USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853)

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USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853)
USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853)
Career (US)
Namesake: Charles H. Roan
Laid down: 2 April 1945
Launched: 15 March 1946
Commissioned: 12 September 1946
Decommissioned: 1973
Struck: 21 September 1973
Homeport: Newport, Rhode Island
Nickname: The Jolly Cholly
Fate: transferred to Turkey 1973
Career (Turkey) Flag of Turkey.svg
Name: TCG Mareşal Fevzi Çakmak (D 351)
Acquired: 1973
Fate: Scrapped 1995
General characteristics
Displacement: 2,425 tons
Length: 390.5 ft (119.0 m)
Beam: 41.1 ft (12.5 m)
Draught: 18.5 ft (5.6 m)
Speed: 35 knot (64.8 km/h)
Complement: 367
Armament: 6 x 5 in/38 guns,
10 x 21 in torpedo tubes

USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853) was a Gearing-class destroyer of the United States Navy. The ship was named after Charles Howard Roan, a Marine who lost his life in action on the island of Palau.

Roan was built by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation's Fore River Shipyard at Quincy, Massachusetts, launched on 15 March 1946, and commissioned on 12 September 1946.

From her home port at Newport, Rhode Island, Charles H. Roan operated through 1960 on training exercises along the east coast and in the Caribbean. Typifying the manifold missions of the destroyer, she trained with aircraft carriers, with submarines, in convoy escort exercises, and in amphibious operations. In addition, she gave service as part of the midshipman training squadron, as engineering school ship for Destroyer Force, Atlantic, and in North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercises.

1950s[edit]

On her first overseas deployment, Charles H. Roan sailed from Newport 9 February 1948 for a cruise which took her to the Mediterranean and service with the 6th Fleet, then into the Persian Gulf. She returned to Newport 26 June, and took up the training schedule necessary to prepare her for a 1949 Mediterranean tour. In 1950 her armament was extensively altered, and her next lengthy cruise came in summer 1953, when she carried midshipmen to South American ports.

On 8 November 1950, the BROWNSON (DD-868) and CHARLES H. ROAN (DD-853) were engaged in night operations some 265 miles off Bermuda. At 0103 the task group commander ordered the two destroyers to change station, a maneuver that required them to cross paths. Steaming at twenty knots and running dark, the ships were on a collision course before anyone could take action to avoid disaster. At 0110, with sirens blaring a warning, they collided. The BROWNSON’s bow tore a large hole in the ROAN in the area of the after engine room and machine shop. Within fifteen seconds the ships had broken clear of each other revealing that the collision had sheared away a large section of the BROWNSON’s bow and several forward ordnance storage compartments were flooding. Aboard the ROAN, a sailor in the machine shop went into the sea through the hole torn in the hull, but within minutes the BROWNSON’s boat had recovered him. He was a lucky one. As a result of the collision, five of the ROAN’s crew died—three instantly, two later— and several were injured, two requiring hospitalization.


On 2 August 1954, the Charles H. Roan stood down Narragansett with her division on the first leg of a round the world voyage. She sailed on to the western Pacific for 5 months of operations with the 7th Fleet, on patrol in the Taiwan Straits, and in carrier and amphibious exercises off Japan, Okinawa, and the Philippines. The division took departure from Subic Bay, 20 January 1955, and continued westward to call at Persian Gulf ports, transit the Suez Canal, and visit in the Mediterranean before returning to Newport 14 March. She resumed her training operations until 7 Julv, when she was ordered north to take station as a picket off Iceland and Greenland during the flight of President Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Geneva Summit.

Charles H. Roan's next Mediterranean cruise began with her sailing from Newport 14 September 1956 to join the 6th Fleet. With the eruption of the Suez crisis that fall, she patrolled in the eastern Mediterranean. Since the Suez Canal was now blocked, December found Charles H. Roan bound for the Cape of Good Hope, rounding the African continent for 2 months of duty with the Middle East Force. Between 20 and 27 January 1957, she served as flagship for the Force Commander in a passage up the Shatt-al-Arab to visit Basra, Iraq. Her return passage to Newport found her rounding the Cape of Good Hope once more, and she reached home 3 April, in good time to take part in the International Naval Review in Hampton Roads in June. Late summer saw her crossing the Atlantic once more for visits to Plymouth, England, and Copenhagen, Denmark, while participating in North Atlantic Treaty Organization Operation "Strikeback."

Arriving at Annapolis on 12 July 1958 to take the midshipmen on board, Charles H. Roan got underway on what was to be a brief cruise. But plans swiftly changed upon the outbreak of the trouble in the Middle East which led to the landing of Marines by the fleet in Lebanon. First, Charles H. Roan proceeded to Norfolk, Virginia, to take on board additional stores and ammunition necessary for a lengthy deployment, then sailed south to escort an amphibious group to training operations designed as preparation for any extension of the Middle Eastern trouble. She proceeded on across the Atlantic, arriving at Naples 14 August to transfer the midshipmen to other ships. Thus released, she sailed on to the coast of Lebanon, where she and Forrest Royal (DD-872) patrolled in support of the forces ashore. Now trouble flared up in the Far East, as the Chinese Communists resumed the bombardment of the Chinese Nationalist-held offshore islands. Charles H. Roan and Forrest Royal joined the Essex (CVA-9) group, augmenting the screen of two destroyers already accompanying the carrier. The group passed through the Suez Canal on 29 August 1958, and until 27 September 1958, she patrolled off Taiwan. Her return passage to Newport took her around the Cape of Good Hope. She arrived home on 18 November 1958 to a welcome in Narragansett Bay.

1960s and 1970s[edit]

Charles H. Roan at Taranto in 1964.

Adding to her list of historic operations, in the summer of 1958≠, Charles H. Roan participated in Operation "Inland Sea," the first passage of a naval force through the Saint Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes. She visited many ports and took part in the ceremonies dedicating the Seaway. The 31 March 1960 found her again arriving in the Mediterranean for a cruise which included duty with the key Middle East Force, and visits to many Persian Gulf ports. Returning to Newport in October, Charles H. Roan operated off the east coast for the remainder of the year.

Roan was decommissioned in 1973 and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 21 September 1973.

Transfer to Turkish navy[edit]

Roan was then transferred to the Turkish government, where she was known as the TCG Mareşal Fevzi Çakmak (D 351) in the Turkish Navy. She took part in Operation Atilla during Cyprus conflict in 1974. At 21 July 1974, together with Turkish destroyer D-354 Kocatepe, she was subjected to friendly fire from Turkish warplanes and heavily demaged after being mistaken for a Greek ship. She was stricken and scrapped in April 1995.

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

External links[edit]