two sons). He reported for duty with Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet, on 27 April 1923, and remained with that aeronautical organization until assigned temporary duty with Aircraft Squadrons, Scouting Fleet; he served with that unit until 20 May 1925.
Commissioned lieutenant commander on 5 February 1927 while at Pensacola, Carpenter joined Stoddert (DD-302) on 23 June 1928 upon that destroyer’s return from operations with the Battle Fleet in Hawaiian waters, and served as her executive officer until 20 September 1929. Ordered to Langley (CV-1), he reported for duty the following day, and served in that aircraft carrier until 30 June 1930.
Assuming command on 30 June 1930 of Scouting Squadron (VS) 3B, Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet, which operated in the air group assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington (CV-2), he remained in that billet through his squadron’s being assigned to Carrier Divisions, U.S. Fleet, on 25 October 1930. Leaving VS-3B on 25 April 1931, Carpenter became executive officer of Fleet Air Base (FAB), Coco Solo, Canal Zone, on 26 May 1931, a billet he filled for almost two years, until relieved on 19 July 1933 to assume the post of operations officer for Aircraft Squadrons, Coco Solo.
During the late summer of 1933, Carpenter commanded the ferry flight of the first division of Patrol Squadron (VP) 5F from NAS Norfolk, Virginia to FAB Coco Solo. Carpenter flew 5-P-2, one of six Consolidated P2Y-1 flying boats that departed Norfolk midway through the first dog watch on 7 September 1933 (accompanied personally during the initial stages of the flight by Rear Admiral Ernest J. King, Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, in a Vought SU-1) and reached its destination, a little over halfway through the second dog watch the next day, having covered the 1,788 nautical miles in a total elapsed time of 25 hours and 29 minutes. In the longest non-stop formation seaplane flight in history, the six flying boats battled headwinds for almost the entire aerial voyage, at one point encountering a heavy squall with velocity approaching 50 knots.
Detached from FAB Coco Solo on 15 May 1934, Carpenter reported on board seaplane tender Wright (AV-1) three days later, and became her navigator on 30 May 1934. He carried out those duties until hospitalized at the U.S. Naval Hospital, San Diego, California, on 20 November 1934. Released the following spring, he served at NAS San Diego from 11 April to 3 September 1935 before he became Inspector of Naval Aircraft, San Diego, on the latter date. Detached on 10 July 1936 to the Naval Training Station, San Diego, he was relieved of all active duty and placed on the retired list on 1 October 1936. Carpenter died of lobar pneumonia at the U.S. Naval Hospital, San Diego, on 4 April 1940.
On 18 June 1945, Mrs. Edward S. Shaw, sister of Carpenter’s widow Clara, wrote to Admiral King, then Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet (who had commanded Lexington when Carpenter had commanded VS-3B) suggesting that a ship be named for the late leader of VP-5F’s historic flight in 1933, citing the “sincere respect” her brother-in-law had felt for King. “I sincerely hope you will not consider me presumptuous,” she wrote, “but if you could lend your approval to such an honor for ‘Doc’ as we all knew him, I would appreciate it very much.”
“Please do this if you can,” King wrote to the Chief of Naval Personnel, who recommended the name assignment on 10 July 1945; consequently, on 14 July 1945, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal assigned the name Carpenter to DD-825. In writing to Secretary Forrestal upon being informed of the naming of the ship, Carpenter’s widow wrote on 9 August 1945 of her “deep appreciation of the honor bestowed on my two sons and me in the naming of this ship for my late husband and I hope her record will be one of which to be proud…”
Carpenter (DD-825) was laid down on 30 July 1945 at Consolidated Shipbuilding Company, Orange, Texas; launched on 28 September 1945, and sponsored by Mrs. Donald M. Carpenter, widow of the ships’ namesake. Work ceased on the ship, however, when the contract for her construction was cancelled on 30 January 1946, resumed on 21 February, but stopped again on 21 October when the hull was transferred to Algiers (Louisiana) Naval Station. Towed to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company on 6 November 1947 for completion as a hunter-killer anti-submarine destroyer (DDK), Carpenter was commissioned at the Norfolk (Virginia) Naval Shipyard on 15 December 1949, Commander James B. Grady in command.
Serving as an interim substitute to the planned specialized “sub-killer cruisers” such as Norfolk (CLK-1), Carpenter’s modifications emphasized electronic equipment and antisubmarine warfare (ASW) weaponry over the standard destroyer antiaircraft and torpedo armament. Designed to counter Soviet high-speed snorkel-equipped diesel submarines similar to the German World War II era Type-XXIs, Carpenter was equipped with a trainable Hedgehog, two Weapon Alfa anti-submarine rocket launchers, anti-submarine torpedoes, and numerous depth charges, in addition to torpedo countermeasure equipment, towed decoys and an improved sonar system.
While Carpenter fit out at Norfolk, the ship’s designation was changed to DDE (escort destroyer) on 4 March 1950. Like her three sister ships, Basilone (DDE-824), Epperson (DDE-719), and Robert A. Owen (DDE-827), Carpenter conducted a shakedown cruise and intensive ASW training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, later that spring. On 26 June the destroyer got underway for the Pacific, transited the Panama Canal on 1 July, and arrived at her new homeport, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 13 July.
Despite the outbreak of war in Korea in June 1950, the emphasis of U.S. naval construction programs gravitated towards research platforms and the development of prototype systems rather than perfecting mass production designs. Carpenter thus became a test bed for Norfolk, herself an experimental ASW warship, and was assigned to the Anti-Submarine Hunter-Killer Force out of Pearl Harbor.
Carpenter began her first cruise to the Korean war zone on 4 February 1952 when she departed Pearl for duty in the Western Pacific. After arrival in Yokosuka, Japan, the destroyer conducted a Hunter-Killer training exercise off Okinawa before reporting to Task Force (TF) 77 on 3 March. Operating with the Fast Carrier Force, she spent the next month screening carriers and honing her ASW skills, missions interspersed with two trips to Wonsan harbor to pick up downed pilots for transportation back to the task force.
After completing a Formosa Straits patrol in April, Carpenter joined TF 95.1, the United Nations Blockading and Escort Force operating in the Yellow Sea. While attached to a carrier group, which included British, Australian and Canadian warships, Carpenter screened the flattops during flight operations and carried out several shore bombardment missions, including one against Ch’o Do Island.
Returning to Pearl Harbor for a refit, the destroyer conducted a series of local training operations off Hawaii in July and August following the completion of those repairs and alterations. Then, in September, she departed for Eniwetok Atoll to participate in two atmospheric thermonuclear tests in Operation IVY. During those evolutions, Carpenter conducted ASW patrols to keep Soviet submarines from observing the tests in between her duties as plane guard for Rendova (CVE-114), whose planes flew patrol and reconnaissance missions in the region. With both detonations complete by 16 November, Carpenter received her radiological clearance inspection and departed the next day, arriving at Pearl on 24 November.
Resuming local operations in Hawaii, she remained there until May 1953 when Carpenter steamed to the Far East for operations with TF 77. After rendezvous with light cruiser Manchester (CL-83) in early June, the destroyer proceeded to North Korea for a shore bombardment mission against gun positions in Hungnam harbor on 12 June. Although 12 rounds of 75-millimeter fire from shore batteries fell near Carpenter, she suffered neither hits nor casualties.
Following a tender availability in Sasebo, the destroyer spent the next month screening the fast carriers. After returning to Yokosuka for a short refit on 29 July, Carpenter departed 11 August for a Formosa patrol. This evolution included screen operations with carrier Boxer (CVA-21) and battleship New Jersey (BB-62) and radar tracking of numerous Chinese communist aircraft contacts. Returning to Kobe, Japan, on 6 September, the destroyer spent the next two months conducting ASW and screening operations in Korean waters.
Departing Yokosuka on 30 October, Carpenter sailed to Pearl Harbor for an extensive refit. Minor repairs, tactical drills, and crew training occupied the ship until the summer of 1954 when she returned to the western Pacific. In September, during the Quemoy and Matsu crisis between communist China and the Nationalists on Formosa, Carpenter patrolled the Taiwan Straits for thirteen tense days before the crisis passed. The destroyer remained in the region for the next three months, screening Boxer, conducting various Hunter-Killer ASW exercises, and patrolling the Formosa Straits. In January 1955, in line with the mutual defense treaty between Taiwan and the United States, Carpenter helped convoy Nationalist forces as they evacuated the Tachen Islands.
After returning to Hawaii that spring, Carpenter resumed her regular routine of local operations and ASW exercises out of Pearl. Her fourth cruise began on 4 January 1956 when the destroyer set sail for the western Pacific. Operating out of Yokosuka, the destroyer conducted extensive ASW training with ships of the 7th Fleet, visited ports in the Philippines and Hong Kong, and operated with units of the Royal Australian Navy.
Returning to Pearl Harbor on 9 June, the destroyer underwent an extensive overhaul, followed by the now familiar pattern of local operations, crew training, and constant ASW exercises. In a change of pace the following spring, Carpenter departed Hawaii on 15 March 1957 for a series of goodwill port visits throughout the South Pacific. The destroyer stopped at American Samoa, Manus in the Admiralty Islands and Sydney, Australia, before returning to Hawaii on 28 August. Later that fall, Carpenter underwent an overhaul and received two of the new 3-inch/70 "quick-firing" antiaircraft gun mounts for testing and evaluation.
The destroyer continued this pattern of deployments for the next three years: local operations out of Pearl Harbor followed by a deployment and operations with a Hunter-Killer ASW Group out of Japan, and then return for repairs. Her sixth Far East deployment lasted from April to September 1958, followed by training and an overhaul until March 1959. Six weeks underway training followed before another deployment in July, during which Carpenter operated in a HUK group with Hornet (CVS-12) and Kearsarge (CVS-33), before returning home in December.
In light of concerns over the threat posed by nuclear-powered Soviet submarines, Carpenter spent much of the spring of 1960 conducting ASW training and practicing aircraft carrier screening. During those evolutions, she operated with such carriers as Yorktown (CVS-10), Hancock (CVA-19), and Ranger (CVA-61). Later in June, the warship operated in a plane guard role during Operation COSMOS, President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s trip to the Far East, before conducting a six-week midshipman cruise ending 26 July. Following a month long tender availability alongside Bryce Canyon (AD-36), the destroyer spent much of September in dry dock for hull repairs.
Departing 17 October for her eighth Far East tour, Carpenter joined 7th Fleet’s HUK group and conducted operations with Hornet, Hancock and Bennington (CVS-20). Later that winter, as North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao troops attempted to overthrow the pro-Western Royal Laotian Government, Carpenter deployed as part of the multi-carrier task force sent to the South China Sea to deter further Communist guerrilla attacks on pro-American forces in Laos.
Following her return to Pearl on 26 April 1961, Carpenter entered Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard on 22 May for ASW modernization. Emerging from the yard in August with a new helicopter flight deck and a side-scanning SQS-32 sonar to improve her submarine detection capabilities, she spent the rest of the year conducting refresher training and local operations designed to test her newly installed equipment.
On 29 January 1962, Carpenter commenced exercise “Prairie Wolf” with diesel submarines Tang (SS-563) and Gudgeon (SS-567). This evolution tested the destroyer's sonar tracking abilities and ASW-Rocket weapons system. Other exercises over the next several months included ECM, gunnery, sonar, and radar calibration tests as well as practice ASW torpedo shots. The routine was broken only by occasional plane-guard operations with Hancock, an evaluation of her SQS-32 sonar capabilities against the nuclear-powered submarine Seadragon (SSN-584) and, on 20 February, service as contingency recovery ship during John Glenn’s Mercury Friendship 7 orbital flight.
Following a dual-ship “hold down” exercise by Carpenter and Sproston (DDE-577) against the conventionally powered Bashaw (SS-241) on 23 May, the destroyer moved back to Pearl for three weeks of repairs alongside Bryce Canyon. She then conducted more ASW exercises, helicopter replenishment and plane-guard training in preparation for another 7th Fleet deployment. During one ASW exercise, Carpenter forced Tiru (SS-416) to surface owing to battery drain. On 29 June, the destroyer’s hull designation was changed to DD-825.
Departing Hawaii on 2 July, the destroyer arrived at Yokosuka ten days later. After a short period alongside Dixie (AD-14), she began ASW exercises and screening operations for Hornet. Several barrier patrol exercises, including one with Japanese Self-Defense Force destroyers Takanami and Onami, lasted through September. Other evolutions included torpedo firing exercises, electronic intercept tracking and plane guard services in the Sea of Japan. In October, Carpenter conducted a convoy protection exercise off Okinawa, encountering several shadowing Soviet whaling ships in the process. She then visited Sasebo, Hong Kong and Subic Bay before returning to Hawaii, reaching Pearl Harbor on 17 December.
Starting in January 1963 the destroyer conducted numerous training exercises off Hawaii, including submarine target services and a training mission with Canadian frigates Beacon Hill (FFE-303) and Jonquiere (FFE-318). In April, during a convoy exercise, the destroyer’s simulated attacks “sank” Pickerel (SS-524) and Carbonero (SS-337). On 11 July Carpenter steamed south for a short training cruise to American Samoa, visiting Pago Pago, Tutuila, for three days before returning to Pearl Harbor. In August, the warship participated in fleet exercises, culminating in a convoy screen mission during which helicopters, surface ships, and DASH drones all dropped exercise torpedoes on “attacking” submarines. Unfortunately for Carpenter, she was declared “out of action” on 10 August following a simulated Regulus cruise missile attack guided in by Medregal (SS-480).
The destroyer departed on her next Far East cruise on 12 November, when she got underway in company with Hornet and Frank E. Evans (DD-754). Arriving in Japan on the 22d, the warship received services from Dixie, before commencing a 7th Fleet “active environment” transit exercise with Hornet in the Sea of Japan. On 4 January 1964 the task force provoked the expected reconnaissance response from Soviet forces out of Vladivostok; numerous over-flights by Badger aircraft and the appearance of a Kotlin-class destroyer. Aside from a short excursion to investigate a surfaced Soviet Whiskey-class submarine, Carpenter screened Hornet until the task group steamed to Kobe on 10 January. In addition to plane guard services and ASW training conducted that spring, the destroyer also carried out three Formosa Strait patrols. She returned to Pearl Harbor in late April to begin preparations for a Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) conversion.
This major overhaul was intended to extend a warships’ service life and improve sensor and weapon systems. Begun on 28 May, Carpenter received drone antisubmarine helicopter (DASH) support equipment, anti-submarine rocket (ASROC) weapons, and, since the 3-inch/70s had proved a maintenance disaster, a single 5-inch/38 mount forward. Communication, radar, and sonar upgrades were installed along with general equipment improvements and a helicopter refueling system.
Carpenter began sea trials and equipment tests on 26 March 1965 before moving out of the shipyard on 1 July. Assigned to DESDIV 112 the next day, the destroyer spent the next six months carrying out refresher training and other evolutions in preparation for a Vietnam deployment. These drills included firing an exercise ASROC torpedo at the impact-rigged Blueback (SS-581) in August and surface ship exercises with frigate HMNZS Taranaki later in the fall.
Carpenter departed Hawaii on 27 December and, after a short stop to refuel at Subic Bay, joined TG 77.4 for carrier screening operations on 12 January 1966. After six weeks of plane guard duty Carpenter shifted to the Search and Rescue (SAR) station in the Gulf of Tonkin in early March. On 20 March, the destroyer began a two-day surveillance mission of the communist Chinese-held Paracel Islands before returning to Yokosuka on the 26th. Carpenter returned to the Gulf of Tonkin in mid-April for a few days of patrol and screen duties before she steamed to the gun line off the coast of Vietnam on the 21st. Over the next week she fired a total of 318 5-inch rounds at enemy caves and bunkers in support of the U.S. Army amphibious landing in Operation AUSTIN II. Following visits to Subic Bay and Hong Kong, the warship returned to Hawaii, arriving there on 11 June.
On 25 July, Carpenter began DASH qualification trials and, although one drone malfunctioned and crashed at sea, the DASH control team successfully dropped three exercise torpedoes during evolutions in August. This training was interrupted on the 28th when the destroyer was tasked to intercept two Soviet DDGs approaching Hawaii. The crew then spent the next two days collecting electronic emission data and other useful intelligence regarding Soviet warships before returning to more mundane duties.
In November, the destroyer began receiving services from Prairie (AD-15) in preparation for a restricted availability (RAV). That RAV commenced 14 December, during which Carpenter received rudder repairs and new four-bladed screws. With yard work complete by 12 January 1967, the destroyer resumed a fast paced training regimen, including gunnery qualifications, anti-air drills, CAP control, AN/SQS-26 sonar evaluation, and DASH operations, in preparation for her next deployment.
Departing Pearl Harbor on 6 March, Carpenter ultimately reached Yankee Station three weeks later. Familiar plane guard duties, punctuated only by the occasional sonar, helicopter and DASH exercise with friendly submarines filled her first two weeks on station. On 14 April, Carpenter became the surveillance operations ship for the task force, coordinating and tracking all surface and subsurface contacts for the task force on Yankee station. On 29 April the destroyer stood into Subic Bay for a week of maintenance and minor repairs.
After two more weeks on Yankee Station, Carpenter proceeded north to Kaohsiung for joint sea-air training with the Taiwanese navy, arriving there on 23 May. Returning to the South China Sea on 9 June, the destroyer conducted a brief surveillance pass of the Paracels before returning to Yankee Station on 12 June. Following a port visit to Hong Kong in the first week of July, Carpenter continued screen operations until 22 July, when the destroyer received orders to the gun line off Vietnam. Over the next week, Carpenter carried out fourteen different fire missions against targets ashore, expending 1,012 rounds of 5-inch ammunition in support of the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) 17th Division in the II Corps area.
Sailing to Subic Bay on 1 August, the destroyer joined Sproston and sailed south for exercises with the New Zealand Navy on the 4th. Carpenter crossed the “line” on 8 August where, according to her historian, “the equator was not visible due to the high tide.” The ships reached Sydney on 15 August for a two-day port visit before proceeding on to New Zealand. Once there, the warships conducted several ASW exercises before visiting Auckland and Wellington. Departing 1 September, Carpenter steamed to Pearl Harbor via Pago Pago, reaching home on the 11th.
The destroyer quickly settled into the by now familiar cycle of training and upkeep. The only break came in the second week of November, when she served as an alternate recovery ship during the Apollo 4 unmanned capsule flight test. Unfortunately, the crash and loss of a DASH drone marred an otherwise uneventful mission. Misfortune dogged Carpenter when another drone crashed on 10 January 1968. Despite those mishaps, however, the ship passed all her inspections early in the year and resumed local operations in March. Departing Pearl Harbor on 29 March, the destroyer proceeded north of Midway on a secondary recovery station for another unmanned capsule flight. On 4 April, Carpenter’s radar tracked the Apollo 6 capsule as it passed nearly overhead on a trajectory to a safe splash down near Bennington (CVS-20).
In mid-April, the destroyer underwent a tender availability alongside Isle Royale (AD-29) during which the DASH system was removed. Although unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) would return to warships in the future, the DASH system’s immature technology proved too unreliable for continued operation. Carpenter spent the next few months conducting refresher training in preparation for a major fleet exercise that summer. Underway for San Diego and STRIKEX 1-68 on 14 June, Carpenter carried out shore bombardment, anti-surface and anti-cruise missile operations in the waters off southern California until 2 July. She then steamed to Santa Monica, California, for a port visit before returning to Pearl Harbor. Following a series of pre-deployment tests and inspections, and a tender availability alongside Bryce Canyon, Carpenter received upgrades to her radar fire control systems in preparation for her next Vietnam tour. After testing the new equipment in early September, Carpenter got underway for another Far East deployment on 17 September.
Arriving on Yankee Station on 7 October, she conducted plane guard and screen operations for assigned carriers. Aside from a short port visit to Hong Kong in late October, she remained there for the next two months, and was present when air strikes against North Vietnam were terminated on 1 November. Detached for two weeks on 13 December, Carpenter patrolled the waters south of Danang in support of coastal interdiction efforts as part of Operation “Market Time.” The warship also provided gunfire support for friendly riverine forces south of Chu Lai. Other than a period of Soviet trawler surveillance between 30 January and 2 February 1969, Carpenter remained on Yankee Station until 11 February when she steamed to Subic Bay for refueling and upkeep. Departing that same day, the warship sailed for home and moored at Pearl Harbor on 1 March.
The destroyer’s usual post-deployment routine of inspections, maintenance and training lasted through the summer, ending with Carpenter entering Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for a major overhaul on 13 October. With that yard work complete on 13 February 1970, the destroyer spent the next three months conducting equipment tests, readiness evaluations, and crew training. After a final series of inspections, she got underway for the South China Sea on 3 June.
Arriving on the still busy Yankee Station on 1 July, Carpenter provided plane guard services to a variety of carriers, including Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), America (CVA-66) and Shangri-La (CVS-38). In mid-August, she proceeded north to Yokosuka for ten days of upkeep alongside the repair ship Hector (AR-7). She then commenced three weeks of Taiwan Straits picket duties. Relieved on 22 September, Carpenter returned to Yankee Station to provide screen and plane guard services. In preparation for a port visit to Sydney, the warship sailed to Subic Bay for upkeep on 5 November. While there, workmen discovered cracks in the destroyer’s fuel tanks and the ship was diverted to Pearl Harbor for repairs. Arriving on 25 November, the ship moored alongside Bryce Canyon and the offending compartments were repaired by 15 January 1971.
Carpenter conducted several major training exercises that spring, including ASW exercises with guided missile destroyer Cochrane (DDG-21) and submarines Bonefish (SS-582) and Sailfish (SS-572) in January, Apollo recovery ship training in February, and exercise torpedo firings at Aspro (SSN-648) on 31 March and Plunger (SSN-595) on 30 April. This training regimen ended on 4 June when the destroyer sailed to Oregon for the Portland Rose Festival. Returning to Pearl Harbor on 20 June, Carpenter resumed underway training in preparation for her next deployment. That commenced on 9 September when the destroyer got underway for the Far East.
After an ASW exercise with Scamp (SSN-588) south of Manila Bay, Carpenter arrived at Subic Bay on 24 September to have her ECM antenna repaired. Departing four days later, she took up a screen position on Yankee Station and provided plane guard services for Midway (CVA-41) until 11 October. While steaming towards Subic Bay that day, the crew discovered several leaks in the ships hull. Moving immediately into dry dock AFDM-6 at Subic Bay, the rusted plating was repaired by work crews and Carpenter returned to Yankee Station on 5 November. She then provided plane guard services to Oriskany (CVA-34), Coral Sea (CVA-43), and Constellation (CVA-64) through January 1972. Departing the area on 15 February, the destroyer arrived at Pearl Harbor on 9 March.
After a period of leave and upkeep the destroyer moved into Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard on 5 April for minor hull repairs. The deterioration proved too severe to fully repair in Hawaii, however, and the warship proceeded to Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard at San Francisco on 22 September for major repairs and an overhaul. With repairs complete on 31 January 1973, the warship moved out of dry dock and officially shifted her homeport to San Francisco. Carpenter was also assigned to the Naval Reserve Training force, vice the active fleet. After settling in to her new assignment, the destroyer began training evolutions in preparation for a reserve training cruise to the western Pacific.
Departing 12 June, the destroyer joined Wiltsie (DD-716), Southerland (DD-743) and McKean (DD-784) at Seattle and sailed north to Alaska. Following a brief stop to refuel at Adak, the squadron reached Yokosuka on 28 June. There, the destroyers participated in ASWEX 7-73 in July, a joint exercise with four Japanese destroyers and the submarine Harushio. After a port visit to Sasebo, the warships moved on to Formosa and participated in Exercise “Shark Hunt III” with Taiwanese Navy destroyers. After liberty and upkeep the destroyer group departed Taiwan on 8 August and, following fuels stops at Guam, Midway, and Pearl Harbor, arrived at San Francisco on 30 August.
Owing to major budget shortfalls in the Department of the Navy, Carpenter’s reduced crew conducted only local operations through 1974 and into 1975. Her training that year focused on exercises designed to increase the readiness of nucleus and reserve crews. These were mainly short underway assignments, such as plane guard assignments, replenishment training, and test dive escort services for nuclear submarines Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618) and Seawolf (SSN-575). The warship also carried out a vigorous public affairs program during port visits up and down the west coast.
This pattern of operations continued until 27 September 1976 when the destroyer began an overhaul at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard in San Francisco. Completed on 26 August 1977, the aging destroyer had received major repairs to her main propulsion plant and combat system upgrades. Returning to reserve operations, Carpenter spent the next three years conducting local operations interspersed with longer training cruises. The latter included trips to Ensenada, Mexico and Anchorage, Alaska. Her last underway period took place in May and June 1980, during which she provided plane guard services for Ranger and conducted an ASW exercise with McKean and Bonefish. Upon her return, the crew began preparations to turn over the ship to the Republic of Turkey as part of the Security Assistance Program.
Decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 20 February 1981, Carpenter was leased to the Republic of Turkey that same day. Renamed Anittepe (D-347), the destroyer was purchased outright on 8 June 1987 and served in the Turkish Navy through the 1990s.
Timothy F. Francis
30 September 2021