USS John R. Craig (DD-885)
USS John R. Craig (DD-885) in 1963
|Name:||John R. Craig|
|Namesake:||John R. Craig|
|Builder:||Consolidated Steel Corporation|
|Laid down:||17 November 1944|
|Launched:||14 April 1945|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Lilian Hyde Craig|
|Commissioned:||20 August 1945|
|Refit:||FRAM upgrade February 1963|
|Struck:||27 July 1979|
|Fate:||Sunk as target June 1980|
|Class and type:||Gearing-class destroyer|
|Displacement:||3,460 tons (full)|
|Length:||390 ft 6 in (119.02 m)|
|Beam:||40 ft 10 in (12.45 m)|
|Draft:||14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)|
|Propulsion:||General Electric geared turbines, 2 screws, 60,000 shp (45,000 kW)|
|Speed:||36.8 knots (68.2 km/h; 42.3 mph)|
|Range:||4,500 nmi (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
USS John R. Craig (DD-885) was a Gearing-class destroyer. She was named for Lieutenant Commander John R. Craig, USN (1906–1943), commanding officer of USS Grampus killed in action when the submarine was sunk by enemy Japanese destroyers in the Blackett Strait on 5 March 1943 and posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
John R. Craig was laid down by the Consolidated Steel Corporation at Orange, Texas, on 17 November 1944. She was launched on 14 April 1945 by Mrs. Lilian Hyde Craig, widow of Lt Cdr Craig, and commissioned on 20 August 1945. The destroyer operated with the United States Seventh Fleet in support of United Nations Forces during the Korean War, and underwent an extensive Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) overhaul at the Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard at San Francisco, California, between 6 March 1962 and 15 March 1963.
During the Vietnam War, John R. Craig served as plane guard for aircraft carriers on Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf, participated in Operation Sea Dragon, patrolled on search and rescue duties, and carried out naval gunfire support missions. While responding to a mayday call by Corporal Karl C. Lippard, USMC, who had been cut off from his unit above Da Nang, John R. Craig supported Hotel Company, 3rd platoon, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, on 28–29 July 1965 with naval gunfire support. At night with danger close, she fired 348 rounds of 5-inch guns, saving Marines on and near the beach as well as a battalion of the 2nd Regional Force Vietnamese who were badly outnumbered and threatened with being overrun. In doing so she effectively destroyed the 7th VC Battalion engaging Marines on the Ca De River Bridge and the northern sector of Da Nang..
With newer destroyers coming on the scene during the Vietnam War, John R. Craig was assigned to United States Naval Reserve training at San Diego, California, in 1973. During this time the ship provided naval gunfire support for Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer training, performed plane guard duties for carrier training, and conducted goodwill cruises to ports on the United States West Coast. She made cruises to Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Everett, Washington; San Francisco, California; Long Beach, California; Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia; and to Ensenada, Mexico.
- FSCC Permanent War Journal 1-31 July 1965, pages 51-52 NGF 101-113 (USS Craig and USS Stoddard DD-566)
- Command Diary 2nd Bn 3rd Marines July 1965 pages 55-56 report Crowd (3rd Regiment) from Shove (Division G-2) 28th at 2050H and 2215H and 29 July 1235H "NGF and heavy firefight."
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.
- Photo gallery of John R. Craig at NavSource Naval History
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