Awarded: July 21, 1959
down: December 27, 1960
Launched: December 9, 1961
Commissioned: April 20, 1963
stricken September 30, 1992; sold to Greece;
decommissioned July 29, 2002; sold for scrap
February 19, 2004.
Joseph Strauss was
born 16 November 1861 in Mount Morris, N.Y. He was commissioned Ensign 1 July
1887 and began a distinguished career as specialist in ordnance in June 1893
when he reported to the Bureau of Ordnance in Washington, D.C. During the
Spanish-American War he served in Lancaster blockading the Cuban coast, then
returned to the Bureau of Ordnance. He established the Naval Proving Ground,
Indian Head, Md., 1900 to 1902; served on a Special Board of Naval Ordnance
in 1906; and was a member of the Joint Army-Navy Board on Smokeless Powders
the following year. He conducted experimental work with torpedoes while
commanding cruiser Montgomery 1909 to 1911; commanded Ohio (BB-12) in 1912;
then became Chief of Bureau of Ordnance 21 October 1913.
Strauss assumed command of Nevada (BB-36) 30 December 1916 and remained in
command as the United States entered World War I. Detached from the
battleship in February 1918, he was designated Commander, Mine Force,
Atlantic Fleet. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal both for
directing the laying of the North Sea Mine Barrage and for the hazardous task
of clearing it after peace came. In October 1919 he returned to the Navy
Department to serve as a member of the General Board until March 1921 when he
became Commander in Chief of the Asiatic Fleet with the rank of Admiral. He
resumed duty with the General Board in October 1922. The following year he
also worked with Congress on the budget and appropriations. He transferred to
the Retired List 16 November 1925 but returned briefly to active duty 8
October 1937 to 8 February 1938 to serve the Advisory Board on Battleship
Admiral Strauss was a founder of the Naval Historical Society and a long time
financial adviser of the Navy Relief Society. Among his inventions were the
superimposed system of mounting guns; the first spring recoil gun mount, the
first disappearing mount for deck guns of submarines, and the 12-inch gun,
the fore-runner of the mighty guns for capital ships' main batteries. He
received a special letter of appreciation from Secretary of the Navy Charles
F. Adams in 1929 for his work on safety devices of submarines and the
salvaging of sunken submarines. He died 30 December 1948 and was buried in
the Arlington National Cemetery.
(DDG-16) was laid down 27 December 1960 by the New York Shipbuilding Corp.,
Camden, N.J.; launched 9 December 1961; sponsored by Mrs. Lawrence Haines
Coburn, granddaughter of Admiral Joseph Strauss; and commissioned in the
Philadelphia Naval Shipyard 20 April 1963, Cdr. William M. A. Greene in
Joseph Strauss departed Philadelphia 6 June 1963 for a brief cruise to Puerto
Rico and Willemstad, Cracao, and then transited the Panama Canal to join the
Pacific Fleet on the western seaboard. She arrived in the Long Beach Naval
Shipyard 13 July 1963 for alterations, followed by tactics out of San Diego
north to Seattle, Wash.
The flagship of Destroyer Squadron 3, Joseph Strauss sailed from Long Beach
30 June 1964. After calling at Pearl Harbor and Midway Atoll, she arrived in
Yokosuka, Japan, 18 July. She departed 3 August 1964 to rendezvous off
Okinawa 6 August with Constellation (CVA-65). She then patrolled off the
Vietnam coast and the South China Sea with task forces built around Constellation,
Kearsarge (CVS-33) and Ticonderoga (CVA-14). Brief sweeps were made to the
Philippines and ports of Japan. She arrived in Yokosuka 15 December 1964 for
upkeep, again sailing 21 January 1965 to support U.S. Forces in Vietnam until
1 March. During this period, she operated with Ranger (CVA-61), Hancock
(CVA-19), Coral Sea (CVA-3), and Yorktowm (CVS-10).
Following upkeep in Subic Bay (1-10 March), Joseph Strauss sailed with ships
of the Royal Thai Navy for exercises in the Gulf of Thailand. She was briefly
flagship of the 7th Fleet (22-26 March) during the official visit of Vice
Admiral Paul B. Blackburn, Jr., to Bangkok, Thailand. She departed Yokosuka,
19 April for operations that brought recognition and honor to both the ship
and her crew.
Commencing 24 April 1965, Joseph Strauss, together with Ernest G. Small
(DDR-838), was part of the first advanced SAR/AAW picket team in the Gulf of
Tonkin to support U.S. air strike operations against North Vietnam. From 16
through 21 May, she observed operations of a Russian task unit. She returned
to Yokosuka (23 May-4 June), then again sailed for the Gulf of Tonkin. Her
ensuing 27 days as flagship of the AAW/SAR picket unit were highly
successful, establishing operational procedures and capabilities which remain
destroyer standards. On 17 June 1965, two F4B Phantom's from Midway (CVA-41),
under Joseph Strauss' advisory control, shot down two MIG-17's, accounting
for the first two hostile aircraft downed by U.S. Forces in aerial combat
since 1953. Three days later, two propeller-driven Skyraiders, also from
Midway and under Joseph Strauss' Combat Information Center team were
decorated by the Secretary of the Navy.
Joseph Strauss arrived in Hong Kong 6 July 1965, putting out to sea 14 to 16
July to avoid Typhoon Freda, and again 18 to 19 July to carry the 7th Fleet
Salvage Officer to Pratus Reef to assist in refloating Frank Knox (DDR-742).
She departed Hong Kong 21 July for Yokosuka. The following day she took a
disabled Nationalist Chinese fishing boat in tow and delivered it safely to
Keelung the 23d, thence sailed to Yokosuka, arriving 25 July for upkeep.
On 3 September 1965, she successfully fired two improved Tartar missiles off
Okinawa. After a 1-day stop at Sasebo, Joseph Strauss proceeded south in the
screen of Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31). Upon arrival in the South China Sea,
she was detached for picket patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin during the last 3
weeks of September She spent the first 2 weeks of October supporting
operations off Vietnam in the screen of Bon Homme Richard and Oriskany
(CVA-34). She then returned to Subic Bay for naval gunfire support training
which continued off Da-nang, South Vietnam. On 28 October 1965, she fired her
first shots in anger, expending 217 5-inch shells in support of a combined
ARVN-Marine Corps search-and-destroy operation against the Viet Cong.
Throughout November she formed an advanced SAR/AAW picket team with Tucker
(DD-875) in the Gulf of Tonkin. She returned to Yokosuka 7 December 1965 for
upkeep and preparations to resume operations off South Vietnam. Joseph
Strauss returned to the Gulf of Tonkin 10 February 1966 and remained active
in the war zone until heading for Hong Kong exactly one month later. Back in
the fighting 26 April, she remained in the war zone until returning to
Yokosuka 15 June. That day her home port was changed to Pearl Harbor which
she reached 26 July.
Joseph Strauss operated in the Hawaiian area until heading back for the
Western Pacific 14 January 1967. She remained in the Far East supporting the
struggle against Communist aggression until returning to Pearl Harbor 17
June. There she prepared for future action.
Strauss also served as the primary recovery ship for Gemini 12 and secondary
recovery for Apollo 12. She was dubbed "SMOKN' JOE" after setting a
Pearl Harbor speed record of 35.2 knots under full power in 1979.
In 1980, Strauss rescued a number of Vietnamese boat people in the South
The Joseph Strauss was decommissioned February 1, 1990 after 27 years of
DDG 16 was later sold to Greece and renamed to HS
FORMION (D 220).
(Admiral Formion of Athenian was a pioneer in naval tactics. Through the
Peloponnesian Wars (431-404 B.C.) He employed inventive tactics to gain
victory after victory and thus gave birth to his legend.)
Decommissioned from service - July 29, 2002. Finally sold for scrap by the
Hellenic Navy February 19, 2004.