USS SOUTHERLAND (DD-743)
Southerland (DD-743) was laid down on 27 May 1944 by the Bath Iron Works Corp.
Maine Iaunched on 5 October 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Edmund Richardson
daughter of Rear Admiral Southerland; and commissioned on 22 December 1944
Comdr. Russell C. Williams in command.
Southerland completed shakedown in the Bermuda area in February 1945 and conducted further exercises into April. On the 24th
she rendezvoused with TU 23.16.1 off the New Jersey coast and headed for the Pacific. Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 15 May
she sailed for Ulithi on 28 May. In June
she moved on to Leyte; whence
on 1 July
she sailed with TF 38
the Fast Carrier Task Force
for the fleet's final raids on the Japanese home islands. From 10 July until the end of the war
she screened the carriers as their planes flew against military and industrial targets on the Tokyo Plain
in other parts of Honshu
and in the Inland Sea. Twice detached for night shore bombardment missions with TU 34.8.1
she fired on the Hamamatsu area
on the night of 29 and 30 July
and on Kamaishi
on 9 and 10 August.
Strikes on the Tokyo Plain scheduled for 15 August were canceled as hostilities ceased
but the ships continued to cruise off the Japanese coast. On the 27th
Southerland anchored in Sagami Wan; and
on the 28th
she moved up to Tokyo. On the 30th
she covered the landing of occupation troops at Huttu Saki and Yokosuka. A week later
she completed a mail run to the Ryukyus; then joined TG 35.1 for further occupation duty.
On January 1946
Southerland sailed for the United States. Immobilized for a time at San Diego
she departed the California coast for the Central Pacific in November; and
in February 1947
she continued on to the western Pacific. She arrived at Shanghai on the 8th and
through the spring
operated along the China coast
primarily out of Tsingtao. In June
she was in Japanese waters; and
on the 21st
she sailed for home. From June 1948 to February 1949
she again operated in Chinese and Japanese waters.
Redesignated DDR-743 on 18 March 1949
Southerland was operating in Hawaiian waters at the end of June 1950
when the Korean War broke out. In July
she steamed west to Okinawa; thence proceeded to Japan. On the 19th
she assumed bombardment and patrol duties off the Korean coast.
she joined TF 90 and prepared for
the assault landings on the west coast of the embattled peninsula at Inchon. Assigned to Fire Support Group 3
Southerland arrived at Inchon on the morning of 15 September and commenced pre-invasion shelling of targets on Wolmi Do and in the city of Inchon. After the landings
she provided interdiction
and support fire. On the 16th
she was slightly damaged by counterbattery fire; and
on the 17th' she retired from the area.
For the remainder of the year
the destroyer operated with the carriers of TF 77 and ranged the Korean coast from Pusan to Wonsan and Ch'ongjin. In January 1951
she steamed south. Into February
she operated with the Taiwan Strait patrol; then returned to Japan
whence she sailed for home.
A year later
on 10 February 1952
Southerland was back off Japan. On the 14th
she joined TF 95
the United Nations Blockade and Escort Force
off the west coast of Korea. Carrier escort and coastal patrol duty followed
involving night shore bombardment against enemy transport facilities
boat and troop concentrations
and gun emplacements.
the destroyer conducted ASW exercises off Okinawa
as the stalemate in the Panmunjom armistice negotiations continued
she returned to the combat zone. Joining TF 77
she screened carriers
served as plane guard
and participated in shore bombardments including a combined air/sea strike on Ch'ongjin on Easter Sunday.
On 18 April
Southerland returned to Yokosuka; then steamed to Okinawa for ASW operations. On 11 May
she rejoined TF 77 and
for 28 days
supported the carriers as they struck targets at Ch'ongjin
and other areas. In June
her carrier group shifted to targets inland.
Toward the end of the month
as interservice air strikes hit Communist power sources
Southerland again headed south for Taiwan Strait patrol duty. On 10 July
she rejoined TF 95 off the Korean east coast; and
on the 14th
engaged in a 23 minute duel with seven shore batteries. Taking four direct hits
with eight minor casualties
she made temporary repairs at sea; then continued her patrol. On the 22d
she put into Sasebo; and
on 10 August
she arrived back in her homeport
Seven months later
the ship departed San Diego for her third combat tour off Korea. From mid-April to mid-May and again in June
she patrolled off the Korean coast. On the 27th
she returned to Japan; and
one month later
was assigned to patrol duty along the truce line. On 2 October
she sailed for home.
Southerland alternated duty with the 7th Fleet in the western Pacific (WestPac) with training assignments
1st Fleet operations
and upkeep and overhaul periods. Her Far East deployments included SEATO exercises; Taiwan Strait patrols
7th Fleet exercises
during her 1957 and 1958 WestPac tour
relief work. At the end of December 1957
she joined Princeton (CVS-37) and Henderson (DD-785) in providing emergency relief food
and trained medical personnel for survivors of devastating floods in Ceylon; and she continued that work into January 1958.
In the eastern Pacific
she conducted training exercises
participated in 1st Fleet exercises; and
in 1962 joined Joint Task Force 8 for operation "Dominic
" the upper atmosphere nuclear test series at Christmas Island.
In November of 1963
in WestPac and scheduled to participate in amphibious support exercises
was ordered to Vietnam for brief duty as hostilities there threatened American interests. Soon departing
she returned to California for a 10-month FRAM
overhaul and conversion at Mare Island. During that period
her superstructure above the main deck was removed
berthing and messing areas were renovated; and her engineering spaces were reconditioned. Electronically modernized
her ASW capability was enhanced by the addition of ASROC
an antisubmarine rocket system.
Work was completed in October 1964. Southerland redesignated DD-743 on 1 April 1964
then tested her new equipment and conducted training exercises until March 1965. She next headed west to return to Vietnam and her third war in the western Pacific.
Departing on 6 March
she joined TF 77 in the South China Sea; and
as in Korea
she screened carriers and acted as plane guard while strikes were flown against Communist targets. After duty with TF 77
she shifted to operation "Market Time
" for trawler surveillance duty. Briefly detached twice in late June
she provided gunfire support in the I Corps area and destroyed several Viet Cong buildings and communications points.
On 11 September
Southerland arrived back at San Diego. Nine months later
she was underway for another combat tour off Vietnam. On 8 July 1966
she arrived off the embattled coast and
for 11 days
operated with Intrepid (CVS-11) near the Mekong Delta. Detached on the 19th for fire support duty
she returned to the carrier on the 28th; and
at the end of the month
retired to Subic Bay. On 7 August
she was again off Vietnam. Until the end of the month
she operated in Tonkin Gulf with Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42). ASW exercises followed; and
she sailed for Japan. At the end of October she returned to Tonkin Gulf for search and rescue duty.
On 23 November
Southerland completed her Vietnam tour and headed home. In February 1967
she served as ASW School Ship and
as Engineering School Ship. From April to August
she underwent overhaul. In the fall
she conducted refresher training; and
on 28 December
she sailed for WestPac and another tour off Vietnam.
From then until 28 June 1968 and again from 18 March to 3 July 1969
Southerland operated with the 7th Fleet on assignments similar to those in 1965 and 1966. In 1970
she sailed west in mid-June; operated in Japanese waters through the end of July; then steamed south
on 6 August. There
she again alternated carrier escort and plane guard duties in Tonkin Gulf with fire support activities off the southern coast of the divided country until mid-November. On 1 December
she returned to San Diego.
During the first half of 1971
Southerland spent two periods underway
one in January and one in April. Both were in conjunction with Composite Unit Training Exercises conducted in the southern California (SOCAL) operating area. On 29 June
she got underway from San Diego en route to the western Pacific. She remained in the Far East until 5 December
plane guarding for Enterprise (CVAN-65) and visiting such oriental ports as Hong Kong
and Subic Bay. After a 17-day passage
Southerland returned to San Diego on 22 December.
On 2 June
the ship entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard and commenced an overhaul which lasted until 9 November. During the yard work
her main propulsion plant was converted to use navy distillate fuel.
The destroyer continued her operations out of San Diego along the southern California coast until mid june 1973. On the 11th
she stood out of San Diego and headed north to Seattle
she embarked naval reservists and shaped a course for the western Pacific
Alaska. For the rest of the summer
she participated in Operation "Charger SurfPac 1-73
" during which successive complements of reservists received training in 7th Fleet operations and the opportunity to train with elements of friendly foreign navies. The capability of the Naval Reserve to augment the fleet on short notice was demonstrated by the airlift which brought in new groups of reservists
at regular intervals once the deployment had begun. Southerland reentered San Diego on 30 August 1973
successfully concluding Operation "Charger SurfPac 1 73." From September through December
she cruised along the west coast
out of San Diego
with naval reservists embarked for training. Through September 1974
Southerland has continued to operate along the west coast out of San Diego
clearing that area only once in late February and early March to visit Pearl Harbor
Southerland earned one battle star during World War II; eight during the Korean Conflict; and 10 during her tours off Vietnam.
[Note: The above USS SOUTHERLAND (DD-743) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS SOUTHERLAND (DD-743) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]