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USS SOUTHERLAND (DD-743) - a Gearing-class destroyer

In Commission 1944 to 1981

DD-743 Deployments - Major Events

Add a DD-743 Shellback Initiation Add a DD-743 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
MAY1944-Keel Date: 27 MAY 1944
at Bath Iron Works Bath ME
OCT1944-Launch Date: 5 OCT 1944
DEC1944-Commissioned: 22 DEC 1944
APR1957-Shellback Initiation - 11 APR 1957 - Pacific Ocean
OCT1957-Shellback Initiation - 17 OCT 1957 - Pacific Ocean
FEB1958-SEP1958West Pac-Indian Ocean
APR1960- Shellback Initiation - 27 APR 1960 - Pacific Ocean
FEB1961-NOV1961West Pac
APR1961-Shellback Initiation - 16 APR 1961 - Pacific Ocean
APR1961- Shellback Initiation - 16 APR 1961 - Pacific Ocean
FEB1962-AUG1962operation dominik
APR1963-NOV1963West Pac-Viet Nam
APR1963-Shellback Initiation - 21 APR 1963 - Pacific Ocean
APR1963- Shellback Initiation - 19 APR 1963 - Pacific Ocean
APR1963-Shellback Initiation - 20 APR 1963 - Pacific Ocean
MAR1965-OCT1965West Pac-Viet Nam
JAN1966-SEP1966West Pac-Viet Nam
APR1967-AUG1967Regular Overhaul
DEC1967-JUN1968West Pac-Viet Nam
MAR1969-JUL1969West Pac-Viet Nam
JUN1970-DEC1970West Pac-Viet Nam
AUG1970-DEC1970West Pac-Viet Nam
JUN1971-DEC1971West Pac-Viet Nam
SEP1971-Shellback Initiation - 22 SEP 1971 - Pacific Ocean
JUN1972-FEB1974West Pac-Viet Nam
FEB1981-Decommissioned: 26 FEB 1981
JUN1981- Shellback Initiation - 10 JUN 1981 - Pacific Ocean

DD-743 General Specifications

Class: Gearing-class destroyer

Named for: William Henry Hudson Southerland

Complement: 367 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 2425 tons

Length: 390 feet 6 inches

Beam: 41 feet 1 inches

Flank Speed: 34 Knots

Final Disposition: Sunk as a target 2 August 1997


Southerland (DD-743) was laid down on 27 May 1944 by the Bath Iron Works Corp. Bath 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 on Hokkaido and in the Inland Sea. Twice detached for night shore bombardment missions with TU 34.8.1 she fired on the Hamamatsu area southern Honshu on the night of 29 and 30 July and on Kamaishi northern Honshu 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.

In September 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 illumination 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.

In March the destroyer conducted ASW exercises off Okinawa and in April 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 Wonsan 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 San Diego.

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.

After Korea 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 and 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 medicine 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 Southerland 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 Mark I 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 in mid-September 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 in March 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 for Vietnam 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 Singapore 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 Wash. There she embarked naval reservists and shaped a course for the western Pacific via Adak 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 Hawaii.

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]