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USS MCKEAN

(DD-784)

Mighty Mac

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USS MCKEAN (DD-784) - a Gearing-class destroyer

In Commission 1945 to 1981

DD-784 Deployments - Major Events

Add a DD-784 Shellback Initiation Add a DD-784 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
SEP 1944 Keel Date: 15 SEP 1944
at Todd Pacific Ship Building Company Seattle Washington
MAR 1945 Launch Date: 31 MAR 1945
JUN 1945 Commissioned: 9 JUN 1945
JAN 1954 - DEC 1954 Middle Pacific
MAY 1955 - MAY 1955 Operation WIGWAM. Under water A-BOMB test.
FEB 1956 - Shellback Initiation - 2 FEB 1956 - Pacific Ocean
NOV 1956 - Shellback Initiation - 6 NOV 1956 - Pacific Ocean
FEB 1964 - APR 1965 FRAM modernization - Long Beach Naval Shipyard
JAN 1965 - JAN 1966 West Pac-Viet Nam
JUL 1965 - JAN 1966 West Pac-Viet Nam
JAN 1967 - Shellback Initiation - 25 JAN 1967 - Atlantic Ocean
MAR 1967 - SEP 1967 shellback
MAR 1967 - Shellback Initiation - 25 MAR 1967 - Atlantic Ocean
MAR 1968 - OCT 1968 West Pac-Viet Nam
FEB 1970 - AUG 1970 West Pac-Viet Nam
FEB 1970 - AUG 1970 West Pac-Viet Nam
SEP 1971 - MAR 1972 West Pac-Viet Nam
NOV 1971 - Shellback Initiation - 16 NOV 1971 - Pacific Ocean
JUN 1973 - SEP 1973 CHARGER SURFPAC \'73 (Naval Reserve Training Cruise)
OCT 1981 Decommissioned: 1 OCT 1981

DD-784 General Specifications

Class: Gearing-class destroyer

Named for: William McKean

Complement: 336 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 2425 tons

Length: 390 feet 6 inches

Beam: 40 feet 11 inches

Flank Speed: 35 knots

Final Disposition: Transferred to Turkey 2 November 1982



USS MCKEAN (DD-784)



The second MCKEAN (DD-784) was laid down by Todd Pacific Shipyards Inc. Seattle Wash. 15 September 1944; launched 31 March 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas G. Peyton; and commissioned at Seattle 9 June 1945 Comdr. William D. Kelly in command.


After shakedown along the Pacific coast MCKEAN departed for the Far East 22 September and during the next 3 months operated in support of occupation operations off Japan. Although peace had come to the once turbulent waters of the western Pacific MCKEAN maintained a pattern of readiness and alert operations in response to the emerging menace of communism which threatened not only Asia and the blue Pacific but the entire free world.


Following the outbreak of Communist aggression against the Republic of South Korea in June 1950 MCKEAN joined the mighty 7th Fleet to suppress the overt threat to world peace. She participated in the brilliant Inchon invasion which spearheaded the ground offensive operations against the North Korean Communists. Later while steaming on patrol off the Chinnampo River she discovered the first minefield reported during the police action in Korea. From November 1950 to January 1951 she joined patrolling destroyers in the Straits of Taiwan; thence after rejoining TF 77 briefly she began shore bombardment and blockade operations with TF 95 at Wonsan Songjin and Chinjou. She completed her deployment in the Far East in the spring of 1951 and turned to Long Beach in April.


For more than a year MCKEAN operated out of Long Beach while training men of the modern Navy. She entered Long Beach Naval Shipyard 20 June 1962; was reclassified DDR-784 on 18 July 1952; and during the next 7 months underwent conversion to a radar picket destroyer. Following shakedown she joined Destroyer Division 131 and prepared for "keeping- the-peace" duty wherever she might be needed.


MCKEAN returned to the Far East in June 1953 and carried out patrols and readiness exercises from Japan to the coast of Asia. Another WestPac deployment in 1956 sent her to the southwest Pacific and to Australia and during the latter half of the following year she completed another cruise to the "land down under." WestPac duty in 1959 sent her to the Straits of Taiwan where she resumed patrols of vigilance to protect Nationalist China from invasion by the Chinese Communists. And in 1960 she deployed to the restless waters of Southeast Asia and gave visible meaning to U.S. determination to protect and defend that troubled area of the world from the clutches of Asian communism.


Following 2 years of duty at Long Beach MCKEAN returned to the Far East in January 1962. Operating out of the Philippines she conducted AAW and ASW exercises with HANCOCK after which she rejoined the Taiwan Patrol in June. She completed her deployment and returned to Long Beach 17 July. Less than a year later on 18 May 1963 she again deployed to WestPac. During the next several months she ranged the Pacific from the Aleutians and Japan to the Philippines and Hong Kong; thence she returned to Long Beach 9 September.


Between 7 February and 9 November 1964 MCKEAN underwent FRAM I conversion at Long Beach Naval Shipyard. She reclassified to DD-784 on 1 Dec. 1963. She joined DesRon 19 1 July 1964; operated along the west coast and in EastPac during the next year thence deployed to the waters off troubled Southeast Asia 10 July 1960.


MCKEAN began duty with the mighty 7th Fleet in the South China Sea 5 August and during the next 4 months screened ships of the Attack Carrier Striking Group. She cruised off the troubled and inflamed Vietnamese coast and bolstered the might of American seapower as the United States increased the effort to protect and defend the independence and integrity of South Vietnam from overt external aggression of the North Vietnamese Communists. She cruised the coast of South Vietnam 7 December to direct intensive accurate shore bombardment against the invaders.


While patrolling the coast of I Corps area MCKEAN delivered a timely effective shore bombardment 15 December during a night sneak attack by a superior force of North Vietnamese regulars against an outnumbered South Vietnamese Regional Force gallantly defending an outpost at My Trang Quang Ngai Province. The well-equipped PAVN troops struck hard at the outpost and the defenders soon ran short of ammunition. However within 20 minutes after the start of the attack MCKEAN took position offshore and delivered her first supporting fire. For 5 hours she accurately blasted enemy positions with white phosphorus illumination and high- explosive fire; this devastating bombardment repulsed the attack caused heavy enemy losses and saved the outpost.


Maj. Gen. Huang Xauw Lam the commanding general of the 2d Vietnamese Infantry praised MCKEAN's decisive action and stated; "Naval gunfire in this engagement was a major factor in defeating the enemy and making the battlefield so untenable that he abandoned his dead and wounded as well as arms and equipment."


MCKEAN continued her vital gunfire support missions until 20 December then steamed to Hong Kong and Yokosuka Departing Japan 31 December she returned to Long Beach 13 January 1966. After completing preparations for further WestPac duty she departed 18 November reached Subic Bay 8 December and on 22 December began SAR duty in the northern station of the Gulf of Tonkin.


Serving as a gun destroyer and helicopter in-flight refueling ship MCKEAN patrolled the Gulf of Tonkin until 23 January 1967 and again from 23 February until 12 March. In addition she steamed to the gun line on four deployments between 17 February and 12 April to carry out gunfire support missions. During these assignments she fired more than 4 090 rounds of 5-inch ammunition at the enemy.


MCKEAN departed the turbulent waters of Southeast Asia 24 April to visit Australian and New Zealand ports until 22 May when she sailed for the United States. Steaming via Samoa and Pearl Harbor she arrived Long Beach 8 June. Between 20 July and 10 November she underwent overhaul at Mare Island then resumed intensive training to keep her men and equipment ready for additional WestPac duty. Into 1969 she continued to prepare for "keeping-the-peace" missions. As both a weapon of war and an instrument of peace she remains vital to the defense of the Nation and the free world and makes clear to friend and foe alike that the influence of U.S. seapower rows instead of wanes.


MCKEAN received one battle star for Korean service.

[Note: The above USS MCKEAN (DD-784) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS MCKEAN (DD-784) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]