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VISIT THE USS RADFORD MUSEUM COLLECTION ABOARD THE USS ORLECK

USS RADFORD DD/DDE 446

 

Rear Admiral William Radford was born March 1, 1808 in Fincastle, Virginia. He joined the United States Navy during 1825. He commanded the landing party from the Warren, a second-class sloop-of-war, which captured the Mexican warship Malek Adhel at Mazatlan and took part in other Pacific coast operations of the Mexican War. He was commander of the Cumberland during the Civil War, but was on board the Roanoke as a member of a Court of enquiry when the Cumberland was attacked and sunk by the CSS Virginia. Captain Radford went on to command the armored ship New Ironsides during Union attacks on Fort Fisher in December 1864 and in January 1865. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1866 and commanded the European squadron during 1869 and 1870. Rear Admiral Radford died in Washington, D.C., on January 8, 1890.

05446031

The Radford operated with a crew of about 300 men who maintained the ship and manned her weapons of war in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.


Radford participated in the Battle of Kolombangara and the Battle of Kula Gulf. She engaged in an offensive sweep against the Tokyo Express. She attacked and sank the Japanese submarine I-19 on 25 November 1943, Received damage from a Japanese mine supporting the liberation of Luzon in December, 1944 and received a Presidential Unit Citation from Philipines Government, was decommissioned on 17 January 1946 and placed in reserve at San Francisco.

She was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for valor and 26 battle stars for war time actions. She earned numerous other decorations and awards during her many years of service. The Radford crew rescued 468 sailors from the sea when the cruiser USS Helena was sunk in the WWII Battle of Kula Gulf. The Radford Museum sculpture "Deliverance" commemorates this heroism.

Radford was recommissioned on 17 October 1949, and operated with the United States Seventh Fleet in support of United Nations Forces during the Korean War. Following the armistice in 1953, she alternated operations along the west coast and in Hawaiian waters with annual deployments to the western Pacific with the Seventh Fleet. In 1960, Radford underwent an extensive Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM II) overhaul at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard.

On 3 March 1965, Radford, in company with other units of Destroyer Division 252, departed Pearl Harbor on short notice to augment destroyer forces for the rapidly expanding naval commitments in the South China Sea. In October and December Renshaw served as an alternate recovery ship in Project Gemini and participated in Sea Dragon and Market Time operations, patrolled on search and rescue duties and carried out Naval Gunfire Support missions during the Vietnam War from 1965 through 1969.

Her 11th WestPac tour began 5 July 1966. During this period, she participated in anti-submarine operations, escorted attack carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin, had 2 tours of duty on NGFS, a turn on Taiwan patrol, served as forward picket for the Seventh Fleet units operating in the South China Sea and escorted President Johnson's support units to Malaysia during his tour of southeast Asia. DesDiv 252 returned to Pearl Harbor on 16 December 1966.

The ship was decommissioned in 1969 and later sold for scrap, but, she lives on in our history, at the Radford Museum, and within the memories of the surviving men who served aboard during her long and distinguished service to the US Navy, and the people of the United States of America.

Radford received 12 battle stars for World War II service, 5 battle stars for the Korean War, 4 for the Vietnam War, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

 

COMMANDING OFFICERS

 

LCDR William Kilian Romoser Jul 22 1942 - Oct 1943 (Later RADM)

CDR Gale E. Griggs Oct 1943 - Sep 10 1944 (Later RADM)

CDR Gordon Leonard Caswell Sep 10 1944 - Dec 12 1944

CDR Jack Emerson Mansfield Dec 12 1944 - Jan 17 1946

(Decommissioned Jan 17 1946 - Sep 10 1949)

CDR Elvin Clinton Ogle Sep 10 1949 - Aug 15 1951

CDR James Hills Barnard II Aug 15 1951 - Oct 14 1953

CDR J. H. Hitchcock Oct 14 1953 - Apr 1955

CDR Lonnie C. Klingaman Apr 1955 - Oct 15 1956

CDR Walter Browne Woodson Jr. Oct 15 1956 - Jul 1958

CDR William Chambers Mackey III Jul 1958 - Jun 1960

LCDR Edward Charles Kline Jr. Jun 1960 - Aug 1960

CDR Robert Cary Gibson Aug 1960 - Aug 1962

CDR George P. Peed Aug 1962 - Jan 1964

CDR Warren H. Wettlaufer Jan 1964 - Dec 1965

CDR William Livingston Prange Dec 1965 - Jul 1967

CDR Charles Culberson Denman Jr. Jul 1967 - Sep 1968

CDR John A. Maxwell Sep 1968 - Nov 10 1969

 

 

CLASS - FLETCHER AS BUILT

Displacement 2924 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 376' 5"(oa) x 39' 7" x 13' 9" (Max) Armament 5 x 5"/38AA, 4 x 1.1" AA, 4 x 20mm AA, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5). Machinery, 60,000 SHP; General Electric Geared Turbines, 2 screws Speed, 38 Knots, Range 6500 NM@ 15 Knots, Crew 273.

OPERATIONAL AND BUILDING DATA

Laid down by Federal Shipbuilding, Kearny, New Jersey, October 2, 1941.

Launched May 3, 1942 and commissioned July 22, 1942. Decommissioned January 17, 1946.

Re-commissioned October 17, 1949.

Reclassified DDE-446 March 26, 1949 and back to DD-446 June 30, 1962.Decommissioned November 10, 1969. Stricken November 10, 1969.

FATE

Sold October, 1970 and broken up for scrap.

 

USS RADFORD DD/DDE 446

One of America's Most Decorated Destroyers

1942World War II - Korea - Vietnam1969

Presidential Unit Citations - USA - Philippines - Korea

26 BATTLE STARS

National Museum - Archives

USS RADFORD DD/DDE 446 AWARDS AND RIBBONS (known as of April 2000)

NAVY CROSS (1943)

SILVER STAR - 2 (1943-1950)

LEGION OF MERIT - 2 (1943)

NAVY - MARINE CORPS MEDAL (1950)

BRONZE STAR - 3, 1 refused (two-1945, one-1950)

NAVY COMMENDATION MEDAL - 9 (eight-1943, one-1961)

PURPLE HEART - 10 (four-1943, six-1945)

U.S. PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION (1943)

GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL (assumed) 25 years in commission

AMERICAN CAMPAIGN (1942-1945)

ASIATIC-PACIFIC CAMPAIGN (twelve Battle Stars 1942-1945)

WW II VICTORY MEDAL

CHINA SERVICE (Tachen Islands Evacuation, 1955)

KOREA SERVICE (5 Battle Stars 1950-1954)

ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL (four Battle Stars - Task Force 71 1969)

VIETNAM SERVICE (five Battle Stars 1964-1969)

PHILIPPINE LIBERATION (1945)

PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE (1945)

PHILIPPINE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION (1945)

REPUBLIC OF KOREA PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION (1950-1954)

UNITED NATIONS SERVICE (1950-1954)

REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM CAMPAIGN w/year bar (1961-1969)

GOVERNMENT SOLOMON ISLANDS GUADALCANAL MEDAL (1942-1944)

REPUBLIC OF CHINA (Taiwan) HONOR MEDAL 823 For Bombardment Tachen Islands 1955

REPUBLIC OF KOREA - KOREAN WAR SERVICE

REPUBLIC OF KOREA - KOREAN DEFENSE COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL

NAVY "E" - still counting (1950 through 1969, won every category, including Gunnery, Combat Readiness, Engineering)

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