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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NTMR

Displacement 2924 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 376' 5"(oa) x 39' 7" x 13' 9" (Max)
Armament 5 x 5"/38AA, 10 x 40mm, 7 x 20mm AA, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; General Electric Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 38 Knots, Range 6500 NM@ 15 Knots, Crew 273.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bethlehem Steel , San Pedro. May 2 1943.
Launched October 31 1943 and commissioned February 14 1944.
Decommissioned May 31 1946, recommissioned February 26 1951.
Decommissioned January 10 1958.
Stricken March 15 1973.
To Brazil May 10 1968, renamed Santa Catarina.
Fate Stricken and broken up for scrap in 1978.

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Irwin 76kNoble Edward Irwin was born 29 September 1869 at Greenfield, Ohio, graduated from the Naval Academy in June 1891, and on July 25 joined the USS Newark operating in the South Atlantic Station during the Brazilian Revolution. While serving aboard the cruiser USS Baltimore during the Battle of Manila Bay was wounded in action 1 May 1898. Ensign Irwin had the distinction of being the only American Officer wounded in that famous battle. After the close of the Spanish-American War, Irwin took part in the Philippine Campaign. In 1899 he transferred to the USS Monocacy and was part of the China Relief Expedition during the period of the “Boxer Rebellion”. He participated in the relief of the besieged city of Tientsin by the Chinese Revolutionaries. Lieutenant Irwin commanded the destroyer USS Barry (DD-2) from 1902 to 1905. In 1910 Lt. Commander Irwin was the Executive Officer of the battleship USS Kansas (BB-21). Commander Irwin was assigned as the commanding officer of the protected cruiser USS New Orleans in 1914. He was awarded the Navy Cross “For exceptionally meritorious service in the duty of great responsibility as Director of Naval Aviation in connection with the development and operation of the Naval Air Services for war purpose” during World War I. Thereafter he was in command of battleship Oklahoma in 1920, and Destroyer Squadrons of the Scouting Fleet, and was Chief of the Naval Mission to Brazil (1927-31). Rear Admiral Irwin became Commandant of the 15th Naval District in March 1931 and was transferred to the Retired List 1 October 1933. He died 10 August 1937 at Warner Springs, California and was interned at the United States Naval Academy with full military honors. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.Bill Gonyo

The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION to the


for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

"For exceptionally meritorious service during salvage operations after USS PRINCETON had been critically damaged by enemy Japanese action in the Battle off Samar, Republic of the Philippines on 24 October 1944. Undeterred by foul weather, fires raging on the flight deck and hanger decks of the stricken carrier, and a series of violent internal explosions, USS IRWIN (DD 794) gallantly went alongside. Operating in a choppy sea as the wind steadily rose and rain reduced visibility, USS IRWIN rigged her hoses and, despite dense black smoke and the constant danger of falling debris, succeeded in directing them on fires in the forward part of the hanger deck. Later, when a terrific explosion blew off the major portion of USS PRINCETON’S stern, USS IRWIN immediately dispatched boats and stood by at close quarters to assist in the rescue of survivors, recovering 646 men from the sea and from the decks of USS PRINCETON before this carrier was ordered to be sunk. By their high standards of loyalty, professionalism, and self-sacrificing devotion to duty, the officers and enlisted personnel of USS IRWIN (DD 794) reflected great credit upon themselves and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

James Forrestal
Secretary of the Navy
Irwin 77kArtist's conception of the Irwin 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
Irwin 74kUSS Irwin (DD-794) as she shows off her Measure 32 design 13D colour scheme, date and location unknown (USN courtesy of Floating Drydock). Photo and text taken from Naval Camouflage 1914-1945, by David Williams.Robert Hurst
Irwin 90kUSS Irwin (DD-794) along the portside of the carrier USS Princeton (CVL-23) while taking off some of her crew members, 24 October 1944. Photo from "United States Destroyer Operations in World War II" by Theodore Roscoe.Robert Hurst / Byron Como
Irwin 190kNewport R.I. Navy Base between January 1951 and May 1952. From the collection of Eugene Mcfadden PH3 USS Cascade.Gene Mcfadden
Irwin 65kSteaming out of San Diego harbor in the Spring of 1951. The ship is only partially painted having just been removed from mothballs at Long Beach.Bud Healy
Irwin 117kMarch 15 1952 off Pt. Loma.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Irwin 167kNegative from the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum dated April 1952.Darryl Baker
Irwin 96kTransfer of wounded Captain Jack Maginnis to the crusier Manchester on July 8, 1953. He was the senior naval officer wounded in the war. The Irwin was also the last ship to take casulaties in the Korean War. Four other bridge persons were wounded that day.Bud Healy
Irwin 62kView of a hit to the main deck starboard side wounding five persons in the upper handling room for mount 52. This occured on June 18, 1953 in Wonsan harbor.Bud Healy
Irwin 17kSasebo in August, 1953 during a squadron (DesRon 24) awards ceremony. USS Picking (DD-685), USS Irwin (DD-794) and USS Preston (DD-795).Bud Healy
Irwin 19kCirca mid 1950's, location unknown.Bud Healy
Irwin 184kUSS Valley Forge (CVS-45), during exercise "Tarmac" in 1954. On deck are Grumman AF-2S/W Guardians of Anti-Submarine Squadron Twenty-Four (VS-24) and Vought F4U-5N Corsairs. The Task Group in the background is changing into cruising formation. To the left is the destroyer USS Irwin (DD-794), an Iowa-class battleship is visible astern of Valley Forge. Photo from U.S. Navy All Hands magazine October 1954.Robert Hurst
Irwin 84kUSS Preston (DD-795) anchored off Naples, Italy, circa 1955. USS Irwin (DD-794) is at right, beyond Preston's stern. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Admiral Robert B. Carney, USN. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Photo #: NH 99289.Robert Hurst
Irwin 122kSixth Fleet ships in Naples harbour, circa 1955. destroyers in left centre are USS Preston (DD-795) and USS Irwin (DD-794). Destroyer in the centre, slightly to the right, appears to be USS Bordelon (DDR-881). The other U.S.Navy ships present are mainly amphibious types. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Admiral Robert B. Carney, USN (Photo No NH 99290).Robert Hurst
Irwin 141kJuly 7 1967 at Philadelphia Navy Yard undergoing prep work for transfer to Brazil, note DD-615 in mothballs.Ed Zajkowski
Irwin 27kShip's patch.Luiz Brazil (FT3 Ret Brazilian Navy)
On Brazilian Service
Irwin 44kAs the CT SANTA CATARINA (D 32) in dry dock at Rio de Janeiro circa 1972, Brazilian Navy (BRN).Luiz BRAZIL Cotta FT3 (Ret BRN)
Irwin 122kAs the CT SANTA CATARINA (D 32) in the Guanabara Bay at Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL, circa 1971. Photo published by Brazilian Navy (BRN).Luiz BRAZIL Cotta FT3 (Ret BRN)
Irwin 76kUSS "IRWIN" - as the CT "Santa Catarina" (D 32), at sea, circa 1969. Published photo by Brazilian Navy (BRN).Luiz BRAZIL Cotta FT3 (Ret BRN)
Irwin 53kAs a target by Brazilian Navy. Official Brazilian Navy Photo.Luiz BRAZIL Cotta FT3 (Ret BRN)

USS IRWIN DD-794 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

Daniel Byrd Miller    Feb 14 1944 - May 3 1945 (Later RADM)

CDR Robert Bolling Kelly    May 3 1945 - May 31 1946

(Decommissioned May 31 1946 - Feb 26 1951)

CDR Roger Myers Keithly    Feb 26 1951 - Aug 1952

CDR Gilven Max Slonim    Aug 1952 - Aug 1954

CDR Richard Newman Billings    Nov 1954 - Sep 1956

CDR Willard Jerrold McNulty    Sep 1956 - ?

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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