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USS Richard S. Edwards (DD 950)

- decommissioned -
- sunk as a target -

Commissioned as one of the FORREST SHERMAN - class destroyers, the RICHARD S. EDWARDS was the first ship in the Navy named after Admiral Richard Stanislaus Edwards. In the 1960s, eight of the FORREST SHERMAN - class destroyers were chosen to receive an anti-submarine warfare capability upgrade which included the replacement of one of the Mk-42 5-inch guns with a Mk-16 ASROC missile launcher as well as the installation of the SQS-35 VDS and SQS-23 systems. The ships that underwent the conversion then formed the BARRY - class. Initially, the USS HULL (DD 945) was scheduled to receive the conversion but the Navy decided to use the RICHARD S. EDWARDS instead.

Decommissioned on December 15, 1982, and stricken from the Navy list on February 7, 1990, the RICHARD S. EDWARDS was finally disposed of as a target on April 10, 1997, at the Pacific Missile Range (022° 38' 54.0" North, 160° 57' 29.0" West).

General Characteristics:Awarded: January 27, 1956
Keel laid: December 20, 1956
Launched: September 24, 1957
Commissioned: February 5, 1959
Decommissioned: December 15, 1982
Builder: Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging Co., Seattle, Wash.
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: two Mk-42 5-inch/54 caliber guns, Mk-32 ASW torpedo tubes (two triple mounts), one Mk-16 ASROC missile launcher
Crew: 17 officers, 287 enlisted

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Crew List:

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

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Accidents aboard USS RICHARD S. EDWARDS:

October 19, 1974Pearl Harbor, HI.
USS RICHARD S. EDWARDS experiences one-foot deep flooding in the fire room while in Pearl Harbor, HI. The water is pumped out.
November 24, 1975off Hawaii
An ASROC motor prematurely ignites seriously burning one man while the RICHARD S. EDWARDS is en route to the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, HI. A manufacturing defect in one of the rocket motor components is determined to be the accident's cause.

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USS RICHARD S. EDWARDS was laid down by the Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging Co., Seattle, Wash., 29 December 1956; launched 24 September 1957; sponsored by Mrs. W. B. Franke; and commissioned 5 February 1959, Comdr. Richard R. Law in command.

RICHARD S. EDWARDS’ shakedown took her to Valparaiso, Chile, then back to San Diego 13 May 1959. She then deployed to the western Pacific area where she operated with the fast carrier units of the 7th Fleet, and as a member of the U.S. Taiwan Patrol Force. She returned to the west coast 13 May 1960 and operated there until deploying to the western Pacific again in February 1961 to operate with the fast carrier group in the South China Sea. She returned to San Diego 14 September 1961.

RICHARD S. EDWARDS commenced her third WestPac cruise 13 November 1962 for fast carrier operations throughout the western Pacific, returning home in June 1963. She resumed local operations until commencing her fourth WestPac cruise from August 1964 to January 1965. During this deployment RICHARD S. EDWARDS and MORTON (DD 948) engaged North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Tonkin Gulf on 18 September, probably sinking several.

Upon returning from the Far East, RICHARD S. EDWARDS operated off the west coast until deploying to WestPac again 1 March 1966 to 26 August 1966. There she rendered naval gunfire support to forces ashore in Vietnam and plane-guarded for U.S. Navy carriers in the Tonkin Gulf. During 1967, she operated off the west coast of the United States until returning to WestPac in August. She arrived Da Nang, South Vietnam, 3 November 1967. She returned to San Diego 12 March 1968 and spent the balance of that year operating off the west coast.

In late January 1969 RICHARD S. EDWARDS deployed to WestPac again to operate off Vietnam. She returned to San Diego 13 August 1969, until being decommissioned at Long Beach, Calif. 27 February 1970. She immediately entered Long Beach Naval Shipyard and underwent ASW modernization. By December, she was participating in sea trials in anticipation of her recommissioning, which occurred 15 January 1971. She embarked 4 March for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, her new home port, and continued operations in that vicinity until April 1972.

Receiving only 72 hours notice, RICHARD S. EDWARDS sailed from Pearl Harbor 10 April 1972 for the western Pacific and deployment off the Vietnamese coast. She remained in the area, either on the gunline or cruising with the carriers as escort and plane-guard, until November. She re-entered Pearl Harbor 10 November 1972 and has remained there throughout 1973 and into 1974.

RICHARD S. EDWARDS has received six battle stars for service off Vietnam.

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About the Ship's Name:

Richard Stanislaus Edwards, born in Philadelphia, Pa., 18 February 1885, was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1903. He was commissioned ensign on 13 September 1908 and through subsequent advancement attained the rank of admiral, to date from 13 April 1945, and was transferred to the retired list of the U.S. Navy in that rank on 1 July 1947. During World War I, he served as engineer officer on board KENTUCKY (BB 6), then as gunnery officer on board KANSAS (BB 21) and ARKANSAS (BB 33). His commands included WOOD (DD 317); Submarine Squadron 6; Submarine Base, New London, Conn.; COLORADO (BB 45); Submarines, Patrol Force; and Submarines, Atlantic Fleet. During World War II he served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Aide to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet and then Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. For his World War II service, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. He subsequently served as Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Commander, Western Sea Frontier, and Commander, Pacific Reserve Fleet. He died at the Naval Hospital, Oakland, Calif., 2 June 1956.

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USS Richard S. Edwards after the anti-submarine warfare conversion

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