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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski (see note below)

USS McMorris (DE 1036)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign:
N - E - R - M
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Gray Warrior"

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ star - National Defense Service Medal
Second Row: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal w/ star - Vietnam Service Medal w/ 4 stars - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Class: Claud Jones
Type: SCB No. 131 / 1956-57
Number in Class: 4
Displacement: 1,314 tons (light), 1,916 tons (full)
Length: 301' (wl), 312' (oa)
Beam: 38' (extreme)
Draft: 18' (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 Fairbanks-Morse 38ND8 Diesels, 8,852 shp, 1 shaft
Speed: 22 kts
Range: 7,000 nm @ 12 knots
Complement: 12 / 159
Guns: 2 - 3"/50 Mk 33 (2x1)
ASW Weapons: 2 - Mk 11 Hedgehog, 6 - 12.75" (324mm) Mk 32 torpedo tubes (2x3) / Mk 46 torpedos
Radars: AN/SPS-10 (surface), AN/SPS-6C (air)
Sonars: AN/SQS-4
Fire Control Systems: Mk70 Gun FCS, Mk105 Underwater Battery FCS
McMorris (DE 1036) Building and Operational Data:
  • 05 November 1958: Keel laid at the American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain, Oh.
  • 26 May 1959: Launched and christened at the Avondale Marine Ways, Inc., Westwego, La.; sponsored by Mrs. Charles H. McMorris, widow of Vice Adm. McMorris
  • 04 March 1960: Commissioned at Charleston, S.C., Lcdr Martin Zenni in command
  • 29 April 1960: Arrived at her homeport of SanDiego, Cal., assigned to Escort Squadron 3 (CruDesFlot 7)
  • 24 January 1965: Homeport reassigned to Pearl Harbor, Hi. as flagship of Escort Squadron 5 (DesFlot 5)
  • 1968: Reassigned to the newly created Escort Squadron 1
  • 31 January 1967: At 2239 local, while conducting ASW ops off Pearl Harbor, collided with USS Tombigbee (AOG 11). McMorris was holed on her portside at frame 87. (2 crewmen killed, 7 injured)
  • 01 July 1973: Reassigned to Destroyer Squadron 39
  • 16 December 1974: Decommissioned at Pearl Harbor after 14 years and 9⅓ months of service; struck from the NVR, transferred to Indonesia, renamed KRI Ngurah Rai (D-3)
  • 1982: Hull number changed to D-344, in service as of 1999
  • 02 January 2003: Decommissioned from the Indonesian Navy, scrapping pending
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    86k Charles Horatio McMorris was born on 31 August 1890 at Wetumpka AL and was appointed midshipman in 1908 and commissioned ensign in June 1912. On 11 to 12 October 1942, as commanding officer of San Francisco, he took part in the Battle of Cape Esperance, which deflated the Japanese belief in their night fighting superiority. During the Battle, he "...fought his ship valiantly, maneuvering with the expertness of able seaman and striking at the enemy with determined and effective gunfire despite the difficulties of night combat. As captain of the flagship, he rendered valuable service to the Task Force [TF 64] Commander and contributed materially to the success of our forces." He was awarded the Navy Cross for the above cited actions. In December 1942, he assumed command of Crusier Destroyer Force 8, operating in the northern Pacific. On 26 March 1943, in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands, he used that force to prevent Japanese reinforcement of garrisons on Kiska and Attu. For his able handling of the force in the victory, he received the Distinguished Service Medal. Later, as Chief of Staff of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, he was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a second Distinguished Service Medal for supervising "...the preparation and execution of strategic and tactical plans for Naval the Gilberts, Marshalls, Marianas, Western Caroline Islands, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa..." Retiring as a vice admiral on 1 September 1952, he died 11 February 1954 at Valparaiso, Chile.

    (For a more complete biography of Adm. McMorris, Click Here)

    USS McMorris (DE 1036) (1960-1974) was the first ship named in his honor.
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    154k 26 May 1959: Westwego, La. - The second attempted christening of the future McMorris (DE 1036). The photo caption of this press photo read: A gaily decorated champagne bottle misses the bow of the destroyer escort U. S. S. McMorris as she starts down the ways at Avondale Marine Ways, Inc., Tuesday afternoon. But the bottle smashed itself against the vessel as it entered the Mississippi River. Swinging the bottle is Mrs. Charles H. McMorris, widow of the admiral for whom the ship was named. S. Dale Hargrave
    Newport News, Va.
    154k undated ship portrait
    (Photo © Morper Ship Pictures)
    Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    52k Photo taken from USS Ponchatoula (AO 148) in the Tonkin Gulf during a 1966 - 1967 cruise. Barry Litchfield
    USS Ponchatoula
    1966 - 1967
    60k September 1967 -
    317k 10 March 1972: the Pacific Ocean - McMorris off the Oahu Coast. Note the "Spooky" electronics arrays fitted to this class of DE.
    (U.S. Navy Photo #NH 82940 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    309k 10 July 1972: South China Sea - McMorris taken from USS Ashtabula (AO 51) after completing an underway replenishment.
    (Photo # 721217 by G. R. Sirkis)
    Glenn R. Sirkis
    MMFN, A Div.
    USS Ashtabula (AO 51)
    61k 1973: Sydney Harbor Steve Crate (EM2)
    213k 18 and 25 September 1973: Auckland, N.Z. - Two views of McMorris on a port visit to Auckland. (Both photos from the collection of  Chris Howell) Chris Howell
    Southland Ship Stores Ltd
    Port of Bluff, New Zealand


    Decommissioning Booklet
    Courtesy of
    Robert M. Cieri

    McMorris History
    View the USS McMorris (DE 1036) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    McMorris's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  04 Mar 1960 - 1961Lcdr. Martin M. Zenni (Dayton, Oh.)
    2.)  1961 - 1963Lcdr. Ralph Glover Spencer (V-12) (Rush Springs, Okla.)
    3.)  1963 - 1965Lcdr. Daniel A. Lewis (New York, N.Y.)
    4.)  1965 - 1966Lcdr. Richard Ellis Kemble
    5.)  1966 - July 1967Lcdr. Rudolph Halouk Daus (Paris, France)
    6.)  Jul 1967 - Mar 1969Lcdr. Robert J. Steele (Philipsburg, Pa.) (ret. as Radm.)
    7.)  Mar 1969 - Jun 1970Lcdr. Alex Jan Viessmann
    8.)  Jun 1970 - Nov 1971Lcdr. Donald Lee Hark (Charleston, W.V.)
    9.)  Nov 1971 - 15 Aug 1973Lcdr. Richard David Milligan (USNA '59) (Matawan, N.J.) (ret. as Radm.)
    10.) 15 Aug 1973 - 16 Dec 1974Lcdr. James Henry Ansley (Oglethorpe, Ga.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Next Reunion:
    20 - 25 September 2022 at Charleston, S.C.
    Contact Name: Scott Vliek
    Address: PO Box 827
    City/State: Beverly Shores IN 46301
    Phone: (219) 789-4326
    E-mail: Scott Vliek
    USS McMorris Website
    Note About Contacts

    Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
    made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
    a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists or rosters available. Please see the Frequently Asked
    Questions section on Navsource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    USS McMorris Website
    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    USS McMorris Page on Military.Com
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS McMorris
    The McMorris patch as an FF in the page header above seems to be an error. The patch was purchased from a New Jersey embroidery company in
    the late '70's, but... McMorris was never an FF. She was decommissioned in December 1974, and the DE reclassification took place in June of 1975.
    Apparently, someone jumped the gun when ordering new patches and ordered them as an FF before McMorris found out she was being decommissioned.
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page>
    Back To The Main Photo Index

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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
    All pages copyright Navsource Naval History
    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 17 October 2022