USS Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23)

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USS Richard E. Byrd underway in 1983
United States
NameRichard E. Byrd
NamesakeRichard E. Byrd
Ordered3 November 1960
BuilderTodd Shipbuilding Corp.
Laid down12 April 1961
Launched6 February 1962
Commissioned7 March 1964
Decommissioned27 April 1990
Stricken1 October 1992
  • Inter Utrosque Polos Tridens
  • (Sea Power from Pole to Pole)
General characteristics
Class and typeCharles F. Adams-class destroyer
Displacement3,277 tons standard, 4,526 full load
Length437 ft (133 m)
Beam47 ft (14 m)
Draft15 ft (4.6 m)
Speed33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph)
Range4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h)
Complement354 (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 Richard E. Byrd was laid on 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. Decommissioned on 27 April 1990, the ship sold to Greece and used for spare parts in 1992 and 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.[1][2][3]

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.[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.

See also[edit]

The second United States Navy ship to be named after Admiral Richard E. Byrd was USNS Richard E. Byrd, a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship.


  1. ^ "Observer-Reporter – Google News Archive Search".
  2. ^ "Briefs".
  3. ^ "The Morning Record – Google News Archive Search".
  4. ^
  5. ^ "AROUND THE WORLD; Rebels in Portugal Fire Grenades at NATO Ships". The New York Times. 29 January 1985.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Page 84 in Navy Cruise Books, 1918-2009".

External links[edit]