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NavSource Naval History
Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NBBC

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign (circa 1968) - NEWS HAWK

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
Laid down by Bath Iron Works, Bath ME October 30 1944.
Launched March 25 1945 and commissioned May 29 1945.
Reclassified DDR-833 March 18 1949, reverted to DD-833 April 1 1964.
Completed FRAM upgrade August 1965.
Decommissioned December 4 1970.
Stricken February 1 1974.
To Taiwan May 6 1974, renamed Han Yang.
Fate Decommissioned by Taiwan August 16 1999, to be sunk as artificial reef.

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Size Image Description Contributed
Thomas 50kHerbert J. Thomas was born 8 February 1918 in Columbus, Ohio. From July to October 1941, he had enlisted service with the Army Air Corps. Sergeant Thomas enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve 3 March 1942 at Charleston, W. Va., and after basic training was assigned to the 2d Marine Brigade. He was killed while serving with the 3d Marine Division during the battle at the Koromokina River, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, 7 November 1943. Discovering a gun emplacement difficult to approach, he carefully placed his men around him in strategic positions from which they were to charge after he had thrown a grenade into the emplacement. When the grenade struck vines and fell back into the midst of his group, Sergeant Thomas deliberately flung himself upon it to smother the explosion, valiantly sacrificing his life for his comrades. For his heroic conduct he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Photo from the USMC History Division.Bill Gonyo
Thomas 100kUndated, location unknown. USS Herbert J. Thomas (DD-833) as modified to test nuclear-biological-chemical warfare defences: all bridge and lookout positions enclosed and ship "sealed" to protect personnel; deckhouse on starboard 01 level (below ASROC) houses air conditioning equipment. United States Navy, Official.Robert Hurst
91kUSS Herbert J Thomas (DD-833) berthed at the northern slips of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, for Navy Day celebrations, 27 October 1945. Photo from USS Schroeder collection.Dave Schroeder
Thomas 40kUSS Herbert J. Thomas (DD-833) underway in 1948. U.S. Navy photo from USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) publication "The Natural" 1948, Vol. 1 No. 13.Robert Hurst
Thomas 274kJuly 25 1948, enroute between Guantanamo Bay and Newport, RI. She had been escorting the Coral Sea during training.Ed Zajkowski/Douglas A. Heydon
Thomas 109kForward plan view of USS Herbert J. Thomas (DD 833) at Mare Island on 13 January 1954. She was in overhaul at the yard from 14 September 1953 to 3 March 1954.Darryl Baker
Thomas 970kUnderway in San Francisco Bay, June 13 1957.Robert M. Cieri / Robert Hurst
181kUSS Herbert J. Thomas (DD-833) undergoing the early stages of her FRAM (Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (program)) modernization, at Mare Island, 17 August 1964. By that date, most of her old superstructure had been stripped off her hull.Mike Green
Thomas 76kUSS Herbert J. Thomas (DD-833) underway in 1965, location unknown. United States Navy.Robert Hurst
Thomas 52k1965 off Point Loma, San Diego, CA. Official USN photo.Butch Hinton
Thomas 181kCNO inspects the new bridge of the USS Herbert J. Thomas (DD 833) during his visit to Mare Island on 27 July 1965. Left to right: CDR Mitchell J. Karlowicz (Commanding Officer of Thomas), ADM David L. McDonald (CNO) and RADM Edward J. Fahy (Shipyard Commander).Darryl Baker
Thomas 106kCNO, ADM D. L. McDonald greets the officer of the USS Herbert J. Thomas (DD 833) on 29 July 1965 during his visit to Mare Island Naval Shipyard. CDR Mitchell J. Karlowicz (CO for Thomas) follows the CNO.Darryl Baker
Thomas 166kAugust 1965, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Thomas 149kAugust 1965, location unknown. The odd looking stack at the rear of the Deck House was the exhaust stack for a gas turbine generator that provided the air necessary to pressurize the ship and provide air conditioning. It got the Thomas some strange looks in port and crews in close proximity found it's noise very annoying while operating.Ed Zajkowski/Carl Ellis
Thomas 102kA view of the Thomas' signature "bubbles." These were installed as part of the STOPS (Shipboard Toxicological Operational Protective System). When the ship was Frammed in '64 and '65 at Mare Island, the system was installed to guard against NBC threats. Above the main deck, spaces were pressurized to that equal to being under 2" of water. Entry was gained fore and aft through revolving doors. The engineering spaces were pressurized to that equal to being under 30" of water and were entered through airlocks. The bubbles were for the lookouts when underway.The ship was also in two of the controversial Project 112 SHAD program tests in '66. This photo was taken in September 1966 while entering Pearl Harbor on our way to WESTPAC. That is Carl in the bubble.Carl Ellis
Thomas 58kThese gunfire photos are of our after 5" mount firing a one and two gun salvo.They were taken during a fire support mission in the IV Corps Area near the gulf of Thailand just before the Christmas truce in 1966.Carl Ellis
Thomas 66kAs above.Carl Ellis
Thomas 61kGearing-class destroyer USS Herbert J. Thomas (DD-833) at Hong Kong, in 1969. Official U.S. Navy photograph from the USS Herbert J. Thomas (DD-833) 1969 Cruise Book.Robert Hurst
Thomas   Thomas   Thomas   Thomas   Thomas
Thomas   Thomas   Thomas   Thomas
ARROW WEST 1969 pamphlet
Wolfgang Hechler
Thomas 46kUSS Herbert J. Thomas (DD-833) underway in the Gulf of Tonkin, July 1969. Official U.S. Navy photograph from the USS Herbert J. Thomas (DD-833) 1969 Cruise Book.Robert Hurst
Thomas   Thomas   Thomas   Thomas   Thomas   Thomas
Decommissioning pamphlet - December 4 1970
Wolfgang Hechler
Thomas USS Herbert J, Thomas (DD-833), USS Albert W. Grant (DD-649) and USS Henry A Wiley (DM-29) moored together at the San Diego inactive ship maintenance facility in 1971. The Thomas was sold to Taiwan three years after this photograph was taken and renamed Han Yang. The others were broken up the following year (Courtesy L.Cote).Robert Hurst
Thomas 68kShip's patch.Mike Smolinski
Thomas 252kShip's patch.Tom Gamstetter
Thomas 193kShip's plaque.Tommy Trampp
Click here to see additional images of this ship on our FRAM Special Feature page

USS HERBERT J. THOMAS DD-833 / DDR-833 History
View This Vessels DANFS History entry at the Naval History & Heritage Command website

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR Robert Taylor Scott Keith    May 29 1945 - Jul 3 1945 (Later VADM)

CDR Walter James East Jr.    Jul 3 1945 - Jul 25 1947

CDR Frederick Charles Seyford    Jul 25 1947 - Oct 24 1949

CDR Joseph Seaman Lewis    Oct 24 1949 - Jun 22 1950

CDR Sibley Logan Ward Jr.    Jun 22 1950 - May 22 1952

CDR James Felix Palmer    May 22 1952 - Jul 5 1953

CDR William George Brown    Jul 5 1953 - Sep 22 1955

CDR John Corbett Borden    Sep 22 1955 - Oct 21 1957

CDR William Ambrose Pitcher    Oct 21 1957 - Oct 17 1959

CDR Glenn Charles Stock    Oct 17 1959 - May 27 1961

CDR Robert Giamotti    May 27 1961 - Mar 18 1962

CDR John Newell Cummings    Mar 18 1962 - May 18 1962

CDR John Walter Barnes    May 18 1962 - Jun 30 1964

CDR Dale Wallace Duncan    Jun 30 1964 - May 28 1965

CDR Mitchell Joseph Karlowicz    May 28 1965 - Jan 11 1967

CDR Walter Julius Kennedy    Jan 11 1967 - Jan 3 1969

CDR Jack Winnree Bowen    Jan 3 1969 - Sep 14 1970

CDR Andrew Bleakley Jr.    Sep 14 1970 - Dec 4 1970

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 25 March 2022