SAVE THE DATE! The Tin Can Sailors 2024 National Reunion Will Be Held In Exciting, Historic New Orleans From Sept. 8th-12th. More Information Coming Soon, Check Our Facebook Page For Future Announcements.

Hull Number: DD-742

Launch Date: 09/17/1944

Commissioned Date: 12/11/1944

Decommissioned Date: 01/30/1971

Call Sign: NHWQ

Voice Call Sign: VIPER (DDR), TOMCAT 1

Other Designations: DDR-742



Data for USS Gearing (DD-710) as of 1945

Length Overall: 390’ 6"

Beam: 40’ 10"

Draft: 14’ 4"

Standard Displacement: 2,425 tons

Full Load Displacement: 3,479 tons

Fuel capacity: 4,647 barrels


Six 5″/38 caliber guns
Two 40mm twin anti-aircraft mounts
Two 40mm quadruple anti-aircraft mounts
Two 21″ quintuple torpedo tubes


20 Officers
325 Enlisted


4 Boilers
2 General Electric Turbines: 60,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 34.6 knots

Namesake: FRANK KNOX


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, November 2015

Frank Knox, born 1 January 1874 in Boston, Mass., served in the famous “Rough Riders” in the Spanish-American War, after which he remained active in the Army Reserve during his distinguished career in journalism. He served in France during World War I, rising to major, and in later years was commissioned colonel. His outstanding service as Secretary of the Navy from 11 July 1940 until his death in Washington on 28 April 1944 was marked by brilliant administration of the vast growth of the Navy in those years, as well as a clear understanding of seapower and its key role in national defense.


Fram II. Ex DDR-742, DD-742. Transferred to Greece, as sale, on 01/30/1971 as THEMISTOCLES (D-210). Sunk as target off Crete on 9/11/2001.

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, April 2012

The USS FRANK KNOX (DD-742), named for a secretary of the navy, was a GEARING-class destroyer. She was built at Bath, Maine, and commissioned there in December 1944. She arrived in the Western Pacific in mid-June 1945, in time to participate as part of Task Force 38 in the final carrier air raids on the Japanese home islands. She was present in Tokyo Bay when Japan surrendered on 2 September 1945. The KNOX was deployed several times in the Far East during the late 1940s.

She was reclassified as a radar picket destroyer (DDR) in March 1949. In July 1950, shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War she was headed back across the Pacific. During a combat tour that lasted into 1951, she supported the Inchon invasion, shelled enemy targets ashore, and patrolled the Taiwan Straits. Two more Korean War cruises followed in 1952 and 1953. For the rest of the decade, the KNOX deployed regularly with the Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific.

In 1960–1961 the FRANK KNOX received her FRAM II modernization, acquiring updated radars and other new equipment. She was based in the Far East from late 1961 until mid 1964, then returned home via Australia and the South Pacific. Again deployed in June 1965, she served briefly off Vietnam conducting naval gunfire support and coastal patrol operations. While underway in the South China Sea on 18 July, she ran aground on Pratas Reef. Her crew had to be evacuated by a H-34-type helicopter hovering over her bow. The chopper returned frequently with crew members who fought rough seas during most of the several weeks of salvage operations that finally freed her. She was pulled off as a result of the combined efforts of the USS GRAPPLE (ARS-7), CONSERVER (ARS-39), SIOUX (ATF-75), GREENLET (ASR-10) and COCOPA (ATF-101) Though she was badly damaged and was no longer a new ship, her command and control capabilities justified extensive repair carried out at Yokosuka, Japan, over the next year. The KNOX was back on active duty in November 1966, resuming her nearly annual Seventh Fleet cruises, frequently taking part in Vietnam combat missions.

Redesignated DD-742 at the beginning of 1969, she completed her final deployment as a U.S. Navy ship in November 1970 and was decommissioned at the end of January 1971. The USS FRANK KNOX was transferred to the Greek Navy a few days later. She was renamed THEMISTOKLIS (D-210) in honor of Themistocles, the Athenian statesman who persuaded Athens to build a navy and then led it to victory over the Persians. She served for another two decades before being placed out of commission in the early 1990s. The veteran ship was sunk as a torpedo target by the Greek Submarine NEREUS (S-111) on 12 September 2001.

(Editor’s Note: a video of the torpedoing of the ex-FRANK KNOX can be downloaded and viewed by visiting the Greek Navy website at: The audio is in Greek but the video is self-explanatory.)

USS FRANK KNOX DD-742 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, November 2015

(DD-742: displacement 2,425; length 390’6″; beam 41’2″; draft 15’8″; speed 34 knots; complement 336; armament 6 5-inch, 10 21-inch torpedo tubes, 6 depth charge projectors, 2 depth charge tracks; class Gearing)

Frank Knox (DD-742) was launched 17 September 1944 by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine; sponsored by Mrs. Frank Knox, widow of Secretary Knox; and commissioned 11 December 1944, Commander J. C. Ford, Jr., in command. She was redesignated DDR-742 on 18 March 1949.

After extensive training on both coasts, Frank Knox arrived in San Pedro Bay, P.I., 16 June 1945 to join the fast carrier task forces in their raids against the Japanese home islands. With such a force, she entered Sagami Wan 27 August, and was present in Tokyo Bay during the surrender ceremonies on 2 September. She served on occupation duty in the Far East until sailing for San Diego, her home port, 4 January 1946.

In 1947 and 1948, Frank Knox completed tours of duty in the Far East, and upon the outbreak of the Korean war, sailed 6 July 1950 to join the 7th Fleet’s fast carrier task force in air operations against North Korea. During her tour of duty, she also took part in the Inchon invasion, conducted shore bombardments, patrolled the Taiwan Straits, and on 30 January 1951 joined in a mock invasion of the North Korean coast. This deception proved so effective that Communist troops were withdrawn from central Korea for a time. A final 40-day period was spent in bombardment of the east coast rail centers, Chongjin and Songjin, cutting supply and communications routes.

Returning to San Diego 11 April 1951, Frank Knox operated along the west coast and in the Hawaiians until 19 April 1952, when she sailed for Korean service again. Her duty, similar to that of her first wartime tour, included several weeks in Wonsan Harbor to give fire support to minesweepers. The destroyer returned to west coast duty 18 November 1952. During her 1953 Far Eastern cruise, which coincided with the Korean armistice, Frank Knox conducted patrols, and covered the transportation of former Chinese prisoners of war who had elected to go to Taiwan rather than return from Korea to mainland Communist China.

Her next tour of duty in the western Pacific, in 1955, found Frank Knox taking part in the evacuation of the Tachen Islands. Her annual deployments to the Far East through 1962 included intensive training operations, often with ships of foreign navies, and good will visits to many ports under the President’s “People-to-People” program. Several times she visited ports in Australia and New Zealand.

Frank Knox received one battle star for World War II service, and five for Korean war service.