The ship was reassigned to Destroyer Squadron Twenty, homeported in Newport, Rhode Island, and departed for the SIXTH Fleet operations on 4 April 1968.
In July 1968, CDR. William V. Garcia relieved CDR W. S. Lewis as Commanding Officer.
After a routine six-month deployment with NATO Forces in the Mediterranean, MASSEY returned to Newport in the latter part of September 1968. Her inport period during the latter part of 1968 and the first few months of 1969 were interspersed mainly by local operations and short deployments to Key West, Florida and the Caribbean area.
In December of 1969, MASSEY was transferred to Destroyer Squadron Thirty. Her homeport was changed to Brooklyn, NY where she embarked on a new career as naval training ship supporting the Naval Reserve. In her new role the MASSEY continued to operate along the East Coast and in the Caribbean.
On 17 December 1969, CDR T. F. Niedbala relieved CDR. W. V. Garcia as C. O.
In September 1970, MASSEY acted as Navy’s ceremonial ship for the America’s Cup Race off Newport, R. I. After completion of that assignment the ship spent the latter part of 1970 undergoing regular overhaul at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
MASSEY served as reviewing ship for Commandant, THIRD Naval District in a parade, which commemorated National Maritime Day on 22 May 1971. In June 1971, the ship visited Fort Lauderdale, Florida in conjunction with the reserve crew annual training cruise. In August MASSEY proceeded to GTMO for two-month refresher training.
On 21 August 1971, CDR T.B. Hudgins relieved CDR T.F. Niedbala.
The MASSEY returned to a new homeport at Fort Schuyler, Bronx, New York. In December 1971, MASSEY was reassigned to the administrative command of Destroyer Squadron TWENTY-EIGHT (Naval Reserve Forces). In January 1972, MASSEY participated in the fleet exercise- Operation Snowy Beach. After qualifying in naval gunfire support in March 1972, Massey returned to Fort Lauderdale with her reserve crew. The remainder of 1972 found MASSEY operating extensively until the holiday leave and upkeep period.
In January 1973, CDR John D. Eckert relieved CDR T.B. Hudgins as Commanding Officer.
In February 1973, MASSEY completed a Board of Naval Inspection and Survey (INSURV) material inspection at Newport, RI and later qualified for naval gunfire support at Bloodsworth Island in Chesapeake Bay. MASSEY received the operations “E” and the ASW “A” in July of 1973.
In preparation for scheduled decommissioning, the Executive Officer, LCDR R.V. Paul relieved CDR John D. Eckert on 4 September 1973 as the last Commanding Officer of USS MASSEY DD 778.
On 17 September 1973, MASSEY was decommissioned at Fort Schuyler, New York by RADM William B. Phuge USN, Commander, THIRD Naval District. USS MASSEY proudly served almost 30 continuous years, over four decades and three wars in the service of her country.
The ex-MASSEY was sold to Union Minerals and Alloys Corporation in 1974. This brought the ship to the north end of the Hackensack River to the former Kearney Shipyards for dismantling. Joseph Castellucci who served aboard the MASSEY and lives in Marlboro, New Jersey saw the ship at the facility tied up next to some old liberty ships. Her hull numbers had been painted out with a recent coat of haze gray. In the summer of 1975, Joe met the foreman of the facility and again walked her deck.
“I spent several hours walking throughout the ship. It brought back fond memories as I walked below decks with a flashlight and about the main deck and bridge. The only momento I was able to acquire was a nut from one of the dogging devices from a hatch, which I had made into a ring. Upon leaving I requested of the foreman that when the ship is wrecked I would like to purchase the name “MASSEY” from the fantail of the ship’s hull if they could salvage it. One day I received a call from the yard foreman who advised me he had the nameplate on the pier. This gave me a last opportunity to go on board the ship. I guess that I can lay claim to the fact that -I was the last sailor to serve on MASSEY to be on board her.”
– Joseph Castellucci
Joe refurbished the nameplate and it was on display in the George Moore Destroyer Museum aboard the USS EDSON at the Intrepid Sea Air Museum in New York City up until the time the EDSON was moved from New York. Joe has presented this 90-pound Icon to the MASSEY ASSOCIATION.