USS Wickes (DD-75) in Devonport Drydock, 1919

USS Wickes (DD-75) in Devonport Drydock, 1919

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USS Wickes (DD-75) in Devonport Drydock, 1919

Here we see the USS Wickes (DD-75), name ship of the Wickes class of destroyers, in the drydock at Devonport in 1919, probably after her collision with the German merchant ship Ljusne Elf at Hamburg in 3 March 1919.

U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann .The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.

U.S.S. ABBOT ⭑ DD 629

  • Displacement: 1,306 tons
  • Length: 314&rsquo4½&rdquo (95.8 meters)
  • Beam: 30&rsquo11¾&rdquo (9.4 meters)
  • Draft, keel to waterline: 19&rsquo3⅝&rdquo (5.87 meters)
  • Speed: 33.2 knots (38.2 m.p.h. or 61.5 km/h)
  • Crew: 122
  • Armament:
    • 4 × 4&rdquo guns
    • 2 × 3&rdquo guns
    • 12 × 21&rdquo torpedo tubes


    Only two U.S. Navy warships have been named Abbot . This is the brief story of the first Abbot , one of the &ldquoFamous Fifty&rdquo destroyers that were sold to Britain and its allies under the Destroyers for Bases Agreement of 2 September 1940.

    The story of the first U.S.S. Abbot is a tale of two world wars, two navies, and two names.

    Great Britain has owned two ships named Charlestown , and both launched their careers under American flags. Some 160 years after the Royal Navy captured the American 24-gun frigate Boston and renamed it H.M.S. Charlestown , the United States Navy gladly signed over the aging destroyer Abbot , which soon joined the war against Nazi Germany as the second H.M.S. Charlestown . But Abbot&rsquos story started during World War I.

    The Wickes-class destroyer Abbot (DD-184) was laid down on 5 April 1918 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. in Virginia launched on 4 July 1918 sponsored by Miss Louise Abbot, great granddaughter of Commodore Joel Abbot and commissioned on 19 July 1919, Lt. Cmdr. William Nicholas Richardson Jr. of Alabama in command.

    (The new skipper was the great nephew of a famed Alabama lawyer and congressman of the same name, and was a Naval Academy graduate in 1909. His death from heart disease at age 44 in 1932 cut short a promising naval career.)

    Based at Norfolk, Virginia, the destroyer operated along the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, especially in Cuban waters. Restrictions on the sizes of navies imposed by the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 didn&rsquot directly affect destroyers, but the entire U.S. Navy was being reduced. Abbot was placed out of commission at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 5 July 1922, having served as a warship less than three years.

    After being laid up for almost two decades, Abbot was recommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard on 17 June 1940 and based in Newport, Rhode Island, under Lt. Lewis R. Miller. Abbot cruised along the East Coast as part of the so-called Neutrality Patrols, which were intended to dissuade the European war belligerents, especially Germany, from operating in the western hemisphere.

    Britain was in dire straits and desperately needed escort ships to protect convoys and minelayers the United States was the unhappy owner of dozens of destroyers that were built for World War I and that would be easy prey for modern 1940s warships and aircraft. Under the Destroyers for Bases Agreement of 2 September 1940, the United States exchanged 50 obsolete destroyers, including Abbot , for leases of British army and navy bases in the Atlantic and Caribbean.

    The ships soon earned a nickname: The Famous Fifty.

    The U.S. Navy wasted little time with formalities, and Abbot reported to the Boston Navy Yard dry dock for hastily ordered modifications and inspections beginning about 4 September 1940. The ship was transferred to the United Kingdom on 9 September. Abbot arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 18 September 1940 and went out of commission on 23 September minutes later it was commissioned into the Royal Navy with the temporary name H.M.S. Abbot . Seven other old destroyers were recommissioned the same day.

    The United States Ship Abbot was struck from the Navy list on 8 January 1941.

    Meanwhile, the British Admiralty &mdash looking for 50 politically adroit new names for the destroyers &mdash compiled a list of United Kingdom and colonial towns whose names coincided with places in the United States. Thus the American Wickes-class destroyers became part of the British Town class and traditional seafaring towns in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Cornwall and the British West Indies shared Abbot&rsquos new name: Charlestown.

    Renamed H.M.S. Charlestown on 2 October 1940, the 23-year-old destroyer sailed to Plymouth, England, and was assigned to the 17th Destroyer Division. It arrived at Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 8 October 1940 and after refitting at Devonport it reported for duty at the Kyle of Lochalsh on 6 January 1941.

    From 1941 to mid-1943 the ship took part in many minelaying operations along the west coast of Scotland, in the Denmark Strait (which separates Iceland and Greenland) and around the Faroe Islands under an ineffective operation known as Northern Barrage. When its unit, the 1st Minelaying Squadron, was disbanded in August 1943, Charlestown was briefly assigned to general duties under Flag Officer, Orkney & Shetland.

    However, between October 1942 and February 1943 Charlestown took leave of its minelaying escort duties and underwent major modifications (as seen in a July 1943 photo, lower right) at Newport, receiving a rebuilt bridge and types 271 and 291 radar units. At some point it also lost its distinctively tall rear mast and lower row of portholes, and then was further repaired in Cardiff after striking its dock.

    In September 1943 Charlestown was assigned to the Rosyth Escort Force to escort troop convoys along the east coast of Great Britain this busy duty continued through most of 1944, though it did not participate in the D-Day landings.

    Wickes-class destroyers were notoriously hard to handle, and on 10 December 1944 Charlestown collided with the Catherine-class minesweeper Florizel (which was borrowed from the United States under Lend-Lease) off Harwich, England. Due to the destroyer&rsquos advanced age &mdash the keel was laid more than 26½ years earlier &mdash and the pressing need for experienced crews on newer warships, the Royal Navy declined repairs. Charlestown was placed in reserve at Grangemouth, Firth of Forth, Scotland Florizel survived the encounter and returned to duty.

    Charlestown was declared &ldquobeyond economic repair&rdquo and decommissioned on 15 January 1945 for the rest of the war, it remained at Grangemouth. The old warship was sold to British Iron & Steel Co. on 4 March 1947, and on 3 December 1948 His Majesty&rsquos Ship Charlestown was towed up the River Tyne to the breaker&rsquos yards of Thomas Young & Sons Ltd. at Sunderland, England.

    H.M.S. Charlestown earned two Royal Navy battle honors: Atlantic 1941-43 and North Sea 1943-44.

    The group photo on this page shows some of the U.S. and Royal Navy sailors who took part in the transfer at Halifax on or near the date that Abbot was handed over. Destroyers in the background are (from left) the Wickes-class Buchanan (DD 131), which became famous as H.M.S. Campbeltown the Wickes-class Crowninshield (DD 134) , which became H.M.S. Chelsea and the Clemson-class Abel P. Upshur (DD 193), which became H.M.S. Clare . The Canadian archives, source for this photo, incorrectly identified the two rightmost ships as Abbot (DD 184) and Haraden (DD 183).

    Note that &ldquoCharlestown&rdquo is misspelled in the postcard at right.

    Service Histories Of Royal Navy Warships In World War 2
    by Lt. Cmdr. Geoffrey B Mason, RN (Rtd.) ©2005

    Group photo: Canada Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-104093

    USS Buchanan (DD-131)/HMS Campbeltown

    Figure 1: USS Buchanan (DD-131) at Balboa, Panama Canal Zone, 18 May 1936. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 2: USS Buchanan (DD-131) underway on 26 February 1919. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 3: USS Buchanan (DD-131) in port, probably at San Diego, California, circa the early 1920s. Note that the after 4"/50 gun is still mounted on her fantail. Also note the pattern of the numeral "3" painted on her bow. Courtesy of ESKC Joseph L. Aguillard, USNR, 1969. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 4: Destroyers in the Upper Chambers, Gatun Locks, during the Pacific Fleet's passage through the Panama Canal, 24 July 1919. Those present are: USS Wickes (Destroyer # 75) and USS Yarnall (Destroyer # 143), both at left USS Philip (Destroyer # 76), USS Buchanan (Destroyer # 131) and USS Elliot (Destroyer # 146), left to right in the center group USS Boggs (Destroyer # 136), USS Dent (Destroyer # 116) and USS Waters (Destroyer # 115), left to right in the right center group. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 5: USS Aaron Ward (DD-132) photographed during the early 1920s, probably off the U.S. West Coast. USS Buchanan (DD-131) is at left. Courtesy of ESKC Joseph L. Aguillard, USNR, 1969. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 6: View of British sailors learning about their new ships, a part of the Lend-Lease agreement in September 1940. In the background are the USS Buchnanan (DD-131) and the USS Crowninshield (DD-134). Courtesy Tom Kerman. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 7: HMS Castleton (ex-USS Aaron Ward, DD-132) and HMS Campbeltown (ex-USS Buchanan, DD-131) alongside in Devonport Dockyard after arriving from the USA in September 1940. Courtesy Bob Hibbert. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 8: HMS Campbeltown (ex-USS Buchanan, DD-131) under refit prior to the St. Nazaire raid. The bridge has been stripped, armoured, and has some of the splinter matting in place. The forward 4in/50 has been replaced with a 12pounder gun. Courtesy Robert Hurst. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 9: HMS Campbeltown, disguised as a German destroyer for the famous raid on St. Nazaire, France, in 1942. Campbeltown was built as USS Buchanan (DD 131), one of hundreds of "four piper" or "flush deck" destroyers constructed during the World War I era. Buchanan was one of 50 such ships transferred to the UK under the "Destroyers for Bases" deal, becoming HMS Campbeltown on 9 September 1940. She served the Royal Navy as an escort until early 1942, when she was assigned a role in the St. Nazaire raid. Courtesy Joe Radigan. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 10: HMS Campbeltown grounded on dry dock sill moments before detonating. Courtesy Joe Radigan. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 11: HMS Campbeltown as seen from alongside the Normandie Dock shortly before she exploded. On the left is one of the two tankers present in the dry dock. When the destroyer exploded, both tankers were swept against the dock walls by the inrush of water and sank. Courtesy Bob Hibbert. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 12: Aerial photo taken some months after Operation Chariot. The Normandie Dock has been sealed and work is in progress restoring the facility. In the middle of the picture, the stern half of the Campbeltown sits on the bottom, the forward section having been blown to pieces. Courtesy Robert Hurst. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 13: The wrecked Campbeltown (her foreends towards the camera) inside the lock. Note the Normandie's docking blocks, the ruined caisson at the right rear of the lock and the sand wall sealing all. Courtesy Robert Hurst. Click on photograph for larger image.

    USS Buchanan (DD-131) was a 1,090-ton Wickes class destroyer and was named after Admiral Franklin Buchanan (1800-1874), who played an important role in the US Navy prior to the Civil War and then was a leading figure in (ironically) the Confederate States Navy during the Civil War. Buchanan was built by the Bath Iron Works at Bath, Maine, and was commissioned 20 January 1919. The ship was approximately 314 feet long and 30 feet wide, had a top speed of 35 knots and had a crew of 122 officers and men. Buchanan was armed with four 4-inch guns, two 3-inch guns, 12 21-inch torpedo tubes and depth charges.

    During the early part of her career, Buchanan patrolled both the Atlantic and the Caribbean for the US Navy. In May 1919, she assisted in providing route protection for the trans-Atlantic crossing of the Navy’s NC flying boats. Buchanan then was assigned to the Pacific Fleet and transited the Panama Canal in July 1919. The destroyer served along America’s West Coast until she was placed out of commission in June 1922.

    Buchanan was re-commissioned in April 1930 and continued working in the Pacific for seven more years. She was decommissioned in April 1937 (as newer ships were brought into the fleet), but was once again re-commissioned at the end of September 1939. It was necessary to re-commission the old destroyer because the outbreak of World War II in Europe forced the United States to enlarge its Navy for neutrality enforcement purposes. For the remainder of 1939 and well into 1940, Buchanan operated in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. In early September 1940, Buchanan was sent to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she was decommissioned and turned over to Great Britain as part of the famous “Lend-Lease” agreement, where fifty old American destroyers were given to England in exchange for basing rights in British possessions in the Western Hemisphere.

    After its transfer to Great Britain, USS Buchanan became HMS Campbeltown in the Royal Navy. Campbeltown was initially based at Liverpool and served as an escort guarding the Western Approaches to Great Britain. She was transferred to the Royal Netherlands Navy in January 1941, but then was given back to the Royal Navy in September. Once back in the Royal Navy, Campbeltown resumed escorting convoys in the Atlantic, where she saw action against German U-boats and aircraft.

    In January 1942, Campbeltown was selected to take part in “Operation Chariot,” which was the proposed commando attack on the German-occupied port of Saint-Nazaire, France. In 1942, the enormous German battleship Tirpitz was anchored at Trondheim, Norway, and was considered a major surface threat to merchant convoys headed for England. But, if the Tirpitz did enter the Atlantic, she would need a drydock big enough to handle her in case she was damaged or in need of repairs. The only drydock on Europe’s Atlantic seaboard that was large enough to accommodate Tirpitz was located at Saint-Nazaire. Originally built to service the huge French ocean liner SS Normandie, the drydock was now a vital military target.

    The goal of Operation Chariot was to ram an old, expendable warship filled with explosives into the gates of the drydock. Accompanying this ship would be a number of small motor launches and motor torpedo boats filled with British commandos, whose mission was to destroy the drydock’s pumping and winding machinery. After the warship rammed into the drydock’s gates, the crew from the warship and the commandos were to be evacuated by the motor launches and the motor torpedo boats. After the commandos left, the explosives inside the warship would go off and the drydock would be destroyed. Needless to say, this was an extremely dangerous plan and its prospects for success seemed marginal, at best. But the Royal Navy thought it worth the risk if it kept Tirpitz out of the Atlantic and away from its merchant convoys.

    Because of her age, HMS Campbelton was considered expendable and was selected as the ramming ship. On 10 March 1942, Campbelton arrived at Devonport, England, to be modified for this mission. All of her 4-inch guns were removed and replaced by a 12-pounder light automatic gun and eight 20-mm guns. Her depth-charge projectors and tracks also were removed and her bridge was protected with armor plating. Campbelton’s two after smoke stacks were removed and her two forward stacks were modified to resemble those of a German destroyer. This was done to confuse the Germans defending Saint-Nazaire into thinking she was a friendly German warship. The crew was reduced to just 75 men (under the command of Lieutenant Commander Stephen Beattie) and an explosive charge consisting of 24 depth charges containing a total of four tons of explosives was fitted into steel tanks just behind the steel pillar that supported her forward gun mount. The timed charges were set before the ship sailed and were cemented into place to prevent anyone from interfering with the detonation.

    HMS Campbelton left Falmouth, England, on the afternoon of 26 March 1942 with only enough fuel for a one-way trip to France. She was escorted by a small flotilla of 18 motor launches and motor torpedo boats, along with two Hunt class destroyer escorts. The small task force made it successfully to France and the final attack on Saint-Nazaire began shortly after midnight on 28 March. The Campbelton and her escorts remained undetected until 0122 on 28 March, when searchlights illuminated the attacking ships. Campbelton increased speed to 19 knots and headed straight for the drydock gates under intense enemy fire. Numerous hits were made on the old destroyer but she kept on moving towards her objective. Then at 0134, Campbelton rammed the drydock’s gates, firmly wedging herself into position. Commandos and demolition parties went ashore in the face of heavy German fire and successfully planted demolition charges that destroyed the withdrawing machinery for opening the drydock’s gates and the pumping machinery for the drydock itself. Of the 611 men who took part in this operation, 169 (64 commandos and 105 sailors) were killed and 215 were captured. Only 222 were successfully evacuated by the surviving torpedo boats and motor launches that escorted Campbelton. Five other men made it to shore and successfully evaded capture by making an amazing journey through France to neutral Spain. The captain of Campbelton, Lieutenant Commander Stephen Beattie, was one of the men taken prisoner and later received the Victoria Cross for his part in the raid.

    At first the Germans didn’t really know what to make of the attack. Campbelton was still wedged into the drydock’s gates and, even though the Germans searched the ship, nothing was found. Then at 1135 on the morning of 28 March, the hidden demolition charges on board Campbelton went off, creating an enormous explosion and causing the forward part of the ship to disintegrate. The huge blast killed approximately 300 Germans who were on board or around the ship and it destroyed the drydock’s gates, causing water to rush into the drydock and forcing what was left of the shattered destroyer into it. The explosion rendered the drydock at Saint-Nazaire unusable for the rest of the war and it wasn’t completely repaired until 1947. Tirpitz, therefore, would be unable to threaten Allied convoys in the Atlantic since it no longer had a usable drydock on the Atlantic seaboard.

    Whether or not the raid on Saint-Nazaire was worth the price is debatable. The raid was technically a success, but it came at a very high price in human lives. In addition, with Allied naval and air power growing in strength throughout the region, one wonders if the Germans would have risked Tirpitz in the Atlantic even if the drydock at Saint-Naizaire were operational. After all, Tirpitz’s sister ship, Bismarck, also tried to enter the Atlantic to attack Allied shipping and didn’t succeed (even though HMS Hood was destroyed by Bismarck in the process). But the fact remains that Campbelton, which started life as a humble American destroyer, played a key role in one of the most daring, dangerous, and dramatic missions of World War II.


    The first USS Flamingo (AM-32), a Lapwing-class minesweeper, was laid down on 18 October 1917 by the New Jersey Drydock and Transportation Company at Elizabethport, New Jersey. She was launched on 24 August 1918 and commissioned as USS Flamingo, Minesweeper No. 32, on 12 February 1919. Flamingo fitted out at the New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York, and later shifted to Tompkinsville, Staten Island, New York, on 29 March 1919. The minesweeper performed various towing jobs and carried stores locally in the 3rd Naval District into the spring of 1919. On 10 April 1919, she suffered damage in a collision with an unnamed Panama Railroad Company tug, and she underwent repairs at Port Richmond, Staten Island. Shifting to the New York Navy Yard soon thereafter, Flamingo began fitting out for "distant service."

    Flamingo departed Tompkinsville on 18 May 1919 bound for the Orkney Islands. Proceeding via Boston, Massachusetts, she arrived at Kirkwall, Scotland, on 5 June 1919 to begin her tour of duty with the United States Minesweeping Detachment, North Sea. Along with U.S. Navy submarine chasers, chartered British naval trawlers, and fellow Lapwing-class minesweepers, Flamingo participated in the clearing of the North Sea Mine Barrage. Laid by the U.S. Navy after the United States entered World War I, the barrier had served as a formidable obstacle for German submarines based at North Sea ports. By 1919, however, the barrage merely hampered the resumption of peaceful commerce.

    On 23 June 1919, Flamingo transported officers and men from Kirkwall to Inverness, Scotland, and returned to her base in the evening carrying supplies for the detachment flagship, USS Black Hawk (Destroyer Tender No. 9).Flamingo then performed tug duty at Kirkwallcbetween 25 June and 7 July 1919. On 11 July 1919, she departed to assist in clearing Group 11 of the mine barrage in the second phase of the fourth clearance operation conducted by the Minesweeping Detachment.

    The first days were uneventful. On 15 July, Flamingo anchored for the night, as was usual practice, to the north of the minefield. During the ensuing evening hours, strong winds and currents caused herto drag her anchor. She slowly worked southward from her original position. The next morning, when Flamingo weighed anchor to get underway, she discovered that she had drifted into the minefield and had fouled one of the mines in her anchor cable. The mine was trailing just beneath the fantail of the ship and exploded beneath Flamingo′s stern. The underwater blast badly damaged the rudder, disabled the capstan and generator, and dished in the ship's stern plating in several places. USS Eider (Minesweeper No. 17) lent assistance and towed Flamingo to Invergordon, Scotland, for drydocking and repairs on 17 July 1919.

    Flamingo was ready to return to the base at Kirkwall by early August 1919. She transported a cargo of steel and lumber to Black Hawk on her return voyage, arriving at Kirkwall on 13 August 1919. Two days later, the minesweeper towed her crippled sister ship USS Pelican (Minesweeper No. 27) to South Shields, England, for drydocking and repairs in the wake of Pelican′s mining in July.

    Later in August, Flamingo resumed her minesweeper duties with the detachment, working out of the Norwegian ports of Lervic, Stavanger, and Haugesund before returning to Kirkwall via Otters Wick, Orkney, on 7 September 1919. She subsequently participated in the final sweep of the mine barrage – the climactic sweep which detonated five mines, cut loose 47, and destroyed 50 – into late September 1919. Once the arduous and dangerous job was complete, Flamingo departed Kirkwall on 1 October 1919 and, after a voyage which took her via Plymouth and Devonport, England Brest, France Lisbon, Portugal the Azores and Bermuda, eventually arrived at Tompkinsville on 20 November 1919.

    The pause at Tompkinsville was a brief one, however, for Flamingo was underway five days later, on 25 November 1919, bound for the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine. She arrived on 28 November 1919 and soon commenced an overhaul. Assigned to the 1st Division, 2nd Mine Squadron, United States Atlantic Fleet, on 1 July 1920, Flamingo received the classification AM-32 on 17 July 1920, as the U.S. Navy adopted its modern system of alphanumeric hull numbers on that date. Flamingo operated with the 2nd Mine Squadron into the autumn of 1920, then was placed in reserve at Portsmouth Navy Yard on 18 November 1920.

    Flamingo remained inactive for almost a year a half before an executive order of 25 March 1922 authorized the Navy to transfer the vessel to the United States Department of Commerce for use by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, and she accordingly was decommissioned on 5 May 1922. Turned over to the Coast and Geodetic Survey at Portsmouth Navy Yard on 23 January 1923 for use as a survey vessel , the ship was renamed USC&GS Guide, first Coast and Geodetic Survey ship of the name, on 1 March 1923. She and the survey ships USC&GS Discoverer and USC&GS Pioneer, also former Navy minesweepers, were known as the "Bird Boats" in the Coast and Geodetic Survey because all had been named after birds – Guide had been USS Flamingo, Discoverer had been USS Auk (AM-38) , and Pioneer had been USS Osprey (AM-29) – while in Navy service.

    By January 1923, the Coast and Geodetic Survey had decided to install a Hayes sonic rangefinder – an early echo sounder – aboard Guide, which the Coast and Geodetic Survey planned to commission into its fleet later that year. It also decided to pursue the development of radio acoustic ranging, a new concept involving a method for determining a ship′s precise location at sea by detonating an explosive charge underwater near the ship, detecting the arrival of the underwater sound waves at hydrophones at remote locations, and radioing the time of arrival of the sound waves at the remote stations to the ship, allowing the ship′s crew to use triangulation to determine the ship′s position. Nicholas H. Heck (1882–1953), a United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps officer, took charge of that development process. Both echo sounding and radio acoustic ranging required a precise understanding of the speed of sound through water. [1]

    Guide′s conversion to and fitting out as a survey ship on the United States East Coast was completed in 1923. After Heck oversaw tests at Coast and Geodetic Survey headquarters in Washington, D.C., that demonstrated that shipboard recording of the time of an explosion could be performed accurately enough for his radio acoustic ranging concept to work, [1] Heck had Guide based at New London, Connecticut. Under his direction, Guide both tested her new echo sounder's ability to make accurate depth soundings and conducted radio acoustic ranging experiments in cooperation with the United States Army Coast Artillery Corps. Despite many difficulties, testing of both echo sounding and radio acoustic ranging wrapped up successfully in November 1923. [1]

    In late November 1923, with Heck aboard, Guide departed New London, Connecticut, bound for her new home port, San Diego, California, via Puerto Rico and the Panama Canal, with her route planned to take her over a wide variety of ocean depths so that she could continue to test her echo sounder. [1] Guide made history during the voyage, becoming the first Coast and Geodetic Survey ship to use echo sounding to measure and record the depth of the sea at points along her course she also measured water temperatures and took water samples so that the Scripps Institution for Biological Research (now the Scripps Institution of Oceanography) at La Jolla, California, could measure salinity levels. [1] She also compared echo sounder soundings with those made by lead lines, discovering that using a single speed of sound through water, as had been the previous practice by those conducting echo sounding experiments, yielded acoustic depth-finding results that did not match the depths found by lead lines. [1] She transited the Panama Canal on 8 December 1923. Before she reached San Diego later in December 1923, she had accumulated much data beneficial to the study of the movement of sound waves through water and measuring their velocity under varying conditions of salinity, density, and temperature, information essential both to depth-finding and radio acoustic ranging. [1]

    Upon arriving in California, Heck and Guide personnel in consultation with the Scripps Institution developed formulas that allowed accurate echo sounding of depths in all but the shallowest waters and installed hydrophones at La Jolla and Oceanside, California, to allow experimentation in the Pacific Ocean with radio acoustic ranging. [1] Under Heck's direction, Guide then conducted experiments off the coast of California during the early months of 1924 that demonstrated that accurate echo sounding was possible using the new formulas. Experiments with radio acoustic ranging, despite initial difficulties, demonstrated that the method also was practical, although difficulty with getting some of the explosive charges to detonate hampered some of the experimental program. [1] In April 1924, the Coast and Geodetic Survey concluded that both echo sounding and radio acoustic ranging were fundamentally sound, with no foundational problems left to solve, and that all that remained necessary was continued development and refinement of both techniques during their operational use. Heck turned over continued development of echo sounding and radio acoustic ranging to Guide's commanding officer, Commander Robert Luce, and returned to his duties in Washington, D.C. [1]

    Operating off Oregon in 1924, Guide became the first ship to employ radio acoustic ranging operationally. While off Oregon that year, she successfully employed the technique at a distance of 206 nautical miles (382 km) between the ranging explosion and the remote hydrophones detecting its sound and in the process achieved the first observed indication of the ocean sound layer that was later called the sound fixing and ranging (SOFAR) channel or deep sound channel (DSC). [2] [3]

    Based at San Diego and conducting hydrographic surveys off the U.S. West Coast, Guide performed Coast and Geodetic Survey duties for over 17 years. In company with Pioneer, she conducted many early bathymetric surveys on the U.S. West Coast. On more than one occasion, Guide assisted mariners in distress. On 3 June 1927, she came to the assistance of the lumber schooner City of Nome, which was on fire at Aberdeen, Washington [4] Guide stood by City of Nome until 5 June 1927, pumped water into the schooner, and helped retard the fire sufficiently to allow salvage of City of Nome ' s cargo. On 4 February 1933, she rendered assistance to the fishing boat Giuseppina, which had broken down with engine trouble in Monterey Bay, California.

    As tensions mounted in Europe and East Asia in the late 1930s, the U.S. Navy expanded to meet the emergency, especially after World War II began in Europe following the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939. The Navy needed auxiliary vessels of various types, and cast a wide net in looking for them. One of the ships identified for transfer to the Navy was Guide, and, on 27 June 1941, she was transferred from the Coast and Geodetic Survey to the Navy.

    Commemoration Edit

    An underwater geographic feature of the Pacific Ocean, Guide Seamount off the coast of California, is named for Guide.

    On 25 July 1941, work to convert the vessel into a rescue and salvage ship began at the San Diego Marine Construction Company in San Diego. During the reconfiguration, the Navy renamed the ship USS Viking, third U.S. Navy ship of the name, on 5 August 1941 and classified her as ARS-1. While the alterations were still in progress, Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941, plunging the United States into World War II. Placed in service on 3 January 1942, Viking was pronounced ready for duty on 12 February 1942.

    Manned by a civilian crew and operated from San Diego by the Merritt, Chapman, and Scott salvage firm – a civilian company working under a contract let by the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships – Viking was assigned to the 11th Naval District.

    Between 3 and 6 July 1942, Viking assisted two U.S. Navy local patrol craft, YP-267 and YP-269, which had run aground off San Diego, towing them both back to port for repairs. According to her movement reports, Viking appears to have spent an uneventful autumn and winter at her home port. [ citation needed ]

    Viking shifted to San Francisco, California, briefly in January 1943, en route Guadalupe in Baja California, Mexico, to perform emergency salvage operations under the aegis of the Commander, Western Sea Frontier. Returning to San Diego in February 1943, Viking operated there into 1944.

    On 27 October 1944, Viking steamed to San Pedro, California, for a refit. She returned to San Diego later in November 1944. On 31 December 1944, Viking departed San Diego in company with the fleet ocean tug USS Tenino (ATF-115) bound for Clipperton Island. There, the two vessels joined the rescue and salvage ship USS Seize (ARS-26) in unsuccessful attempts to refloat the grounded tank landing ship USS LST-563. During the salvage operation, Viking suffered damage from heavy seas and put into San Diego for repairs soon thereafter.

    Viking subsequently operated out of San Diego and San Pedro through the end of World War II in mid-August 1945. She performed tug and tow services for ships ranging in size from destroyers to tank landing ships into the 1950s. In December 1949, she aided the grounded steamer SS Aristocratus off the south point of California′s Santa Rosa Island. Eventually, Viking's area of operations embraced Long Beach and Port Hueneme, California, as well as the San Diego area.

    Relieved by the rescue and salvage ship USS Gear (ARS-34) as salvage vessel for the 11th Naval District, Viking was returned to Navy custody by the Merritt, Chapman, and Scott salvage firm. On 17 March 1953, she was authorized for disposal, and her name was struck from the Navy list on 19 April 1953. She lay at the Naval Supply Depot at San Pedro until sold on 22 July 1953 to Nathan Cohen and Son, Inc., of Los Angeles, California. She was scrapped soon thereafter.

    Legacy [ edit | edit source ]

    The ship's bell of HMS Campbeltown was given to the town of Campbelltown, Pennsylvania, as a gesture of appreciation towards the United States for the Destroyers for Bases Agreement program. This ship's bell was later lent by the town to the current HMS Campbeltown, a Type 22 frigate, when she was commissioned in 1989, and was returned on 21 June 2011 after HMS Cambeltown was decommissioned. Η]

    The 1952 film The Gift Horse was loosely based on the story of HMS Campbeltown. ⎖]


    As USS Buchanan [ edit | edit source ]

    [3][4]Starboard side view of Campbeltown as USS Buchanan in 1936.Main article: USS BuchananUSS Buchanan was a Wickes-class destroyer, ordered from the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, and laid down on 29 June 1918. She was launched on 2 January 1919 and commissioned into the Navy on 20 January. She had a typical inter-war career, and was placed into the reserve in 1939. She then became one of 50 destroyers transferred to the Royal Navy in 1940 after the finalisation of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement. She was transferred on 3 September 1940 and commissioned on 9 September at Halifax, Canada.

    As HMS Campbeltown [ edit | edit source ]

    Having been formally commissioned she took passage from Halifax to Plymouth, travelling via St. Johns, Newfoundland. She arrived at Devonport Dockyard on 29 September and was taken in hand for modifications to fit her for service with the Royal Navy. The refits lasted throughout October, and on completion of the final harbour trials on 1 November she was nominated to join the 17th Flotilla operating in the Western Approaches. The next day, while carrying out sea trials she collided with SS Risoy and sustained damage, but continued and arrived safely at Liverpool, where she underwent repairs from 7 to 24 November. She then joined the flotilla.

    On 29 November, she ran down and sank the British coaster Fiddown in the Mersey Estuary. [1] She began deploying with the flotilla in early December, but on 3 December she collided with SS Comus and had to put into port for repairs again. The repairs lasted until late March, and involved the shortening of the fourth funnel.

    On completion of the work on 28 March, Campbeltown was transferred on loan to the Royal Netherlands Navy, where she joined the 7th Escort Group and deployed with them in April–May. The Dutch proposed to rename her Middelburg, but this was not agreed as it would have been contrary to the naming agreed with the U.S. Navy. She underwent further repairs throughout June, and resumed convoy defence with the group in July–August. She was then nominated to be returned to the Royal Navy in September, but remained with the 7th Escort Group. She spent September working up with her Royal Navy crew and rejoined the group in October, where she covered convoys between Britain and West Africa. On 15 September she picked up the survivors of the Norwegian motor tanker Vinga, which had been damaged in an enemy air attack. She carried out escort duties in November–December, before taking passage to Devonport to undergo repairs.

    The St Nazaire Raid [ edit | edit source ]

    Main article: St Nazaire RaidCampbeltown began the Devonport repairs in January. During this time, she was selected for a special operation and was withdrawn from regular service for modifications. She was to be used in Operation Chariot, a planned assault operation on the docks at Saint-Nazaire. In 1942 the German battleship Tirpitz—anchored at Trondheim in Norway—was considered to present a grave threat to Atlantic convoys. Should Tirpitz enter the Atlantic, the Louis Joubert drydock at Saint-Nazaire—which had originally been built for the liner SS Normandie—was a vital target it was the only German-held drydock on the European coast of the Atlantic that was large enough to service the battleship. [2] If this drydock could be put out of action, any offensive sortie by Tirpitz into the Atlantic would be much more dangerous for the Kriegsmarine to carry out, making it less likely that they would risk deploying her. [3]

    Operation Chariot was a plan to ram an explosive-laden warship into the dock gates. Accompanying her would be a number of small boats carrying British Commandos, who would destroy the dock's pumping and winding machinery and other infrastructure. The troops would then be evacuated by the small boats before the explosives in the ship detonated. A particular difficulty was that the dock was located several miles up the estuary of the Loire River. As an obsolescent destroyer, Campbeltown was considered to be expendable and was selected to be the ram-ship. She spent February undergoing modifications. These included removing her third and fourth funnels, and having the remaining two funnels raked to simulate the structure and appearance of a German Raubvogel-class torpedo boat. A 12-pounder gun was installed forward and eight 20 mm (0.79 in) Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannons were mounted on the upper deck. Some extra armour was provided to protect the bridge structure, and unnecessary stores and equipment were removed to lighten the destroyer.

    An explosive charge consisting of 24 Mark VII depth charges—containing a total of 4.5 short tons (4.1 t) of amatol high explosive—was fitted into steel tanks installed just behind the steel pillar that supported her most forward gun mount. The charges were to be detonated by multiple eight-hour time pencils connected together by cordtex, set before steaming out and cemented in to prevent any interference with the detonation. [4] Campbeltown steamed from Devonport to Falmouth, Cornwall on 25 March to join the other ships that would take part in the operation. The crew—which would be evacuated with the commandos—was reduced to 75 men, under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Stephen "Sam" Beattie.

    A flotilla of 21 vessels—Campbeltown, 16 Fairmile B motor launches, one motor torpedo boat, and a Fairmile C motor gun boat acting as the troops′ headquarters—left Falmouth at 14:00 on 26 March 1942, escorted for most of the crossing to France by two "Hunt"-class escort destroyers. [2] Apart from a brief clash with German submarine U-593, whose captain misreported the task force's course and composition, the ships reached France unmolested. One motor launch suffered mechanical problems and had to return to England.

    The preliminary air raid carried out through heavy cloud by 35 Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys and 25 Vickers Wellingtons was much smaller than originally planned and was ineffective, merely alerting the defenders of something unusual happening. Nevertheless, by flashing genuine German recognition signals, the force, with Campbeltown flying the flag of the 'Kriegsmarine, approached to within less than 1 mi (1.6 km) of the harbour before being fired upon. Campbeltown—as the largest target—drew most of the fire. During the final approach, the crew of Campbeltown lowered the emblem of the Kriegsmarine and hoisted the fighting ensign of the Royal Navy.

    At 01:34 on 28 March, four minutes later than planned, Campbeltown rammed the dock gate. The Commandos and ship's crew came ashore under heavy German fire, and set about demolishing the dock machinery. 162 of the raiders were killed (64 commandos and 105 sailors) out of the 611 men in the attacking force. Of the survivors, 215 were captured and 222 were evacuated by the surviving small craft. A further five evaded capture and travelled overland through France to Spain and then to Gibraltar, a British territory. [5] German photo of HMS Campbeltown, taken before it explodedThe charges in Campbeltown exploded at noon, an hour and a half later than the British had expected. Although the ship had been searched by the Germans, the explosives had not been detected. The explosion killed around 250 German soldiers and French civilians, and demolished both the front half of the destroyer and the 160 short tons (150 t) caisson of the drydock, with the rush of water into the drydock washing the remains of the ship into it. The St. Nazaire drydock was rendered unusable for the rest of the war, and was not repaired until 1947. [6]

    The delayed-action torpedoes fired by the motor torpedo boat into the outer lock gate to the submarine basin detonated, as planned, on the night of 30 March. This later explosion led to panic, with German forces firing on French civilians and on each other. Sixteen French civilians were killed and around thirty wounded. Later, 1,500 civilians were arrested and interned in a camp at Savenay, and most of their houses were demolished, even though they had had nothing to do with the raid. [7] Lt-Cdr Beattie—who was taken prisoner—received the Victoria Cross for his valour, and in 1947 received the French Légion d'honneur. [8] His Victoria Cross was one of five that were awarded to participants in the raid, along with 80 other military decorations.

    USS Wasp (CV-7)

    Figure 1: USS Wasp’s (CV-7) starboard bow, December 27, 1940. Image #80-G-463431. Courtesy National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 2: Lt. David McCampbell, Landing Signal Officer, bringing in planes aboard USS Wasp (CV-7) circa late 1941 or early 1942. McCampbell later became the Navy's top-scoring "ace" in World War II. Behind him is the Assistant Landing Signal Officer, Ensign George E. "Doc" Savage. In the catwalk in the lower center are Len Ford (enlisted man) and Lt. Hawley Russell. Caption details were provided by Captain David McCampbell, USN (Ret.), in 1982. Official U.S. Navy photo, now in the collection of the National Archives. Image #80-G-K-687(Color). Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 3: USS Wasp (CV-7) off the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, on 8 January 1942, following overhaul. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives (# 19-N-27320). Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 4: A Spitfire Mk.Vc being loaded aboard USS Wasp (CV-7) at Port Glasgow, Scotland, in April 1942, at the start of Operation Calender. Note some F4F Wildcat fighters parked on deck, with their wings folded—Wasp carried twelve Wildcats during the two aircraft ferrying missions she carried out with the Royal Navy to augment the dwindling defenses of Malta (Operation Calender, in April, and Operation Bowery, in May 1942). USN photo, taken from “Skies of Fire,” by Alfred Price. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 5: A Spitfire Mk.Vc about to start its run off USS Wasp. The aircraft that had taken off ahead of it is visible above its starboard wing. Already the lift is on its way down to the hangar to pick up the next fighter. USN photo, taken from “Skies of Fire,” by Alfred Price. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 6: Neg No. OCR-11886 — US Navy's aircraft carrier Wasp ferries British aircraft to Malta. One of the first photographs showing the carrier en route to the British Mediterranean Stronghold. Signalman on the bridge of the Wasp on the alert for any signals from escort ships of approaching enemy ships or planes. US Navy photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 7: USS Wasp (CV-7) entering Hampton Roads, Virginia, on 26 May 1942. An escorting destroyer is in the background. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-12240). Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 8: USS Wasp (CV-7) in port in June 1942, with a motor launch coming alongside. Probably taken in San Diego Harbor, California. Planes on deck, some with wings folded, include SB2U scout bombers and F4F-4 fighters. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-K-447). Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 9: USS Wasp (CV-7) burning and listing after she was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-19, on 15 September 1942, while operating in the southwestern Pacific in support of forces on Guadalcanal. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-16331). Click on photograph for larger image.

    Figure 10: USS O’Brien (DD-415) is torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-19 during the Guadalcanal Campaign, 15 September 1942. USS Wasp (CV-7), torpedoed a few minutes earlier, is burning in the left distance. O'Brien was hit in the extreme bow, but "whipping" from the torpedo explosion caused serious damage to her hull amidships, leading to her loss on 19 October 1942, while she was en route back to the United States for repairs. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-457818). Click on photograph for larger image.

    USS Wasp (CV-7) was a 14,700-ton aircraft carrier that was built by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company at Quincy, Massachusetts, and was commissioned on 25 April 1940. Wasp was approximately 741 feet long and 80 feet wide, had a top speed of 29.5 knots, and had a crew of 2,367 officers and men. The ship was armed with eight 5-inch guns, 16 1.1-inch guns, 16 .50-caliber machine guns, and carried roughly 80 aircraft.

    Wasp spent the first two years of her life in the Atlantic, taking part in naval exercises, neutrality enforcement patrols, and various other escort duties. In April and May 1942, Wasp assisted the British Home Fleet in the North Atlantic and twice entered the Mediterranean to deliver vital Royal Air Force aircraft to the besieged island of Malta.

    Wasp then was sent to the Pacific in June 1942 to reinforce US Naval forces after the massive carrier battles at Coral Sea and Midway. Wasp was also sent there to prepare for offensive operations in the South Pacific. In early August 1942, she participated in the invasion of Guadalcanal. Wasp then fought desperately to help hold that vital island in the face of determined Japanese efforts to recapture it.

    But on 15 September 1942, Wasp’s luck ran out. While steaming to the south of Guadalcanal, the carrier was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-19. Wasp was hit by two torpedoes, which, unfortunately, exploded next to the ship’s gas tanks and magazines. Huge, fiery blasts ripped through the forward part of the ship. The intense fires set off enormous amounts of ammunition, bombs, and gasoline. The water mains located in the forward part of the ship were destroyed because of the explosions, making it impossible to fight the spreading flames. Wasp began listing to starboard between 10 and 15 degrees as the ship gradually came to a halt. With fires spreading rapidly throughout the ship and with the carrier’s list increasing, Wasp’s skipper, the famous Captain Forrest P. Sherman, realized that the situation was hopeless. After consulting with his executive officer, Commander Fred C. Dickey, and with the uncontrollable fires quickly spreading towards the rear of the carrier, Captain Sherman saw that the only option left was to abandon ship. At 1520, the order was given and all of the badly injured men were lowered into rafts or rubber boats. The men had to leave from the aft section of the ship because the fires were too intense at the forward end. The whole process was very orderly and there was no panic. Many men, though, refused to leave the ship until all of the wounded had made it off. But after 40 minutes, at 1600, almost everyone was off the ship. Everyone that is, except Captain Sherman. He made sure no one was left on deck, in the gun galleries, or in the aft aircraft hangers. Once he was convinced everyone had left, he slid down one of the lifelines on the fantail and lowered himself into the sea, the last man to leave the stricken carrier.

    The ships that were escorting Wasp rescued 1,946 members of her crew, including Captain Sherman. Although burning fiercely from stem to stern, Wasp was built so well that she still refused to go down. The destroyer USS Lansdowne (DD-486) was given the task of firing five torpedoes into the sinking ship. Three of them hit and still Wasp did not sink. For a while, the carrier was literally a burning torch upon the water. Eventually, though, the massive damage sustained by the ship finally took its toll. At 2100, Wasp finally slid beneath the waves bow first.

    USS Wasp received two battle stars for her service during World War II. The interesting thing about this ship was that it proved, once again, that carriers could sustain an amazing amount of punishment and still remain afloat. It basically took five torpedoes (two Japanese and three American) to finally sink Wasp, even after the ship was totally devastated by massive fires. American aircraft carriers were built tough and could take a beating, qualities that would serve them well in the coming months of the Pacific war.

    USS Wickes (DD-75) in Devonport Drydock, 1919 - History

    (Tanker:, dp. 13,000 1. 431'10" b. 56'0" dr. 25'6"
    (mean) s. 10.5 k. cpl. 96 a. 1 6", 1 3")

    W. L. Steed-a steel-hulled tanker built in 1918 at Quincy, Mass., by the Fore River Shipbuilding Co., under a United States Shipping Board (USSB) contract wasoinspected by the Navy on 10 August 1918, assigned Identification Number 3449, and was commissioned at ' Boston, Mass., on -18 September 1918, Lt. Comdr. John Charlton, USNRF, in command.

    Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS), W. L. Steed departed Boston on 28 September and proceeded to Philadelphia, where, she took on a cargo of oil. She sailed for New York on 8 October, whence she headed for Nova Scotia on the 17th. The tanker departed Sydney six days later, bound for Devonport, England, but developed a steering gear casualty en route and put into St. John's, Newfoundland, for repairs, on 30 October.

    She departed that port Qn 10 November and was at sea when the armistice ending World War I-was signed at Compiegne, France, on the 11th. W. L. Steed made port at New York on the 13th and entered drydock for repairs which lasted through the remainder of November.

    W. L. Steed got underway again on I December, bound for France, and arrived at Le Havre three days before Christmas of 1918. Discharging her oil cargo in two days, the tanker subsequently departed Le Havre on 26 December, bound for the Gulf of Mexico.

    After touching at Bermuda, she arrived at New Orleans on 18 January 1919 took on another cargo of oil and left the Mississippi delta on 4 February 1919, bound again for France. She never completed the voyage, however, for she was damaged en route and put into New York on 18 February. After inventories of all equipment were taken and repairs were completed, W. L. Steed was de6ommissioned, struck from the Navy 'list, and simultaneously returned to the USSB on 26 March 1919.

    Acquired by the Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Co. in 1922, W. L. Steed was subsequently acquired by the Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey in 1937. Following some two years of operation with Standard Oil, the ship was in need of repairs and docked at Constable Hook, Bayonne, N.J., on 30 June 1939. She remained there through August-and departed Bayonne shoitly after the outbreak of war in Europe with orders to proceed to Mariner's Harbor, Staten Island, N.Y., for repairs at the Bethlehem Steel Co. yard there.

    Upon completion of the necessary repairs and alterations, W. L. Steed departed New York on 4 October, bound for Texas. Making port at Aransas Pass a short time later, the bulk oil tanker took on a cargo of
    68,169 barrels of west Texas crude oil-the first of five such cargoes she would carry in 1939. Once the crude was safely aboard, W. L. Steed cast off for New York.

    During 1940 and 1941, W. L. Steed performed prirnarily coastwise duties for Standard Oil of New Jersey, although she occasionally included Havana, Cuba Aruba, Dutch West Indies and Cartagena, Colombia, dmong her ports-of-call. She made 17 voyages in 1940 and 22 in 1941, carrying bulk oil cargoes of 1,053,261 and 1,396,278 barrels, respectively.

    W. L. Steed departed Norfolk, Va., under the command of her master, Harold G. MeVenia, on 14 January 1942. She madeport at Cartagena one week later and there loaded a cargo of 65,396 barrels of oil in two days, departing that port on 23 January. She subsequently called at Key West fdr Navy orders before transiting the Florida Straits.

    The voyage proceeded uneventfully until early on the afternoon of 30 January, when a lookout spotted what he thought was a small fishing craft on the port bow. Capt. McVenia, soon ascertaining the strange ship to be a submarine lying low on the surface, sounded the general alarm and radioed for help. All hands except the "black gang'

    --below in the engine spaces-manned their boat stations, donned life preservers, and stood by for the worst.

    The submarine soon disappeared, probably because of W. L. Steed's radio message that brought a Navy patrol plane out to take a look. Over the next two days, though, the weather worsened, making protective aircraft operations particularly difficult. W. L. Steed plodded through the Atlantic swells, occasionally shipping heavy seas that damaged her decks.

    By 2 February, visibility had shrunk to about two miles, and snow was falling. Shortly after noon, when W. L. Steed was between 80 and 90 miles off the coast of New Jersey, U-103-already a high scorer in the German U-boat arm with over 30 ships to her creditpoked up her periscope and tracked the plodding tanker. One torpedo soon leapt from the bow tubes, sped inexorably toward W. L. Steed, and hit the tanker on her starboard side, forward of the bridge, and in number 3 tank. The explosion touched off a fire in the oil drums stored there.

    W. L. Steed sent out a hurried SOS and radioed her plight to any ship within hearing the entire crew38 men-abandoned ship into the vessel's four life boats. U-103 surfaced soon thereafter and closed the burning tanker as she slowly sank by the bow. The Germans soon manned their deck gun and commenced firing, pumping 17 shells into the stern of the tanker to hasten her demise while her crew watched from the nearby boats. After W. L. Steed slipped beneath the chill waves of the North Atlantic, U-103 stood briefly toward the survivors before shaping a course away in a southwesterly direction.

    The U-boat's departure left the four boats alone in the frigid waters. They drifted apart and,. one by one, the ill-clad sailors began to succumb to the cold. W. L. Steed had been abandoned with such haste that hardly any of the men had had enter the boats prepared to face the bitter winter snowstorm and the biting northeasterly winds.

    One boat was never found. The British steamer Hartlepool rescued two men from the second on 4 February, but one later died the Canadian armed merchant cruiser HMCS Alcantara picked up three men from the third boat two days later, including the senior surviving officer, 2d Mate Sydney Wayland. On 12 February, the British merchantman Raby Castle came across the last of W. L. Steed's boats, containing four men, but of whom only one was alive, suffering much from exposure. Brought aboard Raby Castle, that man-2d Assistant Engineer Elmer E. Maihiot, Jr-died three days later, and was buried at sea.

    USS Wickes (DD-75) in Devonport Drydock, 1919 - History

    1,215 Tons
    314' 4 1/2" x 30 11.5" x 9' 4"
    4 x 4" guns
    1 x 3" gun
    12 x 21" torpedo tubes

    On June 22, 1921 departed across the Pacific via Pearl Harbor, Midway and Guam then reached Cavite on August 24, 1921. For the remainder of the year and first half of June 1922 operated from Cavite, Manila, Olongapo and Lingayen Gulf then in early June 1922 departed for China.

    On June 6, 1922 at 11:58am Chinese steamer Tse Kiang accidentally collided with Zane off the coast of China. Luckily, Zane only sustained minor damage and under her own power arrived at Shanghai and was moored alongside USS Rathburne (DD-113) then entered the Yangtsepoo dry dock for minor repairs. On July 5, 1922 departed for Chefoo (Zhifu) and remained until the end of the month to Chinwangtao (Qinhuangdao) then back to Chefoo.

    On August 25, 1922 departed Chefoo via Nagasaki then to San Francisco arriving October 2, 1922. A week later to Mare Island where armaments were removed ahead of retirement. On February 1, 1923 decommissioned and mothballed at San Diego.

    On February 25, 1930 recommissioned with Lt. Comdr. C. J. Parrish in command and was assigned to various units and participated in Fleet Exercises off the west coast and in the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean and Panama. On November 19, 1940 at Pearl Harbor converted to a high-speed minesweeper and redesignated DMS-14 and patrolled around Hawaii.

    Wartime History
    On December 7, 1941 at the start of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Oahu moored off Pearl City with Mine Division 4 with USS Trever (DMS-16), USS Wasmuth (DMS-15) and USS Perry (DMS-17). At 7:57am a signalman on watch observed an aircraft drop a bomb on Ford Island and went to general quarters with Lt. Commander L. M. LeHardy the most senior officer aboard who took command and her anti-aircraft gunners fired on attacking planes and by 8:03am was preparing to get underway. At 8:30am spotted a submarine 200 yards astern of USS Medusa AR-1 anchored nearby but was unable to fire with her guns that were blocked by the other minesweepers and observed USS Monaghan (DD-354) ram and depth charge the submarine. As the second wave attacked, one enemy plane was shot down and afterwards got underway to patrol offshore including a mine sweep at the entrance of Pearl Harbor then conducted anti-submarine patrols and was undamaged during the attacks.

    During early 1942, Zane operated from Pearl Harbor patrolling around Hawaii. On April 5, 1942 departs as part of the escort for Convoy Number 4079 to San Pedro then proceeded to Mare Island for repairs and alterations. By June 1942 returned to Pearl Harbor then departed for the South Pacific.

    On August 7, 1942 conducted mine sweeping operations with USS Hopkins (DMS-13), USS Southard (DMS-10) and USS Hovey (DMS-11) and USS Trever (DMS-16) to clear a 1,000 yard area between Purvis Bay on Florida Island to Gavutu Island then to "Red Beach" on Tulagi Island and down to the Lengo Channel to Indispensable Strait. During the operation, Japanese guns fired on the minesweepers force but did not cause any damage. By 3:50pm the mine sweeping operation was completed without any sea mines found.

    During the Guadalcanal campaign, Zane operated from Tulagi Harbor and performed sweeps and patrol operations and departed for Noumea then returned to the Solomon Islands. Later proceeded to Espiritu Santo and with USS Trever (DMS-16) was loaded with deck cargo including drums of aviation fuel, torpedoes and ordnance plus two PT Boats under tow then departed for the Solomons.

    On October 25, 1942 at 5:30am with USS Trever (DMS-16) arrived in Tulagi Harbor and was unloaded by 8:09am when an air raid alarm and alert was sounded as enemy warships were spotted entering Iron Bottom Sound. Both minesweepers exit Tulagi Harbor at full speed in an effort to evacuate the area. Meanwhile, three Japanese destroyers Akatsuki, Ikazuchi, and Shiratsuyu entered visual range and at 10:30am opened fire on the minesweepers with armor-piercing shells loaded for their shore bombardment mission scoring near misses with one 127mm shell scoring a direct hit on Zane's no. 1 3" gun turret killing three inside. Other shells damaged rigging and antenna arrays and halyards until 10:40am when the destroyers turned away to engage USS Seminole (AT-65) and YP-284 off Lunga Point while the pair of minesweepers escaped to the east.

    During November 1942 repeated the same mission with USS Trever (DMS-16) and Zane towing PT Boats from MTBS 2 from Noumea to Tulagi Harbor. Afterwards, escorted a convoy New Hebrides to Tulagi.

    During January 1943 arrived at Sydney Harbor for repairs and rest and recuperation for her crew. On January 22, 1943 ordered to rescued survivors of Peter H. Burnett that was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-21 and was abandoned but remained afloat. On January 25, 1943 Zane rescued surviving crew and passengers and took the damaged ship under tow back to Sydney Harbor arriving two days later.

    In late February 1943 returned to Guadalcanal and was assigned to the Spit Kit Expeditionary Force to Task Unit 61.1.3 (TU-61.1.3) towing landing craft for Operation Cleanslate to occupy the Russell Islands.

    On June 1, 1943 in Calliope Drydock at Devonport and temporarily attached to the mine sweeping group for Task Force 32 (TF-32) under Rear Admiral Turner. On June 14, 1943 left dry dock and was moored to the jetty at Devonport for refueling. On June 16, 1943 anchored in Waitematā Harbour (Auckland Harbor) off Auckland. On June 17, 1943 departed with F. B. Willard and three days later rendezvoused with tanker Quebec at sea. On June 22, 1943 moored in Havana Harbor at berth #17 off Efaté and refueled the departed five days later.

    On June 29, 1943 anchored off Koli Point on Guadalcanal then departed towing a Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) and at 8:01am anchor in Pepesala Bay off Pavuvu Island in the Russell Islands and began embarking U.S. Army 169th Infantry Regiment, A Company and supplies for the upcoming landing with PT-109 briefly mooring alongside. Assigned to "Operation Toenails" to Task Unit 31.1.1 (TU 31.1.1) Onaiavisi Occupation Unit with USS Talbot (APD-7) then in the Russell Islands embarked a company from the 169th Infantry Regiment and an LCVP and that afternoon departed bound for the New Georgia Islands.

    On June 30, 1943 at 2:25am despite bad weather in the Blanche Channel reached Onaiavisi Channel with USS Talbot (APD-7). At 2:57am, Zane ran aground but was able to land her troops and cargo off Sasavele Island (Dume Island). While grounded, Zane attempted to break free by turning to port and a second attempt was made with an LCVP pulling the stern but was unsuccessful.

    At 5:15am Zane managed to twist free and jettisoned the starboard anchor. At 5:30am ran aground again on the stern and suffered propeller damage. Aboard, the crew was ordered to move ammunition and fuel forward and flood forward tanks in an attempt to break free. At 10:00am a tow line was secured from USS Talbot (APD-7) but the line parted. At 11:10am enemy aircraft were reported in the area. At 11:50am another tow line was attached from USS Talbot (APD-7) but the line again parted.

    At 2:00pm USS Rail (AT-139) attached a tow line and ten minutes later freed her but the line again parted. By 3:00pm Rail resumed towing at a speed of 8.5 knots on a course of 137° to the southeast transiting Blanche Channel. At 3:47 began firing at G4M1 Bettys and at 3:50pm observed fighters engaged in dog fights off the starboard beam. At 3:52pm the Bettys commenced torpedo runs and the crew observed several crashing in flames into the sea, fighter combat at low level and USS McCawley (APA-4) hit by a torpedo and by 4:03pm the air raid had ceased.

    On July 2, 1943 arrived at Tulagi Harbor for temporary repairs then via Espiritu Santo and Pearl Harbor to Mare Island for permanent repairs and other alterations. On September 23, 1943 departed bound for Pearl Harbor arriving at the end of the month and operated off Hawaii until the middle of January 1944.

    On June 5, 1945 reclassified as a miscellaneous auxiliary AG-109. On June 13, 1945 departed Leyte across the Pacific via Eniwetok, Pearl Harbor and San Diego. On November 25, 1945 transits the Panama Canal and four days later arrives at Norfolk. On December 14, 1945 decommissioned at Norfolk. On January 8, 1946 stricken from the Navy list and sold for scrap.

    On October 22, 1946 delivered to Luria Brothers and Company and scrapping commenced on March 3, 1947.

    For her World War II service, Zane earned six battle stars. In addition, she received the Navy Unit Commendation for her actions off Guadalcanal during 1942–1943.

    The starboard anchor of Zane jettisoned on June 30, 1943 remained underwater off Sasavele Island. During the 1990s, World War II veteran and former Zane crew member Joseph "Joe" Gunterman who was aboard June 30, 1943 hired local people to recover the starboard anchor where it was jettisoned on June 30, 1943 into Onaiavisi Channel and was placed near Sasavele village on the northeast of Sasavele Island as a memorial with a plaque and flag pole.

    Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) "USS Zane, Report of Pearl Harbor Attack" December 10, 1941
    Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) "Combat Narratives Miscellaneous Actions in the South Pacific" pages 47-53
    NARA USS Zan War Diary June 1943 pages 1-31
    NARA USS Zane War Diary June 1943 (Action Report) pages 32-36
    (Page 35) "16 to 18 Proceeding as before in tow of USS Rail on course 137° (T) at 8.5 knots. 1603 Sky clear of enemy planes. Ceased firing. No casualties. Rounds expended 60 3"50 caliber, 1000 20mm."
    NavSource - USS Zane (DD-337 / DMS-14 / AG-109)
    FindAGrave - Joseph E. Gunterman (photo) passed away November 27, 2014 at age 91
    Thanks to Shane Elliott for additional information

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    Warship Wednesday, Jan.27, 2021: Of Kamikazes, Space Monkeys, and Exocets

    Here at LSOZI, we take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1954 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger

    Warship Wednesday, Jan.27, 2021: Of Kamikazes, Space Monkeys, and Exocets

    Photo by Robert Huhardeaux via Wikicommons.

    Here we see the Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer USS Borie (DD-704), in all her Cold War glory, anchored off Cannes, France, circa 1963. She would have a curious and extremely active 40-year career, bookending two eras of naval warfare with some stops in between.

    The Sumners, an attempt to up the firepower on the previous and highly popular Fletcher-class destroyers, mounted a half-dozen 5″/38s in a trio of dual mounts, as well as 10 21-inch torpedo tubes in a pair of five-tube turntable stations. Going past this, they were packed full of sub-busting and plane-smoking weapons as well as some decent sonar and radar sets for the era.

    With 336 men crammed into a 376-foot hull, they were cramped, slower than expected (but still capable of beating 33-knots all day), and overloaded, but they are fighting ships who earned good reputations.

    Speaking of reputation, the subject of our tale today was named after Adolph Edward Borie, who appreciated bespoke top hats and served for a few months as Grant’s SECNAV in 1869.

    Honorable Adolph E. Borie, Secretary of the Navy, and his top hat. Matthew Brady photograph via the LOC

    The first ship to carry the former SECNAV’s name was the Clemson-class four-piper tin can, Destroyer No. 215, which joined the fleet in 1920, some 40 years after Mr. Borie’s passing. Earning three battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation, on All Saints Day 1943, DD-215 rammed and sank the surfaced German submarine U-405 in the North Atlantic. With 27 men lost and too badly damaged by the collision to be towed to port, Borie was scuttled by USS Barry (DD-248) the next day.

    Painting of the action between USS Borie (DD-215) and German submarine U-405 in the Atlantic, 1 November 1943. Borie rammed and sank the U-Boat but was so badly damaged that she had to be scuttled. Painting by US Coast Guard artist Hunter Wood, 1943. 80-G-43655

    The second Borie, our Sumner-class destroyer, was constructed at Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N.J. and commissioned 21 September 1944.

    By 24 January 1945, she had completed shakedown trials and shipped to the Pacific, announcing her arrival with the fleet in a bombardment of Iwo Jima that day while part of DESRON 62’s Destroyer Division 124, a group of brand-new Sumners that besides Borie counted USS John W. Weeks (DD-701) and USS Hank (DD-702).

    Joining Task Force 58, acting as an escort for the battleships USS New Jersey and South Dakota as well as the carriers Bunker Hill and Essex, they carried out a raid on the Tokyo area in February before switching to the push on Okinawa. This included a close-in destroyer raid on Japanese airstrips on the night of 27/28 March via shore bombardment and star shell illumination.

    “After three minutes of rapid salvoes, fires were observed in the vicinity of the airstrips. March proved to be a fighting moth for the Borie with almost continual picket and screening duty with the powerful 󈬪” that was striking Japan a blow from which she would never recover,” noted her war history.

    However, she was soon sidelined after smashing into Essex on 2 April while transferring pilots and mail via breeches buoy in heavy seas, demolishing her aft stack, one of her 40mm mounts, and “bending the mast at a crazy angle.”

    USS Borie (DD 704) collides with USS Essex (CV 9) while transferring the mail during a storm. Damage to Borie was light and the ship was still operational on 2 April 1945. Note damage to the smokestack. 80-G-373755

    Sent to Ulithi for repairs, she returned to Spruance’s merry band on 1 May. Assigned to nearly perpetual radar picket duty against kamikazes, alternating with more shore bombardment runs on Minami Daito Jima, Borie also clocked in as needed for lifeguard duty, plucking one of the battleship USS Alabama‘s Kingfisher pilots from the drink on 23 June and returning him home. She would later pick up an F6F pilot as well as two crewmen of a downed SB2C while tagging along on a carrier air strike against Kyushu.

    Then came the afternoon of 9 August– notably just six days before the Japanese surrender. On that day, the four tin cans of Destroyer Division 124 were on radar picket duty just off the Japanese port of Sendai, just hours after a USAAF B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, a force of five Imperial Navy Aichi B7A Grace torpedo bombers came out looking for some payback.

    At 1454, somehow the first B7A Grace reached the picket group undetected and without being engaged by combat air patrol fighters. Despite the surprise, the destroyers opened fire and the Grace was hit multiple times but kept on coming. The damaged Grace flew right over Hank at low altitude as fuel pouring from perforated fuel tanks soaked the destroyer’s bridge crew in gasoline. The plane then went into a sharp bank and came in on Borie from the port quarter. The Grace released a large 1,764-pound bomb just before it crashed into Borie’s superstructure just aft of the bridge between the 5-inch gun director and the mast. This started a large fuel fire and blew many men over the side (most of whom were not recovered). Fortunately, the bomb passed clean through Borie and detonated off the starboard side, but the ship was sprayed with many bomb fragments that cut down even more men. All communications from the bridge were knocked out and control was transferred to after steering. Firefighting was complicated by 40-mm ready-use ammunition continuing to cook-off, but, finally, the fires were brought under control and, as the ship had suffered no below-the-waterline damage, she was not in danger of sinking.

    Over the next hour, the other four Graces attacked the destroyers, and all were shot down without significant damage. Hank suffered one man missing and five wounded. Despite the fires and damage, Borie remained in her position in the formation and her guns continued to fire on the following Japanese aircraft. Borie’s casualties were high: 48 killed or missing and 66 wounded. Commander Adair was awarded a Silver Star for his actions in saving the ship and continuing to fight despite the severe damage.

    This would also be the last battle damage suffered by the U.S. Fast Carrier Task Force.

    As detailed in the destroyer’s after-action report, that afternoon alone she fired 191 5-inch, 810 40mm and 1,426 20mm shells at her attackers.

    One of the first ships to respond to the stricken Borie, Alabama transferred a medical party to the destroyer in payback for her Kingfisher pilot.

    Her men buried at sea were the last lost to the Divine Wind

    USS Borie (DD-704) at Saipan in late August 1945, after being damaged by a kamikaze off Japan on August 9. Note wreckage at fore stack and bridge. It was after transferring her wounded to the hospital ship Rescue and while heading to Saipan for emergency repairs that her radio shack picked up the flash that Japan had surrendered. NH 74693

    Heading to Hunter’s Point for more permanent repairs, by February 1946 peace had settled on the world, and Borie, made new again, was dispatched to join the Atlantic Fleet. She received three battle stars for her World War II services.

    As a sobering aspect, she was luckier than several of her sisters. Between December 1944 and May 1945, USS Cooper, USS Mannert L. Abele, and USS Drexler were all sunk in the Pacific– the latter two by kamikazes.

    Jane’s entry for the class in 1946.

    The Cold (and sometimes hot) War

    Shipping back to the Pacific in 1950, Borie earned four battle stars for her participation in the Korean conflict as part of TF 77, proving key in the Hungnam Evacuation of Chosin survivors. She also supported the Marines at Wonsan and was the only NGFS available to cover the U.S. Army landing at Iwon. Finally, Borie was near the beach for the second Inchon landing.

    She was also a familiar sight in the Med, where she helped evacuate American citizens and UN truce teams from Israel and Egypt in 1956. It was then that she was the first U.S. warship through the Suez Canal after its nationalization by Nasser.

    Borie, like many ships, also clocked in as a recovery vessel for NASA.

    Before Alan Shepard lifted off on Freedom 7 in 1961 and became the first American astronaut in space, there were over 20 unmanned Program Mercury launches with boilerplate capsules and animals. The one most related to Borie was that of a seven-pound rhesus macaque named Sam who hailed from the U.S. Air Force School of Aviation Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base in Texas.

    Sam was locked into a restraining couch then buckled into an erector-set-like cradle in the capsule of a boilerplate Mercury vehicle dubbed Little Joe 2 (LJ-2). Lit off from Wallops Island, Virginia on 4 December 1959, Sam flew 194 statute miles, reaching a suborbital altitude of 53 miles above ground, and did so in just 11 minutes, 6 seconds, which works out to a max speed of 4,466 miles per hour, grabbing over 14 G in the process.


    And the little guy made it, landing in 20-foot seas while Borie made for the splashdown site, arriving “several hours later.”

    “The monkey was inside in a large aluminum can, which was bolted down. We took the top off, and I crooked my finger and put it down in there. He took a hold of it. So, we got some [diagonal wire cutters] to cut him out of his contour couch. I set him down and told the chief petty officer to go get some apples and oranges. The monkey was hungry. He ate up most of the oranges.”

    “After his ride in the Little Joe 2 Spacecraft, Sam the Monkey is safely aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer,” NASA photo via Johnson Space Center.

    Other notable recoveries that Borie was a part of was Gemini VI-A in 1965– carrying Wally Schirra and
    Thomas Stafford– although our destroyer was in a supporting role to USS Wasp.

    But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

    Noting that their WWII-era destroyers were increasingly anachronistic against nuclear-powered submarines and jet aircraft, the Navy in the late 1950s/early 1960s embarked on a sweeping Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization program. As part of it, no less than 33 Sumners were given the FRAM II treatment while others received the less invasive FRAM I upgrade. Borie picked her modernization in 1961, just in time to take part in the Quarantine of Cuba during the Missile Crisis.

    Gone were the myriad of anti-aircraft guns, 21-inch torpedo tubes, depth charges, and obsolete sensors. Added was an AN/SQS-29 fixed sonar dome on the bottom of the bow, an AN/SQR-10 variable depth towed sonar on the stern, Mk. 32 ASW torpedo tubes amidships, a stubby helicopter deck for QH-50 DASH drones in place of the aft torpedo tube station, lots of EQ antennas, and a big SPS-40 surface search radar.

    1968 Charleston Naval Shipyard plans for USS Allen M. Sumner (DD-692), Borie’s FRAM II sister/class leader. Via Click to big up.

    Borie post-FRAM underway at sea, June 1968. NH 107165

    Borie at sea, pounding in hard, as the class was notorious for. Note the AS-1018/URC UHF antenna on the forward mount and broadband whip antenna receiver on the No. 2 mount.

    USS Borie (DD-704), post FRAM

    A Navy Memorial Interview with a radioman who was part of her crew at the time:

    Showing up for her third war, the destroyer made for Vietnam where she worked as part of the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club, delivering over 7,000 rounds of naval gunfire support against NVA and VC targets ashore in a repeat of her 1944-45 and 1950-51 days.

    By 1969, she was back home from the gunline and placed in semi-retirement as an NRF training vessel for reservists, a role she maintained until 1972, at which point the Navy had tired of the class.

    Some 29 Sumners, all FRAM vessels, were sold/transferred to overseas allies around the world, with a dozen serving as the backbone of the Taiwanese Navy throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. Among those shipped overseas were four vessels to Argentina– USS Hank (DD-702), USS Collett (DD-730), USS Mansfield (DD-728), and our own Borie.

    On to Puerto Belgrano

    Entering Argentine service as the ARA Hipolito Bouchard (DD-26) in honor of the Latin American corsair of the same name, Borie was modernized in 1978 to include a four-pack of MM38 Exocet anti-ship missiles and a French-made Aerospatiale SA-319B Allouette III in place of a Sea Sprite/OH-50.

    Argentine Sumners, 1978. Note the Exocets between the stacks of the closest destroyer. Photo via Histamar

    During the Falklands conflict, at one point it was thought that the Bouchard and her sisters could close within 20 miles of the British fleet and ripple off their Exocets, then beat feet. Thankfully for their crews, this crash test dummy plan was not attempted. Photo Via Histarmar

    She was a proud vessel and served more than a solid decade on active service with the Argentine fleet.

    When the Falklands conflict erupted, Borie/Bouchard and her sister Collett/Piedra Buena were assigned escort duty for the Argentine carrier Veinticinco de Mayo during the initial invasion of Port Stanley on 2 April 1982. Soon after, the two destroyers picked up screening duty for the pride of the fleet, the Brooklyn-class light cruiser ARA General Belgrano (ex-USS Phoenix).

    What the two dated destroyers didn’t know was that a very quiet British hunter-killer, the Churchill-class SSN HMS Conqueror (S48), stalked Belgrano for three days before her skipper was cleared to splash the 12,500-ton Pearl Harbor veteran. Firing a trio of appropriately WWII-era Mk 8 mod 4 torpedoes rather than the new and unproved Mk 24 Tigerfish, two hit the Argentine cruiser and sent her to the bottom, making Conqueror the sole nuclear-powered submarine to have a combat kill (so far) in history.

    By many accounts, Borie/Bouchard was hit by the third British Mk 8, which luckily for her did not explode, but did cause flooding and hull fissures. Together with Collett/Piedra Buena and a passing Chilean vessel, they stood by a rescued 772 men from the Belgrano.

    Returning to the mainland, Borie/Bouchard— according to Argentine reports — tracked a British Sea King HC.4 carrying eight SAS men on 18/19 May off Rio Grande, leading to the commandos aborting their mission to take out the country’s small stockpile of air-launched Exocets. The “Plum Duff” recon element was a prelude to a raid to be carried out either by SBS landed by the diesel attack sub, HMS Onyx, or 55 SAS men on an Entebbe-style assault via C-130 crashlanding, then displace 50 miles overland to Chile.

    Her fourth war over, Borie/Bouchard was deactivated in early 1984 at Puerto Belgrano and on 15 November 1988 was authorized to be used as a naval target for airstrikes.

    While repeatedly mentioned as being scrapped in 1984 by U.S. sources, several images are circulating that contend the vessel, in hulked and holed condition, was still around in the shallows near Puerto Belgrano as late as 1992 and perhaps beyond.

    Either way, she may have outlived her old foe Conqueror in usefulness, as the submarine was decommissioned in 1990.

    Her 1945 battle flag is reported to still be in circulation, although I cannot find out where.

    Tin Can Sailors has a Shipmate Registry for the Borie, where the former crew can get in touch with each other.

    The last two Sumners in foreign service– USS Stormes (DD-780) and USS Zellars (DD-777) — were used by the Shah until 1979 and then inherited by the modern Islamic Republic of Iran Navy who retained them in a semi-active state into the mid-1990s.

    Of note, the only Sumner retained in the U.S. as a museum ship, USS Laffey (DD-724) located at Patriots Point in Charleston, South Carolina, is a FRAM II vessel like Borie.

    USS Laffey, DD-724 as a museum ship today

    As for Sam, the intrepid space monkey that Borie fished from the Atlantic during the Eisenhower administration, according to a 2017 story by Richard A. Marini published in the San Antonio Express-News:

    Sam underwent 11 years of medical scrutiny by researchers at the School of Aerospace Medicine — formerly the School of Aviation Medicine — at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio. He retired to a quiet life at the San Antonio Zoo.

    “Sam died Sept. 19, 1978, at 21, several years short of the expected rhesus monkey lifespan,” the Express-News reports. “Even after death, Sam served the cause. A necropsy performed at Brooks found no space-related abnormalities, only that Sam had signs of old age and arthritis.”

    Displacement: 2610 tons standard displacement
    Length: 376𔄀″
    Beam 40󈧎”
    Draft 14𔃼″
    Machinery: 2-shaft G.E.C. geared turbines (60,000 shp), 4 Babcock & Wilcox boilers
    Maximum speed (designed) 36.5 knots, actual usually about 33.
    Range: 3300 nautical miles (5300 km) at 20 knots on 504 tons fuel oil
    Complement: 336
    Sensors: SC air search radar, SG surface search radar, QGA sonar
    Post FRAM II: Variable Depth Sonar (VDS), SQS-20, SPS-40
    3 x 2 5″/38 dual-purpose guns
    2 x 4, 2ࡨ 40mm Bofors AA guns
    11 20mm Oerlikon AA guns
    2 x 5 21″ torpedo tubes
    6 depth charge throwers
    2 depth charge tracks (56 depth charges)
    (1961, post-FRAM-II)
    6 x 5 in/38 cal guns (127 mm) (in 3 × 2 Mk 38 DP mounts)
    2 x triple Mark 32 torpedo tubes for Mark 44 torpedoes
    2 x single 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes for Mark 37 torpedoes
    1 x Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH)
    6 x 5 in/38 cal guns (127 mm) (in 3 × 2 Mk 38 DP mounts)
    2 x triple Mark 32 torpedo tubes for Mark 44 torpedoes
    4 x MM38 Exocet AShMs
    1 x SA-319B helicopter

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