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USS DECATUR (DD-936 / DDG-31)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NLKY

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign (circa 1968) - JERICHO

CLASS - FORREST SHERMAN As Built.
Displacement 4619 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 418' 6"(oa) x 44' 11" x 15' (Max)
Armament 3 x 5"/54 DP (3x1), 4 x 3"/50 (2x2), 2 Hedghog ASW Mortars,
4 x 21" tt.(4x1) 6 x 12.75" Mk 32 ASW TT (2x3).
Machinery, 70,000 SHP; Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 33 Knots, Range 4500 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 324.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bethlehem Steel, Quincy. September 13 1954.
Launched December 15 1955 and commissioned December 7 1956.
Decommissioned June 16 1965 and recommissioned April 29 1967.
Reclassifed as Guided Missile Destroyer DDG-31 September 15 1966.
Decommissioned June 30 1983.
Stricken March 16 1988.
4 March 1992 began conversion to the SDTS.
Towed to Pt. Hueneme, CA in October 1994, and placed in use as EDDG 31 by NSWC.
Removed from SDTS service on December 15 2003, and towed to Pearl Harbor.
Fate Sunk as a target in RimPac July 14 2004 by aircraft and submarines
at 22 deg. 57' 0.0" N, 159 deg. 55' 6.0" W in 2,560 fathoms of water.

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Decatur 56kStephen Decatur was born on 5 January 1779 in Sinepuxent, Md. He was warranted a midshipman at the age of 19 and made his first cruise in the frigate United States. In command of the schooner Enterprise at the outbreak of the Tripolitan War, he captured the bomb ketch Mastico on 23 December 1803. He used this ship, renamed Intrepid, in his daring raid to burn the captured frigate Philadelphia in the harbor of Tripoli, 16 February 1804. He also distinguished himself during the attacks on Tripoli in command of a gunboat division. Promoted to captain he was assigned command of Constitution, and later, in November 1804, Congress. He negotiated with the Bey of Tunis at the close of the Tripolitan War, and returned to the United States in September 1805 with the Tunisian envoy. During the War of 1812 he commanded United States, capturing HMS Macedonian in one of the greatest single-ship actions of naval history. He took command of President at New York and attempting to slip through the blockade fell in with a British squadron of five heavy ships. After 2 hours of furi ous combat the frigate HMS Endymion was silenced but President had suffered such extensive damage that it was impossible to execute an escape. The twice-wounded Decatur reluctantly surrendered, but was paroled, landing at New London 22 February 1815. Returning to the Mediterranean in 1815, Decatur in Guerriere, negotiated a treaty with the Dey of Algiers which ended tribute and exacted full payment for injuries to Americans, then concluded similar agreements with the Bey of Tunis and the Bashaw of Tripoli. From November 1815 until killed by Commodore James Barron in a duel 22 March 1820, Decatur served on the Board of Navy Commissioners. Photo #: KN-2779. Commodore Stephen Decatur, USN (1779-1820) oil on wood, 35" x 27", by John Wesley Jarvis (1780-1840). Painting in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum Collection. Transferred from the U.S. Naval Lyceum, 1892. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.Tony Cowart/Robert M. Cieri
Decatur 133kArtist's conception of the Decatur as she appeared in September 1966 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
DD-936
Decatur 40kUndated, location unknown. Photo courtesy Dr. Ian S. Pearsall. Photo from "Jane's Fighting Ships" 1960-1961 edition.Robert Hurst
Decatur 58kDecember 15 1955, shipyard workers watch as the new destroyer Decatur slides down the ways at the Bethlehem Steel Co.'s Fore River Shipyard. The Decatur, the fourth ship in U.S. Navy History to bear the name of the Commodore Stephen Decatur, one of the foremost heroes in Naval history, was co-sponsored by Mrs. Douglas J. Armsden and Mrs. William A. Pierce, both of Kittery, Maine.Bill Gonyo
Decatur 65kPhoto from OUR NAVY MAGAZINE dated April 15 1957.Stanley Svec
Decatur 120kUSS Decatur (DD-936) Underway at sea, during her first Mediterranean deployment, 2 May 1958. Photographed by Caswell. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.Fred Weiss
Decatur 97kCirca late '50s-early '60s, location unknown.John N Adriani Sr.
Adriani-Evans Collection
Decatur 192kCirca 1959-1961, Decatur alongside the USS Grand Canyon (AD-28) as seen from the USS Wadleigh (DD-689).John Romppainen
Decatur 66kFour views of the recovery of a Mercury Capsule in 1961.Gerd Matthes
Decatur 60kAs above.Gerd Matthes
Decatur 71kAs above.Gerd Matthes
Decatur 81kAs above.Gerd Matthes
Decatur 129kSikorski HSS-2 "Sea King" helicopter Hovers near USS Decatur (DD-936), during HSS-2 carrier suitability trials. USS Lake Champlain (CVS-39) is in the background. Photograph is dated 17 May 1961. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.Fred Weiss
Decatur 37kView from the USS Lake Champlain (CVS-39) in 1963.Harry Wood
Decatur 132kUSS Decatur (DD-936) Underway on 13 April 1963. Photographed by PH2 Joel S. Cary. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.Fred Weiss
Decatur 108kUSS Decatur (DD-936) receives serious topside damage in a collision with USS Lake Champlain (CVS-39), after suffering a steering casualty and running under the carrier's bow overhang, 6 May 1964. Taken from the carrier's bridge. Note S-2 aircraft parked forward, and Decatur's mainmast breaking away. Halftone photograph copied from Decatur's 1968 Cruise Book, page 1. The book is in the Collections of the Navy Department Library. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 98178).Naval Historical Center
Decautur 148kAnother view of the damage sustained in the collision.Gerd Matthes
Decautur 118kUSS Decatur (DD-936) following her 6 May 1964 collision with USS Lake Champlain (CVS-39). Note how Decatur's superstructure has been crushed by being trapped under the carrier's overhang. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 105935.Robert Hurst
Decatur   Decatur   Decatur   Decatur
Decatur   Decatur   Decatur   Decatur
Decatur   Decatur
A series of images of the Decatur following the collision as seen from the USS Shenandoah (AD-26). From the Bill Blackstock Collection, contributed by his daughter Anna Hall.
Robert Hall
Decautur 103kUSS Decatur (DD-936) undergoing an inclining experiment, to determine her stability characteristics during the early stages of her conversion to a guided- missile destroyer, 12 August 1965. Photographed at the Boston Naval Shipyard, Charlestown, Massachusetts. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 105938.Robert Hurst
Decautur 43kShip's patchMike Smolinski
DDG-31
Decautur 100kUndated, location unknown.Lee Noland
Decautur 287kUndated, location unknown.Charles Lamm
Decautur 94kUndated, in Sydney, Australia.Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR (Ret.)
Decautur 84kCirca 1965-1967, during her conversion to a DDG.Gerd Matthes
Decautur 270kCover of the Commissioning Program of April 29 1967 at Boston.Gerd Matthes
Decautur 35kCirca 1967, location unknown.Robert Hurst
Decautur 117kUSS Decatur (DDG-31) undergoing an inclining experiment, to determine her stability characteristics following conversion to a guided-missile destroyer, May 1967. Photographed at the Boston Naval Shipyard, Charlestown, Massachusetts. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 105939.Robert Hurst
Decautur 136kUH-46D Sea Knight helicopter lowers mail to the fantail of USS Decatur (DDG-31), during operations in the South China Sea, December 1968. The helicopter is based aboard USS Camden (AOE-2). U.S. Navy photo by PH2 William M. Hopkins.Robert Hurst
Decautur 160kDecatur approaching the USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) for unrep in the Gulf of Tonkin in the 1969-70 era.William P. Jones, Medical Officer, AFS-3
Decautur 110kAs above.William P. Jones, Medical Officer, AFS-3
Decautur 30kSan Francisco July 1972.Marc Piché
Decautur 161kUSS Decatur (DDG-31) Underway in the Pacific Ocean, 5 July 1972. Photographed by PH3 D.L. Pierce. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.Fred Weiss
Decautur 135kUSS Decatur (DDG-31) Comes alongside an oiler during underway replenishment operations, circa the 1970s. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.Fred Weiss
Decautur 135kDecatur and USS Westchester County (LST-1167. You can see by all the MagTail reels and the like on her deck that Westchester Cty has been converted to a sweep support vessel, Summer 1973.Michael Cosgrove
Decautur 36kSydney, Australia mid 1970's.Marc Piché
Decautur 104kFremantle, Australia pre 1975Graeme D. Fuller
Decautur 113kUSS Decatur (DDG-31) Underway in the Pacific Ocean, 24 June 1976. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.Fred Weiss
Decautur 119kUSS Decatur (DDG-31) Underway off San Diego, California, 24 June 1976. Photographed by PH3 Burgess. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.Fred Weiss
Decautur 70kUnderway in the Pacific, June 24 1976.Gerd Matthes
Decautur 154kUSS Decatur (DDG-31) anchored off Coronado, California, during Operation "Varsity Knight", 7 August 1976. Note that one twin-cell section of her ASROC launcher is elevated and pointing toward the city. Photographed by PH3 C.M. Phelps. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. photo # NH 105937.Robert Hurst
Decautur 93kPhoto #: NH 98181. USS Decatur (DDG-31) Electronics Warfare Technician 2nd Class William D. Ellis works on the countermeasures receiving set on board Decatur, during operations in the Western Pacific, 16 December 1976. Photographed by PHC Ken George. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.Bill Gonyo
Decautur 62kSydney, Australia September 1981.Marc Piché
Decautur 82kSydney, Australia September 1981.Marc Piché
Decautur 161kWestern Pacific October 1 1981, the ASROC Mount.Chris Howell
Decautur 160kWestern Pacific October 1 1981, the TARTAR Mount.Chris Howell
Decautur 129kWestern Pacific October 3 1981.Chris Howell
Decautur 183kAs above.Chris Howell
Decautur 60kCover from the last Change of Command pamphlet.Lee Noland
Decautur 87kPhoto #: NH 98182. USS Decatur (DDG-31) crewmembers and guests stand at attention during the ship's decommissioning ceremonies, at Naval Station San Diego, California, 30 June 1983. Photographed by PH1 Vickie Kehoe. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.Tony Cowart
Decautur 78kPhoto #: NH 98184. USS Decatur (DDG-31) crew members disembark for the last time at the conclusion of the ship's decommissioning ceremonies, at Naval Station San Diego, California, 30 June 1983. Photographed by PH1 Vickie Kehoe. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.Tony Cowart
Decautur 62kCover from the Decommissioning pamphlet.Lee Noland
Decatur 92kPuget Sound Naval Shipyard, Washington, January 25 1990, laid up at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility are the guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones ( DDG 32 ), the guided missile destroyer USS Dacatur ( DDG 31) and the destroyer USS Turner Joy (DD 951). In the background at left is the attack aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31).Fred Weiss
Decatur 152kDecatur in her remotely controlled test vessel days, circa 1993-1994.-
Decatur 135kAs above.-
Decatur 114kOctober 1993 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard while the ship was being converted to a SDTS (Self Defense Test Ship).Tom Armstrong
Decatur 81kSelf Defense Test Ship (SDTS), formerly USS Decatur (DDG-31) At Port Hueneme, California, 16 June 2003. The decommissioned destroyer Paul F. Foster (DD-964), in the distance, was then being prepared to become the new SDTS, replacing the ex-Decatur. Note the towing fitting installed on the ship's bow. Photographed by Frank V. Thompson. Courtesy of Frank V. Thompson, 2003. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Decatur 81kSelf Defense Test Ship (SDTS), formerly USS Decatur (DDG-31) At Port Hueneme, California, 16 June 2003. Photographed by Frank V. Thompson. Courtesy of Frank V. Thompson, 2003. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Decatur 53kSelf Defense Test Ship (SDTS), formerly USS Decatur (DDG-31) At Port Hueneme, California, 16 June 2003. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph NH 98618-KN.Gerd Matthes
Decatur 54kSelf Defense Test Ship (SDTS), formerly USS Decatur (DDG-31) At Port Hueneme, California, 16 June 2003. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph NH 98620-KN.Gerd Matthes
Decatur 52kSelf Defense Test Ship (SDTS), formerly USS Decatur (DDG-31) At Port Hueneme, California, 16 June 2003. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph NH 98622-KN.Gerd Matthes
Decatur 70kSelf Defense Test Ship (SDTS), formerly USS Decatur (DDG-31) At Port Hueneme, California, 16 June 2003. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph NH 98623-KN.Gerd Matthes
Decatur 89kSelf Defense Test Ship (SDTS), formerly USS Decatur (DDG-31) At Port Hueneme, California, 16 June 2003. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph NH 98624-KN.Gerd Matthes
Decatur 58kSelf Defense Test Ship (SDTS), formerly USS Decatur (DDG-31) At Port Hueneme, California, 16 June 2003. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph NH 98625-KN.Gerd Matthes
Decautur 85kShip's patchMike Smolinski
Decautur 135kEngraving art image of the Decatur.Lee Noland

USS DECATUR DD-936 / DDG-31 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 John Skahill    1956 - 1958
CDR Seymour Dombroff    1958 - May 12 1961
CDR Royal Thomas Daniel Jr.    May 12 1961 - May 22 1963
CDR Alpine William McLane III    May 22 1963 - May 8 1964
CDR William Keith Mallinson    May 8 1964 - Nov 27 1964
LTJG Robert Gordon Bennett    Nov 27 1964 - Jun 16 1965
(Decommissioned Jun 16 1965 - Apr 29 1967)
CDR Lee Baggett Jr.    Apr 29 1967 - Sep 19 1968 (Later ADM)
CDR John Bishop Allen    Sep 19 1968 - Jul 14 1970
CDR Sayre Archie Swarztrauber    Jul 14 1970 - Aug 14 1971 (Later RADM)
CDR Thomas Jerome Burke Jr.    Aug 14 1971 - Apr 20 1973
CDR Robert Charles Hurd    Apr 20 1973 - Apr 18 1975
CDR James Doran Korthe    Apr 18 1975 - Mar 10 1977
CDR George Charles Chappell    Mar 10 1977 - Jun 19 1979
CDR Gerald Leo Dunn    Jun 19 1979 - Jul 10 1981
CDR Michael John Mills    Jul 10 1981 - May 28 1983
CDR Robert George Allee    May 28 1983 - Jun 30 1983

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Jerry Hihn
Address: 4048 Oxford Road, Jefferson City, Missouri 65109
Phone: None
E-mail: bananaboy@embarqmail.com


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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