USS O'Kane 
USS O'KANE

"A Tradition of Honor"

Welcome to the web page of the USS O'KANE.  She is the twenty-seventh destroyer of the Arleigh Burke class and the sixteenth built by Bath Iron Works.  The USS O'KANE is named after the late  Admiral Richard H. O'Kane and was launched March 28, 1998 and commissioned October 23, 1999.The USS O’KANE is the second ship to be commissioned in her home port Pearl Harbor, HI.


       Crest
 crest

SEAL

The coat of arms in full color as in the blazon, upon a white background enclosed within a dark blue oval border edged on the outside with a gold rope and bearing the inscription "USS O'KANE" at top and "DDG 77" in base all gold.

SYMBOLISM

SHIELD:  Dark blue and gold represent the sea and excellence and are the colors traditionally used by the Navy.  The trident, symbol of naval power, underscores USS O'KANE's awesome combat and weapons systems, which allows the ship to dominate the battle space in multi-threat environments.  The stylized crosses and stars commemorate the three Navy Crosses and three Silver Stars awarded to Rear Admiral O'Kane for brilliant tactical ability and heroism displayed during war patrols as Executive Officer of USS WAHOO and Commanding Officer of USS TANG.

 

CREST:  The dolphins pay tribute to Rear Admiral O'Kane as a submariner.  The reversed star represents the Medal of Honor awarded to O'Kane for his extraordinary actions during his last war patrol.  Operating independently in enemy-controlled waters, O'Kane decimated two large and heavily protected convoys before TANG went down.  The flaming Naval sword rising from the waves highlights the aggressive naval combat action displayed by O'Kane and his crews on every patrol.  Red is emblematic of valor and sacrifice, underscoring Rear Admiral O'Kane's time as a prisoner of war.


 

SHIP'S HISTORY

The USS O'KANE is named after the late Admiral Richard H. O'Kane and was launched March 28, 1998 and commissioned October 23, 1999.

USS O'KANE  -  Winner of the 2004 Chief of Naval Operations and Secretary of the Navy environmental awards. 

The USS O'KANE implements award winning "Complete Ship" Approach that makes energy conservation and sound environmental management an integral part of ship operations.  

 

Career (US)

 

Ordered:

20 July 1994

Laid down:

8 May 1997

Launched:

28 March 1998

Commissioned:

23 October 1999

Status:

Active in service as of 2009

Homeport:

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

 

General characteristics

Displacement:

Light: approx. 6,794.38 tons

Full: approx. 8,885.66 tons

Length:

505 ft (153.9 m)

Beam:

66 ft (20.1 m)

Draught:

31 ft (9.4 m)

Propulsion:

4 General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower (75 MW)

Speed:

30+ knots (56+ km/h)

Range:

4,400 nautical miles at 20 knots
(8,100 km at 37 km/h)

Complement:

23 officers, 300 enlisted

Armament:

1 × 32 cell, 1 × 64 cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems with 90 × RIM-67 SM-2, BGM-109 Tomahawk or RUM-139 VL-Asroc missiles

1 × 5/54 in (127/54 mm)
2 × 25 mm
4 × 12.7 mm guns
2 × 20mm Phalanx CIWS

2 × Mk 46 triple torpedo tubes

Aircraft carried:

1 SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter can be embarked

Motto:

"A Tradition of Honor"

 


Ship's Namesake

The USS O'KANE is named after the late Admiral Richard H. O'Kane and was launched March 28, 1998 and commissioned October 23, 1999. 

Rear Admiral Richard H. O'Kane

 Okane_WWII Pic

Richard H. O'Kane was born on February 2, 1911. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover and the University of New Hampshire before entering the United States Naval Academy in 1930. Upon graduation in 1934, O'Kane was commissioned as an Ensign and served on USS CHESTER and USS PRUITT before reporting for instruction in submarines at the Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut in January 1938. After completing his training, O'Kane served on the submarine USS ARGONAUT until 1942, when he reported for duty as Executive Officer of USS WAHOO. For outstanding service on WAHOO, O'Kane was awarded the Silver Star Medal with two Gold Stars, and a Letter of Commendation from the Secretary of the Navy.

In August 1943, O'Kane returned to the Mare Island Navy Yard where he assumed command of the submarine USS TANG upon her commissioning on October 15, 1943. After undergoing intensive training exercises in the San Diego area, the USS TANG left for the Pacific, arriving in Pearl Harbor on January 8, 1944. Under Commander O'Kane, TANG went on five war patrols, sinking a total of 31 ships, totaling more than 227,000 tons, and damaging two other ships - a record unsurpassed by any American submarine.

During its fifth and final war patrol, which began on September 24 and ended on October 25, 1944, the USS TANG sank 13 enemy ships. In what was to be her final battle, the TANG encountered a heavily escorted enemy convoy. Engaged in a fierce surface battle, Commander O'Kane directed TANG to fire her last two torpedoes at a crippled transport ship. The first torpedo went straight and true and struck its target. The second torpedo was faulty and turned around almost immediately, heading directly for TANG. Ordering emergency speed, TANG tried to pull out of the torpedoes path, but it struck the submarine in the stern, thus causing a violent explosion.

O'Kane was on the bridge at the time and was instantly thrown into the water along with nine other men. Only thirty crew members survived the blast below decks. These men attempted to swim to the surface from the escape trunk in the forward torpedo room. By morning time, only O'Kane, three men from the bridge and five crew members from below decks had survived when the Japanese arrived. The survivors were picked up and taken to a Japanese Prisoner-of-War camp.

Commander O'Kane and the others from the USS TANG were imprisoned on Formosa. He was later transferred to a secret prison camp near Tokyo where he was not registered and was therefore listed as "missing in action" until the camp's liberation two weeks after V-J Day. During his nearly year-long imprisonment, he and the other prisoners survived on a diet of less than 300 calories a day, eating mostly rice or barley, without fruit, vegetables or protein. Upon his release, Commander O'Kane was suffering from scurvy and beriberi. He was evacuated by air to Pearl Harbor, and after a short hospitalization, was transferred to the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

After his recovery, O'Kane's commands included USS PELIAS and USS SPERRY, as well as the Submarine School in New London, Connecticut, Submarine Division THIRTY-TWO and Submarine Squadron SEVEN. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his exemplary service as commander on the USS TANG on March 27, 1947. Rear Admiral O'Kane's other military decorations include the Navy Cross with two Gold Stars, the Legion of Merit with Combat "V", the Purple Heart and the Prisoner of War Medal. He also wrote two books based on his experiences in World War II, Clear the Bridge and WAHOO.

Rear Admiral O'Kane passed away in February

 Click Here to View his Medal of Honor citation

 
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