USS Charles R. Ware (DD-865)
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USS Charles R. Ware (DD-865) off Staten Island in 1945
|Name:||Charles R. Ware|
|Namesake:||Charles R. Ware|
|Builder:||Bethlehem Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, New York|
|Laid down:||1 November 1944|
|Launched:||12 April 1945|
|Commissioned:||21 July 1945|
|Struck:||30 November 1974|
|Fate:||Sunk as target 15 November 1981|
|Class and type:||Gearing-class destroyer|
|Length:||390 ft 6 in (119.02 m)|
|Beam:||41 ft 1 in (12.52 m)|
|Draft:||18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)|
|Speed:||35 kn (65 km/h; 40 mph)|
|Complement:||367 officers and enlisted|
|Armament:||6 5", 5 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.|
Charles R. Ware was laid down by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation at Staten Island in New York on 1 November 1944, launched on 12 April 1945 by Mrs. Z. Ware and commissioned on 21 July 1945. The destroyer was named for Lieutenant Charles R. Ware USN (1911–1942), who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for heroism in the Battle of Midway.
From her home ports at Norfolk, Virginia, and after December 1950, Newport, Rhode Island, Charles R. Ware operated through 1960 with the Atlantic Fleet. Along with many deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and northern Europe, she carried out training and overhaul necessary. Her first major cruise, between 1 March and 9 April 1946, was to northern waters, where she aided in developing techniques for cold weather operations, crossing the Arctic Circle.
Shortly thereafter, she served as target ship for submarines training off New London, Connecticut. On 10 November 1947 the ship got underway for the Mediterranean, and her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet. After exercising with this force, and calling at ports of northern Europe, she returned to Norfolk 11 March 1948. Her next tour of duty in the Mediterranean came in 1949, during which for 2 weeks she patrolled off the Levant Coast under the direction of the United Nations' Palestine Truce Commission.
Through two cruises to the Caribbean in the summer of 1949, Charles R. Ware aided in the training of members of the Naval Reserve, then took part in a large-scale Arctic operation before preparing for a 1950 tour with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Her 1951 tour was highlighted by operations with ships of the Royal Hellenic Navy. Following her 1953 tour, she conducted antisubmarine warfare exercises with British ships off Northern Ireland, calling then at ports in Ireland, Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium. Later that year she took part in exercises with the aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent off Narragansett Bay.
Early in 1954, she returned to the Mediterranean once more, for a tour of duty which included participation in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operation. Her 1955 deployment began with antisubmarine warfare exercises with the Royal Navy off Northern Ireland, and was followed by her 6th Fleet duty. In summer 1956, she carried midshipmen on a summer training cruise to Northern Europe.
The year 1957 was marked by assignment to escort the ship carrying King Saud of Saudi Arabia into New York harbor for his state visit, and a European cruise during which she exercised with Spanish destroyers. That fall, she put to sea for North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercises and on 20 January 1958, she rescued a downed pilot from the aircraft carrier Essex while conducting air operations off the east coast. Shortly thereafter she cleared for the Mediterranean once more.
During the summer of 1959, Charles R. Ware took part in the historic Operation Inland Seas, the first passage of a naval force through the Saint Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes. She took part in the Naval Review in Lake Saint Louis on 26 June, which was taken by Queen Elizabeth II and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and sailed on to call at a number of United States and Canadian ports. During her 1960 Mediterranean tour, she carried German naval observers during an exercise in the Ionian Sea.
Refit and Vietnam service
Charles R. Ware underwent FRAM I overhaul at the New York Naval Shipyard from January 1961 through March 1962. During FRAM I, the destroyer's anti-submarine capabilities, air detection, equipment and crew's living spaces were modernized. Since FRAM I, Charles R. Ware was stationed at Mayport, Florida.
In 1962 Charles R. Ware joined other U.S. Second Fleet Units in the blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. During the 1965-66 deployment to the Mediterranean, the destroyer participated in the successful search for the missing H-bombs of Palomares, Spain.
The year 1967 was the most different year in the history of the ship. On 21 February, Charles R. Ware left Mayport en route to Vietnam. After passing through the Panama Canal, Charles R. Ware entered the Pacific Ocean for the first time. The vessel made several ports of call in the Pacific. The destroyer was a member of Task Group 77.1 on "Operation Sea Dragon", the destruction of North Vietnamese radar complexes. In almost twenty missions, 1080 rounds of ammunition were expended at enemy targets. On five occasions the enemy returned fire, but no hits or casualties were sustained. In all, Charles R. Ware spent 90 days in the combat zone before returning to Mayport on 19 September 1967. Over 61,000 miles were traveled with 58 underway replenishments accomplished to provide the destroyer's logistical requirements.
Post-Vietnam and fate
On 2 March 1968, Ware left Mayport for a deployment to U.S. Middle East Force. Charles R. Ware's route to and from the Middle East stretched 11,000 miles each way between Mayport and Port Louis, Mauritius. During the 195-day deployment, the destroyer steamed 46,122 miles and crossed the Equator six times. The crew distributed more than 250 cartons of "Handclasp" gifts of the Navy and American people to hospitals, schools, and orphanages. Charles R. Ware was relieved of her MIDEASTFOR duties on 7 August 1968, and arrived back in Mayport, Florida on 12 September 1968, once again part of the U.S. Second Fleet. On 22 May 1969 the ship began a four-month major overhaul at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. Upon completion of overhaul, the ship was underway for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for refresher training. When training was completed the ship received her Operational Readiness Inspection.
On 27 August 1970, Charles R. Ware sailed for the Mediterranean for the first time since 1965, to begin a seven-month deployment. During the deployment, the destroyer spent much time screening fleet vessels. She participated in every kind of exercise from National Week to steaming with Italian anti-submarine warfare research vessels. Shortly after her arrival, Charles R. Ware found herself along with much of the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the eastern zone of the Mediterranean as civil war erupted in Jordan. During the deployment the ship visited Palma and Barcelona, Spain; Suda Bay, Crete; Brandisi; Naples, and La Spezia, Italy; Cannes, France; and Malta. The year 1972 found Charles R. Ware in her home port preparing for an INSURV Inspection in March. The destroyer later conducted local operations and qualified for Naval Gunfire Support during a trip to Cuba and San Juan, Puerto Rico in July.
On 27 September 1972, the destroyer departed Mayport for a deployment to Middle East Force. The cruise would take her around the globe for the first time in her 28-year history, marking the journey with several port visits. On 1 November 1972 Charles R. Ware sailed into Mombasa, Kenya where she became part of MIDEASTFOR. She sailed from Mombasa to Bahrain Island then to sea again as she participated in "Operation Mid-Link" with navies from Iran, Pakistan, and Great Britain. At the close of "Operation Mid-Link", the ship set sail for Karachi, Pakistan and then to Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. Prior to departure from Jiddah, Charles R. Ware embarked with 20 men from the Saudi Arabian Navy for a training cruise. During the cruise and on the way to Bahrain the destroyer was on the scene of a collision of two supertankers ([Horta Barbosa and MV Sea Star) in the Gulf of Oman. Charles R. Ware assisted in the search and rescue of the crews of the tankers, receiving 31 survivors on board and provided medical treatment. The destroyer transported 29 survivors to Bahrain for further treatment and transportation to their homes. On 24 February 1973 she was relieved of her duties in MIDEASTFOR. Ware then began her long trek home, making several port visits. On 21 April 1973 she returned home to Mayport completing a 207-day trip around the world.
Charles R. Ware was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 November 1974 and sunk as a target in the Caribbean on 15 November 1981.
- "1959: Operation Inland Seas". Torsk Volunteer Association, Inc. Archived from the original on May 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
- Mideast World Cruise 1972-1973 Book
- Photo gallery at navsource.org