USS DYESS DDR880
Ships Data Section
Office of Public Information
HISTORY OF USS DYESS (DDR 880)
BRONZE PLATE REMOVED FROM DYESS MID- SHIP BULKHEAD
Built by the Orange, Texas, yards of Consolidated Steel Corporation, DYESS (2400-ton Gearing Glass destroyer) slide down sideways into the water on 26 January 1945. Sponsoring the ship at the launching ceremonies was Mrs. Aqullla Dyess, wife of the late Lieutenant Colonel Dyess, USMCR, in whose honor the vessel was named. Colonel Dyess was posthumuously awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry above and beyond. The call of duty during the capture of Kwajalein Atoll In the Marshall Islands,
On 21 May 1945 the destroyer was accepted by the Navy and commissioned USS DYESS (DDR 880} with Commander R. L. Fulton, USN, aboard as first commanding officer. The remainder of May was spent In the process of rigging and on 8 June she stood out for shakedown in the area. of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
Operating during this time with Task Force 23. On this assignment crewmen were given extensive training in various shipboard drills and the gunnery teams received vigorous workouts during practice firing. Upon completion of these maneuvers DYESS returned to the States and put In at Norfolk on 7 July for a post shakedown availability.
While In the shipyards the destroyer was outfitted with special radar gear and additional anti-aircraft armament for duties as a picket destroyer. However, by the end of this period the war was over and DYESS never had the chance to prove her self in battle.
On 21 August she stood out for Guantanamo Bay and thence to Culebra, Puerto Rico and during this time the ship underwent refresher training on 5 September she cleared the Caribbean to put In at Casco Bay, Maine, on the 10th where the vessel reported for duty with Commander Destroyers Atlantic. On 4 October DYESS moved to Annapolis to participate In the Naval Academy?s Centennial Anniversary celebration until the 14th. . At that tine she got underway for Hampton Roads for a brief stop before running up coast to Philadelphia where she participated In Navy Day activities on the 27th.
DYESS steamed to Norfolk on 30 October and reported to Destroyer Squadron Eight and on 7 November she stood out for the Panama Canal, making passage there 11-13 November. After a brief stop at San Diego the ship proceeded to Pearl Harbor, arriving on 28 November to report to Commander Destroyers Pacific. On 10 December she sailed for the Tokyo Bay Area and in the 19th joined with forces under Commander Fifth Fleet. While in this area she participated in a: four day training period with cruisers TOPEKA and DULUTH. . Her remaining tour of duty took her to the Mariana?s, China Coast, the Philippines and Japanese ports. On 50 November the des- troyer retired from the western Pacific and after a fueling atop at Pearl Harbor, put in at San Diego on 16 December 1945. On 6 January 1946 the vessel cleared for the East Coast via the Panama Canal and Guantanamo Bay, and on the 25th put in At Norfolk.
Destroyer DYESS remained on the East Coast until 6 August when she stood out for the Caribbean and put in at Trinidad on the 9th to await orders for rendezvous. After making rendezvous with Task Force 84 (flag in battleship MISSOURI) the force proceeded to Rio de Janeiro, arriving on 30 August. On 7 September President Harry S. Truman, his family and staff were received aboard the ?Mighty Mo? For the return trip. DYESS steamed on escort station during this voyage and on the 19th the force put In at Norfolk, Virginia, where President Truman transferred to Presidential Yacht WILLIAMSBURG for the overnight run to Washington, DC. Destroyer DYESS going along as official escort.
On 29 October 1947 she cleared Newport, Rhode Island, in company with destroyer LEARY and after a short stay at Argentia, Newfoundland, the units proceeded to Gibraltar for duty with Commander Mediterranean Forces. During her tour of duty in that area, she served as escort for battle-carrier MIDWAY (flying the flag of Commander Carrier Division One) and visited many ports, among them Naples, Trieste, Venice and Suda Bay in Italy; Piraeus in Greece and many others. On 5 February 1948 DYESS cleared Gibralter on her return trip to Newport, Rhode Island, arriving the 14th. At present (14 February 1948) USS DYESS is on duty with the Second Atlantic Fleet, Active, operating with Squadron Eight, Destroyer Division 141.
In the years of 1947, 1949, 1950, the Dyess was assigned Occupation duties in the free state of Treiste ( Trieste ) Italy, Mandated by the U.N.
The nine-years American and British occupation of Trieste came to an end in October 1954 with the signing of an agreement returning Zone A, which includes the city of Trieste, to Italy, and ceding Zone B of the Free Territory of Trieste to Yugoslavia. To the world at large, the settlement meant the disarming of a dangerous land mine of international tensions. To the 351st Infantry and supporting units it meant a mission accomplished, and incidentally, the loss of one of America's most popular overseas stations.
The beautiful and busy port of Trieste has seen its share of trouble in the last 1,200 years. It has at various times been ruled by Romans, Venetians, Austrians, Frenchmen, and Yugoslavs. The end of World War II meant only a renewal of Trieste's troubles. In May 1945, Marshal Tito's troops moved into the city, in defiance of an Allied agreement. A month later, the Yugoslavs withdrew to the "Morgan Line", which is roughly the same as the present boundary between Italy and Yugoslavia. In September 1945 the battle-wise 88th "Blue Devil" Division, at the time commanded by Major General James C. Fry, moved into Trieste. Although the 88th was later inactivated, one of its regiments, the 351st, stayed in Trieste on occupation duty until the Italian Army took over Zone A last October. Other units that remained until the end of the occupation were the 88th Armored Reconnaissance Company, 508th Signal Company, 23rd Ordnance Company, 281st Military Police Company, 12th Field Artillery Battalion, 517th Engineer Combat Company, and Headquarters TRUST.
The first years of the occupation were stormy. While the predominant Italian population of Trieste was generally friendly, a determined minority of pro-Yugoslav Communists tried to stir up trouble with the aim of annexing Trieste to Yugoslavia. In September 1946, seven U.S. MPs were injured with the explosion of a hand grenade thrown during a Communist demonstration. A year later, after the signing of an Italian peace treaty, the borders of the Free Territory of Trieste were adjusted and the Yugoslavs seized on this opportunity to provoke other incidents. Coolness and firmness on the part of everyone form the Allied Military Governor to the non-commissioned officers at the outposts prevented the mutual hostility from flaring up into open hostility. At one outpost, manned by five enlisted men and one lieutenant, a Yugoslav colonel demanded the right to march 2,000 men through the U.S.-British zone. The colonel threatened to use force, but the American officer talked to him patiently, delaying him until higher authority could be brought to bear on the fiery Yugoslav, who finally withdrew. A smart junior officer who knew his job had prevented what easily might have become a very unpleasant and perhaps world-shaking incident.
But the main job of the 351st during its long tour of occupation duty was to live up to its motto: "Toujour Pret" - Always Ready. A year-round training cycle was continuously in progress in the hills around Trieste and on the beaches of Venezia Giulia. Recreational facilities were of the best, and the Blue Devils have left Trieste regretfully.
If the occupation of Trieste has proved that opposing powers can get along with each other at close quarters even if there is little mutual affection, it has also shown that allies can cooperate without friction in peace as well as in war.
The troubles of Trieste may not be over. This city of 800,000 still has its unfriendly minority of Communists who are not averse to causing strife. Vitally important as a strategic and economic outlet from Central Europe to the Mediterranean Sea, Trieste must still be regarded as a rich plum by the lords of the Kremlin. But a popular and sensible solution has been found, at least for the time being, for one of the world's most ticklish problems. Much of the credit for this must go to the officers and men who served at TRUST.
U.S.S DYESS DD, DDR 880
STANDARD DISPLACEMENT 2400 tons ARMAMENT- Six 5?/58 caliber
OVERALL LENGTH 390 feet dual-purpose gun mounts
EXTREME BEAM 40 feet 20 and 40 MM and AA batteries
SPEED 35 plus knots two quintuple 21-inch
CREW 550 men Torpedo tubes.
Posted by Charles Kelley
Jan 08 2007 07:55:19:000PM