DD-706 General Specifications
Class: Allen M. Sumner class destroyer
Named for: Joseph Gainard
Complement: 336 Officers and Enlisted
Displacement: 2200 tons
Length: 376 feet 6 inches
Beam: 40 feet
Flank Speed: 34 knots
Range: 6500 Nautical Miles
Final Disposition:Sold 26 March 1974 to be scrapped
USS GAINARD (DD-706)
Gainard was laid down 29 March 1994 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co.
N.J.; launched 17 September 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Joseph A. Gainard
widow of Captain Gainard; and commissioned at New York 23 November 1944. Comdr. Francis J. Foley in command.
After shakedown training off Bermuda
Gainard departed New York 1 February 1946 for operations out of San Diego and Pearl Harbor. She departed Pearl Harbor 12 March and staged at Saipan for the forthcoming invasion of Okinawa
acting as a part of a decoy task force that made feints against the southeastern coast between 1 and 2 April while the landings were effected on the western beaches.
Gainard operated as radar picket and fighter director ship throughout the bloody Okinawa Campaign
detecting enemy air raids
providing early and continuous information to friendly forces
and initiating interception with a Combat Air Patrol unit that found her controlling an average of 10 planes from dawn to dusk with the assistance of a fighter- director team on board. In 39 days on picket stations she was instrumental in the destruction of at least 28 suicide planes
4 of which were shot down by her gunners.
On 27 occasions enemy aerial strikes of 50 or more planes attacked Gainard and ships in her immediate vicinity. Seventeen of these attacks were close aboard the destroyer
and four nearby ships were hit by suicide planes. She manned the fighter director unit for initial landings at Iheya Shima
and Kume Shima. Gainard also rescued the crew of a Navy patrol bomber which had run out of fuel and landed in the sea
and she directed two other damaged patrol planes back to their base. Though several times narrowly missed by determined runs of suicide planes
her skillful gunners and effective maneuvering prevented damage. She remained on station until 1 July when Okinawa was officially declared secured.
After patrol and convoy escort duty in approaches to Okinawa
she sailed 21 July to the Philippines for logistics and upkeep. The destroyer arrived off Honshu
Japan 17 September and served as air-sea rescue ship until 21 February 1946 when she sailed for the United States. Gainard reached San Pedro
then steamed via the Panama Canal to Casco Bay
arriving 16 April.
Based out of Newport
her operations over the next 20 years have included nine deployments as an antisubmarine warfare specialist with the "Steel Gray Diplomats" of the 6th Fleet
several cruises to northern Europe for the training of midshipmen; amphibious warfare exercises along the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina; plane guard duty for aircraft carriers off Mayport
Fla.; and combined 2nd Fleet exercises and antisubmarine tactics along the Atlantic seaboard and in the Caribbean.
As one of 150 warships from six NATO nations
in September 1957 Gainard participated in Exercise "Strike back
" large-scale combined fleet maneuvers that ranged over the North Atlantic to waters adjacent to the British Isles
between Iceland and the Faeroes
and into the Norwegian Sea and portions of the North Sea. This was only one of many operations in which Gainard made important contributions to improve the overall combat readiness of forces earmarked for the Allied command in defense of the free world.
Gainard's eighth tour with the 6th Fleet (August 1960 - February 1961) was interrupted by 6 weeks of combat readiness operations with the Middle East forces in the Indian Ocean. During her ninth Mediterranean tour (February - August 1962)
she transited the Suez Canal for 5 days of battle rehearsals with units of the British and Iranian Navies and many days of realistic training in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. Other vital tasks included schoolship duties for the Fleet Sonar School at Key West Fla.
participation in Operation "Mercy" with carriers Shangri La (CVA-38) and Antietam (CVS-36) in rendering assistance to thousands of flood-stricken victims of Hurricane Carla off the Texas coast during September - October 1961
gunnery schoolship duties for the Fleet at Norfolk; and service as a unit of the Cuban Contingency Task Groups during the Cuban crisis of November - December 1962.
In May 1963 Gainard served as support ship on recovery station during the successful launching of "Faith 7
" the ninth and final Project Mercury manned space flight
piloted by Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper. In addition
between 1963 and 1967 Gainard has continued schoolship and support services in the Caribbean and along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts from Newport to New Orleans.
she operates out of Newport as a unit of Destroyer Squadron 12.
Gainard received the Navy Unit Commendation for extraordinary heroism in action off Okinawa and one battle star for World War II service.
[Note: The above USS GAINARD (DD-706) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS GAINARD (DD-706) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]