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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NKKH

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign (circa 1968) - RIFLEMAN

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; Westinghouse Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 36.5 Knots, Range 3300 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 336.
Operational and Building Data
Built by Bath Iron Works, Bath, ME (YN 231)
Laid down 11 October 1943
Launched 05 March 1944
Commissioned 16 May 1944
Completed FRAM upgrade August 1960
Decommissioned 18 December 1970
Stricken 01 February 1974
To Argentina 04 June 1974 for spares
Found in good condition, refurbished and renamed Piedra Buena (D 29), commissioned 17 May 1977
Fate Sunk in an Argentine Navy missile exercise 15 September 1988

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John Austin Collett was born 31 March 1908 in Omaha, Nebraska, and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1929. After serving aboard Texas (BB-35) he underwent flight instruction at NAS Pensacola 1930-31. Collett then served with Scouting Squadron 9S on USS Chester (CA-27) 1931-34 and Patrol Plane Squadron 1F at NAS Pearl Harbor, 1934-36. After serving with Torpedo Squadrons 2B on Saratoga (CV-2) and Five on Yorktown (CV-5), Collett commanded the aviation unit aboard Savannah (CL-42) 1938-39 before being assigned Patrol Squadron 23 at Pearl Harbor to the outbreak of war. After commanding Torpedo Squadron Nine on Saratoga, Collett took command of Torpedo Squadron Ten on Enterprise (CV-6) 16 October 1942. Ten days later, he was killed in action during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. Twelve Japanese Zero fighters pouncend on the Enterprise attack formation NE of the Solomons. In the ensuing air action, all the Zeros were downed, but five American fighters, two divebombers, and all the torpedo bombers were lost. Among these was Collett's TBF; the gunner, AMsmth1c Stephen Nadison, was killed in action; both Collett and his radioman, ARM1c Thomas C. Nelson were seen parachuting from the stricken acircraft. Nelson survived the war as a POW, but Collett was never seen again.Bill Gonyo / Dave Wright
USS Collett (DD-730)
Collett 153kUndated, location unknown.-
Collett 110kUndated, post FRAM ConversionSteve Singlar
Collett 139kCCDP number CDP-618, undated. Photo probably taken in Hawaii.David Buell
Collett 99kUSS Collett (DD-730), date and location unknown. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Collett 164kUndated, location unknown.David Buell
Collett 250kUndated, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Collett 179kUndated, location unknown.Robert M. Cieri/Roy Thomas
Collett 139kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Collett 156kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Collett 126kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Collett 99kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Collett 87kLaunch of Collett (DD-730) at Bath Iron Works, 05 March 1944. Douglas photo.Dave Wright
Collett 200kInclining experiment at Bath, 14 May 1944.Ed Zajkowski
Collett 67kUSS Collett (DD-730) off Boston, Massachusetts, 31 May 1944. She was underway that day on gunnery and radar calibration tests in Massachusetts Bay.
National Archives photo 19-N-130517.
Robert Hurst
Collett 104kUSS Collett (DD-730) probably homeward bound to the West coast from Pearl Harbor, 27 October 1945.Dave Wright
Collett 69kStern view of USS Collett (DD-730) off Mare Island, 29 December 1945.Darryl Baker
Collett 66kBroadside view of USS Collett (DD-730) off Mare Island, 29 December 1945. She was in overhaul at the yard 30 October 1945 to 05 January 1946.Darryl Baker
Collett 82kBow on view of USS Collett (DD-730) off Mare Island, 29 December 1945.Darryl Baker
Collett 138kAft plan view of USS Collett (DD-730) at Mare Island, 04 January 1946.Darryl Baker
Collett 81kForward plan view of USS Collett (DD-730) at Mare Island, 04 January 1946. USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) is moored inboard of Collett.Darryl Baker
Collett 166kUSS Collett (DD-730) off Mare Island, 12 November 1947. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Collett 96kForward plan view of USS Collett (DD-730) at Mare Island, 14 November 1947. She was in overhaul at Mare Island from 13 September to 18 November 1947.Darryl Baker
Collett 147kAft plan view of USS Collett (DD-730) at Mare Island, 14 November 1947.Darryl Baker
Collett 95kMare Island Naval Shipyard, 14 November 1947.Pieter Bakels
Collett 84kDestroyer Division 91 (L to R) Mansfield (DD-728) (flag ship); Collett (DD-730); DeHaven (DD-727) and Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729), at buoy in San Diego harbor, circa July-August 1948.Richard A. Bowman QM2
Collett 51kUSS Collett (DD-730) photographed from HMAS Sydney, probably in Korean waters August 1951 - February 1952.
Australian War Memorial photo P05890.045.
Mike Green
Collett 128kHighlining with the USS Chara (AK-58) at sea near Songjin, Korea December 1951. From the Wilbur "Casey" Karsten collection.David Kusel
Collett 202k"Men of Destroyer Division 91 crowd the foc'sle and superstructure of their ships in Sasebo, Japan, to receive their Navy Unit Commendations. During the presentation on the Mansfield, a crane crew in the background continues its task of installing new gun barrels on the De Haven. Streaks of red lead on the Collett and the Swenson in the foreground show the work that has occupied all the crews while in port. By coincidence the famed 'Sitting Duck' destroyers are berthed in their numerical order: USS De Haven (DD-727), Mansfield (DD-728), Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729), and Collett (DD-730)." Photograph and caption released by Commander Naval Forces, Far East, under date of 18 December 1951. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval Historical Center.Joe Radigan
Collett 64kFrom the January 1952 All Hands magazine. The ship is painted in camouflage Measure 31, Design 16d.Stanley Svec
Collett 32kDesRon 9 in Long Beach; USS Collett (DD-730), USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729), USS Mansfield (DD-728) and USS De Haven (DD-727).Richard Miller BMCS USNR (Ret.)
Collett 24kLocation unknown, circa 1960.Richard Miller BMCS USNR (Ret.)
Collett 344kAt Long Beach Navy Yard after the collision with the Ammen (DD-527). On 19 July 1960, Collett collided with Ammen off Long Beach, California, killing 11 and injuring 20, all members of Ammen's crew.Ed Zajkowski/R. S. Gregory
Collett 50kAs above.Ron Reeves
Collett 130kAP Wire Photo describing the collision in the above photos.Tommy Trampp
Collett 260kAP Wire Photo describing the collision in the above photos.Tommy Trampp
Collett 141kUSS Collett (DD-730) in port, following her 19 July 1960 collision with USS Ammen (DD-527).
Naval History Heritage and Command photo NH 105936.
Mike Green
Collett 98kUSS Bryce Canyon (AD-36) at Terminal Island, Long Beach, California, circa 1962. Alongside are the destroyers USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729), USS Collett (DD-730), USS Blue (DD-744), and USS Shelton (DD-790). USS Colahan (DD-658) is moored on the other side of the pier.Robert Hurst/Rich Angelini
Collett 50kUSS Columbus (CG-12) with USS Collett (DD-730) and USS Blue (DD-744) in the background during 1965, location unknown.Tommy Trampp
Collett   Collett   Collett
Three views of Collett (DD-730) maneuvering alongside Oriskany (CVA-34) in the South China Sea, circa 1965-1966. These photos are believed to have been taken by Ensign Darwin J. Thomas of VA-152 "Friendlies," assigned to CVW-16 aboard Oriskany. Thomas was KIA 14 October 1966 when his A-1H Skyraider went down on an armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam.
Andy Thomas via Bob Canchola
Collett 52kI was a hoist operator/gunner in an HS-6 ( Helantisubron 6, homebased on USS Kearsarge, CVS-33) SH-3A Sea King helicopter side number 69, call sign Indian Gal 69, converted for combat Search And Rescue.  We were part of SAR Detachment Charlie, at that time operating from USS Intrepid, CV-11.  We had inserted a SOG (CIA/Special Forces "Studies and Observation Group") unit, Route Team Iowa, as part of one of the first Bright Light missions to look for an A-1 pilot, LT Robert Woods.  We had searched Woods about 25 miles inland from Thanh Hoa on the 12th, 13th and 14th of October.  The team arrived on on Intrepid on the 15th, but when we got to the area it was socked in from 6000 feet to ground level.  The next day was better weather.  Insertion went well, but not long after the team ran into NVA and had a brief fire fight.  They called for extraction and we headed toward their radio signal.   The third hoist load of two people was just off the ground when we took a rifle round in the fuel line to the port engine.  Fuel streamed past me in the cargo door as I brought in the third load and then manned my M-60.  We had little more fire leaving the area, but flying low and slow we had no accurate navigational aids and ended up right over Thanh Hoa at 3000 feet as the overcast broke up and we were quickly surrounded by AAA bursts.  On the one tired engine we couldn't do much more than 70 knots.  Our bird took at least three direct hits from 37mm shells and numerous fragments from larger shells, but we made it about 15 miles out to sea where we ditched between the Collett and the Halsey,  (DLG-23, later CG-23).  Both ships had boats in the water and the Halsey's UH-2 helo was airborne. All ten of us aboard were wounded to one degree or another, mostly minor, one moderate and one serious.   Pilot LCDR David Murphy received the Navy Cross, the rest of us (ENS Ed Marsyla, ADJ-1 Vincent Vocari, and myself, then AX-2 William S. Caple were awarded Silver Stars.  Thanks to Collett and Halsey none of us spent more than a few minutes in the water.Steve Caple
Collett 21kUSS Collett (DD-730) underway in the South China Sea, from her homeport of Yokosuka, Japan circa 1967.Rick Sherley
Collett 194kAt Wellington, NZ, August 31 1968.Chris Howell
Collett 218kUSS Collett (DD-730) underway in 1969, location unknown. United States Navy, PHI E. L. Goligoski.Robert Hurst
Collett 67kSan Francisco, July 1970.Marc Piché
Collett 36kShip's patch.Mike Smolinski
Collett 100k-120kUniform Ship's name shoulder patch.Al Grazevich
On Argentinian Service
Collett 26kARA Piedra Buena (D 29) underway, date and location unknown. Argentine Navy official photo, from the ArmadaArgentina website.Robert Hurst
Collett 146kThe First and Second Destroyer Divisions in 1979 at the Naval Base of Puerto Belgrano, near Bahia Blanca in the south part of Buenos Aires Province. Since no hull numbers can be seen it is impossible to accurately identify each ship, however, the ships present include the Rosales (D 22, ex-Stembel (DD-644)), Piedra Buena (D 29, ex-Collett (DD-730)), D 25 Seguí (D 25, ex-Hank (DD-702)), D 23 Domecq Garcia (ex DD630 Braine), D 24 Storni (ex DD 547 Cowell), Py (D 27, ex-Perkins (DD-877)) and the Bouchard (D 26, ex-Borie (DD-704)). Additional info thanks to Adalberto Alvarez; "In the photograph, the ships on the right belong to the 2nd Division of Destroyers. On the left, we see the 1st Division of Destroyers, and we find the Bouchard among these. (The Bouchard was assigned to the 2nd Division in 1980). The ship we see on the front of the 1st Division Destroyers is not the Bouchard, because the Bouchard didn’t have that kind of life rafts until 1982, during the war. The ship in the middle belongs to the Fletcher class. This means that the Bouchard is the one moored to dock."Horacio Héctor Virardi
Click here to see our Special Feature - Interior Views of Sumner Class Destroyers as Built

USS COLLETT DD-730 History
View This Vessels DANFS History entry at the Naval History & Heritage Command website
(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 James Dahlman Collett    May 16 1944 - Aug 17 1945

CDR Charles Richard Herms    Aug 17 1945 - Mar 14 1946

CDR Paul Sheppard Savidge    Mar 14 1946 - Jun 2 1947 (Later RADM)

CDR Bernard Franklin Roeder    Jul 2 1947 - Dec 1947

CDR Thomas Hodgskin DuBois    Dec 1947 - Aug 1949 (Later RADM)

CDR Robert Hamilton Close    Aug 1949 - Sep 1951

CDR Edward Peter Madley    Sep 1951 - Nov 1953

CDR John Earl Boyle Jr.    Nov 1953 - Sep 1956

CAPT John Randolph Schwartz    Sep 1956 - Jan 1958

CDR John Durant Patterson    Jan 1958 - Nov 1959

CDR Albert Tenney Ford    Nov 1959 - Sep 6 1960

CDR Robert Bruce Kitt    Sep 6 1960 - Jul 12 1962

CDR William Webster Bischof    Jul 12 1962 - Jan 1 1964

CDR William Rice Zimmerman Jr.    Jan 1 1964 - May 1965

CDR Richard Roy Davison    May 1965 - Nov 1966

CDR John Robert Kearney    Nov 1966 - Dec 18 1968

CDR Walter Raymond Beck    Dec 18 1968 - Sep 1970

LCDR David Winston Geer    Sep 1970 - Dec 18 1970

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Walter Schall
Address: 96 E. 219 Street, Euclid, OH 44123
Phone: 216-261-3290
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 Collett website
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 16 October 2020