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Waving US Flag

NavSource Naval History
Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NTSY

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign (circa 1968) - ROAD HOUSE

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 Todd Shipyards, Seattle. July 1 1944.
Launched February 15 1945 and commissioned May 12 1945.
Completed FRAM upgrade May 1964.
Stricken January 30 1976.
To Greece March 17 1977, renamed Tombazis.
Decommissioned (?).
Stricken January 12 1997.
Fate Laid up in Souda Bay Crete as of January 1998.

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Size Image Description Contributed
Gurke 10kHenry Gurke was born 6 November 1922 at Neche, North Dakota. Enlisting in the Marine Corps 15 April 1942, he participated in the invasion and occupation of Pavuvu, Russell Islands. Private Gurke was killed during the battle for Bougainville 9 November 1943. He and another Marine were sharing a foxhole to defend a vital road when a Japanese grenade dropped directly in on them. Knowing that his companion manned an automatic weapon with greater fire power than his own and could thereby provide more effective resistance, Gurke thrust the other Marine aside and threw himself over the grenade to smother the explosion. For his gallantry above and beyond the call of duty, Private Gurke was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.Bill Gonyo
Gurke 105kUndated, location unknown.-
Gurke 98kUndated, location unknown.Randy Kimes
Gurke 117kUndated, location unknown.Jerry Hays
Gurke 163kUndated, location unknown.Charles Lamm
Gurke 61kUndated, location unknown. USS Gurke (DD-783) with crewmen under inspection. Gurke is shown nested alongside other destroyers including USS Theodore E. Chandler (DD-717), photo from DANFS.Robert Hurst
Gurke 162kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Gurke 153kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Gurke 120kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Gurke 120kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Gurke 142kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Gurke 94kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Gurke 209kMay 22 1945, Puget Sound, Washington.Ed Zajkowski
Gurke 122kCirca mid 1950's.Marc Piché
Gurke 126kSan Francisco 1958.Robert M. Cieri
Gurke 89kUSS Dixie (AD-15) with the USS Southerland (DDR-743), USS Samuel L. Moore (DD-747), USS Rowan (DD-782) and USS Gurke (DD-783) alongside in Yokosuka, Fall 1959.Derick Hartshorn
Gurke 136kJanuary 30 1961, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Gurke 184kApril 4-13 1961, a SEATO grouping in Sembawang Basin, Singapore, seen from HMAS Melbourne [II], USS Somers (DD-947) and USS Gurke (DD-783).Kimberley Dunstan, RAN, 1958-67
Gurke 162k"Hand Salute! -- As the body of Lieutenant Commander Omar R. Ford, USN, one of 44 officers and men who lost their lives in USS Oriskany October 26 fire tragedy, is committed to the deep from Oriskany's flight deck during memorial services at sea in the Western Pacific, November 6, en route to San Diego, California. Fire-scarred Oriskany departed Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, for San Diego November 3." (quoted from the original caption released with this image). Note Oriskany's insignia on the light-colored flag, at right, and three destroyers steaming alongside. Nearest destroyer is USS Chevalier (DD-805). Next outboard is USS Gurke (DD-783). Photographed by JOC Dick Wood.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 97411). (Note that the Oriskany fire actually occurred in 1966, not 1967 as is incorrectly printed on the photo).NHC
Gurke 69kUSS Gurke (DD-783) underway in the Gulf of Tonkin serving as a search and rescue ship in 1966. Photo taken by James F. Falk, JOC, USN. U.S. Navy "All Hands" magazine, February 1967.Robert Hurst
Gurke 93kTied-up to a buoy in San Diego on 28 August 1967.Robert Hurst
Gurke 105kUSS Gurke (DD-783) underway in early 1970’s somewhere in Westpac.Bill Gonyo
124kGurke alongside Camden (AOE-2) soemwhere in the Western Pacific. Photo taken by Bruce Hevner aboard Mispillion (AO-105), about May 1972.Bob Canchola
Gurke 100kHong Kong 1974. From the website of Karsten Petersen located at Petersen
Gurke 63kShip's patch.Mike Smolinski
Gurke 134kShip's Zippo.Tommy Trampp
On Greek Service
Gurke 71kOn Greek Naval service as the HNS TOMBAZIS, undated, location unknown.Anthony J. Vrailas
Gurke 92kOn Greek Naval service as the HNS TOMBAZIS, undated, location unknown.Anthony J. Vrailas
Gurke 169kAs D-215 entering Genoa, May 28 1981.Carlo Martinelli
Gurke 183kAt Genoa, May 31 1981.Carlo Martinelli
Gurke 136kDeparting Genoa, June 1 1981.Carlo Martinelli
Gurke 39kShip's Patch.Yucel M.Umar, CPO (Ret.) Turkish Navy

USS GURKE DD-783 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 Kenneth Loveland    May 12 1945 - Jun 14 1946 (Later RADM)

CDR William Leonard Tagg    Jun 14 1946 - Aug 2 1947 (Later RADM)

CDR Charles Emmett King    Aug 2 1947 - Aug 18 1948

CDR William Warren Walker    Aug 18 1948 - Mar 1950

CDR Frederick Malcolm Radel    Mar 1950 - Aug 1952

CDR Edward Jerome Foote    Aug 1952 - Jul 1954

CDR Edwin Miller Rosenberg    Jul 1954 - Mar 1956 (Later RADM)

CDR Ashley Jewell Little    Mar 1956 - Nov 1957

CDR Marvin Dowdy Norton Jr.    Nov 1957 - Dec 1958

CDR Stuart Townsend Edgerton Jr.    Dec 1958 - Oct 1960

CDR Richard Eugene Kipe    Oct 1960 - Aug 1962

CDR Charles Raymond Anderson    Aug 1962 - Jul 1963

CDR Theodore Robert Kent    Jul 1963 - Jan 1965

CDR Joseph Winkle Wilson    Jan 1965 - Aug 1966

CDR James Francis Murphy    Aug 1966 - Apr 1 1968

CDR Eugene Berthold Ackerman    Apr 1 1968 - Jul 13 1969

CDR Ronald Allen Berger    Jul 13 1969 - May 1971

CDR Daniel Theodore Holly Jr.    May 1971 - Nov 1972

CDR Joe Lambert Holland    Nov 1972 - Jan 1975

CDR Compton Eugene Ward    Jan 1975 - Jan 30 1976

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: J. Frank Hickam
Address: 25 Harlech Drive, Wilmington, DE 19807
Phone: (302)998-5105
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 Gurke website
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
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 28 January 2022