USS Chauncey (DD-667)
USS Chauncey in New York Harbor with Statue of Liberty on 13 August 1943.
|Builder:||Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey|
|Laid down:||14 November 1942|
|Launched:||28 March 1943|
|Commissioned:||31 May 1943|
|Decommissioned:||14 May 1954|
|Struck:||1 October 1972|
|Fate:||Sold 2 January 1974 for scrapping|
|Class and type:||Fletcher-class destroyer|
|Length:||376 ft 6 in (114.76 m)|
|Beam:||39 ft 8 in (12.09 m)|
|Draft:||17 ft 9 in (5.41 m)|
|Speed:||35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)|
|Range:||6,500 nmi (12,000 km; 7,500 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
Chauncey was launched 28 March 1943 by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Kearny, New Jersey; sponsored by Mrs. R. K. Anderson; and commissioned 31 May 1943, Lieutenant Commander M. Van Metre in command.
World War II
Clearing Norfolk, Virginia, 28 August 1943, Chauncey reached Pearl Harbor 19 September. She was assigned to the screen of a fast carrier task force for a punishing series of air strikes on Wake Island 5 and 6 October 1943. While screening the carriers, Chauncey rescued three downed aviators from the water. After a brief return to Pearl Harbor, Chauncey sailed with another carrier task force for Espiritu Santo, arriving 6 November 1943.
The destroyer sailed 3 days later for the air raids on Rabaul of 11 November, in coordination with the Bougainville landings. After the first successful strike launched by the carriers, enemy planes came swarming out to seek vengeance, and a furious 46-minute action, during which Chauncey's guns blazed almost continuously, resulted in a large number of splashed Japanese aircraft. Chauncey, continuing to screen the same carrier force, now sailed north to begin the preassault air strikes on Tarawa, 18, 19, and 20 November. As the landings began on 20 November, the carriers launched combat air patrol, antisubmarine searches, and close support strikes, which continued until the island was secured after furious fighting ashore. During this operation, Chauncey again helped drive a Japanese counterattack from the air above the ships she guarded.
With the Marshall Islands operation scheduled for the next month, Chauncey's force was assigned a strike at Kwajalein, center of Japanese air power in the Marshalls, and the shipping in its harbor. Air strikes were launched 4 December 1943 at Kwajalein and Wotje, but Japanese retaliation came in the evening, and Chauncey joined in the fire which splashed many enemy planes and drove them away just after midnight. Her task force sailed on to replenish and repair at Pearl Harbor. Bound for action once more, Chauncey sailed to Funafuti, where she made rendezvous with a seaplane tender whom she and another destroyer escorted up to Tarawa. After brief patrol duty there, she returned to Funafuti to prepare for the next operation, Majuro.
Chauncey sailed on 22 January 1944 to screen escort carriers north to Majuro, assaulted on 30 January. The destroyer screened and patrolled at Majuro and Kwajalein during the assault and occupation of the atolls, and in mid-March returned to the South Pacific. After 10 days early in April on watchful patrol off newly occupied Emirau Island, Chauncey screened escort carriers into position to cover the Aitape landings 22 April, and guarded them as they provided close air support, sailed north to replenish at Manus on 28 April, and returned to their covering strikes off New Guinea until 12 May.
Now Chauncey was assigned to guard the escort carriers assembling and rehearsing for the Marianas operation, and on 8 June 1944, arrived at Kwajalein for final preparations. She got underway two days later to screen carriers supporting the landings on Saipan with preassault raids on 13 and 14 June, and air cover during the assault on 15 June. Next day Chauncey joined the group operating off Guam for bombardments and air strikes, and her guns aided in driving off enemy air attacks on the 16th and 17th. Returning to Saipan, she screened carriers there until the 25th, when she got underway to escort transports to Eniwetok. She returned to operate with the carriers off Saipan and Guam from early July, and on 9 July began her part in the continuous bombardment of Guam before the landings there 21 July.
Chauncey continued to screen carriers covering operations on Guam through July, aside from an escort voyage to Eniwetok with unladen transports, and on 10 August, left Guam astern bound for Eniwetok and repairs at Pearl Harbor. She returned to Manus to prepare for the massive Philippine operation, and on 14 October sailed for Leyte guarding the Southern Attack Force transports. She offered close-in protection during the landings on 20 October, and that night patrolled watchfully around the transports, which remained dangerously close to shore in order to speed their unloading. On 22 October, 2 days before the opening of the decisive Battle of Leyte Gulf, Chauncey cleared to escort unloaded ships to Manus, from which she made two voyages to escort ships to Leyte and Palau during November.
After overhaul and training off the west coast until late February 1945, the destroyer returned to Pearl Harbor. Here she was joined by a carrier, whom she escorted to Ulithi, where Chauncey was assigned to mighty Task Force 58 for the preliminaries to the Okinawa operation. The force got underway 14 March for strikes on airfields on Kyūshū and shipping in the Inland Sea and at Kure and Kobe, Chauncey and other destroyers providing the essential screening services. Japanese retaliation came in a bombing raid on 19 March, when carrier Franklin was badly damaged but kept afloat by her crew's heroic work. Chauncey moved in to protect the stricken giant, and to guard her as she was towed and later steamed under her own power toward safety. Japanese air attacks were beaten off once more on the 20th and 21st, Chauncey firing with the others to splash many enemy planes.
Her force launched prelanding strikes at Okinawa and nearby islands, and after the landings on 1 April 1945, supported the ground forces and protected the transports. Chauncey continued her screening, and from 6 April, when the first great kamikaze attacks were hurled at American shipping off Okinawa, fired often to drive the would-be suicides off. She also served in shore bombardment and radar picket duty until 29 May, when she sailed for repairs and replenishment in San Pedro Bay, Philippine Islands. She then joined Task Force 38 for the final smashing air raids on Japan.
Following the war, Chauncey remained in the Far East on occupation duty until 11 November, when she cleared Tsingtao, China for the west coast. She was placed out of commission in reserve at San Diego 19 December 1945.
Upon the outbreak of the Korean War, Chauncey was recommissioned 18 July 1950, and on 1 November, sailed to join the Atlantic Fleet. Chauncey operated from her home port at Norfolk, Virginia, along the east coast, and in the Caribbean, until 10 January 1953, when she got underway for the west coast on the first leg of a round-the-world voyage. Reaching Sasebo, Japan, 11 February, Chauncey screened the carriers of TF 77 off Korea during the final months preceding the Korean Armistice, and in June sailed on to call at Hong Kong, Singapore, Colombo, Aden, Athens, Naples, Cannes, and Gibraltar before her return to Norfolk 6 August.
Chauncey resumed her east coast and Caribbean operations until 14 May 1954, when she was again decommissioned and placed in reserve.
USS CHAUNCEY DD667
The below headline was on the front page of the "Norfolk Virginia-Pilot" newspaper dated August 7, 1953.
"First Warship Division Arrives Since the Korean Truce"
Below the headline was an official US Navy photo of the USS Trathen (DD530), USS Chauncey (DD667), USS McCord (DD534) and the USS Black (DD666) tied up at pier 21 at the Convoy Escort Piers in Norfolk, VA.
(Along with the headline and photo, an article written by Norfolk-Virginia-Pilot reporter Lloyd Parker is transcribed below).
Emotional Welcome and Well Done Accorded 4 Battle-Worn Destroyers
Division Circled Globe After Leaving Korea; Hundreds at Piers.
Four battle-worn destroyers that fought action-packed months off the rugged coast of Korea and circled the globe on a seven-month tour, came back home yesterday. A threatening downpour held back just long enough for the white-dressed crews to throw over rain soaked lines and tie up; side-by-side, astern of the bunting draped command ship Sierra. It was the first warship division to return from Korea since the truce signing at Panmunjom. For the 1,100 officers and men on the destroyers Trathen, Black, Chauncey and McCord it was the first time they had been home since they took Christmas leave in 1952. As hundreds of wives, relatives, sweethearts and friends broke through the barricade on the end of Pier 21 at the Convoy Escort Piers in Norfolk, a spontaneous roar erupted from the ship's manned rails. A band blared from dockside and everyone including sailors on nearby ships was caught up in the emotional fever of joy and anticipation as loved-ones race up the slippery ramp on the division flagship Trathen. Tears of joy mingled with sounds of laughter. An officer was meeting his youngest child for the first time. A New Jersey mother wept on the shoulder of her son while his sweetheart stood patiently on the other side.
Cake for a Beauty Virginia's finalist in the Miss Universe contest, Dorothy Bailey, was there too. Before the ships pulled in she boarded a Navy craft boat on the pier and, smiling and waving circled each ship as it approached the dock. The crew of the Trathen had a big cake cooked for her, so Dorothy, one of the first to go aboard after the ships came in bussed' the Commissary Stewart Lewis Funderburk, of Salisbury, NC and raced off. While the Trathen, skippered by Comdr. H.B. Hahn, USN, who makes his home in Norfolk at 445 Harvard Street, was being piloted in, members of the crew on board were asked how they felt about coming home from the first indecisive war our country ever fought. Most replied simply that they were glad to get home. Other opinions were varied: Renold Capacasale of Brooklyn, NY said "we've stopped the fire for a while and if it breaks out again, we'll put it out again. Paul Presley, Welch, W Va. "The truce seems to be a good thing. It will save a lot of lives." Donald Townsend of Beaverdale, Pa. "I think we should have a kept on fighting right on up to Moscow. They're going to break out again somewhere else." Chief H. F. Purcell, 1101 Wright Avenue, South Norfolk, "I'm glad it's over. We don't know whether we came out on top or not. Purcell said the ship was off Gibraltar when the Korean truce was signed. While of Korea, the four destroyers, along with other ships from several North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations, supported minesweeping operations, patrolled waters and provided gunfire support for forces ashore. On one mission, Trathen gun crews, with a series of direct hits, destroyed an enemy train to win membership in the United Nation's "Trainbusters Club." In early April, the entire division, half of Destroyer Squadron 28, joined Task Force 77, a fast carrier striking force, and justified their fighting name by aiding in screening operations for carriers on striking missions against the enemy, escorting flattops and conducting separate gun strikes. After being detached from the force, the Trathen and Black went to Sasebo, Japan for maintenance while the Chauncey and McCord operated in hunter-killer exercises between Japan and Korea. Completing their tour on June7, the four ships visited Tokyo, Hong, Singapore, Aden, Athens, Naples, Cannes and Monaco, Gibraltar was the last stop before arriving in Norfolk. Skippers of the other destroyers are Comdr. E.M. Higgins, USN of Sharon, Mass. of the McCord; Comdr. S.A. Bobcznski, USN of Flint, Mich., of the Black, and Comdr. J.W. Daniel, USN, of the Chauncey. The happy spirits of the arriving division was best reflected in the arrival dispatch Captain Cortner wired ashore, "In view of long separation local news, request name and dimensions of Miss Virginia 1953."
This is the itinerary of the USS CHAUNCLEY'S world cruise, commencing at Norfolk, VA on January 10, 1953 and ending at Norfolk, VA on August 6, 1953.
WORLD CRUISE OF THE USS CHAUNCEY DD667 January—August 1953
PORT ARRIVAL DEPARTURE
- Norfolk, VA. 10 January 1953
- Panama, C. Z. 14 January 15 January
- San Diego, CA 22 January 31 January
- Pearl Harbor, T.H. 29 January 31 January
- Midway, 3 February 3 February
Crossed 180th Meridian 5 February ----
- Sasebo, Japan 12 February 15 February
Wonsan, Korea 15 February 13 March
- Sasebo, Japan 15 March 26 March
Task Force "77" 26 March 18 April
- Yokosuka, Japan 18 April 19 April
ASW Exercise 19 April 29 April
- Okinawa 29 April 30 April
- Yokosuka, Japan 2 May 14 May
Task Force "77" 15 May 22 May Inchon, Korea 23 May 24 May Wonsan, Korea 27 May 27 May Task Force "77" 29 May 29 May Wonsan, Korea 30 May 30 May Hungam, Korea 31 May 31 May Task Force "77" 1 June 1 June Pusan, Korea 2 June 2 June
- Sasebo, Japan 2 June 7 June
- Hong Kong, China 10 June 12 June
Crossed the equator 15 June Longitude 106.
- Singapore, Malaya 16 June 18 June
- Colombo, Ceylon 22 June 26 June
- Aden, Arabia 2 July 4 July
Suez Canal 7 July 8 July
- Athens, Greece 10 July 13 July
- Naples, Italy 15 July 19 July
- Cannes, France 20 July 24 July
- Gibraltar 26 July 26 July
- Norfolk, VA 6 August
- Denotes liberty port