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USS WICKES (DD-578)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NISY

CLASS - FLETCHER As Built.
Displacement 2924 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 376' 5"(oa) x 39' 7" x 13' 9" (Max)
Armament 5 x 5"/38AA, 6 x 40mm, 10/11 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 Consolidated Steel, Orange TX April 15 1942.
Launched September 13 1942 and commissioned June 16 1943.
Decommissioned December 20 1945.
Stricken November 1 1972.
Fate Sunk as target April 8 1974.

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- Lambert Wickes was born sometime in 1735 in New England and was appointed to the Continental Navy on 22 December 1775 and probably received his commission as a captain in the Navy in early 1776. Designated as number 11 on the Continental Navy's seniority list, Wickes was given command of the 16-gun brig Reprisal. The Committee of Secret Correspondence of Congress, by arrangement with the Marine Committee, issued orders for Capt. Wickes to proceed to the West Indies in Reprisal and bring out munitions for use by General Washington's army. In addition, Wickes was to transport William Bingham to his post, the French possession of Martinique, as agent for the American colonies. Reprisal passed down the Delaware River from Philadelphia during the latter part of June 1776. While en route, Reprisal went to the aid of the harried Continental 6-gun brig Nancy—bound from St. Croix and St. Thomas with 386 barrels of gunpowder—which was being chased by six British men-of-war. In order to save Nancy, her captain ran her aground. Reprisal and Lexington—the latter under the command of Capt. John Barry—kept boats from HMS Kingfisher at bay and succeeded in landing some 200 barrels of the precious powder. In this engagement, Wickes' brother Richard was killed while serving as third lieutenant in Reprisal. Clearing the Delaware capes on 3 July, Reprisal, under Wickes' sterling seamanship, captured a number of prizes in the West Indies and had a sharp engagement with HMS Shark, beating her off and escaping into port. On 24 October 1776, Wickes was ordered to France with Benjamin Franklin as passenger. During the voyage, Reprisal captured two brigs and reached Nantes on 29 November where the ship's important passenger disembarked. Setting sail in January 1777, Wickes took Reprisal to sea on a cruise which took her to the Bay of Biscay and the mouth of the English Channel. On 5 February, his ship captured the British merchantman Lisbon Packet after a hard action of 40 minutes duration. During the battle, Reprisal suffered two officers seriously wounded and one man killed. During the remainder of this foray against British shipping, Wickes took five additional prizes and left them at Port Louis. Wickes moved Reprisal to L'Orient but was ordered to leave the port in 24 hours by the French government—the port authorities apparently stirred to action by bitter remonstrances from the British government. Wickes, however, claimed that Reprisal had sprung a leak and needed to be careened for hull repairs. Wickes proved to be skillful at gaining time; as, on several occasions, he thwarted the intentions of the French government to have him sail. In April 1777, the Continental vessels Lexington and Dolphin joined Reprisal and constituted a squadron under Wickes' command. Setting sail from St. Auzeau on 28 May, the ships cruised around Ireland in June, July, and August; during one phase of the voyage, the three ships captured 15 ships in five days. On 14 September, Wickes left France in Reprisal, in company with Dolphin, bound for home. Around 1 October, Reprisal foundered off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, with the loss of all hands except the cook. Louis H. Bolander, the assistant librarian at the Naval Academy, wrote an article in 1928, entitled "A Forgotten Hero of the American Revolution." Appearing in Americana, in April 1928, the article closed with a fitting epitaph for Capt. Lambert Wickes: "Thus closed a career distinguished for patriotism, gallantry and humanity, for not a single charge of cruelty or harshness was ever breathed against him by any one of his many prisoners. Franklin, who knew him well, said of him, 'He was a gallant officer, and a very worthy man.'"Robert M. Cieri
THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
WASHINGTON

The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in commending the

UNITED STATES SHIP WICKES

for service as follows:
"For outstanding heroism in action as a Fighter Direction Ship on Radar Picket station during the Okinawa Campaign, from March 27 to May 15, 1945. A natural and frequent target for heavy Japanese aerial attack while occupying advanced and isolated stations, the USS WICKES defeated all efforts of enemy Kamikaze and dive-bombing planes to destroy her. Constantly vigilant and ready for battle, she sent out early air warnings, provided fighter direction, and, with her own gunfire, downed three hostile planes, shared in the destruction of two others, routed many more and rendered valiant service in preventing the Japanese from striking in force the Naval Forces off Okinawa beachheads. A gallant, fighting ship, the WICKES, her officers and men withstood the stress and perils of vital radar picket duty, achieving a distinctive combat record which attests to the teamwork, courage, and skill of her entire company and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
All personnel attached to and serving on board the U.S.S. WICKES from March 27 to May 15, 1945 authorized to wear the NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION Ribbon.
For the President
/s/ James Forrestal
Secretary of the Navy
Wickes 102kArtist's conception of the Wickes as she appeared in late World War II 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
Wickes 78kArtist's conception of a cutaway view of the Wickes 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
Wickes 64kUndated, location unknown.-
Wickes 94kUSS Wickes (DD-578) seen from USS Biloxi (CL-80) while escorting the cruiser on her shakedown cruise, circa October 1943. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Photo #: 80-G-K-2845.Robert Hurst

USS WICKES DD-578 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

LCDR William Young Allen Jr.    Jun 16 1943 - Jul 25 1944
CDR James Barton Cresap    Jul 25 1944 - Dec 20 1945

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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