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Hull Number: DD-880

Launch Date: 01/26/1945

Commissioned Date: 05/21/1945

Decommissioned Date: 02/27/1981

Call Sign: NBHU

Voice Call Sign: OAKTREE, OAKBROOK (64-67), OAKBROOK (51-52) (DDR)

Other Designations: DDR-880



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

Aquilla James Dyess, born 11 January 1909 in Augusta, Ga., served in the Army, then he was appointed first lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve 4 November 1936. He was assigned to active duty at Norfolk 8 November 1940. He was killed in action at Namur Island, Marshall Islands, 2 February 1944. Lieutenant Colonel Dyess was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his daring and forceful leadership in the face of fierce opposition on the day of his death.


Sent to Greece for spare parts 7/8/1981.

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, April 2015

Editors Note: The following is taken from a history of the ship compiled by Chief Petty Officer Ralph J. Brown, Sr., who served aboard her from 1955 to 1960 and from Jim Rice, BM3, aboard from 1948 to 1952. Thanks to USS DYESS veteran Joe Peters for the information.

The USS DYESS (DD 880) was launched on 26 January 1945 in Orange, Texas, commissioned on 21 May 1945, and designated radar picket destroyer DDR-880. Following the war, she operated with the Fifth Fleet in Tokyo Bay and over the ensuing years, she was engaged in regular Mediterranean deployments, a variety of anti-submarine hunter-killer exercises, and amphibious training operations with the Atlantic Fleet. Her Mediterranean tour in 1956 saw her engaged in evacuating Americans during the Suez Canal crisis. In 1964 a Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) conversion equipped her with the most advanced detection and weapons systems for antisubmarine warfare.

She was in the South China Sea in 1966 with the FISKE (DD-842) when she received the call from a small aircraft that was out of fuel and forced to ditch. She arrived in time to rescue the pilot and navigator soon after the plane plunged into the sea and sank. Later that year she was engaged in gunfire support operations in the Tonkin Gulf and served as a gunship for the nuclear-powered missile ship BAINBRIDGE (DLG(N)-25). She was one of the first destroyers to operate in the shallow tidal waters covering operations of South Vietnamese army units in the Mekong Delta. Her five-inch bombardment from 2000 yards offshore was coordinated with jet and helicopter strikes on Vietcong supply and assembly areas, troop concentrations, gun emplacements, and other targets. As the ship continued to provide harassment and interdiction fire, impressed spotters reported “excellent effect and outstanding coverage.”

She left her river coverage to support the South Vietnamese army attacking a large Vietcong base camp twenty miles up the coast from Vung Tao. Firing 185 rapid rounds, she destroyed or damaged six structures and several earthen emplacements, silenced ground fire, and left an undetermined number of Viet Cong casualties. With that job well done, she sailed for home.

Back home in April 1967 with DesRon 12, the DYESS joined the USS SARATOGA (CVA-60) and other ships underway for the Mediterranean. En route, she carried a team of drone operators and repair technicians with 13 propeller-driven drones to be used as targets for anti-aircraft warfare drills. During the subsequent hours flying, firing at, and recovering the drones, the DYESS was the only ship to splash a drone and receive the coveted “Long Rifle” award.

Still in the Med in May 1967, the DYESS was off Izmir, Turkey, when she responded to a distress call from the 40-foot civilian sloop ATLANTIS disabled in heavy seas southeast of Rhodes, Greece. In the early morning, she located the sloop with two people aboard and took it in tow, a job she later passed on for the MASSEY (DD-778) to complete. In early June that year, she entered the Suez Canal at a time of increasing tension between the United Arab Republic (UAR) and Israel. Though no incidents marred her transit, protesters followed the ship in boats and jeered from the banks along the canal. Two days later, when war broke out between the Arabs and Israelis, Israel bombed the canal, preventing the DYESS from returning to the Sixth Fleet in the Med. The sudden intensity of the war kept the DYESS with the Mid-East Force east of Massawa, Ethiopia, to evacuate American citizens and protect U.S. and allied interests in the area. On the morning of 9 June, the DYESS was patrolling just outside of Yemen’s 12-mile limit when a UAR minesweeper approached and warned her to stay outside that country’s territorial waters. Called to general quarters, the destroyer’s crew stood ready as a UAR motor torpedo boat approached at high speed to reenforce the warning. After circling the DYESS, it left with the minesweeper and the destroyer proceeded into the Persian Gulf.

Stateside with the Atlantic Fleet in the late 1960s, she served as an ASW school and surveillance ship at Key West, Florida, then, after an overhaul was bound for the Mediterranean again in 1968. There, during night operations with the USS FORRESTAL, she went to the rescue of one of the carrier’s E2A aircraft. A FORRESTAL helicopter picked up one man and the DYESS rescued the aircraft’s radar intercept officer. Following exercises with the BASILONE (DD-824), CONYNGHAM (DDG-17), INDEPENDENCE (CVA-62), and FORRESTAL (CVA-59), she ended the decade in Black Sea operations under constant surveillance by Soviet naval and air units.

The DYESS began the 1970s with a Northern European deployment. In May 1970, she was underway for Lisbon, Portugal, as a unit of Task Group 83.1, with the WASP (CVS-18), FISKE (DD-842), GARCIA (DE-1040), FORREST SHERMAN (DD-931) and EDWARD MCDONNELL (DE-1043). Following antisubmarine escort duty with the WASP (CVS-18) and USS MARIAS (AO-57), she went on to France for ASW exercises with the FISKE and France’s MAILE BREZE (D-627). She wound up her European tour off Scotland with the WASP (CVS-18) for NATO’s Operation Northern Wedding. By month’s end, she was bound for home and operations out of Newport.

In June 1972, the DYESS was in the Med with the STRONG (DD 758) when she experienced problems with her main propulsion and engineering plants and ultimately had to return to Brooklyn where she remained for the rest of the year. In 1973 she was converted to navy distillate fuel. Soon after a hole was discovered in her reefer decks below the water line and a lateral crack in her hull beneath main control which required a return to the shipyard. In good repair that summer, she rejoined DesRon 28 in Newport for a visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia, then, East Coast operations through year’s end.

The DYESS began 1974 in Newport. Following a training cruise off the Carolinas and Florida, she returned for DesRon 28’s first annual seamanship competition in which she took first place overall. In September she was off Cape Cod engaged in experiments for Newport’s Naval Underwater Systems Center.

In 1975, after a stint in the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard, the DYESS headed for Norfolk to embark the crew of the USS LAFFEY, which was being decommissioned. She joined units of DesRon 30 for operations out of Jacksonville, Florida, and was back in Brooklyn to celebrate her 30th birthday in May. That summer, she was headed for Halifax with the MYLES C. FOX (DD-829), WILLIAM R. RUSH (DD-714), and DAMATO (DD-871) when a heavy fog and an engineering casualty on the FOX caused a minor collision between the DYESS and FOX. No personnel were hurt. She ended the year undergoing a ten month overhaul at the Sun Shipyard and Dry-dock Company in Chester, Pennsylvania. Following sea trials she returned to Brooklyn.

Over the ensuing year, operations with DesRon 28 out of Brooklyn took her to Norfolk, Mayport, Florida, and Guantanamo Bay. She began 1977 at sea for reserve training, active duty training, and underway exercises with DesRon 28. A joint Canadian-British-U.S. exercise in early June, was followed by training at Little Creek Amphibious School, gunfire support exercises off Bloodsworth Island in the Chesapeake Bay, and routine operations.

Following an engineering system upgrade, she got underway in the middle of a snowstorm in January 1978 for Charleston, South Carolina. There, a Naval Board of Inspection and Survey found her fit to continue in naval service on 22 February. That March, the DYESS began reserve training cruises with DesRon 28 and over the ensuing months, her crew qualified in antisubmarine warfare, naval gunfire support, electronic warfare, communications, damage control, deck seamanship, engineering, and naval gunfire support. They also demonstrated her antisubmarine warfare, gunnery, and CIC capabilities, especially in testing the “over the horizon” targeting capabilities of the navy’s Harpoon cruise missile. The DYESS ended the year with the MYLES C. FOX on a visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia, then routine operatons out of Newport and New York.

Early 1979 found the DYESS bound for a winter deployment at the U.S. Naval Station, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. When, in May her possible decommissioning was announced, an officer of the Hellenic navy inspected her for possible transfer to Greece. She continued routine operations until her weapons were offloaded for a decommissioning that October. That date was postponed until finally the go-ahead arrived in December and she was decommissioned on 27 February 1981.

Her ultimate fate is uncertain. In one report, the DYESS was transferred to Greece and eventually scrapped. Another, however, reports the DYESS being seen in Brooklyn in 1981 being cut up, then sold to Greece as scrap.

USS DYESS DD-880 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, April 2016

Dyess (DD-880) was launched 26 January 1945 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.; sponsored by Mrs. A. J. Dyess, widow of Lieutenant Colonel Dyess; and commissioned 21 May 1945, Commander R. L. Fulton in command. She was reclassified DDR-880 18 March 1949.

After her shakedown cruise and conversion to a radar picket destroyer, Dyess sailed from Norfolk 7 November 1945 to join the 5th Fleet at Tokyo Bay 19 December for occupation duty in the Far East. She returned to San Diego 16 December 1946, and on 6 January 1947, got underway for the east coast, arriving at Norfolk 23 January. She served in local training cruises until August of that year when she sailed to Rio de Janiero, Brazil, to escort President H. S. Truman embarked in Missouri (BB-63) as far as Norfolk when he transferred to the Presidential yacht Williamsburg (AGC-369) which Dyess escorted to Washington, D.C.

Dyess arrived at Newport, R.I., 27 September 1947 for local training operations. After a tour of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean from 29 October to 14 February 1948, she returned to her home port of Norfolk. Until the end of 1958 Dyess made nine tours of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, patrolling to preserve peace and engaging in exercises with NATO forces. She also sailed on two midshipman cruises, one to southern Europe in the summer of 1948 and one to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the summer of 1951. The remainder of her service has been as varied as her capabilities. She has acted as plane guard during the qualifying of pilots in carrier operations and has joined in hunter-killer exercises, amphibious training, and large-scale fleet exercises. She assisted in the evacuation of American nationals from Suez during the tense situation which developed during her 1956 Mediterranean cruise. In the summer of 1958 she joined in strengthening the free world’s defenses with NATO operations in northern Europe.

Dyess operated along the east coast and off Cuba in 1959, and on 25 July arrived at Charleston, S.C., her new home port. On 29 January 1960 she sailed on her tenth deployment to the Mediterranean.

Dyess returned to Charleston, S.C. in August, and in October entered Charleston Naval Ship Yard, where she remained until the end of 1960.