*From the ’71 – ’72 Cruise Book:

Construction of the United States Ship honoring Lloyd Thomas was authorized on July 9, 1942. The keel was laid in San Francisco, California by the Bethlehem Steel Company on March 26, 1944. The USS LLOYD THOMAS was launched on October 5, 1945 and commissioned as a general purpose destroyer March 21, 1947.

LLOYD THOMAS is 390 feet long and 41 feet wide, with a maximum draft of 21 feet, design placement of 3477 tons. Four boilers deliver steam to two geared turbines that furnish 60,000 horsepower to twin screws capable of maneuvering the ship at over 30 knots. She is manned on this cruise by 15 officers and 270 enlisted men. The primary weapons are anti-submarine, and two twin 5-inch, 38-caliber gun mounts are carried for shore bombardment and defense against air, land and surface attackers.

In 1948 LLOYD THOMAS joined a round-the-world goodwill cruise starting in San Diego, California, transiting both the Suez and Panama Canals, and covering 45,168 miles. Following conversion to an escort destroyer in 1949 in San Francisco, LLOYD THOMAS was transferred to Newport, Rhode Island. In the years between 1949 and 1961 LLOYD THOMAS made one South American cruise, two European cruises, and six Mediterranean deployments, one of which included numerous port calls east of the Suez Canal. From October 1958 through March 1961 LLOYD THOMAS was an element of Task Group Bravo, an anti-submarine hunter-killer group.

LLOYD THOMAS received a fleet rehabilitation and modernization overhaul (FRAM-II) at the New York Naval Shipyard in 1961. This was followed by one European cruise and four deployments to the Mediterranean, three of which included extensive operation with Middle East forces. During these years LLOYD THOMAS served as host ship for an American Cup race in Newport, saved a fishing trawler flooding off Boston, tracked a probable Soviet submarine for eight hours in the Mediterranean,and won both the Squadron Battle Efficiency Award and Departmental Excellence Awards twice in three years. Late in 1968 the ship lost a large percentage of its crew and entered a reduced operational status. LLOYD THOMAS returned to full operational status in 1969 and in April 1970 changed home port to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In August 1970 LLOYD THOMAS departed Pearl Harbor for her first WESTPAC deployment.

USS Lloyd Thomas
USS Lloyd Thomas off Hawaii in 1970

After returning in February 1971 she conducted various type training exercises, visited the Seattle Sea Fair and participated in the Atomic Energy Commission’s Project Cannikin. Upon her return from the Amchitka test LLOYD THOMAS began preparations for her second WESTPAC deployment chronicled in this cruisebook.

*words and photo from cruise book, “USS Lloyd Thomas Westpac Cruise ’72”