INDIAN OCEAN DEPLOYMENT - 1973
October 1973;  Ships were on alert
as a result of the Yom Kippur War between Arab states and Israel.

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Following the end of the Vietnam conflict, the USS Hancock remained on duty in the Gulf of Tonkin. In October of 1973, with the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East under way, she was suddenly ordered to the southern end of the Red Sea so that her complement of A-4 Skyhawks and F-8 Crusaders could be turned over to the hard-pressed Israel Defense Forces/Air Force if necessary. These planes were to supplement the A-4s being delivered to Israel through transoceanic flights from the USA. However, in the meantime, the Israelis began to get the upper hand in the war and the Hancock was sent back to the United States without delivering its complement of aircraft.
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Five crew members remember the trip
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Andrews, Micheal "Drew" GMT3   If memory serves me correctly we topped off at Subic, made a offshore pick up in Singapore, and headed for Malaysia and on to the Indian Ocean.  Not a single port of call.  If you remember Capt. John "Wayne" Nickolson he never stopped unless it was .absolutely .necessary or .the .job .was done. After that episode we went back to Subic.  .I'm not positive, .but I think we were out for a full 30 days before we hit a .port.  If .you .check .her displacement and storage capacity you'll find that the Special K, was capable of servicing her carrier group with fuel, the escorts with supplies and fuel, and maintaining herself and her crew for at least 30 days.  I'll check my old photos and Special K info to be sure, but I think that's how it happened.  Oh, Capt. Nickolson did point out all the land masses that we were fortunate enough to see from the distance.

Campbell, J. R. ENS.  I remember it very well.  I was DCA and R Division Officer on that WestPac.  HT1 Dixon was my LPO.  We sailed south from P.I. (Subic Bay), around Singapore, and up through the Straits of Malacca.  We had .to .maintain a .very .precise .course through the straits, as they are very narrow and shallow.  We .also had to dodge numerous supertankers, which draw about 90 feet of water, loaded, and they don't move .for .anyone.  In .the .Indian Ocean, we .sailed for .30 days .with .sea water injection .temps .so hot that our AC (which ran on sea water) was of no use.  The coolest it got was about 90 F.  .What a trip.  ..The water was calm, at least.  Like oil.  Very tranquil.  You forget the rough times, and remember the good. 

Dixon, Frederick HT1 Yes, I can.  We were about to cross the equator (Pacific) when we got the word to go to the .Gulf of Oman (Indian Ocean).  That .was .about .October 7, 1973.  .We promptly proceeded past Singapore, where many of the wives were waiting for us. through the .Straits of Malacca .and on .across the .Indian Ocean. .A port visit to Singapore was not to be. It didn't bother me.  As a bachelor I was more interested in visiting Subic.  MACM Villo, .who was in .Singapore on ship's business, .broke the news to at least some of the women.

Duddles, Albert HT3 I'm not sure what route the ship took, I was home on leave when it went there.  I remember we were in a state of alert and I was afraid my leave would be cut short. The ship was still there in the Indian Ocean when I got back to Subic.  I was put on the USS MISPILLION  AO-105 and headed for the Indian Ocean.  We ran darken ship part off the way and .met up with .the Kawishiwi in .the middle of .the night. .Both ships .went .dead in .the water and .they transferred us .by motor whale boat. .I remember my good buddy EM3 Mark Offenbacher was on the whale boat to take us to the Kawishiwi. 

Oman, Darrell FTG2  I remember traveling through the Straits of Malacca. I don't remember if this was on our way to Singapore or when leaving. I remember being in the Indian ocean when my boy was born. Something had flared up in the middle east when we were on our way to Australia. .We turned around .and came back. .I remember it being .a very tense event. .Many Russian ships and Air Craft in the area of the middle east.

Kilpatrick, James Lieutenant  My mother saved this article she saw on this subject.

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A FRIENDLY GREETING FROM A
MALAYSIAN GUNBOAT BECAME
AN INCIDENT
TO THE
REST OF THE WORLD




A RUSSIAN OILER. IT COULDN'T BE NUMBER 1

WE WERE ON OUR WAY BACK BY THE TIME THIS RUSSIAN FRIGATE REACHED THE INDIAN OCEAN



Yom Kippur War
The surprise attack on two fronts from Egypt and Syria began on October 6, 1973, which was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people.  Egypt’s forces swiftly crossed the Suez Canal and overran the Bar-Lev line.  Syria moved into the Golan Heights and nearly reached the 1967 border with Israel (overlooking the Hula Basin).  Israel was outnumbered in the north nearly 12 to 1 (there were 1,100 Syrian tanks versus 157 Israeli tanks); therefore, the first few days of the war saw Israeli counterattacks fail as Israel suffered hundreds of casualties and lost nearly 150 planes.

The tide of the war began to turn on October 10.  The Syrians were pushed back and Israel advanced into Syria proper.  The Soviet Union responded by sending airlifts to Damascus and Cairo, which were answered on October 12 and 13 by massive US airlifts to Israel. Israeli forces crossed the Suez Canal and surrounded the Egyptian Third Army on October 21.

The war started an international crisis when the Soviet Union responded to a plea from Egypt to save its Third Army by threatening to send troops to assist Egypt.  Henry Kissinger, the US Secretary of State, went to Moscow to negotiate a cease-fire.  The result was UN Resolution 338, an immediate cease-fire that reinstated Resolution 242, which "aimed at establishing a just and durable peace in the Middle East".  This cease-fire was broken and again the Soviets threatened to intervene.  However, the US pressured Israel into accepting a second cease-fire on October 25, 1973.  The war was over, and both Israel and Egypt claimed victory.