Closing the Enterprise

Douglas R. Starritt, LCDR, USN (Ret) was Nicholas’s Chief Engineer in 1967–8.
Gulf of Tonkin, March 1968
On 6 March 1968, Nicholas and O’Bannon posed together with the nuclear carrier Enterprise in the Gulf of Tonkin, off Vietnam.

The original captions for these photos of the “Nick,” O’Bannon and Enterprise billed them as the two oldest destroyers in the navy and the oldest CVN.

I was Nicholas’s OOD on the day they were taken. All of us on the bridge were very nervous to be that close to the bow of a carrier, but the photographers kept telling us to get in closer. The captain finally told me to take her in to a distance of 200 yards.

We served as plane guard for Enterprise a lot during that deployment. We could make 30 knots on two boilers and still keep up with her without having four boilers on the line.