DD-947 General Specifications
Class: Forrest Sherman-class destroyer
Named for: Richard Somers
Complement: 15 Officers and 218 Enlisted
Displacement: 2800 tons
Length: 407 feet
Beam: 45 feet
Flank Speed: 32 Knots
Range: 4 500 nautical miles
Final Disposition:Sunk as target 22 July 1998 near Hawaii
USS SOMERS (DD-947)
The sixth Somers was laid down on 4 March 1957 by the Bath Iron Works Corp.
Iaunched on 30 May 1958; sponsored by Mrs. Charles E. Wilson; and commissioned on 3 April 1959
Comdr. Edward J. Cummings
On 1 June 1959
the destroyer sailed from Boston
before departing the United States five days later for her maiden voyage which took her via Argentia
Newfoundland to the ports of northern Europe. On her itinerary were Copenhagen Denmark; Stockholm
where she represented the Navy during the "Kiel Week" festivities. Somers took leave of Europe at Portsmouth
and after stopping briefly at Bermuda and training for five days out of Guantanamo Bay
Cuba transited the Panama Canal on 19 July. She arrived at her home port
on 27 July and conducted shakedown training along the California coast for the next six weeks. She underwent final acceptance trials on 17 September; then
completed just over a month of overhaul from 1 October until 8 November.
Over the next six and one-half years
Somers alternated between operations out of San Diego and deployments to the 7th Fleet in the Far East. In all
she deployed to the western Pacific four times during this period
remaining on the west coast in 1962 and 1964.
Her first three tours in the Far East were relatively uneventful
consisting of 7th Fleet operations and exercises with units of the navies of the SEATO allies of the United States. During her second and third deployments
in 1961 and 1963
Somers steamed to Australia to participate in the celebrations commemorating 19th and 21st anniversaries of the Battle of the Coral Sea. During her fourth tour of duty with the 7th Fleet
the destroyer saw her first wartime operations as American involvement in the Vietnam War escalated. She plied the waters of the Tonkin Gulf
plane-guarding for Coral Sea (CVA-43)
and Ranger (CVA-61) as their aircraft pounded enemy supply lines in North Vietnam.
On 30 July 1965
Somers got underway from Yokosuka
to return to the United States. She arrived in San Diego on 12 August and
after a month of leave and upkeep
she resumed normal operations along the west coast. She continued to be so engaged until 11 April 1966 when she entered San Francisco Naval Shipyard to begin conversion to a Decatur-class guided missile destroyer. On that day
she was decommissioned at Hunters Point. From then until February 1968
Somers was in the shipyard having 90% of her superstructure replaced
receiving the Tartar surface-to-air missile system and the ASROC antisubmarine rocket system. In addition
her engineering equipment was completely overhauled
and she received a lot of additional electronic gear. On 10 February 1968
Somers was recommissioned at Hunters Point as the Navy's newest guided-missile destroyer
Her conversion was completed on 16 May 1968
and she departed Hunters Point the next day for her new home port
Calif. For the rest of 1968 and most of 1969
the guided-missile destroyer ranged the west coast from Mexico to the state of Washington
conducting trials and exercises.
On 18 November 1969
she got underway to deploy again to the western Pacific. She stopped over in Hawaii from 24 to 28 November and loaded ammunition at the Oahu Naval Ammunition Depot. Continuing westward
she paused at Midway on 1 December to refuel and at Guam on the 8th. She made Subic Bay in the Philippines on the 11th. During this deployment
Somers returned to the Gulf of Tonkin alternately planeguarding Hancock and serving on the gunline. During late March and early April
she joined units of the Australian and New Zealand navies in the SEATO exercise
"Sea Rover." After that
she returned to planeguard duties
this time for Constellation (CVA-64). Two days after joining the carrier
Somers was detached to return to Subic Bay. She arrived on 19 April and remained until the 24th
when she got underway for the United States.
Somers arrived at Long Beach on 8 May 1970. After an availability period and an extended leave and u~keep period
the guided-missile destroyer embarked 35 Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps midshipmen for five weeks training during PACMIDTRARON 70. The cruise commenced on 22 June and was concluded on 6 August at Long Beach. She resumed operations out of her home port until 13 November when she got underway for another deployment to the western Pacific. Somers was assigned to the 7th Fleet from December 1970 until 4 May 1971. During that time
she planeguarded the carriers on six occasions
rendered naval gunfire support on three
and once stood watch on the northern search and rescue station. In between line periods
she visited Keelung. Taiwan Hong Kong
in addition to putting in periodically at the naval station at Subic Bay.
She cleared the Gulf of Tonkin on 4 May
headed back to the United States
and made Long Beach on the 23d. Somers resumed operations out of Long Beach until 9 July when she began a month of pre-overhaul preparations. On 9 August
the guided-missile destroyer entered Long Beach Naval Shipyard to commence regular overhaul. The overhaul lasted until 3 December and
she went into a period of restricted availability which carried her through 31 December. Somers completed her restricted availability on 3 January 1972 and began trials
and exercises which lasted through 31 March. After nine days of preparations
she headed west on 9 April to rejoin the 7th Fleet.
Sailing via Pearl Harbor and Guam
Somers made Subic Bay on 29 April. After a voyage to Singapore and back
she joined the carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin on 9 May. Her tour of duty in the Far East lasted until late October. She cruised with the aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin five times during this deployment
rendered naval gunfire support three times
and stood duty on the south Talos station and PIRAZ station once each. Between line periods
she normally put into Subic Bay
but managed to visit Sasebo
and Hong Kong. Somers returned to Long Beach on 9 November 1972.
Two periods of operations from her home port separated by two months of restricted availability at Long Beach took up the first nine months of 1973 for Sorters On 9 October
she got underway to deploy to the western Pacific. Stopping at Pearl Harbor from 15 to 21 October
she made Subic Bay on 5 November. She remained on duty with the 7th Fleet until midMay 1974
when she reentered Pearl Harbor. As of mid-October 1974
she was still in port at Pearl Harbor.
Somers earned five battle stars during the Vietnam War.
[Note: The above USS SOMERS (DD-947) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS SOMERS (DD-947) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]