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USS WILLIAM R. RUSH (DD-714) - a Gearing-class destroyer

In Commission 1945 to 1978

DD-714 Deployments - Major Events

Add a DD-714 Shellback Initiation Add a DD-714 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
OCT1944-Keel Date: 19 OCT 1944
JUL1945-Launch Date: 8 JUL 1945
SEP1945-Commissioned: 21 SEP 1945
JAN1951-JAN1951Realm of the Golden Dragon
JUN1951-Shellback Initiation - 28 JUN 1951 - Pacific Ocean
OCT1962-OCT1962Cuban Missle Blockade
OCT1964-Shellback Initiation - 21 OCT 1964 - Pacific Ocean
JAN1967-JUL1967Mediterranean-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
APR1972-OCT1972Panama Canal
APR1972-Shellback Initiation - 15 APR 1972 - Atlantic Ocean
APR1972-OCT1972West Pac-Viet Nam
JUL1978-Decommissioned: 1 JUL 1978

DD-714 General Specifications

Class: Gearing-class destroyer

Displacement: 2425 tons

Length: 390 feet 6 inches

Beam: 41 feet 1 inches

Draft: 18 feet 6 in

Flank Speed: 35 kt


William R. Rush (DD-714) was laid down on 15 October 1944 at Newark N.J. by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co.; launched on 8 July 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Dorothy Flagg Biddle a cousin of Capt. Rush; and commissioned on 21 September 1945 Comdr. Theodore E. Vogeley in command.

After fitting out at the New York Navy Yard and shakedown training out of Guantanamo Bay and Casco Bay Maine William R. Rush took part in 8th Fleet maneuvers off the eastern seaboard into May of 1946. The destroyer then moved southward to Pensacola Fla. where she served as a plane guard for Ranger (CV-4) as the veteran carrier conducted flight training operations. Arriving back at Newport R.I. her home port on 28 July William R. Rush spent the rest of the year in local operations.

The destroyer departed Newport on 9 February 1947 bound for Europe and her first overseas deployment. She touched at ports of call in England Ireland Norway France Germany Denmark French Morocco and Gibraltar before returning to Newport in June. For the next two years William R. Rush operated off the eastern seaboard exercising with submarines and escorting and planeguarding for carriers.

In July 1949 William R. Rush sailed for Europe for an extended European and Mediterranean deployment that lasted into the following year. She touched at ports in France Greece Crete Turkey Gibraltar England Scotland and Belgium before she returned to Newport. Subsequently overhauled for three months at Boston the destroyer carried out refresher training in Guantanamo Bay from May into July 1950. Commencing in mid-July William R. Rush conducted a training cruise that took the warship and her embarked midshipmen from Halifax Nova Scotia to Guantanamo Bay.

Returning to Newport on 1 September 1950 William R. Rush visited Argentia and St. Johns Newfoundland during October spent much of the following month engaged in Operation "Convex I" a convoy and striking force exercise and underwent a period of upkeep back in her homeport preparing for her next extended deployment.

On 3 January 1951 William R. Rush sailed for the Far East. Steaming via the Panama Canal Pearl Harbor Midway and Sasebo Japan the destroyer subsequently joined Task Force (TF) 77 in Korean waters and conducted her first shore bombardment mission on 7 February shelling North Korean rail lines along the coast. Bombardment and escort missions kept the ship continuously occupied until 13 June when she began her voyage to the United States steaming via the Indian Ocean the Suez Canal the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic.

William R. Rush completed her circumnavigation of the globe when she returned to Newport on 8 August 1951. She spent the rest of 1951 on maneuvers and exercises from her home port before she entered the Boston Naval Shipyard at the end of the year for conversion to a radar picket ship. The ensuing refit during which she was decommissioned on 21 December 1951 entailed replacing the ship's 40 millimeter Bofors batteries with rapid-fire 3-inch mounts; removing her torpedo tubes; and receiving improved electronic and radar equipment to enable the ship to perform her new picket role itself an outgrowth of World War II experience with kamikazes in the Pacific. Reclassified to DDR-714 on 18 July 1952 William R. Rush was recommissioned on 3 September 1952 Comdr. N. B. MacIntosh in command.

Returning to Newport from her shakedown cruise as a DDR soon thereafter William R. Rush underwent refresher training in Guantanamo Bay before she called at Mobile Bay Ala. for the 1953 Mardi Gras festivities.

William R. Rush conducted her second 6th Fleet deployment from April to October and then operated locally out of Newport. She performed varying duties into the summer of the following year carrying out in succession: antisubmarine warfare (ASW) exercises plane-guard duties with carriers; and a tour as engineering school ship for the Atlantic Fleet Destroyer Force She next embarked 66 NROTC midshipmen and sailed for the British Isles touching at Irish and British ports before she returned to Guantanamo Bay for training. Disembarking the midshipmen at Norfolk on 3 September 1954 William R. Rush soon thereafter shifted to Boston for a three month overhaul.

Over the next decade from 1954 to 1964 William R. Rush was deployed to the Mediterranean for tours of duty with the 6th Fleet on eight occasions touching at ports that ranged from Gibraltar to Beirut Lebanon and including Pollensa Bay and Palma Majorca; Naples and Leghorn Italy; Athens and Salonika Greece Golfe Juan France Barcelona and Rota Spain. During her service with the 6th Fleet William R. Rush operated as plane guard and radar picket for fast carrier task forces and participated in NATO exercises. There were highlights of the cruises: in 1955 while at Golfe Juan the destroyer hosted Mrs. James J. Cabot the daughter of Capt. William R. Rush; and in 1957 the ship cruised the Mediterranean with Naval Academy midshipmen embarked.

In between the Mediterranean deployments William R. Rush operated from the Arctic Circle to the Caribbean homeported first at Newport from 1954 to 1958 and then from Mayport Fla. from 1958 to 1964. She twice penetrated north of the Arctic Circle in the autumn of 1957 and late in 1960 both times on NATO exercises.

There were highlights of the ship's closer-to-home deployments as well. In the summer of 1960 the ship embarked 35 Naval Academy midshipmen and took part in operations off the eastern seaboard with the Atlantic Fleet. She visited Quebec Canada Hamilton Bermuda; and Poughkeepsie N.Y. during the cruise. That autumn the ship served on "barrier patrol" when Cuban Premier Fidel Castro threatened the Caribbean nations of Nicaragua and Honduras. Two years later in the fall of 1962 after American reconnaissance planes discovered the presence of Soviet offensive missiles in Cuba William R. Rush returned to the area and operated with TF 135 on the Cuban "quarantine" line from 20 October to 3 December. The ship was at sea continuously during that period except for an availability alongside the destroyer tender Yosemite (AD-19) from 12 to 17 November.

William R. Rush departed Mayport on 22 June 1964 and arrived at the New York Naval Shipyard on the 26th. Once at the shipyard the ship commenced a 10 month Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) overhaul at the completion of which she would resume her old classification DD-714.

William R. Rush departed New York on 30 April 1965. Homeported back at Newport the modernized destroyer soon commenced regular operations with the Fleet following essentially the same sort of schedule that she had pursued since commissioning in 1945.

As a member of Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 10 she operated off the eastern seaboard between Newport and Key West Fla. assuming a new role as an antisubmarine warfare ship. Returning to Newport on 27 July 1965 from refresher training out of Guantanamo Bay and a week of providing services to the Fleet Sonar School at Key West William R. Rush embarked 25 NROTC midshipmen for three weeks at sea with Canadian Navy units on exercise "CANUS (Canadian and United States) SILEX 1-65."

The ship then went back to Newport for availability alongside Yosemite and then conducted two weeks of type training before moving south to Key West for a month of Sonar School services. A highlight of that deployment to Florida coastal waters came in September when she rescued seven Cuban nationals who had originally been bound back to Cuba to bring out relatives. Their two boats had developed engine trouble and were in danger of capsizing in heavy seas.

William R. Rush returned to Newport shortly before Thanksgiving of 1965 and spent the remainder of the year in home waters before getting underway on 14 February 1966 for the Mediterranean. Highlighting the ship's 10th Mediterranean deployment were the usual good will stops at ports in Italy Rhodes Sicily and Turkey; ASW exercises with American and Spanish Navy units including Exercise "Spanex I-66"; and 6th Fleet antiaircraft and ASW maneuvers. Relieved on 21 June at Gibraltar the destroyer returned to the east coast of the United States.

William R. Rush spent the remainder of 1966 on operations off the eastern seaboard ranging from Newport to the Virginia capes pursuing a well-rounded slate of exercises including among others such areas as gunfire support and ASW. Early in 1967 the ship enhanced her capabilities as an ASW destroyer by receiving two Destroyer Antisubmarine Helicopters (DASH) and becoming fully qualified in DASH operations.

William R. Rush departed Newport on 1 March 1967 and crossed the Atlantic in company with Galveston (CLG-3). The destroyer subsequently called at Gibraltar Sardinia and Athens before transiting the Suez Canal on 1 April. She relieved Steinaker (DD-863) the following day at Port Suez. William R. Rush then set course for Bahrain a small island in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Saudi Arabia. En route the destroyer was fueled from the French oiler Aritrea at Massawa Ethiopia on 6 April.

Arriving at Bahrain on 13 April William R. Rush joined Valcour (AGF-1) the flagship of Rear Admiral E. R. Eastwold Commander Middle East Forces (MidEastFor). In the ensuing weeks the destroyer on her first MidEastFor deployment visited Al Misirah a small island off the coast of Oman where the British Royal Air Force maintained a small logistics airfield; Karachi Pakistan and Massawa for a fuel stop. William R. Rush returned to Port Suez on 21 May and was relieved there by Fiske (DD-842).

The next day William R. Rush transited the Suez Canal on her way back to the Mediterranean. At that time tension was great in the Suez since the President of the United Arab Republic Gamal Abdel Nasser had demanded on 17 May that the United Nations Expeditionary Force (UNEF) be withdrawn from Egypt and the Gaza Strip posthaste. On the 20th Egypt began patrolling Israel's coast.

The growing aura of uneasiness in the Middle East was noticeable. The destroyer's commanding officer subsequently reported: "As (William R.) Rush passed through the Canal we could feel an atmosphere of tension all about us gun emplacements and troops were obvious on both sides of the Canal."

Over the next few days the situation worsened. Meanwhile William R. Rush moored alongside Tidewater (AD-31) where she spent the first few days of June undergoing a tender availability. However the outbreak of full-scale war between Israel and her Arab neighbors on 5 June meant a hurried deployment seaward.

The destroyer operated with 6th Fleet units as they conducted emergency contingency force operations until the 17th. She subsequently called at Istanbul from 21 to 26 June before serving as plane guard and picket for America (CVA-66) south of Crete. The destroyer later touched at Kavalla Greece and Sardinia and Rota homeward bound. She finally reached Newport on 20 July ending the eventful deployment.

That autumn William R. Rush operated off the coast of Florida aiding the Fleet Sonar School in training officers and participating in ASW exercises. She then enjoyed a period of leave and upkeep at her home port to round out the year.

Late in January 1968 William R. Rush operated out of Newport as school ship for the Naval Destroyer School. In mid-March she continued her training oriented activities when she embarked 32 prospective destroyer officers and sailed for the Caribbean in company with Gainard (DD-706) and Glennon (DD-840). During that cruise she visited St. Croix Virgin Islands and San Juan Puerto Rico. Soon after the ship returned to her home port she shifted to the Boston Naval Shipyard for a four-month overhaul.

Over the next 11 years William R. Rush conducted two more Mediterranean deployments in early 1960 and from the autumn of 1970 to the spring of 1971 in between which she operated as before off the eastern seaboard and into the Caribbean. Ports visited with the 6th Fleet included Rota and Barcelona Spain Piraeus Greece Venice Genoa and San Remo Itaiy Sfax Tunisia; and Valetta Malta. A social highlight of the 1969 deployment was when the officers and men of the ship were hosted royally on three separate occasions by Contessa Catherine Rush Visconti-Prasca the daughter of the ship's namesake at her villa.

During that deployment the ship participated in the usual slate of maneuvers and exercises including stints planeguarding for Forrestal (CVA-59) and John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) and taking part in NATO Exercise "Dawn Patrol." Returning home William R. Rush visited Liverpool England and Oslo Norway and then spent a grueling period in the North Atlantic operating on occasion north of the Arctic Circle again with a hunter-killer group tasked with perfecting ASW tactics. For her part in that significant evolution operating in company with Wasp (CVS-18) William R. Rush received the Meritorious Unit Commendation.

January 1971 William R. Rush departed Naples and over the next 26 days shadowed the Soviet helicopter carrier Leningrad in the Gulf of Sollum gathering new and noteworthy intelligence data on that ship and her operations. Following that event the destroyer resumed her other duties ultimately returning home to Newport on 2 May 1971.

On 5 April 1972 William R. Rush in company with Charles H Roan (DD-853) departed Newport for her last extended deployment under the Stars and Stripes bound for the Middle East and Indian Ocean. En route the ship visited Port-au-Spain Trinidad Recife Brazil Luanda Angola and Lourenco Marques Mozambique before arriving at Port Louis Mauritius on 11 May. William R. Rush subsequently stopped at Moroni Grand Comoro Comores Islands Mombasa Kenya Karachi Pakistan and Kharg Island off the coast of Iran. Additionally the ship spent a two-week upkeep period at the MidEastFor home port Bahrain where she was visited by the Honorable William P. Rogers the Secretary of State on 3 July. She later called at Dammam Saudi Arabia where she embarked 19 Royal Saudi Naval Force officers for underway training from 15 to 19 July.

A Red Sea excursion took William R. Rush to Massawa and return visits to Mombasa Port Louis and Bahrain. In the course of the deployment and during transits between ports William R. Rush twice conducted surveillance operations at Russian naval anchorages near Socotra Island and Cape Guardafui and once at Coetivy Island.

During the time spent operating under the aegis of Commander MidEastFor William R. Rush operated primarily as an ambassador of good will "showing the flag" in an area where the Soviet Union's naval presence was becoming more marked.

Ultimately after conducting exercises with Charles H. Roan and the British frigate HMS Lowestoft William R. Rush departed Bahrain. She continued her circumnavigation of the globe with visits to the ports of Karachi Pakistan; Colombo Sri Lanka; Singapore; Hong Kong Yokosuka Japan; Midway; Pearl Harbor; San Diego and the Panama Canal before she arrived back at Newport on 31 October 1972.

William R. Rush subsequently operated out Newport on local operations into March of 1973. Then after an overhaul at the Boston Naval Shipyard William R. Rush was assigned to DesRon 28 on 2 July 1973 for service as a Naval Reserve training ship.

Homeported at Fort Schuyler Bronx N.Y. William R. Rush spent the next five years training selected reserve crews and operating between the Virginia capes Operating Area and Halifax Nova Scotia.

William R. Rush was decommissioned at Fort Schuyler on 1 July 1978 and was simultaneously struck from the Navy list. Transferred that same day to the navy of the Republic of Korea (ROK) under the terms of the Security Assistance Program the destroyer became ROKS Kang Won (DD-922) and operated with the South Korean Navy into 1979.

[Note: The above USS WILLIAM R. RUSH (DD-714) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS WILLIAM R. RUSH (DD-714) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]