USS MAHAN


History

USS MAHAN (DDG 102)

USS MAHAN (DD 102)

MAHAN (Destroyer No. 102) was laid down 4 May 1918 by the Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Mass.; launched 4 August 1918; sponsored by Miss Ellen K. MAHAN, niece of Rear Adm. A. T. MAHAN; and commissioned 24 October 1918, Lt. Comdr. F.P. Conger in command.

After shakedown, MAHAN operated off Cuba until May 1919 when she steamed to the Azores to become one of the guide ships for the transatlantic flights of Navy flying boats NC-1, NC-3, and NC-4. Returning to Boston by way of Brest, France, 21 June, MAHAN was converted to a light minelayer and was redesigned DM-7, 17 July 1920.

With the exception of a cruise to Pearl Harbor for maneuvers early in 1925, MAHAN operated along the East Coast, in the Caribbean and off the Panama Canal Zone for the next 10 years. During this time she participated in fleet training exercises; patrolled courses for international races; e.g., the International Six Meter Sailing Races of 1922 and 1927; assisted in salvage operations for submarines S-51 (September 1925, off Block Island and S-4 (periodically from 17 December 1927 through mid March 1928, off Provincetown, Mass.); and conducted reserve training cruises in the Caribbean, 1928 to September 1929. Throughout the decade, in addition to her regular duties, she served as an experimental ship, testing new equipment for the Navy’s future use.

On 20 September 1929, she entered Philadelphia Navy Yard, where she decommissioned 1 May 1930. Struck from the Navy Register 22 October, she was sold for scrap 17 January 1931 to the Boston Iron & Metal Co. of Baltimore, Md.

USS MAHAN (DD 364)

USS MAHAN (DD 364)

The second MAHAN (DD 364) was laid down by United Dry Docks, Inc., Staten Island, N.Y., 12 June 1934; launched 15 October 1935; sponsored by Miss Kathleen H. MAHAN, great-granddaughter of Rear Adm. A. T. MAHAN; and commissioned 18 September 1936, Comdr. J. B. Waller in command.

Combining initial training operations with a good will tour, MAHAN departed New York 16 November 1936 for a 2-month cruise to Caribbean and South American ports. She returned in January 1937 and operated along the East Coast until July, when she sailed for the Pacific. Arriving on the West Coast in mid-August, she participated in fleet training operations off the southern California coast before proceeding to her new station at Pearl Harbor. Until December 1941, periodic visits to the West Coast and a cruise to the Caribbean for fleet problems in February 1939 varied a busy schedule of training exercises and patrols in Hawaiian waters.

On patrol 7 December 1941, MAHAN, with TF 12, was ordered to set course for the Japanese forces, thought to be headed for Jaluit from a position 200 miles south of Pearl Harbor, and "intercept and destroy." Unable to locate the enemy, MAHAN returned to Pearl Harbor on the 12th.

In late December she carried reinforcements to the Marine detachment at Johnston Island and evacuated the civilians to Hawaii. MAHAN then conducted screening activities for inter-island and transoceanic convoys until 24 February, when she was assigned to a patrol station off Canton Island. Departing Canton Island 24 March, she returned to Hawaii thence proceeded to the West Coast for overhaul. She next conducted patrols in Hawaiian and West Coast waters until departing for the South Pacific 16 October 1942. En route on the 22d, with Lamson, she conducted a raid on Japanese patrol boats south of the Gilbert Islands, sinking two. Steaming with TF 61 north of the Santa Cruz Islands by the 27th, she was attacked by Japanese aircraft and splashed four. That same day, following her fine performance in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, MAHAN collided with South Dakota. Damage to both ships was severe. Following temporary repairs at Noumea, New Caledonia, MAHAN proceeded to Pearl Harbor where has was quickly given a new bow.

MAHAN returned to the South Pacific 9 January 1943 and escorted convoys between the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, and the Fiji Islands before establishing a patrol off New Caledonia in March. Resuming escort duties in April, she made one trip to Guadalcanal and back and then commenced operations in Australian waters. Moving to New Guinea, she began basing at Milne Bay 2 July. Continuously in action for the next 3 months, she participated in the landings at Nassau Bay 9 August; the bombardment of Finshchhafen on the 22d and 23d; the preparations and covering force actions for the landings at Lae, 4 to 8 September; and the landing of Australian troops at Finschhafen on the 22d, when her well-served guns splashed three enemy planes.

Through October and November, she operated out of Buna, patrolling around New Guinea. In December, MAHAN bombarded Japanese installations in New Britain and on the 26th provided effective fire support for the landings at Cape Gloucester on that island. Shore bombardment of Gali, New Guinea, a short stay in Sydney, Australia, and escort duties between New Guinea and New Britain followed. On 28 February 1944, before commencing convoy activities in the Admiralties, she turned her guns on Los Negros Island.

After more than 2 busy years in the war zone, in the spring of 1944 the veteran destroyer proceeded to San Francisco for overhaul. Early in July she returned June 3d to Pearl Harbor and participated in exercises there until 15 August. Steaming via Eniwetok, Jaluit, Guam, Saipan, and Ulithi, MAHAN returned to New Guinea 20 October. She then escorted convoys between Hollandia and Leyte until taking up antisubmarine patrol duties off Leyte at the end of November.

On 7 December, while patrolling between Leyte and Ponson Island, the destroyer was attacked by a swarm of Japanese aircraft. In the ensuing engagement, she shot down three of the attacking planes but three of the remainder crashed into her. The resultant fires soon spread out of control to the ship’s magazines. The ship was abandoned and the survivors picked up by nearby vessels. An hour later Walke sank MAHAN by gunfire and torpedoes. Personnel casualties as a result of this devastating attack were comparatively light, with only seven crewmembers lost and thirty-one crewmen wounded.

Finis was written to the last page of the 364’s gallant record as this hard-hitting valiant destroyer slipped beneath the waves on the morning of 7 December 1944.

MAHAN received five battle stars for World War II service.

USS MAHAN (DLG 11)

USS MAHAN (DLG 11)

The third MAHAN (DLG 11) was laid down 31 July 1957 by the San Francisco Naval Shipyard; launched 7 October 1959; sponsored by Mrs. H. P. Smith, wife of Vice Adm. H. Page Smith; and commissioned 25 August 1960, Comdr. Wm. S. Busik in command.

During the first year and a half of her commissioned service, MAHAN’s primary assignment was the testing and evaluation of her weapons systems, ASROC and Terrier missiles. A unit of the Pacific Fleet’s Cruiser-Destroyer Force, she operated out of San Diego , participating in local and fleet exercises off the West Coast and in Hawaiian waters. Leaving San Diego 6 June 1962, she commenced her first western pacific deployment. For the next 6 months she cruised with other units of the 7th Fleet, taking part in antisubmarine, antiaircraft, and amphibious exercises as well as making good will calls on ports in the Far East. Included in these latter visits was a stop at Saigon 24 to 28 October for the Republic of Vietnam’s Independence anniversary celebrations.

1963 brought MAHAN’s entrance into the standard schedule of the Pacific Fleet, beginning with a shipyard overhaul at Long Beach Naval Shipyard. Following her yard period, she conducted training exercises off the Wes t Coast. She then departed San Diego 6 August for deployment in the western Pacific. In addition to assignments in Japanese and Philippine waters, she spent, on this tour, a total of 4 weeks cruising off South Vietnam before returning to California 10 March 1964.

Remaining on the West Coast until late 1965, the guided missile destroyer underwent a 5 1/2 month overhaul. 1 May to 20 October, followed by test and training exercises and a demonstration of her antisubmarine warfare capabilities before members of the United States-Canadian Military Cooperation Committee 9 December. During the summer of 1965, she embarked midshipmen from the Naval Academy and various NROTC units for summer training. Departing San Diego 19 October, she sailed to Pearl Harbor for antisubmarine training operations and then continued on to the western Pacific, arriving at Subic Bay 22 November. MAHAN operated with the 7th Fleet, spending alternate monthly periods on patrol off Vietnam, until returning to California in April 1964.

Upon arrival at San Diego 28 April, MAHAN continued her previous west coast activities, local and fleet training operations, missile firing exercises at the Pacific Missile Range , and, as during the summer of 1965, the training of midshipmen during June and July. August brought the installation of a helicopter flight deck.

The period 1 December 1966 through 4 June 1967 again saw MAHAN in the western Pacific where, as before, she operated off Vietnam , patrolling and providing gunfire support in the fight to prevent the aggressive spread of communism. Arriving back at San Diego 17 June. MAHAN sailed on 31 July to represent the Navy at Seattle ’s Annual Sea Fair. Following further coastal operations, she entered Long Beach Naval Shipyard 1 November for overhaul. This was completed late in April 1968 and MAHAN remained off the West Coast until departing for the western Pacific in August. She remained as a part of the 7th Fleet into 1969.

USS MAHAN (DDG 42)

USS MAHAN (DDG 42)

In 1973, after 13 years of almost continuous operations in Southeast Asia, she returned to the U.S. for a much needed overhaul at Bath Iron Works, ME. On April 1, 1975, DLG-11 was recommissioned at Bath. She then joined her new squadron DESRON 4, homeported at Charleston, SC. On July 1 1975, the ship was redesigned from DLG 11 to DDG-42 as part of a Navy-wide reclassification program.

MAHAN served as the test platform for the development of the CG/SM-2 (ER) missile program project; a new missile, designed to greatly increase the operational capability of presently installed TERRIER systems.

Following a regular overhaul in Philadelphia from April 1980-May 1981, MAHAN was selected to install and test the Terrier New Threat Upgrade (NTU) Combat System with the improved Standard Missile Two Block II (Extended Range). Testing lasted from October 1981- March 1985. This New Threat Upgrade system made USS MAHAN the most capable AAW ship afloat.

From April to November 1983, MAHAN was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea, serving most of the deployment as a member of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force off Beirut, Lebanon.

MAHAN achieved another first in July 1985, as she successfully conducted the first Remote Track Launch on Search missile firing.

MAHAN celebrated her 25th birthday on August 28, 1985 and departed again to the Mediterranean. During the deployment, MAHAN participated in Exercise Ocean Safari 85: a joint U.S. French missile exercise. She also represented Commander Sixth Fleet, serving as official starter for the inaugural Monaco-New York Yacht race, (hosting Monaco’s Crown Prince and the Deputy Under-Secretary of the Navy). MAHAN also served as East Mediterranean Ready Ship off of Israel and Lebanon and was involved in the Gulf of Sidra Freedom of Navigation operations off the coast of Libya.

After returning from deployment in April 1986, MAHAN began a 10-month regular overhaul lasting from September 1986 until August 1987.

In January 1988, MAHAN successfully completed refresher training in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba . In the spring of 1988, MAHAN participated in a joint missile exercise with U.S. and ships of the German Navy.

MAHAN deployed with Standing Naval Forces Atlantic, from 17 June to 16 December 1989. While acting as the U.S. representative of this NATO force, MAHAN visited eight different countries and worked with fourteen ships from nine NATO nations. The crowning achievement of the cruise occurred in November 1989, when MAHAN added another first to her long list of accomplishments by firing the first SM-2 Block II (ER) in Northern Europe.

MAHAN’s last major deployment was in support of Operation Desert Storm from 26 September 1991 through 2 April 1992. During the deployment MAHAN slipped quietly through the mouth of the Suez Canal in the early morning of October 13, a sense of uncertainty and anticipation enveloped the ship. After five months in the heat of the Persian Gulf, MAHAN headed north, where she even cro ssed the Arctic Circle. The largest NATO exercise in over a decade, TEAMWORK 92 pitted the seamanship and war-fighting skills against a multi-faceted threat.

After 33 years of faithful service she was retired from the active roll on 15 June 1993, Naval Station Charleston, South Carolina.