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Hull Number: DD-768



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



Wikipedia (as of 2024)

William R. Hoel (7 March 1824 – 23 May 1879) was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War.[1] A native of Butler County, Ohio, Hoel was a Mississippi River steamboat pilot when he entered the United States Navy 19 October 1861.

Hoel’s first wife was Mary Riley, daughter of Daniel Riley, of Cincinnati. His second wife was Elizabeth Hunt, eldest daughter of Dr. Samuel Pancoast Hunt and his wife Elizabeth Thomas, of Morrow, Warren County, Ohio. Captain Hoel and Elizabeth Hoel had two children: Sarah Elizabeth Hoel and Rion Hoel.[2]

On 6 February 1862, while serving as the First Master of Cincinnati, Hoel was wounded during the Battle of Fort Henry. Less than two months later, on 4 April, he volunteered to pilot gunboat Carondelet in her famous run past the Rebel batteries at Island Number 10 to reach Maj. Gen. John Pope‘s Army at New Madrid. The gunboat’s valiant dash through a hailstorm of Confederate fire enabled Union forces to cross the river and to take this key island with quantities of cannon, equipment and stores. It thus opened the Mississippi for operations by Union gunboats bringing the Federal armies in a long stride to within sight of Memphis.

Hoel’s courageous and skillful service on this occasion won the praise of Flag-Officer Andrew H. Foote, the thanks of the Navy from Secretary Gideon Welles, and promotion to the rank of Acting Volunteer Lieutenant effective 29 April 1862.

On 10 May 1862 Hoel assumed command of Cincinnati when serious wounds incapacitated her captain, Commander Roger N. Stembel. The new commander of the Western Flotilla, Captain Charles Henry Davis, took this opportunity to express his admiration of Hoel. “I can not praise more than they deserve his high valor and ability. He sets the highest example to those below him, and if it were possible to give him a permanent position worthy of his merits, the Navy would be the gainer …”

On 29 October, Hoel then took command of USS Pittsburg on which he served with distinction in the campaign to take Vicksburg. One of Lieutenant Hoel’s exploits during this campaign is of special interest since it foreshadowed the heroism of the World War II destroyer which bore his name, USS Hoel.

On 29 April 1863, as Acting Rear Admiral David D. Porter‘s flotilla was bombarding the Confederate Batteries at Grand Gulf, his flagship, USS Benton, became unmanageable and was caught under heavy fire in a position where she could neither steer nor reply to the enemy guns. On seeing Porter’s predicament, Hoel slipped the Pittsburg in between Benton and the flaming Rebel batteries to protect her by taking the fire himself. In the next 10 minutes his heroism cost the Pittsburg 6 men killed and 8 wounded, but the sacrifice allowed Benton to extricate herself from the deadly trap.

The bombardment was so successful that the next day General Ulysses Grant safely moved his troops across the Mississippi to begin the operations which at long last isolated and captured Vicksburg.

Hoel was promoted to Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Commander on 10 November 1864.

Detached from Pittsburg, he then took command of USS Vindicator 1 March 1865 on which he served until 7 July 1865. He was honorably discharged on 30 December 1865.

Hoel returned to piloting, was active in the Grand Army of the Republic, and eventually served as master of the lighthouse tender Lily.

In 1867, Hoel traveled on the Quaker City ship to Europe and the Holy Land along with other tourists, including Mark Twain, which Twain wrote about in his book The Innocents Abroad.

He married a second time but became suspicious of his wife Elizabeth’s relationship with a local doctor. He confronted them with a pistol in May 1879 but was shot and killed in the struggle. After an inquest, the doctor was not charged with any crime.[3]


Construction cancelled 09/13/1946. Scrapped on ways.

USS HOEL DD-768 Ship History

Wikipedia (as of 2024)

USS Hoel (DD-768) was a planned United States Navy Gearing-class destroyer laid down during World War II but never completed. The ship was to be named after William R. Hoel (1824-1879), a United States Navy officer Navy Cross recipient.

Hoel was laid down by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation at San FranciscoCalifornia on 21 April 1944. The end of World War II in August 1945 resulted in the termination of the contract for her construction on 13 September 1946. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register that day and scrapped on the building ways.