USS Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23)

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USS Richard E Byrd DDG-23.jpg
USS Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23)
United States
Name: Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23)
Namesake: Richard E. Byrd
Ordered: 3 November 1960
Builder: Todd Shipbuilding Corp. Seattle, Washington
Laid down: 12 April 1961
Launched: 6 February 1962
Commissioned: 7 March 1964
Decommissioned: 27 April 1990
Struck: 1 October 1992
  • Inter Utrosque Polos Tridens
  • Sea Power from Pole to Pole
Fate: Sold to Greece for spare parts, Sunk as Target 19 June 2003.
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)
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

USS Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23), a Charles F. Adams-class guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy, was named after noted polar explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd.

The keel for the Richard E. Byrd was laid down 12 April 1961 by Todd Shipbuilding Corp. Seattle, Washington. She was launched 6 February 1962; sponsored by Mrs. Richard E. Byrd, whose daughter, Mrs. Robert G. Breyer, acted as proxy sponsor for the admiral's wife; and commissioned on 7 March 1964, Comdr. Walter G. Lessman in command. She was decommissioned on 27 April 1990 and in 1992 was sold to Greece and used for spare parts. She was sunk as target 19 June 2003.


Following a 45-day fitting out period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., Richard E. Byrd steamed for her homeport of Norfolk, Va., via the Panama Canal, arriving 14 June 1964. Richard E. Byrd deployed to the Mediterranean 6 January 1965 as a unit of Destroyer Division 182.

Late January 1967 Richard E. Byrd moved south to the Jacksonville operations area, and, while serving as rescue destroyer for USS Lexington (CV-16), she rescued Lt. (jg) John F. Dickinson, whose A4-E aircraft crashed during a landing approach. May Richard E. Byrd was at sea in the screen of USS America, which force rendezvoused with the damaged USS Liberty (AGTR-5) 9 June.

On 6 October 1969 ship and crew participated together with Senator Harry F. Byrd and Virginia Gov. Mills E. Godwin, in the dedication of Richard Evelyn Byrd Hall at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at Gloucester Point, Va.

January 26, 1975, an advance party landing party of two ship officers were mobbed by an angry demonstration of 4,000 Greeks on the island of Corfu. After being stoned, attempts were made to set their car on fire and "lynch" the occupants. One Greek was killed in the incident, but police and fire trucks successfully escorted the two back to their ship off shore. Over the next hours the protest demonstration regarding the Cypriot War swelled to 10,000, and DDG-23 decided to cancel the port visit.[1][2][3]

Early 1985, the start of a 6 month North Atlantic cruise involved a port visit to Lisbon, Portugal. At the end of the visit on January 28 about 3 a.m. local GMT, five other Nato ships and the USS Richard E. Byrd at Alcantara dock came under mortar fire from the terrorist group Forças Populares 25 de Abril without damage.[4][5][6][7]


The guided-missile destroyer continued to serve until decommissioned on 27 April 1990. She was struck from the Navy list on 1 October 1992 and officially transferred to the Hellenic Navy on 26 August 1993. The hulk was towed to Salamis, Greece, on 12 October 1993 where she was used for spare parts for the other four Charles F. Adams destroyers in Greek service.


  • Length: 437 ft (133 m)
  • Beam: 47 ft
  • Displacement: 4,500 tons (4,570 metric tons)
  • Propulsion: Twin steam turbines, two shafts total 70,000 shp (52 MW)
  • Speed: 34 knots (57 km/h)
  • Armament:
  • MK. 13 Tartar missile launcher
  • two MK. 42 5 in/54 cal. gun mounts
  • MK. 16 8-cell ASROC launcher
  • twin MK. 32 triple torpedo tubes
  • Search Radars:
  • SPS 10 C/D surface search radar
  • SPS 40 (2D) air search radar
  • SPS 39 (3D) air search radar
  • two AN/SPG 51C/D fire control radars
  • MK. 68 GFCS
  • SQQ 23 pair hull mounted sonar

See also[edit]

The second United States Navy ship to be named after Admiral Richard E. Byrd was the USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE-4) a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship.


External links[edit]