Almirante Valdés ca. 1980.
For twenty-nine years, 1959–1988, Converse served with distinction in the Spanish Navy capable of carrying out all Admiralty assignments in first-class order.

We, who sailed aboard the mighty USS Converse, were well aware that it was perhaps the most dependable man-of-war in the entire Pacific. When many other destroyers in the fleet were experiencing all kinds of mechanical failures, our Converse always seemed to be rolling along merrily with relatively no mishaps.

The fact that the Converse always sailed on schedule then, and still does nearly four decades later, is a great tribute to its builders, the Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine. They were then and are still regarded as the premier shipbuilders in the world, even today.

Near misses, storms and even minor collisions—things which seemingly would put other ships out of commission—rarely affected our ship. No doubt the Converse’s great crew had a lot to do with the ship’s ability to recover from any adversity, but the builders, too, deserve a word of gratitude for the way they put our ship together.

In recent maneuvers, the ship, renamed Almirante Valdés, turned in 32 knots, one over Admiral Burke’s traditional battle speed, but we all knew she could do more, and do it quickly, whenever necessary.

The ship now has a first in command, a second in command, 12 officers, 39 junior officers, 85 petty officers and 149 non-rated men. The main battery was recently renewed after firing 1,300 projectiles. This is no putdown, but it seems the Converse fired that many alone at poor Buka. The torpedo batteries, radar equipment and other equipment have been modernized.

Since 1949, it has navigated 21,772 hours, traveled 324,836 nautical miles, helped other ships in distress and always sailed on time.

Source: “Thanks for the Memories,” Converse Yearbook 1981, edited by Sam Pompei, derived in part from a letter received from Almirante Valdés’ commanding officer.