The U.S.S.Hollister was more than a steel hull filled with complicated mechanical devices and more than a gray mass topped with a superstructure containing complex detection and deployment systems. It is first of all MEN. Men who provided life and breath to the 390 foot long and 41 foot wide structure, capable of speeds over thirty knots.
The U.S.S. HOLLISTER was first launched to the sea in October of 1945 and was officially commissioned on March 19, 1946. Commander William T. Samuels in command headed for the open seas. Following commissioning the Hollister home ported and operated out of San Diego, CA. She actively participated in peacetime training and fleet exercises in addition to an illustrious record in the Korean and Viet Nam War.
When the Korean war broke out in June, 1950 the Hollister joined the U.S. Seventh Fleet operating out of Sasebo, Japan, with the Fast Carrier Task Force 77. The ship and a full contingent of crew members participated in rescuing downed pilots, anti-submarine screening and plane guard duties. In September 1950, she and other units of Destroyer Division 112 along with the cruiser U.S.S. MANCHESTER bombarded Fracchi Point (Tungsan Got) where North Korean Communists were constructing entrenchments.
Mid-December 1950, the HOLLISTER assisted in the evacuation of Allied Forces from the Hungnam Beach Head. The Hollister played an important role in the evacuation of the Tachen Islands while on the 1954-55 cruise.
February, 1961, found the ship and crew moving to Bremerton, WA for Fram MK1 Conversion. In January, 1962 the ‘new’ Hollister made her home in the Long Beach, CA Team in the Western Pacific.
The Hollister engaged in antisubmarine exercises on the American West Coast before again heading west to reach the South China Seas.
Nineteen-sixty-five found 270 enlisted men and 15 officers of the Hollister headed for a WesPac tour, mostly to guard planes with the carriers in the Tonkin Gulf. On one 37 day temporary duty tour up North the responsibility was to alert Carrier groups in the Gulf air field in the Formosa Straight. This tour went “unrepped” and everything from food to toilet paper ran out.
As part of the Pacific 7th fleet participation for a thirty month tour during 1966-68, the Hollister, was ordered to patrol the North Vietnamese Coastline waters from the Demilitarized Zone northward. During this tour with the naval operation aptly named “Sea Dragon” the Hollister’s mission was to destroy all North Vietnamese water born logistics craft carrying arms and materials and to destroy selected enemy military targets ashore.
While on Search and Rescue station, the Hollister was riding “shotgun” as a deterrent force against any of the enemy who might pose a threat to friendly forces while attempting to rescue a down pilot. Whistling shells, flashes of light, the unleashed sights and sounds readily qualify one and all as Naval battle heroes.
Naval Gunfire Support Operations and Operation Sea Dragon demanded the utmost from each and every Hollister man, meeting the challenge, again, with the expected endurance and excellent Performance through long, hot days of gunfire and waiting, and nights of tense anticipation, all the men helped achieve the Hollister’s goals for various Vietnam operations. Off the coast of Vietnam clear, blue water with sun bleached beaches on the horizon were overcome by the sounds and sights of War. Lives were measured by duty stations and watches, general quarter, replenishment, mail-calls, mealtime and rack time. It was a demanding lifestyle, but an experience that would not be traded (now that it is over) nor unforgotten.
Vietnam was a time worthy of pride in the Naval forces and the exemplarity manner in which all performed their tasks. Regardless of home front attitudes and the frustrating realities of fighting a war with one-sided rules, the military fought the fight in the tradition of our armed forces of past generations.
The Hollister continued to serve as part of the 7th fleet and in other Vietnam mission into 1974, before being struck from the Navy list in 1979.
The long dedicated career of the U.S.S. Hollister that plied the waters of the Pacific Ocean and served as “home” to thousands of young men who experienced new adventures in the Far East. Days of forlornness over quiet seas, days of discovery and fun in strange new lands, days of working and personal achievement, days of thought and awareness and days of big guns pounding away with tremendous power at enemy coastline.
Memories, pictures and stories now tell the tale of this time in the lives of thousands of young men who served aboard the Hollister, as she steamed over four times the distance to the moon, in carrying out her varied wartime and peacetime missions.
CLASS - GEARING As Built.
Displacement 3460 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 390' 6"(oa) x 40' 10" x 14' 4" (Max)
Armament 6 x 5"/38AA (3x2), 12 x 40mm AA, 11 x 20mm AA, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; General Electric Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 36.8 Knots, Range 4500 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 336.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Todd Shipyards, Seattle. January 18 1945.
Launched October 9 1945 and commissioned March 29 1946.
Decommissioned September 1979.
Stricken August 31 1979.
To Taiwan March 3 1983, renamed Shao Yang DDG-929.
Fate Scheduled for decommissioning June 1 2004 at Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Reunion Group Chaplin
Other Historical Links
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/unrep.htm FAS: Underway Replenishment (UNREP)