NOVEMBER 1972 - 1973


Captain Erner began his naval service in 1950 as an Airman Recruit. He went to Aviation Electronics Technician School and was then assigned to VP-772.. Subsequently he did a tour of duty in the Korean Conflict as an airborne radar operator. Departing the squadron as a 2nd class petty officer, he was assigned as an instructor in Memphis, Tennessee. During his tour there he was promoted to PO1/c.

In 1956 he was selected for commissioning through the Integration Program. After completion of Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI he was assigned to the USS Brush (DD-745).

He subsequently served in a number of destroyers including:
Communications Officer, COMDESRON 9, in USS Mansfield (DD-728)

Weapons Officer, USS Wilkinson (DL-5)
OIC, USS Alvin C. Cockrell (DE-366)
Executive Officer, USS Black (DD-666)
Commanding Officer, USS Perkins (DD-877)

Other assignments included a 2 year tour in Sasebo, Japan as Officer in Charge of METU 3.
In 1967 he was ordered to Vietnam as an adviser to the Deputy Fleet Commander of the Vietnamese Navy. He served a year in-country including the period of the Tet Offensive.

Naval Postgraduate School where he attained a degree in International Relations.

Air War College, where he also obtained a Master's Degree from Auburn U.

Commanding Officer, Naval Recruiting District, Kansas City, MO.

Surface Operations Officer, COMCARGRU 3

Chief of Staff, Middle East Force.

CNO Staff, Naval Research and Development.

Then CDR Erner assumed command of USS Floyd B. Parks (DD-884) in November 1972. It was unknown at the time but he was to be the last Commanding Officer of the ship.

CAPT Erner holds the following awards and decorations: Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with V, Navy Commendation (2), Combat Action, VNN Honor Medal 1/c, Navy Good Conduct, Air Medal in Korea, and a number of campaign and area awards.

CAPT Erner retired in 1981.

The Decommissioning of a Great Ship