Commanding Officers

USS Buchanan DDG 14

By Joseph Conrad 

Only a seaman realizes to what extent an entire ship reflects the personality and ability of one individual, her Commanding Officer. To a landsman, this is not understandable, and sometimes it is difficult for us to comprehend - but it is so.

A ship at sea is a distant world in herself and in consideration of the protracted and distant operations of the fleet units, the Navy must place a great power, responsibility, and trust in the hands of those leaders chosen for command.

In each ship there is one man who, in the hour of emergency of peril at sea, can turn to no other man. There is one who, alone, is ultimately responsible for the safe navigation, engineering performance, accurate gunfire and morale of his ship. He is the Commanding
Officer. He is the ship.

This is the most difficult and demanding assignment in the Navy. There is not an instant during his tour as Commanding Officer that he can escape the grasp of command responsibility. His privileges in view of his obligations are almost ludicrously small; nevertheless, command is the spur which has given the Navy its great leader.

It is a duty which most richly deserves the highest time honored title of the seafaring world… "CAPTAIN"


Commanding Officers


Cdr. David A. WEBSTER (D)
February 1962 - August 1963

Cdr. Wilton A. ATKINSON
August 1963 - March 1965
Cdr. Harrison C. MURRAY
March 1965 - October 1966
Cdr. William A. SPENCER
October 1966 - December 1967
Cdr. Robert N. CONGDON
November 1967 - August 1969
Cdr. Clarence H. GREFF
August 1969 - July 1971
Cdr. W. James THEARLE (D)
July 1971 - September 1972
September 1972 - June 1973
Captain Tom I. KOLSTAD
June 1973
Lt. Cdr. James G. ROCHE
June 1973 - June 1975
(Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy for 1974)
Cdr. Thomas J. TURPIN, Jr.
June 1975 - June 1977

Cdr. Roger W. BARNETT
June 1977 - July 1979

Cdr. Jere G. MACKIN
July 1979 - July 1981
Capt. Michael E. MAYS
Achieved rank of Captain while in Command
July 1981 - June 1983
Cdr. Steve H. JONES
June 1983 - August 1985
Cdr. William PARKS
August 1985 - December 1987
Cdr. Lee S. GURKE
December 1987 - November 1989
Cdr. Fred G. COLE
November 1989 - June 1991
Cdr. Calvin D.G. Willard
June 1991 - July 1991
Lt. Cdr. Vincent A. SQUITIERI
Officer in Charge of Decommissioning
July 1991 - October 1991


Decommissioned 1 OCT 1991

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