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USS CONOLLY (DD-979)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NRLC

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - WHITE FANG

CLASS - SPRUANCE As Built.
Displacement 7800 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 563' (oa) x 55' x 20' 6" (Max)
Armament 2 x 5"/54 RF (2x1), 1 Sea Sparrow SAM (1x8) ASROC ASW (1x8),
6 x 12.75" Mk 32 ASW TT (2x3). 1 Helicopter.
Machinery, 80,000 SHP; 4 LM 2500 Gas Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 30 Knots, Range 6000 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 296.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Litton Ingalls, Pascagoula Miss. September 29 1975.
Launched June 3 1977 and commissioned October 14 1978.
Active unit of US Navy, homeported at Norfolk Virginia.
Decommissioned and Stricken September 18 1998.
Fate Sunk as a target April 29 2009 during Operation UNITAS Gold,
location - 31 degrees 14' 54" N, 76 degrees 10' 24" W at a depth of 10,500'

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Conolly 109kA native of Waukegan, Illinois, Richard Lansing Conolly attended Lake Forrest Academy, Lake Forrest, Illinois prior to his appointment in 1910 to the Naval Academy. After graduation in 1914 he was ordered to Mexican waters where he served in USS Virginia. He continued duty in that battleship until May 1915, when he reported aboard USS Montana for torpedo instruction. In November 1915 he rejoined Virginia, and in March 1916 he was assigned to USS Vermont as Torpedo Officer of that battleship for two months. Transferred in May 1916 to USS Smith, he was aboard that destroyer when the United States entered World War I, in April 1917, and served aboard Smith while she performed escort duty in European waters out of Brest, France. He was awarded the Navy Cross for services while attached to Smith in connection with salvaging the transport Westbridge, torpedoed by a German submarine in August 1918, as follows: "For distinguished service in the line of his profession on the occasion of the torpedoing of the Westbridge, when he, with a party of eight others remained on board for five days steering by hand and handling the lines from the tugs, while the ship was towed four hundred miles to port." Detached from Smith in November 1918, he returned to the United States. Until August 1920, he had consecutive duty in connection with fitting out, and as Executive Officer in turn of the destroyers Foote, Worden, and Hunt. From August 1920 until June 1922 he was under instruction in electrical engineering at the Postgraduate School, Annapolis, Maryland, and Columbia University, New York, where he received a Master of Science. He continued instruction at various Naval activities until September 1922 and in November of that year joined USS Mississippi. In March 1924 he was transferred to USS New York, and served as assistant Engineer Officer of that battleship until September 1925. After duty as an instructor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Physics at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, September 1925 until June 1927, he returned to sea as Engineer Officer of USS Concord. In August 1929 he assumed command of USS Du Pont (DD-152). He completed the junior course at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island in May 1931, and remained on the staff for two years. In May 1933 he reported as Aide and Flag Secretary on the staff of Commander Cruisers, Scouting Force and in April 1935 was ordered to USS Tennessee. He served as Navigator of that battleship until June 1936, after which he again had duty, until May 1939, as an instructor at the Naval Academy, first in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Physics, and later in the Department of Seamanship and Navigation, acting as head of the latter department for six months in 1938. Assuming command of Destroyer Division 7 in May 1939, he was transferred to duty as Commander Destroyer Squadron 6 on January 30, 1941. He was at sea, in command of Destroyer Squadron 6 at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He subsequently participated in the initial attack on the Gilbert and Marshall Islands on February 1, 1942, as part of the gun bombardment force under command of Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr.; and in April his destroyers served as escort for the aircraft carrier Hornet from which Lieutenant General J. H. Doolittle's Army planes took off for the first bombing of Tokyo. He also participated in a shore bombardment of Wake Island in command of destroyers in Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spruance's.Bill Gonyo
Conolly 62kArtist's conception of the ship 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
Conolly 14kUndated, location unknown.-
Conolly 67kUndated postcard Copyright © Atlantic Fleet Sales, Norfolk, VA.Mike Smolinski
Conolly 338kCommissioning Program for USS Conolly (DD-979) held at Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss. on 14 October 1978.Robert M. Cieri
Conolly 57kApril 1, 1980, Atlantic Ocean, an aerial starboard bow view of the destroyer USS Connolly (DD 979) underway.Fred Weiss
Conolly 61kApril 1, 1980, Atlantic Ocean, an aerial starboard bow view of the destroyer USS Connolly (DD 979) underway.Fred Weiss
Conolly 72kNorfolk July 3 1980.Marc Piché
Conolly 127kDN-ST-87-07120. Crew members stand by at refueling station aboard the destroyer USS CONOLLY (DD-979) during an underway replenishment with the battleship USS IOWA (BB-61). Photo by PHC Jeff Hilton, August 1 1986.Bill Gonyo
Conolly 27kBoston August 12 1988.Marc Piché
Conolly 62kSuez Canal April 1992,Marc Piché
Conolly   Conolly   Conolly
USS Conolly DD-979 in Norfolk, VA during the Summer of 1995 or 1996.
Cody Z. Shaffer
Conolly 83kPhiladelphia August 1999,Marc Piché
Conolly 46kThree views of the Conolly being towed to the Sinkex site by USNS Grapple a couple days before the Sinkex in April 2009.CAPT Curt Smith, USNS Grapple (T-ARS-53)
Conolly 31kAs above.CAPT Curt Smith, USNS Grapple (T-ARS-53)
Conolly 39kAs above.CAPT Curt Smith, USNS Grapple (T-ARS-53)
Conolly 130k090429-N-8607B-288. Atlantic Ocean, April 29 2009, a Mexican BO-105 Bolkow helicopter fires 2.75" high-explosive rockets at the ex-USS Connolly (DD 979) during the sinking exercise portion of UNITAS Gold. This year marks the 50th iteration of UNITAS, a multinational exercise that provides opportunities for participating nations to increase their collective ability counter illicit maritime activities that threaten regional stability. Participating countries are Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, Mexico, Peru, U.S. and Uruguay. U.S. Navy Photo by LT Chris Brown.Lee Wahler/Mike Hibbard
Conolly 177kAs above, 2.75 inch high explosive rockets impact the Connolly.Mike Hibbard
Conolly 179kAs above, Connolly under fire from the USS Oscar Austin (DDG-79).Mike Hibbard
Conolly 72kShip's patchMike Smolinski

USS CONOLLY DD-979 History
Note: History is unavailable at this time
This ship was built too late to be covered by the DANFS project

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR Raymond A. Sharpe Jr.    Oct 14 1978 - Jan 23 1981
CDR Philip James Coady Jr.    Jan 23 1981 - Feb 26 1983 (Later RADM)
CDR Harold Vincent Maixner Jr.    Feb 26 1983 - Apr 7 1984
CDR Gary Martin Voorheis    Apr 7 1984 - May 31 1986
CDR Ronald Robinson Harris    May 31 1986 - Oct 7 1988
CDR Scott Allen Fry    Oct 7 1988 - Nov 2 1990 (Later VADM)
CDR Robert Emmett Maskell    Nov 2 1990 - Jul 21 1992
CDR Robert Lewis Holt    Jul 21 1992 - Apr 28 1994
CDR Gary Joe Ellis    Apr 28 1994 - Feb 29 1996
CDR Joseph Benjamin Marshall    Feb 29 1996 - Aug 22 1997
CDR George Leopold Ponsolle Jr.    Aug 22 1997 - Sep 18 1998

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Robert Krusinowski
Address: 3616 Whiffletree Drive, Plano, TX 75023
Phone: 972-612-7061
E-mail: robertk@dd979.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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