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Hull Number: DD-940

Launch Date: 04/12/1956

Commissioned Date: 02/01/1957

Decommissioned Date: 03/04/1983

Call Sign: NFFS

Voice Call Sign: GUNSMOKE (66-67), GUNSMITH (1970), CRUSADER (57-58)





Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1980)

John Manley of Boston, born circa 1733, was selected for command of schooner Lee 24 October 1775. As Captain of Lee, on 28 November he captured one of the most valuable prizes of the Revolutionary War—British brigantine Nancy carrying much ordnance and military stores for British troops in Boston that proved invaluable to Washington’s army. For his “great vigilance and industry,” Manley was appointed commodore in January 1776 of “Washington’s fleet,” a group of small armed ships fitted out by him to harass the British and to seize supply vessels. Commissioned captain in the Continental Navy 17 April 1776, he sailed in Hancock until the frigate and her prize, HMS frigate Fox, were taken in July 1777. Imprisoned in New York until March 1778, he then entered privateer service to command Marlborough, Cumberland, and a prize, HMS Jason, until 1782, except for two more periods of imprisonment, one for 2 years in Mill Prison, England. On 11 September 1782, he returned to the Navy with command of frigate Hague. On a West Indies voyage he made a spectacular escape from a superior naval force; and, in January 1783, took the last significant prize of the war, Baille. Regarded as one of the outstanding captains of the young Navy, he had captured 10 prizes singlehanded and participated in the seizure of five others. Captain Manley died in Boston in 1793.


Stricken 6/1/1990. Sold 12/11/1992

USS MANLEY DD-940 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1981)

The third Manley (DD‑940) was laid down 10 February 1955 by the Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine; launched 12 April 1956; sponsored by Mrs. Arleigh A. Burke, wife of the Chief of Naval Operations; and commissioned at the Boston Naval Shipyard 1 February 1957, Comdr. William H. Rowan in command.

Manley departed Newport, R.I., 11 April for shakedown in the Caribbean. On 7 June Manley got underway from San Juan, P.R., on a good will cruise that took her to Lisbon; Amsterdam; Kiel, Germany; and Copenhagen. She returned to the Boston Naval Shipyard 12 July for repairs and alterations.

Manley departed Boston 22 August 1957 and sortied from Norfolk 3 September 1957 with an attack carrier strike force headed for the large scale NATO Fleet exercise “Strike Back.” She arrived in Firth of Clyde, Scotland, 14 September and put to sea on the 17th in the screen of a carrier force conducting simulated battle practice and war tactics as it steamed off the coast of Norway and north of the Arctic Circle. She returned to Southampton on 30 September and reached Norfolk 24 October, escorting submarine Jallao (SS‑368). She was assigned to DesDiv 41 and became the flagship of DesRon 4.

On 4 December 1957 Manley left Norfolk with Gearing (DD‑710), Robert H. McCard (DD‑822) and Vogelgesang (DD‑862), bound for a tour with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. She practiced simulated antisubmarine warfare attacks with the ships while en route. She was diverted 11 December through heavy seas toward the Azores, where an aircraft had been reported down. At 0400, 12 December she was hit by a tremendous wave. Two of her men were killed and several injured as a large portion of the galley, radio, and radar rooms were stove in and flooded. Enduring northwesterly gusts up to 80 knots, she battled through rain squalls and mountainous seas toward Portugal and reached Lisbon at night 13 December for emergency repairs and hospital treatment for her injured. She moved to Gibraltar on the 18th.

Manley underwent voyage repairs in the Royal Dockyard of Gibraltar until 4 January 1958, then headed via Bermuda for Norfolk where she arrived on the 15th. The destroyer entered Philadelphia Naval Shipyard 22 January where repairs were completed by 29 April 1958. She returned to Norfolk and resumed her role as the flagship of DesRon 4. On 6 June 1958 she sailed with her squadron for a combined Atlantic Fleet operation that included midshipmen training, visits to foreign ports, and implementation of the President’s people‑to‑people program.

Manley reached Kiel, Germany, 25 June 1958; arrived Copenhagen 10 July; departed on the 16th, escorting carrier Lake Champlain to Antwerp, Belgium; and returned to Norfolk 2 October. She cleared that base 3 November with Intrepid (CVA‑11)to join the 2d Fleet in maneuvers off San Juan. She returned escorting Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA‑42) during operations up the eastern seaboard to the Virginia Capes.

The first half of 1959 saw Manley at Key West, Fla., with the Surface Antisubmarine Development Detachment; for overhaul at Norfolk Naval Shipyard; and for exercises at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On 1 March DesRon 4’s home port was changed from Norfolk to Charleston, S.C.; Manley first entered her new base 25 July. The squadron sailed 21 September for the Mediterranean and a 6th Fleet deployment that included antisubmarine exercises off Crete with British forces, air defense exercise “Long Haul” and ASW exercise “Boomerang” with French ships.

Manley got underway from Naples on 6 February 1960 for exercise “Big Deal II” with a task force built around aircraft carriers Saratoga and Essex. She departed Rota, Spain, 31 March and reached Charleston 10 April 1960 for overhaul. She departed her home port 21 July for bombardment firing exercises off Culebra Island and on the 27th proceeded to station No. 5 on the Atlantic missile range for the test firing of a Mercury space capsule. However, on this occasion the missile malfunctioned and was destroyed off the Florida coast.

Manley returned to Charleston 1 August 1960 and departed 6 September for Wales. She reached Cardiff, Wales, 3 October and sailed a week later conducting experimental antisubmarine warfare patrols and attack team exercises en route home, arriving Charleston 20 October 1960. Following operations along the coast and an overhaul, she operated off of Jacksonville, Fla., then sailed 8 March 1961 for Pollensa Bay, Mallorca, in the Mediterranean. She touched there 19 March, then joined Forrestal (CVA‑59) at Beruit. Lebanon for fleet maneuvers. Manley left Rota, Spain, 23 September and reached Charleston 5 October. After exercises along the Florida coast, she proceeded from Charleston to the troubled waters of the Dominican Republic. In company with two other destroyers, she rendezvoused with Franklin D. Roosevelt 22 November to become a part of task force patrolling waters south of Hispanola. The presence of Manley and other units of the task force did much to stabilize a situation which had threatened to plunge the country into bitter fighting to return an unpopular dictatorship. Manley returned to Charleston on 27 November.

Early in 1962 the destroyer spent a fortnight on Project Mercury station and a week later got underway to support Independence (CVA‑62) in flight operations in the North Atlantic. Twice within 3 days her crew rescued downed pilots at night. On each occasion swimmers defied high wind and dove into pitch black and near freezing waters to reach the endangered fliers.

She entered Charleston Naval Shipyard in April for overhaul; and, on 28 September, she headed for Guantanamo Bay and refresher training. There she rescued a downed helicopter pilot from shark infested waters. In Cuban waters at the beginning of the Cuban missile crisis, she spent most of October and November patrolling the waters near Guantanamo Bay, a part of the mighty naval force which persuaded the Soviet Union to withdraw its offensive missiles from the island. While returning home the destroyer rescued the three men of yacht Avian, adrift in the Atlantic.

Late in January 1963, Manley sailed to the Caribbean for operation “Springboard 1963.” After ASW maneuvers with Essex (CVS‑9), joint Canadian‑American ASW exercises took her to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the summer. In October Manley departed Charleston for the Mediterranean. During this deployment the commander of the 6th Fleet made the destroyer his flagship during a 3‑day visit to Tunis. In December she transited the Suez Canal for duty under commander, Middle East Force, helping to ease tension in that vital part of the world. On 13 January 1964 she evacuated 91 American citizens from revolution‑torn Zanzibar. She continued to patrol this troubled area until returning to Charleston early in March 1964.

Manley entered drydock in Norfolk Naval Shipyard 17 April for repairs and in May resumed operations off the Atlantic coast.

The hard working destroyer got underway from Charleston for the Mediterranean 6 January 1965 and represented the United States during celebration of the 10th anniversary of CENTO in Iskenderum, Turkey 26 February. On the homeward voyage, during the midwatch 7 May, an alert Manley lookout spotted the collision of Kaskaskia (AO‑27) and Liberian tanker SS World Bond near the Island of St Helena. Manley sped to aid the stricken tanker, rescued 23 passengers, and fought fires and flooding in a successful effort to save World Bond. She reached Charleston 7 June.

On 9 August Manley sailed for a recovery station for the space flight of Gemini V. After Lake Champlain recovered the capsule, Manley headed for the Canary Islands en route home, and arrived Charleston 11 September. She operated along the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean for the next year preparing for combat duty in Southeast Asia.

The destroyer departed Charleston 5 October 1966, joined DesRon 20 at Guantanamo Bay, transited the Panama Canal, and set course for Hawaii. The squadron reached Pearl Harbor on the 25th and 6 days later pushed on to Japan arriving Yokosuka 10 November. On the 14th she sailed via Buckner Bay for Vietnam. En route, on 17 November, she assisted the seriously ill captain of the Greek merchant ship, Marcetta.

On 21 November Manley relieved Hull (DD‑945) in Da Nang as a unit of TU 70.8.9, a gunfire support group of the 7th Fleet.

Manley provided extensive and valuable support fire until on 7 December, a powder case ignited in the breech of one of her guns before being fully rammed. The resulting fire and explosion set the mount afire and endangered the magazines. Prompt and skillful damage control stuffed out the blaze before more damage occurred. The casualties were evacuated by helicopter after being treated on board, and the destroyer steamed to Da Nang to disembark Senator Henry M. Jackson of Washington who was visiting the ship when the accident occurred.

After repairs at Subic Bay, Manley got underway 19 December and joined Enterprise (CVAN‑65) and Bainbridge (DLGN‑25) in the Gulf of Tonkin. She operated with these ships until assigned to TG 77.4 on the 30th for ASW work with Bennington (CVS‑20).Early in 1967 she resumed gunfire support duty and continued her outstanding efforts to help repel Communist aggression in Southeast Asia until relieved 22 March. She then headed home through the Straits of Molucca, the Indian Ocean, the Suez Canal, and the Straits of Gibraltar, arriving at Charleston 9 May.

Her stay at home was short, however, for Manley departed Charleston again on 29 September. Sailing via the Panama Canal, Pearl Harbor, and Guam, she once again took up station off of South Vietnam. Again concentrating her efforts on naval gunfire support, she completed her tour and sailed back to the east coast and Charleston, arriving 10 June.

With a brief voyage to the North Sea area in fall 1968, Manley continues operations out of her home port into 1969.

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, October 1999

Named for Continental Navy Captain John Manley, the DD-940 was launched on 12 April 1956 and commissioned on 1 February 1957. The MANLEY’s first Mediterranean deployment ended before its start when tragedy struck on 12 December 1957. Plowing through stormy seas off the Azores, the ship was hit by a huge wave that crushed bulkheads and flooded the galley and radio and radar rooms killing two of her crew and injuring several more. After evacuating the injured and emergency repairs, she sailed for Philadelphia to repair the damage. Not until October 1959 did she finally head for the Mediterranean.

Over the ensuing years, being ready for a quick response to a crisis or search and rescue became SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for MANLEY crews. Or so it seemed. They were underway with four hours notice in 1961 for trouble in the Dominican Republic and 1962 was a year for rescues. Off Cape Hatteras, her swimmers twice braved high winds, waves, and frigid water to bring aboard downed pilots from the INDEPENDENCE (CVA-62). Later, off Cuba, her crew snatched a downed helicopter pilot from shark-infested waters and, returning from the Cuban quarantine in October, fought gale force winds to rescue three yachtsmen.

Relatively routine Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cruises took her up to January 1964, when she evacuated ninety-one American and foreign nationals from the revolution-torn island of Zanzibar. In the Mediterranean again on 7 May 1965, the MANLEY evacuated twenty-three passengers and her crew fought fires and flooding to save a Liberian tanker after its collision with the KASKASKIA (AO-27).

Moored at San Juan, Puerto Rico, in January 1966, boiler trouble caused the ship to lose power and twenty-four of her engineers to be prostrated by the unbearable heat as they worked to correct the problem. Thanks to their unstinting effort, the boiler was quickly brought back into operation.

On 7 October 1966, the MANLEY headed for her first tour of duty in Vietnam and on 21 November, was on the gun line supporting U.S. and South Vietnamese troops at Da Nang and Quang Nya. Her guns were still blazing on 7 December when a faulty powder case exploded in the breech of the forward 5-inch gun, injuring three men and setting the mount afire. Flames threatened magazines below, but damage control parties extinguished them within ten minutes. After evacuating the injured to Da Nang, the ship went on to Subic Bay for repair. By Christmas, she was back in the Tonkin Gulf, but without the use of Mount 51.

Its loss did not curtail the MANLEY’s effectiveness on the gun line in 1967. ‘We would all have been dead men were it not for your fire,’ was a ground spotter’s message on 16 January. The destroyer’s guns had just fallen silent after eight hours of shelling in response to call for fire from U.S. Marines in Trung Phan Province.

Despite her continued success on the gun line, trouble stalked the MANLEY in March 1967. On 8 March, DK2 John M. Bronkema suffered a fatal heart attack and ten days later, a second powder case exploded, this time in Mount 53. Again, three injured sailors were evacuated to Da Nang. Again, the ship’s damage control parties had the blaze out within minutes. This time, however, the ship returned home, but by 19 December she was back ‘on station and ready for call for fire,’ pounding enemy bunkers, storage areas, troop concentrations, mortar positions, infiltration routes, truck convoys, and artillery positions.

On 18 January 1968, while on the gun line, the PHILIP (DD-498) was hit by fire from an enemy shore battery, which was quickly silenced by the MANLEY’s guns. A month later, her guns breeched the walls of the North Vietnamese city of Hue enabling allied forces to enter. Again off Da Nang in March, her gunners fired round number 20,416, beating the DUPONT’s (DD-941) record for the greatest number of rounds fired in a single deployment, and on 6 April, they delivered rapid, accurate fire, destroying twenty-five targets in twenty-two minutes. Between December and May 1968, the MANLEY had been in combat eighty-three days, firing over 26,000 rounds, silencing mortar and artillery positions, interdicting enemy supply and troop movements, and supporting U.S. and allied forces with her gunfire. She spent her last round on 1 May and got underway for Charleston.

Headed for the Mediterranean in January 1969, the MANLEY lost steering control and put into Mallorca where divers discovered a her starboard rudder had come loose. Her rudder attached with wire cables, she limped to Malta for repairs and then joined the Sixth Fleet in antisubmarine warfare exercises. Shortly before leaving the Mediterranean in May, the MANLEY’s crew rescued a sailor overboard from the SHANGRI-LA. By January 1970, she was in Philadelphia for antisubmarine warfare conversion after which she was re-commissioned on 17 April 1971.

Home-ported in Athens, Greece, for three years beginning in 1972, the MANLEY’s operations often exceeded the ordinary. In the fall of 1972, she was on the scene for search and rescue when stormy seas overturned several boats in the harbor of Phaleron Bay and when an Olympic Airways plane crashed in the same waters. Early in 1973, she stood by disabled merchant ships until they were out of danger and at the end of that year was on almost constant alert during the Arab-Israeli War. Operations were also tense during hostilities between Greek and Turkish forces in July 1974 and again in October, when she and the SAMPSON (DDG-10) re-established the U.S. presence in the Soviet anchorage at Kithera, Greece.

The MANLEY spent 1976 in Philadelphia for overhaul, leaving in December for Mayport, Florida, her new home port. While in the Caribbean in February 1977, her crew helped fight a fire on St. Croix. In the Mediterranean in April 1978, her crew was again combating a fire, this one aboard the CONCORD. Fire brought tragedy home to the MANLEY on 8 April 1979 when one of her own crew members was killed in a fuel oil fire in her forward fire room. There followed operations in the Mediterranean and in Northern Europe and an overhaul in Boston. Based in Newport, Rhode Island in June 1982, she got underway for her last Mediterranean deployment. PLO evacuation escort duties off Lebanon and operations in the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf preceded her return to the states for decommissioning on 4 March 1983. She was struck from the navy’s list on 1 June 1990.