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In May 1960, Orleck's rotation schedule changed and she joined DesRon 3, the first squadron to be homeported in the Western Pacific since before World War II. Based at Yokosuka for 27 months she operated primarily with fast carrier forces and served three tours with TF 72. In August 1962 she returned to the west coast for Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization. The Mark I overhaul and conversion brought on board the newest in technical equipment and weaponry, including ASROC and DASH.

From November 1963 to June 1964, the "new" destroyer, homeported at Long Beach, conducted training exercises with the 1st Fleet off the west coast. Then rotated back to Yokosuka, she joined TF 77 in the South China Sea as American commitments to the Republic of South Viet Nam escalated. Into October she escorted carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin, then returned briefly to Japan before taking up patrol of Taiwan Strait. From Taiwan she sailed to the Philippines, thence to the Viet Namese coast for TF 77 operations until June. Detached for a month, she joined TF 130 to assist in the recovery of the Gemini IV space capsule. In July she returned to Vietnam to provide escort and plane guard services to Oriskany. Shore bombardment and gunfire support activities followed as the destroyer participated in operations "Starlight", a regimental attack involving amphibious, helo-borne and ground operations in the Chu Lai area, and "Pirania", a similar assault at Van Tuong. In late September she departed the gun line only to return the next month to support the last "Dagger Thrust" operations at Lang Ke Ga and Phu Thu.

Spending Christmas in Japan, Orleck was back off Vietnam in January 1966 for surveillance operations followed by 30 days bombardment duty in the Chu Lai-Tam Ky area during operation "Double Eagle". In mid-March she returned to Japan, whence she headed for the west coast, again to be homeported at Long Beach. She remained on the west coast for overhaul and local operations until departing for Viet Nam 19 September 1967. Assigned first to Yankee Station in Tonkin Gulf, she alternated plane guard duties with surveillance of a Russian electronic intelligence "trawler". At the end of January 1968, as the Tet offensive reached a climax she shifted to gunfire support duty off Vung Tau. She remained in that area until setting a homeward course 17 February.

Arriving at Long Beach in March, she departed 31 July for her third tour as a non-rotated unit of the 7th Fleet. Asian based at Yokosuka, she was off Vietnam by 13 September to support the 9th R.O.K. Infantry in the Cam Ranh Bay-Nha Trang area. She spent much of the remainder of the year off that embattled coast in roles which ranged from blockade and interdiction of Viet Cong logistic vessels in the I Corps area to gunfire support south of Saigon.

 

DD886 Vietnam War Engagements

Orleck earned 14 battle stars for action in the Vietnam Conflict as described in Table 2 below as well as the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Vietnam), and Vietnam Service Medal.

 

 

Engagement dates

Battle Star

Mar 64 - Mar 65

Vietnam Advisory Campaign: 15 Mar 62 - 7 Mar 65

Mar - Nov 65

Vietnam Defense Campaign: 8 Mar - 24 Dec 65

Jan- March 66

Vietnam Counteroffensive: 25 Dec 65 - 30 June 66

Sep 67 – Jan 68

Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase III:1 Jun 67 - 29 Jan 68

30 Jan – 17 Feb 68

Tet Counteroffensive: 30 Jan – 1 Apr 68

Sep - Nov 68

Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase V: 1 Jul – 1 Nov 68

Feb 68 – Jan 69

Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase VI: 2 Nov 68 – 22 Feb 69

Mar – May 69

Tet 69 Counteroffensive: 23 Feb – 8 Jun 69

July- Oct 69

Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969: 9 Jun – 31 Oct 69

Nov 69 – Apr 70

Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970: 1 Nov 60 – 30 Apr 70

May 70

Sanctuary Counteroffensive: 1 May – 30 Jun 70

Sep - Nov 71

Consolidation I: 1 July – 30 Nov 71

Dec 71

Consolidation II: 1 Dec 71 – 29 Mar 72

Dec 72- Jan 73

Vietnam Cease-fire: 30 Mar 72- 28 Jan 73

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