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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NRWH

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - ASSASSIN

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. October 20 1980.
Launched March 2 1982 and commissioned March 5 1983.
Decommissioned August 25 2003 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA.
Stricken April 6, 2004.
Fate Sunk as a target 13 November 2004 during the 2004 Sinkex exercise.

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Hayler 11kAdmiral Hayler was born in Sandusky, Ohio in 1891, but moved to Muncie, Indiana when only a few years old. He graduated from Muncie High School in 1909, and worked for a year prior to entering the Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1914. At the Academy, he was manager of the football team. His first ship was the battleship USS Georgia, which he joined during the campaign at Vera Cruz, Mexico. During World War I, he was aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was based in Scapa Flow with the British Grand Fleet. After the war, he was ordered to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston as a student in ordnance engineering. Following M.I.T., he was ordered to the San Diego-based destroyer Force, where he had command of the USS Howard and USS Melvin. Subsequent sea assignments were aboard destroyers and cruisers. He had three tours of shore duty at the Naval Torpedo Station at Newport, Rhode Island. At the outbreak of World War II, Admiral Hayler, then a Captain, was in command of the newly reopened Torpedo Station at Alexandria, Virginia. He was charged with reopening this factory, which had been idle since the end of World War I. In June 1942, after the manufacture of torpedoes had started, he was ordered to sea in command of the cruiser USS Honolulu, which he joined two months later in the Aleutian Islands. He remained in Honolulu until March 1944 and participated in some of the heaviest fighting in the Pacific around Guadalcanal. On the night of 30 November 1942, the Honolulu was credited with helping turn back the Japanese forces of Savo Island, and was one of the few heavy U.S. ships which was not damaged. Admiral Hayler received a Navy Cross for this action. On 5 - 6 July 1943, the Honolulu helped support the landings at New Georgia Island, and became engaged with numerically-superior, hostile forces. Admiral Hayler led a column of ships into this action, which became known as the Battle of Kula Gulf. For this, he received a Gold Star in lieu of a second Navy Cross. A week later at the Battle of Kolombangara, the Honolulu again lead the battle, and helped in the destruction of at least four Japanese ships. This time, though, the Honolulu was severely damaged, and had her bow blown off as far back as her forward turret, and also received a torpedo hit in her stern. Fortunately, the torpedo was a dud, and did not explode, although it holed the stern. No one was killed, and the Honolulu returned safely to port. Admiral Hayler received a Silver Star for this action. In March 1944, Admiral Hayler left the Honolulu, was promoted to Rear Admiral, and given command of Cruiser Division Twelve, the USS Montpelier, USS Denver, USS Columbia, and USS Cleveland. By this time, the war had moved to the Central Pacific, and the Cruiser Division participated in the assaults of Saipan, Tinian, and Palau. Cruiser Division Twelve provided bombardment and fire support for the landings at Leyte Gulf on 20 October 1944. This was the largest amphibious operation in the Southwest Pacific area. For this, Admiral Hayler received a Gold Star in place of a second Legion of Merit, his first Legion of Merit having been awarded for his services in the Southern Marianas. On 25 October 1944, Admiral Hayler was in command of the left flank of our forces at Surigao Strait, and was the first to receive, and return fire, from the advancing enemy ships. Surigao resulted in the annihilation of a large and vital portion of the Japanese Fleet. For this action, Admiral Hayler received a Gold Star in lieu of a third Navy Cross. In December 1944, he was ordered to the Navy Department in Washington, where he was a member of the General Board, and later Senior Member of the Board of Decorations and Medals. In 1948, Admiral Hayler was ordered to Charleston, South Carolina, where he became Commandant of the Sixth Naval District. He was retired in 1951, but remained on active duty as President, Permanent General Court Martial, Great Lakes, Illinois, until 1953. He was then permanently retired, and placed on inactive duty, with the rank of Vice Admiral by virtue of his combat decorations. He moved to Carmel, California, where he had his home. His decorations include the Navy Cross with two Gold Stars, the Silver Star Medal, the Legion of Merit with one Gold Star, the Bronze Star Medal with one Gold Star, the Navy Commendation Medal, which he received for his services at the Alexandria Torpedo Station, and the Navy Unit Commendation for the Honolulu.Robert M. Cieri
Hayler 105kUndated, Ponta Delgada, Azores.Carlos Manuel Estrela
Hayler 184kUndated, location unknown.Tommy Trampp
Hayler 100kUndated postcard.Tommy Trampp
Hayler 82kHayler (DD 997) is christened by her co-sponsors, Miss Margaret Hayler and Miss Nicole Hayler, granddaughters of Admiral Hayler.Dale Hargrave
Hayler 91kNovember 15 1982, aerial bow view of the destroyer USS Hayler (DD-997) underway in the Gulf of Mexico during sea trials.Fred Weiss
Hayler 145kDuring her sea trials on November 15, 1982 off Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Mike's dad, CDR Larry Goughan USN (Ret.), was the Hayler's first Combat Systems Officer.Michael Goughan
Hayler 40kUSS HAYLER photo taken by Ingalls shipyard during Acceptance Trials, circa late February 1983).Marcus J. Fisk, CAPT USN, Precom Crew
Hayler 130kHAYLER underway, an Ingalls photo taken during Builder’s Trials, circa February 1983.Robert Hurst
Hayler 93kDN-ST-85-08956. March 5 1983, Vice Admiral Edward Briggs, commander, Naval Surface Force, US Atlantic Fleet, left, and Commander Paul Ecker, commanding officer, right, salute during the commissioning ceremony of the Spruance-class destroyer USS HAYLER (DD 997). Standing between them is Nicole Hayler, the ship's sponsor and granddaughter of Admiral Robert Hayler, namesake of the ship. The Commissioning took place at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascacoula, Mississippi. U.S. Navy Photo by PH1 C.W. Griffin.Robert M. Cieri
Hayler 24kTesting of ASROC system off Andros Island in the Bahamas in May of 1984.Brian Root
Hayler 10kAs above.Brian Root
Hayler 119kMiami, Florida in the mid 1980's.Marc Piché
Hayler 60kThe ship was inport Bermuda. I shot this not long after the Tico VERTREP picture. (Late 80's)SM1 Demetrius J. C. Carter, USN
Hayler 48kPortsmouth, England July 1988.Marc Piché
Hayler 68kApril 28 1989, Atlantc Ocean, the destroyer USS Hayler (DD-997) takes its place on the starboard side of the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal (CV-59) as the ships of the Forrestal`s battle group change formation during the journey to New York City for Fleet Week `89.Fred Weiss
Hayler 132kUSS Forrestal (CV-59) and Battle Group, 28 April 1989, en route to New York City for Fleet Week '89. Ships accompanying Forrestal can be identified as (clockwise from extreme left): USS McCloy (FF-1038), USS Fairfax County (LST-1193), USS Klakring (FFG-42), USS W.S. Sims (FF-1059) or USS Pharris (FF-1094), USS Ticonderoga (CG-47), USS Hayler (DD-997), W.S. Sims or Pharris, and USS Macdonough (DDG-39).Ken Killmeyer, USS Forrestal Association Historian
Hayler 77kDN-ST-90-09261. April 29 1989, a starboard bow view of the USS Hayler (DD 997) being moored at the newly constructed Staten Island Pier 1 during Fleet Week activities. U.S. Navy Photo by PH3 Gil De Lorenzis.Robert M. Cieri
Hayler 130kDN-SC-90-09343. May 3 1989, a port bow view of the guided-missile cruiser USS Ticonderoga (CG 47) and the destroyer USS Hayler (DD 997) moored to the newly constructed Pier 1 on Staten Island during New York City Navy Fleet Week activities. U. S.Navy Photo by PHC Ed Bailey.Robert M. Cieri
Hayler 93kMiami, FL May 28 1989.Marc Piché
Hayler 172kHayler alongside the USS Greenling (SSN-614) during UNITAS 1990.Ken Roubik
Hayler 86kDN-ST-91-06152. Midshipmen from the Chilean Naval Academy listen to an explanation of the Mark 29 NATO Sea Sparrow launcher as they visit aboard the destroyer USS HAYLER (DD 997). The Hayler is one of five U.S. Navy ships taking part in Unitas XXXI, an annual, joint exercise. Photo by PH1 Michael Flynn, January 1 1990.Bill Gonyo
Hayler 98kDN-ST-91-06195. The destroyer USS HAYLER (DD-997) and the guided missile cruiser USS JOSEPHUS DANIELS (CG-27) lie at anchor while visiting a port during Unitas XXXI, an annual, joint exercise between the U.S. Navy and the naval forces of nine South American countries. Photo by PH1 Michael Flynn, January 1 1990.Bill Gonyo
Hayler 58kJuly 1 1990, a starboard quarter view of the destroyer USS Hayler (DD-997) underway in the Straits of Magellan during Unitas XXXI, a combined exercise involving the naval forces of the United States and nine South American nations.Fred Weiss
Hayler 76kJuly. 1 1990, a starboard quarter view of the destroyer USS Hayler (DD-997) underway in the Straits of Magellan during Unitas XXXI, a combined exercise involving the naval forces of the United States and nine South American nations.Fred Weiss
Hayler 146kSpring of 1991, at Naval Station Norfolk, just prior to conversion listed in the next photo.LCDR Charles R. Landrum USN (Ret.)
Hayler 387kPhoto taken by Bath Iron Works as USS HAYLER left Portland, ME on sea trials in the Gulf of Maine May 1992 after she had received the vertical launching system, SQQ-89 ASW system with towed array sonar, enlarged hangar and RAST and upgrades SLQ-32 and CIWS. Photo is in larger than our normal resolution so that all the detail is retained.LCDR Charles R. Landrum USN (Ret.)
Hayler 236kDN-SC-93-05407. A port bow view of the destroyer USS Hayler (DD 997) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Scott (DDG 995) tied up at one of the destroyer and submarine piers, Norfolk Operating Base. The vessels exhibit the new paint scheme which includes all gray masts and stack tops and shaded hull numbers. Photo by Don S. Montgomery, USN (Ret) on 4 July 1993.Robert M. Cieri
Hayler 122kDN-ST-95-00176. Officers from 15 nations attended a reception on board the destroyer USS HAYLER (DD-997) hosted by Commander, Destroyer Squadron 14 (DesRon 14) during a port visit as part of BALTOPS 94. In this view, U.S. Navy Midshipman Galloway poses with several foreign naval officers on the fantail of the HAYLER during exercise Baltic Operation '94. Photo by CDR Nathan Jones, June 7 1994. A fomer crewmember comment about this photograph from David A. Peck, EMC(SW) (ret); "I served onboard HAYLER from 1991-1996 and was onboard for the BALTOPS 94 cruise. Those Harpoon launchers were not on the fantail, they were midships on the 03 level. So I am not sure where this photo was taken, but it wasn't onboard the HAYLER."Bill Gonyo
Hayler 29kPortsmouth, England July 4 1994.Marc Piché
Hayler 128kJuly 10 1994, location unknown. Photo courtesy L & L van Ginderen.Robert Hurst
Hayler 204kDN-SC-97-00784. Naval Station Norfolk, April 12 1996, a port bow view of the Spruence-class destroyer USS Hayler (DD 997) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) moored on the south side of pier 24 at the Naval Station Norfolk. This is a good comparison of the differences between the two classes of destroyers. U.S. Navy photo by Don S. Montgomery, USN(Ret).Robert M. Cieri
Hayler 150kGenoa, Italy on January 29 1997.Carlo Martinelli
Hayler 162kGenoa, Italy on January 29 1997.Carlo Martinelli
Hayler 60kBarcelona, Spain April 14 1997.Marc Piché
Hayler 89kBarcelona, Spain April 18 1997.Marc Piché
Hayler 89kBarcelona, Spain April 18 1997.Marc Piché
Hayler 46kUSS Hayler DD 997 in Malaga, Spain on 27th April 1997.© Daniel Ferro
Hayler 112kFamily and friends line the quay wall and greet USS Hayler (DD-997) as it arrived on the morning of January 13 1999, at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard from a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf. U.S. Navy photo by Mr. Bob Cohen, Norfolk Naval Shipyard. [990113-N-0000C-002] Jan. 13, 1999.Fred Weiss
Hayler 107kPort Canaveral, FL Feb 15, 2001.Larry Bohn
Hayler 126kAtlantic Ocean June 18 2001, the US Navy destroyer USS Hayler DD-997 underway during operations with the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) battle group during a Composite Training Unit Exercise.Steven A. Cardali
Hayler 73k021004-N-8837H-018. At sea aboard USS Hayler (DD-997), October 4 2002, Admiral Robert J. Natter, Commander-In-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, presents the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy to the crew of the Spruance Class Destroyer, for being the most improved in battle efficiency during 2001. Cmdr. Mark J. Hellstern accepted the award on behalf of the entire crew. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Benjamin Hammond.Bill Gonyo
Hayler 151kAtlantic Ocean, November 12 2004, the decommissioned destroyer Hayler (DD 997) takes fire from a 57mm Bofors gun aboard the Canadian Halifax-class multi-role patrol frigate HMCS Ville De Quebec (F 332), during a Sink Exercise conducted 300 miles off the East Coast of the United States. Hayler was the last Spruance-class of destroyers built by the Navy, and was decommissioned on Aug. 25, 2003. Canadian Navy phoyp (Released).Fred Weiss/Erich Utecht
Hayler 144kAtlantic Ocean, November 13 2004, explosives charges provided by Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Two (EODMU-2) detonate aboard the U.S. Navy’s decommissioned destroyer Hayler (DD-997), during a Sink Exercise conducted 300 miles off the East Coast of the United States. U.S. Navy photo.Fred Weiss/Erich Utecht
Hayler 86kShip's patch.Mike Smolinski
Hayler 180kShip's Zippo.Tommy Trampp

USS HAYLER DD-997 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 Paul William Ecker    Mar 5 1983 - May 31 1985

CDR Edward Frederick Messina    May 31 1985 - Jun 5 1987

CDR Stanley Byron Weeks    Jun 5 1987 - Nov 13 1988

CDR Charles Edward Mulroy    Nov 13 1988 - May 22 1990

CDR William L. Sheppard Jr.    May 22 1990 - Apr 10 1992

CDR Fred Stanley Bertsch III    Apr 10 1992 - Jan 28 1994

CDR Alan Bradley Hicks    Jan 28 1994 - Nov 24 1995 (Later RADM)

CDR William Paul Garland    Nov 24 1995 - Aug 29 1997

CDR Paul Kenneth Susalla    Aug 29 1997 - Apr 30 1999

CDR Michael Reed Durkin    Apr 30 1999 - Mar 24 2000

CDR Jon William Kaufmann    Mar 24 2000 - Dec 16 2001

CDR Mark Joseph Hellstern    Dec 16 2001 - Aug 25 2003

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Michael Woodward
Address: 2830 16th St. NE #19, Hickory NC 28601-8606
Phone: 828-256-8264
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
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 November 2019