|Written by Larry Wilson|
|Saturday, 17 May 2008 04:17|
SHIPS HISTORY, USS COCHRANE DDG-21
The Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging Company laid the keel for the USS COCHRANE (DDG-21) on 31 July 1961 in Seattle, Washington. This venerable old ship building company had been building ships in Seattle since 1898 (Note 1). As she took form she became a shipbuilder’s dream, with the elegant sheer of her bow and the classic lines of a Destroyer. She was named for the Navy's supervisor of shipbuilding during World War II, Vice Admiral Edward Lull Cochrane. The first ship of the Navy to bear his name, USS COCHRANE was the twentieth unit of the CHARLES F. ADAMS (DDG-2) class to be built for the United States Navy. Over 1,500,000 man-hours would go into her construction. The hull that would become USS COCHRANE slid into the water on 18 July 1962. Tradition holds that the spirit of her sponsors, Mrs. Richard L. Cochrane and Mrs. Edward L. Cochrane Jr., became infused into her that day. She sat waterborne at the building yard while finishing touches were added.
USS COCHRANE (DDG-21) was commissioned on 21 March 1964 in Bremerton, Washington by the Puget Sound Bridge & Drydock Company. During COCHRANE’s construction the shipyard underwent an internal reorganization and a name change in anticipation of being acquired by Lockheed Shipbuilding. COCHRANE was one of only a few ships to be started by one company and finished by another (in name only.) As the crew marched aboard and the colors were raised, no one could have known that she would spend almost her entire career outside the continental United States. After she departed for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 25 May 1964, she would return to the mainland of her nation for only two short periods. For the remaining 26 years of her commissioned life, all but 39 days would be spent overseas.
USS COCHRANE joined Cruiser Destroyer Division TWO-FIFTY-TWO and was initially home ported at Pearl Harbor. COCHRANE was built to go into harm’s way. More heavily armed than any other ship of her size, she could defend against the most modern of air, surface and underwater threats and could strike back. Ships of this DDG-2 class were regarded over their commissioned lives as being the most versatile, well-balanced Destroyer type ships ever constructed. Of those DDG-2 class ships, almost none built the reputation for multi-mission excellence, as did USS COCHRANE.
Over the first dozen years of her life COCHRANE deployed seven times to the western Pacific in support of forces in Vietnam. She performed the traditional tasks of a Destroyer such as rescue, plane-guard, search and rescue unit and escort. She was initially assigned as a unit of DESRON 25.
Prior to her first deployment COCHRANE was assigned to Operation “Sailor Hat.” Operation sailor hat was a Navy project designed to test the survivability of the newer Navy ship designs to simulated nuclear blasts. Operation Sailor Hat simulated the blast effects of a nuclear explosion by detonating 500-tons of TNT in three separate tests on the Island of Kahoolawe, in the Hawaiian island chain. COCHRANE was present for the first test shot “Bravo” on 6 February 1965 along with the Canadian Destroyer Escort FRASER and the US Navy test ship ATLANTA (IX-304), (ex-CL-104). After the test shot COCHRANE lost power for 5 minutes as the blast overpressure washed over her. Quickly restoring main power, she returned to the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for a quick hull and systems inspection to gauge the effects of the blast. The yard was impressed with how well the ship and crew rode out the blast. After some minor repairs (Both the 3-Dimensional AN/SPS-39 & 2-Dimensional AN/SPS-40 Air Search Radar Antennas had to be replaced) and routine maintenance COCHRANE was cleared for her first deployment.
(1st deployment -1965) Quickly called into service, COCHRANE deployed from her Hawaii home to the western Pacific on 5 March 1965. By April 1965 she was on station providing Anti Air Warfare support to a Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) off the coast of Vietnam. She returned from this deployment on 1 October 1965. Between then and her second deployment in July 1966 COCHRANE operated out of Pearl Harbor on local training missions and as a support ship of NASA's PROJECT GEMINI.
(2nd deployment - 1966) COCHRANE's second deployment to the western Pacific lasted from July to December of 1966. The majority of this time was spent in support of the United States forces in Vietnam. COCHRANE was extremely busy during this period conducting ASW exercises, and acting as plane-guard for the Carrier Battle Groups deployed off of Vietnam. She was utilized as an Anti Air Warfare (AAW) picket ship, and for multiple Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS) missions in the South China Sea and the Gulf of Tonkin. NGFS missions included the destruction of convoys, and the support of U.S. troops ashore in Dong Ha and Da Nang. Following this deployment it was announced that COCHRANE had won the coveted Battle Efficiency "E" an award for excellence during the previous 18 months. It was the first of many Battle "E's" for COCHRANE.
Her second deployment completed, COCHRANE began her first regular overhaul since commissioning. This extensive overhaul at the shipyard in Pearl Harbor lasted until August 1967. The biggest external change to COCHRANE during the overhaul was the upgrade of the AN/SPS-39’s semi-cylindrical radar antenna on the after funnel, with a flat black planar array antenna. This upgrade gave her a distinctively more modern look.
(3rd deployment - 1968) In February 1968 COCHRANE deployed to WESTPAC for the third time. During this deployment she participated in every type of SEVENTH Fleet operation which a Destroyer could be called upon to do. These assignments include Northern Search and Rescue, Operation Sea Dragon, firing missions against North Vietnam, and Naval Gunfire Support of Army, Marine Corps, and Allied troops ashore in South Vietnam. She also was assigned as Anti-Air Warfare Picket ship and plane-guard Destroyer for four U.S. aircraft Carriers. On these assignments COCHRANE fired nearly 26,000 rounds of 5-inch ammunition against enemy targets, causing extensive damage to roads, bridges, radar sites, and waterborne logistic craft. It was during this deployment that she came under fire from - and then destroyed in retaliation a shore emplacement in the vicinity of Dong Hoi. After returning from this deployment she was on call for the recovery of Apollo 7 and 8 and in March of 1969 she stood by for Apollo 9.
(4th deployment - 1969) COCHRANE again deployed in 1969 for operations in the North Pacific and again to Yankee Station. Once more her 5-inch-54 caliber guns were fired in anger supporting troops at Chu Lai and Da Nang. Port visits to Subic Bay, Hong Kong and Taiwan followed. It was during her visit to Subic in 1969 that COCHRANE played a role in a sad drama. USS FRANK E. EVANS (DD-754) had been cut in half by the Australian Aircraft Carrier HMAS MELBOURNE (R-21) on 31 June 1969. The bow sank taking over 80 sailors with it. The stern somehow stayed afloat. It was towed to Subic Bay, drydocked, surveyed and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register (NVR). It was towed out to sea, and in October of 1969 the stern half was sunk by COCHRANE and other warships in torpedo and gunnery exercises off the coast of the Philippines.
In 1970 COCHRANE entered the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for another scheduled Regular Conventional Over Haul (RCOH). After refresher training (REFTRA) an Operational Propulsion Plant Readiness Exam (OPRE) and an In Service inspection by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), she was off once more to WESTPAC.
(5th deployment - 1971) February of 1971 found her in route to Vietnam escorting the Aircraft Carrier USS RANGER (CVA-61). In March she was off the coast of Thailand supporting ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) Army troops. She made several port calls including one of her many trips to Australia.
(6th deployment - 1972) In July 1972 she once again deployed to the war zone off Vietnam. It was a hectic deployment even by COCHRANE standards. August found her once again firing her 5-inch-54’s in support of U.S. forces in the city of Quang Tri. In September she was ordered inshore again as part of Operation Linebacker I. It was in COCHRANE’s role as a naval gunfire support ship, that she experienced her most arduous duty. It was also this duty that took her into hostile fire. Called upon to employ her guns, she fired over 6000 rounds of ammunition, receiving some 1600 rounds of enemy fire in return. Her official history states: "While never directly hit, it was during the night of 25-26 October 1972 that COCHRANE received shrapnel damage and holing topside from close air bursts. These operations were trying on ship and crew, and in December she entered the Shipyard at Subic Bay for major repairs to her guns.
Returning to the coast of Vietnam from Subic Bay, she was assigned shore bombardment missions as part of Operation Linebacker II. She received heavy fire again on New Year's Day 1973, but still avoided a hit. In the bulwark of the port bridge/wing, spots could still be found, throughout her life, where the metal was pounded back into place after shrapnel tore through it. Succeeding commanding officers left the marks as a badge of courage for the ship and a reminder of the ship's valiant role in her nation's defense.
On 12 January 1973 COCHRANE participated in the last pitched surface gun battle of the United States Navy. It was on this day that COCHRANE, along with Destroyers USS McCAFFERY (DD-860) & USS TURNER JOY (DD-951), fought the “Battle of Brandon Bay.” This was a classic Destroyer shore bombardment mission that was typical of Destroyer operations in Vietnam. With the afloat Commander embarked in COCHRANE, the three Destroyers started a high-speed run in to the beach at approximately 2030 hours from 35,000 yards at 32+ knots. Dodging over forty enemy shore batteries, from 28,000 yards in COCHRANE and McCAFFERY initially took the brunt of the fire on the run-in. Zigzagging their way to within 12,000 yards of the beach the three Destroyers commenced their final approach. Taking heavy fire, the three ships turned parallel to the beach at 10,000 yards and engaged in an intense, point-blank duel. Firing on pre-planned targets and executing counter-battery missions, the gun barrels on COCHRANE and both other ships glowed a bright red from the furious battle. After firing on all pre-planned targets, the afloat commander ordered COCHRANE and McCAFFERY to strategically withdraw with TURNER JOY covering the rear. Zigzagging and heeling over at incredible angles, dodging 130mm rounds, and being pummeled by the overpressure of B-52 strikes occurring close inshore, all three ships made their way out of the kill zone.
The Vietnam War ended for the United States on 28 January 1973 with the cease-fire signed by President Nixon and the North Vietnamese in Paris. In February of 1973, COCHRANE was released to return to her homeport.
A midlife upgrade was performed in 1974 when COCHRANE entered overhaul once more at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. There were major upgrades throughout the ship. The most critical change was installation of the Naval Tactical Data System – Junior Participating (JPTDS). This upgrade linked her into the computerized real-time “eyes, ears, and orders” and fleet radar picture, like the larger Carriers and Cruisers. It was a rare privilege indeed because COCHRANE was one of only a few Destroyers of the DDG-2 class to receive this system. The installation of the JPTDS system in a Destroyer size vessel was made possible by the development of the compact AN/UYK-7 high-speed digital computer. With this link to a Carrier battle group’s NTDS systems, COCHRANE frequently served as air-traffic controller for individual Carrier fighter aircraft – something unheard of in naval vessels smaller than Cruiser-class ships. It was obvious to everyone in the battle group that COCHRANE was no ordinary DDG. She emerged from the shipyard in March 1974 ready to resume her role as an extraordinarily capable front-line battle platform.
(7th deployment - 1974) A deployment to the western Pacific and Indian Ocean followed. Unlike her other frantic WESTPAC deployments, this one allowed for visits to Singapore, and training with the Royal Tai Navy - a relationship she was to continue over the years.
(8th deployment - 1975) The war in Vietnam ended for the United States with the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) taking over responsibility for the defense of South Vietnam. Things did not go well with this change in responsibilities. Sensing blood, the North Vietnamese waited for the United States to totally withdraw, and then re-built their forces. By Spring of 1975 South Vietnam was almost completely overrun by the North Vietnamese, and COCHRANE was called on to assist in the evacuation of Saigon (now Ho Chi Min City.) South Vietnamese President Duong Van Minh unconditionally surrendered to the Communists in the early hours of April 30, 1975. As the last few remaining Americans evacuate Saigon, the last two U.S. servicemen to die in Vietnam were killed when their helicopter crashed during the evacuation.
Returning to Pearl Harbor in June 1975, COCHRANE starred in a television episode of "Hawaii Five-0". Some particularly excellent shots of her steaming port side to an aircraft Carrier, and then expertly executing an emergency breakaway maneuver were featured.
(9th deployment - 1976-77) Once again in 1976 COCHRANE was called to WESTPAC. Deployed to Korea, she operated with USS MIDWAY (CVA-41), and USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43.)
Another year-long RCOH (Regular Conventional Overhaul) followed in 1978.
(10th deployment - 1979) Following another post-availability shakedown, REFTRA, and NGFS workups, COCHRANE deployed again in 1979. It was a unique trip to the South Pacific. In visits to Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia, COCHRANE showed both the American flag and American hospitality. Over 65,000 guests were hosted in a 4-month period.
(11th deployment - 29 AUG 1980 - 1 MAR 81) COCHRANE's next deployment to WESTPAC came in 1980 under the command of Ronald D. Tucker CDR USN (Note 2) in response to the Iranian takeover of the U. S. embassy. Nicknamed “Ron Wayne” by the crew, his command style was flamboyant. Captain Tucker loved to showboat with COCHRANE and the crew responded enthusiastically to his leadership style. CDR Tucker had previously been USS COCHRANE's First Lieutenant, then later returned as XO, then later returned as CO. He loved the ship and crew (WETSU!) and was extremely proud of both. On the way to the Indian Ocean, all-hands "Steel Beach" picnics were frequently held on the fantail, and Captain Tucker stopped the ship over the deepest part of the ocean one afternoon and announced, "swim call" for all hands. On the westbound journey, the ship rescued a total of 148 "boat people" fleeing Viet Nam into the South China Sea seeking freedom, and COCHRANE's crew earned the Humanitarian Service Medal for the deed. Operating with four different aircraft Carriers (USS EISENHOWER (CVN-69), USS INDEPENDENCE ( CV-62), USS MIDWAY (CV-41), and USS RANGER (CV-61), she set a DDG-2 class record for consecutive days at sea: seventy six days, serving twice at Gonzo Station in the Northern Arabian Sea (offshore Iran, with successive Carrier battle groups) with a brief R&R at Port Louis, Mauritius (preceded by a very elaborate Shellback initiation ceremony when crossing the equator) and a brief repair visit at Diego Garcia between the two duty tours at Gonzo Station. During this deployment the ship relieved the guided missile Cruiser USS South Carolina (CGN-37) as Alfa Whiskey (Anti-Air Warfare Commander) and PIRAZ for all four Carrier battle groups. It was the first and probably only time a DDG-2 class ship served as Alfa Whiskey for four Carriers. Captain Tucker often requested near miss, max speed fly-bys with both afterburners aflame from nearby F-14 pilots when COCHRANE was serving as picket to a Carrier. The pilots happily obliged, and Tucker always announced the event on the 1MC to allow the crew enough time to drop what they were doing and go out on deck to watch the spectacle. After the release of the Iranian hostages, COCHRANE was cleared to return to her homeport Pearl Harbor. On the way home she stopped for fuel in Singapore, and made port visits to Pataya Beach in Thailand, Hong Kong, and Subic Bay in the Republic of the Philippines. She spent two weeks accomplishing much-needed repairs and upkeep at Subic Bay in February of 1980. After departing Subic, she stopped in Guam and at Kwajalien Island for fuel before arriving at Pearl Harbor on 1 March 1980. There were 20-foot seas on last three days of the journey home and she arrived at Papa Hotel running on fumes. After a joyous homecoming and some much needed stand down time, she conducted local operations in Hawaiian waters until commencing overhaul at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in July 1981.
This deployment earned this BZ from RADM Lautermilch, CTF 75: " . . . COCHRANE's operations in the Seventh Fleet have included search and rescue missions, humanitarian rescue efforts, and extended close support of four Indian Ocean battle groups . . . Your expeditious recovery of a man overboard [Ed.note: not a COCHRANE sailor] during an underway replenishment in December is an example of the high state of readiness and attention to detail which prevails on COCHRANE. COMSEVENTHFLEET and I extend our compliments to COCHRANE's professionals."
On completion of this deployment, the ship received this message from Mrs. Charlotte Cochrane, widow of VADM Edward Lull Cochrane: "Congratulations on getting the "E" award, also the "DC," "C," "Gunnery E," "Missile E," and "A" awards. Nothing left to be desired! You are all the 'greatest'. I only wish Adm. Cochrane could know. I know he would be aglow with pleasure and satisfaction."
COCHRANE entered Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in July 1981. During her overhaul she occupied Drydock One - the same dock where the Destroyers USS CASSIN (DD-372) and USS DOWNES (DD-375) along with the Battleship USS PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) (Note 3) were bombed on 7 DEC 1941. The extended regular conventional overhaul would take some 14 months.
It was during this overhaul that COCHRANE would receive many upgrades to her weapons and physical plant. Upgrades including addition of the AN/SLQ-32 (V2) electronics warfare system, the addition of an amidships sonar dome to upgrade the sonar to AN/SQQ-23 PAIR (Performance And Integration Retrofit) configuration. Upgrades to her AN/SPG-51 missile radars, and the AN/SPG-53F gun fire control radar added to systems reliability. Finally refurbishment of boilers, the steam plant, and additional air conditioning capacity rounded out her re-fit. She emerged from the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in July 1982, with several months of fitting out and acceptance trials.
On 9 FEB 1983 COCHRANE set sail for refresher training (REFTRA) in San Diego, California. Naval Gunfire Support Missions were successfully conducted at San Clemente Island as well as live firings of the ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) and Standard Missile system. On 14 March 1983 after spending the last “commissioned” days she would see on the mainland of her country, COCHRANE departed San Diego for Pearl Harbor.
Worked up and ready for her proposed 12th deployment, scheduled for 23 April 1983 to the Indian Ocean, her fate was suddenly changed. The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) changed the homeport of USS COCHRANE from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to Yokosuka, Japan. The WESTPAC deployment was cancelled, and official confirmation was received on 1 July 1983.
COCHRANE arrived in her new homeport of Yokosuka, Japan on 10 October 1983. After a 1-month transition period for the crew, she got underway in November of 1983 for refresher training and port visits. After visiting Hong Kong she steamed to the Philippines for refresher training. During this visit she completed NGFS re-certification by firing over 800 rounds of 5-inch-54 during a 22-hour mission. After completing REFTRA and a port visit to Subic Bay, she returned to Yokosuka for Christmas 1983.
(12th deployment - 1984) In January of 1984 she deployed to the Indian Ocean once more returning to Japan in May of 1984.
(13th deployment - June1984 – October 1985) In June of 1985 COCHRANE was deployed again to the Indian Ocean. Once more world events swirled around the stalwart DDG.COCHRANE had deployed with the USS MIDWAY (CV-41) CVBG (Carrier Vessel Battle Group) and was transiting the Straits of Malacca when TWA flight 847 was hijacked. Most of the battle group went to Flank speed and sped for the Indian Ocean from the Malaccan straits, leaving COCHRANE to escort the replenishment vessels the rest of the way. Tragically the terrorists killed a young US Navy Diver aboard TWA 847 (SW2 Robert Stethem) prior to releasing the hostages. During this deployment COCHRANE saved 2 Naval Aviators whose E2C crashed while conducting flight operations aboard MIDWAY. Many aircrews where comforted over the years by the site of DDG-21 steaming off their carrier’s stern as plane guard. On the way home COCHRANE visited Freemantle, Australia and Subic Bay on the way home, returning to Yokosuka, Japan in October of 1985.
Deployments to the Indian Ocean followed again in 1987 (#14), and 1989 (#15). In between, there were major exercises with the Asian maritime forces.
COCHRANE's final year in commission - 1990 - reflected her career. Completion of an Indian Ocean deployment (#16) which included visits to Kenya and Australia; contingency operations near Manila Bay as part of Operation "Classic Resolve" in support of the Philippine government; action as a Warfare Commander and as Naval Gunfire Support Coordinator in Exercise Team Spirit 90, and visits to various ports in the Far East.
USS COCHRANE (DDG-21) returned from the sea under her own power for the last time on 11 June 1990 and entered Drydock Six (Yokosuka Naval Shipyard) on 23 June to begin deactivation. Her decommissioning on 1 October 1990 marked the end of a long and proud career in her nation's defense. She steamed over a million miles in service to her country. Of her long and lucky career it was often noted by her crews "God protects fools, old people, small children, and U.S. guided missile Destroyers called COCHRANE." It was as if the spirit of her sponsors looked over and protected the crews of this ship all her commissioned life. It was planned to hold her in Reserve Mobilization Category B at Pearl Harbor as a ready asset should her country need her again.
Rigged with a towing bridle and along with USS TOWERS (DDG-9), she was taken in tow for the Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility (NISMF) at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in early 1991. During this tow there was a collision at sea with USS TOWERS (DDG-9) that severely damaged her stern and caused flooding in the after steering room to within 2 feet of the overhead.
With “Condition Zebra” set for towing she was in no danger of sinking. She was returned to the Yokosuka Naval Shipyard for repairs. Upon completion of repairs she was towed to the NISMF Pearl Harbor in late 1991. When she arrived she was given the complete inactivation treatment. Protective huts covered her ASROC and MK-13 missile launchers. Dehumidifiers were installed aboard, and the ship was rendered airtight. Provisions for shore power were made, and cathodic protection was added. It was in this state that she rested until November 1992.
As good a warship as COCHRANE was, technology and time finally caught up with her. The Navy had decided that the days of the steam driven Destroyer were over. The newer classes of Destroyers and Cruisers with their LM2500 GE gas turbine engines required far fewer men to operate. They required only minutes to be ready to get underway (as compared to many hours after light-off for COCHRANE's 1200-pound steam plant to be ready to get underway). And they were easier to maintain and overhaul. With the end of the Cold War, proposed conversions of COCHRANE to gas turbine propulsion and advanced weapons were ruled out as cost prohibitive.
USS COCHRANE (DDG-21) was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 20 November 1992 along with most of the rest of the CHARLES F. ADAMS-class to which she belonged. The dehumidifiers and all protective equipment were removed, and the ship de-militarized. Several scrapping contracts were let, but all defaulted. The cost of scrapping her while complying with new and costly environmental regulations made it impossible for shipyards in the United States to make any money. She sat in the Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility at Pearl Harbor. Stripped of her weapons and electronics, still drawing shore power for internal lighting, she awaited a lonely and certain destiny with the scrappers.
The Navy finally had to face reality - gone were the days when scrappers would pay $40,000 for a Navy Destroyer so they could haul it off and strip it. The Navy was now going to have to pay millions in fees to environmentally responsible ship dismantlers. In late 2000, under the Navy Disposal project, ex-USS COCHRANE (DDG-21) was awarded to International Ship Breaking in Brownsville, Texas for dismantling.
She departed Pearl Harbor under tow for the last time with ex-USS BENJAMIN STODDERT (DDG-22) (Note 4,) to commence the long tow to Brownsville, Texas where both units were to be scrapped. During this tow in February 2001 ex-BENJAMIN STODDERT started taking on water in the middle of the Pacific. The tug crew cut STODDERT loose in the middle of the Pacific and watched as she slipped below the waves. This left COCHRANE to finish out the journey alone.
On 7 March 2001 she arrived at the Panama Canal where she was to make her one and only transit of the canal, under tow. On 26 March 2001 she arrived at the Sea Buoy off Brownsville, Texas.
On 31 March 2001 the final crew members to board COCHRANE conducted an emotional ceremony to remember those shipmates of DDG-21 who had died. The fallen men of COCHRANE were piped over the side, and finally the spirit that entered her so long ago, was piped over the side. "COCHRANE … departing." Her soul is now released and as with the name COCHRANE, that spirit awaits another DDG and its crew to serve in and to watch over.
USS COCHRANE (DDG-21) was certified by the United States Navy as having ceased to exist as an official entity on 28 SEP 2001. This was the date the ship was certified as being completely disassembled (Note 5.)
The current revision of this page is REV-10 dated 04 DEC 05.
NOTE 1: In 1965 Puget Sound Bridge & Drydock (Formerly Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging company) was acquired by Lockheed and renamed Lockheed Shipbuilding and went out of business in 1987.
NOTE 2: After his Command at Sea tour aboard COCHRANE, CDR Ronald D. Tucker USN later became Commanding Officer, Naval Station Pearl Harbor, and was promoted to Captain. After shattering numerous records with the 18-year old COCHRANE, the one and only way to exceed that most privileged assignment was to command a Battleship. And that's exactly what he did on his next sea tour. He became the 19th and last Commander of the Battleship USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62) (May 19, 1989 - February 8, 1991) -- the most decorated Battleship in the history of the U.S. Navy and the most decorated U.S. warship that still exists. It was commissioned and decommissioned four times. CAPT Tucker was promoted to Rear Admiral in the 1990’s and retired from the Navy in that grade.
NOTE 3: USS CASSIN (DD-372) and USS DOWNES (DD-375) were destroyed in Drydock One at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard on 7 DEC 1941. Beyond hope of repair the shipyard salvaged their weapons and machinery and scrapped the rest of the hulls. This equipment was shipped to California and installed in two new hulls built to receive the gear from the wrecked Destroyers. These hulls were commissioned with the same hull numbers and names in 1943 (DOWNES) and 1944 (CASSIN.) In effect, they were brand new ships. However both were de-commissioned and scrapped shortly after the end of WWII. The Battleship USS PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) also in Drydock One (and sister ship to USS ARIZONA BB-39) was damaged, but the yard had her repaired and ready for sea within 2 weeks of the 7 DEC attack.
NOTE 4: (Three consecutively numbered DDG-2 class ships were built by Puget Sound Bridge and Drydock: USS GOLDSBOROUGH (DDG-20), USS COCHRANE DDG-21, and USS BENJAMIN STODDERT (DDG-22) -- and from their dates of commissioning, all three served together in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, thus the nickname “The Three Amigos”). When COCHRANE changed homeports to Japan in October 1983, that PCS move ended two noteworthy eras: First, it ended a triumphant 20-year reign as "Hawaii’s favorite DDG" (COCHRANE was the most highly decorated of the three ships, as well as the one with the movie star twinkle in its gleaming brass bullnose). It proudly strutted its stuff in TV roles in "Hawaii Five-O" and “Magnum P.I.”, and made a cameo appearance in Kevin Costner's 1987 thriller movie "No Way Out", and served frequently as the venue of choice for many Naval and public ceremonies in Hawaii). Second, it ended the long-enduring sisterhood bond of "The Three Amigos." DDG-20, DDG-21 and DDG-22 were sometimes co-workers, sometimes competitors, but always sisters, and always coming home from sea duty to berth aside each other in Pearl Harbor -- that is, until COCHRANE PCS’ed to Japan. GOLDSBOROUGH went to Australia to serve as spare parts hulk for the Aussies' three other American-built DDG-2 class ships, and STODDERT sank in the Pacific in 2001 while being towed (along with COCHRANE) by a sea tug, while both ships were on their way to being dismantled. All three of the "Aloha Amigos" ultimately ceased to exist as official entities on the Naval Vessel Register. COCHRANE was the last to disappear down the halls of history in September 2001.
NOTE 5: On June 17,2004, at Souda Bay, Crete, the Hellenic (Greek) Navy held the decommissioning ceremony of HS KIMON (D-218) (former USS SEMMES (DDG-18) / USN), its last ex-USN CHARLES F. ADAMS-class DDG in service. From the five DDGs transferred to Greece 1990/1991 from the USN, four were commissioned in the Hellenic Navy, while the fifth was used solely for spares. In Greek service, HS KIMON, ex-USS SEMMES (DDG-18), served from September 12,1991 to June 17, 2004 and steamed for 16,000 hours, covering over 174,000 nautical miles. HS KIMON was the world's last CHARLES F. ADAMS-class DDG in service. With her decommissioning the HN marked the end of the "steam" propulsion era. All HN vessels now in service, are gas turbine or diesel powered. The HS KIMON (D-218) was decommissioned ahead of schedule, as the boilers were up for a major scheduled inspection/maintenance. Due to the costs involved it was deemed better economically to proceed with her decommissioning.
|Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2009 12:10|