USS English (DD-696)

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USS English
Career (United States)
Name: USS English
Namesake: Rear Admiral Robert Henry English (1888-1943)
Builder: Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company
Laid down: 19 October 1943
Launched: 27 February 1944
Sponsored by: Ensign Eloise W. English, USNR(W)
Commissioned: 4 May 1944
Decommissioned: 15 May 1970
Struck: 15 May 1970
Fate: To Taiwan 11 August 1970
Career (Republic of China)
Name: ROCS Huei Yang (DD-6)
Acquired: 11 August 1970
Reclassified: DDG-906
Decommissioned: 16 August 1999
Fate: Sunk as a target on 14 October 2003
General characteristics
Class & type: Allen M. Sumner class destroyer
Displacement: 2,200 tons
Length: 376 ft 6 in (114.8 m)
Beam: 40 ft (12.2 m)
Draft: 15 ft 8 in (4.8 m)
Propulsion:

60,000 shp (45 MW)

  • 2 propellers
Speed: 34 knots (63 km/h)
Range: 6500 nm @ 15 kn (12,000 km @ 28 km/h)
Complement: 336
Armament: 6 × 5 in/38 cal guns (12 cm),
12 × 40mm AA guns,
11 × 20mm AA guns,
10 × 21 in. torpedo tubes,
6 × depth charge projectors,
2 × depth charge tracks

USS English (DD-696), an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer, named for Rear Admiral Robert Henry English, a submariner who commanded the Helena and was awarded the Navy Cross and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. Rear Admiral English was still serving when killed in a flying boat accident in California 21 January 1943.

English was launched 27 February 1944 by Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Kearny, New Jersey; sponsored by Ensign Eloise W. English, USNR(W), daughter of Rear Admiral English; and commissioned 4 May 1944, Commander James Thomas Smith in command.

Service history[edit]

World War II[edit]

English arrived in the Hawaiian Islands 3 September 1944 for final training, and service as plane guard during the qualification of aviators in carrier operations. On 17 December, she sailed from Pearl Harbor for Ulithi, where on 28 December she joined the screen for mighty carrier TF 38. She put to sea 2 days later for air strikes to neutralize Japanese bases on Formosa, Luzon, Okinawa, and the Indo-China coast in coordination with the invasion of Lingayen Gulf. English returned to Ulithi to replenish between 26 January 1945 and 8 February, then sailed to Saipan to meet Indianapolis and escort her to a rendezvous with newly designated TF 58. She screened the carriers as they launched the series of strikes accompanying the Iwo Jima operation, hitting Tokyo both before and after the assault, Iwo Jima itself, and Okinawa.

After taking on fuel and stores at Ulithi from 4 March 1945 to 14 March, English sortied with TF 58 for strikes on Kyushu heralding the Okinawa operation. When Franklin was heavily damaged by bombing on 19 March off Kyushu, English screened the carrier's retirement from the action area, then rejoined the screen for strikes on Okinawa and nearby islands in the days preceding the assault. On 1 April, she closed Okinawa to provide fire support for the invading troops, returning to the carrier screen for continued strikes on shore targets and Japanese shipping. She left the task force to bombard Minami Daito Shima on the night of 10 May. The next day, English went close alongside Bunker Hill, damaged by a kamikaze, to help in fighting fires, and to take off Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher and his staff, whom she transferred to another carrier.

English put in to San Pedro Bay, Philippines, from 1 June to 1 July for repairs and exercises, then sailed again with TF 38 for the final pounding series of air strikes on the Japanese homeland. She closed the coast of Honshū on 18 July to hunt Japanese shipping in Sagami Wan and to bombard targets on Nojima Saki.

Post-World War II[edit]

In Tokyo Bay from 10 to 19 September, English voyaged to escort occupation shipping from the Marianas, then after 2 months of occupation duty cleared Sasebo for the long passage to Boston, where she arrived 26 April 1946.

English operated out of Boston, and later Charleston and New Orleans, for exercises and to train members of the Naval Reserve, cruising along the east coast and in the Caribbean. From 23 April 1949, she was home ported at Norfolk, from which she sailed 6 September for her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. She returned to Norfolk 26 January 1950 for exercises off the Virginia Capes and in the Caribbean.

Korean War[edit]

Alerted for distant deployment upon the outbreak of the Korean war, English departed Norfolk 6 September 1950 for the Panama Canal, San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Midway, and Yokosuka, where she arrived 5 October. She supported the withdrawal from Hungnam, then proceeded with two corvettes of the Royal Thai Navy to shell Communist positions at Choderi and Chonjin. On 7 January 1951, one of these, HMTS Prase, grounded in a heavy snowstorm, and after arduous attempts to salvage her, English destroyed the corvette with gunfire.

On 20 January 1951 English began duty as direct fire-support ship for a division of the Korean army, blasting positions at Kanson, Kosong, and Kangnung to support the Korean advance ashore. She served on blockade at Chongjin and Wonsan, where in 20 consecutive days on the firing line she silenced 20 attacks by Communist shore batteries. After a final period of service screening carriers on both coasts of Korea, she sailed from Yokosuka 11 May eastbound for Norfolk.

Service, 1951-1970[edit]

English refuels from the attack aircraft carrier USS Independence (CVA-62) in October 1962 while the two ships steam toward the Caribbean Sea during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

From her return to Norfolk 9 June 1951, English resumed local training operations, and in the winter of 1952 joined in cold-weather exercises off Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. On 26 August 1952 she departed for North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operations in which she visited British ports, steaming on to a tour of duty in the Mediterranean from which she returned to Norfolk 5 February 1953. In the fall of 1954 she visited Lisbon, Portugal. On 31 October 1954, while at sea for a major fleet exercise, she was in collision with the destroyer USS Wallace L. Lind (DD-703), but though English lost 50 feet (15.25 meters) of her bow, she suffered no casualties. Skillful seamanship brought her into port under her own power, and she was repaired in time to join in large-scale exercises in the Caribbean early in 1955.

From May to August 1955, English made a good will cruise to ports of northern Europe, and between 28 July 1956 and 4 December 1956 served again in the Mediterranean, visiting Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. With the eruption of the Suez Crisis in October–November 1956, she aided in evacuating American citizens from the troubled area, and patrolled the eastern Mediterranean to serve with the United States Sixth Fleet. Returning to Norfolk in April she spent the remainder of 1959 and all of 1960 in conducting an intensive program of antisubmarine warfare exercises.

English sailed for the Mediterranean and the Sixth Fleet in September 1961, returning to Norfolk nine months later. William Mahan was the Captain; J.B. Allen the Executive Officer. First port of call was Suda Bay, Crete. During her deployment she also called at Naples, Leghorn, and La Spezia, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; and Toulon, France.

In October 1962, English sailed and served duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Primarily acting as "plane guard" for the attack aircraft carriers USS Independence (CVA-62) and USS Enterprise (CVAN-65), she operated for over 30 days at sea without replenishment.

Decommissioning[edit]

English was decommissioned on 15 May 1970 and stricken from the Navy List the same day.

Republic of China service, 1970-1999[edit]

On 11 August 1970, English was transferred to the Republic of China. She served in the Republic of China Navy as ROCN Huei Yang until decommissioned on 16 August 1999.

Final disposition[edit]

The Republic of China Navy sank Huei Yang as a target on 14 October 2003.

Awards[edit]

English received four battle stars for World War II service, and four for Korean war service.

References[edit]

External links[edit]