Tuesday, April 2, 2013

USS Taussig (DD-746)

Figure 1:  USS Taussig (DD-746) underway during the later 1940s or early 1950s. This image was received by the Naval Photographic Center in December 1959, but was taken about a decade earlier. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 2:  USS Taussig (DD-746) circa 1950-1952, from the collection of Clifford L. Rayl. Photograph courtesy of Keith Rayl. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 3:  USS Taussig (DD-746) circa 1950-1952, from the collection of Clifford L. Rayl. Photograph courtesy of Keith Rayl. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 4:  USS Taussig (DD-746) circa 1953, place unknown. Photograph courtesy of Marc Pich√©. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 5:  USS Taussig (DD-746) operating at sea, 1 April 1957. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 6:  USS Taussig (DD-746) underway off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, 10 May 1963. Taken by PH2 Francis L. Antoine, USN. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 7:  USS Klondike (AR-22) in Subic Bay, Philippines, on 1 November 1963. The destroyers alongside, all "FRAM II" types of Destroyer Squadron 15, are: (from inboard to outboard): USS Taussig (DD-746), USS John A. Bole (DD-755), USS Lofberg (DD-759), and USS John W. Thomason (DD-760). Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image. 


Figure 8:  USS Taussig (DD-746) underway at sea, 13 January 1965. Photographed by PH3 L.E. Cannon. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 9:  USS Taussig (DD-746) during an amphibious landing near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), Vietnam, in 1969. Photograph courtesy of William P. Jones, M.D.  Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 10:  USS Taussig (DD-746) on 24 April 1969, location unknown.  Photograph courtesy of Ed Zajkowski.  Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 11:  Seaman L.J. Kusak and Senior Chief Gunner's Mate A.A. Epperson, both of USS Dixie (AD-14), install a new 5-inch gun in one of USS Taussig's (DD-746) gun mounts, at Subic Bay, Philippines, 1969. Official US Navy Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 12:  USS Taussig’s (DD-746) officers pose on her helicopter deck, circa 1970. Note the flag which features a tiger emblem. This photograph was received from USS Taussig prior to February 1971. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.

 
Named after Rear Admiral Edward D. Taussig (1847-1921), the 2,200-ton USS Taussig (DD-746) was an Allen M. Sumner class destroyer that was built by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding & Drydock Company at Staten Island, New York, and was commissioned on 20 May 1944. The ship was approximately 376 feet long and 40 feet wide, had a top speed of 34 knots, and had a crew of 336 officers and men. As built, Taussig was armed with six 5-inch guns, 12 40-mm guns, 11 20-mm guns, 10 21-inch torpedo tubes, and depth charges, but this armament changed dramatically in later years.
After completing her shakedown cruise in the western Atlantic and the Caribbean, Taussig transited the Panama Canal in September 1944 and, after some more training exercises, arrived in the Pacific war zone in October. For the rest of the year, Taussig escorted fast aircraft carriers and participated in combat operations in the Philippines area and the South China Sea. The ship also was given the task of searching the waters around the Philippines for downed American pilots. In December of 1944, Taussig managed to survive a horrific typhoon that sank three other American destroyers.
Taussig’s carrier escort duties continued in 1945, during which she was part of the invasions of Luzon in the Philippines as well as the amphibious assaults on the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  Taussig also completed a series of raids against the Japanese home islands. In March 1945, the ship used her guns to bombard Okino Daito Shima, Japan, and, during the following months off Okinawa, was in almost constant combat against Japanese aircraft. On 6 April 1945, a Japanese aircraft dropped a bomb which barely missed Taussig. The destroyer’s gunners scored several hits on the attacking plane, but American aircraft arriving on the scene eventually shot the aircraft down. On the night of 15 and 16 April, Taussig’s gunners shot down two Japanese bombers and, the following day, shot down two kamikaze suicide planes as well.
After a brief visit to the US naval base at Ulithi Atoll in the Caroline Islands for more supplies and ammunition, Taussig returned to Okinawa at the beginning of May 1945. On 25 May, the destroyer shot down three more Japanese aircraft. For the rest of May and during the first week of June, Taussig continued to protect aircraft carriers off Okinawa while their aircraft attacked the island. On 1 July 1945, Taussig joined Task Force 38 for the last series of offensive operations in World War II. For the next month and a half, the ship cruised off the coast of Japan screening aircraft carriers as their planes attacked Japan for the expected invasion of the Japanese home islands. On the night of 22 and 23 July, Taussig made an anti-shipping sweep off Honshu, Japan, with the destroyers of Des-Ron 61.The American destroyers ran into a four-ship Japanese convoy, attacked it with guns and torpedoes, and claimed to have sunk all four enemy ships. Air operations and anti-shipping patrols continued until 15 August 1945, when news of Japan’s surrender brought an end to hostilities.  
After the end of the war in the Pacific, Taussig returned to the United States in October 1945. She steamed back across the Pacific in February 1946 to begin the first of sixteen Far Eastern deployments over the next 23 years. That cruise, which ended in March 1947, was followed by a period of time when Taussig was used as a training ship off the west coast of the United States.
Taussig was sent back to the Far East and the western Pacific in May 1950. The Korean War began in June and Taussig once again escorted American aircraft carriers, only this time off the coast of Korea. The destroyer spent most of her time at sea, but also participated in naval operations at Inchon, Pohang, and Wonsan. In late December 1950, Taussig also assisted in the evacuation of Wonsan.
Early in 1951, Taussig returned to the west coast and underwent a three-month overhaul at San Francisco, California. She then conducted extensive training out of San Diego, California, in preparation for her return to Korea. Taussig ended up completing two more combat cruises off Korea, from August 1951 to May 1952, and from November 1952 to July 1953. Most of her duties consisted of escorting aircraft carriers and bombarding Communist targets along the Korean coastline.
After the end of the Korean War in 1953, Taussig completed eight more tours of duty in Asian waters over the next nine years. In 1962, the ship underwent a major Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) overhaul that greatly changed her appearance and armament. The modifications included new communications gear, a variable depth passive sonar array, anti-submarine torpedoes, and the Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH) system. After the overhaul was completed, Taussig was sent to the Far East from 19 April to 3 December 1963, and conducted anti-submarine warfare exercises off the coasts of Japan and the Philippines. After returning to the United States, Taussig patrolled off America’s west coast until October 1964.
Taussig’s involvement in her third armed conflict began during her thirteenth post-World War II Far Eastern cruise, which was from late October 1964 to May 1965. During that time, Taussig was again assigned to escort American aircraft carriers, this time off the coast of Vietnam. Her following three deployments to Vietnam (from April to November 1966, January to June 1968, and June to October 1969) included providing naval gunfire support for American forces on shore, escorting aircraft carriers, and participating in amphibious operations.
In 1970, while making preparations for yet another tour of duty in the Far East, Taussig fell victim to the then ongoing effort to reduce the size of the active-duty fleet. On 1 December 1970, Taussig was placed out of commission at San Diego and placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet. On 1 September 1973, Taussig was struck from the Navy list. But on 6 May 1974, the destroyer was sold to Taiwan, where she was re-named Lo Yang (DD-14) and served in the Taiwan Navy until 15 February 2000. USS Taussig earned six battle stars for her service during World War II, eight battle stars for her service during the Korean War, and six battle stars for her service during the Vietnam War.