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USS ZELLARS (DD-777)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NTVM

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign (circa 1968) - LOCKWOOD

CLASS - ALLEN M. SUMNER As Built.
Displacement 3218 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 376' 6"(oa) x 40' 10" x 14' 2" (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, 36.5 Knots, Range 3300 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 336.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Todd Shipyards, Seattle. December 24 1943.
Launched July 19 1944 and commissioned October 25 1944.
Completed FRAM upgrade May 1960.
Decommissioned march 19 1971.
Stricken March 19 1971.
To Iran March 19 1971, renamed Babr.
Fate Still active in Iranian Navy (Un-operational since 1994 to be scrapped).

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Zellars 134kThomas Edward Zellars was born on 11 August 1898 in Grantville, Ga. Prior to his appointment to the Naval Academy Tommie attended Culver Military Academy where he received his childhood education. He was appointed a midshipman at the Naval Academy on 13 June 1917 and graduated on 3 June 1920, a year early as the result of the wartime shortening of the Academy's course of instruction. On 9 July 1920, he reported for duty in Mississippi (Battleship No. 41). Zellars served his entire, brief Navy career in Mississippi, rising to the rank of lieutenant (junior grade) and attaining the position of turret commander in Mississippi's No. 2 14-inch turret. On 12 June 1924, while the battleship was engaged in gunnery practice off San Pedro, Calif., an explosion and fire engulfed his turret. Lt. (jg.) Zellars and 47 others were asphyxiated almost immediately but not before he turned on the flood valve which extinguished a burning powder train—an act which undoubtedly saved the ship and many of his shipmates from destruction. Photo from the United States Naval Academy Yearbook - Class of 1921Bill Gonyo
Zellars 95kArtist's conception of the Zellars as she appeared after the early 1950's conversion 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
Zellars 98kArtist's conception of the Zellars as she appeared after FRAM II overhaul 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
Zellars 92kOriginal oil painting by George "Bill" Samson.John Patterson
Zellars 20kUndated, location unknown.-
Zellars 134kUndated, location unknown. Refuelling from the USS Kearsage (CV-33).Robert Hurst
Zellars 98kUndated, location unknown.Robert M. Cieri
Zellars 141kUndated, location unknown.Bill Gonyo
Zellars 43kUndated, location unknown.Yucel Umar, CPO Turkish Navy (Ret.)
Zellars 70kUndated, location unknown.Yucel Umar, CPO Turkish Navy (Ret.)
Zellars 62kUndated, location unknown.Yucel Umar, CPO Turkish Navy (Ret.)
Zellars 35kUndated, location unknown.Yucel Umar, CPO Turkish Navy (Ret.)
Zellars 52kUSS Zellars (DD-777) underway off Puget Sound Navy Yard, on 23 January 1945. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration photo # 19-N-77480.Robert Hurst
Zellars 100kApril 2 1945, two ships in the gunfire support group, TF 54, that were hit nearly simultaneously on 12 April, but the difference in their sizes accounted for the relative seriousness of the damage they suffered. USS Zellars (DD-777), on the right, was hit by a 'Jill' with a large bomb that exploded under her bridge. Fortunately, the explosion carried aft, away from the 5" magazines, but it forced the abandonment of the forward fireroom and started a fire that took several hours to contain. Zellars wa ultimately repaired, but not in time to rejoin the war. USS Tennessee (BB-43) also took a single hit, from a 'Val' also carrying a large armour-piercing bomb. The bomb penetrated her main deck and exploded in warrant officers' country, which was gutted by a persistent fire. She, however, was back in the firng line two days later. Photo National Archives and Records Admininstration.Robert Hurst
Zellars 162kNovember 12 1947 at Taranto, Italy.Ed Zajkowski
Zellars 81kCirca 1955, location unknown. Photo courtesy P. Gildea-Evans.Robert Hurst
Zellars 104kUSS Zellars (DD-777) and USS Massey (DD-778) in St. Thomas, USVI 1956.Jeff Savage
Zellars 108kBeirut, Lebanon April 1959.Bob Armstrong
Zellars 113kAs above.Bob Armstrong
Zellars 62kUSS Zellars (DD-777) circa 1961, location unknown. Photo from "Jane's Fighting Ships" 1961-62 edition.Robert Hurst
Zellars 81kChesapeke Bay, July, 1964© Richard Leonhardt
Zellars 204kRiva Trigoso, Italy on Jul 6 1969.Carlo Martinelli
Zellars 107kNewport, August 1970© Richard Leonhardt
Zellars 85kCirca 1967.Marc Piché
Zellars 170kUSS Zellars (DD-777) and the USS Kenneth D. Bailey (DD-713) in Genoa, Italy on June 29 1968.Carlo Martinelli
Zellars 50kShip's patch.Mike Smolinski
On Iranian Service
Zellars 92kUndated, location unknown.Yucel Umar, CPO Turkish Navt (Ret.)
Click here to see our Special Feature - Interior Views of Sumner Class Destroyers as Built

USS ZELLARS DD-777 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 Blinn Van Mater    Oct 25 1944 - Feb 8 1945 (Later RADM)
CDR Leon Samuel Kintberger    Feb 8 1945 - ? (Later RADM)
LCDR William Melvin Montgomery    Jun 15 1946 - Mar 2 1948 
CDR Joe McNitt Alexander    Mar 2 1948 - 1950
CDR Fred Daniel Michael    1950 - ?
CDR Joseph Harry Floyd    Mar 1955 - 1956
CDR Richard Michael Hayes    ? 1957 - ?
CDR Lewis Clark Bartlett    July 15 1957 - July 1959
CDR Herbert Henry Anderson    ?
CDR Jesse Capers Huggins Jr.    ?
CDR James Edward Murphy Jr.    1962 - Jun 1963
CDR Leo Joseph Marshall Jr.    Jun 1963 - Sep 1965
CDR Warren W. Erikson    ? 1966 - ? 1967
CDR Norbert F. Walczak    ? 1967 - ?
CDR Joseph John Zable    1969 - ?
CDR Minot C. Morse Jr.    ? - Mar 19 1971

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Howard Blessitt
Address: 1306 Lassiter Rd., Forsyth, Georgia 31029
Phone: 770-504-1064
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
USS Zellars website
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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