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Hull Number: DD-804

Launch Date: 06/06/1944

Commissioned Date: 09/02/1944

Decommissioned Date: 07/26/1962

Call Sign: NTNA

Voice Call Sign: BEANSTALK (52-55), ZEUS (59), IRONCLAD (FEB/MAR 45), SCRAPPER (58)


Class: FLETCHER

FLETCHER Class

Data for USS Fletcher (DD-445) as of 1945


Length Overall: 376’ 5"

Beam: 39’ 7"

Draft: 13’ 9"

Standard Displacement: 2,050 tons

Full Load Displacement: 2,940 tons

Fuel capacity: 3,250 barrels

Armament:

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

Complement:

20 Officers
309 Enlisted

Propulsion:

4 Boilers
2 General Electric Turbines: 60,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 35.2 knots

Namesake: ALBERT HAROLD ROOKS

ALBERT HAROLD ROOKS

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, April 2016

Albert Harold Rooks, born at Colton, Wash., 29 December 1891, was appointed midshipman 13 July 1910; commissioned ensign on 6 June 1914; and subsequently advanced through the ranks until becoming captain on 1 July 1940. During World War I, he served in West Virginia (ACR-5), St. Louis (CA-18), and Mohican and commanded submarines A-5 (SS-6), B-2 (SS-11), and F-2 (SS-21). He subsequently commanded H-4 (SS-147), Phelps (DD-360) and Houston (CA-30), and served in other vessels and on various shore assignments as well. He earned the Medal of Honor for “extraordinary heroism, outstanding courage, gallantry in action and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the USS Houston during the period of 4-27 February, 1942, while in action with superior Japanese enemy aerial and surface forces.” During this period Houston survived six air attacks and one major naval engagement, doing considerable damage to the enemy while being heavily damaged herself in one air attack and in the naval engagement. Captain Rooks died on the bridge as a result of enemy inflicted wounds and went down with his ship after her courageous fight against overwhelming odds in the Battle of Sunda Strait, 1 March 1942.


Disposition:

To Chile 7/26/1962 as Cochrane. Stricken 9/1/1975.


A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History

USS ROOKS DD-804

The Tin Can Sailor, April 2002

The ROOKS (DD-804) was launched on 6 June and commissioned on 2 September 1944. By 22 January 1945 she was on her way to Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, carrying the commander of a flotilla of LSTs bound for Iwo Jima. On D-day 19 February 1945 the ROOKS sent her LSTs on their way to the beach, spent a brief time on radar picket duty, and in the afternoon, proceeded to cover marines fighting their way ashore on the island’s southeastern shore. Near sunset she began her bombardment and soon was under fire from an enemy battery. She quickly silenced the gun and continued to pound Japanese positions. Her crew remained at battle stations throughout the night of 21–22 February and on the morning of the 22nd one of her crew was killed by shrapnel from an enemy mortar battery. The ROOKS left Iwo on 28 February for escort duty to Saipan and Leyte and on 25 March, to Okinawa.

Arriving at Okinawa on Easter Sunday, 1 April 1945, the ROOKS began 87 consecutive days of shore bombardment during which she fired 18,624 rounds of 5-inch shells. Her crew went to general quarters 131 times, and she was targeted by kamikazes on four occasions during which she splashed six enemy planes. She also tracked and was under attack by what appeared to be a baka, or human, bomb. Under heavy attack again at 0100 on 6 April, the destroyer assisted in splashing six planes. That afternoon, at about 1600, more than 100 enemy planes swooped down on her patrol area. Over the next hour, her gunners splashed one kamikaze and assisted in downing five others before the ship was called to assist the HYMAN, which had been badly damaged by a suicide plane and was still under attack. After splashing a Zeke and a Val, the ROOKS escorted the crippled destroyer to Hagushi anchorage. There she sent her medical officer and pharmacist mates to aid the HYMAN’s wounded.

The ROOKS’s ranged from one end of Okinawa to the other and on one occasion had to pass through a narrow, poorly charted channel, fighting strong currents and a head sea. Under enemy mortar and rocket fire, she ran the gauntlet, her 5-inch guns firing, first to port, then to starboard until she silenced the enemy batteries. As the Okinawan campaign raged through May and into June, the ROOKS conducted shore bombardment, firing day and night for three days at a time with quick breaks for rest and replenishment. She was spared damage from the kamikazes who focused on the larger ships in her company. On 5 June, she was with the LOUISVILLE (CA-28) and MISSISSIPPI (BB-41) when the two were hit by suicide planes. Later, she and the WEST VIRGINIA (BB-48) sent an attacking plane blazing into the water just off the ROOKS’s stern.

On 4 July, the ROOKS served as a fire support and radar picket vessel during a major minesweeping operation to open the East China Sea. She also helped sink drifting mines and guided the sweepers along their track. Leaving Buckner Bay, Okinawa, on 1 August, she escorted the SALT LAKE CITY (CA-25) and CHESTER (CA-27) to Saipan, then transports to Leyte. En route to Okinawa with a group of LSTs, the ROOKS celebrated her first birthday as her crew listened to the radio broadcast of the Japanese surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay on 2 September. On 11 September she headed for Nagasaki and for the first time since her commissioning ran with navigational lights on and movies on the fantail. She entered that devastated port with the WICHITA (CA-45), SMITH (DD-378), MUGFORD (DD-389), SHANNON (DD-737), and CHENANGO (ACV-28) to assist in the repatriation of Allied prisoners of war. When she left Nagasaki on the 15th, she carried 92 former POWs to Okinawa and then headed for home. Reporting to the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Bremerton on 15 November 1945, she was placed out of commission on 11 June 1946.

The Korean War brought her back into commission on 19 May 1951. She transferred to DesRon 20 at Newport, R.I., that October and, with the squadron, was underway for Korea in September 1952. There she served as escort and plane guard for the fast carriers of Task Force 77 and the U.N. Blockade and Escort Force. She participated in the bombardment of the North Korean ports of Songjin, Wonsan, and Chongjin, shelling railroad bridges, marshaling yards, and coastal transport facilities. In February 1953 she returned to Newport via the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and North Atlantic.

Routine operations out of Newport, a Mediterranean cruise, duty as a gunnery school training ship, ASW exercises, and Atlantic barrier patrol duty during the Suez Canal crisis took her into 1957. Over the next two years she deployed to the Mediterranean and Red Sea. During the crisis in Lebanon in July 1958, the ROOKS and other ships of the Sixth Fleet patrolled off the Lebanese coast. When that crisis ended peacefully, she was ordered to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf because of rising tensions in that region. Serious trouble was averted, and she returned home for overhaul followed by routine exercises along the East Coast and in the Caribbean, a two-month midshipman cruise, two more deployments to the Mediterranean and one to the Arabian Sea. In 1961 she was on stand-by for America’s first manned space shot, conducted a  midshipman cruise to Halifax, and participated in ASW operations in the Northeast Atlantic. The ROOKS continued to operate with the Atlantic Fleet until 26 July 1962 when she was loaned under the Military Assistance Program to Chile and renamed the COCHRANE. She was struck from the navy’s list on 1 September 1975.

USS ROOKS DD-804 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, April 2016

Rooks (DD-804) was laid down on 27 October 1943 by the Seattle-Tacoma Ship Building Corp., Seattle, Wash.; launched on 6 June 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Edith R. Rooks, widow of Captain Rooks; and commissioned on 2 September 1944, Comdr. Robert F. Martin in command.

Following shakedown off San Diego and an availability at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Rooks steamed to the Hawaiian Islands for amphibious landing rehearsals and shore bombardment exercises. On 22 January 1945, she got underway in company with a flotilla of LSTs for Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, the first stop en route to the forward battle area. Rooks and her LSTs then proceeded to Saipan for another landing rehearsal.

Arriving at Iwo Jima on “D-day,” 19 February 1945, Rooks sent her LSTs on their way to the beach, then assumed duties as a radar picket vessel. In the afternoon she proceeded to the southeastern corner of the island to cover the Marine landings and silenced several enemy batteries. Rooks again fired on the Iwo Jima beaches 21-22 February and 25-26 February losing one seaman to shrapnel from a mortar on the 22d. During this period Rooks also provided radar warning and antisubmarine protection on the screening cordon thrown around the island.

On 28 February, Rooks departed Iwo Jima for Saipan in the screen of a group of transports. She then proceeded in company with another destroyer to Ulithi; escorted two escort carriers to Leyte; and after training exercises, departed Leyte for Okinawa Gunto on 25 March.

Arriving at Okinawa Jima on Easter Sunday, 1 April 1945, Rooks began 87 consecutive days of shore bombardment during which she fired 18,624 rounds of 5 inch shells. During this period she went to general quarters for bona fide air alerts 131 times, and on four occasions was the direct target of kamikaze attack. She was credited with splashing six enemy aircraft at Okinawa.

In addition to shore bombardment, Rooks also occupied antisubmarine and antiaircraft patrol stations, and for a number of nights steamed with the surface covering force for the island operation. Every second or third day she proceeded to Kerama Retto to replenish ammunition, fuel, and provisions.

The 6th of April was the most critical day in Rooks’ career. At 0100 she assisted in splashing six planes which attacked the Allied force. At about 1600, her area was subjected to an enemy air attack by at least 110 planes and, between then and 1648, she splashed one kamikaze and assisted in downing five others. At 1712 she was called upon to assist and escort to port USS Hyman (DD-732) which had been badly damaged by a Japanese suicide plane. Arriving on the scene, Rooksfound Hyman again under attack. After splashing a “Zeke” and a “Val,” she escorted Hyman into the Hagushi anchorage and sent a medical officer and pharmacist’s mates aboard to aid the wounded.

On 4 July, Rooks sortied with minecraft of various types and sizes, for a large-scale minesweeping operation to open the East China Sea. The only destroyer in the group, she was assigned as a fire support vessel, but her firing was confined to sinking drifting mines. She acted as a radar picket, as a “pointing” vessel in guiding the sweepers along their track, and was frequently called upon to furnish accurate navigational positions of the buoys laid to mark the limits of the swept area. This operation lasted throughout July.

On 1 August, Rooks sortied from Buckner Bay, Okinawa, to escort Salt Lake City (CA-25) and Chester (CA-27) to Saipan. Proceeding on to Ulithi, she then escorted three transports to Leyte and after repairs, departed Leyte on 1 September. She escorted a group of LSTs to Okinawa, then, on the 11th, steamed for Nagasaki to assist in the repatriation of prisoners of war. She departed Nagasaki on the 15th for Okinawa with 92 former POWs, mostly British officers captured at Singapore. She then returned to Nagasaki and carried Rear Admiral Blandy, Commander Destroyers, Pacific Fleet, to inspect the former great Japanese naval base of Sasebo. She continued to operate in Japanese and Okinawan waters until departing Yokosuka on 26 October for Pearl Harbor and San Francisco, where she arrived on 10 November.

On 15 November 1945, Rooks reported to the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Bremerton. Assigned to the San Diego Group, she was placed out of commission, in reserve, on 11 June 1946 and was completely inactivated by 17 August 1946.

Rooks recommissioned at San Diego on 19 May 1951 and after a brief tour of duty with the Pacific Fleet, transited the Panama Canal to join the Atlantic Fleet and Destroyer Squadron 20 at Newport, R.I., on 13 October. During the next year she underwent training, particularly in ASW and completed a major overhaul. On 6 September 1952, Destroyer Squadron 20 departed the east coast of the United States for Korea where Rooks supported the U.N. effort by serving as escort and planeguard for the fast carrier task force, TF 77, and the U.N. Blockade and Escort Force, TF 95. She was most active in shore bombardment, shelling the North Korean ports of Songjin, Wonsan, and Chongjin. In February 1953 she got underway to return to Newport, R.I., via the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and North Atlantic, reaching Newport, R.I., 11 April.

At Newport, Rooks resumed operations with the 2d Fleet. During mid-1954 she underwent overhaul and from September to February 1955 she was deployed to the Mediterranean. On her return to the United States she served as afloat training ship for the students of the Destroyers, Atlantic Gunnery School, then with the summer, shifted to ASW and convoy exercises in which she was employed for the balance of the year.

During 1956 Rooks operated off the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean. During December she served on the Atlantic barrier patrol, then, with the new year, 1957, resumed normal operations off the Atlantic coast, making two separate deployments to the Mediterranean, including one sortie into the Red Sea, by September 1958.

Following overhaul and further exercises off the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean, Rooks again deployed to the Mediterranean until August 1959. During 1960 she conducted a 2-month midshipman cruise and made a deployment to the Arabian Sea, via the Mediterranean, for a combined CENTO exercise. During 1961 she underwent training in the Caribbean and Atlantic; then stood by, on station, for America’s first manned space shot; conducted a midshipman cruise to Halifax; and participated in ASW operations in the northeast Atlantic, with calls at Portsmouth, England, and Rotterdam.

Rooks continued to operate with the Atlantic Fleet until July 1962 when she was loaned under the Military Assistance Program to Chile. Renamed Cochrane., the destroyer remained in service until retired in 1983.

Rooks earned three battle stars for World War II services and two battle stars for service in the Korean conflict.