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USS Charles R. Ware (DD-865) off Staten Island in 1945
|Name:||Charles R. Ware|
|Namesake:||Lieutenant Charles R. Ware|
|Builder:||Bethlehem Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, New York|
|Laid down:||1 November 1944|
|Launched:||12 April 1945|
|Commissioned:||21 July 1945|
|Struck:||30 November 1974|
|Fate:||Sunk as a target 13 November 1981|
|Class & type:||Gearing-class destroyer|
|Length:||390 ft 6 in (119.02 m)|
|Beam:||41 ft 1 in (12.52 m)|
|Draft:||18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)|
|Speed:||35 kt (34,000 long tons; 39,000 short tons)|
|Complement:||367 officers and enlisted|
|Armament:||6 5", 5 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.|
Charles R. Ware was laid down by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation at Staten Island in New York on 1 November 1944, launched on 12 April 1945 by Mrs. Z. Ware and commissioned on 21 July 1945. The destroyer was named for Lieutenant Charles R. Ware USN (1911–1942), who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for heroism in the Battle of Midway.
From her home ports at Norfolk, Virginia, and after December 1950, Newport, Rhode Island, Charles R. Ware operated through 1960 with the Atlantic Fleet. Along with many deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and northern Europe, she carried out training and overhaul necessary. Her first major cruise, between 1 March and 9 April 1946, was to northern waters, where she aided in developing techniques for cold weather operations, crossing the Arctic Circle.
Shortly thereafter, she served as target ship for submarines training off New London, Connecticut. The tenth of November 1947 found her underway for the Mediterranean, and her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet. After exercising with this force, and calling at ports of northern Europe, she returned to Norfolk 11 March 1948. Her next tour of duty in the Mediterranean came in 1949, during which for 2 weeks she patrolled off the Levant Coast under the direction of the United Nations' Palestine Truce Commission.
Through two cruises to the Caribbean in the summer of 1949, Charles R. Ware aided in the training of members of the Naval Reserve, then took part in a large-scale Arctic operation before preparing for a 1950 tour with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Her 1951 tour was highlighted by operations with ships of the Royal Hellenic Navy. Following her 1953 tour, she conducted antisubmarine warfare exercises with British ships off Northern Ireland, calling then at ports in Ireland, Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium. Later that year she took part in exercises with the aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent off Narragansett Bay.
Early in 1954, she returned to the Mediterranean once more, for a tour of duty which included participation in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operation. Her 1955 deployment began with antisubmarine warfare exercises with the Royal Navy off Northern Ireland, and was followed by her 6th Fleet duty. In summer 1956, she carried midshipmen on a summer training cruise to Northern Europe.
The year 1957 was marked by assignment to escort the ship carrying King Saud of Saudi Arabia into New York harbor for his state visit, and a European cruise during which she exercised with Spanish destroyers. That fall, she put to sea for North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercises and on 20 January 1958, she rescued a downed pilot from Essex (CVA-9) while conducting air operations off the east coast. Shortly thereafter she cleared for the Mediterranean once more.
During the summer of 1959, Charles R. Ware took part in the historic Operation Inland Seas, the first passage of a naval force through the Saint Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes. She took part in the Naval Review in Lake Saint Louis on 26 June, which was taken by Queen Elizabeth II and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and sailed on to call at a number of United States and Canadian ports. During her 1960 Mediterranean tour, she carried German naval observers during an exercise in the Ionian Sea.
Ware underwent FRAM I overhaul at the New York Naval Shipyard from January 1961 through March 1962. During FRAM I, Ware's anti-submarine capabilities, air detection, equipment and crew's living spaces were modernized. Since FRAM I, Ware has been stationed in Mayport, Florida.
In 1962 Ware joined other U.S. Second Fleet Units in the blockade of Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis. During the 1965-66 deployment to the Mediterranean, Ware participated in the successful search for the missing H-Bombs of Palomares, Spain.
Vietnam War deployment in 1967
The year 1967 was the most different year in the history of the ship. On 21 February, Ware left Mayport en route to Vietnam. After passing through the Panama Canal, Ware was for the first time in its lifetime in the Pacific Ocean. New Ports of call for this Atlantic Fleet destroyer were Rodman, Canal Zone; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan; Kaohsuing, Taiwan; Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines; Hong Kong; San Francisco, California; and Acapulco, Mexico.
Ware was a member of Task Group 77.1 on "Operation Sea Dragon", the destruction of North Vietnamese radar complexes. In almost twenty missions, 1080 rounds of ammunition were expended at enemy targets. On five occasions the enemy returned fire, but no hits or casualties were sustained. In all, Ware spent 90 days in the combat zone before returning to Mayport on 19 September 1967. Over 61,000 miles were traveled with 58 underway replenishments accomplished to provide Ware her logistical requirements.
On 2 March 1968, Ware left Mayport for a deployment to U.S. Middle East Force. Ware's route to and from the Middle East stretched 11,000 miles each way between Mayport and Port Louis, Mauritius. During the 195 day deployment, Ware steamed 46,122 miles and crossed the Equator six times. Ware men distributed more than 250 cartons of "Handclasp" gifts of the Navy and American people to hospitals, schools, and orphanages. Ware was relieved of her MIDEASTFOR duties on 7 August 1968, and arrived back in Mayport, Florida on 12 September 1968, once again part of the U.S. Second Fleet. On 22 May 1969 the ship began a four-month major overhaul at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. Upon completion of overhaul, the ship was underway for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for refresher training. When training was completed Ware received her Operational Readiness Inspection; among other accomplishments, Ware was awarded the highest grades in anti-submarine warfare given any destroyer in recent years.
On 27 August 1970, Ware sailed for the Mediterranean for the first time since 1965, to begin a seven-month deployment. The deployment for Ware meant long hours of fleet steaming ranging from carrier operations to screening amphibious support ships. She participated in every kind of exercise from National Week to steaming with Italian ASW research vessels. Shortly after her arrival, Ware found herself along with much of the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the eastern zone of the Mediterranean as civil war erupted in Jordan. During the deployment the ship visited Palma and Barcelona, Spain; Suda Bay, Crete; Brandisi; Naples, and La Spezia, Italy; Cannes, France; and Malta. The year 1972 found Ware in her home port preparing for an INSURV Inspection in March. Ware later conducted local operations and qualified for Naval Gunfire Support during a trip to Cuba and San Juan, Puerto Rico in July.
On 27 September 1972, Ware departed Mayport for a deployment to Middle East Force. The cruise would take her around the globe for the first time in her 28-year history. Ports visited en route MIDEASTFOR were Port of Spain, Trinidad; Recife, Brazil; Luanda, Angola; Lourenco Marques, Mozambique. On 1 November 1972 Ware sailed into Mombasa, Kenya where she became part of MIDEASTFOR. She sailed from Mombasa to Bahrain Island then to sea again as she participated in "Operation Mid-Link" with Navies from Iran, Pakistan, and Great Britain. At the close of "Operation Mid-Link" the Ware crew celebrated Thanksgiving while at anchor off Bandar Abbas, Iran. Ware then set sail for Karachi, Pakistan and then to Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. Prior to departure from Jiddah, Ware embarked with 20 men from the Royal Navy of Saudi Arabia for a training cruise. During the cruise and on the way to Bahrain the Ware was on the scene of a collision of two supertankers (the Horta Barbosa and Sea Star) in the Gulf of Oman. Ware assisted in the search and rescue of the crews of the tankers, receiving 31 survivors on board and provided medical treatment. Ware transported 29 survivors to Bahrain for further treatment and transportation to their homes. Ware's action resulted in messages of "Well Done" from the Chief of Naval Operations and other senior military and civilian authorities. Ware spent Christmas in Bahrain, then on 3 January 1973 set sail for Kuwait; Massawa, Ethiopia; Djiboute, AFARS; Mombasa, Kenya; Victoria, Seychelles; and Port Louis Mauritius, where on 24 February 1973 she was relieved of her duties in MIDEASTFOR. Ware then began her long trek home visiting Colombo, Sri Lanka; Singapore; Hong Kong; Yokosuka, Japan; Midway Island; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; San Diego, California; Manzanillo, Mexico; Rodman, Canal Zone and on 21 April 1973 she returned home to Mayport completing a 207-day trip around the world.
Decommissioning and sinking
Charles R. Ware was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 November 1974 and sunk as a target in the Caribbean on 15 November 1981.
- "1959: Operation Inland Seas". Torsk Volunteer Association, Inc. Retrieved 2008-04-27.[dead link]
- Mideast World Cruise 1972-1973 Book
- Photo gallery at navsource.org
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