1959 - 2008
From Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS) and MANY other sources
USS HOEL (DDG-13)
Photo by Rich Vander Woude -- obtained from http://www.NavSource.org
She was the third Navy vessel to be named after Lieutenant Commander William R. Hoel. The first USS HOEL (DD-533) , was shorter in length, narrower in beam, and had lighter overall displacement. On 13 DEC 46 the second USS HOEL (DD-768) was cancelled during construction. Sixteen years passed before another US Navy warship would be named HOEL. The third HOEL was a CHARLES F. ADAMS class guided missile destroyer, utilizing a hull design that evolved from the FORREST SHERMAN class (DD-931 was the first) destroyer and a new missile air defense system that had proven effective by trials on the USS GYATT (DD-712), a GEARING class destroyer.
USS NORTON SOUND (AV-11) became the first guided missile ship after she successfully launched a training missile in 1948, thus marking the beginning of the Navys shipborne guided missile era. After further modifications on 11 MAY 50, NORTON SOUND launched a five-ton Viking rocket transporting a 500-pound scientific instrumentation package to an altitude of 106.4 miles. Project "Reach" concluded the first phase of Norton Sound's history as a mobile missile launching platform, which was devoted to extending scientific research frontiers and gaining experience prequisite to firing tactical weapons. The ongoing second phase required the application of the resultant knowledge. Newer missiles launched from the ship had a more direct bearing on the future of the Navys combatant missile capability.
Photo by Rich Vander Woude -- obtained from http://www.NavSource.org
USS FORREST SHERMAN (DD-931)
Photo by Fitz MacCrae -- obtained from http://www.NavSource.org
USS GYATT (DD-712 / DDG-1)
Like the FORREST SHERMAN class, the CHARLES F. ADAMS class DDG's also incorporated mostly aluminum in the superstructure. Air conditioning of all living spaces was a definite plus in habitability improvements.
HOEL was equipped to launch the Tartar (15-foot length, 1-foot diameter) surface-to-air missile with a range of 15-to-20 miles; 42 missiles were carried in the aft battery. Long range anti-submarine weapons (ASROC) were mounted in a special launcher amidships. Two highly-proven and dependable single-mount rapid-fire (5"-54 caliber) guns rounded out the weapons bill, one forward, one aft.
Photo by Rich Vander Woude -- obtained from http://www.NavSource.org
USS HOEL (DDG-13)
The multi-faceted design mission of the DDG class was anti-air warfare, escorting and supporting amphibious forces after beach landings, teamwork with submarine-attacking hunter-killer battle groups, and ocean convoy protection.
The following three paragraphs were extracted from NAVAL AFFAIRS, the Fleet Reserve Association's magazine serving all enlisted personnel of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard., "Life After Death: From Missile Destroyer to Commercial Power Plant" by Kit Bonner dated March 1996:
These ships were the first ships designed and built as guided missile destroyers from the keel up. Experiments on the Gyatt (DD-712), a Gearing class destroyer proved the worth of mounting a guided missile on destroyer type ships for air defense. This occurred during that short but barren technological period between the slow firing all-gun air defense and the current wizardry of automated guided missile systems and Vulcan Phalanx 20 mm close in weapon.
The Charles F. Adams class provided the Navy with a state-of- the-art air defense system that could respond to any Soviet threat into the 1970s and even beyond. Plus, they were credible anti-submarine warfare platforms and could also be called upon for shore target bombardment with their highly dependable five-inch/54-caliber guns. This class of destroyers, the second built after World War II (just after the Forrest Sherman class), displaced 3370 tons/437-foot length/47-foot beam/70,000 shaft horsepower/speed 33 knots. They were armed with two 5-inch/54-caliber guns/ASROC/Tartar surface to air missiles. They were not helicopter or DASH capable. They were also one of the most attractive ships ever designed for the Navy. They were so well thought of, that Australia and Germany also operated modified versions of this class.
All in all, these were magnificent ships and would last into the 1990s, but all things come to an end. The advent of the Spruance class destroyers and now the powerful Arleigh Burke relegated the old Adam's class to mothballs and now the auction block. By the early 1990s, most had been decommissioned and laid up. The cutbacks in military appropriations sealed their doom and they were recently stricken.
1959 - The USS HOEL (DDG-13) keel was laid 3 AUG at Defoe Shipbuilding of Bay City, Michigan.
1960 - HOEL was launched 4 AUG.
1962 - She was commissioned 16 JUN, was completed 31 JUL, and got underway for San Diego, California, after her initial fitting-out at Boston, Massachusetts. During the homeport-stationing cruise she put in at Norfolk, Virginia; Mayport and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Cartagena, Colombia; Canal Zone, Panama; and Acapulco, Mexico. HOEL came upon the Stardrift, an adrift sailing yacht that had been enroute to Sydney, Australia, from London, England. HOEL towed the 36-foot Stardrift to safety in Panama. HOEL arrived San Diego 11 SEP 62 and spent the ensuing months completing the Board of Inspection and Survey acceptance tests and trials. She joined the ready 1st Fleet after successful ASROC and TARTAR missile firings. A three-week cruise to Esquimalt, Canada, and special exercises at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, further conditioned her commissioning crew. She later participated in the Presidential Demonstration for President John F. Kennedy held in San Diego area waters.
1963 - Improved fire-control radars were installed during HOEL's post-shakedown availability period, JUL 63 - SEP 63, at Long Beach Naval Shipyard, California. HOEL departed Long Beach 17 OCT 63 for Western Pacific service as flagship, Commander Destroyer Division 12.
Shipmate John E Olsen writes about 1963, emailed Thursday, March 29, 2007:
"My name is John E. Olsen, and the USS Hoel (DDG-13) was involved with Project SHAD (test Autumn Gold) In May of 1963 off Hawaii. I was involved in SHAD in 64 and 65 as part of the technical staff and am now part of the task force on this through the VVA. As far as I know now we have no one person from the Hoel that we can be in contact with. I do wish to have someone who can and will pass on information as I get it from Congress.
The things on the burner now are the release of the IOM (Institute of Medicine) study of the participants in the SHAD tests is early this month (April). Bear in mind that this is the same outfit that said that Agent Orange was OK, and then you see why I am not to hopeful of this. The next item is the work going forward in the Veterans Affairs committee's of Congress in regard to the Veterans Right to Know. They are in markup in both chambers."
John E. Olsen ET2 LT2085 Project SHAD Technical Staff 64/65
The Defense Department has previously acknowledged that in May 1963 a test called "Autumn Gold" involved exposing military personnel to chemical agents on ships about 60 miles west-southwest of Oahu. The operation was designed to simulate the effects of deadlier germs such as anthrax and to "learn the vulnerabilities of U.S. warships to an attack with chemical or biological agents and develop procedures to respond to such an attack while maintaining a war-fighting capacity," according to the Defense Department.
Bacteria test targeted isles - In May 1963, the Pentagon conducted the Autumn Gold test program and BG again was used. The vessels involved were the Navarro, Tioga County, Carpenter, destroyer USS Hoel and tugboat USS Granville Hall. The tests were held 60 miles southwest of Oahu.
Advisory Panel for the Study of Long-term Health Effects of Participation in Project SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense)
No Unique Patterns of Ill Health Found Among SHAD Veterans
Pre-publication copies of Long-Term Health Effects of Participation in Project SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense) are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at www.nap.edu
1965 - The ASROC magazine, a nuclear-capable anti-submarine missile weapons system, was installed at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, CA, winter of 1965/1966.
Shipmate FTG3 Bob Ford recalls 1965, "Before the 15th of March, 1965, we left our home port of San Diego for what we were told would be a world cruise --- going to Australia, Karachi, Pakistan, the Mediterranean Ocean and other places that have left my mind. All I can remember for sure is that I turned 21 years old on 3/15/65 and we were in Pearl Harbor at the time, for about 5 or 6 days. A few days out of Pearl we received a WESPAC VIP aboard, and when he left we were told our orders had been changed --- and that we were headed for Vietnam. This part I am not exactly sure of, but I know we were off Vietnam either at the same time or just after USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy were fired upon. We did plane guard for the carriers Oriskany, Kitty Hawk and another that I can't put a name to. We did search and rescue patrol up and down the coast for 30 plus days at a time and then went to port in Subic Bay, Philippines; Yokusaka, Japan; and Hong Kong. On one SAR patrol we did shore bombardment and on another we picked up a downed F4 jet pilot. Also, one day we went into Danang Harbor and stayed only a little while, then left. We got back to San Diego about July or August 1965. Sometime after that, while I was attending the Quarterdeck watch at 0600, one of our boilers blew up while tied to the pier. We went to Long Beach for repairs. Later, we went to San Francisco and into dry dock for a major overhaul, which lasted about 6 months. I am not sure which of these events occurred first, but I do know we spent Christmas of 1965 in San Francisco. In mid 1966 we received word that we were going back to Vietnam."
1966 - According to the DANFS history, HOEL deployed from San Diego 28 JUL 66 for WESPAC. During SEP 66, she was performing search and rescue operations off Danang, Republic of Vietnam. On 8 DEC 66 she became designated naval gunfire support ship in the I Corps area, firing 2,100 rounds of 5-inch gun ammunition that resulted in the destruction of at least 20 enemy structures and two trench networks; damage to 61 buildings, 3 bunkers, 8 trench networks and five roads; and killing 24 Viet Cong while wounding seven. HOEL retired to Hong Kong 21 DEC 66 and headed for Yankee Station 26 DEC 66 to plane guard for USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43).
Shipmate QM2 Frank Donahue disagrees with the DANFS account of HOEL's 1966 history, "I'm pretty sure the West Pac tour, and the downed F4 pilot rescue that is described as in 1966 was actually in 1965. I was a QM2 at the time and participated in all the events described. My discharge date is Feb 1966."
1967 - HOEL spent a lot of time on the Northern SAR (search air rescue) at 120N 107E --- going in circles for 30 to 40 days at a time. HOEL was the SAR replacement for USS BUCHANAN (DDG-14), which was undergoing shore power circuit repairs at Subic Bay. HOEL took BUCHANAN's squadron flag and was accompanied by USS GURKE (DD-783), another destroyer in BUCHANAN's squadron.
HOEL helped rescue downed pilot Jim Hays after his A-4 Skyhawk was shot down near Haiphong on 7 FEB 67. Jim was resued as USS PREBLE (DLG-15) was about to relieve HOEL on station. Support of the the Haiphong air strikes on that day required a side trip to the mouth of the Red River. During the return trip to her SAR station HOEL picked up the pilot. At that time her flag (from BUCHANAN) was senior to the one on PREBLE.
According to resued pilot Jim Hays, "The rescue was lengthy and I was ultimately delivered by the rescuing helo to the USS HOEL, where I received needed medical care. There will always be a ' Hoel ' in my heart. "
HOEL returned to San Diego FEB 67 and operated on the west coast while preparing for future WESTPAC cruises.
Shipmate James Parker, former First Division SN, served from 67-68. He recalls, "I do remember what happened to the captain's gig. We were repainting the compartments. I don't remember who, but someone went ashore and bought a LOT of alcohol --- like 2 sea bags full. The harbor patrol found them and brought them back. When they got on board they were really drunk. About 8AM the ship next to us tells us the gig is sinking. Sure enough, it sunk. They had to get a barge with a crane and divers to get it up. Charlie and the other guy got 3 months in the brig. That was before CDR Fontaine; that was under CDR Groves. He was leaving. That is why we think they only got 3 months. In fact, he laughed about it. The ship did a midshipman cruse and me and another guy stayed in San Diego to work on the gig."
28 DEC 67 Underway from San Diego for WESTPAC once again, CDR Fontaine in command.
28-5 JAN 68 Enroute Pearl Harbor
1968 - WESTPAC
5-8 JAN 68 At Pearl Harbor
11-17 JAN Underway for Yokosuka, Japan. The second leg of our trip to Westpac will be long-remembered. Three days out of Pearl Harbor while enroute to Yokosuka, Japan, HOEL, TICONDEROGA, and SOUTHERLAND encountered a severe storm coming out of the Sea of Japan. Seas of 20 to 30 feet, winds steady at 40 miles per hour with gusts to 50 and 60 mph, and rolls of 35 to 45 degrees were experienced. After performing in this environment we all gained a great deal of confidence in our ship.
17-19 JAN At Yokosuka --- we stopped just long enough to refuel, load provisions and repair minor damage caused by the storm.
19-22 JAN Enroute Subic Bay, P.I.
22-24 JAN At Subic Bay. Two busy days were spent in Subic Bay before we set out for operations with USS TICONDEROGA.
26-27 JAN Yankee Station, Plane Guarding USS TICONDEROGA
27-2 FEB DMZ, Gun Line
2-14 FEB Sea Dragon. After a week spent near the DMZ we were ordered to operation Sea Dragon. Sea Dragon was a patrol off the North Vietnam coastline carried out by Seventh Fleet destroyers and cruisers. The purpose of the operation was to interdict the flow of supplies south into the Republic of Vietnam. The targets were "lines of communication" in North Vietnam from the DMZ to the area around Haiphong; lines of communication included roads, bridges, ferry landings, and storage areas within range of our guns. Other targets were trucks and water-borne logistic craft (WBLC) --- the junks and sampans which carry arms and material to the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army units in South Vietnam.
Shipmate BT2 Larry R. Reynolds (1966-1969) reviewed the Red River incident, "As my memory serves me, the Hoel went the Red River to knock out radar installations. We took on hostile enemy fire and the ship went dead in the water. The Captain drug all four boilers off the line. It took all the BT's quite some time just to light off one boiler so we could steam out of gunfire range. The ship was hit but no damage. The enemy used anti-aircraft projectiles. In all the documents I've read, they have not written about this incident. If you know where to go, I would like to know more."
QMSN James L. Smith (1965-1969) recalled the same incident, "I was quartermaster of the watch during GQ and was on the bridge during the time that we came under fire by North Vietnamese shore batteries. I do not recall that our boilers failed, but I do remember that we and, I believe, two other destroyers with us, immediately turned away from the shore and retreated at flank speed while returning fire from at least one gun. I remember seeing splashes in the water near the ship and one air burst that punctured the rotating radar above the bridge. No one was hit or hurt. As I recall, it was later determined that a NV boat may have tricked us into moving in to interdict it when it made a run for the river, but drew us within range of the shore batteries. CDR Fontaine, who was not wearing a helmet when the fire began, borrowed mine (I was safely ensconsed in the bridge) so he could venture out onto the starboard bridge. I wish I could review the ship's log for the incident (I was the one making entries) for additional details. We quickly moved out of range and suffered no further damage. I believe this was the incident that earned the crew a Combat Action Ribbon."
14-16 FEB Enroute Subic Bay
16-21 FEB At Subic Bay
21-23 FEB Enroute NGFS and I Corps
23 FEB Sea Dragon. Most of our time on Sea Dragon was spent patrolling up and down the coast looking for WBLC's. On our missions HOEL took under fire road intersections, bridges, or any other target of opportunity. On two different occasions, while firing at targets ashore, HOEL was taken under heavy fire by North Vietnamese coastal defense sites. The quick reaction of all hands brought us safely away without any personnel casualties or material damage in either action.
Shipmate FTG2 G.A. Davis (1966-1970) recalled, "When the USS Hoel first came under fire we retreated in away that only one battery was unmasked (should have been both batteries). The battery that was unmasked had one sided operation. Director Officer did not have a good understanding of the fire control system as we were firing miles behind the target. On the second occasion of fire by North Vietnamese the USS Hoel reacted properly. Several secondary explosions were noted when fire was returned.
23-29 FEB Enroute NGFS and Hue. Naval Gunfire Support in the II Crops Area around Nha Trang provided a welcome break in the routine for all hands. The scenery in the area was much more interesting than that around the DMZ. Instead of desolate beaches backed by monotonous hills covered with scrub trees, we could see high, green, jungle-covered mountains rising sharply out of the sea.
29-11 MAR DMZ, Radar Picket.
11-12 MAR Enroute Subic Bay
12-14 MAR Enroute Koahsiung, Formosa
14-21 MAR At Koahsiung
21-22 MAR Enroute Subic Bay.
22-25 MAR At Subic Bay
25-30 MAR Enroute Yankee Station, Plane Guard, ASW. On March 25 HOEL left Subic as a member of a three ship Attack Carrier Task Group. HOEL and USS TRUXTUN provided the escort for USS ENTERPRISE. We were the only "oil burner" in the group, since the other two ships are nuclear powered. Soon after our arrival in the Gulf of Tonkin we were detached to participate in several days of antisubmarine training exercises.
31-10 APR Nha Trang -- II CORPS -- Our job was to provide gunfire support to friendly units along a three-hundred mile stretch of coastline centered around the city of Nha Trang. At Nha Trang most of our missions were carried out during daylight with the aid of the gunfire liaison officer assigned to the area. After dark we would usually be given "harassment and interdiction" missions. Each night we would also stand by for action in case Nha Trang was attacked.
10-12 APR Enroute Subic Bay
12-22 APR At Subic Bay
22-24 APR Enroute Hong Kong, BCC
24-29 APR At Hong Kong, BCC
29-30 APR Enroute Subic Bay, P.I.
1-2 MAY At Subic Bay. While there we completed a major repair to the forward 5-inch gun.
3-6 MAY Enroute Yankee Station
6-17 MAY NGFS, Danang, I Corps. During this period we fired our 10,000th 5-inch gun round.
17-19 MAY Plane Guard
19-30 MAY Radar Picket, Sea Dragon. After HOEL fired her 10,000th round she was assigned to radar picket station near the DMZ. On our radar scopes we watched thc skies over the southern half of North Vietnam for hostile aircraft. Several days later HOEL was assigned to plane guard duty for USS KITTY HAWK (CVA-63).
31-3 JUN Enroute Subic Bay
3-6 JUN At Subic Bay
6-10 JUN Enroute Yokosuka
11-17 JUN At Yokosuka
18-28 JUN Enroute San Diego
28 JUN 68 SAN DIEGO, cold iron
1969 - On 26 JUL, USS HOEL hosted a popular Dependents' Cruise on San Diego coastal waters. The eight-hour cruise included demonstrations of all ship's systems and barbecued steaks and lobster on the 01 deck. Commander Paul Asmus took command of HOEL in September. She was underway again in October --- destination: Yankee Station, Tonkin Gulf. Enroute, port calls were made at Pago Pago, American Samoa; Auckland and Gisbourne, New Zealand; the island of Manus in the Caroline Island chain; and Subic Bay Naval Shipyard, Philippines. The goodwill port call in Gisbourne, New Zealand, lasted 14 days --- since HOEL was the single U.S. representative in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the discovery of New Zealand by Captain James Cook. Warships representing England, Canada, Australia, the United States, and New Zealand were in attendance and celebrated jointly.
1970 - During her six-month WESTPAC deployment she spent 72% of the time at sea, including gunline duties, search-and-rescue missions, and a great deal of plane guarding for aircraft carriers during aircraft launch and recovery operations --- mostly for the USS CONSTELLATION (CV-64). Routine refuelings, rearming details, a dry dock inspection in Subic Bay, and various unreps kept the crew very busy. Gunline duty involved intense gunfire support for onshore Marine units in I Corps and II Corps, and resulted in the loss of most of the barrel of Mount 51. A new barrel was refitted at Subic Bay. She returned to San Diego (arriving MAY) via Hong Kong, China; Sasebo, Japan; Subic Bay, Philippines; Guam; Midway; and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
On 6 NOV 70 she was underway for another WESTPAC tour.
Click here to play or download a 64-second 814kb .wmv movie of USS HOEL underway in Vietnam waters in early 1970 - Thanks to Earl Faubion, who took the shot while underway from the USS BLUE (DD-744).
1971 - HOEL spent most of WESTPAC number six plane guarding for the USS KITTY HAWK (CVA-63).
27 APR crossed Equator enroute to Australia
4-9 MAY At Newcastle, Australia
12-14 MAY At Wellington, New Zealand
29 MAY Arrived San Diego
During her sixth six-month WESTPAC deployment she was underway 72% of her total deployment and steamed 49,620 miles. She spent 65 days of her 72-day mission deployment in the combat zone. Command changed from CDR P. A. Asmus to CDR T. J. Bowen.
1972 - WESTPAC cruise number seven was commanded by CDR R. L. Coffey. A total of 113 days were spent on the gun line. A five-inch round exploded in the barrel of Mount 52 during gunfire support operations, resulting in this strange-looking weapon:
(photo courtesy of Mike Coen)
The stuffed hawk that had graced the quarterdeck of the USS KITTY HAWK was also stolen by a motley crew of conspirators from HOEL.
(photo courtesy of Mike Coen)
Shipmate Mike Coen recalled, " I was in the magazine of the after 5"- 54 when the round blew up in the barrel. I personally was not involved in the scam of the 'bird'. What I remember though is, a couple of BT's went to the Kitty Hawk with a fake work request. I remember being told that they had two Marines guarding it, and somehow got them to help carry it to a waiting truck."
1974 - WESTPAC cruise number eight (?) was commanded by CDR R.M. Campbell. Since the Vietnam conflict was winding down, HOEL spent a lot of readiness time in Subic Bay, P.I.
Shipmate Glenn Ross served aboard from JAN 73 to JUN 75: "During that time the ship made one WESPAC (74) and a midi cruise (73), did extensive testing with a new missile system, and suffered greatly from being worn out by extensive use during the Vietnam War. Luckily she entered the yards in Long Beach in JAN 75, for a year long overhaul. Sadly, I left the ship half way through the yard period and was never to board her again.
1975 - 1979 - During this four-year time span HOEL made two WESTPAC cruises that included port calls in Hawaii, Australia, Guam, Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Midway Island.
During the second cruise Iranian factions loyal to Ayatollah Khoemeni had ousted the Shah of Iran, and the first Persian Gulf conflict started.
16 JAN 79 The Shah left Iran, relinquishing governmental control.
1 FEB 79 Khomeini returned to Iran, initializing a period of antagonism. Processes against the supporters of the Shah began, and hundreds of those supporters were executed.
HOEL and other DESRON 7 ships steamed into the Persian Gulf and remained for a total of 75 days. Monotonous steaming duty was broken up by a visit to Karachi, Pakistan. HOEL rescued 235 Brown & Root employees that had remained in Iran after the Shah's departure. The employees were transported to Bander Abaas, Saudi Arabia. HOEL then proceded to Subic Bay Naval Shipyard, Phillipines, and then home. HOEL went into drydock in Long Beach for nine months beginning JUN 79. Every crewmember that served during 1978-1979 received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for participating in the first task force in the Persian Gulf --- where a vigil has been kept since HOEL left.
1982 - HOEL won the 1982 Arleigh Burke Pacific Fleet Trophy (best combat unit in the fleet), and its crew was rewarded with an excellent cruise. Included were a few of the standard Westpac ports. She then departed from DESRON7 and continued alone, stopping in four ports in Australia, New Guinea, three ports in New Zealand, and four other South Seas Island ports on the way back to San Diego via Pearl Harbor.
Shipmate Nestor Arguilla added to the details via email on Tuesday, August 07, 2007: "My name is Nestor A. Arguilla and I was the EWO/CICO of the USS HOEL (DDG-13) during the 1982-1983 Western Pacific deployment. Please include the following South Pacific islands visited by the World's Finest. Fiji, Tonga, New Caledonia and U.S. Territory of Samoa. During that deployment, she did a week port visit in Hong Kong during Christmas of year 1982. Following the Hong Kong port visit, she went through ship availability repair at SRF, U. S. Naval Base, Subic Bay Bay Philippines. The crew spent New Year 1983 in Olongapo City, Philippines. After the Subic Bay Philippines visit/ship repair, she sailed to South Pacific. During that South Pac deployment, she was involved with joint ASW exercises with the Australian and the New Zealand Navy. She also conducted joint exercises with the Fijian Navy. During the brief four day visit in Tonga, the officers and crew attended a formal state dinner with the Prince of Tonga, the son of the King of Tonga. She made a second port call in Samoa for refueling before proceeding to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
1987 - A busy year for the Navy in the Persian Gulf . . . .
17 MAR - The USS Stark Incident
JUL - Operation Earnest Will
19 OCT - Operation Nimble Archer utilized four destroyers to exact retribution for Iran's previous attack on the reflagged Kuwaiti supertanker SEA ISLE CITY, which was was under US protection. Gunfire from USS HOEL (DDG-13), USS LEFTWICH (DD-984), USS KIDD (DDG-933) and USS JOHN YOUNG (DD-973) set fires on the Iranian command and control platforms in the Arabian Gulf on 19 OCT.
(photo courtesy of Todd D. Rainer: Ras Shadat oil platform burning beyond LEFTWICH as HOEL departed the Gulf)
(US Navy photo by PH3 Henry Cleveland: Ras Shadat oil platform)
Click here to view Operation Nimble Archer newspaper clippings dated 20 OCT 1987
The platforms were originally built by an American oil company for the Shah of Iran before he was deposed but had been modified by Iran's military and were harboring Iranian fast assault craft. The task force had received orders the evening prior to engagement, accompanied with a high speed UNREP and subsequent transit of the Straights of Hormuz to establish gunfire range positions near the oil platforms the next morning. The operation was initiated after a 15-minute evacuation warning to the Iranian platform personnel had been given. Approximately one thousand rounds of 5-inch high-explosive ordinance were expended, resulting in the effective destruction of the platforms above their waterline. USS STANDLEY (CG-32) stood air watch in case of any Iranian aircraft counterstrike threats. SEALs were inserted the following night to complete the platform destruction.
1990 - HOEL was decommissioned on 1 OCT.
1992 - She was stricken from the Naval Vessels Register on 20 NOV.
1994 - HOEL was purchased by Consolidated Power and Minerals, Inc., of Leesburgh, Florida, on 20 JUN --- price: $46,476.13. She will be converted to a power barge and used to provide commercial electrical power services wherever it is required.
1997 - HOEL and six other ships are moored at the former Charleston Naval Base, South Carolina, where Consolidated Minerals Inc. (of Leesburg, Florida) leases about one-third of the base. Charleston Shipbuilding Inc., a subsidiary of Consolidated Minerals Inc., had initially bid to occupy the entire shipyard to assemble electric power plants on surplus Navy frigates and destroyers.
Five other DDG's are at Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, California, for the similar barge conversion that includes scrapping topside down to 01 level, using existing boiler plants and electrical generators, and adding 30 megawatts more generating capacity for a total of 50 megawatts per ship. The conversion work at Hunter's Point is being performed by Astoria Metals Corporation of San Francisco, California, a ship repair and dismantling company founded in 1992 to dismantle surplus government vessels. Fire control and "sensitive" military equipment was removed prior to the sale. Propulsion systems are not functional and are not allowed to operate, per Navy sales contract requirements.
(photo courtesy of Michael Donegan)
1998 - Charleston Shipbuilders, Inc., is one of the tenants at the Charleston Navy Base. The CSI conversion of HOEL into an electrical power station was claimed to be successful. The residents of Manaus, Brazil, were the recipients of HOEL's now-peaceful energy output, but that power is not meeting expectations. CMI Power International, Inc., transported the former HOEL to Manaus to produce a contracted 50 megawatts of power, but the power barge produced only 5 megawatts (as of August 25, 1998). CMI Power International, Inc. is a sister company of Charleston Shipbuilders, Inc.
(photos courtesy of Len Gordon, publisher of the "Charles F. Adams Class Newsletter", via the USS Berkeley newsletter, "The Bright Penny")
2004 - According to Ralph Vierregger, the motor launch (Captain's Gig) from DDG-13 is on display at Freedom Park in Omaha, Nebraska. It is aboard USS HAZARD (AM-240), a WWII minesweeper. Freedom Park is a United States Naval Museum with exhibits USS HAZARD (AM-240), USS MARLIN (SST-2), USS OMAHA (SSN-692), and USS LSM-45.
Terry Ulmer , SUPSHIP SAN DIEGO, has the Commissioning Plaque from HOEL's Quarterdeck. He would like to know if anyone is interested in buying it or trading for other memoribilia.
2005 - The hull is still afloat in Brazil.
Paul Nickle emailed, "I was in Manaus in December of 2005, and from where our ship was docked I could see the Hoel docked near a container dock --- and it was being dismantled. The were removing the last of the superstructure."
2008 - 23 SEPT 08 Shipmate Richard V. Alley used Google Earth to locate the HOEL hull moored to a remote pier on the Amazon River near Manaus, Brazil. Using his coordinates 3 7'34.70"S, 59 55'44.56 W --- yielded this satellite shot:
FROM THE WEBMASTER
Do you have information regarding the history of DDG-13?
Your historical contributions and sea stories are welcome!
The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships HOEL segment ends at 1967, so the history after that date is being written here --- hopefully, with your help. While "a picture is worth a thousand words," I really would appreciate your account of HOEL history: deck logs, operational accounts, and diaries/recollections would serve this WEBsite best.