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USS KEPPLER (DD-765 / DDE-765)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NKPD

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign (circa 1968) - BUDWEISER

Displacement 3460 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 390' 6"(oa) x 40' 10" x 14' 4" (Max)
Armament 6 x 5"/38AA (3x2), 12 x 40mm AA, 11 x 20mm AA, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; General Electric Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 36.8 Knots, Range 4500 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 336.
Operational and Building Data
Built by Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco, CA (YN 5419)
Contract awarded 07 August 1942 (NOD-314)
Laid down 23 April 1944
Launched 24 June 1946
Commissioned 23 May 1947
Reclassified Escort Destroyer DDE-765 04 March 1950
Completed FRAM upgrade September 1961
Reverted to DD-765 30 June 1962
Decommissioned 30 June 1972
Stricken 01 July 1972
Transferred to Turkey 30 June 1972, renamed TCG Tinaztepe (D355)
Fate Damaged beyond economical repair in collision with tanker Aygaz-3 in Gulf of Izmir, 02 May 1984
Decommissioned 31 October 1984 and scrapped.

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Size Image Description Contributed
Keppler 58kReinhardt John Keppler was born in Ralston, Washington, on 22 January 1918. He was raised in that State and, after graduation from Wapato High School, he enlisted in the US Navy in February 1936 and reenlisted in April 1940. Keppler was promoted to First Class Petty Officer at the beginning of October 1941. During the Second World War, while serving in the heavy cruiser San Francisco, he saw combat action at Pearl Harbor, early wartime raids against Bougainville and New Guinea, and during the Guadalcanal Campaign. When a Japanese bomber crashed into his ship on 12 November 1942, at the beginning of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, he assisted in caring for the resulting casualties. That night, as San Francisco participated in a chaotic battle with enemy warships, he labored valiantly, despite mortal wounds, to save his ship and wounded shipmates. For his "extraordinary heroism and distinguished courage" on these occasions, Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Reinhardt J. Keppler was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Photo #: NH 85186-A. Boatswain's Mate First Class Reinhardt J. Keppler, USN, this image is a retouched version of that seen in Photo #: NH 85185. US Naval Historical Center Photograph.Bill Gonyo
USS Keppler (DD-765)
Keppler 58kA drawing of the Keppler created by CŁneyt Demir.CŁneyt Demir
Keppler 113kUndated, location unknown.Glenn Heckard ET2 (USN-RET)
Keppler 90kUndated photo taken after her FRAM conversion.SKC Donald J. Holland, USN (Ret)
Keppler 131kUndated, location unknown.Jim Battenfelder
Keppler 88kUndated, the Mediterranean island of Malta.Jim Battenfelder
Keppler 130kUndated, location unknown.David Buell
Keppler 228kUndated, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 137kUndated, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 115kUndated, helo bringing a Chaplain for Sunday services.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 94kUSS Keppler (DDE-765) tied up to a mooring buoy, location uknown. Photo by Skyfotos from "Jane's Fighting Ships" 1960-61 Edition.Robert Hurst
Keppler 146kUndated, location unknown. From the Howard Hertzog collection.Bill Gonyo
Keppler 172kUndated, location unknown.Bill Gonyo
Keppler 133kElizabeth Keppler, widow of Reinhardt J. Keppler, USS Keppler's sponsor, June 24 1946.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 247kSponsor group at the Keppler launching, June 24 1946.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 197kMrs. Anglin breaks the champagne on Keppler's bow, June 24 1946.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 95kKeppler headed down the ways, June 24 1946.Ed Zajkowski
Lawe 215kThe USS Valley Forge (CV-45) along with the USS William C. Lawe (DD-763), USS William M. Wood (DD-715), USS Lloyd Thomas (DD-764) and the USS Keppler (DD-765) during their 1948 World Cruise at Pearl Harbor.Bob Bush/
765kUSS Keppler (DD-765) in the Carquinez Strait south of Vallejo. She may have offloaded her ammunition at Port Chicago prior to her conversion to DDE configuration at Hunters Point, San Francisco in early 1949. The photos were taken from the Carquinez Bridge which crosses the straits south of Vallejo. In this view she is heading west in the Carquinez Straits (Sacramento River) from Sacramento River Delta (Port Chicago) towards San Pablo Bay and on to San Francisco Bay & Hunters Point.
Photo from the files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum.
Darryl Baker
893kAs above. In this view Keppler is heading west after going under the Carquinez Bridge. The TS Golden Bear [ex-USS Mellena (AKA 32)} is to the right of Keppler. Vallejo & Mare Island are in the upper right hand corner of the photo.
Photo from the files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum.
Darryl Baker
Keppler 52kCirca 1953, location unknown.Robert Hurst
Keppler 188kSeptember 3 1953, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 76kL-R, USS Keppler (DDE-765), USS Fred T. Berry (DDE-858), USS Norris (DDE-859), USS McCaffery (DDE-860) and USS Harwood (DDE-861 of DesRon 6 steaming through the Caribbean in June 1956.Robert Hurst
Keppler 76kScenes from the USS Lloyd Thomas Cruisebook from Jan-Mar 1957. From the collection of Robert Frampton, CAPT (SC), USN (Ret.). In this photo are the USS Lloyd Thomas (DD-764), USS Keppler (DD-765) and the USS Harwood (DD-861).Robert Hall
Keppler 237k1958, Chaplain Hitchens baptizes son of BT2 Roy Hollinger from Keppler's ships bell with the Keppler in the background.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 173kUSS Barry (DD-933) and USS Keppler (DD-765) in Barcelona, circa the early 1960s.Jim Buttleman
Keppler 156kDecember 16 1961, location unknown. Photo by PH3 Lapin.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 168kDecember 16 1961, location unknown. Photo by PH3 Lapin.Ed Zajkowski
166kSpectators aboard Keppler (DD-765) (viewed from the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.) watch the fourth race of the 1962 America's Cup off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island. Photo by Robert Knudsen.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, accession number KN-C24105
Bob Canchola
Keppler 234kNewport, RI in 1963. L to R - Ed Zajkowski, Gene Callaghan, Ralph Cuomo.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 168kUSS Keppler (DD-765) in drydock from 4 to 21 June 1963 at the Boston Navy Yard. Note the Draft Mark which shows that the bottom of the sonar dome is 21 1/2 below the top of the boot topping.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 191kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 166kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 148kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 213kAs above. Note that that is Ed standing on the scaffolding.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 144kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 148kAugust 10 1963, Port Royal Bay, Bermuda. Keppler along with the USS Warrington (DD-843), USS Samuel B. Roberts (DD-823) and USS Stribling (DD-867). Photo by PHC Warren Jackman.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 155kAugust 10 1963, Port Royal Bay, Bermuda. Keppler along with the USS Warrington (DD-843) and USS Samuel B. Roberts (DD-823). Photo by PHC Warren Jackman.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 243kUSS Keppler (DD-765) rigging "MED lights" in Key West, FL, December 1963.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 204kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 105kThree views of the DASH Crew and operations from the mid 1960's. From the collection of Jim Battenfelder.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 74kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 76kAs above. Note the "GIVE 'EM HELL" slogan on the flight deck.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 80kUSS Keppler (DD-765) underway in 1965, location unknown. United States Navy.Robert Hurst
Keppler 96kEntering Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, June 24 1965. Photo by PH1 R. E. Carroll.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 122kSeptember 1965, making our way thru Hurricane Betsy.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 91kNewport, RI September 1966.© Richard Leonhardt
Keppler 73kNewport, RI October 1966.© Richard Leonhardt
Keppler 162k1st Division Liberty Party December 1966 Sasebo, Japan.Andy Prydybasz
Keppler 135kTrading fire with the enemy on Operation Sea Dragon off the coast of North Vietnam during 1967. Photo by JOC R. D. Moeser.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 153kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 183kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler   Keppler   Keppler   Keppler   Keppler
Alongside the USS St. Paul (CA-73) in early 1967 off the coast of Vietnam. Converted from Anthony's home movies, sorry the resolution is not better.
Anthony Parrelli




February 12-14 1967, Keppler dry docked at Subic Bay for a rudder repair.Andy Prydybasz
Keppler 141kThe DASH controller Station with silhouettes of the nineteen (19) Jolly Green Search and Rescue helicopters that the Keppler/DASH team refueled during the cruise. Most of these SAR helicopter refuels occurred while the Keppler was part of Sea Dragon operations. We were close enough off the coast of North Vietnam that it was easy for them to join up with us to top them off with some JP-5. Many of the refuels occurred at night. The Keppler JP-5 fuel was tested before every helicopter refueling to ensure we weren't passing any JP-5 with salt water in it.Andy Prydybasz
Keppler 82kAn indirect fire mission while Keppler was assigned to Sea Dragon operations. Keppler was part of Sea Dragon Ops 3-16 December 1966; 17-30 January 1967; and 1 -11 March 1967. Mt 51 took a counter battery hit on 11 march 1967, There were six crewmen wounded. Fortunately no one was killed.Andy Prydybasz
Keppler 168kWinners of the beard growing contest. Late in 1966-1967 deployment.Andy Prydybasz
Keppler 215kConcert on DASH Deck. Sometime prior to March 1967.Andy Prydybasz
Keppler 161kCrossing the Equator, Shellback initiation 29 March 1967.Andy Prydybasz
Keppler 202kMay 8 1967, returning to Newport after 4 months in Vietnam. Photo by PH1 Donald C. Grant.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 210kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 166kAs above. Mrs. Dwight W. Wadsworth, wife of CO, boards Keppler in Newport upon ships return from Vietnam.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 158kAs above. Photo by PH3 Carl E. Gray.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 185kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 187kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 191kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 160kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 207kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 221kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 189kNew York Harbor in April 1969 with the USS Willard Keith (DD-775) inboard,. Photo by Tim Rizzuto, current curator of USS Slater in Albany, NY.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 187kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 170kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 171kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 103kAs above. Note the CPO's temporary TV antenna by the hatch.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 149kNew York Harbor in April 1969 inside the pilot house. Photo by Tim Rizzuto, current curator of USS Slater in Albany, NY.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 194kChristmas time 1969 at Newport RI, (L to R) Keppler, Lloyd Thomas, Garcia and Courtney.Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 182kApril 27 1970 in the Pacific Ocean. Photo by PH3 J. B. Land.Ed Zajkowski
Higbee   Higbee   Higbee   Higbee
Welcome Aboard pamphlet - circa 1973
Wolfgang Hechler
Keppler 40kShip's patch.Mike Smolinski
Keppler 38kShip's patch.Mike Smolinski
Keppler 33kShip's patch.Mike Smolinski
Keppler 37kOne of her Squadron patches.Dave Cupples
TCG Tinaztepe (D 355)
Keppler 40kUndated, location unknown.Murat Kurtulmus
Keppler 78kUndated, location unknown.Yucel M.Umar, CPO (Ret.) Turkish Navy
Keppler 32kUndated, location unknown.Yucel M.Umar, CPO (Ret.) Turkish Navy
Keppler 84kUndated, location unknown.Yucel M.Umar, CPO (Ret.) Turkish Navy
Keppler 229kUndated, location unknown. USS Keppler (Turkish 355) and USS Forrest Royal (Turkish 353).CŁneyt Demir
Keppler 221kUndated, location unknown.CŁneyt Demir
Keppler 214kUndated, location unknown. Damage Control Team practice.CŁneyt Demir
Keppler 168kUndated, location unknown. One of the first official images on Turkish service.CŁneyt Demir
Keppler 80kUndated, location unknown.Yucel M.Umar, CPO (Ret.) Turkish Navy
Keppler 147kUndated, location unknown.Yucel M.Umar, CPO (Ret.) Turkish Navy
Keppler   Keppler   Keppler   Keppler
Commissioning June 30 1972
Yucel M.Umar, CPO (Ret.) Turkish Navy
Keppler 145kTransiting the Panama Canal in 1972 on the way to Turkey.Yucel M.Umar, CPO (Ret.) Turkish Navy
Keppler 271kJune 1979, Mediterranean Sea, NATO exercise with the Turrkish Tinaztepe (D-355) former USS Keppler (DD-765); the British frigate HMS Charybdis (F-75); the Italian frigate Carabiniere (F-581) and the USS Brumby (FF-1044).Ed Zajkowski
Keppler 58kA drawing of the Keppler on Turkish service created by CŁneyt Demir. She collided with the tanker Aygaz on May 2 1984 during heavy fog and the four pennants are in honor of those crewmembers lost during the collision.CŁneyt Demir
Keppler   Keppler   Keppler   Keppler   Keppler
Hull damge from the collision with the tanker Aygaz on May 2 1984.
Yucel M.Umar, CPO (Ret.) Turkish Navy
Keppler 66kShip's patch/plaque.Yucel M.Umar, CPO (Ret.) Turkish Navy

USS KEPPLER DD-765 / DDE-765 History
View This Vessels DANFS History entry at the Naval History & Heritage Command website

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR Peter Massimo Gaviglio    May 23 1947 - Nov 24 1948 (Later RADM)

CDR Lloyd Montague Mustin    Nov 24 1948 - Jan 3 1950 (Later VADM)

CDR Thomas Donald Cunningham    Jan 3 1950 - Aug 2 1951

CDR John Collins James    Aug 2 1951 - Nov 8 1952

CDR Thomas Hart Taylor    Nov 8 1952 - Sep 7 1953

CDR Jack Eugene Gibson    Sep 7 1953 - Apr 29 1955

CDR Philip Thompson Glennon    Apr 29 1955 - Jun 22 1957

CDR George Joseph Largess    Jun 22 1957 - Sep 13 1958

CDR William Boyle Bagbey    Sep 13 1958 - Sep 7 1960

CDR Vito Louis Vitucci    Sep 7 1960 - May 16 1962

CDR Charles Clarence Dusek    May 16 1962 - Nov 7 1963

CDR John Howard Bell    Nov 7 1963 - Jul 1 1965

CDR Forrest Ray Degler Jr.    Jul 1 1965 - Aug 9 1965

CDR William Patrick Holden    Aug 9 1965 - Jun 1 1966

LCDR John William Kuncas    Jun 1 1966 - Aug 2 1966 (Acting)

CDR Dwight Wadsworth    Aug 2 1966 - Jul 11 1968

CDR Robert Peter Lenahan    Jul 11 1968 - May 26 1970

CDR Thomas Stanley McCarthy    May 26 1970 - Jul 24 1971

LCDR Dempsey Eastin Allgood    Jul 24 1971 - Aug 18 1971 (Acting)

CDR John Frederick Baumgardner    Aug 18 1971 - Aug 20 1971

LCDR Dempsey Eastin Allgood    Aug 20 1971 - Jun 30 1972

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Stephen Mooney
Address: 116 Howell Ave., Fords, NJ 08863
Phone: (732) 280-2949
Next Reunion 2019 Reunion - New England & Canada - 7-Night Cruise
Norwegian Dawn Cruise - 5-18-2019 to 5-25-2019 - we will also gather in NJ for a few days for a land reunion

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
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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This page was created by Fred Willishaw (ex ARG-4, AS-11 & DD-692) and is maintained by David L. Wright
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Last Updated 06 February 2022