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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Shea (MMD 30)

Call sign:
November - Juliet - Whiskey - Romeo

Allen M. Sumner Class Destroyer/Robert H. Smith Class Light Minelayer:

  • Laid down 23 December 1943 as Shea (DD-750) by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, NY
  • Launched 20 May 1944
  • Reclassified as a Light Minelayer, DM-30, 20 July 1944
  • Commissioned USS Shea (DM-30), 30 September 1944 at the New York Navy Yard
  • Decommissioned 9 April 1958
  • Reclassified as a Fast Minelayer, MMD-30, 1 January 1969
  • Struck from the Navy Register 1 September 1973
  • Sold for scrap 1 September 1974 by the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service.


  • Displacement 2,380 t.(lt), 3370 t.(fl)
  • Length 376' 6"
  • Beam 40' 10"
  • Draft 18' 10"
  • Speed 34 kts.
  • Complement 363
  • Armament: Three twin 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts, six twin 40mm gun mounts, eleven 20mm guns, two .50 cal. machine guns, two depth charge tracks, and four depth charge projectiles
  • Propulsion: Four Babcock and Wilcox boilers, two General Electric geared turbines, 60,000shp at 36.5 kts, two shafts, Range 3,300 nm at 20 kts.
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    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Shea (DM 30)
    Shea 12k

    John Joseph Shea, born in Cambridge, Mass., on 13 January 1898, enlisted in the Naval Reserve Force on 11 June 1918. At the time of his release from active duty in 1919, he was appointed the rank of Ensign. He was honorably discharged in 1921 and reappointed in 1923. With the abolition of the Naval Reserve Force in 1925, he was transferred to the Fleet Reserve. In 1941, he was transferred to the Regular Navy in the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Lt. Comdr. Shea was serving in WASP (CV-7) on 15 September 1942, when she was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese. He left the relative safety of his own station to direct the fight against the raging inferno on Wasp's flight deck. Amid frequent explosions and flying debris, he worked to save the carrier. He was leading out another hose to continue the struggle against the fires in a ready ammunition room when a shattering explosion occurred. In all probability, Lt. Comdr. Shea died in that explosion; but, lacking concrete proof of death, he was declared Missing in Action until a year and a day later when he was declared legally dead. He was awarded the Navy Cross and Purple Heart medals and was promoted to Commander, all posthumously

    Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 5 March 2022
    Shea 300k 20 May 1944
    Staten Island, New York
    The late Commander John Joseph Shea, whose only letter to his son “Jackie” won national acclaim for outlining simply the ideals which is why America is fighting this war, was honored by the Navy Department today when a destroyer bearing his name went down the ways at the Bethlehem Steel Company Staten Island Shipyard. Mrs. John J. Shea of Arlington, Massachusetts, widow of the late commander, sponsored the ship. John Richard “Jackie” Shea, now six-years old, also attended the launching. Here Jackie points out his autograph which he wrote on the ship’s bow to his mother
    Image courtesy of Acme Newspictures
    Bill Gonyo
    Shea 138k Leaving Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island on 29 September 1944, in camouflage 32/25D. The colors are dull black, ocean gray and light gray
    National Archives photos BS 72161, BS 72162 and BS 72167 from the Bureau of Ships collection
    Ships of the U.S. Navy in WWII “Dazzle” Camouflage
    Shea 85k
    Shea 349k
    USS Shea (DM 30)
    Shea 104k National Archives photo BS 73162 from the Bureau of Ships collection Joe Radigan
    Shea 300k U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics photo 285403 Ed Zajkowski
    Thomas E Fraser 35k Shannon (DM-25), Harry F. Bauer (DM-26), Thomas E. Fraser (DM-24) and Shea USS Thomas E. Fraser (DM 24)
    Shea 69k 18 October 1944
    Shea 94k 18 October 1944
    Note the mines lined up on the mine rails which extend from her forward superstructure to the stern
    Australian War Memorial photo 302740
    Mike Green
    Shea 142k View on New Year's Day morning 1945 at Bethlehem Steel, pier 54, San Francisco, CA. USS Ringgold (DD 500) and USS Sigsbee (DD 502) are moored to port
    National Archives photo 19-N-80476
    Rick E. Davis and John Chiquoine
    Shea 137k View on New Year's Day morning 1945 at Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco, CA. USS Ringgold (DD 500) and USS Sigsbee (DD 502) are moored outboard port
    National Archives photo 19-N-80477
    John Chiquoine
    Shea 74k Moored at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 22 August 1945. This photo shows crew members inspecting Kamikaze damage that occurred on 14 May 1945 while the ship was on picket duty off Okinawa
    Photo from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, George D. McDowell Collection
    Mike Green
    Shea 59k
    Shea 195k Shea (DM-30) at Philadelphia Navy Yard in about 1946
    Courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News, Virginia. Ted Stone Collection
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 66810
    Shea 48k c. 1953
    Photo courtesy of P. Sweeney from the 1954/1955 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships
    Robert Hurst
    Shea 83k U.S. Navy photo from the February 1958 edition of All Hands magazine Joe Radigan

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR Charles Cochran (Chili) Kirkpatrick, USN - USNA Class of 1931
    Awarded three Navy Crosses (1942/1943), the Army Distinguished Service Cross (1943), the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (1964), the Silver Star (1945) and the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" (1945) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    30 September 1944 - 13 July 1945
    02LCDR Willard Young Howell, USN - USNA Class of 1939
    Awarded the Silver Star (1942) and two Bronze Stars with Combat V (1945/1953) - Retired as Captain
    13 July 1945 - 19 July 1945
    03CDR Edward Francis Baldridge, USN - USNA Class of 1938
    Awarded two Bronze Stars
    19 July 1945 - June 1946
    04CDR Dillon Robert McMullen, USN - USNA Class of 1933June 1946 - 1 January 1948
    05LCDR Frederick Saunders Robertson, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 19421 January 1948 - 3 February 1948
    06LCDR Eugene Hill Scott, USN3 February 1948 - 1 January 1949
    07CDR John Joseph Becker, USN - USNA Class of 19351 January 1949 - 10 July 1949
    08CDR Joseph Francis Dalton, USN - USNA Class of 1937February 1951 - February 1953
    09CDR David Spencer Bill, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 1939
    Awarded the Bronze Star with Combat "V" and the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V" - Retired as Captain
    February 1953
    Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves, Bill Gonyo and Joe Radigan

    View the Shea (DM-30)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website


    The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in commending the


    for service as follows

    "For outstanding heroism in action while attached to an Amphibious Force during operations for the seizure of enemy Japanese-held Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, from March 24 to May 4, 1945. Operation in waters protected by enemy mines and numerous suicide craft, the U.S.S. SHEA rendered distinctive service in providing effective cover for our minesweeper groups against hostile attack by air, surface, submarine, and shore fire. A natural and frequent target for heavy Japanese aerial attack, she fought her guns valiantly to down nine planes and assist in the destruction of three others, accounting for six of the total of nine within a period of ten minutes during action in April. After downing an attacking plane on May 4, the SHEA turned her guns on a second plane which came in out of the sun, maintaining furious fire on the high-speed target until it struck her superstructure on the starboard side, penetrating the bridge without exploding and emerged on the port side to explode and perforate the side with shrapnel. Saved from complete destruction by prompt damage control measures, the SHEA had achieved a record of gallantry in combat, reflecting the highest credit upon her courageous and skilled officers and men and upon the United States Naval Service."

    All personnel attached to and serving on board the U.S.S. SHEA from March 24 to May 4, 1945, are authorized to wear the NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION Ribbon.

    /s/ John L. Sullivan
    Secretary of the Navy

    Additional Resources and Websites of Interest
    NavSource Destroyer Pages, USS Shea (DD-750)
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back to the Fast Minelayer (MMD) Photo Index

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