The USS Fox (DLG-33) was a Belknap-class cruiser of the United States Navy, named after Gustavus V. Fox, President Abraham Lincoln's Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The keel for DLG-33 was authenticated and laid in ceremonies at Todd Shipyards Corporation, San Pedro, California on 15 January 1963.
RADM Frank Virden, then Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Force, US Pacific Fleet, presided over the ceremonies for the unnamed ship. Christening and launching ceremonies were performed at on 21 November 1964. Fox entered naval service as a Guided Missile Frigate (DLG) on 28 May 1966 when commissioned at Long Beach Naval Shipyard under the guidance of her first commanding officer, CAPT Robert O. Welander.
Fox subsequently transited to her homeport of San Diego on 6 October 1966 and become the first ship in the Pacific Fleet capable of launching both anti-submarine rockets (ASROC) and surface-to-air guided missiles from the same launching system.
The U.S.S. Fox, as DLG-33, wasted no time distinguishing herself. Participating in support of the large scale troop build up in Vietnam, and consequent increase in aircraft operations, her technology at the time was formidable. Her actions not only included support to the Vietnam conflict shore operations in the Western Pacific but she did so at her primary duty station off the coast of North Vietnam as the northern search and rescue ship controlling carrier-launched combat aircraft at PIRAZ. On a normal day, Fox monitored the activity of 200 Navy and Air Force missions. In particular, on 23 October 1967, a Fox air controller directed two F-4 fighters from the carrier USS Constellation to intercept the subsequent kill of a North Vietnamese MIG-21 aircraft over Hanoi. It was the first time during the Vietnam War a shipboard controller had directed an intercept which resulted in a shoot-down of enemy aircraft. For such gallantry, Fox was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation graciously accepted by her then CO: Captain R.O. Whelander. During this intense period her communications staff, under the leadership of RMCS Haber, was so well trained that they were able to maintain an entire flotilla's radio traffic without losing a message. During her 1968 deployment, her communications officer (OC Division head) was LT. Robert Woodward. Woodward would later work for the Washington Post and teamed with Burnstein investigated the now infamous Watergate Office break-in which led to President Richard Nixon's resignation.