DD-697 General Specifications
Class: Allen M. Sumner class destroyer
Named for: Charles Stillman Sperry
Complement: 276 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 to Chile 8 January 1974
USS CHARLES S. SPERRY (DD-697)
Charles S. Sperry (DD-697) was launched 13 March 1944 by Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co.
N.J.; sponsored by Miss M. Sperry; commissioned 17 May 1944
Commander H. H. McIlhenny in command; and reported to the Pacific Fleet.
After training in the Hawaiian Islands
Charles S. Sperry arrived at Ulithi 28 December 1944 to join the fast carrier force
TF 38.. For the remainder of the war she sailed in the screen of the third group of this mighty force
variously designated TF 38 and TF 58. She sortied with her group for the first time on 30 December
bound for the areas from which the carriers launched strikes against Japanese bases on Formosa and Luzon in preparation for the assault on Lingayen Gulf beaches. Continuing to neutralize Japanese airfields the force moved on to strike at targets in Indochina
on the South China coast
and on Okinawa before returning to Ulithi 26 January 1945.
Charles S. Sperry sailed with TF 58 once more on 10 February 1945
as the force began its familiar work in preparation for the invasion of Iwo Jima. An audacious raid against Tokyo itself was first on the schedule
the first carrier strikes on the heart of Japan since the Doolittle Raid: On 16 and 17 February
planes from the carriers guarded by Charles S. Sperry roared over Tokyo
in attacks which inflicted substantial material damage
and great moral damage
to the Japanese war effort. Now Charles S. Sperry's force offered direct support during the assault landings at Iwo Jima. Twice
on 19 February and on 20-21 February
the carrier force came under air attack from the enemy
but antiaircraft from Charles S. Sperry and the other screening ships
combined with evasive maneuvering and a protective smoke screen
prevented damage to the great concentration of ships. A final round of air strikes was hurled at Tokyo and Okinawa before TF 58 returned to Ulithi 5 March. Once more designated TF 38
the force cleared Ulithi 14 March 1945 for the Okinawa operation
which would keep Charles S. Sperry and many other ships at sea almost continuously until 1 June. First came air strikes against Kyushu
for which the Japanese retaliated with heavy air attacks against the carrier force on 19 and 20 March. While carrier Franklin (CV-13) was badly damaged in these attacks
Charles S. Sperry and other escorts furnished effective antiaircraft fire which prevented further harm to the force
and she shared in splashing several Japanese planes.
Charles S. Sperry turned south with her force for strikes against Okinawa. The destroyer joined in a bombardment of the Japanese airstrip on tiny but critically located Minami Daito Shima 27 March. Close air support was provided by TF 38 as the invasion began on 1 April 1945
and Charles S. Sperry served as plane guard and radar picket for her force. On 7 April planes from the carriers she screened joined in sending the powerful battleship Yamoto
her accompanying cruiser
and four of eight guardian destroyers to the bottom. Charles S. Sperry herself fired often
aiding in splashing planes of the kamikaze strikes hurled at her force on 11
and 29 April
and 11 May. When carriers Hancock (CV-19) and Bunker Hill (CV-17) fell victim to the suicide planes
Charles S. Sperry stood by them
aiding in damage control
and rescuing men from the water.
The destroyer remained in San Pedro Bay
from l June to 1 July
and then sailed to support the carriers as they launched the final air strikes at the Japanese home islands. Cover for the first occupation landing and the evacuation of Allied prisoners of war from Japanese prison camps was flown by the carriers
and on 81 August
the great force arrived off Tokyo Bay for the surrender ceremonies held on 2 September.
Charles S. Sperry remained in the Far East
taking part in exercises
and carrying mail
until 30 December 1945
when she departed Sasebo for the east coast
arriving at Baltimore 19 February 1946. For the next year
she remained at Boston with a reduced crew
and in March 1947
reported at New Orleans for duty as a training ship for members of the Naval Reserve until July 1960. After overhaul at Norfolk
she sailed for the Far East
arriving off embattled Korea 14 October 1960.
The destroyer operated almost continuously off Korea until June 1951. For her first 2 weeks in action
she fired on shore installations at SongJin
and patrolled areas swept of mines to guard against their remining During November and December 1950 she continued her fire support and bombardments
covered the redeployments from Kojo
and screened salvage operations. On 23 December
while firing at Songjin
she was hit by three shells returned by an enemy shore battery
but suffered no casualties
and only minor damage
which was repaired at Sasebo early in January 1951. She returned to the Korean firing line to cover salvage operations north of the 38th parallel and conduct bombardments along the coast.
As operations leading to the classic blockade of Wonsan began
Charles S. Sperry entered the dangerous harbor 17 January 1951 to provide interdiction fire
and to cover the landings which secured the harbor islands. She cleared the Wonsan area 5 March for Songjin
where she joined in setting the siege
and until 6 June was almost constantly patrolling and firing on shore installations at Songjin. She then sailed for home
arriving at Norfolk 2 July.
Taking up the operating schedule of the Destroyer Force
Charles S. Sperry sailed from Norfolk through 1960. In 1953
and 1959 she cruised in the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet. During her 1956 deployment
which coincided with the Suez Crisis
she escorted the transports which evacuated American nationals from Egypt. Midshipmen cruises and North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercises took her to northern European ports on several occasions some of them in coordination with her Mediterranean deployments.
Late in 1959 Charles S. Sperry began an extensive overhaul for rehabilitation and modernization
which continued through 1960.
Charles S. Sperry received four battle stars for World War II service and four for the Korean War.
[Note: The above USS CHARLES S. SPERRY (DD-697) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS CHARLES S. SPERRY (DD-697) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]