The View from the Bridge
The CLAUD JONES, like other naval ships, submits a command history each year which describes the ship’s operations for the year. I received the 1974 command history for the CLAUD JONES via a FOIA request. Here is what it had to say about PONY EXPRESS operations in late 1973 and early 1974.
1974 was a year which saw CLAUD JONES perform several missions which resulted in considerable time at sea. On 31 December 1973, CLAUD JONES received orders to proceed to the Midway Islands for PONY EXPRESS Operations involving surveillance of Soviet Units in the Broad Ocean Area. Within 24 hours of receipt of these orders the ship was enroute Midway and plans to participate in Project TEAL GULL in mid-January were modified.
CLAUD JONES remained at sea for 71 consecutive days despite adverse weather and limited support making use of underway replenishments with the USS PIEDMONT (AD17), USS KIWISHI (AO-146), and USS SACRAMENTO (AOE-1), plus two brief refueling stops in Midway. The efforts of CLAUD JONES contributed significantly in making this PONY EXPRESS operation a most successful operation. In addition, Project TEAL GULL was modified and conducted while on station, further demonstrating the versatility of CLAUD JONES.