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USS Edson (DD 946)

- decommissioned -

USS EDSON was one of the FORREST SHERMAN - class destroyers and the first ship in the Navy named after USMC Major General Merritt Austin Edson. Decommissioned after 30 years of service on December 15, 1988, the EDSON was stricken from the Navy list on January 31, 1989. On June 30, 1989, the EDSON was donated to the INTREPID Sea-Air-Space Museum at New York City, for use as a museum. Since June 21, 1990, the ship was designated a national historic landmark. On June 14, 2004, the destroyer was returned back to US Navy custody and was laid up at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. In April 2012, the Navy donated the EDSON to the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum in Bay City, Mich., and the destroyer left Philadelphia under tow to her new berthing in July 2012.

General Characteristics:Awarded: January 27, 1956
Keel laid: December 3, 1956
Launched: January 4, 1958
Commissioned: November 7, 1958
Decommissioned: December 15, 1988
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Propulsion system: four-1200 lb. boilers; two steam turbines; two shafts
Propellers: two
Length: 418.3 feet (127.5 meters)
Beam: 45,3 feet (13.8 meters)
Draft: 22 feet (6.7 meters)
Displacement: approx. 4,000 tons full load
Speed: 32+ knots
Aircraft: none
Armament: three Mk-42 5-inch/54 caliber guns, Mk-32 ASW torpedo tubes (two triple mounts)
Crew: 17 officers, 275 enlisted

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS EDSON. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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USS EDSON Cruise Books:

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Accidents aboard USS EDSON:

December 12, 1974off Hawaii
USS EDSON suffers a fire in the after fireroom while training with the USS CORAL SEA (CV 43). The fire was caused by the ignition of oil which was spraying from a rupture in a lube oil guage line. The area was secured and fire extinguished with no personnel casualties. The EDSON returned to Pearl Harbor under her own power for repairs.

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About the Ship's Name:

Merritt Austin Edson born 25 April 1897 in Rutland, Vt., enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve at the outbreak of World War I and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the regular Marine Corps 9 October 1917. He served in France from September 1918 to December 1919. In 1941 he directed experimental operations which included training with high-speed transports. These led to the organization of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion one month after the United States entered World War II. This battalion was the prototype for Marine Raider and Army Ranger Battalions formed later in the war. Edson led his battalion during the invasion and capture of Tulagi from 7 to 9 August 1942, then was assigned to defend the ridge on Guadalcanal which dominated Henderson Field. For his superb and heroic leadership on the night of 13 and 14 September when his men stood off a fanatic attack by a much larger Japanese force, Colonel Edson was awarded the Medal of Honor. He took part in the Tarawa invasion and in 1944 was appointed Chief of Staff, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. After duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Marine Corps Headquarters, Major General Edson retired 1 August 1947. He died 14 August 1955 in Washington, D.C.

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The photos below were taken by me on November 7, 2008, and show the EDSON laid up at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.

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The photos below were taken by me and show the EDSON still laid up at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on October 26, 2010. The destroyer will most likely be reopened as a museum in the Great Lakes area.

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