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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NEKP

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign (circa 1968) - STOP GAP

Displacement 2924 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 376' 5"(oa) x 39' 7" x 13' 9" (Max)
Armament 5 x 5"/38AA, 10 x 40mm, 7 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 Seattle Tacoma Shipbuilding. May 19 1942.
Launched April 22 1943 and commissioned November 18 1943.
Decommissioned December 10 1946 and recommissioned November 2 1951.
Decommissioned March 30 1964.
Stricken April 15 1973.
Fate Sold December 3 1973 to American Ship Dismantlers Corp., Portland OR for $167,689.88. Removed 28.12.1973

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Laws 85kAlexander Laws, commissioned as a midshipman on 15 May 1800, served in the ship Ganges during the Quasi-War with France; discharged under the Peace Establishment Act on 12 August 1801, he was again appointed midshipman on 25 August 1802. Initially assigned to frigate Constitution, he volunteered to take part in the daring expedition under Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, Jr., to board the former U.S. frigate Philadelphia, moored “within half gunshot of the Bashaw’s castle” in Tripoli harbor and put her to the torch. On 16 February 1804, Decatur laid his command, the ketch Intrepid, alongside the captured frigate and, as Captain Edward Preble later wrote, “in a Gallant and Officer[-] like manner, boarded and carried her against all opposition. Silence cloaked the bold American attack. "Not a musket or Pistol was fired on our side," Preble reported, "everything [was accomplished] by the sword and tomawhawk [sic]." Laws served under Lieutenant James Lawrence, who, with Midshipman Thomas MacDonough and ten men (all cautioned "to use firearms only in case of urgent necessity") seized Philadelphia’s berth deck and forward storerooms. While the "Tripolines" suffered between 20 to 30 men killed in the action that Lord Horatio Nelson was said to have lauded as "the most daring act of the age," Decatur’s force of 70 volunteers suffered only one man wounded in taking the ship to begin her destruction by fire. After a stint of detached service in gunboats (26 August to 19 October 1804) during the siege of Tripoli, Laws was detached from Constitution on 29 November 1804 and ordered to frigate Congress, wherein he performed the duty of master’s mate. Returning to the United States on 5 December 1805 from Mediterranean service, he was furloughed to the merchant service on 15 August 1806. Photo #: KN-10849, "Burning of the Frigate Philadelphia in the Harbor of Tripoli, February 16, 1804" oil on canvas, 60" by 42", by Edward Moran (1829-1901), signed and dated by the artist, 1897. It depicts USS Philadelphia, previously captured by the Tripolitans, ablaze after she was boarded and set afire by a party from the ketch Intrepid led by Lieutenant Stephen Decatur. Painting in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum Collection. Gift of Paul E. Sutro, 1940. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.Bill Gonyo
Laws 82kArtist's conception of the Laws as she appeared after original construction by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Navy Yard Associates
Laws 60kUndated, location unknown.Larry Newman
Laws 60kUndated, location unknown.Larry Newman
Laws 67kUndated, location unknown.Marty Mustin
Laws 110kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Laws 46kUndated early 1950 view of the USS Laws (DD-558) essentially in her, as commissioned configuration. Source: Australian War Memorial, Photo No.302650.Mike Green
Laws 93kFine off the port bow view of the USS Lawes (DD-558), as she carries off a jack-stay transfer to an unidentified U.S. aircraft carrier. The photo is taken in the early 1950s, and the Lawes still carries a mixture of WW2 and post-WW2 equipment. Post-war modifications include an anti-submarine hedgehog mortar, Mark 25 Fire Control Radar, and SPS-10 surface search radar. Her #3 5”/38 gun mount has not been removed, but she still carries 40mm Bofors AA guns and is still equipped with SC-4 radar at the mast head. Source: Australian War Museum, Photo No. 302651.Mike Green
Laws 121kSan Diego early 1950's.Marc Piché
Laws 118kOur Navy Magazine, Mid-October 1953.Stanley Svec
Laws 55k1953-1956 era.Marty Mustin
Laws 114kUSS Laws (DD-558) alongside the aircraft carrier USS Essex (CVA-9) in heavy seas during that carrier's deployment to the Western Pacific from 1 July 1956 to 26 January 1957. U.S. Navy photo from the USS Essex (CVA-9) 1956-57 cruise book.Robert Hurst
Laws 167kUSS Laws during a typhoon in 1956 off Okinawa trying to come alongside the USS Kawishiwi AO 146 to refuel.Joe Ruschetti (MMC USN ret)
Laws 213kHighline transfer of personnel to the USS Lexington, CVA 16, Task Force 77, East China Sea, August 1956.Dale C. Haskin
Laws 109kThe first to prove that, if necessary, a destroyer could safely refuel from the port side of an angled deck carrier (USS Lexington, CVA 16), Task Force 77, East China Sea, August 1956.Dale C. Haskin


CRUDESPAC Photos released by the 12 Naval District PIO on June 4, 1957. The photos are from the files of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Laws 119kSan Francisco June 13 1957.Robert M. Cieri
Laws 104kMelbourne, Australia, July, 1957 visit by DesDiv 72.Dale C. Haskin
Laws 211kUSS Colahan (DD-658), USS Watts (DD-567), USS Tingey (DD-539) and USS Laws (DD-558) in Sasebo, Japan circa 1960-1962.John J. Gobbell
Laws 153kMay 10 1960.Ed Zajkowski
Laws 232kShip's patch.Tom Gamstetter

USS LAWS DD-558 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The hazegray Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR Lester Orin Wood    Nov 18 1943 - Sep 24 1945 (Later RADM)
LCDR Robert Edward Sinnott    Sep 24 1945 - Dec 10 1946
(Decommissioned Dec 10 1946 - Nov 2 1951)
CDR Willard Young Howell    Nov 2 1951 - 1953
CDR Lynn Stanley Orser    1953 - Aug 1955
CDR Fred Hugh Thorne    Aug 1955 - Nov 1957
CDR Archie Carlyn Kuntze    Nov 1957 - Jun 1959
CDR David Inkster Jacobs    Jun 1959 - 1961
CDR Frank Robbins    1961 - Aug 1 1962
CDR Charles William Wiese Jr.    Aug 1 1962 - Jun 1963
CDR 'Rocky' Rockford    Jun 1963 - Mar 30 1964

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Daniel Crum, Sr
Address: 5300 18th Street N, St. Petersburg, FL 33714
Phone: (727)526-5773
E-mail: None

Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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