USS Harry E. Yarnell (DLG/CG-17), a Leahy-class guided missile cruiser, was a ship of the United States Navy named in honor of Admiral Harry E. Yarnell (1875–1959). Originally called a "destroyer leader" or frigate, in 1975 she was redesignated a cruiser in the Navy's ship reclassification.
Second of the "double-end" Leahy-class guided missile frigates to join America's sea-going arsenal, Harry E. Yarnell was equipped with Terrier surface-to-air missile launching tubes both fore and aft and ASROC anti-submarine missiles, as well as more conventional torpedo tubes and guns. Before taking her place in America's powerful deterrent force, the new ship was fitted out at Boston and received a grim reminder that even in peacetime the sea can be a powerful enemy. As she was out on trials, Yarnell was diverted 10 April 1963 to search for USS Thresher (SSN-593), the nuclear submarine later found on the bottom some 8,000 feet down. Quartering the area where the sub was last reported, the guided missile frigate found an oil slick and some debris but could not contact the lost submarine.
On her way to her new home base at Norfolk 23 April, Harry E. Yarnell passed and photographed several Russian "merchant" ships. The next few months were spent conducting training for shakedown and missile qualification. Designated to carry out standardization trials for her class as well as special acoustical tests, Yarnell spent 28 October–26 November in the Caribbean operating out of Guantanamo Bay and then returned to Norfolk.
Yarnell continued operating in the Virginia Capes area and the Caribbean until departing Norfolk 8 September 1964 for her first Atlantic crossing. NATO ASW exercises en route took the guided missile frigate far north, and she crossed the Arctic circle on 21 September. She visited Amsterdam en route to the Mediterranean, where she remained until returning to Norfolk in February 1965.