1973 USS William C. Lawe Navy Cruise Book

1973 USS William C. Lawe Navy Cruise Book

This page from the 1973 USS William C. Lawe Navy Cruise Book shows images of John Warner’s December 1972 visit. The caption on the page reads:

“’Angel 005’ hovered over the fantail Sunday 24 December 1972 and slowly lowered the Secretary of the Navy John W. Warner and the Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet Admiral Bernard A. Clarey aboard for a Christmas visit. Secretary Warner and Admiral Clarey were greeted by LAWE’s Skipper, Commander Albert M. Hayes, Jr. on behalf of the ship’s company.

The visit was part of Secretary Warner’s ‘Christmas with the Seventh Fleet” in which he was to visit all U.S. Navy Ships in the Tonkin Gulf and express his appreciation for their efforts during the holiday season. At the time LAWE was serving as mutual support ship for the Attack Aircraft Carrier, USS RANGER (CVA-61).

After brief comments and holiday wishes from President Nixon, Secretary Warner and Admiral Clarey mingled with the crew and exchanged thoughts on a wide range of subjects. It wasn’t long however, before ‘Angel 005’ returned to whisk the VIP’s away to another unit on patrol in the Tonkin Gulf.”

Warner and Clarey’s visit took place during the controversial Christmas bombings of December 18-29th, when President Nixon ordered heavy bombings of Hanoi and Haiphong to pressure North Vietnam to return to peace negotiations in Paris. The ships and aircraft carriers of the Seventh Fleet played a pivotal role in the attacks.