USS Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23)
USS Richard E. Byrd
|Name:||Richard E. Byrd|
|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|
|Fate:||Sold to Greece for spare parts; Sunk as target 19 June 2003|
|Class and 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)|
The keel for Richard E. Byrd was laid down 12 April 1961 by Todd Shipbuilding Corp. Seattle, Washington. She was launched on 6 February 1962; sponsored by Mrs. Richard E. Byrd, whose daughter, Mrs. Robert G. Breyer, acted as proxy sponsor for the admiral's wife. The ship was 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 a target on 19 June 2003.
Following a 45-day fitting out period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, Richard E. Byrd steamed for her homeport of Norfolk, Virginia, 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, Florida operations area, and, while serving as rescue destroyer for the aircraft carrier Lexington, she rescued Lt. (jg) John F. Dickinson, whose A4-E aircraft crashed during a landing approach. In May Richard E. Byrd was at sea as part of the screen of the carrier USS America, which force rendezvoused with the damaged USS Liberty on 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, Virginia.
On 26 January 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 Richard E. Byrd ended her port visit.
Early 1985, the start of a six-month North Atlantic cruise involved a port visit to Lisbon, Portugal. At the end of the visit on 28 January about 3 a.m. local GMT, five other NATO ships and Richard E. Byrd at Alcantara dock came under mortar fire from the terrorist group Forças Populares 25 de Abril without damage.
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.
- 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.
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