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Hull Number: DD-851

Launch Date: 09/21/1945

Commissioned Date: 03/08/1946

Call Sign: NBDJ (52-55)

Voice Call Sign: CLEARCUT (52-55), SEARCH PARTY



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



Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, April 2016

William Henry Rupertus, born in Washington, D.C., on 14 November 1889, graduated from the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service School in 1913. Commissioned a Lieutenant of Marines on 14 November, he then attended the Marine Corps Officer’s School and graduated in the class of 1915. During World War I he saw service as a lieutenant on board Florida (BB-30) then attached to the British Grand Fleet. Following a tour of duty in Haiti, where he earned that country’s Distinguished Service Medal, he attended both the Field Officer’s and the Army Command and General Staff Schools, then served in China as a major with the Legation Guard in Peiping. A tour at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington followed, and in 1936 he was appointed Chief of Staff, Fleet Marine Force. Another tour in China as Executive Officer of the 4th Marines in Shanghi [sic; Shanghai ?] preceeded [sic; preceded] his appointment as Commandant of the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. The outbreak of World War II found General Rupertus second in command of the 1st Marine Division, which, under Major General Vandergrift opened the U.S. offensive in the Pacific by landing in the Solomons on 7 August 1942. General Rupertus organized and led the successful attacks on Tulagi, Gavutu, and Tanambogo for which he was awarded the Navy Cross. On 10 July 1943 Major General Rupertus succeeded to the command of the 1st Marine Division, which he led to further victories on New Britain and in the Palaus. For the former he was personally thanked by General MacArthur and awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal; for the latter he received the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. After the victory at Peleliu, General Rupertus returned to the United States to serve as Commandant, Marine Corps School (Quantico). He died on 25 March 1945, while serving in that capacity.


To Greece 7/10/1973 as Kountouriotis. Stricken 7/10/1973

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, July 2000

World War I veteran, Marine Corps General William H. Rupertus led several World War II offensives. The DD-851 was launched on 21 September 1945, the year of the general’s death, and commissioned on 8 March 1946. Her first two Far Eastern tours took her to Tsingtao, China, where in 1949 she, the MANCHESTER (CL-83), and DIACHENKO (APD-1123), were the last American ships to leave before the Communist takeover.

The RUPERTUS was back in the western Pacific in November 1950, with the carrier SICILY (CVE-118) off Hungnam, Korea. She and the FECHTELER (DD-870) then joined the United Nations blockade and escort Task Force 95 until June 1951, when the RUPERTUS spent ten days shelling enemy targets near Songjin with the LEONARD F. MASON (DD-852) and THOMPSON (DMS-38), which later was hit badly by shore batteries. During these operations, four of the RUPE’s company, Ensign Robbins, Seamen Barry and Ward, and Fireman Harps, towed Republic of Korea raiding parties within 2,000 yards of the beach in the motor whaleboat. The DD-851 next steamed with the LOS ANGELES (CA-135) to fire some 459 five-inch rounds covering U.N. forces north of the 38th parallel. Combat action continued until 4 July 1951, when she, the FECHTELER, and LOS ANGELES sailed to Inchon during the armistice talks.

She returned briefly to San Diego, and then was back off Korea in the spring of 1952 bombarding the Hungnam area with the MANCHESTER (CL-83). There, she sped through heavy fire from shore to rescue a downed pilot from the BOXER (CV-21). Following Taiwan Patrol duty and task force operations, she joined the BREMERTON (CA-130), JUNEAU (CLAA-119), and RICHARD B. ANDERSON (DD-786) for sea-air gun strikes against Korean coastal targets. In late August, the RUPERTUS and BREMERTON assisted in salvaging a tug sunk in Hungnam Harbor. Following overhaul at Long Beach, she returned in the summer of 1953 for shore bombardment missions, hunter-killer exercises off Japan, Korean coastal patrol, Chinese Nationalist naval student training cruises, and the centennial celebration of Commodore Perry’s first visit to Japan.

After the Korean truce, she continued annual deployments to the western Pacific, operating with the carriers RANGER (CVA-61), TICONDEROGA (CV-14), and CORAL SEA (CVA-43). In November 1960, she rescued a CORAL SEA airman blown overboard during flight operations. The following April, she was off Vietnam during the Communist advance. During 1961 and 1962, she served at various times with the MIDWAY (CVA-41), BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA-31), and LEXINGTON (CVA-16) as a unit of Destroyer Squadron 3, which included the HIGBEE (DD-806), ORLECK (DD-886), HENRY W. TUCKER (DDR-875), GEORGE K. MACKENZIE (DD-836), and LEONARD F. MASON. August 1962 found the RUPE’s crew assisting residents, during the eruption of a volcano on Miyake Jima off Honshu, Japan. That December, she returned to San Francisco for a FRAM I overhaul and installation of modern antisubmarine warfare weapons including ASROC and DASH systems.

As flagship of Destroyer Division 32, she headed for Yokosuka in May 1964 with the MACKENZIE and TUCKER. She began her tour on Taiwan patrol, and, after the August Tonkin Gulf incident, spent three months in the South China Sea. She participated in operations supporting the June 1965 Gemini IV space flight and then returned to South Vietnamese waters for Market Time operations, boarding and searching vessels from junks to ships for Communist contraband. Later, she and the MACKENZIE fired in support of the amphibious operation “Blue Marlin.”

Taiwan patrol and operations on Dixie Station in the South China Sea continued throughout 1966, interrupted by the GT-9A recovery mission in May and June and a return to Long Beach. She was  with the FORRESTAL (CVA-59) on Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf on 29 July 1967 when explosions rocked the carrier and set it ablaze. Despite the danger, she maneuvered to within twenty feet of the crippled ship and remained alongside for three hours fighting fires, cooling magazines, and rescuing crew. She then began Sea Dragon operations to interdict North Vietnamese logistics craft. On 7 August 1967, she suffered minor shrapnel damage when shore batteries near Dong Hoi, North Vietnam, fired on her and the MACKENZIE. Later that month, she joined the TUCKER, BRUSH (DD-745), and DAVIDSON (DE-1045) in an unsuccessful two-day search for the crew of an RA-5C reconnaissance aircraft. In the fall, she and the MORTON (DD-948) supported I Corps area operations against the Viet Cong. She went on to complete over thirty-five Sea Dragon missions against North Vietnamese shore installations, troop concentrations, and water craft. The RUPE relieved the RICHARD S. EDWARDS (DD-950) in the I Corps area and by December was fighting heavy seas as she headed home with the CONSTELLATION (CVA-64) and MACKENZIE.

Following overhaul and exercises off the California coast, the RUPERTUS, was again in the Far East and by August 1968 was firing in support of Republic of Korea forces around Qui Nhon. At month’s end, she began Sea Dragon duties, dodging enemy fire as she joined the JOSEPH STRAUSS (DDG-16) in shelling coastal defense sites. After serving as part of the Apollo 7 recovery team, she relieved the JENKINS (DD-447) as the North Search and Rescue Gun Support Ship working with the FOX (DLG-33). In late November 1968, she participated in a special air demonstration with the HANCOCK (CV-19), MAHAN (DLG-11), DECATUR (DDG-31), and SAMUEL N. MOORE (DD-747).

Early in 1969, she relieved the POWER (DD-839) as gun support ship for the MAHAN off the coast of North Vietnam and later was on the gun line south of Danang; in the I, II, III, and IV Corps areas; on Yankee Station; and off the Demilitarized Zone. On 16 July, the RUPERTUS rescued the crew of a downed helicopter from the IWO JIMA (LPH-2). She participated in exercises with a number of U.S. submarines and served at various times throughout 1969 with the STERETT (DLG-31), ORLECK, GOLDSBOROUGH (DDG-20), CARPENTER (DD-825), NOA (DD-841), ROBISON (DDG-12), FRANK KNOX (DD-742), WADDELL (DDG-24), MEREDITH (DD-890), THEODORE E. CHANDLER (DD-717), COLLETT (DD-730), TURNER JOY (DD-951), BRADLEY (DE-1041), TRUXTUN (DLGN-35), JOHN A. BOLE (DD-755), and SOUTHERLAND (DD-743).

From 1970 through 1972, she alternated between operations off San Diego and Vietnam where she maintained a rigorous schedule of shooting, underway replenishments, and dodging typhoons. She served with the ORISKANY (CV-34), EDSON (DD-946), REEVES (DLG-24), HENRY B. WILSON (DDG-7), HOLLISTER (DD-788), and BAUSELL (DD-845) before returning to the gun line for the last time on 27 December 1972. The RUPERTUS was decommissioned on 10 July 1973 and became the Hellenic navy’s KOUNTOURIOTIS (D-213). Greece used her until 1995 when she was decommissioned and placed in “terminal reserve.”

USS RUPERTUS DD-851 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, April 2016

Rupertus (DD-851) was laid down 2 May 1945 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; launched 21 September 1945; sponsored by Mrs. William H. Rupertus; and commissioned 8 March 1946, Comdr. William C. F. Robards in command.

Following shakedown off Guantanamo Bay and visits to various east coast ports, Rupertus transited the Panama Canal and steamed to San Francisco. Since 1946 she has alternated deployments to the western Pacific with operations off the west coast of the United States.

On her first deployment in 1947 she operated throughout the Far East, but particularly at Tsingtao, China. In the eastern Pacific throughout 1948, she returned to Tsingtao in 1949 only to be one of the last three American ships to leave that port before it fell to the Communists.

Returning to San Diego in December for operations in the eastern Pacific and overhaul, she departed San Diego 13 November 1950 to operate with U.N. forces off Korea. She escorted carrier Sicily (CVE-118) from Sasebo to Hungnam, Korea; then, from 14 May 1951, operated with blockade and escort TF 95 off the west coast of Korea and in the Yellow Sea. Leaving TF 95 and steaming to Wonsan, Rupertus spent 10 days off the coast near Songju and fired thousands of rounds of ammunition at shore targets. Rupertus saw continuous combat service until 4 July 1951, when she returned to Inchon during the armistice talks.

Returning to San Diego 8 August 1951, Rupertus steamed out again to rejoin the 7th Fleet 23 February 1952. Operating first with carrier TF 77, she then departed to bombard the Hungnam-Hannum area with Manchester (CL-83) and rescued a pilot from Boxer (CV-21) while under heavy Communist shore battery fire. Rupertus put in to the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for overhaul on 6 October.

Departing San Diego for the western Pacific again 16 May 1953, Rupertus screened Bremerton (CA-130) in TF 77, participated in shore bombardment missions off Korea, conducted hunter-killer exercises, trained Chinese Nationalist naval students in Formosan waters, and participated in the centennial celebration of Commodore M. C. Perry’s first visit to Japan, before returning to San Diego.

After the Korean truce, Rupertus continued her annual deployments to WestPac until 1960 when she was assigned Yokosuka as a homeport. In WestPac for almost 3 consecutive years, she operated off Vietnam during the Communist advance there in April 1961.

Rupertus returned to San Francisco 13 December 1962, and following a FRAM I overhaul, which replaced her World War II armament with a modern integrated ASW weapons system including ASROC and DASH, she entered her temporary homeport of Long Beach, Calif. On 26 May 1964 she again steamed for Yokosuka, Taiwan Patrol and after the August Tonkin Gulf incident, the South China Sea. Remaining in the Far East, in June 1965 she participated in operations supporting the Gemini IV space flight; then returned to Vietnamese waters for “Market Time” operations, boarding and inspecting many boats and ships off South Vietnam in search of Communist contraband; and provided naval gunfire support to U.S. forces in Vietnam. Operations on Taiwan Patrol and in the South China Sea continued throughout 1966, interrupted by participation in GT-9A recovery operations in May and June.

Rupertus, again homeported at Long Beach, arrived there 3 August 1966. A year later she sailed for the Far East again arriving on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin in July. With Forrestal (CVA-59) when a series of explosions temporarily disabled the giant carrier on 29 July, Rupertus maneuvered to within 20 feet of the crippled ship and remained alongside for a period of 3 hours assisting in fighting fires, cooling magazines, and rescuing personnel thrown into the sea. Rupertusthen participated in “Sea Dragon” operations involving the interdiction of waterborne logistics craft staging from North Vietnamese ports, and drew enemy fire off Dong Hoi, North Vietnam, which resulted in minor shrapnel hits. Assigned to gunfire support off South Vietnam in October, she returned to Long Beach on 4 December.

Following overhaul and exercises off the California coast, Rupertus again got underway for WestPac on 3 July 1968. She arrived in her new homeport, Yokosuka, 22 July, and assumed naval gunfire support responsibilities off South Vietnam on 14 August. Taking up “Sea Dragon” duties on 29 August, she again came under fire from enemy coastal defense sites. After serving as part of the Apollo 7 recovery team, she returned to duties off Vietnam and then plane guard duty off Korea, winding up 1968 in Yokosuka.

Continuing to operate throughout the Far East during 1969, part of that time off Vietnam, Rupertus returned to San Diego 15 August 1970. She remained in San Diego for the rest of 1970, spending much of the time in drydock.

Both 1971 and 1972 brought Rupertus a WestPac cruise, each of about six months duration and alternated with operations in the San Diego area. Soon after her return from the second of these latest deployments, in the spring of 1973, she underwent an INSURV inspection which resulted in her being declared unfit for further service. Rupertus was offered to the Hellenic Navy on a loan basis and she was decommissioned 10 July 1973. Concurrent with her decommissioning, she was transferred to the Hellenic Navy and recommissioned as Kountouriotis (D-213). She remained in the Greek Navy until retired in 1994.

Rupertus earned seven battle stars for service in the Korean Conflict.