USS Joseph Strauss (DDG-16)

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For a ship with a similar name, see USS Straus (DE-408).
USS Joseph Strauss (DDG-16).jpg
USS Joseph Strauss (DDG-16)
Career (United States)
Name: Joseph Strauss (DDG-16)
Namesake: Admiral Joseph Strauss
Ordered: 21 July 1959
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey
Laid down: 27 December 1960
Launched: 9 December 1961
Acquired: 29 March 1963
Commissioned: 20 April 1963
Decommissioned: 1 February 1990
Struck: 11 January 1995
Fate: Sold to Greece
Career (Greece)
Name: Formion (D220)
Namesake: Athenian Admiral Formion
Commissioned: 1 October 1992
Decommissioned: 29 July 2002
Fate: Sold for scrap 19 February 2004
General characteristics
Class & type: Charles F. Adams-class destroyer
Displacement: 3,277 tons standard, 4,526 full load
Length: 437 ft (133 m)
Beam: 47 ft (14 m)
Draft: 15 ft (4.6 m)
Propulsion: 2 × General Electric steam turbines providing 70,000 shp (52 MW); 2 shafts
4 x Combustion Engineering 1,275 psi (8,790 kPa) boilers
Speed: 33 knots (61 km/h)
Range: 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h)
Complement: 354 (24 officers, 330 enlisted)
Sensors and
processing systems:
AN/SPS-39 3D air search radar
AN/SPS-10 surface search radar
AN/SPG-51 missile fire control radar
AN/SPG-53 gunfire control radar
AN/SQS-23 Sonar and the hull mounted SQQ-23 Pair Sonar for DDG-2 through 19
AN/SPS-40 Air Search Radar
Armament:

1 Mk 11 missile launcher (DDG2-14) or Mk 13 single arm missile launcher (DDG-15-24) for RIM-24 Tartar SAM system, or later the RIM-66 Standard (SM-1) and Harpoon antiship missile
2 x 5"/54 caliber Mark 42 (127 mm) gun


1 x RUR-5 ASROC Launcher
6 x 12.8 in (324 mm) ASW Torpedo Tubes (2 x Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes)
Aircraft carried: None
Motto: Promptus ad Agendum
Ready to act

The USS Joseph Strauss (DDG-16), named for Admiral Joseph Strauss USN (1861–1948), was a Charles F. Adams-class guided missile armed destroyer of the United States Navy.

The Joseph Strauss was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden in New Jersey on 27 December 1960, launched on 9 December 1961 by Mrs. Lawrence Haines Coburn, granddaughter of Admiral Joseph Strauss and commissioned on 20 April 1963.

The Joseph Strauss served as plane guard for carriers on Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf, participated in Sea Dragon operations, patrolled on search and rescue duties and carried out Naval Gunfire Support missions during the Vietnam War.

1960s[edit]

The Joseph Strauss departed Philadelphia 6 June 1963 for a brief cruise to Puerto Rico and Willemstad, Curaçao, and then transited the Panama Canal to join the Pacific Fleet on the western seaboard. She arrived in the Long Beach Naval Shipyard 13 July 1963 for alterations, followed by tactics out of San Diego north to Seattle, Wash.

As flagship of Destroyer Squadron 3, Joseph Strauss sailed from Long Beach 30 June 1964. After calling at Pearl Harbor and Midway Atoll, she arrived in Yokosuka, Japan, 18 July. While in port at Yokosuka, the crew of the Strauss learned that North Vietnamese PT boats had attacked the U.S. destroyer Maddox in the Tonkin Gulf, and the ship hurried out of port with other squadron ships to join carrier forces in the South China Sea. She departed 3 August 1964 to rendezvous off Okinawa 6 August with USS Constellation (CV-64). During this time, U.S. Naval aircraft from Constellation conducted air strikes over North Vietnam. She then patrolled off the Vietnam coast and the South China Sea with task forces built around the Constellation, the Kearsarge and the Ticonderoga. Brief sweeps were made to the Philippines and ports of Japan. She arrived in Yokosuka 15 December 1964 for upkeep, again sailing 21 January 1965 to support U.S. Forces in Vietnam until 1 March. During this period, she operated with Ranger, Hancock, Coral Sea, and Yorktown.

Following upkeep in Subic Bay (1–10 March), the Joseph Strauss sailed with ships of the Royal Thai Navy for exercises in the Gulf of Thailand. She was briefly flagship of the 7th Fleet (22–26 March) during the official visit of Vice Admiral Paul B. Blackburn, Jr., to Bangkok, Thailand. She departed Yokosuka, 19 April for operations that brought recognition and honor to both the ship and her crew.

From 24 April 1965, the Joseph Strauss, together with the Ernest G. Small, was part of the first advanced SAR/AAW picket team in the Gulf of Tonkin to support U.S. air strike operations against North Vietnam. From 16 through 21 May, she observed operations of a Russian task unit. She returned to Yokosuka (23 May-4 June), then again sailed for the Gulf of Tonkin. Her ensuing 27 days as flagship of the AAW/SAR picket unit were highly successful, establishing operational procedures and capabilities which remain destroyer standards. On 17 June 1965, two F4B Phantoms from the USS Midway, under the Joseph Strauss' advisory control, shot down two MIG-17's, accounting for the first two hostile aircraft downed by U.S. Forces in aerial combat since 1953. Three days later, two propeller-driven Skyraiders, also from Midway and under the Joseph Strauss' advisory air control shot down another MiG-17. As a result, members of the Strauss' Combat Information Center team were decorated by the Secretary of the Navy.

The Joseph Strauss arrived in Hong Kong 6 July 1965, putting out to sea 14 to 16 July to avoid Typhoon Freda, and again 18 to 19 July to carry the 7th Fleet Salvage Officer to Pratus Reef to assist in refloating USS Frank Knox. She departed Hong Kong 21 July for Yokosuka. The following day she took a disabled Nationalist Chinese fishing boat in tow and delivered it safely to Keelung the 23d, thence sailed to Yokosuka, arriving 25 July for upkeep.

On 3 September 1965, she successfully fired two improved Tartar missiles off Okinawa. After a 1-day stop at Sasebo, Joseph Strauss proceeded south in the screen of Bon Homme Richard. Upon arrival in the South China Sea, she was detached for picket patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin during the last 3 weeks of September She spent the first 2 weeks of October supporting operations off Vietnam in the screen of Bon Homme Richard and Oriskany. She then returned to Subic Bay for naval gunfire support training which continued off Da-nang, South Vietnam. On 28 October 1965, she fired her first shots in anger, expending 217 5-inch shells in support of a combined ARVN-Marine Corps search-and-destroy operation against the Viet Cong. The Joseph Strauss thus became the first U.S. Navy DDG to fire her guns at enemy targets. As a result of this action, the ship's crew received a commendation from the Commanding General, 2nd U.S. Marine Division. Throughout November she formed an advanced SAR/AAW picket team with USS USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) in the Gulf of Tonkin. She returned to Yokosuka 7 December 1965 for upkeep and preparations to resume operations off South Vietnam. The Joseph Strauss returned to the Gulf of Tonkin 10 February 1966 and remained active in the war zone until heading for Hong Kong exactly one month later. Back in the fighting 26 April, she remained in the war zone until returning to Yokosuka 15 June. That day her home port was changed to Pearl Harbor which she reached 26 July.

The Joseph Strauss operated in the Hawaiian area until heading back for the Western Pacific 14 January 1967. She remained in the Far East supporting the struggle against Communist aggression until returning to Pearl Harbor 17 June.

Operation Praying Mantis[edit]

Joseph Strauss puts herself between a Soviet AGI and the carrier Enterprise, 1988.

On 14 April 1988, USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) sighted three mines floating approximately one-half mile from the ship. Twenty minutes after the first sighting, as the Samuel B. Roberts was backing clear of the minefield, she struck a submerged mine nearly ripping the warship in half. The crew stabilized the ship. The Samuel B. Roberts was sent back to the United States for repair.

On 18 April 1988, Operation Praying Mantis took place which was an attack by U.S. Naval Forces in retaliation for the Iranian Mining of the Persian Gulf and damage to an American ship (the Samuel B. Roberts).The battle, the largest for American surface forces since World War II, sank two Iranian warships and it also marked the first surface-to-surface missile engagement in U.S. Navy History. The Americans attacked with several groups of surface warships, plus aircraft.

In the middle of the action, the Joshan, an Iranian Combattante II Kaman-class fast attack craft, challenged USS Wainwright and Surface Action Group Charlie, firing a Harpoon missile at them. The USS Simpson responded to the challenge by firing four Standard missiles, while the Wainwright followed with two Standard missiles. The attacks destroyed the Iranian ship's superstructure but did not immediately sink it. The three ships of SAG Charlie (the Wainwright, the Simpson, and the Bagley) closed on the Joshan, destroying it with naval gunfire. Fighting continued when the Iranian frigate Sahand departed Bandar Abbas and challenged elements of an American surface group. The frigate was spotted by two VA-95 A-6Es while they were flying surface combat air patrol for the Joseph Strauss. The Sahand fired missiles at the A-6Es, and the Intruders replied with two Harpoons and four laser-guided Skipper bombs. The Joseph Strauss added a Harpoon. Most, if not all, of the U.S. weapons hit the Iranian ship. Fires blazing on the Sahand's decks eventually reached her magazines, causing an explosion that helped sink the ship. Despite the loss of the Sahand, one of Iran's most modern ships, the Iranian navy continued to fight. Late in the day, a sister ship, the Sabalan, departed from its berth and fired a surface-to-air missile at several A-6Es from VA-95. Intruder pilot Engler dropped a laser-guided bomb on the Sabalan, leaving the ship dead in the water. The Iranian frigate, stern partially submerged, was taken in tow by an Iranian tug.

Decommissioning[edit]

The Joseph Strauss was decommissioned on 1 February 1990, transferred to Greece on 1 October 1992 and renamed the Formion, for the Athenian Admiral Formion, and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 11 January 1995. Greece decommissioned the Formion on 29 July 2002 and the ship was sold as scrap 19 February 2004.

References[edit]

External links[edit]